When night holds moon and stars with quiet hush
when words shared by two makes both redden blush
when steeple too soon tells, should homeward point their feet
that night remains in memory - fifty years holds sweet.

When Winter days wear November's gray
when chill winds gather warmth, heart's heat may
when night too soon comes, hours quickly hurried by clock's measure
retained within one's memory - fifty years will treasure.

When she who was better half gathered to her grave
when children and grand-kids fled, with all they gave
when seldom comes afoot, neighbored friends found withdrawn
such times held in memory - fifty years thinks upon.

When readings upbring news of places, once had known
when obits declare former friends, to their graves have flown
when rare letter arrives, telling wedding soon be vowed
such remains in memory, fifty years - holds humbly proud.
June 13, 2001

While court convened, decide if one should live or die
across other continents, starving tongues unheard - cry
though laws enacted, carried out by whims of those in charge
yet even then palms must be money-crossed - tis done at large.

Inequities each suffers despite valid rules of law
as pillars of democracies become temples of straw
always the exception, especially if money paid
while courts convened to decide - if mere laws obeyed.
July 16, 2001

What love and lust brought of me
timid creature thought as free
haste and waste soon brewed to be
but a cup of bitter tea.

Wisps of wayward winds, thoughtlessly blown
early visions vanquished, never grown
only worth life gained, what first-love sown
now but dust left behind the door - dry as bone.

Frivoled years out spent til their past forgot
none now remember, as if not begot
whose worth unfound bearing fruits of truth
rejected, cast aside since first youth.

Winnowed out like dry tares grown midst the wheat
but merely for a time, held as one sweet
then Death reaped but the best, yet not of I
left with an arid hope - til down to die.

Swirled by wasting wind's wonton gusts
like soft-iron crafted, rain quickly rusts
not even worth a final fling of lust
one left as unseen - but forgotten dust.
September 11, 2001

Where lies that road leading somewhere
so might quell lost hopes of despair
when dreams heaved full at sun's first rise
soon found lost - quenched by darkened skies.

Where flies fabled bird as Raven told
so might tell: if all life soon grows cold
as blackened clouds of war foreclosed sun's bright
when Earth found cursed with Hate - by maim and might.

Where cries widowed eyes, grief-sorrows weep
so might ease that anguish, loss must reap
when Death removes love's purpose fully lost
soon after, grieving memories - night dreams tossed.

Where dies that final day as yet unknown
so might cease those miseries we bemoan
when one's hope nor love, no longer found achieved
til dries to dust, old dreams lost - Time left ungrieved.
September 25, 2001

When far dwelt I upon foreign soil
where felt olden lies of warish toil
amid foul reek and waste of fighting's spoil
midst barren bleaks - unknowing who was loyal.

When there stood I by recent graveside mound
where deeply loved who lay beneath cold ground
amid such grief and loss, too early found
midst quiet grief - felt bereft of both sight and sound.

When there eagerly eyed an evening sky
where wide-eyed viewed faint tintings, stars brought by
amid that growing dark, each night asks why
midst those shadows, thoughtless Death slays with reaper's scythe.

When there chanced to meet one unmet before
where both longly talked, til eve soon outwore
midst casual walks taken upon a wasting moor
midst its dry dregs and lees, Life left - unfound no more.

When there heard words, love once spoke long ago
where hopes firstly stirred, youth cannot forego
amid late travels, life traced far from there
midst tatters Time unravels - found left torn and bare.

When there dwelt I again on native ground
where felt a peacefulness thought truly sound
amid calm and trust, had formerly found
midst that tenderness - her love fully crowned.

When all versed above, yet remembered well
where so much became, then too quickly fell
amid night's sweet air, soft lips kissed to tell
now smelt rank husks and barren weeds - with musty smell.
October 11, 2001

What she gave and would not take
was how her life led on
as with homage at her wake
remembered - though now gone.

A quiet soul who listened well
was how her life kept time
as clods of soft clay gently fell
midst tolls of churchen chime.

What she gave, then gifting more
how her short life lived long
as if what life given for
recalled - that woman strong.
December 17, 2001

Yes, I still remember so fully well
what once gave birth for an enraptured spell
of when, where and why such came to pass
and all that after-ran - in life's glass.
December 26, 2001

Why do hearts hold hungers unsated
only dreams succor, long awaited
life unable to pander what hoped
for gates of such, too oft left unope'd.

Our reach far less than hopes measure by
midst demands life's long search, asking why
til find but enough, so not give up
half-full, half-empty - such tis life's cup.
January 1, 2002

Where never two wed as one
a perfect match quickly won
wore their long years through
though troubles tossed - brought but few?

Was never faith found to fail
strength strongly felt, never frail
despite vicissitudes of pondered doubt
unknowing trials - to test it out?
January 4, 2002

To trod the way that lay before
unknowing whence nor where may trend
a tiresome road daily deplore
unfathomed if will ever end.

Yet each one bid there travel by
thinking they know, tis but a lie
forever faring as best they might
chased or led by some inner light.

Yet of why and how brought by
each passing year questions why
seeking answers beyond the sky
some grateful for its challenged try.

No one escapes lest unconceived
each one wary, lest be deceived
some seem unmindful if achieved
more found trusting - as if believed.

All must wend their way til life gone
Time measuring out just how long
of those wayward steps, life daily strung
until their swan-song - tis finally sung.
January 9, 2002

Were those times we shook with laughter
shaking doors and timbered rafter
but that was long ago
those who laughed with me
most now dwell in here-after.

Were long nights we gathered telling lies
each one more true or false, some thought wise
but that was long ago
those who lied with me
most now dwell beyond far skies.

Were times met to learn History's lore
those strange events from days of yore
but that was long ago
those who learned with me
most now dwell where angels soar.

Were times we sang by what fast fiddle gave
far after midnight did our rantings rave
but that was long ago
those who sang with me
most now lie beneath tomb-stoned grave.

How loud we gathered when week's work done
bantered each other with friendly fun
but that was long ago
those friends who shared with me
most now dwell whereof hear - angels sung.


How we longly gathered - but memories now
riant laughter, teased and sang with our howl
such now seems so long ago
of those who laughed with me
all now gone, interred 'neath yew tree's bough.
January 11, 2002

One much to shy to know him by
crippled not of arm or limb
but of both heart and mind
now slowly wasting nimb.

Should of him chance to meet
as if but passing by
naught of beauty found sweet
nor caught to hold one's eye.

But a phantomed shadow worn thin
of what once had been
would be unnoticed, if seen in
group of gathered men.

What thoughts stirred within his mind
in other hearts would not find
but of the past or elsewhere of
drifts midst those days of former love.

As if outer hopes long abandoned
a friendless world soon cast aside
convoluted dreams sift at random
strange episodes - life could not provide.

His barren days ever after, hungered alone
that wanting of but several friendships, lay unknown
varied views life honed, else-ones would find but dull
savored inner meats, others - its outer hull.

For want of his loved one, could be found crying
or after for his laughter, when both sweetly kissed
but neither of his living nor last dying
or all that later came to be - will not be missed.

One who came for awhile, then found gone
a shadow others unsaw nor never knew
when buried, few that came stifled their yawn
one quick forgot as if not - except by you.
January 19, 2002

Why are some flowers never picked
admired beauty but their bloom
yellows, sky-blues, reds softly tricked
delicate - shy with timid plume.

Unfound where teeming flocks freely graze
their color shemes seldom seem to fit
found alone when local opera plays
wherever seated - must lonely sit.

Off life's beaten track as not be trampled by
far from madding rush of those who quickly fly
as if almost hidden, for are stealthy shy
yet 'tis for this, their beauty must surely sigh.

Neither too late nor early found in bloom
perennials surviving their season through
ways unseen by most, dwells a simple room
wearing lives others unguess - without a clue.

Have gathered few friends til seems but enough
to feed their famished love with scanty need
such beauty can be felt, though softly-tough
a sterile-strain that will never gift its seed.

Should life's serendipity cede its unexpected chance
perambulate among Nature's woods and blossomed fields
perhaps may spy such hidden blooms, with one's searching glance
if so, stop to cherish what timidity shyly yields.
January 18, 2002

There is Life as there is Death
but tis Love that gives it breadth
there is Revenge as there is Hate
but tis Forgiveness - we await.

Are reasoned needs that must be won
yet tis by Hope that gets things done
are religious creeds ages brew
but selfless kindness - proves them true.

When young, must understand to know
when old, just to trust - all need owe
tis such, those passing years provide
daily pray - that one's faith abide.
February 15, 2002

Is of our saddened days that give us pause
introspecting reasons that gave it cause
circumstance birthed, showing what sorrow brings
balance those happy times - when gaiety sings.

Is of our gladdened days that joy draws
like some other season with different laws
happenstance gifting what happiness knows
counter those saddened times - one's sorrowing loathes.
February 20, 2002

Each person passing by, a life unto their own
 their sails hard-whipped, weathers lashed - strongly blown
amid their happy pleasures, lurk dark days and groan
each life, each head - held inside.

Each one a historied story of but little told
sparred and jarred from wild weather's blow, hot or cold
midst those varied ventures, done when one young or old
each life, each head - held with pride.

Each an entity unto themselves, yet alone
gleaned from scant harvests their labored years had grown
midst those loves and hates, self-dreamt - or by others thrown
each life, each head - held furled.

Each soul carries their life-time deeds in both heart and head
some remembered well, others lost among those now dead
midst fading hopes or vanquished loves, sufferings bled
each life, each head - a world.
March 1, 2002

What caressing winds could dry her weeping tears
lurking shadows hid beneath unfathomed fears
where might find new harbored hopes for future years
renew former strengths regrown - whence forward steers?

Such needs she hast, again walk with proudful stride
regain inward trust, til with others full confide
restrengthen heart once shattered when someone lied
face onward days with certainty of one's self-pride.

Til pain forgotten, unfettered free - past put behind
refocus on what lies ahead, open to what may find
recapture one's self-freedom, shattered past long held confined
old pains reburied, staunchly step beyond with open mind.

Those joyed eyes, dimpled smile freshly seen unbound
with forward steps, tread unforeknown ways newly found
one I knew enough to con her pain, til her health refound
all such recalled, as stood alone in prayer - by her recent mound.
March 2, 2002

One too old to fight, hate, cheat or ridicule
no need to gain, command, brag or over-rule
ready to listen, sharing other's joy or pain
allowing time freely given, tender heart - not vain.

Of whom do I speak of here, those grown old of course
outwore former years til have no need using force
finally found their better worth, be someone's friend
knowing nearing Death, may grace their final end.

Simple souls self-taught to be such as one might trust
like all others fraught with sins, passing years had thrust
now gently humbled, of their ignorance - held unashamed
struggled years to understand what life left unexplained
awaiting what Death may gift, earthen days unproclaimed.
March 9, 2002

In that silence, midnight hours darkly cast
drums of day forgot, its throbbing beat and blast
as if Time had ceased, so might think undisturbed
gather stray strands, calmly peaceful - unperturbed.

Like another life lived beyond bright of day
duties done, time for what memories put in play
re-live past events, re-learn truths from former dreams
for silence often speaks more clearly - than shouted screams.

Sorting out scattered leavings one's life left behind
reweaving patterns, some whim has freshly designed
so might better wear future days with fuller zest
face onward years with faith and hope - an endless quest.

When midnight hours gather with their soft silence
idle olden dreams, lost midst that vast Immense
finding there, new-found meanings for one's onward years
for joys must be earned - by suffraged fears and tears.
March 12, 2002

When will it be learned
freedom must be earned
although God-given right
not gained - without a fight.
March 15, 2002

There was a time we learned from History
inflamed our freedom for Truth
there was a time were taught a Mystery
that magic of hopeful youth.

There was a time we faced but forward
never thought of looking back
t'was a time futures led but onward
fulfilling - all one might lack.

There was a time, but now tis lost
scattered down those passing years
til came a time, now knew their cost
shattered loss of friends with tears.

There was a time need not have been
rebirthed but far otherwise
there was a time we had to win
true hopes came to realize.

Til finally learned from life's struggled strain
whereas of all foresaid above
just as much gained through Suffering's pain
as kindness teaches one - through Love.
May 2, 2002

Ill-kept lawn of late, feral creatures further range
slow invasions, varied fauna unsense as strange
once hid beyond reach of eye in woods nearby
now found creeping closer - permissions unasked why.

Without once family dog giving chase
more wildlife seen about the place
creatures ever pushing for wider space
in wild Nature - nothing goes to waste.

As age gathers one more inside than before
dwell mostly in the mind, more deeply explore
what Death took away, Love soon gave - so gained the more
working those 'edgings' of my hopes - a daily chore.

Sharing what I own with what creatures now have by rights
shifting land's tenure back to what wild Nature likes
such I now freely cede to them, like some friendly autocrat
as ill-kept lawn of late - rechanges their local habitat.

Stewardship rather than ownership, my old age confers
without needless change of land-deed, my laziness transfers
as idle midst life's vestiges, old age now prefers
til I should sudden-cease - when awaited Death occurs.
August 9, 2002

Few left to greet me now, if met or found
kneeling my pew or should meet in town
brief words spoken of, those who stop to tell
lastest weather - or if one feeling well.

Since old am left behind, World rattles on
time taken to visit by, too many gone
other ears find no time to listen by
of olden ways - nor for their reasons why.

Friendships youth quickly made, slowly dwindles thin
til I visit by - only those close of kin.

But oh those precious few who yet have ears
still share their words or yours of former years
remembered episodes from a past, yet told
for memories all that's left - when growing old.

Aware when I lie cold, destined for my grave
those few will find them there, olden friendship gave
for memories life-long kept, death-after - Time soon discards
since knowing what these lines tell - bid them my fond regards.
August 10, 2002

Across meadowed fields, browns of August lie
brittle parched til crippled, as if soon would die
bright promise early Spring hoped, found but a lie
Winter's chill will quickly slay, with reaper's scythe.

Yet enkernelled there, futures hidden out of sight
as if unseen, forbear worst harsh of Winter's blight
til first blush of warm Spring returns its vernal light
thence rebirth themselves anew - an inherent right.

Beyond innate powers, endless ages seem to prove
each holds some reserve, when Death makes its final move
vague hopes hinting, one's resurrection true
midst Nature's vast - found Heaven's hidden clue.
August 15, 2002

No joy after five nor before four
one day a week, his brief hour graced my door
a mutual friendship, passing years had wore
til Death quenched that joy - for comes no more.

As homed each day from work, found just passing by
on his way, a friendly gesture thought ought try
how visits first began, now forgotten why
til cold Death intervened - with its reaping scythe.

Still find joy after four til gains five
though tis I who one day each week must drive
grave-side standing, so our friendship might survive
like weekly visits he gave - when still alive.
August 29, 2002

Amid din and dirt, where most people dwell
secured by what easy comforts quickly fill
forbidding wide-open sights, vistas clearly see
despite crime and crowding rush - many feel free.

Hemmed in by a closeness, neighbored-housings cause
restrictions now require enforcement by laws
unknowing that freedom found beyond city limits
such rural peacefulness - uncrowding permits.

Rugged comforts Nature gifts are free
both sun-rise and sunsets, fully see
pace of life safer with unwanted crowdings
clean air instead of smog - with dirty cloudings.

Unafraid to meet your neighbors dwelling near
to stop and ask or met on the way, no fear
here find one trusting many far more than less
living further apart, yet close - without stress.

Yet to each their own, one's living may require
city-bred or country-fled, either can inspire
if fast and fun fulfills your need to get things done
then city-dwelt should be chosen - for there tis won.

Let those lumbering slow of foot, dwell rural land
pace of life plods a peacefulness, they understand
where Nature lends its health and healing balm for free
far from citied lights and crime - free to fully be.
August 29, 2002

How honest have you reached to get what you got?
How deeply have you searched, seeking what you sought?
How long have you suffered, learning - never ends?
How much have you shared of, among special friends?

How much have you wondered, quizzing what unknew?
How oft have you planted, finding most ungrew?
How near have you approached, so be welcomed in?
How much have you grown by - gleaned from what had been?

How clear have you spoken, as one fully heard?
How close have you followed teachings of the Word?
How sure have you presumed, to speak but the truth?
How old have you become, outgrown whims of youth?

How bold have you challenged, making right from wrong?
How free have you dared of, helped those weak be strong?
How true have you trusted, giving else-ones hope?
How far have you traveled - learn how others cope?

How tender has been your touch, showing that you cared?
How gentle have you told, so their fears were spared?
How silent have you kept, that others might speak?
How patient have you held - when futures looked bleak?

How keen have ears listened, to hear what unsaid?
How quick have you offered, other cheek instead?
How long have you measured, length love will endure?
How valid are these lines - certain or unsure?
August 31, 2002

Across these freshly planted fields
where oaken woods, deeply shadowed stands
long labored toils of farming yields
yet beyond far horizons hid, lie other lands
of those there - have never been.

Within higher councils of State
where decisions, late brought to law
between powers, each seeking different ends
hid behind closed doors, bare tooth and bloodied claw
of those there - have found no friends.

Within hallowed Halls of Learning
where wisdom still argued when taught
derived from historied texts - perhaps true
hid within fertile minds, hungered what knowledge brought
of those there - I listened to.

Beside those few pew-held nearby
where hopeful hints are weekly preached
wisdom One spoke, re-heard its ancient Word
open wide to every heart, where love of each is reached
of those there - Truth finally heard.

Amid forsaken hollowed hills
long dwelt since, some forgotten day
those left behind, still plow hard clods of ancient clay
hide behind deft ears that hear, so as full-learn what you say
tis among these here - I will stay.
October 23, 2002

Should of Winters late or early Springs
mid-day's warmth sunshine brings
swath of sunlight cast across rug floor
in silence remembered - days of yore.

When childhood free, dreamy feelings fed
make-believe tales mother's readings read
lazed in floor's sun-brought warmth, dreamt what could be
evils unthought - life felt completely free.

Dreams of child-days, midday's sunlight brought by
three-score later now recalled, when young and shy
early years unforgot those schemes from long ago
a secret each one does, olden themes we self-sow.

Back when love simply presumed, as yet unearned
family comfort protecting pains, life yet unlearned
when grown-up, found suffering a necessary tool
learned from tedious trials, taught in Life's harsh school.

Til age grows one back to childhood days, lost before
like some winter's day, south-sun's warmth cast across rug floor
recalling all that after came, life found an endless endeavor
old age too quickly ends, though early felt - would last forever.
March 14, 2003

Pressing crowd constrained til no one could move
her eyes caught mine, she waved - as if to prove
thence lost, with no means to speak nor ask so much
unmet since, those meeting eyes - our final touch.
March 29, 2003

People's freedoms daily fading, Trust a fearful thing
selfish haste and waste, brisk or curt - lust a common fling
friendships bound to one's usefulness, net-profits by
civility a dry facade - false Freedoms lie.

What might future years hold, proud world brags unashamed
ignorant of human values, freedoms first proclaimed
bought and sold for thirty pieces, Trust cannot reclaim
most mis-read what One's death told - only Love overcame.

Yet as always, gathered few here or there give their proffered care
despite deprivations, freely gave from what love might share
time Faith freely asks, weekly honored with honest prayer
not idoled Baal nor man-made gods, but words - Cross gave heir.

Yokes of slavery, unblind Justice, burnt-flags trodden on
til Freedoms felt oppressive, strength to suffer for - gone
hollow words, Liberty now speaks with mere pretense of show
til Freedom's precious worth, but lost echoes - from long ago.
April 30, 2003

Of love some have found, lust brought to shame
too soon marriage bound, vowed - but a game
til chanced-children crowned - with given name.

Of trust first given, for love gives of such
too soon found riven, when lies told too much
only if love striven - regains its touch.

As long as life still lives, Time's gifting daily cedes
what one's forgiveness freely gives, love ever pleads
for one's past sins can be out-lived - by kindly deeds.
May, 5, 2003

Across far reach of searching Time, worn by tears and fears
dreams, early youth-time chased down wan loss of endless years
hurried here, scurried there with our constant heedless haste
one's sterile need for things proudly gained - Life quickly wastes.

Daily battles waged between vast extremes of Love and Hate
harried rush to grasp and gain, yet when gleaned - found held little weight
idle prattles, thoughtless words cast upon unheedful ears
unthinking, unaware how close Life's ending quickly nears.

Dull days groveled beneath low leadened skies, masked as gray
unread, unthought, uncurious for what Truth might say
nor paused to wonder what fair Beauty gifts, free Nature shows
yet our inborn curse of workful duty - seems never slows.

Unfeeling what our running steps trampled on, hopes others try
forever onward, work to rest, rest til work - clocks timed us by
each minute used, til quenched those inner needs to give and share
each hour spent to quell that ancient worth - to kindly care.

Unknowing long after, even then - hurried on, denied what rest should gift
with hollow laughter, soon found Time but a toy we merely tinker with
of such observed, midst those bustling crowds of citied towns with crowded streets
where each face holds its own, without kind words nor manners - til no one greets.

A sterile world lost upon itself, has no wish to birth or learn
a feral stray wandering without hope, enslaved by work - but to earn
Time treasured as sternly measured, awaits the night but for day
leaves mangled scraps lost behind - left over from childhood's play.

Restless need to go, driven by wants - merely be pleasured of
a senseless breed we've become, unknowing full depths of mutual love
as across far reach of unending years, perhaps then will come a Time
when change brought by events yet unknown, may come to pass - midst citied grime.
May 16, 2003

(In reference of Theodore Dreiser's  - The Lost Phoebe)
Upon a humble stone, lichen's growth eviscerates
without earthen sod it strives
when stone finally crumbles, completely disintegrates
in several years - lichen dies.

Upon wings of Circumstance, some are found
endure their lives to dwell alone
until foul weathers harshly takes them down
finally crumbles - that none bemoan.
May 16, 2003

As once lonely sat to muse of an idle summer day
beside an ancient oak, its gnarled bark long weathered gray
warm winds gifting soft-felt hymns, perchance ones a poet prays
beneath God's sky where lonely sat - above those Scottish braes.


Reaping grains sown from long ago, summer fields grew
gave seed for future deeds, a young lad's hopes later drew
for knowledge gathers both grain and straw to winnowing floor
where flails echoed their cadenced beat, life's worth - yearning more.

Sorting seed from chaff, so may gather Truth instead of lies
learn right form wrong, distinguish those ignorant from ones grown wise
as warm winds shifted themes, perchance ones a poet plays
such murmurs as these heard within - above dry Scottish braes.

From where sat, beyond this lea - lay rippled blue of Firth of Tay
tall spiers of Saint Andrews seen, for was there had made my stay
a time long past, footing dusty roads alone - slept 'neath open sky
trusting all those met, of pub's aled laughter - wasted evenings by.


Now recalled as sat fire-side's brink, when cold Winter nears
episodic ventures, Life scattered across lost years
stray thoughts youth-time earned, when inly mused of one's idled whims
soon became old age prayers, softly hummed - sung like holied hymns.
May 17, 2003

What compassion could quell such loss
one's fear so dreadful of
deeply felt, not true but false
til cauterized a sterile love.

What miracle might mend such mars
one's honor besmirched thereby
stigmatized eternal scars
when true facts hear no reply.

What forgiveness could shrive such lies
some calumny quickly spread
found scandalized in other eyes
til one's self-respect found fled.

What acceptance could full repair
one's timid shyness so
paralyzed, frozen by despair
self-blame - one's pride must owe.
May 23, 2003

What brightly learned from early years
gathered facts shared among his peers
deeply fashioned within that mind
such wisdom - one would seldom find.

By cherished values, mind was fed
one most keen within his head
how ancient man first found to rise
slowly learned - til brains grew wise.

Life-long searched desert dust and dry grounds
deep delved within ancestral mounds
old treasures, learned-hands unearthed
pure research - his mind rebirthed.

Country church-garth now holds his body deeply confined
new knowledge outbid his honored days, til left behind
fresh understandings, deposed him but a simple knave
soon defamed his honored worth - buried in unmarked grave.
May 24, 2003

Down that long lane when August dry
in earthen dirt of ancient dust
I saw a lonely child play.

Beneath shadowed tree, swinging high
singing songs with every thrust
I saw a child dream his day.

Within class-rooms early teachings taught
soon understanding every word
I saw a child read out loud.

Amid those class-mates at recess time
playing games of two-sided ball
I saw a child mix with crowd.

On college breaks, a summer's job
earning learnings untaught at schools
I saw a youth now growing wise.

Among thousands - graduation day
with diploma proudly clutched in hand
I saw a man with far searching eyes.

In rows upon rows beneath the sun
each full equipped with shouldered gun
I saw a soldier dressed in full-uniform.

Midst war's harsh fray of fear and fright
in command - shout his men to fight
I saw a Sergeant lead men in battlestorm.

In rows by rows beneath cold ground
where only taps gave honored sound
I saw a veteran laid to rest.

Last to leave, widow with four sons
tis each of these now lonely ones
I saw a family's - future test.


That dusty lane of August dry
in earthen dirt of ageless dust
still see a child - lastly blest.
May 25, 2003

That sadness in her eyes, yet joy of her smile
summarized inner feelings, past fears briefly threw
her bold courage finally overcame - life later grew.

Seen as dandled with baby's fingers for awhile
her daughter's first birthing, a joy she later felt
despite early tragedies - war unfairly dealt.


Ravaged waste wrought of Slavic lusting's haste
crushed til blood told, fetus but mangled paste
within the hour, expelled by Nature's kindness
rejection of their savage thrusts - so mindless.


Though three score past, that sadness still lurks within her eyes
revealing a pain, her smiling face can not disguise
although those tragic visions now seldom reappear
yet past evils still fester - beneath life's soft veneer.
June 6, 2003

(The Man with the Hoe - Edwin Markham)

Where now yet stands that faceless man
symbolic of our ageless clan
his aching stoop held with emptied gaze
still holding well-worn hoe - weeding maize.

Using an ancient tool of toil
as lonely nurtures tillaged soil
daily labors with sweated brow
where might he be seen - even now?

Still struggles on as so many do
suffered wants, greedful powers withdrew
slaves ground beneath crush of tyrant wheels
what little saved, graft and greed quickly steals.

Honored worth of so many found profaned
cultured differences, blatantly disdained
harsh laws still lies with valid legalese
after that silence of  the centuries.
June 27, 2003

With convulsing strain and creeping pain
should all go well, would slowly gain
that orifice, innate birthing seeks
midst filmy mucus and bloody reek.

Then suddenly, new life smoothly slips into that airy world
unsuspecting, unknowing its endless journey - sails unfurled
without need nor notion to whence nor why, as if blind
deep delved depths or far reach of sky - learned within the mind.

Launched upon blind whims and moods, others choose
self-planned schemes risked with unfearful dares
or thoughtless vagaries, Nature innately shares
cast by sheer circumstance - tie, win or lose.

Such grandeur and enigmatic mystery
found emplaced within annals of history
so finite yet infinite, faith may chose to tell
invisible visions only mothers know - or will.

But cry or stare, as first view what birthing brought
still stressed from delivery of one's afterbirth
sweat-soaked and exhausted, labored trials fraught
suffered joys of motherhood - its valued worth.

Deciding if name pre-chosen fits or not
blindly accepting whether boy or girl brought
their joy unthinking at the time, what lies ahead
struggled anguish now forgotten - painful birthing bred.

Thence all those after years, each must earn of life thereby
sufferings of a world, answers give no reply
find what lost, lose what found - married to groom or bride
til that unknown time, some may weep - dying lastly cried.
June 4, 2003 - October 15, 2003

Wearing those last dregs out of life
not of deepened thoughts, but only things
idle hours told episodes others lived
woven into laughter - humor brings.

Each day done, added to those past
an endless seam that never ends
toiled labors, but feet and hands
active for what each moment lends.

A string of facts without their dreams
connecting reasons for what does
with no thought of why, merely done
entire life spent - for what it was.

World of ideas held no interest of
nor arts or science, beauty left unseen
sweet nothings but a wasted joke
preferred schedule for day's routine.

Faith but a child's hope - after death
each Sunday churched, a bounden duty
harshly kind but never kindly
yet honest-fair with work and money.

Simple pioneer lived but to stay alive
those wonders of history left unread
wear of weeks or years, much the same
each day its own - never looked ahead.

Such health, aged four-score ten and counting
seldom ill enough to waste a day
single-minded yet keen enough, very sharp
seemed like one eternal - come what may.
December 3, 2003

Somewhat well acquainted with shame
shattered loss of one's, once good name
til rumored false-facts, made full claim
since now alone - I take full blame.

No need quarrel over one's name
tis not that word by which it came
some past endeavor gave it aim
foolish fears - soon fanned into flame.
Whispered words spread, ruined one's fame
minds pretended, a teenage game
one's meek courage, felt its sense of shame
truth or lies, fact or false - much the same.
December 6, 2003

Amid raucous cacophonies of urban's sound
from city's center core, to outer limits found
such intensity of roiled rush - daily bound.

Clustered congestions measured into neighborhoods
within such frenzy, bondings tied to brotherhoods
whole life city dwelt - earning their livelihoods.

A growing conglomerate, where business opportunes
all hours of day and night, in between - late afternoons
across far reach world grows - Londons to Saskatoons.

Each metropolis a microcosm of humanity
mixtured with illiterates, those well-learned of urbanity
creating such stress and rush - til drives some to insanity.

A moiled madness, as such - surmised by those countrified
especially observed at fiscal season of Christmastide
when a loneliness deeply felt - leads some to suicide.

Over-run, over-crowded, til finds release in urban sprawl
middle-class neighborhoods, where each one lives near some mall
yet even there, snarled traffic backed up - slowing to a crawl.

Those fragile networks, millions rely upon for basic needs
everyone depends on, energy's varied utilities feeds
when ill-weathers blow or some pandemic flu - too quickly breeds.

Even far foreign hovels, secluded beyond hid hills
likewise found ever at that mercy of humanity's ills
wars and famines, droughts and floods, disease and death yearly kills.

World's growing population, enduring - merely to survive
a plethora of 'isms and cultures, past ages long conrived
as individuals daily struggle - til life itself deprived.
December 7, 2003

They live out their wretched life within a trash can
as if best thrown away, for now - but barely man
here daily struggle out their lives, as best each can.

A vision I first felt in downtown Chicago
when Mayor Daley ran his machine long ago
saw, heard and felt of what back then - I could not know.

Cramped between tall towering walls of brick and stones
darkly shadowed, except brief reprieve at noon
smelt stench of smoke, ill-housed in hovels- no one owns
their frantic rush - sadly sang its plaintive tune.

As rested beside entrance of a churchen haven
some inner need for hope, inclined them up its stone steps
unwashed hands held out, but not for monies craven
but in friendship, some need felt within their soul's depths.

An eternal loneliness, only love and hopes may heal
merely dimly shadows showing, those found therein to kneel
pleading, begging, praising, thanking their far distant god
as fumbled with ritualed attempts - those crass think so odd.

Midst this frantic madness, beyond Time and Natured land
driven by starving needs, yet even here - hopes unbrought to hand
daily emigrating here, so might live like a common man
but soon found themselves trapped again - within another trash can.


First ancient tribes, later years built into urban cities fortified
warred much as before, while those who held power - became citified
their crowded masses huddled in byways beyond citied gates
as History re-wrote its shame - until poor quickly learned to hate.

Captured slaves but spoils of war, impressed for wealth of Crown
when released, nowhere to live but within dim citied town
where squalor lay with whores, pleasured for coins of the realm
disease spread by shanghaied seamen - sailed by Captain's helm.

Ravaged waste of humanity, Mendicants healed with kind Word
love and hope preached to those illiterate, hungry ears keenly heard
huddled masses down-trodden, ill-used by those in control
til words spread, foreign land of hope! - freed from urban's pest-hole.

A hope they held, yet soon enslaved again by Old World's shame
three centuries later, still urban poor still strive - an eternal game
crowded housing, empty hands that find little or no work to toil by
with ready hands, denied rights to earn - race or origin, Bigotry's bold lie.

Crass crowds blind with unseeing eyes, uncaring hands - helpless poor daily die
despite loud words tongued, gifted few - truthful lips would try
unending servitude, refused to look with open eyes
until Four Horsemen finally fell - beneath vanquished skies.
December 11, 2003

What caused such panic in her eye
til inflamed sweat of heated brow
some ill-fated deed love brought by
patient Time chose be given now.

Some shattered waste of the past, once laid aside
now with abandoned Fate, must soon decide
perhaps find some brief comfort for what might bring
before ill-scattered Hope flung its final fling.

Again recast upon those endless wisps of Time
across far uncharted seas found in every clime
til haunts its bleak strife upon some other poor soul
whose life lately soured, hopes yearned some ungainful goal.

Trusting another time finds a far distant place, where
ill-fraught schemes found drifting on foul stench of stagnant air
abide those tempests through, til conquered - or but dies
one I once observed - with sweated brow and panicked eyes.
December 16, 2003

His shrunken frame shrinking, nearly but skin and bones
abed but to idle lost hours, til at last dies
breathing a losing battle, each wheezing breath groans
awaiting that Mystery - til dwells beyond those skies.

Mind still keen, eyes kept closed, keeping out all things bright
dreams drifting midst scattered years, for whatever deems
so might better ponder of what one's dying might
awaiting yet pondering - hope's eternal themes.

Voice but a mumbled whisper, awake yet asleep
as life's pulse slowly shuts down inner warmth, skin-deep
struggling midst strange enigmas no one fully knows
til in some silent hour, hopes linger - then finally goes.

Their history but what close-kin recall, old letters tell
at wake and funeral, may hear of other facts as well
some remembered of, yet future years quickly forgets
one finally lost midst passing years - yet leaves no regrets.

As ageless unthinking Time blindly tarries on
ignoring those seeds of war, now building larger guns
until sun engulfs world's globe, and all is gone
as scattered dust of ancient years - reforms newer suns.
December 17, 2003

As survey my domain, eyes transect
across dry fields beneath two-inch snow
over far ridge then down, where ears detect
endless pour of waterfalls - centuries flow.

Any season or weather, its labors never done
early sun gifting foggy mists to greet morning's air
voicing but an ancient ache, endless miles must run
til sea-shore greets its journey - ending there.

Eternal drift of passing years measured without length
nor some treasured history, of such it cannot tell
yet by force of endless flow, shows wear of stones - such strength
amplified by those tumbled falls - its plungings yell.

If should close-by sit those falls, may finally hear
words whispered upon one's awaiting ear
a secret fumbled waters shout, yet need not fear
its daily waters ever running - fast and clear.

Its journey like everyone, years swept along
lured by future dreams, new hopes may drift among
til enraptured to sing life's joys with a psalm
in gratitude for mysteries - past years outflung.

Such surveyed within my dreams, hopes now reflect
as to my cherished God, still give one's respect
those humbled words spoken long ago, hopes foretell
when sea finally reached, their silent wave - bids farewell.
December 18, 2003

Idle Ignorance, ignored with lax derision
while Wisdom pondered with proud precision
yet was one's Common-sense - made firm decision.

Slowly woven from stray strands of fragile Faith
those wasted strings left behind by raveled Hopes
til convictions held stoutly clenched - confirmed by Love.
December 24, 2003

Set out high on shelf to dry, arid winds Autumn brings
south-side faced caught lower sun, wry Winter's wear of things
kinked and shriveled, no burst of Spring wet rains could revive
some relic forgetful years once saved - hoped would survive.

Til in long after-days, other hands and eyes quizzed to ask
dried-up waste, no tongue could taste nor broach its fermenting cask
some forgotten saved, an idle whim or hope put away
left on dusty shelf high-held - for want of some future day.
December 27, 2003

Wild events beyond calms normalcy brings
now knitting with a past, scattered memory flings
high-hopes once sung, now but low notes - sadness sings.

New episodes of olden tales each life may find
reweaving quaint harmonies til pacifies their mind
healing a wound, Time itself will cure - eyes once blind.

Such doth teach anew, echoed prayers one may hear
in that silence, Now and Ever brings so clear
known without knowing - understandings brought clear.

If alive or dead, such it matters not
words cast or caught between, soul-seekings sought
aging hopes trusting - til full-ripely brought.

Almost as if futures already vaguely known
seasons yet to come, early seeds already sown
life in but a single year - sprouts as fully grown.

Until future fears no longer panic what life might hold
matters not if lies or truth, hate or love are bought or sold
some assurance held within, knows - one will never grow old.

That endlessness Infinite, beyond fetters of Time and Space
a trackless vast of rocks and winds ever changing, yet changeless
henceforth an eternal odyssey, unknowingly must trace
ever new, ever old, til full-love found - completely strangeless.
January 3, 2004

Love found that long aisle, a wedding to exit by
proud-faced with our smile, with firm resolve - love must try
twicely that long aisle, a gauntlet to exit by
stoic-faced, no smile - with firm resolve not to cry.

Once more downed that long aisle, final funeral to exit by
welcomed with former smile, her curtsy bids - when I should die.
February 15, 2004