Poetry from the Heart


A compilation of poetry by Sandi Schmidt from the book published in her memory, Poetry from the Heart.
Copyright, Schmidt Publishing & Photography, 1996


Sandra M. Schmidt was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. July 14, 1944. She lived most of her life in nearby Westwood, N.J. until moving to Gillette, Wyo. in January 1993. Sandi had three children and three stepchildren whom she loved as her own. She died May 25, 1996.

That is the short version of the life of Sandi. But there are volumes more to be said about this wonderful woman who cared so much about everyone she met, who loved so deeply her family and so tenderly me, her husband.

People who never met Sandi read her poetry or prose and comment on her uncanny gift for writing, but they are missing her real gift. Sandi was a genius with words and enjoyed playing with them, but what set her apart from others was her sensitivity and her unlimited capacity for caring and loving. She often wrote what she felt or what she sensed that others felt, and I offer these few poems of hers so that you may experience those emotions.

Many of these have previously been published in national magazines; some were never submitted for publication; one, The Crown, Sandi would not sell, but offered to religious publications for free.

Sandi loved all children. Raised in a dysfunctional home, she wanted to protect them from abusive and hostile environments. To that end, all profits from Poetry from the Heart will be donated to Youth Emergency Services, Inc. (YES House) of Gillette, Wyoming, a safe house for troubled children.

Copies of the book are available from the Yes House or from Schmidt Publishing and Photography, 3206 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. The price is $5.


Index of Poetry

Click on any of the following titles to go to that poem, or just scroll through all of them.

Mother's Day
The Crown
For Andy
On A Bridge Across Forever
To Comfort You
Dipper Of Love
Lunar Ellipse
Chance Dance
Hummingbird
Johnny Sunrise
Paean To Power
The Quiet
Summer Rain
Thief Of Trust
Mini Poems
Smacked




Mother's Day

She strains to hear the whisper of his footsteps on the stair;
She smiles in fond remembrance, for, of course, he isn't there.
Her heart recalls each moment in a life of pain and joy,
Times of wonder, love and laughter . . . times she spent with him, her boy.
She stirs her tea and wishes she could hear his voice again,
Her chubby, lively toddler who has joined the world of men.

But he's all grown up now, busy, locked into another life,
With two children, and a mortgage, and a just-as-busy wife.
She peers out through the curtains, feeling pain that goes down deep,
And she yearns to call her husband, but decides to let him sleep.
The photo album beckons; as she turns each well-worn page,
And reflects on crack-edged snapshots of the boy at every age,

She can feel his little hand in hers, can hear his piping song . . .
Slumber taps her on the shoulder, and she drifts and dreams along.
Then, into the lonely silence, drops a bell-tone, loud and clear,
And her tired heart blooms with gladness as he calls to her, "I'm here!"
With his lovely wife and children, he has come to pay a call
To the woman who adored him from the time that he was small.

As the little ones shout, "Grandma!", and she stoops to hug them tight,
Tiny arms reach out to warm her, making everything all right
Then the kitchen fills with laughter; Grandpa comes to have some pie,
And the grownups sip their coffee, sharing tales of days gone by.
Her grandson plays, contented, near her time-worn kitchen chair.
Her trembling hand rests gently on the softness of his hair.

She gazes at her son, then; tears dance brightly in his eyes,
And he says "That was my favorite place when I was just his size".
The night creeps up; the children have to be in school tomorrow.
She hates to see them leave, and yet she feels no pain or sorrow.
With smiling eyes and lifted heart, she sends them on their way
As her son, his arms around her, whispers, "Happy Mother's Day".

Return to Index of Poetry


The Crown

The woman hugged her little son
And smoothed his tousled hair;
"Oh, Mother," sobbed the boy, "it hurts!
I didn't see them there!"
His chubby fist fell open,
And his treasure fluttered down --
Some fragrant yellow flowers
He had used to form a crown.

With trembling hand, he touched the bloom;
Along the fine green stems
Were rows of razor sharpness,
Like steel-tipped diadems.
"Why, sweetheart," said his mother,
"Every rose must have its thorn.
Let's kiss those cuts away; come, son,
Please don't look so forlorn."

His soft brown eyes looked up at her;
His small hand touched her face.
"But, Mother, why did God put thorns
In such a secret place?".
She smiled and answered, "Maybe God thought
We might pick too many. And then someday,
Long years from now,
The world might not have any."

The boy smiled, too; he knelt and touched
One velvet, golden bloom.
"Well, Mother, can we save the best,
And put them in my room?"
She helped him scoop them up; they laughed
And went along their way.
The boy skipped toward the meadow
As his mother paused to pray.

"Dear Lord," she whispered, "guard my son.
Protect him as he grows.
Please help him to avoid the thorns,
And yet, to love the rose."
She felt the voice of God reach down
To touch her troubled heart.
"But, Mary," she could hear Him say,
"You knew this from the start...

"Your son will grow both strong and good,
But he will not grow old.
This truth is painful for Me, too,
But still it must be told."
She sensed that God would take her son.
The laughing boy she loved
Would someday wear a crown of thorns
That couldn't be removed.

She bowed her head, accepting;
Jesus shouted, "Look! A flower!"
She hugged her small son close
As if to save each precious hour.
That night, she drew the covers up,
Then put away his clothes ...
And found, tucked in his tiny hand,
One perfect yellow rose.

Return to Index of Poetry


For Andy

Gentle Savior, please look down;
There's someone at Your side ...
A small, bewildered four-year-old
Who needs You as his guide.

You'll know he's Andy if his smile
Could melt a heart of stone.
He's lost, for he has never,
In his short life, been alone.

There was no sin on Andy's soul,
No hatred, and no fear;
You must have loved him even more
Than we who mourn him here.

When night falls, could You tuck him in
And help him with his prayers?
I'd give so much to hear, once more,
His footsteps on the stairs.

Please kiss his silky brow sometimes,
And give him joy and peace;
The glow he brought to all our lives
Will never, ever cease.

Return to Index of Poetry


On A Bridge Across Forever

With thanks to Richard Bach

On a bridge across forever,
We have found the perfect love,
Pure and sweet, alive with passion,
Sent to us by God above.

On a bridge across forever,
We will look up at the sky,
And our dreams and goals will blossom
As we wander, you and I.

On a bridge across forever,
We will banish pain and fear,
And move onward, sharing always
All the things that make life dear.

On a bridge across forever,
When our final days are through,
We will feel our souls fly upward,
Still together, me and you.

On a bridge across forever,
We will live eternally ...
Bound on earth, and joined hereafter ...
Love incarnate ... you and me.

Return to Index of Poetry


To Comfort You

Love, linger not at this, the home
In which you've laid me down to rest.
Don't weep or scuff the fresh new soil
That presses lightly on my breast.

The heart that danced in time with yours
No longer strains or clings to life.
The pain that tore us both apart
No more can harm your faithful wife.

Come, touch the stone that speaks my name;
Don't curse the fates that put me here.
The day has passed for fault and blame;
It was my time to leave you, dear.

But, though this grave, now hoe-blade new,
Will, in good time, be overgrown,
My spirit's warmth will follow you,
And see that you are not alone.

One day, I know you'll join me here,
And take my hand in yours once more.
Together, we'll go toward the Light
And knock, as one, on Heaven's door.

Now, tuck your sorrow far from sight
And kiss the children tenderly.
I'll slumber, dreamless, in the night,
Until, at last, you come for me.

Return to Index of Poetry


Dipper Of Love

The clouds hung low in the quiet night,
The moon; the stars were out of sight.
Above the mist, beyond the moon,
Little Dipper sang a loving tune.

BigDip turned to face her melody,
His ladle filled with love and piety,
Spilling over from so much caring.
BigDip, LittleDip -- a life of sharing?

Return to Index of Poetry


Lunar Ellipse

The moon glides gently, swinging high
Against the grey and clouded sky.
It dips and rolls; the heavens glow
And, in its wake, the star-rays flow
To seek and touch each lover's heart
Though they are, now, so far apart.

The lovers gaze up at the sight;
Their wishes pierce the blackened night
And wing their way, urged by the moon,
Across the puffed-up clouds, and soon
Those thought-hopes reach the hearts that yearn
To love, and be loved in return.

A gentle rainfall follows this;
The earth imbibes her Maker's kiss
And saves the tender drops that fall
Unheeded, as the moon-song's call
Fills empty souls, and stays to bless
The ending of their loneliness.

She pulls the drapes, accepts the night;
She knows that, with the morning light,
Another day will dawn, and then
Another, 'til that moment when
The moon will draw him to her side,
And he will claim her as his bride.

His parting kiss rides on the breeze,
And in the lowering sky, he sees
A cloud formation drifting by ...
Its face, her face; he breathes a sigh
And sends her, even in his sleep,
That loving vow he means to keep.

And thus, the moon, its labor done,
Shines on the two and makes them one.

Return to Index of Poetry


Chance Dance

Here is the hunger; here is the pain;
Here is the joy -- yes, it's all here again.
Broken, my vow to trudge onward alone;
Melted, the feelings imprisioned in stone.

Vanished, my promise to keep far apart
Thoughts from my head, and that pulse from my heart,
Washed away, all, in the rain of your caring ...
Longing made sweet by the gift of your sharing.

How did it happen? Where will it end?
Will you be lover, or foe, or my friend?
If I were careful, if I were clever,
I would turn now, and not look back, not ever ...

Thinking that, slowly I turn toward the door,
Needing the dullness and safety once more,
Yet your eyes hold me, your voice whispers low:
"What will I do, oh, my love, if you go?"

I don't need this, cries my head, but my heart
Closes the distance that keeps us apart.
Safe in your arms, all at once, I'm aware
That, though 'twas peaceful before you were there,

Life was existence, not full-bodied living;
There was no sharing, no touching, no giving.
Guess I'll leave "us" to the whimsy of chance ...
Dipper, sweet lover, may I have this dance?

Return to Index of Poetry


Hummingbird

Humming
Humming
Humminbird

Whip-wings at my portals whirring,
Hidden tensions in me stirring
As you bend your beak to sup.

Humming
Humming
Hummingbird

Ruby throat aswell with needing,
Dipping deep to take your feeding,
Nectar flows to fill it up.

Humming
Humming
Hummingbird

Probe the petals rosy, glist'ning
Tip your head aside as, list'ning
In your heart, you hear me cry ...

Humming
Humming
Hummingbird

Taste my soul and send it winging
With the Siren song you're singing ...
Take me with you to the sky.

Return to Index of Poetry


Johnny Sunrise

Cherry jelly kisses
And peanut-butter hugs;
Fat bare feet, a patched pants seat,
And pockets crammed with bugs.
Nonsense conversations,
Charming whispered lies;
A grin so wide it starts inside
And grows to fill his eyes.
Bandaged knees and elbows,
Every-which-way hair;
Daddy is his hero,
And Mommy¼s always there.
Sneakers in the hallway,
Toy-strewn, rumpled bed;
Weariness has come to claim
Our little sleepyhead.
Silence fills the household;
Still he laughs, it seems,
Tumbling in the moonlight
In the meadow of his dreams.

Return to Index of Poetry


Paean To Power

War! Oh, my friends, what a war this has been!
The sharp, glossy photos in each magazine ...
The scent of the crossfire, the sorrow so keen,
And hardly a victim to mess up the scene.

War! With its generals, round-cheeked and fit;
War! With its coffers made fat by each hit.
War! With its Raytheon missiles alit.
War! Any wonder we lust after it?

Journalists creep to the roofs of hotels,
Gas masks can screen out the unpleasant smells,
Scribbling fast, 'cause the threat of death sells,
Taping the pain of a Kurd's private hells.

War! With its troops, sweet-faced girls and fine boys.
War! With its rockets and sleek, deadly toys.
War! With its hoopla, its deafening noise.
War! Never mind all the folks it destroys!

Soon we'll forget the brief instants of pain,
Visualize, in the star role, Sean Penn,
Gird for the battle, then do it again ...
What's a few thousand lost women and men?

War! With its limbs scattered ragged and gory.
War! With its clear F-stop power and glory.
War! It's so awesome, so thrilling, so war-y ...
And CNN says it makes a great story.

Return to Index of Poetry


The Quiet

So many people live their lives
In quiet desperation.
So few of us have learned to wait
With quiet contemplation
Until what's wrong can be made right,
And Time can mend what's broken ...
I hope you feel the love that's here,
And that which isn't spoken.

Return to Index of Poetry


Summer Rain

Summer rain, it falls so gently,
Feels so warm, and smells so sweet --
Filters through the silver sunlight,
Cools the earth beneath my feet.
Like a shower, you passed over,
Made my empty life complete,
Banished innocence forever ...
Left me lonely in the heat.
Summer rain, come, fill my heart up;
Summer rain, come, cool my night;
Summer rain, dance on my sorrow
And make all this wrong seem right.
There's your son, my only pleasure
In a world of pounding pain;
When he laughs, he's so much like you,
It's as if you're here again.
As he runs across the meadow,
I can see you down the lane,
But it's only the reflection
Of the heat and summer rain.
Summer rain, come, fill my heart up;
Summer rain, come, cool my night;
Summer rain, dance on my sorrow
And make all this wrong seem right.

Return to Index of Poetry


The Thief Of Trust

He took my hand; he took my lips;
He took my unspoiled, clean young skin.
He took my trusting childish soul
And made me share his secret sin.

He told me of his raging need;
I didn't even understand
The power I held over him ...
The strength that lay in my small hand.

He took the lightness from my heart,
Each shred of faith I once held dear,
And in their place, he left me pain,
And anger, and the darkest fear.

He said that I must never tell ...
The Secret he had made me share;
He stank of liquor, and of sweat --
He left me huddled, crying, there.

And I was good; I didn't tell.
He went back to my mother's bed.
I glared with hatred at his back
And wished him shriveled, dry and dead.

But nothing happened; life went on,
And every time he came to me,
I let him use my tender flesh;
I did what I was told, you see.

I was the best, the goodest girl,
And I could be depended on
To bear the guilt, the shame, the dread,
For they were mine, and mine alone.

The years have passed, and I have paid
The price of that man's evil need;
So many times, I've hurt myself
Because of his weird, awful greed.

They say he has become a priest;
I shiver at the picture of
His ugly, pale white hands upon
A child, all in the name of love.

And when I pray, my worn heart weeps
For that small girl who went away
Forever, in her mind and heart,
On that long-gone and fateful day.

He cannot hurt me now, and yet
I wonder how my life would be
If that deceitful, selfish man
Had never dared to fondle me.

I've never wished on any soul
The kind of pain I suffered then,
But if I did, I'd wish it on
That lowest, least complete of men

Who forced himself upon a child
And raped her fragile self-esteem
And took away her every hope,
Her every pure and youthful dream.

If there's a special hell for those
Who slake their quirky grownup lust
On children, then I know he'll burn
Because he was the Thief of Trust.

And as for me, I'm stronger now,
And someday soon, I will forgive
The man who killed my sweet young soul
And then, in cruelty, let me live.

The shame is his; I know that now,
His power over me is gone;
I'll have the final victory!
I will go on ...
I WILL GO ON!

Return to Index of Poetry


Mini Poems

All washed up
The socks all line up two-by-two;
The washer spins them 'round.
The dryer chews them thoughtfully,
'Til only one is found.

Animal instincts
They croak a sad, unlovely tune,
Shoot longing glances at the moon,
Stuff food inside as if possessed;
Our house with teenagers is blessed.

Cash flow
It happens so often;
It's sad, but it's funny ‚
There's so much month left
At the end of the money.

Charge!
The cards proclaim my number, name,
And eligibility.
They do not say in just what way
I'll fund this buying spree.

Diet dilemma
A diet would make perfect sense;
I surely would be smaller.
But, checking out the height-weight charts,
I'd just as soon be taller.

Gender bender
The child is father to the man
In Pascal, Cobol and Fortran.
The boy can chat in bytes and bits,
While Dad is stuck with Beatles hits.

Yet ,when the PC starts to ping,
It's, "Daddy! Come and fix this thing!"

Little Things
Clever is the man who knows
That fondness in a gal's heart grows
When he remembers little things
Like little cars and little rings.

Narcissa
Beauty is as beauty does,
Yet Beauty makes her husband late;
She primps and preens, she curls and puffs;
He whispers, "Honey, you loook great!
He moves to kiss her, overcome
With passion at her loveliness ...
She murmers gently, "Darling, don't;
You're going to make my hair a mess!"

NFL Follies
Just fifteen minutes left to do
A dozen chores or more;
I've never seen him move so fast,
That man whom I adore.
He runs to take the garbage out;
I seldom find him nappin'.
I wonder if he'd ever move
If halftime didn't happen?

------------------------------------------------
Love is where you find it,
And its pull is universal;
Just be sure that you don't mind it
When it's during the commercial.
-------------------------------------------------

He pulls his arm back, lets it fly;
The pigskin orb goes whizzing by.
This game's so tough, it isn't fair ‚
And it sure wreaks havoc on his chair.

Passion and Oven Cleaner
When I'm perfumed and nicely-dressed,
You rarely want some lovin' --
Why is it, then, you're ready when
I'm cleaning out the oven?

Phoniness
The friendly voice that greets me,
And claims to wish me well,
Is really just a salesman
From the darker side of ...
Peoria.

Return to Index of Poetry


Smacked


"Mike! Mike, you OK?"
I trip over his patched
duffel bag, kick it away,
fall toward the bathroom.
"What was that noise?"
His voice shuffles
through the keyhole.
"Uh, no biggie, girl."
He needs food, caring.
He moves in with no
plan, no job. My kids love him,
Uncle Mike with the fey Irish
wit who makes them blow milk
through their noses at dinner.
But now the leprechaun laugh
is a syrupy slude.
"Just dropped somethin'. Me."
I lean on the door; the hinges
groan, the worn latch yields,
and he looks at me, Christ
as Pieta, angelic, quizzical.
"Screwed up," he says. "Hand
me that, willya?"
"That. You mean the
needle, Mike?"
NEEDLE?
"You're diabetic?" I plead, and
now the laugh descends to Hell.
"Yeah.
Can't eat sugar.
Just smack."
"Smack?"
"Smack, darlin'. H. Horse.
Heroin. Don'tcha know anythin'?"
My mind finally absorbs his
nudity. It's not that way, with us;
he's never touched me, never
even tried. Now I get it.
He has a better, hotter lover ...
a sweeter high.
I grab the works, the spoon and
burner and needle, fling them
out the bathroom window, scream,
"GET OUT OF HERE! My KIDS!
How could you DO this?"
"Been wonderin' that myself", he
mumbles, loosening the tubing from
around his narrow bicep. He
struggles to his feet, heads for the door.
"Mike, you're naked!"
He turns, the fix is all, I can see it
in the empty cesspool of his flat blue eyes.
"Been that way all my life," he answers,
twisting the doorknob. "Nobody cares."
And he's out in the hallway, loping
toward the exit door, rushing toward his
rush.
A week later, Mickey Mouse Kevin appears.
"Mike says give the kids this," he rambles
in a cocaine'd geyser of words.
A paper bag is thunked
into my arms. He darts away.
"Kev, wait! How is he? Is he OK?"
Sly smirk. "Yeah, he's OK now.
OD'd last night.
Funeral's on Thursday.
Be there or be square, babe.
His Mom's a minister, didja know that?
Handy..."
Trembling hands, stoppit, the kids!
Think of the kids! I open the bag,
the rustling like leaves in a gutter. Two
dolls, pristing, carefully dressed, one
blonde, one brunette, just like my
children.
And a note: "You couldn't save him.
You were kind to him, but there
just weren't enough like you. Kiss the
kids. Love, Kev."
I watch Kevin's retreating skinny
back, my mind fastening on the
depth and correct spelling of his
note, and I think, "Are you next,
my friend?"
And I go back to baking
brownies. The girls will be home
any minute. I'll never know why
or when he bought those dolls.
It only matters that he did.


Return to Index of Poetry



 

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