The Works of Art™
"Idle Thoughts on 'Most Any Subject"

"The Works of Art" A collection of poems by Art Blattenberger

Note: All poems are copyrighted and may not be used without permission. Write to me, and I will be glad to grant it. Credit must be given to Art Blattenberger. Thank-you.

Art Blattenberger, Classified Ad Manager, Evening Capital Newspaper, November 21, 1969 - Airplanes and Rockets

Art Blattenberger, Classified Ad Manager, Evening Capital Newspaper, November 21, 1969

My father, Arthur "Art" Blattenberger, worked as the Classified Department manager at The Evening Capitol newspaper. He worked there from the time I was born until the day he died on March 3, 1981. I was in the Air Force at Loring AFB, Maine, at the time the call came from my aunt. It was a shock to everyone, particularly to my mother and three school-age sisters still living at home.

His disposition was upbeat, and he loved nothing more than being home with his family (although my five sisters and I - particularly I -could make his life pretty miserable at times). Dad was a funny guy who tried to create a home environment like the one he remembered from his childhood in Lackawanna, NY. His father and brothers worked at the Bethlehem Steel mills a few blocks away from their row house. Two parents and seven or eight kids lived in that house at one point. Today, when families of Illegals from Mexico live in those conditions, we're told they are underprivileged and are owed a handout.

While at the Evening Capitol, Dad published an occasional poem in a columns titled. "The Works of Art - Idle Thoughts on Just About Any Subject." Those poems' subjects ranged from the births of his children, to the assassination of JFK, to odes to firemen. The ones posted below are from a collection put together by my sister, Gayle (who was my father's biggest admirer), after he died.

Some day, as time permits, I'll have to scan in some of the many letters that he wrote to me while I was in the U.S. Air Force. They usually combined drawings, newspaper clippings, and other original bits with the text of the letter. Colored Flairs used for highlighting, coffee stains, and who-knows what else might have ended up on the paper by the time he was ready to send it. If you ever get the chance to read them, you'll bust a gut laughing. Enjoy.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

April 22, 1958

Dear Reader please I'd like to say

I'll be writing this column each Thursday

To try to tell in thoughts that rhyme

The things I think of all the time.

Though I'm no Kilmer, Keats or Poe

Or Whittier or Longfellow,

I'll try to satisfy your quest

Of thoughts you like to read the best.

If my words do not suffice

I think it would be very nice

If you write me anytime

Of the thoughts you'd like to see in rhyme.

Address your letter directly to me

At Edgewater Box 303,

And I will do my very best

To poetically answer your request.

So join me on my poetic tours

While I hope that my thoughts can be yours

With sincere concern right from the heart

I hope you enjoy the "Works of Art."

Art Blattenberger

Verse to a Nurse

May 11, 1958

I'm in favor of a well earned hail

For the progress of Miss Nightingale,

To the girls in white who work unsung

To save the sick, the old, the young.

From Clara Barton to Edith Cavell

To the Women's Nurse Corps they've all served well.

Their actions are quick, their speech is terse,

These personalities personify a nurse.

Their chores are many and varied too,

Their main concern is in helping you.

A constant smile must grace their face

As they perform at a breakneck pace.

They give you a needle or maybe a pill

Or put your flowers on the window sill;

They rub your back or change your bad

And fluff your pillow to rest your head.

They listen to your pains and aches,

They know what medicine each patient takes;

The Delivery room where new babies are born

Is constantly busy from night 'til morn.

They say new mothers are not much bother

The trouble seemingly rests with father,

But they reassure him when he starts to fret,

"We haven't lost a Father yet."

So let's give credit where credit is due

With a big salute for the work they do,

And hope some day we may reimburse

God's gift to humanity

                       her name is Nurse.

Art Blattenberger


May, 1958

Tho I'm married, I'm in love

With a girl who's very sweet

With eyes that sparkle like stars above

And of stature so petite.

I've confessed my feelings to my wife

She took the news quite well;

I said that I would give my life

For this girl I think's so swell.

Some nights she likes to stay up late,

Each day she's getting bolder.

And I just sit there feeling great

As her head rests on my shoulder.

I guess you think I'm very bold

To carry on this way,

But on my heart she has a hold

And it is there to stay.

She isn't one who talks a lot,

But she surely loves to drink;

"Da Da" is her one bon mot

(You're getting the gist I think!)

Gayle is the name of the girl I adore,

She looks like a doll I'm told.

My wife and I both love for

She's our baby-she's 9 months old.

Art Blattenberger

School is Out

June 1958

Once more we hear joyous children shout

The "call of the world," "SCHOOL IS OUT."

The doors are closed, learning's left behind,

Summer vacation dominated their mind.

Johnny's so happy that he needn't cram

And sweat and toil on that final exam.

Sally's homework now only entails

Going out to the movies and beach with her pals.

Books are heaped in a pile high

Neglected, spurned, never catching an eye.

The same sleepy heads Mother couldn't wake

Are now dressed and have eaten when the dawn doth break.

The big red schoolhouse-so busy all year

Now stands empty-armed, no voices to hear,

All the wastebaskets emptied, the shades all drawn,

The big clock on the wall gives a tired yawn.

The omnipresent old school bell

Has rung the season's final knell,

The yellow school bus rests once more

It too has performed a forgotten chore.

The cop who led the children across the street

Now stands alone on an empty beat.

The soda fountain a daily stop

Is now just another deserted shop.

So let's don't begrudge them a happy vacation,

Let's remember when we felt the same sensation.

Let's all of us join in and shout

With a million children, "SCHOOL IS OUT!"

Art Blattenberger

It Seems Like Only Yesterday

August 12, 2008

Today, wee Gayle, you've reached age one

Hasn't this first year been fun?

Disregarding each bump and fall

You've had a pretty good time after all.

Remember the nights when Mommy and me

Would sit up and rock you on our knee

And you'd just lay there without any fuss

You endeared yourself greatly to both of us.

Remember when you were still real small

How we used to think you'd never grow tall

But look at you now, you've grown like a weed

That came from eating all the food you need.

Remember how all the food you ate

Had to be strained through a real fine grate

But look at you now, you're very able

To eat with Mommy and me at the table.

Remember when your little legs were like rubber

As soft and fat as a big whale's blubber

But look at you now, you walk with the best

As a matter of fact, you seldom ever rest.

Remember when you were still just cooing

And didn't really know what you were doing

But look at you now, the thing you can do

You say "Mama", "Dada", "Up", "Down", and "How do."

Yes, dear Gayle, now you're one year old

You're the prettiest story that was ever told

And if you should live to a hundred and three

Please, baby, remember Mommy and Me.

Art Blattenberger

It Rained... Again

From Monday to Friday the sun shone bright

As if by magic on Friday night

The clouds appeared, the winds blew strong

The hard rains came, all weekend long.

All our plans for working outside

Went down the drain, with the rising tide

The grass grew taller, the weed grew stronger

Don't know if we can take this much longer.

The paint on the house looked a little more soiled

As the rain beat down, and we just boiled.

Out in the garden, the corn and tomatoes

Had a swimming party with the beets and potatoes

I thought to myself, "If they grow as one

I'll have ready made salad," but that can't be done.

The children were champing at the bit

To go outdoors, and not just sit

And watch TV, all reruns at that

Their feet were itchy, so was where they sat!

Soon they were at each other's throat

"That's my crayon", "Don't touch my boat"

"Mom she hit me", "Can I go outside?"

Mom's nerve end were fit to be tied.

The weekend passes and Sunday night

The children finally give up their fight

And get ready for bed, have some milk and cake

And I think to myself, "Please for their sake Make it rain all week, until Friday night

Then Saturday morn, let the sun shine bright."

Don't you agree it's a terrible pain

To be stuck indoors with a weekend of rain

And don't you agree, as I lay down my pen


Art Blattenberger

The Story Behind the Story

"Getcha papuh, readallaboutit"

Every day the newshawks shout it

And America reads as the news is unfurled

As it happens - around the world.

But we never stop to give a thought

Of what goes into that paper we've bought

Of the time and men and the deadlines to beat

Before the paper hits the street.

The reporters' job is to get the story

And give all the details, whether blissful or gory

With a "nose for news" they follow each lead

And edit the facts so they're easy to read.

The photographer's camera continually clicking

The teletype with its tick-tick-ticking

The Office force second to none

Check minutest details, they work as one.

Advertising salesmen with their layout pads

Combine wisdom, forethought and appeal in their ads

Each set up to attract the buyer's eye

To tell where to buy it, from whom and why.

The composing room where the type is set

With its linotypes miming a large castanet

Compositors, markup men, copy boys too

Each with a definite job to do.

Then everything goes to the big press room

Where the giant presses make a mighty boom

As the ink and metal cut a magical caper

When they meet with a crash on the huge rolls of paper.

"Getcha papuh, readallaboutit"

Everyday the newshawks shout it

And America reads as the news is unfurled

As it happens - from around the world.

Art Blattenberger

And to All a Good Night

December 1958

As my year-old little desk calendar tells

This is the season for holly and bells

For tinsel, bright lights and shopping fuss

This is the season of Merry Christmas.

Folks you haven't seen for a year

Are helping you spread the season's good cheer

There's a Santa Claus in all the big stores

Helping to solve your gift-giving chores.

Bright colored lights and boughs of holly

Deck the town, it looks so jolly

All the store windows in their decor so gay

Make you feel "It's a wonderful day."

The children are on their best behavior

To help celebrate the birth of our Savior

But the things on the minds of most girls and boys

Are candy and Santa Claus and a sack full of toys.

Mother is busy with cookies and cake

With socks to fill and a turkey to bake

When buying gifts she's Mrs. Claus

Why does she do it? You know, because.

The cold weather has made its call

And soon the first snow will start to fall

The time goes faster as the big day grows near

Carols and bells are the sounds that you hear.

Then all of a sudden it's Christmas Day

In a matter of minutes the gifts are astray

But it was all fun, you feel good in your heart

I do too - Season's Greetings from


Art Blattenberger

I Love a Mousetry

Have you ever lived within a house

That you had to share with a little mouse

Or maybe, two or three or four

I do - let me tell you more.

Each time it's cool or muggy or damp

These little mice decide to camp

In various places throughout our domain

And I try to catch them, usually in vain.

They scratch and gnaw and jump and run

I guess it's their idea of fun

They make a mess where'er they've been

If I clean it up, they mess it again.

One in particular has made a nest

In a place even I consider best

He makes his home in our floor heater

The first cold day, I'll fix that cheater.

I set traps and use "mouse seed" by the box

But these li'l devils must be sired by fox

For they eat the seed and steal my cheese

They think living with us is really a breeze.

One of them has set his sights

On a daring feat to scale new heights

For it seems to be his one desire

To get twixt the wall and climb higher and higher.

But one of these days I'll declare war

And not be bothered with them any more

And prove that living here wasn't so nice

And they'll be nothing but a bunch of dead mice.

Art Blattenberger

Thanks...for Being What You are at 21

August 18, 1979

As we look back over your twenty-one years

Some memories bring both sad and glad tears.

Like the day we came home and were quite amazed

To find a hole where the window was glazed!

My memory says that one lonely night

In a moment of madness, you took flight,

From the happy confines of River Road

To a place that only "Kirtie knowed"!

My memory fails me when I need it most

(A fact about which I don't boast).

Did you in fact, "run away" as a tot?

I say you did ... Mama says not!

Remember Miss Lilly and the year you were "Pres",

you gave your speech in your mortar and fez?

If he reads this today, will he recall, too,

That as old as he gets, he'll be "Igor" to you?

Recall the days of your paper route ...

No paper for Aarsand if Schultz was out!

Remember him racing from Smith's to Stephen's

And how we finally got "our evens"?

As Schultz ran abreast of our speeding car

We stopped rather quick .. .it was quite a jar.

The door was opened, we heard a resounding -

Poor Schultz's head is still apounding!!

Remember when you and Chuck strayed from home,

Looking for greener pastures to roam?

You were really quite obvious and readily seen

Sneakin' down wide and open Route 214!

And who can forget your "act of humanity"?

Depriving poor kitty of all its sanity ...

As you closed him, alone, in the girl's bedroom,

Turned out the lights, then turned on the vacuum!

Skipping about...remember the day,

You and "Der Flynn" used the back yard to play

With rockets and planes, and "Jer" was the runner,

You were the Pilot.. .and he thought it was "funner"?

We'll always recall with a wee bit of fright

When your gang "stormed" Southern that memorable night.

With paint can and ladder, you scaled the high tower,

In "'76" ... 'twas your signing(?) hour!

But, alas, it came out, a secret to none,

Your brave deed accomplished, you had your fun.

Did we know your secret? Snitchers we ain't,

(But we did sort of wonder 'bout the clothes full of paint!)

We know you love cars, but how 'bout the time

When you were just 4 - hardly your prime -

When you (Clyde) said to "Bonnie (Gayle), let's go for a ride,"

And had your mother and I mortified.

'Cause you both, all dressed in pajamas and boots

Had somehow gotten in cahoots.

And taken our keys and sundry supplies,

But looked, when approached, with such innocent eyes.

You saw nothing wrong - you were up in years,

But, when spanked, your eyes made tears!

One thing I failed to mention though ...

All this took place in two feet of snow!

Did you ever thank B&D for their aid

In teaching you how to make things look "mislaid"?

Then, somehow, the items you were 'lost'

Turned up in your shed .. at far below cost!

Remember the night you ran straight as an arrow

When you spied Mr. Cavey's super, brown Camaro?

Your very first car, paid for by you,

We must say your head gained a size or two.

It gave you much pleasure and, alas, some sorrow,

But nothing that wouldn't be "better tomorrow".

Your trophy still stands for the race you copped

At Capitol Raceway - but your race days have stopped!

The party at Friday's, given by Gayle

(Who really is your closest pal!)

Delighted us all... even though you thunk

We didn't know you were delightfully drunk!

We kind of thought that at 21

You'd own a part of Air Force One.

Instead of that, they turned the screw ...

Now the Air Force owns part of you!

Some things can't be rhymed, but bring memories back.

Here's one straight from Mom, who words doesn't lack:

"You hammered and wired your immortality into the addition

at "Ye Olde Homestead" ... not to mention the several $$ worth of material".

(I liked that so well, I didn't even try to rhyme it.)

But these are some of the things we remember,

Events without seasons - from January to December;

These are the things that give sorrow and joy;

These are the things that made you "Our Boy".

Needless to say, we're pleased to confess,

- We're tickled pink at your well-earned success.

If we had a chance to go back over the years

Not too much would change - except that which brought tears.

As you lay in bed at night and hear Reveille sound,

And all the thoughts in your mind abound ...

Know we'd change, if we could, what we didn't do

In all those years we grew up with you.

But we'll never change our thoughts of day one,

We are so pleased that you are our Son.

You've made us proud to be able to say,

"God Bless You ... We Love You ...

                                                            HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Love, Mom & Dad

Art Blattenberger

Written for Brenda


I know a girl who was mad

Because she was sad


One day she started to ride

And kicked the horse on its side

She put her foot in the stirrup

It was filled with chocolate syrup


Her horse started to eat hay

The horse got tired and started to lay

But Brenda rode by the river bay


I really have to go now (so)

My horse is going to take a bow


Now I have to send

This saying happens to be The End

By Bonnie Blattenberger

Oh Those Primaries

April 1958

That time of year has come once more

When political aspirants by the score

Decide that they have found the key

To running our fair community.

They've got their platform, they've got their speech

And at the top of their lungs they screech

That "My opponent has promised you

Things that he will never do."

New mud is slung at each election

Lest we may make the wrong selection

And pick the "despicable candidate

Who chooses to run on another slate."

I remember when it was a sin

For a woman to try to become an "in,"

But this primary will quash that hex

(For a third of the hopefuls are of the weaker sex!!)

So follow the news that's printed each day

And read what each aspirant has to say;

About his plans if he's elected

And why you'll be glad he was selected.

Then on the twentieth day of May

We - the people - will have our say

When we have evaluated pro and con

The platform that each one stands upon.

So if we want to have a voice

In electing the candidate of our choice

Let's get out and vote, and remember friend,

OUR candidate will win in the end.

Art Blattenberger

Dear Mom

May 1958

Why do we wait 'til Mother's Day

Before we find the words to stay

How much she means to you and I;

I'm guilty too, I don't know why.

When we need help and there is no other

We know we can depend on "Mother"

Who always has a consoling word

After your troubles she has heard.

If there's a fight 'tween sister and brother

The moderator is always "Mother"

Whose years of training have told her that

Kind words to each will end the spat.

Fixing meals is still another

Chore that is always left to Mother.

Being careful that the food delights

And soothes those savage appetites.

We never seem to have a qualm

Or give a thought to calling "Mom"

When things are going smooth enough,

We wait until the times get rough.

So I for one am glad hat they

Have set aside a "Mother's Day"

For it's the day we have a chance

To tell her she's still "our first romance."

Art Blattenberger

Dad - The Family Ruler, Every Inch a Man

June 1958

It seems as though we never bother

To write a song or poem for Father.

We write of Mother, the Bride and the Grad,

But seldom do we mention Dad.

He's off to work at the break of dawn

He bathes the dog, he mows the lawn.

But the note that makes it rather sad

Is that we never really appreciate Dad.

He buys the car for the family to use,

He works so the children have clothes and shoes.

He's a carpenter, painter, the children's horse.

And the family's spare dish wiper, of course.

He's Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,

He seems to have a tree that grows money.

When the sink's stopped up or the car needs repair,

Count on Dad, he'll be right there.

We laugh at all the junk he collects

From rusty bolts to parts of old wrecks,

But in a pinch when we need that "junk"

Dad smiles as he pulls it from his old tool trunk.

He's the family counselor when troubles arise,

In a game with the kids, he's "one of the guys."

He spares not the rod ere he spoils the child,

(But his hardest whacks somehow seem mild).

But let's not only be proud for a day,

Let's treat him with kindness in every way

And show him with meaning we're really glad

To prove to him there's no one like Dad.

Art Blattenberger

It Could Happen to You

July 27, 1958

What a wonderful day it was for me

When I gazed with starry eyes to see

A brand new car where my old one once stood,

Needless to say it made me feel good.

What could be the occasion for this?

I searched my mind, but my thoughts went amiss,

It wasn't my birthday or Christmas and yet

Here was this car that I was to get.

I took the occasion in surprising good grace

And tried to withhold the blush from my face

As I sauntered up to this spanking new car,

I opened the door and my mouth went ajar.

There on the seat was a neat little bag

So full of something it made the sides sag.

As I opened the bag with hesitant hands

I could feel a pulsating in my glands.

I steadied myself against the door

And emptied the contents onto the floor.

As an unending stream of coins rained down,

My expression changed to a smile from a frown.

This wasn't the end of my grand surprise

For another sweet sight just caught my eyes.

Tacked to the door was a neatly typed note

Here's what it said, and now I quote:

"Present to the bearer on his demands

All the clothes he can get in his hands,

Charge it to me and don't let it be known"

Who did this or why, I felt chilled to the bone.

The note was made out to the best store in town

And once again I started to frown.

The note was signed with only one letter,

This didn't make the situation much better.

I looked around with a careful eye

Lest I should let more good fortune pass by.

What more could I ask? Who did this for me?

To whom do I owe my thanks for this spree?

When all of a sudden I felt in my back

A stabbing pain, a heart attack?

I fell to the floor and let out a scream

It woke me up, it was only a dream.

Art Blattenberger

As I See It

July 1958

The season is here for those men and women

Who spend their spare time at the beach goin' swimmin'

Who wear shorts or skirts or bathing suits

In place of last winter's overcoat and boots.

It's my good fortune to work part time

At one of these beaches where the scenery's sublime

So enjoy with me the folks that I meet

As I patrol my bar-tending beat.

A little girl chased by a little boy

Wildly screaming but filled with joy

Kicking sand as they run in everyone's face

Scattering lunches and beach balls all over the place.

A lobster-red face on a sunburned man

Who had probably only hoped for a tan

Just makes you think how he must dread

Putting that blistered red back of his in bed.

The pretty girls not missing their chances

Of getting their share of admiring glances

Are certain to show cute dimpled knees

And dress in the latest, of course, the chemise.

A hapless mother screams to her daughter

To make sure that she stays out of deep water

But a splash and a squeal give the mother the word

That her warning calls have gone unheard.

A lassie walks by with a flower in her hair

It look like the wind just blew it there

But her face, I must say, without a doubt

Looks much better IN the water than out.

Folks in bathing suits of all descriptions

Some are goof tis, others conniptions

I say bathing suits are made for those blessed

With some sort of shape-I look better dressed.

Art Blattenberger


One of the nicest feelings by far

Is the one I get when I gaze at a star

It twinkles in the clear night sky

It almost seems to wink its eye.

If I should gaze around some more

I see little bright stars by the score

Each so happy that the sky is clear

That they seem to twinkle from ear to ear.

Although I'm not really superstitious

They say that you'll get all your wishes

If you'll close your eyes very tight

And wish on the Evening Star each night

Is there a man with eyes so bright

Who turns the starlight on each night?

Or are they left to go astray

And twinkle all throughout the day?

I think it must be the Man in the Moon

Who sees that they don't shine too soon

He sits up there with a great glib smile

Tending the stars all the while.

I've never seen a star so bright

As the one I'm gazing at tonight

As I made my wish-a though occurred

He winked at me-He must have heard

Art Blattenberger


Time has a way of passing you by

Year disappear 'fore you bat an eye

In looking thru my memory book

One item commanded a second look.

Something that was once close to my heart

My collection of poems, "The Works of Art. "

Years ago, when I was first married

Life was more leisurely, not hurried and harried

I'd sit in my chair most every night

And my moving hand was compelled to write

Of idle thoughts most of the time

And soon I noted I was writing in rhyme.

I wrote of our first daughter, Gayle

'Twas of her first birthday and her dog friend "Pal" Sixteen years have since gone by, when I wrote of

   "the apple of our eye"

Now she's a Senior at Southern High

How did I let the years slip by??

So much has happened since those days

Things have changed in so many ways

Fires and death and crises galore

Unbelievable prices at "the store"

Riots and murders by the score

And the ubiquitous killer, "war."

Our family grew, one by one

Soon we had Kirt, our only son

Six years passed, then you've never seen a

Baby cuter that our next born Tina.

Life went on and things were fine

'Til January of Sixty Nine

Our nerves were full of needles and pins

As the doctor came out and announced, "IT'S TWINS"

Bonnie and Brenda, now breathing life

Were to challenge the sanity of me and my wife.

From time to time I'll sit in my chair

And write of "the Twin," an incorrigible pair

Of Gayle and Kirt and Tina and "things"

On whatever thoughts my memory brings

I hope you'll take time to share with me

My humble attempts at poetry

as I write what I feel, I write from the heart

And I hope you'll enjoy "The Works of Art."

Art Blattenberger

Red, Black and Blue

This is the tale of one man's power

And how he makes his people cower

Never stopping to give a thought

That soon that power may be naught

The papers choose to call him "K"

So we will let it go that way

The point I'm trying to get across

Is what's in the mind of the Communist boss.

His one advantage is in having two faces

As he spreads his lies in different places

With one face he preaches "I'm your friend"

While the other face says "You'll be ours in the end!"

He's made the people in his land

Jump at his every harsh command

Where they've got to the point they're afraid to speak

Or they'll be in a slave camp the following week.

The "little people" it is sad to note

Elected him premier on a "One Ticket" vote

So now he was the solo voice

As to what they eat, where they work - there's no choice

The people in Russia are used to this life

Of nothing but hunger, fear and strife

But maybe one day they'll all rebel

And cause an uprising equal to Hell.

Then this big brave man with all his confessors

Will go the way of his predecessors

'Cause as far fetched as the thought may seem

In the minds of his people Freedom reigns supreme.

Art Blattenberger

Letter Men, All

April 16, 1959

V    is for the valor shown when there is work to do

O    is for ordinary men who help make up this crew

L     is for the lives they save by actions quick and smart

U    is for unending service from these men with a heart

N    is for the nothingness they receive for pay

T    is for the time they give, no matter night or day

E     is for the effort put forth by all these men

E     is for ever-readiness, over and over again

R    is the reason these men risk their lives

F    is their future, their kiddies, their wife

I     is for integrity, inborn in all these men

R    is for the right thing at the right place and when

E    is for equipment from a truck down to a hose

M  is for money they must have to buy all those

A   is for alarms that sound a woeful call for aid

N   is for their nattiness when in a dress parade

So here's to the men on the big red truck

Who know what they're doing-they don't trust to luck

These letters spell their story-their actions prove their worth

Let's all give a rousing hand to these bravest men on earth.

Art Blattenberger

The World Mourns

November 26, 1963

The world now mourns, in deepest sorrow

The passing of a man

A man whose hopes for a good tomorrow

Where his life, his dream, his plan

In the midst of it, the dream was shattered

By a single shot, from where?

A great man fell, blood-besplattered

Horror filled the air

The doctors worked and gave their all

As he lay there on the bed

It wasn't enough, they had to report


The shocking news, the instant grief

The entire world appalled

The bewildered look of disbelief

Our leader had been called.

One man, one thought, one bullet

Blasted from one gun

His dastardly deed accomplished

And now, he must run.

But the world didn't stop, just hesitated

To steady shaken ground

The search was on, in a very short time

A suspect has been found.

A snickering face, beady eyes

Smirking all the while

Protesting innocence to the last

But he never went to trial

For in our midst was another man

With malice in his heart

He killed the man who shot the gun

That tore our world apart.

But we'll go on and do our work

As Americans always do

With our heads held high as we surely know

He would have wanted us to.

To a family bereaved, our hearts go out

Please know we share your sorrow

Free men will work to attain his goals


Art Blattenberger

For 21 years you were part of us

Part of the "Blattenberger Fuss"

Thru good times and bad, sickness and fun

No matter what, You were Number One.

Thru measles & colds & sprained ankles too

If an accident happened, it happened to you.

Little incidents, some serious, some not

Made us wonder about our "Glorious Snot."

Then all of a sudden Mike's gain was our loss

You're still "Our Gayle", But now Gayle Ross

No matter the place, No matter the name

Our feelings for you are always the same.

Our wish for you as in the years past

Whether a babe in arms, or in bed in a cast

Is for each passing year continue to add

More happiness for you, LOVE MOM & DAD.

P.S. From you sisters and far-away brother:

In all of their minds there is no other

You're still Number One, The Greatest "Big Sister"

All of 'em say "We've certainly missed her."

That's a real tribute and reason for joy

From three young girls & a not-so-young boy

What we're trying to say, Even tho' you're away Is ...


                                                     HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Art Blattenberger


August 12, 1980

You're No. 1 in so many ways

You've brightened our life on so many days

It's nervous to think of the years that clicked by

Since 23 years ago when we heard your first cry.

So much has happened, sad things and good

We've made your life happy, as best we could

You're the first of "the five", we all love you dearly

But this time comes around, no ducking it, yearly.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY from us, lots of love and kisses

From your far-away brother, and 3 darling sisses(?)

In the pecking order, when all's said and done

You're not always right, but always No.1!

Love, Mom, Dad, K, T, and B&B

Art Blattenberger

Sleepless Nights

At night as I stare up into the star lit sky

My mind starts going & I start to cry.

Feeling depressed & alone, my heart starts to weep

As I sit in my room, unable to sleep.

Millions of visions run through my mind

& gathering the right words together are hard to find.

Prof. help has been suggested by my friends

but I don't see how that will help the nightmares end.

Nothing goes right, everything seems wrong which

makes my nights seem twice as long.

Headaches, tense muscles & a stomach that feels raw

I wish I could go back when I was learning to crawl.

As much as I want to accept it, it's hard to digest

that my parents are gone & they were two of the best!

Not prepared for the loss (of my father) in 1981

I was at the age where my life had just begun.

Now in '86 I was hit with another (loss)

due to the, 'Killer Disease', Cancer, I lost my mother.

I often ask myself, now what do I do?

it feels like my life is ending & I'm only 22.

It seems like nothing will ever help heal

the anger, guilt & frustration I feel.

Escaping isn't the answer, I'm finding that to be true

but with no parents to guide me, what am I to do?

I guess I must move on with my life now

but thinking about everything that has to be done,

I can only' say how?

No matter where I am, I feel I don't really belong

cause everything I do, just seems to be wrong.

My life seems worthless, why even bother? (Going on)

After all, I have no mother or father.

I see myself confused, scared & depressed

& as long as I let it get to me,

I'll have this pain in my chest.

Taking that big step will be a lot for me

because I was never asked to take any responsibility. Now I'm faced with something I'm really gonna dread

& that's that I have to move on & go straight ahead.

I know right now, this will be my biggest test

but all I can do is give everything my best.



Mom wrote this poem as an expression of gratitude for all the love shown by friends and neighbors. She died just a few years later of lung cancer. Both of my parents were life-long heavy smokers. Both died at the age of 52. As I write this, I am 51 years old, and have never smoked a single cigarette (nor the druggie type, either). Gayle is 52. She has never smoked, either.


Works of Art, A final poem of thanks.


Me, I'm not a poet

And I know it.

Thanks for reading!