On this day of institutional Thanks

Which would normally lead me to the opposite conclusion

I can’t deny my gratitude

For yet another chance

For happiness, peace, contentment:

A new family

My other failed or spent chances

While disappointing

Have led me here

So I offer grudging but sincere thanks for that as well

And I uncharacteristically submit to the Wisdom

On this day

And hopefully on other days

Stubborn, agnostic, and cynical.


The coffee filters live in the same cabinet as the tea

Every morning while I struggle against the night’s grip

I visit a faraway land for a brief moment

As the exotic aromas hit my drowsy senses

I’m reminded of gratitude

©Kevin L Strohmeier September 17, 2017


A Key

I realized

I’m still carrying the key

To my parents’ front door,

Worn thin as foil

From forty years of jingling

In my pocket.

Please, why is it still here

On this key-ring,

While that nine-light,

Crossbuck style door sits rotting

In a barn because we

Never throw anything away

Except the opportunities

To make amends?

We’re much prouder

Of our collections

Of moral declarations

And hoarded hurt feelings.


© Kevin Strohmeier 2017


Not So Random Words

I’m not going anywhere I go get out some sleep and sleep well okay thanks so I have no no intention to do anything for me a bit too much to be here too much for me this week so far away and yes yes please you can ask for a follow so you could be the best friend I would have been you would love to love me love love me so I can do it for all my friends and family and I would be nice if I had you to love me forever I would be so wonderful love to love me you forever love me and I miss your kisses love love me so I can do it forever forever love love me love love forever and love love it so beautiful I hope love love me love you too so beautiful I hope love love me so I love love it and I miss her too so I love love it all she does love is it beautiful and beautiful love it is my heart to be the love of that beautiful beautiful and wonderful beautiful beautiful morning and kisses from her beautiful smile

(Created from repeatedly choosing the center autofill button, which presumably reflects one’s most frequently used words.)


A Country Song

I was talking to my neighbor

Just the other day.

We’ve not a lot in common

And there wasn’t much to say.


He’s all about his money,

And I’m just into art.

The seeds of conversation

Were pretty hard to start.


He bragged about his cattle,

I griped about my sheep:

Which heifers he would cull,

Which lambs that I would keep.


But we both have shreds of family,

Some more alive than dead,

So that topic was the next one

To jump into my head.


I asked about his mother

And all her aches and pains.

I talked about my brother’s kids

And all the honors they had gained.


He told me of his in-laws,

The thorny branches of his tree.

A twinkle and a small smile

Were all he’d let me see.


“My brother’s wife was pardoned,

No longer out on bail.

And it’s months since my wife’s dad

Has spent the night in jail.”


I started laughing to myself

As we scuffed our boot toes on the floor.

He took my hand, grinning,

“My in-laws aren’t outlaws any more.”


©Kevin Strohmeier

January 2011


A Pastoral Symphony

Sheep grazing, plucking a tuneless melody

on grass strings, Poa pizzicato;

moving stage right accompanied by the muffled

drumming of black dress shoes.


Raucous blue jay clarinets in ageless

polyphony with mockingbird oboes,

crow cor anglais, and a soprano-alto chorus

in the treetops of this late July cathedral.


Modern and medieval combine as

an airplane drones, first a strident alto

then a slow glissando to bass

as it disappears into the distance,

and an all-male cicada choir chants

praise to Helios and the wide-eyed

beauty of cicala femininity.


Maestra, I stand in ovation and wonder

then return to my seat in anticipation

of your next encore.


©Kevin Strohmeier

July 29, 2012


Requiem #3

From the pages of history and the memories of survivors

Come tales of those who are not like us,

Those whose feet itch to carry their persons

Where none have gone before,


Whose hearts twitch with the passions to make

Missionaries for God, adrenalin, or conviction:

They are all the same, yet they are not,

These modern-day conquerors and explorers.


These unwitting disciples of Nietzsche

Reject what society and their mothers say they

Should not do.  Except his mother said, Go for it, and

His father said, Why not?  And don’t forget to write.

But he forgot.


Life without limits, he would say, and he went so far

As to emblazon it upon his belt, but not his skin.

No orgy of hedonism for him, instead he rejected the seduction

Of comfort, conformity and the trust fund.


Young enough in body to believe in immortality,

It enabled him to do great things;

Perhaps old enough in spirit

To know that flesh is inconsequential.


No adrenalin junkie, he.  His challenge

He approached intellectually, intelligently, as a perfectionist,

Avoiding the multiple heels of pride, haste, distraction,

The difference as pronounced as between those who can’t smell

and those who won’t.


His heroes were as various and incongruent as

Muir, T. Roosevelt, Gandhi, and Christopher McCandless,

Yet they collectively represent his personal commitments

To peace, parks, and passion.


What is to become of the survivors?  They must

Reject the humanist’s outrage at illness and death.

It accomplishes nothing to deny dying as part of life

And deny humanity as part of the Natural Order.


Who can answer the existential question of why he had to go?

Nobody’s saying and nobody knows.

Life without limits, he would say,

And he lived to say it until his dying day.


©Kevin Strohmeier 2010

In memory of Benjamin Edward Strohmeier – 1990 to 2008


The Angel and the Whippoorwill

For a moment I saw an angel

as it turned into a whippoorwill

and it swooped across the field with

blazing flash light eyes.


I heard a cauldron bubbling

while I crept past a pond

but I think it was Dante’s Inferno

I had been reading last week.


A harpy is screeching

over by the treeline but it could

be a barn owl tracking down her

wayward mate.


Elgar was prescient, thoughtful and loving

to have plucked Nimrod from the air

just for me

to ease my sorrow.


All around I see a

hate-filled world.  But everywhere the

truth is elusive and your truth may not be

my truth and mine is not yours.


Let’s trade shoes and compare notes

after walking down different roads.


©Kevin Strohmeier 2012