The Years Go By

THE YEARS GO BY     
THE YEARS GO BY
THE YEARS GO BY
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1      VENUS AND VERSE

Can flying mile markers
/   count couplets?
Sure, if one shifts his mind
/   to the proper mode,
Odes have been written
/   on the road.

Can conception come
/   in the wee hours?
Well, see them dancing
/   in dimly-lit den…
That mistress paper,
/   alone with her pen!

Do sweet lines glide
/   off swings or slides?
New lyrics love a late stroll
/   through the park,
Where a final touch whispers
/   itself to the dark.

Can his-and-her hearts
/   mix with a Muse?
Embraceable dreams drift in
/   when spirits merge,
Fating Venus and verse
/   to ever converge!
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2      TEENAGE EYES                                                                                         *****

Whispered secrets and laughter and heartfelt dreams,
Each decision is vital to her future schemes!
All the who’s and where’s and when’s and why’s,
Looking at the world through teenage eyes.

Without a hassle she wants to run free and wild,
But under a grown-up shell there’s a sensitive child.
For if she flunks a big test of a boyfriend lies,
Warm tears will be falling from teenage eyes.

Yet her youth finds a message in the music she plays:
To live life to the fullest these golden days!
For a girl gets older and though she tries,
She’ll never see again through teenage eyes.
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3     O MIGHTY FIRE

O Mighty Fire!
How your flames light my mind,
How your heat warms my soul.
O Mighty Fire!
Your sparks are a glimmer of hope in the hollow darkness,
And your smoke makes me a little high.
O Mighty Fire!
Today you are strong; you burn bright.
But will you still be with me tomorrow?
O Mighty fire!
Soon your flames will dwindle and you’ll begin to die,
And then only ashes will remain.
Only ashes – O mighty fire!

(May 25-26, 1974)
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4     THE JOGGER                                                                                              *****

Desperado sees not what’s wrong,
/   what’s right –
One well-thrown stone
/   blacks lone street light.
He’s shadow-lurking to await
/   unsuspecting passerby…

The slum-jogging would-be victim
/   utters words of prayer
For God’s unfortunate low-lives
/   who are dying there,
Oblivious to the encounter that looms
/   around the corner.

Intercession, petition…
/   aspiring criminal could hear it!
Was he reluctant to challenge
/   some Unknown Spirit,
Or were hibernating morals
/   stirred and awakened?

A credo so hostile, so callous,
/   so poised to attack  –
But came that moment of truth,
/   he’d shrunken back
From God’s unwitting witness
/   who jogged more than the miles.
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5     WITH KID GLOVES

Treat me roughly?
Well, don’t you dare!
‘Tis no trite warning –
Let the user beware!
You’ve seen how I protest –
Now handle with care!
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6      THOUGH I

Though I begin,
The first step
Is not the longest.
If I endure,
It’s not because
I’m the strongest.
Though I seek,
My dreams can run
While I must walk.
Though I speak,
It’s never me
Who seems to talk.

Though I touch,
My feelings lack
True sensation.
When I write,
My words are
Without inspiration.
Though I joke,
What laughter there is
Quickly subsides.
Though I think,
Life’s an issue
Someone else decides.

Though I respond,
I answer questions
No people ask.
Should I try,
My effort seems
Foreign to the task.
Though I pray,
There remains a void
Within my heart.
Though I finish,
I stand too close
To the start.

 

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7     SUBTLE MIRACLES

Life deals a hand
/   that must be played –
A young child learns
/   how to be afraid.
Fear’s often a trust
/   that’s been betrayed.

So a frightened child
/   advances the years
While we all hope 
/   those falling tears
Can work again 
/   their subtle miracle.

The last crayon becomes
/   the first eye shadow,
Then Barbie and Ken
/   learn how to drive!
Adolescence ends innocence,
/   a few memories survive.

We find through the years
/   that those childhood fears
Have somehow been allayed.
Alas, life deals from a deck
/   of trusts betrayed –
Here comes another hand
/   that must be played!

So a frightened teen
/   advances the years
While we all hope
/   those falling tears…
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8      PHANTASM

Typical schoolgirl crush –
/  Picnic in the park?
/  Day at the beach?
No, empty fantasy:
Object of desire
/  out of reach.

The years…

Enter high-flying decade –
/  With suitors to hold,
/  With ambitions to chase.
Fulfillment found:
The key is keeping
/  her twenties pace.

               …go by.

Then atypic reappearance –
/  Hello, object of desire,
/  Hello, dreams of youth!
Her fantasy lives:
De’ja’ vu loves
/  a latent truth!
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9     MENTAL HIGHWAY

Get me back on a road –
/   secondary or main.
How I wish this idea
/   would wax or wane!
Idle moments like these
/  often drive me insane
‘Cause neutral is agony
/  for my active brain.
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10      p

aprils past
/  are so many misty paths
/     that cross then meander off
/         into so many proverbial settings
yet one path would i tread again
/  for showers of time never cloud
/     The remembrance
/         of sunshine
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11     BAD MOVE

Some strategic board position,
/  once timely, had gradually gone,
So the master’s intent was clear:
/  We must sacrifice that pawn

Whose loyalty gained no favor,
/  whose service we underrate.
Now making the move with vision
/  of another grand checkmate!

Oh, may their knights be ready,
/  and may a castle guard their king…
It’s time to brace for the onslaught
/  that one bad move can bring.
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12      LIFE’S BEDROOM COLD AND DARK

So you crawl into bed
And pull the covers over your head.
Then you listen as the wind
/     drives the rain against your window
And howls through the empty corridors of your soul.

You feel the night’s cold air,
But inside you really don’t care
‘Cause the coldness of the night                                                                                                                    /    can’t match the coldness of your heart
Or the frozen tombs in your mind.

You sit and stare at an ugly wall
Or stumble through an unlit hall.
But you don’t feel the hurt of falling
/     ’cause there’s another pain in your life,
A life of darkness like the darkest night.

(November 21, 1974)
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13      TRACES                                                                                                  *****

Within stark shadows
/  relentlessly cast
/     by the supreme reality
/        of our situation,
We cherish traces of light
/   somehow sustained
/      in the fleeting reflections
/         of our fantasy.
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14      FLAGGED

Let me put pen to paper
/   with utmost precision…
Ma’am, I understand and respect
/   your considered decision.
But I’m drawn to your innocence;
/   for that I’ll not be ashamed –
There’s no wild feeling in me
/   that needs to be tamed!
I’m no smooth opportunist
/  out for all he can get –
How ironic it’s my bankbook
/  that makes me a threat!
Why must the fame and success
/   of fine people like me
Raise red flags in your vision
/   of what the future could be?
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15     ALLIES OF THE NOW

Battle stations!  It’s the only way!
/   Get set, all you forces of today –
/       To fight off an army of memories.
/             It’s war!  Crush the sorrow!
/             Be ready, promise of tomorrow –
/       To hold back the broken dreams.
/   Surrender, my enemy!  Death to you, my past!
My Allies of the Now have set me free at last.
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16      STORYBOOK LIFE

You can tap out life’s rhythms
And put your tune to its rhymes –
You’re already living
/   in storybook times…
So don’t tie yourselves down 
By turning back to square one;
Read on and rejoice
/   in new chapters begun!
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17      TWO

Though you’re moving with ease
/   through the natural progression,
The conception in your head’s
/   a surefire regression!
As you deftly maneuver
/   through life’s little turns,
It’s a near perfect course
/   free of major concerns.
So why rock this boat
/   and churn the water to rough?
Why risk all that’s so good
/   when two souls are enough?
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18      REPRIEVE                                                                                *****

 

O Truth,
Grant me a favor.
Let me be so bold!
Ease your grip, 
Lessen your hold,
Permit me to dream.

O God,
Pervade my soul.
Bring me strength enough
To play life’s game
When the game plays rough!
Answer my prayer.

O Death,
Grant me a stay!
But as long as I live,
Will me to take 
Less than I give.
Permit me reprieve.
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19      ABNEGATION

With Wild West in the barroom
/   it’s best to lay low;
If a temptress wants to dance,
/   one can just say no.
Oftentimes a man’s virtue
/   is conceived in vice
As his character is steeled
/   in his sacrifice.
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20     NO CHANCE                                                                                             *****

So again you’ve lost at love –
What a sorry state!
And every clock ticks on;
/    your hour is late.
Always anted the kitty,
Played your hunches heartfelt –
Just to fold the big hands
/    when the cards were dealt!

Yet it’s worse not to try –
What a terrible fate!
To never sit at the table, 
/    to place your wagers too late.
For often you’d wonder
What joys might have been;
When you don’t play the game,
/    you’ve no chance to win.
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21      NO TRUE ESCAPE

Disappointments haunt me;
Into every waking moment they creep.
To achieve reprieve I sleep:
From consciousness failures fade
As I toss life’s onus aside;
Dreamland becomes a place to hide.

Yet even my nights are plagued
By the specter of my daily hell:
I authorize the sounding of a little bell,
So there is no true escape…
An alarm intrudes on dream mentality;
I awake to face the cold reality.
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22       PATIENCE                                                                                                 *****

Most of us dreamers sell out,
But I’ve never been like the rest.
To persevere is to pass 
Each faith-shaking test.

Timing is the master
/     of every fate…
While some jump too soon
And others move too late,
I know those who want the best
/     must wait.

Life’s adventures all teach
How patience fosters success.
So I’ve set my sights on a star,
And I’ll never settle for less.
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23    POET’S DROUGHT                                                                                      *****

Lyrical topics galore
/   I’ve yet to find…
No flashy couplets
/   have sprung to mind.
Given one small idea,
/   I’d get carried away!
Still here I sit
/   in utter dismay,
Refusing to believe
/   I have nothing to say.
So I pick up a pen
/   lest my plight become worse.
Call it a dry spell, a slump
/   or maybe a curse…
It’s been far too long
/   since I’ve written a verse.
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24     STOKE THE FIRE

That vast potential
/  may go to waste.
Big dreams don’t lead;
/  they must be chased.
The challenge makes
/  one feel alive,
But a failure sadly
/  lacks the drive…
Since motivation
/  is all he requires,
Maybe this poem
/  will stir those fires!

 

 

 

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