in silence sat we, pleasured in her book,
a summer on the edge of autumn chill —
a scholar’s life so measured, then we took
a balancing of glass, a motor skill —
when she was why, because of being who,
we lived our words, and did what we could do.
for my Orlando was she Rosalind,
in days pentametered by word and touch,
and time most perfect to my mind stays pinned
when underfed, and thinking overmuch,
the scene within my cinema plays false —
a drama in three acts within four walls,
as scalable as masks we stretch, then doff,
like foolish dreams, and love, and fridays off
Any truth contained in this poem is strictly unintentional. – Owen
And like so many rich girls that he’d known,
She thought that she could ‘fix’ him with her love;
But he knew, soon, that her mind would be blown –
He thought he’d felt what she’d been dreaming of —
He didn’t used to be this sort of guy,
But recklessness had come with pure intent;
These rich girls never knew the reasons why,
Wrapped up in their cocoons, so innocent
He knew the path, he didn’t step amiss,
And what she swore she’d never, ever do
Was left behind the seventh kind of kiss,
With every pore awake, and breathing through
Manipulators are the very worst —
But frequently, they tend to be the first
I woke this morning heavy in the thought
Of what it was when you were in the room;
And though these many years have changes wrought,
Your scent’s still in the air, your presence felt.
The dead still brushing by me in my day
With more of wistfulness than nearing doom:
As sense and mem’ry twine in interplay,
Amid the daily cards that I am dealt.
But how you shaped me those long years ago,
The threads of yours that weaved into my loom,
These make up who I am – and will, although
The solar heat of age my mind will melt.
I hope, amid my soul’s infirmity
That you’re not disappointed, now, with me
(“The Weight of Memory” – 7-14-2015)
The day has come and gone, and so has he.
The light now slanting in is old and gray:
It chides the night in gentle mockery,
And bids the youngish man awhile to stay.
The boy who roamed these halls those years ago:
He lengthened, broadened, moved out of his shell;
He didn’t need direction from a man
Who treated family grim, and no one well.
But once this place was busy with success –
And with eyes closed he hears the sounds again:
How pride was once a fortress of excess,
And blackened hearts admired among men.
His father’s life: a pyrrhic victory:
That day has come and gone,
If he was everything they thought he’d be,
He’d be a better man than he turned out:
A waste of such potentiality,
So many demons never put to rout
So lade with talent, yet so much unused,
He’s satisfied himself with merely some;
A garden that’s neglected, or abused,
A summer promised that will never come
And if upon this earth you stumble on
Him, as he goes, be-slouched along his way;
You’ll catch the whiff of something almost gone,
Of distant hopes that long since had their day
So virtue is its own reward, they tell:
And vice is its own punishment, as well
When that day comes, I will have tried my best
To ready you for it, and any test
That comes your way in years I will not see;
The days of you beyond these days with me.
My child, the only words I have are these:
You’ve made me proud with all you’ve done and said.
But leaves must one day drop off from their trees,
For by return-to-dirt are many fed.
I know I once was strong and have grown weak,
And addled much these days have I become:
Accepting now of fingers turning numb,
And eyes that cease to see what hearts still seek.
So please, remember what I’m speaking of:
With love, acceptance; with acceptance — love
We sat and ate Korean in this place
that sits amid the poorer part of town,
with Al Jazeera on the tv screen,
and folks of every age and place of birth
And after eating, as we sought the car,
a homeless man, who once fought in the war,
approached us for a word. He said that he
lived outdoors now – the V.A. was no help –
We gave him all the cash we had, but he
said that he did not want it; but, instead,
that he would say a blessing for us there,
for although poor in money, rich in grace
was he. Who owns ideas – and who owns men?
He asked – I do not know –
(Originally posted 3-13-2016 – Owen)