Daily Archives: April 6, 2004

The Presence of Love: a cancione

I cannot say I know love
the way some would say they do;
I might not recognize it
passing on the avenue.
In a bleak and somber alley
on some cold and rainy night
some amour may say, “I see love”;
the chance I would, too, is slight.

It has found me now at last;
this to me, is a surprise,
In spite of all my efforts
to remain somewhat disguised.
I can recognize its voice,
the calm beauty it brings near;
and the soft words of comfort
that it whispers in my ear.

No, I don’t know to name it
or describe the way it walks,
but recognize the cadence
in the quiet way it talks.
I did not see it coming
yet its presence in this place
says that it knows who I am,
and will not forget my face.

06 APR 2004

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A Change of Syllabus: a byr a thoddaid

There is no test today in class;
it’s been called off, and you all pass.
The lessons it addressed are tired and old,
I’m told – no more required.

But someday, classes might start up again;
Then those who now are smart
may search in vain for today’s loss,
and not find it, but only dross.

So it might serve you well to learn
what’s in these books that brightly burn.
For future generations might require
the fire’s fuel more than light.

The grades we earn from today’s inaction
one day may do us in;
For knowledge is built upon roots, not soot,
and much depends on where the seed is put.

06 APR 2004

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To Progress: a bucolic

To those who wish the past returned
and simple life brought back in fashion,
a relationship with the land renewed
and the blight of urban living shunned,
a hundred years of progress dissolved
in the bliss of primitive survival,

Who see the plains of Arcady
As pristine lands, fertile for the tilling,
and in the slow change of the seasons
some majesty of divine balance,
I offer this emetic for nostalgia:

A worn stone lies broken on the grass
in the graveyard at Indian Hill.
Thanks to early hours in freezing rain,
eighty rough acres and pneumonia,
a husband and two sons, gone the same year.

06 APR 2004

In memory of Christena Ann Litzenberg (1817-1909)

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The Pen and the Sword

a bref double

Speak to me, if you linger at the trough
and hesitant to take a drink, hang back
while others have their fill and more besides,
expecting none will challenge their self-right.

I give to you a gift – the words you lack;
Do not refuse their use or doubt their strength.
Employ them, let their fiber warm your bones,
and fill your inside ’til it’s round and tight.

As weapons, are these few small words enough
to arm a soul, defenseless, for the fray?
They may not seem a danger at first glance,
but steel beneath their slack coat gives them might;

So drink, and what you find no use, give back;
as iron rusts, so words forgotten die.

06 APR 2004

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An April Morning: anglo-saxon prosody with a bob and wheel

The sky was shot with grays and greens,
and clinging clouds that hung low;
from the west, the wind was slight
against my face that April night
     when first
     I found I’d lost my way;
     and more, what’s worse,
     with nothing left to say:
     a writer’s sad curse.

I stood in silence, stunned and mute
and watched the world continue on;
Despite my dumbness, nothing changed
in how life lumbers slowly on
      and stops
      for no one, rich or poor;
      both thieves and cops
      react, and nothing more,
      as each moment drops.

For quite a while, I watched and waited,
’til the lights lowered and dawn was near,
as the darkened earth began to glow
with the soft shimmer of newborn day
      and awoke
      stretching its tired limbs,
      the spell of gloom broken
      by a small bird’s hymn.
      And only then, I spoke.

06 APR 2004

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