Saturday, April 30, 2011


Ancient, dusty chest
Scratched, dented, smudged – locked secure
Delights or demons within?

Ken Goree

This poem is a Katuata, another Japanese form.  A Katuata is an unrhymed poem, with a 5-7-7 syllable pattern.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Restless Silent Night

I feel the silent
Catch in your
When night has fallen
When peace should
Wipe clean
Of the day,

I am here

As you sink 
Into the night
When your warrior
Gives way to the
Child who should be
Awed by starlight,
Moonbeams and the
Knowledge that
Angels watch over
her sleep

I am here

What coal black
Creep in at night
Over your skin
Scratching and clawing
To reopen
Past wounds on your
Heart and soul?

I am here

When vacuum
Trying to Empty
Heart of
Joy and hope
That has been
To cast them
Into the

I am here

When your
Trapped mind,
Scrambling for
Cries out
For the hand
Of love
And Strength

I am here

Ken Goree

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carbo Karlton

Steely eye
Iron will
Head forward
In concentration
Ready to

Head nods
Muscles begin
Moving in
With coordination
Of a

Pendulum like
And accelerating
A strike

Ken Goree

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bunny Cinquain

Soft and active
Bounces with energy
And shares a wildly joyous mood
With me

Ken Goree

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sensuous Fruit

Sometimes the scent of foods
Our senses do beseech
In the summer time, I like
A juicy, luscious peach

The strawberry my eye delights
Its vivid color red
Of the vibrant hue of it
It’s lovely, can be said

The feeling of the kiwi fruit
So fuzzy and so fun
It seems just after starting one
I realize that it’s done

The tingle of a pineapple
Excites my tip of tongue
I’m sure for generations
Islanders have sung

It’s hard to think a fruit can make
Any kind of sound
Except when those ripe apples are
Dropping on the ground

Ken Goree

Monday, April 25, 2011


I am thrilled that I can bring
Your heart to a good place
I’m pleased to know that I can help
Your inner woman surface

To open up heart’s door so wide
Can be oh, very frightful
If in the past that door’s been slammed
By the hand that’s spiteful

When gazing  in a mirror
You see unperfected
I wish you’d see what’s always been
Beauty there reflected

There’s passion in the way you see
The world that is around you
I hear you sing out with your heart
A song that rings so true

And in the time that is ahead
Looking to the future
Those quirks you worry on about
Sweeter, to me, I’m sure

Ken Goree

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I cannot reach the internet
This makes me really mad
I cannot post a poem for you,
Oh, now I’m getting sad.

Hey wait, I have this nifty phone
The vendor said it’s smart
It might post my poem for you
I guess I better start

Ken Goree

Okay, maybe not!

I guess my phone isn't all that smart ... Smart Phone, indeed.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Dear friend
Ruminated about recent
Events in her life
I noticed that her ruminations
Weren’t particularly her most joyous thoughts
I suggested she ponder instead
As a way to
Improve her situation
And to

Ken Goree

She said, “I know!”

Friday, April 22, 2011

Zombie Yoga

Hot Fusion Yoga
Seemed like a fine idea
Made me a zombie

Ken Goree

Okay, though it follows the pattern, this isn’t a haiku, because it isn’t about nature.  I guess it could be a senryu since it is a little about human nature … inhuman nature … undead nature?

I went to “hot yoga” for the first time yesterday, the 20th; my first time to any yoga, actually.  I stuck out the entire hour and a half,  at 105 degrees and 40% humidity (I’m taking their word for those figures).  I felt like a zombie the rest of the day.  Well, I didn’t feel like devouring the flesh of the living (I think that is actually a requirement to true zombie-hood), but the moving slowly, thinking slowly, and talking slowly I had down cold.  I think I should be offended that my kids didn’t notice the difference. 

Yes, I’m going back tomorrow.  In advance, let me say, “uuunnnhhhgg.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chew Toy Jingle?

I’m glad I bought those silly bones
But, they don't last that long
The only toy that never fails
Their trusty old black Kong

The Nylabones are good for teeth
That is just what they say
Though several times my dogs have proved
They only last a day

But the Kong time and again
Has come to the rescue
The squeaky super rubber that
Dogs just cannot gnaw through

So if you’re in the market for
A cost effective toy
I know where you can buy them
Your puppies will enjoy

Ken Goree

I wasn’t really trying to write an ad for Kong Balls, but it sure came out sounding like it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I’m so glad I did my taxes
With so much time to spare
Didn’t let it sit around my house
Though I didn’t think it fair

I’m sure I paid my bills on time
I double checked them twice
If I missed the power bill
To the neighbor’s line I’ll splice

How ‘bout Electrity
It’s often over rated
How if the incandescents
Were more understated

If the water’s bill
Is so very overdue
I’m sure it’s not a problem
Will my scent offend you

And sewer, let’s not talk
Well, maybe just a mite
There’s the cedar tree out back
Come on, just for one night

Come to think of it right now
There’s something I should do
I should change my oil
It may be overdue

Ken Goree

Speaking of taxes … Someone very close to me, in proximity and heredity, waited a bit longer than I would be comfortable with doing to submit his taxes, yesterday.  I hope they got that postmark.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Forgot

The problem with these school breaks
Is one I hope you understand
It’s hard for me to track the time
Senility, teacher’s brand

Because when the school’s in session
Every minute we do mark
Each moment gallantly trying
To make those intellects spark

But when the day’s parts aren’t scheduled
We’ve trouble with our benchmark
We need a personal plan book
Or might as well trace sun’s arc

So if I miss a meet with you
Please don’t think that I’m a snot
The time with you means much to me
I did try, but I forgot

Ken Goree

When I started writing this poem, I meant it to be about procrastination.  However, as I sat down to work on it I realized that I hadn’t really procrastinated writing today’s poem, I just couldn’t remember what the date was and whether, possibly, I might have already written one for today.  After checking the date and the posted date of the last poem, I became certain that I hadn’t written today’s. 
Then of course, I began to ponder why someone with my level of education (bunches) would lose track of the date and time.  Further pondering reminded me that many of my teaching associates (also with bunches of education) had the same curious tendency to lose track of time during school breaks.  There you have it, the inspiration for today’s poem.

In a couple hours I’ll probably sit down, again, to write today’s poem.  I do have to admit, it will be nice to be one ahead.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Damaged Soul

Damaged Soul

Troubled angry mind
Strives to create spiteful rage
Causing hurtful wounds

Ken Goree

This is a first attempt to understand the guy I spoke o, on Saturday.  Of course, I can’t see into his mind, nor have I lived the life that brought him to the place he is in now.  I assume, possibly incorrectly, that his life has been filled with anger, pain and poor examples of how to be part of a society.  I hope he finds a way to heal his wounds before he causes great harm to himself, or the world.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What isn’t Fair

Fair isn’t always
Getting your way
Sometimes it means
The price that you pay

Fair isn’t always
Being on top
Sometimes it means
The winning must stop

Fair isn’t always
Having the final word
Sometimes it means
Someone else must be heard

Fair isn’t always
So easy to see
Sometimes it means
Some other one’s glee

Fair isn’t always
Winning the game
Sometimes it means
Someone else’s fame

Fair isn’t always
Gaining the best price
Sometimes it means
Paying for it twice

Fair isn’t always
That the sun’s always out
Sometimes it means
It’s all rainy out

Fair isn’t always
Getting Best in Show
Sometimes it means
Hearing the word "No"

Ken Goree

This is another poem inspired by one of my little second grade students.  A few days ago we were playing a "Quiz Show" game to practice the concepts for the a math unit we were finishing up (Measurement).  In this game, the questions are projected up on a large screen for all the class to see.  One student, who has volunteered, reads the question while I watch to see which team gets a hand in the air first.  The class really enjoyed it, and the kids who struggle really seemed engage.

About half-way through the game, as it was becoming clear which team was pulling ahead of the others, one little girl stood up and walked in front of everyone on her way to me.  I was surprised that she hadn't shown any consideration of the class (walking in between them and the new question that had come up on the screen).  I finished the question, having to lean around her to see who put their hand up first.  It was difficult to finish the question as she kept trying to talk over me and the kid who was trying to answer.  After finishing the question I said, "Yes, what is it?"  I figured she had to go to the bathroom and had forgotten the silent hand signal.

"Their team is making me feel bad."

"Really?"  I said, surprised, as I hadn't seen anyone in the other group behaviong inappropriately.  "Did some one make fun of your team for missing a question?  Or 'boo' when your team got a question right?  I'll keep and eye out and what for them."

"No, they didn't"

"I guess I'm missing something.  What is wrong then?"

"They're happy and cheering when they get one right."

"Oh, Sweetie, they are doing it appropriately.  That's being a good teammate.  If you want to show 'Super-sportsmanship,' you could be happy for them and say something like, 'Good one!' when they get one right."

"I don't want to do that.  They aren't fair."


"Sweetie, go sit down.  It isn't fair that we have stopped the game and 26 kids are having to sit and not learn while we talk."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Did I really just see that? (Not a poem, yet)

I'm not sure if I can figure out how to write a poem for what I saw today.  As I was in line at Costco, I saw a young man about 20-years-old (give or take a few years).  He had come in the exit and was moving quickly into the the main shopping area of the store.  A security guard was calling after him, and quickly catching up to him.

Guard:  You came in the wrong entrance.  Can I see your membership card?

Guy:  I'm a customer.  I'm shopping.

Guard:  I need to see your card for you to be in the main store.

Guy:  Man, I'm a customer.  I'm shopping.

Guard:  Sir, I need to see your card for you to be in the main store, or you'll have to leave.

Guy:  Man, I'm a customer.  I'm shopping and you are harassing me.  I don't have my card on me.

Guard:  We can help you.  I'll escort you to the customer service desk.  They'll look up your membership and write you out a one day pass.  Then I can let you in the store.

Another guard walked up right then.

Guy:  Man,  I'm just trying to shop and this Asshole is harassing me.

After a moment, the second security man was repeating almost the same thing as the first.  They were great.  They remained calm, without any sign of aggravation (okay, maybe a little).  About the time I was finishing with my check out, he was grudgingly shuffling toward the exit, cursing them and yelling out that he was being harassed.  The guards followed him as he passed the customer service desk (without stopping to verify his membership status).  He and I were walking almost side-by-side at this point.  Just as he was going through the exit, I thought I saw him look quickly to the side.  A split second later, he doubled back and grabbed a bike that someone had leaned against the wall inside the door ... then off he rode.  I followed him for a little, but 47-year-old guy pushing a shopping cart with a pressure washer in it doesn't move as quickly as a young man on a bike.  I went back in to the customer service desk and explained to them what I saw, and told them if they needed to ask me anything they could call.  Don't know if I can help any, but it seemed like the right thing to at least offer.

I just don't understand people like that.  That is why I'm not sure I'll be able to write a poem that goes with the event.



Unchangeable corpse
Now, eternally displayed
Without your consent

Ken Goree

This picture is of fossils made eternal in marble; pretty amazing.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Wakened in
Dark of night by
Lover’s cries
From shadowed
Conveyors of

Until life’s pure air
Returns to fill
Malevolent dream’s

Ken Goree

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank you!

I am guessing that someone, or several someones are spreading the word about my blog.  Readership has been escalating quite a bit lately.  If you are spreading the word, thank you.  Also, for anyone who is continuing to read and enjoy my poems, thank you, too.

Not tonight?

It has got to be quite late
And I have found no rhyme
My eyelids are getting heavy
I’m running out of time

There doesn’t seem to be that much
That I can really change
My mind is oh so tired
That everything seems strange

I guess that losing too much sleep
Can really quell my will
To write some words that are profound
Or maybe give a thrill

I should just this once give up
At least for just one night
Who could really blame me
If sleep did steal my sight

Or maybe just one moment more
Spent on this little fancy
Could produce a nugget
Worthy of your glancy

I guess I’ll wander off to bed
I think I shall retire
Maybe in my sleeping time
A poem will transpire

Ken Goree

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pond Life

The pond out back too voluminous
All too soon it will recede
For the time being, too close to us
Spring time rains, shall it  feed

All too soon it will recede
From the steps of my back door
Spring time rains, shall it  feed
Summer sun will make it no more

Ken Goree

I was intending to write this poem as a pantoum, but I would have had to end the poem with the first line of the poem.  Unfortunately, I didn’t do that this time.  I may still work this poem over later to make it a pantoum, but not tonight.  

This poem is a pair of quatrains.  The first stanza has an ABAB pattern.  The second stanza repeats the 2nd and 4th lines of the first stanza, with a BCBC pattern.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Good Day

A good day turns great
When a child bears a gift
It shall raise your mood’s state
Will always your spirit lift

A glass of red in hand
As I sit listening to
Nature’s sounds on the land
And evening blankets with dew

My thoughts drift again to the morning
As the fire does crackle and burn
Daybreak treasure given without warning
Memory causes my smile to return

Ken Goree

And I am smiling, as I finish this poem.  The same girl who brought me flowers earlier in the year brought me strawberry shortcake this morning.  It is an interesting situation.  Each day feels like a gift to have this wonderful, bright, inquisitive child in my class.  Then this morning, like the day she brought me the flowers, she holds out a family treat to me as a gift.  The look in her eye asks, “Is this gift good enough?”  There is nothing more sincere and endearing, and if she could only realize, every morning she walks in my room she is giving me a precious gift.

The funny part of this story is, I started a new diet this morning, and strawberry shortcake is not on it (narrow-minded diet inventor!).  Of course, I ate it; such a sincere gift.  I’d have eaten it if it were a mud pie (which likely is on this diet).  What is the harm of starting the diet one day later?

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Promise

Young and tender
A whisp
Thin and straight
A blade

Small and lost
From above
Full and thick
From horizon

Soft and comforting
A wish
Lush and complete
A promise

Ken Goree

I just planted new grass seed in my front yard, two weeks ago.  This last Thursday, I saw the very first hairs of green start to poke up.  Then someone mentioned how cool it is with a new seeded lawn, when it starts to grow, and from far off to the side it looks full and green.  Then when you walk up to it, and are looking down, it seems bare and sparse to the point that you can’t see much life at all.

My lawn is at that point, now.  Very cool!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Wounded

So Wounded

Lively a
Woman, no one
Could compare to her
Feeling gifts of the World
Around her, carrying her through life.

Did not
Expect to lose
Herself, to a man
Only wanted to share life
With one, and to feel complete

She found
Much too late
The beast had her
Its shiny cloak did hide
Dark and blackened, jealous soul within

Did flee
Her last treasure
Torn from mother’s arms
Sharp barbs and arrows chasing
As her child receded into darkness

Time did
Call hopes name
And light’s champions came
Bringing back to broken princess
Strength from her sweet child’s touch

Ken Goree

This is the "other side of the same coin," referring to yesterday's poem.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Which Way?

Which Way?

Which way
Will you pass
When Sanity opens
A black pit at your feet?

Will pride
Arrogance and
Stubborn nature
Keep you from
Recognizing truth
In Friend’s words

Would that
Your ears heard
Truth untwistable
Rather than reform
Into mutation that
Tears sanity with
Jagged, pestilent claws

Is there any light
Clear, bright light
Which could pierce
Your clouded Hell
To chase away
Whispering demons
And let you see
The chains
You have forged
To trap your sanity.

Ken Goree

I know, this is a bit darker. When you have a friend that is mentally ill, it is a challenge, no matter what. When their illness causes them to do evil things it is even worse. If they won't get medicated, you can extend a hand to try to help them up, but it will keep getting bitten. At least, that is my experience. So, if you see me with a bandage on my hand, you'll know I tried again.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Comforting Light

Comforting Light

The moon
Follows us all
The young
Know it

Her cool
Clear light
Our paths

Her crystal
Promises to stir
Open hearts

Her twinkling
Gives wings
To our dreams

Ken Goree

I don’t know what just triggered the memory, but I just had a flashback to when my son was little; probably three-years-old.  We were driving one clear night, when suddenly he shouted, “Crash!”  It took me a few minutes to switch my mind back into “kid mode,” (I was an accountant in those days).  Eventually, I realized that as we drove it looked to the child’s eye like the moon was speeding along with us.  However, when we passed a cluster of fir trees it appeared to him that the moon had crashed into them.  I had to pull over and laugh.

I know it doesn’t exactly fit the poem, but it got me rolling.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thus far

Thus far

So often I’ve found
That as much as I have learned
I still know nothing

Ken Goree

I know this is not a new thought, not even close, but I do have far too many moments when I realize the truth contained here.  Wouldn’t it be fun to someday realize that I have it all figured out?  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Zoo

The Zoo

Rabid curiosity
Excited interest
Tentative Peeks
Furtive glances
Wild beasts
Savage animals
Jumping excitedly
Spying animatedly
Happily seeing
Knowingly acknowledging

Ken Goree

I took my kids (students) to the Woodland Park Zoo, today.  I had the craziest few in my group … dang, what fun!  You get the biggest bang for your buck with those guys.  They don’t hold back when they tell you what they feel, or what they are excited about, or how they wish they were a monkey, or, ”I wonder what it tastes like when the gorillas eat their own barf.”  Yes, that is quoting a kid.  Like I always say, “No blood, no fowl.”  Yes, I meant to spell it that way.  Seriously, there was no blood, but one gave another a bruise and narrowly missed taking out her eye when he was trying to point out the Gaboon Viper, to me.  Why she was standing that close to a viper, I have no idea.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Dim twilight of life
Regret most  the parting from
Those once held so close

Ken Goree

I just finished a “classic” sci-fi book, Childhoods End.  I found it a bit bleak.  Though I enjoyed the wonderful writing of Arthur C. Clark, I didn’t get an uplifting feeling of joy at the end.  I also didn’t feel  the tearful chill one gets from the triumph of the human spirit, even in loss. 

Quick, I need another book, with a more uplifting ending.

Monday, April 4, 2011



I hear
This spring morning
The voices of
I think
That perhaps
If I listened
A little harder
I might  understand
The message
Behind his
And four
Note songs.

I sit
On my back porch
Hands cupped
Warming against
My coffee
Drops of water
From branches
Dot ripples
Across the pond
Even in the chill of
Winter’s last nudge
I understand
Robin’s message
Spring has come

Ken Goree

I think I like the way this poem turned out.  I had started out wondering if I should be silly with it.  I listened to the robins out back and noticed the two different songs; one three notes, the other four notes.  There was occasionally a song that trilled on six or seven notes, but that could have been two robins talking at the same time.

I wondered, was the the three note song the males, “Hey, Baby.”  Could the four note song have been the females, “Come here, Big Boy.” 

I think I prefer the way I went with the poem.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Desire

My Desire

Waiting for spring time
Weary of winter’s chill grasp
Desire Nature’s return

Frogs’ voices signal
The charge of returning life
Refilling life’s only lack

Ken Goree

The poetry form is a Sedoka.  It is constructed of two stanzas, Katuata.  A Katuata  is an unrhymed, three line poem, with a 5, 7, 7 syllable pattern. 

In the Sedoka, the two Katuata often concern the same subject, but from different angles.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Morning Wood

Morning Wood

Chill and silent
Standing watch
Blocking light
Fir boughs lace together
Trying to hold back
Inquisitive mists
Night creatures have settled
Nocturnal haunts
Light creatures have yet
To stir
Thoughtful footfalls
Cause rustles on
Blanket of fallen

Ken Goree

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Parting

I figured I should give a little scenario, before the poem ... you'll understand.

I woke to an interesting dream this morning.  It was so clear, and real, more real than life often feels.  Colors were more pure, the feel of each surface transported through my being so that I felt at one with each and every particle of the universe.  In my dream, I had achieved self-actualiztion … is that the right term?  I was at one with everything; was part of everything. 

I was dying of some incurable disease.  I was at peace with it, and my very loving friends had finally come to the point where they understood, and were able to share in my peace.  We celebrated my last days in a calm, happy holiday.  I savored every last feeling, knowing that they would likely never be felt again; the pain as precious as the tender warm sensations of love. 

The most poignant sensation was that of the love my friends surrounded me with.  There was no sadness, but a deep happiness for having been close for many years, and the expectation of sharing one of my life’s most significant moments. 

When I passed, I was with the love of my life.  There were no tears.  No hallow feeling of loss and emptiness.  We all knew we were still part of each other; a bond that would never be broken, or lessened.
I hope when my time comes, those who knew me will be happy for the experience.  I have no interest in an early parting from this life, but I hope when it is my time I can meet it in the presence of love and friendship that I experienced in this dream.  I hope I can meet the inevitable with joy in my heart, at the lifelong accumulation of the gifts of the moments I really lived.

No, I’m not high.  Likewise, I am not sick in any life threatening way that I know of.  At least there are none that I know of, or suspect.

Good Parting

Gentle, peaceful sigh
Warm smile, comforting embrace
Last, mortal breath

Ken Goree