The poetry posted is all original work of Thomas Vander Wal. Most of it is part of a collection of more than 100 pieces were written from 1995 to 1997. Nearly all of the works were posted on Compuserve's Poetry Cafe at one point or another. A wiped out backup tape and a hard drive crash have me re-entering the poems in digital format. I am not vouching for the quality of the items only the words that are collected are made from dreams, wishes, and observations of life.

A Child Can

See the world through a child's eyes
and set the world alight.

See the world through a child's eyes
and have no fears, but for the night.

The child lives in the world of adventures,
through and through.

The child lives in a world of adventures,
all new, all new.

See the world through a child's eyes
and live in a world of what will and what might.

Body Bag

In the doorway of the church
on a cold foggy evening
a sleeping bag to be a body bag
for a street man down and out.

His belongings few and simple
all held within a satchel.
The distorted memories
of a hated war and no class life
are all but forgotten.

The stench that precedes him
as he holds out his cup
over powers his smile
and the once sweet blue eyes.

The clothes are torn and tattered,
much from the previous wearer.
His stomach is warmed at noon
from the gift of a church,
truly doing their work.

His skin covered with soil,
dried on and decaying.
Living long enough,
he is promised,
he will inherit the earth.

Each day he wakes
thinking, "no not again."
Another day with friends,
they all play crows
stealing belongings
of value, only to him.

His day perks up
with the slightest response
from a person denying change.
If only they knew he really wants
to change their lives for his.

A few quarters are a blessing,
a bottle they might buy,
not to get drunk,
but as an anesthetic
to kill the pain buried deep inside.

From day into the night
to find shelter to save his life.
Will it be an alleyway,
a doorway,
or a refuge warm and caring.

This night it is a doorway
of a church with a pointing light
to guide his vessel to the morning
if he could steer from the strife.

A body bag zipped?

No, not yet.


Wrinkled white tee shirt
resting on your curves.
Faded hole-worn blue jeans,
once mine, slouched in your chair.
An adjustable baseball hat
with your hair through the gap.
Bare feet resting on my legs
jiggling the bottom of the paper.
Your brilliant playful eyes
peering over the coffee cup lip.
Warm morning jasmine breezes
flowing through Saturday's ease.
I gently touch your cheek
only asking, "Breakfast?"

Green Awnings

On a sunny late February day
I witnessed a dandelion's face
watch a green awning
being unfurled to ward off the sun.

It was the first awning of Spring
and laying in the grass at your side
I could hear your hums of pleasure
in my ear as you woke from a sweatered nap.

Looking into your dream filled eyes
I could see a warm future
was definitely in store
and a harsh Winter gone forever.


I sit on the front stoop.
My mom said
not to walk outside
in stocking feet.
I had to try this.

Let me see,
the indent is
in the middle
of this shoe,
that makes it a left.

The other must be
the right, size two
made just for me
and my size feet.
Now to tie them
will be bliss

Lift the tongue
put my foot in,
whoops that is
left on the right foot
I'll try it over here.

Good, that worked.
Now the other one.
That was easy.
Now grab the laces
and rub the hands together.
Whoops that was a miss.

I have seen dad
do this many times.
One lace in each hand
and bring them together
and smush and rub.
NO, not again.

MOM!!! I need help
I yelled. So she ran
and found me on the porch
with my shoelaces undone.
With a pull and a rub
they were done with a kiss.

Young Swan Choreography

His first job
was choreographing
white swans in the lake.
By raising his hands
then running with a bounce
directly toward them.
The white swans would
and whirl
in a ballet
lead by
the little boy,
who was also playing
the male lead
at the age of a prodigy.

Wedding Treasures

The knowledge of lifelong companionship
and support is one of the great treasures
that life affords us.

The bond that joins two individuals
into one being is truly sacred
and should always be treasured

As it is with all treasures,
they need to be polished
and attended to,
keeping their beauty bright and radiant

Polish the smile that warms your heart
and let the joy flow through you
to a lasting flow
that transcends all tomorrows