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"Poetry enriches the soul, but empoverishes the publisher."

Welcome to my page of original poems and short essays. I hope they provide Soul Sustenance for you and anyone with whom they are freely shared. Except for "A Child's Prayer" (which has been around for generations) and "Hopelessness", all are "Vickie Originals" and may be used by anyone for humanitarian purposes. However, no one else is allowed to sell or profit financially from them in any manner. I would appreciate being informed if you use or share my work, and all donations will be appreciated. Checks can be mailed to PMB 243, 35555 Spur Hwy, Soldotna, AK 99669. Credit cards can be processed through my Paypal account. Just E-mail me for details.


Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
Angels on my left and right, guide me safely through the night.
If I should die before I wake, I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take.
But if I should live for other days, I pray Thee, Lord, to guide my ways. Amen


Now I start out on my day, I pray Thee, Lord, to guide my way.
Angels on my left and right, guide me safely through the fight.
If I should do my very best, I thank Thee, Lord, for my success.
But, if I should fail or make mistakes, I pray Thee, Lord, give me a break! Amen

"A Grown-Up's Prayer" and the next three poems are dedicated to all counselors, teachers, therapists and others who do the difficult task of healing and teaching the young, the helpless, the hurt and the desperate. For me, it it is truly "the Agony and the Ecstasy." I love what I do, but at times it rips my heart, soul and guts out. "Voices" and "Politics and Egos" were written when I was working as a school counselor. I can't take the credit for "Helplessness". I found a version of it in an old pile of papers and have no idea who the original author is. Since it touched me so, I modified it a bit and decided to include it. If you recognize it, I'd love to hear from you.


Helplessness . . . Helplessness . . .
A feeling; a hazard in the profession of healing.
Questions! Questions! Screaming for answers never there.
Crying in pain for relief so seldom there.
Knowing I share your burdens does not lighten them.
Hand in hand we walk in despair.

I want to embrace you with soft warm insular furriness
And my emollient self.
I want to shield and protect your wounds,
To sooth and desensitize your hurt.
But, I know my arms are yet another burden to you,
And no matter how closely I walk beside you,
You walk in loneliness.

Helplessness . . . Helplessness . . .
A feeling; a hazard in the profession of friendship.
Though I can't hide you from the pains of unfinished joys;
Though I can't bring you the dulcet essence of the love you seek;
Though I can't lighten the load you carry;
Know, dear friend, no matter what, I am here.
For whatever it is worth,
I am here.


Voices! Crying! Whimpering in distress.
"Help me! Please help mel My life's a total mess!
I seems I haven't a single thing to really be thankful for.
It seems in every direction I turn, in my face slams a door.
I just don't care any more! "

Voices . . . Crying! I hear them every day!
"Help me! Heal me! Tell me I'm Okay.
Tell me that I'm likeable, or lovable, if you dare.
Tell me that I'm worthy of others' love and care.
Please show me that you care!"

Voices . . . Crying! Screaming in my ears!
"Love me! Respect me! Take away my fears!
Help me to not be so very afraid to just be me.
Help me to see myself the way that others see.
Please help me to be me! "

Voices . . . Crying! Echoing in my brain.
"Heal me! Teach me! Help me live again!
Help me to face up to life and accept reality.
Help me make my life worthwhile. Make It meaningful for me!
Help me to be free!"

One voice . . . Crying. This time the voice is mine.
"I will help you, heal you, teach you. I will take the time.
I want to do so very much to make your llfe worthwhile.
My heart aches when I hear you cry, leaps with joy when I see you smile.
But please remember, I'm only human; I have weaknesses too, you see.
I'll help you all I can, but please don't expect miracles from me."

(Ode From A Frustrated Educator)

We could teach our children 'cept for politics and egos.
"Don't worry about their feelings or their needs;"
Because politics and egos say we worry about what looks good.
"Just get that paperwork done, if you please."

We could love our children 'cept for politics and egos.
"Do not show your feelings, or that you care."
Because politics and egos say we must be "professional."
Show your vulnerability? "Don't you dare!"

We could teach our children about love, justice and truth;
We could help them truly enjoy their youth.
We could show our children the sky, the stars, the sun;
But politics and egos make us fear we'll offend someone.

We could teach our children, 'cept for politics and egos.
"Don't bother with creative thinking or having fun."
Because politics and egos make us worry about what looks good.
"And for Heaven's sake, get that paperwork done:"

I love animals; in fact, the more I'm around people, the more I love animals! The following creations were inspired by actual events in the lives of my five dogs and three cats.


I heard a rat screaming as it died tonight. Actually, the sounds were just three tiny squeaks or squeals. Yet, for some unknown reason, those pitiful cries of agony and terror pierced my heart. As my dog, Gertie, bit savagely into it's soft, furry belly, I felt the rat's fruitless five second struggle to fight back, to survive, to continue it's existence, penetrating the very core of my being. Those five seconds changed my life.

I've always hated and feared rats, regarding them as nature's most vile creatures. Along with fleas, mosquitos and lice, I could never see any purpose for their existence. I don't mind mice because they're too small to bother anyone, and besides, they're kind of cute; even Walt Disney thought so when he created Mickey. I can tolerate spiders because they eat flies and other creepy critters and keep the insect population under control. As annoying as they are, even flies have a purpose on the planet; if it weren't for them we'd be up to our knees in manure piles. I even respect rattlesnakes because they eat rats! Basically, I have had respect for and understanding of every creature on our planet, except for the rat. I have always hated rats!

Gertie is an excellent rat killer, and in the past, I always felt glad when I found the dead varmints she killed. A feeling of satisfaction would go through me, and I felt a little safer in the world. However this was the first time I had ever actually witnessed the act of killing, and I felt no satisfaction. This time I felt only the pain and fear and horror and despair involved in the process of dying, and I came to the stark realization that those feelings must be the same for all living creatures, whether rat or human. For the first time in my life, I felt sympathy and sorrow for an animal I had previously despised. I felt empathy for this simple creature who, one moment, was alive and healthy and going about his business and the next moment, was not. And most of all, I felt a mental and spiritual connection with him for about five seconds while this individual animal suffered and knew his life was about to end. If he didn't know, why did he cry out? As loudly as is possible for so tiny a voicebox, this creature screamed. If there was no awareness of what was happening, why did he scream?

The strange psychic connection I experienced with the rat for that brief time quickly evolved into an extraordinary sense of oneness with all other beings in the universe. I felt the same awe and reverence for life and death as I did the first time I attended a performance of "Our Town". I remembered the line, "Wasn't life wonderful; and awful?" and that the simplest things in life were the most important and to be cherished. I thanked my Creator for giving me the wonderful experience of just being alive and being aware of life.

I also thought of my own mortality and of the moment when my existence on earth will end. Death itself doesn't frighten me; I believe I'll go on to a better world, a higher level of existence; but the process of dying, of suffering, does. Woody Allen once said, "I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens." I had always envisioned myself simply being alive one moment, then dead the next, with no transition time; sort of like a switching of channels on a cosmic television set. Tonight, I was struck with the full reality that the process may involve a period of time and that I, like the rat, may experience a vivid awareness of that process. Will I shriek in agony and terror? Will I fight to remain alive and cry out to my God, "No! Let me stay a little longer!"? And will my screams be heard by other beings as just tiny squeaks and my existence perceived as meaningless or even detrimental? Will they be glad I'm dead, or worse yet, pay no attention whatsoever? Or will they feel the process with me, my screams piercing their hearts? Will anyone experience what I did when I heard the screaming of the rat?

Written 11/28/92


Sidney "Cyclops" Jones was killed on Wednesday, September 9, 1987, on a farm near Glenwood, lowa, during a violent electrical storm. This dark, handsome, bold, brave young fellow met with a tragic and painful death when his neck was broken in a brutal attack by his own parents who went out of control during the storm.

A strong, spirited, young adolescent, Sidney had miraculously survived a July 5th near-fatal assault by his mother and father. In a fit of malicious jealousy and rage, they severely injured the right side of his head and face, breaking bones, knocking out teeth, and completely destroying his right eye. However, due to Sid's courage and resilience, he not only recovered from this attack, he became a wiser, gentler, more loving individual. He would not allow others to pity him, nor would he accept the label "handicapped". He forgave his parents, and gave them and his sister unconditional love and devotion.

With his disrupted equilibrium and impaired vision, Sid tended to be clumsy, cumbersome, and rather comical. However, this did not stop him from plunging wholeheartedly into his activities and pursuing his passions intensely. He learned to compensate for his disabilities with his other senses, and he never lost his love of fan or his zest for life. He acquired the nickname "Sidney Cyclops", and all who knew him said he was truly extraordinary; a Prince of fools who would grow up to be a King. So why was such a delightful, vivacious, courageous, spirited, good-natured, warm, loving little guy so tragically killed? And why by his own parents?

Both times Sidney was attacked, the family was confined in a tiry space under extreme weather conditions; 100 degree temperatures in July, and a violent rain and thunder storm in September. Perhaps these stressful conditions pushed Sid's parents over the edge. Perhaps Sidney's bold, aggressive, high spirited nature coupled with his awkwardness antagonized and infuriated his parents. Perhaps the clinging to his mother by a frightened, innocent, yet maturing son was misinterpreted as sexual advances, threatening both parents. Perhaps the tragedy can be attributed to all of these factors; perhaps we'll never know.

For you see, Sidney "Cyclops" Jones, birth name "El Sid", was a registered Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy, a beloved champion capable of siring mary generations of champions, who died at the fangs of his otherwise lovable parents. Should the death of a dog be any less tragic or sorrowful than the death of a human to those who loved him and whose lives he touched?


Two little kitties cuddled on my lap;
Snuggling so softly, taking a nap.
They give me so much comfort, make my heart less hollow.
And everywhere I go, my two kitties follow.
These two little kitties cuddled on my lap;
Snuggling so softly, taking a nap.

Yes, everywhere I go, they always follow me.
They seem to just enjoy my company.
They always seem to just . . . well . . . love me,
And love me . . . unconditionally.
They love me when I'm poor and out of a job;
Even when I look and act like a slob!
They love me when I'm tired, and crabby, and dirty;
Even when I look very far from purty!
My kitties love me just 'cause I am who I am,
And stick by me when I'm in the worst jam.
They are never embarrassed by what I say or do.
And don't notice my mistakes like most people do.
They purr when I pet them and are always glad
Just to see me, even when I'm sad.
No matter how bad my day has been,
They always make me feel better again.
These two little kitties cuddled on my lap;
Snuggling so softly, taking a nap.

Why can't people just treat me
With acceptance and love unconditionally?
Why must I always play by their rules?
And if I fail I'm made to feel like a fool.
If only folks could love the way pets do;
Totally, unquestioningly, unconditionally, too.
Like the two little kitties cuddled on my lap;
Snuggling so softly, taking a nap.


I look at an empty pen that was once filled with a healthy, vibrant being;
One who managed to run and leap from one end to the other in minutes,
Splashing through the water and crashing through the trees,
Splattering mud and joyful noise in the process.

The pen had seemed so small as he filled it with his exuberance,
And we added our laughter at his antics.
Now it seems so big and quiet and lonely . . . and empty.

I stare at an empty dish that I once filled with food
To give back to the loving creature that gave me so much laughter, joy, comfort,
And unconditional love.
The morsels I fed his body paled in comparison
To the sustenance he gave my soul.
Now, with no mouth to feed, the dish remains empty,
As does the part of my soul that he fed.

I feel an empty heart,
Or least the big empty hole in it that he once filled.
When he died, a part of me died with him.
I miss not only him, but that part of me.
I only hope that a part of him lives on in me;
The joy, the exuberance, the love of life’s simple pleasures;
The ability to give comfort and unconditional love to those who hurt,
Or who have just had a rotten day.

An empty pen, an empty dish, an empty heart.
“He was only a dog”, some say.
Yet, no human ever leaped for joy at the mere sight of me
Or sound of my voice.
No human has given me so much,
And asked so little in return.
Few people I’ve known have filled me so much,
Or been missed so much.

Written 9/18/98 for “Goober”, an AKC Registered Chesapeake Bay Retriever and all-around great soul.

This next piece was written March 31, 1987, when I was living in Guide Rock, Nebraska, and reflects my reverence for nature.


Left Over Snow -- Four days after the storm.
Much of the fluffy white blanket that covered the earth is gone,
Melted into nothing.
Yet a few solitary drifts rise up in splendor
Over the scattered patches of brown mud and green grass.

Left Over Snow -- Four days after the storm.
Glistening silver-white mounds adorn the countryside
Amid fields of tiny green wheat sprouts and barren stalks of corn.
Isolated drifts yearn for their bond with each other,
A reminder that snow is Natures' way
Of connecting all the different parts of the land
Into one continuous white mass,
Giving it and all creatures a chance for peaceful rest.

Left Over Snow -- Four days after the storm.
Their forlorn blue shadows mourn the loss
Of winter's frozen purifying protective covering,
And scorn the songs of soaring birds welcoming spring.

Left Over Snow -- Four days after the storm.
Lonely drifts hopelessly struggling to hold their form;
Yet slowly, silently fading away;
Submitting to the sun's gold warmth.


Sung to the tune "Love is Blue".

Blue, blue; I'm black and blue!
Bruised are my arms, and my legs too.
Thighs, knees, my ankles and toes,
Hands, fingers, neck, and even my nose.

Green, Green; my jaw is green.
My face is the worst mess I've ever seen.
Pulled muscles and bruised skin;
Oh, what an awful shape I am in!

I don't know when I've ever been so sore!
All I know is I won't take this anymore!

Red, red; My eyes are red.
Crying so hard alone in my bed.
I know what I have to do.
Blue is my world, 'cause I'm black and blue.

The following words are to a song I wrote. I wanted to end on a positive note!


You don't have to move mountains. You don't have to be strong or brave.
You don't have to worry if you got no courage. All you gotta have to be saved
Is the faith of a mustard seed; the faith of a mustard seed.
All you need is the faith of a mustard seed.

When your hopes are all shattered; when you're anxious and afraid.
When your faith is tattered, all that really matters: You have just what you need to be saved
With the faith of a mustard seed; the faith of a mustard seed.
All you need is the faith of a mustard seed.

When you're faced with disaster; When all your efforts seem in vain;
Just when it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train!
The faith of a mustard seed; the faith of a mustard seed;
All you need is the faith of a mustard seed.

When your dreams are all broken; when you don't know what to do.
Even when you don't believe in God, remember, He still believes in you.
And He'll plant the mustard seed. It'll grow into a great big tree.
All you need is the faith of a mustard seed.
The faith of a mustard seed; the faith of a mustard seed;
It's so small, but it can move mountains and all.


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