Selected Essays – People

General Washington

General George Washington

We Met the General
Dennis C. Orvis

My wife and I were visiting colonial Williamsburg in Virginia with our daughter, son-in-law and our oldest granddaughter.

We had an early lunch so we could get to the theater to hear General George Washington speak at twelve-thirty. The theater was small and antique. I don’t know if it had been saved or if it had been reconstructed. Either way it was quite beautiful.

As twelve-thirty neared, the theater quickly filled. Shortly before starting time, someone came on stage and advised the audience that General Washington had not yet arrived. The audience waited with respectful patience.

Then about twelve-thirty that same person again appeared on stage and apologetically announced that the General still had not appeared. “This,” he said, “had never happened before and we must therefore cancel this performance.” He made reference to later schedules and refunds.

About eighty percent of the audience in the theater got up and with some grumbling, left the theater. We waited for the aisles to clear, avoiding the rush and then we also started up the aisle to the lobby.

We entered the lobby and about halfway towards the exit, the front door suddenly opened and to our surprise, in walked General Washington.

We were the first to greet him. He asked us, “Where is everyone going?”

We told him his performance was scheduled for twelve-thirty and we were told because he had not arrived, it was cancelled.

Then he told us his performance was always scheduled for one o’clock and he had not been told of the time change to twelve-thirty.

He asked us to wait while he went to see the person in charge of the performance. We followed him back into the theater. The other people still in the lobby followed also.

In a few minutes he took the stage. He briefly made some comments about what happened. He asked everyone to please take their seats and he proceeded to deliver his speech as publicized for his performance.

I made a quick count. There were less than three-dozen people still in the audience including our family of five.

I do not know the name of the actor who gave the speech. But I do know he gave a brilliant performance as he delivered one of General Washington’s great speeches. He spoke to us as if the entire theater was filled to capacity, as it had been only forty-five minutes earlier.

It ended with a standing ovation.

About an hour later the five of us were standing in one of the colonial streets looking, I’m sure, at one of the old buildings.

I happened to notice, General Washington walking on the street in our direction. When he got near us we told him how much we enjoyed his performance. I asked him if I could take a picture of our granddaughter with him. He said yes.

Our granddaughter was wearing a head-cover of colonial days that she bought in one of the gift shops earlier. As you might guess, we cherish this picture.

General Washington Accompanied

It was a very special day during a memorable weeklong visit to Colonial Williamsburg Virginia.

June 2010

Morley Safer
Dennis C. Orvis

I did not know Morley Safer personally, but I attended a banquet one time and witnessed an interesting Morley Safer happening.

I was the chief paid executive of the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce in Fall River Massachusetts. Our chamber had a very successful annual project which was a huge banquet honoring a Citizen of the Year. The banquet was always attended by over a thousand people.

Fall River has a large percentage of Portuguese citizens. It also had a Portuguese newspaper.

One year this newspaper announced it was sponsoring a banquet to honor a Portuguese citizen of the year. Shortly thereafter the paper announced that Joe Raposa would be the honoree.

Joe Raposa was one of the individuals that started Sesame Street on television. He was very talented. He wrote the theme song and one of the favorites, “It isn’t easy being green.” He had an extensive list of shows and songs to his credit.

We later learned that Morley Safer was flying in from New York to attend the banquet and introduce Joe Raposa when he receives the award.

I was at the banquet with my wife. I remember clearly when Morley Safer was called to the microphone to introduce Raposa.

Morley looked at the large crowd slowly and then he spoke these words.

“Many people hear music in their heads. Joe Raposa hears music that nobody else has ever heard.”

Then he looked at Joe Raposa. He nodded his head. Joe Raposa got up, walked to the mike and gave a short talk to everyone present after he received the award.

Meanwhile, Morley Safer had quietly returned to his seat at the head table and listened with the rest of us.

I suppose like everyone else, I was expecting Morley to introduce Joe Raposa with some glossy words about his accomplishments. I never heard any explanation of Morley’s short introduction. As one who has been involved with setting up hundreds of banquets, my first thought was probably different than other people.

I thought it was a long way to travel to deliver so few words.

But, on the other hand, that was about forty years ago and I still remember it.

I saw on the news today, Morley Safer, 84, passed away. His passing triggered my memory of this event. It reminded me also, that Joe Raposa died at a young age of 51 years. We are better off because of their time with us.

Meredith and Me
Dennis C. Orvis

The Meredith here is Meredith Willson, a native Iowan who grew up in Mason City. I suppose my title might seem to be a little more than presumptuous but there are enough threads of coincidence as you will soon learn, I think, to make it acceptable.

My hometown in Iowa is about sixty-five miles from Mason City. My association with that city was limited to those few high school sports that brought us together from time to time during the school year. Mason City, being three or four times larger than my hometown of Waverly, usually won the football and basketball games.

In 1947, when I was a one hundred and twelve pound wrestler on Waverly’s first high school wrestling team, the District tournament was held in Mason City. I was fortunate to win my first match, but I lost my second match to a kid from Mason City.

However, my first knowledge of Meredith Willson happened in late 1962 in the small Iowa town of Chariton. I had moved my family there in September of 1962 when I was hired as the first full-time Chamber of Commerce Manager for that town.

There was an adult singing group in Chariton called the Aeolians and in the fall of 1962 they performed the first amateur production of the Music Man, written by Meredith Willson. They did it brilliantly. Meredith Willson did not attend, but his aunt who lived in Des Moines, was in the audience. That was over forty years ago and I can still tell the names of six or eight actors in the play that became good friends while we lived in Chariton.

We lived in Chariton almost three years and then moved to Gary, Indiana, as I was beginning to move up the Chamber profession ladder. In the front office of the Gary Chamber where I worked there was a framed record hanging on the wall. It was Meredith’s song, Gary, Indiana, from Music Man.

It seemed that Meredith’s music was following my career. We only lived in Gary for one year and as I have often said later, “I don’t believe Meredith ever visited Gary.” So be it!

From Gary we moved to Mason City Iowa, believe it or not when I was hired to manage the Mason City Chamber of Commerce. We moved there during the first week of June, 1966. On our first Tuesday in Mason City we saw the famous Marching Band Festival. There were over one hundred high school bands from three states. It was wonderful. The bands were loud and talented. The parade was very colorful and exciting.

And What’s more, Meredith Willson was the honorary Grand Marshall. He had come back to his home town for this event. As the new manager of the Chamber of Commerce, I had the opportunity to meet him and along my wife, spend some time that day with him.

Meredith, throughout his life, always claimed to be an Ambassador of Mason City and its Chamber of Commerce. He was so gracious and so very friendly. And he kissed my darling wife on the cheek!

Because of Meredith Willson, Mason City became “River City” of Music Man and that continues still today, over forty years later. Before we moved from Mason City in the fall of 1969, we were privileged to be involved in and enjoy four music festivals. One of them in particular I remember. The Music Festival was under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce and as the Chamber manager, it was one of my major responsibilities. One of those years the weather was horrendous. It rained all day. We had over ten thousand band members from over one hundred high schools with their instruments. It was that day we learned that Plan B did not work.

It was impossible to get that many musicians and instruments into the coliseum. I had the first Music Festival parade cancellation in nearly thirty years. Some legacy!

However on the plus side while managing the Chamber I met a man named Jack Leaman. He was the City Planner. We worked together on many projects for the benefit of Mason City. I remember one time we were trying to find and/or create a new logo for the City. By luck or coincidence while searching through some printing books at Murray Lawson’s printing company, we found a small parade of six or seven cartoon musician characters. One of them was playing a trombone. What a great find! It was perfect for Mason City. During the next few months that little trombone player became quite famous. He almost looked like Meredith Willson. Later he was given the name of “Mr. Toot!” His image was soon found on business cards, letterheads, welcome flags and even the city water tower. It was a wonderful match that lasted for over twenty-five years.

A few years after we moved from Mason City to Massachusetts, we returned for a visit during vacation. Unfortunately, it was after Meredith Willson had passed away. But we were thrilled again to see the Music Festival as spectators and even more thrilled to meet Rosemary, his widow at a reception to which we had been invited. She had returned to Mason City for the festival and grand opening of the new Meredith Willson museum.

Thumpthin Thpecial
Several years later, while visiting our daughter and her family in Connecticut, she surprised us by taking us to New York to see the Music Man revival on Broadway. The theater was packed, but I doubt that anyone there could have been more thrilled than we were. It was remarkable.

So as I said in the beginning, there are enough threads of coincidence that I can confidently claim an association with the great Meredith Willson. It has been a beautiful experience and I am proud to further claim, I am a River Cityan!

I can close my eyes today and still see the parade and hear the music. It is still thrilling.

Written May 2007

“In the year 2000 I had the great pleasure of seeing the Music Man on Broadway. This writing describes the impact it had on me.”

“Thumpthin Thpecial”
Dennis C. Orvis

Thumpthin Thpecial
The four of us had been standing and applauding since the curtain came down the first time. We were the first ones to our feet. Then the curtain raised again as each member of the cast took a bow and the applause grew louder as the performers’ role merited greater appreciation, reaching rhythmic thunder for MARION and HAROLD HILL.

Many minutes later, who knows how many, the curtain came down again and then suddenly went up for a carefully planned encore for a surprised and joyous audience. And the thunderous applause grew even louder as a full marching band appeared on stage, including all or most of the cast members and surely all of the major players in full dress band uniforms with nearly everyone playing a “trombone”.

With the melody of 76 TROMBONES ricocheting and vibrating off the rafters of the old, beautiful, sold out, Neil Simon Broadway theatre and a wildly enthusiastic audience approving with mega applause until the last member of the marching band, the star, Harold Hill himself, strutted off the stage.

I have never seen such a tribute. I don’t know how long we had been standing there applauding, five, ten, twenty minutes or maybe more and it did not matter to anyone in the theatre.

MUSIC MAN !!! What a great show. And for me, the emotion I felt was nearly impossible to contain. My wife, Edie and I had the rare privilege of attending the first amateur production of the Music Man play in the early l960’s. I remember Meredith Willsons’ aunt from Des Moines came to see the show in our little town of Chariton Iowa, which was my first Chamber of Commerce challenge.

Our attachment with Music Man continued when we moved the following year to Gary, Indiana, where I was hired as the assistant Manager of the Gary, Indiana Chamber of Commerce. I recall we had a framed music record of the song — Gary Indiana—hanging on the wall of our reception office.

Then one year later, June 1966, we moved to River City, Iowa, Mason City, the very week of the Band Festival, when I became the new General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce. It seemed like the parade was for me.

It was during another band festival when we met Meredith Willson. He was a most talented and gracious person. He was proud to say he was a full time Ambassador for Mason City and our Chamber of Commerce… and he certainly was. What’s more, he kissed my dear wife, Edie, on the cheek.

And now, I am standing here, applauding with abandon, as all these things are racing through my mind. Standing next to me are three of my great loves, my wife, my youngest daughter LeAnn and Emma Rose, my youngest granddaughter.

We are in the balcony; way up in the “nose bleed” section according to our daughter, who said, “these were the best seats available on such short notice…less than two weeks.”

My nose was not bleeding, but my eyes were very moist.

Less than three weeks ago we were in Mason City. We met Rosemary Willson again and many “old” friends from Mason City. We attended the barbershop show in the “Madison High School Gym”, we toured Meredith’s’ home, we cheered the band festival, this time as spectators and attended the ribbon cutting for the Meredith Willson Museum.

How could my eyes not be moist? Once again, we were “gosh darn stubborn Iowans” from River City!!!

How my heart is pounding as Harold Hill marches off the stage and quickly returns for his final bow.

We are still applauding. I looked at my family. Each wearing our music man pins… Professor Toot…I was there when he was born…and now he is famous.

The applause has finally ended and we are working our way down the steps. My wonderful wife has stopped to show her Music Man pin to one of the pretty young lady ushers and proudly said, “We just came from River City”. The young lady was quite impressed. And my wife was beaming, like Meredith had just kissed her again. Maybe he did.

As we leave the Neil Simon Theatre and head toward the parking lot, several blocks away, I thought to myself, what a wonderful connection we have had with Meredith and his hometown of River City.

The progress of Mason City has been tremendous. Mason City should be really proud. But I can tell anyone from Mason City, you cannot fully appreciate this progress until you leave and return years later and then try to envision the changes over Thirty Years. You see, I have done that and I know it to be true.

As Harold Hill said to Winthrop “You wanted me to tell you the truth and now you have to listen”.

I, too, have done that. And now my eyes are moist again. I can close my eyes almost anytime and still hear the trombones. I’ve been able to do this for over thirty years now. I am sorry for anyone who cannot share this wonderful experience. I have truly been blessed 76 times or 76 times 76 or more in my lifetime.

To paraphrase Meredith….

I have seen them winging,

I have heard them ringing,

I have heard them singing,

I have felt the love all around me.

I, too, got my foot caught in the River City door. How fortunate for me and maybe, just maybe, a little bit for River City, my adopted hometown.

It really is Thumthin Thpecial!!!

Written in 2000


Dennis C. Orvis

As I write this small piece, our Country is in mourning of a great American servant, President Gerald R. Ford. He was the only person who ever served as Vice President and President without being elected to either office. Furthermore, he did not seek either role, but as a dedicated public servant for a quarter century in Congress, he simply could not refuse the calling.

He was ninety-three when he died, several days before the new year of 2007 began. He was our oldest living President.

Over thirty years earlier I met this great man. My wife and I were in Washington and we were walking with our Congresswoman, Margaret M. Heckler, towards the Congressional dining room where we would have lunch.

Congressman Gerald R. Ford was coming toward us in the hallway. Margaret said, “Hi Jerry, I would like you to meet several friends of mine from Massachusetts.”

He stopped. He shook our hands. She told him I was the Executive Vice President of the Fall River Chamber of Commerce. He was very gracious as we shared a couple moments of small talk.

We could not know then, he would be the next President of the United States on August 9, 1974. Nobody did. Not even President Richard M. Nixon, the man who would make it happen.

As the Nation mourns today, its’ leaders and the media are praising Gerald R. Ford as an honest man who worked with Republicans and Democrats for the good of the country. His style of cooperation, of which he excelled, is one that apparently no longer exists in Congress and our Nation is poorer for its absence.

Thirty days after he became the 38th President he pardoned the man he succeeded. This action was highly unpopular. Many Democrats were claiming it was a prearranged deal with Nixon, which Jerry Ford quickly and publicly denied. His long reputation of honesty carried him through this turmoil.

Many claimed his pardon of Nixon cost him the next election, which was very close. It may have, but I believe if Jerry Ford had known that or believed that before he gave the pardon, he would have done it anyway. That’s the kind of man he was.

We saw President Ford some years later when he was playing in the Jackie Gleason Golf Tournament in Florida. Others in his golfing foursome were Jackie Gleason, Jack Nicholas and Foster Brooks, the famous “drunk impersonator.”

Jerry Ford loved the game of golf and one of his frequent golfing companions was the one and only Bob Hope who never missed an opportunity to create laughter over Jerry’s’ golfing adventures. One of the more famous Bob Hope quotes was, “President Ford doesn’t know which golf course in Palm Springs he is playing until his first tee-shot comes down.”

President Gerald R. Ford. Over thirty years ago I shook his hand. It was an honor then and today that honor is even greater. He was one of those rare individuals who put his Country first and became a truly great American leader.

I remember.

January 2007

Paul Newman

An Essay
By Dennis C. Orvis  

I never met Paul Newman.  I could have once, I suppose, but I did not.

Paul Newman was a fine actor over many years and especially liked several of his movies.

Paul Newman was a leader in “giving back” through his company Newman’s Own.  The “Hole in the wall gang” camp he built for children can only be admired.  He also inspired additional camps to be built.

Our paths crossed briefly twice.  Once in 2003 when we were visiting our daughter and her family in Weston Connecticut she gave us her tickets to the famous, old theatre in Westport Connecticut.  Paul Newman was the star in one of his favorite plays.  It was called Our Town.  It was a marvelous evening.  Sometimes later I saw his same performance on PBS television.

Incidentally, his wife, Joanne Woodward was chairperson of the effort to rehab the Westport theatre.  I have not seen it since that effort, but I’m sure it was quite successful.

Several years later we were again visiting our daughter and family in Weston.  About a half mile from their house toward the center of Weston, there is a small white Church just up the hill from the towns Library and Fire Station.

Every summer that Church has an old time “County Fair.”  There are many booths where food, antiques, flea market stuff and art items are sold.  There are other booths with enough games for kids to keep the young ones busy.  It is a real nice funfest.

I was walking with our daughter, my wife and several grandchildren and I happened to notice Paul Newman walking not far from us in the crowd.  He lives in Westport with his wife only a few miles from this Church.  This Country Fair, I might add is well known and attracts people from all directions.

Newman was dressed in country-style, striped, bib overalls.  He was also wearing a few days’ whiskers.  It would have been easy to miss him, except he was Paul Newman.

He was walking with a young girl, probably a granddaughter and she was having a great time.

I had my camera with me as usual but I did not take his picture.  Perhaps I could have, with or without his approval, but honestly, I could not do it.

Any picture I might have taken that day of him would not be the Paul Newman we have admired for decades.  It would have been an old grandfather in overalls enjoying the fair with his young granddaughter.

It was their personal time.  I could not let myself intrude on that.

I didn’t need a photograph, but I still have that wonderful picture in my collection of memories.  It was another good day!

April 2009

Joel McCrea, Actor

An Essay
By Dennis C. Orvis

In 1957 I shook hands with Joel McCrea.  He was a big man.  He had big hands.

Wow!  That was over fifty years ago!

Joel McCrea was an actor, a movie star. His career started in 1927 and in 1976 he appeared in his last movie.

When I met him in 1957 his popularity was riding high.

I was, at the time, the president of the Waverly Iowa Jaycee Club, which was enjoying its second year since it started.

I had a phone call from my good friend Don Huston, editor of the local paper and also a fellow Jaycee.  He told me Joel McCrea was in town and he was going to visit the Lutheran Children’s Home, a local facility, to visit the kids.  Don told me to go thee if I could get away.

It happened that I could and I did.  I met Don and several other Jaycee members who were waiting.  Mr. McCrea arrived soon after.  My job was to welcome him and thank him for visiting Waverly and the children’s home.  So I did my job and then we toured the facility together.

As we walked through several of the buildings he shook hands with every kid he saw.  I remember as we were walking past one open door to a room, we heard a young child crying.  We were told the young boy had the measles and he was crying because he would not get to meet Mr. McCrea.

I recall, Joel McCrea saying, “I’ve had the measles, let’s go in!” And he did.

His visit to the children’s home and my hometown of Waverly was very short, but also very special.

After fifty years I still remember its importance, not to me, but to many young people who had the thrill of their lives.  I imagine they never forgot meeting that big actor, Joel McCrea, the movie star.

Nor have I.

April 2009

Thoughts Poetry


Now if I tell you I am sitting here, listening to the Goldfish sing,
You would probably look at me with a half-cocked eye saying it’s a crazy thing,
But I’m serious, you see and I’ll tell you just why this isn’t a foolish fling.

Look at the World, wars and hunger everywhere and from the media there is no escape.
Look at our Nation, companies closing, downsizing in the name of progress, how fake.
Look at our cities, after years of effort and billions spent, the blight and homeless wait.

While some may say it’s futile, all is lost, there are a few that never give up trying.
I left the rat race and someone took my place in pursuit of success they’re still vying.
But for me, I’ll just rest. I gave it my best and now it’s my time to hear the Goldfish sing.

We’re Americans. It’s our destiny and our curse to make things better, not worse
Here and around the World, we won’t duck the challenge of making Freedom ring.
Progress is a journey, not a destination, from which new players get on and off
I enjoyed my trip and the gains we made, now it’s my time to hear the Goldfish sing.



Suppose for a moment that all friends are flowers,
What kind of bouquet do you see?
Are you surrounded today by all kinds of colors?
Or is your view merely dull shades of gray.

Some people feel they can do it alone,
For reasons we’ll never know.
For them no flowers will ever be seen
Loners simply won’t let them grow.

There’s another big group whose environment was faulty
Opportunity never came their way
Their flowers were few, maybe one or two,
Hardly enough to brighten one’s day.

But for me, I was lucky, almost from the start
I gathered many friends, held them fast in my heart
Now I stand in the meadow, such colors abound me
Near and far, overwhelmed by beauty all around me.



It’s Sunday morning and the brilliant sun is shining through the tall opaque windows
As I sit quietly in my usual pew and my Church is nearly empty.
I too, am early. It’s ladies Sunday and my loving wife is an usher.
She stands by the door to greet the people as her role comes to play.

The six beautiful chandeliers competing with the sunlight
Are a distant second to the power and beauty of God’s Hand.
The quiet of the moment is powerful, but much too short as
The music people, singers, bell ringers and others are drifting in.

The leather-brown, well-varnished pews are gradually filling,
While the rumble of friendly chatter begins to grow,
The ushers’ work is ending and the bell ringer’s ensemble
Begins ringing “Jesus loves me yes I know.”

Then a blanket of reverent silence falls across the faithful,
As an opening Prayer ascends,
Followed by songs, usually three, to wake up the souls
Of some and to the others give way to mends.

Special recognition was given to our faithful organist,
For thirty years served with unfailing dedication.
Several gifts marked this milestone followed
By extended applause with a grateful, standing ovation.

The sunlight through the window changed as time
Moved the sun along its ceaseless way.
The music, Prayers and sermon wove together
The desired and welcome message for the day.

The final hymn did its job well
As the departing faces would reveal.
And help each of us be energized,
Until we again hear the Church bell peal.



It was February ’84 when at the fork in the road we followed an old dream.

We bought a campground on the shore of a lake. Both were very serene.

We planned to own it seven years, sell and then retire.

We bought some problems we could not know and the challenge then grew higher.

We met the challenge but it took some time and the years passed quickly by.

And what we see now in year twenty-two is most pleasing to the eye.

We met so many people and many became dearest friends,

Who returned year after year to enjoy our campground again.

But time has a way of changing things not always what we want to see or say,

As each year passed by we all grew older, some friends were lost along the way.

Now the day has come to sell our dream for other plans and rest.

We cannot fault those who moved away, a move they thought was best.

They feared our campground would be transformed to houses on the lake.

This we could not guarantee, it was a choice they had to make.

But let it be known to friends and all, the memories are great, the regrets are few,

We loved this trip we shared and we’re glad to have shared it with you.



Dennis * Dear Lord…

Lord * Yes!

Dennis * Who said that?

Lord * I did, Dennis. You called.

Dennis * Is that you, Lord?

Lord * Yes, Dennis, why do you ask?

Dennis * Well, I was surprised when you answered.

Lord * Dennis, I always answer.

Dennis * Well, yah, but not with a voice! I was not expecting a voice. It started me! You never answered like that before.

Lord * I know, Dennis, but I had a free moment when your call came in. What’s on your mind?

Dennis * Well, nothing real important. I could send you an email if you are busy.

Lord * Dennis, you know I don’t need email. What was it you wanted?

Dennis * Like I said, Lord, nothing important. I was just wondering about something.

Lord * You can tell me, Dennis.

Dennis * Ok. I was wondering how much time I’ve got. You know, before I pass on, expire, so to speak from Earth. I’ve got a long list of projects I’m working on for my family and some friends and I wonder if I can finish them before you call me?

Lord * Now, Dennis. I know you very well. I know you always have a list of projects you want to do; more than you can ever finish because you keep adding to your list all the time. Isn’t that right?

Dennis * Well, yes, But you know I like to do things for other people that will make them happy.

Lord * Yes, I know, Dennis, I know everything.

Dennis * I thought you did. I have always believed you know everything. That’s why I thought you might tell me how much time I have so I know what projects I should finish first. Do you know what I mean, Lord?

Lord * Dennis, I told you I know everything. Are you questioning me?

Dennis * Oh no, Lord, but I am trying to understand. You see, Lord, for example, I write stories for my grandchildren and other children. I want them all to be happy and I don’t know how many stories I can write. I don’t know if I should just write a few very special stories while I am still here. Do you know what I am trying to say?

Lord * Yes, I know, Dennis. I cannot tell you how much time you have left on Earth. It is a question that nearly everyone has and many have asked. What purpose would it serve if you knew? Would you try to finish your best ever work if you knew? No, Dennis, I know you would not. That is what we might call “Human Nature.” You would quit, whatever you were working on. You would quit, Dennis and that is why I will not tell you or anyone. Time is not the issue, but what you do with your time is what life is all about. Understand Dennis?

Dennis * Well, I guess so, Lord, but I was thinking you don’t need any retired Chamber of Commerce executives in Heaven, so maybe I have some extra time.

Lord * Maybe Dennis, but we always have need for storytellers. Was there anything else, Dennis?

Dennis * Just one thing, Lord. I’ve received many blessings. I am sure I haven’t thanked you for all of them and I do now, if that is ok. Can we talk again sometime?

Lord * Sure, Dennis, my lines are always open.

Dennis * Thank you, Lord, Bless You!

Lord * Dennis, that’s my line. Bless you. Keep doing what you are doing. I’ll call you if I need you.

Dennis * I know, Lord, thank you. But…

Lord * Sorry, Dennis, no buts.

The End

November 2005

The Quiet Hug

When a friend loses a loved one, feelings are hard to express.
No matter how hard you try, a quiet hug will say it best.

When a friend is hurting, no matter what you say,
Every word is awkward and only gets in the way.

So when a friend is in deep sorrow, my quiet hug means I care,
About our friendship and the memories we will ever share.

When a friend’s heart is hurting, no words can stop the pain,
But with my hug they will know my heart feels the same.



Time continues speedily along its course,

Dragging us, kicking and screaming, to no avail.

Fighting with all our might and human powers,

Against some great force, knowing we will surely fail.

Kicking and screaming, then begging and praying,

But time is oblivious to our human way.

And we are so helpless, pleading at its mercy,

While time, with a wry smile, says, “Have a good day.”



Like an old pair of slippers, they’re comfortable and warm,
Whether we saw them last year or yesterday morn.
Old Friends are special like that.

Like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy, dreary day,
Or the beauty of Nature adding cheer to our way,
Old Friends are special like that.

Like the sound of laughter shared as the answer indeed,
Or the gentle springtime rain, growing flowers all need.
Old Friends are special like that.

Like the scent of pretty flowers or the evergreen trees,
Or the moments we’ve shared becoming fond memories,
Old Friends are special like that.

Priceless, strong, helpful and pleasure,
Funny, supportive and always a treasure.
Old Friends are special like that.



His name is Marvin, an Iowa boy, who now in years is over eighty
His hometown, Council Bluffs is on the river of the great Missouri
During working years he drove trucks, eighteen wheelers, the big ones.
A million plus safe miles, often double trailers o’er the western mountains.

He had three loves, antique cars, Iowa land and his wife, Ann
Who was not jealous of the other two, she loved her trucker man.
He sometimes came home with an antique car in his big moving van.
And surprised her several times, buying more of that Iowa bottom land.

When retirement came it wasn’t easy for this much traveled man.
Florida during the winter months wasn’t his scheduled plan
It was there we first met and bonded in friendship so nice
And we soon learned he was walking per his doctors’ advice.

At first he was walking six or seven miles every day
We only walked one or two and thought his mind went astray
Then as time progressed his daily walk was eleven mile
The walkin’est man we’ve ever known and always with a smile

As the years passed the walkin’ man’s eyesight began to grow dim
Until his Winter trips to Florida it was necessary to end
We missed the sound of his steady steps, his cheery smile and hello
Years later we stopped at the “Bluffs” and we surprised him so.

We saw his three loves, antique cars, Iowa land and his wife Ann
His failed eyesight stopped his walking which we understand
And now though times and miles have placed us so very far apart
Memories are fond of the Walkin’ man who walked into and stayed in our heart.



The old bricks of the fireplace have a story untold,
Where the golden flames sing and dance and chase the cold.
Carved white letters spelling PEACE, about four inches high,
Share the mantel with St. Nick, a mini, nearby.
What stories could be heard if the bricks would let them go.
About the past and people, interesting to know.

Were the old bricks once part of a house long gone,
Or a flower box or mailbox walkway and beyond?
Or a farmhouse wall watching a family grow.
Keeping them warm from winters’ freezing snow.
I stare at the old fireplace bricks and ponder the past.
As I add a new log to make the welcome fire last.

How peaceful it is as embers crackle and pop.
The spell’s broken briefly by a burning logs drop.
How we love sharing this time for the young and old.
With old bricks of the fireplace and their stories untold.



A good friend sent us a present and it was a nice surprise.
A quilted piece, twelve inches square, so pleasing to our eyes.

A snowflake designed, snowy white on a field of pretty blue.
We’ve hung it on the wall where our living room comes into view.

Trillions of snowflakes fall every year. No two alike they claim.
But ours is there every day to see and admire without change.

To remember the beauty of winter and friends ever so great.
All part of the many blessings we truly appreciate.



The road of life has many turns,
And while we’re young it matters not,
We go with those who take us,
Usually enjoying the ride a lot.

The road of life has many bumps,
As we grow the “owies” are short pain.
Rub it! Rub it! Someone will say,
Telling us not to do it again!

The road of life has potholes, too.
Like when bad choices are made,
In the spirit or the quest for fun,
And instead we become afraid.

The road of life has many curves,
That take us to places we cannot see.
Causing struggles we did not need,
Testing our desire, commitment and anxiety.

The road of life has many detours.
Distractions that create impulsive moves.
That sometimes delay or alter our progress,
Until wisdom returns to proper grooves.

The road of life offers many heartaches,
And some from truelove we cannot understand.
And yet if we’re lucky family and friends,
Will help us get back on track again.

The road of life can be filled with joy,
And wonderful times, but we must never forget.
There will be turns and bumps and potholes,
Curves and detours and heartaches to fret.

The road of life doesn’t always give us a choice,
But when it does we must do our very best,
By leaning on those good examples and experiences,
Then our faith will take care of all the rest.



It is interesting to me, as we glide across the sea,
And a wide-band rainbow appears,
Adding isolated beauty
To the dark island mountains that we see.

Though it’s hard to say for sure, the shore’s a mile or more away
The grayish clouds are thick and low
Engulfing the Alaskan sky
Presenting multi gray shades to the eye.

There’s a pretty sharp chill in the air, a feeling not so rare,
Clouds like a cotton sheet are damp,
But the sky is empty of rain
Though we wear our rain jackets just the same.

The Island Princess, our ship, a luxury hotel on a trip
Our nice cabin is on deck eight,
The balcony lets us watch the shoreline go
Big, seven decks above and seven below.

The view is really hazy now, as the cloud sits on our bow,
A lonely Gull is now flying by
Aimlessly on an airy ride,
The Gull is searching, glancing side to side.

The islands now are far behind, they are out of sight and mind
We scan the rolling, blue water
For Earth’s largest mammal the Whale
Slowly we search the surface, to no avail.

This is day one; we have six more and fifteen decks to explore
It’s easy to get lost for sure
But one thing we can always find
The food, outstanding always, total peace of mind.


The Lady in the Sunday Hat

It does appear to be the last act of an earlier time,
Like a snapshot that was frozen while the decades passed it by.
An elder Lady sitting somber always catches my eye.
It’s the Lady in the Sunday Hat, today it’s rosy wine.

Sometimes the hat is like a white sombrero, though much smaller,
Sometimes yellow, brown or blue, but never without is a fact.
I think she has a hat of every possible color
Yet, in Church there’s only one, on The Lady in the Sunday Hat.

I suppose there was a day and time when hats all ladies wore
It was expected, even a tradition to be exact,
But I think I’m witness to a tradition that is no more
Except for one each week on the Lady in the Sunday Hat.


Dennis C. Orvis

We have this huge treasure chest
Where great memories are kept like new,
And in one corner we’ve saved
Our wonderful memories with you.

Oh the joy it does give us
When we play them over again,
And then we look at each other
And say, “Do you remember when?”

So how we thank you once again
For sharing special times in the past
For laughter we could not stop
And memories that forever last

Memories so important,
They bring us joy and such great pleasure
You really make our hearts so full
With memories we will always treasure.


As I Sail

As I sail through the sky, made so blue by the Great One
And those that see me look with wishing wonder,
They think I’m ever searching, always searching for food,
But they are wrong, I need no food, my soul is full.

As I sail through the sky, so endless by the Great One
And those that see me look longing with envy.
They dream of riding the air so easy like me
With grace and beauty and quiet peace in their soul.

As I sail through the sky, in pure peace with the Great One
And those that see me, ever in awe of my space
A Heavenly place without the turmoil man creates
Wishing they could be flying so high next to me.

As I sail through the sky, a billboard for the Great One
I am His skywriting without words, His message
Of peace, love and goodwill the world has long forgotten
And yet, it is never too late for those who can see

As I sail through the sky, a symbol of belief and
Peace forever, still waiting for you and mankind free
Undeserved patience and forgiving hope that only
The Great One can offer. Believe and come sail with me.


Some People

Now there are cat people
And there are dog people
Of course, there are even horse people
But only a few, maybe one or two frog people
They are pretty rare to see

Now cat people like to stay up all night
Dog people howl when the moon is bright
Horse people run with a steady trot
Frog people sing ribbit-ribbit very loud and
Dance a funny hop

Now there are all kinds of people
So next time you go to the mall
Just look around and see what you can see

Some people will cackle
Some people move like water bugs,
Or even turtles you might see

But if you hear one singing ribbit-ribbit,
Hopping here and there,
Just smile and give a friendly wave,
Because it might just be me!



The pair of sliding glass doors
Are trimmed neatly in satin white

With fifteen small glass panes
Each, allowing through daytime light

Matching candle holders
Frame the entry’s view

Designed in twisted black iron
Stately in what they do

And with two candles each
Matching the walls of green

Contrasting the red valance
Against the outdoor scene

There’s calmness here
The peace nature has brought

It’s a wonderful place
To stare and wonder in thought


The New Revolution

One by land and two by sea,
The new revolution started today
Paul Revere rode in a pickup truck
To an election watched by the U.S.A.

The prize, Kennedy’s liberal seat
Nearly fifty years without sway
A breeze, no sweat, no worry
Not a chance, unnoticed in the U.S.A.

Then late polls gave storm warnings
Chills shook Washington; leaders jumped into the fray
They flocked to Massachusetts
Determined to keep hold of the U.S.A.

Disappointment would be theirs to worry
The Minutemen rose again; the true American way

The bridge at Concord, Patriot jammed
Smiles at Bunker Hill spread across the U.S.A

The people spoke, Camelot was over
The liberal train; a screeching halt in Boston Bay
A Republican with a shocking win
Stopped Washington cold with new hope for the U.S.A.

What can Brown do for you?
To borrow a slogan from UPS today.
Three days later health reform is dead
Quote the President “jobs is the goal for the U.S.A”


The Odyssey of Space

How small it is, like a gnat with its tail on fire.
Moving at hundreds of miles per hour
Into space with its courageous crew climbing higher and higher

How loud it was, thunderous noise as engines roared
Reverberating across the surrounding waters
As the spaceship became a beautiful flyer

How fast it is gone! Into its orbiting ride
For my generation it’s Buck Rogers coming alive
Where dreams and visions become photos to trace

What discoveries wait? What mysteries be?
Astounding pictures of planets and galaxies
And the amazing thrill of floating in space

Kennedy was President when it started
It seems like so long ago
I’ve been privileged to see many lift offs
Beautiful night shots all aglow

The shuttle program end was announced
The international program will carry on
I don’t’ know what America’s role will be
But in my mind and heart, it is always number one.


America! Four parts

And There’s More – America Part I
A Trilogy

I have seen the purple mountain majesties
I have seen from sea to shining sea

I have seen the endless golden plains
I have seen majestic eagles flying free

And there’s more – America

I have seen New England’s foliage in the fall
I have seen the Great Smokies shades of gray

I have seen the snow-covered Rockies above all
I have seen the Alamo down Mexico’s way

And there’s more – America

I have seen from the top of Miss Liberty
I have seen from the Empire building so near

I have seen the rushing water of Niagara Falls
I have seen the Florida Keys water so clear

And there’s more – America

I have seen the view from Pike’s Peak simply stunning
I have seen the Mississippi from the paddle wheels spin

I have seen the Petrified Forest, Nature’s stone art
I have seen the World’s greatest ditch, the Grand Canyon

And there’s more – America

I have seen Mount Rushmore’s Presidential stone faces
I have seen the shine of the Golden Gate Bridge

I have seen the giant redwoods, in awe of their size
I have seen the destruction of the Mount St. Helen’s ridge

And there’s more – America

I have seen Mount McKinley rise on the horizon
I have seen Alaska’s glaciers, blue ice carved by time

I have seen Old Faithful burst high into the air
I have seen great parks, Yellowstone, the Arches and Zion

And there’s more – America

I have seen the darkness deep in Carlsbad Cavern
I have seen the brightness of the Badlands in hot sun

I have seen America’s sunrise at East Point Maine
I have seen the Great Plains where the antelope run

And there’s more – America

Oh yes, there is so much more, the bucket list grows on
A Country surely blessed, with unmatched diversity

One cannot possibly see it all in a lifetime
The example to the world for freedom and liberty

And there is more – America, much more!

The arch in St. Louis, Preservation Hall on Bourbon Street,
Lighthouses on the Outer Banks, Magnolia trees in bloom,
D.C. when cherry trees blossom, Vegas at night
Chicago in the summer, and Broadway in tune

And there’s more – America, Oh, there is so much more!

March 2010

And There’s More – America, Part II
A Trilogy

I have seen the Flag at Fort Sumter
I have seen Lincoln’s shiny nose in Springfield Illinois

I have seen the Great Salt Lake, so icky
I have seen Mark Twains’ home in Hannibal, Huck Finn was a boy

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Old Man on the Mountain
I have seen the narrow Rio Grande, five feet from Mexico

I have seen the bottom interior of Hoover Dam
I have seen the Four Corners where tall cactus grow

And there’s more – America

I have seen Atlanta’s marvelous Cyclorama
I have seen and marveled the Dinosaur National Park

I have seen the Blue and Gray quiet of Gettysburg
I have seen the New York skyline from a cruise ship after dark

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Arizona resting at Pearl Harbor
I have seen the monuments at Washington

I have seen Nature’s beauty in the Ozarks
I have seen through tears the pain and pride of Arlington.

And there’s more – America

I have seen the mysterious cliff dwellings
I have seen Crater Lake bordered with fresh white snow

I have seen lava flows at Craters of the Moon
I have seen small herds of the shaggy, brown buffalo

And there’s more – America

I have seen the sunrise from top of Stone Mountain
I have seen the mysterious Desert of Maine

I have seen the wonders of Wisconsin Dells
I have seen the long causeway at Lake Pontchartrain

And there’s more – America

I have seen the pines and cool waters of Lake of the Woods
I have seen Hot Springs where water will never freeze

I have seen the moss-covered trees of Okefenokee Swamp
I have seen Blue Springs, playground of Florida Manatees

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Little Brown Church in the Vail
I have seen Iowa’s Grotto of Redemption at West Bend

I have seen the seventy-six trombones of River City
I have seen the tall cornfields that never seem to end

And there’s more – America

I have seen the theaters of Branson Missouri
I have seen the great story – The Black Hills Passion Play

I have seen Natures paint brush of the Black Hills
I have seen the awesome view from the Blue Ridge Parkway

And there’s more – America

I have seen the famous Brooklyn Bridge and the Natural Bridge
I have seen the boardwalks of Atlantic City and Charleston

I have seen the Biltmore House, Graceland and Monticello
I have seen the Mariachi play in a San Antonio Mission

And there’s more – America

I have seen the marvelous Mall of America
I have seen in Kansas endless fields of grain

I have seen the downtown mall of Kalamazoo
I have seen the rainbows of Hawaii in the rain

And there’s more – America

I have seen the San Francisco cable cars
I have seen the beautiful horses in Kentucky Hills

I have seen the Mansions by Newport’s’ Atlantic
I have seen the excitement of harness racing thrills

And there’s more – America

I have seen the cotton fields of Mississippi
I have seen the Georgia peach trees loaded to the ground

I have seen the vineyards of Upstate New York
I have seen fields of pineapples where the luaus are found

And there’s more – America, much more!

From Ellis Island to Puget Sound
From Big Bend National Park to the Great Lakes,
Rock City to Chimney Rock to Rock Rapids
From Georgetown to Klamath Falls to Hilton Head.
How blessed we are in America!

And there’s more – America, Oh, there is so much more!

April 2010

Part III -And There’s More – America –
A Trilogy

I have seen the elephant in the Anchorage zoo
I have seen Appleton Wisconsin in the spring

I have seen the White Buffalo, Jamestown North Dakota
I have seen Philly where the Liberty Bell does ring

And there’s more – America

I have seen Disneyland at Anaheim
I have seen the airboat ride in the sunshine state
I have seen Disney World in Orlando
I have seen the steam engine train ride in Wolfeboro, great

And there’s more – America

I have seen the grand canyon of Georgia
I have seen the beauty of Estes National Park

I have seen the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania
I have seen the Black Angel of Council Bluffs, so dark

And there’s more – America

I have seen the insides of an atomic sub
I have seen the awesome carrier, Lexington

I have seen the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine
I have seen the famous Faneuil Hall in Boston

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Glass Museum in Corning
I have seen the Ohio Museum for Zane Grey

I have seen the Whaling Museum in New Bedford Mass
I have seen the Shelburne Museum in Green Mountain way

And there’s more – America

I have seen many wonderful museums,
Grandma Moses, Norman Rockwell, Barnum, Popeye and more

I have seen the Grand Old Opry in Nashville
I have seen the beauty of the Oregon shore

And there’s more – America

I have seen Dixville Notch where the Nation votes first
I have seen Dollywood in the Pigeon Forge Hills

I have seen Deer Forest and Santa Claus land
I have seen Battleship Cove with Big Mamie thrills

And there’s more – America

I have seen the gorgeous Master’s Course at Augusta GA
I have seen Daytona Beach where the autos can drive

I have seen the Golf Hall of Fame where legends prevail
I have seen the Washington zoo and Panda’ live

And there’s more – America

I have seen Jewel Cave, burned my fingers on the lamp
I have seen Busch Gardens, a Tampa Florida treat

I have seen the Mackinac Bridge in the Michigan thumb
I have seen Arcadia National park where Fundy tides retreat

And there’s more – America

I have seen Elvis’ home in Tupelo Mississippi
I have seen the Little White House in Warm Springs GA

I have seen the Billy Brothers clocks in Decorah Iowa
I have seen Bryce Canyon where time has no say

And there’s more – America

From the Grand Tetons to Narragansett Bay
From the Corn Palace at Mitchell to Myrtle Beach
From Padre Island to Williamsburg,
Where Washington and Jefferson still speak,
From Rocket Center at Huntsville
To Cape Canaveral’s launching of greatness
And a nostalgic ride in the Ford Tri-motor plane!

And there’s more America,
So much more.
Our Country is truly blessed!

May 2010

Part IV And There’s More – America

A Trilogy plus One

Author’s Note: When I first wrote the poem And There’s More America! in March of 2010, I did not plan it to be part I of a trilogy. Then writing about things I have seen while traveling our fifty states of America the words just seemed to flow. The words came so easy as part II and part III in April and May followed as a trilogy.

And yet, as the title proclaims And There’s More America, there really is more. Over the Fourth of July we visited Washington D.C. twenty-seven years since we last visited our Nations Capitol. I was moved by the new monuments like World War II and my war, the Korean War.

I was surprised the number of visitors to the Washington Monument is limited each day. When I first visited the Washington Monument in the summer of 1951, we walked up the many stair steps and rode the elevator down. I’m told now that “walking the steps” is no longer allowed. I would guess the reason is graffiti and vandalism. Pity. The streets to the monuments now are blocked with cement barricades. Security has replaced beauty. Washington has changed. America has changed. But my memories do not change and I will cherish them forever. DCO
Part IV

I have seen the colorful cranberry harvest at Wareham Mass.
I have seen Kancamangus Highway bumper to bumper when leaves display.

I have seen New England’s covered bridges
I have seen the Portland Head Light, President Washington Okayed.

And there’s more – America

I have seen Slater Mill in Rhode Island
I have seen Ellis Island, where immigrants arrived with a Prayer

I have seen the U.S.S. Constitution resting in Boston harbor
I have seen Fort McHenry where “our flag was still there!”

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Rock in Plymouth Mass.
I have seen the beautiful whales off New England’s bay

I have seen the house where Lizzie Borden lived
I have seen the Green Wall where the Red Sox play

And there’s more – America

I have seen Mt. Vernon, President Washington’s home
I have seen at the Kennedy Center special events sing

I have seen the Lincoln and Jefferson monuments
I have seen the Smithsonian with so much of everything

And there’s more – America

I have seen the Tall Ships with our “Eagle” sailing proud.
I have seen the Great Lakes from the North and Southern Shore

I have seen the Wright Brothers Museum at Kitty Hawk
I have seen the wonderful harbor in Baltimore

And there’s more – America

I have seen the museums of Chicago
I have seen Wrigley Field with its’ ivy wall

I have seen Lombard, the crooked street of Frisco
I have seen the Sea Gull monument, Salt Lake so tall

And there’s more – America

I have seen Route 66, a road so famous
I have seen the New York home of FDR and Campobello, too

I have seen Hershey Park where chocolate rules
I have seen nature’s beauty at the Omaha Zoo

And there’s more – America

I have seen citrus groves from a colorful balloon floating above
I have seen St. Augustine that takes us to years gone by

I have seen Florida’s Sunken Garden and inventions in Edison’s’ home
I have seen Lion Country, Parrot Jungle and Sea World, pleasant to the eye

And there’s more – America

Yes, there is more, so much more. Samuel Clemens home in Hartford, President Jackson’s home, Hermitage in Tennessee, the golf courses in Georgia’s state parks and even the largest, oldest tree in Louisiana. How blessed we are in America. How blessed I am to have seen these wonderful things in our great Country.

And there’s more America!

August 2010

Music of the Heart

Poetry is words set to music of the heart
We will not all hear it the same. Some will hear
none at all.

But there will be one who will hear a symphony
That no other person can hear and the lucky
hear best of all.

So as you read a poem and the words drift into
your eyes

Let your heart listen to the pictures it paints and
expect a wonderful surprise!

Enjoy the music!


Sunshine and Rainbows

A familiar old question often comes to our mind.
Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s terribly unkind.

We have heard life is what we make it, which isn’t totally true.
Some roads are better than others and some we do not chose to do.
Hopefully the good times will outweigh all others, a positive refrain.
We’ll have memories we can share and yet the question will remain.

I’m afraid there is no answer that would begin to satisfy.
To say that is just the way it is, will never answer the WHY.
I know of nothing to ease the pain our hearts are feeling today.
Except the hope we have and our Prayers, to send along the way.

As life goes on, memories will play an important part
By bringing sunshine and rainbows to troubled hearts


Note: I wrote this in tribute to some friends that simply were not lucky in life.

None Can Stand

I have a couple questions for all members of
Congress, the House and the Senate

How could you pass the Health Care Bill
without knowing what was in it?

How would the Statesmen of the first Congress
judge your Congressional action?

Your public approval rate is a record low,
and as Statesmen NONE CAN STAND.


A Wish for My Country

From every corner of our great Country
I’ve seen the beauty the Lord has made,
Plus works of many proud Americans
enhancing the scene

Though mistakes too, are obvious, caused by us,
imperfect as we are
And adjustments are often slow
to repair the errant dream

But there is a spirit in my Country
that remains ever strong
To volunteer one’s effort and
resources that need to be

To solve the problems, correct the ills,
always in search of progress
May the sun forever rise and set on my Country,
America, Land of the free.


The Brightest BeaconFlying – 2011

Our flight was scheduled for twelve fifty-five
We left in time to arrive two hours early
Getting to the airport was only a thirty-minute ride
We had a casual breakfast; there was no need to hurry.

The security lines were long, but moving well
Most flyers, not all, are aware of the search routine
Plastic tubs for belts, shoes, metal, just don’t ring the bell
Made it through and dressed; I didn’t forget anything

It was a short two-hour flight to Orlando
Our ride was waiting; we’ll be home in half that time
Flying today lacks the pleasure it had a few years ago
It’s the price of security, but still, the majority says, “It’s just fine.”


Time for a Change

It is generally believed the slogan Time for a Change
Has elected more politicians than any other
It is unfortunate the resulting change
Is one of three, too little, too much or none
As just right is not another

By the time a person is elected
We know their sole is no longer theirs
It is committed you see
Such is the modern experience
When the elected control the purse
Of a helpless democracy

Until those who do the voting
To force decisions just and true
So a great America can prevail

The present system is designed to perpetuate
Time for a Change will continue electing
While America’s cries are of no avail.


Road Improvements

How we hate the delays,
Inconveniences, the irritations
The inconsiderate, the long waits,
Flaring tempers, some with verbal abuse

And now the road improvements are done.
The “working” signs and the orange cones
Bad actions and emotions are nowhere in sight.
All forgotten, the road is now open to normal use.


I Saw a Miracle Today

I saw a miracle today,
I could almost say I felt it, but
That wouldn’t be quite true
You see I had a heart problem
With several blockages in
Some veins needing a special touch

My doctor, whom I just met, with his
Grayish beard and a smile disarmed
My fears and questions too
He did it with a small incision and
Sending his tiny tools gliding
Through veins with a talent much

He installed two stents so very little
I cannot imagine
Completing a perfect task
So carefully designed to protect
Me from any stroke or heart attack
That can maim or kill

We’re confidently expecting his
Deliberate work to keep me
Healthy with results to last
I saw a miracle today
My doctor perhaps or his gift
It was a successful thrill

February 2012

Confessions of a Politician

We have decided to be undecided
Our conclusion is no intrusion

Therefore on the feelings we express
There were all no’s, not a single yes

And we skirted down the middle
Like a water drop on the hot griddle

We have no intention to vote our intervention,
Or any kind of extension

Don’t you see, on that we all agree

We had another busy, difficult day
We wouldn’t have it any other way.


Hear the Angels Singing

Hear the Angels Singing.
Hear the Church bells ringing,
It’s time to hear the Lord’s calling
It’s not your time
It’s not my time
It’s our Lord’s time
And for his great love we’re falling

Halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah
We can hear the Angles singing
For you and for me and everyone
About the great love he’s bringing!


A Tribute

Her name was Rita. She never missed a poem in the Ledger
And when the poem was one of mine
My phone would ring, late afternoon,
The voice was clear and elderly sweet about the usual time

Sometimes she would say, “Dennis, you made me cry.
I lost my husband years ago; you brought beautiful memories back to me”
And then she would pause to catch her thoughts, I’m sure
Or she might say, “You got me, Dennis, I’m laughing so hard I cannot see.”

Rita left us not long ago, she was ninety-one.
She’s in a better place I know, with her husband, once again
In the poetry corner where the Angels always sing,
I want her to know (and she probably does,) how much I miss my friend.


Stories and Storybooks

We cannot measure the value of a story
read to a child
We don’t know how imagination grows with stories
of nature’s wilds
We don’t know how story characters become
secret friends
We don’t know the joy they feel when the story
happily ends

We don’t know what great quest for knowledge
For books, stories or writing they might acquire
We don’t know how their future might be shaped
But storybooks can create a learning fire

Millions of children will never see or hear a
Most are throughout the world, but the U.S.
shares the rest
It is our wish that those you love are
indeed fortunate
We believe those with storybooks are
truly blessed.


The Other Side of Golf

Some people think golf is a crazy game,
Hitting the little white ball, then hitting it again

Three shots or four or maybe five is par
And every time you play the course is always the same

I’ve been playing now over seven decades,
Through the years many memories remain

Some years I played more than others
Oh, how I loved that crazy game

You see golf is not just simply
Hitting or chasing a dimpled ball

Oh, no, you see, golf is much more to me
It’s bonding with nature, the trees, the sky, the birds and all

Listen carefully as we move along our way
Hear the chatter of a noisy, yakking Blue Jay

Listen too, above us in the blue summer sky
Searching the water, I hear that Osprey cry

How many Cardinals have I heard today?
How many Woodpeckers pecking in the tall pines?

How can one measure this glorious time?
Oh yes, it’s more than golf, this golfing day of mine


Dear Lord

“Dear Lord”
“Who’s that?”
“It’s me, Dennis, you called?”
“Yes I did, but you’ve never answered like this before.”
“I know, Dennis, but I had a free moment when your call came in. What do you want, Dennis, I’m very busy.”
“I’m sure your are. Look Lord, I could send you an email instead of taking up your time right now.”
“Dennis, you know I don’t take emails. What is it you have on your mind?”
“OK, Lord, but it’s not for me. I’m doing ok. It’s about my friend. He is in the hospital very sick. He’s been sick for a long time. The doctors have said they have done all they can for him.”
“Yes, I know, Dennis, I know everything. What do you want?”

“Yes, Lord, I know that. I guess you know I’ve sent several prayers. I’m really worried, Lord, I’m wondering if my friends number is up, would you take him in your loving arms and hold him? He’s a good man. I don’t know if he is perfect, but he is a good man. Or Lord, if his number is not up yet, could you stroke his gray hair so he will know you are there with him? Do you know what I mean, Lord?”

“Yes, Dennis, I know what you mean.”
“I know that Lord, you know everything. I forgot for a moment. Anyway, thanks for listening and thanks again for your love.”
“Yes, Dennis, I always listen. Be at peace. I have your friend in my hands and because you care, you have my love.”

“Thank you, Lord. Bless you!”

“That’s my line, Dennis.”

“I know, Lord, but I feel like I needed to say it.”

“Bless you, Dennis.”
“Thank you again, Lord, and Amen.”


Tuck, the Board Game

Tuck is a board game that requires some careful thought
I don’t recommend dozing, you might get caught
Kings remember, send other players back home
It’s fun, but watch out for your partner and your own

The cards can be good or something quite rotten
They’re very good when aces and kings are gotten
It’s difficult trying to move your tees to your bank
But switches with jack’s means your partner to thank

It’s a frustrating game in too many ways
Still, it’s a fun way to pass time on those rainy days
It’s fun, too, to win after a tough game and such
But I warn you, it’s dangerous to brag too much.


An Oversight Milestone

I have a three-ring binder divided in three sections
I keep the records of my writings there

Non-fiction, fiction and poetry, numbered, dated and
Total words
Important to me though I rarely share

The non-fiction section shows many words
Five hundred twenty-three thousand one hundred eighty-two

Expressed in one hundred seventy-nine pieces
And every word contained as I remember is true

The fiction section is my favorite, I like the stories
And the characters even more

My children’s story Little Jude and Midnight
Is number one hundred and eighty-four

I should mention here a milestone reached,
With total words three hundred fifty thousand forty-four

The third section is poetry which I feel easy to write
The last poem reached number six hundred twenty-three

The word total is ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-six
I should have looked, adding four more words is not challenge to me

But wait, an oversight, I skipped number five hundred ninety-five
If I use this one I can fill the gap

With one hundred ninety-five words here,
I will pass the hundred thousand milestone

WOW! WOW! WOW! What do you think of that?


Coincidence or Design

Was it coincidence the six of us attended the Church supper? Perhaps.
Was it a coincidence the Pastor’s wife came to our table to say hello? Perhaps.

Was it a coincidence my two friends started bragging about my stories? Perhaps.
Was it a coincidence one said, “give him one word, he’ll write you a story? Perhaps.

And then she said, “Jordan,” her grandson, born with muscles that could not relate
Though unable to walk or talk, he had an envious smile and a motorized wheelchair
He could operate

I later learned he responded to Santa Claus and trains
From this tidbit of information I wrote a story in a couple hours

About Jordan going to the circus with a new friend,
A mouse named Little Jude, who wore a baseball cap with magic powers

One story, I knew was not enough and I proceeded to write four more
With exciting adventures the two of them shared, a labor of love, you see

I hope that Jordan was able to enjoy the stories
I was pleased about the thank you’s sent to me

Jordan passed away last May, when his young heart stopped beating
Though young in years he touched so many hearts he left behind

Was it a coincidence that all of this happened? Perhaps.
I say perhaps, because I believe it may be part of a grand design.


The Ghostly Dream Ship

It’s an old friend this dream that visits me from time to time
Without cause or warning or care
In the form of an ancient three-masted ship
With every sail straining to hold the powerful angry air

The night is purple dark, broken only by the scattered eerie moonlight
Flashing on the white caps, splashing from the wooden hull
The old ship groans and screeches as it races on
Void of any crew, its many ropes stretched tight, singing to their mighty pull

It’s guided by ghosts I can’t see and I don’t know where it is going
I don’t know where it has been, but the ride must be wild and crazy
The sea is raging and the waves are fighting
From a flash of lightning I see the ship is named after me

Now the ship is disappearing from the moon, into the thick, waiting fog
And once again it is rapidly leaving me behind
It’s gone! The old ship is gone without a trace
And I wonder if that wild ride will ever be mine.


Heart Music

Poetry is heart music
Words can become melodies

Sadly not for everyone,
I’m sorry to say

To some it will be pretty
Some won’t hear a single note

But one or two, maybe you
Will hear a symphony


Poetry, yes or no

I met a man the other day
That made me kind of sad
He didn’t care for poetry
I told him he must be mad

Don’t you remember nursery rhymes?
When you were young and small
Remember how you felt
When Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall.

But poetry is nursery rhymes and more
It takes you any place you might wish to go
To say you don’t like it,
Friend, tell me it isn’t so.

Tell me, too, how about music?
Are there songs you like real well?
Don’t you know the words are poetry?
Can you dislike them now, pray tell?


An Old Friend

I met an old friend I haven’t seen for far too long.
“How are you doing?” I said

And he answered “What?”

“Me too,” I said in a kidding way, “but it hurts when it rains.”

He smiled and said, “Me too! It’s good to see you again.”

As he walked away, I guess maybe with his daughter, I heard him say,
“Who was that fella, he looked sort of familiar.”

I smiled. I met an old friend today. We saved the past and the future
For another time. It was good to see him again.


Remembering Poetry

(with Jude Gardner’s starter)
Dennis C. Orvis

Do you remember when you and me were buddies when we were very little,
You lived down below and I lived up the hill?
Do you remember eating Groundcherries from Rueben Judish’s garden
And Ernie Sacks taught us how to swear, extremely well?

Do you remember when they fixed our streets with a new thick coat of tar
When it was dry we tore off a chunk and it became our Black Jack gum?
Do you remember picking raspberries in the woods of Lover’s Lane or when
We kids played “kick the can?” I don’t recall who won.

Do you remember the circus that came to town every year or the sweet corn
Festival on Main Street, with butter from ear to ear, all we could eat?
Do you remember playing baseball at the park behind Nieworner’s Hardware
Store, where a homer reached the street?
How small the park was and we were too, a well-hit ball homered at one hundred feet.

Do you remember playing Captain Flag and I Spy, our neighborhood was never at rest?
And in the Winter sliding down Catholic Hill for two or more blocks, it was the very best.

We knew where all the blue grapes were growing and no apple tree was safe from us.
We’re still buddies with memories showing because Waverly was a super plus!

Those were good times, many years ago, we were Waverly buddies then,
Gloryoski, Zero, Ain’t that grand? Yes, Zero, it was so very grand!

And yes, I remember still. I close my eyes and we do it all over again!


Dennis C. Orvis

In the merry month of May,
A miracle came my way,
While I was golfing with the group called Spuds.

It was a day of clear blue sky,
And my shots were flying high,
Only a couple could be labeled as duds.

The fairways were gorgeous green,
Every shot was swift and clean,
And my dimpled ball sailed so straight and true.

Hitting every green in regulation,
It was for me a new sensation,
‘Though my start belied my game, three putting one and two.

Another bogie came on three,
But then the fun began for me,
Four pars, two birdies, total thirty-seven with nine to play.

A bogie got me on number ten,
Then an eagle, my second shot went right in,
And next came six straight pars, it surely was my Day!

Careless putting on the final green,
Doubled a bogie on eighteen,
Back nine score, thirty-eight in a very special way.

Seventy-five was my total score,
First round in the 70’s, a dozen years or more,
It was one of my finer golfing escapades.

Then Suddenly I realized
With a round of high fives,
Impossible as it seems, I just “shot my age!”

WOW! Top that Tiger!
May 13, 2005

Dennis C. Orvis

The road was two ribbons of steel and it was the same every day,
There was a click from every wheel as joints cried out and the loads would sway.
The big, black engines were aiding the Nation’s growth coast to coast.
Begrudging free rides for hoboes and bums, riding the rails with stories to boast.

It was special growing up by the railroad near, with experiences many will never know.
We treated the trains with respect, never fear, sometimes hopping a ride for a mile or so,
The huge black engines used steam for their power, to pull many boxcars east or west.
They stopped in our town at the old wood water tower, to fill their boiler, so vital to their quest.

Our trains hauled freight, except during World War Two, when soldiers filled many cars,
Called troop trains, we gave them comic books and apples too, soldiers from other countries and ours.
During that time our railroad bridge was deemed essential to the war, it was guarded every hour, every day of the week.
My Grandfather was a member of the watchmen corp., no threat ensued, an event never to repeat.

The railroad bridge was also special to us young guys, for jumping and diving into the summer’s warm river,
We remember too, when a train too fast on the curve caused three or more boxcars to dive into the water.
This only happened once that I can recall, but I remember the six-foot icicles hanging from the water tower every winter.
And the many pennies we put on the rails for the train to squash, and the hobos my Grandfather invited for dinner.

I can’t imagine a town without trains, so important to our lives back then, but now the trains stopped running nearly everywhere.
Their need, like the old days, will not return again, but they are preserved as memories, so long ago and ever so near.
The great railroad companies have all merged or died. The right-o-ways changed and the rails are forever gone.
I remember how the eerie night whistle cried and when I close my eyes I can hear the wheels singing, the clicking railroad song.

The Church on Vernon Square

Dennis C. Orvis

Serenely righteous among the old oak trees growing on Vernon Square
The Darien United Methodist Church, The Second, is proudly standing there.
Looking good, though built in the year 1883,
The huge bronze plaque relates its transition through history.
The original Methodist Church “cornerstoned” in 1841
And survived when Federal troops burned the town of Darien.
It served as Church, A gathering place and yes, even asTown Hall.
And when the Civil War ended, a difficult Peace tried to answer the call.

For Forty years it prevailed through growth and tragic recovery
But it was no match against Nature and the hurricane of 1881.
When the wild winds of August brought destruction so painful for all to see.
Then two long years passed slowly by before rebuilding was begun.
Now as I sit in this wonderful old Church that’s seen 125 years pass by.
I can only imagine the joy when the new Church doors first opened wide.
Overwhelming to all Blessed to be present, they looked through misty eyes,
I stare in awe, as they must have done at the beauty I see inside.

The ceiling peaks from rear to front thirty feet above the floor.
Dark stained, narrow boards add richness no fresco could enhance,
With three steel rods holding wall-to-wall providing needed support.
Rusty with age, turnbuckled tight, the Builders left nothing to chance.
Each side has four stain-glass windows, stunning beauty ten-foot high,
Dark woodwork trim throughout the Church, scalloped Wainscot pleases the eye.
Lighted by a six-foot chandelier with twelve etched globes on display,
Flanked by two smaller fixtures with four frosted globes lighting the way.

The Church is nearly full now, eighty or more, this special day,
And the tower bell is ringing as the faithful scurry to find a pew.
Ten red robes with wide white collars, rise as the Director begins to sway,
The congregation stands, the music begins, the Lords’ moment anew.
Serenely righteous among the old oak trees growing on Vernon Square.
The Darien United Methodist Church, The Second, is proudly standing there.
The loving music of Praise floats freely to neighbors ever near,
As a visitor, did I find this Church, or did the Lord send me here?

Mother’s Day 2006
Darien, Georgia

A Shot in the Dark

Dennis C. Orvis

We’re standing in the moonlit night
In a group of eight or nine.
Watching the dark northeastern sky
For signs of history.

Hoping the first space shuttle night-launch
is on time.
Hoping too, from a hundred miles away,
The miracle we can see.

Suddenly the cloudbank has a touch of Pink.
The horizon changes to brilliant orange from dark blue.
There! In the middle rising slowly, a sight too awesome to blink,
Was a small red flame, climbing slowly into view.

“There it is!” The cries were heard, “Look at it go!”
We watched the small red flame climbing ever so high,
With a white vapor trail stretching and rapidly grow.
Reflecting the colors, the shuttle vanishes into the sky.

It is gone! We silently wish the riders God Speed.
We watch as upper winds rearrange the plumb-like trail.
The mission into space, our Country continues to lead.
Unforgettable. May our leadership ever prevail.

October 2006
I took this photo in March 2001

Dennis C. Orvis

When old friends gather in the hall of memories,
The faces, though changed, will still be aglow.
And their eyes sweep the room like a warm gentle breeze,
Re-living the happy times we used to know.
We watch the speaker open the leathered Hawkeye book,
Quietly turning pages to our special days.
A silent breath shares the stage with a longing look.
Unspoken words span sixty years with a gaze.

The trance fades as the first name floats across the hall.
The reading of the honored list has begun.
Heads turn with smiles as each voice answers the call.
When the roll is called, will your AYE be one?
The answer, of course, is really up to you,
But your classmates are hoping, most of all,
With our schools’ colors of Black and Gold tugging, too,
That you will, in person, answer the call.


The Clock

Dennis C. Orvis

Quietly the hands on the attractive clock move steadily as they should,
Positioned above the Country Club bar in a sheen of natural wood.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

It is owned and cared for by a special golfing group, called Spuds by name.
Though not a trophy or a prize, the clock is significant just the same.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

There are two-dozen Spuds, plus a few, golfing three times weekly, those who can,
With handicaps in the senior range, fellowship and friendship share the master plan.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

The numbered chips are drawn, teams are formed, the game’s selected by number five.
Many grunt disgust of the choice in jest and load up for the eighteen-hole ride.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

When the round is over, the Spuds meet under the clock and winners then are paid.
With pitchers of beer, the humor is clear and the days golf repeats in charade.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

The Spud clock pays tribute to members playing now at the big golf course in the sky,
And brass plates look down o’er the joy they once shared when their shots good and bad would fly.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

So whether the Spud is around the table or on the clocks’ brass plate with a name.
The important thing is not whether you won or lost, but with whom you played the game.
The time is correct for any, who have a need to know,
But the clock itself is symbolic of a more important role.

Note: This is a tribute I wrote to our golfing group called the Spuds.

Dennis C. Orvis

I didn’t know what to expect when I first met the old city in sixty-nine.
I didn’t know its history though I was determined with an open mind.
Looking back it wasn’t easy in the limited time we had to see,
It looked like the city would finish last in any contest there might be.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

An old New England city; its decay started nearly fifty years before,
When a hundred or so cotton industries stopped machines and closed the door.
Thousands lost their jobs and moved away, property taxes were unpaid.
A city bankrupt went under State control, no improvements or repairs were made.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

The Great Depression added chaos to chaos with no help anywhere to be had.
The city grew smaller, real estate became blight, conditions were nothing but bad.
World War II brought economic recovery to America Coast to Coast.
Well almost, for this old New England city, recovery was still a ghost.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

Progress was painful, a new interstate gutted downtown, rebuilding was terribly slow.
Then some young Tigers got involved with desire and energy hoping to make things go.
Still, national stores, dying for lack of parking, moved from the city center.
The job growth was slow, needle trade pay was low and Firestone closed its huge plant there.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than to accept a challenge and fight.

Those Tigers hired me to run the Chambers’ ship, a job fifty others tried to get.
But the word was I lost, the challenge was too great, a banner I could not forget.
I must admit it wasn’t an easy role, those New Englanders were cordial, but cold.
Barriers everywhere, as I tried to paint a new picture on a canvas, so battered and old.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

The key I believed, was people and we pulled them in on many fronts with projects galore.
And in time our small victories with mended fences survived and served to attract even more.
We formed partnerships in spite of Sacred Grounds, pressing on with a growing team.
We changed our image to be community first, gaining friends as finished projects were seen.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

A bold spirit flourished as community leaders stepped forward with renewed pride.
Many tributes and praises came the old Citys way from the New England countryside
With growing successes like Junior Achievement for the young, old problems were soon forgot.
And for a decade plus four the troubled old City was ever close to Camelot.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.

A quarter century has passed since I left the old City, proud that all was ok.
But reports I’ve heard since says Camelot is gone, the old City is again in decay.
My heart is in pain for those friends we so loved and the old City that took us in.
But we remember our shared joy of Camelot and truly hope it will happen again.

But nobody pitys cities no matter how difficult the plight.
It’s easier to walk away than accept a challenge and fight.


Dennis C. Orvis

I called a meeting the other day of all the friends I’ve ever known.
To meet where laughter never stops on memory lane.
Such joy came over me as old friends began to show.
Smiling and waving and calling out my name.

Glenn, the first to arrive, like Jude, was a friend from early age.
And then I saw Dick and Jim, great neighbors in early days.
There’s Del. How often our paths did cross,
As we drifted through life in those different ways.

There’s Doug and Jerry, Al, Don, Max and Gil,
Russ and Gus, Vic, Rick and Lavern.
And Gene and Harry, Fred and Larry,
With chorus of laughter, great memories return.

They’re shoulder to shoulder and still more arrive.
I see Gary and Charlie, Ernie, Frank and Paul.
So many, the smiling faces keep coming on,
Reminding me how blessed I am, maybe blessed of all.

My mind is racing back to those terrific times shared
With Bob, John, Jack, Mickey, Butch and Dave,
Some great, some small, yet treasures all,
Tony, Tom, Andy and Wayland, a thumbs-up wave.

The line is long, no end in sight,
There’s Dan and Royal and high-fiving Clair.
There are many, many more, too many to name,
But I remember each one with a toast and a Prayer.


Dennis C. Orvis

Joannie was the sister of a friend,
Who in the golden years of her life, was dealt a losing hand.
I did not know her long and quite late,
She lived on the golf course, the fairway of five-par, hole number eight.

A friend of our golfing group of twenty-four,
Served us cookies and coffee, twice a week outside her patio door.
Treats by the golfers, but the smile belonged to her.
How it started I don’t know but it was so very unique, so pure.

Then the coffee stop was closed one day.
Joannie had an extended illness that wouldn’t go away.
We were soon shocked with great sadness.
Learning her illness was terminal, we prayed for her comfort and rest.

How helpless we are when a friend is struck.
We’re driven to do anything, hoping always for good luck.
I sent her a folder of poems I wrote.
And was told her lost smile returned faintly like a brief ray of hope.

Small victory perhaps? Or huge, one might say?
It inspired me to follow with more poems, weekly, the first day.
Does it really matter? How can we really tell?
Yes. Several weeks later I received a thank you note I treasure still.

Time indeed, was short, barely ninety days.
Through eight Mondays the poems feathered the weeks with rhyme and praise.
Yet, sadly, poems the following week she did not hear or see.
So with special thanks, this poem’s “for Joannie in memory.”


The Flood of 2008

(My hometown- Waverly Iowa)
Dennis C. Orvis

I’ve seen the river rise, a springtime event repeated every year.
Winter snow melts sending extra water to the river waiting near
And swelling our summer friend, overflowing the rivers’ normal banks
Usually though, the flooding is minor, the subject of many thanks.

Waverly Iowa loves the Cedar River most of the time,
Running through the towns’ center, offering fun and beauty, a special kind.
The source of favorite fishing spots, boating and the ole’ swimming holes,
Year around pleasures, winter too, ice skating and scoring hockey goals.

Our river, Natures’ blessing, providing much joy over the years.
And yet, there were some springs when higher flooding caused many tears.
Especially when the winter snow was deep or the melt was much too fast.
Well-known low areas would quickly flood, requiring a sandbag task.

The gentle warm spring rains are always needed to help the flowers grow,
But when the rain is added to a swollen river it makes a treacherous flow.
Warnings from the upstream towns alerted officials to be concerned.
School students responded to fill sandbags, another lesson learned.

Some people were rescued by boats as they were every flooding year.
Filling sandbags, we always wondered why they didn’t move from here.
Still, except for a few houses, some city parks and maybe a street,
Usually most spring floods we could handle as a manageable repeat.

There were record years, when much damage comes quickly comes to mind.
The year the towns’ boathouse sailed the dam, probably 1949.
1960 many county bridges were damaged or washed away.
And others with the Harmon Street Bridge under water every flooded day.

It has been over forty years since I moved away from my hometown,
Which means I missed those flooding years of throwing sandbags all around.
But in the news today there was my hometown, in headlines Nationwide.
The Cedar River, out of control, my hometown with no place to run or hide.

The pictures I received from Waverly friends I could hardly believe.
Areas were flooded first time, before it crested and then recede.
Even the Fairgrounds under water, to the hills of my old golf course.
Water engulfing thousands of homes, stores and Churches without remorse.

This surely will be the new record, this flood of 2008.
It was abnormally high, but not from snow as the flood came very late.
The only cause this year was relentless rain, for days and days it came.
The aftermath is brutal, lives of many will never be the same.

My thoughts are wandering to the stages a flood impacts on ones’ mind.
Concern, anxiety, worry, with futility not far behind.
Disbelief, disgust and discouragement when the river shrinks one day.
The hurt endured when destroyed photos and keepsakes are hauled away.

I stare at the picture of my flooded hometown with much pain in my heart
Those memories of my younger days when those places and things were part
Someday grief and sadness will fade, tragedy cannot forever last,
And my beautiful hometown will again excel above its’ splendid past.

June 2008

Dennis C. Orvis

In the world of golf where fantasy and fiction
Can sometimes embellish what’s real,

The unbelievable can follow the forgettable
On the very next shot.

And yet, every once in a while, if you are lucky,
You can have a day surreal.

Your putter is true; your bad shots are few
And your old golf game is really hot.

As a Senior hot golf games are quite rare;
Any heat reference would be the weather.

But hidden in my memory trust are a
Few special moments easy to recall.

Once my second shot on a Par five hole,
Rolled the green within the leather

And the three times I had a hole-in-one,
Each becoming a special trophy ball.

Now, aging, great golf days are far between
But the fellowship is worth the time I spend

I shot my age in seventy-five, supreme!
Now four years later, seventy-nine, cheers again!

March 2009

(Growing up in Waverly Iowa)
Dennis C. Orvis

There was a time
when this body was young
I would swim in the river
dive off the railroad bridge
or swing high from a rope or vine.

There was a time
when this body was young
I searched the woods for mushrooms
hunted rabbits in their zigzag run
or borrow grapes from the neighbors’ vine

There was a time
when this body was young
when we fished all night long
caught a few for no reason at all
or maybe caught an eel and then “cut our line.”

There was a time
when this body was young
swimming all day at the town pool
or chase gophers with wet towels
or pitched old copper pennies to a line

There was a time
when this body was young
we played baseball in the street
rode our bikes all over town
Our bikes waxed to a perfect shine

There was a time
when this body was young
and we did those things that young people do
never thinking of danger that could have been
Yes, there was a time.
Wouldn’t it be great “one more time?


Dennis C. Orvis

It’s a party I did not plan,
It’s something I would not have done.
But my lovin’ family did
And now I’m basking in the fun

It’s pleasing as each guest arrives
Increasing the vibes in the hall
And I realize how blessed I am
There’s no doubt, the most of all.

As I look around the crowded room,
The great joy I have is real.
I see all the smiling faces and
The treasured friendship I feel.

Wonderful memories of special times,
Flash through my mind again,
And conversations start with those
Familiar words, “Remember when?”

To each and every one I say,
You are so special in my life.
And of course, the Angel on my cake
Is always my special wife

So it’s not the eighty candles
We’re here to celebrate
It’s the minutes shared through the years
I’ll forever appreciate.


Dennis C. Orvis

In the golfing world,
The mere mention of the Old Course
The vision of Scotland’s’ St. Andrews
Appears with rolling lands and waving gorse

And yet, there is another
Old Course memorialized by so few
Located in Fall River Massachusetts
In 1895 the nine-hole course was new.

World famous Harry Vardon
In 1900 twice shot a seventy-four
Setting a new course record with
Ancient clubs and balls, a feat we must adore.

The great Bobby Jones
Once challenged the Fall River nine
He gave it his best
But he paid for any off-shot line.

It was the fall of ’69
When I first played this Scottish tough
With a handicap of twelve
I soon added five, hooking often in the rough.

It took a year to
Become a twelve handicap as before
And there I stayed
For a dozen years plus two more.

Although I never beat the course
My first hole-in-one came on number eight
It was a blind shot
I never saw, though witnesses said it was great

I did see one, not mine,
Hole number twelve on a cold January day
And an eagle two by Hentershee
First hole, unbelievable yet today.

In the year 1975
The Old Course expands, another nine was seen
The original course remained
Unchanged, though two holes joined the back as “teens”

The Scottish layout
Offered many places for balls to hide and rest
With a ball hunting hobby
Without a doubt I was one of the best

Finding fifty or more
Was easy. My one-day record was 252
I remember clear one Christmas
I gave one hundred dozen to friends in their brands, too

The only trophy I won
During those fourteen years I still treasure
Turning fifty in ’79
Winning the Senior tourney, a day of special pleasure

The Fall River course
Endured many a difficult time
In addition to the
Great Depression of 1929

It was deserted
By community leaders after the joy of 1885
It’s hard to imagine
When hard times fell, how it ever stayed alive

Expanding the course in 1975
Failed to attract finances new members bring
Critical times returned
Lack of funds were crucial, becoming a daily thing

As Greens Committee Chairman
I heard the glaciers might have melted very near
The constant pebble
Problem in the sand traps was a sign the melt was here

We contracted experts
A gravel company for test borings to be sure
The borings told us
Substantial gravel, thousands of cubic yards or more

At the December annual meeting
Of the members I presented a daring plan
To expand the valley holes
Two and Eight, selling the digging to the gravel man

My plan had strong approval
And the digging soon began, much gravel was removed
Many members helped
Pick-up small pebbles as the new fairways healed, improved

The sale of gravel
Brought new life to the Old Course and Country Club
And once again
The activity grew; once more it became a central hub

A new superintendent
For the course was hired in ’81, given loose reigns
And many improvements
Restored its beauty and its reputation soared again

Tom Ohlson, by name
Plus Tom Tetrault, Club Pro since 1975
Endured the tough times and
Now with a showplace they have survived

It’s been forty years
Since I first met this Old Course of 1885
It was my personal pleasure
To play her once more, bringing old memories alive

The big divot I made
On two and eight’s still there, the tree I cut down is still gone
The flower garden
My wife helped build on seven tee, still blooms nature’s song

Together we shared
Such joy that others may never feel or see
Locked in our hearts
The Fall River Country Club, the other Old Course, forever special to me.

June 2009

Dennis C. Orvis

Well, Dear friend, we just heard some wonderful news.
Your ninetieth birthday is here

A milestone by any measure one might choose.
We join your friends in a boisterous cheer.
We’re tempted to joke just a little bit.
Was a Babe Ruth pitch hard to hit?

Was the covered wagon a bumpy trip?
Was the feathered golf ball hard to pick?
Ninety candles, wow! That’s a lot.
The burn permit wasn’t easy to obtain

We know the cake will be very hot.
So we got the permit in Yogi’s name.
Seriously, Ralph, we’re so pleased to say.
Friendship we treasure, shared memories we adore

We wish you the best each and every day
Happy Birthday, again, wishing you many more.

Dennis and Edie Orvis
August 10, 2009

Written for: Ralph Houk,
Baseball Famous
and Our Friend

Dennis C. Orvis

When the health of a loved one is in question, whether yours or mine,
We would like to believe it isn’t true; searching for a hopeful sign.
And now a familiar old question returns quickly to our mind.
Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s so terribly unkind.

We have heard life is what we make it, which isn’t totally true.
Some roads are better than others and some we do not chose to do.
Hopefully the good times will outweigh all others, a positive refrain.
Through memories we can share and yet the question will always remain.

We’re afraid there is no answer that would begin to satisfy.
To say that is just the way it is, will never answer the WHY.
We know of nothing to ease the pain our hearts are feeling today.
Except the hope we have and our Prayers, to strengthen our dismay.


Dennis C. Orvis

It’s been a while and the years fly so fast.
As high school days fade in the distant past
Some friendships, though, remain so very strong
And some memories will always belong

I am anxious now to see my old friends
And relive a few special times again
And we will laugh together once again
At the words that follow “remember when?”

I hope that time has been kind to you
I hope that some of your dreams came true.
Here’s a toast to good health, my friends
Until the day when we meet once again.


From My Hospital Bed
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s cool outside, the first cold
wave of the season is here.
The sky is a different blue,
since the rain cleansed the tainted air.

The morning sun is passing through
a cloud that wants to stay
Still, the emerging sunrise reaches
my window to welcome my day.

The vertical vanilla blinds are turned
to let the new day in.
On each blind a mini sunrise
appears to let the morning win

It’s a fascinating picture,
I had not noticed before
As each mini sunrise moves upward
growing higher from the floor

The sun finally broke through,
now flying above the stubborn cloud
Behind me the shadows cover
the waiting wall like a shroud

Suddenly my room fills with
sunshine as the shadows quickly flee
I love the new days’ picture
designed especially for me

Seen from my hospital bed,
natures’ beauty performs for me
While recovering from accidental
damage to my knee

From friends and loved ones,
I can feel such wonderful energy
And healing blessings and Prayers
ride the brilliant sunrays to me.


The Boring and the Bland
Dennis C. Orvis

An accident put me in a wheelchair,
And that’s the bad news.
Good news- it’s only temporary
No other option I can choose
The doctor says three months if I’m lucky
But it could be four
But no weight on the left leg for weeks
It must be off the floor.

I have a brace to keep the leg straight
‘Til the healing is done
So it here I sit, grin and bear it,
Exercise is number one
Now I am in my easy chair
Or sitting in the wheeled one
A walker to go from
One to the other isn’t any fun

I learned quickly, how fragile
Life can be
One moment I’m on my bike
And then I landed on my knee
Now I gaze out the window
I see a picture so surreal
I see wind blowing without sound
And sunshine I cannot feel

I see beautiful flowers
Without the fragrance they provide
The world is bland from where I sit
Only quiet walls inside
There is a great consolation
As the ordeal I wary
My injury is healing
My wheelchair is temporary.

TV, books, mags and things to read
And my writing pad at hand
They all help me get through the days
And survive the boring and the bland


The Old House
Dennis C. Orvis

While growing up I spent a few years in my grandparent’s house
Matter of fact I was born in that house in 1929

The house was built in three parts, the first about 1850
Like my Mother, born there in 1911 we turned out fine

The wall studs in the first section were oak tree limbs
Verifying its age, like concrete only a drill could sink a nail

No A/C in the summer heat, corn grew tall, we suffered it all
Winter heat was the Warm Morning stove heating water by the pail

No central heat meant cold nights and colder mornings
It meant the burning of coal, carried in and always ashes to be carried out

It meant covers on my bed so thick I could hardly turn over
It meant storm windows replaced screens in the fall to keep winter out

Iowa winters I still recall were very cold and white
And my friends I left behind many years ago report it’s still true

In the late 1950’s before I moved, I modernized the old place
Yet, memories remain of the old house, so old and yet ever new.


The Pending Storm

The Pending Storm
Dennis C. Orvis

The pending storm was moving to squeeze the sunset out of the sky,
A few white helpless clouds were fading with no place to go
Low and rain filled, multi-colored blue clouds race by
And the old fisherman starts the motor as the wind begins to blow

The fast moving storm caught him fishing near the opposite shore
He reeled in his lines, feeling light moisture in the air
He aimed his boat dead into the wind; the small motor gave a roar
It seemed the boat was hardly moving, now the storm is here

The sunset was still a small ribbon of gold he could see
While the rain began to fall as the mooring dock came into view
His wife in the bow of the boat was looking anxiously
They fished and got wet together and tomorrow they start anew.


Written in memory of an old friend

May - The Cruise

May -The Cruise
Dennis C. Orvis

The day has arrived. I see the ship our cruise will soon begin.
Our luggage is tagged, enough clothing for a month, it looks to me.
I wonder when we will see our luggage again.
Then we walk through the arch searching for fun at sea

A nice smile asks for our picture I.D.
Then points us up the ramp where we show it again.
Next to a table where health forms wait for me.
I.D. again along with camera, metal and the carry-on X-ray Machine.

No matter what I think, I smile, good security is great
We catch up with groups of people aimlessly walking
They know their stateroom number but being lost is fate
I hear a low mumble in several languages, muffled talking.

Eventually nearly everyone finds their room for the week
About two hours pass, no luggage yet and the loud speaker cries
“All passengers to the main theater with life-jackets” another site to seek
Most make it, wearing, carrying or tripping with unpleasant sighs

The demonstration was boring until the leader told us all to stand
And put the life jacket on, the truth is there wasn’t space
For everyone and their life jackets, fumbling straps, always wrong hand
The lucky ones were nearer to the theater doors, leading the exit race.

Getting back to the stateroom was an aggravating trip
Too many people, elevators were jammed, and stairways were full
Patience was in short supply, courtesy too often skipped
Time for dinner? Our reservation was mixed. Where’s a lull?

We signed for anytime dining, now we’re stuck for a sit down eight
Nice menu, good food, cordial conversation
After dinner, to the Purser’s office to change our dining fate
After all, we said it all, six days, same people is devastation.
Now where’s the theater? We’ve got to hurry. Where’s the elevator?
Found it! Do we go up or down? What’s that chart say?
Finally we found it again, just in time. What a gorgeous theater!
Wow! Nearly one thousand seats. The comics are funny. What a day!

Twin beds or queen? We chose the queen.
Our stateroom is small; the bed is a foot from the wall.
The small frig door barely has room to open and swing
If we’d chosen the twins, there’d be two foot between, that’s all!

Day two began. We met my wife’s sister and husband at eight.
The dining buffet on deck fifteen was our goal
We found four twenty-foot rows of food, each row looking great
I slid my large plate along; it was like a fantasy stroll

I tried to behave, remembering it is hard losing weight
I only spooned a little of the food I like really well
Still I walked to our table with a fully loaded plate
I ate it all, returned to the pastries, chocolate, Carmel and jell

Breakfast is over and I am stuffed like a swollen toad
We explored the ship and watched the ocean wave
Took a few pictures, felt pleased I did not explode
The hours passed quickly, lunchtime arrived. I must control my craze

We found the buffet so much quicker this time
I grabbed the large plate and made the loop
I stopped at the meats, they have every kind
I tried them all except the fresh squid soup

Back for dessert, a weakness I cannot overcome
Twelve kinds of cake, so beautiful to the eye
Fresh fruit, peaches, pears, melons and purple plum
Stop! I must stop! Right after a piece of key lime pie

And so it went day after day after day
Except for one more dress up full service dinner
Three meals like clockwork at the growing buffet
I look at fellow passengers, hoping I’m thinner.

On this trip to the Caribbean, we made four island stops
They looked the same each with a hundred shops selling jewelry
We saw a live show every evening the talent always tops
Each day on the ship was filled with planned activity

To say we enjoyed the cruise would be an understatement
It was simply wonderful as it always is. We’ve been on four
Our week ended and so did our watery merriment.
Back to reality, just in time, I cannot eat any more.

May 2010

Our Backyard Swing
(the house in Baltimore)
Dennis C. Orvis

We have this swing in our backyard
No, it’s not a tire, rope or vine
It’s like the old porch swing
On an A frame with a green-covered top

The tan, soft cushions can seat three
But more comfy two at a time
It’s what I really love to call my
Favorite early evening spot

To gently rock to and fro

So come on, join with me if you will
And you will see what I mean
Our backyard is a very special place
With plenty activity

We’ll swing back and forth slowly,
Looking for what may be seen
The recent rains have given
The colors such a fresh new beauty

And we rock to and fro

The long, old red brick patio
Welcomes under a sun-baked frame
With open rafters carefully wrapped
With small white Christmas strings

To illuminate when darkness falls
If we decide to remain
The patio runs parallel to the flat-rock wall
Behind landscaped greens

And we rock to and fro

A pair of six-foot bushes, dark green
Neatly trimmed with a rounded top
Equally spaced by short spreading plants
With large light-green leaves

Several beds of orange tiger lilies
Create beauty spots
While a tall, lonely lavender lily
Sways in the gentle breeze

And we rock to and fro

The property line on three sides
Is thick, lined with evergreens
From the top of the wall where the ivy grows
The yard climbs a steep hill

And a hundred-foot walnut tree
Stands stately and ever supreme
While pairs of busy cardinals
Give nature’s touch, an extra thrill

And we rock to and fro


Parched Corn
Dennis C. Orvis

My home state of Iowa is truly a state of four seasons
I’ve seen every day of January freezing cold
Winter was not my favorite time for obvious reasons
But cheering the first day of spring never gets old

Shaking the winter blues is a real pleasure
And springtime memories, like hunting mushrooms, I’ll always treasure
Then the joys of summer, so many, are the best of all
Followed by autumn and the natural beauty of fall

When my buddies and I would tromp through the woods
Running by the river and mystical Lover’s Lane
We’ll borrow a couple ears of dried field corn along the way
Start a fire and parch some corn, outdoor life is a wonderful game


My Wife Poetry

Edie with Swan

Dennis C. Orvis

As winter flex’ its’ aging muscles for a final aggravation of the seasons’ wrath,
We know it cannot last, for spring is only days away.
The cold, too, cannot last and the Snow, ever so deep, will vanish like cotton candy at a birthday party.
Until winter finally fades into the budding trees and a tinge of green begins to show in
Last years’ lawn,
I can close my eyes and once again see the April rains and the prism blooms of the early flowers and more,
I can see the smiling faces of those I love and I am warmed because you are there. And my heart is glad, knowing love is always in season.
Love is always.


Our First Day, Again
Dennis C. Orvis

The first day of our second fifty years together has started with
the bright, cool sunshine sneaking in the window as it squeezes
through the Georgia pines and I lay awake beside you.
I am watching your pretty eyes, slowly open to the new day and
I smile as I see that sparkle that I fell in love with over fifty years
ago, dancing in the mornings light.

You look around as the room is getting lighter and a smile appears
on your lips when our eyes meet.
My mind is suddenly exploding with pictures of times and moments
we have shared, as our love has deepened with appreciation and
tenderness that only time can weave and surrender.

We begin this new, first day of our second fifty years as I offer
my hand to you, once again, with a whisper that quietly says
nothing has changed since the first time, except my love for you,
keeps growing deeper and stronger, impossible as it may seem,
every day.

Good morning, my dear, say hello to the first day
of our second fifty years and take my hand.
There is a wonderful journey waiting just for you and me and
it begins right now, this very moment,


December 2002
Celebrating fifty years together

Dennis C. Orvis

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will have three beautiful Children.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will have six beautiful grandchildren.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will live in five different States.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will visit every one of the States.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will visit Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Spain,
Portugal, Morocco, England, Ireland and Wales.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “We will meet Mayors, Governors, Congressmen and
Women, Meredith Willson and even Reverend Robert Schuller.”
Would you have believed me?

If I had said to you in 1952, “Many wonderful things will happen to us and we will
never have an argument.”
Would you have believed me?

Well, my Dear, I’m sure the answer to all these questions would be no, absolutely not.
And yet they are all true.

Even today, as I slowly read each and every one again, I find it hard to believe they are
all true.

But there is something that is easy for me to believe. In 1952 I was very much in love with you. I remember clearly when I gave you twenty-two red roses for your twenty-second birthday. Yes, my Dear, I still remember.

As we celebrate your birthday once again, and our journey together continues, I want you to know my love has never changed. I believe each new day is a wonderful gift and there are so many things for us to see and to do together.

I don’t need to ask if you believe me now. Happy Birthday, my Love, take my hand. It’s
another wonderful day with another gift for us to share, together.

To Sweet Edie, my wonderful Wife
May 2003

(When visiting her folks)
Dennis C. Orvis

I’m out of dishes,
Out of clothes,
The floor is knee deep,
And the fridge won’t close,

The car’s on empty,
The garbage can is full,
The cat won’t eat,
And the mower won’t mow.

But other than that,
Everything is fine,
But without you,
It sure ain’t devine.
Love you…D.

P.S. See you on the 25th,
If I can get the door open!


Dennis C. Orvis

In the Fall beauty of New England, the cool sunlight
Dances on the leaves, adding brilliance to every hue;
The gorgeous collage of so many colors,
Like the wondrous years I have spent with you.

From flaming reds to rusty browns, eye catching yellows
Splashed with orange, blend well in an evergreen frame.
A masterpiece by Nature, like our love, my dear,
Every day a special gift, each different and yet the same.

How glorious the picture, what a treasure to see
The gentle wind skipping falling leaves through the air
High above big geese are calling, flying south in a vee
Adding sound to this wonderful moment we’re privileged to share.

As the seasons change, the peaceful side of Nature
Overwhelms my senses’ as you have always done to me
Without question my seasons have been greater than
I could ever hope them to be

As I stand beside you, basking in the beauty of the season
We hear the song of the Morning Dove
I feel the warmth of your hand in mine and how my
Heart is beating, for this too, is the Color of Love.


Dennis C. Orvis

Close your eyes, My Love, there’s a place I want you to see,
Where Valentine’s Day is every day, take my hand, and come with me.
Welcome to my vision, it’s such a very special place,
Can you feel the warm and gentle breeze, softly touching your pretty face?

Before you open your eyes, let me tell you what we will find.
A special place no one has seen because it’s only yours and mine.
There’s a pleasing fragrance from every flower, Valentine’s growing on every tree.
The streetlights are giant candy kisses, so pleasant for the eyes to see.

The streets are paved with Oreo’s, the bushes loaded with colored berries,
And when it rains, My Dear, it rains chocolate-covered cherries.
The birds are singing love songs just for you at my request,
The air is filled with music and butterflies dancing their very best.

Where do you suppose, My Love, this wondrous place might be true?
Welcome to my heart, My Dear, where all this love is just for you.

Valentine’s Day

My Love is Greater
Dennis C. Orvis

I gaze in awe at a fossil of gray.
And my mind is filled with such wonder.

I see imprints of leaves, plants and other things,
Personalized footprints of the past to ponder.

“How old” I ask, “Is it a million years?”
I cannot tell, what was their fate?

There is a mystery here I cannot know
There is a story here that must be great.

As I place this fragile fossil in a golden frame, two-foot square
And fasten the see-through cover so you can see it ever fair.

Remember Dear, this fossil is only a million years or more
But, my love for you is eternity, ever greater, forever more



“We sell them by the dozen,” he said, with a smile he tried to make.
But I only wanted twenty-two, my message wasn’t getting through.

His smile became a thin wry grin, suggesting a rule I could break,
But I held my ground and said, “Red Roses please, only twenty-two!”

His face puzzled as if I could not afford twenty-four.
”It’s not money,” I said, “it’s her birthday, give your wife the other two.”

He waved his pointed finger from the back to the front door.
“All of these you see are hers,” he said, “but I’ll do it just for you.”

We had not been dating very long, our relationship was new.
I was a soldier and working part-time after hours.

It was your birthday, my Dear and I was so in love with you.
So I expressed my love with the beauty of those red flowers.

My work made it impossible to bring the flowers or be near.
So I missed that magic moment when he brought them to your door.

Twenty-two Red Roses, on your birthday, one for each and every year.
Delivered by a florist who could not have surprised you more.

Let’s pretend each magic moment we’ve shared is a beautiful Red Rose.
What a great bouquet it would be and there in the middle, I’ll be holding you.

With a love that still excites my heart as it grows and grows and grows.
And it all began with two young hearts and Red Roses, a bouquet of Twenty-Two.


Dennis C. Orvis

Happy Birthday, my Love,
How Blessed I am to share this day,
By His Grace from above,
I treasure each and every special way.

You make moments precious,
And our years, many others might wish so.
Words cannot describe this
Great love, giving my heart an overflow.

Many cards, letters and calls
From those you know and love you share,
Just to say most of all,
Because you’re best, because everyone cares.


My One Love
Dennis C. Orvis

I cannot imagine my life without you
You give sparkle to the morning dew

For you are my one love

You are my rainbow on stormy days
You are sunshine in the morning haze

For you are my one love

My heart beats wildly when you are near
And you are my joy through every year

For you are my one love, now and forever.

Valentine’s Day
February 2007

Dennis C. Orvis

You are the love song my heart is always singing,
You are the beauty my eyes ever see.
You are the joy that warms my soul.
You are everything to me.

You are the calm that tempers my wild-eyed schemes.
You are the inspiration that brings the best of me.
You are the reason for all my dreams.
You are everything to me.

You are the ideal mother of our special three.
You are to six grandkids, a great Nana, you see.
You are their mentor, a fine example to be.
You are everything to me.

So on this day, happier I could not be.
Celebrating fifty-five years together as close as can be.
I love you so much and I know you’ll agree.
You are everything to me.

November 27, 2007
Happy Anniversary


Dennis C. Orvis

I saw her peeking through the evergreens,
Where Mother Nature painted snow.
With an elfish grin, her lovely eyes,
Embellish her rosy red cheeks aglow.

Our breath can be seen in the cold winter air,
But this moment gives such warmth to me.
It tells me again what I have always known,
This love we share was ever meant to be.


Bigger than Alaska
Dennis C. Orvis

In your wildest imagination, did you ever imagine this? Nearly five thousand miles from Home,
Celebrating your birthday in Alaska, three days by dog sled to Nome.
In your wildest imagination, did you ever see such blue ice?
Glaciers as high as buildings, every view outstanding as camera’s entice.

In your wildest imagination did you ever imagine beauty such as this?
Everywhere you look a postcard smiles back with Nature’s kiss.
And yet, overwhelming, as it appears to be, Alaska is second to my love for you.
You see, my love is greater than the universe and my heart sings forever true.

In your wildest imagination did you ever see the years we have shared?
I did my dear, from the very first and every moment since. I have always cared.

May 2008

(To my wife)
Dennis C. Orvis

On a clear summer night, can you count the stars?
On mountains so high, can you count the flowers?
During a springtime rain, can you count the raindrops that fall?
In the seven great oceans, can you count the fish in them all?

Or the blades of prairie grass or the bees in a hive?
Or the leaves in the forest bringing fall foliage alive?
Or the songbirds singing their sweet melodies?
Or the feelings we share in a warm summer breeze?

How much do I love you? Just add all these things
Then multiply the flutters of Hummingbird wings.
And you’ll have but a fraction of my great love for you
Through the wonders we have shared and the future years too.

To: My wife Edie on our fifty-sixth anniversary.
“I love you more than words can ever express, even these.”

Dennis C. Orvis

When the morning sun paints the eastern skies
And the sparkling sunrays reach your eyes,
I think of you

When the marshmallow clouds float gently by
And pretty birds speckle the light blue sky,
I think of you

When the soft winds caress the swaying trees
And beautiful flowers attract Honey Bees,
I think of you

When Locusts call and the evening’s new
And the moon travels through the nighttime blue,
I think of you

When the wise old Owl sings his one note song
And the dew embraces the new mown lawn,
I think of you

All of this, my dear, and so much more is true
As these thoughts proclaim my great love for you

On this Valentine’s Day, like all those before
My love abides for you, forevermore, forevermore.

February 2009

Dennis C. Orvis

W is for wonderful, for that is what you are.

O is for only, you’re the only one for me.

N is for nice, you’re the nicest one by far

D is for delighted, it’s what you make me be

E is for everything, that’s what I love about you

R is for rich, that’s how you make me feel

F is for fantastic, in all the things you do

U is for unbelievable, the dreams you’ve made real

L is for the love we share on this and every day.

Together they spell wonderful, Happy Birthday,
“Wonderful” on this your special day.
May 26, 2009

Anniversary Fifty-Seven
Dennis C. Orvis

Well, my Dear, we’ve caught up with Heinz,
Fifty-seven years, a million good times.

Oh how I cherish those times we’ve shared,
Yet nothing can measure how much I’ve cared.

How fortunate we’ve been to see our children grow
How wonderful to watch grandkids develop and glow

Fifty-seven years together. Can it really be true?
I have been so blessed every day, to spend them with you.

Happy Anniversary, My love. Here’s to many more.
I will always love waltzing with the gal I adore

November 2009

As Sure
Dennis C. Orvis

As sure as the flowers will bloom again,
My love is true

As sure as the stars will twinkle and shine
My love is true

As sure as bees will collect the pollen
My love is true

As sure as the grapes will color the vine
My love is true.

In the spring our love was so very young, exciting, fresh and new
Your voice, your touch thrilled my wildly beating heart

In the summer our love was bridged by a growing family
The country’s greatness welcomed us to every part

In the fall our love remained strong as our house
Emptied to colleges and careers began to evolve

And now in the winter of our love, our young ones
Have families and careers and young ones to revolve

Oh what a wonderful ride, oh what a wonderful joy we continue to share
and our love is still true

As sure as the rainbows will be ever beautiful, we’ll ever care
And our love will ever be true.


How Much Do I Love You?
Dennis C. Orvis

How much do I love you?
Could it be a hillside covered with yellow daffodils?
Or a train loaded with Oreos?
Or a necklace filled with cameos?

How much do I love you?
Could it be a room blanketed with carnations?
White and red and purple creations?
Or just holding your hand with loving sensation?

How much do I love you?
Just the thought of you can make my day!
Or a dream of you will light my way!
Or holding you gives meaning that words can never say!

How much do I love you?
The answer my dear, is one you always knew.
It’s the untold thousands of moments between us two.
Plus one more, this special time, Happy Birthday to you!

May 26, 2010

Wishes and Dreams
Dennis C. Orvis

If I could make a dream come true
This is what I would wish for you
Good health and happiness, I know
If I could I would make it so

If I could make a dream come true
This is what I would dream for you
The greatest true love I could find
If I could dream it would be mine

If I could make a wish come true
Or maybe make a dream come true
Either one involves me and you
So I could spend my life with you


The Thought of You
Dennis C. Orvis

A day without sunshine is cloudy, misty and often wet

It is sad and depressing to many and yet

I miss and think of you when we’re apart

On a day when it snows the entire day

Or a day with storms that won’t go away

The thought of you always warms my heart

Whenever clouds, rain, snow and storms start

The thought of you brings bright sunshine to my heart


Our Magic Box
Dennis C. Orvis

We have this wonderful box,
Which we will forever treasure
It’s full of special memories
Of terrific times of shared pleasure

We are so blessed,
Our box always has room for more
It is a magic wonder box
For it can never overflow

It’s in our hearts, yours and mine
Where our thoughts can always soar
Today we toast another great time
Happy anniversary! As we add one more.


The Wedding Anniversary
Dennis C. Orvis

We often hear the word anniversary referring to weddings in most cases
Celebrated with cards, special dinners, parties and smiling faces

Cards with tender loving words, perhaps a few intentions so funny
Are read or passed around for all to see but not the gift cards or the money

It was during one of these events I wondered which anniversary shined the best
Could one wedding anniversary be more important than all the rest?

Obviously the first one is quite important if there is to be any more
But is it more important than number two, three or four?

Number five is pretty important a milestone of some kind
Plus all anniversaries ending in five or zero quickly comes to mind

Anniversary twenty-five is extra special to all that care
And number fifty, the golden one is terrific for all to share

But how about all the others, in between the fives and o’s
Certainly not unnoticed accented by a card or pretty rose

And all those anniversaries over the golden one, you see
Are extremely important to my true love and me

I guess the answer to my question might depend on who the individuals might be
And how much they mean to each other and how they traveled rough waters of the sea

For every trip through life is different we do the best we can together
And those hand in hand in love will survive the storms, all kinds of weather

So my dear, as I have said many times Lo, a thousand thousand times before
My love for you is ever strong and true, Happy Anniversary forever and ever more.

Note: For my wonderful wife
On anniversary fifty-nine
On Thanksgiving Day

The Magic Word
Dennis C. Orvis

Many years ago, when I was a young man, wandering
Through life, searching for purpose and reason
I found a magic word that changed my life, energized
My heart and gave beauty to every season

I dreamed the dream, but I could not know how
Wonderful our future together would be
Now we know well, so many years of love and joy
Because the magic word was and will always be
Edie, My one love,
Happy 59th Anniversary!

November 27, 2011

Heaven Calls Everyone
Dennis C. Orvis

Can you hear my voice calling?
Calling, Calling, Calling
When morning light shines through

Can you hear my voice calling?
Calling, Calling, Calling
When the day is new

Can you hear my voice calling?
Calling, Calling, Calling
When the sun sets from view

Can you hear my voice calling?
Calling, Calling, Calling
When the stars fill the blue

Can you hear my voice calling?
Calling, Calling, Calling
Behold, it is my love for you.

Calling, Calling, Calling.


A Special Day

A Special Day
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s early morning, precisely six thirty-eight
The sky is orange-lavender, framed by a tinge of blue

The picture we see, only nature can create
And I am very blessed to spend this special day with you

The anxious morning sun is trying to appear
There it is! A brilliant pink-orange tip, the first view

My joy is more than doubled, having you so near
Counting my blessings and the great love I’ve shared with you

How fast the sun is rising, hurrying to be on its way
Impatient for its journey across the sky, of fantastic blue

As I hold your hand, we’re young again, embracing this special day
And sharing another Mother’s Day, created my love, just for you.

May 2012

Note: This is my 500th poem
To my wife with love

Beach Poetry

Dennis C. Orvis

From the third floor condo balcony on this sliver of sand,
Called New Smyrna Beach where the ocean cannot hide.
The wind is blowing inland like a supersonic fan,
And our beautiful flag is shredding on its stationery ride.

The tall flagpole slightly bends with the thirty mile an hour wind,
White waves appear out there from nowhere and race relentlessly to the shore,
Where the beach sand helplessly rides erosion without end
As we wait impatiently for the calmer water we all adore.

The view is awesome, always different, and yet the same.
The noise is thunderous as huge waves express their might,
With Pelicans in daytime formation swooping between white caps like a game.
Where Dolphins, so hard to see, do their fishing in the night.

What magic power pulls us to awesome spots like this?
Can it be the immensity of it all, ever moving, ever new?
The answer doesn’t matter, to be there is a mutual wish.
To spread unrestricted time, absorbing the awesome view.


The Old Shrimper

The Old Shrimper
Dennis C. Orvis

She barely moves as the tide rushes by, racing to the Sea.
The look of neglected anguish, Dockside from which she could not free
Miss Lewis, by name, a debutante so many decades ago.
Old ropes hanging still from high masts, hide tales we’ll never know.
Every iron surface is rusted; the paint is chipped and worn.
The shrimp nets are still hanging, but useless, so badly torn.

The Deck boards warped and twisted, by countless rains and winds,
Her once pretty face is now a disgrace, and won’t drift the ocean again.
Quietly she rocks as the shrimp fleet is heading out to sea.
Remembering the time so well, the best of the leading three.
She dreams of her days as Queen when she was ever great
Now the Old Shrimper can only Dream and hope in sadness wait.

The Darien Georgia Port
Author’s note: The day after I wrote this poem we visited the restored Fort King George, first built in 1721. It was there I learned of a lady named Miss Bessie Lewis. She was a historian and primarily responsible for the discovery of the old fort location and its’ eventual restoration. However, I feel any connection between Miss Bessie Lewis and the old Shrimper, Miss Lewis, is probably coincidental.

The Beautiful Storm

Dennis C. Orvis

The hurricane was aimed at the Carolinas,
And the danger to Florida was past.
But the wild trailing winds of the outer bands
Were giving Flagler Beach a steady blast.

There’s certain beauty in some storms that smiles the eye
As Nature’s forces test one another,
The ocean thrashes below a fanatic sky,
And dawn peeks through like a quizzical mother.

Dawn will not be denied as the thunderous clouds roar,
Pushed by counterclockwise winds out to sea.
No ships can be seen and Pelicans are flying no more
And the morning Sun rays are surfing toward me.

The sand turns golden, sea critters burrow from sight.
Only moments ago the sky tested your nerve,
Now the morning Sun smiles, everything’s all right,
Yes, storms too, have their beauty, in the scary role they serve.


Dennis C. Orvis

Relentlessly, the waves keep rolling towards the sandy beach,
With awesome white caps forming the last hundred yards or so.
Standing in the great Atlantic up to my knees I wait,
To jump the next four-footer and body surf with the flow.

My eyes are tightly closed as the salty water carries me to the shore,
And rolls me on the bottom before it quickly fades away.
Leaving me stranded with the seaweed on the beach,
With a gulp of air I stand, then race back into the cooling spray.

After a few more surfs, I rest in water to my waist,
And scan the beach left and right as far as the eye can see.
People of all shapes perhaps a thousand, I might guess,
With boards and tubes and things that float while beach bikers ride the lee.

How great it is to be here where the water meets the sand,
So different from my Midwestern start where the tall corn delights.
That’s why the graceful Pelicans sailing smoothly through the sky
Excite me as the Music of the Tides play endless days and nights.


The Tranquil Scene

Dennis C. Orvis

Through the beauty of the western sky,
The setting sun caressed my eye
As it was behind the evening clouds, gently downward sliding.

I stared in awe of the fire-like sky,
Above the darken shore where Seagulls cry,
A golden path appeared on the surface we were riding.

I followed with my eyes to the shore,
Behold! A view that many would adore,
Before us, reaching high, is the tallest Cross we’ve ever seen.

Leaning against the boat railing with you,
It was Peace on Earth a moment or two.
Our hands quietly touched and our hearts embraced this Tranquil Scene.


Dennis C. Orvis

Ocean waves are crashing and thrashing on the beach,
Where the mini sand crabs are digging deep to hide.
The wind is blowing strong, howling in the moonless night,
Chasing low hanging clouds where soaring night birds ride.

The sound of the sea, wild and exciting to squinty eyes,
Tireless, the ocean rushes in and then slinks slowly away.
Repeating every few seconds through the night ever so dark,
Leaving Jellyfish and seaweed on wet sand to decay.

It’s the theatre of the ocean performing without end,
Over and over with minor changes now and then.
It is the same play, fascinating all fortunate to see,
With a rush so high, we must return again and again.


Dennis C. Orvis

There’s something extra special about
Walking on the beach,
With you at my side,
Watching the shore birds dancing with the tide,
Holding your hand, my Love, with our hearts within reach.

There’s something extra special about
Walking on wet sand,
With winds gusting by,
Slamming the white caps, blowing foam up high,
With loops and spirals before bursting on land.

There’s something extra special about
Walking on small shells,
Delightful to see,
The shapes and colors, Natures artistry,
And Pelicans in formation gliding through the swells.

There’s something extra special about
Walking here with you,
That something, my Dear,
Is no secret, it’s having you always so near,
Wherever we are is special, like our love, ever new.


The Sun is Late This Morning

Dennis C. Orvis

The Sun is late this morning.
It’s hiding behind a huge, dark bank of clouds, a few miles
East from our shore of sand.
I wonder if it cares how dreary the sky, from our side, before
The storm hits land.
The Sun is late this morning.

It’s watching the rain drench the sea, churning the waves, sending
The tide, rushing at me.
Scattering the clouds across the sky, creating
Mystical forms for all to see.
The Sun is late this morning.

The tide is high, furious and racing the storm
That will try to spoil my hours,
But the rain will clean the air, nourish things green and
The pretty waiting flowers.
The Sun is late this morning.


Dennis C. Orvis

The sound of the waves is like nothing I know.
Seemingly endless as they charge the beach.
The waves are huge as the tide repeats its’ flow.
And I hurry to escape the waters reach.

“Why are you so angry?” I question the sea.
As the waves steal sand from our favorite shore.
The sea gives no answers, ignoring my plea.
Returning again and again to steal some more.

Dark clouds are gathering where the ships usually glide.
And rain banks moving my way give cause for concerns.
Though pelicans are unfettered on their low-soaring ride.
Unlike the amazing antics of rapid flying terns.

Now the rain is upon me, there’s no place to hide.
I’ll be soaked to my skin on this gloomy beach day.
A bolt of lightning warns, “Go quickly inside!”
My better judgment agrees, I dare not stay.

The ocean beach like a magnet pulls steady on our heart.
Our memories are many, adding new ones each time.
When angry seas turn peaceful, wonderful times will impart.
And the beach will delight us again like rare vintage wine.


Where the Dolphins Play
Dennis C. Orvis

The ocean waves look friendly,
There’s a calmness on the sea today.
Between the divided waves, it’s smooth,
Where the dolphins play.

The shore birds are plentiful,
Seeking food as they scurry away.
And tasty small fish swim for their life,
Where the dolphins play.

Colorful surfboards with youthful riders,
Glide through the waters’ spray.
And those that fall chase their empty boards,
Where the dolphins play.

What a thrill it is to share,
The beach this glorious summer day,
With you, pelicans and fast flying birds,
Where the dolphins play.


The Pending Storm

The Pending Storm
Dennis C. Orvis

The pending storm was moving to squeeze the sunset out of the sky,
A few white helpless clouds were fading with no place to go
Low and rain filled, multi-colored blue clouds race by
And the old fisherman starts the motor as the wind begins to blow

The fast moving storm caught him fishing near the opposite shore
He reeled in his lines, feeling light moisture in the air
He aimed his boat dead into the wind; the small motor gave a roar
It seemed the boat was hardly moving, now the storm is here

The sunset was still a small ribbon of gold he could see
While the rain began to fall as the mooring dock came into view
His wife in the bow of the boat was looking anxiously
They fished and got wet together and tomorrow they start anew.

Written in memory of an old friend

The Attraction of the Sea

The Attraction of the Sea
Dennis C. Orvis

The wind is still, the sea is calm and the sailboats rock gently,
as the tide moves away

A black-headed seagull glides through the light blue sky behind
sheer clouds of gray

For many the attraction of the sea is strong, often a lifelong dream

But for most, nearly all, a ten-day cruise, at best, the only answer
to their dream.


The Tide
Dennis C. Orvis

The Tide! I hear it. It’s coming in!
From where? I don’t know. Don’t ask me.
And now the tide is going out.
To where? I don’t know. Don’t ask me.


Sunrise Beauty

Sunrise Beauty
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s early morning at the noisy beach,
The darkness of night is being replaced,
By a light blue sky with thin horizontal
Lines of pink.
Hidden in the low-hanging blue-gray clouds
Where the sea birds race
And now about eye-level the morning sun peeks
Through with a brief shiny wink.

The tidal waves are singing their monotonous
Song to the sandy shore
While a lonely pelican glides between
Them in his breakfast quest
Followed soon in formation a line of five,
And there will be many more
High above, the picture fills with a
Half dozen ducks, quickly flying west.

This beautiful picture is ever changing
As the morning ticks by
The sun has raised above the clouds
Adding long shadows to the stately palm trees
And the tidal waves keep singing while
The picture pleases the eye
The orchestrial beauty keeps changing
As nature adds a tender breeze.

Within an hour, the beautiful sunrise
Event faded into summers’ whim
The high sky riding sun begins
Its’ job heating up the sky
This beauty is quickly forgotten as
We hit the beach for a swim
And tomorrow, God willing, we’ll see
Another great sunrise over the bay.


The Ocean
Dennis C. Orvis

As the salty air from the ocean blows across the sandy shore
And the steady onslaught of countless waves creates a toneless roar
My eyes are drawn to the horizon, how far I could not know
And I wonder about what mysteries might be lurking far below

There are a few sea birds flying in the cloudy contentious sky
But no other life is visible to the searching eye
Though it’s home for many creatures discovered through the age
And new ones will be added as science and nature engage

I wonder too what treasures lay resting on ancient sand
In the black depths of ocean floor, hidden out of reach of man
From sunken galleons destroyed by hurricanes on raging seas
That vanished without confirmation through centuries of mysteries.

As the salty air from the ocean blows across the sandy shore
And the steady onslaught of countless waves creates a toneless roar
Nothing on the surface offers a clue to what is below
But I’m sure there are creatures and treasures about which we may never know.


Waiting for Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

The early sky is showing a ribbon of lavender in the east
It is dark still, immediately left and behind me.
From the eighth floor balcony of this resort hotel
Overlooking the beautiful bay, a light breeze is blowing softly

The lavender ribbon grows upwards small clouds appear
While the lavender tint is extending, small islands come into view
Now the many scattered cottony clouds add a pinkish tinge
Telling me the sunrise is on its way, soon the day will be new

It’s time the shore birds and sea birds are beginning to take wing
I saw several brown pelicans and sea gulls flying by
Great white egrets from the nearest island, flying past my line of sight
As the sky gets brighter, a manatee and her calf catch my eye

Long-necked anhinges from nowhere suddenly land on the “no wake” sign
While a pair of dolphin surfaced with arched backs
And disappeared too fast for a photo this time
The first glimpse of the morning sun I can see between the cloudless cracks

The sun keeps slowly rising but not round as we might expect
It’s partly hidden by a cloud and momentarily looks flat on top
It lasts only for a moment as it climbs the eastern sky
And blankets the world around me where the show of nature never stops

My wait for morning is over. How wonderful! The new day is here.
And the beauty all around me is awesome for anyone to see
It reminds me that everyday is special for the lucky to enjoy
And as I watch my world and its’ creatures, I know the
luckiest one is me.


Dennis. C. Orvis

The colorful sail strains as the brisk wind pushes us across the bluish water,
The guide is taught as together we hang over the lower side,
The single mast bends, leaning with the boat, knifing through the choppy waves
The water splashes over us as we yell and cheer. What a ride! What a ride!

Wind Surfing
Dennis C. Orvis

The tide is in and the white-capped waves are five or six feet high
Suddenly from my left where a condominium blocks my view
A huge colored kite, quarter-moon shaped, appears in the sky
Tethered by controls to a surfer, racing across the salty blue

How exciting windsurfing must be. How thrilling I am sure.
He is skimming across the water jumping the waves shoulder high, row after row.
Controlling the kite capturing the wind while sticking to the board
I grew up far from the ocean. I am sure windsurfing I would never go.


The Sandpipers
Dennis C. Orvis

Fascinating little birds, the Sandpipers are
With legs like stilts, ten or twelve inches high
Chasing the waves as the water recedes
Sticking their beaks in the sand with a blink of an eye

What’s there, I wonder? How do they know?
Is it a mini sand crab or a bug of some kind?
Darting here, darting there, how erratic they can move
Like a dozen Charlie Chaplin’s, the picture in my mind.

Racing in, racing out as the tide moves about
What pleasure they provide, running quickly with the tide
Dashing to and dashing fro, players in Nature’s special show
Abruptly they lift off and fly, to fascinate another’s eye.


Portraits of Morning

Portraits of Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

The sky was lavender pink
Just before the sun would rise into view
And when it changed to pink orange
I was sure the sunrise would please my eye

The sunrise began as an orange red
Dome peeking above the rim
Adorning its normal yellow dress
As it continued to climb higher

The few puffy clouds in the sky changed
Colors selected by the sun
Every few seconds I could see
A different masterpiece of beauty

How peaceful to watch nature paint portraits
Of morning before the sunrise is new
Of course, for those dark and rainy days
It’s a pity we cannot save a few


A Moment on the Beach
Dennis C. Orvis

As the morning sun slowly started its climb through the horizon
Above the gentle ocean waves, searching the shore of sand

The peaceful melody played by the waves and birds of the sea
Quietly, two young hearts enjoyed the new day hand in hand

In a setting only nature could create and provide
The young man, on one knee surprised the lady’s heart

By asking her to be his loving wife
And join his pledge to never be apart

She answered yes with a heart full of love
Her eyes matching dawns exciting beauty

And then the two hearts on the beach were
Engulfed in the moment by the sunrise and the sea


The Beach
Dennis C. Orvis

There is music on the beach this morning
As nature sings with waves and gulls
The rising sun peeks through the thick fog-like haze
Far out above the water blue

The tide’s out and the beach is as wide
As an eight-lane highway in L.A.
Returning waves with seaweed bunches
And scattered jellyfish clutter the view

Early walkers look for new shells
Delivered by the ocean through the night
Fishermen are moving toward the beach
To begin casting into the waves

From a spot they feel is lucky but frankly
It all looks the same to me
With every hour more people arrive to the beach
It is a magnetic craze.


The Waves Just Keep Coming
Dennis C. Orvis

So I said to Mr. Wigger
Every third wave is bigger

As we waited for the sunrise
To crepe above the rim

And the waves just keep coming
Keep coming, keep coming
And the waves just keep coming.

“Never gave it a thought,” he said
“My concern is naught,” he said’’

“I’m just here to watch the skies,
The morning is barely dim.”

And the waves just keep coming
Keep coming, keep coming
And the waves just keep coming

Now we see the sky is turning
Early rays have started burning

The rim now has a gold trimmed border
See the rays spraying into fluffy clouds

And the waves just keep coming
Keep coming, keep coming
And the waves just keep coming

Oh such beauty, the sun breaks through
A great sunrise supreme, a great day anew

Simply wonderful, a fulfilled order
Ever colorful, a pink and orange shroud

And the waves just keep coming
Keep coming, keep coming
And the waves just keep coming.


The Sea View
Dennis C. Orvis

I’m sitting in the dark with a fresh cup of coffee on the stand
I can hear the ocean waves crashing on the beach of Florida sand

It’s pre-dawn and maybe thirty minutes before any light to see
Looking through the glass balcony doors from my vantage on level three

On this cool October morning, it’s still night outside
The yard lights are blackened toward the ocean so hatching turtles won’t be confused

When they race to the water and seaweed where they can hide
The odds against survival are enormous; ninety-nine of a hundred undoubtedly will lose

But the yard lights do shine on Old Glory; I can see the wind is blowing
I can see the stripes and the field of blue, but the stars not yet are showing

It’s only minutes now before the darkness will fade
And gradually the horizon will start a colorful parade

There it is now! How fast the morning moves.
I see the white caps, separated by watery grooves

And a line of pelicans overhead, gliding in the wind
Searching for a fish breakfast, they’ll be back again

The sunrise is now growing, the golden yellow appears
The same today as it has always been through countless years

It’s a repeat show every morning, but different in intriguing ways
It’s a joy I hope to experience for many countless days

The tide is in, crashing against the wall,
Bringing new shells for the beachcombers to claim
Morning is here! A wonderful new day for all.
What a joy to remember, I’ll never be the same.


My Date with the Sunrise
Dennis C. Orvis

I had a date with the sunrise
She warned me not to be late

I’m sorry to say I was once.
True to her word, she didn’t wait.

Meet me at seven twenty-seven.
I am there waiting at seven o’ two

The sky changes to announce her arrival
Giving me a spectacular view

Oh, oh, look now, here it comes
See the pink clouds, lavender, too

Oh, wow! Holy Cow! Her she comes.
See the golden ball pushing into the blue

Beautiful, Beautiful, sunrise!
What a wonderful, gorgeous date.

A memory to forever treasure
Rewarded well for not being late.


Morning Shades of Gray
Dennis C. Orvis

Looking from this third floor balcony, I’m soaking up the view
I am thinking, the word spectacular quietly comes to mind

White-capped waves are singing their steady levels of roar
While the pelicans fly by, searching ill-fated fish to find

It’s six forty-two in the morning; the sky is wrapped with clouds
That drifted in during the night to fulfill forecasted rain

And billowed and floating in rows of different shades of gray
Oh how they hide the sunrise debut that cannot repeat again

Here comes the blowing, swirling rain, plans will be spoiled and changed
It’s going to be a dreary day, its colorless one might say

I know we need it, but does it have to rain on my parade?
It’s gloomy; I am too, while I watch those morning shades of gray.


The Color of a Sunrise
Dennis C. Orvis

I believe every sunrise is different, although this might be hard to accept
I’ve seen many, watching the Atlantic blue from the sandy beach, so fabulous and yet

Florida’s sunny days can be envious; the weather also has a role to play
So chances are great for a super sunrise and surely followed by a wonderful day

I invite you to meet me early tomorrow and I’ll show you a terrific surprise
Thirty minutes before the magic moment, the promise of Nature’s artistry, a colorful sunrise

Look, see the horizon in the east dark blue,
Watch it slowly changing; now it’s a lighter hue

The low sky is changing to lavender now
Gradually turning to pink and it’s a pretty wow!

We then watch the pink turn to flaming red
Sailors warning will there be rough seas ahead?

Rising, rising, the colors rising, turning once more
From pink to red to orange, burn higher in the sky

And now the final change, the orange is fading
To a huge yellow ball with clouds all parading by

Well, there my friends, that’s the best I can do
It’s impossible, perhaps to describe a sunrise

But you know I have tried to share it with you
Still I say, get up early, be prepared for a great surprise.


Listen to the Sounds of Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

The ocean is rather calm today
As the morning tide pushes toward the land

Listen to the morning as it begins
Hear the small waves rolling on the sand

An osprey cries to his mate about
The school of fish he has found

And then the seagulls move in bringing
Their squawking, annoying sound

While a mockingbird in the Palm starts singing
His many splendid, impressive songs

As the sunrise paints a beautiful scene
Our grandfather clock is striking six one-time gongs

Morning’s here! Can you hear it all around?
Listen to the morning and its wonderful parade of sound.


The Beautiful Sunrise
Dennis C. Orvis

From the sandy beach I watch the morning’s bluish sky begin to change
The shore birds are scurrying as if playing games with the gentle wave

A low flying line of five pelicans sailed by, searching for a school of fish
And a bank of clouds turning pink, a picture one has to save

As the minutes ticked by several egrets and seagulls entered the scene
A few golden rays shot skyward, giving low clouds a golden trim

Huge excitement of being here while a pending sunrise is growing
A bright flame is appearing in my lens, a new day will soon begin

The tiny bright flame is now peeking through the horizon clouds
It’s growing by the second, every picture seems surreal

A sunrise is evolving to the delight of eager eyes
The new sun, a glowing half, has beauty one can feel

As the clouds turn pink, lavender, orange and yellow
The sun keeps climbing toward its regal position in the sky

It’s now becoming too bright, too strong to look at
But the sunrise pictures I’ve captured will always bring pleasure to one’s eye


Wally, the Whale
Dennis C. Orvis

Wally the whale was swimming free,
In the great ocean, the salty sea

How he loved it swimming everywhere
Always friendly, without a care

One day while swimming in the North Sea
He encountered some lobster trap lines he didn’t see

He rolled and pulled trying to get fear free
The lines, heavy ropes made Wally sad and weary

He stopped pulling to rest before one last try
He was so exhausted, now afraid he could die

After resting a while he gave one mighty gasp
He made his huge tail move really hard and fast

The ropes stretched tight, he could not get loose
They knotted heavily around him, like pulling a caboose

They bound him tight sapping his power
His energy was dropping more every hour

He worked his way to the surface, badly needing some air
Luckily a boat was passing by there

Some sailors spotted Wally and lowered boats quite small
With a few sailors in each on a mayday call

Wally hoped their interest was to cut him free
As they rowed closer, he waited patiently

They saw his big eye check them out
As they pulled on the oars to “come about”

The sailors entered the water with long knives drawn
He could feel the ropes; hear the knives sawin’

“ZING!” the noise as one rope cut in two
The sailors, maybe four, cutting in the cold, deep blue

“ZING!!” went another and Wally felt the line release
Then another and another, he could move now with ease

“ZING!” with a sailors’ yell and the last hemp chain let go
Wally was free; he circled the sailor’s boats with his eyes aglow

The sailors pulled the rope pieces and gathered a lobster cage
Only guessing the great fight the young whale did wage

Rowing hard their small boats back to their ship
They were cold, wet and shaking while holding their grip

But so proud of themselves, giving the whale a most happy day
Wally circled their ship, blew a tall spout and then swam away.

He knew his life could have ended without their unselfish concern
“There are good creatures, large and small,” he thought, “expecting nothing in return.”


Deep Blue Questions
Dennis C. Orvis

Why do the waves always come in?

Don’t they ever go out?

Where do the fish go to sleep?

What do the smallest, little fish eat?

Where do the white caps appear and start?

Do you think a shark has a heart?

Questions, smeshtions, they never end.

Answers? Maybe, but not here my friend.


All Alone

All Alone
Dennis C. Orvis

I am sitting on this old, weathered bench, looking east through the darkness before dawn
I see distant clouds in huge rows like turned hay in a Midwest field

Some look darker, full of rain, waiting for a place to fall
The worriers will be concerned over how much rain they will or will not yield

The early wind is coolish, coming off the water giving me a slight chill
A quick thought of my jacket, still hanging by the door in haste, I passed it by

Those little things are important reminders, bigger when you’re all alone
This thought too, is lost when the darkness fades to a lighter blue sky

I searched the beach north and south, it’s empty except for me to meet the sunrise
I hear the waves as they crash on the beach with a rhythmical sounding groan

Then the first brilliant orange light, breaks through a small crevasse, the sunrise explodes
Changing by the second with unstoppable beauty just for me, all alone


The Pelicans
Dennis C. Orvis

I watched a flock of pelicans with their wide wings slowly flapping
Fifteen or twenty feet above the salty water, searching for a meal of slippery fish
The last pelican in line, peeled low, I watched to see what was happening
He hit the water with a spraying splash; to catch his dinner is his wish.

He popped to the top and sat there bobbing on the ocean blue
The prey he missed was swimming free and he was as hungry as could be
Meanwhile the other pelicans curled back to see if the fish had friends
What they saw was a school of shiny fish and one by one they plunged into the sea

It was impossible to see in the splashing if any meals were caught
The pelicans were moving all about; in a flurry of activity
Then one by one they lifted off, heading north along the sandy shore
Pelicans I need to tell you never smile, but there was one though, that flew by
And winked at me!


Early Morning Thrill

Early Morning Thrill
Dennis C. Orvis

I got up early this morning. It was my first night on the beach.
I didn’t want to miss the sunrise in the eastern sky.

The night has moved on and the day is turning lighter
There’s a distant cloud bank, the sun will start rather high

Look there! The clouds are getting a tinge of red
I know the sunrise is on the way and it will move very fast

I see it! I see the very tip of a red-orange glow peeking through
And it rapidly grows to a beautiful color that will not last

Oh what a picture! Constantly changing every second, a moving sun
And the shining red ball races on its journey through the morning sky.


The Seaside Storm

The Seaside Storm
Dennis C. Orvis

A mighty storm is raging, abnormal waves are thrashing against the sand
There is only peril on the sea, forcing fishermen and sailors to remain on land

While the wind violently flies the flag and the halyard bangs the metal pole
Thunder booms and echoes across the sky, lightning flares against the darkness chills

And my nerves are on edge hiding from stormy thrills

The rain is falling sideways soaking everything in sight
No birds are flying and I wonder where they might be

The big storm affects all in its dangerous path
Except those creatures playing in the deep blue sea

While the wind violently flies the flag and the halyard bangs the metal pole
Thunder booms and echoes across the sky, lightning flares against the darkness chills

And my nerves are on edge hiding from stormy thrills.


The Storming Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

The morning Sun, like a ball of fire rises above the stormy clouds
The wild ocean waves unable to reach the flames, takes vengeance on the sand

Sending jellyfish and seaweed sprawling on the beach, some to dry, some to wash away
While the white caps foam waiting their turn to charge the land

In time the storm will end and the Sun will cast its light for another day
The ocean will chase its furious ride until the wind becomes a gentle breeze

Then the birds will return, soaring the sky, aerial to eat and play
After the storm passes, the bright sun will smile and sail across the sky with ease.


The Seaside Symphony
Dennis C. Orvis

The eastern sky is getting lighter, waiting for the sun to peek over the rim
A few gray far away clouds are slowly turning to a tinge of red

Between the thunderous roar of the relentless tide
The long legged little shore birds, shriek as they race ahead

While seagulls squawk, slicing through the air
The quarter-sized sand crabs scurry from hole to hole

In life threatening unending crises that they must endure
From gulls that will catch and eat them until their bellies are full

It’s a symphony without end though the melody changes
With the weather as storms on land or sea dictate

And the players too, change according to their special skills
Together its seaside music, a symphony only nature can create


The Passing Early Morning Storm

The Passing Early Morning Storm
Dennis C. Orvis

As the early morning sun fights to take its place
It begins to break through the huge, dark, swirling clouds
The noisy storm pushing south, driven by powerful, unrelenting wind
Reveals the waves of an angry sea as the departing storm removes its shroud

How fierce the sea, threatening any living thing hiding near
Defiant in its refusal to allow the return of needed calm
The sun fights to go higher and higher, ever pushing
Knowing full well the storm will fade and the sea will quiet as it moves along

And now the sky glows brighter as the new sunlight, dances on the waves
The purple clouds are turning a pretty blue and we watch the departing storm subside
The seagulls are flying once again, and pelicans begin their low flying search
The distant storm has lost its thunder; the sea will soon display a smooth rhythmic tide


A New Day

A New Day
Dennis C. Orvis

Hey! You in there! Wake up! I’ve got for you a surprise
Look over here! Look out the window! It’s me; I’m your new sunrise!

How do you like my colors? Some days they are hard to do
I’ve made these so special and I made them just for you!

It’s a new day and I’m shining just for you!


One Cloudy Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

The clouds are as thick as a blizzard in Wyoming
Hanging low, covering the entire blue sky

The waves are laughing loudly, stealing
Sand from the beach
While the sunrise impatiently waits to get by

“Get out of the way, it’s my time” it cried.
“I’m needed to brighten the day”

But the waves roared on
And the thick, grayish clouds have no plans to go away

“I’m late,” the sunrise threatened again!
“There are things I am expected to do.”

But the ocean waves danced and thundered the beach.
While the sunrise tried to squeeze through.

Slowly a touch of pink appears
Coloring small clouds in its way

You can hide the sunrise, but never stop the sun
It is needed to make everyone’s day.


Through the Rain
Dennis C. Orvis

Through the rain, the waves continue their boisterous roaring
Though flying birds seem to be rare

Limited to an occasional seagull
Squawking is muffled in the dampened air

I haven’t seen a pelican since the rain moved in
Perhaps a bird so large gets heavier when wet

Or maybe in a storm the fish they eat dive too deep
And for the pelicans, there’s no catch to get


First on the Beach
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s early morning; the eastern sky is beginning to get lighter
The sandy beach is very wide as the ocean reaches its lowest tide
And I am first to walk the unblemished sand

I feel a sense of joy and anticipation there might be new shells washed ashore
Shells of great color or design I’ll be extremely pleased to call mine
Suddenly from nowhere a flock of shore birds chatter loudly and land

I continue walking as they flit from place to place
They all move together like they’re connected with a tether
And I can only wonder how they do it with such rapid grace

Hey! What’s that? I see something ahead of me lying on the sand
Wow! It’s a bottle; I run to it, picked it up; it’s the oldest I have ever seen
It has a cork stuck deep in the bottle’s neck; I cannot remove it by hand

I cannot see through the dark glass
I wonder if there is anything inside

This is a time when the mind races
Over experience or knowledge of other cases

There are many secrets but only a few
Are ever revealed by the never ending tide.


The little old dark bottle
Dennis C. Orvis

I found a little dark bottle on the beach carried in by the tide
The cork was stuck deep in the neck; I couldn’t see what was inside
I tried quite hard to remove the cork, but I only pushed it deeper
I’ll tell you if I would have said I didn’t care, I would have lied

I took the little old bottle home and cleaned it; I needed special tools
It took me a while but I finally got the cork out ok
And then with a hooked wire I worked a piece of paper out through the top
I was excited then I read an old weathered note that said, “Have a nice day.”


Freedom's Light

Freedom’s Light
Dennis C. Orvis

I watched the cold, September rain move across the waves
Until it captured the sandy beach and everything in its way

And then I saw this faint rainbow peeking through the gloomy air
Creating this great picture and with pride it made my day.


The Beautiful Stormy Morning

The Beautiful Stormy Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

Hello, morning! How beautiful you are today
I’m in awe as your gold fills the sky
And bounces on the waves below

Wait, wait now, we don’t want you to rush away
You are so beautiful and wonderful,
We love you, please don’t go.


The Portrait of Morning

The Portrait of Morning
Dennis C. Orvis

There have been many great painters,
But only a few are Masters
That can inspire us with their magic touch

And so very few that can capture a special sunrise
But none can equal Nature’s view like this
That we love so much.


York Beach, Maine

York Beach, Maine
Dennis C. Orvis

As the dingy and cloudy day reminds us fall is fading
While the Atlantic water off the beautiful, rocky coast is turning cool

We see wonderful pictures that only nature can create
And dream of Maine’s lobsters and the old lobstermen they try to fool

Those memories we have stored and can enjoy again and again
Until we return with family and friends for new fun times once more

After winter plays its role and spring does its spectacular thing
The beauty of summer will explode our senses with the view of York Beach shore


A Special Place

A Special Place
Dennis C. Orvis

I found a special place today, one that satisfies the mind,
Where thoughts can get lost or renewed whatever the eyes might show.
Looking through the brown, slender sea grasses, green vine
runners are seen weaving around those stems where they grow.

A few dozen unattractive black shells lay scattered, some are
hinged and I wonder how they arrived where they lay.
Were they bait of a fisherman or food for a flock of gulls, or did they
ride a high tide on a wild and windy day.

I can hear the ocean calling me beyond the whitish colored sand,
smoothed by a receding high tide still unspoiled by beachers at play
And the gentle white caps roll upon the beach as if an unseen hand
is molding and guiding them today.

As I scan the endless water with its special color of blue;
challenged by the beauty of the summers cloudless sky.
One could easily be overwhelmed by great thoughts or none at all
for this special place offers such inspiration one need not question why.

Note: this wonderful beach picture was taken by my granddaughter. It can be found at


Wild and Wonderful
Dennis C. Orvis

The ocean wildly churns as the storm passes by
Waves covered with white like the
Mouth of a vicious, mad dog

The miniature water birds race in each time the waves recede
Chasing and grabbing every living thing left a jog

It’s wild and wonderful, nature’s seaside show
Exposed for all to see by the fading, departing fog.


Sailing into the Sunset

Sailing into the Sunset
Dennis C. Orvis

On the west coast of Florida at one of its famous beaches
How quiet it is. The sun is sliding down through the reddish yellow sky

An overloaded sailboat is sailing past, pushed by a soft evening breeze
So peaceful. It could not be better unless the boat held only you and I.


Family Poetry

(In order by date written)

Dennis C. Orvis

Let me introduce myself,
I am Bubby Bear
I can sit on a shelf,
Or even anywhere

What do I do you ask?
Listen to a few
I’ll listen when you talk to me,
I’ll keep your secrets true

I’ll be your special friend
When you are feeling blue
And I’ll be cheerful
When you are cheerful too

When you are busy with other things
I’ll never make a peep
And I will watch over you,
When you are fast asleep

Well, Adam, that’s what I do and what I am,
It’s with love I come to you,
Can I be your special friend?


Dennis C. Orvis

Something happens in September,
What can it be?
Oh, we remember

It’s Adams’ birthday and we can’t wait
To see four candles
On a yummy cake

And to see the sparkle in his eyes
With every present
A nice surprise

Wrapped with tender loving care
A game, a toy
Something to wear

Each gift is special and you are too,
So blow out the candles
And we’ll sing to you

Happy Birthday, dear Adam, wish we were there
We send you our love
With Bubby Bear


Dennis C. Orvis

One, two, three…seems like yesterday when you were only three,
Small and cute, golden hair and so much energy.
We’ve seen Floppy, Mickey and Shamu, even the Worlds’ Fair,
Swings at Baseball City and it’s no longer there.

Four, five, six…You loved jumping on the trampoline,
The swings, the slide and falling off the walking beam,
with beauty frost?
The joy we shared in the woods, finding golf balls that were lost.

Seven, eight, nine… wasn’t Busch Gardens fun? Great tornado ride?
Swimming the ocean and Gulf on the Tampa side.
Loved the races at school, Wow…How you really could fly.
Then gymnastics and your friends at the Lakeland Y.

You learned the vault and the bars with excitement and more
Your practice developed pure grace on the beam and the floor.
Ten, eleven…many ribbons, then medals of success,
The Meet at Browns, first all-around, you were the best!

Twelve, twelve candles on a cake, it’s so pretty just like you,
And as much as we have shared, there is far more yet to do.
And now for you a wonderful gift. What could it be?
Birthday wishes? You can be sure and we will give you three.

The first is for special happiness in all that you seek,
The second for terrific friendship with all that you meet.
And then the third is for true love and the joy that it shares,
With all those around you and a loving family that cares,

Happy Birthday, dear Shelly, with your bright twinkling eyes,
We know your shining star will ever continue to rise.

Love ya, Nana and Papa
Revised March 2009

Dennis C. Orvis

I think I smell a cake, I wonder where it is,
I went running up the stair, I put my nose into the air

No, the cake is not up here…


Down the stairs I go,
Through the living room, no cake there,

I run quickly to the Den,
Barneys’ singing on TV,

Happy Birthday, is that for me?
Wait, I hear more, there is music

Coming through the door,
To the kitchen I am going,

Fast as I can go.
Now I’m going through the door and whoa!

There it is, three layers high and
Five candles I can see,

It is beautiful and now I know
It is really just for me.

Wow! Wow! Wow! Is all I can say.
It surely is my very, very special day.

‘Cause everybody is singing loud and true,


WOW! WOW! I am Really Five, NOW!

With great love From Nana and Papa

Dennis C. Orvis

All we can see is a blur, in the bright afternoon sunlight,
Looking like a whirlwind, it is spinning so fast, first to the left, then to the right.
Could it be an army of ants, in many colored shirts?
Running and kicking and darting in spurts.

But look! That one is suddenly leading the way,
Dancing with the ball, like a kitten at play,
His kick is straight, his aim is true, and a shot we cannot forget
The defender is frozen, the swift kick sails by and quickly hides in the net

GOAL! Everyone yells, while high fives travel the field, to the friendly end,
And the kicker, not yet six, is our Ethan, with an angelic face and devilish grin.
And he smiles with the corner of his eyes,
The trophy is his…and our heart is also his prize.


Dennis C. Orvis

Years ago, when we were young, there was a book called, “What Makes Sammy Run.”
It became a movie too, it wasn’t hot for no one today recalls the plot.

But the running goes on and on…

We don’t know why people run, some for pain, some for fun,
Some just run to get away, some for peace or charity.

And the running goes on and on…

He watched the runners, Tobins’ young son, each year in the Boston Marathon.
He later became one of the few, as a Massachusetts’ native and Marathoner too.

And the running goes on and on…

Heartbreak Hill was tough a time or two, but recovery was only a matter of days,
Worse by far, the computer chip, forgotten on the shoe, banned from Boston, folly and
Futile in many ways.

And the running goes on and on…

Cleared finally, of intentional wrong, the Boston Powers said, “Carry on, Runner Stu.”
As if he ever stopped, to his knees he never dropped, he ran the Disney and the New
York Marathon, too.

And the running goes on and on…

Stu runs the weekend jogs, short runs for charities, like town events, July fourth “and
Every one a breeze,” he said aloud

And sometimes running by his side, son Adam, who can really glide and a winner too,
Best of Class, making Stu extra proud.

And the running goes on and on…

There is more, daughter Emma is fast and Ethan at five, will never be last and you ask

Maybe it is in their genes, perhaps, Wife and Mother, LeAnn, was in High School Track,
On a team that could fly.
And the running goes on and on

Running is the reward, to marathoners, but some like Stu, have many highs, we’ve named
A few, here is another

His handicap partner in the ’99 New Yorker, was an amputee, with one leg you see, and
Set a world record, faster than any other.

And the running goes on and on…

Now Stu is forty. What has changed? Nothing but his age. And that is just great. We are so very proud. Have a happy forty. It’s ok and you’re ok. We love you.

Let the running go on and on and on and on.


Dear Stu:

I have been asked to write a poem on this great occasion. As you know I have written for Presidents (of Chambers of Commerce) and many other famous and or influential people, not the least of which, is me. So with the few moments I have in my incredible schedule, I will give it my best shot, probably a sand wedge.

Becoming forty is very special. I used to think it was very old, but that was forty years ago. I mean it would be worth a few bucks to be forty again. So my best advice is to roll with it. Blow out the candles, all of them, which should be easy for a marathoner with your credentials. With forty candles, you should be done about the same time my poem ends. So here it is with our love.

Nana and Papa

Dennis C. Orvis

I saw your father this morning,
in the mirror, I was shaving and he was there.
With lather bubbles forming,
his well-known smile and eyes were clear.

He said, “Howdy,” his trademark greeting,
I nodded with a friendly stare.
“It’s a special day,” I told him,
“Yes, I know,” he grinned, with a Welshman’s flare.

“Today I’m seventy-five, it’s special, except
I believe it should be fifty or at most fifty-four.”
“I don’t have time to be this old,
I’ve got so many things to do, places to go and more.”

“There are so many golf courses
I have yet to see and yet to play.”
“There are so many miles to travel
With my loving wife, every hour, every day.”

Then he rinsed the remaining lather.
“You’re still a handsome dog,” I told him with a wink.
His smile got so much bigger
and he replied, “I’m younger than you think!”

I saw your father this morning,
in the mirror, I was shaving and he was there.
He turned and began to walk away.
Still terrific, even with his thinning hair.

And I think I heard him singing
like a butterfly, just turned free.
“Happy birthday dear Papa,
Happy birthday to me!”

September 22, 2004

Our Favorite Spook
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s a special time for many reasons
One is the beautiful leaf changing season
And Halloween will soon be here
With spooks and monsters for us to fear

Going door to door for tricks or treat
Loaded with bags of goodies to eat
Scaring all grandparents and even the cats
With costumes and masks and weird looking hats

It’s a special all right for one reason more
It’s the birthday of one goblin that we all adore
Our favorite spook, Ethan, will be a big TEN.
Happy birthday, dear grandson, with love and kisses, again!
From Nana and Papa

October 2004

Dennis C. Orvis

We cannot choose between sunrise and sunset
Nor can we select a favorite star.
We love all our children equally
We love each one for who they are.

And you, Dear one, were the last of three.
Long, lovely and such a radiant face
With soft blue eyes and golden hair
You filled our hearts with newborn grace.

You enriched our lives as we watched you grow.
Always eager to learn and you did it so well
Through Scouts and Charities, always doing your share
On the girls winning relay, you did excel.

When Dad’s career moved us from State to State
You were sad to leave but soon made new friends.
Becoming a Class officer was simply great
And you served very well with leadership trends.

You graduated with honors from Somerset High
College acceptance was easy, you selected Mass U.
Our house became empty, you were the last goodbye
And our hearts were heavy, just thinking of you.

A very good student, you continued to be,
And your summers at home were never a bore
The challenge of working came quite easily,
A bank, Aetna’s basement and Edgar’s big store.

The Student Credit Union played a pretty strong role,
You soon rose to President bringing out your best,
By training fellow students and setting the goal
Of convincing Umass Trustees where to invest.

Graduation made us proud as your career path formed
With Connecticut General and a man named Stu
Followed by your wedding at the “Q” Club
A move to Newton where a Mercer’s job found you.

Next came a Condo in Norwalk, then the Roosevelt Street house,
Where Nana and Papa, happy painters, turned work into fun,
And waited for the birth of your very first child,
Adam, by name, and grandson number one.

Three years later you blessed us with a little girl,
Reddish hair and great smile, Emma Rose was her name.
We were there sharing your joy and a doll so unique,
Your family and house was never the same.

As time moved on we were all blessed once more,
By a second son named Ethan and we were there
To welcome him as we did Adam and Emma,
To hold and rock him and stroke his dark hair.

We cannot forget a cat named Sam
Who brought four-legged excitement, raising a brow,
He remains with us still in Papa’s early story
Titled, “Adam, Sam and the Magic Cow.”

You and Stu found a new house in Weston
Where schools were rated among the best,
You sealed the deal and your new life began
Though you moved only seven miles west.

Oh yes, there was surely work to be done.
But this challenge never scared us before
Your favorite painters arrived and the paint it did fly
They painted everything, you know, but the glass in the door.

Papa helped Stu build a swing set and a treeless house
They also built a storage shed in the trees
If that wasn’t enough they painted the whole house
And stepped back together saying, “It was a breeze.”

In summary, Dear Pumpkin, we could not be more proud.
You have excelled in your life, your work, your family and home.
You have fulfilled our every wish and dreams just for you.
You have always had our love and now, Sweetie, you have a “Poem of your own!”

From Mom and Dad
Christmas 2004

Dennis C. Orvis

Grandchildren are so very special, A day at Universal Studio in Orlando

Whether girls or boys, it’s the same. Gave him a smile ever so wide.

This one, a boy, certainly qualifies, Many days at Cypress Gardens,

Nicky is his given name. Many thrills with every ride.

His home is Kentucky, which isn’t close The Roller Coasters at Busch Gardens

For a thousand miles or more, Were extremely wild.

So it’s a special joy to see him, Swimming often in a nearby pool

And how he’s grown from before. Refreshed our summer heated child.

He turned eleven back in May, He spent two summer months with us

Eleven going on twenty-one. And the days flew quickly by.

His energy level never slows At times he said it was much too long

Stopping only when the day is won. And tears would seep into each eye.

Keeping him busy is a full time job, It’s normal, of course to miss his home

For grandparents of any year. We do not doubt this is true.

And whenever activity might stop, But Nicky dear, it is longer for us,

Boredom was ever near. For the other ten months without you.

July 2005, With Love
Nana and Papa

ETHAN – 2005
Dennis C. Orvis

‘Twas the night of Halloween,
when ghosts and goblins could be seen,

And the eerie noises would send
shivers up and down your spine.

There was a party going on
with spooks in costume having fun,
giving the honored Spook a great big BOO!

And the music floated by
like witches in the sky,

To our Grandson,
Born on Halloween 1993

The Runner

Dennis C. Orvis

As you wait to hear the gun that will start this race you run,
Remember what brought you to this line. With dedication you did train,
Even running in the rain, and qualified with a special time.

It’s the all New England Meet, with many fine teams to beat
And this will be the toughest test, but there is nothing to fear,
As the starting time is near, one goal: to run your personal best

You can hear the track meet sounds as you take a glance around
And see the teams running in your heat. You can see in every face
Of the runners in your race, they know Weston is the team to beat.

Maybe they’ve seen you run before or heard about your time and more
So give them a race they’ll not forget. When the starter’s gun is lifted,
Remember you are gifted by our love as you prepare your set.

The gun is loud and off you go, not too fast and not too slow,
The perfect pace for a winning stride. This is time for show and tell,
This is why you trained so well, confidence, the secret of Weston pride.

As the finish line comes near you’ll hear cheering in your ear
With Nana and Papa louder than the rest. Our cheer is not for winning,
our cheer is for you trying. We already know you are the very best.

(March 2006)

Authors’ note: This is our granddaughter, Emma Rose Tobin,
running in a track meet as a freshman. In her senior year, 2009,
she was honored as only the second athlete in the history of Weston, Connecticut
High School to be named ALL-STATE FOUR YEARS IN A ROW!


“You have a beautiful daughter and everything is fine.”
Words from Doctor Vince soothed anxiety in my mind,
Joy overwhelmed me and my heart was beating wild,
Happiness anew, a gift of our first-born child.

“A daughter,” I told my wife, “So beautiful just like you.”
“You’re right,” she said at first look, “She’s beautiful, it’s true.”
Holding her close she said, “We’ll call her Vicki Lynn.”
Keeping her warm in the drafty old ward, cooled by October wind.

Our lives changed that very moment; our family of two was now three.
And the exciting love overflowed in the Iowa town of Waverly.
One hundred fifty dollars was the bill from the Doc and hospital, too.
Our two insurance policies gave us a profit, a gift from little you.

When you were born my work started early and ended late in the day.
My time with you was nearly limited to Sundays, much to my dismay.
You were prettier than Shirley Temple, charming all you met.
And by nine months you were walking, a moment we won’t forget.

Sucking your thumb was cute until your finger reached your eye.
But with a new bike reward and a struggle you told that habit goodbye.
You often fought bedtime until a short car ride brought sleep your way.
Then in ’56 your brother was born and you helped your Mother every day.

Your great grandparents, George and Bessie, shared the duplex where we lived then.
The duplex was a goal of a seven-year project, something we’d ne’er do again!
With two panels missing on the common wall, you spent much time in their part of the house.
Where Grandma showed you how to slide off her high bed and how to say hippopotamus.

We remember the contest at Stauffer’s Drug; a Nurse Doll was first prize in the game.
And every day, Little Vicki walked to that store to register by signing her name.
It was a safer time then, we did not fear three blocks our Little Darling walked.
And you were the delight of the store employees; of your determination they talked.

On Saturday when the winning name was drawn, you were so sure you would win.
Late afternoon when our phone rang, the Drug Store called telling us to bring you in.
We rushed to the store where the owner and employees were waiting with the first prize.
You won and someone said, “A beautiful doll for beautiful Little Vicki with pretty blue eyes.”

In 1958 your sister arrived, a pretty Darling we called LeAnn Rae.
You were your Mother’s little shadow, ever helping throughout the day.
When your Mother worked downtown, you helped your great grandmother, too.
By being the leader at play with your brother and sister, her job was easier to do.

You brought us much joy that continues yet today,
With a warm friendly smile you brighten everyone’s way.
As you have always helped others, nursing was a fine career.
You were more than good for those you served, an Angel ever near.

We have watched you grow in so many ways and in every way we have been proud.
You were always the happiest face, in the center of every crowd.
You gave us two wonderful granddaughters, so pretty and so very smart.
You have always been and will always be Little Vicki Lynn in our heart.

The Ride with Mr. Turtle

Dennis C. Orvis

“Good morning, Mr. Turtle! How are you today?”
“I’m fine, so very fine and how are you, what say?”
“I feel really good. May I share a ride with you?”
“Yes you may, yes you may, join with me, please do.”
“Tell me, Mr. Turtle, where would you wish to go?”
“If I have a wish, I’ll choose Turtleland, you know!”
“I would too and with my magic ring I will wave my hand!”
“Magic Ring, Magic Ring, take us please to Turtleland!”

“Is this Turtleland, Mr. Turtle? It’s so pretty, it must be.”
“Yes, it’s magic! See the flowering Murtle tree?”
“Oh my, the flowers are as big as me, Orange and Yellow and Blue!
It’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen! Everything to me is new!”
“Look, Mr. Turtle! I see a purple rabbit over there!”
“That’s not a rabbit, it’s a Rurtle, going to the County Fair,
To enter the Rurtle races. First prize is a Wurtle Carrot!
But every Rurtle wins because the winners’ always share it!”

“Here comes a Burtlefly,” he said as it landed on his head.
And it started dancing with its’ gorgeous wings so rosey red.
But Mr. Turtle, unable to move his feet, blinked his eyes to the beat.
Until he started getting queasy and his chubby knees got weak.
The Burtlefly flew when Mr. Turtle gave a sudden shake.
The Little One held on tight, as it was a major quake.
When the shaking stopped, she was sitting still on top.
“Are you ok, Mr. Turtle? You worried me a lot!”

“Yes, I’m ok, my young friend. I get excited now and then.
Nothing serious, Little One. I’m so happy here in Turtleland.”
“Thank you, Mr. Turtle, for showing me the Murtle tree,
And the Rurtle and the Burtlefly so lovely to see.”
“But it’s time for you and me to return where we started,
Turtleland is wonderful, please don’t be brokenhearted.”
“I’m fine, so very fine and I enjoyed our trip to Turtleland.”
“Me too, Mr. Turtle,” she smiled and waved her Magic Ring again.

“We are back where we started! That was fun Mr. Turtle.”
“Yes it was Little One and you can call me Mr. Purtle.”
“And I will. What a wonderful day visiting Turtleland,
With Mr. Purtle, my new and special friend.

Note: I took this picture of our granddaughter, Alicia, April 1981

The Ranger


With his steely eyes on the trail ahead
Where so many unknown dangers wait,
He straddled his ever-faithful steed.

He pulled tight the strap on his hat of red
As four powerful legs began their gait
In pursuit of those bent with evil greed.

Together these two will track ‘em down,
The long miles and time will matter none,
Nor will the fierceness of the expected fight.

The chase will end when bad guys are found,
The fight will end by the setting Sun,
As the brave Ranger again protects what’s right.

(Note: This is grandson Ethan, age 2, 1996
and the new rocking horse I made for him.)

Hey! Wait for Me!

Dennis C. Orvis

It was fall, again, in New England
When we visited our Daughters’ family.
The Foliage was so very special,
Much like our Grandchildren, who numbered three.
Anticipation runs extra high
When loving Grandparents are bearing gifts, of course.
The little one got a big surprise,
I made for him a beautiful, wooden Rocking Horse.
It was exciting, to say the least
And I planned a photo of the riding three.
Just as my camera came in focus
I heard a voice call out, “Hey! Wait for me!”
Before the flash could do its’ thing,
Their agile Mother swiftly saddled on behind.
And there it was four on a horse!
And I captured this wonderful moment in time.

Daughter LeAnn and three Grandchildren
l-r Adam, Emma and Ethan
Note: Photo taken in 1996
Written in November 2006
And I love it!

I'm Going To Disney!

Dennis C. Orvis

“I’m going to Disney!” She said at age three.
Causing shock waves from her Mother and laughter from her bigger brother.

“I’m going to Disney!” She said at age three.
Her Daddy said, “Who told you that?” She sweetly smiled, “Bob, the Cat!”

“I’m going to Disney!” She said at age three.
Telling every neighbor living near her house. “I’m going to Disney and see Mickey Mouse!”

“I’m going to Disney!” She said at age three.
She told Mike the mailman every day. Telling store workers and shoppers along the way.

“I’m going to Disney!” She said at age three.
And she did. What do you think of that? If there’s a problem see Bob the Cat!

November 2006
Granddaughter Emma Rose photo – 1994

Dennis C. Orvis

Should there be a day we don’t think of you, it would be as rare
as Spring without Flowers, foliage without color,
birds that never sing, or Zoos’ without a single bear.

We cannot imagine Spring without flowers,
Foliage without color, Birds that never sing,
or Zoos’ without bears.

We cannot imagine a day we don’t think of you,
You are the beauty of the flowers, You are the foliage in the fall,
You are the music of the birds, And the teddy bear in our hearts.

You make such a huge part of our life so extra wonderful.
So you see, Dear Daughter, as you celebrate this important day,
It may be your birthday, but you have always been our present…

…and we love you very, very much. Mom and Dad

October 16, 2009

The Mountain Stream


The dancing ripples of the mountain stream gave away its hiding place,
Like soft laughter, giggling among the moss covered rocks,
Deep in a small rain forest of birch, maple and oaks of algae green,
Where fallen trees are bridges for turkeys and the fox.

The water is very cold and in places only ankle deep,
Still the experienced fisherman will tempt a reckless bite,
By the sly old mountain trout hiding where it should not be,
And perhaps that foolish trout might be a dinner guest tonight

Note: I took this picture of our son, Dennis in the mountains of West Virginia 1995

The Color of A Boy

Dennis C. Orvis

We all know boys are different, and this is a well-known fact.
Why? One example, there is more dirt, below his crooked hat.
Boy-dirt is not a color, it is a trail that fun has made,
A spin-off of his activity, residue of games he’s played.

So, what color is a boy? He is many I would suppose,
Much like a rainbow in the sky and the freckles on his nose.
He is yellow, yes yellow, of course, for the sunshine’s energy.
Wild as the many dandelions, sweet as the early Daisy.

He is green, yes green, for sure, the sign of go, here and there
He is busy as a swarm of bees always racing everywhere.
He’s blue, yes blue as you can see, arms with bruises or on his knee.
Boys really love to climb and sometimes fall from a neighbors tree.

And he is red, yes red like a beet, maybe a sunburn, perhaps
Or his face might be flushed from biking, hiking, running bases or laps.
Like the beauty of the seasons, he’s a rainbow we adore.
So what color is a boy? These colors and so many more.

Photo: Grandson Nicky 1998

The Grandchildren are coming!
The Grandchildren are coming!
Dennis C. Orvis

“Hi, Mom and Dad,” the sweet voice said
“Would you like a couple cute kids for a few days?”
Well, sure we would, that’ll be good,
We’ll do many things in Florida’s sunny rays.

The Grandchildren are coming! The Grandchildren are coming!
Oh my, there’s much to do, I’ll follow you,
to put the knick-knacks up high.
“Wait!” she said, “Don’t lose your head,
they’re grown up now, that’s why.”

The Grandchildren are coming! The Grandchildren are coming!
Sorry, I just forgot. Not one of them’s still a tot.
Time passes quickly and that’s a fact.
Something also bothers me, wondering what they’ll want to see.
We cannot do it all before they must go back.

The Grandchildren are coming! The Grandchildren are coming!
They came, our days were full, no single day
was dull, then from the airport they flew.
To see them go made us sad, though the days shared
made us glad and they had to go back for school.

The Grandchildren are coming! The Grandchildren are coming!
Our house is quieter after, but we still hear their laughter
and the memories of joy are better than ok.
So many things remind us of the special love that
binds us, until once again we can say,

The Grandchildren are coming! The Grandchildren are coming!


Dennis C. Orvis

Its name is Monkey!
It’s all black
Four-legged and fur
An occasional purr
Its’ name is Monkey!
It’s a CAT!

It’s a boy!
He’s the joy
And for age eight months
He’s reasonably good,
Except for biting and
Scratching and fighting
And chewing anything, even wood!

And yet, in the dark of night,
I feel his fuzzy head,
Rubbing against my hand,
Intentionally I ignore
His affection amour
When he tries to wake me
By kissing my nose!

I know too, he’s all charm!
In our granddaughter’s arms,
She owns this rambunctious feline.
She smiles with deep pride
Making us warm inside
We know as the kitten grows
Everything will turnout fine.
Here Monkey! Kitty, kitty, kitty!



To our granddaughter Emma Rose
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s graduation time,
The many years in school
And the happy high school years are done.

It’s graduation time,
And our thoughts review your
Years from talking, walking and growing up fun.

It’s graduation time,
And a new chapter will soon begin
College, new friends, new challenges to be won.

Its’ graduation time,
An exciting future waits
Remember we love you always, in our heart you’re number one.

The Spirit of Youth

The Spirit of Youth
Dennis C. Orvis

Like a wild horse with the wind in its mane
Racing freely under the stormy sky
Defying salty white caps charging the beach
The Spirit of Youth has caught my eye.

Absorbing energy out of the air
The wind, the sea and the atmosphere
No baggage to carry, only dreams to chase
The Spirit of Youth has nothing to fear

How blessed I am to capture this vision
A rare moment indeed, almost surreal
To know it is true, to know it lives on
The Spirit of Youth, future hearts will feel.


The Hippo
Dennis C. Orvis

There is a Hippo in the hamster cage,
A picture I cannot comprehend

Our granddaughter phoned when I was alone
She was excited; my mind’s a blur

And my hair is standing on end!

How can it be? How big is the cage?
Surely he is not running the wheel!

Then she said whoa, Gramps, don’t get a cramp
Hippo’s his name, not his natural frame

Hippo’s a hamster, cuddly and real.


Note: For Emma Rose and her new hamster.

Cypress Gardens Memory #1985

Cypress Gardens Memory #1985
Dennis C. Orvis

In 1985 there was peace at Cypress Gardens,
Florida’s first theme park for families to appreciate
The entrance fee was small and the annual pass hardly more
It was always a special place that many praised as great

Our memory chest filled with Gardens’ moments we share
Our young granddaughters adored the big rabbit, Flop was his name
Every time we visited the Gardens they would seek him out
He did not work every day and his days off were not the same.

I recall one time when they saw him, they quickly ran his way
Together they jumped right into his open arms and knocked him down.
Then the three of them lay laughing, Flops’ big belly kept them there
His suit, a tough challenge, but others helped me get him off the ground.

So many Gardens’ memories our family has enjoyed
So many happy days with family and friends, truly blessed.
And if you ask our granddaughters which time they like the most
They would reply, “Rolling, rolling with Flop, the rabbit, was the best!”


Five Days Old

Five Days Old
Dennis C. Orvis

written for: Dean Burton Dorsey

Five days old, wrapped in blue
In deep sleep, yet a faint smile is seen

Five days old, parents beaming,
Grand parents too, his lovin’ name is Dean

Five days old, great Grand parents,
Impossible to restrain, Love power between

Five days old, the future on hold,
While love surrounds, to capture every dream

April 2010

From: Great Aunt Edie and Great Uncle Denny

The World Stands Quietly

The World Stands Quietly
Dennis C. Orvis

Under a sky of celestial beauty a man
sits on a distant hill.

Alone with his thoughts perhaps or
his Bible and a silent prayer.

Absorbed in the magnificent sunset
while the wind is patiently still.

The world stands quietly and waits
in the solemn evening air.


A Dozen Days ’til Christmas
Dennis C. Orvis

It’s a dozen days ’til Christmas; my wife is checking sales in every store
In case she finds a bargain she can’t refuse, when the price is right.
Not for this year, you see, she was done with that in July or before.
She always buys for her list early, wraps and hides it out of sight.

She never has any last minute shopping before Christmas Day
You might even be with her in a store, maybe looking with a wish.
She’ll ask you what you want for Christmas; maybe it’s April or May
She will buy it; take it home for Christmas wrap, checking you off the list.

And then on Christmas morning with the family around the pretty tree
You will open the gift you selected with a happy surprise
Whether or not you remember selecting it on a shopping spree
My smiling wife will know you love it by the sparkle in your eyes.


(Vicki 56)
Dennis C. Orvis

“You have a beautiful daughter and everything is fine.”
Words from Doctor Vince soothed anxiety in my mind,

Joy overwhelmed me and my heart was beating wild,
Happiness anew, a gift of our first-born child.

“A daughter,” I told my wife, “So beautiful just like you.”
“You’re right,” she said at first look, “She’s beautiful, it’s true.”

Holding her close she said, “We’ll call her Vicki Lynn.”
Keeping her warm in the drafty old ward, cooled by October wind.

We have watched you grow in so many ways and in every way we have been proud.
You were always the happiest face, in the center of every crowd.

You gave us two wonderful granddaughters, so pretty and so very smart.
You have always been and will always be Little Vicki Lynn in our heart.


It has been four years since I wrote the words above
They are part of a longer poem so filled with love

Nothing’s changed. How wonderful; everything is ever great
Except those four new candles on your birthday cake!

Happy Birthday! Little Vicki Lynn and many, many more.
Mom and Dad
October 16, 2010

The Wedding Blessing
Dennis C. Orvis

Dear Lord:

We gather here in spirit today to share this wonderful and exciting
event, touching each and every life of those who love

Donna and Dennis.

We thank you for the many blessings that brought us to this moment in
And now we look to the future, as these two hearts go forward as one,
we wish for them the greatest gifts of all…

good health and happiness,
as the rain is to the flower,
to grow and nourish their life together.

We ask your blessing on this joyous occasion, safe journey in their life
together, and us. forever, in thy service.

March 10, 2011

Helping my Grandpa
Dennis C. Orvis

Anyone who knew my grandpa would probably say he was a friendly man. They would quickly add, he was a very hard working man.
In the summertime he mowed about a dozen lawns regularly and that was with the old push lawn mower.
He would also plant gardens for shares with anyone who had a small piece of land.
In the wintertime he shoveled sidewalks and driveways for the same people whose lawns he mowed in the summer.

Because of family problems I spent some time living with my grandparents. I don’t remember the first time because I was very young. Matter of fact, I was born in their house September of 1929.
The next time I was ten or eleven. I attended third and fourth grade at the Waverly Lincoln Elementary school. So for a couple years I was my grandfather’s first assistant. I remember we mowed many lawns and shoveled a lot of snow. And on some snowy Iowa days, we shoveled them twice.

I returned to live with my grandparents again when I entered the eighth grade and I stayed with them through graduation of high school.
I must admit I might not have been the best help to him. It was fun at first when I was ten or eleven, but when I became a teenager it was work.

It would be easier to list jobs I wasn’t too good at like picking raspberries or gooseberries. I wasn’t good at weeding gardens either and he said I always mowed lawns too fast.
But even though I was not perfect, I always knew he loved me very much. Grandpas are good at that and he was the best.


Dennis C. Orvis

We’ve seen your face a thousand times and yet it is so different today
Your beautiful eyes grabbed our hearts, holding them near for a while

And there we’re happy prisoners as long as we can stay
Ever intrigued and haunted by your Mona Lisa smile

It seems like yesterday when we rocked you in our arms
And today we’re overjoyed of who you are and your unending charms.


Hello, Precious
Dennis C. Orvis

Hello, little Darling, We are so glad you are here
Born on seven, eleven, eleven, lucky numbers to cheer
And you are to be named Arianna, what a beautiful name
From this moment on, our lives will never be the same
We can hardly wait to hold you and to watch you grow
Hello, precious, you are loved more than you will ever know.
July 11, 2011

Note: For our first great grandchild
Arianna Meredith Chudzik

The Tea Party

The Tea Party
Dennis C. Orvis

Oh, my dear. There’s nobody here!
Am I too early for our tea?
My oh my. I don’t know why.
Wonder where can the others be?

I’m surprised. Can’t believe my eyes.
The Table isn’t even set.
No dishes, but I have wishes.
Tomorrow if I don’t forget.

August 2011

Sahara and Oscar
Dennis C. Orvis

Our granddaughter has two cats
They are smoky gray in color
One of them has white patches
It’s Sahara or it’s the other

I never remember which is which
There’s no doubt they’re people cats

Raised like children since very small
All kinds of toys, this and that

They listen to her as if they care
But give a deaf ear to all of us
Chasing wildly, playing follow the leader,
Romping, sliding, climbing, making a fuss

But now something new is added
A little girl, Arianna is her name
Jealousy, so far, had not appeared
And yet, the house is not the same

So Sahara and Oscar, smoky gray, feline wise
For which a rationed pleasant word is found
Might well be dreading those days ahead
When Arianna crawls, walks and then runs around.


The Pixie on the Toadstool
Dennis C. Orvis

Can you see the sun shining through the trees
And a sunbeam stretching to a toadstool
On the forest’s floor?
Sitting on the toadstool, sparkling in its light
Is a Pixie, ravishing and radiant
Every heart will adore

With such beauty like Tinker Bell
And the joy a rainbow brings
Plus a delicious melting smile
Pretty twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks
A charm you cannot escape
I’m compelled to stay awhile

Now little one, you have my heart
I cannot leave you, now or ever
Your spell holds me true
My love is yours forever
And the music of the forest
Will always be playing just for you.


The Window of our Hearts
Dennis C. Orvis

Hello, precious granddaughter, I’ve used this line before
We have just met you for the very first time
You are six weeks old and how anxious we have been
We’re delighted to know you are healthy, just fine

We were worried when you weighed less than four pounds
But now all is well and you’re already over six
Some circumstances and a case of shingles
Have kept us away, but we were thrilled with all your pics

What a beautiful, wonderful living doll you are
With pretty dark eyes ever searching all around
Eating, sleeping, stretching; we almost see you grow
And you fascinate us with every little sound

In the days ahead, sweet one, we want you to know
That nothing will ever keep us apart
It is easy to discover how much we love you
Look through the open window of our hearts.


The First Laughter
Dennis C. Orvis

Her name Arianna, our first great grandchild
She is fifteen weeks old and more precious every day
In the arms of my wife, a great Nana she already knows
And our joy is unrestrained, words can hardly say.

I was making funny faces and sounds you would not believe
Her little face would smile and grin so very nice
And then we were surprised when a little noise she made
We heard her very first laugh, not only once, but twice


The Window

The Window
Dennis C. Orvis

He was only three, staring from his perfect vantage, looking out the window
Where the beauty of winter in white, covers like a canvas of newly fallen snow

I wonder what he’s thinking while Nature’s favorite creature searches for bits of food
Santa, perhaps, or maybe little thoughts about the deer. I’m sure they were good

Interesting he saw a deer,
A wonderful thing to do

But he saw only one, it’s true
His grandpa, me, I saw two.


The High Dive

The High Dive
Dennis C. Orvis

You were so small, when you were about five and six
Spending a month each summer with us and your Dad
We signed you up for summer swimming lessons
It was important and you were really mad

We were sad; how you cried the first lessons
To your instructor you were a real pill
But we insisted, tears or not
The lessons for you were no thrill

Somehow we got through the first unhappy year
The second summer you did much better
You quit crying and started trying
You learned for us it did matter

Finally the last day of lessons arrived
You could swim real well in a straight forward line
And you were given a reward by your instructor
To jump from the high board, your very first time.


Rocking Horses

Rocking Horses
Dennis C. Orvis

It was 1995 and I was making rocking horses of wood
For our two youngest grandsons, I made one each
Then I made one for a new grandmother, a dear friend
And she said I was wonderful, called me a peach

Then in a moment of inspiration I made two more
For the nursery room kids of our church to enjoy
And surprised our Minister with two unusual gifts
Hoping many children would have a rocking toy

Pictured here I’m test-rocking one of the rocking pair
Checking to see if they are safe for young children to play
That was a long time ago; the horses are no longer there
I don’t know where they went, maybe they ran away.

April 2012

Photo taken in 1995

A B C and More
Dennis C. Orvis

A is for Arianna and Mr. Alligator, too
B is for Bear, you will find him in a zoo
C is for Cow or cupcakes, we love to eat
D is for Duck, yellow rubber ducks are really neat

E is for Elephant, the biggest of all
F is for Frog, Can you hear his ribbit call?
G is for Giraffe, so pretty and so very tall
H is for Hippo in the water having a ball

I is for Inch Worm, an inch is really small
J is for Jaguar the fastest one of all
K is for Koala, she is soft and cuddly
L is for Lion, the king of beast is he

M is for Marvelous Marvin,
Papa’s story we love to read
N is for the Nuthatch bird,
Who likes Papa’s seed

O is for Owl, at night he hollers who?
P is for a pretty pink pig, in muddy water, too
Q is for Quail; hear his call for “Bob White”
R is for Rabbit, eating in your garden day and night

S is for Squirrel in the trees where they play
T is for Tiger, he sleeps during the day
U is for Unicorn, a beautiful different horse
V is for Vulture, without friends, of course

W is for Walrus, oh how he can swim
X is for kisses, would you do that again?
Y is for Yak, with a coat of shaggy, yellow
Z is for Zebra, a black and white, well dressed fellow.

So dear Arianna, on your first birthday,
Though you are still quite small
We hope you like this A, B, and C Zoo
Enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy them all.


Learning Your A,B,C’s
Dennis C. Orvis

You will find the world in your A, B, C’s
The moon, the stars, the grass and trees

The sun, too and the light blue sky
And the beautiful birds flying by

Little words like dog, cat and hat
Then bigger words will follow that

The wonders of the world will follow these
Enjoy learning with your A, B, C’s

With Love- Nana and Papa

The Little Darling

The Little Darling
Dennis C. Orvis

She is eleven months old and standing, first words like mama and papa have been claimed
We’re betting she’ll be walking before her first birthday candle is flamed

The newest darling to our family tree is thrilling to us all
How great it is that such joy and love can be caused by someone so very small.
June 2012
For: Arianna – Our first great granddaughter

Wedding on the Beach

The Wedding on the Beach
Dennis C. Orvis

The groom was waiting all alone on the dampened sand
A miracle, perhaps, the rain has stopped. The wedding a go as planned
The bridesmaids in their aqua blue gowns, descended barefooted from the poolside stair
And the wind continued blowing their flowing gowns and waving locks of hair

Right behind, the groom’s men came, dressed with yellow shirts, a matching set
Loved ones, family, friends and lady preacher, were hoping not to get wet
All were barefooted and waiting patiently under rain filled skies
Then we saw the beautiful bride and her father with moisture in our eyes

At the top of the wooded stairs in a gown of gorgeous white
Descending with her beaming father, holding her arm with loving delight
Now walking slowly toward the groom, like everyone, barefooted, too
With a matching smile from her mother in a gown of wonderful blue

With winds blowing, sometimes gusting and gray moving clouds overhead
The preacher began the ceremony with two waters poured, caring words were said
Personal vows and rings exchanged and two hearts in love so brave
Sealed with a kiss, cheers filled the mist, while the ocean waved

With hugs and kisses, many pictures were taken
As the clouds were waiting, but threatening as they might
The newly married couple walked together into the shallow tide
For final pictures and words ever personal and so very right

Then the rain started falling and blowing very fast
The barefooted wedding party was running for their shoes all the same
The groom picked up his new wife and carried her to the shore
Engulfed by the moment, love filled the air for a beach wedding in the rain.

June 9, 2012
(With a grandfather’s love)

Little Feet
Dennis C. Orvis

How thrilled we were when you began to pull up and stand,
With your cute little feet, sometimes with curled toes found their way

It wasn’t long before you took your first step, then more
Your cute little feet slowly and carefully became a game of play

Now little darling, those little feet are moving very fast
And Grandma’s pretty end-table things were raised to higher retreat

Where inquisitive eyes behind searching hands cannot reach
Avoiding trouble caused by you running with your cute little feet.