Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Second Dad fought in
Second day of WWII D-Day.

Never spoke about war,
'Tho might have if lived

Beyond short 47 years;
Died in 1968, heart defect

Undoubtedly curable by
Today's medical marvels.

During teens, Mom and I 
Stayed up late watching

Sentimental WWII movies,
Evoking tears and regret,

But no conversations with Dad; 
All 3 dads, Greatest Generation.

Although hate contemporary 
War movies that prompt sobs,

Watched "Saving Private Ryan"
For possible glimpse into Dad's 

Experiences on French beaches,
Uncertain whether on land or in air.

Had Dad survived into old age,
Might have told dreadful stories:

Bodies floating off shore,
Horrific carnage on shore;

Intolerable terror contrasted
With Yanks' can-do spirit and 

Youthful intrepid invincibility;
Duty conflicted with death.

We send our young to fight 
Political, ideological, financial

Battles, sacrificing generations 
To protect our present, yet

Putting our future in danger, our
Potential in peril, again and again.

In May, June, September, November, 
And December, we specifically honor 

Casualties: premature, mid-life, late deaths;
Of all wars; in Honolulu; in New York,

Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania;
And on occupied French beaches.

Small wonder the allure of bombs,
Missiles, stealth aircraft, and drones

That protect aggressors while also
Destroying people and products.

May freedom ring,
May peace and justice prevail.

Ann Beth Blake
(c)  June 6, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014


Today, had to pull out iPad 
To confirm spelling of 90:
Neither ninty nor ninety
Looked correct to editing eyes.

Although requiring persistent
Practice, spelling has been 
Reliable, except for uncertainty

About middle e in some words:
Judgement (judgment) and 
Acknowledgement (acknowledgment).

Wonder of wonders, iPad
Accepts both spellings, 'tho
Preferring g sans e, looking odd;

Proving, once again, the old
Adagement (grin and chuckle):
Learn something new every day!

Ann Beth Blake
(c) June 2, 2014


Minnesota Memorial Days,
First holiday heralding summer,
Prior to school's out, but
Harbinger of freedom soon.

With grandparents, visited
North Hibbing Cemetery,
Brought flowers to gravesides:
Great-grandparents, great uncles;
Then, sister; moved her casket to
New South Hibbing Cemetery with 
Dad, then grandparents and Mom.

Always swam on Memorial Day,
Irrespective of water temperature.
Family picnics at grandparents' 
Cabin on Side Lake, later at 
Cousins' cabin on Lake Sturgeon;
Walking five miles to Kelly Lake.

Frantically busy waitressing at 
High school/junior college job,
Riverside Inn near chain of lakes,
With Ad and Dom, Rosie, Squirty, 
And changing cast of college-age pals.

In adulthood, much-appreciated
Three-day weekend, excuse for
Short road trips to mountains or
Ocean beaches, but, recently,
Just respite for too-busy life.

This year, more reflective mood
Offers vibrant images, memories
Of people now passed, this poem
To commemorate loved ones.

Rest in peace, Beloveds; 
I miss you; I send much love,

Ann Beth Blake
(c) May 26, 2014