To form what flames and burns

And embers still,

That still lights,

Lingers with outstretched fingers

The elbow bends and bends

And arms reach yonder,

Around what circle or pit,

For each abyss,

We who convey each step,

Pause and nod

Wordless as we ponder this

Strange presence of what remains child,

Yet vows to unfold what can

Never be child,

Can never beyond what touches

Those nerves

And touches the eyes and the mouth

Into shapes that descend

With the dread years

Of stubbornness,

That laughs at the thick

Fabric blurring the sun.


Ted Goodell


(Original post January 2015, Re-post January 2019)

Bedtime Story

Her name was Jane

Her time was once.

Her bedtime wish

Was a splendid garment

Mother made.

Its value surpassing a shawl

For this was a full body wrap

Adorned with a hood.

Commodious cloak forever in red

Protective influence of wool

Pseudonym to guard this girlishness,

Exhilarate child with basket

Bountifully laden with food,

To leave home straight-pathed

But unguarded.

Her grandmother adored

Generational force to draw to her bedside

Irreversible appointment

The parents too trifle, not daring.

But what of this walk through

The woods – this conceit of innocence

Immaculate and good

Transfixed with unblemished soul

Her world like Mirandas

Concealing its Calibans

The emergence of evil in time.


Grandmother, loneliness leaves us,

Even our temperamental children

Remember us,

And the risk of a bedtime story

Plagues us

‘Til the forest vanquishes

The eternal wolf.



Ted Goodell


(Original post December 2014, Re-post January 2019)

The Spider

(Reposting a classic and favorite of mine and Ted’s)


I caught a spider

In a cup

It resonated fear

It knew my home

Was not a church

No sanctuary lost

Between its world

Of web and fang

But something alien

To touch

A surface inaccessible

To stealth and sting

Now in captivity

The agile acrobat

Dreams of a god with wings


Ted Goodell


(Original post December 2014, Re-post January 2019)

100 Poems by Ted Goodell

In celebration of Ted’s 100th posted poem, we are re-posting one of his personal favorites.

In the Shadow of the Shiloh (to Tony D.)

Along with these 100 poems, we are also celebrating 4 years of Ted’s poetry blog! I can’t wait to see the poetry of 2019.  Happy New Year Dad!


(to Tony D.)

I sailed on The Shiloh

To the Persian Gulf.

Now, in the shadow of The Shilo,

I see myself;

A retrospective view

Of where I stood on watch,

Leaning into the surf

Watching a distant horizon

Bringing me back

To where I stand today;

On a different watch

My future self,

Arising like a golden dawn,

Shedding the past

In the shadow of The Shiloh


Ted Goodell