Tag Archives: backroads

Touched by Madness

In the winding wood’s of Carolina;
There on pathway’s up and down.
Nestled neath the pines and green fronds.
He said our bodies would be found.

One hand held a pint of moonshine.
The other bore a twenty-two.
Hours of marching as he taunted.
His threats had always proven true.

He needed no excuse for madness.
His madness came and went with time.
A word, a look, or passing fancy.
There seemed no reason nor any rhyme.

Mother hid me behind her body.
Staying between he and I.
Saying,”Kill me if you must kill someone,
she’s just thirteen and too young to die.”

I walked pretending I was elsewhere.
Crying prayer’s out silently.
Knowing if he killed my Mother.
He’d turn the gun and then kill me.

Then just as quickly as it started;
He’d proved his point and he was done.
Said,” Let’s get home and fix some supper.”
Went to the truck and slid away the gun.

You wonder why I’m most times weary.
Or seem to write from some dark place.
This is just a page out of my history.
Once touched by madness; it leaves a trace.

                              c.d.m. 5-25-11

[46 years after the fact]


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VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Almost two years have come and gone
without a word between us two.
I ponder do you think of me
as I so often think of you.

I can’t believe the bond we shared
could be destroyed on such a whim.
That life goes on empty and bare
as memories have now grown dim.

To throw away a lifetime shared
seems to me; to be such a shame.
For passing fancies of the day
I bear the brunt of all the blame.


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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in family, life stories, ohio poets, poetry, Writing


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Appalachian Lullaby


I left my heart in West Virginia
at the tender age of nine years old.
For a place somewhere up in Ohio
where there were jobs Daddy had been told.

It was a land of promise up in Ohio
where a man could feed his family.
But what use has food to a soul that’s dying
it seemed a poor exchange to me.

To the earth’s four corners a generation scattered,
far from their roots of generations past.
They did not know as the family parted,
a tree with shallow roots can never last.
An Appalachian lullaby
I can still hear the mountains cry.
As people left everything they’d known
Seeking for a better job and home.
It was the end of family
an all American tragedy.
an Appalachian lullaby
makes you hang your head and cry.

There were trips back home til Grandma departed
Then the trips grew fewer through the years.
Had Grandma known what was to follow
Her sweet blue eyes would have flowed with tears.

Now my Daddy’s buried up in Ohio
The children are scattered to the winds.
Far from their roots in West Virginia
Where this child’s heart has always been.

To the earth’s four corners a generation scattered,
Far from their roots of generations past.
They did not know as the family parted,
A tree with shallow roots can never last.
An Appalachian lullaby,
I can still hear the mountains cry.
As people left everything they’d known,
Seeking for a better job and home.
It was the end of family,
an all American tragedy.
an Appalachian lullaby,
makes me hang my head and cry.

’cause I left my heart in West Virginia ,
at the tender age, of 9 years old.



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Mommy always called me Gypsy


Mommy always called me Gypsy
after Gypsy Rose Lee.
Seems I loved high-heels and jewelry
they fascinated me.
My wardrobe held the cast-offs of
the ‘Ladies’  from upstairs.
I’d watch them do thier make-up and
do what they called ‘coiffures’ *
To see them dressed up for the town
gave my young heart delight.
They’d stumble up apartment stairs
at all hours of the night.
There was Sophie, Grace and Carol,
and my favorite Kaye,
it seemed that they all worked at night,
then slept most of the day.
Mom acted strange when I told her,
“I want to be like them”.
Told Daddy,”We will have to move,
or face a big problem”.
It wasn’t long before we moved
seemed very sad to me.
Cause after that, Mommy never
called me Gypsy Rose Lee.

      7-28-11             c.d.m.

*In these ladies dialect, ‘coiffures’, rhymes with ‘upstairs’.


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A Passing Train

train 3

Last night from bed I heard the sound,
a passing train.
Another soothing sound I’ve found,
is falling rain.
If when I pursue fleeing sleep,
I could record these sounds to keep,
I’d fall to sleep, and hear again,
a passing train.
Or rain upon the rooftop pound,
a sweet refrain.
But ‘Hubbies’ voice would then abound,
he would complain.
See opposites they do attract.
For he and I could prove this fact.
So on my iPod, I’ll retain,
a passing train.

c.d.m. 2011

Octogram poem style created by Ms. Sally Yokum of Fanstory
Rhyme scheme: a B a b c c b B,a b a b d d b B
Capital B designates repeated lines.
Syllable counts 8 4 8 4 8 8 8 4 in each of two stanzas.

train 1


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‘Lady Killers’ and Ode to the ‘Fat Word’


Ever notice in the movies
that someone has got to die.
We have just come to expect it
we don’t even question ‘ why?’

At one time it was the bad girl,
who’d die in every show.
Sometimes she’d sacrifice her life,
but she always had to go.

Then it always was the good girl,
she would be the one to die.
On each episode of TV
by the end she’d say good-bye.

Now it is kind of personal
well at least it is to me.
Cause now the first to die it seems
are those who they call ‘portly’.

Yeah now it is the fat girl that’s
becoming the stalkers prey.
Who knows which way the winds will blow;
may be your type next they’ll slay.

           c.d.m. 12/17/13

Ode to the ‘ Fat Word ‘

It use to be that when I was in school
to just say the ‘ fat word’  wasn’t to cool.
If you said ‘it’ a note would then be sent
to parents because you’d made the comment.

These days the ‘fat word’ in school is allowed,
notes scold the parents for a hefty child.
Class’ for parents whose kid weighs too much,
class’ for kids to teach the cause of such.

Skinny people want more space on a plane.
So airlines decided to join the game.
Charging the ‘fat ones’ for two seats to stay
back with the handicapped; out-of-the-way.

When I turned forty I gained a few pounds.
My flat chest protruded; bottom got round.
At fifty they both grew out even more.
Had fat in places I’d never before.

With fat comes the comments that never ends.
Family, Doctors and my skinny friends
all tell me to practice healthy habits.
I smile and say your all ‘ fat ‘ bigots.

      Connie.Jean.VanMatra   12/17/13


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The Warning

my pics 003

You shoot em when you see
the white of their eyes.
Check sex and their color
under morning skies.
Been pushed about as far
as I’m willing’ to go.
Someone ought to tell em;
maybe let em know.

They think we sit here
in the country unaware
of the crazy ideas
going round out there.
Country; don’t mean stupid
get that in your head.
Because them that won’t hear
just might end up dead.

I hear it in the voices
of people all around.
Tired of the moaning
and the rumbling sound.
Of those you can not fill up;
who are not satisfied.
Till they get all they can get
from the well supplied.

Want to take from those who have
to give to those who have not.
There’s something Mr. Obama;
maybe you’ve forgot.
For one to give or not to give;
it’s a matter of choice.
Not a forced situation;
driven by the left-wing voice.

The leadership that’s coming
out of Washington D C.
Sounds more like the dogma
of the socialist party.
I’m just repeating what I hear
coming from these parts.
We won’t take it lying down;
heads-up before it starts.

    c.d.m.  2013


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