Some people say that where they are
Is where they’re meant to be;
For years, I never understood –
Those comments puzzled me
Sometimes, you’re down and desperate,
As I was, long ago:
I saw no reason at the time
Why it needs must be so
For almost thirty years ago
I tried to end my life;
I never would have known my kids
My grandchildren, my wife –
I never would have typed these words
That you are reading now;
I would have been a nobody,
A nothing. A no how —
I couldn’t find a reason,
Couldn’t generate a spark
To see me through the nightscape;
Through the hopeless, whirling dark
But somehow, day led on to day;
And I regained my voice.
Then I decided living
Was my only living choice
I do not know where you might be,
How your life’s filled with pain;
I do not know the grief you’ve felt,
And that, I will not feign —
But this I tell you, reading friend:
There is, most times, a light:
So you can climb the hill ahead,
(“Nightscape” – 7-1-2015)
You think about it all the time,
But never have you said
The weight you carry in your heart,
The words within your head —
But in the morning, hard and gray,
You’ve known these secret pains
Then covered up the traces,
All the bruises and the stains.
To all the world you’ve shown a face
You’ve painted on for show,
But that’s become habitual;
Now, everywhere you go,
You just display the sunlight.
You’re a beacon mid the rains,
And no one sees the leakage,
Or the bleeding, or the stains.
It doesn’t matter anyway.
You know that’s how you think —
And when you seem on edge, I know
You’re really on the brink —
Why is it that you won’t come clean?
There really is no knowing,
But maybe you’ll see hope to know
Your stains at last
let not hope disappear
though chill be in the air:
the winter may be here,
but the garden is
I sat and watched the burning ones.
They came in twos and threes:
The night was their intoxicant,
And ardor, their disease —
I see them, too, in memory,
They’re everywhere about —
For when you are a burning one,
You’re destined to
A vigil kept in empty times
To watch for signs of safe return;
The mission of forgotten folk
As long as there is wick to burn
Because — well, there is no ‘because’
The world would have us recognize —
But, maybe, this is what love is:
To wait, to hope,
we chase at times the wild prize
that runs from us unflaggingly;
we track at times the quiet hope
that slides and sidesteps, stealthily –
or maybe, we’ve just one desire:
a slender, lonely, candle-beam —
that we have never chased or tracked
for it’s right there,
The love that was, where does it go?
Why does it slip away?
She wonders, as the autumn slow
Comes drifting in with orange glow,
To keep her hopes at bay,
To keep her hopes at bay.
The love that was, why does it rage
And storm to find no port?
Just scribbled hearts upon a page,
The price of pain, the lover’s wage,
And dreams cut far too short,
And dreams cut far too short.
The love that was, why does it end?
Why should such sorrow be?
But none can ever comprehend
The ways of life and loss of friend
Or love, that endless sea —
Or love, that endless