Poetry

My passion for writing original showed itself in the same way as many other writers . . . in short stories and poetry. My earliest short story, at least that I can remember, was Leonardo's Great Balloon Ride. Written in elementary school, the less than likely situation of a Ninja Turtle with samurai swords riding around in a hot air balloon did not dawn on me. I wrote past the class time and finished it for homework, scribbling each line past the margins of my notebook paper and curling the sentences down the side of the page before finally starting again on the next line. I should have known then that writing was both a blessing and a curse that I could not escape.

In middle and high school I moved on to poetry. It is a great way to truly get out your feelings and relive events in your life years later, each line of words cradling your emotions like a comforting cup of sweet liquor, forever waiting to be sipped. As we all know, adolescence is a time of heightened emotions, of loves gained and lost and so many firsts. Over the years I continued, even writing songs for a band in my youth. The band didn't go anywhere, and I've never done much with my poetry. It has simply been a personal exercise in finding peace. (Ironically, my wife Marsha's poetry has been awarded prizes.) Like many readers I enjoy reading a great deal of poetry, especially Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and Stephen Crane, better known for his classic novel The Red Badge of Courage. Although considered one of his lesser accomplishments, to me Crane's poetry holds so much more emotion and depth than his literature. His books are quite good but nothing like his poetry. For that very reason, I figured my poetry might speak to people and possibly help them through their own rough times. As a passionate educator, if I can help anyone to overcome and learn, it is the least I can do.

So here are a few of my own. They are all personal, which for me is essential. However, some of the following were actually written for friends and family. Maybe you will like them. Maybe you won't. If not, thanks for at least giving them a look. If you enjoy the poems, feel free to try one of my books or my co-written short story anthology Strange Circumstances. Also, check out some of the famous poets I mentioned above. They are incredible, and I'm sure you'll find something you enjoy.


Lost Sanity

Shifting in a sea of storms,
Waves tossing, my boat rocking,
Crashing waves rip at my sides,
Yet I hold on . . . for my heart, my soul.
I feel the rush, my heart pumping,
Beating away at my chest like a hammer,
Loudly in my ears, my head, my breast.
I hold tight to the rope, all hope lost,
Fighting frantically for a chance, no care for cost.

I see a light, solitary and true,
Up above, in the sky’s odd hue.
Luna, she knows
My pain, my sorrow, my woes.
She knows of my longing, my constant desires.
She hears my cry as the rope breaks free.
Sensing my love, her courage sours above
To save a lonesome man, on bending knee.

My body slides about--over the edge it flees,
Yet my eyes remain focused through the harsh breeze.
I find my hope, my salvation,
But cannot stop wishing it could be,
That this glowing halo, this ancient sign,
Could be my angel, my valentine.

Could Cupid’s arrow have struck so deep
As to hollow a place for misery to sleep,
Waiting for the time to come
When I am lost, undone?

Could it be true? Could this angel be
My heaven, my grace, my felicity?
Will she show me her heart, open my eyes?
Can I keep on looking through the murky tides?

Oh Luna, sweet Luna, can you not feel my need?
I miss the one dearest to me.


Missing Cup of Jo

While the sis is away fightin’,
we couldn’t help but delight-in
a trendy cup of joe.

But each morn we take a sip,
the sweet aroma touches the lip,
and we can’t help the flutter
of memory’s wafting mutters.
A tear for our missing Jo.

So take care on wings above,
parting clouds like a dove.
Watch your six,
and look out for your mix,
of friends shoutin’ aloud and so gung-ho.

Glue those eyes to the screen
for those bogeys lookin’ mean.
‘Cause if you go a’missin’,
and with St. Peter you’re a’sittin’,
I’ll walk a rainbow to his door
and drag you through the floor
of clouds marching below.

We miss you down on Earth,
this tremulous place of birth.
A tear for our airborne Tiffany Jo.


Melody of Marriage

Tis your moment, without further ado,
When life’s melody begins its celebration,
For love has musically intertwined you.

Joining hands and trading words so true,
When you forge a bond, forever unbroken.
Tis your moment, without further ado.

Whispering sweet nothings as you woo,
When you promise all you can imagine,
For love has musically intertwined you.

Friends and family gather, waiting for their cue,
When a petal-strewn aisle announces your perfect union.
Tis your moment, without further ado.

Pealing bells and jubilance paint the sky blue,
When romance blossoms and each gift’s given,
For love has musically intertwined you.

Smiling faces and teary eyes celebrate what’s new,
When your wedded vows are spoken.
Tis your moment, without further ado,
For love has musically intertwined you.


A Remembered Love

Love is the way of joy and laughter.
Love is the way of the child.
Love is the way the innocents play
When God comes tumbling after.


Nature's Eyes

Shepherds tending to their flock walk out amongst us--
Woolen let out to pasture,
Feeding on short-lived, silent lives.
Each individual whispers to the next
Of what they’ve seen, who has passed,
And how many days crossed the sky.

Seemingly insignificant as the shepherd’s crook stomps them down,
Second by second, minute by minute,
With each step he takes.
These innocent blades have seen the past
As only our great minds can dream.
Still we are the ones who question the validity of our beliefs and past.

Yet they go on,
Prevalent always and always unnoticed,
Constantly reaching for him whom they saw centuries before:
The man they call without question,
The creator of Mother Nature.


Shore-Side Memories

Treading through waters, waves break and caress
the soles of our feet. We float along the tide's kiss.
Time's lost, as though only a minute more.
You say you miss the days we spent at shore.

Each day I long for a picture of you
to refresh my mind, memory renewed.
Fondly, think back on our waking moments--
marriage new, pristine, like curling currents.

Here's one for you, forever and a day,
to keep by your side, think of me as you may.
The nights together we went to explore,
You say you miss the days we spent at shore.

Intertwined, we spin the world anew,
merged like gleaming globes of morning dew.


Father Time

Autumn days come and pass,
slowly rolling onward.
The sun beats down upon a crown.
Leaves and twigs surround us.

Spring Flowers bloom and glisten at noon.
A newborn child smiles at its mother.
Butterfly wings flow like gossamer gowns,
and the wind swirls around us.

Encircled by a touch quite dry,
Little birds fall down and stare,
at the man who touched the land
and left a desolate affair.

Wreathed in death but cloaked in life,
the crowned soldier touched the light.
Down fell leaf, bird and tree
only to form a circlet.

There once was a man who held a crown
that glimmered sweet triumphant.


The Lantern

Golden polish gleams brightly
as the flame flickers in its tiny cell,
Casting shadows across the pavement and beggars below.

This solitary light,
like all living things, dims as the flame begins to dwindle.
Time passes and polish begins to flake, but still the flame burns,
though less bright and low.

Darkness creeps in and beggars turn to mumbling shadows.
The dying light from this disfigured candle
continues to break free of its old lantern shell.
Formed cracks cast eerie shadows on the pavement below.

As the decades pass, the lantern is taken down
from its street-corner perch,
retired to the darkness and isolation
of a lonesome, aging man's attic,
never to be lit again.

With a pang of sorrow I frown as I place the dim, chipped lantern
onto the shelf, knowing my time will come soon enough.


Destinations

Through life I go,
Oh so alone,
With no place to call home.

Like a drowned pebble I tumble and roll,
My future unknown,
But still I drift,
With the knowledge that I will eventually meet the sea.
This is my consolation--
The knowledge that eventually life will end.

All who are different will be judged,
Our lives no longer clear,
Will be smudged by God’s ever-constant thumb,
Our slates wiped clean
As we walk through the gate,
Never to walk again.

Slowly with God’s faith we wake up,
Stretch our graceful wings,
And look to the light,
Which is neither ending nor beginning,
But the inevitable destination of life.


Prepare to Make Castles in Soft Sands

Prepare to make Castles in soft sands.
Break the bonds that hold you ceaseless, silent.
Heighten your life, as you travel the land.

Childhood missing, like writing on your hand.
Smeared scribbles washed away, leaving no hint.
Prepare to make Castles in soft sands.

Follow your heart, for apart you will stand.
Heed your calling to end the discontent.
Heighten your life, as you travel the land.

Sample the world as though ‘twere a newsstand.
Treasure life’s pleasures with no concealment.
Prepare to make Castles in soft sands.

Slake your thirst from the college’s right hand.
Fountains of knowledge nodding the current.
Heighten your life, as you travel the land.

Step in to the horizon’s vibrant bands.
Go take in the journey, please do consent.
Prepare to make Castles in soft sands.
Heighten your life, as you travel the land.


Sonnet for a Beloved Mother

Mother Dearest, Mother Dearest, do you know?
Shallow dreams, thoughts askew, searching, withdrawn,
Fleeting murmurs, hoping a figment might show.
Memoirs swim and thoughts glimmer, gleam, gone.

Foretell destiny’s hope of life blissful,
For I know not my thoughts, but seek clarity.
Filled is my cup of hazy dream puddles.
Distorted dew drops are my memories.

Like a glass lens focusing life’s vistas,
Ambiguity suspended--a picture.
Grasping time’s ruler, meaning gives pause.
Memories revolve, feelings of another.

Patterned dew drops leave history revealed--
Swirling thoughts of a mother, beloved.


The People We Meet

Where we dare to tread is fraught with temptations.
Some walk tall, while others with reservations.
But through it all we find something in kind,
A blessing by choice or fate, a trait we keep in mind--
The banter of those we met along the way.

Passionate pleas and hearts of sadness,
Reveal to us the inner light and gladness,
Held within the hands of people across the land,
Who helped us to grow and discover what it means to be a man--
The banter of those we met along the way.

They thread their way through our changing lives,
Piling high the bricks and mortar from which we strive,
To build character and affection in the hands we are dealt.
We sample their lives in passing, stitching memories into quilts--
The banter of those we met along the way.

At life’s crossings we find the few we cherish and hold dear,
Who have added to our quilted lives and are always near.
Randy was a man, a friend, a hero who will live on
In the patterned quilts of my future son--
The banter of those we met along the way.


(In memory of Randy Reevis: a man, a friend, and a hero who stitched himself into my life and helped me become the man I am today.)


Merry Christmas, Grandma!

Grandmother dearest, we’re glad you’re here,
Treasuring every second you are near.
Sharing this feeling of happiness and love,
But only once a year,
Time flying on the wings of a dove.

Christmas trees, wreaths, and holly,
A snow-bearded man gives out lollies.
Children run, scream, and laugh,
Many playing with their dollies.
Wind and snow cover the hills.

Seasons Greetings some shall say,
Holiday Wishes to you this day,
Passing the time with company and care,
While we all take a knee and pray.
The pleasure of the whole family is rare.

Merry Christmas, Grandma!


Collegiate Focus

Questions circulate.
What has been missed?
Will it be found, tried, fulfilled?

Outcomes unclear,
Destiny unknown,
Sinking seems inevitable.

Failure to float,
Failure to finish,
Failure . . . unavoidable.

Jobs tried,
Careers applied,
Certification denied.

Outcomes unclear,
Destiny unknown,
Sinking seems inevitable.

Failure to float,
Failure to finish,
Failure . . . unavoidable.

Choices made, avenues tried,
Destiny hazy, obscured,
but I, sanguine.

Self realization acquired,
Destiny and fulfillment desired,
Further education required.

Education found,
Self confidence achieved,
Enlightenment received.

Livelihood found,
Love destined.
Laughter and life abounds.

Goals, failure, success,
The journey achieved.


Inequality in Oz

Tender tendrils of clouds drift down
like the lingering fingers of God
playing in a world of pudding.

The grass beneath me
tingles, tickles, prods my skin,
alerting me to the tendrils above,
pointing the way to Oz.

"Follow the yellow brick road," they say.
I see no road--no bricks--nothing to follow.

Fields of rolling hills lay before me,
tossing the people, animals, and trees
as though they were lice to be rid of.

I rise, tense under the bulging sun,
and gaze at the horizon as a futile destination,
a dream of eternity,
unattainable beneath such weight.

"Follow the yellow brick road," they say.
I see no feet--feel no legs--can find no escape.

Clouds boil, tendrils tingling as thunder cracks overhead.
Droplets fall, hitting my head and face,
splattering my skin with cold, liquid shrapnel.

I lie back down,
succumbing to the world's laws of inequality
as the clouds drift past,
leaving me behind.

"Follow the yellow brick road," they say.
But I can't--stockings shrivel--toes curl.


Thank you for reading. I hope you've enjoyed my poems.

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