This pen, condemned to write long hand
twixt static lines immutable.
I dream in screams, enslaved demand,
until no whim’s refutable.
I drift between the penny thoughts that eons’ scars have tarnished green.
I search for lasting reverence to bath the mind in dreams unseen.
Then one, by one, the pen strokes lay
their theoried marks across the page.
Yet I, denied the truth they play
o’er temporal poles of peace and rage.
I watch the sloppy arcs of ink strive to drive a purposed thought.
I hear the rhythmed scratching nib stroke the paper’s lust here sought.
My hand, demands some false control
that I may feel these arcs are mine.
Yet so, I know it guides my soul,
entreating purpose form this blind.
That I behind this pen in shadow steal a glimpse of ink and prose,
conjured form this poet’s ether, released afield by arcs it throws.
What stands before the path of man that to his conscious calls?
What errant spun devices cast a doubt where shadows fall?
What is the fleeting last regret that spins a temporal web of lies?
What casts a haunting second breath before the mournful cries?
Tis locked in deep regression, where only courage can transcend.
Tis in the danced illusion that wraps his mortal soul in sin.
Tis nothing less than innocence engaged in dreams beyond.
Tis only shied experience ‘till age can take it on.
For here upon the precipice of aging mortal waves,
is seen a lifetime’s counter call in triumphed moments saved.
Here recall the history that to these feet has blessed,
that what’s before in mystery has once or twice been second guessed.
To grey and tattered countenance upon the head and cheeks.
To moment’s hope impaled in hate forever left beneath white peaks.
To kindest wrinkles manifest by laughter stolen in a sleep.
To every living texture’s thread so stitched within the soul so deep.
Raise a glass to history! Call a toast to life!
Sing a song of mystery that courage grows from human strife!
Bless the living innocents that by their lacking wisdom go,
to fall and muster strength to rise and come to this of what men know.
Amber dawn, ‘neath blushing skies,
quells the azure’s limpid eyes
from dewy tears of morn
that cling in hush and silenced breath
beyond the long cold arm of death
that’s stilled in stone when days are born.
Here upon this Scottish hill
o’er grassy lea and whispered rill
the sea in silence kisses
rocky shores where lovers leapt,
shipwrecked crews whose secrets’ kept
within their love, their misses.
I in humble witness here
mend in hope the simple fears
that balance dawn and death,
by simply casting prayers out
in hopes such dreams may come about
to grant sweet love its breath.
That crescent moons in morning skies
wipe clear the tears from lovers’ eyes,
stay the blush to truth,
that closely held to beating breast
will grant eternal peace and rest
with memories’ lain in threads of youth.
This amber dawn, these blushing skies,
draw a tear unto my eyes
and prayer from my lips,
that as I rise to find my day,
blessed in love I’ll sweetly stay,
leave just my dreams with sunken ships,
for here the day is born.
Stand within the failing light of summer’s dusk demarked in time,
suspended ‘twixt the poles of night, stretched thin in whispered rhyme
whose lengthened shadows softly bow these moments held sublime.
These moments captured in between the poles of birth and death,
feed the fleeting flurries’ scenes, in gentle grasp that bends each step
to cull the most you’d hoped to know and all you’ve come to find.
Yet evening follows dawning,
death descends on life,
moments lose their passage gained
as days in task become the wife…
Time remains immortal,
your simple work somehow transcends,
until the mirror folds the lines
around your smiling eyes and skin.
Then to the fleeting moments call your patience born on anxious wings,
with dreams renewed in hastened steps, on bucket lists of greater things
that kept the working day at bay,
that held your time immortal,
that granted strength to iron will,
that stayed the threat of life’s last portal.
Now stand within this failing light, summer’s dusk disrobed and bare,
for evening stretches long her hand and loosens long her darkened hair.
That as you wait for dawn to rise and grant the peace now held in shadow,
do count the many steps surmised, the blessed memories gifted, hallow.
Softly sings the whispered rhyme stretched kind between the poles of night
for souls enrapt in dreams sublime and lullabies of earth’s delight.
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.