by Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
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Hell Hath No...
The brief is a brief I submitted in a Torts class when
I attended Delaware Law School, Widenor University.
It achieved some notoriety and it's posted here by popular demand.
Love in the Afternoon,
Table that Label written for my sister, Christyn.
Happy Birthday, Char
Table that Label!
The Peacock lived in a chicken coop.
It couldn't cluck!
It wouldn't crow!
It had no friends and no place to go.
Ostracized by all his neighbors
The Peacock knew nothing of chicken labors.
Besides, being a chicken type wasn't so hot.
One of them frequently popped in a pot!
And moreover the humans kept flipping their lids
Over gathering eggs up ... and eating your kids!
So weighing the balances one-by-one
Showed the Peacock that chicken stuff wasn't much fun
But, somewhat advantaged is no consolation
When you're the sole peacock in a chicken-coop nation.
It made Peacock blue, made him feel left out
When he saw all the chickens playing about.
A tear crossed his bill as he walked to the yard,
"If I could be like them, I'd really try hard
I'd try to make up for the things that I lack!"
Just then he tripped and fell flat on his back.
From there in the dust on his underwear label
He saw what he tripped on -- a co-axial cable.
And out in the barnyard what else did he see
But some sharp dude whose camera said "Color TV."
The peacock hopped up with a feeling of doomage
To see just what damage had befallen his plumage.
And while he was checking to see what he'd find
The man with the camera took shots -- from behind!
The peacock knew not of the huge viewing mass
At home in their armchairs surveying his ass.
And if someone had told him, the colorful lad
Would have busted a feather or three being mad!
The director was watching his monitor then
And he knew that this was no commonplace hen.
He called to the ad man and gave him the word,
"I must have, under contract, this colorful bird!"
So the ad man said, "Peacock, with feathers so nimble
We want you to join us -- be our network symbol."
Well, the peacock cheered as he broke the old tethers
And all that he packed was a spare set of feathers.
He ran out so fast on his short, stubby legs
That as he ran by them he scrambled the eggs.
Now Peacock is happier. Daily he's lickin'
The unhappy days when they called him a chicken.
The peacock had learned what he hoped all along
That just being different is not being wrong.
Some people have flat feet,
Some, slanty eyes.
Some girls have shoulders that look like a guys.
Some people have crutches -- and cuts on their hide,
But that doesn't mean that they're crippled inside!
So use understanding;
Watch barriers fall.
Love those who would hate you.
Love them one and all!
They may be too blind to see beauty in you,
But I know you, Christyn, and I surely do.
So hang on like the peacock and your turn will come
For now, in the meantime, try not to be glum.
Please don't mind the garbage that comes from above.
So 'til next time I see you, I send you my love.
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
copyright © 1995
Happy Birthday, Char!
I recall in '62
The year I first set eyes on you.
190 gas was 19.9
The Beatles star had yet to shine
My High School "Happy Days" were through
And life had just begun for you
You were a prune
All wrinkled, pink!
(We're that way twice in life, I think?)
When you come home to Liverpoo,
In Nineteen Hundred Sixty-two!
How time has flown, since that first spring
And you've become a pretty thing!
Long gone is Captain Kangeroo.
Now Gable means much more to you!
By now, when you go out to play,
You're in the cast with lines to say!
It's hard to buy a sister toys
who now goes out on dates -- with boys!
So, here's your gift,
(with thanks the kid's not into porn!)
Some movie stars -- a host of them!
Whoever worked for MGM.
A list of flics to now from then
Is yours, with love
from Bud and Gwen.
Once I saw the glory of your smile
and held your hand when walking was yet new
the tender sound of laughter all the while
gave not the fear of ever losing you!
But, my child, that's just what came to pass
and from my life you've all but gone away
I think of you with fondness but alas
I've memories alone of you today.
They say to have no hope drives one insane
so I continue waiting for your smile
and dream of things to one day kill the pain
like seeing you again once in a while.
I languish here where fate has seen me tossed
to live with knowledge of the things I've lost.
Like a child she lay asleep
Beneath the coverlet and counterpane.
I longed to hold her in my arms
And kiss her 'til she woke again.
But sleeping beauty she was not.
A kiss could not restore the glow
That only hours past had known
Tomorrow was the time to go.
When welcome comes to bitter end
And winter love has lost the sun,
The pathways find a way to bend
Away from where they had begun.
I say good bye to you my sweet
I leave you breathing soft with sleep.
We count our destinies complete
I have a rendezvous to keep.
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
Goodbyes was published in an anthology, Windows of
the Soul, collected by the National Library of Poetry, 1995. (page 313)
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WHERE'S MY LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON
It was Love In the Afternoon,
Just a little black and white look
at the way things were, maybe,
with Gary Cooper who was too old
and Audrey Hepburn who was too young
and Maurice Chevalier who was just right.
Audrey was trying to be mysterious
with this man of the world
with whom she had nothing in common
but to whom she was extremely attracted
and became extremely attractive.
Of course, I thought of you.
But not right away because I was trying to nap
and the noise was there
to help me not miss you.
Damn, it's tough to sleep without your warmth
next to me
there in the bed where I can reach out and caress it.
So Cookie the dog and Van the husband were napping
to the strains of gypsy violins in the background.
Gary Cooper hired them as a nice touch.
But there in the afternoon something happened
that nobody intended.
Gary found himself smitten
though at first he didn't realize it.
He pretended he was only curious
but he fell deeper
and as they climbed on the train for Nice.
Again I thought of you.
for some reason.
Chevalier did the voice over and announced
the end of the detective work he'd been hired to perform
and that the couple were sentenced to life together
by a magistrate in Nice, of course,
where they began their married life
together, of course!
Where else would a couple start their married life together?
Oh, it didn't at all go smoothly.
Matter of fact, Cooper got on the train alone
and Hepburn walked along, at first,
protesting her lack of need
for her departing fatal attraction
and he fought his feelings for her
but then he came to his senses
and curling an arm around her waist
and swept her into his life
And again, for some reason, I thought of you.
And I missed you.
By the way, since you're not here
I am still missing you.
SOUL SEARCHin the center of my soul there is a placea place that seeks to find controlof part of space that i call homenot all of itdon't think i need to run the details of the life around mei know we micro manage to our detrimenttrying to exercise our tiny powersin some effective fashionfiddling with the smallest thingsto fool ourselves into beliefthat tinkering transitions timeand poking fires controls theminstead of accepting the truth:the sparks we raise only hasten the end of the firemoving its warmth and light closer to being extinguishedit is so hard to know the right places with which to tinkerit takes such wisdom to know the places not to pokeperhaps if i just look within my souli might find both the answer and the questioncopyright © 1996Van D. Olmstead, Jr.back to" Selected Poetry"
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Hell Hath No..."Scorned Woman Hot Sauce!"
What a name for heat!
Could words convey the fires of hell
And put it quite so neat?
You gave this gift at Christmas time
A seeming contradiction
Not just because Beelzebub
But my taste buds' affliction.
In all my Yuletide gift receipt
You gave me quite a few
I 'spose, my love, at shopping time
My taste buds then weren't through.
I never saw a spread like that
With sauce of every flavor.
My mouth had lost affinity
For things that I could savor!
But miracle of miracles
My sense of taste returned.
From scorning of that hot sauce
I really did get burned.
We sat there in the dining room
And as you cracked the seal
You opened up the bottle
Said the name held some appeal
I didn't know you empathized
But then I later knew
That the really hot scorned woman
It turned out to be you!
copyright © 1995
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
People ask me about this poem so an explanation is due: my ex-wife
was a cat fancier and I am extremely allergic to cats. Fatal combination, no? After an extended period of suffering, when even the allergy
shots seemed to be of no avail and I had lost my sense of taste and smell, she
relented and told me to find the cats a new home. At last, the absence of cat, the shots and the passage of time did their work and my sense
of taste and smell gradually started to return. Just as my senses returned my wife departed. On Monday, in the week she left, she asked me to
open the bottle of hot sauce. On Thursday she was gone for good!
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So now you are twenty-three and worthy
of congratulations from your mother and from me.
Thanks for letting me add my name to the first sentence.
Perhaps you're only feigning tolerance and understanding
but it works for me nonetheless.
So on this twenty-third birthday I add my gift of thanks
as well as congratulations.
Acceptance and respect are a foregone conclusion.
William likes you, too.
But I liked you first.
I have digressed and must make my way
back to the occasion at hand.
It makes me think of that time back when
a time when I was twenty-three
and all the things that I did then:
I got married for the first time
and sort of like Jesus dies for ones sins
you no longer have to get married at twenty-three;
I did it for you.
Life for me started to get real and if you don't understand
I can't explain
and if you do, I don't have to.
Don't let it get you too high or too low.
It all passes.
And only herpes lasts forever!
Twenty-three is a good number.
It has character without deadly double entendre.
It is a good mile market
without being a memory masher.
It has a good ring to it
but it's not too alarming.
So be quite all that you can be.
Enjoy your age of twenty-three
Take blessings from your mom and me.
Especially from me.
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PROPER GIFT?Although I spoke of you in verse
To many others in my past
All I did then was to rehearse
For real love I've found at last.
I wrote to you, your name unknown
I read the references made
To points of brilliance that had shone
But next to you appear as shade.
I do regret I wasted rhymes
On those before who didn't last
But since you've brought me happy times
It's my intent to hold them fast.
I do not plan to write a line
Of love to anyone but you
But please accept these gifts of mine
Don't reject what isn't new.
I am sure I never knew
What loving was 'till there was you.
In most sincerely loving you
I have found within my self
A depth of passion and heartfelt feeling
That I know of in no similar measure
Anywhere within the universe
You are to me the sun at dawn's first breaking
Warm and caressing after a cold night
You are like spring's first flower blossoms
Pushing the petals though late snows
Arraying the lilting colors of rebirth
You are the evening sky's beauty
Points of dazzle scattered on a black cloth
Beckoning to me through the distance
Calling me with promise of mystery
Thrilling me with hopes of discovery
If there be summer breezes they carry your name
For, like your arms, they enfold and caress
Drawing me closer with zephyr softness
Wrapping my heart in blankets of caring
And breathing "I love you" in an enchanted ear
None of these portrays you quite fully
Because, like a gift wrapped in paper and ribbon
These are but external trappings -- wondrous or no
The brightest light of your beauty
Shines with your essence, shines from within
A brilliant beacon that's lit by your love
And spills over into me.
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DISCOVERYOnce alone on summer's night
I found a kitten soft and new.
I took it in and soothed its fright,
This ball of fluff all wet with dew
While gently cradled in my arms
I felt it's purr so close to me.
It feared a myriad of harms
Though none were there that I could see.
Be brave my little kitten dear.
T'was I who let you in this night.
I chose to keep you very near
And make your terrors groundless fright.
I know you trembled to my door.
You think you asked me take you in
But I've seen kittens oft before
And not invited them within.
A kitten warms my heart 'tis true.
To help I'm frequently disposed.
They only get what ere they're due
No matter what the charms disclosed.
And so my little one you see
I took you in from out the night.
T'was I who chose to shelter thee
And put and end to lonely fright.
A good idea comes our way
And if we do not let it go
What difference does it make, I say,
Which one of us is first to know?
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My baby girl of thirty-six
Whatever can I say to you?
You never were allowed your licks
Which as a child you were due.
I love you more than I can say
And seek to give a loving gift
On this your very special day
The mantle of the years I'd lift.
Come sit upon my lap, my sweet.
Come, let me hold you I implore.
My arms become a safe retreat,
My little one with years of four.
Come walk beside me, hand-in-hand,
Unmindful of an azure sky;
As adolescents, life has planned
To show first love to you and I.
Whatever age you chose to be,
My special love, please share with me.
WEATHER OR NOT
What am I doing?
How can I know?
You happened to me,
And I feel things now
I never had known
Since Hurricane Honey
Blew into town
My foundations all have been
Just where this wind takes me
How can I know
I'll fill my sails with you
And see where I go
The storm warnings raising
To call for the gale
And to sail in rough weather
Causes skippers to fail
But I'll take my chances
And ride the storm through
For one thing is certain
There's no one like you.
Can't you sneak away and call me
I'm sitting here alone
With all my thoughts upon you
Darling, please pick up the phone
Oh, I can live without you
We both know this is true
But to go through life without you
Is not what I'd choose to do
My mind is captivated with
A thousand thoughts of you
And if you were here beside me
We both know what we'd do
I'd wrap my arms around you
You would turn your face to me
Lips and tongues and souls would join
Our spirits would be free
You'd sigh that little sigh of yours
And your eyelids would turn red
And, if we could wait to go that far
We'd climb the stairs to bed
Sweetheart, please don't make me wait
I long to hear from you
I really need to talk with you
Before my day is through
I need to hear your voice, my love
Each evening without fail
Were it not for conversation
All you've left me is your trail
So darling, find a phone booth
And call me right away
For our phone talk with each other
Is the climax of our day.
THE LABOR OF LOVE
Please don't ever try to love me
That's a thing my love I hope that you will never do.
I count for my reality
It happens that your love for me
Was not a conscious thing you chose to do.
My dreams will always rise within you
Just as morning sun arises at the break of day
But if I thought you'd give a shove
By forcing wishes into love
Dark clouds might tend to drive the sun away
We both need someone to make love to
Sometimes we treat a discord, love, just like a melody
I must be sure we truly see
Our real selves, both you and me
And not the character we'd hoped we'd be.
Darling I can't sort out why you
Lived so long with those who could not hope to feed your soul
But honestly I guess you'd say
I've done the same thing anyway
We both have let our hopes assume control.
Please forget the words I wrote here
I was thinking using all the words I've written down.
I think it's plain for all to see
We have stick-to-it-ivity
We'll solve each problem as it comes around
It's wonderful we share these feelings
Imagine what success from our determination springs
If we could make relations last
With unfilled needs as in the past
Just think of joy that satisfaction brings
WHERE DID THE LIGHT GO?
I'll never forget how it shown 'cross the room
On the day when you eyes locked on mine
And somewhere a harp trilled and played us a tune
As we opened love's bottle of wine
And the melody swelled as you filled up my heart
And the light drew me swift 'cross the floor
But the sparkling glance that was there from the start
When I look isn't there anymore.
Tell me, where did the light go
Was it stolen by trouble and tears
It is lacking somehow
Am I noticing now
Has it really been missing for years
We pledged love forever when your gaze mixed with mine
As we soared to the top of the clouds
We could shut out the whole world most of the time
Even when we were lost in the crowds
I could see you with eyes closed I could sense you were near
Even though you were not by my side
But if you're away now or when you are near
That lost glow of our love can still hide.
Tell me, where did the light go
Was it something I failed to do
Did I leave you too often
Did I stay much to long
Tell me where is the light that was you.
No time like now
And then there's no time
To turn words to music
To make our days rhyme
And the rhythm flows on
With the minutes that run
Like a spring rain fed freshet
Sometimes kissed by the sun
Now and then darkened by clouds overhead
Casting shadows of sorrow
Tinged with deep gray and red
And still the time passes
While its threads weave a cloth
Making patterns and pictures
Both of flame and of moth
What can we know of tomorrow
When today is a challenge to see
Will you still be my love
Will we walk hand in glove
Will you still show affection to me?
What can we see of the future
How can we know what will be
In the things we discover
Would you still be my lover
Might you grow very distant to me?
As the minutes are flowing
We know time won't be slowing
We can't stop the days passing us by
But for now we can see
I love you, you love me
Is there need to be questioning why?
Why worry of what our days might bring
When our love is so beautiful now
When our destinies rhyme
And in three-quarter time
Let's enjoy all that life will allow
We found us, do we need to ask how?
Beautiful blue eyes
Turning to look at me
Catching the light
Eyes that blaze brighter
Than any I've known
Is this by reflection
Or light of their own
Whatever the truth be
There's power within
Power to stop things
Or make them begin
They started a love fire
That burns within me
Oh, beautiful blue eyes
What is it you see?
I need all your love light
Please save it for me.
Sing a song of loving
We won't be left alone
And the time we spent together
Is like no one else has known
In those things that we have shared
And exposure we have dared
All were wrapped within a sigh, a kiss, a moan.
See the way we share together, me and you
And the way the world blossoms now anew
I want to turn up to the sky
And shout "We're lovers, you and I"
Like I wish I had the freedom, love, to do.
You'll forgive, my love, the eagerness I feel
In the sunlight, darling, love seems less unreal
If sun's presence I implore
And in public we adore
We could take things that at night we must now steal.
There are words, I know, expressing love to you
But to do my feelings justice there are few
Dearest darling I can't say
In an ordinary way
Just how much my life has changed since finding you.
So bear with me dear as I so vainly try
To find words that say I love you to the sky
Though the sky seems very tall
Even the universe is small
When compared to love that's shared 'tween you and I.
Sing a song of six pence
A tear is in your eye
And though it's quickly brushed away
It lingers in a sigh
And poems that have rhyme schemes like this
Can quickly make us board
Maudlin type sentiments
Should always be ignored.Promise...is a promise is a promise is a ....
What does it mean to miss you
I'll try my best to let you know
When I can't even kiss you
Time passes by so very slow
But when I hold you in my arms
It seems the precious minutes fly
And just a minute kissing you
Will burn the hours going by
What does it mean to miss you
You mean so very much to me
Tomorrow when I kiss you
And hold you very close you'll see
That when you roll within my arms
We make the world seem to melt away
And when you take me in your arms
I know together we must always stay
I pray thee know
Were I the sun
I would shine not but for thee.
No beam would pierce the darkness wide
No light reveal the beauty evenings hide.
Thou must believe
Were I the clouds
And thou ask not
No gentle rain would fall
As worlds turn
The land be parched and dry
No kiss from thee
No bath of life from out the sky
The wind and warmth of day they come from thee
A block apart is much to far for me.
What can I bring to you to speak of my love?
What can I hold out to you
From the earth here below or from heaven above
The choices are really quite few.
I could box you a rainbow
(It would pale at your side!)
With its colors resplendent in view
But displaying your aura from gifts you can't hide
Rainbows can't hold a candle to you.
Could I package the sunlight from tropic isle beach
And its warm loving kiss from the skies
But that's just a reflection and it never could reach
The warmth of the light from your eyes.
Could a blanket of eiderdown say "soft" to you
And enfold you with touches surreal
But when you touch me, lover, the way that you do
Next to you, eiderdown feels as steel.
There's one gift I can give you
That will show you my heart
Save for this there is nothing 'twill do
I have carefully built on the love that you gave me
And I'm bringing it all back to you.
My heart has an oral opening
What can I do?
It grew one so it can sing to you.
Me - oh - my
Is this what it means to be in love?
What do you know?
Unleash this pen and watch it go!
Line by line
It pours out the word
Some sweeter than I've ever heard
Some silly and infantile
(in looking back I've had to smile
At things I had to write to you
I had no choice -- I hope you knew)
But all were filled with love for you
You fill my heart
I hear it pound
Its singing must be written down
With love words I must strew your path
Be loving if you choose to laugh
Much time has passed, my love, I find
Since I could sit alone with pen and ink
And tell you of things within my mind
When only thoughts of you I think
Don't think the magic might have gone
Don't feel we are no longer new
But, my dearest, time moves on
And steals my time to write to you
I mount the unicorn and fly
To seek you by the fastest route
But commutation bye and bye
Devours time with you to boot
And when I hold you in my arms
I cannot write to you at all
So when I'm most filled with your charms
I cannot heed my muse's call
So when my pen finds time to speak
It's when my love is far away
And then your presence, love, I seek
I call to you "Come to me -- stay!"
I think I see the problem's end
And my dilemma will be through
More time in writing I could spend
When at last I live with you
The warming sun will kiss the earth
And bring forth tender blossoms sweet
As the snow melts they find birth
Beside the path beneath my feet.
To watch them grow in spring's first light
Stretched forth new petals toward the sky
Recalls a new love's first delight
As we've discovered you and I.
Like newborn blooms we venture out
And make discoveries anew
We feel spring time all about
New petals filled with dawn and dew.
But spring turns summer by the hour
And petals separate and grow
Will wonder cease with full-blown flower
When newness finds it's time to go?
All things find time to grow and change
And flowers go from bud to bloom
Our symmetry will rearrange
As we traverse from womb to tomb.
But need we lose the wonder yet
Because the bud's no longer new
As time goes by I won't forget
The newness of just loving you.
Each day has brought a new surprise
As, like a flower, you ope to me
You grow not old within my eyes
For that's not what I choose to see.
Discovery's a state of mind
And if we look for something new
Then new is what we're sure to find
You loving me, I loving you.
Please do not fear the passing time
And how `twill change the pretty flower
We'll tend this love of yours and mine
And make eternity an hour.
DID IT FOLLOW ME HOME?
As I walked home down the long country lane
I felt I was being watched.
Like looking around for those watching you
When some duty you've recently botched.
Dark and eerie it hung overhead
As I cautiously traced out the road
I wished to be home safe and sound in my bed
And I thought that my head would explode
As I walked ever faster to hasten on home
I gave thought to the things I should know
By my own hearth I certainly won't be alone
And it's better the devil you know.
But when, God and who, God opened the door
And ushered that devil within
He walked over threshold and stepped cross the floor
And he sat himself down with a grin
I don't think the worst thing is finding him there.
He made himself feel right at home
But the first day he came in and took up a chair
My mind must have been on the phone.
Why didn't I notice the very first day
Why did he stay so unobserved
God knows he often would get in the way
As he saw to his needs being served.
I hope I have learned just a few things to use
So the next time he walks in my life
I recall all those trade-offs for things I could choose
Before he steals off with my wife
Don't tell me you'll love me forever
You can't tell what forever will bring
You don't know who you'll be a weekend from now
You can't say what song you will sing
Life is a large set of changes
That sweep all along in its way
And even the fixed rearranges itself
During the course of a day
But you know I want you close to me
To have you go would bring sorrow
Just make a believable promise to me
And tell my you'll love me tomorrow
We can take all our love
One day at a time
And we'll steal what time we can't borrow
Just hold me close as midnight approaches
And tell me you'll love me tomorrow
You tears of love bathe me
And keep me in hope
Of staving off Time and her death blow
You can't do anymore then to keep us alive
Than to say that you'll love me tomorrow.
At my window pane
Oh! My keen-o amino friend
If I find, for Pete's sake
That YOU'VE kept me awake
I would give your cute neck a bend!
It's kinda lonely
It's not quite two
It's not much fun
Because there's no you
Not to kiss you
Not to hold you
Only talking with you on paper
Is not my idea of pleasant caper.
Isn't caper spelled with a couple "p's"
Do they start the thing
With "k's" or "c's"
Spelling to me has always been hairy
So I rely on the dictionary
It's too tired out for the sleep to come
I call to it and say "come on!"
I hope that you might attend me please
And let me log a pack of "z's"
It could be quite worse
At least it's cute verse
Come, my love, it's time for bed
I'm coming up to rest my head
And odds I'd give
If book there be
That you'll wake up and talk to me
"I'm seepin, Hubbin,"
You will say.
"Why can't we talk another day?"
In appreciation for helping me prepare for the Grand National Ballroom Dance Competition, October 29th
through November 2, 1986.
I thought I'd write a word or two
To say how much I owe to you
For showing one with two left feet
To win a competition heat.
Through all the tears and sweat and grief
And angry words between clenched teeth
You always found nice things to say.
Your smile never went away.
That's why, Leslie, it's so true
I really owe a lot to you.
You work so hard at what you do
And care so much it shows right through
Though it's been hard along the way
Bad moments seem to melt away
As I've so frequently announced
"Heffgun's how her name's pronounced!
She's wonderful I tell you, sir.
Her student's very proud of her!"
For enduring all the grief and pain
I bring a bottle of champagne.
Would you like to do it all again?
In appreciation for helping me prepare for the Grand National Ballroom Dance Competition, October 29th through November 2, 1986.
With dancers swirling through my mind
While in my dreams at close of day
To think of Barbara I'm inclined
So thankful that she came my way.
It is a gift for all to see
And such a present all may share
That she could look inside of me
And find some talent hiding there
In all the terpsichorean delight
That formed beneath her gentle hand
I learned to dance into the night
And with my mind my move command.
With her kind help the path I surely know
She lit the way and just said simply, "Go!"
A splash of sun across your face
As you appear in morning's light
It paints you cheek, removes all trace
Of cares and loneliness of night
For to your side I've rushed to keep
A date we made the prior eve
I kiss your eyes all soft with sleep
And all your conscious thoughts retrieve
Then you awake and gaze at ne
I feel the warmth within me stir
The loving look you shine on me
More gentle than a kitten's purr
To be with you at starting of the day
Makes bearable the time I spend away
THOUGHTS BY THE PHONE
Sharing and caring
And growing together
Should we speak now of endings
Might we try for forever?
I had thought that my reach for forever was through
But I never expected to find one like you
And when did my heart say that you were the one
You danced in from the darkness and brought me the sun
But I couldn't foresee all the love you can give
'Til the day that you touched it my heart didn't live.
I hear your conversation
With just half an ear
Talk with yesterday-lover who's no longer near
I'm still jealous of him though I've little to fear
But despite whom you speak with I'm glad I am here
I respect qualities that make up the real you
How you're fearful of hurting someone who loves you
And despite all the love that you're growing for me
There's no way you'd be cruel just to make yourself free
It can hurt even more if you keep hope alive
If with each passing day
Fewer feelings survive
Going on with the future is a thing he can't do
As long as there's hope of recovering you.
So, please let him go
It's the most humane thing
And let him get to what tomorrow might bring
Please let me enfold you, my light shines for you
And the circle of my love surrounds only you
WAITING FOR YOU
Punching the buttons
On the push-button phone
Tonight's not the night just to leave you alone
But I have no idea
When you might return home
So I just press the buttons and sigh.
I think of you driving alone down the road
With a car full of baggage
And no place to unload
I could help with the pressure
So your mind won't explode
So I pick up the phone and I try.
I really would rather be there by your side
And help you release all the feelings inside
Help let go of those things too destructive to hide
Lend a shoulder on which you might cry.
It's almost 10:30.
I don't know what to do.
And I can't go to bed without talking with you
I could be there, my love, in a minute or two
And wait there for the time to pass by.
When I think love of all of the things we have shared
To imagine such joy I would never have dared
But I hope that you've told someone else who had cared
A definitive, lasting good bye.
I hold out in my mind for the break of that dawn
When all of our obstacles finally have gone
And our life-path together can finally move on
'Til we find peace in love, you and I.
Whither doeth thou goest Barbaroo, Barbaroo
Do you grasp the real importance 'tween us two, me and you.
Though at times it seems most wild
It is serious, my child.
And I most sincerely love you Barbara-roo.
You know I have never met you in the street
If we get there we're together.
We don't meet.
Was the separation good?
Did it accomplish what it should?
Or is the breaking with your past life incomplete?
Your eyes are filled with fires, my Sweet, of love
I think you were sent to me by powers above
When I hold you in my arms
I could miss most fire alarms
But I still can hear the cooing of a dove.
In the passion of my life you are the mark.
I'm amazed you came to me out of the dark.
Where you've touched me, it is true,
There is still a sign of you.
Where my heart was cold your warmth has lit a spark.
I really don't know why I ramble on.
Where my reason dwelt it certainly is gone.
And I don't know what I'd do
In a day of losing you
If the spotlight of your smile is moving on.
It is vital that you know that you are free
There are no chains on you that emanate from me
Like a hummingbird you fly
Bringing beauty to your eye
And it's only by your choice you come to me.
You, my love, could never flourish in a cage
You must have your time to strut across the stage
And then, at your curtain call,
I'm the biggest fan of all
Just because I got to watch you come of age.
In this life we're asked frequently to dare
To allow our hearts the risk of real care.
But you know my love is true
And that I'm supporting you
And the risk I ask of you I plan to share.
What did I do since I last saw you
I went into Sears and bought you some plaster
To fix your cute little wall disaster
Oh, yes! In case maybe I should forget
I bought you a carton of your cigarette
One pack I have taken just for myself
The rest I have put on the cupboard shelf
The one that is opposite the kitchen sink
(Above the medicine shelf, I think)
I know since you have had me about
It seems as if you have been frequently out
Although it is true that we really should quit
This cigarette habit I have to admit
But also I've fixed all the holes in the wall
There's not more to tell you, that's just about all.
Oh yeah! I have written a poem or two.
And spent most of my time in just missing you.
Where are you my lass
A snifter is naught but a brandy glass
And you have them with you
No tumbler has class
I'm sitting here waiting
A bottle before me
It's trying to hide
Tries its best to ignore me
I could go get a juice glass
No, that I can't do
It really won't taste good
'Til I share it with you
I could hook up the tube
Watch a Trek tape or two
But I brought the things with me
For sharing with you
So I'll sit and wait patiently
Try not to pout
And I'll try to transcribe
All the lines that pour out
That's really the best thing
I'm sure you can see
Saving Star Trek and Cognac
'Til you come home to me
Sunday's coming though I feel
It's taking longer than it should
After Saturday reveals
Togetherness and love that's good!
I should have kept you here, my love
I never should have let you go
I'd shout it out to skies above
If saying it would make it so.
It's lonely here in Delaware
Because you left me far behind
And since you headed who knows where
A part of you still owns my mind
I really don't know what I'd do
Were you to stay away from me
You've made my heart and mind seem new
All places that you've touched you see.
But, Sunday -- hurry, come to me
And please don't make this torture last
Just two more days and then I'll see
How rapidly the time has passed
But rapidly is not the word
For time that passes by so slow
When breathless "I love you" is heard
I'll hold you fast - not let you go.
When I think of things we do
And people that we both have known
The things that build a "one" from two
Are not events we live alone.
Instead we forge a golden chain,
Through daily trials in which we face
Together problems time and again
'Til linked we are by golden lace.
Our love has not seemed star-crossed though
By problems we are oft beset
In giving us a chance to grow
The Architect may help us yet.
I have faced life and stared it down
And frequently been all alone
But now I'm glad that you're around
Now's not a time to be alone.
But when the memory's behind
And faded to a paler hue
I know remaining in my mind
Glad thoughts of facing life with you
I'm wondering, darling
As I'm sitting here
Would you have been sad
If you found me not here
You didn't invite me
It's my thought to be here
You did say I'm welcome
You made that quite clear
But that's not the same
As an invite, my dear.
I ask what you're thinking
While traveling home
Will you like me to stay?
Rather be left alone?
These negative thoughts
Are born of the fright
Of another male visitor
Spending the night
I know I'll feel better
When at last you get here
With a kiss and a kindness
Assuaging my fear
I don't comprehend
All these feelings inside
But I have to reveal them
I can't let them hide
I can't take it for granted
That your love's mine alone
I hope you can fix that
When you finally get home.
I must confess on hiring you
I didn't know what to expect
You worked at BOD it's true
They're known for personnel neglect
It comes as no surprise to thee
The reputation's far and wide
Work's something that you seldom see
And those that do will often hide
But since you joined our little firm
I really thrill at all you do
You must have made those bankers squirm
By example that was set by you
I have to say more graphically
Upon your talents I am sold
You can't know what you mean to me
Where I'm concerned you're good as gold
(Christmas 1986 -- for Donna DuVal)
GREAT COSMIC ESSENCE FINDING EXTRAPOLATOR
Smart Christmas deed, I thought it true
There was no saner thing to do
We draw the names from out the hat
There is no fairer thing than that!
Had I been there -- different result
But I was nowhere to consult
One thing had never reached my head
That I might pull the name of FRED!!!
But in my absence (I do not kid!)
That's exactly what they did!
Face the music
Do the task
Inspiration's all I ask.
But in my heart I know I'm dead
There's nothing one can buy for FRED!!!
My God! It's true
I get no lift in giving thought to any gift.
He has the gadgets, puzzles, books
And candy gets no second looks.
What would he like --
No favorite drink
(His favorite's Alex. Brown, I think)
That's IT! Eureka, It's so true.
I know what Freddy loves to do!
He likes to analyze a stock
To figure economic shock
From interest rates and tax reform
When in his glory that's the norm.
But knowing this within my heart
Puts me back from whence I start.
Because it's very plain to see
I can't buy him the GNP.
My budget's nowhere near the size
To buy something he can analyze.
But wait, some commonalities to note
In reading all the things Fred wrote
He takes each issue, thought and fact
And with a gift that others lack
He shows exuberance of youth
To find the essence we call truth
To show respect, how much I love it
I'll get as gift a symbol of it.
Squeezing facts no longer loose
You get their essence -- that's called "JUICE."
Since I can't buy the real thing
Accept this juicer that I bring
Drink your juice, Fred
Think of me when analyzing GNP.
Finding True Love
Prospecting time is a time when, I'm told,
You go sifting through rubble and expect to find gold
When I think of the lovers I've forced through my sieve
Could I tell ore from pyrite
In the days I might live?
In the time when I started
Long ago in my youth
I don't think I believed that
I could find the truth
But I hoped even then
That one day I might see
A relationship given to nurturing me.
To each of my lovers I often would say
That you can't find yourself
'Til you give it away
But though I would say so
There just seemed to be
No kind lady on earth who could take all of me
Some would take all my humor
Some would worship my mind
But they always would stop with some me left behind.
And some day and night on my passion would live
But that's all they needed of what I had to give.
Some liked my outlook and thought it a tonic
But deemed that my natural lust was moronic.
So I tossed it all back
Dipped my pan to restock it
It happened some fools gold oft hid in my pocket.
I'd blow on and polish it
Treat it so fine
It would seem that its luster
No gold could outshine.
But I fooled myself often
And maybe I lied
To myself as each time
A small piece of me died.
That is, my darling
Until you came along
Deftly righting the felled hopes
That all had gone so wrong.
You seemed so enchanting
You seemed so in love
You were so like a gift sent from heaven above
Did you like all of me?
Did you love all my parts?
Could we trust sharing secrets
We had locked in our hearts.
At last I had found love
That would not go away
One that took all of me
And then shouted, "Hooray!"
SPECIAL PEOPLE, SPECIAL GIFT
We tried to think of special things
To give you both this holiday
More special than some sauce from Kings,
Which although nice left more to say.
What could do justice to a pair
Who always give so constantly
Whose friendship we find always there
With smiles and generosity
No matter what occasion finds
A Van or Alice long of face
Your friendly gesture oft unwinds
The frowns that quick seem out of place.
What could we buy to show you how
Your friendship is a special one?
You're worth the moon and stars and sun.
So let them be your Christmas gift
Celestial bodies up above
On seeing them when your eyes lift
May they remind you of our love.
You spend one more year and what do you get
Another year older and deeper in debt.
Per Tennessee Ernie but that's his song.
I'm richer by far since you came along.
Oh, it surely is true that money seems scarce
And sometimes the juggling's worse than a farce
But, Alice, I tell you -- you know that it's true
Our treasure is measured in me and in you.
I've written to you at the end of each year.
To tell you how happy I am that you're here.
I plan to keep doing it but I want you to know,
My poetry's better when rolling in dough.
So '93's coming and our year number six.
I'm starting right now to see that everything clicks.
Start planning yourself because it is clear
It's bucks, poems and lobster by this time next year.
Happy Half Century
What a day to try to write
For Bobby Basye's special day
No quiet place in day nor night
Would let me poem in any way.
But I could not
By any stretch
Let this chance go blithely by
To pick upon
An aged wretch
(Though authorship I might deny.)
As you grow old
And pass through life
Once boldened tastes
Remember this, old grayed one,
Antacid days have just begun.
Don't think it's true
That all of us
Know what to do
It just a plus
With wisdom comes
A graying head
You're better off
Than being dead
Oh, life's a gas
Do old folk really flatulate.
You'll now find why
Most others start
To juxtapose words
Like "Old" and "Fart"
Just think of how
When seeing docs
Your youthful visage
Won't get mocks
When it's no longer
So, have a lark
Enjoy your hour
The downside of your waning power.
Some prowess just grows out of sight
(That's if you stay
Awake all night!)
And keep it up, as long you might
Your friends will help you out alright.
ON COMING HOME!
Alice I've loved you.
Your heart knows that it's true.
I've proven it so often
Just by chasing after you
After Marjolaine's passing
And your training group tries,
Trials with Joe Demartini,
And the dam behind your eyes.
And those eyes!
How they sparkled,
A bright passionate blue,
In the great wicker chair
With your love shining through.
I have shared in your sorrow.
I have brought you great joy!
Don't forget, I'm the father
Of that wonderful boy.
He deserves a whole family
Made of me and of you.
It's not just your decision
I've a part of it, too!
He can not escape it.
There is much of me in him
And if you condemn me
His esteem HAS to dim.
Don't steel yourself from me!
Don't steal our child!
Don't steal all the joys
And then leave them defiled.
The naps and the walks
And the fabric and tears
And the tapestry woven
By our love o'er the years.
You have had enough endings
God knows I have, it's true.
But God also knows I thought
I was looking
Meant That Way
Some things decide to happen
Just all by themselves
Moved, it seems at times, by spirits,
Muses, ghosts or elves.
And all our frenzied planning
Can't better just what is.
Why it seems to be so
Is a mensa stumping quiz.
I thank the Lord each day for you
And Alexander Bell,
For if they had not made a phone
My life would sure be hell.
I'd sooner not remember
The pre-bond fund type days;
Series seven in December
And then the product haze,
But through it all shone Alice.
When I called you on the phone,
You were such fun to work with -
The best that I had known.
So helpful and professional,
Whenever I had need
I only had to call New York
And Alice would pay heed.
Each turn that our careers would make
It always would be true:
If ever I had need of things
I always could call you.
I realize it's not one way
And you found me the same
You bring out all the best in me
'Cause Thoughtful is your name.
For ten years on the telephone
We grew a friendship bond.
To turn a phone hug physical
You need a magic wand.
But as I said, what's meant to be
Will happen like or not.
And Ira Lewis, David Sims,
Kathy Kraft have brought
The elves and pixies that we need
To close a distant gap
From Coral Gables Florida
Transported to my lap.
So now we have a family
And instant one it's true.
The child you and I have made
I supplemented two.
And never was a better Mom
No better Mom than you.
I love you best!
These past three years
Have gone by in a flash.
And we have treasures in those years
Worth so much more than cash.
So, hang on Alice.
Trust the stars
That brought us to this place.
We didn't plan so many things
That now our marriage grace.
Be confident that spirits know
Just what we need and when.
And three years or when it's fifty-three
I'd do it all again.
Did I tell you last night
How much you mean to me
How every waking hour
Surely could no better be
And magic everywhere
Is what I always see
Watched a movie once
In which two lovers lost their way
He'd forgotten how
They'd made a brighter day
Could I ever compromise
Our vows in any way
You mean so much to me
There's no one with whom I'd rather be.
More than infinity times three
My love for you
YOU THINK THAT I'VE FORGOTTEN?
When you, my love, were far away
I could write you poems each day.
And face each sunrise time anew
To think of my love - far from view.
But now, my darling heart's delight
I look on you both day and night.
Now when snuggle time is due
I speak instead of write to you.
I realize that one might think
I need not spend time courting you.
Now that you're here, not far away,
I have all of my dreams come true.
So I must spell out once again
How very much you mean to me.
How wonderful you make each day
When, at the dawn, your face I see.
To have you here with me I'm truly blessed.
You in my life makes pleasant all the rest.
Goodbye to RMD
I have thought a lot of you
Since your letter recent past.
I wish you well in all you do,
However long your journeys last!
You've touched my life
In many ways
Too numerous to list, it seems.
You been there on most joyous days
You've shared my laughter,
Tears and dreams.
You joined us -- counter-fated mates
And when that marriage bore a son
You gave the rose he promptly ate
And then his name to feast upon.
We dedicated daughter, too
And later on, a second son
And being faithful, being you
You were there for every one.
I will always think of you
When looking for a different way
Committee meetings, crowded pew
You had new, warm things to say.
Uplifting -- yes! Inspiring, too!
Thought provoking! Different view.
Your rhetoric was always new
With different things
To think and do.
Sometimes I needed just to hear
The way you looked upon a thought
I knew I never had to fear
Of untried answers you had brought
No, you would never just accept
The standard way to look upon
The overview, the intercept
The sight of over hill and gone.
Do you feel the message here?
Do you know what I would say
You are to me a soul most dear
And words can only bar the way.
Oh, hell! Until I find a route
That works as well for me as this
Until my thoughts can flit about
And pass from soul to soul a kiss
I guess I'll take this method true
And seize it now for all it's worth
And write about my thanks to you
And spread those thanks
Upon the earth.
You know that thankfulness, the seed --
Whenever it finds fertile ground,
Will satisfy your every need
In going it will come around.
And this my legacy to you
In feeble try to tell you love
I promise I will try as you
To say with guidance from above
That you and I won't be apart
Whatever paths your heart may walk
So much of you is in my heart
And so much more of "feel" than talk.
On Prayer and Wing
Another year of us
Growing and changing
Separate and together
Facing challenges and triumphs
Finding new paths
Planting flowers beside roads we have often traveled.
Through all of this I think of you.
I see you behind my eyes.
I smell you and taste you as chocolate and red wine.
I love you more than air.
My love for you is a special public and private part of me.
It makes me who I am.
I know we are not who we were.
I know we are not who we will be;
I know we are always growing and changing.
I plan to be there as we do.
I can't wait to see what we will become.
I look forward to the experience of us as we stretch and grow.
I'm typing to you into Windows
in Dallas/Ft. Worth International.
It's a jangled time.
CNN has invented the airport channel.
They think they've done me a favor.
I didn't ask for it!
What I want to concentrate upon
Is how much of my life you are
And how special you have made the parts of it you've touched.
This day belongs to us but not to us alone
On our anniversary, Marines were killed in Beirut.
But CNN is reporting only part of the real news.
The do not mention us.
Is it not true that we are better news?
Also news is my flights preboarding announcement.
Alice, I feel my love for you in my chest and stomach.
It's like a tightness and a burning sensation.
It has anticipation in it
And it has memories.
I eagerly await more of them.
I love you.
Part of me is missing
In the moments you're away
And all I really live for
Is the ending of the day
Just to see you and to touch you
And to see your face alight
By these thoughts I am enfolded
As I grope on through the night
To think of how by love possessed
How enchanted I've become
I've never felt this way before
My God! My chest is numb
Boiling in there is my heart
The steam escapes my pores
And though I loved you from the start
It is not what one ignores
I've never felt this way before.
And you my little dandelion
As my breath I let fly
All your parachutes unfurling
All your pieces floating by
Now you are freeing parts of me
As I helped parts of you
And the meaning of togetherness
Is all wrapped up anew.
The parts of me once hardened
Are now missing all their glue
Please come inside the roam line
Love, I need a fix from you.
Do you know how I appreciate
Is that what I might say?
The good things from the prior times
Can all be bad today
And some rules that I counted on
Packed up and moved away
I want to hear the phone ring
And to hear sweet Alice say,
"I'm here on Concord Avenue
And I'm on my way to you.
The group broke up much later
There was nothing I could do!"
And I'll say, "There is coffee
Although not the Naples kind.
And you'll say, "That's so thoughtful!"
And I'll say, "I don't mind."
It's true, I wouldn't give a damn
As long as you come back.
I need you more than breath itself
More now because I lack
A place where I can stand and watch
The who I thought I was
I need you more than ever
'Til stability comes back.
Mea Culpa, Maxima Culpa
You know that life
We both know this is true,
But I gave you only risk, my love
And kept rewards from you.
You ask so little.
Do so much!
Why couldn't I just be
Much more focused on your needs, my love,
And less concerned with me!
What do you need within your life
To make your hours sing?
Order, honor, time alone
Will each renewal bring.
Order? -- not unreasonable!
I've just learned I need it, too!
And seeking it with Alice
Is a task I long to do!
Honor? I have given it,
Though not in perfect ways.
Through poems I have exalted you
Since in our courting days.
I tell my friends your glories,
Sometimes when you are around.
When you hear it not alone, I think,
Praise has a better sound.
But while I've given honor,
In both verse and spoken word,
I know my many actions
Have belied all you have heard.
As I write to you , my darling
Tears are steaming down my face.
It's because my life with you not here
Is such a lonely place.
Oh, God! Just listen to me
Once again I'm wrapped in "me"
And this is talk of who I was
Not whom I'm meant to be.
But, if I understood you, dear,
I seldom gave a clue.
And to show I'm in a different place
Let's speak again of you.
You need appreciation
For the little things you do,
Because monster tasks to others
Are but little things to you.
You need some time to fuel yourself.
You need your time with friends.
'Cause few true friendships
In your life
Have ever come to ends.
You need this network intimate;
It's part of who you are.
In world wide sociometry
You are a shining star!
You need to give to others
A remembrance or a gift.
You know it means a lot to them
And gives your heart a lift.
You need to see some efforts crowned
With visible display
To balance the intangibles
Which monopolize your day.
Time to yourself, to be yourself
My love, you little ask.
That time is yours
Please take as much
As needed for the task.
Doesn't fill a need for you
But you need to know you're valued
In a way which must ring true.
One of these ways
Is sharing of the things
Within your mind
To be heard and not be judged
Often helps you to unwind.
If all your thoughts are shut within,
Not permitted to be free,
Then your level of frustration
Goes as high as it can be!
Ah! but if you're only given
A fair sympathetic ear
Those dark clouds on the horizon
Have a tendency to clear!
Alice, is there any question
In your mind -- I want you back,
And my quest AT LAST to know you
Cures a fundamental lack.
I take a risk by telling you
What I think I know of you.
Because, if I am mistaken,
Then you might think we are through.
You'd doubt my recollection
As I love you from afar.
Could you believe it's you I love,
If I don't know who you are?
It's my hallucination
That I'm pretty close to mark.
Could someone new do better?
He'd be whistling in the dark.
Of course my heart would leap for joy.
If you came home tonight.
But I can finally understand
Your time would not be right.
You need the time you've been denied
To at last restore your soul.
The time for coming home is when
You once again feel whole.
I will wait, I owe you that,
But I need you to see:
I don't act this way to get you back --
It's really whom I'm meant to be!.
The Light Went Out In My Heart
He tells me he loves me
I know for him it's true
But I can't find myself in his eyes
I want to return it
It's a thing I can't do
Without feeding him nothing but lies
The light went out in my heart
And it's tearing our marriage apart
I want to do right
But can't bring back the light
It's all gone what we had at the start
I've been feeling so lonely
Even when he is near
It's like we just can't touch at the
And as hard as I try
When I'm being with him
I need someone else just to feel
The light has gone out in my heart
How to love him is like a lost art
In this state that I'm in
I feel guilty as sin
Will the kids understand if we part?
Am I wrong? Is it my fault?
Is it me who's to blame?
Do I suffer this crime all alone?
And the thing that is missing,
Is it missing from me?
Will this pain be enough to atone?
When the light goes out in your
It's long after you've drifted apart
Though you hurt more than you
There are things you must do
When the time comes to make a new
If the light goes out in your heart
You can't help feel you're not very
And you'd be all alone
But for friends on the phone
Don't stay too long past time to depart..
"Daddy," said Vandy,
"What do I write for 'MOM'''
Use the name that we just visit
Or use the name just gone."
because it's time, you will recall
For that spring soccer league
You got forms for one and all
Before we started this intrigue
Every day my heart is tortured
By another of those
And I can't spend a minute
Without taking awful blows
How could you be so heartless
As to steal our baby son
You've gotten what you wanted
So now I guess you're done
You had to have a baby
and that's how I happened by
you swore to me and I believed
I am your number one guy
You picked me out, you said
because I was a friend
you said I shouldn't think myself
I'm a means unto an end.
Ah, but now it has that look
Or perhaps I should say feel!
the two of you are missing
And my suffering is real.
The want of baby caused us
Our most difficult of times
From the time that you miscarried
nearly went out of your mind.
I remember it so very well
You were so hard to assuage.
I never could aspire unto
so consummate a rage!
You say I am rageful
It's not near being true
I've never seen another
as rageful as have you.
Just Say Boo!
Don't dare say Meriam
because that isn't who
the girl is
whom we all call Boo
I wouldn't have guessed
when we met back when
that she'd disappear
and yet come back again.
But gift of the internet
has reattached friends
who knows what develops
as time makes amends!
So I'm glad to find classmates
Reestablish old ties
To learn what transpired
The whats and the whys?
Just A Thought
Think that I no longer love you?
Think that I will disappear?
Think I feigned all of that caring,
That I even faked a tear?
Do you think that I'm a greater fool
Than he could ever be?
No! Because I took time to know you
You can always count on me.
Don't forget just how your call to me
Could brighten up my day
Or how many conversations
Let us share in every way.
The pain we feel in circumstance
Which turned "distance" into "near"
It has given us a start, my love
The end of which we needn't fear.
A chance encounter in the glade
Fresh air driven through night
And the impression that it made
Forced me to follow to the light
I never thought on seeing her
That she would leave on me a mark
And to this day I must aver
That I was wandering in the dark
Another soul had chanced my way
And I had shared of me with her
The "deer-in-headlights" looked that day
As if it trashed all that we were
So I was looking for a friend
To ease the pain of loss imbued
And bring this new hurt to an end
When I chanced upon this soul I viewed!
And such a treasure that it seemed
It sparkled with a wondrous light
My spirit in decline redeemed
A hopeful beacon in the night
So many facets, words and style
Such quality discovered there
And with it all a pretty smile
To top this genius, laughing hair!
I loved the package, quick and bright
A gift to me sent from beyond
I was glad that chance that night
Had let me dive in Corrie's Pond.
On Turning Five
Now you're five!
And daddy's glad that you're alive
I remember feeling how you kicked
When you were in your mom
And how she feared
You wouldn't come
When you were called upon.
Although your kicking
She could feel
At times she feared
That you weren't real
Oh, yes it's true my little pup
She wasn't sure that you'd show up!
But you did,
This very day
Some twenty miles from here, I'd say.
I was very glad you came
your mom gave you a special name
I said she could
And she was glad
Because you're named for mommy's dad
She loved her dad
Like she loves you
Like I loved her
And love you, too!
I think of birthdays
And of you
And want to help you find what's true
One thing that's true
No matter what
I love you, William
(There is no "But"
To alter what you mean to me!)
I mean it unconditionally.
Happy birthday, Van, my boy.
I hope this is a happy day
Filled with presents, love and joy
With you fulfilled in every way.
I am so very proud for you
No one could be a prouder dad
You are so smart and happy, too.
You truly are a special lad.
So here, with all your family dear
Vicki, William, Mom and Dad
Blow out candles in good cheer
Make this the best day you have had!
I walked into an adjacent state
I knew just when I did it!.
Some men had kindly market the line
Although the forest hid it.
The boundary line, it marked an arc
Dividing state from state.
It separated park from park,
Or so the maps relate.
I just don't know,
It seems to me
The land was always here!
It predates those who draw the lines
That say, "It's my land -- here!"
Ah, sweet Alyce, my Moonchild wonder
Tell me just how can you do this to you
What kind of spell do you find yourself under
Did you think all your choices restricted to two?
When you look at the menu to order a dish
Do you pick out the one that will make you frown least
Focus not on your pleasure, fulfilling your wish
You can't have what you want so your dreams have all ceased
So the classified said, "Come and see me today!"
"I swear that I'm into a settling mood."
"No matter how weak, I won't send you away."
So you bought it! Just why though, I've not yet been clued.
If I could just send you, an oracle true
Your future foretold, it might shake up your life.
But then two years ago, I did not yet know you
Or perhaps you might just be another man's wife.
We can't change the past, we can just hope to learn
And the things yet unlearned we're condemned to repeat
But this little message in you mind I would burn
Keep your dreams as your goals -- AND THEN NEVER RETREAT!
I tell my friends the things I've learned
In these short, stormy weeks of three
I know by anger I've been burned
You would too if you were me.
But through it all I've grown so much
That where relationship's concerned
The next fair heart I get to touch
Will gain the care my spouse has spurned.
And if I really know my path
And share the fullness of my life
Boundless joys will make us laugh
And lead to pleasure for my wife.
If it sometime perchance may be
That Alice gets to feel this joy
I think it fitting, seems to me
The downside did her once annoy
She paid the dues
I hope she gains
The bounty from the seeds she's sown
But I she only sees the pains
I'll make it solely on my own.
The next time I am blessed to love
My lover most assured will know
That I will hear her every word
And where she goes
There I will go.
I can not go on through this life
And practice what I'm learning now
Without fulfilling some glad wife
I'm trying hard and learning how.
And if I bring this gift on bended knees
It can't but help my love and I to please!
IN THE BOX?
What can I say to you
There's devilment within that box
Can you say it's not true?
Do you take care of you?
You know that you can lead from strength
From loss positions, too?
I wish that I were there
Do you really need me very close
To be sure that I care?
Holding back the tide
Sacrificing you for others
Leaves no place for you to hide!
Is a feeling you are due
And not from within cyberspace
But there, right next to you.
I'm freezing in the night
I've been sincere with you my dear
And now you're out of sight!
If you get on that plane
Or if you don't you know I have
To speak with you again.
Well, my dear Sandi,
When will Saturday come
And the time when we shall share a gaze.
I must say I look forward
And anticipate some
As we seek our acquaintance new phase.
You have said you'll be nervous
And that flatters my heart
Since it means that you might really care.
We are going so fast
From a strange type of start
And we are doing as much as we dare.
I do feel a connection,
Which has thrived online,
As we each tried to find who we are.
And when Saturday gets here
I hope I'm not numb
From my walking about in thin air.
No, there's no cause to fear us
Just as long as we're real
And we don't try for more than we are.
I promise to tell you
What I truly feel
If you put down the top of the car!
Walk With Me!
When we walk, you and I, then we'll see
Just what lovers we're truly to be
There're connections, it's true
That have joined me and you
We'll be poets who're off on a spree!
Could I have been with you and Dad today,
When you and I could walk to see his grave
To hold you and to brush your tears away
As links to distant past you try to save.
You can not know how much you mean to me
Because your structure offers no support
From where you stand it's awfully hard to see
The things in you that give you great import
Your father reaches out to touch your soul
You feel his hand in everything you do
A bridge to him will help to make you whole
And help you learn the "Why" for loving you!
My sweet, you need to realize the truth
That deep within you lies a perfect heart
The father's love that left you with your youth
It must return and of your life be part.
I cheer for you and all you can achieve
You need not change to make you be a star
To get there all you need is to believe
God made you perfect, love, just as you are
Thy Will Be Done
Thou hast not forsaken me
No! Indeed, Thou has given a gift
Now, when I need Thee
Thou art within me
Along with my eyes, my spirits Thou lift.
The Voice is Thine
That thunders within me.
I'm but a channel
Through which Thee sings.
Thine is the Beauty
The Grace and the Artistry
I know I can trust Thee
And what Thy morrow brings.
I can't tell
I didn't decide
To do what she asked me to do
I just followed directions
Let my feeling hide
And refused to let real truth show through
The choice that I made
Was to yield to control
I evaded responsible ways
The ending it led to
Was natural since
Inequality limits our days.
Of all the pleasures of my life
you are evergreen
a pleasant surprise that continually warms my heart.
I'm like the cat on the carpet soaking up the sun
that shines on me though the window in the afternoon
feeling the warmth that comes from your smile.
I never want to move from this spot.
Oh, I know you'll follow me with your light.
That's the constant in you that I treasure.
I never will take your love for granted
but I feel the safety that tells me
that you would allow it.
You'd grant me that luxury
Just as I offer it to you.
It's a gift for you for the second half of life.
Your daddy owned the first quarter
You and your late husband shared another quarter.
I want the last half.
I just want to see what we can do with it!
I want to make you feel what you give to me.
And I want to know it.
I want to be evergreen for you.
Boards running parallel
bleached gray with the weather
and dotted with pine knots
stretching into mist and afternoon.
It was a time before fear --
a time before knowledge.
Maybe that's the same thing
but I didn't know then and
I probably don't know now.
Me and Timmy
with Pete in tow lurking in the driftwood
as babies should after all
though he wasn't much younger.
We all suffered perhaps
from lack of adult supervision
Maybe they would have squelched the competition
Moving farther on the boards
and climbing back on the dock
to do it all again.
At the start it was easy
and I was taller, anyway,
so I was likely the winner
from the beginning
but at four years old
who knows consequences?
Consequently, the memory of my baby brother
who drowned in a bath tub
was probably not in my thoughts
as I edged toward the end of the dock
and the deeper water.
Then they noticed us.
"Kids off the dock," came the shouts from the cottage.
Timmy wouldn't move,
pointing down to the water.
Then the hand of the winner
Lifted gently above the wave
and fell back again
below the surface of the lake.
The Wonder of Wonders
I never thought that I would live the life
with testing for invading nasty cells
that frightened me and gave pause to my wife
and made us live together though health hells
In situ is an innocent sounding term
I guess it seems it turned out so to be
invasive is a much more hated germ
and I thank God that's not what popped in me.
Four procedures are pushed into my past
My voice is now much stronger than it was
Who can tell me how long this may last
Of if the stuff's returning just because!
In every challenge lurks a blessing hid
I'm lucky in remembering this fact
Pandora's box it has a lifted lid
Friends showed me had I the info lacked
With prayers and wishes was my journey eased
They showed me just how much they cared
I absorbed it all and was so pleased.
It helped me now and then when I was scared.
Love cushions almost every nasty bump
If I weren't grateful I would be a chump!
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
- Back to Selected Poetry
- Vandy's web page
- The Sonnets