Monday, December 31, 2007

Why Members Leave

Did you make him feel welcome?
Did you hold out your hand?
Did you listen to his troubles?
With him, did you stand?

Are the secrets which you shared
Ones that will keep him coming back?
Or are they merely empty forms
And it’s brotherhood they lack?

Was there something for him to find
Here among his Brothers and friends?
Or did he look in vain
For those on whom he could depend?

Was this a place for him to shine
To be with others of like mind?
With true fellows of the craft,
Was that there for him to find?

If all these things are here
Nothing will keep him away.
If not, I doubt that anyone
Can persuade him to stay.

December 31, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Third Degree

Once again the drama unfolds
Parts are played and lessons told

A Brother enters - hoodwinked, unaware
Of what fell doings will happen there.

He need not fear, the Craft is kind.
‘tis a great lesson which he will find.

The Obligation is taken yet one more time
and still another vow is made.

Since ancient times Brothers learn and grow
This sacred mystery to know.

To learn to be a Master subduing all strife
Brothers helping Brothers throughout life

No secrets here - the truth is for all to know
To study, to learn, and always to grow.

To find God’s reward at the end of the search
A Master Mason, a Brother, a true friend each.

Lodge is a school and our life a study, we work together and once again
The drama unfolds, parts are played and we learn to be men.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Wraped in my terry cloth robe,

Reclining on my chair.

Bailey climbs up and stretches out against my leg.

Cassie (cat) carefully positions herself on my shoulder like a fur wrap.

And Max (not to be left out) comes and stands beside me and whuffles to have his ears scratched.

It's nap time and how could I be more content?

The world can go on by while my friends and I recline together.  Perfect!

November 9, 2006

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I always thought of Pigeons as “rat birds”

Hanging around everywhere – sitting and shitting on everything.

But they were kinda pretty. Iridescent feathers that caught the light just right.

We used to have lots of pigeons.

I wonder where they have gone.

November 3, 2007

Driving across Iowa on Highway 30

November - clear, crisp day

Fall. You can still see the colors on the trees.

Iowa is not flat!

The Bohemian hills open vistas of Iowa beauty.

The mind edits out the garbage.
Rusty combines, wagons, telephone wires.
Some hidden midst the brush.

I can’t take a picture because they would ruin it.
That is all you would see.

Sometimes the “garbage” is really very beautiful.
A barn falling down, weathering away.
A pile of brush. Waiting for the sacrificial burn.

Telephone poles line the road. Their crosses remind me of Spartacus

Crucifixions carried out - evenly spaced - along the Roman road.

He wanted freedom.

Iowa is free.

Iowa is beautiful.

Just look!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Ladies Who Lunch

The ladies have assembled around their luncheon table.
Harriet, Margaret, Susie and Mabel.

One by one they came to eat
to chat and visit – again to meet.

Smiles, laughs, greetings galore
friendship, love and purses on the floor.

They talk and share and order their lunch
You can tell they are a most friendly bunch

Getting together once a week
this gathering is not for the meek.

Their salads come and their forks they deploy
you can tell this is a luncheon they will enjoy.

They catch up on all the news
Sharing with one another their views.

No gossip here – they are not that type
But occasionally you will hear a gripe.

About a husband , son or some other man
Someone who should be hit over the head with a pan.

But – they are really too sweet, gentle and neat
And lunch is soon over – finished, complete.

Napkins are used and the bill is split
The ladies who lunch are ready to quit.

Hugs and kisses all around
Purses are picked up from the ground.

They are soon off to their afternoon pleasures
This is a luncheon that they will treasure.

The ladies have met once again for lunch
A most friendly, congenial , wonderful bunch.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

To Do

There are places in this world that I will never see.
People who I will never meet and
food that I will never eat.

But someone else will

There are roads over which I shall never travel
and bridges, that I shall never cross.
I may never travel to the moon

But someone else has.

There are poems, which I shall never write.
Some movies and plays will never be seen by me
and there are just too many books to read.

But someone else can.

There are songs to be written
Paintings to be painted
Dances to be danced.

By someone or something.

So get out there and do as much as you can
Do, Be, Become that someone.
Take pictures and write about it
Then share it with me.

So I can do it too.

October 7, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dick Campbell

Dick Campbell

Sometimes a man stands so tall
In our eyes that his
Life is a shining beacon for others.
Virtuous and righteous for
Everyone to emulate
Ready to help another
Fortunate are his family and friends
One such as this was our Brother, the
eXraordinary, Dick Campbell .

Jay Cole Simser
July 31, 2004

I wrote this in my head on the way back from Dick's funeral. It is an acrostic. The highlighted letters spell out his e-mail address. Dick was a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge and also of the Grand Council. He received the Columbian Award from the General Grand Council and was an outstanding man. His wife was one of my High School Teachers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Little Things

It’s the little things that matter or so they say
I hear that a little pigeon crap helped bring down a bridge in Minnesota.
Pretty little, wouldn’t you say?

Erosion eats away at mountains
The Grand Canyon was formed by a little river

Microbes so little you can’t see them

Can put a gigantic elephant on its knees.

All done by a “little thing”

A little thing that counts.

A little idea can grow into a fortune
or it can cause the loss of one.

That little baby born yesterday

becomes the center of the family’s life.

and a little puppy will brighten anyone’s day.

Little things can twist us up,
stretch us out
turn us around.
A little nap can restore our energy.

As can a little bite.

A little word or a comment can wound the soul

with pain you think will never go away

but best of all a little hug or smile can heal it
and restore your balance.

It is those “little” things that count and make a difference.

So look for the “little things” – they have big value.

September 19, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thank You Mr. Bin Laden

Thank You, Mr. Bin Laden
(Written after attending the Philadelphia Orchestra performance at C.Y. Stephens Oct. 4, 2001)
The orchestra came and got ready to play
The first violinist bowed his note.
Out came the conductor ready to lead,
The music started and the audience stood up.
We had come to hear romantic music to lift our spirits
Instead our national anthem started the program
Not a dry eye in the house - some sang along others were choked up.

Thank you, Mr. Bin Laden, for giving us back our patriotism.

We watched as our national tragedy turned into a national desire
A desire first for revenge and then for healing.
We became aware of the plight of a people
Living a world away. We saw how their government treats its own.
We became aware of the women of Afghanistan and the miserable life which is theirs.
We watched as you hid in your hole behind the skirts of the innocent.
We saw your people flee from their homes and we sent aid to help them

Thank you, Mr. Bin Laden, for turning our eyes onto you and yours.

We watched horrified on Sept. 11 when the planes took out the towers.
We saw, instantly, on our modern miracle of television as people died.
We listened to the mayor as he urged us to calm in his dignified manner.
We cried and mourned for those who became heroes as they sacrificed themselves to save others.

Thank you, Mr. Bin Laden, for showing us the heroism of our own.

We were a nation divided. Divided by party and politics.
A nation with each going their own way.
Complacent and probably unworthy of our heritage.
You brought us together with your cowardly acts.

Thank you, Mr. Bin Laden for unifying us once again.

I wrote this right after 9/11.  I did not keep a copy of it but it has been living on the Des Moines Register Web Site since then.  I discovered it while "googling" myself  (Thank you Craig Ferguson for the idea) and have reclaimed it.  It is so sad that Mr. Bush has squandered theunity we had at that time and divided us and wasted our resources with his "oil" war.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes

I remember eating fried green tomatoes.

Their tart/sweet flavor brings back my childhood!

Memories of Sunday dinners.  Roast beef, mashed potatoes, sweet corn and tomatoes.  But most of all those wonderful fried green tomatoes.

You can still have them if you can find the green tomatoes.  

I am to lazy to grow them.  But once a season I cajole the ladies at the farmer's market to bring me a few green tomatoes.

Then I slice them, roll them in flour and fry them in butter.   Not a good thing for my diet but wonderful for my memories.  

They take me back to home and to dinners around my grandmother's table.

My mother liked liver and onions but I had to have a minute steak when that was on the menu. But everybody loved the fried green tomatoes.

Life changes,  people die - others are born but when I can have my fried green tomatoes and a bacon sandwich I bring it all together again and I remember those magical moments.

Got to thinking about these when I was watching Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.  It was a great movie and the tomatoes I had after writing these were sinfully delicious.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thanks Mom

My mother wasn’t a saint.
And I wouldn’t have wanted her to be.

She liked to have fun
and she raised her kids on her own.
(with a little help from family and friends.)

But she was my MOM
She gave a lot to us and taught us how to live.
How to be a friend and how to give
How to care and how to love.

She didn’t have all the things her sisters had
But in the end I think she had lots more.
We were most fortunate in our Mother
my sister and I and we know it.
We love our aunts but were glad Ruthie was our Mom.

We never lose our loved ones.
They are always with us.
Sometimes we forget
Sometimes we lose our way
and I want to say thanks for reminding me of my Mom
and what she said to me.
“Don’t let one person spoil something you enjoy.”
Thanks, Mom!

We never lose our mothers when they die.  They remain with us no matter what.   I was very fortunate in my mother.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


To avoid:
Give it to me
I want
Go away
I hate you

To use:
Take this
It’s for you
Can I help?
What can I do.
I like you
I love you

Dedicated to Elinor Kornhauser

Elinor was my friend.  I loved her.  She was a true lady.  I miss her.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thumbing through a travel guide
A word or two brings a picture
Vivid and real
to my mind
Suddenly I am transported
to a place I have been before -

Reliving a magical moment
Being there!
Having it all again
Without moving from my armchair.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Internet is Down

My Internet is down!
It the same all over town.

I called Qwest and got shuffled around.
I waited for almost an hour.
Each minute my expression more sour

I feel helpless, I have no power
I can’t check my e-mail or write on my blog
My life has gone into an uncertain fog.

I am mired in an impassible bog.
How will I know what in the world is going on
I need a note from my friend Don

And Charlie, Paul, Taner and even Ron
I need to read the news and check my Americablog
And hunt for the perfect image of a frog.

The one that is sitting there on a log.
I finally connect with the DSL tech guy.
He is nice and pleasant - American as apple pie.

We talk and he checks the line – Oh, my!
“In your area we seem to have an outage
They are working on it – Now don’t get into a rage!”

I think this guy really earns his wage.
He is nice and pleasant – understanding too.
He knows I’m an Internet junkie through and through.

By the time with our phone call we are through
He promises to call me when things are fixed.
So I work on this poem with blessings, mixed.

And wait while the company does their tricks.
(Still waiting four hours later)

July 26, 2007

I found out later that it had been fixed earlier but they had not told me.  I felt disconnected to my world (cyber-space) and was really frustrated.


30233949….my name is Don 78543
Numbers! We one when we are born

345-90-0765   -  76P34421
They secure us socially and reserve our rooms

76589021 – Play the lottery
Win millions, or win a bunch
Yeah right - if we all got that much
The government would feel the crunch


They are everywhere –

Serial numbers and cereal numbers
Get this one, register that one


We wait in lines (the British wait in queues)
Thinking of numbers gives me the blues.

Coffee can be found in aisle number one
Call this number when you are done.

One and One make two
Unless they make a baby and then there are three
That’s beginning numbers
And that is enough – this poem is through,

Finished, complete, done
Oh wait, there’s more - just one (1) 

It’s all of that – and ended two (2)
(by the way I know I didn’t use the correct too)
There are three (3) of them you see
and only four (4) of me..

July 26, 2007

After a longish hiatus of writing I started writing poetry again and this is one of them. I think it is kind of fun.  I added one line tonight 9/20/07 (Writing is never finished.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


A friend of mine used to think that the people on TV were peeking through her window.
She thought it was odd that they were also peeking through our windows.

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows

You can walk down the street and look in store windows.
I used to do display windows in the store where I worked.
I doubt that my windows sold much merchandise. But, it was fun to do.

You can see a lot looking out windows; especially if they are on the top floor.
But if they are too high you might get dizzy. That’s called vertigo.

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows.

The eyes are supposed to be the windows of the soul.
What if you don’t think you have one.
What do people see?

My grandfather used to tell me that my brown eyes meant something.
(about what I was full of)
Then I would see his grin reflected in the window.

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows

Windows let in light and keep out the cold.
We put candles in the windows at Christmas time.
And decorations so people can see the lights.

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows

We open windows to let in fresh air and close them when it rains.
But the smell of rain is the greatest smell there is in the world.
Much better than pig farm.

We peek through windows to see who rang the doorbell or if the mail is here yet.
We peek into windows to see if anyone is home.  Sometimes we see each other.
Of course if there is a curtain on the window no one can see through it.

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows.

When you are on the outside it looks warm and cozy inside.
You never know what  may be there.  Happiness or something else?

Sometimes I feel like I am always on the outside looking into other people’s windows.
Hey, how about it. Will you let me in?

Jay Cole Simser. July 24, 2007

Again this was one I wrote when I was working through some problems.  Not great poetry perhaps but it served its purpose.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My Closet

In the rear of my closet
memories of former lives.
Boxed away in crusty cardboard compartments
Waiting for me to re-find them - the
dreams, desires, decorations of my life.

Pulling them out
one by one,
I relive the events, emotions, energies
Of my accumulation.

They bring pictures to mind of
forgone friends and fascinations;
Grabbing my heartstrings and holding them hostage.

I put them away –
unable to part with them

There they will rest –
waiting until they are released once again
from their dark resting place
by me or by my successor
Who will wonder –
“Why did he keep all his junk!”

November 1999

There was a show on TV called Judging Amy.  Amy and her brother were cleaning out a closet.  That scene was the inspiration for that poem.  This was the first one that I used triple alliteration.  I love it as I do most of the ones which "wrote themselves.."

When First We Meet

March 1981
I like it best when first we meet,
As with friendly faces and smiles we greet.

Before we find what is in our hearts
And differences begin to part
Before the words “I disagree!”
Puts up barriers ‘tween you and me.
So that with each other we cease to share
that which might leave us bare.
I know there is something to be said
When to a friendship we are led
As we talk and share and grow
And one another get to know
But still
I like it best when first we meet,
As with friendly faces and smiles we greet.

On Being a Man?

You can cry at weddings and funerals
and no one knows it is because your heart is breaking.

You can choke up while singing “Amazing Grace”
and people will think it is because you are moved by the song.

It’s OK to let a tear slip out when the flag passes by or when the Diva sings “Un bel di” – They just think it’s natural. (If maybe a little too tender.)

Let them flow while driving home in the dark,
wishing for the comfort you can’t have.

But don’t let anyone know they are really falling for something lost.
Put on a fa├žade for the world for you are a MAN!

You are not supposed to have feelings –
You are supposed to “buck it up” and “deal with it.”

You aren’t supposed to care,
At least not so anyone will know.

But then, I do… care that is -Perhaps too much
I just must learn to hide it.

So at night when I can’t sleep and my pillow is more than a little damp
I lie awake yearning for your (lost?) friendship

Grateful that I have love in my soul
For it is important to love.

So I will love you and send you my caring
And my love even if it is never returned

Be Loved - j

I know some guys that think it is bad for them to cry.  Nature gave us emotions and tear ducts to use and it is OK.   I found out that crying does help ease the hurt. You may never get over it but you can get past it and crying is a help.

Have you ever noticed as you drive down the road
The little cars passing you are all painted red!
Usually driven by someone with a look of dedication on their face
Dedicated to being in first place
What is it they used to say: "Better red than dead."

Nature's Public Art

To The Tree
On The South Side Of The City Hall (Nature’s Public Art)

You’ve rushed to put on your new dress.
( Are you planning to wear it to the Harvest Ball?)

Some of your neighbors have begun to try on their jewels.
But you stand there – resplendent – alone – in autumnal glory!

Others cling to their summer frocks but, trend setter that you are, you couldn’t wait to show off your newest gown.

Some seeing your splendor, and knowing that they cannot compete, have disrobed and retired to their winter beds.

Soon the rest will put on their colorful Ball finery – but none can match your beautiful display.

At Church one Sunday Marnie Goeppinger commented on the beautiful tree by the Ames City Hall.  I drove down to look and this is the result.  The picture is not the actual tree.)

Betty's Dancers

from all over the world.
Moving through
space and time-
Betty’s dancers
filling our afternoon
And FUN!

We watch them
and fly

And we are with them,
They lift us from our
day to day world
And inspire us
with Beauty

November 21st 1986
(Written after watching the Children’s Theater
presentation of the I. S. U. Dance Theater.  Carole Horowitz is the driving force behind the Children's Theater and Betty Toman, I.S.U. Dance brought her dancers to perform for the students.)

My Solution

September 1984
The “Word is out – I heard it today,
The schools are in trouble – or so they say,
With declining enrollment and low teacher pay,
Our future looks to be a bleak and dismal day.
The politicians wrote “A Nation at Risk”

Their solution to what ails us – tsk, tsk, tsk,
Those who have worked to study the schools,
Feel that we’re on board “The Ship of Fools.”
We’ve talked and talked and we’ve planned and planned,
But it all came out to be just scratching in the sand.
For the real solution to all education’s woes,
Is as plain to me as the nails on my toes.
The one common thing through all the reports
It shines through the rhetoric and all the retorts
Education is necessary for our “National Defense”
So – here is my idea – please don’t take offense.
We simply apply to the Army and Navy,
The Air Force and Marines and get part of their gravy.
We move to the Pentagon, the Department of Education
And soon we’ll be saving this great Nation
We add one more to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Just think about it – don’t sit there and laugh,
We’ll have equal opportunity to rise through the ranks
And all of the people will give us their thanks.
All of the staff would wear uniforms shiny and bright,
We’ll know that we are doing is fighting for the right.
Merit pay would go out the door,
You might have a general who sweeps the floor
Everyone would have his or her own rank,
And the
Budget would have dough in the bank,
Supplies would suddenly be abundant,

Begging for money would be redundant.
The cash is there for the bombers and M-X,
The government is always ready with those checks.
The money will come in thick and fast
Just think of the field trips – what a blast!
And no little kid would kick the teacher in the shin,
If the Service knows one thing – it’s discipline.
If they don’t do their homework – it’s into the Brig,
And absolutely no one would give a fig.
No one could disagree – they’d dare not,
For fear of being court-martialed and shot.
The U. S. O would come to entertain us,
We’d go on those field trips in a camouflaged bus,
We would march around the school and salute the flag,
I think it would work – I’m not being a wag.
And after putting in our thirty years
Just think of the retirement my dears.
I think we could our status regain,
By joining with the Armed Forces, using our brain,
Our schools would a delightful place be
If only the reformers would listen to me!

A Therapy Poem.  Once again in reaction to the politicos who think they know everything.

A Mason’s Working Tools

A tool resting upon a shelf
Can do nothing by itself.
But if taken up with purpose pure
It can build and shape for sure

The Mason's tool will help him grow
If he looks inside to learn and know
The tool has a greater message for each
As life's important lessons it does teach.

That tool in his hands can change his life.
Raise him above mortal strife
Used with purpose and with care
He can build a temple fair.

Some tools give a standard true,
To measure our lives through and through
While others shape a character fair
As we learn their lessons there.

The compass around us a circle draws
In which we overlook our flaws
With the plumb line and the level we meet others.
Upright and true we travel with our brothers

The gavel governs and teaches all alike
That our rough edges from us we should strike
Smoothing and shaping as a block of stone
Ready to stand before God's holy throne.

With a twenty-four inch gauge
time is divided into work and rest,
Service to God and to our fellow man -
measured and laid out - drawn by the best.
A trowel binding into a sacred group
spreads the cement of brotherly love
Masons building, learning and growing -
guided with light from above.

We use our tools most sublime.
And take them up our lives to shape
Tools for learning - tools for growing
Tools for building - tools for knowing.

And when at last our journey ends
And from our hands the tools fall
When tis time to "Part upon the square"
May it be said of each and of all

He knew the lessons which were taught
And with those lessons hard he wrought
To build a character so sublime
One noble, upright, pure and fine.
One which stood the test of time.

This poem means a lot to me as a Mason the working tools teach me many lessons.  I am pleased with it.

My Brother

He may be young
He may be old.
He may be a doctor,
A bricklayer,
A Lawyer or college professor
No matter
I meet my Brother
“On the Level”

He may be richer than I
He may be poorer
Drive a big car
Or an old jeep.
He may wear plain clothes
Or be a fancy dresser
No matter
I greet my Brother
“On the Level”

He may have taken his degrees over time
Or received them all in one day
For the time being
He may hold office
In the Lodge or in the state
He may be married
Have children or not
No matter
He is my Brother
And we meet
“On the Level”

The whole idea of meeting "on the level" appeals to me.  In Masonry we don't  (or shouldn't) worry about any other title that BROTHER.

Biker Santa

T’was the week before Christmas -I had lots to do
With my Christmas shopping I was only half through.
But just now I decided I needed to rest.
So it was off to the recliner and my own little nest.
The tree was up but that’s all that was done
This year Christmas just didn’t seem like fun.

I was sitting and resting with a fresh cup of coffee
Staring at that undecorated tree.
Those list’s of “to do’s” danced round in my head.
Packages needed wrapping and I must mix that batch of bread.
Presents to buy and cookies to bake
Cards to mail and sweaters to make.

With all that to do I must get busy
If I worry to much I’ll be in a tizzy,
But, it’s snowing out now so I’ll just take a nap.
I must pet the kitty who just climbed into my lap.)
Just rest awhile before starting all that work
(Lest you think that my duties I’d shirk

Then all of a sudden horns honking were heard
“What’s that” I exclaimed, “Oh my word!”
I leaped to my feet scattering coffee and cat,
Wondering about the noise, just what is that?
What is happening out there today?
I rushed to the window to see who was at play.

I gazed outside, up and down my street
And all of a sudden my eyes got a treat.
Eight bikers rode by, horns blaring and tooting
With green leather jackets and bags full of booty.
Each biker, an elf, with pointy little ears
And to my eyes came wondrous tears

I giggled, I laughed, You might say I howled.
And then I looked and spotted what followed
He came with a roar, a wave and a toot.
Oh Santa, I thought, “What a hoot!’
Biker Santa roaring by on a big red Harley
Making noise enough to wake Jacob Marley.

Christmas changes you’ve made
What plans have you laid?
He looked up with a grin and he gave me a wink.
So I pulled away from the old kitchen sink.
A wave of his hand and a smile from those cheeks
At a new way of thinking he’d given me a peek

I thought of the lists of things I needed to do.
And I realized that Santa had one too.
You shouldn’t have to rush around town
With your face set in a perpetual frown
While you cook and bake those cakes so fruity.
Christmas shouldn’t be just work and duty.

No, Christmas time comes once a year
With Santa, elves and (sometimes) reindeer
As Santa rode by on his bike of red,
He waved, grinned and then he said,
“You know, our work we should not shun
But, remember friends, Christmas should be FUN!”

Here is wishing you all a very Merry (and Fun) Christmas.

I looked out in front one day and saw this guy going by on a motorcycle dressed as SANTA.  He was having fun and it was contagious. 

A Terrorist Organization?

We are not the enemy!
The Secretary of Education called the NEA a “terrorist” organization.

I’ll be a terrorist
I’ll fight
I’ll fight for the kids:
The ones who have parents too busy to care for them,
The ones with two parents at odds with each other on how to they should be raised,
The kids who come home after school to an empty apartment or get up in the morning and fix their own breakfast.
For them I’ll be a terrorist

I’ll be a terrorist
I’ll fight for the teachers who have given their lives nurturing other people’s kids.
The teachers who need a living wage but still subsidize their classrooms because there is no money in the budget for books and supplies.
The teachers who cry every night for their students.
For them I’ll be a terrorist.

I’ll be a terrorist
I’ll be glad to fight those politicians who would divide our country
And try to destroy the public schools.
By accusing the people who care the most for the students
Of not caring.
I’ll fight those who condemn all teachers and lump all students into one mold.
Who would “leave no child behind” but by their actions leave many out.
For them I’ll be a terrorist.

I’ll be a terrorist.
Because I care;
I care for the kids who have no one else to care for them.
The ones who can’t figure out how to control themselves
The ones who are “hooked” on something, anything – drugs, bad behavior,
I’ll cry for the ones who have no one to cry for them.
For them I’ll be a terrorist

Call me a terrorist –
Sure call me names.
Accuse me of fighting.
But don’t tell me I don’t care.
Because I do.
And because I do ---
I am a terrorist!

Jay Cole Simser
A proud member of the NEA terrorist organization

Again this is Therapy which helps when the "jerk" politicians bash educators.  They seem to do it regularly.  I guess I could do some things to them that would actually cause them pain but the would I not be lowering myself to their level?

Cochise's Grandson

Looking Back --

What can I see?

I see back to when my people were free.
Before the stealers came.

I see vast plains and unpolluted skies.
Before the spoilers came.

I see enormous herds of animals, buffaloes, deer, elk!
Before the killers came.

I see homes and families working together free and happy
Before the dividers came.

I hear the music of my world -
joyful, rhythmic, haunting

Before you came.

I took a writing workshop in Des Moines. This was one of the things I wrote down there. The really neat thing was reading it aloud to the group and hearing their applause. that is a memory I'm keeping. The picture isn't really Cochise or his grandson but i liked it. It is done with crayola's

A Mason’s Faith

Is Masonry a religion.?
Not a religion
But a man must have faith
A Mason’s trust is in his God.

He first came to the Lodge
Was asked to kneel…
A Brother prayed for him.
Another walked with him,
Never alone –
Always upright like the Plumb
Trusting in the Brother and his God.

He walked a path others had walked.
For centuries every Mason has walked that path -- learning and growing
Trusting his Brothers and his God.

Progress brought light, more light and further light.
The light from God “In the beginning.”
The light of learning and knowledge.
Light from the God in whom he put his trust.

The Mason grew as he made his promises.
Secrets to keep – Secrets to look for.
The Master’s Word was lost.
Searched for and never found.
But still he could trust in his God.

Working tools taught him lessons
A good man was made better.
Passions were subdued and the tools helped him build.
Build his character as a stone
Whose rough edges are smoothed
For the Temple of His God.

Almighty Father of the Universe
Great Architect of the Universe
However He is addressed
He is the One to trust.

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity” The Mason prayed that discordant passions be subdued,
That Brotherly Love and Affection be spread with the Master’s trowel.
And God is the one he trusts to answer that prayer.

And so may the blessing of Heaven
Rest upon all Masons. May we meet upon the level and part upon the square always trusting in our God.

Not a religion
But a man must have faith
A Mason’s trust and his faith
are in his God.

Jay Cole Simser
March 22. 2004
Inspired by M.W. Brother Tom Eggleston
Dedicated to R.W. Bill Yungclas

Tom Eggleston, PGM is one of my Masonic Heroes.  When I decided to write a tribute to Brother Bill as he became Grand Chaplain I thought of Tom and he was the inspiration for this.

The Smile

The man was struggling with his bicycle outside the store.
His face grimaced as he tried to get his clumsy hands to work.
A homely face – wrinkled with evidence of years of struggle as he tried to cope with an unwieldy world.
You could tell he was used to being ignored.
Most look away from such a face.

But today I didn’t look away.
I grabbed his eyes with mine,
We looked at each other and I sent a smile his way.

The gratitude of his returning smile brightened my day
Later as I drove away I realized that in that awkward, homely smile
I had seen God’s face.
August 30, 2000

It was up at the Ace Hardware on 24th street.  I was trying to connect and I would say we did.

The Lady Deer

This morning as I drove up the hill,
She stepped out from between the curtain of the woods.
She processed halfway across the asphalt,
paused and looked around as if to say;
”See I’m here, look at me and know that you
share my world.”
On an ordinary day the only evidence that lives exist around us are the mute still bodies
that lay beside the road – a raccoon, a skunk and occasionally a possum.. silent testimonies of lives snuffed out quickly on a dark night.

But this morning, this bright shining morning
the Lady Deer allowed me to view her for a brief,
magical moment.
A royal, magical queen of the world..
Blessing me with her presence and a glance
before proceeding on her chosen pathway
to her royal palace in the woods.

Later when I read the newspaper, I discovered that today was the opening of deer hunting season.

It was a magical moment and I relish those little moments when I see a wild animal.  This wrote itself and the irony of the final line is very poignant for me.

The Crow Convention

The crows have convened across the way.
Big black birds crowousing with each other.

Hanging out with their crownies.
Strutting around
Chris, Charlie, Carlton, Clarence, and Chip.
Yakking, poking, grabbing and crowoperating.

They’re holding a convention to decide who will be crowned
King of the Crows!

They debate, deliberate and finally designate a leader.
But, as with humans, EGO gets in the way and no one is really chosen.

At the end of the day they fly away to their night homes –

Tomorrow they will convene again – unless it is a Sunday
when they will congregate.

February 17, 2000

(I wrote this during a Wednesday meeting after seeing a flock of crows on Larry Eustachy’s lawn across from the school.) It is one of my favorite because of the alliteration.

Wake Up Call

I stubbed my toe late last night
while shuffling off to bed,
The pain shot from my toe
right to the top of my head.

I yelled, and screamed – jumped up and down.
I massaged my toes – rubbed them all around.
They felt much better so I resumed my trek
On down the hallway – my foot a wreck.

Next I encountered the dog’s old bone
Which he planned on chewing when all alone.
It was hard and unpleasant, soggy and wet
One of those chew things you get from the vet.

Once again I was doing my dance
As all around the house I did prance.
The next items my poor feet did encounter
My shoes lying behind the kitchen counter.
Then the dog dish and the cat’s water
I did spill – my little toesies have had their fill.

I’m wide-awake now – there’ll be no sleep tonight.
And next time - - I’ll turn on the light.

Just a "fun" poem from a true incident one night.


She wore her sunglasses like a tiara – this “Princess Royal” of the cabin.

She and her “lady-in-waiting” are traveling to the Caribbean via Florida

The “juice” she had enables her to let us all know about her recent divorce – what her next husband will be like – Oops make that “boyfriend.”

She stumbled off the plane in Chicago leaving behind a train of perfume.

Still “holding court” with her one admirer.

A character study of a fellow traveler on the airplane to Scotland.

The Return

I had forgotten about
Dandelions, Dutchmen’s britches,
and daffodils
Dogtooth violets, May apples, tulips
and of course, lilacs.

Watching a film near the end of winter
I caught a glimpse of spring to come.

And now my soul sings as nature
Re-awakens from a long winter’s sleep
And brightens the world again.

Just for me!

April 25, 2005

The Green Has Returned

can you hear it?

The Green has returned
accompanied by daffodils -
dogtooth violets, Dutchman’s britches, and baby lambs.

The Green has returned
and brought with it
blue skies, clouds, gentle rain and thunderstorms!

The Green has returned
resurrected from Winter’s cold sleep
leaping up to celebrate life.

It slipped around the corner -- sneaking up on us -quietly whistling a little tune to say ”I’m baaack!”

Just a celebration of my favorite season.

Dancin' The Slow Dance

Dancin’ The Slow Dance!
January 11, 2005

They came down the aisle,
Side by side,
Arm in arm.
Left foot right foot,
Forward together,
They’re dancin’ the slow dance now.

Not for them intricate steps of a Tango, Rumba or Waltz,
No Boogie Woogie, Charleston, or Cha Cha Cha
He doesn’t sweep her around the floor or dip her way back,
But they still move together,
Slow dancin’ to the music of life

You can tell theirs has been a long dance
The way they move together
A joy to watch for those who see.
(Most don’t see them).
Just an old couple moving slowly through the store

But there is rare beauty in their movement
Side by side,
Arm in arm,
Left feet forward.
Right feet forward
They’re slow dancin’ the last dance together.

I love this poem.  It wrote itself.  I was sitting out at West HyVee having a cup of Starbuck's coffee and noticed this couple walking down the aisle.  They were tall and thin and elegant  
with thinning white hair they were obviously devoted to one another and it just looked like they were dancing.  I wish I knew who they were so I could share it with them,


It happened overnight
Flowers on tree branches
Scenting the air - Beautiful


There is that within you that can reach a star...

Find it!

A song no one but you can hear ...

Sing it!

There is that without you that would pull you down ...

Fight it!

A bird doesn't get into trouble unless it flies too low ...

Fly high!

The universe is a question ...

Answer it!

A bird flew across the car in front of me one day and I got to thinking that it would not get into trouble if it just flew higher. It gradually grew into this.  For several years I posted it as a poster on my classroom door.


In the movie “Mrs. Henderson Presents”
Mrs. Henderson is standing on top of the theater with her name on it
Watching bombs drop all over London.

There is a stark beauty to the scene and as she stands there watching.
She does not seem afraid. Because she knows that none of those bombs
Have her name on them.

The bullet that kills you is said to
Have your name on it.

When we finish something we put our name on it to show that
It belongs to us. And to no one else.
“Be sure to put your names on your paper!” the teacher says.

My aunt and uncle had each other’s names tattooed on their arms,
Inside hearts to show their love for each other.
That love lasted for years and years and years.

TV stars name shows after themselves.
No Ego there!

Names are important. In some cultures names are not shared
If someone knows your name they have power over you.
Jacob wrestled and asked for a blessing…instead he got a new name.
Moses listened to the burning bush and learned God’s Name.

We put names on our kids. Sometimes they change them
That is their choice. Some change them many times.
Some use one name here and another there. A. K. A.
Who are they hiding from?

Headstones put our names on life
To show that we were here.

Those bombs and bullets I mentioned earlier
Have been dropping all over the world since before I was born.
(So far none of them have had my name on it.)
I hope to keep it that way.

Businesses have names on them as do the products they make.
Brand Names have recognition. They cost more money.

Mention a name and it calls forth emotion.
“I like that name!!! “ “There is just something about that name I don’t like.”

When I finish this I will put my name on it.

Jay Cole Simser

I got the idea for this one as the first line says from the movie Mrs. Henderson Presents.  It is a great movie and encourage you to see it.

If being a liberal means that:

you love liberty and freedom
instead of “Patriot Acts” and trampled rights.

you care for people
instead of corporations

you support education, teachers and free public schools
instead of religious indoctrination and acts that
leave many children behind

you care for children and their well-being
instead of corporate CEO’s and their fancy lifestyle.

Fine, then call me a liberal!

If being a liberal means that:

you believe in religious freedom
instead of “everybody think alike” doctrines

you believe women are equal and should be treated (and paid) as such
instead of being “subordinate” barefoot and pregnant

you believe in supporting our troops
instead of the lies that put them in harm’s way

Fine, then I’ll take the name liberal and be proud of it!

If being a liberal means that:

you don’t believe that oil should be purchased with blood
or that greedy corporations should get rich from war

you want to preserve and defend our environment
instead of raping the land so nothing will remain for our future.

you believe that some forests should be saved for the animals that inhabit them
instead of destroyed for big business profit.

you believe in clean air
instead of pollution and acid rain from factory smokestacks

Then, I’ll be a liberal!

If being a liberal means that:

you believe in families no matter of whom they are composed
instead of divisive (so called) defense of marriage legislation.

you know that some folks are different from others

not through choice but because they were made that way

you know that God made Adam and Eve
as well as Adam and Steve and Ellen and Eve


you believe that everyone has a right to live a life free from harassment and hate
instead of living with humiliation and fear

If being a liberal means all that- then I am a liberal, an American liberal, and proud of it!

Jay Cole Simser
July 7, 2004

Another Therapy Poem. (see below)  Just away to get things off my chest.

I Have No Doubt That

I have no doubt that it is global warming that is contributing to the strength of recent hurricanes.
I have no doubt that there is global warming.
I have no doubt that our wasteful way of living has contributed to the speeding up of the situation.
I have no doubt that ignoring the plight of the poorest of those in our world
(just ONE world no more)
to pander to the business of the few is evil.
I have no doubt that the rape of our lands will eventually destroy the very world in which we live.
I have no doubt that our world can be a good place to live – for the rich, the few.
I have no doubt that the religions of Jesus has been hijacked by self-righteous prigs who DO NOT understand what he meant when he said, “I have come that they might have life more abundantly.”

I have no doubt that there is no place to move. Our fragile planet is all we have.

I also have no doubt that if mankind wants to they can come together and use their collective knowledge to solve the problems we have caused.

When we take self-interest out of our reasoning
And put in sincere compassion and self sacrifice into the mix
When we look to the interest of all mankind and not just a few
And tolerate no exploitation of anyone ANYWHERE!

When we sit down together with our fellows and realize that everyone has the right to a good life, and then work toward solutions to our problems, not worrying about religious beliefs and how to please God-in-the sky and worry instead about how to bring the best life for everyone within the limited resources which we have.

I have no doubt that we can become the solution instead of the problem.

Sometime I just get frustrated with the politicians and their pat answers and ignoring the problems which need solving and could  be solved that I need to write a "therapy" poem.  This is one of them.

50's Sock Hop - 2005

Poodle skirts
Saddle shoes
Blue Jeans, penny loafers and white sox.

Listen to the music
From fifty years ago.

Watch, feet moving,
Hips twirling to the Twist.

Taking me back and I think I am in High School again.

Then I look up from feet and hips
And see lined faces and white hair.
Gosh, they look as old as me!

Then I look again and I see them as they once were
Just Kids – dancin’ and enjoyin’ themselves.

Steppin’ back in time and havin’ FUN!

Jay Cole Simser
June 25, 2005

The inspiration for this little poem was an actual sock hop with people dressed in the 50's complete with poodle skirts.  It was sponsored by the Order of the  
eastern Star.

Most People

Most people sing just one song
give just one speech,
have just one conversation –
usually with themselves.

Most people dance
just one dance,
walk just one walk
Go to just one place - many times.

Most Rock Stars give the same concert
over and over.
Most comedians tell the same joke -
although sometimes with different punch lines.

Most Authors who write just one book
can do it many times.

Most politicians have just one idea –
usually someone else’s.
If you change your audience no one knows you are boring!

Some people however
Sing several songs,
Dance many dances,
Walk in different worlds.

Some people have endless conversations with many people.

Some people never listen
but others always do.

Some people stand out and stand up.

They are original, diverse, endlessly fascinating shining stars.

Jay Cole Simser
April 26, 2005

I went to a concert at Drake University one April evening and I enjoyed it very much. I bought two of the artist's CD recordings Over the next few days I listened to them and discovered that most of the songs sounded alike. That got me to thinking that the speeches that politicians and others give are probably like that also just tweaked a little to suit the situation and thus this poem was born.

Something New

PARIS, France (AP) -- Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday.

They keep discovering new things
Hidden in the world

This time it is a blond lobster
It has been off somewhere “having more fun.”

Our world is full of “wonderful things”
What a joy to find something new.

I wonder what it tastes like????

I saw an article and the idea for this poem came to mind.  
The whole "fun" of this poem for me is the last line.  Just like a kid it goes right into my mouth."