Autumn Falls


In this Northern Minnesota park,
We stopped at Big Falls on a lark.
Throughout the forest, leaves started turning,
And, through jagged rocks, water was churning,
With its roaring intensity of water falling,
We heard the sounds of nature calling.

By Valerie J. Laidlaw 9/27/2015

Vintage Pup

“Vintage Pup”

Another season has transpired.
The leaves have turned to gold.
Enter the winter, snow, and cold.
Will the springs on this Vintage Pup retire?

He has weathered children playing,

With their energetic rocking and swaying,
His trusting, droopy-eyed staring,
An object seemingly of much caring,
As the children return grown up,
A new generation bouncing down then up,
With little hands, and little feet,
While sitting on the saddle seat,
Of this unchanged, yet worn, Vintage Pup.

Valerie J. Laidlaw 9/20/15

Facing Chemo

My friend, on this day,
There are so many unspoken words I had wished to say.
I cannot guide you through what you’re dealing with, or help you to stay.

Money raised, a bandaid, not a cure,
As you face chemo, and the pain, with acceptance and fear,
I wish God could give you at least one more good year.

No, I don’t have the answers, or cancer, myself, as of yet,
Nor do I ever expect to, even though many of my family members do get
Some version of this disease of which I am genetically preset.

I care, yet, I’m overwhelmed, as I am sure you are, too,
Seeing clearly your mortality, not knowing what to do.
With prayer, perseverance, and hope, your spirit is renewed,
At the sunset and sunrise of each day, you “carry on” anew.

Valerie J. Laidlaw
September 2, 2015

Transformation in Thought

A gentle breeze,
Flows through the leaves,
The bamboo wind chime,
Toggles intermittently in time.
The train whistle loudly bellows,
As the iron horse squeals,
Grinding over the rails,
Pulling endless tank cars like a tail.
A city bus screeches, stops, and kneels on the corner,
Speeding off with its passengers, both local and foreign.
A neighbor’s dog barks at a rabbbit, then, at a bird,
An airplane gliding overhead is next heard.
I’m home on a Friday,
What else can I say?

I’m applying brush strokes to a clay pottery vase,
My gentle painting renews the pattern of a floral base,
Which had been etched in with a diamond tipped tool,
With its previous art now extinguished and cool.

The bird keeps on crowing outside my patio door,
As another distant bird echoes his call, flying in, joining him for more,
Another neighbor is mowing his lawn,
As a work truck speeds off, and is gone.

I get busy with housework as my project’s paint dries,
The pottery looks nice in its new disguise.

I think I will like this peaceful coexistance I now have,
I’m married to a wonderful husband and dad.

As we ride to the lake, all leather clad,
Seeing ducks with their ducklings, swimming along,
And deer wading waist deep through wheat fields, as we sing a song,
As we live in our sixth decade with eachother on this earth,
Both thinking, “This is the best year so far, since my birth, that I’ve ever had,”
Together, we return, winding down the road towards the sunset, thinking,  “Life’s not too bad!”

Valerie Jean Laidlaw
August 28, 2015


Muriel was always kind and sweet,
Whenever to whomever she’d meet.

There are so many fond memories which she had given,
So, in each of us, her spirit is living.

Experiencing a strawberry desert with so much pleasure,
There were little, life moments she showed us to treasure.

Whenever I see painted clouds in the sky from down here, See beauty in mountains, lakes, oceans, or hold a shell to my ear.
Or see children, babies, and older folks which she’d see as “precious” and “dear,”
I will always remember the wonderful, goodness of “Auntie Mur!”

Hawaiian flowers say, “Aloha!”
Meaning, “Goodbye!” and “Hello!”

Ashes remain of an Earthly body for 90 years, Muriel had been given,
Yet, I envision her, I believe, sitting in a floral garden, with her easel, in Heaven.

Valerie J. Laidlaw
July 31, 2015