Monday, November 16, 2015

Dust

by Cheryl Merrick

Like dust drifting down
Slowly obliterating precious petroglyphs,
My life was slowly being suffocated by
Sad memories, and the anger of frustration
 and unfulfilled expectations.
Seeking help. I prayed.
The wind of forgiveness came,
and I let the dust go.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Beyond My Strength

by Cheryl Merrick


Like David of old,
I diligently study, and practice my skills.
When the moment comes 
for me to face my own giants,
I stand fast in the knowledge 
that though it is beyond my strength,
it is not beyond His.

Specters

by Cheryl Merrick

Alone in my dusky room,
beaten down by the whisperings
of specters from the past,
I sink lower and lower into the cushions of my chair.
"You made the wrong decision."
"You did the wrong thing."
"You are incompetent."
"You are a selfish, bad person."

Like a blanket guilt, shame, and depression

begin to smother me,

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wisdom

by Cheryl Merrick

I see in the eyes of some
they think me wise,
 as if some noble gift was bestowed upon me,
a symbolic crown of my advancing years.

How can I explain the discomfort I feel?
I know all this “wisdom” is merely
the accumulation of learning 
from my mistakes -
mistakes for which I paid dearly.

Yes, I share my experiences
in the hopes that they will be the ones
to be wise-
far wiser than I have been.

Time To

by Cheryl Merrick


It  is time to write each day 
Time to study the Gospel
And have moments to think and meditate

It is time to be with my husband
Time to visit with family and friends
And send emails and cards
Time to keep my home clean, beautiful, and orderly
And time to help with the business

Tempered Hearts

by Cheryl Merrick

With hearts softened
through long lonely nights
of caring for sick babies,
of drying toddlers tears,
and of struggling to teach children
to live the Gospel,
then anxiously watching
them as teens 
choose their own paths,
The heart slowly 
becomes tempered,
creating within
a greater capacity
 for love.

Perfect Love

by Cheryl Merrick


As I seek opportunities to uplift others,
my heart soars,
my hurts are healed,
and my fears of aging disappear.
Finally, I come to know that truly
 “perfect love casteth out fear”




Passing the Torch

by Cheryl Merrick

Your dad hired our son,
patiently training
him to survey.

With experience,
his small flame grew strong.

Now to your children
we offer first jobs,
giving them opportunities to grow beyond
their family hearth,
experiencing new responsibilities
 and relationships.

Officially Old

by Cheryl Merrick

You know you are officially old
when you start receiving advertisements 
for hearing aids, medicare, motorized wheelchairs, 
and retirement planning
when you take a handful of pills each day
when you become stiff and achy 
after sitting for a little while
when you can no longer find your waist
and your pants have “shrunk”
when you keep losing your other glasses,
or tilting your head to look through bifocals
when it is hard to hear clearly over background noise,
or drive at night

New Tack

by Cheryl Merrick

The days of steadying
a new young couple
are coming to a close.

My time of teaching children
is contained in
a few short hours a week.

The load of child raising responsibilities
are nearly gone
as baby books are recorded and childhood pictures preserved.

New Paths

by Cheryl Merrick

Young, I stepped away from the security
of my family’s small road.
Taking a path yet untried.
I ventured out, full of fear and excitement 
on my path to college.
Meeting the right young man,
we announced the formation of a new road,
And so a small family began 
becoming larger with the addition of each child.
Hurrying to appointments and  programs,
Our family speeds along.
I feel a sense of fulfillment in  constantly being needed,
and thrive on motherhood,
a road which never seems to end.

Mortality

by Cheryl Merrick


It seemed so far away,
so distant as to be unreal.
Yes, I had known grieving
for those no longer here,
But dying was something
only for the very old–
certainly not me!
Stunned, I realize that my grandparents
were my age, my dad, 
and my husband's mother
were only a few years older 
when they passed on.
Persistently my body is telling me
with each ache and pain
that it is becoming tired.
As I stiffen up after sitting a few minutes,
tire quickly, and sleep lightly,
I am reminded to cherish
these fleeting moments
of mortality.

In Between

by Cheryl Merrick

I’m at that in between age.
Though being a teen
is something I’ve not recently seen,
I am in between.

My children have grown,
and nearly all flown.
But married they’re not,
and grandchildren I haven’t got.
So till then, 
I stay in between.

Free

by Cheryl Merrick

The days of struggling to keep my house clean and orderly
are gone,
along with our four children.

The days of vacuuming, shampooing, and polishing
are gone,
along with the carpets, chrome, and a lot of the furniture.

The days of mounting pictures and making scrapbooks
are gone,
our memories instantly stored on the computer.

Holiday baking, shopping, and wrapping
have given way to nuts, gift cards, and sacks.

Content

by Cheryl Merrick

I look at this woman,
   noting the many changes 
   the years have brought.
She has lost her chin,
   but gained several bulges.
Her hair is naturally “frosted”. 
Her face carefully etched 
 with a record of her joys and sorrows.

No longer frustrated 
  by forgetting something,
  but joyful in remembering anything, 
  she passes through her day.
No longer traumatized 
   by a small facial blemish,

Aging to Perfection

by Cheryl Merrick

Line by line,
injury and age,
experience and sorrow,
slowly the false pride of youth
is striped away
leaving, painfully bare, 
the spirit,
now prepared 
to be perfected.

Advantages of Turing 50

by Cheryl Merrick

My hair is naturally “frosted”.
I have a wardrobe that would make
  any expecting 20 year old envious.
My teeth match my cream sweater.
The purple lines add interest to my legs.
You can play connect the dots on the back of my hands
and for higher math practice,
try counting the lines on my face.

Adjustment

by Cheryl Merrick

He is home now.
I have waited so long
     for us to spend time together.
Soon he may be gone,
involved again 
in a big construction project
which excludes me.
I am cherishing these days
spent in planning together.
I feel a part of his life -
included – a partner.

A Woman's Afternoon

by Cheryl Merrick

The frantic, morning pace has ended.
She gazes proudly at the vigorous growth in her children’s gardens,
established and on their own now,
no longer needing her constant attention,
The satisfaction becomes a growing discontent
as she realizes,
the intense dependency is over.
She, the nurturer of gardeners,
finds that waiting only to give advice 
not enough to fill her afternoon.
And so,  time stretches out in barren, emptiness.
A quiet, piercing  voice commands,
“Look to your own garden.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First Snow

by Cheryl Merrick


Gazing out at the cool, gray morning,
I am startled to see snowflakes
drifting down.
Unwilling to give up my autumn strolls
by the river,
I stare at the silent falling snow;
Til mesmerized by the delicate beauty,
My mind fills, flake by flake,

with Christmas memories.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Time for Ending

by Cheryl Merrick

My heart breaks,
longing for close relationships 
that can never be.

Day after day,
I tried to offer them love and support,
but all they could see was manipulation.

A gift freely given was seen as an attempt
to grasp control of their life, 
or as unconditional surrender to their will.

Closing Doors

by Cheryl Merrick

With hope I kept my door open,

trying to comfort, teach, and love
those who were weak and in pain.

With an empathetic heart I listened

and sometimes cried with them.
I longed to help them.

When the years passed

and my health began to fail,
I took a look around my room.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Marthas

by Cheryl Merrick

In a society of Marthas,
where expectations are defined
     by their strengths,
a homemaking standard is set.

Required are exhausting hours
     of cooking, cleaning, and errand running.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Poems

My poems are my journal; a record of my feelings, fears, hopes, dreams, challenges, and joys.

They have been written over many years and some of the concerns I had then do not worry me now. I am always changing. My poems are a record of my journey.

Surprise!

by Cheryl Merrick

Who would have guessed
that such a serious thinker
would have so much fun
managing a home?

Thriving on the challenge
of making all go smoothly,
expressing my creativity,
gratefully enjoying the opportunity
to nurture and study,
a new fulfillment is growing.

Preparing a Feast

by Cheryl Merrick

Like freshly baked bread,
     the book lies open 
     upon the table,
the afternoon spent
     in carefully preparing
     its ideas to share.
A few bits of food 
     are hastily added,
     and the feast is ready.    

Marching

by Cheryl Merrick

Like a call to arms
“It must be done!”
Is shouted from each front door.

Inside each busy, orderly home,
they begin their day
of caring for their superfluous possessions,
and managing their complicated schedules.

Letting Go!

by Cheryl Merrick

I thought my husband wouldn’t want to do it.
I thought it was all my responsibility,
and feared failing in my duty if I didn’t do everything myself.
Pridefully, I thought only I could keep up our home;
that only I knew what needed to be done and how to do it.

Filled with a desire to feel competent, independent, 
in control of my life, and needed,
I despairingly compared my efforts 
with all the cumulative accomplishments of other women.

In between Age

by Cheryl Merrick

I’m at that in between age.
Though being a teen
is something I’ve not recently seen,
I am in between.

My children have grown,
and nearly all flown.
But married they’re not,
and grandchildren I have not.
So till then, 
I stay in between.

How?

by Cheryl Merrick

How can a philosopher possibly be 
a homemaker?

I don’t enjoy endless hours performing small tasks precisely,
preferring instead to spend my time pondering the scriptures.

Neither do I fold sheets, bake cakes, 
or pull unwanted plants out of the ground,
instead I savor time to write my thoughts.

Wanted - Homemaker

by Cheryl Merrick

Salary - none
Hours - every waking hour seven days a week
Position - middle management
Work Environment - home
Retirement - none
Vacations - none; work harder

A Homemaker's Roles

by Cheryl Merrick

Daughter of God
Wife
Mother
Housekeeper
Teacher
Nurse
Cook
Dietitian
Menu Planner
Secretary
Social Coordinator

Homemaker

by Cheryl Merrick

Homemaker
Nurturer of Souls
Body and Spirit

Home

by Cheryl Merrick

Home
     a place for family and friends
     to gather, eat, and share.

Home
     a quiet retreat
     for gathering thoughts.

Home
     a puttering place
     for hobbies and projects.

Home A Refuge

by Cheryl Merrick

Home
A Refuge
of Love 
and Beauty


Hidden Costs

by Cheryl Merrick

Encouraged by glib assurances of
“You can afford it.”
“Your family deserves it” and
“Besides it will increase in value”,
they sign the contract for the luxury home.

As the years pass, the “hidden costs”
begin to appear.

The Path to Happiness

by Cheryl Merrick

From the movie screen and acclaimed authorities
oozes glitzy, golden promises.
They confidently claim
the path to happiness
will be found in acquiring more:

Fulfillment

by Cheryl Merrick

Encouraged by society to
“Seek her fulfillment”,
the mother leaves the 
“Stifling environment of home”
and enters
”the liberating work force.”
Where she is promised
“stimulating adult communication”,
“recognition of her abilities”,
and “money to buy all the things she wants.”

Fortress

by Cheryl Merrick

Founded on correct principles,
    block, by block, by block,
As I study, pray, and ponder,
    it becomes strong,
Becoming a fortress
    that will withstand storms,
a house of faith and learning,
a refuge of order, comfort,
    and peace. 

Eternity

by Cheryl Merrick

Can you comprehend eternity?
It goes on forever and never ends. 
I can, for I’m a homemaker
and eternity is something I can see
in a pile before me.
The Laundry

Emerging

by Cheryl Merrick

Like a butterfly emerging
from its dowdy chrysalis
our home is emerging,
Though essentially the same
it now has a new form
Comfortable and safe
Simple and beautiful

Distracted

by Cheryl Merrick

“Encumbered much”
the woman busily
rushes through
her day.

Her home hectic,
she confuses
mere movement
with purposeful action,

And thus is surely led
far from the eternal course
she was seeking.

7 - 11

by Cheryl Merrick

Could this be me?
All this flab I see.
I ate and ate
and vowed jogging I’d not be found.
That’s why my petite 7
 is now a
sedate eleven.

Let Go

by Cheryl Merrick

If you have faith in me,
let go.
If you trust me,
let go.
If you believe my promises,
let go,
I will exalt you on high,
If you will only - 
Let Go.

Happiness

by Cheryl Merrick

Is in the giving
not the getting
Not in having
but in sharing
In offering help
instead of snatching for yourself
In concern for others
instead of self absorption

Half Empty or Half Full?

by Cheryl Merrick

Do I see the cup as half empty,
     Or half full?
Am I grateful for what I can do,
     Or am I resentful of my limitations?
Do I feel thankful for all the kind things
     My husband does for me,
     Or feel frustrated about what he doesn’t do?

Greater Wisdom

by Cheryl Merrick

I thought to respond
issue by issue 
to her misconceptions

Praying to instead
do His will,
I sent a scripture and 
shared my testimony

Her heart was touched,
and my spirit humbled,
by His
Greater Wisdom

Gaining Understanding

by Cheryl Merrick

How can we truly understand
hot without cold
hard without soft
smooth without bumpy
short without long
sweet without bitter
kindness without rudeness
gentle without rough
health without sickness

Sunday, March 29, 2015

He Lives!

by Cheryl Anne Merrick
I have felt Him beside me,
when in desperate exhaustion,
I could go no further.

I have felt His calming presence
in interminable nights
when fear and loneliness
have gripped my soul.

Easter Thoughts

by Cheryl Merrick
In submission to His Father’s will,
He, who possesses the power to create worlds,
allows nails to be driven into his flesh
that He might save His friends.

Knowing no guilt or sin,
He suffers the consequences
for us all,
Dying that we might live.

Coming to Know Him

by Cheryl Merrick
The depth of His love and sacrifice
I can not comprehend,
but I feel it strengthening my soul.

His determined desire and patience
in helping me experience happiness
is more than I can understand,
but I know it is there.

Peacefully,
I feel my fears and frustrations
dissolving
as my faith
in His loving wisdom
grows. 

Choose

by Cheryl Merrick
Giving or Taking
Sharing or Possessing
Helping or Hurting
People or Things
Others or Self
Righteousness or Selfishness

Growing or Shriveling
Progressing or Regressing

Building Faith

by Cheryl Merrick
As my poor health continues,
I decide that
the Lord must be testing my faith
and trying to teach me
to patiently endure trials.

Instead I am amazed
to find that He is guiding my life
to greater fulfillment and growth.

Trauma and Blessing

by Cheryl Merrick
The message comes,
“She has been run over,
but she seems to be ok. Please pray for her.”
We all anxiously wait as tests
are preformed at the hospital
on our two year old granddaughter.

Summer Family Social

by Cheryl Merrick
Warm day
Grassy park
Shady tables
Soft breeze
Grilled chicken and ribs
Salads and deserts

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rejection

by Cheryl Merrick
Interpreting love
only in the language of hugs and emotional response,
the young man feels rejected
by his father.

Never seeing his father’s many attempts

Pictures of a Marriage

by Cheryl Merrick
Young and beautiful,
     though I didn’t appreciate it then,
I see myself leaning on
     my youthful husband’s shoulder
as, together, 
     we bravely face the unknown.

Smiling I muse,
     the challenges 
     of thirty two years ago
     now seem so simple.

My Debt

by Cheryl Merrick
They left homes and property
Seeking religious freedom
Believing in revelation from God
Puritans, Pilgrims and Quakers
They came to America
Some came on the Mayflower
Later one, a young boy, became an orphan 
when his parents died on the voyage

Leaving - grieving

  by Cheryl Merrick
My world darkens and slows
at your leaving
like when clouds obscure the sun
my source of energy and security
gone

Husband

by Cheryl Merrick
Someone to love, protect,
and provide for me.
Someone to love, to help,
and to make a home for.

Completing each other,
Sharing our talents,

Hearts - miscarriage

by Cheryl Merrick
With joyful hearts they announce
    the future birth of their
    long awaited child.
Eagerly, hopes are shared
    and plans made.
The waiting begins,

Grasshoppers in Our Pantry

by Cheryl Merrick
Wanting to help them
We invited them in--
They were so cold and hungry. 
so we offered them food and warmth.

Though aware of their past 
spent squandering resources,
We assumed their stressful situation
had now kindled a new desire to change 
causing them to value
 frugal living and saving for the future.

My Studio

by Cheryl Merrick
Going into the studio of my mind,
I clear off the unnecessary
making space to think.
With an sensitive spirit
I prepare the canvass
with a base of true principles.
My purpose clear, I begin to work.
With an artist's eye painstakingly
thought shapes, colors,
and lines are added,
Til their relationships emerge.
Framed with a name
it is complete-
a new idea has been created.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Following My Ancestors

by Cheryl Merrick
You left England
searching for religious freedom.
Several sailed on the Mayflower.
Some settled in Puritan Massachusetts,
and others as Quakers in Pennsylvania.
You were one third of the signers of both
the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States.

Beyond the Mark

by Cheryl Merrick
Setting goals for scripture reading-
in chapters instead of in change,
I am so anxious to accomplish
that I forget to allow time for
my spirit to savor the message.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring

by Cheryl Merrick

At this time of
    New lambs and red tulips,
All nature reminds us 
   of the promise
    Of new life.

Late Spring

by Cheryl Merrick

Morning sparkling bright.

New leaves
whole and glistening
adorn once bare branches

creating a new world
softened by color.

It's Spring!

by Cheryl Merrick

Suddenly
all is different.

One day you awake to find
the solid frozenness of winter
melting into the muddy sogginess
of early spring.

Fickle

by Cheryl Merrick

Gazing out my window,
        Seeing the morning sunlight
       Shining through white blossoms and fresh new leaves,
I exclaim , “What could be more beautiful!”
Then one morning, cool, heavily green,
Full of the promise of a summer day,
I sigh, “Nothing could be better than this!”

Early Spring

by Cheryl Merrick

Snow
     Heavy, wet,
     Plopped upon branches.

Robins
damp, blown,
    Stoically clinging to perches.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy New Year

by Cheryl Merrick


Longing to forgive past hurts
Determined to live by correct principles
Anxious to improve relationships– 
with the Lord, family and friends
Eager to learn new things
Resolved to take better care of myself
Excited to write
Engaged in serving others
Striving for balance
I hope for a Happy New Year

1/1/2014

Memorable Day

by Cheryl Merrick

What make the day one to be
anticipated, savored, and remembered?
For me it is when
I can use my abilities
to accomplish something I value.
It is a day when I do not allow
less important things to crowd out
what really matters to me.
It is a day when I keep an eternal perspective,
while still enjoying the moment.
It is a day when I am doing what I know is right
and feel at peace. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Light in a Dark World

by Cheryl Merrick

It is the middle of winter;
a time when the days are often gray
and plants are dormant or dead.
Perhaps this is when we need
light and hope the most.
The glittering holidays are over,
and it is now time to face stark reality.
Now is the time to allow the light He brought
to give us hope in our dark world.