In every life
Woe presses down,
We falter then—
Face to the ground.

This woe in me—
Am I alone?
Without high ground,
Can’t see my home!

I reach for earth—
Find only sand.
No foothold here,
No place for hand.

My open eyes
Then finally see
Above this world
His plan for me.

Hand of my God
Now touches mine,
There all along—
My soul He finds.

Why here on earth?
This land of woe?
So we can love—
God’s grace to show.

These woes in life
They will soon pass,
Guard flame of faith—
God’s grace will last.

Copyright 2019



Michael Charles Maibach began writing poems at age nine.  Since then he has continued writing poems, and sharing them with friends.  In November 2015 he opened a Facebook page – Poems of Michael Charles Maibach.  It offers 140 poems written since then. His career has involved global business diplomacy.  He is a native of Peoria, Illinois.  Today Michael resides in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.    

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6 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Michael, I like the short lines — they have punch — but why so many bad rhymes? Surely you had time to perfect the execution of your idea, which was not a bad one. Just for the hell of it, take note of this, another dimeter poem with an even more exacting rhyme scheme:


    Profoundly lost,
    we sin in haste
    and do our best
    to breach your trust.

    Our paternos-
    ters, liquor-laced,
    are prayed in jest
    (to your disgust)

    with fingers crossed.
    Defiled, disgraced
    and self-obsessed,
    we are the dust

    that will exhaust
    your patience. Faced
    with flesh undressed,
    we do what must

    be done. Unbossed,
    we strain to taste
    what we can wrest
    and call it just.

    We bear the cost
    of lives laid waste,
    for we’ve been blest
    with boundless lust.

    So, Michael, with a bit more effort and determination, your pen contains within itself all the elements of a perfectly crafted poem.

  2. Mark F. Stone


    As you know, everyone encounters problems and troubles in their life. Your poem can provide encouragement and solace to people in these circumstances. For this reason, I think the poem has enduring value. I hope to write a poem of this nature one day. Thank you for sharing your poem.


  3. C.B. Anderson

    My esteemed colleagues,

    Why is it that you cannot recognize a shitty poem when you read one? I shouldn’t have to spell everything out. Emotional upwellings do not good poems make. As formalists we should admire form, and not the desecration of form. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

  4. James Sale

    Dear CB, in answer to your question we have to keep in mind Shakespeare’s comment at all times: “Use every man after his desert and who should ‘scape whipping” Who of us, indeed? Every man and woman who offers a poem (excluding post-modernists etc) offers something from their heart, and you know, they need to be encouraged, not dismissed. As with the widow’s mite, we are all of us offering so little in real terms, but even so to have it rejected is sorely punishing. There is a wonderful story surrounding Dale Carnegie in the ’50s. Asked how he had been able to create more millionaire employees than any other company in the world (at that time), he replied that hiring employees was like digging for gold – in order to find an ounce of gold, you had to dig through tons of dirt; but if you focused on the dirt, you would never find the gold. Such is my approach, then, whenever I am asked to review or decide to look at a poem: I ask myself, Where is the gold in this? As for the hierarchy, we all do it, but we shouldn’t since it doesn’t help us write better. Michael Maibach has felt deeply, has had some profound life experiences, and is using form, which I like. He is an important contributor to these pages. In my review of your work I think I invoked George Herbert as a sort of presiding muse; we need different approaches for different poets and yet that does not mean inconsistency – at least, I hope it doesn’t. All the best.

    • C.B. Anderson

      I hope, James, that you will not be henceforth known as the great compromiser. I think it is the critic’s duty dictum: to serve no master but the truth. To use a baseball umpire’s dictum: I call ’em like I see ’em. I don’t care how deeply a writer feels if said writer is unable to execute a decent poem in accordance with the (constitutive) rules of the game.


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