Blue-gray ripples of curled smoke slowly drifted
fading til thinned, like olden memories lastly lost
final waste of former deeds, past years had gifted
life sheds at death - uncounting its weary cost.

A saddened duty found long later, now as done
years after, a ritual I must often shun
as morning sun slowly rose before heat of midday
watched in prayerful silence, smoking incense - drift away.
July 11, 2001

Second clutch of phoebes finally fledged
sixth year beneath barn eaves, nest shelf-ledged
reminds me of former times when we firstly met
a hobby both shared, before late sun finally set.


Memories of our early years - wears sweetly yet.
July 11, 2001

Across a cold voiceless chill of lonely days
heard sterile quiet amidst its soundless whiles
so left to meet some worth from others praise
yet found but careless frills - of friendless smiles.

They may shake your hand, but eyes drift beyond
your eyes left unmet, for theirs unfound respond
now left to dwell one alone, where silence ends my day
where not one comes to gift, what kind words might have to say.
July 13, 2001

Of whence it would come could not be known before
centuries after, myths fashiond into folklore
Death's destined date unknown, til taken down
unique to each, its unfolding - most profound.

Culminating what began from nascent birth
long or shortly scheduled upon the earth
whether protracted or instant, Death will obtain
a known destiny, from which one cannot abstain.

Yet after, no tweak nor taste ever sensed by those left behind
of their presence no word tells, although one's heart be so inclined
only silent Hopes hover unheard, yet deeply felt
trusting Faith accepts, what final Death has lastly dealt.
August 16, 2001

Wan moon casts less bright than once wont to show
far less than it might, wan moon casts less glow
mock-bird sings less trill than once wont to call
far less does it bill, mock-bird sings less thrall.

Long nights stretch far longer than once were wont to last
far less than when stronger, night's length more lengthly cast
seems Winters out-last Spring, than once were wont to do
less warmth than Spring might bring, seems Winters colder too.


Her words now merely echoes, that then would loudly hear
voicings but fading shadows, unlike when she was here.
October 3, 2001

As wan days of a dying season
faded into Winter, gave reason
all gone before - gifted but treason.

Til day's bright flickered with feeble glare
boughs frazzled from bleak Winter's wear
foliage Spring birthed - now naked bare.

Air whines a brittle tune, cold and shrill
Summer's warmth fled, like Hope lost its will
but barren landscapes beyond the hill.

All life's history contained in the past
futures unknown, though Time may last
only memories abide - each has cast.

Dead days or silent nights give no clue
though much found fresh, yet past times most true
re-live but yesterdays - those with you.
November 16, 2001

When Winter's hoar rimes dew at dawn
gray haze of low clouds, blackly drawn
days shorten weeks, til sun thought dead
hopes wither wry - far futures fled.

When darkness dwells late or early comes
without discernments, shadows plumb
a voiceless gloom, stifled creature's call
as watched whitened flakes - gently fall.

When distant lane lies trackless for days
far road unseen, lost in frosty haze
colors unfound - but white, black and grays
time for proffered prayers, with liptured praise.

When memories gift an olden love, early grown
sweet episodes one's younger years had freely thrown
unnumbered dateless days, we both knew
then hopeful hopes returned - thanks to you.
November 28, 2001

So much should have told, yet did not say
so much had spoke, should been held at bay
so little time lent to care the need of you
so little time spent sharing - what love knew.

Regrets, after-years castigate widowed souls
as knelling chimes from lost days, painfully tolls
now beyond reach of mending, what then denied
sad moments widows to themselves - late confide.
January 1, 2002

First blush of dawn gave glow
in silence came on slow
told day would be bright.

Across dim room it stole
until five strikes gave toll
new day - end of night.

Those chimes roused him awake
greeted by daily ache
from things that once were.

Again to know her dead
three years his daily bread
each morn - missing her.

How days began at dawn
heart aches, each morn would spawn
her death had stole.

A morning-sickness daily felt
like her late pregnancies once dealt
still to rend - his vanquished soul.
January 6, 2002

If they but knew what friendless meant
of wasted tears his crying spent
deep anguish felt, each day lent
tasting sour fears - her dying sent.

For Time dealt little solace for his soul
an endless pain forever felt
fractured tries made for some empty goal
yet their hopeful gain - never dealt.

Still challenged, like life has always been
dared to wish her love ever held within
trusting in life beyond the grave
treasured most - what past memories save.
January 6, 2002

This curse seems I must carry
hobbles my onward way
whether travel or tarry
tis I its wanton prey.

What its constant presence daily lent
strangely tis what have lost
what her daily nearness fondly spent
grief denies - as Death's cost.
January 8, 2002

A day when love had need to decide
concerning certain-cease when one died
as both said to each what unsayable
words shared, only love made conveyable.

Saddened eyes held with dry tears could not shed
knowing soon or late, proclaims other dead
a truce called between Life and Death
both declared with other's final breath.

When that painful parley ceased, words wrung dry
in each other's soul, heard their silent cry
though unpainful, life would quickly languish
unknew if brought peace or deeper anguish.

Both played as if were gods - Life's final choice
its enactment passed with their soundless voice
be no turning back nor hoped for repeal
ending two hours unasked of grim ordeal.

One living on, other to shortly die
only one viewing where other would lie
both grieved by what equal love asked to try
one never knowing - yet worry its why.

Always to wonder if should have done
sunder a life, love too shortly run
forever plundered fullness of peace in one's soul
never known if of her love - Time too quickly stole.
January 21, 2002

Only spot on earth showing where you lie
only once its date and name there given by
gray stone with grave below, blue sky above
old story ever told - eternal love.

Days yet calendar times my standing nigh
knowing you flutter there with silent sigh
grateful words retell a love each earned by
as tearful drops gather - til freely cry.

Here, your fading remnant last lost to eye
from first glance caught of you when young and spry
through saddened days, til reaped with Death's scythe
then those long years after - grief-loss must try.

At diffident times gather here, our love brings by
knowing trust we both held, still kept with faithful tie
since done in the green, morley in the dry
come to visit of - leave with loving sigh.

Grave-side stand to pray, love still holds each by
every day millions do - need not ask why.
February 1, 2002

Are places now to which I need not go
as back when you would often take me by
for memory holds past appointments I still know
since now one alone - won't attempt to try.

Yet if by improper chance should find myself there
know much found changed, by what new owner dreams
finding but faded remnants that once held your care
their dimness thinned by loss of life's former themes.

No, need not of late nor later visit thereby
more profound to hear within what old memories tell
for what be found seen there today, would be a lie
all so altered of - would contain a stranger's smell.

But if you were here, should ask of I - both to go
instantly would comply with what your pleasure bid
spending full day, if such should suite your need to know
alas, can not be done - for you now Heaven hid.
February 4, 2002

On park-bench they sit, with cane held before
eyes seeing far beyond what others see
or fence-rows rambled by, as if explore
but what are recalling of - that once she.

Wear half a Summer's day a-chair, porch view
held by visioned scenes their childhood knew
yet in between, wave to those seen going by
of what others do, have no need knowing why.

Enough they visit after church service ends
each day but Sunday, what mail box sends
or when weekly groceries bagged and bought
knowing those widowed out - a lonely lot.
February 4, 2002

When eve-damps first felt to chill night's air
tis then may well find me standing there
viewing cold stone embossed with name and date
awaiting by - as if my coming late.

Blind flights flitting bats circle, bestirring nights air
as if by their presence, of such had meant you were there
unseeing what eyes cannot view, I but simply wait
for what your spirit may inspire - as eve grows late.

Recalling deeds we'd done, history yet gives heir
of all you gave and shared by your tendered care
viewing that cold stone etched with date and name
tis such my heart yearns - gave reasons why I came.
February 18, 2002

Remembering when first moved in, how intent both felt
well-planned thoughts flung with words - of what might be
months after, still re-arranging what first builders built
future needs envisioned - wanted by I and she.

Decisions agreed, altered or long argued through
as onward weeks outwore, late nights our dreamings brew
til at last grew tired of change, unreached their final schemes
daily duties and neighbored needs - soon led to other things.

But that was years ago when first moved in
now as I sadly prowl through that house alone
smile with saddened eyes, what then had been
our early schemes soon found - new dreams had outgrown.

Unknowing far back then, what too soon would attend
midst those argued words bantered, when had first moved in
now hear but sadful sounds, memories cannot amend
since gathered to her grave - un-need what then had been.

Should some change now come to mind one might do
but a passing thought, for would not pleasure you
for my wasting days unsee some changeful need
heart now treasures most, what our past put to deed.

For this house no longer felt as our home
nor tis held in high esteem - when memories roam.

Just one of several our wedded years had dwelt
matters not if here I should die or move elsewhere by
for my heart dwells wherever your Spirit's felt
life lived within, matters not where I stay - live or die.
March 1, 2002

Once again, phantoms found to haunt within my mind
chasing former shadows, past four years held me blind
quenched heart's love with a silence, my grief forever hears
re-awakenes saddened tears - but not their former fears.

A doubled occasion, dying's need - so might rebirth
only when seed has died, may re-sprout life's full-worth
she understood, for no terror found within those eyes
their green-blue tinged with gray still seen - even as she dies.

Those precious visions, her dying etched upon my mind
Time has kept with mercy, remembered as softly kind
after-days filled with grief, yet our love seems to ever be
nor have forgot all we shared, for she - had been good to me.
March 2, 2002

Has anyone told, when same hour gave chime
driven to shift their words into simple rhyme
paged at this very hour, yet four years back
long hours of saddened days, when life went black.

Standing by bed whereon she lay, awaiting but to die
only inwardly did I weep, although tears wet one's eye
speaking words should have told more often than done before
kissed your lips, held your hand, t'was such - our love's final encore.

Your response growing feeble, til even that was taken
for as lifted one eyelid wide, I most deeply shaken
its dead stare told your journey 'twas now far on its way
til I felt nothing left - that one could fully say.

Thereafter but the waiting, one's Waking requires
when first-dawn updrew, withdrew all earthly desires
my Spirit understanding what one's heart would ever miss
for as they removed your body - gave you my final kiss.

How many others at that given time, across long reach of years
have tendered their dying love, beyond needed waste of tears
thereafter wage unforgiving days with unwanted useless fears
unknowning later, would heart-hear their loved one - without need of ears?

Once again I celebrate your sainthood's birth, as each year have done
commemorate, venerate, deliberate what your dying won
each year re-penned with different words, telling same dreamy tale
in tribute to one most loved - keeps our love from going stale.
March 2, 2002

Almost as if knowing what they soon must do
some ancient artifact long kept, past ages threw
fondle of its shapement, conning what once knew
reflecting former meanings - evolved morley true.

Old pictures long saved or knickknack some back-year bought
old letters re-read or written words freshly thought
played upon piano, several tunes ears caught
humming heart-touched tunes - old melodies once had taught.

Those faulted facts their past retained, re-pondered til confused
recalling of when and where or why, back then had enthused
old poetry re-read, idle hours perused
forgotten deeds both shared between - still amused.


Then of a sudden, all such interests were put aside
now but sit a-dream, as if weeks before - reapplied
longly stood, viewed beyond window panes - yet uneyed
as if now but awaiting - what Death would provide.

Tis such now put to rhyme, memories tell - how well I know
for thus my wife went through, within that month of whence would go
seen in my daily agony, knowing what her Death would gain
yet when her dying came, forgot - only after felt its pain.
March 7, 2002

Should deepened shadows show strengths so strong
brought black bleak broodings, til birthed with song
thereafter sang but an eternal hopeful dirge
til quenching Death quells one's Life - with its final purge.
March 28, 2002

At last it will be done, leave this shrine of ours
for each day finds you absent through silent hours
your haunting essence, my daily routine
your taunting presence - yet ever unseen.

Each day recalls last steps taken down back stairs
your readings of, our eatings by - silence shares
final fingerings played on pianoed keys
long hours looking out, though your eye - blindly sees.

Remembering your smile, bright gleam of sharp eyes
dreams of wanted hopes when first moved in, new hope tries
weary days at your last, knowing Death soon would come
every day growing weaker - Time left me inly numb.

Such hauntings, this house still speaks to me each day
four years my grieving taught, more often pray
recalling our life together, this house - yours and mine
soon will move - have out-grown need of our former shrine.

Grim grief has matured, til our love firmly saved within
daily hauntings taste bittersweet, old love broods again
chance life elsewhere by, forego what days and nights here remind
my love assuring all you saved, will not be left behind.

Wherever go, those future years still left to me
no matter where might dwell, our love will ever be
thought ought tell you so - before leave your final home.


A love that never dims, only grow
just you I tell, none else needs to know
not you I leave, only where both once dwelt
what undies is our love, such - ever felt.
August 20, 2002

How so many must tear their night
future years plagued with widowed blight
their marriage, but what memories might
Time still gifts - yet with dimming light.

Treasured relics clutched closely tight
daily dusted to keep them bright
letters their wooing days would write
old pictures shelf-held - kept in sight.

Healing grief, found a life-long fight
dispelling Despair's curseful blight
growing their love to fuller heights
such Faith may bless - as grieving rites.

Til Time brings widowhood's final plight
one's fading years recall, yet not quite
as aging minds gift but their widow's mite
tis of such, so many - must tear their night.
August 27, 2002

Those olden days now come no more, as once did long before
no reality can ever recreate nor restore
drifting past echoes, scattered remnants left behind
sere shadows sifting shattered hopes - that still remind.

Fomer memories, convince once-times were fully real
hard toiled tasks longly labored with our zeal
voicings shared with feelings, future dreams put in play
til evenings ended with small-talk - closed up each day.

Little need belabor such loss, when loved-one dies
nor retell anguished missments, those nights one still cries
ever after, wasting each day or mutely sterile nights
til not one word of love left unsaid - one's memory writes.

Worn wreckage we leave behind, cast from our cluttered years
health crippled by old age, pained by what aging memory blears
left with Faith's assuring strength, still found within one's soul
for early days come no more, such - Time and age have stole.
October 17, 2002

Curse of Fate wasted much life gave
til Faith salvaged what hopes could save
mysteries still beclouding life's worth
despite first giftings gave at one's birth.

Fragile hopes saved to ever hold
feeble trust on what Faith has told
certainty lost to doubts, as life decays
wondering if in the end - Truth betrays.

Will one's love have strength to last beyond Death
some Other may cede, after final breath
trusting Salvation, like Life - freely given of
one's absolution - by God's forgiving Love?
November 22, 2002

Widowed eyes see much, married folk cannot feel
such I do not tell, silent - as if unknowing of
when beside spousal's bier, found their last time to kneel
soon will learn deeper hopes - those endless depths of love.
March 29, 2003

One who staunchly endured pains from war
where fearful terrors froze each one stoic of
those who listened well, suffered far more
tender stories told - of sadly spoken love.

At funerals dry-eyed, even loss of his son
when wife buried under, no tears weeply run
but when close friend lost his dog of fourteen years
I stood watching, both friend and he - wept with tears.
May 2, 2003

As he left with that final wave of hand
told be back at nine o'clock, both had planned
help repair what I could no longer buy
yet how lastly spoke - made me wonder why.

Thought of such just now, that last wave he gave
what both planned foreclosed, buried in his grave
how suddenly, long friendships end in death
life so ephemeral - quenched with final breath.


All night sat with me, til wife breathed her last
his silence then spoke, but what friendship hast
his presence gave comfort as stood by her grave
now remembered - that last wave of hand he gave.

Of such men as he, am ever grateful for
like two other friends during that awful war
one died within my arms, other killed saving me
oft remembered - though both buried across far sea.

Perhaps was that final wave I gave those two
as of their solemn taps, back then listened to
his final wave of hand, brought of such to mind
gesture he'd given, two others - friendship signed.

Now in my lonely days, widowed out til die
recalling wars of my past, each day brings by
of former friends still loved, those who yet proudly stand
gesture he left behind - that final wave of hand.
May 7, 2003

Those haunting notes of bugled taps
soft winds brought by
if unknowing whom buried of
still - I proudly cry.

Though Death must collect us all
despite what hopes may try
always after, we ponder of
left to wonder why.
May 7, 2003

There where once days of but she and I
til later days brought each wedded by
but was long ago and far away
of such joy as then - comes no more.

There where waitful days, our children birthed
til later days filled with gladdened mirth
but was long ago and far away
of such laughter then laughed - laughs no more.

There where grandeured days when each child wed
til later days, even grand-kids bred
but was long ago and far away
of such banter then ranted - comes no more.

There where after days we traveled some
til later days home stayed, others come
but was long ago and far away
of such comfort then felt - comes no more.

There where quiet days we read a lot
til later days shared what each one thought
but was long ago and far away
of such learnings gathered - comes no more.

There where fearful days when wife took ill
til latter days knew her death, God's will
but was long ago and far away
of such sadness then felt - comes no more.

There where trying days until she died
that final time lastly kissed my bride
but was long ago and far away
of such grieving then cried - comes no more.

There where traveled days, visit her grave
each time felt what her Love once gave
but was long ago and far away
of such hope, her love still gifts - even more.

There are remaining days passing by
til know those prior days, best of I
neither long ago nor far away
Love eternal, after Death - far more.

There are future days our sons must try
til of distant days will also cry
neither long ago nor far away
tis such Life and Death - been given for.
May 18, 2003

Those eyes showed neither fear nor wonder
unknowing what death soon would plunder
brief prelude - before eternal slumber.

Her eyes would look at me, then away
thence back again, words could not convey
nor what my gentled murmurs must betray.

As spasms quivered down both hind legs
strange confusions, questing eyes now begs
found I had no answers - however vague.

My caressing hand upon her head, recognized
of saddened words spoken, seemed her ears empathized
unknowing a broken back - left her paralyzed.

Til I left with a duty only love could fully grasp
as my rifle's lead bullet shattered her life's final gasp
hugged her with confusing tears - surreal hopes inly clasp.

Wondered if of my eyes, she knew their last betrayal
end our bonded friendship with such brutal portrayal
pangs of guilt or vindication - years yet bewail.

Life seems a sacred gift, found throughout the spheres
though to each creature, held but mere brace of years
long-lived or short, Fate's fragile chance is all that steers.

Still knowing where her bones we thoughtfully buried lies
upon high hill's lonely crest, beneath now vanquished skies
friendship whose love gave final cause - though another dies.
May 31, 2003

Again a gathering of some
as in somber quiet come
gray bleak day of saddened rains
tis such - a funeral ordains.

Kindred family used up front pew
far back, crowded remaining few
in between, that vacant void
respectful distance - left uncloyed.

Ancient honor, grace one who died
grieving tears of those attending cried
comforting words from ritualed creed
obsequies read - sad hopes still plead.

Huddled near grave's wide tent canopy
sheltered closely, calming one's sanity
closing ranks around those grieving most
brief words lastly told - one's final toast.

Still that gentle rain sprinkled down
like tears shed from high-heaven's crown
gifting a comfort beyond worldly laws
silently healing each - as rain wetly falls.

Last respects, when placed beneath garth's plot
earthen dust to dust, returned to rot
former memories, kept-relics proudly signed
keeping their life and love - well in mind.

 After, gathered in church-hall to eat
a simple fare, each one there might meet
healing their ruptured lives, Death had took
reaffirmed by kindness - warm hands shook.

Sunday next, she now sits one without
yet neighbor's love nearby, leaves no doubt
old friendships showing, Gospels true
brief years left - til Death takes her too.
June 17, 2003

Should death dissolve a parent before one fully weaned
all after-years finds a residue, Death's damage gleaned
psychic cripple, confusing their youthful years
tragic loss of a parent - that worst of fears.

Whisked away from a nourishment, warm breasts firstly gave
too soon fed of solid foods, denied what inly crave
til onward years belabored with lack of outward trust
confusing relationships, those growing older - must.

Almost a Fate worse than Death, future years will often show
after-days stunted by what late childhood ought to grow
green fruit found early dropped, before could fully ripen true
a tragedy old age recalls - early days never grew.

Such sufferings, misunderstanding Fate's heedless cause
love hid beneath those hopeless dreams of life's hidden flaws
untimely death oft disturbing normal flow of one's growth
unrevealed nor questioned of - before love's wedding troth.

Detrimental deprivals effecting a curse, Time may begin
such disaster destroys trust in oneself, til one turns within
a silent secret others might well unsuspect - or ridicule
especially among those adolescent years - self-suffered at school.

A curse none ought suffer by, a challenge only they can outgrow
those who care others of, when a young parent dies - such should know.
December 17, 2003

To whence now drifts that disembodied soul
self-panic put to death
quenched an anguish, so gain some wishful goal
flung with their final breath.

Felt-fears cast aside, risked to reap the best
some dream unthought as odd
til birthed a fantasy - their final quest
understood but by God.

May his mother soon be found close nearby
again to take his hand
a wayward son lost, there found asking why
once more to proudly stand.

With fatted calf slaughtered to celebrate
a starving son's late return
with such deep remorse, as might vindicate
his youthful pride may re-learn.
Whence now drifts that refurbished seeking soul
a mother's tender love could long outlive
quenched an anguish, so gain one's wishful goal
their final absolution - would forgive.
December 31, 2003

Gray clouds lowly lour beneath a darkened sky
til feeble warmth of rain merely sprinkles dry
portending some ill-omen - foul Fate chanced by.

Now casts its gloom across our future days
though brief glints of wan sunshine dimly splays
as if to hint beyond - hopes found midst that haze.

But a day or string of such, perhaps unending years
a time of darkish gloom, awash with grief-saddened tears
til soils turn arid dry - a season of cloudless clears.

Not a time of faithless fears nor hopes high-hung til die
merely a seasonal weather-change, dullish days brought by
for Life hath needs of both - growing one strong and spry.

A brief interlude of weather's war, light and dark battles fight
as gray clouds dissembled into bluer skies til clear and bright
thence a length of peace to grow again, that truth - Faith knows is right.
January 3, 2004

Seeded love once gave sprout, til brought birth
a son freely chose short life on Earth
orchestrated his last self-sought theme
til terminated by self-brought dream.

A sudden closure, Time must longly lend
prayerful hopes between, future years may mend
sudden cease of life, love begot by fathered friend
mystery's enigmatic answer - firm Faith must send.

For a father's love can but be forgiving
no matter what deeds son chose with misgiving
searching eyes held with farsighted stare
at eve-time of day - found standing there.

Awaited fatted calf well-fed just in case
trusting powers of eternal love's hopeful grace
no matter what confusions, choices chosen
forgiveness oft found - melting hearts held frozen.

Grateful for a Faith, trusting futures after Death
daring hopes presumed, forgiveness beyond last breath
such love firstly gave sprout, when birthed a wanted son
still hopeful will return, refound - Love lastly won.
January, 16, 2004

A place and time that brought an end of things
held almost too dear to be shared it seems
sudden cease, when life took itself too serious
Death preferred escape - perhaps merely curious.

What secrets might such reveal, Death left behind
inner mysteries or confusions - held one confind?

Whereof or however after, we know not the least
a distance so far from, unable to clearly think
fantasies witches brew, fermented with aged yeast
when secret potion taken - imbibed its fatal drink.

Yet a choice, for life could be freely accepted by
struggled years to gain or lose, earn and learn of world's why
curious what love might give and share, yet pushed aside
future hopes unresolved - Father's care may well decide.

A proud decision, its fatal flaw of some fancied hope
finally dared, life cast aside - bypassed one's need to cope
slowly slid beyond reach of reason's rational foundation
place and time self-chosen, perceived as - ultimate salvation.
January 16, 2004