The Words Loved

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?

They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

J.R.R. Tolkien — from “The Lord of the Rings”

The words loved me before I loved the words.
These architectures, perfect in their sound,
I dwelled within and walked upon, among –
Before their written images I’d found.

For love, all love, is music at its heart;
We hear before our eyes first feel the light,
Then feel the phrase that shivers, or that calms,
And find a world inside the thing said right.

My mother’s voice it was that read to me,
Or spoke but soft old words of poetry.
The words had sheltered her within her youth:
A beauty true, and so much more than truth.

Our suns must set, our lives at last be hid –
The words loved me, as she who spoke them did

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Thomas Hood — “I Remember, I Remember”

Middle-Aged Man

He woke to find his nose and throat were bleeding;
Another day from day in blur succeeding,
Of waistline grown, and hairline fast receding,
Amid the whirl of strange called “middle age”.

His vanity loomed larger in its weakness:
An ego not prepared to go in meekness —
A story old and stale in non-uniqueness,
A fate too common to be met with rage.

We all believe, though many voice their doubting,
That we’re immortal: sanctity soon outing
This deathly, earthly life that leaves us shouting –
That death is freedom, and all life, a cage —

His wordless plea, a wasted, vain convection:
An empty soul, trapped in his own reflection


(“Middle-Aged Man” – 3-15-2017)

Sun Through Trees

the sun through trees at close of day
as hand in hand we walked away
and spoke of love’s delicious pang
as footsteps fell and crickets sang

and i remember her perfume
a gentle flower new in bloom
her hands as soft as silk at dawn
as darkness grew and we walked on

in all of that we silent stepped
as love’s fair secrets well we kept
of agonies we only knew
and flights of geese, and fallen dew

the mem’ry takes its leave and flees
like fading day
of sun
through trees

Snapshot – Ballfield at Dusk

I watched the sun go down behind the field
The team kept running drills into the dusk
The manager talk’d on, his face concealed
His voice going from mad to calm to brusque

My son, then a young teen, with weary gait
Goes running ’round the bases one more time
His face determined, though the time grows late
And looking for a glimmer of a sign

That this is was over; and, then soon it was.
His glove and ball and bat all in his hands
He trudged my way, beseeching me, because
He wants to know what are our evening plans

A moment still in time to memory linked
It flashes clear, then fades to indistinct

= = = = =

Photo Credit: © Neilld | Dreamstime.comA Player Bats In A Twilight Baseball Game Photo

Laugh Play Joy Love

Oh, how I loved her. I was maybe nine, ten, I’m not sure.

A fountain that I ran in as a child
Cool, wet upon my face – a Summer day
And breezes blowing in, perfumed and mild,
Bright sunshine where the shadows used to play.

And she, the water, breeze, perfume and sun –
Grace, freedom running, unrelenting joy;
Myself, the face, the child, the lucky one –
Great moment in the journey of a boy.

Laughed with her in the yellow summer light,
Ran with her as the stars began to rise –
And thought of her there, far into the night,
And dreamed of her sweet face and hazel eyes.

And woke not from that dream, and haven’t since:
A lovesick frog she turned into a prince.

the shades are drawing, sight is leaving me:
i’m told it’s just the way it has to be.
a day must run its course, from east to west,
and light is just a thing we lease, at best.

through eyes, a thousand touches we receive;
some pure and true, while others may deceive,
still more may make us think, perhaps, a spell,
while some sweet few will kiss our hearts as well.

acceptance sounds so wise, so right, so fine,
but seems a crime on this side of the line —
for natural things we deal with as we must.
it’s cruel man, not nature, who’s unjust.

  but even cold enclosed within the dark,
  i’ll think of you, and still discern a spark

24 Indulgences – XX

Divorce: it is a word so full of pain,
He will not say it, nor will speak her name;
To lose so much – it cuts against his grain,
And all he knows to use is spite, and blame —

But, Lord — sometimes within the honest night,
He sees her as he knew her at the first,
And though the image fades with coming light,
It’s always there. A hunger, or a thirst

Reminding him of what he won’t admit:
That though he knows that she is gone for good,
He really doesn’t blame her — not a bit —
For doing what she had to do, and could.

  But when outside, he’ll wear his righteous pride:
  That thing he traded for, with his own bride