Wednesday, November 11, 2009


SOMEBODY cut my pancakes!” hollered Henry from across the table with his hair shooting up like fireworks.

“Wait just a moment, please,” answered his dad putting on his piggy slippers-Oinker and Oinkarina.

“I want SOMEBODY to cut them now!” shouted Henry with his outside voice while he licked his lips and drooled on his pancakes.

Somebody needs to be patient while SOMEBODY is cutting somebody else’s pancakes,” replied his dad practicing his patience.

Henry watched his dad help his little sister. He waited just a moment then yelled, “Will SOMEBODY cut my pancakes, NOW?” He was standing over his pancakes looking at them with big round hungry wolf eyes.

Henry’s dad took a deep breath then blurted out, “If somebody isn’t patient while SOMEBODY is cutting somebody else’s pancakes then somebody will have to wait an extra long time until SOMEBODY thinks the impatient somebody has learned to be patient,” answered his dad in a voice that was beginning to sound like an outside voice. Oinker and Oinkarina were tapping in frustration.

“But I want SOMEBODY now,” said the boy. His face was so close to his pancakes his eyelashes almost racked the syrup.

SOMEBODY will cut somebody’s pancakes, when somebody has asked nicely and waited patiently for SOMEBODY to finish,” said Henry’s dad. His face was red like Oinkarina's the rosy red cheeks, and his voice was definitely an outside voice.

“But,” began Henry.

Somebody needs to wait his turn,” screeched his dad scratching his messy head. The pigs were really moving now. They were dancing a jig.

Somebody who?” asked Henry.

“The Somebody is the Somebody asking SOMEBODY to cut the pancakes, and the SOMEBODY being asked is waiting for Somebody to ask nicely.”


“Ugh! Will somebody please wait?” exclaimed Henry’s red-faced dad waving his arms in the air. He looked like a rooster with a fork.

SOMEBODY sure is taking his time.”

The pigs stopped dancing their jig. Henry’s dad took a deep breath. “Okay…I’m ready.”

“YESSSSSS! HURRAY! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You make the best pancakes in the whole world, dad.”

“Thank you, Henry. You’re welcome.”

“Wow Dad, you sure were cranky. Your face was red and your pigs sure were moving. Somebody needs to teach you how to smile in the morning.”

Somebody just did.”

SOMEBODY get me some milk…MILK please!” shouted Henry.

“Ugh!”  The pigs leapt into the air!

The End

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Saw a Tree


It was early morning.
The birds hadn’t begun to sing
And the wind was still a whisper.

A tree stood alone on the middle of a hill.
The leaves were a dark gentle green.
They were quiet and seemed thoughtful
Maybe protective and stoic.

Then, like honey, the sun spread out over the sloping field.
Its warmth slowly rolled down the hill,
Filling the earth like a golden ocean tide.
Sunlight slowly soaked the leaves
Giving them something sweet and good.

The quiet contemplative dark green inside
was overcome by the radiance of the leave’s edges
As they were illuminated by the sun.
The leave’s tips were like green fire contrasted by
A mysterious deeper green tenderness.

Because of the sun,
The tree became the centerpiece.
It was more than a silent presence
In the early morning hours.
It transformed the quiet
And made the birds sing.

I noticed the ridgeline above it,
where the hill meets the sky
And expectations rise,
But my eyes were captivated
To the simple middle.
Where, I saw a tree.


A tree stood alone on the middle of a hill.
A canvas slope overshadowed it
and a majestic peak rose above it.
The tree was surrounded in quiet.
It looked slightly cold, alone, and content.

It was early morning.
The birds hadn’t begun to sing
And the wind was still a whisper.
The leaves of the tree
Were a dark gentle green.

Then, the sun spread out over the sloping field.
Its warmth rolled down the hill,
filling the earth with a honey ocean tide.
Sunlight slowly soaked the leaves
giving something gold, sweet, and good.

The quiet contemplative dark green inside
was overcome by the radiance of the leave’s edges
as they were caught by a luminous sun.
The leaves tips were like green fire contrasted by
a mysterious deeper green tenderness.

A single leaf detached and was awash in sunlight.
It was lost and overwhelmed
against a brilliant blue sky of complete freedom.
It will float away, dry, and then fade
until it vanishes back into the earth.

I noticed at the ridge line above,
where the hill meets the sky
and expectations rise.
But my eyes were captivated
To the simple middle.

I saw a tree.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Something More and the Day They Met

She stood at the edge of the sea.
She saw herself out there--
Alone and quiet, barren, and flat;
A blue dessert shimmering far into the distance
Where no land or tree, or protrusions rise.

She understood it.
Desolate, cool, quiet, lowly, and alone
Traveling farther than she will ever walk toward a destination,
But not further than she will walk in a lifetime.
The sea moved quietly up the shore trying to touch more,
Extending beyond its mass outward to vulnerable edges.
Then just as quietly, it ebbed in small movements
Comfortable and contained although not predictable.
It could roar and rage against the shore or traveling vessel.
But mostly it lays down flat, quiet, and sleepy.

Standing in the sea she saw her feet nestled into the sand
Twinkling from the light and the movement of water.
Beneath, she realized, was a world of more dimensions.
The sea gave something more than its quiet flatness.
Tall mountains peak higher and valleys dive deeper.
They are not seen, heard, or completely understood.

In the depths of the unseen quiet, she realizes, is something more.
Beneath the barren blue sea is life --
Full and thick,
dark and bright,
warm and cold,
and terrifying.
It is thicker than the air she breathes and the world she lives in.
She saw her reflection and hoped someone brave would jump in.
He saw the sea in her eyes, so he did.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I was having one of those melancholy days when the sky was gray, it was cold and getting dark the follow thought came into mind:

Emotions are like fireflies in the dark. They are bright, beautiful, delicate, and difficult to grasp. They illuminate where they land, but they are never safe. They remain elusive and in flight to escape the grasp of a predatory reasoning that interprets them as weak, worthless and too whimsical to value. If caught, their little dead bodies will be set adrift in the wind under a dark lifeless sky.

To rescue them, I quickly run in the dark tripping over stones and logs to bottle them up to keep them safe. A large jar holds a handful circling wonderfully and glowing brightly. I awake in the middle of the night. It’s dark. I saved them and hid them away only to find them suffocated. I open the jar then the window. I set their bodies adrift in the wind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Gathering Leaves

Summer is asleep.
The sun is radiant in the sky,
But it is low and cool, and
The song of the birds has changed.

A soft wind whispers a new season.
The trees sway in their place
In a different dance than before—
They move softer…like ballerinas dancing with butterflies.

In the summer, with its warmth and long days,
I ran through dry fields sweaty
And tired but unwilling to stop.
The sun darkened my skin.

Now, with the cool whisper of the wind,
My running slows. I find myself
In the middle of a large field wondering
How far I ran. I notice my bones are cold.

Alone, I sit in the tall grass.
The dry shoots and loose dirt are hard and brittle.
The sky is blue and the coolness of the air
Feels like I am floating in the sea.

It is time to go home.
My return is different than my going.
I walk now. I feel the wind’s whisper inside of me.
I touch everything, noticing smells and textures.

The tall grass is no longer an obstacle for my feet.
I feel the raw shoots slide between my fingers
And the extra tug it takes to remove the heads of wheat.
I notice the red in the leaves of the trees.

My hands collected more than I intended.
Holding my collection, I bring it to my nose and smell
The cool air and wheat.
It creates dreams of hot bread and a fire.

Looking up I notice something --
A large tree isn’t dancing.
Suddenly, its first leaf falls gently down. I wonder--
How does a tree decide which leaf will be the first to fall?

Waiting, I watch the leaf twirl and slide toward the ground.
It comes slowly…quietly. The blue sky and clouds are still.
Alone, the leaf rests between the blades of grass.
I pick it up and take it home.

Marc Amesse

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I packed our belongings-
The photo album and our honeymoon picture.
We look so young standing in Yosemite’s valley.
We wore our beanies and our smiles were big.

This day seemed far away once.
We had so many years of laughter, memories
And the enjoyment of our youth and family.
Our kids learned to talk then say “I do”.

Remember the trip home from San Carlos?
Ellie was only four and Ryan was one.
Highway 101 was hot and we had no air conditioning.
Remember the milk shakes and pouring water on the kids?

Remember the gorilla at the Zoo in Santa Barbara?
He ran at the glass to scare us.
You ran from the room afraid, and
I laughed at how silly you were…cute really.

Remember our morning walks to the bay?
In the early days we loaded the kids in the stroller.
Later it was just the two of us getting coffee at Copa de Oro.
We watched the boats alone in the water.

Do you remember how we kissed?
I kissed your upper lip then the lower
Trying to drink all I could from you
Wanting more. You always gave it.

Do you remember where we are going?
I will visit your room every day.
I’ll brush your hair for you in the morning
And put your favorite flowers on your tray.

I never imagined our lives separated in this way-
You living upstairs from me in this place.
Both of us trapped behind bland walls,
Eating retirement food, and you not remembering…

Marc Amesse

For our grandparents

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Warning

She walked in and signed the papers
With black ink and an unsteady hand.
The man collected them and tapped them
On the desk to line up each page.

The clock on the wall never left midnight.
The papers were laid on the desk and
His sweaty hands were folded resting on top.
She noticed his watch was broken.

A breath…then words ended the silence.
He spoke with memorized lines,
Explaining what she had done. He thanked her.
She noticed his voice was cold.

Nodding, she said nothing, but thought
"How can he work without windows in this heat?"
As she left, she walked out past the waiting line.
No waive, no good bye…just her name in ink.

This poem has no relationship with the one following.