Below the porch we heard soft lap of washing tide
as moon's nightly strength lured endless waves to ride
across thalassic miles, at each beach slowly slides
heard below that porch, incoming wash softly glides.

Beyond that porch, westing sun turned red as it set
swirled swish of water's purl continued yet
she and I talked of classic themes, our interests whet
as below that porch, sand and waters gently met.

Beside the porch moaned tall pines, evening's air daily wrings
entoned in cadence with wavelets, some song Nature sings
since sun had set, sky left with but fading purples flung
on that porch, spoke of our early love - when each were young.

But of that porch, where tidal wavelets once surged
as thalassic waters with coast-line sands converged
classic themes discussed between, our musings urge
since that porch, love's death sang her funeral's dirge.
June 16, 2001

When smaller end of cudgel gathered warmth from grip of hand
suddenly raised then swung so quickly, as if not been planned
for what eyes had seen, ears heard - too fastly put to use
one month later, users head dangled from hangman's noose.

Within a southern courtroom's stifling heat, Julys can melt
twelve jurors predecided by racial hate each one felt
judge mere functionary, both lawyers wed in collusion
when authorities met behind closed doors, sat in seclusion.

For times were changing, perforce - trial to last but a day
law's need for argued judicial practice, Time ungave words to say
since law still required executions be swiftly put in play
court in session but an hour, by two - noose swung its final sway.

Judicial judgements judicated to justify peace
civil powers thereby ensuring, social evils cease
expedient some should die, so rulers stay in power
as sweet taste of Liberty turned rancid - rank and sour.
August 1, 2001

Across landscape, dust-devils danced 'neath mid-day sun
distant dry steppes leveled flat, colored tannish dun
brilliance of sky held a dull infusion, wanly white
bleak barrenness of vast vacant land - eyes held in sight.

Only when eve obtained, could see far hills ahead
here now tent the day, for must travel nights instead
been told, but two days could cross this sterile stretch
a vague vision once dared - here now briefly sketch.

A challenge, youth could be goaded to accept with reckless care
after four long years at war, somehow self-chosen as a dare
became a test of will's strength, to trust against sane reason
highly risky - for taken during dry arid season.

Indeed crossed that desert in two nights, reached at dawn
a daring risk, some inner bravery brought on
since survived that war, surmised could conquer this too
a foolish venture once dared - to make it through.
August 2, 2001

An image retained frozen in time
place could not now find, some foreign clime
front wall blown away by war's forceful might
clock strangely still hanging there, caught my sight.

War's wasting moved further east at least five miles
dead cattle being butchered, debris in piles
folks alive kept silent, as if to speak a crime
then noticed clock on inner wall - still keeping time.

So stopped and waited, see if cuckoo clock would speak the hour
idle disregard of war and death, only Time held power
although hoped would strike, almost jumped when cuckoo gave call
told hour of three, despite wrath of war and missing wall.

An oxymoronic enigma beyond harsh wastes of war
pendulum swinging to and fro, as if might be keeping score
duty done without regard for devastations occasioned there
silence midst loss of life and reason - proud clock refused to share.

Then remembered, Good Friday - forgotten til heard clock chime three
death and destruction measured out, keeping time for what might be
words three years freely spoken, love one another sets one free
poignant moment here recalled, a foreign clime across the sea.
October 2, 2001

It chanced in days far later, those of long after years
both passed without notice, except their brief glance
strange how old events found re-emplaced, Fate oft steers
some forgotten encounter - first met by chance.

Those intervening years enlarged beyond one score
not once after had faced nor wrote, called - of such none
yet clearly remembered time and place during that war
when occasioned an evil each contrived - both had done.

Gained thereby a fulfillment, but at expense of that other
some hurried unplanned decision both agreed, yet unspoke
wasted with wanton haste, then quickly lost amidst life's clutter
of such as they passed, when old eyes met - memoried past awoke.

Just a brief gaze between two pair of eyes, unseen since
soon lost within jostling crowd, without a backward glance
heard like some shout from out their past, causing each to wince
a deed done of war-time, long before - somewhere in France.
October 6, 2001

Where does that smile now gift its gleam
such breadth and depth, gave beauty its name
of what they talked, made traveled ways her theme
now remembered of - and how it came.

Noon-time sun cast shadowed lines, short and black
he at cafe table for luncheon snack
by time half-way through, all tables full
then noticed her - felt her smile's pull.

Was as she neared, invited her to sit
since only he at table sat, seemed fit
perhaps her ruddy smile made him bold
nervous words spoke - casual topics told.

Enraptured by her smile and casual wit
he tarried there, til she made move to quit
by then plans laid - both meet at dinner's hour
after, would tour ancient Kadron Tower.

Around him, tourists spoke with teasing laughter
yet six wore to eight half-past, then much after
his searching eyes unfound she with that smile
thus inned the night, breakfasted - tarried a while.

By nine of clock he left, for could not stay
pre-set plans required be on his way
as footed eight miles beneath English skies
viewed naught without - remembered those smiling eyes.

Was how memory collected that once given smile
when longly tarried there, his patience had longly tried
some years after, another took him down the aisle
her gleaming smile, much like that once she - Englished eyed.
December 9, 2001

In times long past before people drove
footing few miles to Trylock's Cove
whereof sun gave rise to early shine
dock-side boat moored in brackish brine.

Loaded night-trawlers slowly coming in
terns and gulls circled high with screeching din
still time to breakfast by at Hang-Gate Inn
boat on-boarded - stern held five huddled men.

Quiet waters quickly brought Gorg Cliff in view
finally made port, docked harbor by Hensley's Slough
thence footed dusty roads, dirt now dried of dew
til aim of morning's trip, gained what lured them to.

What lay beyond, after-years would try
of shame and guilt, happenstance brought by
three killed before capture put two under key
years later, he who left Trylock's Cove - set free.

Of whence he went, what remaining years wove
how and by what manners or miens he throve
never known, for still times long before people drove
when first footed those few miles - to Trylock's Cove.
December 17, 2001

Hunkered down to sit a spell
sun held low as evening fell
what deft loons nightly yell
lap of lake-shore ripples tell
reminding - war's struggled Hell.

Hollowed stump cradled my back
tired muscles soon went slack
midst Nature's beauty and vast Immense
beyond woods and lake - broods some pretense.

As full moon uprose in the East
perhaps leavened by olden yeast
somehow brought on a former mood
a quiet setting - evening brewed.

A far-off time and place before
chanced by events Time outwore
recalling past memories still retained
perhaps of such - former Fates ordained.

How she tried my soul with those hazeled eyes
her awkward words told both truth and lies
though her beauty gleamed, yet hid betrayal
behind a mien of honest portrayal.

Tendered my wounds for several days
inflictions suffered from warring ways
as quickly mended, told me whence go
a path leading thence - she need not show.

But within my mind, saw in her eye
such a ruse, left me to question why
when past first bend, I waited just to see
uncertain if obeyed - be the end of me.

Behind thick hedgerows I doubled back
still fearful what her truth might lack
for those eyes seemed to tell otherwise
her demeanor - did not sympathize.

After full-moon rose up the East
hamlet and farm-stock voicings ceased
several of my foe in silence passed by
converged upon her house - as on the sly.


At first-light, wakened by fierce fire-fight
my buddies returned - hamlet held tight.

Later, of her and those she entertained
none survived - to me left much unexplained
yet why had she cared of me so for days
assured my release - but with preplanned ways?

A mystery I yet carry from that war
cared then sent - double standard of a whore
for came to know those lies seen in her eye
or was not that at all, but if so - why!

As once again full moon rose in the East
lake-shore ripples, loon cries - tis such brought peace
yet midst dark woods and lake, night's silence gave
still pondered those secrets - she took to grave.
December 30, 2001

His palsied finger trembled upon old map
several times pointing with its continued tap
muttering lips whispered but unto himself
eyes surveying old relics - upon high shelf.

Outside, Winter's worst made show - last night gave start
yet he saw but things unfound, maps cannot chart
distant travels once taken in youth-time years
events long remembered, til eyes filled with tears.

Was then ill-times brought three deaths, left widowed twice
careless Chance thrice freely tossed with loaded dice
his first love hard-fought to win - one worth the price.

Happy days both gathered, their first Summer grew
til first born hemorrhaged her, when birthing came due
both wife and would-be son lost - grim Death withdrew.

Four years after, new love enflamed
betrothal pled vows again proclaimed
but of future lineage hoped, was not to be
ten years whiled on - where dwelt by Irish Sea.

Til heard distant drums of war, gave warning sound
four more years waged in battles, Huns held high ground
were but three years of coming back, he dwelt with her
til freak accident laid her low - his tears still blur.

Thereafter plied weaver's trade, now lives alone
when Winter blows, needle falls - chill winds a-groan
oft he gathers by that map, his life had paved
recalling two wives, one son - grim Death coldly graved.
January 17, 2002

Out beyond wear of Weckford's Road where ends its run
cut off by swing of Lendow's gate, most travelers shun
flock of ewes still keep pathway mowed, Time's growage spun
leads to where Katie died of late - long illness flung.

Old road taken in former times, horse-drawn days
where kirk-garth lies, shaken yews, strong wind plays
just up hill where Katie dwelt, their church nearby
where both her and husband will forever lie.

Long wed, buried next her husband by, died ten years past
yet beside where Kate lies, two more graved - her wanting hast.

Names and dates presumed, place thought both buried by
yet gives no clue, stones merely marked in lieu
Kate's early childbirths twice threw sons, a foreign war withdrew
two stones still tell their lie, where both sons actually buried by.

Whence each son left for war, to fight the African Boer
their mounds dwell a Southern clime, these stones stand in mime
two graves sexton's shovel never dug, yet two stones placed by
Kate's want to feel both sons near - beneath an English sky.

While yew trees still grieve their mornful sigh
should those strong western winds so proudly try
rustled leaves still entone their solemn cry.

There far off in a warm southern clime
where morning's fresh dew unturns to rime
two brothers fell - both in their prime.


Most assume Kate's sons buried here
those double stones declare so clear
yet both molder in graves far elsewhere by
like most war-dead - buried where lastly die.
January 27, 2002

Footing ancient pathway, idle days of youth
wondering if mile-stones yet told their truth
August noon of burning heat, far ahead a bridge
soon below, bare-feet cooled - as sat by stream-side edge.

Must have fell asleep, comfort flowing waters gave
when angry words wakened me from my reverie
two bantering back and forth with loud rant and rave
yet what each told - held no light words of levity.

Then for awhile nothing heard, as below still I sat
wondering what devilment lent hate to their heated chat
few further words, less harshly uttered from each mouth
after, one left going North - other walking South.

I re-shod then regained the bridge, took its southward way
no one met til reached where Lifton straddles Thrushel's flow
engaged an inn for the night, thence traveled on next day
of what their angry words been about - will never know.
February 3, 2002

Would have been a time, even these ancient trees unsaw
long before seeds their ancestors shed, some Autumn dropped
yet found back then, tracken road taken when Winter raw
gave show of two-wheeled cart oxen-pulled - here once stopped.

An open fire built to last the night, with embers left
enough to heat morning's brew, must quick be on their way
eager to reach Genslow below where Elkst Abbey lay
two-family clan, in those harsh times - be alert for theft.

Seven years since seen kinfolk, born and bred thereby
word had come, Duke's death ceding them free ground
those younger dreamed what might newly see with eager eye
old folk's wished buried by - when Death took down.

Four centuries have past since those embers last burned out
former trees then grown, now unfound along that route
times churchen curates paid from pew-rent - family named
poor folk, unyoked oxen - when all-night embers flamed.
February 6, 2002

For whom do they toll, those bells heard across the lea
distant echoes telling a burial soon to be
time of one's quitence told, when parish bells were knelled
notice thereby given, for centuries - church-chimes belled.

In ancient years, some gathered within the hour
why church-bells high-hung within belfry tower
as might echo 'cross parish lands, heard by all
of how bells were rung - explained why gave their call.

Still remember when but a child six-years old
dad and I afield hearing, he stopped - learn what told
yet see steepled church across several hills, spired high
as slowly ambled back home - he told me of and why.

A cherished page, as if been torn from some ancient tome
such not done for sixty years, now only dreams or poem
a passing of time-honored ways that most would unknow
lost to a former past - future years will not bestow.

Needful artifacts of rural lays, Time has cast aside
few knowing of, relics found in books History may provide
fondly treasured, a memorial my memory kept
if chanced to hear again, wetful eyes would show I wept.
February 10, 2002

Across lengthened shadows, late evening sun had drawn
to where garden's gate reached far end of lawn
seeing her take leave with several books borrowed of
a bonnie lady pert and bright - sort one could love.

Waved when closed our gate, as evening sun sank down
her leaveage soon forgotten when headed back to town
I unknowing then, be last glimpse would have of she
two months after - those borrowed books returned to me.

Such suddenness oft the way of unexpected death
for unmeasured lie our future days, their length and breadth
recall her joyed eyes as held those books in hand
pleasant words we exchanged - of what her readings planned.

As shadows lengthened across that lawn, eve then had drawn
of her departure, brief wave by gate at end of lawn
now felt like some premonition of what had come
for on very morrow, sad news came - left us numb.

Yet should of a summer's sky now lend its evening rays
tracing lengthened shadows cast, downing sun sets ablaze
still see her smile, those happy eyes - final wave of hand
for by that gate with saddened tears - am often found to stand.
February 14, 2002

Came to pass, found his ill-starred scheme had failed
despite carefulness, soon caught - ten years jailed
those years under-key left him wan and paled
after released, life withered - wan health frailed.

Yet of she, for whom ill-starred scheme he had done
quick-found another by, til wooed, wed and won
but in time her beauty decayed, grossly wasted dun
til he too left her, some sleazy beau she had laid for fun.

Later, with beauty fled, none to bed - her will to live staled
within months of her missment, of such locals nightly taled
while known to none but he, she had secretly sailed
re-wed first one loved - cloaks of history forever veiled.
February 15, 2002

As day's dawn drew its birthing strength to full
double-teamed horses gave wagon's pull
their labor's fogged chilly air, sweat and breath gave vent
wagon's rumble with harness squeaks - quaint noise lent.

An early start so gain full length of day
breakfast quickly fried, soon be on their way
for must be busied with farming labors
among kindred friends and nearby neighbors.

Small rise lent no need for half-way rest
soon found lost to view, after breached hill's crest
wagon's creak and wheels grind, left a fading sound
until of its passage - merely memories found.

Seen and heard by me on Welsh roads, I just passing through
reminding childhood ways, my farming days once threw
for as I have often told before
when lone traveled to rid those pangs of war
seeking forgiveness - for its waste and gore.
February 18, 2002

Atop high crag, perhaps some call Lover's Leap
where words love might tell, seaside winds bestow
today as in ancient times, pasture for sheep
beyond its edge, that sheer drop far below.

No doubt for centuries, courting couples found coming there
gathered some young colleen and her beau, both young and fair
whispering soft nothings in each one's ear - and the air
to wonder if those words lost on ancient winds, still drifting there.

Softly spoken with passioned feelings, alone when told
beating hearts deeply held by what enwrapping arms hold
between both lips, sweet-nothings shared through lost years of old
as preface to life-lasting love, til two tryst found - one-souled.

If should need verification, some night quiz of moon
for its dim-lit orb has seen all who once ventured there
twilight hours then beyond, when came to kiss and spoon
each time seen and heard - by both moon and silent air.

Tis such those words of olden love, given with their sigh
as years wore each life to death, til both lie beneath their mound
where in Heaven's hold, tender talks again telling why
searching midst those former times - as if both still tightly bound.

I once chanced standing there, but in bright of day
far off cliff's edge lay blue sea beyond Clew Bay
struggled with war's waste and aftermath, health put in play
unknowing then, here love brought full - whispered words would say.

That seaward view o're topped with sky's endless wear of space
created dimensions where bright hearts, soft lips might trace
bare brink of edging cliff gave allusions, a secret place
where passioned words of hope and love, future years would grace.

Now am much too old to have need for that high cliff-held view
nor require its use for what love tendered there might brew
yet if that spot were close-by, not there - where Ale Burn greets the sea
yes, then would wish again there stand, thinking not of war - but of she.
March 2, 2002

As she bent down to fill water pail at roadside spring
my timid greeting surprised her with its loud cheerful ring
straightened as she turned, that sudden fear soon changed to a smile
made my thirst double-blessed - after long hike of many mile.

Bid her fill that pail first, afterwards I would drink
she spoke not a word, quickly filled bucket to its brink
pert lass she was, sheer joy to catch such a beauty there
skin tanned by Irish summer's sun - full head of reddish hair.

Common tin I drank from, wondered how long used before
slaking thirst of passing travelers, past centuries outwore
sheltered in rocken niche, still hung above road-side spring
yet was stung far more that bright day - by her beauty's sting.

Had asked how far would be, gain next town lay beyond
if an inn be found to eat and bed the coming night
measured me a bit, before thought of how respond
be half-day's walk, full ten kilometers - if not quite.

So it was we walked together, her farm lay that way
dared to asked if there could supper by, but need not stay
telling oft slept the open sky, some copse atop a brae
of this she laughed yet smiled, their barn for free - need not pay.

Two days there spent, ate and laughed with those happy folk
helped with chores, my foreign accent their favorite joke
but their real interest, what might tell - those deeds of war
for their oldest son still not released from English Corps.

Were encounters like this, healed leisions in my mind
war traumas endured confounded me, like one moral blind
by my telling thereof to others, slowly purged their curse
contrasting happy days with fearful days - war found far worse.

Looking back in time, seems an entire life lived through
long later, amazed how much more of life would accrue
so many met, much learned - wondered how one could live so long
so many cared, so much unshared - confusing right and wrong.

Among gifts gained from traveled Irish paths and English lanes
happy laughter and friendly chats, soon absolved warrish pains
so grateful of, for healed me - from their kindness I grew
much like when she by that spring - her bonnie smile threw.
March 16, 2002

Her agony trembled all standing-by
those gathered watched, seeing loved-one die
til some whispered silence held all mute
as if to speak of Death - did not suite.

Beyond this pall of death, those bedside found
one now labored far off, she had briefly known
his cradle's measured strokes felled wheat to ground
where foreign shadows lay, evening sun had thrown.

He unknowing of her impending Death's knell
half-world round, that her time of quittance come
nor would ever know, for futures would not tell
as he with stray thoughts of her - was heard to hum.

For she once tendered him, when harsh war waged
finding him wounded there, midst those former shocks of wheat
almost forgotten, thoughtless History paged
yet of her dying, his stray thoughts - once more chanced to meet.
July 30 - August 8, 2002

Gloom of dark house hid beyond graveled lane
fallow fields, abandoned tares - not grain
fence-rows brambled, driveway-center gone to weeds
only mailbox shows usage - one still heeds.

Years back, oft labored there as farmhand when young
recalled hot day spent, this roadside fence we'd strung
much there learned, of how to work of how to rest
their kindness always treated me like a guest.

But that was three score ago, when young and spry
each day a challenge, carefree - unknowing why
clocks unused, chores required work done til done
but in between - lots of talk with time for fun.

After-years led me elsewhere by, thence beyond
do with life as one chose or chanced, joyed haut monde
unknowning then, how soon future days would pass
til today that lane's center - found growing grass.

Proud yet mindful, had seldom kept in touch
she met me on their porch, now with needed crutch
both spent our day sharing what each remembered
keenly aware her days left - soon Decembered.

Each helped as partook of lunch, then supper too
both minds spry, yet spoke of her days left as few
when stood to leave, I mentioned - 'much to tell and more'
her responding words still hear - 'tis what Heaven's for'.
August 13, 2002

Her hazeled eyes still haunt my dreams
bright smile brought such happy themes
memoried days recalled, her and I
brief episode - passed quickly by.

Not of harsh war-days, those also haunt my dreams
but thereafter, footing English dells and streams
repairing confusions war cursed me with
reaffirm what valid - from doubtful myth.

 Freak chance sprained my ankle, morning found unfit
several days could barely walk, all day but sit
brought her and I close, spent our days talking
otherwise, English roads would have been walking.

Brief stay of but a week, not one day beyond
how spoke what she told, gave clue how I'd respond
whence came her wisdom with tenderness, I unknew
such strength she shared, until those pangs of war withdrew.

Pampered me like a mother, stern like an older brother
yet clever enough of when to be, which or the other
my foot found well enough to walk by end of week
with her only kiss, bade me farewell - did not speak.

Two-score years since have been struggled ones, yet of peace
til random letters sent between, her death would cease
held now but in memory, my prayers to her seldom miss
of her tendered care, summed up best by that single kiss.
August 15-16, 2002

Found myself ensconced alone - rest had flown out
no room for one more, volunteered stay behind
plenty grub left, few things needed to scout
did not mind at all - much research assigned.

As far as eye be cast, this endless nordic snow
frozen waters ice bound, polar bears come and go
seldom bothered, if did - high-powered rifle used
my research and Nature - were of these I mused.

Whiled on with measurements daily took
called again few days later, radio still down
next day, crippled wolf came with hopeful look
scroungy pelage - its rough fur unhealthy brown.

Til carelessly threw it some left-over food
foolish thing to do, perhaps my lonely mood
three hours, til neared enough to wolf it down
perhaps learned before - food scraps near some town.

By three days, taking food from my fingers
followed me when those daily measurements made
soon became fast friends, still daily lingers
fed its hunger as a pet - its friendship paid.

Provisions now running low, plane snowed-in - wireless told
not blowing here, a quiet peace although very cold
began making plans, with food low - should wolf be shot?
Looked in its eyes - as far as my decision got.

Every day called in, wireless merely crackled
no word, wanning hopes, food now nearly gone - thought of death
each time I looked, by Wolf's friendship felt shackled
my world lost, it and I to die - with final breath.

If first to go, could at least eat its warmless meat
knew in such extreme, Wolf would outlive me, such - genes provide
since man first tamed wild wolf-pups, a human feat
later kept as dogs, could outlive man if stranded outside.

Pondered ideas - starve myself, save food for it
final trust in God, last human deed of selfless love
wolf left alive, among other wolves would knit
were such thoughts as these, my thinkings longly pondered of.

Last scraps of food left, we equally shared between
near noon-time, finally heard whine of distant machine
at first, just a speck where sky and Earth merged
wolf's eyes and ears alert - quickly converged.

Its keener hearing gave notice for me to listen
soon heard snowmobiles churning snow, whitely glisten
of course, Wolf taken back to base along with me
ever my faithful friend - ten long years lived to be.

A saddened day, when unheard its morning howl
knew before rose from bed, what future days would lack
Wolf's friendship - again inly heard snow storms growl
those endless nordic snowstorms - instantly came back.

Long retired, writing my memoirs to end my ebbing years
this day poetized Wolf's friendship, how began - to end with tears
remembered what gave and given, shared and cared - memories now reveal
amidst best of life's episodes - how a wild wolf became so genteel.
September 11, 2002

Leaves of sycamores early turning brown
in soft silence fell, left behind no sound
as one by one, gently drifting down
freely scattered upon dry Autumn's ground.

Fall's season begun before calendared date
when sycamores first shed leaves, early browned
while other trees, three more weeks must wait
their persistent leaves remaining - tightly bound.

Where might be found, if still alive today
circumstance war contrived, strangely outré
across that far sea, one briefly met
of what passed between - remembered yet.

A day when drying leaves crunched beneath our feet
by church-garth at rivered bridge, we planned to meet
as led me to where hidden row-boat found
near edging coast - where ocean breakers pound.

She knew what I did not, so led the way
understanding just where my comrades lay
our words unspoken, for were in France
trusting yet fearful - war's risky chance.

When grew quite dark, I shoved off from shore
since downstream, steered by silent oar
she waited til I faded out of sight
one who dared to help me - risked late at night.

A brief encounter, perhaps saved my life
in a foreign land midst warring's strife
so long ago in Autumn's time
so far away - another clime.

Two score years ago, when Autumn leaves firstly fell
where shedding plane trees grew by river banks
a gentle lass to whom could neither speak nor tell
by my eyes she knew - I bid grateful thanks.

As old age regathers those forgotten days, dry and sear
now attempt to decipher their fading scrawl
a day well remembered, left uncalendared but its year
saved by our planned encounter - in the Fall.

Sifting midst those scattered remnants, likewise turning brown
each leaf letting go, one by one - slowly wafting down
when dead sycamores leaves, firstly found to fly
til nothing found left of worth - to know one by.

Were fresh times, one's memory recorded each passing year
those events one's life fashioned, both great and small
like Autumn leaves drifting from the past, now dry and sear
until not one left, Winter's freeze - shedding all.
October 10, 2002

Her easy ways of talking gave me pause
as each stood closeby those cascading falls
midday of Irish noon, circumstance chanced by
sun's warmth tempered cool winds, brought from out the sky.

She prattled on of childhood days, years left behind
like lives each one lives, both Fate and Destiny assigned
between each episode told, asked of what I thought
gathered me by her kindness - like neighbored friends ought.

One of many met, as walked that former Irish Summer through
slept each night beneath God's sky, uncertain each day what might do
met many folk, in those days people walked - made my travels worth while
aims unplanned, breathed in its quiet air - traveled roads of Irish isle.

Like some Odyssey self-set sail, learn and heal from what may
with little care as where might eat or thence go, til came end of day
no timepiece did I carry, nor some charted map to plan where stay
free like a gypsy, with back-pay in pocket - if found need to pay.

Felt of what others told, or some kindness that did not intrude
of such Irish well-practiced, always laughed before talks conclude
careless of dress or manners, what their hearts gave - quintessential
masters of wistful humor - especially those held nonsensical.

Of recent war, her mind parried deeper meanings beyond its gore
had lived through First War, told with her answers, she gave no questions for
mind keen of human ways as well as what history conceals
why hands should work, minds think, hearts love, soul's need - what Faith reveals.

My accent she unalluded to, nor quizzed of my being there
a friendly dialogue between two people, Irish-falls gave heir
as sun drifted further west, told would soon bring on an Erin's eve
so entranced by her gentle ways - I had no desire to leave.

But by now, have digressed from what firstly began to tell
an Irish interlude, travels taken til healed well
of that humble lady met, where loud cascades daily fell
wore mid-day's sun down far beyond its zenith in the sky
unwasted day for me, when one met - could long talk-of by.

Before I could speak, she simply spoke - if would share her meal by
for I had mentioned before, of how oft slept beneath evening skies
to which she made no response, as if had no need to question why
was after that pleasant meal we parted - with our brief goodbyes.
May 9, 2003

Enshrouded beneath chiseled stone
Time's strength forged into brittled bone
forgotten name, til by none - known.

But there was an hour, a day
gathered few came to pray
remembered hopes - wished to say.

Years been kind to burial stone
meager wear by weather's hone
chiseled words - yet clearly shown.

What few might read, ignorant of
since sculpt with a single dove
most surmised - bespoke a love.

Perhaps from old church records learned
researched, some ancestor later yearned
but quickly found - all documents burned.

Yet in far foreign chapel lit
flickered candles daily flit
though none state-side - knew of it.

Rich family with landed estate
a decedent willed, testate
each Lent-tide - paid their curate.

Time Huguenots persecuted
when so many executed
or others left - destituted.

One family fled across western sea
money sent back, to set others free
helping many - those who wished to flee.

Candles still daily burn in France
flames still display their flickered dance
where monks entone - old Latin chants.

Like Raoul wed with Valentine
Christian sects oft intertwine
ones buried here - dates assign.

Grave stone had read passing by
briefly stood with viewing eye
long pondered - to know its why.

Thence chanced, some studies required
recalled, stone's words inspired
til all above - acquired.

Sometimes graves re-tell their story
some trite or transitory
this one - most laudatory.
May 17, 2003

Lord's Manor well-groomed lawns daily sprinkled
hedgerows and oriental shrubbery, drenched thereby
dampened by another night, bestrewn with dewy drops
festooned upon sharp blades of whetted grass.

When folds of night gently pulled back, then tied
allowing morn's bright, reawakened by a silence
 brought of risen dawn, nascent sun's first stir aroused
of chorused songs heard from nearby woods
as singing birds early chattered, their latest news.

Thence a proper time to break one's fast
with brief bit of toast and jelled-ham
well-seasoned by strong Columbian coffee
slave fingers still gather from Peruvian groves
first planted so long ago - with black bondaged hands.

Those proudly civilized, need not know of such
as with silver teaspoon, coffee firstly stirred
first tentative sips, but barely - lips testing so.

Only then, paper scanned with hard-ledgered eyes
keen on stocks and bonds, high values reflecting
that rich worth of long continued foreign wars
so well-financed, economic barometers forecasting
futures, full-measured into such ready wealth
one's keen-eyed investments - sharply earns.

Whence James deftly affirmed, Mercedes
awaited at front door, at his pleasure
a travel daily taken to business then back again
so as round out a day - business left in perfect order.

When folds of evening shadows came, dark drapes pulled shut
as gathered there beside wide hearth of oaken fireside's brink
watching those burning flames consume well-dried wood
estate's vast woodlands yearly grew of itself, until his pipe's
final dottle tapped smartly out, as if to feed an evening's dying fire.

Then with neither thanks nor proffered prayers
soft slippered feet treaded up deep-piled carpet stairs
of far-winding spiral staircase - exactly at ten o'clock
his bedroom's door's soft closure, heard down below
to precisely end - another quintessential day.

As dew drops reformed upon blades of silvered grass
grown of Lord's Manor well-groomed textured lawns
as those future days and nights, slowly come to pass
a well-paid gardener - displays a perfect dawn.
June 10, 2003

One whose battered past left one aghast
deprival's harsh hate stole, til left outcast
one's Spirit finally broken - his life unasked.

Scantly clad, barely fed - ill from freezing chill
contaminated waters of infected swill
til labor's tortured burdens, fractured his will.

Beastal treatment, Slavic hearts unfelt
feelings froze from enslavements harshly dealt
Russian guards themselves enured - life-long dwelt.

Hacking days, coughing nights - severaled bed
vanquished hopes eroded til dreams had fled
three years of living hell - such madness bred.

Then came that day, unsure if really true
war's end declared, surviving few
his shattered memory left blank - without a clue.

Years after, no deed nor praise would boast
chanced met him by, like some spectral ghost
fishing village - along Newfoundland's coast.

Crippled fingers slowly mending nets
earned enough, repay his meager debts
after-hours, hotel veranda - lonely sets.

Deep anguish decoded from his eyes
unknown if tales told, truth or lies
presume now dwells beyond earthly skies.

A life so unlike any elseone ever met
suffered beneath harsh tyrants of Soviet
a hero who survived - yet an unhonored vet.

To know such trials life sometimes flings
deranged by indignities hate slings
survived by some ravaged hope - inly clings.

Remembered most, those far distant eyes
daily focused near, net-mending plies
otherwise unfocused stare - beyond lost skies.

Local fisher-folk saw to his need
foreign land, language neither can read
til wondered what canon, yet held his creed.

How did such as he measure, when Death came
life ill-treated so, no love made claim
one of those left behind - yet held no blame.

Somewhere along east Atlantic's cold coast
lies buried beneath a frost-frozen post
poem here now offered - as his belated toast.
June 16, 2003

By stove of green-grocer's store, oft found
one midst those gathered, snow-storms held bound
stern mouth, bewhiskered jowls - cold eyes
should chance to speak, his narrow lips preferred lies.

Lean, tall and lanky, arms with hands of iron
local tolerance disallowed violence be shown
wan wife meekly held a silence with somber face
unpassioned legs briefly spread for his needful haste.

Wan pallor matched her hopes, flesh but wasted paste
devil forbade children bred, would have been a waste
Nature kindly denide, without conceptions
perhaps those gods blindly willed - such exceptions.

A man of harsh ideas, his ravaged years had grown
hands calloused like his heart, stolen years turned to stone
light-blue eyes, their icy glitter froze other's friendly eye
those in town left him alone, fearful what violence might try.

Near store's wood-stove warmth, discussed by gather few
although fights never fought, yet one never knew
til came a stretch of days, his lank figure unfound
next night in secret - two hazard risk to look around.

Doors locked, windows curtained-shut, no one about
just to be sure, shouted for any one there - Come out
til forward days found forgotten, his sudden leaving
nor were any seen tearful, showing some inner grieving.

But last night of October, both cabin and barn burnt to ground
terrific heat of fire's consuming wrath, left no bones be found
til passing years fashioned their history, of man turned to stone
salvaged sainthood his wife earned, still alive - yet left alone.
November 1, 2003

As lazed beneath noon-time sun above
some dark shadow aroused my sleepy eyes
thereof saw flying, a pure white dove
fluttered flight flown above those Alpine skies.

Softly hearing dove's gentle cooing cry
as if told some secret I had need to know
healing from several wounds, war battles try
beneath Swiss Alps, topped with whitened snow.

Like white snow seen against Alpine mountain's black
fluttered white of dove's wings, viewed beneath dark skies
contrasting peace and war, my confusions brought back
as struggled to gain an absolution - from embattled lies.

While beyond inn's-keep, pastured kine were heard lowing
loud clatter of horse-pulled mower, farm-lad out mowing
a music almost forgotten, child-days on grandmother's farm
as recent fears of war, merged with olden dreams of vintaged charm.

Thence saw that dove settle atop ancient churchen spire
preened white feathers, enabling it to flights I cannot fly
yet felt some inner peace therefrom, like some well-placed squire
whose tenured kingdom thought his own - though lies beyond the sky.
December 1, 2003

Aging eyes still see his once youthful son
upon high gallows, tight noose slowly swung
his evil ways, life wasted til lastly done
as law and stout rope held him high - finally hung.

A wandering wastrel untaught, unlearned
of but himself, selfishly felt concerned
thrived upon what ill-gotten gains unearned
of family left behind - never returned.

Early fell in with those who nightly stole
until stealing became his hungered goal
despite oft left him but a vacant bowl
sparse times in between - fed upon the dole.

As greed slowly lengthened his reach for more
angered by what foul Fate had left him poor
abjured hard labored work, an unwanted chore
til deeper crimes committed - pilfered for.

Til murder, but an end by which to gain
selfish needs hungered for, life lived in vain
desperate dangers risked - til another found slain.

Thence one close-kindred, brought down his reign
caught then condemned - by what high gallows deign.

A day of rain, few came to watch him hung
with a single throw, rope's loose noose deftly slung
defiant words had loudly cursed, quickly gagged his tongue
into a strangled silence - as on high gallows swung.
January 13, 2004

Fading light with loss of sight in those rheumenous eyes
as lowers its shrunken head between both arthritic paws
eyelids fluttered once or twice, dreaming as finally dies
unsensing but some impending blackness - as darkly falls.

Ten-year brace of days, freely enslaved to one - he gave no name
romped and ran, always there - ever faithful to that single man
lurking in his shadow, grown up without need of playful game
mongrel cur farm-bred found, some breedless hound of black and tan.

Much like a shadow left behind his master's walk
daily routine, early mornings began their day
across neighbored hills, country roads - unspoken talk
a silence both shared, each found - had no need to say.

Mutual pair of kindred friends, man led both by
each well-fed, ever healthy - firm bonded pair
out and about, Nature's beauty brought to eye
all seasons year round - weathers foul or fair.

A bondage neither felt, presumed as but normal
companioned with their unspoken relationship
equal in many ways, casual - never formal
yet constrained - under each other's guardianship.

Often met them by, morning walks I took alone
thereby stopped to speak of whatever both we might
such our years gathered by, until became well known
greet with our nods, then pet both dogs - our ritualed rite.

Til time altered future days, when I moved elsewhere by
never after wrote nor called, life affairs left such behind
when wars arose between, foreign lands would proudly try
still recalled that dog and he, my morning walks brought to mind.

A man's best friend, open air beneath fresh dawning's sky
as daily strolled dog of my own, now remembered by
former days, morning walks, friendly dog - both he and I
brief talk spoke between, weather's warm or cool - wet or dry.


Should gather of a citied park or country roads - early
out and about to walk their dog, without rush or hurly
in that silence mornings gifts, dewy mists or hazy fog
daily duty begins their day - companioned with their dog.
January 13, 2004

At those edgings where beauty with sadness blends
natural vistas gave reason, each season lends
thence that knowing, when love and hope finally ends
high cliffs, sea and sky, time and place - wheres and whens.

A thousand years, each day evolved one new
four season's annual patterns, weathers blew
perched cliff-held high, sky above, sea below
at such edgings, promised hopes seek to know.

Tis then one recalls events from long ago
what travailed there, ending far below
both satisfied by what their impunity felt
life and death, love sundered thereby - their honors dealt.

Stories still abound along seacoast's edge
telling strange events, lives loft from that ledge
tales of true-love's hopeful yearn for some gladness
or strange epilogues bewrought with desperate sadness.

Each entangled by reasons, tears cried there far above
their high hopes flung beyond, a quest for eternal love
fear and hope, cliff-held high, thereafter but to plunge below
east coast of England, Love's cost for what self-death might bestow.

Such the ages tell, mysteries of both life and love
a thousand words could never fully gather of
enraptured into dreams, pledged for an eternity
mutually bonded with such firm held certainty.

Aspirations inspired from readings of old English charm
remnants of quaint Shakespearian wit and prose
dreamy drifts of ancient words, a deep felt love could never harm
til out bid by emotions - both freely chose.

Whereafter its moral considerations, left up to God
escape those life-long struggles, bonded love needs to grow
to young to grasp those strengths, bonded marriage is meant to plod
surreal hopes each held between - we will never know.
March 20, 2004 - November 4, 2006