Death of a Nation

— Larry T. Hollist

Book of Mormon: Either: 15: 14-32

For four long years
All the people of the land
Gathered for one last fight.
Some to one side
The rest to the other.

All had forgotten what
They were fighting for.
Yet, each side knew that
They were
Right.

Every man, woman and child
Were fitted with breastplates,
Helmets and shields.
All went to battle that first day
Carrying their own personal weapon.

They fought until it was dark.
Returning to their respective camps
The surviving armies took
Up howling for the dead.
A howl that penetrated the surrounding hills.

At daylight the armies returned to
Their work of destruction.
At night they returned to their howls.
None wanted to make peace.
All knew their side was right.

Another day of fighting.
Only now there were less
To howl for the dead.
But their hatred had grown.

Day after day they fought by light
Then howled by night
Until there was just 52 on one side
And 69 on the other.
Still there was no compromise.

The next day there were just
32 and 27 left.
Yet neither would yield.

For the next two days they fought,
Bled, fainted, recovered, and died.
No one relented until the two leaders
Were left. And they fought until there
Was one and the mighty nation was dead.

 

 

 

Seeker of Truth

— Larry T. Hollist

The very night the sign appeared in the sky
Navid son of Paiman son of Rahim son of Kir
Made his final preparations.

As he said goodbye to everyone in his small village,
Each person would touch their eyes and lips
Then would touch his eyes and his lips.
Now his words would be their words
And his eyes would be their eyes.

Lastly Navid knelt at his father’s feet.
Paiman anointed Navid’s head with
The sacred oil and blessed him.
Then they embraced; both thinking
This might be the last time they saw each other.

As Navid was about to mount his camel
Paiman handed his son a small bag of gold
Plus a small amount of frankincense and myrrh
For a love offering.

It was not much, but his poor village had sacrificed
For three generations to accumulate this small amount.

Soon Navid meet other Seekers of Truth also following
The sign in the heavens. As they traveled westward, most stayed,
But a few left as the journey got harder and their faith got weaker.

With each village or city The Seekers stopped at, they told their story.
Those who believed add to their love offering or gave traveling
Supplies to The Seekers. Most went about their days as if
There was nothing special about The Seekers or their message.

To the poor The Seekers would impart what they could,
Sometimes doing without to give to those of lesser means.
The Seekers would leave a blessing of hope to anyone who would hear.

As they neared their destination they paid respect to the king of the land.
The king after conferring with his wise advisers sent The Seekers
To a nearby suburb and said, “When you have found the truth
Come and tell me that I too might also worship the truth.”

The closer the Seekers approached their final destination,
The brighter the sign got in the heavens.
By the time they had reached the little suburb,
The sign could be seen at day.

Soon the sign was shining over a small house.
The Seekers found a young child and his mother at home.
She invited them in and said pointing to her son,
“This is the truth that you seek come and meet him.”

Each Seeker came one by one, knelt before the child,
And gave her or his love offering to the child.

That night they all were warned in a dream not to
Return to the King of the land,
So by twos or by threes,
The Seekers left in different directions,
Telling anyone who would hear of the good news.

Whenever Navid meet someone who believed
He would touch his eyes and his ears
Then would touch their eyes and ears
Saying, “You have seen what I’ve seen
And heard what I’ve heard”
Lastly he would embrace them
So they could be embraced by someone
Who embraced the truth, the Christ Child.

Kir means: far sighted.
Rahi means: Show mercy
Paiman means: promise or covenant
Navid means: Bringing good news
The Magi call themselves, “Seekers of Truth.”

 

Horse

— Larry T. Hollist

Date: A Sunday in Oct, Nov, or Dec 1907
Place: Layman, Idaho
At a neighbor’s house of
John T. and Martha A. Hollist
(Parents to Orson LeRoy Hollist)

 Mama-Mama-Mama-Mama-Mama-Mama

 Slow down girl; what is it?

 The Hollists have a new horse.

 Your Pa said Mr. Hollist wanted to get a new draft horse.

 No, no, no, no. Their new baby is Horse, they named him Horse.

 You must have heard it wrong, maybe it was Hoss.

 No, when they brought the baby to the front at church

They said his name would be Horse.

 Are you sure?

 I heard it right, they called him Horsey Roy Hollist

 Ok, ok, get my basket down so we can call on the Hollists.

I will never hear the end of this until we hear it from them

My Coffee Table

— Larry T. Hollist
-this poem is dedicated to all the poets I know.

On my coffee table among the Legos, candles,
And the predictable coffee table books
Sits a stack of poetry books.

Every book has scraps of paper hanging
Out the top. Many are old receipts torn to make
More markers. Other markers include:
A piece of an old photograph that was cropped off
So the photo would fit on a school project,
A church program, a piece of junk
Mail, a school flyer, a piece of a paper bag, an actual
Book marker advertising a poetry festival
Or whatever was handy at that time.

Some makers mark a poem that I will put in my
Personal poetry anthology. Other mark lines and
Passages that I will borrow for my own writing. All
Have a marker to show where I last stopped reading.

Most of the poets in my stack I know and call them
By their first name. Most will be never called Laureate
Of anything. Most could not fill up an auditorium for
One of their readings. All have tugged at my heart strings,
Inspired me and left me in awe of their words. None need
To be ashamed if they stood next to:

Bob[i],
Bobby,
or
Billy;

Maggie,
Emily,
or
Wilily;

Lizzy,
Donny,
or
Henry;

Anne,
Al,
or
Alice;

Lucy,
Louise,
Or
Langston;

Walt,
Edna,
or
Gwen;

Pablo,
Maya,
Sylvia,
Or any other poet you may know.

 

Haiku

— Larry T. Hollist

1.
雪降るそ
ハイク停まらない
汗をかく

Yuki furu so
Haiku tomara-nai
Ase o kaku

Looks like it will snow
the hike cannot be stopped.
I’m dripping with sweat

2.
Making love midair
Dragonflies are the porn stars
Of the insect world

3.
The house is still warm
Black dog panting in my face
Sleep will not be found

4.
Sweetness, joy, peace, love
Was Emily Ann’s essence.
A morning bird sings
Sweetly of joy, peace & love.
Yet gone, she lives, she lives still.

 

The Snake River Stampede

— Larry T. Hollist

A birthday I’ll never forget
Was the year we went to
The Snake River Stampede.

Uncle Dave way payin’
So the treats kept commin’
Dogs, nachos, cotton candy
Snow cones flavored with
Blue, or red, or yellow or green.
Cousin Ted thought that all
Flavors at once was a dream.

There was bull riddin’
Calf and team ropin’
Saddle and bareback ridin’.
A cowboy who herded his steers
With a whip as his only tool.

There were steer wrestlin’
With their hazers
And clowns with their trick mules.
Pat Boone also sang his tunes.

What I remember most was
The brown – eye freckle-faced girl with
Whisks of dirty blond hair escaping
From the sides of her western hat,
And a braided pony tail halfway down her back.
She was wearing a blue plaid button-up blouse
Tight Wranglers jeans and cowboy boots.

Ae fond kiss and then we severed;
Ae farewell, for then and forever!
For I was a green horn from the East
And she was a barrel rider from the West.

 

Echocardiogram

— Lawrence T Hollist

Lying half naked on my bed
Wishing I was a Greek Adonis;
Then I wouldn’t be lying here
With the girl from the steno pool
Taking notes of my heart.

The heart that no longer beats smoothly

The heart that no longer beats as one.
But a heart that sounds like it is pumping slugs.

So here is your first crush.
Here is where your parents
Taught you to love.
Here is where first met your son
Here is your wedding day.
Here is your love for your wife today.

Ah here, here is the problem
You don’t let go of the hurt
You don’t forgive.

untitled: Words of Muhammad Ali

— Lawrence T Hollist

Words of Muhammad Ali:

I float like a butterfly,
sting like a bee.
His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. 

 

I’m so fast that last night
I turned off the light
Quicker than a spark
I was in bed before the room was dark.

For this fight, I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And thrown thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
I’m so fast, man,
I can run through a hurricane and don’t get wet.
When George Foreman meets me,
He’ll pay his debt.
I can drown the drink of water, and kill a dead tree.
Wait till you see Muhammad Ali.

 

The man who views the world at 50
the same as he did at 20
has wasted 30 years of his life.

So this is  most important to me:

Friendship is a priceless gift that cannot be bought nor sold,
but its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold;
for gold is cold & lifeless – it can neither see nor hear,
in time of trouble its powerless to cheer —
it has no ears to listen, no heart to understand,
it cannot bring you comfort or reach out a helping hand.
So when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if He sends
not diamonds, pearls or riches but the love of real true friends.

Guarding Steph Curry

— Lawrence T Hollist

Coach said, “If he is shooting from the parking lot
you must meet him at the car door.
If he is shooting from the tarmac
Meet him at the plane door.”

The problem is that he is shooting from
This side of the funeral pyre.
So I meet him at death’s door.

If I get there in time he starts to drive
Until I’m two steps below the arc.
Steph then steps back for the three.

Or he will dribble between the legs,
Behind his back, despite being in his grill
Somehow he gets past me,
Then posing as Superman flying through the air
With the ball in his left hand
He flicks the ball up past our 7 foot
Shoot blocker, up so high it collects moisture.
In the meantime, Steph has crashed landed on his belly among
The photographers in time to
Watch the ball return to earth and
Scorch the net as it
Goes through the hoop.

My Beloved Sister Nancy

— Lawrence T Hollist

Mesa, AZ Feb or March 1959
(Voice of Grandpa Orson L. Hollist)

My angel sister dear
I have come to right a wrong,
A sin of omission,
That has been left undone these
20 plus years.

I’m sorry

I’m soo sorry

Please forgive me.

It was not lack of love
Or selfishness
But poverty that had robbed
You of the remembrance
That you have deserved.

In the intermediate time
You have not been forgotten.
I’ve named my second daughter after you.
Only mom’s saintliness to be honored first.

You would be so proud of your namesake.
She has so much of your love and charity in her.
She has and will touch many lives
For good bearing your name.

I can’t tell you the guilt I felt
After you came to Sunny Slopes,
The TB sanitarium,
To nurse me back to health
And then to have TB consume you.

More than that to have you
Laid among strangers
Without anything to mark
That you had even walked the earth.

So now with my eldest Taylor
We give you this marker
To show others where you lay.
Please once again forgive us for this long delay.

(Dedicated to the memory  of
Nancy Elva Hollist Nelson
16 Feb. 1906 – 26 Dec. 1938)

 

Spring and Fall: The Transformation of M.C. Escher and J. Taylor Hollist

— Lawrence T Hollist

Although I am absolutely without training in the exact sciences, I often seem to have more in common with mathematicians than with my fellow-artists.
– M.C. Escher

 

Gander Cornelis

Leads his gaggle north past

Past the town where the Escher family lives
Past the river next to the town
Past the orange, yellow, and red tulips
Past the smells of freshly plowed earth
Past the farmers in the fields.
Preparing for spring planting.

The days grow longer
Springs transforms into summer
Summer flies by
Then summer transforms into fall
As the nights grow long once again.

With the last of the hay cut and stored away
A Gaggle flies past
Past the farmers chopping corn for silage
Past the smell of the dying and decomposing leaves
Past the red the yellows the oranges of the fall foliage

Past the river next to the town,
The town where the Hollist family lives.
Being led south

By Taylor the gander.

A Leap of Faith

— Lawrence T Hollist

Before the boat reached the shore,
So excited she could not wait,
Young Mary Chilton leapt to her fate.
Braving the waves on that cold December day
Not knowing what the new world would bring her way.

Thus, Mary was the first woman as traditions says
To touch that mythical rock,
First known as Forefather’s Rock,
Now called Plymouth Rock.

Mary had seen so much in her young days,
Her mother excommunicated from England’s church,
Her father beaten for his beliefs
Could this new land be much worse?

Yet before the winter was done
The Chilton family would be just one.
Leaving Mary then a young teenager
A ward to someone who until recently was a stranger.

I am sure like the others Mary learned from their native friend
Tisquantum or Squanto, on how to survive in this new lands.
I am sure she was overjoyed to join in the three-day feast,
That included: venison, turkey, lobster, sq uash, beans, corn and clams.

For some the trails of those early years
Might have shaken their faith
Or made them bitter towards their maker.
Yet, through all of her years it seems that Mary’s faith
Just grew and grew as her years grew more and more.

With-in her last will and testament,
Mary made her finial testimony,
“…hopeing to receive full pardon and remission of all my sins;
And Salvation through the alone merrits of Jesus Christ my redeemer”

 

What to do with Grandma?

— Lawrence T Hollist

I asked Joe if he would
Take her in if he could.
He wouldn’t know she was around
She hardly even makes a sound
For she is quiet as a mouse.
He replied, “Not in my house!”
What to do with Grandma?

I asked my brother Fred
If Grandma could rest her head
At his place. She doesn’t take up much space.
Fred said, “I’ve no room even in my cupboards or under the stairs,
Where you put her I just don’t cares.”
What to do with Grandma?

I told my brother John I knew his wife was pregnant
And she might think Grandma was a little to pungant,
But easy peasy lemon squeezy
Every morning spray Grandma with febrezey.
John just said, “That makes my wife go sneezey.”
What to do with Grandma?

Even before I got out, “Can”
“No, no, no,” said my sister Anne,
“My kids are eager beavers,
That keep themselves busy as bees.
I don’t even have time for my TV.”
You don’t have to take her to their activates,
I said, and far as TV goes
Grandma is fine watching your shows.
But still the answer was full of nos.
What to do with Grandma?

Then I got a call from Ma and Pa.
“Now listen to your Father and Mother,
Stop bothering your sisters and brothers.
And just take Grandma to the curb in a garbage bin,
Dig a hole; throw her in,
Put her in a big create
And leave her at the cemetery gate,
Or take her to the farm where you took your kids cat.
We thought we taught better than that.”
And then they began to chant and shout.
“Just throw that old hag out,
Just throw that old hag out,
Just throw that old hag out….”

I know my parents might be right.
‘Cause it gives my children a real fright.
Thinking she might just sit up
Anytime her coffin lid pops up.

 

Shush

— Larry T. Hollist

I hope you don’t think that I am
Eternally morose
Or that I tell ghost stories.
I just want to relate
A soul-searching moment of my life.

Lying peacefully still
A former bathing beauty,
Now happily-wrinkled,
My silver-haired grandmother
Who made: the sweetest
Whole-wheat cinnamon rolls,
The best apricot fruit leather,
And it was well worth waiting
The three days it took her to
Make chocolate-chip cookies.

This woman who on more than
One occasion had seen heavenly beings
Including 30-plus years before this day
When she saw Great-grandma Martha,
Who had come to take Grandpa home.

Despite being a widow for such a long time,
She never felt lonely until her brother
Went to his final Graduation ceremony.

Now Gathered around Grandma were
Two or three of my aunts,
A couple of their husbands,
My cousin’s baby daughter, and me.

We all were silently
Looking at the heart monitor;
One silent long flat line
Followed by
One silent long flat line
Then a beep and a spike
Would startle us all.

This happened again and again
Until a kind nurse turned it off
Saying that the heart still
Occasionally beats after death.

I then noticed in the corner of the room
Two gentleman dressed in glowing white
Patiently waiting for Grandma
With smiles on their faces.

The first I recognized right away.
It was Grandma’s lifelong best friend,
Her brother George, and he looked better
Than the last time I saw him.
No longer bent over, but lean, tall,
And now he was full of pep and vigor.

The second it took me a moment
To recognize who it was.
I had only seen him in photos,
It was Grandma’s true and only love,
Grandpa.

I was about to say something
When they both put their forefingers
To their lips.

Haiku

— Larry T. Hollist

 

More impressive than
K2 or Everest
Bright Purple Pine Cones

 

***

 

Planes dumping red snot
No water to fight the fires
Golden Hills ablaze

 

***

 

No bullfrogs crooking
The vernal poll did not fill.
No climate change here.

 

***

 

I’m ridiculous
I love waking up to rain
Yet, wish for the sun

 

Breath

— Lawrence T Hollist

Not very often do I
Notice my breath.
Except on the first
Cold winter day.
Then it is only the first
Couple of exhales.
Then it is not noticed
Again until is has started
To freeze on my hat and
On my beard.

Now my breath
Is all I notice:
It is massaging my cheeks
My forehead and
Even my ears, while it
Blurs the blue line below
As I wait to pull back
My arms to take another
Gasp.

Second Hand Son

— Larry T. Hollist

“IF YOU WERE REAL PARENTS
YOU WOULD KNOW BETTER!!!!!!!
You are just fake mommy and daddy!!!!
You think I’m just a second hand son!!”

I show my pearly whites
And literary bite my tongue
To keep from saying,
“So where are your ‘real parents?’
How come they are not here?”

It is the same old song,
The anger directed at me
So he doesn’t have to feel the pain,
Of those who have disappointed him
Again, again, again and again again.

A tear starts to form in my eye
From his words, his pain
And biting my tongue.
Yet I hope that my enduring love
May one day break down the walls
Of the stone house he has built
To protect his bruised and tender heart.

Maybe one day
We can sit down
Together
And share a cup of coco,
Topped with:
3 mini-marshmallows,
Fresh ground nutmeg,
A pile of whipped cream,
And him knowing that he holds
The honor position in my heart
As my first-born son.

Scgetti-Meatball

— Larry T. Hollist

Part 1-Scgetti
Scgetti, I eat it every day.
Twice if I had my way.
Scgetti is long and thin
I have found
When I suck it in
It makes an unusual sound
Scgetti would be great to lick
If I could just freeze it on a stick.
Scgetti is the bestest food I know.
But  alas, on me it has begun to show.
19 Nov 1994
Part 2- Meatball (Scgetti reprisal)
A single meatball sits on my plate.
I sigh at my awful fate.
Just so I can walk through a normal door
And to keep my gut from mopping the floor.
What more can I say.
Than Dr. Atkins took my scgetti away.