Grand Pockets’s Blog

Genealogy, Family, Poetry and Peeves

The Angelus


The Angelus

after the rain,
I returned home
to this valley,
where the rivers race
with the wildfowl flying south
and  words in the sateen night
cry of home and haven…

after the rain,
I remained in peace
as silence from the heart
overwhelmed me.
Fallow are the fields
where tall corn flourished.

Death stroked like a clock
rousing light from the long night:

My Brother, my brother,
where have you gone?

Hesse is rewritten.
Narcissus falls to AIDS
and Goldmund lives on.

after the rain
this blue shimmer raises
within the patchwork
of this quilt,
I cuddle your warm memory
named in the block
sewn on my heart.

after the rain,
an infant sun breaks rays
with the noon angelus,
a huckstered rooster crows
and corn greens
summer’s fields again.


February 8, 2009 Posted by | love poems, Poetry & Art | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suicide in an Alien Night

It is discomfiting to experience a suicide taking place just outside your door, as happened to me in my home some years ago, when I’d just moved to the southend in Saint Joseph on Colorado Street, and a man pulled up at the curb, disconsolate over who knows what and put a gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. A total stranger yet the effect his last act had on me was lasting and profound. I can only imagine the pain his family felt and their anguish.

A Suicide One Alien Night

Sentry hours when a car passing draws you to the window,
squinting in the blackhole that is the rest-of-them universe,
disturbed that someone parks under your elm.

Alien nights are not for interrogatories,
astronomers just observe anomalies intently with
some calculation, this becomes a simple decision. Watch.

Hemingway sat in Ketchum, disconsolate and afraid. What
a novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” was. It tolled for him,
sitting in Ketchum, alone, like the man in the car outside.

I can write about Hemingway. I know him from his works
and his biographers. You can understand a man from his
books. All I know about the man at my curb that alien night

was how I observed him in the darker-darkness of light
inside looking out and the gunshot that scared slash-strokes
of Van Gogh’s blackbirds from my elm, and the police

using my phone to call his next of kin.
I didn’t know his name, a stranger escaping the”rest-of-them” universe.
He left no books to read, no note to help us understand.

Alien nights
are not for interrogatories,
astronomers just observe
anomalies, hemingways
and dimly seen stars blinking out in the blackwash of night.

©Charles Elledge 2008

January 5, 2009 Posted by | Poetry & Art, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russell Oran Elledge, Senior

Russell Oran Elledge, Sr. was my grandfather, of the Elledge family from French Lick, Indiana.  Collaborating with my dad, Russell Oran Elledge, Jr., I’ve produced a biographical essay with photos and links of historic interest. Grandad died before I could meet him, so discovering more about him was important to me. Hopefully the page I created for the entire Russell Oran Elledge, Sr. biography will at least give my kids and family a chance to know him better as well. I wrote a remembrance poem about his death and last day, when he had grown emaciated and wasted to almost nothing from the lung cancer that was taking him, and my father, strong in his youth,  holding him in his last moments. It is a sad poem on death, reflecting on the circle of life.

We Compost Our Shells, Too

I pick him up in my arms, gently, bones

Such fragile twigs to knit flesh upon,

Sackcloth and bunting his tissue.

Where muscle was is memory

Of days he used to lift me high

And spin me, till dizzy. Now I

Cradle him. Reek of liniments and

Burma Shave, something dank –

Odor of rotted earth from places

We compost our shells. Wasted biceps

wrap around my neck. I return his smile.

Morning’s bath and shave await, sepsis

Clings. His beard has gotten tougher,

Inverse to strength, the razor drags

Across furrowed cheeks, steel suffers

From scritchy strokes. He mumbles.

I lean closer, ear to parched lips:

Thunder on far blue mountains, or

Gravel skeeting on tin rattles same

As a last breath. It is finished.

With hands that he delivered

I complete the circle, return him

To rumpled sheets and iron bed.

Bend, kiss that grizzed brow,

Touch closed the lids on vacant

Vision and call mother. Sins of

The father, finally forgiven.

©Charles Elledge 2008

December 24, 2008 Posted by | family, genealogy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Poem:From Loss to Joy


Dixie Huffman Elledge, my wife, died suddenly of a heart attack on September 26, 2004. The holidays were very hard that first year after her death. It was empty knowing Dixie wasn’t there, our kids grown and gone onto their own lives, and that Russ and Amanda, my son and daughter-in-law, that I’d moved in with when Dixie died, were moving to Omaha after the first of the year. It made the Christmas season empty for the first time in my life…

Merry Christmas My Love

This season of joy

That fills the hearts of everyone else

Leaves me empty,

It threatens to destroy

What sanity I have left –

There are sons and daughters

And grandchildren, too

But none of them removes the pain

I feel when I think of you

Lying beneath the shriveled grass.

I am the one who cries

While the rest of the world laughs,

Merry Christmas,

Merry Christmas, my love.

Dec 24/2004

Christmas was hard that year, but family was close, and as harsh as it sounds sometimes, life goes on. In my heart I knew Dixie didn’t want me languishing in grief, but looking to new challenges and as she used to say – “get on with it”. God has plans for each of us, and I started a new job in January which I threw myself into. It was there I met my present wife and partner and friend of friends, Renee, and my wonderful step-daughter Sadie Marie.


This was actually my first choice for a header for the template Word Press provides, but I decided it was a bit too busy maybe? Anyway, its lil’ Sadie, my baby girl. She likes to chew on grass as much as Grandpockets does. Grandpockets?

Well, I gave all the grandkids nicknames, Kolby became Koal Bucket, and Jaycee is Jay Cheese, Lucy is Loosey-Goosey, Nathan is Naytron, etc. And they started calling me Grandpockets. I do not know why. Because children are as silly as me? It’s not like I wear britches with overly large pockets and grand designs on being a walking closet or anything, but the name has stuck with me and now its as second nature as Chuck or Charles. Go ahead. Call me Grandpockets and I’ll answer. I like it better than Wrinkly, or Bald Top, or Stuffy-Old-Guy to name just a few they could have come up with.

So, if I have a message in this dash from sadness and grief to rebirth and joy, friends, it’s just this –

Hold your family close,

Tell em you love em


Tomorrow you might not have the chance.


December 21, 2008 Posted by | family, Poetry & Art | , , , | Leave a comment