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The Flood

Deep swollen waters ... simply didn't abate
leastways ~ not till ... t was way too late
Many folks ... to the highways roam ~
no longer what they called home
Black, dark waters ... just kept risin'
~ fourteen days the sun failed the horizon
Nothing to pack ~ Nothing to do
~ Nothing left ... but an empty canoe

Pictures, books, toys ... lost
~ Lives can't begin to measure the cost
Where does one turn ... when nothing remains
There are no tears ~ the strongest heart strains
Grandparent to grandchild ... a whole fam'ly's hist'ry
searches for a future ... shrouded in myst'ry ~
Nothing to pack ~ Nothing to do
~ Nothing left ... but an empty canoe

Stars of heaven ~ are hidden from view
behind breathless, cold clouds: visions askew
~ nothing ... now, is as it seems
sleep is shallow ~ there are no dreams
sitting down, lying down ... turn and toss ~
.stunned by the enormity; mesmerized by the Red Cross
Nothing to pack ~ Nothing to do
~ There's nothing left ... but an empty canoe

Canoe be DAMNED! Canoe be cursed
.sitting there peacably ~ while I watch the worst
Dawn finds the shore on Broadway and Third
~ lonesome, desolate ... cynical of word
I don't remember your purpose ... my attention wanes ~
.distant reservation ~ is all that remains
I've nothing to pack ... I've nothing to do
~ nothing left ... but an empty canoe

~ I wish I could pack ... had something to do
I'd load full ~ this empty canoe
over rapids and currents ... I'd surely deliver
my goods ... and my treasures ... far away from this river ~
The conception is broke: the peace, the lure ...
once so gentle ~ once so pure
I'd like to dream ... and hold something true
~ I've nothing left ... but an empty canoe

Copyright 1999 by J.P.W.


Colors lying on the ground
Reds and golds which fade to brown
I'll get my coat ~ and go to town
Golashes, umbrella, and fervent frown

Proud trees are standing bare
Skeletal limbs suspended there
Amid the darkening November air
Seeing nothing ~ yet, still ... I stare

Walking directly with exact plumbness
With discretion and dignity ... of a college alumnus
My mind succumbs to a certain numbness ~
That neighbors perceive as simple dumbness

Memories flare from childhoods past
Snowflakes falling ... at long last
Street lamp's shadows dimly cast ~
Recalling years gone by too fast

The north winds blow cold and shrill
Momentarily repressing life's warmer thrill
I should go home ~ to ink and quill
And write the friends that I have still

Copyright 1999 by J.P.W.