Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Star

by Cheryl Merrick

Saving us from 
cold empty blackness,
the stars brightly shine,
guiding us,
and reminding us 
of a special star long ago--
the herald of peace and hope
come to the world;
leading us to the true light,
and proclaiming to the wise--
The Savior Is Born!

Christmas

by Cheryl Merrick

The angels proclaimed peace
and joy to the world
on the night the Savior was born.

But how far from peace is the woman
    rushing from store to store
    seeking the illusive “perfect gift”?

Christmas Questions

by Cheryl Merrick

As I attempt to do more in two weeks 
than I normally do in two months,
I begin to ask Questions

Can I really do all this?

Should I be doing it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Self Image

by Cheryl Merrick


Looking at my reflection,
I despairingly note;
face too long, nubby nose!
I stop; and see Grandpa’s long, thin face;
quiet, hardworking.
There is Grandma’s “button” nose;
kind hearted, unhurried.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Memories

by Cheryl Merrick

Bright, pine scented memories
of candles and tinkling chimes,
and of the great tree my grandfather had cut
filling their living room with balls and light.

Warm, happy memories
of the family gathering around the dinning table
to enjoy the Christmas feast, together.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Comfortable November

by Cheryl Merrick

The bright, busyness of summer
is over.
The dazzling colors of fall
are gone.
The harvest is in.
The leaves have fallen.
Trees stand gray-brown
against a muted sky.

Thanksgiving Is

by Cheryl Merrick

A time for remembering
all we have
Instead of bemoaning
what we don’t

Thanksgiving

by Cheryl Merrick

Not being the commercial heavy weight
of its December cousin,
    Thanksgiving gets pushed aside.

Even before its moment arrives,
     its leaves, pumpkins and corn stalks
     are replaced with wreathes and bells,

November

by Cheryl Merrick

A few tenacious leaves remain,
     Brown and withered,
      In a monotone world.

While the mountains quietly rust,
     and the evenings envelope the day,
     the holiday bustle begins.

Stillness

by Cheryl Merrick

Focusing on the beauty around me
my racing heart 
stills,
and my anxious mind 
calms.

Gazing upward
into the canopy of branches,
peace fills my soul. 

Windows

by Cheryl Merrick

The library door closed. 
In desperation,
I opened a little used window
and found a new world 
awaiting me --

Watched Over

by Cheryl Merrick

As we sped down the freeway 
in the pelting rain,
my heart filled with gratitude
that we had been watched over.

On Sunday we went for a walk a distance from our home.
On our way home we heard a thumping sound,

Walking With The Lion

by Cheryl Merrick

Feeling crowded by his presence,
We walk through the darkness,
Bemoaning our lack of freedom,
Until, in the light of day,
we behold the deep precipice,
and falling on our knees
in humility and gratitude,
give thanks for 
His loving protection. 

inspired by the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis

Waiting

by Cheryl Merrick

Til all my children
are happy
But would they grow
without challenges?
Til my health
is good
But would I trade 
all I have learned
for a life of ease?

Privilege

by Cheryl Merrick

To see a sunset
To smell bread baking
To taste an apple
To walk down a country lane
To sing Christmas carols
To hear a child laugh

More?

by Cheryl Merrick

Knowing I’m a daughter of God
Having true principles to guide me
Having a husband who loves me
Having four children, their spouses, & grandchildren
Having good friends & helpful neighbors

Gratitude Is

by Cheryl Merrick

When we see beyond our endless list of wants,
and marvel how bountifully our basic needs are met;
When we no longer squander our time and energies
in acquiring superfluous things,
but focus instead on eternal relationships;

Counting Quiet Blessings

by Cheryl Merrick

Knowing my life
is as it should be,
I am enveloped
in peace.

Counting Blessings

by Cheryl Merrick

I smile enjoying the ability 
to move around my home
   putting something away in the loft
getting a book from my library
storing cards in the attic
and puttering at projects

Longing for Summer

by Cheryl Merrick

Sparkling crystal mornings
go unappreciated as dreams of summer
fill their minds.
Only to find the warmth of summer days 
lost in longings for cooler times.

Gratitude

by Cheryl Merrick

Appreciating what you have
when you have it

Gratitude is an Attitude

Beyond the Mark

by Cheryl Merrick

Looking beyond the mark
moments of beauty go unseen,
Gifts lie unappreciated,
 and opportunities to give and grow
are ignored,
Til finally only dull discontentment remains
to smother out all joy.

Attitude

by Cheryl Merrick

It doesn’t matter how much you
have or haven’t 
for it isn’t the amount which
brings happiness.

Appreciate

by Cheryl Merrick

Remembering that,
though I’m tired and ache,
It could always be far worse,
I pray to appreciate
all I have
for being able to move and see
to think and remember
to laugh and serve
for being alive

New Assignment

by Cheryl Merrick

Determined not to
give into a doubtful heart,
I begin my Church Service
Missionary assignment.

Cheerfully I open the
first feedback on LDS. org.
Filled with peace and surprise,
I exclaim, “I can answer that!”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Anticipating The Moment

by Cheryl Merrick

Dutifully following the leadership
of our “elders”,
we begin our career.
Seeking their counsel and advice,
we slowly gain experience.

Finally, they are gone,
leaving us to pass along 
the torch of experience,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mail Truck

by Cheryl Merrick

Like a bee
   flying from
   flower to flower,
the mail truck 
   winds it’s way
   down the street
diligently visiting
   each mail box.

This is my husband's favorite poem. He was a mail man for forty-five years. 

Wishes

by Cheryl Merrick

Wishes are
just dreams
without action

Light Bearer

by Cheryl Merrick


Its source lies within.
Born from quiet moments
and deep reflection.
Nourished by hours
of pondering and prayer.
Energized by intense feeling.
Guided by true principles
and focused upon eternal goals,
The strength of faith glows,
producing a light
to guide safely home.

The Navigator

by Cheryl Merrick

Like the navigator of old,
she carefully plots
their homeward course.

Adjusting for the winds and currents
of today’s world,
and striving to avoid
hidden shoals of evilness,
silently she ponders the stars,
safely guiding
her family toward
their eternal home.

Lighthouse

by Cheryl Merrick

Once I thought my happiness
depended upon the happiness of others.
Now, accepting their need
to learn from their own mistakes, 
I accept my mission 
to set a righteous example.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Letting Go of Fantasies

by Cheryl Merrick

With an acceptance
which comes from
years of love,
we finally allow
the other to
be themselves.

Appreciating his passion
for projects,
I no longer expect him

Harvesting Dreams

by Cheryl Merrick

Once  I dreamed of unearned harvests,
a life of wealth and ease 
surrounded by my sensitive husband 
and adoring children.

Now I look back 
seeing the planting
of real dreams

Growing More One

by Cheryl Merrick


Pushing the tattered remnants
of old fears aside,

Trusting that he will
support my goals,

Sharing with him
my hopes and plans,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Force

by Cheryl Merrick

Claiming a just God
“Wouldn’t let this happen”,
they relegate Him 
to the position of a mere pawn 
who carries out their desires.

With power they want 
others’ actions controlled,
but not theirs.
While others are to be forced
to do what they want,
they should be allowed
the freedom 
to make mistakes.

Not Alone

by Cheryl Merrick

To the cry
“It is too hard!”
Comes the reply
“Just try.
You do not have to do it alone.
I am here
and will help you.”

Step-by Step

by Cheryl Merrick

I have been lead 

to learn the lessons
     I’ve needed to know

to overcome weaknesses
     and become whole

to develop strengths
     I didn’t know

The Riddle

by Cheryl Merrick

Many men have sought me,
   but I vanish from 
   their grasping hands.
Kings and others in authority
   have ordered my appearance,
   but I do not come.

Justice and Mercy

by Cheryl Merrick


In his determination for revenge
he gave no quarter
to mercy

Absolute Justice
was his demand

Til experiencing
its crushing weight,

He cried out,
Mercy!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogging

by Cheryl Merrick

Like drawing upon the sand
my thoughts disappear,
wiped away
with each incoming wave of details
as I "get to work". 

"What does it matter?"
I disparagingly mumble, 
"No one cares about my 'great thoughts' anyway". 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Glory

by Cheryl Merrick

A blaze of yellow against a deep blue sky,
Full of hope, beauty, and life,
I long for this moment to remain. 
I don’t want the bleak, bare world of November.
Within me I cry - Stay!
But then I remember that 
the leaves must fall.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall

by Cheryl Merrick
Fall
Cool, crisp
Blowing, tumbling, twirling,
Excitement in the air
Autumn

Bats

by Cheryl Merrick

orn to hang upside down
A lmost never out at day
wilight is the time to
ee bats flying out to play

Paintng

by Cheryl Merrick

Like paint
    I apply the layers of words,
choosing just the right
    color and shade,
arranging them carefully
    a picture takes form.

Quail



by Cheryl Merrick

Scurrying across our driveway
Strolling along the fence top
Walking down tree branches

These family birds
live their lives
Step by careful step.
photo by Bev Benson

Pumpkin Moon

by Cheryl Merrick

Pumpkin moon
glowing orange
slowly raises its head
to peer through
tree branches
and grin upon a 
Halloween night

Monday, October 20, 2014

Balancing Act

by Cheryl Merrick

Trying to balance
People and Things,
Relating and Pondering,

Anchored

by Cheryl Merrick


The anchor of my soul sinks deep,
     secured in quiet moments
where the clanging of demands
     stills slowly to silence.

Centered

by Cheryl Merrick

Listening to the Lord’s voice;

The blare of impatient buzzers,
throbbing music, rushing traffic, 
and relentless demands,
quiet to a soft mummer;

Flickering computer screens, big screen images,
and glitzy advertizing hype;
slowly fade into the distant horizon;

Leaving my soul centered

Peace

by Cheryl Merrick

Feeling His love,
Seeking His wisdom,
Listening to His counsel,
Following His example,

She trusts her life to
His protecting care,
and walks confidently 
into the darkness
Knowing He will guide
her home again. 

Candles

by Cheryl Merrick

A candle shines
the brightest
in the deepest night

Let us fill the world
with light
one candle at a time


This is my response when a person told me that the world was so evil- why try to do good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good Neighbors

 by Cheryl Merrick

We knew that our new neighbors
needed to get to know each other,
But what could we do?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Of Microscopes and Telescopes

by Cheryl Merrick

With unerring
attentiveness,
you fix upon
the earth,
noticing details.

Opposites

by Cheryl Merrick

How can he be so different from me?
Was this really meant to be?
I’ve heard opposites attract
but isn’t this carrying it too far?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Should

by Cheryl Merrick

He “should . . .”,
She “should . . .”

We clumsily navigate through marriage  
entangled in our fantasies
like ribbons gone mad 
tripping our feet and
hindering our progression.

Fantasy Princes

by Cheryl Merrick

Once I dreamed of days
filled with intimate talks 
and tender embraces.
Where my husband’s completely understood me
 and his total focus
was on me and my needs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Clutter

by Cheryl Merrick

There is so much to do today,
or so I tell myself,
as I rush from one thing
to another.

I have no time to stop
and admire the changing light,

Of Hyacinths

by Cheryl Merrick

Like hyacinths,
     my poems
     bloom
     to brighten our day.

Fortunately, 
     I have a husband
     who enjoys
     dining on Hyacinths.  

The Artistic Homemaker

by Cheryl Merrick

Having only what adds to my life
Cleaning as needed:
a little here and there
My house remains the same,
Simple and Clean

With colors, shapes,
and patterns,
music and art,
relationships and order,
 I create a home filled with
Beauty and Peace

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Structured World

by Cheryl Merrick

Tired past tired,
All has been given.
It is time to rest.
The class has begun.

Being Me

by Cheryl Merrick

I really have no choice.
Who else could I be?
I could try to be different,
but why?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Expections

by Cheryl Merrick
(written why I was young)

Their activity is “work”
while mine is merely “play”

They accomplish much,
but I “do nothing” all day

Appreciating Differences

by Cheryl Merrick

Young, still focused
on myself
I naively, yearned for
reassurance of my worth
in sameness
by trying to remake
my husband, mother, children, 
friends and neighbors
in my image

Soaring Free

by Cheryl Merrick

Liberated from time and routine
I embrace the soft silence
and borne upon the wings of inspiration
soar into the 
realm of possibilities.

Swan

by Cheryl Merrick

Clumsily pattering around the barnyard,
Never fitting in,
Different, but ever longing for acceptance,
time passes.

Til one glistening spring day
a strong, snow white swan
stretches out its wings,
and rises into the deep blue sky.

Just Being Me

by Cheryl Merrick

With a heart softened and prepared,
I lead by sharing my experiences
and encouraging others.

No longer dependent
on other people to
define who I am,
or give me a chance,
I simply share my talents.

Following the still quiet voice,
opportunities appear.
Finally, I am filled with joy in
Just Being Me.



Carrots & Daisies

by Cheryl Merrick


Desiring peace and beauty,
I plant a garden of daisies.

Why then am I surprised
to find no carrots?

Rose in the Vegetable Garden

by Cheryl Merrick

I feel a little strange
     out here among
     the cabbages and squash,
then I remember
     that The Gardener
     who planted them
     also planted me.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blame

by Cheryl Merrick

He was selfish,
all the women agreed.
Look at the poor woman,
her home in disrepair,
her clothes worn.
Yes, all agreed
his ways must change,
all but one.

Appreciation

by Cheryl Merrick


Wishing for someone like ourselves,
but needing a complement 
to bring us wholeness,
we narrowly squint at our mate,
enumerating his “faults”.

Allowing More

by Cheryl Merrick

He drops me off at doors,
so I can walk in stores.
He pushes my wheelchair uphill, 
so I can admire art.
He does the shopping the runs the errands,
so I can rest.
He does the finances, 
so I don’t stress.

Aging Together

by Cheryl Merrick

A touch of arthritis, skin cancer, 
thinning hair and fatigue
Adrenal glands that can no longer
control blood pressure, blood sugar,
temperature, and metabolism
Medication and patience
Working through problems
Encouraging and Comforting
Laughing and sharing
We are
Aging Together

A New Love

 by Cheryl Merrick


It is too soon to even speak of marriage
with a love so new,
but the love is there.
Unaware of the intensity of their feelings, 
they believe these is nothing to show.
But I have seen their love
in the tender sparkle of his eyes
and the glow on my daughter’s face.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fatherhood

by Cheryl Merrick

It begins when he first holds
his tiny child in his arms.
No one has ever had such a need
for his protection.

As he teaches and cares for
his little son or daughter,
they both grow.

And slowly, through days of
bike rides, wrestling matches,
working together,

Different Ways to Say I Love You

by Cheryl Merrick

Mom, a creator of beauty, sewed me a closet of dresses
Dad, an active person,took us on hikes

Mom made birthday cakes--doll in the middle, and cake her dress
Dad lead the party games–skunk tag and statues

Mom kept our home clean and orderly
Dad taught us to “scrub down” before eating

Mom cooked good healthy meals
Dad played the ukelele and drums and sang to us

Dangerous People

by Cheryl Merrick

Like a person drowning,
those who don’t feel loved
desperately grab
at whoever is near.

Children's Gardens

by Cheryl Merrick
(outing with grandchildren)

Smiles and wonder
Shoots of water
Going through a cave
Sailing boats downstream
Climbing on the playground
Making music and dancing

Births

by Cheryl Merrick
(the birth of our first grandchild)

Tears brimming,
     I listen to the suffering in my son’s voice
    as he quietly whispers of his wife’s long hours of pain,
    and the fear for their baby’s life.
I long to remove this experience.
If only I could endure it for them.
I envision my son alone, lost without his wife or child.
The moment of fear washes over, then passes,
     leaving a calm assurance that whatever happens,
     all will be well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Storing Sunshine

by Cheryl Merrick

Feeling the soft warm breeze
on my face,
My eyes absorb the sunlight sparkling
in the clear early autumn sky.

I savor these moments

storing the sunshine
in memory jars
to be taken out later
to warm the cold winter days.

Indian Summer

  by Cheryl Merrick

Short sleeved days and flannel nights,
Light glowing through leaves yellow and red,
Nuts softly thudding to the ground,
Mountains rusting,
Lingering days of warmth,
Crisp and bold,
Indian Summer

Fall is Coming

by Cheryl Merrick


Cool sweater mornings
Squash yellowing beneath wilting vines
Birds feasting on orange berries
Leaves tinging red
Rainy afternoons whispering
Fall is coming

Fall Blows In

by Cheryl Merrick

A cool, crisp wind
blows across brown fields
ruffling the thick winter coats
of cattle and horses,
and causing showers of bright yellow leaves.

Autumn

by Cheryl Merrick

Bright yellow leaves
against a sharp blue sky,
Leaves crunching under feet,
Reds, yellows, and golds
glowing in a soft misty world,
Crisp days and frosty nights,
Smells of grapes and pumpkins,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Passing the Test

by Cheryl Merrick

Can you pass the test?
Can you respond with love 
when you are treated unjustly?
Can you still thank the Lord 
when what you have long hoped for is denied?
Can you feel God’s love even 
when He is allowing you to suffer and die?
Can you be an example of faith 
when all your hopes crumble away?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trust

by Cheryl Merrick

Feeling that I am loved,
and knowing that He only
allows trials so I might grow
and return home
to live joyfully
for all eternity,
I put my trust in Him.

Sorrow

by Cheryl Merrick

The first disbelief and incomprehension,
     then the stunned shock
are washed away
     in a torrent of tears,
as reality settles heavily on the heart
     with a pain that wrenches the soul,
leaving an emptiness
    that will not be filled.

But we are not left without light,

Roads

by Cheryl Merrick

At the beginning,
when my health began to fail,
I turned young eyes toward
a bright future.
My eyes, now tired,
peer back down a long forty year road of illness.
If I could have chosen,
knowing well the road’s difficulties–
the pain, frustrations, and loneliness,
Would I still have chosen it?

Restriction or Opportunity?

by Cheryl Merrick
(dealing with my many restrictions due to having Addison's disease)

Yes, I must not do many things,
but are they things I really want to do?
Would I give up all the fresh flavors of fruits and vegies
for sugary, greasy, chemically laden foods?
Could I actually feel safe eating food that even bugs won’t eat?
Would I trade the soft, casual comfort of my cotton clothes
for the hot, scratchiness of synthetic fibers?
Don’t I enjoy the cleanliness and order of my simple home?

Opportunity or Tragedy?

by Cheryl Merrick

The baby,
damaged in body and mind,
needs his parents
to unite in faith
and devote their lives
to caring for him.

A woman lies ill,

restricted in body,
she spends her time
counseling and teaching.

New

by Cheryl Merrick
(I wrote this three years ago after finding out that I was allergic to all plastics and needed to remove them from my home. I have Addison's disease and my health had reached a point where I could barely think, see, move, eat, or sleep. We knew I was dying, but no one had any ideas of anything we could even try to help me. )

So much has been stripped away
     decorations, furniture,
   old patterns of behavior,
   lots of clutter
   and lots of plastic
Some leaving small holes in my heart
    as a cherished memento is discarded,
    but also it is as if a weight is being lifted off of me
    as my life is becoming simpler

Knowing

by Cheryl Merrick

Do I really want to know the future?
Would I have had the courage to marry
if I had known the challengers that were ahead of me
with my health, marriage, and children?
Would I have enjoyed our family moments together
if I had known of the estrangement which lie in the future.
Would I have despaired when I learned
that I would not be able to go in places?

I Could Still

by Cheryl Merrick

If I were blind
I could still think,  plan, and learn.
I could listen to scriptures, Church manuals and magazines, videos, stories, and shows.
I would go for walks, ride a tandem bike, dance
and ride in my wheelchair.
I cold enjoy the sounds and feel of nature.

Hanging On

by Cheryl Merrick

The kitten clings desperately
     to the ledge.
In fear it cries,
Not realizing
loving hands
wait to cradle it.

Grateful for the Rain

by Cheryl Merrick


Chasing rainbows of perfection,
I become consumed with worry for my family.
Struggling with fears of losing my sight, illness, and aging,
I feel fear, cold and hard,
encase my heart.
Desperately I grasp hold of the counsel of a prophet
to develop an “attitude of gratitude”–
to be grateful for the rain not just the rainbows.

Courage for the Day

by Cheryl Merrick

Praying for the faith and courage
to meet another day
of moments of dizziness and nauseousness,
of chest pains and tears,
of cramping muscles and headaches,
and constant health monitoring.

Carried

by Cheryl Merrick

When my strength
     Has failed,
When my courage
     Has faded,

When all I have

     Is spent,
There comes
     a quiet peace.

A time when I feel

     His love surround me,
And know I am carried
     By His strength.

Burdens

by Cheryl Merrick

“How can I endure more,” she sobs.
“Haven’t I been tried enough?!”
“How can I get through another day?”
Days of poor health, aging, grown children’s problems,
     an invalid mother’s care, and earning a living
     stretch endlessly before her.

Building

by Cheryl Merrick

Looking back,
we count our trials,
admitting,
cemented by faith and love,
they have built
our relationship.

Looking forward,

we see our children,

Blessings in Disguise

by Cheryl Merrick

If I’d had good health
would I have changed?
Would I still be anxiously attempting
to meet everyone’s every need and want?
Would I have ever learned to lead,
instead of just reacting to people?
Would I have learned to set limits
and ask for help?

Answers

by Cheryl Merrick

I asked for help
     in coping with my illness
     that my life might be more fulfilling.

In faith

     I followed the prompting
     to cut out most of my activities.

Adversity

By Cheryl Anne Merrick

Even the thought of meeting you was enough
to send my young heart racing in fear.
Soon though, we did meet.
I tried to race past you,
but you wanted us to spend time together.
I saw you as an enemy determined
to hinder all my hopes and goals.
I sought to gain your favor by bargaining
if you would just leave me alone,
I would devote my life to good deeds.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another Child

by Cheryl Anne Merrick

Dreamily the young bride
eagerly looks forward
to having their first baby.

Her thoughts filled with pink booties,
and scented with baby lotion,
she eagerly anticipates 
months filled with
cheerfully decorating the baby’s room
and preparing for their
little bundle of joy.

First Child

by Cheryl Merrick

Arrival

Excited and nervous
     we await your arrival.
Will we be good parents?
How do you take care of a baby?
I’ve never even held one before.
We attend classes.
I make maternity and baby clothes.
Your father sands and paints the crib yellow.
Small clothes are washed and diapers are ready,
     but are we ready?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mantle of Motherhood

by Cheryl Merrick


It begins with nausea and tiredness
  which turn into smiles as small kicks assure 
  of a healthy baby growing within.
Having passed through the birth ordeal,
you feel a new depth of joy as you
hold your child tenderly in your arms

Midst of Mothering

by Cheryl Merrick


Ever busy

Days crowded with spilt milk and lost shoes,
baseball games and dance lessons.
Evenings spent helping with homework at the kitchen table
and enjoying seeing your child in a school program.
Someone always needing your help--
Ever counseling, guiding, and teaching.

Mothering

by Cheryl Merrick


Knowing that mothering
is more than just giving birth,
but an expression of the heart,
She reaches out
to teach youth at school
and in the Church
to invite neighborhood children
to share her cookie jar and talk,
to guide young student teachers,
and to nurture her sister’s children
during the summers;
Til one day she is called to the General Young Women’s Presidency,
and proudly declares,
“My daughters!”





My memories of Sister Ardeth Kapp who was never able to bear or adopt children of her own. She was my student teaching supervisor in 1971 in Bountiful Utah. Later she became the 9th General President of the Young Women organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Always a Mother

by Cheryl Merrick


They’re on their own.
You cheer them on as they manage their own lives-
getting an education, choosing a mate, 
making a living, and raising a family.
You share in their triumphs and sorrows.