Poem List: 2017 September through December
New Tick-tocker Print this poem only
Got me a new tick-tocker
From the good heart doctor
I got rhythm all the time
And even an occasional rhyme
The medical peeps came through
Prayers from friends and kin were true
Tonight God and Helen drove me home
A good place to end this little pome.
Author's Note: This was just a little quickie poem I wrote waiting in Tom Thumb parking lot for Helen to do some shopping – the day after my pacemaker surgery
Falling in Love Print this poem only
She sees him walking toward her
their eyes lock
a rush of excitement
a warmth suffuses their bodies.
They stay up til 3 talking and kissing
discovering, laughing, connecting.
This is how it begins.
But it blossoms
as they shed reluctance
This is what I want
Every bit of it.
making me breathless
into something special.
I want you
I want us to be an us.
I want a blossoming
I want to have you
I yearn for our union.
I feel it beginning
It is not that rush
nor love at first sight
but I am starting to let go
to shed my hoodie,
my vest, my armor
and piece by piece
off with my outer wear
until I stand before you
May I be shameless
in your presence
may I be blameless
and may we be pure
May I tumble into you
and fall in Love.
Tightrope Print this poem only
You always call me to love
but with ease I do what I please.
You are a tightrope
for love is a choice and takes work
and I can’t seem to keep my balance
for long before I teeter and fall.
You are there for me
with open outstretched arms
to catch me
to cushion my fall
and help me stand again
against my weakness
and all the world’s charms.
You are the tightrope
and the safety net.
In Your Grasp Print this poem only
What problem, what storm can wrench me away from you
when your embrace of my soul is so firm and strong?
Nothing can buffet me away from your grasp.
The gentleness and strength of your hold on me
suffuses me with comfort
lift me up in times of gloom
and save me
from the cold and sticky tentacles of doom.
All I have to do is awaken
to this tireless clinging,
to your potent and persistent heart
and the lifeblood it’s always bringing.
How can I slumber
in the grasp of this wonder?
How can I ignore or forget
your relentless presence
or evade the outrageous engagement
of you my tremendous Lover?
That your faithfulness
and untiring attachment
to my wounded soul
in spite of my ignoring
and my fleeing
is a mystery beyond my being.
Your love should be no mystery
for its long and enduring history
is written in the wombs of women
who daily birth new and lively souls,
all witnesses of your wonderment.
Bewildered and humbled
I swim now in an ocean of gratitude
I am not worthy
nor am I worried
that you will leave
my crazy heart
for I am sure
we will not part.
Print this poem only
Dear Father, I now leave the things of this day
to enter the mystery of your being.
As I lay down for this night I pray:
use my sleep and my dreaming
to hug me to your bosom and prepare
your child to enter your Kingdom in heaven or on earth.
For all my sins I am sorry and it is my prayer
to receive this night your forgiveness and rebirth.
Heartfelt Plea Print this poem only
Oh how your round beating mass
has so skillfully hidden inside me!
Has my neglect
taken your music from my sunny center
to a dusty deaf corner in me?
What offense has raised the ire
inside the labyrinthine wrap
surrounding my heart
and now exacting a daily drain
of my life force?
I beg your forgiveness
for ignoring you
abandoning your care
in favor of distraction
and some unknown impetus
to get lost in the electronic desert
so ready to surround and capture me.
Please forgive my weak response
to your call
send forth your spirit into the
poetic and creative environs
of this poor sojourner.
Calm the rage within
and bring forth the smooth deep waters
of peace and gratitude
and dedication to my soul.
Make my body whole again.
Hear my cry
and feed my soul.
I Will Remember You Print this poem only
This poem was written to Jim and Ruby Ewell and presented to them at their home in DeSoto, Texas prior to their moving closer to their children farther north. They used to attend our poetry group's meetings and were beloved by all our group members.
Pilot Light Print this poem only
Today the pain is strong
it is a gravelly nagging voice
speaking its own foreign tongue
or no tongue at all just groans
or whimpers, or random unexpected wails
but it is there
an unseen, unending presence
She has been corrected
a hundred times
always with the idle reply “sorry”
to placate and deflect
Is she unable to learn
or just unwilling?
I have taken into me
her and her flaw
Oh! the stories each of us could tell
a million moments of our little hell
but just as sure as those thorns
haunt us and bore inside
there also light abides
like current ready at the outlet
we can plug in when we’re beset
by fear, fatigue, and folly
or bouts with melancholy
maybe that’s what they call grace
maybe inside of us there’s a sacred space
where we can make our retreat
where our soul and circumstance can meet.
means having both darkness and light
always the dark is ready to bite
and pull us under
tearing our lives asunder.
Busy with a hundred tasks
playing our roles wearing our masks
we forget the calm within
and the deeper force under our skin.
The butterfly flutters by
autumn and snowflakes fall from the sky
we giggle with the little child
we brush up against the wild
write a poem, hear a song
breathe cool air sing along.
These tiny moments of grace
should remind us to embrace
and fan and make bright
the flame from that Pilot Light.
Into the Unknown Print this poem only
The doc says Phil needs bypass work real soon
his heart is pumping badly and in stress
his arteries and veins are not in tune
his fear has spiked his life seems in a mess.
The bride still wonders if this guy is right
she’s seen his moods go dark and sour
she listened to his poems of love and light
and seen him laugh and play with kids for hours.
Yes Raymond dreamed of serving as a cop
he helped the frantic mother to give birth
busted dealers brought the vandal to a stop
but saw the cruelest wicked and the worst.
When first we rise into the breaking dawn
we know not what or where the day will go
what challenge waits what pain the day will spawn
but worry fear and fretting just bring us low.
The unknown calls us past our faults and shame
it pulls us forward to become our best
the unknown beckons calling us by name
to make the future sing to make it blessed.
How can it Be? Print this poem only
How can it be
this strange and sunlit bond
of two men parted by
miles of Texas plains
countless rocky hills
heaps of pain and ills
days of rain and drought
three rivers flowing south?
But so many clear divides
and normal terrible tides
could not sink
strong but elegant
This tie was forged by
fingers typing lines
of verse and rhymes
two spirits and two minds
linked in air by seeming chance
touching in poetic dance
sharings of the heart
their precious marriage art
finding God on parallel paths.
They joined their hearts
beyond the normal math
beyond the cultural shades
or the places
of their working days.
But strangely now this friendship seems
a natural but uncommon gift
not by their driven grip
but by some force or power
of Nurture that made it flower.
Yes they Skyped
and oh they typed!
and talked by phone
but one of them worked and went off on his own
for far too many weeks
he did not reach
for his Alamo pal
yet that pal was there waiting
through his own trauma and peril
his kindness unabating
as he bravely fought for life
nurtured by his loving wife.
He who feels prodigal guilt
is now humbled
by a courageous man
who listened with care
past the spoken angst
when this friend had only encouragement
If you wonder how this friendship could be
you need only think deeply
of this Alamo man to see
his gentle caring soul
a faith and humility to behold
his tolerance and his smile
and nary an ounce of guile.
If you ask: How can it be
that these two men
who never met
touched or shook hand in hand
could have a bond so deep and grand
just pause and read their poetry
and you will see
and hear their spirits fly
in their lows and in their highs.
You will hear two violins in their verse
and see there
of the Universe.
Author's Note: Dedicated to my friend, Roland Ruiz of Elmendorf, Texas - not too far from San Antonio - who calls himself “Your Alamo friend.” He is a poet possessed of uncommon gifts.
Winnowing Print this poem only
I know a poem is down there somewhere
so I close my eyes
and in the air
clouds caress me
in a clear blue sea
where I drift and sift.
The winnowing winds of summer heat
gather me up and beat
the chaff from the wheat
making pain into grain
in a harvest of glowflies
from the part of me that never dies.
Of course, it seems
there’s always a store
of darkness and drought
in that needy muddled middle of me.
The small silo of self
is formed from the labyrinthine moss
of saints and sinners
who sowed in me
seeds of success and loss.
I cannot count or recall
all the saints and sinners
who sowed the seeds
of success and loss
in the soil of my past
nor count the cost
of the sad nurturance
still alive in the shadows of my memory.
again feeling those winds
brushing the hairs on my skin
I am grateful for that winnowing
and for the rich aroma
rising from this warm loaf
Fall Print this poem only
The morning sun kisses the pecan tree
and its quivering shimmering mantle of gold
outside it’s cooling but not yet cold
the air is poised for a new season
hanging like a mystery just out of reach.
How precious this moment of being
in this terrestrial gem
ever changing always creating a new home
for the creatures in its embrace.
Fall! what a name for this season
yet the full fruits of its lessons
defy the confines of language:
An aging woman takes a tragic fall
drapes the sidewalk in painful sprawl
breaking bones but not her resolve
to stand again with pride, head held high.
The rugged-faced man hears the bottle’s call
the bottle: full of promise to ease the pain
but empty of joy in the fall.
We blame Adam and Eve for their pride
and the shame they shed
on their species one and all
the pain of separation from God
yet look at each of our daily falls.
So here we are in autumn
and its million transitions
leaves floating like golden snow.
What a dazzling colorful show
a diaphanous symphony of letting go
notes falling seemingly without reason -
is this the last performance of the final season
and do I hear the distant yearning call
beyond this fall?