The Empty Shoes Memorial – Remembering 9/11

The 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks is upcoming which will serve, as it does each year since that terrible day, as a reminder of the lives lost and the dedication to make sure those lives are never forgotten. In that spirit of remembrance and honor for the victims of the largest terror attack in American history, the Christian music station in the New York/New Jersey Metro area, Star 99.1, is planning an Empty Shoes Memorial.

The memorial is going to be designed with an empty pair of shoes for each person lost that day in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the planes involved in the attack. The total number of 2,996 pairs of shoes will be collected from the community around the entire NY metro area in the months leading up to the event in September.

The Star 99.1 crew was in Old Bridge, NJ today and will be in Brooklyn this weekend, and in two spots in New Jersey: Union and Jackson, next week. Please check their website at for more information on this unique and compelling idea to honor those who tragically lost their lives on that fateful day in our nation’s history.

The events of 9/11 will be forever etched in my mind and for many of us we have similar sentiments and pain that has still not healed. This event will give our community the opportunity to join together to honor those victims and to celebrate their lives.

I will now share some poetry I wrote about that day:

“Sky Fall”
In the blue sky that fateful morning
It all came crashing down with no warning
Lives ended, innocence trampled, hope lost
Evil pervasive, good extinguished, society tossed –
Upside down, backwards, the towers collapsed
The entire world, everywhere, collectively gasped
Earlier that morning from the sky would fall –
My Dad throwing to me a white baseball
I was supposed to that day get on a flight
My Dad had a feeling something wasn’t right
The night before I had a bad feeling too
Throughout the morning that feeling grew
Though what happened I never anticipated
Instantly so much shock, sadness was created
My Grandpa was on a plane somewhere that day
From the sky it did fall safely landing in Raleigh
So many lives cut short, so many months of fear
Why are they gone and I’m still here?
So much rain like tears from the sky fall
So much has changed, yet nothing changed at all
From the sky will fall rays of the Sun
To show us all our journey has just begun
“Darkness Then Light”
Evil comes in all of its darkness
Hatred for those they’ve never met
An unspeakable act of destruction
Shattering the lives of so many at once
My mind cannot comprehend it
I wake up some days, think it’s –
A nightmare that it never occurred
Then I feel the warmth of the Sun
The light fills up the room
I realize that good will prevail
I rise to take advantage
Of the blessed gift of life
I move forward to honor those lost
I have time they did not receive
I have an obligation to do right
To love and serve all others
To inspire and to live in the light
The light of a blessed new day

“America No More”
You know what scares me?
It’s if America ceased to be
If I lost all of my freedom
If I lost all of my liberty
Someone told me when I could go and come
That is what truly scares me
If I couldn’t say what I feel
If I couldn’t offer God praise
If I was stripped of the American ideal
I would exist as if in a haze
If someone told me what I had to write
If I was told what I had to believe
I would rather just lose my sight
The loss of beloved America is more than I can conceive

Thank you for supporting this event and May God bless you!

(All poetry copyright protected by Frank J. Maduri – No copying or redistribution without express written consent of the author.)

“Renewal” – Selection of Poetry by Frank J. Maduri

The arrival of spring and April being National Poetry Month became the impetus for this selection of poetry and lyrics that I chose to share with you on my blog. However, April is a busy month for me and I got sidetracked while trying to finish this collection. So I present it to you today.

I think of spring and I think of renewal and that brought about the idea for the poem at the center of this short selection. I hope you enjoy this collection of my poetry and that it is inspiring to you as we enter spring and as each of us seeks renewal.

The selection starts with a poem called “Spinning Wheel” which reminds me that life can become very difficult and we can all get lost and mired in the muck. We need the hope that comes from renewal, from a second chance, from a new day. The selection continues with poems about hope and solace during the frenetic pace of daily life. I hope you all enjoy this work and these words for I am proud to share them with you.

“Spinning Wheel”

My mind is torrid, on a frenetic pace
My body feels like it’s mounted on a wheel.
I have to summon up the courage to face –
It all, but oh, how awful I feel.
Spinning, feeling like I’ve lost the center –
Of gravity and it can all just tumble down;
I have to relax and let calm enter.
These feelings I have to drown.
Though it stems from places out of my control;
The source is hard to quantify.
It’s buried deep inside my heart and soul;
I can’t wait ‘til this feeling passes me by.
I feel it in my head down to my toes;
I don’t know whether to sit or stand.
It slows down and then suddenly it grows;
Spinning frantically wish I could use my hand –
And swat it away like a pesky fly.
It’s gone on for hours, been here for days;
I can’t concentrate although I try.
I have to come up with some new ways –
To cope with this cumbersome distraction
Before it consumes what’s left of me.
Have to devise a whole different reaction;
So from this spinning wheel I’ll be set free.

“Grace Abides”

I look back now and can see
All the ways Your grace saved me
I retrace my steps to find
That Your grace is gentle and kind
Through all of my worry and fear
Your grace abides to hold me near
I’ve been lost and in despair
And Your grace has always been there
To lift me out of the darkness
To show me there’s more with less
You took everything away
I couldn’t live for one day –
Without Your grace in my heart
I never want to be apart
In the silence I hear Your Voice
Through free will I’m given a choice
I choose You, Lord, choose Your side
So that, through me, Your grace can abide
A light for those living in isolation
A hope for those burdened by sin
Let me be Your hands and feet
So, through me, Your grace can complete
And change others so they come to know –
And Your grace abides in their hearts to grow.

“Evening Swim”

A day’s worth of work is done
Today’s battles are both lost and won
As the evening draws the sunlight dim
I head to the gym for a good swim
The water is lukewarm, neither hot or cold
The smell of chemicals, so very bold
I begin my laps slowly at first –
And then gradually my stroke adds burst
Until my arms and legs are in unison
And I lose count of the laps again
The evening sun rays fade in the background
As the time moves along and gray clouds surround –
To drown out the light like a dying candle.
As I keep swimming, my lungs full –
With air, precious air, God has given;
So that I can accomplish His mission.
I think of all the people I met that day;
And how our lives crossed in a special way.
I promise God that I’ll do the same –
Tomorrow, if I’m that lucky to make that claim.
I swim faster and push hard off the wall
Blessed to have this life, to respond to His call.
I’ll exit the pool feeling rejuvenated and free
Ready for wherever God will next send me.


Spring showers feed the ground
So the beauty of nature can abound
The wind blows gently in the trees
The hopeful noise from birds, crickets, bees –
Joined by longer days of warm sunlight
Gazing up at the stars on a mild, clear night
The renewal of Earth, renewal of the soul
Seems to rectify the loss of control –
Which can be daunting during winter’s wrath
Spring brings with it a clear path
So we can see things in ways brand new
The renewal of hope, the renewal of promise
Days filled with progress, days filled with bliss
The butterflies glide gracefully in a field
Feeling all of your tension begin to yield
The trees and flowers bloom and grow
Summer will arrive before we know
The renewal of joy, renewal of long days
The renewal of life in so many ways
The renewal of promises coming true
The renewal of both me and you

I have shared some of my song lyrics in the past here on “Frank’s Forum” and the lyrics and verse from this particular piece I wrote, which is copyright protected by the U.S. Copyright Office, really resonated with me as I was putting together ideas for this selection of poetry. I share it with you in the hope that it inspires you:

“Celebrate Your Sacrifice”

We celebrate Your sacrifice Lord God Almighty
You came to save us all from sin and evil
You cured the sick, walked on the Sea of Galilee
For our salvation Your Precious Blood did spill

Lord You are the spotless Lamb
Lord You are the sinless victim
Lord You are the Father’s perfect plan
Let all nations bow and give You praise

You lift us up when we have fallen
You guide us to the path that’s true
Your compassion forgives us again and again
Your Death and Rising made all things new

We celebrate Your sacrifice, Our God and King
We praise Your Holy Name across the land
Oh Lord Jesus You created every living thing
Your love for us is too great to understand

Jesus You called us all to love one another
Jesus You taught us to serve the poor and ill
Jesus You are meek and humble of heart
Jesus You gave us each a mission to fulfill

We celebrate Your sacrifice, Our God and King
We praise Your Holy Name across the land
Oh Lord Jesus You created every living thing
Your love for us is too great to understand

You spread Your Good News through twelve men
They preached it to the world and died for it
You said You will return one day again
Until then You gave us The Holy Spirit

Be our compass and guide when we’re weak
Lord help us to remain strong in the rising tide
It is Your love and forgiveness we seek
Lord, in You, all our hopes we will confide

We celebrate Your sacrifice, Our God and King
We praise Your Holy Name across the land
Oh Lord Jesus You created every living thing
Your love for us is too great to understand

You called all Christians to protect the world
You called all Christians to protect all people
Give us the courage Lord to heed the call
Give us the strength Lord to overcome our fear

Give us a sign of hope Oh Lord
Like when You were Transfigured on the Mountain
Let us not all perish by the sword
Help us to overcome the snares of sin

We celebrate Your sacrifice, Our God and King
We praise Your Holy Name across the land
Oh Lord Jesus You created every living thing
Your love for us is too great to understand

U.S. Copyright Protected – Frank J. Maduri – All rights reserved no duplication without consent.


The frenetic pace, sirens, the lights
Chimes from cell phones, pungent smells, the sights
My senses are pushed to total overload
My emotions are moving quickly to panic mode
I get plowed into by some guy on an iPhone
I have to listen to others whine and groan
The crowds of people packing the street
Made the anxiety I felt totally complete
I needed to escape this chaotic nest
So my wife took me to Central Park West
The sunlight reflected gently on the pond
I felt each of my senses quickly respond
With a calming peace, a wash of tranquility –
Came over and surrounded all that I could see
From the birds in the air, the ducks in the water
The chaos I felt earlier was now a total blur
The air was still and the sky a clear blue
I could finish this day feeling totally new
The laughter of children filled the afternoon air
Then it was silent, as if nobody else was there –
Except my thoughts and my lovely wife
A feeling of solace I’ll remember all of my life

“Bread of Life”

You made for us the ultimate sacrifice
Nothing I’ll do could ever suffice
Nailed to a Cross tortured and denigrated
You rose on the third day, we celebrated
What some thought was Your ultimate defeat
You reign forever on Heaven’s Mercy Seat
Your Death gives us life again anew
Lord Jesus, how can we ever repay You
Bread of Life, You restore our soul
Bread of Life, sin and death have no control –
Over us, because of Your profound love
I know You watch us from Heaven above
Your Precious Blood washes the Earth clean
You understand when we are angry, sad, or mean
You left us Your Mother, as Mother to us all
You forgive us when we stumble and fall
You know our every flaw, every goal, every list
You are there with us always in the Eucharist
Bread of Life, our hope and our strength
Bread of Life, Your love has no bounds or length –
It is infinite, majestic, awesome, and kind
Lord Jesus, Your love really blows my mind
In my darkest hours please hear my prayer:
Bread of Life, please shelter me
Bread of Life, please set me free

(Frank J. Maduri is a freelance writer and journalist with numerous publishing credits across a variety of websites and news organizations. His news articles have been published and distributed in over 40 countries and territories around the world. His creative work has received critical acclaim from award winning poets and writers. Frank believes in using the gift of writing to raise awareness, lift people with hope, shine a light on social injustice, and impact spirituality to bring people closer to God.)

2016 – Copyright – All rights reserved – Frank J. Maduri – All poems and song lyrics are the intellectual property of the author. No copying, altering, or redistribution of this content without express written consent of the author.

2015 Year In Review

This year was certainly a very busy one for me both personally and within the writing profession. I embarked on some new forays into different types of writing, took on some interesting projects, and met some fascinating new people along the way.


In the days following Christmas, I started to look back on all of the content I produced, not only for Frank’s Forum but for other entities, and I compiled a look back at 2015. The best manner to do this type of piece is to share the links to the work and some of the back story behind it. The overall theme being that the support and encouragement I get from the readers is the true indication of what I have truly achieved in my writing work. I am grateful and blessed to have your support.


The amazing aspect of writing is that no matter how long you have undertaken it; there is always something new around the corner, so to speak, it is constantly evolving. It is true that after some quantity of years each writer “finds their voice” which is certainly true in my case.


However, I found that challenging myself to take on new projects or new types of writing (song lyrics was the challenge in 2015) it helped in my overall growth as a writer and changed my perspective in approaching older projects that had been tabled for a while. The saying “everything old is new again” comes to mind in this regard.


I am proud to share my writing with you, the audience, and I have been surprised and overwhelmed by the way that my work has resonated with you. I am pleased to share this year in review with you and appreciate the generosity of your time in reading the words that I have produced.

The beginning of 2015 in January began with the culmination of a large project I was working on revolving around a series of articles I researched and wrote about an auto-immune disease known as Scleroderma. The articles were all really well received and were picked up by various medical type internet based news sources. The link below is to the series for the Medium website which gained pretty widespread exposure for this important and to some extent obscure disease:


I have also included below the link to Part 2 of the series for Medium which is the conclusion to that series of articles. I am currently in the research phase for another article on Scleroderma which focuses on some new treatments for this disease:


Most of you know that a portion of my writing involves sports writing, and as a staff writer for SB Nation covering the New York Red Bulls, an article that I wrote in January 2015 was very well received. It involved the sudden firing of Head Coach Mike Petke and summed up the emotions from the perspective of the fan base:


In a link back to this site, I wrote a follow up story to an article series I had done previously on a very important topic: homelessness in the American military veteran population. The initial series garnered some significant readers and the follow up report was something I felt I had to include here:

February brought the idea for an article in another area where I have gained publishing credits over time, Catholic media, with an article on Candlemass Day:


A big local story that hit close to home for me was the campaign to save Mater Dei Prep, the high school attached to my parish. The article I did for the local Patch site really resonated with readers, and in the end, the school was saved from closure through the generosity of donations as well as a concerted fundraising campaign:


The winter of 2015 was one of the coldest in history and that served as an inspiration for a work of poetry I published in March called “Winter Sky”. Many of you who have followed my work over the years know that my poetry is where I produce some of the most uninhibited content to evoke emotions in my readers. If you are new to reading my work I hope you will take the time to read my poetry:–Winter-Sky–by-Frank-J.-Maduri#share


In April, along with the arrival of Spring, I delved into a new area of writing: song lyrics. I had been told for years by people closest to me that read my poetry that it could very easily be translated into lyrics. One of the most incredible moments in my writing career was opening the envelope in the mail from the U.S. Copyright Office with all of the certificates to copyright my published song lyrics. I have included the link to them below:


This next work of poetry was shared by readers on Facebook for a total of 1,300 times which I was very grateful and humbled by:


The month of May brought a special report on the food industry, where I concentrate a specific focus on based on my prior industry experience. This article came about in response to a growing trend I picked up on which the food companies were making ingredient changes to appeal to the natural foods trend. This piece ventures into that topic and the debate over whether it is all just a savvy marketing technique:


The summer brought me into other projects which did not involve news writing or creative writing being published. However in the late part of July I did publish this piece for which I recently received the honor of having one of the top blogs covering the NJ Devils hockey team. This article though was on the NBA and it combined my understanding of sports, marketing, sports finance, and politics. It gained an enthusiastic response to which I am grateful:–the-nba–milwaukee—-the-new-bucks-arena.html


A poem I wrote a while before I published it became the highlight of my work in August. It was originally written while I was covering a news story on the drought in California:


I have held a position with UPI (United Press International) for a few years now where I produce commentary pieces for them in certain topic areas. I have been blessed and fortunate to have several of those articles become published internationally through their platforms. I wrote a piece which did very well in October on the merger of two huge brewing companies and explained the implications on a larger scale for consumers:


The environment and environmental stewardship is a large component of my writing for this site and for others. I will share with you a piece I did on an environmental issue that was alarming to many readers:


In addition I have written many articles on business and finance in the past. This article in particular was the topic of some very kind and positive feedback from a small business group and was even read by my sales rep from my website hosting company who called me to tell me he was really impressed by my knowledge of this topic which was very gracious of him:


I had a crossroads in my life this summer and this blog post was the result of a confluence of those factors and reflections on recent years including Hurricane Sandy which I did a substantial amount of reporting on in recent years:


I leave you all in this year in review with an article that was one of the most read pieces I had the blessing and honor to produce this year for – it was shared close to 2,500 times on Facebook and received over 3,000 link shares across all social media platforms overall in the metrics I keep. I hope it will provide you inspiration and hope for the year ahead in 2016:


Thank you all for your continued support of my writing work. I am blessed and appreciate all of your encouragement. Happy New Year and May God bless you all in the year ahead!



Poetry by Frank J. Maduri: “Drought Conditions”

I wrote this poem over a year ago while working on a news story on the California drought. In searching through my older poetry for something else I thought I would share it and it, sadly, is still very relevant today. The West is still in a drought and society is still grappling with these same issues.


“Drought Conditions”


I’m working a news story about California

They and the West are without water

Another ominous sign of climate change

The drought is so severe, the stats staggering

The West has lost 63 trillion gallons –

In a 3 year period and whole cities

Are restricting water and fining violators

But Nestle is still allowed to bottle water –

From California springs and sell it for profit

Across state lines, while others have no water

Nevada has no water and no full time jobs

A drought of two critically necessary commodities

People are stuck literally without water or money

Arizona & New Mexico have no water either

And have immigrants flooding their borders

The notion we should reject these suffering –

Often ill and poor souls shows a drought of another kind:

It’s a drought of our societal morality


They want to end the words “under God”

From our time honored Pledge of Allegiance

A drought on our national root values

Companies are moving out of America

To avoid paying their corporate taxes

A drought of their patriotic responsibility

The news media wants to drive fear

Fear of everyone and everything different –

Than you are. A drought of hope


Society shifting into secularism

Promoting individualism and relativism

A drought on our consciousness

A drought on our communal harmony

A society of “me” and not “we”

What about “We the people”?

There’s no mention of “I” by the Founders

A drought of our civilization

Aimed at keeping us focused away-

Away from the real problems


A drought in Africa causing famine

Children dying in fields by the dozen

I.S.I.S. roaming and prowling

Killing innocent people indiscriminately

A drought of any basic human dignity

A drought of any respect for human life

These problems, all of them could be addressed

If we all banded together in harmony

If we ignored society and turned to God

For He is the Living Water

That will heal this parched Earth



Copyright – 2015 – Frank J. Maduri – All rights reserved. No copying, duplication, reproduction, or use of this content is permitted without the express written permission of the author.



Song Lyrics By Frank J. Maduri

In the past here at Frank’s Forum I have shared selections of my poetry which is, for the most part, lyrical in nature. Many people I know and trust have been suggesting for years that I take this poetic talent and write lyrics for songs. I have no musical ability myself but I did some research and it turns out the lyrical poetry is very similar in nature and process to writing lyrics for a song.


In early March I began to write lyrics and I have a growing collection of them which I have pitched to both musicians and music publishers for use in a collaborative project this spring. The process so far has yielded three song lyrics which have been copyrighted through the U.S. Copyright Office.


I am going to share those lyrics with you all today again with the disclaimer that this material is copyright protected through the U.S. government and will be in the process of being recorded in the near future.


There is no copying or redistribution of this material without my express written consent. The penalty for doing so is severe.


I hope you all enjoy the lyrics to these songs and that it will prove to be an inspiration to you with the Easter holiday coming up this Sunday.



“Send Me”

By Frank J. Maduri


Lord when You need a sentinel in Your army

When You cast Your Heavenly eyes down

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me


When You need a disciple to be your hands and feet

And You feel Lord You need someone to hear Your plea

To go forth and spread The Word to sinners, to greet

Here I am Lord, I beg You to send me


To send me to feed Your hungry

For patience Lord to help me see –

Your plans for my life each day

I beg forgiveness Lord for when I went astray


Lord when You need a sentinel in Your army

When You cast Your Heavenly eyes down

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me


When You need someone to visit prisoners in captivity

I ask You Lord to please send me

To send me with courage and the Holy Spirit

So I can give the downtrodden Your Good News

So the One True Way they will choose


Lord when You need one to help the sick and lonely

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me

To send me with Your healing love

To send me with Your compassion from above


Lord when You need a sentinel in Your army

When You cast Your Heavenly eyes down

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me


Lord, when You need someone to aid the poor

To bring them clothes and love they lacked before

To provide them with a sense of dignity

Lord, for all of this, I ask You to send me


Send me Your mercy Lord for my human frailty

Send me Your forgiveness and Your pity

For all the times I have failed in sin

I’m ready to live for You, ready to begin


Lord, when You need a sentinel in Your army

When You cast Your Heavenly eyes down

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me


When You need one to find shelter

For those of Your children who have none

Send me Lord so I can make it occur

And we will give praise to the Glory of Your Son


When You need someone in the world to come

When my time here is done, Lord send me

I hope I am worthy to live with You in Eternity

I will pay any ransom, I will meet any sum


Lord, when You need a sentinel in Your army

When You cast Your Heavenly eyes down

Here I am Lord, I ask You to send me


Alleluia Lord I ask You to send me

I will be Your hands and feet

Alleluia Lord, I ask You to send me

I will be Your trusted disciple

Alleluia Lord I ask You to send me

To build the glory of Your Kingdom

Alleluia Lord I ask You to send me


Copyright – Frank J. Maduri – 2015 all rights reserved





By Frank J. Maduri


We have all been justified

Saints and sinners, the pious and heathen

When Jesus was crucified

We live forever, free of sin


We are justified by His Blood

Shed for us all, rich or poor

We are justified by His Blood

To go forth and sin no more


We all struggle in the dark and grim

We all lose our way, stumble and fall

Our Savior is the Light, turn to Him

His mercy boundless, He will forgive it all


We are justified by His Blood

Shed for us all, rich or poor

We are justified by His Blood

To go forth and sin no more


We are all called to listen to His voice

The noise of society, it’s hard to hear

He loved us so much He gave us the choice

Be still and at peace, His voice will be clear

He has rolled back the stone

He lives beyond mortal skin and bone

Our Savior redeems all of His children

We can return no matter what, no matter when


We are justified by His Blood

Shed for us all, rich or poor

We are justified by His Blood

To go forth and sin no more


When the world looks chaotic and bleak

When it doesn’t look like it’ll turn around

When we feel scared, defeated, or weak

Trust in Jesus, your strength will be found


He suffered for us all in the Passion

He will return to save us once again

Jesus died for us all up on Calvary

So a perfect example of love we can be


We are justified by His Blood

Shed for us all, rich or poor

We are justified by His Blood

To go forth and sin no more


Copyright – Frank J. Maduri – 2015 all rights reserved




“His Grace Will Reign”

By Frank J. Maduri


Our Savior came so that we may know love

He left His throne up in Heaven above

He knows how it feels to be hungry or hurt

He knows how it feels to be lonely in a desert

Our Savior came so that we would learn –

The power of faith and all it can do

He spoke in Parables so we could discern –

To find our steps to the Way that’s True


His grace will reign forever and always

His grace will illuminate all of our days

His grace will reign if we let Him in

His grace will reign, and change us from within


Oh Lord You taught us to love one another

Oh Lord You are the Prince of Peace

Oh Lord You said we’re all sister and brother

Oh Lord Your Mercy provides us a new lease


Your grace was formed in Mother Mary’s womb

Your grace was there at Your Baptism in the Jordan

Your grace allowed Lazarus to rise from the tomb

Your grace conquered all evil, death and sin


Our Savior lives bringing new life

Our Savior lives victorious over strife


His grace will reign forever and always

His grace will illuminate all of our days

His grace will reign if we let Him in

His grace will reign, and change us from within


Lord Jesus You are the Good Shepherd

To You, O Lord, we worship in song

Your love guides us when the lines get blurred

To guide us with love to choose right not wrong


Our Savior came so we could know grace

Our Savior died so we could know love

Our Savior came so we could see God’s face

Our Savior has gone ahead building the Kingdom Above


His grace will reign forever and always

His grace will illuminate all of our days

His grace will reign if we let Him in

His grace will reign, and change us from within


Copyright – Frank J. Maduri – 2015 all rights reserved



I will continue to provide updates on my progress with this exciting project of creating an album of songs which I hope will provide others with inspiration, hope and encouragement. I wish you all a blessed and Happy Easter!


Copyright – Frank J. Maduri – 2015 – All rights reserved. No duplication, distribution, or replication without expressed written consent of the author.


Poetry By Frank J. Maduri

These poems have all been either published previously on different platforms or they have been entered into poetry contests or challenges. I thank you for your interest in my work and I hope you enjoy!


“Dawn Arrives”


Lying awake, unable to sleep

Later today I’m really going to be shot

My racing mind cannot keep –

Focused on one single thought.

I think about dawn, the day ahead

My mind tells me I can do it all, instead –

I know that I’ll have to alter my plan

And accomplish whatever I can.

The house is still, quiet surrounds me

Some days I just run through the motions;

Other days I have very lofty notions.

On these mornings I can clearly see

Dawn arrives, with all new possibilities

Which I’ll do my best to seize.






Praying for peace in our society

Losing hope that will ever come to be

The world’s attention now on Ukraine

The protests there were insane

The brutality of the police was horrifying

Images of innocent people bloody, crying

Standing up for what they feel is right

The government punished them with might

Until the people were triumphant

Into hiding their President was sent

A new government was appointed

A country now so disjointed

Airports in Crimea controlled by Russians

This is where international tension begins

The Russians have 150,000 troops at the border

In Ukraine, there is rampant disorder

Some want the old government restored

In other regions, the old regime is abhorred

President Obama warned Russia not to use force

If they do, it will send us on a perilous course

I don’t know how this all will end

But I pray peace to them God will send



“In The Ether”


Days like these, painful days

Where ideas don’t normally flow

When the pain comes and stays

When I just want it to go

The creative process is stagnant

I am uncomfortable in every position

My mind feels small, ideas scant

I could complain, who would listen?

The creative process has a need

To go off into the ether to work

Once I find that initial idea: the seed

But it’s all very hard when the pain will lurk

How will I combat this, rise above

So I can feel somehow fulfilled

So I can write about life and love

About faith, nature, and tears spilled

I go off, in the ether, that place

And everything is so slow or stuck

It’s hard to create in cramped space

I need some faith and some luck

To make all of this right

To move out of the dark, into the light



“Searching for Reasons”


What am I doing here?

I don’t know where I’m going

Why is the path so unclear?


These changes come without knowing

A future that is undetermined

Each day I’m still growing


I continue to take each bend

Willing to see where it’ll lead

Ready for what life will send


Faith, hope, and love are all that I need

As I move on, searching for reasons

For some clarity here I’ll plead


Moving forward, taking it day by day

Confident I will find the right way



“February Storm”


I awoke to sleet pounding the window;

I watched as it gradually turned to snow.

Then I watched it pile up and blow –

Around the yard and into the street.

The morning storm was there to greet –

All my neighbors who stayed at home;

Working from computers, not far to roam.

The snow is coming down at a fast clip;

It will freeze tonight, temps will dip.

A typical snowy, winter February storm;

I’m so grateful for a home that’s warm.


I think of those with no roof over their head

No food, no heat, no decent bed

The huge gap in income disparity –

Is something I dislike about society.

Somehow it doesn’t seem fair

That some people spend money without a care

While others live in complete despair

Spending money on fancy haircuts, fake tans

While others eat out of garbage cans

I hope those people find shelter today

And that our society finds a better way

A typical snowy, winter February storm

I’m so grateful for a home that’s warm.




Why does it seem so frequently

The important discussions in life

We have to have repeatedly

What is it within our makeup

That makes this fact so universal

What component within the human condition –

Disconnects when it comes to issues –

Which are rather significant in scope

Those matters are discussed repeatedly

While others are mentioned once.

Why can’t that information be retained?

Maybe most of us can’t separate ourselves

To have the right perspective needed,

Or maybe we feel differently-

About the message, we disagree.

We think we are capable;

And fail to comprehend our own failings.

Even when the evidence is clear,

And staring us right in the face.

Even when others tell us repeatedly;

We continue forward with disregard.

And those decisions have consequences

That are then dealt with repeatedly.



“Long Live The Night”


Everything really slows down

In this quiet small town

The crickets and bugs roam the ground

Some nights you can’t hear a sound

The days are sunny and bright

Long live the night

Where peace of mind comes easy

Hit the diner for a burger really greasy

Drive the desolate state highway

Be thankful for another day

Watch the wind in the trees under the street light

Long live the night

Watching the TV all alone

Talking to your girlfriend on the phone

Meeting friends at the ballgame

Enjoy them all the same

Reading a letter in very low light

Long live the night

If you drink to hide the pain

An escape from a world gone insane

You try to hide the fear, the scar

You want to run away far

Go away far from sight

Long live the night

Coming back to the ones you love

Praying to God far above

Reaching out to those in need

Trying to do a good deed

Visit someone who’s dying

Kicking a bad habit, or trying

Losing your husband or wife

Picking up the pieces of your life

Lying in bed trying to pray

Feeling like you have nothing to say

Resting your body, tired of the fight

Long live the night




“Daylight Savings”


The two words I dread

Happen each year: “Spring ahead”

Daylight savings, and I lose

An hour in bed to snooze

The first week goes fast

Trying to make days last

But they only fly

And it’s Friday, I sigh

Daylight savings is so dumb

I’m stressed, need some rum

Fighting with the clock on the dash

Wishing for extra time to stash

It reads 1 PM instead of Two –

Daylight savings time leaves me blue

I try to go early to sleep

Time just seems to leap

And I’m still awake

Daylight savings, and I need a break

It’ll be back again next Spring

I’ll say the same thing

I know we do it in the Fall

But the extra hour doesn’t bother me at all!


“Laid Bare”


Scared at the future unknown

Searching in the dark for light

My true feelings now shown

Trying to make what’s wrong, now right.

In a ball on the floor crying

Laid bare for only God to see

To be a better person, trying

As the world moves on around me

The quiet here is a curse and a blessing.

Laid bare on the floor with tissues

The loneliness can be so distressing;

Next task is to work on these issues.

To face them like I know I can

To face them with bravery

To come up with a master plan

Laid bare all the things unsavory

All the stuff others find strange

To pick it up, mend, and fix

To move, clean up, to change

To get back into the mix;

The mix of living like before

Before the darkness came to destroy

To stop looking at it all as a chore

Laid bare, healing, seeking joy.





Sand is here all around me

Sand as far as I can see

Sand sticks to my toes

I wonder where it goes

Some gets washed into the ocean

Gone until who knows when

Some gets blown away in the wind

So much sand, it is hard to comprehend

Sand from crushed rock

Sand on the side of my block

Sand running through an hour glass

Marking days, weeks that pass

Sand piled off to the side

About to be moved to a truck so wide

To be brought to other jobs to the south

I watch as sand blows in my mouth!

Sand, its origin can be pondered

It was in the desert where Jesus wandered

It was on the island coast

When Columbus made his New World boast

Sand was here in the beginning

Through the struggles, wars, and sinning

Sand will be here in the end

When Jesus will once again descend





“When We Were That Young”


I watch them at the table next to me;

They’re a young couple: 18, 19 no more than that.

I look over at them and all I can see;

Is a table where we once sat

Back when we were that young.

They’re holding hands, in love, so sweet;

Before the pains of life have stung.

Reminds me of the summer nights we’d meet

After we got off from work – we’d drive

We’d walk, talk, kiss under the moonlight

I never felt more carefree and alive

But even now our love’s strong, we don’t fight –

Like other couples we’ve seen or know.

I think of the past, think of things today;

The challenges that this couple has for their love to grow.

We had challenges in a different way;

Back when we were that young.

Thoughts of our college days back in ‘97

Before our incredible marriage had begun

Before our world was changed by 9/11

This young couple has grown in a different age.

We had a time that had some innocence, grace.

They have seen terror, war, constant rage

He touches her, like I still touch your face;

It makes me think back to when we were that young.

When we were that naïve about society;

When about our later years we would dream.

I look at them, and all I see is you and me

It’s a long time ago – though not as long as it may seem.

I love you even more now than when we were that young.





Days go by quickly and I do my best –

To separate myself from the rest.

But I feel I need a new directive;

To make my work hours count, more selective –

With the projects which I choose.

I fear that I have no time to lose.

In the Lord I have put my trust;

In order to stay sane I must –

Trust that He guides my life.

Through all the tumult, chaos, and strife.

He guides my ideas and my mind;

So the path to His goals I’ll find.

Trust to ignore what’s important to society.

Trust that God’s voice is guiding me –

Toward all that is a part of the plan

To make me a better person, a better man

I look to tomorrow and the next day –

As the Lord continues to guide my way.






“Listening to Springsteen”


Born in the U.S.A.” was the first album I got

Tunnel of Love” was a great one also

Listening to Springsteen in a parking lot;

In my college dorm – anywhere I go.

The music is part of me, a soundtrack –

Of my life from back when I was a boy.

Those days you wish you could go back;

Days of confusion, hope, pain, and joy.

Listening to Springsteen wherever I was;

Sitting in my room just reading

Or at a college party getting a buzz.

Sometimes quietly, others, the chorus I was leading

Or listening in the afternoon on a Sunday while cleaning.

Alone in the car, or driving with a date.

Listening to Springsteen all along;

With my sister at a concert on my 30th birthday.

Home just chilling with my beautiful wife.

It is a part of all I do, my song.

A part of me in a special way

Listening to Springsteen throughout my life.



“The Paper”


The paper glows so pure and white

It’s a shame, I think sometimes

For me to use my strength and might

To fill it up with all of these rhymes

The paper is empty and free

Until I scratch on it with my pen

The blank paper filled with opportunity

Until I get done writing and then –

Its purpose and destination is set

The paper now bears marks and scars

That others may or may not get

Some paper sits empty, unused bars

Of unlimited potential in a store

Or pages in the back of an old notebook

They’ll never know what purpose they’re for

They’ll never be given a second look

The pages of inspiration they could provide

The many ideas they could’ve brought

In a home of an inventor they could reside

The countless hours of boredom they could’ve fought

The page, when full, could provide peace

To those who have had none

Could bring to the downtrodden, a new lease

So they choose to see a new day’s Sun

Could inspire others to love, overcome, or heal

The paper, when full, has so much to reveal



“In Park”


The lot is pretty crowded today

But I’m able to find peace anyway

In my car, parked in a tight space

I’m pushing my thoughts to a place

Far away from here, this spot –

In a large shopping center parking lot

I think of those I love, wonder where they are

As the sunlight glistens into my car

I hope that they’re well, that they’re okay

And that they get time like this today

A few minutes to rest and evaluate

After tackling all the stuff on my plate

I think of those struggling mightily

With life and all of its uncertainty

I hope that solutions they will find

As they toil through this daily grind

I think of those with various illness

I pray God helps to alleviate their stress

I think of those living out in the cold street

I pray that kind people they will meet

So they can have a place to live

And focus on the love that they can give –

Back to others in that same position

Here, in park, I hope God will listen


I think of all the support in my life

From my family, friends, and loving wife

I watch as condensation clouds the windshield

I wonder when my pain will finally yield

I can resume life like it was before

And let my pursuit of dreams really soar

Other days I just push myself – no limit

Because my dream is there for me to get it

I think of others with physical disability

That must know the pain of limited capability

In a society that ignores their every need

Because of its pursuit of greed

I pray that they get the help they deserve

So with their talents, they can serve

Help others develop a sense of belonging

Instead of a culture of blame and wronging

I hope that those with wealth

Will come to help others, not just themself

Here, in park, I pray behind the wheel

That kid in a gang will no longer steal

That teenage girl will keep her baby

I know bad things happen, but maybe –

My prayers will matter – it may seem odd

But here, in park, these moments, I feel closer to God.



(Frank J. Maduri is a freelance writer with publishing credits for a variety of web sites. He has written hundreds of poems as well as a novella. His chapbook length collection of poetry will be published in the Spring of 2015. He has served as a judge of a national poetry contest held by a well-respected literary journal. He is currently working on writing lyrics for a collection of songs for submission to music publishers.)


Copyright – 2015 – Frank J. Maduri –All rights reserved. No copying, retransmission, or reuse of this material is allowed without the express written consent of the author.




Poetry Forms: The Terza Rima Sonnet

I have been writing poetry for many years now, and of the hundreds of poems that I have written in that time, many of them are sonnets. I prefer the sonnet form of poetry to many of the other various forms, though I continue to challenge myself to write in new poetic forms on a continuous basis.


The sonnet form has so many different variations, as I have written about previously both on this site, Frank’s Forum, and on another website where I did some guest blogging on the topic. I have written previously for Yahoo! a series of “how to” articles for young and new writers about the differences between the sonnet forms with tips for practicing and navigating some of the nuances of those specific sonnet types such as the Italian sonnet or the Pushkin form.


Furthermore, I have also written in the past about hybrid sonnet forms which I created by mixing and matching components from all of the variations of the sonnet; or thinking of completely “out of the box” ways to write a sonnet with the basic fundamental variant of how to play with the fourteen lines needed to characterize the form.


This will be my first blog post of 2015 on the topic of poetry, which is a major sub-theme of Frank’s Forum, so I chose to focus on a relatively more obscure form of the sonnet known as the terza rima form. I will review this form of sonnet and then compare the structure to other variations of the sonnet complete with my advice from my own experience writing in each of these forms of poetry.




The terza rima form originated in the late 13th century and was created by famed poet Dante Alighieri who sought a way to structure his now famous canto epic length poetic work, “The Divine Comedy”. The structure of the form, similar to other variations of the sonnet, folds in the rhyme scheme from one set of lines into the subsequent sets of lines.


Since the terza rima is divided into sets of three lines called tercets, the rhyme scheme flows from one tercet into the next, connected by common lines in the rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme in a terza rima sonnet is as follows:



Therefore you can see how the tercets are connected by a common line in the verse. Most of the sonnets written in this format are in iambic pentameter, though some poets have written in a different meter such as dactyl, the use of another meter is permissible but the lines have to all remain the same length.


It is important also to note that the terza rima form can be of unlimited length, where some other poetic forms have very strict standards for length. The writer could continue stringing together tercets in the same format demonstrated above just resetting the scale back to “A” at the end of the four sets of poetry.


The Couplet Question


Over the years, the terza rima form has remained unchanged with the exception of some poets adapting the structure to add a couplet to the end of the four tercets. The rationale behind this adaptation is uncertain, it could have been added so that this form of sonnet would equal fourteen lines in compatibility with the other forms of the sonnet.


In my own personal experience, I was taught to write the terza rima in the traditional format I listed above, in four sets each containing three lines of poetry. I felt at one point around four or five years ago, when I was writing a variety of sonnets for a poetry collection with a winter nature theme, that the traditional twelve line form was leaving something behind. So I started adding a rhyming couplet to the end of the terza rima sonnets because I was accustomed to using couplets at the end of the other sonnets I have written in the past.


I did not realize that this change to the terza rima form had already been made until a fellow writer was reviewing my work during a poetry challenge. This fellow writer felt that the couplet was a nice touch and referenced the other poets who had initially used this format change, to which I was unaware, I just knew that it felt cleaner to me with the added two lines.


The terza rima form with the added couplet at the end looks like this:



The use of the couplet is completely at the discretion of the writer, and has been included for so many years, that it is a completely accepted alternative version. I also feel that it provides the author with some additional room to finish their thoughts and cap off their piece of poetry with the couplet at the end. However, there are poets and writers who do not agree with this adaptation and will stick with the traditional format originated by Alighieri.


Common Miscues


The terza rima sonnet has a different flow and a different feel to it, which can lend itself to some common miscues. Some other forms of poetry are more forgiving should your idea take an unplanned direction. This form of sonnet can seem a bit restrictive, especially in the beginning until you have practiced your style and are able to lend your poetic voice to the variations found in this format.


A common miscue that I made when I first began writing and experimenting with the terza rima form was “boxing myself in” as they call it in poetry. I would work with an initial idea, and being so accustomed to the other types of sonnets where you only had to rhyme the end word in a line no more than twice, I would get boxed in within the restraints of this rhyme scheme.


In the terza rima form it requires the writer to rhyme the “C” and the “D” lines in the scheme a total of three times. Therefore, I had to train my mind to not think in terms of couplets or schemes where the scale rhymed twice, I had to shape my idea around words that would rhyme a total of three times at two different points in the poem. This is going to be more difficult than it may seem when you try it.


My advice is to think about the “C” and the “D” lines ahead of time and plan out what words you will use as the end words in those respective lines. It will also help the flow and the alliteration of your finished poem.


I also must add that as I became further accustomed to writing in different forms of poetry and practiced more with other sonnets, this method of creating and thinking became more natural to me. The other method which helped me was writing in the Pushkin sonnet form (which remains one of my favorites) which has the following format: ABABCCDDEFFEGG


You will notice that the “C” and the “D” lines in the Pushkin form are also very important, granted they are in double couplets which break up the middle of the sonnet, but it still helped to train my mind for the importance that the same corresponding lines, the “C” and the “D” lines have in the terza rima form.


The other practice which helped my adaptation to writing within the terza rima form was to practice with the Spenserian form which has some common traits. The Spenserian sonnet has the following setup:



In the Spenserian form the “B” and “C” lines are rhymed four times, so they are very important to determine ahead of drafting the poem. This form also featured “transfer” from one group of lines to the next so continuity is very important to writing a good Spenserian sonnet. My practice with these elements helped me to write within the terza rima form with much better effect.


It is my hope that all the writers out there who are new to writing poetry or new to writing sonnets have gained some valuable insights from this article. I will now close with an example of my own work in the terza rima form.


“Into The Light”

Wandering along on this lonely road

Weary, tired but there’s no going back

Feeling burdened from this heavy load


So many obstacles there to distract –

Me from the path to my ultimate goal

My focus is sharp it will not lack


I have seen others lose control

The pity, self-doubt, endlessly question

The answers to them are in your soul


The road is packed, temptation and sin

Walk into the light, avoid the darkness

Find your compass which lives within


The light will guide you on your way

So you can find the goodness each day



(Some background information courtesy of


© Frank J. Maduri 2015 – All rights reserved – No copying or distribution without express written consent from the author.


Reflections of 9/11: Darkness Then Light – Poetry by Frank J. Maduri

It has been 13 years since the terror attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington D.C. which shook our nation, and the world, to its core. Some children today were not even born when these tragedies occurred. The rest of us all have our own personal account of that day because the memories are still so stark and profound in our consciousness.

I find that September 11th and Hurricane Sandy are two events that are difficult for me to write about, and I can write about nearly any subject. I attribute this difficulty to the personal impact that both events had on my life. I also feel that words cannot adequately express the multiple layers of emotions emoted by those two tragic events.

I wrote a short post here on Frank’s Forum last year on the anniversary of the attacks which was focused on the remembrance of those victims who lost their lives, their families, and the firemen and first responders for their brave service. Those sentiments all certainly still remain, and will always remain a part of this day for me. I also continue to focus on living my life and directing my work in honor of those who died so tragically that terrible day.

I have had some time for reflection today, and over the years I have come to find that through even the darkest of times there is light which shines and goodness which comes to the forefront. I found that in the testimonials of those who survived the terror attacks who were helped by total strangers that day. I have witnessed it in my own community after Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey Shore. People I had never met helped my wife and I as we struggled with that terrible circumstance. That is the light of the human soul that we need to focus on today and in the days ahead.

The darkness seems to be upon us again with ISIS and terrorist activity in Africa as well as a war in Ukraine. It seems like history again repeating itself, but we can change that narrative. We can change that narrative into one of hope, peace, and love for one another that will, in the end, be the light that shines through all the darkness of the human condition.

I mentioned earlier that I have a hard time with expressing my thoughts on 9/11 because the event so profoundly shocked, saddened, angered, and hurt me. The best way I could think to share some of those emotions is through my creative work, through some poetry I wrote about that tragic day and the days since.



“The Towers Fell”

This one tragic day in September It started with a bright cloudless sky

It’s a day I’ll always remember Later that morning, three thousand people would die

I remember being truly frightened

They attacked our home, it happened so fast

Now many years have come and passed

For the victims, their families, life hasn’t brightened

All over the globe was a shockwave

The stock market ceased trading for days

Our lives were in a vacuum in many ways

I wish more lives that day God could save

The towers fell, which lead to a war

Our days will never be the same as before

For those who that day lost their lives I pray for their families, their husbands, and wives.



“Across the Bay”

My wife and I were in Union Beach today

She took pictures, we looked across the Bay In the distance the Manhattan skyline

We could see the rising new Freedom Tower

Though this town is far from fine Talking with people here – they’re sour

About the slow rebuilding after the storm

Six months after Sandy’s powerful wrath

It doesn’t help that the weather isn’t warm

Though the people trust the Lord’s path

I wish there was something I could say

To help alleviate their pain, anger, fear

I say this to my wife and we looked across the Bay

I knew how lucky I was for all I hold so dear



“America No More”

You know what scares me?

It’s if America ceased to be

If I lost all of my freedom

If I lost all of my liberty

Someone told me when I could go and come

That is what truly scares me

If I couldn’t say what I feel

If I couldn’t offer God praise

If I was stripped of the American ideal

I would exist as if in a haze

If someone told me what I had to write

If I was told what I had to believe

I would rather just lose my sight

The loss of beloved America is more than I can conceive



“Sky Fall”

In the blue sky that fateful morning

It all came crashing down with no warning

Lives ended, innocence trampled, hope lost

Evil pervasive, good extinguished, society tossed –

Upside down, backwards, the towers collapsed

The entire world, everywhere, collectively gasped

Earlier that morning from the sky would fall –

My Dad throwing to me a white baseball

I was supposed to that day get on a flight

My Dad had a feeling something wasn’t right

The night before I had a bad feeling too

Throughout the morning that feeling grew

Though what happened I never anticipated

Instantly so much shock, sadness was created

My Grandpa was on a plane somewhere that day

From the sky it did fall safely landing in Raleigh

So many lives cut short, so many months of fear

Why are they gone and I’m still here?

So much rain like tears from the sky fall

So much has changed, yet nothing changed at all

From the sky will fall rays of the Sun

To show us all our journey has just begun



“Darkness Then Light”

Evil comes in all of its darkness

Hatred for those they’ve never met

An unspeakable act of destruction

Shattering the lives of so many at once

My mind cannot comprehend it

I wake up some days, think it’s –

A nightmare that it never occurred

Then I feel the warmth of the Sun

The light fills up the room

I realize that good will prevail

I rise to take advantage

Of the blessed gift of life

I move forward to honor those lost

I have time they did not receive

I have an obligation to do right

To love and serve all others

To inspire and to live in the light

The light of a blessed new day




Seeking solace where there’s none

Another days’ battles lost and won

Emboldened by success to build

For tomorrows’ challenges fulfilled

By the small measures taken –

By man. Your confidence unshaken

Imbued and not ever feeling dismayed

From your core principles you’re unswayed

Stay the course against the shifts in tide

Your fears and worries will subside

The world is there to devour

But it’s also there for you to scour

To find the pathway best suited

Not become undermined or polluted

To face the days whether gloomy or bright

To move forward further to the light

Embarking constantly on new avenues

Knowing your faith guides what you choose

Seeking the way to find your success

Imbued with hope and willing to accept nothing less



“Glory Be”

Glory be the Father, the Son

The Holy Spirit – Blessed Trinity

His love for us has just begun

His love will live for infinity

He created the Earth and the Moon

He created the glorious Heaven

But nobody wants to get there soon

Jesus took bread with no leaven

He blessed and broke it for all

He took the cup of wine – “My blood”

He carried the Cross, three times to fall

His death, sorrow over the world did flood

Victory over sin and death we believe

Eternal life, through Christ, we receive


We will never forget the lives lost on September 11th or in the terror attacks throughout the world since then. God bless all of you.


(Copyright 2014- Frank J. Maduri – all rights reserved. Image of NY is copyrighted image all rights reserved.  No copying or redistribution of this material without express written consent from the author)

Selected Poetry by Frank J. Maduri

It has been a little while since I posted some poetry here. I felt it particularly incumbent on me to share some of this work today as it seems our world is falling apart at the seams every time I go on the internet or watch the news at the gym. There is hope and we all can find it in little things each day.

The poems that follow have been entered in poetry contests, literary magazines, and also submitted to religious websites and newsletters. I hope this work resonates with you.




Every day another bombing or attack

Another terror act, more brutality

It’s become our worlds’ new reality

Wishing our world would just go back

Before the attacks on New York City

And the months of sorrow and pity


We feel powerless to prevent these acts

Some horrible tragedy suddenly occurs

Everyone’s on edge and just reacts

The laws, sides, morality; it all blurs


However it’s the terrorists who’ll atone

For all of their evil and sinfulness

When they have to stand at God’s throne

Then they’ll be truly powerless


“Free Form”


My head hurts from the stress;

I try to stay the course.

This world is such a mess;

Many people show no remorse.

Abuse, neglect, disease, turmoil

War, murder, political corruption, instability.

People fighting over the same soil;

Leadership which lacks capability.

A banking system which is in shambles;

A fragile union in Europe on the edge.

Every politician just rambles;

“Not our problem” is the usual pledge.

Egypt has elected new leadership;

Syria has continued to spiral in chaos.

The Middle East is losing its grip;

The war in Afghanistan is a total loss.

A world torn apart by war and sin;

We know we need to find peace.

The Lord is the answer;

Prayer is the best communication.

I hope we find the humility

To find it within ourselves

To ask for help from the Lord.


“Another Night”


The end to another chaotic day

Yields to the calm of the night

My mind is somewhere out of sight

Where drugs and bullets fly when kids play


Where people struggle just to eat

Where violence occurs everyday

They don’t know any other way

Where people live on the street


Another night I spend comfortably

Another night they’ll spend in fear –

Of being stabbed, robbed, even killed

Another night they’ll spend hungry

There’s no solution that’s clear

Another night I’m left feeling so unfulfilled





The Sun through the leaves

The trees around me, the smell –

Of the woods, reminds me of youth

The curtain of branches protecting –

Me from the powerful Sun rays

Cooling myself, the rabbits, and birds

I remember back to playing in a tree house

Or hiking in the park with my parents

The curtain has drawn on those days

My youth is long gone – family has changed

The curtain has gone up on a new stage

My life has evolved into a haze of work

And medical issues which control the action

Of my days and I don’t spend enough –

Time returning to the roots of nature

The roots of what God has provided

The curtain will go down on this stage

One day too – my days will change

My life will be less busy and priorities

Will shift – between the curtain

I look to take advantage of each day

To trust in God and take each day

As a gift and a blessing

Like walking today in the woods

Before the final curtain is drawn





Watching war and famine unfold –

The origin of my sorrow.

The struggle of the poor –

The origin of my frustration.

Seeing those I love live in pain –

The origin of my anger.

My inability to cope with it all –

The origin of my despair.

Thoughts of things I could have done –

The origin of my regret.

Missing out on life due to illness or injury

The origin of my melancholy.

The love of my wife and family –

The origin of my strength.

My dedication to writing –

The origin of my pride.

To serve my God above –

The origin of my life’s purpose.

Commitment to prayer –

My origin of inner peace.

The love of my God

The origin of my security.

To love and serve others

The origin of my life’s goals




“Divine Mercy”


His Divine Mercy is endless

I thought as I prayed today

As God is my witness

I’m sorry for pushing it away

With God at the center

Anything can be done

Allow His love to enter

Your battles will be won

It brings me some calm, peace

When I stop to pray

My worries all cease

He washes them away


“Without Warning”


You never know that it’s near;

It strikes from out of nowhere

Without warning to create fear

To reap a full measure of despair

You can try to be calm, be ready

Nothing can prepare for what’s ahead

It’ll rock you until you’re unsteady

It will bring you a sense of dread

Without warning whether fog or clear

Evil will strike in your life

The Lord will dry every tear

The Lord is shelter during chaos and strife

If you trust in Him and believe

He is there for you, all of us, always

Then victory over sin you’ll achieve

He is there for us today and all of our days

Without warning, He will return once more

To show us the Path that’s true;

Peace and love, He will soon restore.

Without warning, He’ll come to you.

So don’t be anxious or afraid.

Through Jesus our sin debt has been paid.


Thank you for reading my poetry and visiting my blog!


Copyright – 2014 – Frank J. Maduri – All rights reserved.

No copying or reproduction, or reuse of any kind without express written consent from the author.

























Poetry Forms: How to Write a Ghazal

The Ghazal is an ancient form of poetry that has only recently gained acceptance in the mid-1990s in America. The form originated in Persia and spread to India and then eventually to Afghanistan as well as Turkey.


It is a very unique and somewhat controversial form of poetry with the English and American interpretation being very different than the original Persian format. The Ghazal is also sung in India, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan marking a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.




The Ghazal consists of anywhere from 5 to 15 couplets with most averaging about 8 to 10 couplets in length. The lines in each couplet should be equal in length, also known as the meter, which could be 7 to 10 syllables in each line.


This ancient method of poetic expression also traditionally has both a rhyme and a refrain. The rhyme in the first line of the couplet sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The refrain would occur as the last word in the second line of each couplet. The rhyming word usually is the word before the refrain. An example to illustrate this concept is:

A knock on my door this morning

While I cleaned the floor this morning


My refrain and title of the poem is “This Morning” and the rhyming word is “door” which then has to be rhymed in the second line of each subsequent couplet. The refrain of “this morning” will be repeated in each line of the entire poem.


A mitigating rule of the structure of a Ghazal is that each couplet should have its own thought and be completely different from one another. This can be difficult to achieve especially with the involvement of the refrain. Each couplet was meant to be read or extracted as a “stand alone” poem, which can make this format very difficult for new or young writers.


It is important to note, that in the traditional version used in the Middle East, the last couplet, or closing couplet made a reference in some way to the poet’s name or pen name. In my case it could be something very overt:

I found my mind drew a blank at that moment

I thought: “C’mon now Frank” at that moment


However, it could also be a veiled reference to the name of the poet or his or her initials could be used in the final couplet.


In later years, after different translations of the form had taken hold, the reference to the writer’s name has been removed from the requirements of the form. It is my understanding that some writers felt that it was too restrictive to the number of poems they could write in this form.


The other issue with that requirement was that it could force the poet to deviate from the theme of the poem in order to mention their name in the closing couplet.


I have written several Ghazal formatted poems and used some reference to my name to keep it the most pure interpretation of the original Persian form.




In the original conception of the Ghazal back in Persia and India, the theme of this type of poetry was limited to love or romance with a heavy emphasis on relationships which were socially unacceptable. The focal emotion being the pain and melancholy caused by that separation.


In later variations of the Ghazal the thematic requirements shifted away from that specific area, and while most poems written in this format have been about love; they began to be written about basically any topic.


In my experience, writing a Ghazal can be difficult regardless of the theme, the key concept is to have an idea of the meter, rhyme, and refrain before you begin to draft the poem. The process then becomes essentially “back filling” the rest of the poem based off the primary words involved in the rhyme and the refrain. The challenge is to fit the added words in within the correct meter.


Alterations from the Original


The Ghazal form of poetry has been altered more than many other forms of poetry I have come across from the original version to the modern version. These alterations were driven by a few factors, primarily the translation from Persian or the ancient Indian or Pakistani forms to English. In essence, some elements were lost in translation, created ambiguity, or were reformed to suit a Western audience.


One major alteration over time was the waiver of the requirement of having a refrain. The refrain, particularly in the Western translations, became an optional component of the Ghazal. The neglect of the refrain could create conditions where the poet would have more flexibility in writing within this rather complex form.


An additional alteration was with regard to the couplets involved being related to one common theme. The original versions were about love, but the couplets were unique components. This shifted to Ghazal poems being linked to a central theme. Some feel that this is not a “true Ghazal”, and that the couplets need to have a feel of inherent exclusivity.


Moreover, the most common criticism of the purists of the Ghazal form pertaining to the American interpretation of the form is that the American poets disregard the meter. A “true Ghazal” should have the same syllabic meter in each line of the piece, whether it is 8 syllables or 10 syllables, and that Americans just choose to ignore it and write whatever suits their cause.


The neglect of the meter requirement causes the Ghazal to lose the flowing romanticism that was intended by the original creators of this ancient poetic format.


Common Mistakes


In my experience, writing within the Ghazal form can be very difficult but very rewarding when it is completed within the correct guidelines. I have sat many afternoons at my desk staring at the paper in my notebook trying to make a Ghazal work within the criteria provided by the original Persian format.


I have made the common mistake of selecting a rhyming word that does not work throughout the number of couplets I had planned for the full poem. That mistake can be avoided by free writing several rhyming words and use the words which have several variations for the rhyme line.


I have also made the common mistake of choosing a refrain word that is too limited in scope to be able to create a full Ghazal that flows correctly. It is very tough to make each couplet separate yet make sense contextually with a common refrain. My advice would be to choose a refrain that is very broad: based on a season, a time period (yesterday or tomorrow), or a love based theme.


The meter requirement is also present in many other poetry forms, so I find that I do not have as much trouble making the meter work with the concepts I choose to utilize. However, the problematic elements to meter which are present in the Ghazal and not in other formats are the requirements of the rhyme and the refrain. Those one or two words (depending on if you are writing a Ghazal without a refrain) can cause issues with the meter of the words you choose to “back fill” the poem with in each couplet.


A common feeling of some writers, myself included, is that the method of selecting the rhyme and refrain words prior to the rest of the poem can cause a situation where I have felt that I am mixing and matching words based on the meter and context. This process can take some of the raw emotion out of the poem, which is a self-defeating exercise.


Explore and Find


After working within this form for a while I would suggest that the best way to use this ancient type of poetry is to explore, practice, and find your way to the best method to write within the Ghazal.


I have a few recommendations though before you launch into this effort:

  1. Do not eliminate the requirements from the original version from Persia use a rhyme word, a refrain, and a strict meter.
  2. Conceptualize and free write more than you would before writing within another form to have a broad theme and rhyming words which work.
  3. Make sure the couplets that are used are completely different from one another. This can be achieved by choosing concepts that are very close to you personally. This will help you to expand upon the broad theme yet make the couplets different.


I hope that this article will help all the new and young poets to write within the ancient form of the Ghazal. When it is done with great respect paid to the requirements of the format, it can be a very rewarding way to express your feelings on a variety of themes and experiences.


(Some background information courtesy of,,