Category Archives: Family

Little Sis

This poem is about my beautiful, younger sister…..Ruthann.

Little Sis

She’s always in mind, through every day’s grind,
and the feelings have been there for years.
But we live far apart….which challenges the heart
to be there to comfort the tears
when either of us stumble that leads us to grumble
about things that we soon won’t recall.
And we sort of know why….using words to imply
about matters not important, at all.

But her heart is of gold and too warm to let ‘mold’
even think…. of gathering there.
And remarkably so, she casts off a glow
that captivates those near her…. to care
about the strength of her love that she gets from up above
from God…. through smiles you can’t miss.
And the distance apart still challenges the heart
but never the love…. for Little Sis!

copyright 2013 t. j. gargano

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The ‘Volcano Sistas’

Watching the grand kids at play is a wonderful experience at moments when our life needs a little excitement, don’t you think?  Back to pretend land and the fascination of our youth.  Have a great day!

The ‘Volcano Sistas’

Though four, they wander like most youngsters do
and you wonder just what is about to ensue,
when two little minds are playing their games
in faraway places…. only they know the names.

Though deep in their world, they know you are there
watching them play from your nice, comfy chair,
and ever so often they’ll give you a glance,
then return to their ‘place’ in a fairy-like dance.


They talk in strange voices of differing pitch
befitting of fairies or a wicked old witch.
They dress up in clothes matching each different mood
as they drink pretend tea that they’ve recently brewed.

They come up with names right out of the air;
a name that goes well with a girl in orange hair.
And they banter and barter in their magical play
in the faraway places…. they go to each day.

When it’s time to interrupt ‘cause their lunch time is near,
they freeze for a moment, not completely cohere.
Each differently thinking of what they should do
then hand-in-hand dance…. through fairy portal, to you.


And when you address them and call them by name
a mistake you have made and they’re quick to exclaim
they’ve come from far places and rode many twistas
and they’re not Jude and Zoe….they’re the ‘Volcano Sistas.’

© copyright 2013  t. j. gargano

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Filed under beauty, dolls, dream, fairy, fairy tale, Family, Friends, God, grandchildren, heart, kids, Life, Love, mental health, mind, people, poetry, young girls

“That’s the Way It Is, Son”

“That’s the Way It Is, Son”

“In my class, dad,” the young lad said,
“is a cultural mix of our world….
And each of my classmates is a thoroughbred
on a flag of all nations, unfurled.”

“We all get along,” he continued to say,
“though our differences, at times, may be great.
And yet in the news, the story they portray
is towards each other…. it’s all about hate.”

“That’s been the way,” he said to his son,
 “from the beginning of time, as we know;
It’s a story that’s tragic and won’t be outdone
and will simply just be the status quo.”

“You must remember,” said the young man’s dad,
“that every person is a person like you;
some in situations not good… and that is sad
for many  ‘friends’ …it’s tough getting through.”

“I use to have a pen pal,” said the boy, “who I met
 when the teacher handed out a list of names
we could write to in the world and who I never did forget;
whose fun was getting water while mine was getting games.”

“That’s the way it is, son,” the father said subdued.
“You’ll find so many ways that life’s unfair.
But government’s peoples….are people just like you
who love their families with hearts of love and care.”

© copyright 2013  t. j. gargano

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Filed under Family, Friends, kids, poetry

At the Park











At the Park

Standing still like a rock and stone;
grinning, smiling, all alone
kind of hiding…. but in silly pose
plastered in stripes and pinky clothes.

Hiding and seeking in the park
laughing, singing like a lark
darting, giggling tree to tree
yelling loudly “you can’t find me.”

Little girls just having fun
in the park where they like to run
playing tag….”you are it!”
‘til fully exhausted and have to sit.

When it’s time to leave and go
tears run down the cheeks aglow
To give up such a fun filled day
tears take the place, what one can’t say

Once back home, it’s time to dream
about playing in the park, eating ice cream
yelling, laughing, running all around
it’s back tomorrow; we’re jumping up and down!

© copyright 2013  t. j. gargano

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Filed under Family, grandchildren, Love, people, trees, young girls

Four Spare Day

We all have a day when the ‘crystals’ come together and we’re triumphant in a quest of some dimension….maybe….running a race or finishing a project or singing a song or achieving a goal or reaching retirement or……..maybe…..graduating from a certain level in life  or having a good night doing something…….something like……..bowling.  Congrats to you all!

Four Spare Day

From the first ball he rolled, and at the crack of each pin,
you knew something special was about to begin
at the bowling alley this night in the thick of the heat
as he rolled out the strikes….nary missing a beat
rolling….yes, rolling….strike after strike,
keeping his cool….controlling his psyche…
that’s how it went…..that’s what I saw….
but that’s from a father who is biased, they’ll say,
in the time that will pass…. about the story, this day.

Three Cubs and a Yankee is the team that he’s on
a family sort of team – a mix in the throng –
of pretty good bowlers in a handicap league
that fosters competition and a little intrigue
as the weeks carry on….through winter into spring
and the challenge isn’t coming…. but the game that you ‘bring’
and that’s how it went….that’s what I saw
this particular night, it was an eight-fifteen that he rolled
an exhibition of near-excellence;  a feat to behold.

Four spares betrayed him and his quest on this day,
of a rare nine-hundred series that barely slipped away
through the cracks on the lanes that guided every ball
and made an ‘almost’ story… still….a story for us all
that held us spellbound frame to frame as we watched him joke around
unfazed by what was happening as the games dwindled down
and like I said, that’s how it went….that’s exactly what I saw…
and all who closely watched…. will concur with what I say
for we all watched the Matthew….triumphant on this day.

© copyright t.j.gargano

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‘Big Weave’

Living in the country affords some luxuries, one of which is having lots of bonfires and gatherings of friends and family, around them.  Over the years, our gatherings have included games when all the ‘kids’ were young, always guitars and singing, and…always Uncle Steve (‘Big Weave’) entertaining everyone with his numerous jokes and stories fresh from the ‘road.’  He was honored as a ‘Million Mile’ hauler.

‘ Big Weave’

His name is ‘Big Weave’ and his size could deceive in the
shadows of the bonfire at night,
and no one quite knew why the wind always blew ‘round
in circles from left to right.
He always seemed cold whenever he told exciting
stories as the wind blew hard
as he circled the fire without any ire, holding tight
to a stick from the yard.

The shadows he cast in the darkness didn’t last like
the stories remembered by all
of his truck driving days and all of the ways he
managed to answer the call
of driving through rain, over hilly terrain; to the cities
in his big rig, he’d go
and deliver his load then back on the road
to a place that they’d soon let him know.

He stops at a chair…. and…. in a stern stare, lays down
the stick on its side
and continues a tale while he picks up a pail
and empties on the fire, what’s inside.
The flames burst high, sending embers to the sky
with people moving back from the heat
and there’s chuckles in his talk, though he never stops his walk
and together they lose not a beat.

The fires have burned as the years have turned and yet
the gatherings prevail,
and while…. there’s less song, the talk is still long
and the food doesn’t live to be stale.
And the younger ones boast, as their marshmallows roast,
‘bout their dreams and what they believe,
but me, I just wait, like a fish for the bait, for the
bonfire stories from ‘Big Weave.’

The fires will claim, though they won’t be to blame, the
chairs that will empty in time,
And it’s easy to dream about what it will seem like
when years have completed the rhyme.
But they’ve burned for years through smiles and tears
and kept us all warm in the light.
So the hope is they’ll burn…. at every year’s turn
and the memories will flame…. strong and bright.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

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Filed under Big, Blogging, countryside, Family, Friends, goodbyes, highways

‘Character’ Set

I marvel at how something, seemingly, insignificant can, when scrutinized, become ‘visible’ and realized as a necessary part of an equation…in this instance, an ordinary scene outside in the yard.

The repeated scene unknowingly always had a certain set of props, which at first, weren’t realized.




‘Character’ Set


When I sit down to write, whether morning or night,
there are birds there to sing me a song.
The dog’s at my feet; the cat’s found her seat
and together we seem to belong
to the moment we’re in, with a feeling of kin,
as we look towards each other… now and then……
before the birds fly away, the dog goes astray
and the cat goes a-chasing….again.

It’s a comfort we know, we understand it…. and so
being close ‘round each other’s, okay.
Thus you might see the cat, by the dog, laying flat
‘neath the fountain where the birds splash away.
That’s how it goes; what’ll happen, who knows
it’s a mystery that I always get,
whenever I write, whether morning or night,
outside with this ‘character’ set.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

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Filed under animals, Blogging, crafts, Family, Friends, Love, poetry

Empty Chairs

For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up eating three meals a day around a kitchen table, fortunate enough to experience the ambiance of the ‘togetherness’ of family and fortunate enough to remember some of it…. those….”those of us”…..are now unfortunate in having the memories of decay of that experience.

While we are prejudice in thinking that it was the best possible world to live in, it is not a position that holds much credence to those who never experienced it.  Thus, the loneliness of looking at empty chairs at the kitchen table, most of the time, is still a realism to deal with. Time marches on for everyone…as it should… it will.



Empty Chairs

Frequently now, they sit all alone
since no one across from them stares
like in days gone by when each was a throne
and each one, in them…. in turn…. said the prayers.

For the meals were three…. to which the family sat down
at the table, in the kitchen, where they ate
and shared all together all the gossip all around
as they kept each other, sort of, up to date.

Then… as if a storm appeared and struck the kitchen light,
the kitchen brightness soon began to fade.
Loved ones left to start their life, certainly within their right,
but the family…. ‘round the table scene…. decayed.

Family sharing, at mealtime,  is a treasure that’s been tossed
as life has marched with quickened beat and caught us…. unawares.
Only us with memories known  can feel the memory loss
and know the feeling of  looking at…. all the empty chairs.

© 2012 t. j. gargano

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From The Day You Were Born

My only grandson will turn 10 years old in April and I wrote this for him when he was three years old.

From The Day You Were Born

The war started,Austin, 333 days
from the day you were born.
And I’ve watched you grow in many ways
from the day you were born.
And though the country’s now in a fight,
protecting freedoms is good and right,
and I pray all your life is bright,
from the day you were born.

Your Mom and Dad will always love you dear
from the day you were born.
And they’ll make things right and make things clear
from the day you were born.
And when problems do arise,
and tears drop from your eyes,
they’ll comfort all your cries
from the day you were born.

And remember their love through good and bad
from the day you were born.
And never forget even when you’re mad
from the day you were born.
For they’ll love you through life’s strain
during its sunny days and  days of rain,
and their love will be clear without blame
from the day you were born.

And when you’ve gotten older, the more you’ll understand
from the day you were born.
And much you’ll figure out, as you become a man
from the day you were born.
And when you’re old and gray
to your grandchildren’s questions, you’ll say
‘I remember many a wonderful day
from the day I was born.’

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano


Filed under Family, Life, Love

A Pool Boy’s Pride

Like many a young  American boy, I learned how to play pool at an early age and by the time I entered the Army, I was fairly proficient at the game.

A few years later when I got married, almost every week I was invited to play with the ‘old’ guys, who included my father-in-law, and two of his brother-in-laws, one of which was Uncle Leonard, and it was his house where we played.

While the wives did what wives do, upstairs, the men played in the basement, hitting these colored balls all around this table in a room filled with smoke and wild stories of the ‘old’ days….that meaning the ’30s and ’40s.

The sharpshooter was Uncle Leonard, and with the stories, too.  All three were heavy smokers and I just breathed it in.  But they all three could talk and shoot and at a masterful level and I was….well…..proficient.  But they all, willingly, taught me the ‘finer’ points of the game for which I have forever been grateful.

Whenever we had three players, we played 15 ball rotation and played ‘pea pool’.  That’s a game where you draw two numbers from a flask of 15 and choose one to ‘break’ on and one to hold and try to sink that numbered ball before anyone else did.  Money was always involved.  Whenever we had four players, the game was 9-ball with money on the 5 and 9.

I paid for years but that was okay… the time I could beat them regularly, because they were getting feeble, it wasn’t any fun.  I never had any fun beating the masters unfairly.

I received a great education from my elders and they treated me with much respect.  God Bless them.

This poem honors….Uncle Leonard.

A Pool Boy’s Pride

Hello 4-ball, why don’t you drop down.
Hello 4-ball, you’ve been messin’ around with me.
I can’t shoot the ‘five’ if you’re still alive
but I can make the ‘one, two, three’  so come on
‘four’ ball, drop in a hole for me.

Did I ever tell you ’bout my Uncle Leonard?
He’s the best that you will probably ever see.
He can shoot the ‘five’ into the ‘nine’ and bank it off the side
but in the corner he’ll make the ‘three.’
He can shoot the ‘ten’ two times across and drop it in the side,
he can keep the ‘cue’  from going far or send it for a ride
Uncle Leonard…… he’s a Pool Boy’s Pride.

Did I ever tell you ’bout my Uncle Leonard?
He’s the best that’s why you’ll probably think he’s great.
He can shoot the ‘six’ into the ‘ten’ and bring it back across
but in the corner he’ll make the ‘eight.’
He can shoot the ‘two’ into the ‘three’ and billiard in the side,
he can blindly drop the ‘four’ and ‘six’ before you’ve even tried
Uncle Leonard….he’s a Pool Boy’s Pride.

Did I ever tell you ’bout my Uncle Leonard?
He’s the best you’ll probably ever see alive.
He can bank the ‘six’ across the way or run it rail to rail
but in the corner he’ll make the ‘five.’
He can shoot the ‘ten’ into the ‘twelve,’  ‘eleven’ in the side and
when he’s done he knows just how to make the ‘cue’ ball hide
Uncle Leonard…..he’s a Pool Boy’s Pride.

Hello 4-ball, why don’t you drop down.
Hello 4-ball, you’ve been messin’ around with me.
I can’t shoot the ‘five’ if you’re still alive
but I can make the ‘one, two, three’  so come on
‘four’ ball, drop in a hole for me.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

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Filed under Family, Friends, games, people