O’er the western sea she gleams,
the dawning sun in diamonds bright,
gold in silent solitude,
brilliant hopes adorned in white.
I stand upon the rolling hills
above the gentle sleeping bay,
wondering what’s become of you,
quietly wiping tears away.
To sea the dawning stretches west
across these verdant hills of green
that hide between the misty rills
cascading on to ends unseen.
O’er sleeping gentle wave below,
my heart gives rise to your return,
yet no reward of sailor’s share,
no treasure granted, no fires burned.
My brother! Oh brother!
Upon the deck your name is notched.
The boson softly calls eight bells.
Eight bells to end your watch.
Unto the depths your earth returns
upon eternal patrol,
in service to the ones you’ve loved
and those since called to roll.
Amidst the blinding glints of dawn
the bay stands still revealing you,
there upon the deck with pride,
your courage smiling through.
Peace be yours my brother.
Calm seas to you forever more.
To you we are indebted.
May you, dear sailor, rest your oars.
For my brother Mike – 21-Dec-1944 to 12-June-2015
United States Navy – Submarine Service
1962 – 1969
Ashes drift across the page,
smudged in ink that lies in rage
left loosened by these blotted stains,
so holds the moment thick.
I sit with silenced, emptied mind
denying few the words I find,
yet nothing blunts the pain
that bends these lays in pages sick.
There is no hope in honesty,
when to the last, emotions fail.
There is but lucid clarity,
that paints the final moments pale.
Flesh deprives the man behind.
Sickness ebbs the soul in kind,
but still the eagled spirit shines,
so baits us to the end.
Moments pass as prayers drift
until the spirits seeking, lift
his deity’s smoky lines,
that in our presence mend.
All life is left in moments played
between the poles of death and birth,
yet left perplexed in passing’s sum
we stand here heavy on this earth…
Waiting our return.
Poignantly paused in sullen stare,
her quiet embarks a journey there
that pulls a long red thread through time,
where memories’ stitch runs soft in rhyme,
yet for no other reason
this time alone entrapped.
With softened wing she tugs the line.
Her feathered breast gives rise in time.
I feel the very moments played
before the greying light and fade.
Drift I another season.
Cast still. Alone. Enrapt.
Hushed, her stare, from on the branch,
gives rise to childhood’s echoed glance,
repeats the southern wood and spring
where all my wonders held me king,
where once I could parlay
the heart of summer’s dream.
As whispered through a lilac breeze,
she tugs the string in playful tease,
that I into the courtyard’s dusk
find love in autumn’s deepest musk.
First blush by kiss belayed,
in love’s eternal scheme.
With fluttered tail and heaving breath
her red thread pulls the chord of death.
Beneath spring storm and somber sky,
raindrops blend the tears I cry
for love once found, now lost.
Remains to bless one rose.
Such quiet holds her mournful stare
that unto evening rends a tear,
that holds this grey and withered one
in faltered breath and setting sun.
A blue bird counts the cost.
Drift I in last repose.
Tiny tinsel twining there,
suspended in the evening light,
gathers dew as lovers drawn,
to feed the soul,
to feed the night.
Hearts across a universe,
descend the heavens,
defining dew drop’s kiss,
Yet angel’s wings are stranger things
when to the mortal touch be blessed,
shape a heart in labyrinth,
embracing hope with truth confessed.
But not of mortal love alone,
but of a simple heart’s desire
to warn the soul,
to kindle kind
the ashes of love’s fire.
that once has burned
within a mortal beating heart,
is lashed to love again,
until an angel takes the part
to free the anguish and the grief,
to carry life’s own burden grown,
to bear the weight and frame eternal,
to swiftly lift sweet love toward home.
Dew drops stacked in waiting,
upon the tiny tinsel there…
just souls in longing love’s return,
suspended in the evening air…
Silence stands the dew to cream at edge of marsh and woods.
Moonlight floods the vacant dale where once just shadows stood.
Haunting shapes of silver mist distort beneath the full moon’s play,
granting fear in solace kept as through their fluid motion stays
the pearled spark of dew drops, the subtle light enrapt to hold
the early summer’s bidding night into the realm of whispers bold.
Upon the knoll a single shape in silhouette does rise,
gathers form to seek the moon, relenting night in mournful cries
of calls once lost in solitude, of beckoning home in wayward howls,
of only what a lonely wolf will share with moonlight’s owls.
Tis here my memory stills itself, tis here I wait to hear returns
of full moons song ‘neath summer’s skies, returning solace I so yearn.
The open road awaits… it’s lone white line in beckoned call, sings of freedom, pulls me straight and long through curves of blackened sand, culls the bitter from my hand, sweeps my soul o’er hill and dale past bleached white laundry’s dancing sail…
Or is this dream’s impatient flirt a haunt these asphalt memories kept?
Is summer’s hope a burgeoned ghost that from the highway’s berm has crept?
Broken lines in blur and dance, count a rhythm’s hymn of trance upon the aging county road that gives no heed to faster calls, yet courts my sole desire, honed by aging signs of rust, guiding posts and points in trust rekindling age old fire.
As the v-twin roars along, my soul rejoins its freedom song that clears the purpose from this ride, stands my truth where none can hide, so drives my soul to run. That long beneath the summer elms, upon the two lane’s sacred realm my histories’ call to waken me, my ancient past explorer free and to the long white line succumb.
The open road awaits…
At edge of evening’s solitude I pause to seek the fade,
stretched through every molecule and every breath I trade.
It clings to shadows, soften edged. It claims the ether, still.
It thieves the color from the room and blinds the window sill.
My patience feels eternal, midst the smoke that laps my furrowed brow.
Yet here I’ll hold my vigil, calm, redressed in wine, birthed in now.
Not a single trace belies the beating of my heart,
just the gentle padding rain that balances my part.
My part, that is, that here I play in quiet room and pause;
one conscience wandering twixt the thoughts of night and evening’s cause.
Oh gracious time eternal, hold the calm from beating fast,
that by this time suspended draws the fade to drift at last.
At last between the rings of smoke lapped in tongue of fire’s sum,
o’er the luscious nectar’s poise that starts my dreaming heart to run.
Stem my patience fatter than distraction’s playful tugs do pull,
past this moment’s whispered laughter to greet the quiet, kiss the lull.
To the day my reverence, my thanks and gracious praise,
that now the fade has drawn me in, has wicked the ink to pages’ lays.
Quiet, oh, my heart repeats the love of life in patience known,
that grants elixir’s solitude amongst the fade and smoke rings grown.