Unseen, though ever there like a shadow
such may be denied, til thrice heard cockcrow
lurks irrevocable Fate - that of Death
Nature bids all die - those who live by breath.

In our youth, learned to hide its distant fate
knowing will attend on some distant date
unmused, ignored, fearing its distraction
long treated - like some useless abstraction.

Its power beyond escape by our strength
no matter how far, stretch of years give length
uncountable ways, may be brought about
so certain, Cultures cast - with hopes devote.

Its cold truth assures, will ever persist
Death's cleavage leaves no hint we still exist
body soon decays, left completly silent
life pursued by Death - a tireless tyrant.

Remaining relics, groveled with one's tears
treasured most, drifting thoughts of former years
as self-made voicings, cause words - wont to hear
attempts missment lends - so might keep them near.

Life's severance severely sharp, leaves not a wink
when Death casts one living, beyond Time's brink
who were, now not - only memories one may hold
life sustained, til after death - grows quickly cold.
September 7, 2001

Tedious Time has taken leave
til lost love left to grieve
unravels - what life should weave.

A presence long felt as free
love - thoughtless Time shed from me
Fate extracted - its fixed fee.

Hollow hopes, tis all that remains
til fading memories, few contains
tedious Time ill-chose - so ordains.

Vacant dreams of once days, finally lost
Death's residue, merely Love's cost
Chance and Choice - had lastly tossed.

Love's joy now reduced to pain
nor has strength, future days regain
til Hope itself - found fully slain.
November 25, 2001

No cure found, re-birth sterile days gravid
destined as always been, since one pavid
four years have brought no cease of each day's hard toil
only value saved, my love for you - still loyal.

Present years reap that daily dread of needless pain
widowed by Death, voiceless voids - mute Time must deign
comfort cedes no warmth, cold tears can never melt
nor whispered words or brief touch - tis ever felt.

A hollowed vacancy no powers may fill
fertile grounds long nurtured, disallowed to till
each day must walk a vacant land, though as one alone
only vague notes from those olden love-songs - now intone.

Waste what strength remains, til leaves one but barren bone
drying midst those parched cries, prayers mixed with one's moan.

From this day forward, such a curse I must carry
idle with wonton needs, labored - just to tarry
fueled by a blindful trust, such pain gifts - as my love
four long years done in silence - now here telling of.

Tedious, tasteless, tiresome hungers - til starves one's heart dry
heedless Fate needlessly cast with its careless fling
wearing down endless Time, til as one unknown - will die
still trusting your bonnie love - might thereafter bring.
February 9, 2002

As if heart of life found gone
sunrise ups, but gifts no song
deep within, felt something wrong
days but nights - no eve nor dawn.

Happy moments hover, but never stay
yet still lurking there, for what might yet say
either tears or fears, must daily fight
dissembles one's life - both day and night.
March 16, 2002

Window panes besmeared, blurred - perhaps cracked somewhat
door swollen shut, or if not - always ajar
weather varies as it should, yet rains a lot
prefer staying in, for if should go - too far.

Two days after shopped, already need one thing more
yet refuse to drive, wait two weeks til bought at store
moved more by moods than discipline, once taught to do
left to rot and waste away - but to spit and chew.

Weeds most welcomed here, should limbs fall - left where chanced lay
last Fall leaves unraked, pile up wherever may
neither friend nor neighbor comes to visit, nor do I
future hopes simplified into one - but simply die.
March 27, 2002

Have sometimes found, when dying comes to slay
one or two most treasured things kept
often fondled, but now - fingers no longer play.

Life gathered relics, retirement one enjoys
things onced relished, tears daily wept
til those treasured keepsakes later found - uncloys.

What are we to make of this denial, dying brings
like one's last cross, their final deed
no longer needing touched nor felt - those treasured things.

Tis God's loving call, final growth before Death attends
one's suffering, what true love may need
earthen treasures cast aside, of such - Heaven transcends.
September 10, 2002

Across grave-yard fencing - mornings early
Spring-time's dew drops glittered, clear and pearly
after Lauds, those came to worship now take leave
as beside tombstone, one daily stands - to grieve.

Across grave-yard fence, morning's birthed with dawn
as birds innately quarrel their native song
til their voicings unheard, for now must feed
a few may sing - some inner anger peeved.

Sun inching higher, til warms his wanted stone
as if gifting old love's warmth, they both expect
words fondly spoke as prayers, grieving tears make loan
hat in hand, held behind his back - shows respect.

Perhaps for a quarter-hour, lingers by her grave
when leaves, dons his cap before walks down hill
as sun's rising dries last drops, morning's dew first gave
found again tomorrow - til comes Winter's chill.

Then but Sundays after, foots way to her mound
several minutes stands, thanking her - his ending prayer
til years after, those visits no longer found
when both found interred, ever after - both will share.

Little did I know, when scribed words you have just read
of a weekday morning, when wet dew drops have fled
portended day of his burial, I would attend
hearing words I heard before - final prayers commend.

Met those who came, ate funeral lunch in church close by
learned of him and her, their four sons and daughters two
like us all, Life tells what Death bequeaths with its scythe
gathered friends shared their lives - Grime Reaper finally slew.

Too soon, others will be seen across grave-yard's fence
a frequent ritual, some soul must bear - like others done
shrive their grief of loss, a missment felt ever hence
til Armageddon arrives, whence of Death - will be none.
October 23, 2002

My regards to you, these words convey
another brother to pass away
til but none of your clan left alive
only your family's name - will survive.

Just another step of Destiny
each may ponder on - thought questionly
yet further strides await beyond
such our Faith tells - lest we despond.

Still remembered - what his life gifted
earned from hopes and dreams, life-long sifted
tis such Death leave behind, what may tell others of
full worth of one's life - what had given with their love.
February 17, 2003

Of what her dazzled eyes might betray
retold by what smiling lips unsay
a magic, long love may often see
or but briefly - if such need be.

To wear but simple clothes yet with care
although more fashionable - what might bare
a gifting she clad with secrecy, for gave no clue
so surprise me completely - as if I never knew.

But were times, rightfully earned her woman's scorn
then those dazzled eyes turned slits, barely showing
spoke words I dare not say - better had not been born
knowledge never knew - though am ever growing.

T'was such in those early years, Time left behind
old love remembers, sad years of grief remind
shared both pain or joy - til old love resigned.

Those best of days or their worst, both in marriage gifts
now but fading memories - my daily grieving sifts.
May 24, 2003

Grief once required I bid to walk a well-worn floor
as behind, heard that muffled sound of soft closing door
beyond tunnel-like, stretched an endless corridor
unlike any other - as if untraced before.

Far ahead, flicker of phantomed light gave feeble glow
an ancient hallway dimly lit, bid me onward go
each step taken, haunting memories - only I could know
within the mind, words were heard - heart-felt within my soul.

Unending trail Death bid, as if to learn thereby
passed unopened doors, each beckoned - one or all could try
fearful of what truths might tell, or perhaps found a lie
no guidance given as which door to open - nor why.

A silence pervaded each question, mind brought to ask
til nervously paused by one door, with a grinning mask
its features held a smiling mouth, yet with sorrowing eyes
one had never seen, yet some semblance knew - but in disguise.

Longly standing there to quiz, if someone I should know
fearful of what might portend beneath that door 's feeble glow
since free, passed this door by, or if opened - what might show
felt no force, until some freedom bid me - therein go.

As reached its knob, slowly opened as if by itself
along its wall, a candle lit up high-filled bookshelf
when surveyed its gathered tomes, scanning titles of each
til with trembling hands - my arms extended out to reach.

Page upon page of faces, those my life at some time met
unremembered now remembered, of each one - knew owed some debt
without need recall their forgotten names, past years knew them by
voicings spoke as in former days, words telling me of - and why.

For days it seemed, I looked and listened of what they cried
again heard love spoken of, attempts my youth had tried
some kindness given, sweet words fresh love would not betray
was then it dawned on me - each of these had passed away.

By then candle burnt so low, flame quivered with whimpered glow
softly replaced last book, thinking how much to others owe
as I left, corridor seemed far longer than before
within that dim darkness, I now refused to explore.

A surreal experience of both reason and magic
of what there now surmised, found both benign and tragic
haunting nightmares I endured, throughout a sleepless night
of what now still remembered - only this can I write.
April 28 - June 3, 2003

When tired Time comes to timely tell
if not outwardly, at least inward certainties
may surmise, capricious needs Fate may sow
within one's fading thoughts, dimly gathered
from dark receding light - and soft noised din.

Confusing those long promised hopes, with what body
now doubly feels, swinging on those fragile webbings
life-long spun, numbed fingers still searching
midst harsh doubts, at last lets go with relaxing hands
softly caressing - those long forgotten dreams.

As mumbled sounds heard further far, whispered
into an inward silence, fading light gathered from
that dimming darkness, wherein an unfelt numbness
quells one's heart, unsensing its slowing deep raled breath
as slowly drifts within that haze - of some dreamy balm.

Is then, Time makes final issue of this event
designed to cripple one's Life with fatal Death
yet fully yearning for that ancient peace
old Eden's fateful fruit - first brought to pass.

Then with hopeful wonder and love's last pleading prayer
grateful for what life best-brought - from her loving care.
June 9, 2003

Lost beyond forgotten hours
years unreturned from far distant past
til even memory once thought ours
found dimly fading - yet slowly fast.
Such Time dost.

Of where or when, what then done
by whom or why such occurred
unraveled what firstly spun
til confused - old age conferred.
Such age must.

Memory mildly muddled
truth twisted til too often lies
old thoughts wildly fuddled
til truth reflects some unknown guise.
Such hopes play.

Slowly losing life, as if one dying
so unlike what last said, as if lying
can such change now be reversed
atone what untold at first?
Such Love may.
April 2, 2004

Dying down those strickened days, grief left
those strung out nights of an arid loneliness
til hopes stolen by Death's burgled theft
as one's dying leaves behind - its dreadful stress.

Silent phantoms of pantomime
scary shadows dancing in dim dark
weird reflections - a paradigm
austere, bleakly barren - coldly stark.

Awakens another day of fear
gloomy clouds occluding sun's hopeful bright
denied of one held closely near
only tears to wet those sheets of night.

Passing hours, future time must waste
curdled sour, rank with rancid taste
vanquished schemes, former dreams once chased
fruitless pleas, til one's prayers - left un-graced.

Tis of such, long after-years put in play
Death's lurking hauntings still hover near
befouling fresh yearnings, hopes might convey
silent dreams still portraying - one held dear.
May 14, 2004

Dark gloom of dour despair pervades dank dampish air
low clouds worn into gray, seems has but little to say
just another - wasteful day.

Much the same as before, hazy mists must deplore
shrouded views left unseen, with long nights in between
but tired Time's old routine.

Silent noise felt muted, water vapors ill-suited
drenched by its stifled smog, air thick with smokey fog
above a lowland bog.

Eagerly each one held waiting, til found misty fog mutating
into bright warmth of day, as full-light returns to stay
ridding Life - its bane of gray.
June 11, 2004

Sad sorrows seem to longly stay
although laughter, but briefly may
dappled patterns found mostly gray
life still designs - most every day.
June 25, 2004

Tranquility just upped and left some time ago
apparently my life too jumbled for such peace
stability destabilized - Death will not forego.

Fractured futures, may take years to fully mend
re-heal a broken heart when shattered so
lonely days and sterile nights - Death doth lend.

Coupled each to each gave meaning, our lives defined
one's presence brought peace, each day some purpose found
but a vacuous vacancy - Death left behind.

A cross must daily shoulder, back bruised til black and blue
curse cast upon one's fevered brow, daily made to bear
fond memories of those days before - Grief may still review.

As blue skies churned into clouds of rain or mist
hot summer nights, stagnant air must suffer with
without my loved one kissed - Grief tis such as this.
August 14, 2004

As cold day shivers down to night
bedding between snow's sheets of white
til clear morning's air, felt quite
brittle - both eyes frozen tight.

When warm day simmers one down to sleep
those dark shades of night too briefly keep
til cool morning's air breathed-in deep
saddened tears, Death reminds - one to weep.
January 18, 2005

Remnants left over from forgotten years
shadows of the past, kept on file
gathered down at times, fondly felt with tears
rebirths again - that former smile.

Keepsakes saved back, love could not cast away
as if such relics, kept one closely by
each holds some hidden mystery, hopes convey
for those long widowed out - unquestioned why.

Til in yonder years, most are thrown away
salvaged years collected, such as love may
mementoes, sad grief long-kept on display
now saved within - with nothing more to say.
March 15, 2005

Thereafter left to sit alone
in that mute silence, Death left behind
only clock's hourly strike intones
to measure out - what life assigns.

At last to know the end of things
daily presence forever played
struggled toils, reared family brings
high price one's marriage cost - Time paid.

Relearn how to live, now left alone
as time slowly takes all day it seems
household duties delayed or postponed
both nights and days preferred - filled with dreams.

Whys and wherefores often pondered on
hearing hallowed echoes of years past
holding onto Life, at least til dawn
yet afterwards - but what Time might cast.

Til swing of life's cradle finally broke and fell
whence re-hung, now barely swung - or not at all
sit close by warm fire of winters spent inside
or long sat a-porch, warm summers - sit outside.

Unhurriedly awaiting of one's final day
internally debating, memories put in play
what heard spoken deep within, my calm heart will pray
yet most precious of all - what gathered children say.
May 12, 2005

When early morning's sky broods leaden gray
to know again, another day
sad memories whisper, only tears can say
price of life and love - death must pay.
June 10, 2006

Forced again to feed my famished soul
straved from wont of that, which makes one whole
mere scraps of tattered dreams and memories unraveled frays
ravaged remnants, wastings left over from former days.

Despite Autumn's soft breeze brings stray strands long forgot
drifting within my awaiting heart, time briefly brought
as if to caress a suffered soul feeling blue
an unforgotten love now recalled - brought by you.

Til my shattered day or night, gently healed thereby
once more redeemed by a love, you have sweetly brought by
aid and abet with equal trust, calmly felt again
dissipating those clouds of gray - of what once had been.

Across this wide world, price of widowhood, but love's cost
whispers daily heard, retelling what love has never lost
brought from out those distant realms, firm faith trusts tis true
gifts an inner peace firmly felt - t'wix those once knew.

Despite deeds of neglect or shame, love still proves Faith tis true
whispered in that silence, heard again, married years once threw
ravaged remnants of scattered dreams, our lives learned thereby
those wed-days of our happy themes, whispered prayers - reply.
Novenber 11, 2006