Category Archives: original poetry/ light verse

A Sonnet to Nadine Elisabeth Moon.


Lydia Elisabeth “Betty” Sweet was my mum. She was born on February 11, 1919, in Erie, the second of four daughters to Henry T. and Mae Learn Sweet.

“Astrology impels, it does not compel”, so said the syndicated representative who appeared for years in our daily newspaper. That said, I do recall reading that Aquarians were natural dreamers, but that some of them would live against type. Mum was one who, ultimately, did.

While we’d collected more than one of Mum’s creations these three gems had been nearly lost to the ether until, as the family historian, our cousin Lydia Todd recently unearthed and sent them to me in a letter. Especially devoted to Mum, Lydia shares her birthday.

Though the poems were written in 1935, when she was 16, I can’t help but think about what eventually unfolded only four years hence in the United States: the Great Depression. Just prior to that techtonic shift in reality Mum had been hot on the trail of a dressmaking career, and would win a contest whose prize would have been a trip to New York.

Herewith her prophetic state of mind and heart, just before the door slammed on all those dreams.


“A Sonnet to Nadine Elisabeth Moon”

                                                         by Betty Sweet, about 1935


I saw a babe this afternoon

So dear, so loving, and so sweet

Lying there, so clean and neat

Ah! She is proud to be a Moon!

I’m sure she’ll show a smile soon

And, find enjoyment in her feet.

Her parents (surely, it is meet!)

Are proud, and hum a happy tune.

This babe, so pure and innocent

Knows nothing of what life will bring

Into her life, just now begun

Ah! Grant that she, whom God has sent

May live for Him and always sing

Of Him, the true and faithful One.


“God is Near”

                              by Betty Sweet 1935


As each morning dawns, anew

Filling the sky with a ruddy hue;

I know God is near.

When the sun is at its height

Revealing God’s great strength and might,

I know God is near.

Even when the sun sinks down

Silencing the country, lake and town

I know God is near.

When at midnight’s smallest hour

I feel God’s matchless love and power

I know God is near.

by Betty Sweet 1935



Trusting Jesus, all along life’s way

Trusting Jesus, each and every day.

Trusting Jesus, whether sad or gay

Trusting, all life’s way.


by Betty Sweet.


Had Mum not been determined to live a life of faithfulness to Jesus, like her own mother before her, I am certain that I would not even be here today. Her model of what many termed “a Godly life” kept each of us in the family from coming apart, and taught us resistance to those things which would bring down our very lives. She led an honorable, committed life, both to her God, our father, and to us as her children, sacrificing her every want and need in deference to ours. Have not met another like her, since. ❤ Mum.


© 1/16/18    Ruth Ann Scanzillo, quoting her mother, their author. Please respect our family. Thank you.










Other Lives of ’89: A Trilogy of Verse.

August 22, 1989

(* the date of origination is August 22, 1989; the soundfile indicates October. Did I look at 8/22/89, and think “Eight means October?” [derisive laughter.] )

Molly had babies one by one

extensions of herself

each year a repeat pumpkin smile

found its place on the mantel shelf

Time for birth and time to grow

day by night by day

Who can know where a mother will go

when all her work is done?


[Chorus:]  “Hey!”


Karlie took tap when she was five

and six and seven and eight

Karate at three, for the weekday fee

Carpool to the four o-clock skate

Two weeks of camp and the the family trip

and a picnic with the sailing class

but, piano lessons were cancelled

when the teacher ran out of gas


[Chorus:] “Ohhh…”


John made his pay

by the rules laid down

at the Savings and Loan institution

He carefully stowed

another man’s load

and lived on the remuneration


At the end of the day

on his way uptown

to the Food and Spirits emporium

another man’s load

was the money he owed

now he visits the state sanitorium.



[Oak Ridge Boys:]   “Hmmmmm.”



© Ruth Ann Scanzillo


all rights. Thanks.

Happy Birthday, Dear.

Because my lunch is eaten

and there’s so much else to do

I’d rather sit and write

and pen a pithy note to you

. . . .

I will be neither goofy

nor quirky nor swarthy nor fine

I’ll say just what I must today

After you read this line

. . . .

(You said you cannot hear me? oh,

my thoughts are in between

the trite and quite superfluous

and silly stuff you’ve seen)

. . . .

So far, in our “relationship”

psychology would psay

we’ve psaid enough to fill the book

and lived another day

. . . .

Without the need to rectify

or double-back or take

a single touch or word

in some apology to make

. . . .

Because it’s what we have to be

that no one can control

that no one else can make or take

all nurtured by the soul

. . . .

We do and be according to

our wants and needs, how true

but who we are we have to be

not shade nor tint, but hue

. . . .

I want to love you, part or whole

but as you are, yourself

you bring to life just who you are

and, I will bring myself.





© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

5/92; modified 11/30/14

all rights reserved. Thank you, again.