In my train, all were traveling West
another train passing, going East
whence I was heading, a dream to wrest
where others went - knew not in the least.
Their various wendings, leading otherwheres
at least at this time
but my plans charted not just anywheres
some deep hope of mine.
Some found who routinely ramble
roaming throughout life
time and place, spent as a gamble
fare-well or of strife.
I need reason's logic giving purpose
gifting life an aim
otherwise, all seems a ceaseless circus
Life - a wasted game.
Nothing to do with being right or wrong
for do not see it that way
only a difference how one sings their song
Life has many ways to play.
Prefer know my directions, its time of year
along which latitude ply
of land or sea, what be found growing near
when and how - their weathers fly.
Seek those learnings, Nature found to share
striving, so read its Mystery
Life's quest, points compass where futures dare
inspired from past history.
As I said, railway riding on - still wending West
while those others - easterly elsewhere
for my destination lies beyond my hungered quest
only requires - I not despair.
So much turns eastward, such - Earth happens to turn
for tis in the East, sunrise firstly met
but eventually life slackens, til cease its churn
there in the West, someday - my sun will set.
October 5, 1998
The costume, stance, words and gestures, movements well-given
all generated by body's flair and caprice
enacted as instructed by play-writes, proudly striven
creating a fantasy - something they had to release.
Though words spoken do not reveal the real you
for mood, tenor, ambiance gives meaning to the play
reflecting unique dreams, someone else wrote in lieu
one merely acting, voicing what scripted pages say.
While audience is already rigged to obey
laugh or cry, shout or scream - until felt simply awed
their reactions will be honest, not given as gainsay
for have come to be entertained - enrapture, enthralled.
There you strut, spouting words declared as someone else
hoping be accepted, no matter what part you take
mood and manner in ways, are not your real self
wanting to reap an instant deference - though all a fake.
Builder of poise, confidence, pride and self-worth
there learning that lore of human social intercourse
those needed virtues, have so wanted since your birth
yet even there upon the stage, must be earned -of course.
For one's nerve, elan, dare - challenged to act with flair
must be expended, allowing you to strut the boards
perform yet conform to script, beneath stage-lightís glare
reaping affirmation from the crowd - for your awards.
So let those bright stage-lights now be lit
while those of the house, be dimmered low
as audience found numbered seats to sit
as curtain rises - crowd's expectations grow.
With hopes crowd attending, be of profit-sized
let all begin, dream awhile - soon felt surprised.
November 16, 1998
What unspeakable delights, amazing us - as her fingerís play that unique
extracted, emanating from chambered depths of a finely crafted guitar
tantalized its gift of music from finger-plucked strings - we unthought could be found
as beyond bent of human skills, stroking strings with heart-felt fingers - bizarre!
Can definitely be done, for such have heard - moved my Spiritís soul
every note on true pitch, clear clean-plucked - of course, played upon a fine guitar
beyond her fingers - what fueled her within to burn hot as coal?
Enspirited, inspired - star-gifted as strummed with pulse of a quasar.
Left me knowing, is by our inner Spirit - encounter such wonders
intangible things inspiring thoughts - touch wedded with truth and beauty
riven deep-down - shaken to the core by Heavenís celestial thunders
such gifting wrought from that vast wealth - of human and Natureís booty.
February 10, 1999
So young, hair yet shinny - deeply colored richly brown
as mother hummed idle tunes - yet girl held a frown
former memories of other children, her sisters - or herself
like her mother had done, hair bound by rubber-bands - kept on high shelf.
Knows that peace of childhood, its ignorance unblemished by care
when time held endless, life all before - that Time in time would share
days now lost, remembered as but dreams of oneís precious youth
til sanctified with child of her own - worth of lifeís truth.
How quickly all fled, those joys enraptured by - or pains that bled
all led here to this moment, braiding her childís hair - love had bred.
A motherís task, a girls need - care of hair upon oneís head
without a mirror, her charm unseen to know of how she looks
so mother braids her hair, a tradition young girls still must dread
each night done old fashion way, now only found - in children books.
With patient care, each braid gathered to a proper thickened strand
triple-braided, with constant water-dipped fingers of hand
thence twirled and bound atop the head, til all neatly held tight
but to look at girlís face, reddened eyes - she looked a fright!
But for several years, will those tears and shouts loudly wail
til worth of prettied hair be seen, spoke words proudly hale.
A womanís hair tis their glory, holds other eyes to stare
of why, know not - nor from reason or logicís needful wear
know tis true, my wife died of cancer - her head fully bare.
February 1, 2000
By then, woods overgrown former fields
til full-sized trees became farmís final yields.
Recalled those beds of Snowdrops and Daffodil
just south of cabin, flowered each April
an ancient Lilac long ago someone planted
two out-buildings stood, though now - severely slanted.
Last time made visit there, been fifty years past
cabin's logs rotted down, such ends - endings hast.
March 15, 2000
Endurance demands, life resolved from what one might do
his love runs deep, dependable as a Polar star
when some crucial challenge portends, he always comes through
forever lives onward, give him time - for heíll go far.
March 22, 2000
Since presumed killed, he unthought by she
star-crossed by those spells, church-bellings rung
although now sailed, fast hurried he
she downed aisle with another clung
since now love-veiled - unworried she.
March 15, 2001
As foggy morning beclouded River's dim edge
one drenched with dew strode ashore, midst slime's brackish sedge
a form unrecognized, so disfigured - no one knew
a face none could remember, or if should - held no clue.
But why here released, again walk midst old World's waste
returned to drift across former years of Time and Space
revisit some direful deed, Death or Life once had done
perhaps view results, some past violence - Hate begun.
Lost souls still found reviewing old havocs, their false love wrought
countless generations still suffer so, hateful deeds once brought
for endless ages, both hands and feet - chained to Hell's rocky walls
til some wisp of Father's love, hovers there - God's forgiveness calls.
January 31, 2002
More than chill, cold love found appalling
an olden love, no longer calls
spiteful words of late - made so clear.
Day outran, til dark night found falling
knowing a voice, will never call
Death but Love's cost - out alters all.
What Time first caught then lost - love's thralling
now revamped all future years
til found forgot - even tears.
February 3, 2002
Again knowing some ancient ache, still moved within his womb
pondered how life would have been, wedded to that other whom
of what their love might have won, fledged with her with brightful plume
til after-days found that first love lost - silenced by Fate's doom.
While she whom mated, outworn - no newness could repave
as there she long prattled on, amongst her cronied enclave
was not he unloved she, for her heart to him freely gave
yet across that room, one-else once loved - olden memories crave.
March 8, 2002
A silence heard that frightened two
as camp-fire crackled some
its after-quiet gave no clue
fear listened - know where from.
Til that sound finally lost its fear
as camp-fire embered low
relaxing eyes, when saw that deer
answered fears - each could know.
May 21, 2003
When thereof seen by, eyes captured
unexpectedly across the way
such as to still ones feet - so much felt
therein - remembered by.
Future days or years still make estimations
of high value - a face, her gait and sway
yes - and of her enluring hair.
Whence soft echoes of her walk's click
within the ear, as if never heard before
a cadence, your heart measures - within.
Such charm she allures, brought from dreams
old or newly etched, softly sketched in charcoal
knowing its completion - will be never done.
But an instant from eternal Time
her presence left behind, a scent
quiet air must still treasure, as drifts
its vapors midst that dross - of citied fumes.
Lasting strays you idle with
can not describe nor explain, yet
should ever that smell, smelt again
will think - but of her.
Not of time nor place perhaps, but surely
how she walked, colors worn - exactly of her hair
and yes, scent her beauty left behind, when
turned a corner - could never find again.
Unless arctic ice should melt, completely so
or one's moldered years, refound therein returned
from whence wry magic of a woman's beauty
far outshown those bright sun's - warmful glow.
As would quench a chill, of both Polar's frozen floes
til completely melted their ancient glacial ice
til winter weather rained, instead of frosty snows
a woman with such beauty, love would pay - any price!
May 27, 2003
As if thereby, breathed a salutary burst of frosty fog
celebrate a small victory, his found tobacco won the fray
firmly saved and savored within his mouth, called in the dog
shut cabin door tight, ate then slept - as night closed up his day.
May 30, 2003
Instinctive response of only here and now
sensate perceptions perceived, could but react
eternal present - not of why nor its how.
Wearing all its future days, as each one newly drawn
brief span of years, felt by eyes, ears, touch and smell
but of simple dreams, forgotten - lost at dawn.
What it unknowingly gave, became some small part of me
to marvel such precision, Nature evolved the years
sharp mysteries, natural powers untaught - yet gifted free.
It's short wear of life, but birth, breed and die
neither known nor questioned its moods or pain
otherwise seems much the same - just as I.
Companioned to human friendship, ages outwore
yet retained its stubborn self - eons learned before.
Only canine comradery, seems touched by human soul
wolf-pups brought to hand, wanning glaciers slowly melted out
there found a beast evolved, human selections - made its goal.
When it leaves, only I will remember by
onward days for it, merely what comes to hand
despite its expertise - neither laughs nor cry.
August 5, 2003
High winds ablowin', his horse a-throwin'
still she sits - unknowin'.
Green grass agrowone belowen
she cries - a-knowin'.
April 15, 2004
Hard labors cut, dried and baled
like grain brought to barn, then flailed
bills to pay or buy - sent when mailed.
By one's forgiveness, high-hung nailed
body racked with pain, His anguish wailed
atoning prayers, sin and hopes - failed.
Til vapid taste of meals, found staled
as drank last glass, stoutly aled
fading memory - weakly frailed.
Wanning hopes, fading skin - til whitely paled
body racked with anguish, mutely quailed
palsied hands bid final wave - lastly hailed.
April 24, 2004
When at last released, for crimes never done
soon after, re-birthed within
that hope long denied, held with poet's pride
perhaps once more - would begin.
When his long forgotten, pen refound
with fresh new thoughts, his eager hands begin
ideas deeply held, felt most profound
as wrote what wrote long before - once again.
April 25, 2004
Of her gazing glance, I thought of me
yet simply skipped me on by
to whereof she sought to see
for what her glance - gave try.
Both eyes sought to penetrate
far into deep heart of things
to glean thereof, for what
ever gave their cause - to look.
Captured thereby, to know of
what far sightings, each one looked
much like brought of one's reading
captured - as read in a book.
Yet, as I also leaned there
against same rail as she
boldly asked, what she saw
far-out upon that calm lake
so keenly held her enthralled.
Aiming with my pointing finger
as if she now saw that vee
slowly gliding in, thence landing
as geese left ripples - in their wake.
Before I could gift my comment
she but laughed, then quickly left
as turned my eyes to watch
her ignoring steps, walk away
without some comment - might convey.
Left me to feel some strange loss
stolen by her unspoken wanton theft
eyes, finger's pointing of those landing geese
she quickly left, with not one word - to say.
May 6, 2004
Numbed feet felt fully frozen
cold slippers, tried to warm
right foot - left firstly chosen
vision had yet to form.
Out-stretched hands, to touch one's way
into those first steps of day
among those still left to live
future time - has yet to give.
October 30, 2004
Eons long past, some chanced need brought
til in but mere moments, caught
that final act, its dying wrought
small reptile's flesh - left to rot.
Whereof centuries later, once more found
primal man ventured down, built of stone
beyond creviced rock's far reach of sound
lizard placed there - appease gods unknown.
Until time enshrined its primal magic
into annual rites, ritualed with fire
fend off life's unknowns, each one felt tragic
their honor vowed - with a sacred pyre.
Whereafter, centuries devoured passing years
until rediscovered by scientific peers
quandaried with what all might have to tell
of tribe's belief - before calamity fell.
Tis such, past ages tell throughout history
relics left behind their sacred mystery
tribal dreams, once realized from some inner need
crafted into rituals - of their ancient creed.
November 12, 2004 - March 18, 2005
By one o'clock, thunder-storms shed
deluge of rains, blowing winds spread
their lashings raged, like some panic bred
yet unfelt - unheard by one now dead.
His dog left to whine at neighbor's door
followed back, found dead on kitchen floor
as rains again began to pour
time by now - quarter after four.
Few gathered by, years of friendship saved
brief hours warmth, mid-morning's sunshine gave
in silence, shovels interred one graved
as rains returned - bid their final wave.
With what little length Life provides
chance and choice, by which one decides
til that final hour betides
only time and God's kind love - confides.
May 1, 2004
Her eyes wet with tears
without pride's proud sneers
besettled by bleak blears
unfettled - with wept fears.
As only a woman could
rooted and ridged, she stood
face and demeanor unmasked
her fading hopes - lastly asked.
Then without a sneer nor rancor
pulled up that deeply held anchor
with but what her silence could convey
as touched my hand - then sailed away.
May 12, 2005
Ensconced snugly by warmth at fireside's brink
of Gray Haired Inn, their long years drank up
time age them down - til could not clearly think.
Their youthful laughter, now merely chuckled
til made them cough, quick swig quickly cured
their want of more brew - each loudly knuckled.
Winter or Summer, mattered not its season
there daily found, except of a Sunday's morn
church a bounded duty - their wives gave reason.
Unlike most English, their faith held a truth
first learned at mother's knee, long-life proved true
war and strife of life's trials - taught in sooth.
Thus most any day, there to drink their brew
for what truth and lies, each could keenly tell
others closeby unknew - if false or true.
But the latest had to do with Freddie
eighty-plus, seen with that widow woman
wry rumors alleged - were going steady.
For she had been life-long barren, tis said
by those who presume to know of such things
while of his four children - naught was said.
Of how they went on, of men and their wives
cronies turned into a ripe tale told
tis such how old men's humor - daily thrives.
Of little else to do, but talk and often drink
in Gray Haired Inn, their aging years drank up
daily ensconced near that warmth - of fireside's brink.
May 28, 2005
Til knowing now growing old
as memories fail
freshly re-read what once told
eyes fading frail.
Retelling what had long forgot
kind words once sent to me
our friendship, early years begot
when life thought - ever be.
Time taken, pen a line or two
letters or funny cards
a chore, but women left to do
sent with their fond regards.
Weddings, funerals or one's new address
one's need to keep in touch
some event felt strong need to express
chosen words - told of such.
Then after re-read, stored away
after I'm dead, thrown out
unaware what those words convey
burnt ashes - left no doubt.
June 3, 2005
Only later would he remember
its ravaged waste fought in September
til by early dawn, not one man seen
sent by orders - of an English king.
Story family folklore saved for years
grandchildren listened with fearful ears
history English savored, just as we
former enemies - now friendly free.
June 3, 2005
Starving faces show what hungers bestow
widowed women, but sadly grieve
miners often die in deep veins below
tis such, coal towns tell - few believe.
June 4, 2005
Three-score years upgrew into visions, like a dream
once more returned upon itself, now lately seen
dreams rebuilt, whereof old barns and brown fields grow
orange of setting sun, set ablaze - with golden glow.
So much recalled, too much lost to times of yore
twisting graveled roads now straightened, newly paved
yet enough retained, first learned of child's lore
re-seen as before, an aging mind - had saved.
That string of ten miles wear, strung out much like before
tells life yet lives on, human needs put to living's use
lost memories recaptured, refashioned - late times restore
til felt liberated from Time, former dreams - let loose.
Change has made its altered case, Time proves tis true
enough remnants left behind, Future now proclaims
a brief excursion taken, all ten miles through
late life reviewed again - my aging past reclaims.
Thereafter, drove on to those roads daily taken by
refurbished by such magic, Time dealt out once again
time-warp freely bent down, on my inward seeking eye
til child days could once more watch - may the play begin!
A wish old men dream, return to see what once had been
delve midst one's forgotten past, old roads bring fresh to mind
tis such well-talked of, tales retold by aging men
an errant turn taken down a road - once chanced to find.
June 13, 2005
Whereof I saw his rapt intent, sharp-pointed eyes sought to see
for what I would not dare to ask, as might rupture his raptured gleam
cast across those fields and dirt road, edging both woods and garth
my silent mood preyed upon those buried - beneath its forgotten soil.
How long abandoned by Time and use, am sure he would well-know
of its date and why, for cemeteries oft out-live their parish church
death took down, youth soon left to earn far more, within those roads
of citied streets and avenues, where trees are rarely found to bloom.
With fresh Spring's nascent urge to grow, as may endure full year's
people now unborn, will enshade themselves beneath their ancient shadows
a hot Summer splays with leaves freely grown - town taxes need not pay.
Was then he shook his head and said out-loud - Why did they abandoned
that church, left but to winds and age - til wastes it down to dust?
Was not that faith cast of God's grace, enough to tend their kindness
among each and all, weekly gathered in their Sunday pew - to sing
those olden tunes of prayers we knew, when morning's ten tolls
called those awaiting for its ring - echoed across Clay township's hills?
Well with that said, he rose to leave - with not one word of farewell
or those others sitting there, silenced by his abrupt departure, they afterwards
longly discussed, between that local crowd of midday lunch-pailed patrons.
Thence slowly gathered back to feed those hot flames, of their local
burnt into both brick and glass, eighty years long-kept a small town alive
storied from great-great grandad's time, down even to the present day
til clay seams at last run out, as another hill-town found - must slowly die.
June 13, 2005
Weathers foul or fair, but Beauty shows
to those with sharp eyes to see
only they understand Winter blows
stark black - of a naked tree.
A face that resembled one, once known
chance-caught eye-held, beyond hands reach
friendship long before, brief love made loan
from passing bus waved - without speech.
Whereof why do we pine of what went before
when here closely found, the wife I now adore
might it be mere novelty, by which we yearn
yet innly know, tis by self-giving - we learn.
Whatever may be found, came to pass
life encounters, but to watch, hold or save
but tingling cymbals and soundless brass
when stand before my God - as but a knave.
December 6, 2005
Thereby gained entry into that warm room
filled up with books had read
what their stories told, old wars rebirthed
what former battles bred.
December 17, 2005
Nurtured wise, learned to read and write
as parents proudly rave
those endless days and sleepless nights
their growing families raise.
December 18, 2005
Whereafter perfumed rosin filled the air
thumping bull-fiddle echoed proper beat
banjo's twang led the way, pick-thumbed with care
guitar and banjo players well-fingered - kept their seat.
Long after sky turned black, full-moon gave show
still on they played, each tune a different one
till bladders asked to go, yellowed white snow
such brought an evening down - filled up with fun.
Each Thursday night, gathered there to pick and sing
like an evening out, as their bi-weekly fling
give me a bar, I'll take 'er from there
rosin 'afly, feet 'a-tappin' - music most rare.
Til aging fiddler last hung up his bow
broke up that gathered band, bi-weekly played
as Time's upper sand began running low
funerals often graved, fewer came - one stayed.
Til beyond Life's pale, perhaps when gathered up there
those weekly tunes still be found, wanting to hourly play
perhaps when I finally arrive, soon hear someone say
give me a bar or two - and I'll take 'er from there.
December 18, 2005
A predestined Destiny, unknowing whence
nor whereof might chance, to make one's landfall thence
to terminate a voyage, some inner trust had longly trusted
despite tattered sails, weakened hull - nails salt-waters rusted.
Landfall reached at sunrise, grateful prayers given that day
whereafter journeyed across lands, his lips could not say
with those he met, whose voice spoke a foreign tongue
yet clapped his hands in tune - with songs they proudly sung.
Further travels soon observed, how others behaved
whence saw them much like animals, for were enslaved
simple cultures or those found highly organized
hard labored upon the land - or those urbanized.
December, 24, 2005
As daylight colors flaunt their brightful hues
rounding noon-sun may chance to choose
weaving those brief patterens, sunlight brought
tis of such - self-reflections muse.
Nature's changing patterns, old Sol brought
in their silence, shifting shadows taught
words cannot explain, within - one knows
shifting shadows tell - as evening goes.
Those dappled patterns, day's sunlight freely chose
cast across woods and fields, til gently sows
fresh hopes, future days may remember by
trusting Death will rebirth - beyond the sky.
June 3, 2006
Whereof we both entered by
she quickly pointed to
when frantic mother saw her
smiling tears - arms out-threw.
Such as to make my day
a lost child now refound
for those words she had to say
bought ice-cream cones - all around.
August 23, 2006
Echoing sounds from so long ago
wry stories told with our loud laughter
flitting cameos come and go
thence those silent tears - shed soon after.
Days filled up with hopes and dreams
onward years now reveal
unaware of changing themes
Time would so quickly steal.
Til what had lost as a child
old age grew new hopes held high
saddened eyes thereafter smiled
friendly laughter - soon brought dry.
October 28, 2006
T'was thrity years ago, his eyes and lips lately shared with me
a past none now lived, til finally died - nearly ninety three
those rough and ready days, today's frontier no longer found
as I slumbered by my fire, to dream - those past sights and sound.
Cold courage risking life itself, to make a buck or two
days that come no more, slowly lost by one I briefly knew
til stray strands finally unraveled, my aging years unwound
Time carelessly left to age, like fading pages - turned brown.
Perhaps in far future spheres, death may well opportune
recollections lost to one's past, Heaven may exhume
re-incarnated into a reality, unknown here below
until once again, regathered into tales - from long ago.
November 7, 2006
A kindness chanced, came my way
brief words, told her where to pay
my quick kindness - had performed.
Midst that hurried haste, often found
where fast rushing crowds, have no time
to pause and speak, in cities sound
its rush and haste - of daily crime.
Such brief cameos are seldom found
some quick encounter, quickly brought round
thereafter done without a backward glance
a brief serendipity - brought by chance.
Til after years, sometimes recalled again
to wonder of their worth, re-thought within
brief encounters still retained within the mind
those common curtesies - one's goodwill had signed.
November 12, 2006