Claire V. Bogdanos

Acceptance,Knowledge,Love,New Chapter,Process,Wisdom,

WHAT’S LEFT ? ( 2014 ) 2014/05/15

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 8:13 am
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There are these stories I have read

Remaining here within my head

These tales speak of so many things

Like lions, dragons, frogs and kings,

A prince who lost his throne and crown

Another was that lonely clown !

I wonder what will follow next

Who’s left to pen enchanted text,

I think the age has come and gone

No words now to depend upon,

This simple fact I’d like to know

When truth is gone what’s left to show ?


HEAVEN, EARTH AND HELL ( 2014 ) 2014/04/29

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 7:54 am
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My hopes fly high on magic wings

To where the sea and siren sings

Along that wild and rocky shore

Replete with tales of ancient lore.

Men lost their lives and were remiss

Scheming for this forbidden bliss

Tis truth exists, they play the game

Refusing to acknowledge blame.

While life seems wanting, to be fair

We all must learn to give and share

To search for less destructive ways

Save dreaming for idyllic days.

The siren’s song was long ago

Perhaps a fable seamen know

But we are here with truth to tell

About the heavens, earth and hell.


THE PLATYPUS ( 2014 ) 2014/04/08

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:56 pm
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I wish I were a platypus with fur so short and thick

I’d burrow in a hole so deep where I could play some trick

I’d lay my eggs by the edge of a swiftly running stream

Anyone sighting me would think me one more unholy dream !

Now a platypus won’t travel well having but two homes

One is in Australia where the poor thing barely roams

Tasmania is number two, such limits to impose

Upon this small flat footed duck with such a lengthy nose.

I’m glad to say its history’s the oldest ever known

No one can understand reasons why his repute has grown

Perhaps one day this mystery will be resolved at last

And I’ll return to storybooks for versions of the past !





NEW YORK ( 2013 ) 2013/12/28

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 10:42 am
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As the slim fingers of dawn slowly waken the sky

Whole flocks of wild birds begin their swift transiting by,

Up on the rooftops seagulls are perched searching for prey

While the caps on tidal waves are all churning and gray.

There across the narrow gap that the water creates

Is a vast citadel where great adventure awaits.

I’m too old to begin my life all over anew

But it’s a fine place to start for the bold and the few.

This incredible place full of dreams and wild surprise

Is a home meant for the strong the ambitious and wise.


HISTORY ( 2013 ) 2013/09/17

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 7:39 pm
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Small matter what great deeds men do

With actions witnessed by the few

Who dying fall by roadside bend

Await the words of passing friend

Or stranger who without a cause

Did notice and took time to pause

And comment in a feeling way

About what happened on that day

And that is how the story grows

Turning lads into folk heroes !



Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 11:20 pm
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Have I said that I am proud to be Jersey born and bred ?  Well I am !  Back in the 30’s we still had  small pockets of Lenni-Lenape Indians along the Metedeconk River near Cedarwood  Park ( no running water ).  You will notice that I’ve previously mentioned this fact because it connotes “delicately ” that we lacked indoor plumbing.  But very CLEAN outhouses !  Also sometimes very COLD !!  And my great grandma, “economist” that she was, used the tissue-  like pages of catalogs such as Sears for “service roll”.  She had heavy black wire from the house hung on huge tree limbs with sockets containing bare bulbs for outdoor lighting especially on the stone pathways to the garage fitted out for the summer visitors, the large hand pump for outdoor uses like brushing teeth, bathing and laundry AND the facility for “nature’s call” which was amongst the pines, out of necessity !  I sure loved my grandma, I know I was her favorite and ONLY great grandchild.  She rose about 5 in the morning to bake her daily bread, I would tip-toe down those wide stairs to the kitchen to have my breakfast each morning.  A treat I have never forgotten, a thick slab of warm homemade bread slathered with whipped sweet butter ceremoniously dipped into the huge crystal bowl that held the sugar accompanied by a heavy ironstone mug of foamy chocolate.  Who had it better ?  She’d had 7 living children, 5 of whom never left home !  I may have inherited her strong resolve and independent nature.  You think ? I never heard her raise her voice except to God and thanks to Eastman Kodak, I still have  the old camera AND precious photos!

Sincerely,                                      Claire B.


DATELINE: HOBOKEN, NJ, USA “HAPPY DAYS”. ( 2013 ) 2013/07/22

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:56 pm
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Are we sharing again ? One hot summer day, August 14, 1935, my mother and I were      

walking hand in hand on Zabriskie Street in Jersey City.  Windows were open everywhere   

curtains moving in the slight breeze, some parted, some knotted on the rods. You could      

hear the Philco radios blaring static and sound within, suddenly the windows filled with     

people yelling, shouting hoorays! In the streets they laughed and danced and sang “Happy

days are here again!”  I turned to my mother, she squeezed my hand tightly and said “Mr.    

Roosevelt passed the Social Security Act “.  “Thank God !”  I couldn’t forget that day, it     

was like the biggest party I ever saw, no balloons, no ice cream, but a lot of whooping it    

up and delirious people.   It’s a memory that still lives happily with me but what I most    

remember is that tired old house dress my mom was wearing and how joyous she was.   

Some memories are worth keeping, don’t you think ?  





MY OLD AUNT ROSE ( 2013 ) 2013/07/20

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:29 am
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Such a cheerful face and a ready smile
She made my young life so much more worth while
And was always there when I craved advice
With a hug and a kiss not once but twice.
Rose arrived in July of ninety-five
Born just two pounds no one thought she’d survive
She surprised them all and was fine by spring
But never grew tall, just a tiny thing.
She raised five brothers and a niece or two
Looked after her dad and her mother too
She’d knit and crochet and even tat lace
That smile we all loved remained on her face.
Through her very long life she kept her cheer
Dear old Aunt Rose how I wish you were here!


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ USA “LEST WE FORGET” ( 2013 ) 2013/07/04

Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 1:16 pm
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Where are we now? By 1939 the Great Depression was taking a breather !  The PWA and the WPA had been busy building schools, libraries, city halls, hospitals, county and state institutions for years.  While two and a half million brave adventurous young lads from farm and city across this nation became the heart and strength of the CCC movement.  They criss-crossed our country clearing lakes and rivers, planting 17 million trees, surveying hills and mountains, building roads, dams and bridges.  At the same time saving  their families from the impact of poverty by earning a monthly stipend of $30 from the program, $22 of which was sent directly home leaving them each eight dollars for their own use!  This was the brainchild of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the right man at the right time!  They swarmed across our land with hope and sacrifice, only a few years later to be called upon to fight our attackers in WWII.  These were our “greatest generation” and when the time came, they streamed across the deserts of Africa, the sands of Iwo Jima, the beaches of Normandy and the surf of the Solomon’s !  Next time you stroll among those familiar structures in your neighborhood, check out the year on those brick and concrete lintels and cornerstones, if the dates fall within 1933 to 1943 time frame, chances are they were built by the men and boys who labored long and hard to save their homeland !  Learn to be aware and appreciate the contribution of these “the meanest tools that we may chance to use”.  Familiar,huh?



Claire B.



Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 10:42 pm
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In Philadelphia, July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally adopted Mr. Jefferson’s masterpiece !  However, our national anthem which began as a poem written by a 35-year old Maryland lawyer ( who wasn’t born until 3 years after the signing of our nation’s birth certificate ) while he was being detained, a British prisoner on the deck of a warship in Baltimore Harbor on September 13, 1814.  The fleet continued a crushing bombardment of  Fort McHenry throughout the night, the Americans had ordered the largest flag to overfly the encampment to encourage the occupants of Baltimore.  On the morning of the 14th, when the smoke had cleared the question was heard, “oh say, can you see” and the answer was, “yes” !  Well, that insignificant poem written on the back of an envelope exists today with the entire world recognizing its power !  And yet the War of 1812, first invasion of our homeland, doesn’t warrant interest ?  Reminds me that the reason behind our war of independence was, hold on, take a deep breath, “taxation without representation” !  I believe America needs a refresher course, don’t you?  And who is in charge of “TRUTH.COM”, anyone you know?  “Not I”, said Ducky Lucky, “not I”, said Turkey Lurkey; farmyard tales, oh no!  While those brave men in Indian war paint tossed that whole cargo of tea into Boston Harbor, the rest of the citizenry backed them up !  Since there was no coffee, probably just chickory, did they drink wine or beer?  Well, it’s our birthday again and we are all here, although we are still in need of truth and glory !



Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 5:24 pm
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What do you know about the classic epic poem “Evangeline”?  Basic details, but not the “heartless” truths behind its creation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of “Hiawatha” fame?  “Evangeline”  is not a simple romantic tale of love gone awry, but the saga of an ethnic cleansing tragedy that actually occured 1745-1755 on our continent and impacted our nation in ways untold !  Remember the original colonizers “due north” of us were French fur traders, explorers, settlers with Samuel de Champlain at the helm in 1603.  “Hello”, Lake Champlain?  Let’s tax your knowledge of history once again, think French and Indian War, where that boy ‘who cut down the cherry tree” earned his stripes and became a HERO!  Moving on, the French had settled Nova Scotia, called Acadia,New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island ( the Maritimes ) and Quebec 150 years prior to the Brits appearing on that scene !  The year 1755, the French lost, the Acadians were neutral , not good enough !  Next “The Great Expulsion” relocating the Acadians after separating men from women and children .  Load the men onto English man’o’wars and dump them in the swamps of French Louisiana prior to the Revolutionary War and the “Purchase” by Jefferson.  Transport the rest to ports along the lower Atlantic coast from Maine to Vineyard’s Harbor ( Cape Cod ) to prevent increasing numbers above the possibly remaining 20,000.  However, without the Acadians who “morphed” into Cajuns, we could have lost the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815 in the War of 1812 along with Andrew Jackson’s eventual presidential win.  I failed to cite “Mardi Gras” et al, their gift to us!



Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 2:19 pm
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Do you know the story of Mary Hays McCauley nee Ludwig?  Born 1754, Trenton, NJ, more commonly known as “Molly Pitcher” the heroine of the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse June 28, 1778.  Last time I was there, more than 60 years ago, she was memorialized with a monument, a plaque and the famous cannon she manned when her husband fell !  In the “good old days”, children revered the brave deeds of those who”purchased” our freedom and rights as the youth of today idolize sports figures.  That June day was unusually hot, 100°F, it could be called the “World Series of Battles” as it included all the major players, all the stars of both TEAMS !  Washington, von Steuben, Marquis de Lafayette and Gen. Charles Lee ( who really struck OUT ) for the home team.  With Clinton and Cornwallis battling for the visitors !!  Americans, 12,000 men, British 11,000.  The cannon required water to cool down the barrel after each shot and a ramrod swab out !  Water girls were kept busy carrying water throughout each battle , most were wives.  Almost half of the casualties were due to heat stroke.  In 1822, Molly ( nickname for Mary ) was awarded a lifetime pension for her valor by the Pennsylvania assembly.  The victory at  Monmouth coming after the crossing at Trenton, ended the larger effort to win in the north and resulted in British retreat to the south, after their escape from Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Molly Pitcher’s Well can still be visited !  How’s that for another homerun for our side ?  P.S. General Lee was court martialed as a coward, his “contract” was not renewed, but you guessed that !


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA ” ROOTS & WINGS ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/16

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:00 pm
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There is an old saying ” there are but two gifts we can give to our children, one is roots, the other is wings”, Anon.  Well, I can assure you never were those words more true than in the America of the 1930’s !  And yes, we did go to bed hungry but we didn’t complain, what good would it have done?  We simply learned to share, it became our way of life, that and the love of God sustained us !  I worked three jobs until the time of my marriage at age 25, close to “spinsterhood”.  Keeping busy was the impetus of the day, and the time-worn admonition, “Idle hands do the devil’s work” was the familiar motto!  We sure had roots as family was our “community” and wings translated into “dreams” of which there was always an abundance!  How I miss the love that we knew then, it was free of conditions, fear and bribery.  Can you imagine, love for the sake of affection?


Claire B.


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA “FLAG DAY ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/08

Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 2:08 pm
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Do you remember Flag Day? June 14, ( 1777 ),  the day the stars and stripes became , by Congressional Order, the national standard of this nation?  Can anyone tell me what happened to it?  I keep losing things,  some I don’t really miss like D.D.T. , others I certainly would love to see disappear yesterday, like hunger,  still others I feel rapidly slipping away like freedom !  Can you hear me?  One voice in this brick and mortar I.T. ” wilderness “,  however no ” locusts and wild honey ” on the menu!  How about you ?



Claire B.


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA ” D- DAY ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/07

Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 5:14 pm
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A-B-C-D,  D-Day who remembers? This is one of my ” special ” dates, 6/6/44,  that time cannot fade and years should not erase!  We all need to be reminded once in a while of man’s inhumanity to man, and one trip to the beaches of Normandy reinforces that belief.  Each time that I return to this consecrated ground I am reminded of those men, women and children, numbering in the millions worldwide, whose lives were changed forever on that day.  From Ste. Mere Eglise to that piece of land deemed to be our sovereign soil, called the American Cemetery,  you cannot keep a dry eye!  It makes you feel so insignificant and so powerless.  What a history lesson!  May I suggest that you try it?


Claire B.


DATELINE : Hoboken, NJ, USA ” IMPORTANCE OF WORDS ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/04

Filed under: HISTORY — bogdanosclaire @ 3:10 am
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Have you ever thought about the importance of words?  The impact?  Such power!  We need to take great  care not to elicit ” improper ” response or reaction to poorly ” selected ” verbs, nouns and pronouns.  It is our duty since words are our ” work tools ” and come with implied cautions, prime example being ” Conciliation With The Colonies ” by Edmund Burke !  Read it.

Let’s consider Marie Antoinette’s  ” Let them eat cake, ” that was a true ” faux- pas “, do you agree?  How about ” Give me liberty or give me death “, 1775, what a result !  We are all familiar with Booth’s , ” Sic semper Tyrannus “, and notice what that brought about !  Heck, I’ve just begun, try on, ” VINI, VIDI, VICI ” for size.  There’s ” Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes, ” of Bunker Hill notoriety and what of John Paul Jones,  while in English waters,   ” I have not yet begun to fight “?

Can you picture Revere riding ” cross – country ” minus G.P.S., on his horse, shouting ” The British are coming “?  Do I see a few smiles emerging?  I am impressed with Hale’s, ” I regret that I have but one life to give for my country “,  aren’t you?  We are and have been a nation of heroes from our very first humble beginnings; a blending of convicts , slaves, fatherless exiles, deserters, whores, the dregs of European society and those seeking religious autonomy!  So let’s keep it up, after all this IS America the great!  Do you agree?  HooRah!  God bless us all.


Claire B.


DATELINE: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA” HOBOKENITES ” ( 2013 ) 2013/05/21

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 2:23 pm
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Did you know that besides Frank Sinatra, Hoboken was home to Stephen Foster AND Edgar Allan Poe?  Lillian Russell was married here in the 1800’s, and my family arrived from Germany in 1846.  My grandpa George Eugene Sipple played for the Knickerbocker baseball team.  Remember this town is only one mile square!  Can you imagine?  So much history!


Claire B.


DATELINE : Hoboken, New Jersey, USA ” HERO ” ( 2013 )

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 1:16 am
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Am I correct in believing that Brokaw called my era the “ Greatest Generation” ?  ( My mother bought me that book.)  I spent more than 76 years of my life in “ incredibly “ close proximity to my mom, she was my “hero” !  I miss her everyday and live by the simple rules she valued.  In German it was : Kirche, Kinder, Kochin, “loosely”  translated into … God, family, duty !  Not a bad goal.


Claire B.


ENGLAND ( 1950 ) 2013/05/18

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 5:39 pm
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This delicate jewel that reigns across the sea

Still clouded by the mist and slightly faded shade

Rules with repute amid fame of greater glory

While the events of years her impotence betrayed.

Basking in the shadow of one bright diadem

Views stolen from another end of the rainbow

Lending character to this aged waning gem

That here exists with honor and respect in tow.


Noble crescent from whence came seeds of our beginnings

Once hidden by the tiresome toss and chance of time

In retrospect with pride that contemplation brings

See truth and in that single act, dower confine.


VENUS TO PYGMALION ( 1954 ) 2013/02/20

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 6:26 pm
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“ The fretful thing about this life

that we must tarry in its place

Await the long and frugal strife

‘fore we may revel in time’s grace,

The promises we’ve counted on

far-fetched though it perchance seems

Shall be withheld from us anon

that we may fight to capture dreams

And struggling fain thus to produce

 the best which bideth within us

Of fortune’s fancy free and loose,

to strive for grasping valor plus,

And all of this discreetly met

rise to collect thy laurels green,

Long wilted may they be and yet

the battle’s won with fates unseen.”


“ What more have need we of this goal

or plaque which will commemorate

Speak nought of effort or of toll

nor industry shall we berate,

Enlarge not on the battle’s cost

or of force with us competing,

The lesson learned cannot be lost

though it ofttimes bears repeating,

That beauty of a task well done

doth bear its own rewarding fee,

And faith in all, a battle won

will glory share accordingly.”


THE LONDON THAMES ( 1979 ) 2013/02/16

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 4:44 pm
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Muddy river, swiftly flowing,

with the tide, its volume growing,

Passing quickly toward the sea,

brown and laden, yet racing free.

Towers tall, interspersed and spare,

chimneys risen above the air,

Spires stretched among bleak-shrouded sky,

ugly and pale, afflict the eye.


This waning ghost of what had been

past history, both grand and grim,

Whose tales are sung in legend bold

with aging time, lost truths unfold.

Some patch of blossoms crowd her banks ,

where pilings gray form solid ranks,

One does not hear the rush of oars,

nor plays a child along her shores.


This river flows into the sea,

in vast attack by staunch army,

A noble force with wasted prime,

that suffered sad effects of time.

There heroes brave once paced the sod,

and glory old, her bridges trod,

Those golden days, now much forgot,

that hailed the truth of Camelot.


SCOTLAND ( 1978 )

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 4:44 pm
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Swiftly changing moody skies, sulking now, and gray,

Rimmed about with verdant edges blazing away,

Clamoring vines, that bloom aloud in noisy crowds,

Crowning all of this are hills of black, piercing clouds,

A patchwork quilt against the backdrop of cold sky

Where field duck, geese and gull, propitiously, do fly.

Winding rivers that shine like a pasteboard display

Abundant with dwellings that seem modeled of clay,

Rigid stanchions of forest commanding the scene

Of woodlands in limbo, sound asleep and serene,

Her bonnie green cramming every top of each mount

With visions of heraldry the mind cannot count,

Fields polka-dotted with sheep and black angus steer,

And there, in the distance, some tall tower appears,

Like a lone sentinel in its halo of white,

To stand, guarding late exit of day into night.

Castles ringed with her magic and filled with her ghosts,

Past miles of rock-studded farms, west on to the coast,

From Dundee to Carstairs, and down to Scot’s Glen,

Making straight for the sea, by the way of Girvan,

A sight full of splendor and eternally green,

Like a shimmering torch, and a gem for her queen.


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