In some far-back year, when first-love gone to my head
an aria known to me, would sing for what it said
sang what impassioned within, made oneís heart stir
though now no longer burns - for that early her.

An ariaís melody yet echoes love for me
powerful, passionate, pleading - enrapturingly.

Some years later, finally met one loved to wed
how she enthralled me, til by her love was led
those early times when young love felt strong
again oft sang - that former love-song.

Til one day, told of its first-singing in my heart
with fearful dreadings, of what those words might impart
for had asked her, if my present singing of this tune
pleased her, in spite of its origin - from loveís early June.

Then with pleasure pure and true, she cooed gentle like a dove
firmly assuring me with what she spoke - Tis you I love
for if what you now sing, truly tells of what you feel
then when sung to me by your love - I know it but real.

Oh sweet lesson learned, such depths love may plumb
those words she spoke, made clear, such left me numb
not so much how one loves, but that it be true
no matter how love shown - but that it be you!

For tis not what words love told, gives its worth nor pleasure
that anyone else could give, shows not its true measure
but ultimately whom the person you are, is to them
tis oneís Spirit that is loved - not the flower on its stem.

Yes that is true love, worth price of oneís whole life
such be that treasured hope when one takes a wife
far more than Time may gift by chance - choice or strife.

So remember those arias, with their empassioned plea
as voicie your love with sweet ariettas,  out-sung to she
a repertory need if one is to woo by serenade
singing those passionate love songs - sung beneath her balustrade.
January 7, 1999

Oft looked at her a-chair, then out-say - I love you
as sat several feet there behind, to write or muse
at odd moments unthought, Spirit-bid - out of the blue
sweet memories freely felt - til verbalized as news.

Like say Hello, as suddenly seen or came in view
just a simple greeting given, perhaps would often use
spontaneous expression of olden words still found to brew
just a gentle silly after-done, to a loved-one - that you lose.

Oft said by those now widowed-out alone
she that made you whole, now fled - Heaven flown
full-happy for her there in that far-off zone
old habits with thoughts of her, of such - still prone.

Has never made reply for me to know she heard
a one-way communique, only I speak the word
yet within my heart and soul, softly know she cares
a silly bit of love-game played - widowhood dares.
July 31, 1999

In daring Spring of my early trusting
awakened life's future days
accepting what truthful, learned by trusting
only kindness - true love pays.

And so in that late Spring of my trusting
fashioned love's full worth beyond mere lusting.

In burning Summer of my dreams
ripened friendships flushed from life's trail
those met, revealed their hopeful schemes
shared what drew them on - though might fail.

And so in that bright Summer of my dreams
true friendships gave - shared their friendly themes.

In yellowed Autumn of my love
brooded on life's melancholy ways
pains mixed with joys, forgiveness brought
what our Spirit truly seeks - love saves.

And so in golden Autumn of my love
lies a fuller life than ever dreamt of.

In ill-ravaged Winters of my failing hopes
felt cold barrenness, life growing stale
age cast those uncertainties by which one copes
life-after blooms true beyond Death's pale.

Within that howling waste of cold Winter's fading hopes
found life ends not, more lies beyond far distant slopes.
October 2, 1999

Dissipated by labors til wan and sallow
sown upon acid soils, sterile and fallow
skirting lifeís depths, tasting but its shallows
til ends one's life - upon those grim gallows.

Yet held a secret love for one he knew
til Time cast a redemptive cause to brew
nobled act for one, liked as a brother
lastly laid down his life - for another.

Saved both friend and wife, was she he adored
double-deed done for both, as their reward
redeemed himself and them with his final plan
trusting Truth - no greater love hath any man.

All explained with immortal words out-spoke
words that clutch the heart, catch within one's throat
Tis a far, far better thing I do than ever done
tis a far, far better life I gain - with what I've won.

Encapsulating in two brief lines, full-worth of human love
what one has earthly-done, what will obtain thereafter of
succinctly declaring two greatest hopes each one ought strive for
hope for selfless love, thence eternal life - by such words he swore.

The Arts need for us, its lilt and lift of laughter
depths of life's beauty, richness now and  hereafter
awakens feelings haunting every human heart
crafted by brush and pen, dreams gifted - old minds chart.

But beyond this common fare, practiced studies earned
that lasting need to enlighten the mind, deeply learned
not those works one has plagiarized nor cheaply stole
but those lasting hopes each wants - Art's most sacred goal.
October 9, 1999

Simply just by being there her charm befell
unspoken beauty pleasantly cast its spell
a youthful lassie's smiling face may compel
gifting hopes, from what beauty's flairage might tell.

Since Beauty seen only by choosing beholder
few might find in her but goodly virtues told
others must glean elsewhere to find love a-smolder
sprightly seen of fresh youth - or those ageing old.

Charm awakened by what eyes and mouth together show
from these two, forms speakage of a loving soul
revealing what tenor of truth her demeanor might sow
enraptured by what twinkled eye's unbiddenly stole.

Eyes that sparkled in tune with enlarging smiles
know why Adam fell by Eve's engaging wiles
oft becomes one's first-step before taken down the aisle
how life-time marriage begins - with attendant trials.

Even as I write, such a girl held within my mind
her visage and demeanor a paradigm, holds me blind
where and when of whom she be, her name must remain unsigned
a phantom of feminine beauty - years left behind.

A youthful lassie, her charm never to grow it fully-of nor why
one morning unwakened, unknowing herself as one fast-dead
its sudden cause never understood nor explained, she but to die
that perfect charm churned to clay - before its tender beauty wed.
October 16, 1999

Only whispered echoes and dark shadows remain
memories of those scattered relics, now felt arcane
Death so bloody final, thereafter all is gone
one found alone, un-met, un-heard - when Life withdrawn.

Late November day, stood by your grave in silence
earth-mound fully grass-healed with arched profilence
sad winds whispered secrets my heart yearned to hear
yet only an emptiness - echoed in my ear.

Thought how suddenly you died, that final moment knelled
not one tweak of you sensed since, your arms unheld
only precious memories inly clasped - heart-dwelled.

Reflecting on what our togethered years still teach
feeling that warmth, empty arms can never reach
hearing those ancient words, passing centuries preach
for in the end, tis only love - one's worth of each.
November 8, 1999

Could have spoken of things far sweeter, but did not
instead, reached a caring hand - briefly squeezing yours
thereby touched to tell, knew pains felt - and those otherwise
narrow scope your duties must attend - til life dies.

Was then you knew as always have, how much he cared
rather than words, chose one brief touch - telling you
for oft a kindly touch tells far more than words shared
kind words pleading eyes sweetly spoke - then you knew.
December 18, 1999

Still remembered, both thin and tall with brave timidity
as strode across that stage, seating herself at piano
already smitten with arrows flung by cupidity
little knowing then, omen-like - what would soon foreshadow.

Those attending settled back, give ear to what would play
her nervousness now suppressed, eyes held on musicís score
ivoried keys splayed with nimble fingers began to stray
further on, such as required - pedals flexed to floor.

What she had worn, type of dress, color-scheme - things that women note
have no imaged-clues to draw upon, to make that scene complete
but twenty minutes played, music launched one's heart afloat
 unlike me, inadvertently found - taken an up-front seat!

Although ears joyed what she played, was my heart that heard
entranced not so much by gifting notes her fingers gave
launched strange touch of mysteries, heart before had never stirred
resonating upon strings - unfound on musicís stave.

Unremember what piece was played nor why performed
yet see her feet, head, eyes and hands - but now transformed
thirty years of marriage, sad Death lately taken down
though deceased, such memories beauty holds - still tightly bound.
December 25, 1999

Deeply imbedded, fast asleep - warm blanket shares
enwrapped midst day-dreams, tomorrows will freshly birth
lost to all awareness, briefly seen from those stairs
cradled by mothered arms - love safely held to berth.

Only hopes surround your life, those your mother cast
one's health, full-mind, fashioned as one to longly last
a name thoughtfully given, gender taken into account
unknowing all spread before you - future years must surmount.

Bloom of late pregnancy still glows in motherís face
ruddy health wrought of pure beauty, her love will grace
as maternal bonding evolves between she and you
human linkage of ageless love - wearing long years through.

Motherís clasp of cradled bundle as if most precious on Earth
like One mangered long ago depicted, Mary brought to birth
a tender event my eyes once caught, thereafter longly dwelled
deeply imbedded beneath swaddling clothes - one tenderly held.
February 18, 2000

Tis risk of love, for love is ever vulnerable
just because of that, may soar beyond highest highs
or plunged in depths unplumbed, one crushed most miserable
enjoyed ecstatically or cursed with anguished sighs.

Make no mistake, love is tough stuff - look how our youths now live
see what I mean, havenít got a clue - never learned how to give.
February 29, 2000

Pretty is as pretty does
not of looks but how one 'twas
not the face but its smile
not oneís body - but of style.

Not actions done, but what oneís manners woke
nor what words were used, but how such are spoke
for any woman can become a lady
looks are not all at all, well perhaps - maybe!
March 8, 2000

Last lesson over, then mad rush to cloak-room, where each one roots
everyone a-tumble - scarves, coats, leggings, hats, gloves and boots
most were quickly dressed, then ran outside - slowly plodding home
some still hassled with their wraps, some missing scarf - or dropped comb.

Was then a small child (was poor Peggy) finally began to cry
first-grader could not zip up her coat, no matter how hard sheíd try
was Sister who came to her rescue, knelt down to find out why
much as a mother might do - her nimble fingers brought by.

With soothing words to comfort her, finally got that zipper to go
with tender smile and wimpled sleeve, she dried up Peggyís tearful flow
then rising with gentle laugh, leaned back down - kissed Peggy on the nose
assuring her some inner confidence - showing how love's caring goes.

Thence led her to the door, saying goodby - all done to show her love
such tenderings daily done by thousands, yet so few - knowing of!
March 16, 2000

Each night she stood, while her mother sat there
brushing those thin strands, elder upon high chair
thin drying wisps, broken ends of yellowed hair
no longer silky waxen brown - once shown fair.

Sixty years ago, that mother stood with hair not gray
was she who brushed girlís hair, now tis the other way
life taking turns, recast the same - with sad regrets
for old age changed them both, tis of such - love begets.
March 22, 2000

Kindly deeds or words, letters still treasured - tales told
now often found if at all, but among those aging old
tis simply done, unspoken of - look, you shall find
learn, observe of such, for 'tis love - the gentle kind
now but fond memories - their wed-years left behind.
March 22, 2000

Had just gotten into bed, she stood between light and me
perhaps earliest memory I have of her, was just three
there sang as she often did, Brahms Lullaby I came to know
oneís first memory of their mother, and of her love - singing so.
March 22, 2000

Finest form of love have ever seen
viewing her rapt face awhile
gathered, as read my fonded note
first dampened eyes - then her smile.
March 26, 2000

Have a particular place in mind, not here - by the sea
where long ago, a revelation revealed to me
its valued worth told what love about
what she said, I replied - left no doubt.
March 29, 2000

Older sister held her sister, but three-days old
head bent near, arms firmly cuddled - felt what touch told
perhaps in few years, births and nurse one of her own
then know full-worth of motherhood - marriage makes loan.

A priceless picture, imaging ancient mysteries life unfolds
a paragon of caring love - humanity still upholds.
April 6, 2000

When was it firmly known, the die decidedly cast
where were we situate, then of there to know at last
how could it be told, such depths loving hearts held fast
why life had chosen - to sail upon seas so vast.

Could a field such as we were, but of dust untilled
would it yield what was loud-acclaimed, proud hopes fulfilled
should its shield fend-off Timeís arrows as if unquilled
for each both stood to lose or gain all - if we but willed.

Such it began then became, to last until the end
thereafter self-seeds itself, love's innate powers lend
outgrows Time beyond place of Space, yet never ends
despite Death ravaged of what it could - still we are friends.

Yea, all of this and much more - both co-linked together
bonded two into one, no force can now dissever
waged its wearage with convictions, each vowed forever
our bondage unquestioned, eternal - not of whether.
April 7, 2000

When days held young with dreams of what yet to be
idle-sat cliff-held high above an endless sea
like those gliding terns aloft, for then t'was free
til fancy-dreamed of who might become - that she.

When days wore mid-way, dreams that had to be
idle stream-side sat beneath a shading tree
watched a strutting crow, now with family like me
again re-lived dreams of whom became - that she.

When days wasted into night, with few dreams yet to be
as lazed a-porch, remembering that once-viewed sea
unlike curled cat at my side, know life extracts a fee
drifting midst those forgotten dreams, for now - without that she.
April 30, 2000

What she held within those eyes, spoke with her smile
such pondered as watched, sitting there for awhile
hotel veranda thinly crowded, but of she observed
as mused what roads she had traveled - awry or uncurved?

Demeanor told, life practiced with traditional trend
mild, sane, one patient, tolerant - with mature blend
dressed as simple-modest, but then she changed position
gained me a different view - for this silent audition.

Totaled up the tally made of her, to surmise
if found at dinner table alone, then devise
some ill-formed excuse to sup with her if may
so laid this plan on hold - til proper time of day.

Just past six, spied her alone by a window seat
all tables full (just as dreamed), asked if there could eat
said yes as knew she would, were soon engaged with talk
only after, as two together - took a walk.

Well, t'was how it began, forty years have flown
still has eyes that speak with her smile sweetly shown
togethered lives of two-score, has worn us both fairly gray.

All first guessed she has been, then once again this very day
found us both at same hotel, same table by same window
so godly grateful - that neither of us yet a widow.

Enough are still together, shared so much of living through
oft wonder how all first began, how back then simply knew
pondered long ago, as watched her sitting there with that happy smile
a life-long love still held pristine - captured when took her down the aisle.
August 16, 2000

As stood by back fence beside barn at noon
briefly viewed Autumnís wear of Summerís boon
chill of gentle breeze, wanning warmth held all mute
there espied a phoebe - clinging bramble's shoot.

This male have always seen, since when we first moved in
never fails, each Spring's arrival brings it back again
now ends another nesting season, scolding me its last
as if say farewell, til Winter turns Spring newly cast.

I bid hopes for its safe journey, far South may bring
knowing it or of its brood, will wing back next Spring
giving me notice when arrives, shown has returned
ancient story told - some past poem of mine once concerned.

Eyed each other for a while, friends have worn five years
harbinger of more than Spring, now one of happy tears
legended into a phantom, my heart retells of love
who now dwells in climes more fair - you know whom I speak of.

Fables fashioned as truths to live by, like some fairy tale
phoebe a flycatcher, recognized with its dipping tail
as script requires, bid fond adieu to She who fluttered there
thence turned and left, hoping next Spring comes again - my annual prayer.
October 1, 2000

Not something one strives to earn
rather, something one ought learn
nor those deeds longly striven
for Love - tis simply given.

Once received, it ought be freely shared
in such manner tells - one deeply cared.
October 28, 2000

As if could see her down the lane, binocs held to eye
quick-viewing some bird, morn had birthed for her there espy
patiently stopped, long-stood watching - waiting for it to fly
or foot-near, should note some unknown flower growing close by.

Thence moved further on with a casual stride, again to wait
glassed ground, fields, woods or sky - quiz some new bird's plumaged trait
keen-remembered later, researched bird-guide with pictured plate
another species or flower's bloom - therein pennned and date.

Now knowing what we viewed then, but a distant dream once seen as real
back when Nature's simple pleasures gifted her, Spring rebirthed new
again going back to remember her by, olden lays still feel
former birding days now treasured - our love was once wont to do.

But Time too soon intervened, unscheduled Death came to slay
only memories left to hold her near, tis such - I daily pray.
November 5, 2000

(December 3, 1988 - poetry book)
Surprise-gift secretly bought
her hand inscribed, quickly wrought
a book, knew I deeply desired
soon gifted me - her love conspired.

Thus her thoughtfulness did
two long months kept it hid
took me by surprise
love seen in her eyes!

Til time outran that love
but not what given of
her gift deeply treasured
book still fully pleasured.

Til Death took down that love of hers
too early died, no sorrow cures
trust my love lives beyond her grave
grateful for that gift - she once gave.
November 14, 2000

When first caught his ear, a demeanored voice stilled his heart
tonal timbre lipped with such tenderness, birthing love's start
thence a final word spoken - lastly heard.

When eyes raptured her face, awakened sweet yearns of love
smiling eyes with ruddy cheeks, enlured all there seen of
thence a final glance wanly given - lastly glimpsed.

When observed some quaint movement, instantly treasured its trait
tilt of head, hands held, feetís placement - showing their mood or gait
thence a final view brought of these - lastly seen.

When felt hair brush his face, heat of her presence warmly near
touch of hand or arms encircled, unspoke words - yet so clear
thence a final embrace of both - lastly grasped.

When slowly learned arranged placement of things daily used
insistent ways of doing such, time and training fused
thence a final setting left - there lastly viewed.

When hot felt her temper's flare, should some mood bring of such
times of spontaneous joy, warmth of her tendered touch
thence a final love so special - lastly clasped.

When first yearned what passing years brought, traits others may have missed
perhaps never told nor shared, yet read them as signs she wist
and a final touch her lips gave - lastly kissed.
November 21, 2000
Oh once merry days remembered now, of first loveís May
strung first found weeks unto months, each and every day
work blindly done, minding treasured thoughts but of you
wore courting time unchary - til replied I do.

Oh once fairy days remembered now, in loveís June
first weeks raptured into months, far beyond early hewn
our loving kindly earned, from tender trust we grew
wore sporting time most fairly - between me and you.

Oh once chary days recalled in loveís September
children bred from first to last, each family member
reared as blindly led, fashioned from love of ours
wore love to deeper depths - by long-labored hours.

Oh once scary days recalled in loveís December
as first-loveís flames burnt down to final ember
too soon time turned late, til lost that last touch of you
wore thwarting Time sparsely - til at last Death came due.

Oh once times of yore first thought endless, as forever
how rapid those years fled, from first-felt loveís endeavor
grateful for what our lasting trust learned from loveís play
those once merry days still remembered - of loveís first May.
November 28, 2000
Could that thrust have penetrated more deeply within
retained both your heart and soul, by what love may begin
coupling each other flesh-bound, two now held as one
til Time should end with Space found lost - only love be won.

All done to express, explain, exclaim - until life expires
love shared between, with that ecstacy of human desires
affirms a commitment of each to each, love requires
each expressing mutual trust - when selfless love conspires.
November 29, 2000
As gentled air caught stray wisps of auburn hair
both hands held to cheeks, stood one yet young and fair
both eyes filled with streaming tears, wrung from her final stare
as if gentled air stirred to bless - what occasioned there.

 Heavenís domed sky cast deep blue upon two, bidding their last farewell
his anguish lightened by age-old honored call to bear arms
a nationís future challenged, by powers beyond their Irish dell
as turned, blew her his parting kiss - with all its tender charms.

He to leave perhaps forever, she to bide until whenever
early love yet unfulfilled, by Nation's call for war's endeavor
only memories left to hold their trusting love, til those battles done
as gentled air blurred both kiss and tears, to warn - love not always won.
December 3, 2000
Must learn to let go, lest love go dry
leave else duties by, lest love should die
hear between their words, what wants need done
let all else held mute - tend to but one.

Trusting other, will reciprocate
perhaps longly wait - anticipate
hope itself a love, when found returned
if not done, then tell them - needs confirmed!

Learn to often let go, thence fulfill their need
time simply shared of  - part of loveís sacred creed.
December 3, 2000
Let them half-knowing, but on the sly
but just barely so, lest they ask why
long taking your time, til they forget
carefully planned - thence make gift of it!

Better yet, donít tell - give them no clue
be sure will like, know been well-thought through
secret - its timing most crucial of
grin but say little - that shows your love.

Rarely done, requires them to cope
always remember - wives thrive on hope.
December 3, 2000
Unreturning days, yet at one time truly were
a real time and place recalled, now dimly blur
their vibrancy lost, only echoes left to stir
vapors life once smelt, now mere wisps of burnt-out myrrh.

Re-yearning days, when life held love top shelf
shared friendships formed til led beyond one's self
cared enough to bind up those wounds, harms and hates had cast
unreturning days now lost - yet Faith and Love will last.
December 19, 2000
What anguished burden each carries, yet oft unknown
unremembered daring deeds, former years had sown
thoughtlessly flung as if mattered little at the time
but gathered years later shown - some tantamount to crime.

Raveled words, careless carings blindly cast as made our way
trite trifles thought necessary, to gain some meager stray
honings oneís instant want, by whetting tongue with sharp remark
slowly quenching loveís trusting flame - til sputtered in the dark.

Such blindness unsaw beyond the now, trampled on freedoms others own
insensitive, purblind, impervious to their inner silent groan
wasting only worth human life needs to seek, such - Faith has given of
here now confess as late atoning for - when gave hurts to those I love.
December 27, 2000
If only former waters could run backwards - uphill
if only days should return, old calendars refill
if only Time could retrace itself as firstly spun
'tis a hopeless wish, for if done - same events would run.

If words unspoke before, could then be now as said
if thoughts later felt back then, been expressed instead
if what love now understands, would then have been known
'tis a hopeless wish, if done - same events would clone.

Whatever said, thought, felt before - in the past must forever lie
whatever now wished had done those years before, but an anguished cry
hereafter of how my love has grown far truer, now known true
of life lived beyond the grave - forever holds my love for you.
January 3, 2001
There daily sat window by, awaiting
unending pastime, daily crocheting
eyes close to her work, with floss, needle or hook
seldom missed mailman - knew when to look.

Then would rise, readied herself - fast-walked up long lane
strode with purpose, despite weathers snow or rain
a ritual taken serious, not a game
made felt one useful - for her mother was lame.

When returned, gave all to mother who sorted through
gave back advertisements - letters addressed to you!

Was slow of mind, only made it through sixth grade
half a century lived, one destined an old maid.

Fond memories sadly felt when should think of her
simple saint became, of that am certain sure
like many such, always remembered names and dates
kind of soul, simple minded - Mary had those traits.

Now recalling where daily sat, her life begot
my Valentine poemed to tell - you are not forgot.
February 14, 2001
With binocs eye-held, she voiced of where
as early sun bathed her brunette hair
remembered, birding in Pennsylvania
hobby we shared with equal mania.

Species newly found, later recorded
journaled on pages, wide lines afforded
now lists poems have penned - her book rewarded.

Same book still saving each others facts
retaining data old memory lacks
journal both used to hold our memories in
joys both heart-felt, those - once had been.

Our history saved, sun's bright cast on blackish hair
binocs eye-held, voiced what heard - I watching there
perhaps now watching, as enter my latest poem
still lies on our desk, last place she dwelt - til called Home.
February 25, 2001
Carried that pain with its fragile feeling
open sore unsutured, never healing
struggled to keep it hidden deep inside
should be asked of it - had often lied.

Til Time and Chance at last played their game
for no one ever grows yet be the same
finally those two Fates coalesced their spell
met one whose caringness - lured him to tell.

Spoke of wound he held so intense
unconsciously nursed in silence
revealed openly without pretense
if others knew - would surmise mere nonsense.

By magic of caring friendship giving trust
that fragile feeling finally broke its crust
when a friend lent their ear, as one who cared
cured an illness - his frail hopes once dared.
April 5, 2001