My Best to You

My Best to You

I’m 62 years old.  Here are 62 of my most accomplished poems – my best to you.

They are presented in chronological order, so the first ones here probably aren’t as good as the latter.  The parentheses give the date on which the poem was conceived and originally written; an asterisk (*) indicates the poem was revised at a later date – often many years later.

Here’s hoping you enjoy them.  Remember that poetry is meant to be read out loud.  Failing that, several readings will allow you a deeper appreciation of the rhyme and meter, both of which are more prevalent in the more recent creations toward the end of this post.

The shorter poems in the later years were intentionally so written as a requirement for publication.

.              “And before dying I want to share these poems of my soul…
.               My poems are soft green,
.               My poems are also flaming crimson,
.               My poems are like a wounded fawn seeking refuge in the forest.”
.                                                                         – from “Guantanamera” by the Sandpipers (1966)

 Index
All I Desire…………………………………………………12

Bagatelle…………………………………………………..21
Bit Part……………………………………………………..11
The Blessing………………………………………………26
Castles in the Sand………………………………………14
Come What May………………………………………….51
Counsel for a Friend……………………………………..24
Credit the Airwaves………………………………………38
Dark December Night…………………………………….4
Days of Blue……………………………………………….20
Defender of the Flame………………………………….23
Everywhere Around……………………………………..47
Evolution……………………………………………………40
Fateful Transition (Musings on a Pop Classic)……….29
Footbridge…………………………………………………….2
Full Throttle……………………………………………….45
Hit Me………………………………………………………..50
I’d Be Rich………………………………………………….55
Imperative………………………………………………….25
Insecurity…………………………………………………..48
In the Meadow……………………………………………61
The Jogger………………………………………………….28
Long Odds………………………………………………….37
Losers……………………………………………………….39
Love at First Sight…………………………………………52
Love’s Fortune…………………………………………….18
Middle-Class Blues………………………………………10
Misperception…………………………………………….8
Mixer’s Mistake………………………………………….19
My Only Rose………………………………………………26
Night-Rise…………………………………………………..46
No Chance…………………………………………………13
One Wish (40-10 = 20+10)……………………………..31
Out There………………………………………………….57
Pardon Me………………………………………………….58
Passions of Old…………………………………………..60
Patience…………………………………………………….33
Poet’s Drought…………………………………………….62
Prayer for a Special Love………………………………….1
Queens of the Flashing Lights…………………………16
Reprieve………………………………………………….27
Requiem………………………………………………….54
A Rose for Sharon………………………………………..5
Seek to Give……………………………………………….9
See Me Monday…………………………………………..56
A Shoulder to Cry On……………………………………22
Sparks…………………………………………………….49
Teachers………………………………………………….34
Teenage Eyes……………………………………………..15
This Night………………………………………………….35
To Stop Believing………………………………………….17
To the Aged  (Hear! Hear!)…………………………….59
Traces……………………………………………………….30
Ultrapoem………………………………………………….32
The Up Side of Down……………………………………..6
Virtue 1:  Faith……………………………………………..41
Virtue 20:  Love……………………………………………44
Virtue 2:  Prudence………………………………………42
Virtue 17:  Responsibility………………………………43
Was It the Smoke?……………………………………….3
Willows Weep………………………………………………7
You………………………………………………………….53


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1
PRAYER FOR A SPECIAL LOVE

May her heart know of the special love
/   that sends me to my knees today:

Now may the sun shine on her
/   long after it sets on the rest of the world.
May the cold north wind miss her house
/   as it blusters by,
May the thundering storm only tap gently
/   at her window pane.
May the roaring sea be as serene
/   as the calm of a country pond.
May her wildest dream of a thousand miles
/   be only a step away,
May the best of her yesterdays
/   fill all her tomorrows with joy,

And may her heart always know of a special love
/   that brings me to my knees this way.

(July 13, 1975 *)

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2
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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3
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 upon 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 our 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?

(September 1-2, 1976)

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 4

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.

(September 9-10, 1976)

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5
A ROSE FOR SHARON

Sharon had seen better days.
To her a rose had always been the symbol of love.
She used to say,
/     “Give me some flowers to put in my hair;
/       Pick me a rose to show that you care.”
But now her best days had come and gone.
By her twenty-first year she was very old;
She called her life,
/     “The start of a story that would not be told.”
Still, Sharon was the sparkle in a young man’s eye:
/     “She outshines the stars that shine in the sky.”
But despite all his prayers he found no way to save her,
Though while she lived,
If it was roses she wanted,
It was roses he gave her.
They used to say,
/     “We don’t really care where life’s river flows,
/       For we have each other and we have the rose.”
They tried to run from their fate,
But soon that look of despair appeared on their faces.
They should have known,
Fate has a way of winning its races.
So she said to him,
/     “Please give me a rose like those times before.”
Through her trembling hand its petals fell to the floor.
For one last time they shared the pain.
She crawled in his arms and they both started to cry
When she said,
/     “Please take this rose and don’t let it die.”
His heart saw the gardens that would never be
When Sharon said,
/     “Please take this rose and keep it for me.”

(May 19-22, 1977)

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6
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.

(June 22, 28-30, 1977)

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7
WILLOWS WEEP

As the horizon agrees
/   to be the sun’s pillow,
A solitary man sits
/   beneath a witnessing willow
By a placid lake
/   that reflects my mood of blue
These misty eyes can’t help
/   picturing you
And how our leap of faith
/   fell inches short…
Where it takes ten for love,
/   we counted nine.
Oh, I tried to be yours
/   and you tried to be mine,
But to err by degree
/   was still wrong direction
When the quest for a mate
/   was the pursuit of perfection…
In the deep purple dusk
/   it’s this past I see,
And it seems the willows weep
/   for you and me.

(July 21, 1977 *)

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8
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.

(September 1-3, 1977)

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9
SEEK TO GIVE

Asking, “What can that person do for me?
If I am a twig, will there soon be a tree?”
In each new relationship I had to know,
“In how many ways can he help me grow?”

God said, “Poor questions!  That’s no way to live!
You shouldn’t seek to gain, rather seek to give.
So pass out kindness, then see it through,
And in time good things will come back to you.”

Serving others is now the answer for me.
If I am a twig, there will soon be a tree.
For I grow in relationships bright and new
By asking, “What, my friend, can I do for you?”

(March 14, 1978)

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10
MIDDLE-CLASS BLUES

Teach math to high school kids,
Let dismissal bells be your friend.
Mow the lawn and trim the hedges
And watch them grow out again.
Do a little painting on the side,
Join a bowling league on Thursday night.
Grade papers, plan lessons,
Replace a burned out kitchen light.
Slander a kid in the teachers’ lounge,
Scrape money together to pay for a car.
Pretend your students aren’t sick of books
When you know they really are.

(June 10-11, 1978)

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11
BIT PART

Perhaps in fantasy worlds
May the men
/   encounter girls
With such enticing
/   multiple charms –
Ideal dawns will catch me
/   asleep in your arms

For never in this life
Shall I be like
/  the window shopper
Who often looks
/   but seldom buys –
I’ll fan the fire reflected
/   by your smouldering eyes

Yet within my deepening soul
I know passion plays
/   a minor role
In the bigger drama
/   of dreams come true –
It merely skims the surface
/   of my love for you

(June 17, 19-21, 1978 *)

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12
ALL I DESIRE

Some men chase dreams of the world –
To date a movie star, to own a racing car,
Money in the bank, a high social rank.
Now to each his own, I always say.
But I have no interest in the games they play.

Loving nights to spend alone with you –
Those moonlight walks, quiet midnight talks
By a gentle fire…That’s all I desire.
They can have the joy their world brings
For in you I have found the important things.

(August 20, 1978)

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13
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’ve been;
When you don’t play the game,
/   you’ve no chance to win.

(September 11 & 16, 1978 *)

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14
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.

(November 24-26, 29, 1978)

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15
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 or 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.

(January 17, 1979)

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16
QUEENS OF THE FLASHING LIGHTS

Mixing her lines of smooth, sweet talk
With a cute little wiggle in a cute little walk,
She knows all the sexy new moves,
And each week this painted lady proves
She’s the passionate queen of the flashing lights –
Disco’s gift to the world of Saturday Nights.

She’s enough of a woman, yet she gives it more –
Her young body moves swiftly across the floor.

And back at the table one can surely bet
On a glass of beer and a cigarette.
Add a low-cut dress and she’s got it made –
For these are the tools of this popular trade.
While the fever burns hot into warm summer nights,
Some girls thrive as queens of the flashing lights.

(May 28, 1979)

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17
TO STOP BELIEVING

On those very rare occasions
When from the clouded, distant past
There comes a romantic notion or a foolish thought,
I fight them off, stubbornly refusing to be caught
In the half-woven webs of yesteryear.
And so time forces on; life has exalted me –
In fact some say I’m a winner, though they do not see
The murky voids that often well up in my solemn soul.
Not do they perceive the flow of retrospective tears
Across the memories, the miles and the years –
All of which will soon lay to rest my sentimental tendency
To believe in the possible survival
Of that which never existed.

(October 14 & 21, 1979)

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18
LOVE’S FORTUNE

Lowly beginnings; perchance –
/     Two good friends.
Sole determinant:  destiny –
/     How stories end.
Passion plays, scheming –
/     On the shelf.
True love’s fortune
/     always tells itself.

(June 4, 1980)

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19
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!

(June 8, 1980)

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20
DAYS OF BLUE

From health of mind and body
/     to summertime days of blue –
Of countless blessings that are mine,
/     I deserve so very few.
For food on every table,
/     for dreams that may come true –
Thanks for being by my side
/     in all I strive to do.
From personal goals for love and work
/     to a life of service for You –
Thanks for placing within my heart
/     those year-round days of blue.

(June 20, 1980)

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21
BAGATELLE

Too long ago for too short a while
You let the face of us become a smile.
Of course we’re just the subject of poems hereafter,
For all smiles pale in the face of laughter.

And even when the laughter rings loudly no more,
You’d  rather subsist on echoes than reach for the door.
Some say there’s no reason to live a mistake;
You say there are rules you must not break.

So give laughter your best; let the past be blurred –
But know the truth lies within this title word.
Look it up, my friend, for it fits so well –
The smile, to you, was a bagatelle.

(July 11, 1980)

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22
A SHOULDER TO CRY ON

What was
Never knew
What could be,
Sometimes what was
Is
What is
To me.
But what was
To you
Is
A bygone,
So what was
Was
A shoulder to cry on
When what is
Wasn’t.

Now what is
Is
To be
You trust,
What is
Laid
What was
In the dust.
Though you
Chose
Your what is
To rely on,
Let what was
Be
A shoulder to cry on
When what is
Isn’t.

(July 13, 1980)

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23
DEFENDER OF THE FLAME     

Intrigue is reflections
/   that other fires lack;
This flame wavers and falters
/   but always comes back,
Providing soft shadows
/   that bounce and prance –
Across time and space
/   they flicker and dance.
My life moves like a breeze
/   that rekindles the fire;
Any threat of extinction
/   seems to lift it higher.
It burns through the storms
/   and glows through the night,
And though now of no value
/   as heat or light,
Its defender knows
/   that no one can name
A great fire not born
/   of a tiny flame.

(August 6, 16-17, 1980 *)

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24
COUNSEL FOR A FRIEND

Bittersweet remembrance, the returning ghost…
How sad that your past can hurt you most
Not when cherished or despised as yesterday’s way,
But when allowed to live as part of today.
Never should what-was put shackles on tomorrow;
A martyr loses all if he drowns in his sorrow.
Handling your past is something you must do –
Start by refusing to let it handle you!

(February 21-22, 1981)

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25
IMPERATIVE

Pursue a wild dream,
/   yours and mine –
Playfully tamper
/   with the hands of time.
Diminish the doubts,
/   delete the fears –
Believe love can add
/   and subtract the years!

When tomorrow’s horizon is hazy,
Remember not all beginnings have ends.
Trust in something that’s crazy;
Believe age is a rule that bends.

Have faith in miracles;
/   it’s never too late.
Challenge convention;
/   join forces with fate.
Turn back the clock
/   or fast-forward the days;
Live boldly our dream
/   in those timeless ways.

(June 20, 1981 *)

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26
MY ONLY ROSE

If God plants the seed,
/    each man reaps what He sows.
In the garden of life
/    true love is a rose…
And I dream of sharing a kiss
/    in the moon’s cool light,
Of being close to your heart
/    through a starry night.
But I’m keeping it secret,
/    though my senses are reeling –
How I hate the frustration
/    of hiding the feeling!
I’d rather shout it out loud
/    till the whole world knows –
In His garden of life
/    you’re my only rose!

(August 8, 1981)

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27
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.

(May 1, 1983)

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28
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.

(October 2-4, 1984)

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29
FATEFUL TRANSITION  (MUSINGS ON A POP CLASSIC)

Do you suppose Mr. Simon
/   would understand?
Through dark, weary years
/   I held onto her hand,
Laying me down
/   as her mind-easing
/      bridge of song.
But no dream sporting offspring
/   could shine to my soul;
As evenings-falling-hard
/   exacted their toll,
The undried tears
/   of a silver girl
/      sailed on by…
Now I blame disdain for life
/   minus son or daughter
For causing the bridge
/   to become the troubled water.

(June 9-12, 1987 *)

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30
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.

(June 7, 1989)

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31
ONE WISH  (40-10 + 20+10)

A genie sprang from a bottle,
Offering fame and fortune and fun.
“Three wishes will I for you fulfill.”
But I told him I needed just one:

A decade of age fell from my soul;
I was back in my thirtieth year!
When my ingenue caught the ten,
I said, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here!”

(June 9 & 11, 1989 *)

 

32
ULTRAPOEM

Though Webster tries,
He must realize
That you’re the definition of beauty.
Or if it truly lies
In the beholder’s eyes,
Then the Universe gazes upon you.

(June 16, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

33
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.

(June 26-27, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

34
TEACHERS

In recesses of our minds
/   bittersweet successes are stored –
We live a profession known
/   to be its own reward,
And no other aspect of teaching
/   can rightly mean so much
As knowing you make a difference
/   in the lives you touch.

(July 8, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

35
THIS NIGHT

Special moments won’t listen
/   to rhyme or reason;
The seeds of love may be sown
/   in any season…
So improvise a pillow
/   in yon patch of clover,
Lay your open
/   ere this night be over.
Harvest wonders under stars
/   and an August moon…
Yes, damn the dawn’s plan
/   to intrude so soon!
Supersede in one eve
/   the seeds planted before,
And share the secrets meant
/   to be secrets no more!

(July 9-10, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

36
THE BLESSING

He could mark his tally
/   before the game had begun;
He knew the score
/   before the race was run.
So he saw each date
/   even as he dressed –
With no guesswork to do,
/   our boy’d been blessed!

But where was rapture,
/   and where was bliss?
Where was the thrill
/   in love’s first kiss?
Where were sweaty palms
/   on the steering wheel?
Where was the dream
/   that fights to be real?

One tips off romance
/   with “Be still, my heart.”
He couldn’t finish
/   what he didn’t start.
So he never reached
/   “For better, for worse.”
Just what is a blessing,
/   and what is a curse?

(July 24-27, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

37
LONG ODDS

For her priceless affections
/   countless suitors will vie.
Faced with lottery odds,
/   a slim chance have I.
My heart quiets my head –
/   I’m compelled to try.

Too often I’m haunted
/   by what could have been,
So despite long odds
/   this gambler wants in!
A grand prize is at stake –
/   someone’s destined to win.

That’s the way a game’s played
/   in the quest for a mate,
So my chances no more
/   shall these words debate.
And if “someone” ‘s another
/   I’ll not rail at fate.

(July 31 & August 1-2, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

38
CREDIT THE AIRWAVES

Inspiration was the tuning
/   of a radio dial.
The Seventies’ records reared
/   my writing style.
In that maze of lyrics
/   the melodies were lost –
Oh, I could’ve been studying
/   Tennyson of Frost,
But I preferred pop lessons
/   from a vinyl stack,
So I had tutors like Lennon
/   and Fleetwood Mac.

(August 10-11, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

39
LOSERS

Keenly aware
Of our sad misplays
And all the chances blown…

Richly blessed
With much to offer –
Still we stand alone.

Seemingly damned
By this sorry state,
We stubbornly muddle through,

Meekly hoping
That quirks of fate
Reward the faithful few.

(August 14, 1989)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

40
EVOLUTION

O Ultimate Voice…
Ever tune my receiver
/   to heed what you say;
Work the pliable me
/   like a fine lump of clay.
O Quintessential Potter…
Might I always acquiesce
/   to your gracious demands;
May you constantly mold me
/   in your masterful hands.

(May 26-27, 1990)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

41
VIRTUE 1:  FAITH

A good man’s
/    Good Book
Collects no dust
/    upon its shelf –
There’s this need to believe
/    in something
That’s much bigger
/    than oneself.

It’s blazing trails
/    beyond the bend,
Once-fallow furrows
/    growing green…
Paul in Hebrews
/    called it
The evidence
/    of things unseen.

It’s a link
/    to peace eternal,
To what’s right
/    our trust is wired…
Brotherhood
/    and a God who’s good –
No support
/    from reason required.

(June 24-25, 1994)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

42
VIRTUE 2:  PRUDENCE

Know when to pick a side
/   and when to straddle the fence.
Show your practical wisdom
/   and use your common sense.
Weigh the valid views
/   of all the diverse factions.
Always prejudge the likely
/   results of your actions.

Know when to become a friend
/   and when to remain a stranger.
Be circumspect where there’s risk,
/   on the alert where there’s danger.
Distinguish life’s true loves
/   from its infatuations.
Choose a workable plan
/   in pressure situations.

Know when to stand up strong
/   and when to take a seat.
May your conduct be self-disciplined,
/   may your decisions be discreet.
Tossing caution to the wind?
/   Your soul would think it treason!
So carefully manage your affairs
/   and govern yourself through reason.

(June 27-28, 1994)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

43
VIRTUE 17:  RESPONSIBILITY

Those teens who so long
/   to be declared
/        autonomous –
Do they know
/   ‘mature’ and ‘responsible’
/        are practically synonymous?
No human beings
/   can be considered
/        fully grown
Till they earn chances
/   to make choices
/        on their own.
All young people
/   give adulthood
/        its first real fling
When loved ones
/   can trust them
/        to do the right thing.

(August 16, 1994)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

44
VIRTUE 20:  LOVE

An ideal acquired
/   through living,
Born more of will
/   than of whim…
It’s accepting God’s grace
/   toward us
While sharing
/   our reverence
/       for Him.

But more it’s a
/   genuine aura,
A gentle
/   and generous kind…
By what is given
/   of oneself
The capacity
/   for love
/       is defined.

Christ would say
/   it’s the ultimate virtue;
This writer has saved it
/   for last…
An eternal
/   and worthy legacy
When our days
/   on this planet
/       have passed.

(August 23-24, 1994)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

45
FULL THROTTLE

The alluring purr of the motor…
Still a foot’s firm on the brake.
We’ve been coping quite well
/   with some cosmic mistake.

But, oh, those utopian roads
Where what-if’s come to pass –
We’d kick open the throttle
/   on a full tank of gas!

(March 15, 1997)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V^V^V

46
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.

(April 25, 1998)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

47
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?

(August 5-6, 1998)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

48
INSECURITY

When you make me feel needed,
I can sleep throughout the night.
If you’d just say you love me,
I would surely be all right.
If I knew I’d won your favor
With my sad-romantic ways,
I could look back in reminiscence
Or ahead to better days.
Should I endure these tough times
To find something to enjoy…
There might someday be a man
Where there’s now a little boy.

(February 13-14, 1999)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

49
SPARKS

Can’t rightly expect it
/   to burn the same –
I must settle for
/   a lingering ember.
My challenge will be
/   to rekindle the flame
In the ashes
/   of fires remembered.

(May 31, 1999)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

 

50
HIT ME

Life’s a blackjack game,
And the stakes are plenty.
She’s redoubling her bets –
And she won’t stand on twenty!
I step away from the table;
There’s to be no saving face…
As “love bears all things,”
May her card be an ace!

(September 12-13, 1998)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

51
COME WHAT MAY

Thank You for this morning
And its opportunity to pray,
Forgive the many sins
I commit along the way.
Be present in my life
Through this and every day,
Prepare me for my future –
Come what may.

(September 19, 1999)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

52
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

What I believe about romance
/  may need some correction…
Spotted her from my seat
/  in the nosebleed section,
Sneaked down to steal a glance
/  in her direction,
Used a faithful friend
/  as line-of-sight protection…
I should ditch this plan
/  for escaping detection;
My future appears
/  in a vision of perfection!

(October 24-25 & 31, 1999)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

53
YOU

No topic has been so sublime…
Yes, I write of you often,
But not this time!
As another day dawns
To ask what’s in store,
I scratch the same old itch;
I’ve been here before.
Yet to be stuck in this rut,
To have sought something new…
Is to hope these lines
Find their way back to you!

(March 5 & 11, 2000)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

54
REQUIEM                               

Most good things
/   this life had willed
Have sadly gone
/   unfulfilled…
But as we fumble for
/   the words to say,
Death never takes
/  it all away.
Some plans our God
/   does not reveal;
The faithful trust
/   He must conceal
Love mere man
/   here cannot know…
By grace one day
/   that love will show.

(September 22-25, 2001)
(This poem was an adaptation of “Sad December” lyrics.)                                                                                                               

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

55
I’D BE RICH

You can call my bluff –
Don’t let me walk alone.
Who could have enough
To make it on his own?
Nothing pays love’s price.
(A point the rich concede!)
If you’d roll love’s dice,
We’d win just what we need.

Golden dreams refined –
We’d own the lion’s share.
How is wealth defined?
How could it all compare?
Heaven shows its face
Each time a knot is tied.
Who could earn that grace?
It’s you here by my side!

(2001-2002)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

56
SEE ME MONDAY

Hurry up, weekend –
/  You have to get here soon.
I cannot settle
/  for Friday noon.
Sick and tired
/  of workaday stuff,
I’m watching the clock –
/  It ain’t fast enough!
Come quitting time,
/  I won’t be found.
They’ll look for my car;
/  I’m not around.
Good riddance, office –
/  I’m homeward bound!

(July 19-20, 2002)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

57
OUT THERE

We’ve probably passed
/   on a busy street;
I know you’re out there,
/   but where do we meet?
Do I belly up
/   to a fancy bar,
Spend money and time
/   where the women are?
Do you show your rhythm
/   on a lighted floor,
Get stuck at some party
/   with a hopeless bore?
The whole singles scene
/   is so deflating,
Almost desperate enough
/   for computer dating!
The phone never rings;
/   I’m tired of waiting…
If I knew where to look,
/   you’d be swept off your feet;
I know you’re out there,
/   but how do we meet?

(August 5, 2002)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

58
PARDON ME

My conscience is far from clear…
Have I locked up my soul in jail?
Though standing trial remains my fear,
His grace will post my bail.
If there are no sins He can’t forgive,
Will mercy over justice prevail?
It’s a godly life I seek to live…
Why do I so frequently fail?

(August 14-15, 2002)                

^V^V ^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

59
TO THE AGED  (HEAR!  HEAR!)

The future never was
/   ours to see;
Propose no toast
/   to what will be.
Some are content
/   to have come so far;
Underachievers drink
/   to what they are.
Only with lenses thick
/   and hair gone thin
Dare we raise a glass
/   to what we’ve been.

(August 12-13, 2003)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V

60
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!

(February 1, 2004)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V ^V^V^V^V

61
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.

(May 9, 2004)

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V

62
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.

(June 15-16, 2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “My Best to You

  1. “My Best To You” was worth the wait! And I can’t think of a better way to introduce the poet to the reader than starting with “Prayer for a Special Love”. It’s a great gift of love from a man to a woman to know she’s in his prayers…and at just 20, the poet penned the sentiment in a most touching way. Nice selections for your top 61!

    Like

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