For Want of a Summer Day

For Want of a Summer Day                                                           For Want of a Summer Day
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110    WHAT PEN IS LIFTED?

I can recall the inspiration
/    of spring rain,

With tiny drops that dance
/    on my window pane.

Yes, we poets may dwell
/    for countless hours

On the refreshing fragrance
/    of April showers.
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But some rains adhere
/    to a different call –

Two months too soon
/    they’re forced to fall.

Yet what pen is lifted
/    for a February night?

Of its cold, dark skies
/    no man will write.
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So to forgotten rains
/    make this dedication;

Let it be known, for once,
/    they were inspiration!

For though some may find me
/    a trifle insane,

I’ve created these lines
about winter rain.
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111     LET MY HEART

Let my heart be a fertile ground
/     where the seed of love might grow.
Take me down to youthful valleys
/     where gentle breezes blow.

Let my soul be a warming sun
/     where troubles melt like autumn snow.
Show me again that distant land
/     where peaceful rivers flow.
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112    SPRINGTIME DREAM

The May sunshine drips off the flowers,
Reflecting the sweetness of April showers.
Returning birds greet newborn leaves,
Whispering winds gently rock the trees,
A springtime dream upon the breeze.
Teeming with life a resurgent stream,
And a peaceful springtime dream.
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113     FLOWERS AND WEEDS

Once I thought there was only a garden,
A mass of divine handiwork in flowers.
I’d stop and sit for many hours,
Taking in the beauty of my world.

Then I thought there were only weeds,
Disheartening fields of ugly waste.
I used to pass by in self-made haste,
For I could see no beauty in my world.

Now I know the simple facts:
This life holds both flowers and weeds,
Together it nurtures all of their seeds,
And they’ll always coexist in my world.
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114      PICTURE A CANDLE

Picture a candle
/    with flickering light,
Imagine a beacon
/    that burns in the night.

Listen to sounds
/    of sweet-singing lark,
Wait for the message
/    that comes in the dark.

Dance to the music
/    of birds in the night,
Dance in warm shadows
/    of flickering light.

Paint some new beauty
/    in all that you say,
Live for the good
/    that is yours today.
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115     THE RETURN OF NIGHT

The night loses its grip and gives way
To morning’s triumphant call for day.
So the burning sun that lights the sky
Is ruler of time as day goes by.
But even the sun shall meet its end
When night returns, a long lost friend.
The day is strong and deserves to live,
But night has more special gifts to give.
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116     THE UP SIDE OF DOWN                                                                    *****

Like a ghetto child
Trying to make good on the bad side of town,
I’m trying to believe in the up side of down.

When one path is blocked I’ll try another way,
I’ll find the cloud’s silver lining on a rainy day.
The oak fights the storm and in the process grows strong,
A fire’s warmth feels better when the winter night is long.
Among mountain crags the prettiest flowers often bloom,
I can feel close to God in the solace of my room.
Rough diamonds are cut and polished to form the precious stone,
Nature’s grandeur can seem greater when I’m standing all alone.
I’d never feel comfort if I’d never known the pain,
I’d never see a rainbow if I’d never known the rain.

So like a ghetto child
Who makes a good life on the bad side of town,
I’m finding I believe in the up side of down.
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117      IF IT’S LOVE

When holding you close can only be right,
Winter’s fireplace feeling glows in the night.
Where the world is cold, you’re warm to the touch.
To me your heated emotions mean so much.

But I’m hoping for a bolt of lightning
/    to strike us down from above,
For if that feeling doesn’t come,
/    we’ll never know if it’s love.

We’ve grown up together in so many ways,
Learning to see through life’s misty haze.
Though the future is scary and still not clear,
Things are easier for me because you’re here.

Yet I’m looking for a gentle shower
/    to fall on us from above,
For if that sweetness doesn’t come,
/    we’ll never be sure of our love.

I woke up this morning needing to find
The answers to questions that nag at my mind:
Can we ever know if these feelings are real?
Will we know for sure if it’s love that we feel?

Still I’m waiting for a flash in the sky
/    to strike us down from above,
For if that feeling doesn’t come,
/    we’ll never know if it’s love.
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118     STARGAZING

Then I was there, damning the narrow life.

Never had a chance to know what truth could be
When stargazing was a dream I’d never tried.
But now a body without weight drifts on the breeze
And floats on the waves a rambling tide.
No sense of direction brings no sense of lament,
For stargazing took narrow and made it wide.

Now I am here, reaping the wisdom of stars.
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119     IN THE MEADOW                                                                          *****

I admire the grace of a deer
/  as he sees me and flees.
Give me the steady drone
/  of those busy bees.
(Though tell them to keep
/  their distance, please!)
I love the way a wind will tease
/  the silver leaves
/  in nearby stand of mighty trees;
I envy the eagle who soars
/  on that same summer breeze.
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120     BEAUTY UNSEEN

All this beauty surrounding me,
But how much of it do I really see?
It once was something we used to share,
But now only a world that isn’t there.

The wheat fields bathed in moonlight,
The dusty roads on an August night.
The reflections and ripples on a pond,
The majestic outline of hills beyond.

As scattered stars light the sky,
A night bird quickly hustles by.
My attention shifts to forest trees
With branches quivering in the breeze.

All this beauty surrounding me,
But how much of it do I really see?
It once was something we used to share,
But now only a world that isn’t there.
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121     PHANTOM IN DISGUISE  (WHAT USED TO BE)

What used to thrive on starlight and sunny summer skies
Is now a deceptive illusion, a phantom in disguise.

Oh loveless force that has sent the never-ending rain –
With each cold drop comes the endless pain
Of knowing that you murdered the summer breeze,
Of feeling wet and naked like the leafless trees.

The force uncovers a phantom, then washes it out to sea,
Where rain and waves down the mem’ry of what used to be.
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122    GLORY ON A PAGE

To write words of autumn –
It seems I should, by way of reason,
Pay tribute to this beautiful season.

But to capture the feeling of Indian summer –
Can it be done by fool or sage?
How to express the glory on a page –
The glory of tinted leaves drifting in the wind,
Of warm sunshine, of summer’s last fling –
Before gray November and the snow it will bring.
Cool moonlit nights, fields awaiting harvest,
Hills ablaze with variant shades –
One last hurrah before the color fades.

To write words of autumn –
To put a world of splendor on a page –
It cannot be done by fool or sage.
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123     NIGHT-RISE                                                                           *****

As a subtle curtain descends
/   upon another day,
A weary sun finds a pillow
/   on some distant hill…
A warm enchantment settles in
/   with the evening chill.
As starry beacons preside
/   in abundant glory,
As the bustling city defers
/   and slows its pace…
A once-veiled night steps out
/   and shows its face.
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124     FOR WANT OF A SUMMER DAY

Old Man Winter descends with his icy grip,
Knifing his way through the last traces of autumn.
With silent and frozen fingers that bleed agony,
He takes a hold upon the land:
So barren, so lifeless.
I wipe crystal tears away with a quivering hand.
The cold wind blows flush in my face,
My mind wanders to a sunnier place,
Where the air is warm,
Where hearts are alive with the frolicking joy
Of eternal summers abounding in happiness…
But now winter, lashing out, the teeth of the wind!
Piercing pellets of snow whip against my body,
Swirling disrespectfully through skies of gray,
Bringing tears for want of a summer day.
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125     CASTLES IN THE SAND                                                                 *****

Pass the tanning lotion down this way –
It’s another bright and sunny summer day!
A bikini-clad dream within my reach,
Tossing a Frisbee on a crowded beach.
Radios and snacks and volleyball,
Our laughter tells us we’ve got it all!
Riding the waves, going hand in hand,
Building a castle in the soft, wet sand…

Alone in December, the very same place –
A cold mist seems to freeze on my face.
Old footprints dissolve as I walk around;
The lonely cry of a gull is the only sound.
Some things are forever, like waves to the shore,
But changes must come, so we dream no more.
The beach is deserted, a desolate land,
And there are no castles in the cold, wet sand.

 

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