Your Secret is Safe

The sun and the moon,
they know where you roam
they know where you are,
and just how far from home;
the stars, they have seen you
so late at night,
they’ve tickled and touched you in playful starlight.
The clouds have whispered wispy hellos,
they too know where you’ve been and where you will go
(but you must listen closely
they speak quietly and low.)

I shouldn’t be jealous of salty sea waves,
save for the fact they have seen you for days,
they have smiled at the stars and shone back at the sun,
they have whispered to the clouds
and sung to the moon as it hung,
but as soon as the water touches down, reaches
the warm earth of home on the sand of the beaches-
all that is heard is a rush-

of hush.

For neither the sea, the clouds or the stars will reveal your secret,
with the moon and sun they’ve made a pact to keep it
safe, still, silent as stone
until you come back,
until you come home.

Overactive Imagination

An unexpected noise, a start
floods a fast and fluttering heart
with unnatural possibilities
the eyes can’t see
in a room painted in the night’s secret shades.

After a time of quiet the feeling fades,
but lingers still on breaths of imagination
the heart listens more softly, but quickly in anticipation
of the unknown just beyond the safety of the sheets.

Working on my first story book…

I’ve been encouraged by my family and friends to write and illustrate a children’s book.  While I have been writing poems and have had little ideas here and there I’ve never really REALLY tried to take the process further.  My biggest step so far has been in creating this blog and sharing what I’ve written with the blogging community.  I have so enjoyed the feedback and motivation from other writers on this site (even though life has sent me several pauses in my evolution as a writer.)

I’m hoping that my friends on this platform will help me as I try to turn my idea for a children’s story into a reality.  I’ll chronicle my process on here, but would appreciate feedback, comments and help about my piece and the publishing process if anyone out there has experience with that.

So without further ado… here is my story that I’m working with currently.  I hope to do some rough illustrations soon.  Comments and feedback is appreciated!

The Choo Choo Flu

It was a beautiful morning when the conductor made his way out to work on his very favorite train, Steamer Stu.  The birds were singing, the wind was warm, and there wasn’t a cloud in the bright sunny sky.  The conductor tipped his head back and closed his eyes, resting for just a moment before beginning his busy day, when suddenly he heard a loud,

‘AAAAAAAHHHHCHOOOOO!!’

“My goodness’ thought the conductor.  ‘who could possibly be in the yard so early in the morning?’

He hurried around the corner to see Steamer Stu sniffling in the rail yard where he had been parked all weekend.  Stu didn’t look good.  His nose was all runny, he sniffled a lot, and when the conductor placed his hand on his engine he was really quite hot.

The conductor made his way around the locomotive looking here and there, inspecting and checking Stu with great care, before stepping back, his diagnosis complete.

‘Stu it is clear from your sniffles and sneezes, your puffs and your coughs, and your aches and your wheezes that you have come down with a case of the Choo Choo flu.  I’m sorry to say there will be no trips on the tracks for you today.’

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHCHOOOOO!!’ sneezed Stu ‘Are you sure it’s a case of the Choo Choo flu?”

“Certainly,’ puffed the conductor, ‘and there is only one thing to do.”

Now the conductor had seen this flu before, a long time ago, and what’s more he had helped the poor train get better and quickly.  The only problem was he couldn’t remember the Choo Choo flu cure for a train that was sickly.

‘Ah yes!’ he exclaimed ‘I remember what’s needed to treat Choo Choo flu!  I’ll be right back.  I’m going to buy you new shoes!’

Is that what you’d do to help Stu fight the flu?

‘Wait, no… that doesn’t sound right.  I think the best way to cure Choo Choo flu is, oh yes, to spend the day at the zoo!’

Is that what you’d do to help Stu fight the flu?

‘I don’t think that’s right,’ Stu offered sweetly before he was cut off completely with another loud  AAAAAAAHHHHHCHOOO!’

“Hmm…now let me think.  Oh!  I’ve got it!  Open wide and say MOO!  Chocolate milk is the trick, open up, drink it down now and quick!’

Is that what you’d do to help Stu fight the flu?

No, of course not.  That wasn’t the cure and Stu wasn’t feeling up to very much more.

‘I’m tired.’ He sniffled.  ‘I think I need rest.’

Just then the conductor put his hand to his chest and found in his pocket a page from a book.  He opened it slowly and saw when he looked, the perfect way to help rid Stu of flu.  Can you guess what the page told him to do?

To cure Choo Choo flu a train needs only two things:

  1. Lots of hot choo choo stew
  2. Time for choo choo to snooze.

So the conductor made Stu some hot stew and he tucked him in tight and left him to snooze all day and all night.

When the sun came up the very next day Stu’s Choo Choo flu had all gone away!  So the conductor and he set out on the tracks, when the cars were all loaded and smoke poured from the stacks.   All that could be heard as they pulled away was a happy ‘Choo Choo!’ and a friendly, ‘good day!’

Starsong Lullaby

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Copyright 2017:  Kati Bergman

The night sings a song unlike any other
a gentle lullaby
to coax a cool and restful slumber.

She cradles an anxious world
under a canopy of stars
that remind us to pause
and listen
to the rhythm of our hearts.

The night sings a lullaby unlike any other
a song of stillness and peace
of hope to welcome a better tomorrow,
and then tomorrow yet another.

Daydream Memory

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Copyright 2017:  Kati Bergman

Sometimes I think I’d like for just a day

to steal away

and sit upon some rocky shore

to listen to the gulls, the breeze, the ocean’s gushing roar

coaxing every wave to come back for more…more…

A day to bask in heated brilliance, light, and dare to play

some made up game of sand and sun and slip under the waves,

the salt of seven seas speaks to skin of adventure

and lands so far away

that, for the briefest of undulating moments, crest and stay.

And when the hours fill and pass,

when the breeze runs out of wind,

when the grains of sand cool again

and soothe my burning skin-

I will make a memory of all the life that day

and seal it with a salty kiss

and never let it slip away.

Not Spotless

I was having a conversation with my friend about how often I clean and she mentioned that my house must be spotless…but it isn’t.  I always have something to clean or improve, but it gave me an idea for this poem:

A spotless home is hard to find,
each day leaving pieces scattered behind
in rooms where clothes lie draped on chairs
left by tired arms too weak to care
about the closet and the empty hanger there.
Spotless eludes the bathroom too,
toothpaste that missed the sink decorates the counter top
in perfect unspotless minty spots,
the mirror reflects busy faces
and also shows that toothpaste has landed in other places.
Oh no, the kitchen does not escape
the dishrag limp and damp, losing shape
as it tries to hide the stains from last night’s meal
and the garbage disposal coughs up old vegetable peels.
Blankets and pillows lie perfectly still and cool
left tossed after the morning alarm
and covered in last night’s drool.
No matter how often you vacuum and dust and wash and clean,
a spotless home will never be seen.

On the Push-Pull Train

Only once before have I found us to be

so divided,

our train of thought derailed in defending

two separate paths as right.

Overturned, undone, and frozen

in year after year of bickering, blood, and bruised brotherhood.

I can only hope we have learned from the past,

that however long this conflict lasts,

it strengthens and teaches us to hear each other,

to pause and listen to neighbors, sisters, friends, and brothers.

I ask not that you always agree-

opinions, after all, are the sweetest kind of free-

Let’s not dismiss each side entirely,

declare our thoughts, actions, and beliefs to be more mighty,

ignore the left or right,

block our ears and blind our sight,

ignore the fact that life looks differently for everyone.

If we refuse to debate, to compromise, to learn,

if we refuse to choose

to listen, to share, to expand,

to grow from what we don’t know…

then we may derail again.

Let’s work to keep this train moving forward, on track,

because forward is all we have, there is no turning back.

Winter Whispers

There’s something in the icy whisper of winter

that tickles my memory

into thinking of days long chilled,

moments left

to freeze in time-

behind the heated rush to brush

into and past the promises of tomorrow

be they filled with happiness or sorrow.

Indeed, my memory has no right to reflect upon the frozen memories I borrow-

for they are not memories, but stories passed down by ghosts,

history whispering that we are but temporary hosts

that thrive

in the heat and light of warm and happy life,

but survive

in the icy whispers of winter.