24 “We are the World”

“We are the World” by Mandy Austin Cook

“Lets realize that a change can only come

when we stand together as one.”

it was her solo

and I wanted it.

the first time i remember feeling jealousy

was when she was handed that tune in choir

we were both 10 years old at the time.

but it was a good lesson

because it was someone BELOVED

and it gave me PERSPECTIVE.

I decided to be happy for her

and it was a choice

I chose to love.


Sometimes love is an emotion

But often  love is a DECISION.

Remember to Choose Love.

Poem 23 “Childhood”

“Childhood” by Mandy Austin Cook

She’s still there

the little girl with all of the happy comforting memories

the one who climbed with teddy  to curl around the cradle of her favorite tree all day

to read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s musings

to experience the liveliness of the friendly forest.

the breeze chuckling through the dogwood blossoms

so it could  tease and tousle her sun-kissed hair


you know her. whether you think you do or not

the child from the farm who never met a stranger in an animal

her first love was affectionate little ducklings

she didn’t see the difference between wild or tame

with the support of the sunshine smiling on her cheek


she is from where I draw strength

the girl scout surrounded by trust and campfires

cabins and laughter

because with her magical knack to value the good

and the firey stubbornness that knows she is magical

that young lady can do anything.

Poem 22 “Technology and Nature”

“Technology and Nature” by Mandy Austin Cook


The tendency of Technology

is to tug of war with Nature.


so much waxes and wanes with both characters,

both are needed

both are valued.


Earth asks for balance

Technology to share fast growing knowledge

in an ever evolving faster fashion.


Earth groans with a not QUITE so gentle wisdom

Technology has her brilliance, her roughness,

but not her patience.

Ultimately they need each other.

Technology has to exist on Earth

so be as gentle with her as  you can

Her nature is to love you.

Poem 21 “Flower”

“Flower” by Mandy Austin Cook

She was named after a skunk

but her personality was much sweeter

my first pet my first comfort

my first childhood companion.

she befriended my teddy bear

and became my shadow.

and the days I needed silent encouragement

she would snuggle her head under my shoulder

and just stay for however long was needed.

Poem 20. “Love song”

“Love song” by Mandy Austin Cook

My life should be a love song

dedicated to you

you’re more

than what has pieced my brokenness together

you simply are the glue.

it’s meant so much it’s the one thing

that leaves me grasping for words like air

but I’m grateful for moments that give me pause

because of  intensity of  meaning there

I hope I say it enough– those cliche little words

they never seem quite to explain

what is most beautiful about my life

is the hope of you that remains.

Poem 19 “Stopping by the Woods Response”

“Stopping by the Woods” response by Mandy Austin Cook


the road less travelled

the higher ground
the quality way
against what abounds
the less popular choice
but the one that’s right
that’s what it comes down to.
looking beyond me
for my sight.
it’s not exactly my own inner compass
but it is standing up
understanding what I need
and realizing because it’s what I need
it’s also
what I most want.

Poem 18 “Dear Heart”

“Dear Heart” by Mandy Austin Cook

I come to you with my worries so often

but I don’t ask you yours
as often as I should
just so I know it’s said
let me reiterate.
I am hopelessly gladly joyfully completely
utterly totally beyond explanation
in love with you.
Nobody else is you and nobody else ever will be
and it’s you that makes me want to be the better me
every minute that I breathe.
So just in case you’re wondering
I want us from now on.
I feel honored to call you “mine”
and I will live every moment i get to do so
to try to make you able to say
you’re glad that you feel the same way.

Poem 18 “Savor Today”

Savor today


bright exquisite vibrance
whirling twirling energy in shades of fall hues
embracing life
 it shows!
it glows through you.
you don’t have to do anything
beyond being you
for it to glimmer through
so dance!
choose the eccentric eat the chocolate
laugh at the wind caressing your face
and never shy away from mud puddles.
remember the child
that befriended life
and enjoyed without hesitation
choose that same lush, happy  bouquet of carefree
and remember to savor today.

Poem 17: “Grandaddy Austin”

pipe smoke

spicy sweet tobacco puffed
thoughtfully in little circles
nursery rhymes
a different one for each of us
individual nicknames and songs to match
a little home organ played often
music and laughter still rings in my ears
on the days that i want to remember for comfort.
he loved his family. he loved his home
and he was silly and brilliant and there for us all.
the hourglass sanded out too soon. I was 7.
but three purple hearts survived
to play with grandbabies
i’ll always be grateful i knew my grandaddy.

Poem 16 “What Can You Do with Formless?”

What Can You Do with Formless?”  by Mandy Austin Cook

what do you do with formless?
you find a clean canvas
knowledgeable hands caressing clay
with a love that an artist can understand.
it’s a beautiful work
molding clay
forming earth into a shape that is recognizable.
your own image stamps it
that would happen naturally as you work
because the clay takes a while
to warm in the hands,
to find its response.
it takes its own shape in time
into the delicate detail of the world
soft supple earth
rough ridges of tree bark
delicately paintbrush- touched drops
of leafy dewey green……..
what an intricate personal work that is
the Artist and the clay.
what a beautiful thing – to look around at nature and say
what can you possibly do with formless?
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