Selected Poems and Sonnets

Pebbles on the Beach

The ocean’s trapped between two banks
And nowhere can it go,
Its riches owed to vast expanse,
Its depth and endless shore.

The mind is like the ocean too
As landlocked as the sea,
With nothing but to sit and muse
Abstract reality.

Its wealth is measured much the same
In depth and breadth and reach
And every thought it ever thinks…
Mere pebbles on the beach.

You and me

You the carefree lover play
And wile away our love’s long day
As if each action were to prove
Your stolid heart immune to love,
But the day will come you’ll see
When you’ll love no one but me.

Your suitors number full a score
And who am I that could compare,
Yet with my patient love I’ll wait
And leave our future much to fate,
For the day will come you’ll see
When you’ll love no one but me.

Sonnet 5

Blissful sleep, drown me in the warmth of night,
Disperse my troubles amidst twinkling stars,
And all that wretched day hath wronged set right,
Then float me to some distant tranquil shore-
Let darkness rob me of my memory,
Transpose instead kaleidoscopes of dreams
And take me to a land of fantasy,
Where I can rest on beds of soft moonbeams.
Gentle sleep, quench the thirst of weariness,
And rock me in the cradle of thine arms,
Immerse me in the depths of peacefulness
And mock death’s shadow with thy potent charms.
Dearest sleep, thou art like the finest wine
Which when quaffed deeply, serves to soothe the mind.

The Garden

Shall I wait for you in spring
When the buds are on the trees,
When surrounding forests ring
With the songs that robins sing.

You will come like summer’s breeze,
Floral odors in the air
Discerning senses not displeased
By your subtle charms released.

Dressed in white a maiden fair
On your lips a cheerful song
Purple flowers in your hair
Snow-white shoulders soft and bare.

You will come before too long
In the garden, short my wait,
Patience makes the heart grow strong;
Whispered prayers cannot do wrong.

Kind and cruel as such is fate
That we meet in fantasy,
Nonetheless I shan’t be late,
I’ll unlock the garden gate.

You will join me for some tea
In the garden’s shady cool
Promise me eternally
That our love will always be.

We will walk beside the pool
View reflections in its glass,
How could but a lonely fool
Capture such a precious jewel!

Sweet day dreams the time will pass
By the cool crystal pond,
In my arms I’ll never clasp
Such an airy angel lass.

Of this reverie I am fond
And with patient love I’ll wait,
To you does my heart belong
‘Till my very soul is gone.

Kind and cruel as such is fate
That we meet in fantasy,
Nonetheless I shan’t be late,
I’ll unlock the garden gate.

Sonnet 18

When time has robbed you of your angel guise
And blanched the roses in your cherub cheeks,
Your silver mirror friend you will despise
Whose silent council oft you once did seek.
What will you think of youth’s proud failing light
Whose passing marks your sad mortality?
And what then of your beauty’s fickle flight
Whose presence will soon seem but heresy?
What then of youthful dalliance forgone,
And daring dreams now mocked and marred by time?
How will you greet the disappearing dawn,
Now but a saddened memory of your prime?
You mocked life’s bud and now you mock its bloom.
You squander time, nay; time will squander you.

Sonnet 19

I felt your breath upon my cheek last night,
So velvet soft and yet like roses sweet;
I saw your skin bathed in a silver light,
Your bed did float on moonlit shadows deep.
Your chest did rise and fall in noiseless peace
Discernible by hand but not by eye
And sable hair much like the finest fleece
Enveloped countenance of honesty.
I held you close and felt your body’s heat
Warm first my heart and then my very soul
For with your grace no angel could compete,
Nor could she such a blissful gift bestow.
Thus did I lay and watch you in your sleep
And mourned to hold that which I cannot keep.

Masquerade

The evening sun sank red with rage
And languor lay upon my lap,
And darkness swallowed yellow haze,
Then tautened nerves the day had frayed.

The city serfs were set to snap
And swilled warm beer and sucked the air,
In undershirts or summer trap–
The tedium of dripping tap.

The street lamps twinkled blue and bare
Like beads of sweat upon the night,
And frenzied moths danced in their glare;
The painted lady flaunts her ware.

They sweltered in the August blight
And watched the street with desparate eyes
That echoed thoughts of prey in plight:
The clocks on wrists were wound drum tight.

Nights’ shadows serve what days’ despise
And change the fauna of the street,
And lend to all a dark disguise;
A distant lonely siren cries.

While twilight soothes the hot concrete
Parched lips are licked in prayer for rain,
And angry tires on pavement screech.
A thousand hearts then skip a beat.

She rises with her id restrained,
Then slowly dons the evenings’ face.
A painted smile conceals the pain,
The instincts stir inside her brain.

She turns and gowns with feline grace,
Then clouds the air with thick perfume.
And cloaks herself with webs of lace,
Then vanishes without a trace.

He stands and walks across the room.
Tall, naked, lean and tanned nut brown.
A single lamp fends off the gloom.
The silent shadows lurk and loom.

He bends and pulls his trousers on,
Admired by the full length mirror.
Taut, tapered, tight from toe to crown.
Anticipating pulses bound.

The waiting street twines joy with fear
And promises of ecstacy.
While flashing neons taunt and jeer
And lend the night garish veneer.

She stalks along a seedy strip
And stops to pull a stocking up.
A grinding motion to her hip;
The furtive glance and bitten lip.

She halts her course with pause abrupt,
Then swings the door and steps inside.
Accustomed to the light enough
She moves across the smoke filled pub.

He tenses now his quarry spied;
With fingers tight around his glass.
Then through the crowd with ease he glides
Conspicuously by her side.

Her senses tingle as they pass
And catch an inkling of design.
The shadows hide what eyes confess,
Anticipating sweet duress.

Accosted with a simple line
She turns about with feigned surprise.
An offer then to share white wine;
Unspoken promise more sublime.

Escorted to a table thus
They sit and trade false pleasantry.
Engender superficial trust;
Concealing their unbridled lust.

Nights’ fauna sense the dawn’s delay
And mix their madness with delight.
The darkened street oft blends to grey
The silent stalker and its prey.

They rise and leave into the night;
Arm and arm linked each to each…
Stark street lamps burning blue and bright,
The bitten moon a ghostly white.

Swallowed by the shadowed street
While tension mounts the eastern sky,
The aging boardwalk soon deletes
The memory of their passing feet.

The dawning finds the street awry,
Obscenely gestured and arrayed.
While twilight fingers probe and pry,
The darkest shadows fade and die.

The sunlight thunders through the shades
And beats on minds and reddened eyes;
Unmasks the nights shameless charades,
Of timeless endless masquerades.

Sonnet 32

Could poets’ breath breathe life to barren lines
And capture beautys’ soft and gentle hue;
Could silent words touch chords of loves’ sweet rhyme
And recreate the roses fragrance too;
Then in these lines I would fair Sylvia paint
And beckon forth that subtle melody,
No sweeter sights or scents could intimate
A prouder tribute to her memory.
In pen and ink her virtues thus expressed
Shall praise her worth despite times endless siege
Nor should a beauty ever age unblessed,
For worth unknown, to time does then concede.
Thus in proud verse I praise her with my pen;
This praise to stand ’til time itself shall end.

Red Dawning

The morning sun spilled blood across the sky
And slid his golden daggers twixt the gloom,
Transfixed the purple dawn with bloodshot eye
And strode across the hills in cloak maroon.

He ran his midas fingers through the trees
And turned to diamond every drop of dew.
Strew silver from his purse in bold decree,
And drowned the moon amidst an ocean blue.

He drank the morning mist from forest glens
And feasted on the shadows of the night.
His laughter soon awoke the sleeping land
And struck it blind amidst rude splendor bright.

Sonnet 35

And shall you mourn for me when I am gone,
Gone like embittered winds or winter snows,
Gone like a vagrant wanderer ever on
With not a shadowed thought whereof he goes?
Will you think of me then; think then of me,
Of hopes and dreams that love could not express,
Of love whose gentle stirrings could not see
The fruits of life that passed it as it slept?
Yet hope should call that you remember this;
Once there was a man of caring, kind and true,
Whose wandering spirit led his heart amiss
And did his fondest longings misconstrue.
Yet when I’ve gone, say nothing for me then,
Save, he was a man who lived and loved and learned.

Morning Mist

The mist hung on the hills like a wet silk cloak
And you and I for want of a walk set out
Along the railroad tracks, step in step, hand in hand
And listened to the crunch of wet gravel and sand
Saying few words for there was understanding,
While in the distance the river meandering
Beckoned us to follow to some sheltered spot
To leave the dreariness that the rain had brought.

And those soft sad eyes made grayer by the sleet
Looked up with wet curls pressed tight against your cheek
Asking questions that I could not answer then,
So, ignorance to their probing I did pretend
And carried on though with a heavier load,
Together thus in silent shrouds we strode,
And I thought how strange it was that this cold wet rain
Could not quench the fire in my heart, nor ease its pain.

Sonnet 41

I kissed the lips of beauty then that night
And ran my fingers through her lusty hair,
I held her body in my arms so tight
And bared her bosom, made my cheek lie there,
So, drunk with passion I did lay in bliss
And smothered thusly, floated on a cloud,
I shuddered sweetly, leaned into the abyss
And satyrs smiled while angels screamed aloud;
And God did frown and Satan danced about,
The sun turned black, the moon a brilliant blue,
The stars fell from the sky in endless count
And scorched the earth into a crimson hue;
But when the morning came my dear sweet friend,
God did forgive, and Satan did amend.

Sonnet 43

If I have praised enough, why praise you more
That men should know how rare a flow’r you be;
That doing so might thus increase your store
When those with eyes alone can clearly see?
Is such proud praise for me or yet for you-
That in sweet words I do possess and show
My pow’r to captivate and there accrue
My own sweet praise whereon my own plot grows?
Be sure, my love, these words stand as a truth
Whose calculations are for you alone;
And though such vanities may mar loves’ worth,
A love unlauded, seems a love unknown.
Still, radiant blossom worn on stiff lapel
Doth grace the wearer more than words can tell.

Sonnet 44

Black lines! Trite stirrings of a hapless muse
Do yet attempt to call in abject rhyme
A fitting tribute, as if Orpheus
Himself had writ them in some ancient time;
But no, mean verse moves not the savage heart
Nor sways the will of dread Persephone;
Yet as a lover I must play my part
And plead my case ‘gainst cosmic enmity.
These words by mortal hand were sadly writ
And clearly thus no godly graces claim-
Yet Gods and Graces may themselves commit
To verse and rhyme that sing sweet loves’ refrain;
But if these words can you, my love, entrance-
What care I then if rocks and trees can dance?

Are You Grieving?

Now my darling are you grieving
over golden dreams receding,
Are the distant pastures greener as they say?

Do you think of those you’re missing,
are your gentle lips not kissing,
Do you write your special secrets every day?

Are you ever feeling lonely
for the one who loved you only,
The one who once your stolid heart did sway?

As you wake each morn from slumber,
each time worn line you’ll number,
Can you see the silken curls growing grey?

In the evening by the fire
does your minds’ eye ever tire
Of roving where the distant memories lay?

As these memories do entreat you
does a sullen tear now greet you,
Or does cold conscience keep them yet at bay?

Does your hardened heart grow softer
as you recollect the laughter
Of hearts and souls that sang and once were gay?

Or does summer sun now find you
with your youthful hue behind you,
And does your silent mirror friend betray?

How do you greet the morrow
with its gladness and its sorrow,
With its smile a twisted frown that you portray?

Does your barren breast now mourn you
for the children who now scorn you;
Did you ever think that it would end this way?

Sonnet 60

Time is a gift whose measure is unknown
Save that our lives are metered in its’ sands,
And metaphors of sand have often shown,
Fine particles slip through the strongest hands.
A minute wasted is a minute lost;
An hour dawdled never is regained,
And time so tallied mounts its’ righteous cost
For life thus squandered does fair gift defame.
As precious minutes slide through narrowed glass
So does sweet life slip forward to its end,
And surely as this day shall come to pass,
Tomorrow can’t its’ yesterday amend.
Then mark these words and measure hence your time-
As metered worth makes measure of this rhyme.

Sonnet 65

Was it the cold October wind and rain
That brought back bitter memories of you;
Or yet, perhaps, the leaves all crimson stained
That harkened to that final pained adieu?
Perhaps it’s but the winter yet to come
With frozen breath and stinging shards of ice,
And frosty shroud that smothers like a tomb
The vestiges of some sweet former life?
Though memories may fade with passing years
And pain may be assuaged by soothing time,
A single falling leaf can beckon tears
When cold winds send a shiver down my spine.
The how or why I may yet never know;
But thoughts of you return when cold winds blow.

Gifts For My Lady

Fresh flowers for her sable hair
And diamonds bright beyond compare.

Sweet perfume and a gentle hue
To shadow soft her eyes of blue.

A necklace of pink lustrous pearl
And finest silken scarves to furl.

Sapphires, emeralds, rubies bright
To strike her fancy with delight.

And golden bracelets on her wrist,
And eau de vie with just a twist.

And kinder still for all her pain,
A silver bullet in her brain.

Sonnet 80

Yours is a beauty that shall live in rhyme,
As ageless and timeless as those before;
In poet’s ink your memory reigns sublime,
If the hand that writ, is here excused compare.
Some speak of Nefertiti whose gaunt face
Stares out beyond the shifting Nubian sand,
And others yet, of Helen’s Trojan grace,
A murkish myth that epic Homer penned;
But relics of past beauty clearly show
In bronze, in gypsum, or in marbled stone,
The lengthened shadow that will often grow
From the sculpted lyrics of an antique song.
Thus, when these words are read in times to come –
No greater beauty ever graced the sun.

Florence The Intensivist

She crouches inside her sterile cage,
Wicked green eyes bespectacle a tiny brain;
This is her domain.

I

Ah my dear, do you not realize that the
excrement
Between those bony fingers is not your own?
How can you now atone these thoughts?
Yours is a tiny bastion of despair.
White bitchery beyond compare defends
transparent walls
With solipsistic squalls.
This is your life in solitary grey,
Sounded out in mechanical breaths; one by one.
That greedy tedium
Between the changing of the guard.
Dismay and disrespect eke on
To offer consolation to a dead or dying
hand.

In mellodic and stilted notes,
Sweet uterances of a gorillas’ throat
Console, condole, control.

II

A little learning is indeed a dangerous
thing;
The jealous secrets of a minute mind
Cannot leave its’ pride behind
And embrace the truth alone.
How can you now atone?

Wipe the vomit from the floor,
Drudgery is such a bore;
If this is life there must be more.

The off white cloak conseals a darker heart
And painted eyes set purposes apart,
And even lowly vermin have their dreams
That life in daily tedium oft demeans.
The brutality of reality;
The deformity of conformity,
The banality and insipidity
That make one feel as a whore to life.
What consolation is there in this strife?

Look, the old man in gagging on his
spittle!
I see a tear in his eye.
Perhaps it is a crocodile tear;
Time is passing by.

III

Is there a place within this sad disgrace
Where lofty thoughts of worth may oft
amuse
And cognitive discord may not abuse
That porcelain ego?

Ah, let us take a break from the feculent
air!
The somber tinkle of a coffee spoon,
Methodical, mellodical.
A silent visit to the silver mirror;
The truth is even here I fear.
Soon it will be time to go home.
Let us wash again our hands
And free ourselves from lifes’ demands;
The slimy muck of a porcine life;
How do you now atone?

Tomorrow comes again, relentless and
vengeful,
Malicious and spiteful,
Plodding and prodding
With toil and torment;
And you a silent prisoner tortured by a
clock.

IV

Look out the window,
See the pretty woman with her child?
Is she really so beguiled?
How can you now atone?
Are these really great and gracious
things you do
To grunt and sweat beside decaying flesh?
Ah, you saw that fur coat on your way to
work
So white and feminine and chic
That men might think you meek.
In just another week,
It could be your disguise to calculate
demise.

Must you change that wretched bed again?
Ah, the consolation is he feels pain,
And so he shall, for just a minute more.

The thought of the smiling lady now returns
And so it burns and grates upon your brain.
She can’t be happy with her life
Being nothing but a wife.

The ego soars, abhors, ignores.
And can you yet atone?

V

And even at night in silent dreams
Amidst the shrill electronic screams
That tortured turmoil lingers and subverts;
Like a cloud of acid rain
Upon a naked brain.
You drift away into convulsive sleep
And yet its blackened silence cannot keep
Those images away,
Bleak and grey,
Lurking and learing,
Besmirching and besmearing.
The doleful gape of a schizophrenic ape;
And can you still atone?

The morning slithers through the window
Like a sated snake.
There must be some mistake.
Perhaps time has deserted you here
Amidst this sterile wasteland
To mock you with the ticking of a clock?

VI

Ah Florence, you can see the sadness that
each day brings
And yet no tears spring from that desert
heart.
Are these emotions really images apart?
The mundane entities and strains;
The futile pleas to reptilian brains
And anthracitic hearts.
Let us take a break from the feculent air!
Soon it will be time to go home.

The sooty night smothers the last rays
of a dying light
And strangles the evening with despair.
Loneliness beyond compare descends with
a somber note.
You raise the razor to your throat
Then carefully shave the stubble from
your face.
Why has life brought you this disgrace?

The crimson curdles in the sink;
Are you finally at the brink?

The morning dawns again, restless and
gnawing,
Scratching and pawing
Like a marasmic rat.
The world has returned in its masquerade
of mundane madness;
And do you yet atone?

VII

What of the dissonance between
yesterdays dreams and now?
Where are the passions of these precious
fruits?
Have you not lived your life as some
stilted sacred cow
Forced but to dine on bitter truths?
What burdens must that fragile ego bear!

Images of the gentle lady again return
And in its’ solace that granite heart fair
yearns
For its’ simple sane seclusions.
It is surely some delusion;
Perpetrated, promulgated, desecrated.
To love, honor and obey
Could only bring dismay
To a cold despotic mind.
There are reasons you might find.
That heart that masquerades as being kind
Would bludgeon a hapless infant with
delight.
We must not strike this from our sight.

The visage of the gentle lady lingers on,
Peaceful and serene
A gentle figure by a softly flowing stream,
Where quiet memories linger or convene
To mock in simple beauty seen,
And yet unseen…
As gentle maids may mock a sordid queen.

Sonnet 97

Is love’s summation joy and pleasure bound,
Or yet perhaps, subtraction of life’s pain;
In what additions can true love be found,
Or is that calculus but done in vain?
No! Love is life that’s shared and joined as one;
The obverse and reverse of golden coin;
For pleasure shared is greater than one sum,
And multiplies the bliss in hearts so joined;
Thus we together form one pure gestalt,
A greater one than even sum of two,
Defying logic, we in love default,
Belying numbers, writing math anew!
While sharing be division of some parts,
The greatest sum, the bonding of two hearts.

Ode to Humor

Yes, she was quite skeptical,
I saw through my spectacle,
Yet still I wrote,
To get her goat,
And pen words respectable.

I tried antithetical,
And verged on polemical,
But still she frowned,
To bring me down,
And claimed it expectable.

So then I tried notable,
Though aimed for collectible,
That made her laugh
And take a bath;
I strove for correctable.

My ego susceptible,
To barbs so adjectival,
I took my pen,
Once more began,
An ode dialectical.

Approval undetectable,
Or praise non selectable,
She seemed to sink,
My words of ink…
Raised eyebrow conjectural.

Sonnet 99

Sweet Sylvia, where does your heart now roam
What pleasured lands do you now grace with glee?
Can your bright smile still blind the golden sun,
And warm the souls of those so blessed to see?
Does your soft voice still echo distant songs,
Half remembered, yet half forgotten too,
Soft fading strains when rousing strains have gone,
That sooth and linger in the drawing room;
And does the moon still gild your raven hair,
And do the stars still dance with crazed delight
When you, sweet summer sylph do take the air,
And float through silvered gardens in the night?
I know that ever where on earth you stand,
All eyes are one, your spectacle so grand.

Sonnet 100

Did you dream me, or do I true exist,
For my thoughts dwell on nothing but your grace;
All else seems nought but early morning mist
Through which I see the shining of your face;
For what etheral vapors hold me here
And blind me to the sight of sweetest you?
Or what nepenthe formed of heaven’s tears
Did I imbibe, all longings to subdue?
For if I am a figment of your mind,
A whimsy of capricious consciousness,
I pray we never waken here to find
My dream within your dream no longer is;
But if I am a child of your brain,
I’ll wait in earnest ’til you sleep again.

Sonnet 123

She wears a poppy on her dress in bleak
November. Like a drop of red upon
Her breast, and so in homage thus to seek
Solace and remember, faces now gone,
Who gave their precious red for the great cause
That fades now like the sound of distant guns,
In minds of some; but to others gives great pause,
Ones who can’t forget those fallen mother’s sons.
Our children have long grown and left, and she
Did not remarry, though she ever could;
I promised her that I would never leave
And so my ghost beside her, ever stood;
Bound to her with a love few men will know,
As her to me, that spot of red does show.

The Naked Nude

Nakedness and nudity are not the same you see,
Though both can be examples of man’s hypocrisy;
For the truth is often naked, but it is seldom nude
And nudity’s not truthfulness, though oft considered rude.
Yet both describe the lack of clothes as though ’twere but the same,
But when man talks morality, one’s profound and one’s profane.

Sonnet 126

Selena, goddess of the silver moon,
Why do you gaze upon me from afar?
Your pallid beauty makes all lovers swoon
And long I’ve dreamed to travel where you are.
Last night I saw you in a saffron dress,
So coy, between the shadowed purple trees;
Soft peeking at me, daring to say yes,
Your swollen bosom, begging to say please;
But you were merely teasing me it seems,
Much as you have a thousand nights before,
Caressing me with tempting vestal beams
Then rising to coquettish heights of yore.
Sweet torture thus, that men may lose their minds,
But when I sleep, I’ll have you in due time.

Sonnet 132

Snowflakes ride my eyelashes playfully,
Their bretheren filling up the forest floor;
My path, once clear, no longer there to see
And I from home, yet still six miles or more;
Shaking snow cakes off my feet I trundle on,
I must get back before the fall of night,
The trail now blurred, in darkness will be gone,
And waxing cold will follow waning light.
She’ll be surprised to see me, this I’m sure;
I did not tell her I would leave today,
I trust she will be sitting by the fire
Planning sweet reunion, the coming day;
Then, home at dusk, the last mile took the most;
The windows dark, a strange horse at the post.

Sonnet 134

Were that love could be squeezed into a flower
Or paper token, my dear valentine,
Then in these lines I might wield all love’s power
To keep you here beside me for all time;
But how to shrink vast heaven onto paper,
Condense the great wide oceans unto ink,
Distill full bounty of all earthen labor –
For this is sure the might that it would take;
True love is ever daunting, never simple;
My love for you exceeds all mortal bounds;
A love like this would make dear Eros tremble
And thus no mortal art could it impound.
No symbols borne of man may ring as true,
As those soft spoken saying, I love you.

Sonnet 137

I plucked a poem for you that doleful day
Red and redolent of love’s sweet perfume,
My gift to you, with nothing left to say;
When read aloud, love wafted through the room.
I gilded it with dew drop silver tears
That ran down sallow cheeks bereft of love,
Those diamond emblems that all lover’s fear
As I beseeched the very gods above;
But gods were silent, you already gone;
Your crumpled letter stained upon my knee
And I with nought but why to ponder on,
And if my love torn heart would ever heal.
Perhaps in time to come you’ll change your mind,
My dearest, ever sweetest, valentine.

The Stone Wall

I saw her sitting on a wall of stone
As on her flaxen hair the sunlight shone;
And as I gazed the summer sun stood still,
And robbed my mind of thought, and legs of will.
I stood there motionless amidst her grace
And watched the warm sunshine caress her face,
Dreaming those gentle sunlit hands were me,
Drowning my soul amidst that imagery.
A short sad moment later she was gone
Though in that silent spot I lingered on;
And in the west dying sun did burn,
I stood there still, awaiting her return.
I placed my hand upon the stones now cold
And thought if they could speak of memories old,
What would they say of our brief meeting there;
And would they tell of sunlight on her hair?

Sonnet 138

Could beauty live in ink etched here in rhyme,
This humble tribute to your heavenly grace;
Though ink will fade, may beauty ever shine
From words that craft the verse your memories trace.
Some speak of beauties past, of looks most fair,
Whose smiles could make the hearts of poets sing,
Of eyes so bright, with stars they would compare,
Replete with all the joys that beauty brings.
Of love, all poets’ pens confabulate,
Their beauties rare, bereft of mortal flaws;
But if they knew of you, they sure would state:
‘No need to stretch the sweetness of her cause;’
Though words do not exist to frame your worth,
From fading ink your truth will yet shine forth.

Last Safari

Last Safari
When the sun has bleached my colors
And the stars are growing dim,
When my weary back is bending
And my hair is growing thin.

When I am no longer roving
And I hunker by the hearth,
When no distant ports are calling
And sweet home is now my berth.

When the stag stands on the hillside,
Now unafraid to roar;
And the salmon swims the river,
Unmolested by my lure.

When the snow filled mountain valleys
Are not christened by my tracks,
And dark distant jungle trails;
Are but seldom now cut back.

When my JR rifle’s silent
And my pack lays on the floor;
When the golden last safaris
Are but memories evermore.

Though the sun still rises early,
And I know I’ll seldom roam;
I’ll yet quench the quest within me,
‘til my father calls me home.

Sonnet 167

For I have loved, yes loved, oh loved in vain,
Though few men e’er full quench their heart’s desire;
And love that’s lost does memory ever stain
To score the soul much like a funeral pyre.
Lived I a king in love’s sublimity;
One summer short was my god granted sway,
Yes you my queen, sworn ever there to be
In sovereign love, forever and a day.
Then came my foe, black fate, foul scourge of kings;
That dreaded doomster of the hopes of men,
Great spoiler to the reach of mortal dreams
To humble quite the pith of favored plans.
One day a king, the next a pauper bare…
What majesty to have you once so near.

Solemn Vows

I do not want to see her anymore
I do not want to see her
I do not want to see
I do not want to
I do not want
I do not
I do

Sonnet 176

Love is not given but is earned in kind,
The sweetest form of reciprocity;
Yet unrequited, is a chain that binds
Strong stalwart hearts unto despondency.
What must love do to earn this sacred trust
When sweetest overture is soundly spurned?
Where gentle offer is forthright rebuffed
And fairest comment is to darkness turned?
True love is sentient and lives or dies,
Yet what to nurture this most precious seed?
Where silver words and golden gifts denied,
No symbol yet surpasses simple deed;
Though gilt and grandeur oft false hearts will woo,
A simple rose can win a heart that’s true.

Ivory Tower

The ivory towers
Are feathered bowers
Where pompous asses sit.

With nose held high
They scan the sky
To convince us of their wit.

But what they learn
‘tis best to burn
For good rare comes of it.

It’s to the man
With tinkers’ hands
That great ideas are knit.

When the lucres gone
They fair move on
And no one cares a whit.

So be aware
Where air gets rare
The act is but a skit.

Sonnet 224

These tears of ink fall silent on my page,
Scribing my pallid face in crooked lines;
That well of ink, of depths no pen could gauge,
No words there writ could yet this grief confine.
‘Tis here my heart spills out in blackened stain
Now worn in blemished smudges on my sleeve,
And at my desk a crumpled man remains,
A soul bereft of why you chose to leave.
There is no god above, no god stands tall;
Or if there is, he chooses not to hear
A suffering love torn man who gave his all
And cherished so, the one his heart held dear;
Still I implore blank heaven in sorrowed ink,
As love and life in hopelessness now sink.

Celestial Design

When I fell to the earth,
No clouds did break my fall,
I landed on soft dirt,
And broke no bones at all.

A crowd soon gathered there,
Amazed that I survived,
A helpless child lay bare,
On that stone cold hillside.

But from whence had I come,
And who had dropped me here?
Angel or devil’s son,
Not of this earth was clear.

Yet as a child I cried,
And someone took me in;
As to my source, she lied
And raised me as her kin.

So way led onto way,
And I grew straight and strong;
She never once did say,
What I knew all along.

Yes play the part I did,
That of a human child;
To man I grew from kid,
And all I met, beguiled.

My powers I held in check,
And played the common tune,
So no one there would guess,
My mother was the moon.

But who was yet my sire?
Before this story’s done,
The heavens did conspire;
My father was the sun!

Sonnet 243

‘‘Tis better that we parted years ago
When both were young, before the scores of time
Had ravaged youth and beauty cruelly so,
Robbing sweet innocents; a murderous crime.
Now long apart, with memory but to stand
As tribute to lost lusty languorous days,
For still my heart your beauty does command
In fading visions worn by words of praise.
Yet when I do accost that brutal glass
To brave mirrored measure of my estimate,
Your youthful visage does my ruin there mask
And my decline sojourns, a welcomed state.
I look at you, your image melds with me,
There now both young, and ever so to be.

One Dead Soldier

If I were there to fight and die,
My scattered bones interred would lie,
In foreign soil beneath a sky-
My lover would not see.

Yet surely she would dream of me,
And cherished would my memory be
That often she on bended knee,
Would muse upon my grave.

And at her bedside she would save
A lock of hair of one so brave,
So that the blood and breath I gave
Would not be spent in vain.

Indeed yet when the letter came
The tears fair passed like summer rain
And shortly was my memory stained;
She did my troth forswear.

And so my lad be thus aware,
It matters not that she be fair,
Nor yet again of what you care:
Dead soldiers are still dead.

War Requiem: Brave Hearts

Dread death deprives good men of lives,
It’s breed that’s their revenge.
Below hard stones lie hallowed bones,
That once did death avenge.
But come each day, and come what may,
The fight remains infernal.
It’s in this poem I shall come home
To praise brave hearts eternal.

The fight is long and must go on,
We live or yet we die.
We shall not yield ‘for God’s our shield,’
This is our battle cry.
The charge is made and bodies laid,
‘Midst blood and crud and steel.
It’s do or die, with swords held high,
Blood rage now wrought with zeal.

‘Til wrath is spent and steel bent
The wine of life be spilled;
And blades shall flash and teeth shall gnash
‘Til vengeful hearts be filled.
Yet where is pride when men have died,
For causes false not true.
And who shall pay when kings waylay,
Whose hearts will feel the rue.

It’s not for kings or venal things
Brave men lay down their lives.
It’s for their breed and things they heed –
Their rights, their creed, their wives.
When spirits flee to distant lee
And tender hearts be torn.
True love’s the wain that bears the pain;
And will forever more.

But men of right fear not the night
And make that sacrifice.
Their hearts they give, that others live,
In love that never dies.
But come each day and come what may
The fight remains infernal.
It’s in a song they shall march on,
To live in praise eternal.

Sonnet 288

So was her proof of virtue there not given
There on that marriage bed ‘neath eyes God,
Her eyes upturned toward absolving heaven
Full knowing she did lay a scarlet fraud.
No honor there could stain white linen sheets
Save tears that fell in breach of piety,
That crumpled white did fists of guilt there pleat,
While love was consecrated solemnly;
In act ordained, now she a licit wife
Dubbed pure in heart in deference was to sworn faith,
Yet husband true did note the tears of strife
His visage shadowed in a smoky wraith.
But God stayed silent, she relaxed her grasp…
Praying that in time, he’d never ask.

I wrote for Love a Plenty

I did not write for money,
I did not write for fame;
I wrote for love a plenty,
And much of it in vain.

I wrote for truth and beauty;
For they are much the same.
I wrote ‘cause ‘twere my duty,
And I bear all the blame.

Yes many lines for you dear;
In ink on paper plain
That all might know your worth here,
And some might know your name.

The Butterfly

On one clear and fresh spring morning
I sat against a tree,
And spied a pretty butterfly
Which lighted on my knee.
Its’ wings of gossamer splendor
And heavens jewelry.

I fancied there to capture it
And keep it just for me,
But conscience quick betrayed my plan
And warned me sullenly,
That beauty reigns not from a cage
And withers when not free.

A parable was then recalled
Into my memory
That stated that if somethings’ loved
And then fondly released,
That it will soon return to you;
Or such should never be.

Thinking this, I uncupped my hands,
And swept it to the breeze,
And watched it exit from my sight,
Oh, floating merrily.
I waited all the summer long;
Yes, waited patiently.

The butterfly did not return
Though many did I see.
Others perhaps more beautiful,
Adorned exquisitely.
Yes, many pretty butterflies…
But not the one for me.

Sonnet 297

It pains me so that beauty may not find
A face and form as grand as yours to hold,
Or yet be blessed by sterling heart so kind
When God has deemed it time for you to go.
What loss to all who knew that golden smile,
The very tears of heaven sure to fall
In homage to the brief telluric while
A mortal angel held the world in thrall.
I have reflected … faces borne on time …
Their marveled essence frozen so in stone,
Envisaged sweet when drawn from well inked rhyme,
Or splashed in strokes upon broad canvas strown;
In all of these you would be set apart,
Still none revered as those locked in my heart.

Sonnet 236

What will you think of me when I have gone
To windswept shore or yet proud rising land,
Off to those dreams that I fed soul upon,
My rod and reel or rifle in my hand;
Beyond the sad corruption of the day
Or yet the daunting fears of sullied night,
To timeless hope where way leads to blessed way,
Pastoral scenes to ever grace my sight.
Will you remember then all battles fought,
Great wars fair won, and those lost in despair;
Where win or lose, was victory ever sought,
My glory and defeat in equal share;
And when they play for me the final fife,
Recall from every score, I bled pure life.

© Loubert S Suddaby. All Rights Reserved.

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