The History behind the Mystery

(11/14 - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

eBook $0.99  Paperback $9.99.)
My third book has 58 poems: There are several haiku, several free verse, 3 sonnets, 2 diamantes, 1 limerick, and 1 pantoum. Trivia and haiku have their own sections. In addition to those, seven other subjects include religion, family, mental illness, politics, nature, movies, and assortment.
Some poem titles include the following:
We Didn't Start the Dark Side
The Boy Who Lived
Capture the King
I Scream for Ice Cream
The Mighty Obelisk
The Dog Days of Summer
Summer Solstice Sonnet
Remembering Jerry
Letting the Cat out of the Bag
Sonnet of the Fruit of the Spirit
Prayin' Myself to Sleep
Tiki Torches
The Score
The Birds and the Bees
Odysseus Return
Rotten in Denmark
April Fools
To Sweat Like a Pig
Japanese Crackers
Doing Things Once
A Welcome Change
Dissected Maps


Prayin' Myself to Sleep

By Brett A. Starr on June 17, 2022

Oh Lord, it seems these days are bad
Recent events just make me sad
I get caught up in daily grind
I need to pause and ease my mind

Each night, I thank You for my health
And for the ways I measure wealth.
I’m rich in friends and family - 
Their happiness brings joy to me

Help those with health that’s challenging 
Please ease their pain and suffering
Remind us of your caring ways
To live our lives these troubling days

Our country just seems upside down.
We need to stop and turn around.
Help us to value proper things
Remind us what Your true love brings

I pray each night upon my bed
About these thoughts within my head
I know I ask a lot of You
Many requests, You know it's true

These times, I'd say the list I keep
I often pray myself to sleep
An open prayer without Amen
Tomorrow night I'll pray again -


Footnote: This prayer struck me after many nights praying for several concerns, for family, friends and for our country. It’s true, I watch too much news, but it sure seems like we are heading the wrong way. As the days go by, my prayers get longer and longer. When I pray, I notice that often, I nod off before I’m done. Has that ever happened to you?



By Brett A. Starr on July 18, 2022


                  Hot, sunny

   Playing, swimming, picnicking

Tornado, thunder, windy, blizzard

     Snowing, shoveling, sledding

                    Cold, dark




                   Mild, green

        Raining, growing, cleaning

Blossoms, vernal, autumnal equinoxes

        Harvesting, storing, feasting

              Colorful, comforting



Footnote: This is a double diamante poem. A diamante Poem is a non-rhyming structure of 7 lines. Line 1 has one word. Line 2 has 2 adjectives describing line 1. Line 3 is three words ending in “-ing” describing line 1. Line 4 has four nouns; if line 7 is opposing line 1, then 2 nouns describe line 1 and 2 nouns describe line 7. Line 5 is three “-ing” words describing line 7. Line 6 is 2 adjectives describing line 7. Line 7 is one word, can be opposing line 1.


Remembering Jerry

By Brett A. Starr on June 13, 2022

We miss you, Jerry. We really do.
These are some traits we loved about you:

Thoughtful, kind, humble and generous,
A friendly smile and always courteous,
An animal lover and gardener, as well,
When negativity came, you didn’t dwell,

A people-person always welcoming,
You were a good listener, always caring,
A Chicago Fan – you had many garments
The Bears and the Bulls – kind of like the stock market

Food was important with your Chicago families
Polish Sausage and, of course, pierogis
Beer and scotch ales of many sources
Why did you want to go feed the horses?

Many days you liked to work out
To burn a few carbs without a doubt
Your kindness was seen at the hospital pharmacy
It provided you a living to raise your family

These memories all bring us happy tears 
You will be remembered, Jerry, for many years.
We are comforted to know you are resting peacefully
Some day we will meet again, in eternity.

-    Do Widzenia

A Welcome Change

By Brett A. Starr on March 9, 2022

Spring. My welcome friend.
Winter's time to end. Yellow
Daffodils, please send.

Footnote: online poetry contest topic "Daffodils". I struggled with this one for quite a few days, then all of a sudden, it hit me in a matter of minutes. A simple Haiku seemed appropriate to capture my feelings at the time.


Rotten in Denmark

By Brett A. Starr on April 11, 2022

Have you ever heard the phrase?
“There is something rotten in Denmark?”
I have heard it on certain days
Few may know the origin of the remark

The meaning in hearing this thought
Is seldom misunderstood
It’s when things seem a bit odd
An evil plot seems afoot

Near 1600 William Shakespeare
Created a mighty play
About a King of Denmark
Who was murdered and betrayed

The King was Hamlet’s father
Hamlet’s uncle -- the successor
Claudius, was an evil man
A power greedy aggressor

Hamlet sees his father’s ghost
Who beckons his attention
Horatio and Marcellus
Plead for Hamlet’s abstention

The famous phrase in question
Is not fully “in-the-park”
The phrase begins, “There is something rotten
In the State of Denmark.”

This refers to Claudius’s rule
And the corruption that would seem
To come to surface as time went on
Revealing a rotten scheme

Alas, the next line is left behind
Important and neglected
A picture of faith, that truth will come out
“Heaven will direct it!”

Footnote: Here’s another one of those phrases many use, but don’t question the origin. Did you know that it came from Hamlet, one of the best works from William Shakespeare over 400 years ago? Do you know of anything rotten going on now?  Reference the website:

To Sweat Like a Pig

By Brett A. Starr on March 31, 2022

To “sweat like a pig,” we know what that means

But, where did it come from? ‘Tis unknown, it seems

The animal reference is partially true

As the images look to me and you


But the contents differ in substance and matter

A great difference not served on a platter

Instead, it’s poured in molds of sand

This fiery molten iron must cool until it stands


A smelting house with a mold in a long row

With shoots at right-angled-branches as it glows

The branches resemble piglets feeding on a sow

Some farmer must have spoken to a smelter somehow


To sweat like a pig, is much hotter than I thought

As I did this research, I learned a lot

This cooling of pig-iron -- I never knew

When the pigs are sweating, they are cool enough to move


Footnote:  Matt Waszkowski asked me to write a poem about where "sweating like a pig" came from, because we know pigs can't sweat. They roll in mud to cool off. So Matt, here it is.


April Fools

By Brett A. Starr on April 1, 2022

What can be said about April Fools
Where pranks are played in many schools
And other stories appeared in news
To catch the gullible who missed the clues

Origins of this day has history
The reasons are a bit of a mystery
For instance, in France in 1582
The calendar changed from Julian and Hindu

To Gregorian which started on January 1
Instead of in the Spring as historically done
The Council of Trent in 1563
Dictated this change that came to be 

Some were slow to change this way
April first -- the old New Year’s Day
A clever piece of influence
To promote the date of difference

Signs were placed on backs quite devilish
With words “poisson d’avril” or April fish
Who were easily caught or gullible
This made the change more willable

Another piece of the mystery 
From ancient Rome the cult of Cybele
Hilaria -- a festival that demonstrates
With disguises mocking magistrates

Or could the explanation bring
Credence to the first day of Spring
With Mother Nature’s spectacle 
Of weather that is unpredictable

In the 18th century in the land of Scot’s
A two-day event of “Hunting the gowk”
Where people were sent on phony chores
A prank that only a fool explores

I’ll bet you’ll find many other things
Explain what April Fool’s Day brings
A little nonsense makes life more fun
A game that’s played by everyone


By Brett Starr on November 14, 2021

In Michigan, just east of Saginaw,
There’s a Bavarian town – a vacation draw
Named Frankenmuth, and it’s well known
Each day is Christmas – as stores have shown.

You can hear the bells for miles, each hour
From the Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel Tower.
A magnificent 35-bell carillon
Plays German hymns as well as American.

Old-fashioned hand-carved figurines
Display the pied piper’s legendary scenes.
The restaurants serve you family style
With comfort food that makes you smile.

So, if you’re bored or feeling low
There’s a happy place that you can go
It’s in the thumb of Michigan
With plenty of fun for everyone.


frankenmuth glockenspiel tower.jpg


By Brett Starr on January 8, 2022

Don’t let the winter blues get you down

Just get in your car and go to town

Acquire some bulbs of paperwhites

To add some décor with floral delights


Just grab a pot without a hole

For best results, use a clear bowl

Add some gravel or decorative stones

Then place the bulbs per the instructions shown


Now add some water to the bowl like so

To touch the base of the bulbs, you know

Keep them in a place that is cool and bright

Their roots will sprout after a few nights


Along with that, the stems will sprout

In two or three weeks, white blossoms will come out

The narcissus fragrance with paperwhite bloom

Will add a little joy to any room


Paperwhites will help you on your way

They brighten even the darkest day

Growing these plants is a great thing to do

Just a little tip from me to you


Link to DNA Page

DNA by Brett A. Starr - 12-22-21

One of my best poems for you to enjoy.