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Too Seldom Kissed

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
When the stories of my life, at their inevitable ends
Cajole my body into giving up the ghost
As my spirit bids farewell to earthly family and friends
There is one thing, that shall surely suffer me most

I shall not even briefly grieve the squandering of my youth
For mistakes, misdeeds nor opportunity missed
Nor regret my many unsuccessful searches for the truth
But that though we loved, we far too seldom kissed

© 2015 W. Whedbee

Greatest Loss

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
If your love for me was lost
And not readily found
The world would pay the cost
As my tears would soak the ground

And the rivers overflow
And the ocean tides would roil
And the crops no longer grow
As the land would lose its soil

Should the heart within me brattle
And the mountains shake and quiver
The hell hounds’ chains would rattle
And the coldest places shiver

When my very spirit bellows
In the throes of my great sorrows
In the halls of heaven would be echos
That there shall be no more tomorrows

© 2015 W. Whedbee

Without Clan Nor Kin

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Without clan nor Kin
Denied Consanguinity
Accused of a sin
Denied all affinity

No longer a brother
Persona non grata
Despised like no other
Love Desiderata

Wrongful reckoning
Soul hunted by Gwyn
As the grave is beckoning
Without clan nor Kin

© 2014 W. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
How do I make amends when broken
Or give back what I did not take
Erase the words that have been spoken
When forsaken by those I could not forsake

As my body fails and falls apart
My very soul cries out for you
And so I ask you from my heart
What penance would you have me do?

To lose a sibling is heartbreaking
And grief may have your heart in thrall
Because of choices you are making
I have lost not one but lost them all

Brother to no one am I now
Before my life on this earth ends
With all I am, I will try
To learn how I can make amends

© 2014 W. Whedbee

Pantoum of the Fight

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
He fought the fight courageous and so bold
No one can doubt his heart that is a fact
Even as his face and hands grew old
His intentions and his will remained intact

No one can doubt his heart that is a fact
His courage time and again were tested
His intentions and his will remained intact
Until he met his end and then he rested

Her courage time and again were tested
She buried him and at his head she laid a stone
Until he met his end and then he rested
And now without him she remains alone

She buried him and at his head she laid a stone
Even as her face and hands grew old
And now without him she remains alone
She fights the fight courageous and so bold

© 2014 W. Whedbee

What is a Pantoum

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
The Pantoum is a form of poetry similar to a villanelle in that there are repeating lines throughout the poem. It is composed of a series of quatrains; the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next. This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza, which differs in the repeating pattern. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate; the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final. A word can be changed here or there for impact or meaning. This is a difficult type of poem to write, I hope you enjoyed my effort at Pantoum.

Useful Time

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Have I outlived my usefulness
A burden on those around me
Is what I am feeling helplessness
Why has death not yet found me

Is all the best about me gone
My skills and knowledge obsolete
Muscle, tendon, skin and bone
Too weak and painful to compete

My body once steel and hard concrete
Now is left barely standing
I used to land upon my feet
But know not where I’ll be landing

My mind once sharp as a razor’s edge
Now a dull and lifeless lump
Has left me standing on the ledge
Barely the presence not to jump

When I was young and full of life
Witty, smart, able and wild
Never thought I’d take a wife
Nor bring to this world a child

In the fearlessness of my youth
At a time when I was truly alive
I was sure it was the truth
That I would not live to thirty five

Pushed my body, mind and nerve
My hubris was a crime
And the punishment I deserve
To live beyond my useful time

© 2014 William B. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
I have both betrayed and been betrayed
Both hero and scoundrel, wrong and right
For forgiveness I have prayed
And opened my door to the thief in the night

It is certain that I owe God a death
That may not come at my own hand
I will pray with my last breath
For a noble death but nothing grand

When lies from truth are cleanly flayed
Surrender to freedom that’s last and best
Forgiven for the times I strayed
My soul will fly, my body rest

© 2015 William B. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
On crumbling cliff over the pit of the snake
As despair billowed from the burning deep
I was most certainly not fully awake
Unfortunately not merely asleep

Each time I moved away from the ledge
My shattered past like pointed lance
Or demon’s sword with sharpened edge
Sealed my fate and stole my chance

Through tears I gazed at the chasm wide
Closer each moment to my dreadful demise
I tried hard to see the other side
Through Sulphur and ash and watery eyes

The cantillation of blackbirds’ caws
As they flew above, blotting out the sun
Listed transgressions and broken laws
By which my eternity was undone

Valor and good deeds all forgot
No words or works can change my fate
Misled, used up and left to rot
I learned the truth, but learned too late

Dragon’s lies from the deep dark
Whispered a promise to end the pain
If I bowed my head, accepted the mark
And shackled up the molten chain

Convicting caws and whispers of relief
Grew louder at the end of the night
Thoroughly testing my belief
Though I did resist with all my might

My foothold crumbled and gave way
A light shone bright from up above
Sunlight began a brand new day
I woke, saved by Grace and Love

© 2015 William B. Whedbee

Bugles Call

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Now the bugles blow my child
War’s insatiable thirst to quell
Bloody, terrible, horrific and wild
Where men die and demons dwell

I stood vigilant for my spell
But alas, my bit is done
The bugle’s call does compel
You to war my prideful son

Who you are must never break
While in the thick you must remain
Do not kill for killing’s sake
And keep your honor without stain

When at last this war adjourns
From first to last bloody fight
And surviving them all you return
With heavy brow and eyes less bright

You find that I have returned to dust
Do not mourn and shed no tears
In Almighty God place your trust
He shall assuage all your fears

The war for me then has ended
And I wait for you in a peaceful place
Where strength that was in war pretended
Is never ending in God’s Grace

© 2015 W. Whedbee

Woeful Dirges

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Sadness comes in surges
So I write woeful dirges
When happiness emerges
I must resist lowly urges
And forego selfish splurges

© 2016 W. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
When the times that we call day and night
illusions of what’s wrong and right
Realities and things imagined,
so very quickly fade away

Scales busted, Justice, through the blindfold
glimpses that which she cannot wright
If her crafters never existed,
then nothing’s left for her to weigh

Just how much light can pierce the darkness
and how much mold can spoil the bread
Between dark and light is no fine line
as shown by the dawn and the dusk

Who claims to know the scope of Evil
should surely watch his heart and head
Lest his life’s work be to toe the line
and smile while eating moldy rusk

In the darkness a mere spot of light
can still be seen from far away
While the darkest things are all better
viewed in the brightness of the day

Look not into the darkness behind
when beacon lights the rocky shore
Find your way swiftly, do not tarry
before the lighthouse shines no more

© 2016 W. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Though mistakes are made
Under the brightest sun
In the darkest shade
Is where evil is done

© 2016 W. Whedbee

Daytona Beach IS NOT a Ghetto!

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Editorial ·
 Recently the website "" published an article ranking Daytona Beach as the "#1 most ghetto" city in Florida.  They used a photo of an older area of Daytona Beach to demonstrate how "ghetto" Daytona Beach is.  The problem is that the following photos were taken within a mile or two of where the photo they used was taken.

The criteria used by "" are dubious at best.  They consider as an important factor, the number of convenience stores in the area stating, "Sociologists have indicated that these types of stores are a staple of inner city life."  They didn't however, adjust for the fact that this is a tourist area which at times of the year has up to an extra half a million people in town.  Likewise with their "per capita" crime criteria.  They use the number of permanent residents living in Daytona Beach as the population, making no adjustments for the several hundred thousand visitors that may be here at any given time.  Not considering the tourists and transients in the area negatively impacts every per capita criteria used in their selection.

   There is no doubt that Daytona Beach, like most cities, has areas that are not showplaces and there is a definite lack of economic opportunity in the inner city. However, there is an unmatched natural beauty and diversity to the area.  There are many points of view about what Daytona Beach should do or should be. Once touted as the "World's Most Famous Beach", Daytona Beach's hard packed sand allowed driving and parking on the beach, which made it the perfect place for families to enjoy the surf.  There are many who believe that the heritage of driving on the beach should be preserved and others who believe that times have changed and beach driving should be ended or restricted to promote development of higher end resorts.  

   As a native of Daytona Beach, I have seen cycles of decline, short lived revival and some long term progress in the area.  I've heard of issues and plans and reports for retooling the economic base of the area.  I've seen this cause and that, this politician and that, this group and that, each claiming to have the magic cure for what ails the Daytona Beach area.  What I've never seen is a consensus.  I've never seen a plan for creating a community effort.  When I was a child growing up in Daytona Beach, I remember the influx of "Snow Birds" in the winter, mostly older folks who sometimes got lost or drove too slow.  Once I was riding with my father and I got agitated with a Canadian driver who came to a complete stop at each intersection, struggling to read the street signs I suppose.  
Noticing that I was getting frustrated, my father explained to me that we should be nice to all visitors to the area.  He reminded me that they were our guests who came a long way to visit and out of all of the places they could have gone, they chose here.  I guess that stuck with me.

   When Daytona Beach was the preferred college students' wild, "Spring Break" destination, the city curtailed the Spring Breakers to try to preserve the image of Daytona Beach as a family vacation destination. But the beach could not compete with the theme parks in Orlando when it came to the families, so Daytona Beach lost most of the Spring Breakers to other more accommodating towns like Panama City and Cancun, without gaining the family vacationers it was hoping for.        

   Some time ago, bikers made Daytona Beach the place for motorcycle enthusiasts with a bikeweek rally unrivaled by any, other than possibly the Sturgis rally. Daytona Beach nearly repeated the Spring Break mistake because of the noisy pipes on the motorcycles.  I do not know the details of how this one time "serious issue" was resolved but thankfully, the bikers remain.   

   Daytona Beach will always be the the "Birth Place of Nascar", and given Nascar's recent investments and upgrades to the International Speedway, it is safe to say they will be here for some time to come.

   I don't have the answers to what ails Daytona Beach, nor can I predict the future.  I must say that a little common sense goes a long way.  With all of the money spent by Daytona Beach and Volusia County on consultants and plans, and all of the concessions given to any "developer" who comes along with a promise and a smile, there is something being missed.  How many residents who live in Daytona Beach, love it?  How many who are quick to argue and point out what is wrong with Daytona Beach, go out of their way to be welcoming to tourists and visitors, or shout from  the rooftops what is right about Daytona Beach?  Please, Daytona Beach and Volusia County elected officials, don't hire another consultant.  I could put together a list in a week of residents who have varied ideas and positions, but a few things in common, like a love for Daytona Beach, a desire to see her flourish, and a hospitality that comes naturally to one who loves their hometown!

Funeral for Freedom

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Editorial ·

Freedom is a fragile thing which must be carefully constructed and dutifully tended. Revolutions and Civil War have been sparked by faith in the idea and belief, that all are equal under God and the law, and that no person, or class of persons is subservient to another. This equality allows for freedom of thought, speech, peaceful dissent and the freedom to worship who, what and how one chooses, or not at all.  It is upon these core freedoms that all other freedoms are founded.

To remain, freedom requires the duty of every free person to enthusiastically hold other people’s freedom above or equal to their own.  It demands that every free person be willing to bleed and shed blood in protection of our collective freedom.  This willingness must exist, regardless of race, religion or ideology.  

Hope Resides

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Oh you keepers of the light
Who with hearts on sleeves
Endure the frigid night

Though you act as Angels briefly
You great lovers of mankind
Are sinful creatures chiefly

Cruelty, sickness, hate and greed
You live amidst insanity
But cannot deny a traveler in need

Not for fame, riches nor admiration
With no thought of changing the world
A precious part of God’s creation

Through life’s challenges and grief
Your heart knows we are the same
Butcher, baker, beggar thief

Though you also struggle to cope
In your giving is your gift
In caring hearts resides the Hope

© 2016 W. Whedbee

Electric Kiss

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Electric kiss in the mist
Eclectic bliss of the tryst
Love but not the physical kind
Beautiful harmonies of the mind

© 2014 W. Whedbee

Fields of Fire

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Our souls shall meet in the field of fire
‘Tween heaven and the hell we made

We sent so many to the funeral pyre
By will and skill and blade

Pass by me my trusted friend
On the way to your place of glory

Stay not with me until the end
Of my time in purgatory

For what you did you had to do
And cannot be held to blame

I learned to love it and I knew
I’d face eternal flame

Perhaps this is one last test
Should I fight for my salvation

Or drop my sword and expose my chest
And save God the aggravation

© 2014 W. Whedbee

Hatred is Learned

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Editorial ·
Place together young children from different places, of different races, of different cultures, whose parents have differing political ideas, financial circumstances and upbringing and almost always these young children will play together, oblivious to the differences and embracing the commonality. If only adults could act in the same way.


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
Things grew dire
For the dyer
Who barely managed a smile
Since while dyeing
He was dying
And had been all the while

© 2015 William B. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
No coin for the meat
No coin for the bread
No coin for the living
Neither for the dead

No coin for my daughter
No coin for my son
No coin for my labor
Though my work was done

No coin for the Temple tax
Then how shall I atone
No coin for the gravedigger
No coin for a stone

© 2015 William B. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
With the sunrise comes a reckoning
For all who took no toll of consequence
Who deaf to the sentinel’s fervent beckoning
For nothing demanded recompense

Those blind to the history of mankind
The narcissists and the ignorant fools
Are the blind who seek to lead the blind
And from the pit they make the rules

As in the past, so in the present
Rising from the rank and file
From noblemen and lowly peasants
The best among us all the while

Shall place all others before themselves
Stand tall and face death to put things right
Their stories written, unread on the shelves
Until the next reckoning at the end of the night

© 2015 William B. Whedbee


Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·

I sit in silence now restrained
Scarcely by my imperfect skin
My tight lipped smile barely feigned
Hides the words entrapped within

© 2015 William B. Whedbee

Nothing to Fear

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
The warm ocean water eases my pain
As it Laps up in a froth on my teetering legs
The smell of the earth after a steady rain
Lends me serenity for which my soul begs

The riparian scavengers that scuttle about
To gather a meal before the high tide
Remind me of the rush day in and day out
And because of that rush how much of me died

The buzzing of bees and the birds when they sing
The smell of the blossoms and the song in my ear
God’s creatures perform in the symphony of spring
Since all things are reborn, death is nothing to fear

© 2015 William B. Whedbee

Asinine One

Local Daytona Online Magazine
Published by in Poetry ·
With many pulpits claiming
To speak for God, exclaiming
This reason or another
For a man to hate his brother
Is their message a divine one
Or merely an asinine one

© 2015 William B. Whedbee

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