Friday, December 23, 2011

The Winter of Our Love

Remember in the spring when our love,

Was so sparkly fresh and clean,

Everything we did was perfect,

Nothing could ever come between,

From that budding of our love,

Which later fueled our lust,

We were united against the world,

But with each other willing to adjust,

That summer our love deepened,

It became full and rich and ripe,

We wrote poems and sang songs,

You were such the romantic type,

I couldn’t get enough of you,

You were my very best friend,

We shared our hearts and our world,

We believed love would never end,

Then came the falling autumn leaves,

As we harvested the love we planted,

But because life kept us on the go, 

We took each other for granted,

It was a time to look back and contemplate,

To see if all of our goals were met,

We realized there was much more to life,

And we hadn’t reached it yet,

Then came the harshness of love,

When all warmth was met by ice,

There was utter chaos in our lives,

And our love did not suffice,

Winter brought our love near death,

Which promoted worries and fear,

We were anxious to recreate our youth,

And hold on to all that was dear,

Winter changed our outward mien,

Though my heart yet held desire,

I thought a younger woman might hold me tight,

But she couldn’t light my fire,

My winter love waited alone,

Until finally you went on your way,

If you return there’s love I would give,

If your ice will melt away,

Remember the goals we shared,

As we reaped the dreams of gold,

We thought spring would always be here,

And we would never grow old,

Through the years our lives have changed,

We didn’t feed the fire and let our hearts grow cold,

If we once again let our imaginations flame,

We might rekindle what grew old.

Death and Destruction

I chose to be open, knowing what could happen right from the start,

Without the protection of stone walls I had a vulnerable heart,

And when death and destruction arrived on the very same day,

I took them in voluntarily, that’s all I can say,

My heart was unguarded and death’s attack was swift,

Vicious puncture wounds were left and the sudden lift,

Blood draining, life waning, in the aftermath was fear,

Destruction’s devices were different, slow, abrasive, and clear,

Humiliation, fear of being left, or not being good enough,

My heart struggled to find even ground, somewhere out of the rough,

Without someone to lean upon I searched for ways to reach the sky,

But loneliness filled my nights while my unfulfilled dreams marched by,

Yet when mornings brought the sun I smiled as I soaked in the heat,

Each day I faced the world again with many experiences to greet,

Neither love’s demise nor slow destruction would pin me for long,

I was determined to love again for my heart still pounded strong,

Though wave after wave had crashed against my heart’s core,

I still stood, a lighthouse beaming from the ravished shore,

As I round another turn, it’s clear what lies ahead,

I could wind up with the roses, or eat dust again instead,

Love will forward surge even beyond the finish pole,

For I will give what it takes to reach my own true goal,

Love marches on with opportunities life so freely gives,

I’ll stay the course and keep on track, for love in my heart still lives.

Santa's Surprise (another version)

Twas the night before Christmas and all across the yard,

Not a creature was stirring, a German Shepherd was on guard,

Everyone was in bed, secure in their sleep,

All dreams were about Christmas, no worries too deep,

Presents were wrapped and scattered around the tree,

The presents were for the children, Emma, and me,

I had just walked the dogs several blocks or more,

They were calmer now so I hung their leashes by the door,

I was sitting at my computer for I had poems to write,

When I heard a few growls, a snap, and a bite,

Two German shepherds had been my only alarm,

Now someone had entered, perhaps with an intent to harm,

I grabbed my Glock and raced to the tree,

Wondering what kind of scene awaited me,

A red suited man stood with his back to the wall,

He made no moves while the shepherds waited my call,

The back of his pants was torn by a bite,

They’d be a bit drafty the rest of the night,

“Your dogs are vicious, they bit and I’ll sue,”

He sputtered obscenities until his face was blue,

His eyes widened suddenly as he saw the gun,

And I realized right then I could have some fun,

“It seems to me you’ve invaded my space,

And I’ve a right to protect my family and place,

Since you come and go as if it doesn’t matter,

This time you’re wrong for I’m a mad hatter,”

His eyes were still wide as he studied my face,

“Perhaps my remarks were a bit out of place,”

“I’ve still got places to go and people to see,

Would you call off the dogs and let me be,

I’m a little tense from traveling all night,

I apologize for my temper, and I’ll make things right,”

With one hand signal the dogs were released from patrol,

They romped around Santa although under control,

He gave each dog some chews and a bag full of toys,

Then he skipped around the tree without any noise,

Stockings were filled with all kinds of games,

Carefully marked with everyone’s names,

Then up the chimney he rose in a hurry,

For outside the weather had changed to snow flurries,

I praised the dogs lavishly for guarding the house well,

No intruders could enter without encountering hell,

I slipped back to bed without writing a bit,

I didn’t tell Emma because she wouldn’t believe it,

“Now Brutus, now Killer, now Ty and Wolf,

Each one of you to your posts and guard the roof,

Santa might come back and give it another try,

Watch out for invaders that either walk or fly,

And then I lay down with Emma at my side,

I was still thinking of my dogs with pride,

When Emma said, “Merry Christmas and now goodnight,

Did you put the lid down and turn out the light?”

You’d think I’d remember each routine task,

Just once without her having to ask,

The dogs are restless and there’s no need to talk,

I know it’s late but the dogs have to walk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas by the Forest

He wasn’t a mean man but he was grumpy at times,

He lived alone and liked to write poetry that rhymed,

His house, next to a forest, had a very pleasant view,

He wasn’t very happy though he had much to do,

He was often forgotten, his children lived far away,

They, too, said they were busy, and they’d visit someday,

His days were empty of meaning, his nights full of screams,

What was he living for, the world had taken his dreams,

A miracle was needed to soften his heart, he couldn’t turn life back,

If he could help someone, his life would be back on track,

His heart did not hear the tears or feel the anguished pain,

As a family nearby called out in the cold and chilling rain,

Five children stranded in the night watched as their mother died,

They huddled and quietly prayed, after their tears had dried,

Harsh reality took the stage as they looked at their papa to lead,

But things change rapidly at times, life is so hard to read,

Their father could not help, for this country was not his home,

He had to leave, he was banned, no longer could he roam,  

Five children with no one, determined to reach a goal,

Could they survive a world so cruel and the winter cold,

They gathered and prayed once more, nothing else they could do,

No money, no parents, their hope should have been gone too,

The oldest daughter took charge, said they would go out swinging,

They sloshed through the snow, their angelic voices ringing,

Their voices carried through the night and across the snowy wood,

Where a man waited for a miracle, where he could do some good,

The man rose to hear this group and its cheerful sound,

He wondered why they were the only joyful group around,

He heard their songs and invited the five in, to sit before the fire,

They smiled when he told them they sounded like a heavenly choir,

Then he asked about their parents, then asked what will they do,

His heart was touched, “Please stay,” he urged, “I have rooms with a view,”

His house had been quiet far too long,

He needed to fill it with happy songs,

When he asked them to stay a miracle occurred for them,

And when they said yes a miracle occurred for him,

Christmas by the forest changed his life within,

Christmas by the forest meant their lives had a chance to begin.

Watch Out, Mr. Wolf!

Watch Out, Mr. Wolf!

Cinderella sat on a pumpkin,

Having a spot of tea,

Oh, so dainty she appeared,

Naïve and sweet was she,

A big bad wolf came along,

And spotted the lady fair,

He was so smooth this villain he,

He brushed back his hair,

“My what big pumpkins you have,”

His words unctuous and fluid,

“Oh, are you going to be nice?”

Yet the opposite was understood,

She enticed him with a smile,

The wolf just continued to stare,

He really wanted nothing of her,

Except to escort her to his lair,

“Um, yes, I think I could sit awhile,

And enjoy an afternoon tea,

After that I’d like to show you around,

Would you accompany me?”

“I’ll mull that over as we talk,

For I’ve a question or two,

I’ve heard rumors that you’ve been bad,

Now, is that really true?”

She was wiser than he wanted,

He’d have to be cautious and slick,

But her eyes looked wide and innocent,

Would she fall for his tricks?

She said, “I have pekoe just for you,

So come and sit with me,

We’ll talk all afternoon,

While we drink our special tea,”

She found him quite charming,

As they drank cup after cup,

But inside she knew his roving eyes,

Wanted to eat her up,

She kept him at bay all afternoon,

But on a pumpkin beneath a tree,

He found what he was looking for,

Love and happiness, and a spot of tea,

Afternoon teas became the norm,

But other wolves thought it strange,

That the baddest wolf of all,

Had found a home on the range,

It goes to show that appearances deceive,

And not all is as it seems,

For that big bad untamed wolf,

Had long been in her dreams,

It was always a question bandied about,

Why the wolf changed his drink to tea,

That’s just one of the mysteries of love,

That’s the way it seems to be.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrating Christmas


I often feel like I’m going the wrong way,

On a one-way street,

Dodging all the others who have a direction,

Whether it’s good or bad,

It doesn’t seem to matter,

I’m a salmon going downstream,

Wondering why others are in a frantic pace,

Fighting against the current,

Or maybe I’m the one who didn’t get the memo,

Or I got it too late,

Or the one who gets the lump of coal at Christmas,

Instead of fancy gifts,

Why do I feel I’m the only one,

Screaming alone, when I should be,

Celebrating Christmas.

This time of year,

 I can change some of those feelings,

 Of being alone,

Of being unwanted,

Or neglected,

I can give clothing to the needy,

Visit those who are in prison or who are sick,

Give food and drink to those who go hungry,

And I can really celebrate Christmas,

By doing things for others,

And become a positive force,

In my town, my country,

And in my world.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part 3/3)

Rhonda said, “If I had lived in a wild west border town,

My man wouldn’t have been riding around gunning people down,

He would have been a farmer, a preacher, or someone grand,

He wouldn’t have carried a weapon to prove he was a man,”

I said, “Women were tough and sometimes wore guns and a cowboy hat,

More like Annie Oakley or Belle Starr or someone like that,”

“You’re right,” Rhonda agreed, “In every role women passed the test,

They stood beside their men and civilized the west,”

I was glad Bill got up and added another log to the fire,

The log burst into flames and sent sparks higher and higher,

Because something behind me took a few steps back,

Considering now if it would still be a good time to attack,

Rhonda was weary and ready to slip into her tent,

But I fervently urged her to wait, and finally she did relent,

She thought it was the stories, but I could imagine what we might find,

If she was alone and unprotected and the unknown thing decided to dine,

Bill was ready and anxious to tell his story for it was late,

And if Bill waited for tomorrow we might not learn the young man’s fate,

“This young man had earned several advances in rank,

His bravery saved many lives and they had him to thank,

Several towns later he again played a brave part,

He took down some snipers and earned a “Purple heart”,

Wounded and bleeding he stayed with his troop,

He felt protective and responsible for all in his group,

When the war was over he became a good priest,

For he had fought his inner demon and conquered the beast,”

Bill’s story gave me courage to face what was unseen,

While everyone watched I prepared for this terrible hidden fiend,

I could sense its location, I had been aware all night long,

Now I was ready to send it back to where it belonged,

I leaped into the air and made myself as large as I knew how,

Something ran towards me, that evil thing turned out to be a cow,

Now what I did so unexpectedly gave everyone a fright,

Then they laughed so hard, no one could sleep all night,

They insisted I stay up all night and share my scary tale,

And I told them about a gigantic monster that I knew so well,

At break of dawn along the path we started to depart,

But blocking our way was the cow and it lay ripped apart,

Huge footprints were evident all over the ground,

We hurried along and not one of us made a sound,

I knew then that my feelings inside had been right,

Something out there had waited for us last night,

I can’t ignore the mysteries that abound,

And I’ve noticed things others might never have found,

My stories have often proven to be true,

And friends wonder what would ensue,

If I shared a story about something really good,

Would they be willing to share tales again in the woods,

Or are they afraid that I see with an inner eye,

For my visions often prove to be true, I am a poet, aren’t I?

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part 2/3)

Connie was anxious to begin part two, so right on cue her story continued,

“The knight awoke at dawn and struggled to his feet,

He remembered most of his dream but it was not complete,

He had seen the beautiful princess, afraid and locked away,

On his journey he continued, no temptations led him astray,

He had been warned by the fairies, “the queen do not trust,

She’ll try to deceive you and have you put to death if she must,

The queen is more dangerous than she might appear,

So before you get too close, it’s wise to disappear,”

The knight approached the castle, wary and unseen,

He wanted to release the princess from the clutches of the queen,

The queen was alert and saw a shadow on the wall,

“You’re no match for me,” she chuckled, “I’ll catch you in the hall,”

Her guards were summoned in case he tried to resist,

They captured him and the queen decided to give him a kiss,

While the princess watched so her spirit would break,

But the spell by the fairies made a kiss the queen’s last mistake,

Her sister, the witch, waited anxiously at the keep,

She vowed the knight would die and the princess would weep,

The witch devised a wicked, evil plan,

One that would not be refused by an ordinary man,

She changed herself into a princess, perfect in every way,

The knight would not resist her charms as she asked him to stay,

But the fairies’ spell made the knight a different kind of bloke,

Too late she realized the danger but she still went up in smoke,

The knight was shocked how things were turning out,

He wanted to kiss the princess but he had a lot of doubt,

Two kisses and two women, nothing left of them to find,

If the same happened to the princess he was sure he’d lose his mind,

The princess rode with him and when they stopped in the wood,

The fairies explained the spells and he finally understood,

Ten thousand kisses later he’s still kissing strong,

The princess does her magic and his heart to her belongs,”

As Connie finished her story her eyes were filled with tears,

“If I could get that kind of love, I’d wait a thousand years,”

Jim was impatient, he hated stories about romance,

While Connie sobbed, he jumped at his chance,

“It was ‘red sails in the morning,

Sailors take warning,’

Yet because the sky and water looked calm and inviting,

Weather was ignored and the sailors dreamed of a life exciting,

Rum, women, maybe a ship or two, there was much to do,

But in the afternoon the wind howled and the waves grew,

They raced towards land, hoping to be safe ashore,

But the storm took control and they were safe no more,

As the waves crashed over the bow,

One sailor yelled, “What are we going to do now?”

It was time to take action by saving the ship,

The seamen had to do something to give death the slip,

They threw over their cannon, their food, and rum (their only pleasure),

Even with the storm’s increasing intensity, they waited to toss the treasure,

The ship broke up, being pounded by the relentless waves,

Survivors later found the treasure and hid it in caves,

Within everyone’s reach but hidden away,

There it remains until this very day,

Someday a storm will leave it in plain view,

Wouldn’t that be great if it happened to you?”

“Oh, I forgot about the death ship that still sails,

Perhaps another time I’ll tell that tale,”

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part1/3)

My heart beat faster one warm summer night,

When four friends and I exchanged tales around a fire,

Connie leaned forward in her chair,

“There are fairies dancing there,

Around the old oak tree,

A place that’s magical for them and me,”

Her brown smoldering eyes held me still,

I searched their depths until I had my fill,

“Fairies cast spells on strangers passing through,

Using their magic to make dreams come true,”

Connie, her raven black hair shining in the moonlight,

Said, “I’ll tell you more, later in the night,”

Jim cleared his throat, glanced at the others, then at me,

“I’ll tell you a story about terror at sea,

Of pirates who changed from their plundering ways,

Experienced old salts brave and crusty as they be,

Who saved their own lives by tossing treasures into the sea,”

He paused for a moment to catch his breath,

“Then I’ll close with a ship named ‘DEATH’,”

Rhonda stood up and with a shy little grin,

 “I want to tell you about heroic women and their wild, wild men,

How they conquered the West with love, tears, and sweat,

Overcame their fears and stood up to threats,”

Bill couldn’t resist telling about wars with blood and gore,

“Freedom is always worth fighting for,”

He hesitated as if he wanted his words to sink in,

“There’s a change as boys become men,

Cannons boom constantly and tanks shake their world around,

Every man becomes braver as he crosses contested ground,”

I listened and waited to share a truth that was stark,

 I wanted to tell them about danger that lurked in the dark,

My story had been forgotten and I lost my chance to speak,

For growls were getting closer and my stomach was getting weak,

I gasped and stuttered but nothing they could understand,

They continued with their stories as I wrung my hands,

Connie looked at me apprehensively, as if I was mad,

“I see you’re preparing your story, but your acting is bad,”

There were murmurs of agreement as she continued her tale,

“The fairies were delighted to find one day,

A knight tired from his journey, under the oak he lay,

On his way to the castle he had fallen asleep,

His mission was to rescue a princess from the keep,

The fairies laughed, they danced, they cast a spell,

They wanted their magic to serve him well,

For he would soon face the witch and the evil queen,

Brave knights who’d gone before were never again seen,

The fairies wove a multi-colored cloak from spider webs and dew,

If he wore it at the castle it would hide him from view,

A second spell they bestowed before he awoke,

The next two he kissed would go up in smoke,”

Her story was entertaining and the fire was going out,

But Jim looked sullen and was beginning to pout,

“Go ahead, Jim,” I said, “I’ll throw more wood on the fire,

Continue your story about the treasures pirates aquire,”

Uneasily I studied the woods for the terror it contained,

While my friends shared the fire and with stories entertained,

“After a brief skirmish with one of the king’s battleships,

The pirates disappeared into the fog and gave them the slip,

They plundered the coast, found treasures to steal,

Escaped angry husbands, had rum and good meals,

The tars watched a hundred sunsets as they traveled by boat,

Then the pirates crossed the Atlantic to lands remote,

Found Spanish ships loaded with gold from the new world received,

The pirates fired their cannons and the gold relieved,

And off they sailed thinking they were safe from harm,

But a hurricane was brewing and no one sounded the alarm,”

While he gathered his breath to go on with his tale,

Rhonda couldn’t wait one minute longer,

“The men in my story were strong, but the women were stronger,

From Boston and New York the men went west,

Looking for adventure, for gold, or land at its best,

Towns sprang up overnight with guns making the law,

It was easy to be dead or quick on the draw,

The last place of civilization was named Kansas City,

Men venturing west beyond that were given no pity,

Uncivilized, untamed, life always in the rough,

If a woman dared go west she had to be tough,

She plowed by day, ran her household by candlelight,

Bore her babies at home, and fought for her rights,

In the fields or on the porch she carried a gun,

But in the bedroom at night most battles were won,

Those feisty women changed each odious law,

Against those in petticoats stubborn men would withdraw,”

“A nice history lesson, Rhonda,” Bill said, “Now it’s my turn,

There was a young man who had much about war to learn,

Both sides agreed about Christmas Day, so soldiers ceased fire,

No guns were deadly as they crossed over barbed wire,

Troops celebrated together but before the sun went down,

Soldiers took their positions and prepared for another round,

Deadly combat began early the next day,

Friends became enemies, no mercy did they display,

This young man, eighteen at most, charged a machine gun nest,

Dodged bullets as he ran, but was more scared than the rest,

He was tired of seeing his friends shot down,

So he dashed across and conquered the ground,

He didn’t want to be a hero but what else could he do,

The war was not over and his job was not through,”

Stories of fairies, heroic women, war and the sea,

Were all suspended while my friends waited for me,

All the people in these stories marched upon imagination’s stage,

Yet a few feet away, more than enough to fill a page,

There was a story ready to unfold,

About a creature hungry and bold,

Perhaps I was the only one who could see,

Those long fangs and those eyes glaring at me,

I had listened and waited and I wanted to share,

But I was transfixed by that malevolent stare,

I wanted to ask if this was but a dream,

Because if it was real, I needed to scream,

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