Of Paradise

There is a history, untold,
Of paradise and passions bred;
And so we spend our living days
Among the houses of the dead

Beneath the selfsame sky they knew,
We walk their paths, and feel their souls:
For all that was, is yet to be,
And written on our own hearts’ scrolls

There was a story, long ago,
Of paradise and brilliance shed,
And so, these hours in the sun,
Where blue desires led to red

As time goes to infinity,
So we must go as humankind;
For all that was, is yet to be,
Our past and future, intertwined

Of paradise, there’s much to learn —
Like knowledge, softly shaken, in its turn

A Country Autumn – 4

“A battlefield this was”
Is likely true
Most everywhere we go
If we just knew.

But history, at least
What we discuss
Or think about, must
Somehow concern us.

But empathy, perspective –
These can grow –
Just know to think
‘Bout what you think

You know

Among the Fallen

Photo credit : ID 3563443 Susan Leggett | Dreamstime.com

He sits down on the hardwood bedroom floor,
Examining the photos he just found.
Some of them he’d seen before, and he remembered
How old he thought these were when he was just a kid.
But now they seem alive, they seem to carry
Voices, times, and colors, colors hidden now by sepia,
That bleed in on the edges of remembrance

A clapboard house (he thought it saw its building)
His father and grandfather (you two smile!)
His father with his brothers (they were kids once)
His parents at a party (he could hear the big band music)
His father’s mother’s mother (that’s some hat!)

And all of it’s an arch, a great continuing
Connecting him and his to them and theirs

For our great chain of being lives in stories,
The stories we should tell and we should hear —
For life’s still there, it’s there among the fallen:
If we just hearken, ere they

Main Street: 1886

Main Street Memories

There were borders
Between civilization and wilderness
Back then

And the wilderness
Was not a tame thing
Experienced from inside
Rolling metal fortresses

Wagons were wooden
And open
And we hadn’t tamed the wild enough
To give us the leisure
To feel guilty about it from
Within safe walls

And Main Street was not yet
The Main Street of Sinclair Lewis’s time
After 40 years of technological revolution
Had reshaped the world

The pride of construction
Done in the local community
By the local community
Forming a local community

But within a world simultaneously
Complicated beyond our understanding
And limited beyond our memory

The Daily Battles


The daily battles that we fight
Are what our lives are, in the end
The horrors of the past we hide
The present dooms that might impend

And as the days and years go by
We list events out, name and date
And hear the dove of mourning cry
For all the lucklessness of fate

For death and grieving we endure
For violence that’s been done to us
We go on forward, always sure
That it will be so, ever thus

The daily battles that we fight
Take all our courage and require
That we do not desert by flight
And with our dying breath, reach higher


Covered Bridge, Thomaston, GA

The feet, the wheels, the wagons that came through here
Can still be heard by those with ears to hear
The covering protects their holy mem’ries
Enabling them, perhaps, to reappear

The days are gone when everything was covered
The elements of life are on us all
And every move we make is tracked and charted
To be retrieved when we’ve gone past the wall