Dark December Night

D  A  R  K       D  E  C  E  M  B  E  R       N  I  G  H  T
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42     SUPER STAR

Five long years have gone by
Since the spectacular death of a star in the sky.
‘Twas a phenomenal sight, so precious to me –
That flashing streak of flaming ecstasy…
The short-lived wonder could not wait for dawn;
In a few fleeting moments the sensation was gone.
Still I cherish the mem’ry of that heavenly flight,
For other falling stars were never so bright.
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43     CLOUDY

Cloudy was the sun.
I was there –
Freely floating,
Aimlessly drifting.
Then suddenly
You brought direction!
A rising sun,
A setting sun,
So bright and clear!
A panoramic blue,
Love was near.
Then suddenly
You were gone.
Darkness moved,
A heart grew old.
Dreams were dashed,
All fronts were cold.
Within my mind –
Too far too soon,
Too much too fast.
You couldn’t breathe,
So we couldn’t last.
Never said goodbye,
But turning away,
I looked to the sky…
And cloudy was the sun.
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44     VALERIE’S LIGHT

When I’d come by after working late,
In Valerie’s window I’d find a light.
It was always on and shining bright,
And it meant she’d been waiting there for me.
Things like that made our love seem so right –
Things like the glow of Valerie’s light.

But then one day after working late,
In Valerie’s window I found no light.
Only the stars were shining bright,
And it meant she’d forgotten to turn it on.
But the beginning of the end came that night
When I searched in vain for Valerie’s light.
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45      EVERYWHERE AROUND                                                                           *****

What nuances might explain
/   where you are today?
How can someone who’s still here
/   be so far away?
Why does my future unfold
/   when to the past I’m bound?
How can someone who’s long gone
/   be everywhere around?
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46     MUCH MORE

If only I could care
/   somewhat less than I do –
We both know how much better
/   that would be for you…
Instead we struggle to admit
/   we’re a sweet mistake –
I need to give much more
/   than you’re able to take.
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47     LOOKING AT LOVE TONIGHT

Like fragile china that shatters when it hits the floor,
Our love went to pieces; we were precious no more.
Like an old man who remembers a day of his youth,
I’m looking at love in light of the truth:

Like the man and his friends who nevermore will be boys,
There’s no way we’ll return to our garden of joys.
But like snapshots that bring back days of our past,
My looking at love will make part of us last.

Like cool cellars that harbor the sweet-tasting wine,
Vintage mem’ries of our love will age in my mind.
And like mountain streams that feed on rain from above,
Tonight’s dreams will be filled with yesterday’s love.
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48      WAS IT THE SMOKE?

Looking back on our love’s flickering flame,
We can’t believe the fire once burned so high;
We can’t believe we sat and watched it die.
Now we’re sniffing the smoke and wondering why.

After the sun had set on our day of love,
Our words merely floated on the air;
Our hearts tried to speak and we weren’t even there.
We waved goodbye to our dream and didn’t even care.

After the chilling night had set in around us,
“I’m sorry” was simply the wrong thing to say.
Our brilliance had faded to a dull shade of gray,
So we waited for the darkness to take us away.

After the night had passed, it brought the dawn,
And once more the sun shone down upon the land.
And though love had died, we couldn’t understand
Why we longed for the touch of each other’s hand.

Looking back on our love’s flickering flame,
We can’t believe the fire once burned so high.
Now we’re sniffing the smoke and wondering why.
Was it the smoke that made you sit down and cry,
And is the smoke to blame for the tear in my eye?
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49      A DESPERATE LOVE

Young and carefree, love was an explosive sweet sensation,
But as life aged, it brought feelings of desperation.
Caring too much, possessive, we’d cling to each other,
Both sure we would perish, forlorn, without one another.

Inevitably, we are now only a painful part of the past.
Call it ironic, but a desperate love is not meant to last,
For to growth in life we provided our own obstruction,
And thereby we were planting the first seeds of destruction.
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50     MISPERCEPTION                                                                           *****

I picked up a burning match,
But it felt like a rampaging brush fire
Blazing in my hand.
You must have thought me a fool;
Still I thank you for trying to understand.
Though I have no room for regrets,
My mind knows the misperception killed a dream,
And my heart never forgets.
Today most of the smoke has cleared,
And I’ve become just another guy
Who could not begin to fathom your flame.
Still I’m grateful to you for showing me
How playing with fire can be a dangerous game.
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51    TERMINAL RHYME

A coarseness arose
/  in the once sublime.
So I give you the creeps;
/  you think I’m slime!
I could cop a plea;
/  it was a victimless crime.
Yet I know we’re over –
/  no amends this time…
Just a weird inspiration
/  for this terminal rhyme.
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52    DARK DECEMBER NIGHT                                                                          *****

Waking up in the middle
/     of a cold and dark December night,
I reach out and turn on a light.
Sitting up in bed,
I could swear I heard her calling my name,
But this isn’t the time for a silly game,
So I guess it must have been
/     the wind whistling outside my window.
But in wiping the sleep from my eyes,
I could see the glow of her golden hair;
I could swear I saw her standing there!
No, it can only be the lateness
/     of the hour playing tricks on me.
Reaching for another cover,
The night seems to be getting a little colder.
Oh, I thought I felt her hand upon my shoulder!
The warmth of her gentle touch is with me now,
But it’s just my imagination once again.
Will these desperate illusions never end?
Will I always hear the sound of her voice?
Will I always feel the touch of her hand?
Will her memory ever let me go free,
Or will she always stay with me,
Even in the middle
/     of a cold and dark December night?
Without answers,
I reach out and turn off the light.
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53     ANALOGY GRACES MY GETAWAY

What problems would prosper
/    were I permitted to stay?
Analogy will grease my getaway…

If the endeavor lacks purpose,
/    only a fool will try.
Of limited value is wealth
/    if there’s little to buy.
You wouldn’t train a top team
/    when no opponents will play.
You shouldn’t dream through the night
/    and then lose it by day.
Since the verse won’t be read,
/    must the lines be rhymed?
With the top rung out of each,
/    must a ladder be climbed?
Why memorize the facts
/    when you don’t understand?
What good are four aces
/    when you can’t play the hand?

What futilities would follow
/    were I forced to stay?
Analogy has graced my getaway.
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54     MIXER’S MISTAKE                                                                                       *****

Though she was stylish, elegant and sophisticated –
And I had often perceived such things to be overrated –
I quickly accepted the challenge with open arms.
But soon her class nonpareil and her boundless charms
Mercifully proved to be more than I could handle.
For I was a backyard cookout; she was a French souffle’.
It was blue jeans and sneakers versus silk and sachet.
We agreed only on the ending – a clean, easy break –
Mixing root beer with champagne was indeed a mistake!
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55     HOW DARK IS THE NIGHT

Starless and cloudy, blackness on gray –
Love lights in his sky have been taken away.
And how dark is the night, to be searching in vain,
Desperately trying to somehow regain
That special something he thought he had lost.
But true love was a bridge he had never crossed.
A fool recalls happiness; he dismisses the sad –
Still he cannot regain what he never had.
And how dark is the night, how blinding the day –
When love teases a man before slipping away.
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56      FOOTBRIDGE                                                                                           *****

Flowing through the valley of my latest dream,
Our love was the footbridge on a mountain stream.
Though days became cool as shadows grew long,
Our love, like the footbridge, was steadfast and strong.

Even as the days grew dark, our hearts were warm,
Until the autumn wind brought a raging storm.
Rain fell like bullets from the black skies above,
Enraging the once-gentle stream of our love.

We knew that our footbridge might not survive,
As we watched the banks swell with the swirling tide.
And when it creaked and cracked and finally gave,
Love went with the footbridge to a watery grave.

(July 4, 1976)

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57     TURNING BACK

World-class sprinters
/   crawl to the finish line;
We’ve trampled so many grapes
/   without tasting the wine.
Surrendered all hope of light
/   in the moments before dawn,
Never saw queen potential
/   in the advancing pawn.
Angrily smashing the glass
/   for its hairline crack…
With our destination in sight
/   we’re turning back.
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58     DISPASSION

Love and hate are much the same –
One has to care in either game.
But now indifference is drawing nigh –
What sadder way to say goodbye.
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59      TRIVIAL ROMANCE

A starlet sweetly breathes
/   the scent of a rose,
Playing sensuous music
/   with her soft hellos…
Do I even care?
There’s no wondering, wavering,
/   no wasting my time
In rewriting life’s poem
/   so these days would rhyme.
It’s certain despair!
I won’t even think twice
/  about missing a chance,
For I recall no virtue
/   in trivial romance.
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60     NO CHRISTMAS SONG

Abounding joy at Christmas
/   blessing you and me –
Sing a song, my friends,
/   let’s trim the tree.
Aroma of cookies
/   lingers all day,
Christmas cards and lights,
/   a ride on a sleigh!
Snowmen and carols
/   guide reindeer tonight,
Garlands and tinsel
/   and hearts shining bright.
Mistletoe and stockings
/   by warm, gentle fire –
Sing a song, good people,
/   it’s lifting us higher…

No gifts are bestowed,
/   no cheery words spoken –
Poverty’s a cycle
/   that remains unbroken.
Homeless and hopeless,
/   wretched and wild,
So pitiful the parents
/   no chance the child.
Politico’s promises, promises –
/   broken, my friends.
Without beginnings
/   there can be no ends.
Though Christmas, good people,
/   graces our land,
If some don’t want to sing,
/   we’ll understand.
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61    PASSIONS OF OLD                                                                      *****

Only I could want
/   what we could be;
Tomorrow’s a vision
/   we shall not see.
Oh, we sometimes gaze
/   upon our star,
But valentines and such
/   just go so far
Toward dulling the truth
/   of what we are.
Yet be they crystal clear
/   or blessed blur,
Those passions of old
/   do here now stir
In brilliant remembrance
/   of what we were!  

 

 

 

 

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