Little Kids

What’ve I to worry about?

Impression management is not even

an issue when I’m doing what I


If it is an issue, I need to quit

doing it.

I like being around little kids.

They’re too busy chasing joy

to notice anything out of

place on your person.

They don’t even know what a

judgement is.  They have some

issues with sharing and

interaction in general with

others–but you, you can

do no harm.  You’re only

there to help & guide them

and they readily accept it,

admitting that they really

don’t know (how to do) much

at this stage and the learning

curve is steep–so they need

all the help they can get.

No problem being wrong.

They do that a lot.  They

just flip their pencil over,

erase and write it the

correct way.

We should be little kids all

our lives–innocent & learning.

Judging not self or others.


Categories: creative writing, Poetry, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment


If I was j.u.s.t myself,

I would probably go off

the DEEP end, bounce in from

right field

to a grounder hit poorly, that

should have been an “out”.

Who knows what virus my brain

may release on the literary world?

Taking it by storm no

vaccine or antibiotic would touch,

it mutates and changes defenses

so quickly.

Me, myself & I, we stay in a

hole deep inside

lest the slings and arrows

of OUTRAGEOUS fortune

pay an untimely visit–

every visit from them is


So, wounded, I limp back

home, licking my wounds

in self-pity waiting for this

wave of compassionate

self-demise to end.

Who am I, anyway?  EVEN

I do not want to really

know, for fear it would be

unacceptable, even to ME.

Eroded rock formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Eroded rock formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/

Categories: awareness, courage, creative, creative writing, fear, honesty, learning, Poetry, risk, surprise, Uncategorized, visibility, writing | Leave a comment

Feed Me!

Often when I’ve given myself fully to the day

I have nothing to offer the page.

The page, blank and naked, unashamedly

screams, Feed me! feed my lines with words

of praise for yourself.  You’ll be doing us

both a favor.

The page can’t really speak but if it could

it would tell me of its loneliness sitting on

my printer waiting for me to come

home & give it some attention.

If it could sit up, it would beg

mercilessly to be fed a snack, even,

preferably a Thanksgiving repast

with all the “trimmings”.

Patient as it is, loyal to no one else

like me, I don’t know what to say

often when we meet at night

after dark like this.

The best I can do is empty my

head onto an open & willing

page until it’s filled or I am


So far neither has happened

yet I feel I’ve fed all that

can legibly be handled

by one page in one night/

morning.  It’s late but

I’m writing anyway.  If you’re

hungry, you’re hungry.


Categories: best buddies, creative, creative writing, disclosure, Poetry, time, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

Going for it

Wait one more minute–

that’s a minute longer

than you needed to

begin, to act, ask, tell.

No one can read your mind

like you can–well, maybe a

few gifted psychics.


Still, if you want someone

to know how you feel,

what you think, you best

use words–written or verbal.

I must admit, I seem to

sense a 6th sense that

kind of knows what I find

out later verbally.

Sort of an advanced notice.

But waiting slows your

process time and over-

rest or absence is just time

we could have spent

doing what we want–

even if it is fearful.

I push kids to begin writing

when they only know

maybe a few hundred words.

I also let them think of an

idea and for some it takes

longer than others.

Still, you could wait

forever & lose your



Categories: courage, creative, creative writing, fear, Poetry, possibilities, risk, time, timing, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

knock, knock


Who’s there?

That was supposed to come first.


Knock, knock.

Now it’s my turn, who’s there?


You know what comes next–

Me who?

Mewho.  I’m a cat with

a British accent.


Who else is there?

No one.

No one who?

No last name, just no one.

glad to meet you no one

I don’t know many no ones.

Everybody thinks they’re the

cat’s meow.  Not many no

ones in my crowd.

But pleased to meet you,


Doorbells are going to

make me non-existent.

oh.  ring, ring–doesn’t

have the same ring to

it as knock, knock.

Crashing wave . Corona Del Mar. California

Crashing wave . Corona Del Mar. California

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/


Categories: courage, creative writing, Poetry, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment


The earth rolls

a marble in space

into the side pocket

you call

aim carefully

a miss could be


or just having

to play the game

over again

starting from


Being behind the

eight ball

is life’s common


so don’t belie

your lie

bank on getting

it into the


you’re aiming


View of Zion National Park from trail in high country, UtahC00471D-11

View of Zion National Park from trail in high country, Utah C00471D-11

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/


Categories: creative, creative writing, Poetry, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

Trying and Perfectionism

“I think I messed up on my

spelling test.  My mother will

KILL me!”

Well!  I admire your perfectionistic

attitude, I said, but could you

go a little easier on yourself, almost

in tears, with her head down on the

desk, as she tantrumed herself.

I looked at her test.  Sure enough

a word was left out.  In la la

land her mind must have been

when I dictated it.

Another student, a boy, had stars

for everyday he behaved on his desk.

I said, finally, at the end of

a trying day for him, I’ll give

you a star, but you have to

draw it.”  “I can’t; I don’t

know how,” he says.  I say, “I

will teach you.  So we

practiced.  He couldn’t get it

right.  My attention was back on the

rest of the dismissing class.

I heard, ” I did it!!” and

and I looked an he had a

pretty good 5-pointed

star drawn for today.

His & my self-esteem

went up a couple

notches after that.


Categories: creative, creative writing, learning, Poetry, school, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

Escape Within

I want to crawl into my page

pull the covers up

turn on the flashlight

and disappear from the

world for a long, long


My own personal ‘hole’.

Who would ever think

I’d be happy in a (w)hole

lot of darkness with the

aid of a flashlight?

But I am.

I don’t even want to peek

out to see if the world

is still there.

I know it probably is

but I don’t want to

know I know.

I don’t want to think

about anything else

but what’s on this

page basking in the

light of my desk

covered up from the

world with my

one-focused attention.

I’ve been out there too

long taking in stuff.

Now I just want to

let some of it flow out

like a calm, serene lake

reflecting the majesty of

the heavens on a starlit



Categories: awareness, creative writing, flow, happiness, inside, love, nature, outside, Poetry, time, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment


I’m waiting to lock the

classroom, turn off the lights

and go home.  My line of

students has all left but

one.  I said, “let’s go!”  Every

body’s already left.  She

gets up–2nd grader– grabs

a paper on her desk & starts

to run towards me.  I say,

push in your chair–it wasn’t

perfectly pushed in like the

others, but I let it go and

she hands me the paper.

It says, “Best teacher ever”

at the top with a drawing

of me underneath and

From & her name.

It’s little unexpected

things like this that

make my day a

little, or maybe even

a lot, brighter.  While

everyone was rushing,

pushing to get in line

to go home on a Friday

afternoon, she was at

her desk doing this.



Categories: creative, creative writing, love, people, Poetry, school, surprise, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment


People help me when I need help.

Of course, it’s helpful to ask for it.

Not everyone will know you need


Not to chase after it

but if you need something

like this writing

to calm down

then do it

and let the unsure,

scary feelings pass

out of you.

They will go.

Just because there’s a little

pressure that is new

is not a reason to

cash in all your chips

and go home.

Keep going in the

direction you’re going in.

There’s no reason to

give up making

‘conscious’ forward



Categories: creative writing, faith, fear, growth, learning, now, possibilities, stop, Uncategorized, walking, writing | Leave a comment

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