Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Enjoy a week of languishing in your comfort zone, here's my writing comfort like Grandma's old quilt in response to NWCU's challege to tell the old in new way

Three brother goats were all named Gruff
One was small and frail,
And bigger was the middle brother,
The oldest larger still.

Their farmer wanted fatter goats,
And sent them up yon hill
To where the grass grew lush and green,
So they could eat their fill.

Now, on their way they had to cross
A bridge o’er lively brook,
The home of one darn ugly troll
That left all terror-struck.

His eyes as wide as saucers glowed
Deep red with blood of those
Who’d tried to cross his bridge before
While he had want to doze.

His nose as long as fireside’s poker
Could smell a child’s cold fear;
He ate all those who crossed his bridge,
He ate them all right there.

So came the first--the youngest goat,
Who was but skin and bone.
“Trip trap trip trap,” the bridge sang out
With hoof and wood’s soft tone.

“Who’s that tripping o’er my bridge?”
The troll awoke and roared.
It’s voice struck fear in all who heard
The mean ring to its chord.

“Tis only I the smallest one,”
The billy goat replied.
“I’m going to eat where grass is green,
Get fat on yon hillside.”

“And now I’ll come to gobble you,”
The troll called out with glee.
”You woke me up and now I’m starved;
“You’ll make a meal for me!”

“Oh pray don’t take me!  I’m so small;
“If you’ll just wait a while,
“My brother comes along real soon;
“He’s bigger by a mile!”

The troll was hungry but he thought
More food if he’d but wait.
“Be gone,” he called and settled in
To listen for the gait.

T’was soon he heard those louder steps
Upon the bridge’s edge
Trip trap trip trap trip trap.
“Who trips upon my bridge?”

“It’s me, the second billy goat
“It's where the grass is at
“I Go.  Up to the hill to eat
“And eat untill I’m fat.”
“I’m coming up to gobble you!”
The troll knew by the voice
And louder step the billy goat
Indeed was better choice.

“Oh no, not me for brother three
“Is so much bigger still!
“You’ll eat and eat and eat some more
“Until you get your fill!”

His tummy rumbled, made him a grouch
But more was always good
“Very well.  Be off with you!”
He waited for his food.

Then came the heavy steps of one
Across the wooden pass.
Trip trap trip trap trip trap
This goat had some mass!

The  ancient bridge gave creak and groan
Under this big goat.
“Who’s that tramping o’er my bridge?”
”You're bigger by a lot!”

And in a voice as deep and mean
As the troll could do,
He called “I’m coming up to eat,
“And eat until I’m through!”

“Well, come along! I've got two spears,
And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I've got besides two curling-stones,
And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones”

The troll came up and met the goat,
And on the battle raged.
Two warring beasts upon the bridge
Both bloodied and enraged.

But in the end, the goat would stand
The baddest billy goat,
The biggest of the three Goat Gruffs
Would wear a troll skin coat.

Well they ate and fat they got
On tender blades of green.
So fat they got, they couldn’t walk;
Upon yon hill they’re seen.

                        --Monty Wheeler

Thursday, December 13, 2012


The age'd poet died today,
His works of note all thrown away,
His pencils carefully honed to points
As sharp as pain in his old joints,
As brittle as a witch’s ire
All tossed into the open fire.

The age'd poet died today;
No fame or fortune came his way.
And in the last notebook he’d kept,
The tear stained pages where he’d wept
Upon the knowledge Death drew near,
His final stanza written there. . .

And to my children if they’d care:
The heavy burdens that I bear
Will soon be lifted from my shoulder,
For days grow dark, and I grow older.
And none can rescue time gone by
From the clock’s slow ticking cry.
But save this verse, and carve this curse:
“His epitaph should ever tell
They didn’t know he loved them well.”

The age'd poet died today
His final stanza locked away
In smoke toward Heaven--last desire
Unread, burned black by callused fire.

                                    --Monty Wheeler

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


my response to NWCU's wonderful prompt of night and darkness


Romance the Night, yet fear the Dark.
A full-moon’d Night ignites a spark
Of heat and lust in loins and heart.

But still. . .when Cloud will hide Night’s moon,
When stars don’t shine in sable hue,
When Night goes dark, the demons start
To taunt the soul and terror soon
Grips the hearts and chills souls through.

Romance the Night, yet fear the Dark;
Just let Night’s moon dare hide its face,
Give evil Dark its jealous place
Where Satan’s imps will rock and roll
And lost ones’ ghosts will walk there too.

Ah, to walk amidst Night’s glow
Instead of Darkness where I go,
And let the Devil take his toll;
I rage against the dying light
That gives to fear and lives for fright.
Romance God’s Night, yet fear the Dark;
And yet, there’s naught that I might do
But ask for guidance—moon’s soft hue.
In Night, there’s angels’ song to hark,
But since the moon and stars aren’t mine
(For God will ever own the Night
And its dim light down paths unknown.)
I’d ask, for me, His Love will shine
And guide each humbled step I’d take
Along Night’s rocky roads that make
Me trip and stumble, walk again
Through Dark’s inevitable sin.

                                    --Monty Wheeler

Thursday, December 6, 2012


My response to NWCU's Wednesday Wake-up and a trip back to 1999
Nineteen ninety nine and at year’s end,
We sat and waited for the world to send
Economies and destinies to Hell;
Three zeros in the coming year would fell—
Like the mighty walls of Jericho—
The digital world we’d come to love and know.

The Wall Street icon would surely crash again;
The banks and governments would all cave in;
So long, there’d been two digits in our year.
Why would just two more generate such fear?
Oh, how our logic screamed, “You Fool!
“They saw this back when you were still in school!”

And yet, we sat where we were at and thought,
Until by midnight we were so distraught,
We felt those pins and needles in our chairs;
And yet those zeros came. . .as did more years

                                                --Monty Wheeler

Monday, December 3, 2012


it's snapshot sunday day at NWCU and here's my dark response

The sun drew back, glowed callused black today,
And left this world in muted shades of gray,
Its heart used up by mankind’s selfish way.

It cast dark eyes upon a once-clean sea,
Now spoiled with a thousand years’ debris.
How great is man?  This is his legacy.

They’d say perhaps the ozone layer’s gone;
They’d say perchance the sun is almost done;
They’d say our world’s been too much put upon.

Man walks a poisoned earth; it’s by his hand;
The sun’s grown simply tired of warming land
That’s given all; yet, greater we’d demand.

The sun drew back, glowed cold, dark black today;
No greater truth than, “Nothing gold can stay.”
And black’s the color of our sun’s last ray.

                                               --Monty Wheeler
My thanks to friend Leslie at NWCU for use of her work with negatives to such delightful effect

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Once again it's Wednesday morn and time for a NWCU wake up call

Tis morning, and the moon still rides blue sky;
There’s magic in that white, nocturnal moon,
Ye, moon, refuse to fade, refuse to die!

If myth and mystic tell no lie, I’ll soon
Go moonstruck. . .stark insanity; I’ll hear
The breath of angels and the earth’s soft tune.

And if the slightly twisted eye I bear
Disturbs you in some awkward way, it should;
For Daytime Moon has cast its spell.  Beware. . .

The crazed romantic in my soul I would
Forever hide, the moon has understood

                                    --Monty Wheeler


I know I’ll never be a “dad”
But to the three who never asked to be
A part of this strange world of ours,
Their “natural father” I am, you see.

Long ago, I tossed the chance
To be their “dad” through life’s tough dance,
And yet. . .perchance, I still can be
Something in the lives of three
Offspring whom I find I need
More than likely they need me.

Tis not to ponder some dark past;
Try not to wonder why at last;
I only know in lives of three
They hold the door, as well, the key.

I know I’ll never be their “dad;”
They’ve got that one and long they’ve had.
But I can follow God’s intent
That I believe He shows me now;
And proud I stand to call them mine
And know with them I share bloodline.
And with their forgiveness and consent,
Our futures hold long years well spent.

Perhaps it is “too little too late”
But if reaching out will open some gate. . .
I’ll not hesitate.

                                    --Monty Wheeler

Monday, November 26, 2012


The gull takes flight and yet the ground
Sure holds his shadow’s black.
I live to think that when we’re gone
Our shadows will come back.

I love to think our shadows mirror
Our souls forever tied
Slow walk with me and hold my hand;
Our shadows must abide.

Comes nigh the day for some short while
One will walk alone;
Yet I’d believe our shadows will
Forever walk as one.

For shadows feel no pain or death,
And shadows know no fear.
As long as sun will warm the earth
Our shadows will be here.

I’d ask but one, a single vow;
When I’m laid to rest,
Hold out your hand to find my shadow
Next to you is cast.

                                 --Monty Wheeler

Thursday, November 22, 2012


 My net’s the pen; it’s always been.
There’s childlike glee when I try
And finally catch the perfect word,
Like once I caught a butterfly.

A pretty sight or lyrical sound—
Give chase to that elusive prize!
Such is my goal when I write verse;
The right words dance before my eyes.

And still it is as always was;
That butterfly in my mind’s eye,
That perfect sound that wants to sing,
Some times will fade in distant sky.

And tell me, Mother, like you did
That gentle is as always was—
Catch, admire, and set it free;
Keep nothing for a selfish cause.

                                    --Monty Wheeler

Monday, October 1, 2012


My response to NWCU's Wednesday Wakeup

The challenge: use the listed items "yellow, blue, green, lilacs, a child, peace, a triangle" in a work

We buried her this very day,
a flower child,
survivor of The Sixties fray.

And with fresh lilacs in her hair—
a scent that’s mild—
she rests in peace right over there.

Now God’s triangle mourns for her—
three colored gild
of yellow, blue, and green allure.

The yellow of the blazing sun—
eternal, wild—
seduces sky’s pure blue, soft tone.

They make green grass. . .her blanket’s hue.
The verdant field
will mourn the child of nature too.

Each dawn, in dew, the grass will cry—
grief unbeguilded—
over her unseeing eye.

                          --Monty Wheeler

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


*My response to NWCU's current Wednesday Wake-up Call

Freedom is the Night,
and cloaked in stillness,
let Her quiet calm you, Troubled One;
now let Night sing
deep inside your worried mind.

Lay bare your flesh;
She’ll soft caress
life’s purple bruises—

And in the night,
Sweet Baby,
Let Darkness wrap around you,
and you—both sore afraid of the world out there
and the dreams inside yourself—
emerge as if from a cacoon. . .
it’s okay;
Darkness hides you well away
from those who’d but condemn
your intimate discoveries.

With eyes tight closed,
hear music in Night’s breeze—
and dance, for none are watching.

The stars are yours for touching;
let not another dawn find your fears
of both the world out there
and the dreams inside yourself.

So dream, Sweet Baby,
as Darkness holds you in her spell.
and feel your soul kiss Night’s air;
let her carry you from here
in slumber’s sweet, refreshing bliss.

Now sleep, my baby,
sleep. . . 
perchance to dream.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


She stood with arms raised high
In morning’s gentle hue.
Not a ghost in white at night
But midnight’s sable blue.

Her nameless face and faceless name
Gave curiosity’s rise.
Why’d she visit me this day?
Appear before my eyes?

She stood as still as statues will,
A specter thin as glass.
I covered my head, curled up in bed,
Thinking this would pass.

When next I dared to open an eye
And peek at her again,
She stood as silent sentinels do,
Ne’er moved from where she’d been.

What then came forth from trembling lips
Seemed but what a fool will do:
I’d dare not ask her “who?” or “why?”
I babbled out, “You’re blue.”

As sun rose higher in the sky,
And poured its warmth on me,
As sunlight twinkled through her hue,
She told my fate to be.

T’was of the faceless ghost I heard
Her voice inside my head.
T’was not her voice but her sharp words
That filled my heart with dread.

“Tis fool who thinks at night He feasts,
“To think Death has no day,
“Enjoy the last sunshine you'll know:
“I’ve come to claim His prey.”

I rose and crossed the room to touch
The glass-like wraith of blue.
Cold, she was. . .”Unfeeling bitch!”
She chilled me through and through.

“Come what may, you’re His today
“You’ll die a violent death.
“Your nights are ended; days are done;
“Prepare for your last breath!”

I smelled it first, the tell-tale smoke
That wafted to my room.
It grew and spread until was naught
But choking on gray doom.

The flames burst through my bedroom door,
A crackling fiery Hell.
The window beckoned me to come
Ten stories I would fall.

I perched upon the window’s sill
Like some pigeon’s roost.
To burn or jump, no options left.
She moved, and I was pushed. . .

                                    --Monty Wheeler

I give my thanks to those at NWCU
  and Angie for her glass works of art

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ALL THE WAY (bit of prose poetry)

My response to NewWorldCreativeUnion's Wednesday Wake-up Call

            They thought me crazy; I’ll show them. 

That stupid shrink in his bright white coat, I told him I was sane as his coat needed color.  They didn’t chase me; they didn’t bother. 

I’ll show them how sane I am.  Laughter. . .perfect music in my soul; a crazed one’s cackle they might say, but this dark night I’ll turn to day.  By the gods, by George and Jim, I’ll not be a one hour whim. 

How cold this night and hard this bench!  And I’m alone in this park’s stench.  Tomorrow, they’ll be everywhere, people in their sad little lives of mockery and fear, but I. . .I will stand—alone—right here.

They’ll all walk by and wonder, “why?”  But not a one will care.  I’ve asked one bite before they tossed their leavings into the grass.  They’d rather throw away their food, as feed one they’d see as not as good.  That’s ok.  Tonight, I will go all the way.

“Do it!” I hear the voices say.  And come what may. . .I will know I didn’t just try. . .I went all the way.

I fetch the can from where I’d hid it.  Stolen from someone’s garage; they should have locked the door.  The cold metal’s sweet to the touch, and soon bright fire will warm my crotch.  The stench of gasoline (It’s only rank to them but sugary—sweet to me.) teases my nose and even my taste buds as I draw a liquid circle around me.  What once was will ever be!  The gods will bow to ME!  I bathe myself in gasoline, find the match—it’s dry and clean. 

I see myself engulfed in red; my heart is thumping in my head; for one brief moment, I’m filled with dread.  My thumbnail sets upon the match, prepares to rake the fiery life from it.  I scream, “By Gods! Go all the way!  Let’s burn this night as bright as day!  Do it!  Do it!  All the way!”

            I feel the thump; the match strikes not.  The burly cop asks, “What’ve you got?”  I’m laying on my circle’s outside and staring at the policeman’s face.

I scream at him.  “Go on!” I yell.  “Let me find my rightful place!”

Now I sit in this Hell’s cell; they say I’m crazy, but I know well it’s them that need the magic spell, for I was one with gods to burn.  If only they would ever learn choice is freedom and freedom rules.  I guess freedom’s not but concept in schools.

                                                            --Monty Wheeler

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

SANDS OF HEALING (a triolet)

The sand created by God's hand
Holds fast its hidden gift to soothe
Until the paint and prayers demand
The sand created by God's hand
Unleash its force of Nature's land
To heal by ways of Faith and Truth.
The sand created by God's hand
Holds fast its hidden gift to soothe.

                           --Monty Wheeler

Triolet written in response to New World Creative Union's Wednesday Wake-up Call

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Trapped in a glass or pinned to a board,
Their beauty was something we thought we could hoard.
We laughed, we “Ooohh’d,” we “Ahhh’d,” with such wonder,
And never once thought God’s beauty ain’t plunder.

And only God’s best would do for our chest
Of treasures killed and pinned through the breast.
Ne’er once did they tell us it might be a sin;
The next afternoon, we’d do it again.

The lesson we learned was God’s humble Earth
Was ours to abuse for our own devil’s mirth.
How long can we use God’s world for our pleasure?
I think it’s in days not decades of measure.

                                               --Monty Wheeler

Written gratefully for NWCU's Wednesday Wake-up call

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


She wrote a poem then dared to let
One she thought a friend
See and read.  Then condemnation—
Her writing found its end.

She came nigh tears when he said,
“We’ll write today in class.
“Write a poem in any form;
“There is no fail or pass.”

The years had passed; she never dared
To let another see.
So painful-fresh the memory
Of criticism's glee.

“Tomorrow we will spend the class
In reading them aloud.”
She sat the hour with still pencil
And paper blank as sterile cloud.

At home she closed herself away,
Let fear consume her heart.
They’d laugh, she knew without a doubt;
She’d fail before she’d start.

She got her mom’s anthology
Down off the dusty shelf,
She’d read her favorites in that book
But always to herself.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
And Dickinson were there
Along with Frost and Elliot
And Poe’s disturbing fare.

She read for hours, grabbed her pen
To write a simple verse:
“I write for better or for worse;
“My writing’s not a curse!”

They didn’t laugh; they didn’t clap
When she read aloud.
It didn’t matter to her though
She’d wrote again and proud.

                        --Monty Wheeler

Saturday, February 11, 2012


We offer humble thanks to you,
As one we cherish left us here
To Join with God as Heaven’s heir
And sing His praise as angels do.

As one with God you saw us through,
And one by one your love was there.
We offer humble thanks to you
For sharing in the loss we bear.

Your words soft-writ we hold onto;
You held our hands through dark despair
Then lit our dark with flower’d cheer
As prayers’ crescendo quickly grew.
We offer humble thanks to you.

                            --Monty Wheeler