Category Archives: Memory

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Standing in a summer’s mist,
early morning heat and dew,
a carousel abandoned,
ebbing from a fairground’s stew.

Echoes of calliope,
hushed in rusting pipes,
risen by the subtle breeze,
groans in tempered gripes.

Soprano tinseled screams escape
the platform’s gentle rolling,
whispers stitched among the chants,
Gregorian and tolling.

O’er the stays of canvas frayed,
reds and blues tease gently, torn,
rounding boards ornate and wide,
tarnished crackle, sadly worn.

Leaden mirrored center blinds,
ghostly grey and steel,
stirring passing images,
tintype memories, laughter’s squeal.

Oaken massive platform stained
with seasoned mud and puddled rain,
rusting mounts of tired ponies,
saddened in their lonely pain.

Dare I not to step aboard,
as history’s watch is mercy’s keeping,
so gather witness to my soul,
for all my childhood dreams there sleeping.

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Filed under Dreams, History, Memory, Perspective, Poetry

The Waiting Room and the Aftermath

Time compressed a lifetime to a single moment, drawn slender, nearly warping the second hand, yet each escaping stroke pounded heavy, a muted hammer against the polished anvil of time’s progression.

The waiting was over. Wringing hands and silent prayers were done.

You entered, unwelcomely wanted, through an angel’s open door. It was June. Iowa June.

The air clung thick. Soundless single syllables just heard beyond the pounding blood of my ears, beneath my mother’s panicked hopeful breathing, against the ironic tapping of your white Florsheim shoes, covered in blood.

Our suspended sanctuary broken with your nod, and respectful question. Yet our vigil held a moment longer, well over the precipice. “I’m sorry,” you said, “he didn’t survive.” All point of reference, gone. Asking, “What!?” You repeated yourself scratching at an explanation. My mother’s orchestral voice raised in tension, sweet timbre of violin strings, disbelieving, could only sing, “Oh no! Oh no! I will never hold his hand again! Oh my God! Oh no!”

To a pinhole view the world resolved. In haunting hush my brother’s sweet tears were all I heard to comfort a life’s long loss. The room devoured, swallowing breath in its labored breathing, Jonah in the whale. Details smeared in fresco, glossy, distorted. Every step, every word relaxed along the corridor, penetrating, piercing my battled grasp to cling on. You there, browning blood rooted in the piped white stitching. Your words, soundless.

Disdain revolved my iron neck, begging to turn away, only to see her there, slanting through hell’s door; a pig in squalor, a nurse in white, makeup of a whore. Piercing the fleeting glimpse of any dream with, “You need to gather the belongings. Come with me.”

Fleeing you, this trap, I followed her. Fat, short, squat legs pounding busy hallway tiles; purpose of a jack hammer. Spinning, burning in overload through hospital denizens, features stretched, some kind, some lost, some loud… An eon’s flooded blur slammed prostrate to clinical white doors. Another trap to open.

“It’s all in here”, she said, thrusting upon me the brown frayed grocery bag, clasped in sparkles of Swingline precision, his name in black, still wafting a Sharpied rush to the end. Would it ever end?

Heavy armed, I slowly turned to face an eternity lulled to desperate lows, stretching it’s Einstein’d moments illusively, forever before me, pressing mass upon mass, gravity surreally bending the tears to flood.
In memory of the waiting room and the aftermath, the day my father died in surgery, June 17, 1985.
Written for d’Verse Poets Pub – http://dversepoets.com/

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Filed under Memory, Perspective, Poetry

Ashes

The years upon themselves will close,
once folded then unfolded,
as unaged born, to ageless turns,
through aging’s twining scolded.

Through years of moment’s pleasures,
grafted to the ether’s breath,
whispered dreams in flags of prayer,
escape the truth of death.

When just the pyre’s ash remains,
when autumn’s hushing gently stirs,
when absence seems too stark to hold,
life’s long red thread endures.

Stitched through laughter’s echo,
knotted through a true love’s seam,
hung as memory’s bunting,
graces truths we’re left to dream.

For these will not escape us,
born free above what ash remains,
as time reclaims its holdings,
these memories, this life sustains.

for Judy Arterburn (July 25, 1944 – January 5, 2016)

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Filed under Family, Memory, Perspective, Poetry, Uncategorized

The Silent Quiet of Age

Still the silent quiet of age steeps rich this moment, reflecting,
echoes just what hopes deny in truth’s cold introspecting.
No fear, here, within the pause caught and loosely locked.
Just awe respecting shadow’s keep amongst the greying, flocked.

Peace gathers warm in knowing,
treasured paths and journeys made,
rest in sweetened summer fields beside the rill and glade.

Ripened in the setting sun,
kisses’ pure, seduction brings
the whispered scent of lilac twixt my golden locks, in rings.

Oh! my heart weeps openly,
for home and love’s sweet hand,
yet aging now, my courting call,
returns my lust to dust and sand.

Shed not a tear for me, for I am ne’er gone away.
But find me in this whispered breeze upon a low and setting ray,
for I’ll see you there.
I’ll touch your young and flowing hair.
I’ll dance about you in delight!
I’ll raise the thrush to song and flight,
that you may sense me here…
my pipe and whiskers smiling, dear.

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Filed under Dreams, Memory, Nature, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul

The Old Road

Ragged edge of road, framed in fray and grasses gold. Held in drunken course by bits of broken stays from fences split. Gathered there, around each post, lays lagging wind and moonlight’s ghost.

She wanders o’er the silent lea disturbed to find her way, where once she knew an arrowed path between the barn and forest’s lath, now stumbles towards the wood, in sway.

A silvered grey and fallen barn counts her steps in jest, laughs in hollow whispered grins then slowly slips back off to rest. Ravens perch upon a plow whose earth has frozen still its lust, captured in an eon’s tuft of grasses tall and tawny rust. They bob in exultation, guffaw in crow-ish song, as crossing o’er the rock filled stream she lifts her skirts and tip-toes on. She stumbles through the slope of hill where years before she scarred her spine, exposing what was laid beneath, now blushing from another time.

Before her stands the vacant wood where once she loved to play, wherein she loved the lack of sound, echoed in old memory found, and subtle longing just to stay.

She trips across the ashen timber, fallen fast asleep, brushes back her silver hair and enters to the cold wood’s keep. She scarcely knows her destination among the ruins thick and grey, but being more than child here, starts and stops and weaves her way toward what she knows is waiting, toward where the day so calmly ends, yet caught in hesitation, denies her fear and wanders thin. Upon the wooded knoll she finds the memory of much kinder times, where snow once graced her lengthened dress and teased her with its hushing rhymes.

Pausing there in sad recall, she hears the river’s gentle hush, dreams an ancient dream of youth when eagerly she gladly rush toward the gallant sparkles cast upon the water’s play, come to meet the boats there, and wade in just a way.

She staggers o’er the broken stones, between reposing trees, lifts her skirts at water’s edge and steps in to her knees. All the diamonds in the world are cast upon the aged stream, conjured by the sun and wind, lay sparkling in a dream. She calmly lets her aging go, reaching toward the distant shore, wanders in, gently laughing, until she is no more.

Upon the ragged edge of road, kept to course by ancient posts, a gently whispered dirge is sung by lagging winds and moonlight’s ghosts.

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Filed under Dreams, History, Memory, Nature, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul

All I Want

Steel my aching love of thee,
rent your fabric from my dreams,
quell the sudden upstarts’ shift
that pulls the threads from hidden seams.

Cast a cold and pallor stare
befitting of a graveside rain,
shred the memories of my soul
that I may come to love again.

Deny your silken beauty
to fabric of an eon’s dust,
count your blushing smile within
the dog eared pages histories trust.

Bathe my memory empty,
white washed before the bleaching sun,
that ere I come to see you
will fade before my heart can run.

Twist the ink by such a spell
to ne’er reflect the prose I’ve stayed,
dump the feathered drunkard well
till pools of black are left and played.

For thee I count among the dead,
tho’ ghostly still, by living haunt,
‘til in my fear, to see you,
is truly all I really want.

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Filed under Memory, Perspective, Poetry, True Love

The Gypsy Rover

Her silken touch in dance across the twill’s uneven strand,
graces so her slender wrist as beauty’s stem and giving’s hand.
Poised in quiet pleasure, she works the loom in quickened throws
of shuttle passing twixt the threads which capture kind the weft in rows.

Her mind and heart deny the task that binds this simple weave,
permits her drift on whispered tones of gypsy songs that pitch and heave
through stories of the rover, of hearts won true seduced by song,
of verdant green and rolling rills that tempt a maiden’s heart strings long.

Between the woven threads of twill she hears a whistling soft and sweet
that slowly grows above the hill, its timber and its tone complete.
She feels the green wood gently ring in echo ‘cross the valley’s rill,
till nearer from the shady lane she feels her heart give rise, then still…

“But for gypsy rover!” she laughs and pulls the warp lines tight,
“One day he’ll yet come for me!” smiles and casts the shuttle’s flight
between the warp suspended threads, sweetly bound by loving hand,
blended with the rover’s song still tempting maidens through the land.

In honor of and inspired by the song “The Whistling Gypsy” also known as “The Gypsy Rover”

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Filed under Memory, Mountains, Nature, Poetry, True Love