Northern Male Cardinal in the Spanish Moss © Darin Hartley, 2021

Picture taken by Darin Hartley, March 2016

It is a stormy day in Seattle and on the Puget Sound.

The water has small whitecaps,

The ferries are pitching and rolling on the waves.

The wind is furious and the clouds

Are black, gray, and angry.

For a moment as I stand here huddled in this cubby,

Hungry, cold, and wet,

And I see a patch of blue sky emerge,

In spite of the inclement weather.

I get a patch of hope,

And sunshine, and warmth,

Kindness, and most of all a patch,

Of humanity.

Written originally March 9, 2016. I ran a Go Fund Me campaign to…


Picture taken on Cannon Beach, March 2016

I have known him eight years.

I rescued and nurtured this Whippet-Pit Bull mix.

He has been the best four-legged pal ever.

Something frightening happened a couple of years ago;

He had a stroke.

Over the last 24 months his condition continued to decline.

He is still a great and cheerful companion;

But, I can’t bear to seem him drag those legs,

Like lifeless driftwood behind him.

He has always loved the ocean.

I am taking him to the beach,

For his last dip in the waves,

His last frolic in the sea foam,

His last pictures,

Our last selfies,


Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash

She stands, shivering in a red steel and glass phone box,

In the hopes of talking to her lover,

To brighten his everlasting day.

It’s a spiritual connection,

So close and yet so far.

There is no static on the line.

There are only a couple of hearts

Making a phone box rendezvous.

She tells him she is crazy for him,

And he smiles.

He tells her he can’t wait

Until they are together again,

And the flutterbies go wild.

Just like in the beginning;

Just like the first smile.

Their feelings are still on fire.

They say their “goodbyes”…


Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Day in, day out,

Though weary and bleary;

Grandma filled my belly

With a hot breakfast’s bounty;

So that I knew no hunger through the new day.

Ink-stained hands,

Caressed the skillet;

So that I knew no hunger,

Through the new day.

Before the sun, before the bus,

Grandma’s love filled the kitchen;

To gently break my fast;

So that I knew no hunger,

Through the new day.

The Why for this Poem/Tribute

When I was in the seventh grade, my brother and I lived with my grandparents in Sanford, Florida in 1976–77. My grandparents had a wholesale paper route…

Darin Hartley

Author, US Navy Veteran, Creative Sales Pro, Learning Consultant, Birder, Amateur Photographer

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