POEMS  -- November

                           

                                     Dedicated to the poetic works of John Henry Van Ert, Jr.

 

           IN MEMORIAM:    John Henry Van Ert, Jr.: September 22, 1958 to January 9, 2011 

        Despite his reminder to us all that "the road to heaven winds through hell" John is NOT a 'tortured

    soul' poet.  Instead, John reveals praise and criticism both as acts of heartfelt love.  John's soul is in the

    room as he shares his intimate vision of love, life and natural beauty.  To hear a man's heart so clearly can only

    make another heart cry with joy -- and loss.  John says what WE also feel--that's the poet-prophet role all

    cultures have needed to heal. 

            Last night, sitting in our backyard looking up to the heavens at midnight, the full moon blinded us to all

    but one of Perseid's show: a huge, blazing swath of sparkling light rushed headlong across the black backdrop--

    and just as suddenly was gone.  "Wow!  That's the first real shooting star I've ever seen," said Larissa, "I guess the

    other ones were just my imagination..."  Exactly how I feel after reading John'spoetry.             

     --Tim Van Ert

     (John signed his poems with their titles at the end--so I am preserving that iconoclastic gesture: which I love!)

                 

                          

                                        You will creep in silent shadows

                                        Of all those past

                                        Daring not to disturb

                                        The crowd as they chant unknown elegies

                                        For your sons and daughters
 

                                        Raise your head, unfold your arms

                                        Lift you voice above the crowd

                                        Through your conscience you have come to know

                                        The sound of tomorrow awakening
 

                                        A lark sang

                                        You were awakened from your slumber

                                        Were not the trees dancing in the wind?

                                        How could you not listen to the roaring sound

                                        Of the eagle soaring effortlessly

                                        Above your eyes?
 

                                        Let your tongue taste the rumble

                                        Of these threatening skies

                                        Thunder and lightning bring tears to my eyes

                                        Shedding no tears you look away
 

                                        Will you ever know the serenity of peaceful skies?

                                        Let the clouds part

                                        And the morning star will spread its light

                                        On this desperate world
 

                                        For it takes no more light

                                        To bring hope

                                        Than a whole, minute flash

                                        Let the morning light dance in your eyes

                                        For it may be your destiny

                                        To dance with it
 

                                                                        --Morning Light

 
 

                                       Bus rolls by.  Cab rolls up

                                       Mustachioed driver drinking from Styrofoam cup

                                       Adjusting his mirror, he shouts from inside

                                       “Just released? I know you need a ride.”

                                       I grin. I laugh. Got one

                                       It’s sweet.  It’s fine. Freedom

                                       I notice, I sense, I smile out loud

                                       Float to the corner and join a crowd

                                       Baby blue Cadillac waits for the turn

                                       Purple haired punker with cigarette burns

                                       Flips off.  Flips out.  Screams

                                       White haired grandma on grandson leans

                                       Mesmerized.  Enchanted.  A Spanish girl

                                       Soft brown eyes from another world

                                       There’s me and Buba, Jose and Pops

                                       One road opens, another just stops

                                       Most times a corner, not today

                                       A crossroad, a dream, produced in L.A.

                                       Some of us make it, we catch our ride

                                       Music turned up, we rock inside

                                       My spirit soars, I forget the pain

                                       Fleetwood Mac, “you must never break the chain”

                                       Nervous, Anxious.  It’s hard to sit

                                       T. Woods from billboard says “just do it”

                                       A journey.  A trip.  A second stop

                                       To a place imagined so close and yet

                                       It’s distant.  Foreign.  Sort of Déjà vu

                                       The sky a hope.  Silver and blue

                                       Freeway.  Trees.  Blur of road

                                       Sights and sounds.  Sensory overload

                                       Joy and fear, force and fact

                                       It’s old and new.  There and back

                                       The buildings.  The cars.  Every place

                                       Charged with tenderness and amazing grace

                                       I think of her, stare at the hills

                                       Sink to the spiral.  Thought that kills

                                       An inmate.  A spirit. Elongated shadow

                                       Tires on tarmac.  I begin to grow

                                       A boy.  A man.  Seems like yesterday

                                      Life’s a picture.  A movie.  Produced in L.A.
 

                                                                                   ......born of l.a.

 
                                               
 

                                                There is a certain place between agony and ecstasy

                                                Although the description sometimes worries me

                                                Not for loss of words or a particular stunted emotion

                                                It’s just a void blurred by time’s inscription

                                                Upon a heart in constant motion

                                                Searching for home, wandering alone

                                                On the outside looking in

                                                Reflecting these letters from within
 

                                                Here under mounds of debris heaped upon sweet liberty

                                                Lies a sadness that is all on me

                                                Being sorry makes it no less a reality

                                                And tears that have fallen empty

                                                Echo the regrets that fill the pool

                                                Neither half empty nor half full

                                                Into the night, a terrible lull

                                                Between here and there, now and then

                                                Where memories glide and ride the wind

                                                To awake each morning as letters from within
 

                                                As I look past the now, into the tomorrows

                                                Beyond the sorrows that encapsulated my world

                                                Past the extreme loss of control

                                                Freed to experience new goals

                                                I pause, what is my role?

                                                Will I grow?  Which way do I go?

                                                To the heart, my heart, I must listen

                                                Seek contentment, find ambition

                                                Merge intelligence with intuition

                                                And read aloud the letters from within
 

                                                It is not like I can just say goodbye

                                                All alone I think that I

                                                Have never felt solitude so grand

                                                As I explore the private land

                                                With its roots in the child

                                                And its branches reaching to the man

                                                Stretching outward my thoughts expand

                                                Out across skies both blue and grey

                                                Beyond the night and through the day

                                                To touch those beautiful green eyes

                                                In daydreams and sweet lullabies

                                                Choreographed in letters from within
 

                                                Seems so strange sometimes

                                                As I sit quietly and talk in rhyme

                                                Moments suspend, becoming longer where

                                                Time fleets unaware like a leaf in the wind, gently

                                                The essence of partnership endures silently

                                                Revealing me like nothing else can

                                                Someday maybe you too will understand

                                                The depth of its simplicity

                                                Through emotions bared completely

                                                We’ll recall the way back when

                                                In these letters from within
 

                                                Can it be that two entirely separate things

                                                Are one at the same time?

                                                Through tears we sing, while falling we climb

                                                All paths lead to this

                                                In companionship we endure the abyss

                                                Separation then becomes fusion

                                                Girl this is no illusion

                                                The tempest rages under peaceful skies

                                                In those eyes, your eyes again

                                                Invite these letters from within
 

                                                Of all the things I have meant to say

                                                That which springs eternal

                                                And gives wings to our mortal souls

                                                Whether it be a man looking back upon his cages

                                                Or a young girl staring intently

                                                At the image in the mirror

                                                They are but letters on the pages

                                                In a tale of kindred hearts

                                                Four letters I’m thinking of

                                                In a story told again and again

                                                L,o,v,e,

                                               Burning letters from within
 

                                                                                        ...letters from within

 

 

God knows it has been a long while

The memories still make me smile

All the world a mystery

Countless recollections of when I was free

Discoveries ran in endless streams

Through the wonders of a youngster’s schemes

I’d take flight, spread my wings

Explore the world of imagined things

Alive in a good boy’s dream
 

From high above I could look down

On my world, my friends, my town

All my being thrilled to the core

In my new found confidence I’d soar

Across the universe, far from myself

Then land in the morning, back on the shelf

Slip into the same old uniform

In which my worlds were torn

By a good boy’s dream
 

Disciplined in the art of being blind

The threat of the whip, there to remind

Stepping off the designated path was wrong because

It was beyond who I was

So emotions and feelings were suppressed

Except for anger and frustration I guess

Aspirations were held discretely

Hopes were private completely

In a good boy’s dream
 

Under the weight of a heavy backhand

I learned through scars to understand

Within my thoughts I could sail free

As I lay head down peacefully

My arms became wings while I was trying

My heart raced, my spirit flying

Into the acceptance I found on my own

The joy was mine though only on loan

From a good boy’s dream
 

In a good boys dream

I could be anything at all

I could sail the edge, push the seam

And never fall, I still recall

The thrill of it all

Still today there are parts I’ve seen

Though they are far and few between

These glimpses of what I’ve been

And yes, the years roll by

And the memories get caught

Lending color to my world

That order would not

I am inmate and instrument

To a good boy’s dream
 

                         ...GOOD BOYS DREAM

 

 

                                Thinking back, I'm not sure
                                                If it was imagination
                                                Or predestination that brought us
                                                Together that day, eye to eye.
                                                Me a prince of the dust, and he,
                                                A lord of the sky.
                                                But in that instant, like lovers
                                                We consumed the space
                                                That separated us, face to face,
                                                Soul to soul.  Time did slow,
                                                The motions, the movements, staccato.
                                                We reveled in the wonder momentarily
                                                And quite ordinarily pondered heaven
                                                And all existing under.

                                                There in the quiet shared
                                                Shafts of reason struck wondrously
                                                In a voice emanating as if
                                                From nobled halls.  They called to me
                                                With the grace and majesty
                                                Afforded to kings, I thought of
                                                Moses upon his wings,
                                                Carried to the land promised
                                                Where the angels sing
                                                The chorus of a thousand ages.
                                                The song burnt fiercely in his eyes
                                                Reflecting the faces of warriors and sages
                                                Who had flown before across ancient skies,
                                                Skies now so alive with affinity
                                                And the thunderclap of emotion
                                                Thoughts struggled to express

                                                There amongst the graceful pine
                                                Mortality was shared, fundamental and savage,
                                                Captured in a stare, his and mine.
                                                A moment became an eternity
                                                And our companionship
                                                Was etched in the eagles' eye.
                                                This captivated me and motivated me
                                                To ask of him "why?"
                                                Then as if to reply, I could swear
                                                The eagle mustered a grin
                                                As he effortlessly glided by
                                                All my questions were answered
                                                And in the echo of the winds
                                                I still recall what was said
                                                Every now and again.

                                                "Look to the stones polished bright
                                                By the waters that surge around us.
                                                Take comfort throughout the travails
                                                That time sets upon us.
                                                Let that which we may never know
                                                Guide and instruct the innate.
                                                This will sooth the loneliness
                                                Of eternity passing."
                                                As the silhouette disappeared
                                                I knew then as I know now,
                                                It matters not who is powerful
                                                Or who is weak.
                                                In this wonderful rolling away of history
                                                All things change.  Life goes on.
                                                His and mine.

                                                                             ......LORD OF THE SKY 

        

 

It was half sun, painted, setting half way

Confused and muddied heritage, human born

Where pleasure and pain, thunder and storm

Ran false, as the nature of thought this day
 

This day, a day where once again

Illogical and unreasonable fared best

Far outweighing experience and the rest

There rose from these depths, sudden inclination
 

To venture forth into a vision that all good

Salvation must lie in an outside  land

Forays to the inside were at best, sleight of hand

Partial and selective , flickering of what should
 

Be, but are not, so it seems

Another decision falls distant to its mark

The archer’s aim is insidious and dark

Plotting its course across prideful dreams
 

It stutters, hesitates, resorts to sloth

Dividing itself into equation and fraction

Veering steadily away from any action

That may pull or remove the cloth
 

Draped conspicuously, carefully, upon the box

Hiding the things he wishes not to see

Vestiges lay waiting, seething, so foolishly

The gate is searched and not its locks
 

There, smoldering in the ash of complacency

Echoes stir in hopes to part

The way a man thinks within his heart

And set to motion perception’s mystery
 

As if strong motive could change the way

He eyes his windmills and prepares to slay

Demons that hold his truth at bay

Damn providence and its moral sway!

Heaven and earth shall part this day


Gathering his sword from off his hip

He perches the weapon upon his lip

Places the stone, then lights the tip

Perhaps denial will loosen its grip

And change the features of another ill fated trip
 

Into the smoking glass he is drawn

In a wisp of smoke he is gone

Rising and falling, drifting, swirling upon

Winds of fate that will carry him beyond

Any worldly plane he once relied on
 

Against the sun his vapor pearled

Across the sky his essence hurled

Heart and soul, twisted and curled

Ominous warnings, unheeded, now unfurled

He enters a portal to another world
 

There, bridges bend and arch as do

Butlers bowing to an invited few

Welcomed as guest, trapped as fools

In an angels’ city human cesspool

Teeming with contradiction, life terribly askew
 

Touching the pavement he breaks and burst

East of Eden, to the curb he is cursed

Slipping to the gutter, he is nursed

Baptized on the nickel, schooled and versed

Under the neon crown of king ”I” the first
 

So sad steps scrape a vast emptiness

And garbage whirls in a broken mind

A narrowed window whose character defined

Reveals this somber hues of loneliness
 

Exposing both meaning and message

Unwholesome in thought and whisper

Grief and despair are brother and sister

To this highwayman’s brute-like passage
 

Free choice could no longer be free

Tolls were paid at the invisible line

Desire, revulsion, entrap and entwine

Insanity clamors in an abyss of anonymity
 

                                                                                Power and control were once a useful tool

Bitter faint, memories arouse the voice

Awakening the illusion of personal choice

Taunting the soul of this demoralized fool
 

He claims, “This is I.” you can’t understand

An undeserving victim wed to bad luck

A drug addicted animal inexplicably stuck

Cursing the deal while hiding his hand
 

Just one more chance, one more try

Perhaps at last time will tell

A  gentleman’s  deed of managing well

Alas, lurking notions are meant to fly
 

Off the cliff to inevitable doom

And yet his horses and all his men

Frantically piece him together again

At their best only camouflage the tomb.
 

                        ...Salvation Must Lie in an Outside Land

 

 

To describe it as it appears, often I have voiced mountain

Though I have felt hill or mound fitting at times

It was easier than taking the time to traverse

Or swim through its core immaterial

Much harder to lay claim, take, or appreciate location
 

This is me, gorge of a man, reversing, rising

My granite outcroppings solemn and weary, soft with

A shaggy coat of chaparral, yearning for change

Knowing the rumbling of soul and desire within

I await the season, the emergence of the individual
 

He, who has masterfully adorned a chasm that lay open

Traces the sad waters of an insecure base while

Carving patiently insight and testimony to yesterday

This peaceful song, water on rock, time…

Invites me to roam upon the grit and sand of self
 

Indeed it is a mountain, I have turned away

From its memories captured, shielding feelings

Amongst shadows and forms and colors

Life’s reflection dances uneasy with the limbs that

Ripple gently, suggesting this artist timid brush
 

No longer do I wish to pass by or circumvent

That which prospers before or within, barrier

This need at present just feature of the main

Often and easily interpreted as obstacle

Its influence proving less threat than challenge
 

Any step, especially first, bears trepidation

Conjures fear, as if gazing on unknown distant shore

Whose reefs lie ragged and perilous, show no harbor

Except in speculation or notion, in daydreams

Of a surface creature, determined in the comfort of externals
 

Mired in choice, my thoughts are grounded in fear

Is the summit a goal or beyond I wish to find?

Perhaps the journey is less than that

Maybe the map will prove more elusive than the territory

In my circle of inspect I return again to resolve
 

My faith, my commitment to all that is life

Not to use or try and understand but to know

In this surrender I am acquainted with my truer self

To stand as mountain within range, man among men

Free to rove, to conduct and commune with all that is me
 

                                                          ......All that is Me

 

                          

                                                                                                        SEEKING THE WINDOW TO MY SOUL

                                                                                    I AM LOST

                                                                                    MOTIONLESS, EXCEPT THE TEARS

                                                                                    MY HEART POUNDING OUT THE COST

                                                                                    KNEES BUCKLING TO THE FEARS

                                                                                    THAT RISE SO READILY THESE DAYS

                                                                                    IN THE LATE EVENING HOURS

                                                                                    THOSE FEW MOMENTS

                                                                                    WHEN I STOP AND GAZE

                                                                                    ACROSS THE WALLS AND TOWERS

                                                                                    THAT KEEP ME FROM HOLDING YOU

 

                                                                                    THE DISTANCE BATHED SILVER AND BLUE 

                                                                                    SEEMS TO EXPAND

                                                                                    STREAMING FROM BENETH MY EYES

                                                                                    RAGING MEMORIES THAT LEAD ME TO YOU

                                                                                    CASCADE INWARD, REVEALING THE LIES

                                                                                    THAT SPEAK TO THE VERY SOUL OF ME

                                                                                    THOSE THINGS

                                                                                    BOTH BIG AND SMALL

                                                                                    FOR WHICH THEY SAY LET IT BE 

                                                                                    THEY’RE AN ORDER MUCH TOO TALL 

                                                                                    I CAN’T FORGET YOU

                                                                                    THOUGH GOD KNOWS I'M TRYING TO

                                                                                                                                     ...TRYING TO

           

                            

                                                                          Shadows black and primal green 

                                                                    Rush the water, and then retreat again 

                                                                    Into the depths of what I feel 

                                                                    Regenerative force to me revealed

 

                                                                    Sketch the houses climbing the hills 

                                                                    Trees wind dancing, never still 

                                                                    Thrown like linen over summer’s bed 

                                                                    Clouds race, part and spread                             

 

                                                                    Cormorants sing an eternal tune 

                                                                    From rocks below, jumbled, strewn 

                                                                    Calls that echo Leviathan deep 

                                                                    Awake my soul from mortal sleep

 

                                                                    Scatter blues in sky and sea 

                                                                    Varying moods chant harmony 

                                                                    While diamonds float beyond the foam 

                                                                    To crash the shore and claim their home                            

 

                                                                    Oh that you could see this too! 

                                                                    Blonde shoreline stretch the endless view 

                                                                    Every element become as one 

                                                                    Christened gold by afternoon sun

 

                                                                    Words, they fail to represent 

                                                                    The wonder, the soul of His intent 

                                                                    Thus my wish is cast and spent 

                                                                    To have you here is my lament 

 

                                                                                            ...OCEANS LAMENT

                                

 

                                                                            Opened my eyes to an empty bed 

                                                                            Wondered out loud 

                                                                            What the hell I’d said 

                                                                            That made you go away 

                                                                            Jumped to my feet 

                                                                            Searched through the house 

                                                                            Not a trace was found 

                                                                            In the lonely cold truth 

                                                                            A door opened to a frozen world                            

 

                                                                            As hard as I tried 

                                                                            I could not see my girl 

                                                                            Up above there was familiar sound 

                                                                            A flock of geese had taken wing 

                                                                            I watched as they flew by 

                                                                            It was then I knew you had gone 

                                                                            To search for solid ground 

                                                                            To let your spirit fly 

                                                                            Though I still wonder why                            

 

                                                                            Is it inclimate weather 

                                                                            Or nature's call 

                                                                            That sends you running 

                                                                            Just leaving it all 

                                                                            Sometimes I think 

                                                                            Life is so unfair 

                                                                            Why do you start yearning 

                                                                            When there is a touch of chill in the air 

                                                                            The days are warming 

                                                                            Though you are still not there                            

 

                                                                            Just when you get next to me 

                                                                            I feel the pull, I watch the slide 

                                                                            Gently at first, then stronger 

                                                                            A few moments, then longer 

                                                                            Is I fear that drives you 

                                                                            Or the anxiety of something real 

                                                                            Bolder than before 

                                                                            Tell me, does it hurt to feel?                            

 

                                                                                                    ......inclimate weather

                                                         

 

                                                                                        What makes me so sure? 

                                                                                        When I look into the eyes 

                                                                                        Of our children I see 

                                                                                        The innocence has been 

                                                                                        Replaced with responsibility 

                                                                                        We ask so much of them 

                                                                                        In this day and age 

                                                                                        Before they are done reading 

                                                                                        We expect them to turn the page 

                                                                                        Latchkey and the TV 

                                                                                        Have replaced mom and dad 

                                                                                        How do we return to 

                                                                                        The good times we once had?                            

 

                                                                                        Nobody knows how to love anymore 

                                                                                        To stand by their beliefs 

                                                                                        See their ships return to shore 

                                                                                        It is easier to get by 

                                                                                        Day after day 

                                                                                        Making excuses and walking away 

                                                                                        Divorce is so common 

                                                                                        No one even blinks an eye 

                                                                                        When two good people 

                                                                                        Lose their will to try 

                                                                                        Dedication and commitment 

                                                                                        Are things of the past 

                                                                                        What good are vows 

                                                                                        If we don’t make them last?                            

 

                                                                                        Nobody knows how to care anymore 

                                                                                        We hide in our houses 

                                                                                        And lock our doors 

                                                                                        There is someone who is hungry 

                                                                                        Down on his luck 

                                                                                        We criticize his misfortune 

                                                                                        Never sparing a buck 

                                                                                        Down on the corner 

                                                                                        A man crawls on all fours 

                                                                                        We stop for a traffic signal 

                                                                                        But we won’t open our door 

                                                                                        How would it feel if this man were me or you?                            

 

                                                                                        Nobody knows how to trust anymore 

                                                                                        Remember when neighbors still talked 

                                                                                        And kids played outdoors? 

                                                                                        When lovers still walked 

                                                                                        Dreaming of more 

                                                                                        Remember hoping for the best, working hard 

                                                                                        And letting God take care of the rest?                            

 

                                                                                                                                         ...nobody knows

                                                                 

 

                                                                                                            The still of an angry afternoon 

                                                                                                            Bounces off the hanging linen 

                                                                                                            In this cauldron the hours scorch 

                                                                                                            The colors off a million leaves 

                                                                                                            Cracklin’ silver green 

                                                                                                            In the summer’s breeze 

                                                                                                            While I stare a message burns 

                                                                                                            In the whisper of the trees 

                                                                                                            Relentless the sweat breaks off brow 

                                                                                                            I cry out, please come home now 

                                                                                                            Sitting patiently I await the answer 

                                                                                                            While days drag on like lingering cancer 

                                                                                                            Through dog days and sultry nights 

                                                                                                            Faith endures in testament 

                                                                                                            To the passage of its last rites 

                                                                                                            Suddenly in a waking dream 

                                                                                                            There comes a horseman blazing across the sky 

                                                                                                            Seemingly on course and 

                                                                                                            Staring me directly in the eye 

                                                                                                            He tells his tale while flying by 

                                                                                                            The blazing star screams 

                                                                                                            It is you, it is I who love only you                                    

 

                                                                                                            Once again I try to explain 

                                                                                                            While the emptiness 

                                                                                                            Laden with driving rain 

                                                                                                            Is chased away with your smile bright 

                                                                                                            Darkened tunnels burst with morning light 

                                                                                                            Over obstacles both big and small 

                                                                                                            This crippled heart 

                                                                                                            Rises straight and tall 

                                                                                                            To trust once more, though 

                                                                                                            I thought I never would 

                                                                                                            Somehow I think you knew I could 

                                                                                                            Lovely lady this much I can tell 

                                                                                                            You hold my future in your wishing well 

                                                                                                            When reasons to go on 

                                                                                                            Are hard to sell 

                                                                                                            The road to heaven winds through hell 

                                                                                                            Separation is a demon 

                                                                                                            Its motives untrue 

                                                                                                            All others forsaken 

                                                                                                            I whisper it is you 

                                                                                                            It is I who love only you                                    

 

                                                                                                                                    ....ONLY YOU


 

THERE WAS UPON THE EARTH

A DISTANT TREMBLE THAT WORRIED

BOTH INNOCENT AND WISE

WHO HAD BEEN CALLED TO ASSEMBLE
 

IN THE TOWNS, CHURCH CHOIRS SANG

AS THE GOOD BOOK LAY OPEN

UNAWARE, UNREAD AS THUNDER RANG

AND THEY, SHAMED, TURNED AWAY

THEIR COLLECTIVE HEAD

                                                     

WHILE DEATH, INCONSIDERATE, PONDERING

NEITHER RIGHT OR WRONG TOLLED THROUGH

DUSTY DAWNS PRECONCEIVED IN

THE ICY DARK OF POLITICAL CON

FLASHING DESERT SAND, SACRIFICING INNOCENT LAMBS
 

IN ITS WIND THE TREES WERE ERASED

WHITE HOT ECHOES, THESE THAT DID NOT STOP

OR BEGIN WITH THE RISING SUN

BUT NEVERTHELESS CROSSED PACIFIC WATER

TO CHALLENGE AND TOY WITH SLAUGHTER
 

SHINING KNIGHTS CALLED THE MOURNING

OVER AND OVER TILL THE WARNING

GREW STILL AND WE AS A PEOPLE

GREW COLDER, IN AWE WE FROZE

PAWNS OF AN ATOMIC SCAM
 

IN THE HOLY NAME OF WAR

ALL BOWED, PRETENDING PEACE

WHILE MONEY HUNGRY AND

BLOODTHIRSTY WARRIORS DESIRED MORE

AND ALL HELL WAS UNLEASHED
 

IN CHAIN REACTION, GLOBAL HYSTERIA

EN MASSE WE BLAME IT ON THEM

THEM ON US, STOIC SCIENTIST

TETHERED PUPPETS, UNABLE TO FATHOM

THEIR MUSHROOMS OF ARMAGEDDON
 

                                                        ......gardens atomic

 


 

WIND BLOWS, TIME GOES

MEMORIES LIKE THE RIVER FLOW

REMEMBERING THIS, REMEMBERING THAT

ONLY THE TRUTH IS WHERE IT’S AT
 

WEATHERED LONG MY FEELINGS STRONG

THOUGH ENCASED IN DAYS GONE

AND SOMETIMES HARD TO SEE

THEY SEEM TO FOLLOW ME
 

THROUGH MELLOW LIGHT AND WARM NIGHTS

I DREAM ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT

WHAT KIND OF IDEAS ARE THESE

THAT TURN ME TO YOU, HELP ME PLEASE
 

YOU’VE BEEN GOOD TO ME, THANKING YOU, YOU SEE

IT TAKES A HARD HEADED WOMAN TO BELIEVE IN ME

YOU SEE, I NEED A FRIEND

I’VE COME TO YOU AGAIN
 

MAYBE SOME TIME WILL UNTANGLE THESE LINES

ENOUGH TO SEE ONLY WORDS RHYME

BECAUSE GIRL, POETRY TO ME

RELATES LIFE ENDLESSLY


                       
            ...wind blows
 


 

               WHEN WALKING UPON

               PASSING CLOUDS

               WHEN TALKING IN DREAMS

               WISHING ALOUD

               STEP NIMBLY, SLEEP LIGHTLY

               ACROSS SKIES CRIMSON AND BLUE

               SOFTLY TOWARDS HORIZONS NEW

               INTO THE UNKNOWN

               WHERE FUTURE IS ON LOAN

               TO THOSE WHO CARE

               ONLY TO BE THERE

               WITH HEART AND SOUL

               NEITHER TO SUBMIT OR CONTROL

               CASTING LOVE AS A GOAL

               IN A PART TOO TOUGH

               IN WATERS TOO ROUGH

               FOR THE WEAK AND CONFUSED

               REMEMBER YOUR STRENGTHS

               AND THE GAIT OF POWER

               IN COLORS BLEAK

               AND  EMOTIONS ABUSED

               ALL THE LENGTHS

               ARE STEPS OF A TOWER

               FOR THOSE WISHING

               ONLY TO BE THERE?
 

                                       ...only to be there
 


 

Amidst the steel grey doors

Amongst the concrete black

Where desperation’s silent gate

Guides us on that lonely walk

Upwards towards the thundering sound

Of hand on book

Where men in rags

And men in uniform

Take the same steps

Upwards and inwards

To take a look

Through the cracks and crevices

Of their hardened souls
 

Strangely naked I sit this night

Washed of worldly possessions

Truth ambles awkwardly

Between exhilaration and fright

Intermingling with the realizations

Of the crudely carved ebb and flow

In the transitory experiences

I’ve come to know
 

In the delicate moments between

Dusk and dawn

When I transverse

Mortality on my shoulders

I look back upon

Life’s shifting sands and tidal pools

Questioning the heart

I ponder, hero or fool?

Decisions made and played upon

Responsibilities only I take on

For actions long past and gone
 

Where does one stand

Between right and wrong, and

Is the point all that fine

So as not to allow the throng

Of ifs and buts

We seem to rely on

When clearing our conscience

Of the clutter and debris

Washed upon our shores constantly

I sail, ever so carelessly

As winds of time sound in revelry
 

Youth disappears so quickly!

And we so stubbornly

Miscalculate its velocity

Believing we can control

Both time and space

Inevitably we end up in our place

Wherever it may be

Whatever the case

Destiny masked in silken lace

Disguising the lines on our face

Where then is this heaven

What then is this place?
 

For now I cease to be

All I thought to be real

Was but jokers’ folly

Imitation life

Manipulated, used, pretentious, abused

I stand alone battered, bruised

Head in hands, with only hints and clues

As to the meaning of his plan

Do I bow, do I stand

Before the lord Jesus, man?
 

I cry tonight for reasons haste

Do not dally

Do not waste

Another day, another taste

Of his precious feast

Set before me, then at least

I will know that I am to blame

For never trusting or laying claim

To his undying love

Or his glorious reign
 

Will I ride upon the wing

Feel the wind

Hear the scream

Echoing thunderously

Throughout my soul

A show of faith

And I will know

What the meaning of resurrection

Has to do with my life

So it was, so it is

So it shall be freedom


                              ...Do I Bow, Do I Stand
 

 


 

HERE IN THE SILENCE

I AM AS I AM, ALONE

AS REAL AS ALL I SEE

UNAFRAID OF KNOWING THINGS

FOR WHAT THEY ARE

AND WHAT IT IS

THE QUIET WHISPERS

A SPIRIT, A MESSAGE, A THOUGHT

ON THE ESSENCE OF FRIENDSHIP

BORN NOT OF CHOICE, BUT ELECTION

TOUCHING THE GOAL OF GOOD FORTUNE

WITH RHYME AND REASON

WHEN THERE WAS ONLY VOID

I TAKE COMFORT WHERE

WHAT IS MINE AND NOT MINE, IS MINE

AT TIMES I STAND AND LET

IT MOUNT AND GROW

INTO ITS ENTIRENESS

THIS, THE SOUL OF FRIENDSHIP

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, PERHAPS

BUT IF VUIRTUE IS ITS ONLY REWARD

AND ALL ASSOCIATION IS COMPROMISE

THEN LET US MEET AS WATER WITH WATER

IN THE LIGHT OF MUTUAL RESPECT

ABSENT OF SELF POSESSION

PLANTING OURSELVES FIRMLY

IN THE FIBRE OF THE HUMAN HEART

THAT DEEP AND SINCERE PEACE

SHARED AMONGST SOULS

WHO HAVE WHAT THEY GIVE AWAY

TO RECEIVE WHAT EACH IS

NOT WHAT EACH HAS

BEING A FRIEND SO AS TO HAVE ONE

BRINGING DOWN THE THICK WALLS

OF INDIVIDUALITY AND CHARACTER

TAKING AID AND COMFORT

THORUGHOUT THE PASSAGES OF LIFE AND DEATH

REAFFIRMING OURSELVES THROUGH EACH OTHER

TO WALK ON THE MOON

OR TO CRY OUT IN ANGER’S DESPAIR

WHEN TOGETHER WE ARE SEPARATE

LISTENING IN THE SILENCE

WE SHARE AS FRIENDS
 

                   ...AS FRIENDS

 


 

                 You and I

                 We are two

                 In a moment

                 Of braided flesh

                 As much alive

                 As the dawn

                 Merging with the day

                 Heart and soul

                 Intertwined in a

                 Union of selves

                 Becoming one

                 To overleap

                 The boundaries

                 Of individuality

                 Momentarily

                 Before laying

                 Back on the

                 Soft pillows

                 And warm bedding

                 We know

                 As ourselves

                               ...overleap 

 


 

Who did assign

This day, this birthday thirty-fine?

You would probably like to decline

Feeling I suppose a bit benign

Who am I to rub a wound with salty brine

Or tease, kid or even malign?

Eight being much easier than nine

Should I stop now and pantomine?

Like from off the vine

Your lips like wine

Won’t you be my concubine?

In essence, I pine

Dreaming of 69

Oops! I’ve crossed a line

Perhaps I should have said double dine

Or just stopped with “your da-kine”

My beautiful Magdeline

Hair of gold that does so shine

Causing son and moon to align

While angels in comfort do recline

And marvel at truly grand design

In ole southern English “I be gwine”

To send this wish kite on twine

Happy birthday! Thank God yo’ mine!


                        ...thirty nine valentine
 

 


 

So what does it mean

When you can’t find home

When you struggle to keep in stride

With others walking alone

Seems the road goes on forever

While the walls are crashing in

Exposing so many people

And redefining the word “friend”

Hell, that is if you get a chance to

In the valleys we sometimes walk

Between the good times

And those when driven to our knees

The repetition becomes frustration

When the band plays the same old tune

Step after weary step

On this path of uncertainty

In the cold hearted glow

Of a blue denim moon.
 

Walk softly through these nights

These times so fragile

A will can be trampled

By things so fleeting and agile

Its question and doubt

Temptation and deceit

They’re apples on the limb

Whispering in the sublime

Echoing, pounding throughout

Decaying the open mind

Speaking to the darker side

Of a fallen spirit

Quickly to abide

To this slight of hand, nature’s trickery

Hope vanishing in thin air

Relinquishing our determination all too soon

We hide and pretend not to care

Taking refuge under a blue denim moon.
 

                        ...Blue Denim Moon
 


 

                                  SOMETIMES IN A NEW LOVE

                                  IT’S HARD TO KNOW WHAT TO DO

                                  IS SHE THINKING WHAT YOU’RE THINKING OF,

                                  OR DOES THE WEIGHT FALL BACK ON YOU?
 

                                  THESE CLOUDS OF DOUBT ARE PARTING

                                  I BELIEVE IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF YOU

                                  A WAVERING SOUL HAS DEPARTED

                                  AND A NEW MAN STANDS ANEW
 

                                  ALTHOUGH HE HASN’T KNOWN HER LONG

                                  HE’S THINKING MAYBE SHE MIGHT BELONG

                                  WHO IS HE TO ARGUE WITH WHAT SEEMS TRUE?

                                  WHILE THIS NEW MAN STANDS ANEW

                                  THERE SHE IS, STANDING TOO
 

                                  WILL THIS BE THE LOVE TO END ALL LOVES?

                                  CAN HE FIND THE STRENGTH TO RAISE ABOVE

                                  ALL THE MISCONCEPTIONS, ALL THE CRAZY THOUGHTS

                                  THROUGH THE MIDNIGHT DREAMS

                                  AND THE HOPES HE’S BOUGHT

                                  WITH THE TIME THAT HAS BEEN SHARED

                                  AND ALL THE TIME THEY’VE GOT

                                  THROUGH HER EYES HE SEES

                                  HELP HIM SEE A LOT

                                  BELIEVE HIM WHEN HE SAYS

                                  ALL OTHERS ARE FORGOT
 

                                                                 ...new man anew

 

LATELY THE DAYS TURN

restless

IN A BALL OF CONFUSION

relentless

ROLLING THROUGH DREAMS

endless

DEEP BLUE AND GREEN

listless

DRAGGING ME THROUGH DESPAIR

regardless

BE IT DAY, WEEK OR MONTH

timeless

MOMENTS SLOWLY PASSING

heartless

TEARS FALL LIKE RAIN

emotionless

ACROSS PARCHED EYES

lifeless

WITHOUT YOU I BECOME

hopeless

ALL MY ENDEAVORS

needless

MIRRORED IMAGES ARE

selfless

LIFE IN GENERAL SEEMS

pointless

I’VE COME TO REALIZE

unless

YOU ARE, I AM

less
 

                        ...unless we are
 


 

In life’s beautiful moments

Awakenings are shy and unpredictable

They seem to step uneasily

Into the Waka She Na Ne,

And squint warily at the

Sacredness of life

Those who heard the elders speak

Knew the license of winged heart

They felt the medicine dance and drift

Across transfixed and attentive eyes

Coursing through, connecting to

Me with Him, one to another, All with All

We sensed revelation, witnessed generation

With the pulse of ancient song

Both sides of the feather

Heard and talked stories

Tales of an angry chip on a native shoulder

Who now rides White Bison

Into the looking clouds

Or of the scared child with two of his own

Those tiny hands that clutched tired fingers

Now open the door to a safe and loving home

Whose threshold is years blessed

I find it quite comforting, yet extraordinary

The scales of prejudice

Floated past in the form

Of leaves letting go

They drifted across a backdrop

Of windows that do not produce

But induce the filter of light

Taken in, processed and let go,

As gently as presented

As softly as suggested

That we might share

In the power of the circle

That we might know the transformation

Of the inherently whole

That we might see the death of the saddened trees

As the promise of season

And the birth of new freedom


                       
....elderspeak

 

 

                                                           Don't know                        where

                                                           I might                                begin

                                                           How or if or                       why

                                                           For that matter                    don't

                                                           Seem to                               have

                                                           The energy or                      inspiration

                                                           To designate                        a

                                                           Particular                             destination

                                                           Or determine the                  origin

                                                           Of my                                    consternation

                                                           Confusion I                            guess

                                                           Forces me to                          confess

                                                           I've left my                             impression

                                                           Headlong in a                         wall

                                                           What's a boy to                        do

                                                           When his                                  blood

                                                           Runs the                                   color

                                                                                                           Blue

                                                                                                          After all

                                                                                                         --Blue After All 

 

 

                                                                          Girl could you tell me what I've lost?

                                                                          Seems I'm confused between payment and cost

                                                                          It's not enough I think I understand

                                                                          Though you hold your face, you show your hand

 

                                                                          You may run but you won't hide

                                  For amongst the waves there rolls the tide

                                                                          Your cold hearted lies and warm embrace

                                                                          Leave their mark and are easy to trace

 

                                                                          Across blinded eyes that only stare

                                                                          Into the darkness of no one there

                                                                          After all this time you would think I'd learn

                                                                          Fire and ice will never burn

                                                                          If all is fair in love and war

                                                                          I'll scrape my bloodied heart from off the floor

                                                                          This fighter will rise from the mat

                                                                          Where he started is where he's at

 

                                                                          To the dawn he'll raise clenched fist

                                                                          To the heavens he'll make a wish

                                                                          Bruised and battered he'll turn and leave

                                                                          To battle once more, heart on sleeve

                                                                          --HEART ON SLEEVE

 

SOME SAY LEGEND

I SAY IT'S ONLY SLIM FISHIN'

AND THE STORY IS TOLD

SO GRAB YOUR KIDS

MONTANNAS COME BACK AGAIN

 

NOT THE RAIN

NOR THE WIND

CAN DETOUR THE LIKES OF HIM

AND IN THE WATER BELOW

WHERE THE FISHES SWIM

THERES A FEELIN' OF SAFETY AGAIN

 

HE AIN'T GOT A HOOK

WITH A BAREBED END

BUT WE'VE COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT ABOUT HIM

 

NOT FOR SPORT

MAYBE FOR LOVE

HE SPARES THE BIGGER ONES

FOR SCRAWNY, SICKLY FISH

EVEN THE CAMBODIANS

WOULD BE ASHAMED OF

 

SEE THE MAN

SOLITARY SOUL

ON THE BANK JUST HOLDIN' HIS POLE

I KEEP TELLIN' HIM HE'LL GO BLIND

PLAYIN' WITH IT ALL THE TIME

 

NOW WE KNOW HIS CATCH

WILL BE SLIM

HELL, THAT'S HOW WE NAMED HIM

                                                          --slim fishin'