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Snippets of Life
by Beth Muehlhausen
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Written September 22,23 – 2006 An Experiment with Minute Poems – “Snippets of Life”

(Minute poems are comprised of 3 stanzas of 4 lines each with a rhyme scheme of aa,bb; cc,dd; ee,ff. The first line of each stanza has eight beats, the other three lines have four beats.)


I’m born one day - trapped frantically -
And squirm to flee
That mother-song.
It seems…well…wrong.

Where are the arms to hold me snug?
I feel a tug
Of war, of lies -
Depressed, she cries.

I wonder: colic? You hear it?
The deeper script
Is loneliness -
No audience.


The early years, they’re blurry – dim –
I’m trapped within.
Not sure of much,
Especially touch.

I long for something tangible.
Emotions LIE -
Their hype I buy.

I feel uncertain – How can I
Get over shy
And forge ahead
With no more dread?


I wander down a country lane
In misty rain -
To look for peace -
And find a feast!

I gorge my eyes from side to side.
Flowers won’t hide!
“Come friends, please speak,
The truth I seek.”

Daisies, Susans, Lilies nodding,
Gently prodding
Me to claim them!
I belong, then?


I just don’t know - that monster does
(My brain is fuzz)
So PANIC me…!
I cannot flee!

He traps me, breathes right down my neck
Drills with a peck
At my own heart
With poisoned dart.

I hide the fact, I must not breathe
Or even sneeze.
No one must know.
Fear must not show.


My childhood feels “adult” – in fact,
Stilted, it smacks
Of parents’ woes
And inner foes.

Depression, anger, multiply -
No place to hide!
Their anguish slaughters
Freedom’s fodder.

I sneak beneath a strict façade -
Throat holds a wad.
Tip-toe around -
Cannot be found.


Sit down, I tell myself, eat here -
Dine on the PIER!
Waves shush and plea
“Come…be…just be.”

Food tastes so good right off the wood…
I think I should
Make plans to stay
Till end of day.

As twilight follows sunset’s glow
The truth I know:
“Here I belong!”
That’s my heart-song.


Parents’ anger, awkward silence –
These make no sense
Yet force their way,
Staining each day.

So what to do but bottle up –
(Half-empty cup) –
Go to my room;
Retreat in gloom?

I read old notes till my phone rings.
I jump, heart sings,
“Oh, someone dares?”
Sigh. Someone cares.


Joy-Ann Bakery calls my name.
Each time the same:
“Glazed donut, here!”
Desires are clear.

Plunk a nickel in her hand
Shift books and stand.
“Thank you” then hold
The round-holed gold!

Sometimes I splurge on an éclair.
How do I dare?
Inside and top
Boast gooey glop.


How awesome – I’m desirable!
I’m capable
Of being sought…
Gasp! Even caught.

Could my soul be worth exploring?
Coy imploring –
Wanting, flirting,
Empty lurking.

Clueless, hungry, longing, empty –
Boyfriends tempt me
With attention –
Oh, what tension.


Me? Work? Fear jumps – what CAN I do?
Don’t have a clue.
Weakness can’t show.
No one must know.

New classes come, old classes go,
Some books (Thoreau?)
Get skimmed but claim
To keep me sane.

I study them but then forget
I ever met
The alphabet.
Now that’s all wet.


Have you not heard of “wonderful” -
When “boy meets girl?”
Fresh hope explodes;
Breaking all codes.

That glint of eye…his voice, it rings!
My soul, it sings…
It soars and “sees” -
A fantasy…!
Could you, young man, fill up my heart
And never part?
Then merge into
One flesh - not two?


Splitter splatter – rain hits glass: cold.
Like bullets…Bold
And wild and fierce…
They cannot pierce.

So why such clamoring within?
Is this called sin?
Tears - they well up
To fill my cup.

Locked in this car with watery panes
My heart cries “shame.”
I touch - I steal -
What do I feel?


A bride-to-be? A wife? Who me?
I cannot see
Beyond today -
Please…might I stay?

Tomorrow’s full of promise bright
So why the fright
And jitters – why?
(He’s such “the guy!!!”)

Perhaps I can’t trust me – who knows?
I’ve learned to pose
As someone strong -
But that’s so wrong.


The noise begins. Some hearing quirks
Like cricket chirps
Make such a fuss –
It’s “tinnitus.”

Taunting - louder - inside my head –
I fall in bed;
Those thorn-like pricks
Cannot be fixed.

(I could not know how over years
They’d pound my ears -
Pelt them like rain -
Loud, screaming pain.)


One day it seems a friend’s belief
Floats like a leaf…
Leads my whole heart…
To a new start!

With coffee mugs and cookies warm
We share the norm
Of life and loss
And dreams and dross.

I learn from her that hope is real,
Such a “good deal.”
By my accord
I yield: “Oh Lord!”


Baby, my own, how can it be
You’re part of me,
Of my own flesh?
We’re joined like mesh.

I want for you what was not mine;
For you I pine.
My hope is clear:
More calm, less fear.

More joy, more peace, more hope, more love,
More from above,
More wisdom true:
God’s best for you.


Time comes and goes, I try so hard -
Keep up my guard,
Watch over all
Each day “on call.”

I’m “mom” to four, and homemaker,
Helper, cleaner,
Laundress, baker,
HELP ME, Maker!

I strain to hear, am trapped by noise -
Trip over toys;
Wipe tears; read books;
Serve lunch, warm looks.


What should we do; we need more cash;
A real big stash!
Me, make some dough?
Hmmmmm…just don’t know.

On whim, I buy a bakery.
So much hard work…
I must not shirk.

My patrons love me to the core,
They march through door…
Slurp soup and rolls,
Leave dirty bowls.


A cancer comes to chew inside.
My throat it spies
To grow its knot
And make me rot.

The surgeon cuts and pulls it out.
I have some doubt
That I’ll survive –
Yet…I’m alive!

Recovery comes in stages, slow –
Years later, know
Options that heal…
This time for real.


Kids grow up fast, I am so proud,
Proclaim aloud:
“You know the Light -
You live for Right.”

What else could mother-dreams desire?
Warmth like a fire
To spread abroad?
I am so awed!!

I couldn’t know when they were small
The truth at all:
That they would be
God’s Light to me.


God gets bigger, I shrink smaller.
He seems taller,
I feel lesser -
A confessor.

Passion rules me, a responder –
I must wonder
At this Lover’s
Gracious cover.

Grace, the God-gift - overwhelms me -
It teaches…see…
The biggest goal:
Becoming whole.


What’s that? His heart? It’s lost it’s strength?
ACK! To what length
Can I be sane?
I’m so in pain!!

Yet he’s the one who’s facing death
With every breath -
Or so they say.
Could be today.

HOPE like a child, that’s our best bet.
We cannot fret
But live each day
Walking God’s Way.


I’m grateful for God’s leadership
Which helps equip
Me to revere
The things most dear.

Faith, hope, and love, all gifts from Him,
Show me my Kin.
His Body binds…
Usurps blood-ties.

I gaze through eyes that lead to hearts.
See many parts
Of God today…
In pots of clay.


Rat in a maze - alone, I hurt.
Pain doctors skirt.
Unheard, I dive
Into a slide.

There’s no way out, I’m stuck, a pawn,
I’m almost gone…
And no one tries
To hear my cries.

Then finally God sends a link!
I will not sink,
But rather soar!
No more horror.


Grandkids chatter – jumpers, squealers –
Little healers!
They cannot know
My heart’s aglow.

We glaze cookies (sprinkles, shake ‘em)
Still wet? Yum yum!
“This one’s for you.
Nooooo have a few!”

I find their tender eyes issue
Convictions true.
Seems they inspire
A heavenly fire.


“Severe” – a word explaining loss.
Oh what a boss,
This inner scream…
Beyond extreme!

It never stops through night or day
But seems to say
“You are my slave –
Now…you behave.”

Most days I opt to block it out –
Don’t fuss or pout.
Sometimes I sigh;
Break down and cry.


Can no longer hide this vision!
With precision,
Words come tumbling…
Pretense crumbling.

Thoughts fly freely – without bidding.
I’m not kidding!
Cannot stop them –
Feels like mayhem!

Lord please tell me, give me insight!
What must I write
To honor You?
Inspire anew.


Waves march across the lake today
As if to say
“Keep moving, churn
With passion, burn.”

Alive and well they bounce and play
And spend the day
Seeking new sights;
Avoiding fights.

In harmony they bobble on
Whisper a song:
“We’re free, it’s true –
Now how ‘bout you?”


I long for all the same old things –
A voice that rings
With tenderness;
Hugs chest-to-chest.

A listening ear, intent eye-gaze,
Without fake haze…
Instead the Real,
Authentic Deal!!

It seems we all need these as well.
Hop out of shell,
Be unified;
Christ-like inside.


I’ve lived a while – and all in all -
At times I fall,
BUT rise to stand
Tall in God’s hand.

It’s all about redemption – see?
No cost – it’s free!
God’s love shows me

Life has unknowns, it’s little quirks,
But ‘neath them lurks
A God who will
My heart make still.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laurie Glass  17 Mar 2007
It's nice to see your minute poems showcased this week. :)
Jan Ackerson  27 Feb 2007
Beth, I love these! Absolutely love them! I want to write some of my own, now--you've inspired me. I'd love to use these--either in their entirety, or an excerpt--in the Front Page Showcase. Contact me, please, either by PM or e-mail, if you're interested.


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