A Tearful Kiss of the Hands


She gracefully glided to the ebony grand, stretched each of her slender fingers

In a La Jolla retirement hotel rotunda before an aged piano donor with cane,

Filled with confidence, joy, and peace. Silence greeted her classical music recital.

Striking of the keys invigorated all with her passionate Bach invention.

Player and piano combined musical motion. The audience swayed with elation.

Young artist enthralled seniors’ senses. Melodies burst forth flowing freely.

Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Bach and Chopin flooded the air with rapture.

At twenty two she undulated with lyrical rhythm, limber digits  liberated harmony.

Like fairies or graceful hummingbirds. Black dress shimmered long piano.

Elderly hands clapped syncopated joy. The donor arose with eyes ablaze,

Enthusiastic for a brief enchantment, held her hands and gave them a kiss.

"http://domainsigma.com/whois/danielclavery.com">Danielclavery.com Trust

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Memories of Dad on Father’s Day

(Click on photos to read and expand)


He was born in Morgan Park Illinois April 28 of 1910

Athletic,scholarly, and musical who became a man of men

Loving animals and horses, especially his own called "Pep"

He was handsome and polished and seldom out of step

Possessed of musical talent he played the piano and the trumpet

Strumming the ukelele he sang about a honky tonk strumpet

An outstanding Morgan Park Military Academy Grad

His achievements, skills, and talents made his family most glad

Appointed to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

(Dad as a midshipman at Annapolis)

Brought his father, Poppy, and mother, Gammie, exceptional bliss

   Basketball,soccer,baseball,football, lacrosse,sailing, and even polo

At formal recitals he played many a magnificent trumpet solo

While a midshipman he fell for a beautiful debutant: Hilda Crim

                    Her grace and beauty, love of tennis and racoons, made his head swim

        Soon they were married after he graduated in nineteen thirty two

                   During the Great Depression, an insurance career he wisely did pursue

He raised a family with a lovely girl and two athletic boys

      And gave unselfishly to provide for them a multitude of joys

                  Music,stories, travel, camping, sports, fishing to name only a few

                     He filled their lives with these and always found more for them to do

Uncle Sam came a-calling him to return to face the brutal enemy

               In ruthless World War II with fascist dictators and gross barbarity

A gunnery officer on the George F. Elliott, a transport ship

At Guadalcanal what seemed in the smoke-filled sky only a blip

Grew into a descending Japanese warplane known as a Kamikaze

That his blazing guns tore into but instead of falling into the sea

Struck the Elliot broadside in a deadly gasoline fed fireball

              Down to a sea grave slowly went the transport as nothing could stop its fall

  A  friendly destroyer rescued the crew that fearful and fateful day

                  Because of brave me like "Bull" Halsey and a man known as "R.J."

                           Yamamoto and his fleet were left limping and slinked back to Tokyo

                       Our proud protectors of liberty forced the foolish fascists where to go

                        On to Korea when duty called  him again in nineteen fifty three

                 Commanding officer of an amphibious ship called an "LSD"

                             The USS Whetstone with Lavery at the helm was a beauty at sea

                                                  ( USS Whetstone(LSD-27))

                                            It was Dad's first command and he did her splendidly

                                    Even rescued capsized Japanese fishermen he noticed  adrift

                                        Opened the dry-dock saving men and boat in a manner swift

                          Earned honors from Japan and our Navy for this humanitarian deed

                     He was never one to by-pass helpless persons at sea in need

                             Rescued hundreds of fleeing Vietnamese from Saigon

                           By navigating the Whetstone in shallow river Mekong

                        His crew enjoyed the way he played his ukelele and sang a song

                        He was a model naval captain who knew and taught right from wrong

                             Gained respect and honor for his naval skill and industrious toil

                               Commanded the USS Chemung carrying to the fleet  precious oil

USS Chemung (AO 30) head on

(Dad when a Navy Captain and The USS Chemung he captained)

                 Retired from Naval Service after a dedicated thirty years

                  And became one of those McDonnell Douglas Quality Control Engineers

               He always provided for his family as he was a frugal man

                         Invested for his and their future and prepared a well-organized plan

                           He cared for his loving mother when she became ill and very old

                              Took her to her many doctors because his heart was made of gold

                         When his sister Jane's diabetes became the brutal brittle type

                  He gave up his Long Beach ocean view and moved close without a gripe

                   As he grew older he fractured his left hip and was forced to use a cane

                     Then a wheelchair, had another fracture that caused excruciating pain

                      He found peace when he played his ukelele and launched into singing

                      To our family and his dog Pablo when on life he was barely clinging

                          Dad, we will always remember you for the memories you left us all

                           And hold high the course you navigated while you always stood tall

                           Duty, honor, country, family and pets, to these you were always true

                          We are proud this Father's Day to always respect and honor you.

(Dad, Uncle Paul, Aunt Jane top

Mom and Val

Val and Aunt Jane)

(Chip an Annapolis midshipman-plebe 1956)

(Dan a midshipman at Annapolis near a wall some people scaled on a boring weekend night)

(Valerie Lee, Dan, Paige and Tico, Dad, and Nicky at Yokosuka 1956)

Richard John Lavery Jr.,  AprDad's Memorial 4 28 09il 28, 1910- March 8, 1998

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Baby Boy in My Arms

Baby Boy in my arms

Hot and sweating from crying

Alone and feeling sorry

Parents at formal party

Took him to flowing ribbons

Translucent colors shimmer

Glinting as light reflected

Blue eyes brighten in wonder

We move through color curtain

Elated boy smiles and coos

Enthralled by the here and now

Tiny fingers on curtain

Brush away tears on his face

Grampa hums, whistles and sings

Connected in love-embrace

Ages so different yet close

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A Farewell Student Piano Recital on Fire

In a white La Jolla chapel May 2004

Our daughter held a recital for her students and what’s more

The pupils and family came to wish their good-byes

Their attention was fixed on her with adoring eyes

As their maestro and mentor was leaving in a week

Knowledge, nature and spirituality to seek

Preparing her farewell address caused the tears to flow

From the lovely pianist who was privileged to know

Beginners she molded from four to seventy-four

From novices to the accomplished she opened a door

Her passionate love of piano and beauty too

Each had to develop on their own with so much new

Musical notes, rhythm, tempo, fingering and poise

Gradually they produced music within without noise

Asian, Jewish, Indian, Hispanic, White and Black

Purpose, determination, confidence, none did lack

Strolling up to the piano, sharing what they learned

A fire had been lit inside their spirits that burned

With enthusiasm as friends, parents and Brette cheered

Only a short time before a recital they feared

Music from popular to Beethoven and Mozart

Fingers, body, and mind drew energy from their heart

They were carefully trained to grow and improve with time

Their music flowed from them from the cute to the sublime

When finished all demanded their teacher to perform

Her Beethoven’s “The Tempest” simulated a storm

Captivated by enchantment the audience heard

No rustling of paper, coughing, or even a bird

Disturbed the magical 3 hour celebration

Smiling faces replaced the discord of our nation

She started a fire in these learners like a seed

That sprouted and blazed so that each of them could succeed

The students embraced their mentor with adoration

They had a creative artistic transformation

Of their imagination waiting for a catalyst

She entered their lives clearing away the fog and mist

That inertia in our lives impedes us not to strive

To light the fire inside and be fully alive

To those lyrical impulses for students she taught

Caring, discipline, determination can ‘t be bought

So now that she leaves all of her well-wishers behind

They have her gift of music and memories in their mind

Who enthralled all of her students, relatives and friends

With her spirit, grace, and care as she explores all ends

Awaiting a foreign world she will learn from and grow

We will long for her to return as off she must go

Hike roads untraveled by lakes, rivers, and nature’s wealth

That will energize her own and spiritual health

Remembering what you did for students young and old

Will brighten everyday with your lovely heart of gold


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Romping with Birches and their Music


The resilience of Birches

How they buckle, contort, and curve

So different from their companions.

Thoughts turn to childhood when I could

Manipulate them pushing or

Pulling their branches in the wind

With brother after strong snowfall

Or rain storm, when the breeze explodes

Making them sing like instruments

In Nature’s chamber orchestra

Playing haphazard symphonies.


When Sun’s swelter melts icy frost,

A musical chance offering

Percussive bursts crashing branches

Through supple arms as if wildwood

Fairies dropped rare glass chalices

Composing unique tones, rhythms,

And unsynchronized harmony

Unheard by city residents.


When summer arrives we return

To our Birch playground leaping up

And pulling the wood nymphs tresses

To Earth while their leaves, like nightgowns

Circle the warm soil that cushions

Our feet when we cascade to ground.


Every season our Birch comrades

Entertain us with euphony.

Companions relish joyful mirth

Frolicking with our forest friends.


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