Poetic Musings

The fog is rolling in, the battle rages on


The fog is rolling in.

I sense before I see,

the clouded mist

that comes again –

coming again for me.

Wispy tendrils

whorl round my feet,

readying for war.

Creeping, crawling,

reaching, searching,

finding me once more.

I’ve naught but gossamer veil

to hide myself beneath,

I’ve no stronger shield,

no bullets, no bow –

I’ve no weapon to unsheath.

But lo, perhaps I do –

I’ve words at my command.

With parchment as my coffer

and quill within my hand,

an army lays in wait,

for me to take my stand.

Whispered words

become my battle cry,

they cover me like armor,

they give me wings to fly.

As the battle rages,

the fog is failing, falling –

raining down in pages,

scattered in defeat.

I lift my veil,

and watch

as the

vanquished fog


Crystal R. Cook

This entry was posted on May 21, 2015, in Life, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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A Lonely Young Poet

Gerard ter Borch

artwork – Gerard ter Borch

A lonely young poet
with sweet, red wine
silently welcomes the night
as she would an old friend.
Crimson drops spill
as her glass fills to the brim.
Slowly she sips the nectar
that will transform her world.
Eclectic visions flow forth,
the laureates tongue slurs
under intoxication’s haze.
Her voiceless verbose rambles on
as she empties the bottle.
The crystal goblet glistens
as the days new light
finds its way into her
darkened room.
The page on which she rests
is stained with the color
of tears and old wine.
When she awakes
the words will greet her,
bringing with them
a few, still
moments of peace.
It will last until
the daylight
once again
Crystal R. Cook ~ 2000

This entry was posted on May 11, 2015, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , ,.

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Pay the toll or ride once more . . .


Here we go again.
The world’s begun to spin,
round and round
and round it goes,
and here we go again.
The carousel
appeared before me,
filling me with fright.
I think . . . I thought
I know . . . I knew,
A phantasmic carnie asked,
“Do want a ride?”
I never met his gaze
though I’m certain I declined,
but he lifted me,
and without warning
I was spinning, spinning,
under his control,
and when the ride
came to an end,
he held out
his gnarled hand,
demanding to have his toll.
Inside my head
I continued to spin
I’ve no reason to pay,
I didn’t ask to play,
there’s no payment
I owe to him.
Still he stood,
and asked again,
“Do you want a ride?”
His hollow eyes
stared through me,
and his lips curled
into a twisted
sort of grin.
He said,
“Pay the toll,
or ride once more,
then we’ll talk again.”
I don’t quite know
how many times
I went round and round
and round
before I woke,
but when I did
he stood before me,
and once again
he spoke.
“Pay me what I’m due,
and you may take your leave.”
I found my voice,
and screamed in silence,
“I haven’t anything,
not even a penny
for which to pay.
I don’t know
what it is
you seem to
want from me.
Won’t you please,
just please,
I’m begging you
to turn and go away.”
He threw back his head
with a wicked laugh
and said, “Why should I
be the one to go?
Don’t you know?
It was you – It was you
who came to me.
Silly child, open your eyes,
see what you can see.”
And then I remembered
I’d been given a choice
when anxiety came to call
I could have stood
against it,
I could have fought
with all my might,
but I faltered
and I fell
and I cowered
from the fight.
I opened my eyes
to look upon
what I’d been too
afraid to see.
I steadied my heart,
I stood to my feet,
but when I looked,
there was nothing,.
waited there
for me.
Crystal R. Cook

 This entry was posted on May 5, 2015, in Life, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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Paradoxical Madness – and the battle strengthens me


Paradoxical madness
I could do without.
Interminable battle,
victory unattainable.
Eternal conflict rages
betwixt prostration
and fortitude.
Languor triumphs,
vitiating valor,
though – conquest
is fleeting
as perseverance
reclaims reign.
And the struggle
makes me strong.
Paradoxical madness
I could do without.
Crystal R. Cook
This entry was posted on May 5, 2015, in Life, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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Seeking, searching – inspiration


I play hide and seek
with inspiration
pursuing fickle muse
through darkened labyrinth
in dauntless expectation
She scatters thoughts
like falling leaves
and frenzied shooting stars
besprinkling each path I’m on
with quickly fading vestiges
of partial revelations
I perceive only from afar
They disappear
as I draw near
neath my feet
lay naught but dirt
where once there was
a star
Searching, seeking
lost, lamenting
My feckless quest
is near its end
the day is fading
the night is calling
Perhaps tomorrow
she will be my friend
Crystal R. Cook
This entry was posted on April 27, 2015, in Life, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , .

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Something to think about, I think.


I think I’m tired of thinking
I may just give it up
I haven’t yet decided though
I’ve not thought it through enough
I’ve made a list of pros and cons
and pondered it for days
wandering round and round
in a ruminating haze
If I really stop and think about it
and I assure you that I have
the thought of thinking things no more
really doesn’t sound too bad
It seems to me that many folks
are getting on just fine
simply gliding through their lives
with empty little minds
But then again, they’re dolts
something I don’t care to be
Without the thoughts I think
would I even still be me?
If I think therefore I am
like Descartes said
I’d cease to be, I’d be no more
without the thoughts that fill my head
“Cogito ergo sum”
Crystal R. Cook

The Battle Rages On – Constant Warrior


Floundering in the dark
searching for the light
Scattered thoughts disgorge
from a miasmic mind
too burdened to contain them
emotions escape through tears
Unrestrained anxiety
irrational fear
unwarranted consternation
Pounding chest, heaving
threatening to fragment
anticipating failure
and pain
Soul seeking solace
confronts the unseen
stands in trepidation
against enshrouded foe
A weary warrior
voice raised in supplication
beseeching favor through faith
Repudiating the disquietude
emancipating fragile psyche
reclaiming, regaining, reasserting
gathering the detritus
of unconsumed peace
forging it to armor
sheltering beneath
until the storm subsides
Crystal R. Cook

This entry was posted on April 24, 2015, in Life, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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#1000Speak – Nurturing My Precious Garden

1000 Voices Speak


A nurturer by nature
I planted seeds
and watched them grow
I tended them with care
kneeling in the sodden earth
I toiled and tilled and sowed
I sat and watched in wonder
as my garden
slowly came to life
I vowed to shelter
and to nourish it
to be certain it would thrive
And when the tiny buds
began to blossom
I cultivated them with care
I kept the weeds away
I quenched their thirst
and sprinkled them with prayer
My beautiful garden
continued to grow
it became a part of me
And the pieces of my heart
I’d planted
grew from those tiny seeds
Eventually the winds
dispersed their essence
to grow elsewhere on the earth
My precious flowers
found new life
giving joy with their rebirth
Those tiny seeds I planted
have grown so strong
the flowers bloom for all to see
And after all these years
in loving my care
that garden now tends me
Crystal R. Cook


This entry was posted on April 20, 2015, in #1000Speak, Poetry and tagged , ,, .

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Darla over at New World Mom nominated me for a little poetry challenge, which originated on Brickhouse Chick‘s Blog. You can read Darla’s beautiful response to this fun challenge here

Initially, I thought it sounded like a fairly simple undertaking, but as I sat to write, it proved a bit harder than I’d anticipated! More than a few attempts were quickly tossed aside, especially after I took the time to read some of the other poems that had been written following the same guidelines.

I kept the three I hated the least 🙂

The rules are simple

•Write about love using only 10 lines.

•Use the word love in every line.

•Each line can only be four words long.

•Nominate others who are up for the challenge.

•Let them know about the challenge.

•Title the post: Love in Ten Lines

•Include a quote about love (this can be your own).

•You may write in any language.


Mi amor, mi amor,
baneful love, unsheathed weapon,
mortiferous love, piercing armor.
Love fails, love falls,
battlefield casualty, mi amor.
Your love, or mine,
one love must endure.
Mi amore lives on.
I’m sorry, my love,
mi amore lives on.

“Love is a battlefield” Pat Benetar

Sweetest love – unblemished, innocent,
untainted and virtuous love.
Love bestowed without expectation.
Love requited, without reservation,
without trepidation – pure love.
Intertwining hearts, palpable love.
New love, unparalleled enchantment.
First love, irreplaceable communion.
Such is the love
that teaches us love

“Love is a many splendored thing” William Waterway


You are my love
my true, forever love.
Our love sustains me,
our love contains me.
Your love is precious,
your love is sure.
Your love strengthens me,
your love surrounds me.
My love is yours,
my love is yours . . .

“My heart is, and will always be, yours” Jane Austin – Sense and Sensibility

The Enemy Within

Enemy Within by Crystal R. Cook

Whispers scream
in the dark of night
echoes of fear
not there in the light
When the day comes
it does not surrender
unwelcome companion
constant tormentor
Close your eyes
cover your ears
it’s coming for you
you can’t hide from this fear
It flows through your veins
it robs you of peace
squeezing your heart
as you pray for relief
There is nowhere to run
there is nowhere to hide
there is no escape
from the monster inside
You face it and fight
it tells you your weak
holding for ransom
the comfort you seek
Relentless it strikes
time after time
an insidious fog
filling your mind
An unwilling warrior
in this battle for power
sometimes you stand
sometimes you cower
The battle is private
without allies or help
you are fighting alone
at war with yourself
Crystal R. Cook

My Heart Soars Like a Quaffle – Nerd Love is Fantastical


So Valentines Day — It’s here. I was going to write something lovey and gushy and sweet, but before I did, I asked my son what words he would put down instead . . . words aren’t really his thing (even though they are and he just doesn’t realize it), I could see the little wheels begin to spin and he said he’d get back to me.He and the adorably nerdy geekdom that are his circle of friends, had a text party that night.While he waited for his friends to get their romantical ideas to him, we sat down and wrote our own, sort of. We did string together the words, but most had already been said, you might recognize their sources. It’s short and sweet.
I would follow you beyond the blackest gates,
into unseen dangers if you’d only wear my ring.
I would wait for 2000 years just to see your face, my precious.
If we were ever torn apart
I would face the depths of the unknown,
for my hearts; they beat only for you,
can’t you hear the drumming? 
I would pull time itself apart for you.
When we met I wondered
if I’d wandered into a dream,
and when I said I love you,
you simply said I know.
Quantumly entangled,
it’s together or not at all.
If you asked me how long I was going to stay,
I would say forever,
because we’re all just stories in the end.
Ask of me anything,
I will grant it to you . . .
as you wish.
So back to my sons geek squad of *romantics for a day*, I provided the beginning and what follows makes my heart soar because a group of teenagers and twenty-somethings took time out on a Friday night to come up with these cheesy, surprisingly sweet, and innocent lines of . . . I guess we’ll call it love.


Romeo and Juliette had a love so tragic,
but James and Lilly Potter —
their love was truly magic.
It lives on and on forever,
that much can be said,
you can see it on their faces
in The Mirror of Erised.
My heart screams for you like a mandrake,
like a mermaid in the black lake,
when I cannot be with you.
My heart soars like a quaffel
every time you eat a waffle.
Dragons are red,
Nevilles face is blue,
petrificus totalus
attracts me to you.
Flue powder is green,
the portkeys a shoe,
I feel my best
when I’m traveling with you.
You are a golden snitch
and I’m a humble seeker,
I know that when I catch you,
you will be a keeper.
My Nerdy Valentine - love this boy so much.
My Nerdy Valentine – love this boy so much. 
So I’ve not written a sonnet or an ode or an epic ballad of love this year, I just had some fun with my son and his adorably fantastic friends — the laughter and the love filling the room as we played was a gift, and these silly words will always be my portkey to take me right back to it, that makes them far more epic than ten thousand words penned to a page.
Crystal R. Cook

His Boots

 Sharing in honor of Valentines Day . . . 

Boots by Crystal R. Cook

I remember writing this the night my husband returned home from Iraq. It was his third and last homecoming from that faraway place . . . He’s since retired. The sight of those boots laying there at our bedside was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
Dust from another world,
soles worn from wear,
the color of sand,
wrinkled and creased
from the miles
marched in,
fought in,
slept in.
Dappled with the
darkened stains
from fallen sweat
and silent tears.
On the floor
by the bedside
they lay,
weary from war.
Worn with pride
ready again for service,
but now they rest
beside the bed where
the soldier sleeps.
Safe, loved,
home with me.
When tomorrow comes
a little boy
will wear the boots,
clumsily making his
way around the house.
He doesn’t know
where those
boots have been,
he just knows
they are his daddy’s
and he is home
again . . .
Crystal R. Cook

They are only little for such a short while . . . Tattered Jeans

Tattered Jeans by Crystal R. Cook

If you’ll have it.


Give me your heart
to tuck safely away
and I’ll give you mine
if you’ll have it.
It doesn’t look like much
anymore, but it’s
the only one I have.
It’s seen better days, I know,
I used to wear it on my sleeve.
It’s weathered many a storm,
this heart of mine.
I should have
taken better care,
it’s been broken,
but it beats stronger
now than it did before.
It gets heavy sometimes
so if it’s too much to bear
I’ll understand.
I’ve lost it a few times,
but you’re the only one
I’ve offered it too.
If you decide to keep it now
and change your mind someday,
I won’t be needing it back.
So if you give me your heart
I’ll tuck it safely away,
and I’ll give you mine
if you’ll have it.
Crystal R.Cook

No Escape

Aug 4


Wandering and wondering,
meandering aimlessly,
stumbling and tumbling,
hopelessly lost in a
labyrinth of thought.
Whispering illusions
of confusion, delusion,
welcome you in
with delight.
Teasing and taunting
with fragments of dream,
lies filled with truths
wrapped in remnants
of skin ripped from reality.
Every step forward
leads only behind.
There is no escape
from a shattered mind.
Crystal R. Cook

Innocent Embrace

Innocent Embrace

The warmth of his hand
softly covers mine
our fingers embrace
as our souls intertwine
Our hands become one
forged in passions fire
strong as steel
soft as desire
Loves innocent touch
sets my heart to race
when his hand covers mine
and our fingers embrace
Crystal R. Cook
*Image by Tony Hutchings on Getty Images

Crumpled Pages


Crumpled pages
scattered at my feet
Sonnets of scribbles,
of lines incomplete
So many words
with so much to say,
wrenched out and written
and then thrown away
Tossed to the wayside
by no fault of their own
they were my words,
they were seeds I had sown
Like I was some God
giving life to the page,
like I was some monster
they fell to my rage
Mourning, I gathered them
each creased and crinkled one,
desperate to undo
the damage I had done
To make amends I saved them
to one day use again,
and sat back down to seek
forgiveness with my pen
Crystal R. Cook

Sensory Overload


I see sounds
and I taste colors
I feel words
like grass beneath
bare feet
I feel your touch
beneath my skin
Always aware of
everything round me
Unheard noises
reverberate inside my head
I feel them in my bones
they flow through my veins
I sense the movement
of air as it surrounds me
It never quiets
never stills
it is all
too much
Today is too much
Crystal R. Cook

Why can’t I remember?


I know there was something
I wanted to say,
it was there for a moment
then it slipped away.
Oh! Now I remember!
No . . . that can’t be it.
I’m sure it’ll come to me,
just give me a bit.
Now what was I doing
when I first forgot?
If I could retrace my steps
it would help quite a lot.
If only I knew,
but I just can’t recall,
my poor mind is blank
and I can’t think at all.
Oh, just forget it.
I don’t have the time
to dust off these cobwebs
that have formed in my mind.
If it was important
I’ll remember tonight
when I close my eyes
and snuggle in tight.
My sleep will be robbed
and my mind will spark,
it always happens
as I lay in the dark.
I really wish I knew
why all my days are spent
trying to remember
where my thoughts have went.
Well, just never you mind
what I was going to say,
I’ll let you know what it was
if I remember it someday . . .
Crystal R. Cook

The day she found it.

The First One

I have a dear friend, we couldn’t be more different, yet somehow perfect for each other. She swears like a sailor, I don’t. She is extroverted, I am introverted. She is loud, I am quiet. We’ve been friends since high school and I love her dearly.
Now, my friend can be a bit dramatic at times. Every year she has an age crisis, she’s convinced herself several times she will be passing away very soon. Little things can become very big things and when they do, she always calls me to assure her they are not as bad as they seem.
One such phone call left me in tears, the kind that stream from your eyes during a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Actually, it was a series of calls spanning nearly an entire day.
When I answered the phone she sounded angry, then sad, then angry again. It took me a couple of minutes to pry out of her just what it was that had her so upset. We talked for some time, she cried, I laughed at her. She called me a bitch, I called her an old lady. Before the sun set, we were both laughing and her world was turned right side up again.
I wrote her a poem about her day, as her friend I felt it was my duty to immortalize her ordeal. I was certainly not going to ever let her forget it.
I know a young woman
whose hair was blonde
until the day, that is,
she happened upon
a single gray hair
near the top of her head,
What the heck is this?
she angrily said.
When did this happen?
How can this be?
I wonder if anyone’s
seen this on me?
Should I pull it out?
Will it grow right back,
bringing more of its kind
in some sneak attack?
But then a light bulb appeared
up over her head,
she looked at that hair
and said, I’ll kill you dead.
She packed up the kids
and went straight to the store,
To the beauty department!
she said with a roar.
‘Wash away your gray
in a few simple steps’,
That’s just what I need,
that’s the one I will get.
As she lathered it on,
she said her goodbye,
so long gray hair,
I said that you’d DYE!
Crystal R. Cook
The First Gray Hair

What if we chose?

It begins within, listening to our hearts, not the world around us. I choose . . . we all have a choice.
How much of how we feel about our fellow man has been dictated by the prejudice of others? Resentments from the sins and sorrows of those who have come before us remain, festering and growing in their absence. We feed them, we nurture them and we pass them on.
We copy and paste them into our own psyche, we adopt them without question. Sheep following an unseen shepherd to the slaughter. I too often hear people trying to justify and defend their attitudes and opinions with false arguments and phony indignation.
The thoughts they think are not their own, merely recycled resentments inherited from family, friends and foes of people they may have never known. Willingly passing on these ideals to the next generation without questioning why.
If we stopped to think for ourselves, would we see their experiences are not our own? Would we realize we have shaped our world based on the broken model of theirs? Would we notice we’ve damaged it even more in the name of progress and change? Would we see we can’t look at our own experiences through the tainted lenses of the past?
Our country is more divisive and separated and prejudice than it was before many of us took our first breath of life. Our society has managed to twist the dreams that once were, we have found new ways to undermine each other, to build walls of separation as we pretend to tear them down.
We say we want equality in this country but equality is just a concept, it can never be achieved, especially when everyone who cries out for it seems to want more than the rest. There can never be equality while there are those who have no means to even stand in line to receive it.
We use the word acceptance when what we really want is applause. We fight for what we call human rights when we have forgotten what human rights really are. We fight for freedom of expression but place restrictions upon it. We right for freedom of religion but we really want everyone to agree with our own beliefs . . . at least that is what we accuse each other of, slowly molding it into a reality.
The needs of the some have become more important than the needs of the many. We champion the criminals and forget their victims. We shout platitudes to placate the masses in a cacophony of false hopes and empty promises. The ones who fight for our country are now second in line to those who invade it.
We are broken by the choices we’ve made . . . Soon, their won’t be enough to mend.

In The company of Angels

I seem to run a cross these words whenever someone needs to hear them, I have learned to never ignore the small voice that gently urges me to share. If this is meant for your heart, I hope it brings some comfort.
I know you cannot see me, but I’m hoping you will hear,
the message I am whispering, so softly in your ear.
I know I left too quickly, there wasn’t time to say goodbye,
for when the angels came, I simply had to fly.
I caught a glimpse of Heaven in the twinkling of their eyes,
and I couldn’t help but follow, as they began to rise.
Heaven is so beautiful, how I wish that you were here,
I would hold you close, and softly wipe away your tears.
I’m in the company of angels, for eternity I’ll remain,
free from earthly sorrow, from fear and doubt and pain.
In the company of angels, I will stand and wait,
I’ll be keeping watch, near Heavens pearly gate.
I know the day will come, I will see you enter in,
as angels sing in praise, we’ll be together once again.
I love you oh so much, please try not to cry,
I have the softest wings, oh how I love to fly.
Maybe you will feel them, wrapping round you as you sleep,
I will live forever in the memories that you keep.
I am in the company of angels now, please do not despair,
I’ll meet you at the pearly gates, I’ll be waiting there . . .
Crystal R. Cook
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