Barbara Grace Lake

Poetry & Other Crimes


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake


Humming, humming, humming
Please go away, go far
You don’t belong

They come in crowding hordes
As one, a lethal force
Oh stay away

Hours we spent creating
Building squirrels a house
Hornets took it

They’ve found a home
One that they like
They will not leave

A hose-like deadly spray
Will see the hornets die
Still some survive


The Bee

© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake


A tiny fuzzy creature’s
Yellow striping warns
She’s busily impelled
Hovering, buzzing
Now alight, now in flight
Gently gathers, sharply fends

A life of servitude
Ne’er bound to us
Her pollen’s meant
For honey only
Cultured to sustain
Inchoate bees

Marauders dare devour
Hive’s golden hoard
Must pay a fearful price
In painful stings that last for days
But for the bee
Her sting’s her death

To gather pollen
And defend
It is her life


I see this piece, written a few years ago, as my gift to Memorial Day.  It could be any soldier in any war, always too young to die.

© 2016 Barbara Grace Lake
The minister told of his life
His barely eighteen years of life
The casket closed, his body ripped
A valiant soldier he, life shorn

Two years before and for three years
In Little League, my own son’s team
A flawless fielder, playing fair
He gave no quarter, asked for none

So when the summons came he went
To fight or perish far from home
To slay an enemy unknown
He served his country well, and died.

And now we put his casket down
Three shots convulse the morning air
Three shots convulsing in my head
My choking, sobbing tears won’t stop

It’s not enough. He gave his life
Three shots and taps and folded flag
In two more years he could be mine
My God, too young…too young to die.

Quote #5

Quote of the day

When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.

Joe Namath


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

She married him
She did not see his faults
The ones I found unbearable
She saw a loving man

She married him
She made for him a home
The kind I never did or could
Things always in the way

She married him
My first resentment passed
I saw her blessed with qualities
That made for him a mate

She married him
Their union blessed ‘til death
Removed from us the man she wed
The man we both had loved.


© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake


Of all the questions asked by man
By far most frequently he asks
Of every life, why am I here?
Is there a reason for my being?
Or purpose I have yet to fill?

A mother young will seldom ask
Her children upmost in her mind
Its when the helpless ones are grown
And imprint of their youth declines
She wonders then, why am I here?

As fathers work to shelter them
To nourish both their bodies, minds
He grapples daily, then it’s gone
Retirement sees as waiting game
In which he asks why am I here?

What’s now the purpose of my life
He sees his children donning garb
He daily wore in working life
As they succumb to older years
They, too, then ask why am I here?

Our years begin creating life
In time, sustaining, keeping safe
Our children then to carry on
As life belongs to them we ask
Have I a purpose yet to fill

The answer sounds, resounds again
I gave to you a part of me
When born your value infinite
Your purpose is continued growth
For giving others wisdom, love


The Tiny Finger
© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake


How possible to be so small
And smaller yet her fingers, toes
Proportioned like a tiny doll
Alive she is too soon to grow


Afraid to hold as she might break
But let one finger down to touch
So tightly held her tiny fist
Imprisoned digit as my heart


The Tiny Leaf
© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake


In spring, a tiny budding leaf
Its texture smooth with lifelike veins
Bright sun so fragile, colorless
Throughout the day a varied green


The Tree Branch
© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake


Incipient bud erupts to twig
The twig leafs out, arrayed in green
Matured to branch new buds erupt
As life is changing always on


© ca 1959 Barbara Grace Lake


The faith of a boy in his mom is a joy
When his plans for the day he will share
As she dutifully heeds every mutable need
Making sure that she truly does care


To his frog she’ll be kind and his dog duly mind
Though he knows she would rather not bother
The unfixable tear in his jeans she’ll repair
Without threatening a scolding from Father


She might muse on what next he will do in pretext
But is sure he will vex her in pleasure
Or if on his bike he’ll collide with a trike
Or a child that another might treasure


And how can the lad with that other kid, dad
Be so noisy and boisterous at night
Or inventively tease little sister to ease
His restive demand for a fight


Night finally comes round and his bedthings are found
From morning in some dusty cranny
He’ll bribe and implore for just five minutes more
And will argue with skill that’s uncanny


Snugged tightly in bed, with his prayers fitly said
He so softly then asks for his Mother
She’ll listen awhile through tear misted smile
To a marvelous tale or another


Of a race that he’s won or a brave thing he’s done
In the very young world that he knows
Then she tucks in the sheet and their lips briefly meet
In affection that too seldom shows


And she steps from his side with a feeling of pride
So intense that it seems hard to bear
For the faith of a boy in his Mom is a joy
When both day and his life he can share.


Of Beloved Aunt Winifred Wells

© August, 1959, Barbara Grace Lake

[My cousin found this among some papers
that my grandmother apparently saved.  I’m
happy she saved this one]


Don’t grieve for me –


Don’t look upon my stillness with despair
for I have gone –


And happiness that had so long eluded me
I now have found and it
embraces me –


Be joyful for me –


Because the cares and trials of
worldly life are merely shadows
of meaningless memories –


And these too will pass –


And so your grief will pass from you
to mingle with the ashes and dust
of that which sheltered me –


Until the time has come when you
shall cross from life
to greater life –


And I will greet you joyously –


Then you will say to those who mourn their loss –


Don’t grieve for me.

Blog at

Up ↑