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A little bit of irony here today, as I am at the end of the poems I have written to date and was going to announce this would be my ‘last post’ for the summer. This poem was inspired by our last visit to Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. On the previous occasions we had entered the castle grounds from the upper level. On this occasion, Sergio walked us past the monument to the child heroes of the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847. Here is the Wikipedia entry for them –

The Niños Héroes also known as the Heroic Cadets or Boy Soldiers, were six Mexican teenage military cadets. These cadets died defending Mexico at Mexico City‘s Chapultepec Castle (then serving as the Mexican Army‘s military academy) from invading U.S. forces in the 13 September 1847 Battle of Chapultepec, during the Mexican–American War. One of the cadets, Juan Escutia, wrapped himself with the Mexican flag and jumped from the roof of the castle to keep it from falling into enemy hands. The Niños Héroes are commemorated by a national holiday on September 13.

The Niños Héroes were:

  • Juan de la Barrera  (age 19)
  • Juan Escutia  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Francisco Márquez  (age 13)
  • Agustín Melgar  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Fernando Montes de Oca  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Vicente Suárez  (age 14)

And here is the monument –


The irony here, is that on this day there were about 50 or 60 students from various schools who were visiting the castle, all dressed in their school uniforms!


They inspired me to take a seat and write this poem honoring the memories of those ‘boy soldiers’!


Six Silent Sentinels

Countless children of various ages

Noisily pass through the halls and gardens

Of Chapultepec Castle this day,

Dressed in the uniforms of their schools –

Baseball caps, cameras, cellphones –

Aiming the latter two

At the magnificence of Spanish and French royalty

Of times past.


Below, on a low hill,

Six white marble columns –

The monument to “Niños Heroes” –

Six uniformed adolescents

Who made the ultimate sacrifice,

Defending this hill

Against the invading American soldiers –

Too young to ever comprehend,

That almost 130 years later,

Where once they were aiming their weapons,

The adolescents today would be aiming cameras

At yet another invading group of Americans –

Tourists from north of the Rio Grande,

Marveling at the magnificence of Spanish and French royalty.

While down below on the hill,

Six silent sentinels stand proudly,

Reminders of the glorious past of Mexico!


With those images in your mind, I bid you ‘Hasta Luego mis amigos’. Thanks for following the blog this year. I hope to be back in the fall…


One of those things which is often heard, is that one needs one’s space! I believe that is a universal feeling. There are times, for whatever reasons, that in our day to day lives this is a necessity and not just a need. Some may use meditation for this purpose. Others…they go shopping…LOL. My daughter calls it “Me Time”. This poem was written on one of those days….

Two Solitudes

There are times in our lives

When we live in two solitudes;

One is the solitude of our

External environment –

The other is our inner self, our ego,

Which is the more complicated.

We can turn off, tune out

Those things we choose not

To see or hear  in our surroundings.

The inner solitude can at times,

Overpower us –

Creating havoc, unseen,

Except for those closest to us.

Some see it as ‘that time of the month’,

Others chalk it up to moodiness.

Nevertheless, we are alone with these

Thoughts and feelings,

And only we can process them,

As we must,

If we are to move forward

And leave the solitude behind!

For those who have not always been following this blog, this is a re-post. I am hoping that this indeed, might be the last Afghan Christmas for our soldiers and their waiting and anxious families! Send out your affirmations….

Afghan Christmas



Stars shine brightly overhead

On an otherwise cold, clear Afghan night –

Christmas Eve.

Far from home am I,

Christmas only in my dreams

As the song says.

Could this be how the shepherds felt?

Alone –

With only their memories,

Of family and friends, a warm fire,

Far away on that night,

Now more than two thousand years ago,

When He was born,

Before there even was a Christmas.

Memories of my family, my friends,

A warm fire in the fireplace,

Christmas carolers singing “Silent Night”

Christmas trees aglow with lights,

Snowflakes falling outside my window –

Gifts to me, this night,

This cold, clear Afghan night.

Home for the holidays?

Only in my dreams…

For I am a soldier,

And my mission, much like His,

Is to bring peace on earth.

Goodwill to Men!

Larry and I have been attending Monday night meditation sessions with our friend, Barbara, and some other friends. I am not sure where I was at the time,  or even what I was thinking, but since the thoughts permeating this poem are meditative in origin, I felt it was appropriate. I dedicate this to Barbara and our Monday Night meditators…

Harbour of Dreams

Within the psyche of most human beings,

Between adolescence and senility,

Exists a harbour of dreams –

One place, real or imaginary,

To which one can travel

Telepathically, instantaneously,

In times of stress or dismay –

A safe place, far from the moment

In which we find ourselves.

In adolescence,

It may be a place to which we’ve never ever been –

“Over the rainbow” as the song says;

As we age, it may be a place to which we have travelled.

In many instances – a place we’ve never ever seen,

Except in a movie or on television or the Internet.

Nevertheless, a safe harbor –

No rocks upon which to flounder,

No storms on the imminent horizon,

No threatening ‘creatures’ real or imaginary, in sight!

Harbours of dreams

Have both beautiful sunrises and sunsets,

And, in-between –

Calm seas upon which we can navigate

The shoals of life.

Happy New Year!

With all of the hype about December 21, 2012, I was encouraged to write this poem this week. When I researched what the Maya had to say, it was certainly not Apocalyptic in the way much of the world are viewing the date (including Mel Gibson).

Prophecy Fulfilled

Depending on one’s point of view,

Life can be an ongoing journey,

Or, like Columbus, a voyage of discovery.

Which begs the question –

What is the difference?

Historically, journeys are over land;

Voyages are across a body of water – an ocean.

Journeys to the Promised Land.

Voyage of the Beagle and Charles Darwin por ejemplo.


The twenty-first century is still about journeys –

2012 is about personal journeys and transformations,

As prophesied by the Maya Civilization of Mexico.

Our personal journeys

Can transform, not only us,

But the entire world, if we believe.

If we open our minds and our hearts

To those we meet on our various journeys,

And focus on caring about each other,

Accepting our differences, whatever they may be,

Respecting each other’s points of view,

Our collective journeys will enhance,

Not only our individual journeys,

But the journeys of mankind for time immortal

Prophecy fulfilled!

After a brief time away and working on the Grape Escape blog, I am back and hoping to continue the poetry blog. In the fall of 2005, Larry and I journeyed north by bus on a 52 hour ride to the Copper Canyon of Mexico. This poem was inspired by that trip –


The departing train signaled its intent

To thread its way, albeit slowly,

Across the northern Mexican landscape,

Passing through small villages – pueblos,

Fields of sesame and corn,

Mounded to complete the fall harvest.

Vast landscapes spread before us,

Crossing broad, dry rivers,

Tunneling through grandiose mountains,

As we climb from sea level

Eight thousand feet up,

Into the azure sky – not a cloud in sight.

Our destination – a fairy tale castle,

Nestled amidst the mountains and pine forests,

Mansion Tarahumara / Barrancas del Cobre.

We hiked the trails,

Photographing God’s handiwork –

Capturing memories,

Not only of places, but of people,

New friends – Mexican and American,

Who would forever be woven

Into the tapestry of this adventure,

High in the Sierra Madre Mountains

Of Mexico.

With Europe behind us, this is my newest project. Many of you have already bought copies of my most recent book, “Trust the Winds – Poems of a Spiritual Journey”.

Over the next days, weeks and months, I will share with those who may or may not have seen the book, the complete collection of my poems, with a few new ones thrown in along the way. Please note that these poems are copyrighted. (Permission to reprint them elsewhere is required from the author).

Most are best read with a nice glass of wine…

Without further adieu, I give you my very first poem – Camelot. Its inspiration were two older women I met on a train from Detroit to Chicago who were traveling there to work with Inner City families through the Volunteer Peace Corps. In the 60’s when John Kennedy set up the Peace Corps, they were not in any position to join, to their dismay. On this trip they would realize a dream forgotten…

Once in a shining moment
We had a dream,
But then there was reality
And the dream was put on hold.
Life moved on.

Through the passing windows of time
The dream was borne again.
To catch it required
A great leap…traversing a void.

Within my grasp,
The dream to be fulfilled,
The heart swells –
Opening to envelop
Who but for the grace of God
Might have been me,
Their dreams, as yet
I bring them hope and love,
I offer them my hand, a dream
Of their own

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