The Heart of My Song 

I’ve written several songs about all sorts of things most of them are just goofy. This is a song I wrote for my wife. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago, but she has never seen it or heard it. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary so I’m posting it. I made a rough video of me singing it. I’m not much of a singer, guitar player, or song writer; but my hearts in the right place

Click here to see video

To the left is a favorite picture of mine from when Paula and I were dating at Oklahoma Christian. We have gone through so much together. She has been my constant in a world that is constantly changing. To me, that is what the song is about. 

We’ve been together now most of our lives
We’ve traversed some mountains and valleys alike. 

We’ve gone through some changes; some good and some bad

We’ve laughed when we’re happy; we’ve cried when were sad. 
We’ve made our mistakes; we’ve had our regrets

But we’ve built us a family that’s survived the tests.

And we’re still together after all of these years

Through the pain and losses, you’ve aways been here.

You’re my angel that comforts and guides through the pain

You’re my rainbow that comes out after the rain.

You’re my grace and forgiveness when I know I’ve done wrong 

And honey, you are the heart of my song.  

We stood at the altar so long ago

Without a clue of how life would go

But we said us some vows before God and friends

That we’d stick together till our live’s end. 
For better or worse, through sickness and pain

Whether rich or poor, we’ve survived the strain

Now our children are grown, and we’ve grown too

And I want you to know, I still love you. 

You’re my angel that comforts and guides through the pain

You’re my rainbow that comes out after the rain.

You’re my grace and forgiveness when I know I’ve done wrong 

And honey, you are the heart of my song.  

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Daddy, Do You Love Me? 

I’ve been so empty since the divorce,
My world’s been torn in two.
While you screamed at each other with such nasty words,
I didn’t know what I should do.

Now the fighting is over
And my world’s in tatters
I feel like a puzzle
Who’s pieces are scattered.

Daddy, do you love me?
I know you love your new wife
And your new baby girl,
But lately I’m not a part of your world
Daddy do you love me?

Am I nothing more than a piece from the past,
A past you deeply regret?
Am I just a memory inside of your head
That you’ve been tying to forget?
Oh Daddy, Do you love me?

My purpose here is not to put an additional guilt trip on those who have suffered through a divorce. I simply wish to express some thoughts from a child’s perspective. The poem was largely inspired by a girl who was recently placed in my care who came up to me one night and asked me, “Do you think my father loves me?” She is going through what I went through as a child. Parents divorce, then they remarry. Parents usually don’t even consider the pain the children go through in the whole ordeal. But I can tell you from personal experience, a child doesn’t always feel welcomed into the new family arrangement. There is severe pain in a child’s heart when he no longer feels welcome inside his own family. That pain usually expresses itself in bad behavior and defiance.

The sense of rejection only worsens when the adults decide they can no longer tolerate the misbehavior and remove the child from the home by sending him with the other biological parent or to some other placement. As a child, that was my circumstance. I was passed back and forth between my parents, then to other relatives, and eventually I was placed in the state’s care. I think both of my parents loved me, but they couldn’t allow me to ruin their new family situation. There are countless children facing this same scenario. Usually, the children are considered incorrigible when in fact, they are in pain and as time goes on the situation only gets worse. The children often seek to fill the void with drugs and friends who also feel the same sense of rejection.

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To My Mother

mom and meI wrote this poem during the winter of 1992-93 while I was living in Hull, IA. I came across it last week when I was picking up a couple items from the house where mom has lived since I was a teenager. She’s now living in a retirement home in Bettendorf, IA, and most of her possessions have been sold off. She is going through a difficult time right now with severe anxiety and uncontrollable diabetes. I feel like she is suffering and I have no idea how to help.  I’m now hundreds of miles away and it is doubtful that I’ll be able to see her much more during this life. Through all that we’ve been through in this life, the good as well as the bad, I just hope I was some how able to communicate to her just how much I loved her.

When I was young you held my hand
And Walked beside me to help me to stand.
You kept me clean, sheltered, and warm;
And would give your life to keep me from harm.

As I grew older. I remember you there
When my heart was broken, you showed me you cared
I cried on your shoulder when I was down;
And you were there to pick me up off the ground.

Later on there were times I’m sure that you felt
I was not using all the cards I was dealt.
And all the time that I brought you much shame
When you wondered if I was using my brain.

Many times in life I have failed
But your love and your trust always prevailed.
You gave me the courage to believe in myself.
Even though I was doubted by everyone else.

It is only natural to look back–now as a man
Back to the times when you held my hand.
The love you’ve shown me throughout my life
I now can pass down to my child and wife.

I look up to you now,
perhaps more than ever.
For you held my hand for a little while
But you’ll hold my heart forever.

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A Trucker’s Christmas

It’s the night before Christmas

And out on the road

The only truckers left

Are the ones who can’t make it home.
The CB is quiet as miles roll by

Sometimes it’s so lonely one may even cry.

But there’s freight to move and money to earn

The bills can’t get paid if those wheels don’t continue to turn.
There won’t be any gifts or holiday cheer

No laughter or games, cause nobody is here.

They may find a restaurant, where they’ll sit alone

Wishing that some how they could be home.

There’s no children to hug, no dog to pet

It’s just an empty truck with a small empty bed.

So for all the truckers still out on the road

Our prayers are with you, that you can be home.

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Prayer and Human Rights

prayer & flag

I found this first poem when I was living in Mena, AR. It was written by a little girl and it was praised by many Christians at that time in support school prayer. I wrote a response poem back then, but I didn’t post it because I know what a sensitive issue it is among my friends and family.

I am not against school prayer, but I am against the government promoting a particular religion above another,  even if that religion is my own. There has been a great deal of harm done over the years in the name of God. If I expect my own religious views to be respected, I must be able to give equal respect to others.×5235247

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

My Response:

Now I sit me down in school
Where public prayer’s against the rule
The reason that this nation’s great
Is separation of church and state

Public schools can’t spout one creed
It’s not their place in prayer to lead
For if teachers in the public schools
de-cide which religion rules

Do you really think they could agree
There are teachers of all faiths, you see.
The law is specific, the law is right.
God needs no government oversight

No one wants to stop school prayer
And Christian leaders be aware
Those who insist in prayer to lead,
see Matthew 6, it’s a good read.

Remember when, in times gone by
the teachers prayed to God on high
back then schools were lily white
those colored folk were not in sight

Ah, times were better way back then
God fearing people didn’t sin
The KKK would quote the bible
Jim Crow ruled, no one was liable

Back then in the good ol’ days
Teachers often were old maids
See, married women just weren’t hired
And married teachers heard ‘you’re fired.’

Until the twentieth century
Women were just property
A woman’s place was in the home
Barefoot and pregnant (not alone)

In old, old days so bright and sunny
The rule of thumb protected mummy
Wife beating with a stick too big
Was under law prohibited.

Back then, in the good ol’ days
Poor children worked ten hour days
School was for the privileged few
After all, it was their due

So these rants for public prayer
Free citizens all should beware.
Wise founding fathers did forsee
No future in theocracy

Official prayer in public halls
Really does divide us all
In silence when we meditate
I thank my Lord there’s no church-state.

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I walk in your shadow by Ray Mancini

This is one of my favorite poems about the influence a man has on his son. It was written for Father’s Days back in 1976. Ray Mancini was a great boxer and the son of a boxer. The movie “The Good Son” was about his life.

I watch every step that this man takes,
I listen to every sound that this man makes,
I touch every part of this mans face,
I hold this mans body when we embrace, 

I cry every tear that this man cries,
I try every task that this man tries,
I keep every memory that this man keeps,
I leap every mountain that this man leaps. 

I love you dad and I really want you to know,
I wanna be like you and walk in your shadow.
I wanna be like you and live with your great name,
for I am this mans son and I will never bear him shame.

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Lost Boy by Ruth B

ruth bAs a 51 year old man surrounded by a bunch of adolescent children, I rarely share their taste in music. However, the teenagers have turned me onto one song that I find quite moving: Lost Boy by Ruth B. I imagine most of the people reading my blog have never heard of this song or the artist. Yet, for young people living in a children’s home there seems to be an universal appeal. They all seem to like it, and when it is played conversations stop, and with reverence rarely seen among children everybody sings along like some sort of solemn ritual. It’s a new song by an artist who was virtually unknown until recently. I believe this is the first song she has written. It is a simple piano ballad with no embellishments whatsoever. Yet, this song has come out of nowhere and is climbing the charts in several genres. Why? I imagine the song will appeal to people in different ways but there is almost certainly certain elements we can all relate to.


There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too  

The opening words to the song are the most heart-wrenching. I think they really appeal to our young people here. Childhood is a very insecure time for anyone, but when you take away the security of the family due to divorce, poverty, abuse, or drugs, a child can feel very isolated and alone. These children sing the words because they have lived the words.

The truth is, we have all lived these words. Out of all the painful things I have endured through life loneliness is the most dreaded. It’s one thing to be alone, it’s another thing to be lonely. I think we all benefit from times of solitude, but loneliness is another matter. Loneliness is that feeling of insignificance. It’s feeling like nobody knows you or cares to know you. There’s nobody to turn to without feeling like you are being a burden. It is a despairing feeling that has driven many to make all sorts of sacrifices even taking their own lives to escape the feeling. We need people. Those who have gone through loneliness usually feel a great deal of sympathy for those going through it.   Perhaps that is why the opening lines command such silence and even reverence.


Then one night, as I closed my eyes,
I saw a shadow flying high
He came to me with the sweetest smile
Told me he wanted to talk for awhile
He said, “Peter Pan. That’s what they call me.
I promise that you’ll never be lonely.”

For me, the reference to Peter Pan and the lost boys is really a secondary theme. I think the song is really about finding acceptance (real or imagined). I think it is quite appropriate that the video of the song is nothing more than a woman and a keyboard in a completely vacant room. It’s sadness, yet just like the rays of sunshine pouring through the windows there is hope. Acceptance is sometimes rare and highly treasured. I think we crave more than just friendship. I think what we really crave is know that even if all our flaws were known, there would be some people who still loved us for what we are and not what we pretend to be. Perhaps the only place where such a place exist is in our own imagination.

As we soared above the town that never loved me
I realized I finally had a family
Soon enough we reached Neverland
Peacefully my feet hit the sand
And ever since that day…

When we are experiencing rejection especially from people closest to us, we all must be capable of finding hope. It guess that is what Neverland is to me. We can soar above all the negativity when we can envision a place where people can accept us for what we are. Isn’t this something we all crave. A place where we can walk in and everybody knows us and is glad we are there.

“Run, run, lost boy,” they say to me,
“Away from all of reality.”

Sometimes all we can do is run away from the negative circumstances of life. I think this is why so many truly troubled people find solace in the arts. Writing poems, songs, stories, or even blogs give people a peace of mind they can’t seem to find otherwise. The ability to express yourself through pictures, painting, music, or any other use of the imagination might be the best thing for survival.


He sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe
Believe in him and believe in me

There may be times when all of us need a little pixie dust to restore our faith in ourselves. Each failure, each rejection is another blow to a person’s self esteem. Quite often we forget our successes, but we rarely forget our failures. Too many failures and we may identify ourselves as a failure. It’s hard to get up when you keep getting knocked down. How refreshing it is when people believe in our abilities even when we can’t believe in ourselves. That is the very thing we need to lift us up.

To me a good song is one that touches our hearts, and lifts our spirits. Lost Boys definately does that.

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Goosfraba: Dealing with Anger

anger-managementEverybody has to deal with anger, but in a household with at least 5 teenage girls and one adult woman, there is hardly ever a passing moment when somebody isn’t ticked off somebody (mainly me) or something.

I don’t think anyone has ever been capable of coming up with a full-proof plan for resolving all anger issues, but I am one that is convinced that humor will sometimes help. I’ve gained a great deal from a comedy movie called Anger Management. It’s really too crude of a movie for me to recommend it, but it does have some parts in it which are not only humorous, they are truly helpful in dealing with those moments when you feel like breaking a chair over somebody’s head.

For instance, I believe singing is more helpful in changing a bad mood than anything else. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Jack Nicholson (the doctor) forces Adam Sandler (the patient)  to stop in the middle of a bridge and unfluster. To help he has him sing the song, “I Feel Pretty” from Westside Story. If you haven’t seen it, please click on the link and watch it (Warning!!! there is some offensive language, but nothing you won’t hear occasionally on your way to school or work anyway).

​Whenever I feel tempers starting to rise, I respond by singing one of three songs: 1. Love One Another ( the church devotion song that is basically a direct quotation of 1 Jn. 4:7-8). 2. I Feel Pretty (from the movie like above). 3. The Goosfraba song (which I came up with that was inspired from the Anger Management movie. Those who haven’t seen the movie have no idea what “Goosfraba” means. So click on the word “Goosfraba.” and it will open a link that shows the scene from the movie.

I’m sure the word is probably made up, but over the years  we have used this word a lot in my family. When starts getting upset it is either my son or I will respond by saying, “Goosfraba.” I guess it’s our way of saying calm down, this isn’t a big deal. My son and I do this a lot. The females refuse will often refuse to comply which is why they are much more prone to anger. 🙂

Anyway I liked the word so I made it into a song. When I first came up with part of the song we were taking care of boys. The idea is I say “goosfraba” and another person responds by singing “in the morning.” Then goosfraba is repeated followed by “in the evening” and a third time goosfraba and all sing all afternoon. This is followed by the different verses. So here is the song:


Goos-fra-ba (In the Morning)
Goos-fra-ba (In the Evening)
Goos-fra-ba (All after-noon)

If you’re ever feelin’ angry
And the world has got you down
Just sing these words to yourself
And they’ll help you to calm down. 

Goos-fra-ba (In the Morning)
Goos-fra-ba (In the Evening)
Goos-fra-ba (All after-noon)

If you ever feeling stabbing
Someone who’s made you mad
Just sing this song a couple times
It will help you to be glad

Goos-fra-ba (In the Morning)
Goos-fra-ba (In the Evening)
Goos-fra-ba (All after-noon)

If you’re ever feeling’ so mad
You feel the urge to kill
Just sing this song; it can’t be wrong
The words will help you child. 

Goos-fra-ba (In the Morning)
Goos-fra-ba (In the Evening)
Goos-fra-ba (All after-noon)

And so forth. . .

Now when a person is really upset, the last thing they want to do is sing a song, and almost all are very resistant to singing the song with me. That’s okay. It really doesn’t matter. The song still helps. Sure most think it’s stupid, but after a while when I say: “Goosfraba” at least will respond out loud with the “in the morning.” Even if they don’t, it’s still in their head. It’s one of those songs that once it’s in your head, you can’t hardly get it out. And it definately lightens the mood, even if you won’t want it to.

I don’t think anybody in the cottage has seen the movie or knows what “goosfraba” means, but they definately know the song. I have made an imprint.

Anyway, if you know somebody with an anger problem share this post or the video of the song and tag them on Facebook. That’s always fun.:)

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Commodious Commode

It’s time once again for Silly Songs with Ken. When my children were a lot younger I was trying to increase their vocabulary. One of the words was commodious, and it went so well with commode that I just kept saying it. Well, commodious commode somehow got brought up a couple months ago just before we were going to staff meeting and I thought to myself that could be a really cool song, and I started putting it together. So here it is with a video I put together and posted on YouTube. I hope you will like it and get a good laugh. If so, please share it with everyone. It’s really good for a laugh. I hope its not too crude.

Here are the lyrics are here as follows. You can see the video by clicking on Commodious Commode.

Commodious Commode
I need a commodious commode

To have when I get old

With a super soft toilet seat

One that’s easy on my cheeks
I need super soft toilet paper

Not the kind like sandpaper

But it needs to be the stronger kind

So none’s left in my behind.
I need a commodious commode

One that can handle heavy loads

With a super powered flush

So it won’t ever stop up.
I need a shelf with lots of books

Perhaps a stove so I can cook

That would really make me smile

Cause I’m gonna a be there a while.
I need a commodious commode

One that makes me feel at home

So when I’m not feeling great

At least I can lose some weight
And if I’m ever feeling frustration

When I’m stopped up from constipation

I know it will be okay

Cause I can sit in there all day.
I need a commodious commode

For when I get home from the road

That’ll be my special place

Every time I need some space
Now I don’t ask for much, I’m a simple man

But I’d like some comfort when I use the can

Oh when I really really have to go

I want a commodious commode
I need a commodious commode. . .

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Loving Enough to Let Go

True love is not selfish. True love will seek the welfare of the one we love above our own desires. It’s been well over two decades now, but I can scarcely think of the event without tearing up. My daughter was just a toddler back then and very sick. We weren’t sure what was wrong with her, we just knew she was starving to death before our eyes and we felt so helpless.  As a young father that little girl was my whole world and I would strolled the valley of Hell itself to save her from pain, but that wasn’t an option. 

We had to take her to a children’s hospital for a biopsy to try and figure out what was wrong. Before they could do the biopsy they had to get an I.V. in her arm which is incredibly difficult to do on a malnourished toddler. They had to strap her down and get the help of several people before they finally got that little needle in her arm. Meanwhile, my wife and I were asked to leave the room, but we were still close enough to hear my little girl scream at the top of her lungs as they poked her over and over again with that I.V. until somebody finally got it in. Listening to her scream, “DADDY, HELP ME!!! DADDY, WHERE ARE YOU?” over and over again as they kept poking her remains a fresh and painful memory to this day. She doesn’t remember it, and we’ve both seen her go through much worse pain, but I’ll never forget it simply because the phase of life I was in. 

To a toddler, daddy is Super Man. I could swoop in from nowhere when she fell in a pool. I’d carry her when she was tired, I’d  bandage boo boo’s, and most of all I’d protect her. She counted on me to fix problems. But I couldn’t fix this problem without help, and for a short time that help meant that she would feel like her daddy had abandoned her.  Little did she know my pain was much worse than her own. 

Just the other day a young teenage girl came up to me and asked, “Mr. Ken, do you think my daddy loves me?” I work for a children’s home, and she had recently been placed in our care largely because of a divorce/remarriage situation. She felt her daddy had abandoned her by putting her in our care. I told her that I don’t know her daddy, but my experience as a daddy is that he can’t help but to love his daughter even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.  

Now I don’t know the details of the decision nor the character of the parents, but based on what I see in the girl, I’m betting she has at least half-way decent parents. She is after all very pretty, polite, respectful, well-groomed, and intelligent. One thing I do know is that there are times when a family situation can get to the point where the most loving act for a child may be to get them to a better environment then can be established at home. It’s not giving up and it’s not abandoning the child; it’s getting help, and that may be the most loving act possible even if not ideal. 

I have seen a lot of situations like this. Real life is not anything like an episode of “Leave to Beaver.” People make some huge messes out of their lives and they make even bigger messes out of their children. For whatever reason, some parents really shouldn’t be parents. Some love their children very much; they just are not capable of raising them right. It’s a hard fact to face, but denying it may only causes more harm for the child and leads to a vicious cycle that causes more damage. 

I have a niece who has a child about the same age as my own granddaughter. But my niece is a drug addict and even though I think she is trying desperately to stay clean, she is losing the battle. She has stolen from just about everyone she knows and is facing prison time. Even if she got clean, she has a crimson record and no education. But she loves that child.  Even though she can’t raise him, she isn’t willing let him go either. The real truth of the matter is that my niece was born to people who weren’t ready to be parents either. But they tried, and kept trying till they couldn’t take it anymore and then they passed on to whoever was willing to take her until they couldn’t take her anymore. 

I know of all sorts of young successful couples. They have money, education, a stable family and home life, but they simply can’t have children. The younger the child is placed into a stable environment the better chance he/she has at ending the cycle and leading a successful life. By the time a child reaches adolescents, families who try to care for them are not equipped to deal with the damage already done, so the child simply gets passed from one place to the other never reaching their full potential. I know my niece loves her child, but I also know the most loving act she can do for that child right now is get him into a loving family who will raise him as their own. Stating this, I’m sure, will tick off several family members, but I’ve already seen the cycle several times, and it’s heartbreaking. 

I know it’s hard for children who are adopted to understand why their biological parents would give them up. They may feel abandoned or unloved. But sometimes giving them to somebody else may be the hardest decision their parents ever made. At the same time, it may be the most loving thing they could have done. 

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