What early caught my eager eye, gave Life its fill
now lies beneath garth-ground - upon a distant hill.
Til of times far beyond, some otherwhere
upon grandeured heights, Eden birthed more fair
midst vast plethora of Bluets growing there
my death may find a-bloom, nodding in the air
on hill's distant slope, standing out bravely tall
again embracing you - who had been my all.
December 21, 1997
What perils of futured days could so panic hope
ignoring reason's rational foundation
til strangled one's determination by which to cope
purpose found useless - Life's final frustration.
Til t'was too late, as self-death ended all
friendships shattered by Deathís tragic fall
memories still hold you near, as they must
enigmas left unanswered - yet still we trust.
July 14, 1998
How many others grieve across lost reach of years
when cold Death came to thieve, gifting those left with tears
did they find Faith birthing hope, til wore their grief into growth
or without, found ways to cope, when Death took one - but not both?
November 18, 1998
What broodings played within
when grieving hopes begin
past memories put in play
knowing life - will not stay.
But dared I did one day
asked of her, come what may
to know what fears she feared
as Death's toll - slowly neared.
So I asked her to respond
Do you think but of beyond?
she then but shook her head
for nothing could be said.
We let it go at that
to end our dreadful chat
what could one dare to say
when Death was on its way?
May 2, 1999
Knowing who I became, tis richly due to you
wed-tied with a family bred, love tis wont to do
nor let you out of sight, so keep you full in view
forever thankful, despite so early - you withdrew.
June 19, 1999
Still called a brother by two
as uncle, life never threw
yet this bears me no bother
four sons still call me - father.
June 19, 1999
Appeasing those gods by tearing one's robe
recalls those tiresome words, wife spoke to Job
til frustrations cried out "to curse God and die"
without one question asked - still unknowing why.
To wonder Job-like, how much more can one bear
left without others, my sorrows can not share
unhearing what kind words might well respond
my grief waged alone - left to but despond.
Naked grief confined as if bound by ropes, no comfort may clothe
merely aimless ends of endless days, til Life itself I loathe
finding little solace given, mere crumbs meager hopes might cast
trusting God's redemptive love, perhaps may save me at the Last.
There is no love more vulnerable than freely given trust
but oh that dry emptiness, full-loaf leaves but heel's crust
knowing first-hand, outpleading anguished cries of prophet's doom
starve midst barren desert's arid waste - without manna's bloom.
Til unnumbered days and lost nights counted out
trusting in her love and God's, yet with some doubt
beneath that impending gloom of dark louring skies
then but the tomb, where one's shriveled form - slowly dries.
September 26, 1999
Don't know what a musician does when hands felt completely numb
after a life-time in pursuit of Fine-arts, now ousted from
perhaps re-direct their talent, but of the voice to teach or instruct
drift among former friends and fans, write critiques of music or conduct.
I don't know what a widowed spouse does, when found one lonely left
life-time in pursuit of equal sharing, now lost by Death's early theft
empty days, lonely nights - a silence vacant house hears forever
perhaps, now to ............. or whatever?
October 4, 1999
Cursed as if been clutched by some strong-armed ghost
flung harshly down, then stole what loved the most
futures shattered, friendships scattered - left but meager lees
nor enough left to distill - another vintage's squeeze.
Before, my cup fairly runneth over
now daily wander, a drifting rover
each tentative plan my future plots
soon stalls, uncloys - then slowly rots.
Each day painful, fumbled - unattended
my cup barely dribbles when up-ended
but dry dregs and dross now inspires
frugal scraps - my life yet requires
For a while, hopes held fresh visions beyond the year
now all lie shriveled, will not out-last a week
thereafter unknown, unplanned, new dreams no longer steer
such effort required - quickly drains me weak.
With quite desperation blindly stumble on
knowing most certainly, no new hopes found at dawn
another day left alone, no one visits by
at least they do not daily suffer - such as I.
No one with which to share, tell - vociferate
communicate, so as to commiserate
if nothing more, merely commemorate
her death confines me - one incarcerate.
Death you sly old devil, wish I could laugh at you
tonight I cannot, for am sadly wasted blue
but if I could, would kick you squarely in the ass
cripple you badly - your scythe too blunt to cut soft grass.
October 17, 1999
A hollowed hunk of idle time echoes what must be done
looking back later on, recalled what early read
future years will then recall, todayís presence will have spun
newer strands Time may gift - sewn by Life's livingís thread.
Must wait to see what comes of forward years
thence far beyond, presume how Heaven steers
of what may come, when life's future occasions lend their need
idle wastes I thought upon, til future hopes turned to deed.
November 10, 1999
As read on, looked into their eyes, saw the hurt, the need, the why
gave courage to speak my care for their grief - with its bootless cry
that endless waste of days, vacant calendar pages drifting by
where each soul might found its Spiritís need, to seek beyond the sky
touched frazzled hem of saviour's garment - proclaimed to God on high.
No wonder my wife volunteered with Hospiceís aim
bridging that chasm oft unspoken, each must cross
each one attends, no escape - for must play the game
as on I read Stray Strands - to laugh or cry their loss.
Midst Life's mediocrities each encounters in this age and time
seems only cold Death awakens deaf souls, to heed call of Heavenís chime
for grief tis unscrutable, only oneself can seek their need for God
no matter what faith, church or creed professed, tis in Death - felt His prod.
My God, that anguished pain death-loss causes across this world
natural end all must bear, even silent waters - once found purled.
Should you be there, before or after - need show you understand
what greater gift of time and care be given, there lend your hand
know have touched the untouchable, after - tis innly felt
tasting lifeís bitter lees, racked with black despair - daily dwelt.
Suffered loss love remembers, bereft, robbed of Lifeís deepest worth
with you there they die not alone, their friends left behind on earth
many found who still believe, life beyond the grave tis forever true
One long ago said as much, be with those who die, then know - even you.
December 5, 1999
Surviving, some reviving - recovery slow
for like them was there, deeply felt their woe
mutually supporting Life's need, prayer heals
slowly recovering - from what Death-loss steals.
Scriptures read, hymnals sung - prayers placate their woes
when Death takes one down, their marriage freely chose
celebrate, commemorate, til finally draws to a close
again face that unfacible - as each one bravely goes.
December 5, 1999
Years wore to decades, as first-hopes evolved to a deeper few
struggles of life and love entangled, mangled - more than one knew
for life seemed endless til Death quenched all, shattered futureís view
afterwards a far deeper love re-emerged, values gathered true.
An anniversary comes due this week, viewing calendar gave me clue
as here again in verse I write to say, what said back then - I love you.
December 14, 1999
But for me when heard, quickly leads back to that time of grief
a new recording gifted at that time - consoled, but brief
fashioned within my mind, equated with a dear oneís death
although like have said, balmed my inner pain with its widened breadth.
Now years later, should such melodies burst upon my ear
instantly taken back to sad days of another year
when life held the best it ever gave, quit-claimed by Deathís scythe
for life since much a barren waste, a desert - sere and dry.
December 26, 1999
Jacket on, hands a-pocket - standing there
head tipped-up, his view cast among those leaves
slowly dying, late Fall's frost-tintings share
dealing with a grief - from what now believes.
Wearing but slippers to tell not going far
there midst Natureís beauty, for its calming effect
fresh air outside, only curse - my passing car
otherwise quietly standing there - to reflect.
Widowed, first Summer gotten through - was last Spring
grief still besets his life with sharp piercing sting
weathered Deathís cold, now struggles with deeper things
yet each day, every hour - aches from thoughts she brings.
A brief-caught image cast, one's widowed hope self-healing
as if looked up to God and her, prayers appealing
knowing an inner dearth, memories he can never tell
for spousal death oft leaves behind - its daily hell.
January 21, 2000
Again a bachelor, you know what that means
none will come to visit by, or so it seems
tis for me to go if folks must be seen
yet is not the same - though that need felt keen.
A curse cast upon those who are widowed out
ever to be long lived with, I have no doubt
only if married will people visit by
in the end left unresolved - unknowing why?
Either marry or die - no other way
both desperate alternatives I would say
a game one's lonesomeness must play
til at last, cold Death comes to slay.
January 31, 2000
Beneath daily tasks depressing one's life
between harsh adventures of stress and strife
memories of our past, now felt a sacred time
anywhen, anytime, anywhere - any clime.
Midst dross, grief-loss left of dutied things
daily struggle for what future brings
those deeply loved, first formed one whole
tis these Life's cost - Death pays its toll.
Tis then one feels that final end of things
with arrow's deadly aim, grief so deeply flings
quenching what once most loved completely gone
left with but mere memories - to ponder on.
February 2, 2000
Both shoes showed toes scuffed, worn beyond once polished black
heels beveled much from wear, could effect his back
what saw within those sad eyes, was their glistenís lack
posture portrayed something deep down within - gone slack.
Some circumstance quenched, what once was or still held dear
deeply shaken, left him bereft past sharp point of fear
grief soul-seared to dust, so dry even flames could not ignite
some devilish curse held within, til wished cold Death come forthright.
My only surmise, his futures now need be re-fashioned
struggle heart and soul of life, by love's hope - be compassioned
from some heavy loss late befell, only this could I tell
sitting there, long legs stretched out - awaiting Death's knell.
February 17, 2000
Is not so obvious as others note
a tragedy grim grief suddenly smote
wears me haggard, not without but within
like one's past cursed for some wayward sin.
Although not listed as an amputee
find myself morose - one without beauty.
So must gather love within myself alone
for none else now cherish me as I am
excluded and shirked like some useless drone
if should greet and smile - felt but a sham.
A scourge suddenly cast upon my life
by malediction of loosing oneís wife
none gift me listened-love, to heal my soul
must fashion inner strengths - for some future goal.
Trod yet stumble midst wasted ruins life yet shares
no one comes, visit, hailed from afar - not one cares
a vagrant exile, lost among strays of dearth
how long oh Lord must yet suffer - upon this Earth!
Few friends left, can not staunch my pain by their love
found better to seldom come with things talked of
so I trudge dry wastes, desert-lands not my own
only inward joy felt - squeezed from dry bone.
One kept out of sight or reach, placed upon some high shelf
blinded by sun's bright upon late March snows, facing south
as one might stay alive by ingesting their very self
slowly self-consumed - like a snakeís tail in its mouth.
What futures taste, but dry dust in one's mouth
pack up my dreams of North, now heading South
gathering grace from a still loved God
fully ignored - left to lonely plod.
None to tell my love nor found some purpose to live
unpossessing all have, now but only give
til nothing remains of worth except my soul
awaiting Death as my only wanted goal
til heaven found, when her love - remakes me whole.
February 26, 2000
Now commiserate with those bereft, by grief they feel
ceding sympathy for pained loss they now must deal
human nature senses that lonesomeness, Death will cost
reach out with care and compassion - in times of loss.
Although faith-convictions held firmly true within the soul
tis the heart that truly hurts, knowledge calms not - Deathís toll
our Nature's wear of blood and guts, churning passions into compassions
life forged upon hard anvil of love, a Truth - Death newly refashions.
February 27, 2000
Life now fractured, major chunks have fallen away
cause disjunctures of knitted knots, once gave mainstay
needs of friendship to ravel up those tattered tears
recreate some purposed aim - conversation shares.
Tis of these fractures, besides what grief conveys
one must face with renewed strength - or life decays.
March 8, 2000
But why, secretly unknow nor why found unworth
foul Fate from Natureís foibles feigns me to mere dearth
not a nuisance, merely a nameless nomen inert
powers to give of more, now gone dry - time to desert.
One who reached roadís end, but then discerned a tracing path
soon off to some else-where by, no end nor aim it hath
best done alone, til Time tires of my useless needs
but one more cast among lost dregs - of once daring deeds.
March 10, 2000
At its end, still held in hand - eyes unseeing not
newly learned of losses, her young life not yet fraught
as tears seeped, thereafter flowed down rosy cheeks grown wan
such daily occurs when first learn, someone loved - now gone.
March 26, 2000
Such possibles lay in wait, hid beneath Futureís face
when happens, Time and Circumstance leave behind some trace
an uncommon taste, sourful flavors asking whys
yet should happen, an eternal grief - til each parent dies.
March 28, 2000
Sixty years or so, March held nothing of worth
except foreshadowed April's hope coming soon
smelt brittle green, verdant growth soon to birth
warm rains, buds and blooms - soft sounds insectís croon.
Awaiting first notes returning birds will sing
eager after what harsh Winter weathers fling
those joys Nature gifts - with return of Spring.
March just a coldish month to be quick-gotten through
that is, til I was broughten into loving you
then seemed each month Nature wore, had its reasons
both treasured Natureís annual turn of seasons.
But ever since you out-wore your need for Time and such
now one lost and lonely, missing you so very much
thereafter, March has became a special time of year
on its third you passed away, yet my love - keeps you near.
March 30, 2000
Years whiled on, rope rotted by weather's wear
age soon took its toll, of both she and that swing
til finally taken down, lonely idled there
tis such now recalled - fond memories sadly bring.
Beyond front windows, that stout limb yet seen
its strength gave support - her once wanted thing
for growing years oft dulls, what fresh youth first honed keen
til she by early death, taken down - much like that swing.
May 4, 2000
Wore twelve hours with your dying, felt dead on my feet
wished to see those eyes one last time, a daring feat
still I wear that view, etched upon my heart and soul
green-blue tinged with gray now listless, life's glint - Death stole.
For you looked not back at me, only its blanken stare
told me were on your way, one's life slowly dying there
but not your Spirit - perhaps was floating about
knew you already gone, of your death - left no doubt.
The eye, window of oneís heart to deeply know one by
how oft it showed your love, now fled - left alone to cry
ever happy for that last glance within cold eye of hers
green-blue tinged with gray, my last glimpse - in those eyes of yours.
May 28, 2000
Ah, tis then Faith and Traditionís roots bring rescue
fond friendships found needful, urging one continue
life an enduring challenge, to grow until actual end
struggle on by one's faith and hope - with or without a friend.
May 30, 2000
Those life-gathered relics, one last time brought to view
scatters long collected, or those lately new
rereading former letters received long ago
photos far back taken - or those of recent show.
With cursory glance, recall their distant past
fondly sift midst those lost years - til done the last.
Yet not everything has need to be gone through
for comes that time, only inner thoughts need brew
thence sit apart, alone - longly looking out
re-sowing old seeds - fond memories may sprout.
Wearing Time within, rearrange scattered thoughts
testing truths childhood bred, those late-life taught
daily needs long-tended to, now seldom done
deleve midst episodes life found - lost or won.
A sorting through, then thereafter the letting go
so often seen until Death comes - thus dying so
leaves behind those olden memories from long ago
their final surrender, of such - I now sadly know.
June 17, 2000
Though three meals daily made - no flavor
since eat alone, unscheduled by clock - this I favor
former friends unfind time to visit by, life turns gray
dwell apart without that warmth - friendly chats could put in play.
Years came and went, not much changed until Death came to end it all
for three weeks lay dead, before found by neighbors - was in the Fall.
September 22, 2000
With she gone, children grown - use has lost its aim.
Wild raspberries arch across fence, self-setting new roots
varied ivy vines clamber wood lot, spreading further shoots
fallen limbs scattered across reach of lawn, Fall winds let fly
futures remain dry-parched, hopes shriveled up - til useless dry
With she gone, children grown - use unfound the same.
Three bird-boxes found fallen, rotting midst tall weeds beneath their
reminding your quest for migrant birds, times Nature held you most
dog house unoccupied, its silence echoes - two dogs graved
housed varied canine pets children gathered, long since died or strayed.
With she gone, children grown - only I to blame.
Garden abandoned three years ago, ungrowing former yields
reverting back to lawn, seldom mowed, gone wild - but feral fields
sheep pasture let go, grass overgrown by weeds and tall thistles
because of neglect, meadowlarks returned - with cheerful whistles.
With she gone, children grown - futures make no claim.
What do onward years have yet in store for this place gone wild
its only worth, those fond memories, when your eyes daily smiled
as raw Nature returns to those ancient ends it deeply knows
future hopes soon dried up, when early Death brought life to its close.
With she gone, I lost - for Life tis but a game.
October 1, 2000
As ways taken, slowly disappeared beneath my feet
airy notes restirred ancient aches, to haunt my heart
visioned views not of now, but when fresh love smelt sweet
aromas aroused fragrant smells - sweet or tart.
Otherwheres and whens, Time once cast my way
tarried there, until use outwore my need to stay
slowly stultified, til its strength t'was gone
feeling euphoric highs - my morning's song!
Feet gave freedom to retrace an olden road
lent ear for tunes, first-love had given heir
commanding eyes, re-see what beauty owed
til those sweet scents from my past - thinned to air.
October 27, 2000
As times flounder towards lifeís undreamt ends
without my dear, un-sure what love lends
unpurposed futures, seek some unheeded quest
once times then dreamed, love now recalls - were life's best.
October 30, 2000
No sweet tastes tantalize my tongue
sounds of known voice, forever dumb
knowing eyes, tendered hands, smiling face
such as these now vanquished - left no trace.
Few scattered relics, icons of the past
til but shattered memories are all one hast
mere tattered remnants, heart reweaves as love
soul whisperings still hear - your tellings of.
November 20, 2000
Thereby knighting a simple knave, with powers of magnificence
beyond what mere mortals might
enshrining a worldly muse with far deeper significance
gifted - like some sacred rite.
Birthing vain visions newly risen, with grandeurs unseen before
revealing forgotten episodes, for one to further explore
re-creating hopes thought forever lost, brought within reasonís reach
amending those shattered dreams, dreamt long ago - but now meant for each.
In time forgetting where had first read or heard, still secretly treasured
clarifying enigmas, recast with dimensions newly measured
not fully explained in detail, though each hidden stone upturned
yet enough to glimpse a truth, unforgotten - nor needs relearned.
In times of silent idle moments, sadness oft obliterates
hopes lost by grief love left spurned, when such recalled - now resuscitates
like some secret incantation, former words re-sung with chantings of hope
their inherent truth re-declared, enabling life once again - to cope.
November 26, 2000
Silent beauty of a face, sanctified by life had led
yet of that world outside, to such her awareness dead
as life of brain gurgles midst those rumbles, old memories save
yet by all outward appearance - seemed ready for her grave.
Sleep so like death, others might guess if gathered there to view
like a body dying with final breaths, til last one drew
or if one just come upon, unknown - without a given name
if now found to die, would unfeel her loss - nor know their shame.
Death so like sleep, at total rest - as if soul already left
time taken to escape wear of life, one but simply sleeping
for all, will come a time when life - pilfered by Death's dying theft
such had sadly seen: long watching her dying - then my weeping.
December 3, 2000
Enough dated letters remain, know their life labored hard
for always filed midst what have long saved, their funeral card
last notice publically made, with but date of birth and death
reminding me, between those double times - measures lifeís breadth.
Tells me whose genes I carry, fashioned who I became
old traditions they passed on, my rudder steered selfsame
although past deaths left me orphaned, still know from whence had come
no matter how far adrift my ship sailed - knew where from.
Grateful for their past, knowing them - tells me who I am
early years taught, as learned, labored and laughed with them
molding my values, except those have chosen elsewise
til came one not of kin - she who brought love to my eyes.
That union reformed me much, as I of her when wed
four sons fashioned by us, traditions passed on what bred
too soon she died, now widowed - life unfound to cloy
still recall those now gone, fun and laughter - their joy.
January 1, 2001
Call for meals ready, now but lost echoes once fed at noon
no piano vibrates former tunes, nor your sweet voicing's croon
no creak of rocker-sat, with brief hint of idle chat
only empty rooms, cold bed - daily tells where you're at.
A silence I clearly hear, forever after mute
as if had never thought nor hoped, those memories now moot
a severance so final, as if you'd never been
still are I know, for your whispers - still speak within.
Without sound nor sight, love still holds you close day and night
now more secure than before, two held one - fond love might
like old soldiers you never died, just faded away
for in night's dark silence, you and I - have much to say.
January 6, 2001
Across paced floors and trodden stairs, lies scattered dirt
what plodding shoes found to shed, now seems not to hurt
in corners or underneath, amassing there
dusty deposits I un-seeing - nor care.
New gifts given, placed on shelves in front of those behind
til relics from former days lost to view, seems unkind
curtains further fade til camouflaged, grime slowly coats
should sun-beams invade, in its blue haze - dust freely floats.
Afraid to look beneath unmoved sofa or unused bed
fearful what dwells there has bred, secluded or long dead
such things now left ignored, once-weekly cleaned and swept
since wife died, dust still preserves things - once fondly kept.
January 24, 2001
Those cherished most in lifeís struggles, first-met or knew
now lie beneath cold earthen sod, til leaves but few
each day fraught with mere survival, but eat and chew
left with but firm faith-held hopes - and my love for you.
February 19, 2001
Life soon coerced other duties done
grave visits now wore each week but one
this too changed, her visits growing less
when now graveside stands - but a guess.
February 20, 2001
Those many birthed by nascent dawn
grateful, labor-pains finally gone
one newly named quickly given
til life by Death - lastly riven.
February 25, 2001
Drove back to silent echoes of one's emptiness
still unknowing those ensuing depths of loneliness
all future years would grieve, with drear aimlessness
though of her death - felt no shame nor blamefulness.
Peaceful days will not come again as before
those placid waves now unfound to wash ashore
tamed by a Death, without her love held as afore
as last clod fell - Death's knell intoned final encore.
March 16, 2001
With Death much is taken, unsettles values within
requires re-connections after, be made once again
forever walk without that other, for they have gone
such solace shared by friends - enables one to carry on.
A simple count of six days, does more than gets one through
despite life's struggles, gifts one hope - others caring too
when close-death occurs, time set aside to cope and weep
refinding old and new friends there - love still meant to keep.
March 20, 2001
Yet at unattended moments, as if out of the blue
a past event of our love, certain must be brought by you
like some happy reverie, danced its short skit across the mind
for a moment one's pains put aside, dreams rebirthed - peaceful kind.
As if these meager tidbits of seldom interludes, be enough
gifting seeds found midst rough tares, for a moment escape life's rebuff
revealing some relief by these flights of wayward fancy
despite their rarity - grateful for their sleights of chancy.
Like some idle dream, briefly relieved grief's unending stress
Nature's natural protection, saves heart and mind I guess
until I fantasized, bluet flowers sent by you
your gift of caring love - enabling me get through.
April 21, 2001
Limbs lashed, til their raveled leaves blown far away
human arms cannot reach, mere words must convey
feeling life shattered, cold tears - lost to her grave.
June 1, 2001
If should be out, soon be back
tis such as these - I now lack.
June 1, 2001