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Lilacs Growing On A Barbed-Wire Fence

Chuck Warren © Copyright 2003 Chuck Warren
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without written permission from the author.
Inquiries should be addressed to:
Chuck Warren PO Box 1612 Holland, MI 49422 chuck@thelastwebsite.net
ISBN
Manufactured in the United States of America For Mom Who probably still has a copy of the first thing I remember writing. It was entitled An Ode to Rubber Cement I believe I was twelve.

And For Lanie
Who believed in me when I doubted myself. Again.
Poem \ põ-em \ n : a composition in verse (Webster’s)

or

Poem \ põ-em \ n : An arrangement of words and phrases, either telling a story or conveying emotion, that is equally pleasing to the eye, ear, and imagination (Warren’s)

You decide.

Contents
Introduction
Why Do I write………………………………………1 Before………………………………………………..3 Friend Death………………………………………...4 Dog…………………………………………………...5

One Word………………………………………………….6 I Dreamed of Eagles……………………………………..7 Childish……………………………………………………8 Come to Me……………………………………………….9 Lost at Times……………………………………………..10 from every child to every mother……………………….11 True Love at Five………………………………………...13 Within the Blue……………………………………………14 Ordinary Life……………………………………………...15 Night……………………………………………………….17 Roadside Crosses……………………………………….18 Dog 2………………………………………………………19 Any Other Name………………………………………….20 The Tale…………………………………………………...21 Powerless…………………………………………………23 Friends Passage………………………………………….24 Night Dance……………………………………………….25 How Technology Makes Life Easy……………………..27 (man)………………………………………………………28 Luna……………………………………………………….29 Abstract…………………………………………………...30 Brother…………………………………………………….31 Car-Sharks………………………………………………..33 Raindrop…………………………………………………..35 Turn Around………………………………………………36 C’est La Vie……………………………………………….37 The Door…………………………………………………..39 Monsters…………………………………………………..41 I Am………………………………………………………..43 In Defiance of Gravity……………………………………45 Passionate Kisses………………………………………..46 Roots……………………………………………………….47 Faith………………………………………………………..48 Loves Sweet Fire…………………………………………49 Roadside Crosses 2.……………………………………..50 The Other Side……………………………………………51 Man of the Hour…………………………………………..53 Stars……………………………………………………….54 Covered Bridge…………………………………………...55 Character………………………………………………….57 Irony………………………………………………………..58 Treasures…………………………………………………59 Angry……………………………………………………...61 Jasmine and Jade………………………………………..62 Princess…………………………………………………...63 No One…………………………………………………….64 Live………………………………………………………...65 Ship………………………………………………………...67 Sleepless Night…………………………………………...69

11:22 PM - Time for Bed….…………………….71
11:24 PM - Adrift………………………………...72
2:44 AM – Monsters.…………………………….73
2:46 AM – Awakened by the Dream…………...75
4:49 AM – A Sleepless Night…………………...76
5:51 AM – Dawn…………………………………79
I started writing when I was somewhere around the age of twelve, of course a lot has happened between now and then, so I may be a year or two off. I’ve been writing steadily ever since, spending hours carefully crafting a story or poem, never resting until I had all of the words and spaces exactly where I wanted them. I was only happy when I felt I had painted just the right picture. Once I had achieved this point of perfection, I would always celebrate by immediately balling up the paper and throwing it in the garbage.
I repeated this process for over twenty years, until several people who read the few things that had escaped the delete button made me stop. Even then, I was very self-conscious about letting people I didn’t know well read the things I wrote, but after becoming part of a local writers group sponsored by Barnes and Noble in Holland Michigan, I built up enough courage to finally show the things I wrote to other people.
I think the best thing I’ve gained from being a member of the B&N writers group, besides the wonderful people I’ve met, is the confidence built from interacting with other writers who are just starting to believe they have talent. It’s amazing how many people write, but never believe they are good enough to be read, or feel they really have nothing to say. The members of the writers group have become a sort of “Writers Anonymous”, developing a makeshift twelve-step program, with publication as our ultimate goal.
These days I may stop a perfect stranger on the street for an opinion of something. Usually, after the charges are dropped, I may hear something like “Please stop calling here and following me, I already told you I liked it.” I’ve found that persistence usually pays off, and the court costs are really not that bad.
I always valued the opinions of those who read my stuff, but I knew I needed to get some input outside of my family after I gave my mom written directions to the airport and she asked me to sign and date the page. Mom’s are like that, they can be blinded by love, although I do believe if my mom didn’t like something I wrote, she would probably give me a subtle hint, maybe by burning the page, or screaming in disgust while asking me not to quit my day job. Honestly, I know she would tell me the truth, I would hope that any opinions I ever receive from anyone come from the heart, otherwise I won’t know what to improve upon. If I can’t improve, I can’t become rich and famous. Today’s poetry comes in so many forms it’s become difficult to separate poetry from prose, and sometimes even short stories. I believe something is a poem because that’s what you call it, not because it fits into a certain mold. Poetry can be moving, funny, and sometimes just plain entertaining.
Some of the things I’ve written are intended to make a point, and some are intended to do nothing more than paint an amusing picture, because that’s all I saw while I was writing. I would rather not give away which is which, because I’ve found that many times people find a message where I may not have intended to put one.
I titled this book Lilacs Growing on a Barbed-Wire Fence because sometimes you hope what you say will waft on the breeze like the scent of freshly cut flowers, and sometimes the only way to make your point is with the all the finesse of sharpened steel spikes. I can never seem to find a happy medium, so I’ve included a little of both styles. There is a story behind the creation of every one of these “compositions” (as Webster’s calls them), but my hope is that you get something all your own from each of them. I hope you enjoy reading the words I’ve placed on these pages as much as I’ve enjoyed putting them there.

Chuck Warren

 

February 11, 2003 Why do I write?

I walk through life
Bumping into things
Walking through the flames Battered and slashed by the Events of the day
When I am bruised and cut My blood drips upon the paper

I could cover the wounds Or staunch the flow
But the pain and healing Create the images
And tell the stories
I just try to paint the pictures And give them to you
Before

The Only things
I needed from you Were the Only things You couldn’t give

The Only things
You wanted from me Were the Only things I didn’t have
Friend Death

I am not afraid of Death,
We’re old friends he and I. He’s been hanging around For a very long time.
At first I didn’t know
He was there,
He was careful to keep
Himself just out of sight.
But he gave himself away. Sometimes he would
Take the wheel,
But always to keep me
Between the lines.
And that time that
I fell through the ice,
He made sure
Someone was watching.
Sometimes in the night
I would feel his cold touch, And so many times
I begged him to show me His face, but he never did. When he was away,
He always sent postcards From far-away places
To show me what sights
He had seen,
Or maybe just to remind me He still had my address.
I am not afraid of Death,
Sometimes I can’t sleep
And we’ll play cards until dawn He is always well-mannered, Always polite,
And he always lets me win So far.
Dog

You are the picture
Of unconditional love
Always happy to see me, Eager for a touch
Or a pat on the back
Some simple reward
To show that I care.
I know you love me,
You show it with ease
With a wag of your tail Or a lick on my cheek
But I’d really like it
If maybe sometimes
You’d move just a little And then once in a while I could sit on the couch too. One Word

Speak
Once
Speak now
One word
One phrase
Today for all
The world to hear Tomorrow
Nothing more
Needs ever be
Said aloud again Your words
Your whisper
A touch of silk
Upon my skin
Your thoughts
Your emotions
Held in a glass Through which
I see
From which
I drink
Not a single sound One look from you Is all I ever
Need to know
I dreamed of Eagles

I watched,
Awestruck by
The beauty,
Such fluid grace
Their crowning glory

I watched,
Chained heavy To the earth below As silently they Flew on high

I watched,
And heard the wind Carry forth
The echoed cries Of freedoms song

I watched,
With gentle yearning For such wings
To carry me
To distant lands

I watched,
In the night,
In my sleep
I soared aloft
I dreamed of eagles Childish

Someone called me childish today. I thought on that for a little while, And then, when he least expected it, I smiled and I thanked him for it.

Thinking back on all the injuries,
Broken bones and fractured dreams, And the dangerous world of firsts and lasts, I sometimes wonder how anyone survives.

When I look at today’s children
Entering a world so rich in hope
Yet so full of unexpected horror,
And I envy so the strength born of youth.

I remember all the pains and wonder
Discovered in a first dollar or date,
The abyss of want and the agony of waiting, And finally, the pleasure that comes in receiving.

So many of the years I hurried through
Wanting one day to end and become the next So Christmas would come, or some piece of paper Might arrive to become my next step forward.

How I wish I still had a few of those traits The innocence lost and the hunger for life If I could reclaim just the spirit of youth To make far better use of the knowledge of age

Today I am childish, if only a little
I played in the sand and I ran with my scissors I took a few risks and I conquered my fears I even made mud pies, but don’t tell my mom. Come to Me

Come to me
Be near me
Come with me Don’t fear me Please hold me Please face me Enfold me
Embrace me My lover
My treasure
My partner
Together
You finish
You make me Your colors
Create me
A canvas
In waiting
I’m yours for The painting
Forever
I’ll follow
Without you
I’m hollow
You fill me
With pride
Please stay by My side
Lost at Times

I get lost
Among the
Words
At times
I can not find
The brush
Or color
That I need
A palette of
A thousand words And yet
Not one
Exactly right
To clearly
Paint the
Grass or mountains Or the raindrops That I see
And want
Or need
To show to you
from every child to every mother

such hard questions you ask
yourself such harsh questions and what of the answers,
they do not matter any longer even answers to week-old questions are not valid now, not valid today

you tell yourself you know
all of the answers anyway,
you just didn’t know them
when you think they counted most but the truth is, you knew all along you just had to improvise along the way

I still have the jar you gave to me, you gave one to each of us.
you worried that it was not full enough but it was overflowing, I just kept mine closed, for fear that some would spill and I’d run out. I never wanted to run out.

I never understood how valuable it was what the jar contained, and how it was meant to be shared, never hoarded, such a precious gift disguised
as strength, disguised as will
you would never have accepted failure

(cont) we never knew what we were missing because we were never missing much the best from you may not always be wrapped in paper and knotted ribbons but the best from you shines brightly still the light does not dim with time or distance

and what of the things that happen now could you have changed them in the past could you have kept a tighter hold
and would things be different,
would things be better for us now?
inside you surely know, what will be, will be.

though the years may pass you by you will still shine on awhile
your light will always burn in us and all the world will surely see, your sorrows, joys, and all your love for we will be the mirrors of your life. True Love at Five

She was a vision, in that dress I can still see her so well
It might have been yesterday The soft beauty of red velvet And white lace matched only By the melted chocolate
Of her hair as it dripped
Down over her back,
And then slowly pooled
Between her shoulders

If only I had the courage
To speak, to ask her if
I could sit with her a while If only I knew the right words How to pour them out
And carefully arrange them In the perfect order,
Then maybe today
Thirty four years later
I would still remember her name Within the Blue

My heart, my head, My every breath Forever more
Belongs to you

No matter what Will change in time You’ll always know That this is true

If someone was To look at me
They’d see the gifts Received from you

Within my eyes Your soul does lie I carry you
Within the blue Ordinary Life

I’m thinking of filing A lawsuit
Against my parents. It’s all their fault
That I don’t look like Brad Pitt or
Someone else famous. I could have gone far As a Hollywood star But instead
I’m condemned
To this everyday life. At least they could
Have had the
Decency
To give me
The brains of
Mr. Hawking
Or Einstein
But I guess
In this world
It’s much better
To be pretty
But dumb.
I know I can sue
My mother and father Because no one
Is at fault for their
Own actions today. I might just sue
God because
I slipped on the ice. He put it there

(cont) And I didn’t see
A warning label
So how was I
Supposed to know
That I should
Watch my step.
After all
My parents
Overlooked the part
About Einstein
And Hawking,
Didn’t they?
At least no one
Will notice the scar
I’ll just grow a beard
To cover it up
Then
When I’m older
I might get to
Looking just a little
Like Sean Connery
At least If I don’t
I know a good lawyer He’ll take the case,
And if not,
I’ll just see you on Oprah. Night

I lie still
In the dark
The red numbers on the clock Beaming through my eyelids Like lasers I cannot avoid

I know
Without looking
They say 4:01, like last night And the one before that
When the sleep wouldn’t come

I try
To shut out
The small noises of the dark The disturbances in the night air Like whispers I strain to hear

I hear
The rhythms
The rise and fall of her soft breathing The whimpers of dreaming dogs Chasing rabbits through fields

But I can’t
Block the noise
That fills the room like a storm
The silence of time moving steadily past Each tick of the clock sounds like thunder Roadside Crosses

I saw a woman
putting flowers
on a cross by
the side of the road

I asked her why she believed
this would help to ease her pain

She replied
I only want to
show my respect for the dead

I asked her then if it wouldn’t
have helped her to feel better now

if we all had shown more respect
to them when
they were alive
Dog 2

Sit…
Good boy.
Now lay down,
Lay down,
Lie down,
Please lie down.
Lie down.
Lie down.
Lay down.
Lay down,
Come on, just lie down Lie down.
Do you want a cookie? Lie down,
Lie down,
Lay down,
Lay down.
Oh, forget it.
Let’s go.
Let’s go…
Let’s go,
Hey! Let’s go!
Let’s go,
Let’s go…..
Any Other Name

I bend to smell the rose And catch my finger tip
Upon the thorn, I linger
For just a moment
In the reality of
The painful sting
I pull away and leave
A single drop of blood
Hanging from the needles tip A price paid for the taste The knowledge of beauty The drop falls slowly
From the thorn as if
The rose has cried
One single crimson tear And let it sink, to be
Forever swallowed by
The dust, the scar upon My finger tip, the pain,
The pleasure, still remains The Tale

I am the leader I am the trail I am the teller, I am the tale

I am the spider
Spinning the thread I am the baker
Kneading the bread

I am the lover I am the lust I am the iron I am the rust

I build the castles
And tear down the walls I drop the pieces
And watch as they fall

I feel the anger I feel the love I am the eagle I am the dove

I see the visions
And I feel the pain I walk in the sunshine And stand in the rain

(cont) I am the paper I am the page I am the silence I am the rage

I hold the memories And I share the past I keep the legends And I make them last

I am the letters I am the ink
I am the pitcher I am the drink

Releasing the stories Like birds that take flight I live and I breathe
I see, thus I write
Powerless

At times
I feel I am
Powerless
To look away,
To seek out more
Than dancing colors
And fantastic imagery There are times
When I feel
Powerless
To get up from
My seat and move
From my vantage point To find something,

Anything more
Than the
Mindless Chatter
Of talking heads and
Two dimensional parrots Flashing their plumage but That’s entertainment
I guess I should
Be happy to
Have such
Distractions, but
Then I remember that I am not powerless after all I have the power to
Push the right
Button and
Turn off
The
TV.
A Friends Passage

I will miss you,
I will miss all the things you gave to me. I will miss you everyday.

I will feel your loss,
As deep and painful as any wound. I will need time to heal.

I will see you,
In my dreams and out of the corner of my eye. I will want you to be there when I turn

I will not cry for you,
You have journeyed to some wondrous place. I will cry for me.

I will see you,
Reflected on the surface of the pool of my tears I will see you still.
Night Dance

Late at night
I might go dancing With soaring eagles Or crocodiles

Sometimes I float Along a river
Could be the Miss Could be the Nile

I stand aside
To let the dragons Swoop down to grab Their hapless prey

Or jump head first In to the water
To swim along
While dolphins play

Some nights you’ll find Me listening to a
Speech that’s made By Honest Abe

At times I may
Be found outside While Igor robs The freshest grave

I’ve traveled far
Throughout the cosmos To dance along
Some comets tail

(cont) And rode high perched Upon the saddle
Astride the shells
Of giant snails

So many stories
I have lived
While speeding through The darkest night

Some ended in A fairy tale
Some ended in A fearsome fright

But one thing always Stays the same
Whatever road
That I may take

I know I’ll find
Your sleepy smile To greet me here When I awake How Technology Makes Life Easy

dearmary, (backspacebackspacebackspace)
Der Mari, (backspacebackspacebackspace)
Dear mAry, (backspacebackspacebackspace)
dEar mary, (backspacebackspacebackspace)
Dear Mary,
I m riting (backspacebackspacebackspace)
I am wrting (backspacebackspacebackspace)
i Am writin (backspacebackspacebackspace)
I am riting to thak (backspacebackspacebackspace) I am writing ot tank (backspacebackspacebackspace) I am writing to tanks (backspacebackspacebackspace) Dear Mary,
I am writing to thnka yu for the (backspacebackspace) I am writin to thanks for (backspacebackspacebackspace) Thanks for the gift.
It os the nisest can opiner (backspacebackspace) It is teh nices can (backspacebackspacebackspace) It’s great.
I hop to (backspacebackspacebackspace)
I hope we wll se(backspacebackspacebackspace) I hpe we wil see (backspacebackspacebackspace) Hpoe to see (backspacebackspacebackspace) Bye.
(sigh)
(delete)
Ring, Ring,
“Hi Mary? It’s Bill!”
(man)

(man) stood at the open door
entrance was the sign on the polished surface the light was blinding but welcome
I am free - (man) cried - aloud for all the world to hear

(man) stood at the open door
growth said the sign on a colorful poster
the room was soft and comfortable within
I am free - (man) smiled – I have no cares nor have I fear

(man) stood at the open door
knowledge was the sign upon the heavy door there was uncertainty in the heavy air
I am free - (man) said to all – but what is expected of me

(man) stood at the open door
experience was the sign upon the vast entrance the view was chaotic and frightening
am I free – (man) asked himself – if so am I prepared to be

(man) stood at the open door
solitude was lettered on the gilded plaque
a soft breeze blew in from the open window
I am free – (man) quietly sighed – but now I know not what to do

(man) stood at the open door
silence read the label above the arch
a stillness hung about the darkened room
I am unsure – (man) thought alone – I wonder was I ever free

(man) stood at the open door
welcome was the word proclaimed in gold
the gates hung wide like vast open arms
I am free – (man) truly believed – at last I know I always was
Luna

Clouds sweep across the crescent Like brush strokes on a masterpiece It is a work in progress,
Each shift in the wind,
Each change in the weather
Adds more paint and pattern
Every passing minute
Draws new color
Upon the pale, unfinished surface An unseen artist hard at work, The canvas; sky
The palette; light
The emerging artwork; Luna
Abstract

Down I am until I run
Around the other side
Of sunlight
Where the dreams
Remain until
The darkness paints
Upon the hills
When boats alive
With vibrant splashes
Float along the streets
In time while trucks
And Hansom cabs
Both dance as one
In lamp-lit Conga lines
While moonlit nightmares Push the curtains
To one side to let the shadows Softly tiptoe into rooms
Alive with fragrant memories Of milk-white mountains
In the eastern winds
Who stir the morning dew I stop and stand alone
At once together
And apart with all
I see the thunder echo
In the nearness
Of the space between
The lines drawn in
The sandy beaches
There I’ll rest
And lie till never
Comes to take me
Home at last
Where I can dream
Brother

you are
my brother,
we share
a common thread. built of similar bits and pieces, and
yet, so many different parts went in
the mix.
some of you rattles around loose inside my head, coming
to rest in the form
of smiles and sadness all at the same time. so many memories, the time I…
the time you….
joy and sorrow
fill the cracks
between them all.
I wish I could
have been
better
smarter
there more often
we had less,
I should have tried to give you more.
I felt the same about so much,
but wrapped it up
and tried to hide it. I made so many
mistakes in life,
so much
I wish to change,
take back,
re-live for just
a fleeting moment, those turning points where I made
a choice.
I took the
wrong fork
that lay before me. you followed me
as I lit the way,
I never looked
behind to see
if you were there
where I had left you, I never thought to wait for you
to catch up
when I turned around. car sharks

i was out for a drive
across the lake
behind the wheel
of my rusty old car
the waves were small so I had no trouble
driving up to the men in their red wooden boats i was just about there when one of them stood and then gave out a shout pointing back past my car “car-shark!” he yelled warning me of the danger that lurked just beneath the still face of the lake i stepped on the gas
and glanced in the mirror just in time to make out a sharp steely fin
“car-sharks” i thought, i should have known
it must have been
the sweet smell of the rust i drove back to the beach but the sand was too soft to get up to safety
from the waters edge i would just have to make a break for it now
as i ran across the sand i turned back to see
my car being devoured one bite at a time
but i’m happy to say
without me inside
“car-sharks” i thought i should have known
it must have been
the sweet smell of the rust Raindrop

I saw a lonely raindrop fall
And make its way along the wall It ran down to the grass below And where it went I’ll never know

I watched the rain come pouring down And soak into the arid ground
I wondered if the water knew
How many of the plants it grew

Though single drops may seem too small To matter to the seeds at all
In time enough become a flood
And turn the hardened earth to mud

How often have we tried alone To harvest all the fields we’ve sown And found too late that daunting feat Too much for one man to complete

A heavy burden it may seem
To realize a distant dream
To turn the soil and plant the land Sometimes we need a helping hand

I watched the rain come pouring down And soak into the arid ground
Much crop is left to plant, I know Together we can make them grow Turn Around

Go on then,
See if I care.
You think you
Can do better?
Go then.
That’s right,
Keep walking.
I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone. No, wait,
Wait.
Please.
Turn around.
C’est la Vie

C’est la vie
She shyly said
Uneasy with the new found phrase She looked at me without duress
And wiped the grass stains from her dress

C’est la vie
She freely laughed
And hands held high toward the sun She turned and faced me with a smile We walked along another mile

C’est la vie
She screamed aloud
And smashed the plate against the wall Her words lay shattered in my mind Just like the fragments left behind

C’est la vie
She whispered soft
Her breath a breeze upon my skin We lay together in the dark
And watched the fire throw its spark C’est la vie
She sadly cried
Her tears mixed with the pouring rain Her voice awash with loss and hurt The rosebud dropped into the dirt

C’est la vie
She said so proud
And held my hand that autumn day We watched the sunset light the skies A lifetime passed glowed in her eyes

C’est la vie
I said at last
To no one but the empty room I turned and slowly closed the door That I would open never more The Door

Very often I walk past a door I keep it locked all the time,
Not to keep people out
But to keep something in.
Well, maybe to keep myself out too.

I know who lives behind the door, Behind the pristine paint
And the shiny brass knob,
I know that they would like to come out But I can’t let that happen today.

Maybe tomorrow, I sometimes think Not out loud, only to myself.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll open the door, I remember all the fun we used to have And then I remember something else.

I remember the other things
The things I don’t like to think about. The pain and the chaos,
The loss and the hurt, which lives in there Just behind that one turn of a key.

Sometimes when I walk past the door I marvel at how fragile it looks
How easy it would be to force it open, And leap out to pounce on someone So I tip-toe past quietly as I can. And I say to myself sometimes
Maybe I’ll open the door
Tomorrow, or maybe the day after that But not today, I won’t open it today. Today I remember why the door is locked.

I remember, I think to myself,
How good it feels to live without
As I touch the cold steel of the key
That I always keep safe in my pocket,
And today, I remember why that door is locked. Monsters

The monsters
In my closet sent me
A note yesterday.
They want a truce it seems, But I’m not fooled
They’ve tried such tricks before. After all this time
I’ve got tricks of my own
And an arsenal of
Defense weapons.
Some are not so obvious, Like the bathroom door
Left open a crack
With the light
Shining brightly
So they know I’ll see.
Light is monster poison
After all.
Or the old reliable classic
Wrapped up tight
Blankets pulled overhead
Like a cocoon
With just my nose
Or lips exposed.
To sneak a breath.
It’s dangerous business
Surviving the night.
Death awaits there
In the dark
To strike swiftly
Upon the slightest hint
Of skin exposed.
The monsters have all Changed with time,
Some have retired upon Realizing I fear them
Far less today,
Moving to some
Seaside town
Where they make extra Money by leaping out
Of cakes at parties
But some have stayed, Still strong as ever
And waiting to strike
If I forget to pull
The covers tight.
Tonight I’ll say out loud How I am not afraid of them But just to be sure
I make it to morning
I think I’ll go change the Bulb in the bathroom,
Lately I’ve been thinking It isn’t very bright.
I am

I wake:
the night pulls cold around me until I feel her warmth.
radiant like a lighthouse, she guides me through
the silent nightscape
towards the light of dawn

I walk:
she is my compass
and my chart,
my footfalls sure and steady as I wander
ever forward on
the rocky path I tread

I eat:
upon the table
can’t be found that which will satisfy my soul,
her love the only
bread for which
my hunger will relent

I burn:
my wooden heart
a tinderbox,
such ready fuel,
her gentle touch
the cooling mist which drowns the flames of love and pain I reach:
the stars above
I stretch to grasp but never touch to own them I need not,
for I see the starlight
ever sparkling
deep within her eyes

I sleep:
calm and peaceful,
cradled in the knowledge that I will be safe and warm, aside her when she
shines back all the colors of the morning sun

I live:
each passing day
a priceless gift,
the bows and ribbons bind the time I treasure minutes
more than diamonds,
years much more than gold

I love:
I need no more
the bitter sweetness is my water and my brandywine,
her touch a blanket of finest satin, the world
so cold if I am alone

I am. In Defiance of Gravity

In defiance of gravity
he stood on the ledge
thinking about birds
as he peered from the edge he wondered why only the feathered ones flew instead of some people like me and like you

In defiance of gravity
he stood arms aloft
wondering if he would soon land nice and soft he tested the air
with a few careful flaps and decided his sleeves enough air they would trap

In defiance of gravity
he stepped in to space with a look of sheer wonder and awe on his face
he started to flail once he had leveled off
and giving a shout
he knew he was aloft

In defiance of gravity
he tried for the breeze
but soon spiraled earthward like leaves from the trees he spun towards the ground in the mid-morning sun in the end, on that day it seems gravity won
Passionate Kisses

Passionate kisses, Your velvet lips
Touch me,
Brush me,
Soft as silk
And yet,
Cutting like steel And burning like fire.

You pull away
Gently,
And leave me
Wanting,
Hollow,
Waiting in silence
And yearning for more.

46 Roots

Sometimes,
I think,
I should get back To my roots

But then,
I realize
I’m not sure
Where exactly that is

Would I find them
In the wandering years? Or maybe,
In the ones I wasted

Could they lie buried In the days I try to forget, Or the ones I struggle So hard to remember

I think,
If I dug into the earth
From which I have sprouted I would find my roots

Not straight and true, But gnarled and twisted Like the braids in the hair Of some dark gypsy girl

Hopelessly entangled
And infinitely
More interesting
Than those so neatly combed Faith

Jesus
Buddha
and Mohammed
sat in the park
playing
Chinese Checkers on the lawn.
Mohammed
spread out
a carpet for
them to sit on,
Buddha brought
out a pot of tea,
and Jesus
passed around
a loaf of bread.
People passing
seemed not
to notice, they
only saw
a black man
an oriental man
and a hippie.
The few that
did notice
recognized
only One.
And even then,
each person had
Faith
that it was
just an illusion,
nothing more.
It was only
just a simple trick of the afternoon light. Loves Sweet Fire

Loves sweet fire Hearts desire
Our bodies’ fuel The burning pyre

The dazzling sparks Push back the dark And make the flames Climb ever higher

Each gives the other Warmth and color Such comfort on
The blackest night

Warm shelter built I am your quilt
‘till morning dew drops Dance with light
Roadside Crosses 2

Where does the spirit lie At the journeys end Does the soul wait
With patience
For flowers and tears By the side of the road Hoping to catch a ride With some passerby Who might be going That same way
Or do they stop
Here and there
And just rest for a while To see the wreaths
And the crosses
The monuments to loss Built of wood and grief On the shoulder alone Modern pyramids
Fading memorials
To those who will never Travel this way again The Other Side

There was only me
That’s all.
You never hurt
The ones you love,
Lost soul to pity
That’s how I saw it anyway. I never cared
Who came, who went
There was only now,
For now.
Another day,
Another minute
To struggle through
And start again.
I wasn’t even sure I wanted What it was
So many had.
What else was there?
All I could see was
Pain, no less.
And who would
Tell me otherwise?
Who cared for me
Enough to speak
I never noticed,
Would I have listened? If I could see
It would have seemed
So sad a story
From out there,
As viewed from
The other side.

(cont) I couldn’t see then
How the light
Grew dimmed
Within your eyes
Patience burning
Like a candle
Wax cooled, and pooling Around the base
My clouded vision
Worn like a shield
The truth blocked out,
I craved the dark.
I didn’t want to ever see The view from where
You perched, so ready
Waiting there to break my fall How you could see things Just as they were, so clearly From the other side
Man of the Hour

Is everyone looking at me?
I think they are,
I look good in this suit
I feel good in this suit.
I hope I can make it through
The door without tripping,
I hope I can get through
The buffet line without spilling anything I better shake hands, that guy’s a big shot. I wonder if he’ll remember my name. And there’s the Mayor, he’s nodding to me. This is amazing, how did I get here! Oh no, there’s that girl, she’s coming over I hope I can think of something cool to say. She’s smiling, I can’t believe it!
Wait, she wants to whisper something to me What? I can’t hear, I can’t quite hear you, WHAT!!! I HAVE WHAT
STUCK IN MY TEETH??!!??!??
Stars

I know, I understand I guess I always did Why you had to go You had to run away From all the passion And all the promises Of unpicked flowers And unturned pages In that book I never Wrote, I never will
The stars that night Shone down with
Such pure brilliance Still fresh in my mind The smell of the salt Mixed with the sadness Your tears of pain
Fell on my skin
Like rose petals laying On cold concrete
The reality, the truth Of simple dreams
To good ever
Come to be
To hard for us
To ever reach
The stars that still
Shine brightly in
My memories
Will stay forever
Out of reach
In that midnight sky Covered Bridge

I think I should
Move to
Vermont
Someday
Where the
Cold weather
Bites like
An old playful dog I will live
Near a brook
Just wide enough That I can’t
Step across
Without building
A bridge of
Smooth stones
Across the clear Running waters
I will certainly have A circular driveway Leading Up
To my house
So that when
I’m at home
I’ll always be
Coming from
Or
Going to
Everywhere Else When it snows
I will rest
Near the roaring fire By the old stone Hearth

(cont) With a book
In one hand
And a hot
Cup of coffee
I’ll be covered
Safe and warm
Through the softly Falling snows
Of the
New England nights Character

The deeds
Of a mans
Life
Make up
Half of
His character It’s what’s
In his
Heart
That makes up The rest
Irony

It’s raining
Today
The kind of rain That you know Will make flowers Explode through The earth
Torrents of water Between me
And the places I now need
To go
Like it or not
It’s pouring
Today
Sheets of water Pour down
From the roof
Like Niagara
Would look
From just under The cliffs
And of course
As I sit
Peering through The wet glass I remember
My umbrella
Is out
In the car
Treasures

For Audrey

There’s a blue and white house In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures
I play with the keyboard
Of the Fox’s old organ
In the little stone house
With it’s very own name
On the plaque by the ivy framed door

There’s an old antique shop
In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures
Or just sit on the steps
By the door in the back
And play with some wonderful Toy that you found for me
In the house in the sun by the shore

There’s a house with a dock In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures I play cards with the Fox
In the first light of dawn
Then he takes me to eat
And I look at the boats
I pretend I have coffee like him

(cont) There’s a house that can float
In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures
There’s the candy man
In the boat on the left
And the ship of dreams
Frolics beneath my feet
It’s down there that I learned how to swim

There’s a house where I’m safe In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures
It was there that you gave me The shelter I needed
And helped me to find out
Who I really am
Most of all who I someday could be

There’s a house full of gold
In my head
I go there sometimes
To play with the treasures
The walls are all papered
With pictures and stories
Of you and the Fox still
So clear in my head
Each one is a treasure you’ve given to me Angry

I was angry at my hubcaps today, They wouldn’t come off
And then I ended up
Smashing my fingers and drawing blood.

I know that it wasn’t the hubcaps That I was really angry at,
It was everything around me And of course nothing at all.

It’s probably just a phase of the moon, Or maybe my chemicals
Are all out of whack as they say. Just who are they anyway.

I think I need to go to bed with a book, Maybe Dave Barry or Carl Hiaasen, They can always make me laugh Even when I don’t really want to.

Or maybe I’ll just put on my robe
And my fuzzy old slippers
And channel surf until I find something As educationally stimulating as Bugs Bunny.

I should definitely keep to myself today I can sometimes throw words like daggers. Daggers sometimes miss their mark, But carelessly thrown words never seem to. Jasmine and Jade

Scent and solid
Bristle and bone
Wealth and wonder
Softness and stone
To want and to wonder As we bargain and trade Our life becomes measured In Jasmine and Jade

Slowly the sky
Fades from red down to grey I watch as the dark
Stills the light of the day I feel the cruel bite
As the air becomes cold Once more turns the cycle From young unto old

The sky and the soil
Leather and lace
Daylight and darkness Bravery and grace
The hard shell of emotion Soft touch of a hand
Time slips unseen past As waves lap at the sand

Valley and mountain
Signal And sound
Ocean and fountain
Water and ground
In the end our life’s bounty Can no more be paid
In pennies and paper Or Jasmine and Jade Princess

I see her lying next to me
Her beauty dims the new sunrise I love to watch her as she sleeps My pretty Princess Starry Eyes

She stays inside me through my day And guides me through the lows and highs She brings the meaning to my life
My pretty Princess Starry Eyes

I love to be the one she wants To gently hold her when she cries And share the music of her laugh My pretty Princess Starry Eyes

She waits for me to end the day And watch the sunlight as it dies Her presence brings the gift of peace My pretty Princess Starry Eyes

She dances through my midnight dreams She laughs and tells me playful lies I want her, need her, and I love
My pretty Princess Starry Eyes
No One

I am nothing today, And yet
I am everything.

Nothing is pressing,
And still
There is always an emergency.

I am not late,
Even so I hurry
To get to every place I am going.

I have nothing to fear, But suddenly
I feel so deeply terrified.

I don’t know where I am But then I see
Myself on every street corner

I want for little,
But now
There never seems to be enough.

I feel completely alone,
Even though
I stand surrounded by so many.

I have no troubles,
But still
I carry the world upon my shoulders

I am no one today, And yet
I am every single one. Live

God spoke to me, On that day
In mid November, He reached down And he gave me
A thump on the head. He told me
He had tried
Many times before To get my attention, But I had always
Turned away.
I had always
Closed my eyes,
And my ears,
But not this time.
He gave me
No choice.
And I heard Him,
Loud and clear
I heard Him
When He said,
“Live.”
That was all,
But then,
That was enough. Today
I will Live.
Ship

You are a ship upon the water
So beautiful, the oceans daughter I am what lies beneath your restless keel

For years you’ve had your sails at half Adrift upon a watery path
No plotted course or destination real

I watch your travels far and near I see you cross me without fear
I know you’ll conquer all I send your way

But your strength and beauty lies
Your pirates flag is just disguise
To keep the ones who’d sail with you at bay

For years I’ve kept beneath the waves Alone I passed the endless days Content to trade serenity for strife

Our solitude like gold first shine But soon we find an empty mine A fruitless search our legacy in life

The sea can be a timeless place
A troubled soul without a face
It’s beauty worn by endless waves of time

Each day a mirror of the last
Each year the same as that which passed Each moment hold no reason and no rhyme

(cont) I had become content to sleep
And seldom rise out of the deep
To toy with ships which me they yearned to tame

But when I felt you softly glide
Like velvet on my evening tide
At once I wanted you to know my name

I passed the days as still as glass Content to watch your every pass Afraid to ever make my feelings known

And when I saw your tenderness
I longed to feel your sweet caress And felt ashamed of every storm I’d blown

Since then I’ve sworn to try my best To keep you safe against my breast And in the shelter of my arms enfold

But never would I hold your ropes Or rob you of your deepest hopes I only ask your dreams to let me hold

You are a ship upon the water
So beautiful, the oceans daughter Each port you left this was the story told

To those you touched and left behind You claimed the sand was way to fine You always said your anchor wouldn’t hold

From now until your journeys end
My love to you I’ll always send
And when at last you find the earth is round

Please let my port be where you stop I want to feel your anchor drop
Please come and let me be your solid ground A Sleepless Night 11:22 PM Time for Bed

Good Night,
Good Night,
I hope you will sleep tight. Get in to bed,
Beside me lay,
Tomorrow is another day.

Curl up,
Get close,
Pull the covers tight
The blankets keep
The cold at bay,
Tomorrow is another day.

A yawn,
A stretch,
My thoughts begin to fade Let sleep wash all
My cares away,
Tomorrow is another day. 11:24 PM Adrift

I feel myself begin to slip away
I struggle to hold on
But sleep takes hold and drags me under

The day’s events replay within my thoughts The images I see
Flash by as if they’re still in sight

The final thoughts I have before I go Are thoughts of love
I feel so deep and just as strong as thunder

I turn towards you as I drift away To feel your warmth
I curl against you closer in the night

And then to sleep I slowly fade away Down to the dark
I slide until my conscious thoughts are gone

Here I will remain throughout the night To gain the strength
And will to face the coming of the day

Tomorrow brings new promises and strife But knowing you
Are with me I can bravely face the dawn

Adrift upon the gentle sea of sleep I lay in peace
Until the sun begins to shine my way 2:44 AM Monsters

Slipping and sliding I feel like I’m riding The wings of a Dragon But when I look down

I see that I’m falling I here my voice calling I see down below me The shape of a town

Before I hit bottom
I’ve suddenly got ‘em I feel that my arms
Have just become wings

Just as I’m turning
To fly I am learning
The voice of the Dragon With fire he sings

He swoops down beside As my wings I do ride Takes hold of me firmly With talons of steel

Then off to his lair
Where once we get there I know there’s no doubt I’ll become his next meal

(cont) But my captor has turned
His hors d’oeuvres almost burned He’s distracted it seems
So before he gets done

I slip from the rope
With some glimmer of hope I head straight for the door And away I do run

And I run and I run and I run and I run…………….. 2:46 AM Awakened By the Dream

Suddenly awakened by
The frightened moans of fear I realize the noises that
Still ring within my ear
Had come from me, I made them While I lay asleep in bed,
A horrid dream disturbed me With dark visions in my head.

The dream subsides and fades away And once again I see
The shapes and shadows of the room And nothing threatens me
No monsters lurk behind the doors Or lie beneath the bed
The pile of clothes upon the floor Isn’t something I should dread

The moonlight in the yard outside Lends light enough to see
The outline of your sleeping form Lays silent next to me
In hopes I didn’t wake you
Or disturb you from your rest I listen for the rise of breath That stirs within your breast

I settle back against the sheets And try to find the way
Back to the realm of sleep and dreams Where hopefully I’ll stay
I feel you roll towards me and
Across me throw your arm
Once again I feel at peace
And safe from any harm
4:49 AM A Sleepless Night

I sit, I lay
I toss, I turn
I see the clock It’s me it mocks

No longer able to Keep still I find My robe and
Grab a book

At least if I
Can find no sleep I do not wish
For you to be

Awakened by My restlessness So off I go
On to the couch

At least until I
Find a way to
Bring back peace I will be here

(cont) So if you wake And find me gone Don’t worry for I am not far

I will remain
Just out of reach But still close by In case you call

I’m here, right here Just down the hall Still close at hand In case you call 5:51 AM Dawn

Putting aside the book, I realize I have no recollection of the last chapter, even though I know I read it twice. The lack of sleep has finally caught up with me. I can feel my eyelids growing heavier by the second. I gather my robe tighter about me and make my way through the pre-dawn silence of the house.

I step carefully across the still body of the dog as I quietly find my way through the darkness to my side of the bed. Careful not to wake you, I slide under the heavy comforter to find my side of the bed has grown cold.

I creep across to nestle against the warmth of your sleeping body, feeling your skin against mine like the touch of warm silk. A last glance at the clock confirms my fears; the night and its promise of rest and renewal have passed me by.

As I notice the rays of sunlight creeping slowly along the edges of the window shade, I finally feel the gentle fingers of sleep touch my forehead with its soft caress. As I begin to slip away, I find several thoughts have made a final effort to be realized, and a smile spreads across my lips.

As sleep steals the last of my consciousness, I remember, it’s Sunday and I can sleep in as long as I want. Even better, I remember that when I wake, I will have the whole day to spend with you.

Until next time………………………………….

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