Worn through early years to mold you man
youth-time made wise use of its call
forming memories to last full-life's span
constant gauge used - to measure all.
Again asked in that same style:
where is Joy - once lit my smile?
Out-worn by heavy moments, life casts
still enlivens your days with glee
a point of view, hopeful laughter lasts
still remembered - treasure gifted free.
Memory, tell me if still you know:
where Hope be found - I need to grow?
Still brightly burning to guide your onward way
searching future years, dreams held within one's mind
bearing foul weathers, when clouds cast darkly gray
thus quickens all - gateful ones may often find.
Again queried of memory's deep past:
where flits my Faith, long years may out-last?
Still nurturing dreams of future's hope
belief first formed from what scriptures drawn
a light grace-given, by which to cope
God's gifted lure - to entice you on.
Then cried - O memory give your clue:
where is my first Love - long held true?
First curtsy met, then vowed to trust her mine
three decades bred four sons of ours
early years reaped a love of briefen time
still loved - though dwells in Heaven's bowers.
June 4, 1999
Those devious departures, delvings deeply done
wove from varied threads, later unraveled
til Time and circumstance can not re-knit its run
judge finally declared - condemned and gaveled.
Looking back out of Future's rear-window
piecing together sharp cause of Death's blow
shattered love and life, til left one a widow
neither one thinking - we just never know.
October 17, 1999
Here at tree's apex, found oneself on life's leading edge
high-held though barely, weaving as if un-took the pledge
vantaged height gained a splendid lookout, and yet
found unstable enough - be a constant threat.
Soon I tired of both the view and my pain
took tiresome effort with hand's clutching’s strain
untempted by what world's riches deign.
Perhaps reached too high, beyond need nor worth
rethought, although view gave full breadth of Earth
knew could not sustain grip required holding on
although felt tempted there to stay - full life-long.
ON LOWER LIMB
Out of sun’s heat, shaded by leaven shadows
not sticking out, hid by what tree-shade bestows
here no clasp needed, easily sat solid limb
leaned full-back against its trunk - if should be my whim.
Unworried nor betossed about, although lost that far view
yet much found quiet-held, more relaxed - free to think and muse.
Finding this mid-way perch far safer and secure
what's near seen more clearly, distance does not obscure
certain naturalness felt, though high above the ground
ancient oak tree like a friend - solid-firm and sound.
Much seen from here, stayed longer stretch of time
another thing, not as far up to climb
gave an over-view from what seen lower down
a safer berth than when high held - atop tree's crown.
BACK TO EARTH
Finally shinnied down, til took that final jump
stood ground-held, seating myself on a stump
once again placed at ground level, to draw another view
no fear of falling, back where started from - my climbing through.
Those varied vistas seen higher up, gave thoughts a wider scope
glad I made that climb, for those higher sights gave far richer hope
such how life wears and shapes its view in a single day
time taken to look beyond - viewing a different lay.
Shadows now lie longer, time growing late I would say
important to find one's place, now content - here to stay.
December 4, 1999
Know before our quizzing starts, may be true or lies
needs to understand beyond strength of human mind
yet life’s disparity obvious to our eyes
each creature uniquely found to be - but its kind.
A benediction Creator gave, His penchant for Diversity
yet allows what that old Devil may - its preference for perversity.
January 6, 2000
One must be bred to it, born there would help
reared within its walls like some sheltered whelp
change advancing at supersonic rates
culture recrafted by foreign world traits.
Is for the young, those acclimatized to its haste
pace super-fast, powers cost becomes their waste
but a place to go then come back from for me
found too fettered, too fast - when there, quickly leave.
A different Culture unable to understand
its originallity seems but secondhand
prefer dwell elsewhere by - in my own hitherland.
January 31, 2000
Deep-loved or dismissed
well-known or unmissed
full or scant, found or lost
wet or dry - dew or frost.
Far out wide, near and close
without pride, meek or gross
healthy strong or frailed so
keenly learned - or one found slow.
Yet when one looks back
reviewing life’s routine
in the end, will average out
somewhere in between.
February 25, 2000
Weekly polished, laced up - tightly feel
when taken off, both neatly placed side by side
pulled off by hand rather than toe to heel
fully unlaced-loose - then out-flared very wide.
But before long, new risks required some daring-do
in time their newness lost, soon became an old shoe
til life with those shoes now felt comfortable and pliable
more battered they are, trusted like a friend - ever reliable.
For as well-conformed to one’s feet, more they are worn
til further usage scuffed, scratched, scraped, muddy or torn
becomes part of you, so dependable - til time reached
if should be lost or stolen - half of your life seems breeched.
How dismal life outwears, when old shoes die
sorely missed, know new ones won’t wear as spry
dreading that waiting, hating - breaking new shoes in
know that agony - stretching new pair in again.
Such these lines have spoken of, old shoes long used in pairage
such could just as well apply to old wives - fused in marriage.
March 6, 2000
Whether treads steps for sleep or perhaps to brood
either way, he always felt like been dethroned
each time re-ran what had said - maybe hormoned!
If not too late of evening, later downed those stairs
put coffee on for them both, sipping as sat their chairs
but if later done, got up quickly - left with sudden leap
certain-knew on going to bed - would found her fast asleep.
March 21, 2000
When young, many hopeful dreams
when old, few of worth it seems
when young, that yearn for fonded love
when old - memories remembered of.
When young, Faith a vapid view
when old, one believes all true
when young, Death deemed light-years away
when old - know will not long delay.
April 5, 2000
Henry and I sat a-chair, as snuggled him between my neck and shoulder
with bit of rocking, drifted off to dreamland - he two weeks I much older
precious hour both spent together, I to pray and wonder - he to sleep
in all that time never once squirmed nor moved - only I found one to weep.
But two weeks ago Henry born, be the last his mother would bear
in delivery hemorrhaged severely, gifting he - her final prayer
within minutes of delivery, Ester flagged, failed then died giving birth
Henry birthed midst those blessings of Death, Life and Love - varied values of worth.
A fullness of self-giving, lasting gift to family - remembers her by
here rocked holding her Henry, remembered Ester - yet unafraid to cry
held him like a son, recalled our own before my wife early died
thanked Bev and Ester for privilege, held Henry for an hour - sleepy-eyed.
Simple event once graced my day, no amount of money could buy
pondering splendors of both life and death, understood without their why
watched one hour, world all my own, Hank and me - Bev and Ester close by
now seems so long ago, both Life and Death mixed together - grief must ever try.
April 18, 2000
Human need for mutual help and friendship
required acceptance of those about
tolerance tethered to those of kinship
strengthened by convictions - Faith held devote.
Yearly reunions midst both kith and kin
remember those now gone, who once had been
near neighbors invited in hot July
after wheat harvest binned - straw-stacks blown high.
Now far scattered across the world wide
oft unknowing nor there, when kin-folk died
untethered with close kin, tis kith who weds their love
traditions lost midst life’s fast haste - til unthought of.
Former roots unknown, to understand whom inly are
recycled friendships city dwelt, often rather far
as Culture evolves new human bonds of friendship
perhaps later finds - far better ways of fellowship.
January 13, 2001
Side tracks early laid, soon became unused side-spur
retraced to regain main-line, thence whence to - unsure
hopeful may finally reach roundhouse's rail-head
thence to lay me down at last - one's last prayers said.
January 24, 2001
A trait that would describe much about the man he was
tis oft said, a man remembered best - how his humor does.
February 23, 2001
He'd known such ice before, should quick-freeze between
so ate in silence, after - two cups caffeine
with meal done, children cleared table then left
she washed, he dried - divided with widened cleft.
Two long-wed, knew needed space held with silence
eve drew late, children abed - he made pretense
in her quiet tone, told all phone-call caused
after, he asked her how she felt - then paused.
Knew by morning next, their forgiveness soon absolved
understanding those depths - mutual love had resolved.
February 24, 2001
Its beginning heart-felt, years after - ripened otherwise
vicissitudes and visions revalued, passing years revise
ever changing, til that choice matures one not self-same
first hopes, half-century refashioned - into what became.
First visions outlasted waste of years committed to
unmatters not what field chosen nor first hopes drew
worn with determination, til one's allegiance grew
half-century now celebrated - for what has made of you.
March 19, 2001
Ignorant of all that preternatural hopes may tell
ancient wisdoms acclaimed as either - Heaven or Hell.
Struggled midst those fears and hopes each one must
from all learned, sensed and done, wrongly or thought just
til in the end, again rely upon that childlike trust
as Life slips beyond, certain only - will decay to dust.
March 20, 2001
Traits held by leaders who rule their masses
those in power oft rise from greedful classes
til Nature itself undermined, raped til dies
perhaps then may chance - Wisdom takes place of lies.
April 5, 2001
Where now is my lost youth with all its dreams
crafting those delights, one's future schemes?
Hollowed echoes resonated like grunts:
outgrew worth of Time - freely given once.
Where now is my peacefulness, then had known
soothing those harsh vicissitudes, others thrown?
Shallow whispers barely heard, reached my ears
lost to frets of loneliness - grief and fears.
Where now is my ready laugh and smile
once outlasted worst of trouble's guile?
Mocking tone heard from darkened shadows
lost amidst pains and wastes - age bestows.
Where now is my certainty, brought of love
giving confidence as one well thought of?
Only silence drifted - cold, sere and dry
since one unloved - no answer gave reply.
April 25, 2001
When love first glimmers hopes in those young
when passions heat hearts til marriage won
when flock scatters, til with others clung
when grand-kids regather again as one
then Life's yield full told - stories grandfolks spun.
May 2, 2001
Buried beneath depths too deeply delved, til unfound furthermore
cede cold Fate its final win, letting go - as to underscore
yet trusting those lost Hopes, as one's final obeisance to God
if such be done instead of vengeful Hate - do not think it odd.
May 15, 2001
The eyes that glared, those lips that snarled, hand hard-shaken in your
have you yet met of few whose greeting found, to put you in your place?
Those eyes that cried, two lips that quivered, handshake would not let go
have you yet met of those bereft, tell what of Death - you should know?
Those eyes that glistened, their lips flushed full, handshake which
told as much
have you yet met of none, whose greeting wilted you - with their touch?
June 1, 2000
Beyond such lie deep depths of soul, others find
readings long pondered on, learned within the mind
time taken to share - cared as to be one kind
despite those vagaries - Hate and Greed once signed.
June 6, 2001