Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chasing Dreams

Regret shoved me into dusty corners
a shadow trapped in sticky cobwebs
where I dwelt on what might have been
if only I'd followed my heart.

Past mistakes made me homesick
left me crying like a freshman in August
after being abandoned at the college dorm
feeling like a mismatched china plate

and although home wasn't the most stable place for me
I longed for it because it was better than where I was
alone in a golden castle writing letters I never sent
reading them over and over while listening to our song.

I had watched you drive away without a backward glance
after drawing a map leading south and cramming it down your throat.
Now I'm sitting in the corner chasing homemade apple pie dreams
hoping for a scoop of vanilla to melt away the pain.

@laurie kolp

Poem inspired by Michael Buble's song, Home. Click here to view the You Tube video.

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam

Breaking Free

I'm tired of this wall protecting my heart
A stockade guarding against friendship
Keeping you an arm's length away

From me

I'm sure there must be someone
Who won't leave
Or die

So here's some TNT
Go ahead... demolish the fences
Help my resolution give birth to brighter days
Bring those defenses down

But let the transformation be
As gentle as a butterfly
Breaking free from dormancy
And flying into your arms

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW ( demolish, resolution, transformation)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Beauty Makes No Distinction

Bert Stern image

Diamonds and pearls
glitter and shine
putting on the Ritz,
a glitzy design.

Do blondes have more fun?
Look at Marilyn, Anna Nicole
caught by the bright lights
sucked into a static bowl

of drugs and promiscuity
big hair, bigger smiles abreast
slowly dying on the inside,
painful childhoods do attest

to the fact that beauty-
platinum hair and plastic knives-
makes no class distinction;
addiction kills lives.

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Also, accidentally linked to dVerse Open Link Night. Click here to read the poem I meant to link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Sneak Peek

The kids had been awake since five o'clock
until six they gathered in the boys' room;
it was a chuckle that awakened me

or was that a squeak in the floor,
a little let's-get-a-sneak-peek-squeak?
I pop up and run out and whew... the coast is clear!

I decide to hurry up and turn the coffee pot on
since the deluge to begin needs caffeine squared
and the late night left me feeling like I need some.

That's when I see it, the bike standing there
(the last one I had he traded for a car and all I
really want is something to get around on)

I become a cheerleading mime, snap a picture
slap on the coffee then dive into bed with the kids
until he wakes up five minutes later
goes to see if Santa came.

@laurie kolp

Shared at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Born, Within You

Be not afraid

for He will bring you peace
a heart filled with love and joy
within yourself an eternal manger

where He dwells

at times, appears as an angel
in the people you meet
a decree for life
tidings of goodness

haven’t you heard?

Be still, without haste
He whispers to you and me


Be not afraid-
where He dwells
haven't you heard?

@laurie kolp

**Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays to all of you!

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (heart, decree, afraid, heard, manger, shepherds, tidings, pondered, joy, angel, peace, haste)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hearts of Gold

My children (ages 2, 6 mos and 4) Christmas 2003

It's in the eyes of children everywhere
the ecstasy a rainbow to their soul
filled with awe and wonder on this eve
when miracles give birth to hearts of gold.

@laurie kolp

Thanks to all of you for the gift of joy you've given me this year. I hope you have a golden weekend full of miracles and ecstasy!

Prompt inspiration: A Word with Laurie at Imaginary Gardens (use ecstasy in 5 minutes or less)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

National Haiku Day: December 22

cuddling by the fire
children wait in merriment
for Santa's entrance


red noses
shining through the night
cold season

@laurie kolp

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry and The Purple Treehouse

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A "Rumple of Paper" Mess

His (non)festive imagination
left no room for cross-examination
a belief he held strong
(and he was never to be wrong)--
the holidays were but a symbol of greed
a "rumple of paper" mess for those (not) in need.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (belief, festive, rumple)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Too Many

One solitary moment is all it takes
one too many drinks at one more bar
just this one time behind the wheel
because home is one mile away.

Today I saw a bumper sticker, said
"A drunk driver killed
my daughter and I'm MADD!"
Well I would be, wouldn't you?

Last week one drove around a school bus
hit two sisters and their grandfather
life will be forever changed
from that one mistake.

And a bond hearing yesterday
to lower bail for that "poor man"
a dozen people spoke on his good character;
after all, he only messed up once.

So here's to all the ones
whose lives have been lost
either in the ground or behind bars
to one too many drinks.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam (Solitary)

Hot off the press...

More holiday gift ideas!

Literary enthusiasts, take note!

The wisdom and wit of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens is offered in two separate titles as a part of Thomas Nelson's new Devotional Classics series: A Charles Dickens Devotional and A Jane Austen Devotional, both in a beautiful cloth hardcover.

A Charles Dickens Devotional features some of Dickens' brightest gems: Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol, all of which are richly woven stories brimming with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness andself-control. Add in the topical devotional thoughts and you have an abundance of insight and guidance for faithful readers.

Short excerpts from Austen's classics are featured in A Jane Austen Devotional: Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Austen's devotional also includes a daily thought and Scripture that meaningfully translates to women's everyday lives. Time and time again, Austen shows us through her words what love truly is; built on action, character, and honor.

While these authors may have lived hundreds of years ago, their stories still translate meaningfully to modern life.

A Charles Dickens and A Jane Austen Devotional are available in stores in January 2012.

Want to check out more? Sample a few days of each book, view the video, and see where you can buy the books:


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surprises of the Season

Imagine this:

All are gathered for the Christmas program. It's a packed cafeteria. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends; the whole shebang is there. Curtain rises and a garden of feisty red and green peppers appear with mouths opened wide filling the air with Christmas music. On the stage sits your child ready to say his part (he is one of the chosen ones). It's a mock classroom of antsy kids, with risers of carolers on either side. The time finally comes and he steps up to the microphone.

"For nearly every teacher thinks these last days should be tough," he says with perfect diction and expression, thank you very much.

The next two kids say their part, and then all of a sudden there is a distinct noise coming from the top riser followed by screams and a deluge of kids darting out to the center of the floor like a mob of fans at a teeny bopper concert. sigh. At first I think it's part of the program, but then I hear the recognizable sound again. Someone is throwing up, poor thing!

Everyone watches in silence as they remove the sick child and cover up/clear away the... you know. My child and all the others stay on stage. The carolers all congregate on the other side, jam into the risers like Christmas sardines. Ten minutes later, the show picks up where it left off, and you get to hear your son say his part again.

Can you believe it? This time of year is SO full of surprises.

Undelivered Letter to Santa (Burns Stanza, or Standard Habbie)

Dear Santa,

This time of year threads worry so
I cringe upon the season's glow
Fear of presents lost in spacial flow
High expectation's plight
With dreams of pricey "Apple" -oh!
Flying doubt through the night

That money will appear in time
To fill the tree with gifts sublime
And satisfy the kids' dreamtime
Won't you help me, Santa?
Or I might find myself in grime
To fill your shoes, Santa.

With love,
laurie kolp


Prompt inspiration: Kerry's Mini-Challenge for Sunday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Gift of Words

Prompted: An International Collection of Poems is now available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble. You can also purchase it as an e-book for your Kindle here.

The idea was conceived by an international group of poets that met at Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides, and with the permission granted from Writer's Digest, were able to choose previous prompts from the site to use in the book. Edited by Pearl Ketover Prilik and published by Really Love Your Book , the project was completed in six months. The anthology includes a forward by Robert Lee Brewer.

Among the "prompts" included: type of person, inverted pyramid, prayer, location, love/anti-love poem, all I want, message in a bottle, water, time of day, and after leaving here.

All proceeds go to the non-profit organization Lit World, whose main goal is to "cultivate literacy leaders worldwide."

With just one purchase of this fine book you can help advocate literacy and the "redemptive power of story" throughout the world.

Won't you join me in spreading the word?

The poets:

Daniel Ari
Michele Brenton
Salvatore Buttaci
Anders Bylund
Janet Rice Carnahan
Diana Terrill Clark
RJ Clarken
Barbara Ehrentreu
Hannah Gosselin
Michael Grove
Jacqueline Hallenbeck
Patricia A. Hawkenson
Michelle Hed
Linda Hofke
Cara Holman
Jane Penland Hoover
Khara House
S.E. Ingraham
De Jackson
Elizabeth Johnson
Iain Douglas Kemp
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Kim King
Laurie Kolp
Andrew Kreider
Catherine Lee
Amy Barlow Liberatore
Shannon Bo Lockard
mike Maher 
Nikki Markle
Buddah Moskowitz
Bruce Niedt
Connie L. Peters
Nancy Posey
Jane Shlensky
Jay Sizemore
Sara Vinas
Paula Wanken
Claudette J. Young

{Quotes from LitWorld's Facebook page.}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

JOY- Off the Cuff

Poets United Thursday Think Tank wants us to write "off the cuff" today. Anything goes, just write. Here's what I came up with after receiving this treat in the mail today from my dear friend, Jeni.

spreading joy
one little red chirp at a time~
heavenly inspiration

@laurie kolp

Click here for daily hope

A Kidney for Christmas

Kristal and Katie March of 2000

I was still teaching school when Katie was born, so I was faced with the dilemma of who would care for her while I worked. My mother was happy to help out for the first few months, but then I needed to find someone who could alternate days with her. Our church recommended college student Kristal Manley. My parents knew her parents and after meeting her just once, we knew we could trust Kristal with our child. She and my mom came up with a workable schedule and everything was perfect... for awhile. Then Kristal was continually put in the hospital for her worsening diabetes. She became too sick to continue babysitting.

Flash forward twelve years. After numerous close calls and with a new kidney and pancreas as of April 2007, the now wife and mother Kristal Peese is a seemingly healthy woman living a Christian life. But there's one HUGE problem. Her body is now rejecting the kidney. She has to have another kidney transplant as soon as possible.

Kristal says, "After my first transplant my body developed antibodies that have limited my options as far as a matching donor. 80% of the worlds population will not match me correctly, but there are so many options available."

Would you consider either donating to this expensive life-saving procedure or being tested as a possible donor? HelpHOPELive (National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program) is the place where you can do just that. She has a page with all the information on how to donate here. Please call the Houston Donor line at 713-441-8900 to answer a few simple questions which will determine whether or not you are eligible to donate. What better gift for Christmas than the gift of life?

Kristal has written her inspiring story (11-17-11) here.

You can also click here for more information on Kristal from a news story aired on 12-14-11.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Protest for the Season

It’s the twinkling stars lighting up the tree
leaving those immobile in close proximity

the silence and the glory cradled gently to our heart
warming each sensation, joining relatives apart

the wonder of the season and each joyous song
that hushes retribution, forgives every wrong.

Let’s all join together with peace and love on earth
so our only protestation is of Jesus and His birth.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspirations: 3WW (immobile, proximity, retribution) and Poetry Jam (occupy)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Me, a Redhead?

Here I am as a redhead wearing one of my mom's very old wigs

Can you believe that after tomorrow's final at 8:00 p.m., Pete will be half-way through with his graduate degree? Well, I can! Especially tonight since some red-headed girl has been calling him every five minutes with a question, but that's a different story we'll discuss later. It's been one hectic year. At times I've felt like a single mom, but knowing that we're on the downward slope makes it easier to approach another year of the crazies.

Just watching my husband pore over the books and work problems that must come from Mars reminds me of my college days. Life was so ME then. I wish I knew how easy I had it; scheduling classes when I wanted, going out almost every night, and working at a stress-free job I adored. I had time to work out at the gym daily, although it was at 6:00 a.m. because of classes and working. On weekends I could take little trips or go to football games (that's when the Aggies were good). I had no idea what people meant when they told me to "enjoy it now because when you get in the real world it's a different story."

Well, I embraced that next stage of my life with the enthusiasm of a middle school cheerleader with ADHD. I acquired a great job before I even graduated (which this month has been ~gulp~ 22 years) and enjoyed my teaching career for twelve years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom.

Now I barely have enough time to do all I need to do, and I'm not working outside the house, I don't go to the gym and I definitely don't "party" anymore. With my writing, mothering, cooking, grocery shopping, laundering, cleaning (kind of), chauffeuring, nursing and everything else I find myself almost dreaming of those college days again. Don't get me wrong- I love my life. It's just... I always wanted to be a redhead working on her MBA.


image by Mostafa Habibi

Stranded and sinking
salacious scuttlebutt
settled in quicksand;
such a slanderous rut.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fort Me

~ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom~

It’s rapid fire, my heartbeat
sending rare pulsations to my fingertips
a grip I lose within this burning spasm
tumbling down the stairs a broken doll.

These shards of icy glass blowing
feel like prickly penetration poking
a downpour on my clammy skin

or bark from the sequoia rasped upon
defiled and released upon, this staunch enigma
spacious as it seems and weightless
yet confined within earthly walls reaching
to the sky, these elements I’ve built around Fort Me.

~ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom~

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (rapid, glass, spacious, pulsations, weightless, elements, tumbling, grip, enigma, spasm, rare, released)

Also posted @ Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday 12-12-11

Friday, December 9, 2011


a trail of seagulls
marks the ocean map spreading
hope for brighter days

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Fireblossom Fridays on Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Arrivals and Departures)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

At the Mall

A woman was waving a flag
at shoppers caught up in phone tag.
With all of her might
and for passive delight
she distracted those gabbers, that hag.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (flag, might, passive)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Boy Scout
popcorn is divine.
Buttery, caramel or cheese
if you please
kernels or popped and bagged air tight;
it came in today, we are

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads/ cameo poetry form

The Missile

Lunch, George Tooker, 1964, Columbus Museum of Art
In December they gather at the mission
genuflect and take a seat on pine needles
and bark, a meeting of sorts among the
villagers. The women bake goodies and
pies crusted with subtle ingredients
that include vanilla and pecans, so divine
they melt in your mouth and leave you
wanting for more. This particular night
two amorous preteens sit in the dark
corner kissing and laughing without an
inkling of the developing uproar. A man
laden with problems too heavy to carry alone-
unemployment and addiction, loss of family
and home- reaches insanity’s precipice,
grabs the first thing he can find and hurls
it across the room like a shot put. The
trivet flies by the lovers and shatters
around them. They stand up faster than
popping corn and run to their parents
thinking they’re in trouble and ashamed
while the man scatters in the woods.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration:
Magpie Tales (photo)
The Sunday Whirl (A wordle~ amorous, subtle, inkling, laden, genuflect, vanilla, mission, bark, crusted, precipice, December, trivet)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

By the Minute

The sign!

I go through my life minute by minute because anything could change in a few seconds. Today was the perfect example. It was my book signing for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times, but it was also Katie's SAT test (she's only in 7th grade but she had the opportunity to take it); both of which were scheduled in advance. I thought Pete could help with the kids, but then he had to go out of town on business. So I made arrangements for the boys and prepared to pick up Katie and her friend at Lamar University. I got there early so that no time would be wasted. I waited outside and admired the mild day, grateful that if for some bizarre reason I didn't have time to go home and change, at least I had body spray, water and a cute hat in the car. The girls were supposed to be finished around lunchtime and I had to be clear across town by 1:45. I knew it would be close, but I never imagined how close. Something happened that almost made me miss my own event.

It's really very stupid. When I found out the test wouldn't be over until around 1:15, I went back to my van to get my crossword puzzles... and I locked my keys inside. BUT I didn't realize it until the girls were done. It was 1:20. After wasting five minutes trying to pry the door open, break through the trunk and pop the window, I called the father of Katie's friend. It would take him at least 15 minutes to get there. The girls tried to unlock the door with anything they could find. We bounced the van up and down (as if that would change anything). Where was Superman when we needed him? I'm sure they enjoyed the drama, but I didn't. Everything I had prepared for the book signing was inside my vehicle. I would be going as is, with nothing but me.
Sylvia and me

I called my friend, Sylvia Ney, who was also part of the book signing. She has a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens. I told her I'd be there a little late. I finally arrived at 2:05.
Can you tell I took this picture of Jake and me?

I ended up having a great time. Sylvia and I caught up with each other and signed some books. The highlight of the event was finally meeting a fellow writer, Jake Chambers. We took an online writing class a few years ago and have kept up with each other ever since.

After the signing, my dad (my forever superhero) took me to get my car. Thank goodness it was still there without a ticket or dent. What college student wants an old van anyway? I don't know what I was thinking.


Click on dVerse Poets for more on this weeks topic, comics.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Lighthouse

Bell Rock Lighthouse

A beacon in the murky night
a sign of hope, a guiding light
that shines within profundity
puts on course those lost at sea.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bad Gas?

I'm chugging down the darkened street at 6:45 (and I mean a' chug-chug-ing) with the boys in tow. A red light that looks like a genie bottle is glowing on the dash and all I can think is get moving dear most reliable van whom I have adored for eight plus years.

I resist the chug-a-lug, put the pedal to the medal. Chug-chug... it picks up... spit-spat. We look like we're being jerked front, then back in a roller coaster.

"Come on, move!" I say.

The boys are freaking out.

"What's wrong with the car?"

"Are we going to break down?"

We are in front of the house, so I think not; but we have to get Andrew to karate and then cross town to pick up Katie from dancing after his class is over. Of course, Pete's out of town. I can't afford to have the van go cuckoo on me right now. Keep your fingers crossed. I think it's bad gas.

It coughs a bit, spits up and moves on like normal. Whew.


Soul's Whisper by Ella's Edge

like a sentinel in the woods
still as a deer
calm and gentle
as I whisper in your ear
words of comfort and peace
how to act in your life.
Don't dart away in fear
have faith in me and listen
lean on me in strife
I'm whispering in your ear.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank (Soul's Whisper by Ella's Edge)

The Foxhole

Within those plush layers
of froufrou and fluff
cheek-to-cheek gobbledygook
and compliments you puff

hides a scaredy bear banded
                 with verdant envy
                            waiting to lash out, slash
                                            eyes, hoping we won't see

behind the fancy greenery
all the froufrou and the fluff;
you're just an Average Joe
in a foxhole full of stuff.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Theme Thursday (Inside)