A Blessing and Bane (A poem)



this slurping, soupy arrangement 
stays my amused satisfaction.
cars skidding and skirting
orbiting each other
a cacophony of incompetent
unorganized Ice Skaters.
It spills out, splashes down
drowning sashes of sorrow
in the middle of my selfish parade…
after all this circus act
cut from blistering fingers
ripe with sweat and hardened calloused hands
this stampede of interruptance
has caused ME to suppress my de-testment  of 
these frosted inconvenient deposits underfoot.
I will trample them
trump their self worth into the soles of my 
black leather shoes…
Howling madly at their existence 
here on the eve of smiling spring
on the prowl
like a careful cat at the door

I store my response,
predator ready,
fist clenched and half raised
yet frozen in traction
taking aim to wandering eyes
peering back at me. 
my son, snow suited and 
joyfully standing at the ready
for me to take him out into it
and catch a glimpse of
my childhood again.


Maudlin Days. (A poem)



Today I am feeling quite maudlin.
It stirs up echos in my life
mere dust clouds, wisps of faces
and places all captured here…
It is below zero outside again today
but all I can think of is how many
miles these feet have carried me
how many footprints I have stepped into
some, not quite big enough
this shadow is far from small
not tall, yet other times lagging, lumbering behind…
while other footprints that have been cast
big foot must have passed this way
and I find this shadow dwarfed and intimidated.
How many miles indeed?!  
How fragile and temporal…is there purpose? 
Sometimes it’s a Sojourner without mission or aim, 
lost out in the cold wandering around as if blind.
These are maudlin days, 
yet I sense a Sun rise just on the next horizon. 

Summer dreams (A poem)


In the bliss of winter’s frozen kiss
as Ice is formed, abrasive and painful
an Angel with wings unfurled
left her mark in the mounds of silky snow.

I do not know what transpired there
as some walk by and some don’t care
But I’m almost sure I glimpsed heaven’s door
looking out from my frosted window.

With rooftops coated white and wisps of smoke
dancing or escaping elegantly into the crisp atmosphere
I remain here, tightly bundled, blanketed train behind me
perfectly content to let the days of winter kiss another
but not my cheek, nor these feeble hands
I am a child of summer weighted down by this
absence of her soft warming embrace.

And for now…I bide my time.

A Bear in this winter. (A Poem)


I place hands, thick, dry, worn and calloused 

upon the cold, vinyl steering wheel.

Winter’s breath, blue and frozen, 

weighs heavily upon this steel frame. 

I exhale another vapor trail 

which drifts off into some maudlin 

memory and “want to be”…and then it’s gone. 

The engine protests greatly as I turn the key

and jar it from its frosty nap.  

I am tired…  

I am tired of being tired. 

I sling my computer bag onto the passenger seat

it crunches and bounces upon the springs 

and it mechanically sings in a squeaky voice.

it all too feels heavier than it should 

brick-like, a mill stone with broken handcuffs 

from this fleeing assailant…somewhere out there

I’ve discarded my orange prison jump suit

for some other kind of suit and tie

as an old wire clothes line is bereft 

and vacantly missing its belongings. 

I am on the run.

Someone put out the A.P.B….

Something inside of me wells up

like some untapped oil reserve desiring 

to kiss the blue of sky.

It brims again to the surface, spilling over 

flooding the ground with its bucket lists 

of “what ifs” and “how comes” and “why nots”…

I sigh in my creased suit, loosen my too-tight tie

and now, seated in this cold shell

I brace myself, fingers numbing and aching

sighing and shaking.

I’m not broken, I’m not weak or dying

I’m just traveling down roads

traveled before

staring off into the horizon and considering 

that bear that went over the next crest of the hill…

will he ever come back?  

And then I look into my rear-view mirror. Image

Skip A Stone In Autumn (A Poem)

“You will be missed!”

I utter from scornful and

mournful lips

on my tip toes I attempt to

peer past the horizon and beyond

the curvature of the world

so that I can glimpse

her fire

one more time.  

Statue-still waters ripple and lap

gently onto pebbles slick with melancholy

as cold breaths of winter

glimpse in on us 

inquisitive yet oblivious to our 

mourning there. 

I skip one more stone 

with warm days of August

still lingering to fingertips

now growing deathly cold…

turning, I exhale one last time

and reluctantly embrace

these colder days once again.



photo & poem by Scott E. Strissel 11/5/2013

“Seasons” (A Poem)


In the late autumn,

when trees have discarded


 and we

 have put them on

chasing down the rising dawn

while snow and rains,

claim within us a shiver…or two;

blanketed between soft cottons

and goose feathered downs

we dream perhaps of warmer days

when sunsets lingered and

the choirs of bulbous bull frogs

and field crickets, mahogany in color,

perform in their nightly stridulation

an encore, now sorely missed.


Miles away,

down dusky shadows

Of winding country roads

Enveloped in dust and mud,


Moated and armed

with Barbed-wired

rusting fences…

the brontide sounds of protest

echo and reverberate,

as a dying summer storm collides

and swirls. 

Clouds, dark and foreboding,

curtain the sky as summer

exhales one last staggering breath.

Tears descend

upon the earth,

dampening  the soil

with one last frosted kiss goodbye…

soon, an ushering in of

new birth will meet

us again. 



Inside the cabin
Curtains drawn
in windows of white
Reflecting the
Large flakes of snow
Piling up
in its window frames
Frosting the sill.
While still
Outside on the edge
Of Indian lake
Ice has formed
miles down the road
A bell tolls
calling for its
Lost souls
Somewhere out across
The little bay
Dark and foreboding
A dog barks
Forlorn, seemingly alone…
Snow crunches
Under these cold feet
I Yearn to go
Back inside
As the invitation
Of warmth calls to me
From the tangerine
lighted windows.
This is winter
Placing its
Frosted lips
Giving tepid kisses
On faces and heart
Shivering to the bone.

In the winter

Coating the earth, dormant

Tree tops bowing heavy

Protested by the birds above

And the residence of squirrels

Perched in holes near the thicket

Of pine needles bursting forth in all directions

The sound of breaking glass or

Crinkle chips under foot as we

Wander out in the still evening

Crisp, below freezing the wind

Whispers on the cusp of the new

Snow just fallen. ..in the whisper

The nagging reminder that it has begun

The race has started,

The doldrums of early sunsets

And dark midnight’s solemn chorus

Howls in frost bitten ears;

Perhaps this time I should have worn

my stocking hat…but ah

This season of frost and snow

Beckons me onward and I

Break the unseen underfoot

Blanketed until the melt of

early spring…when life renews

its hibernation and these ears

stop protesting the bitter breath of winter.


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