If I must live alone in wait for thee
I would but think of thy fair voice in ear
and look to when a word from thee I'd see
perchance thy post will finally be here!
Ah, love thou puts my patience to the test
but for a daily care I've shared with thee.
this one "non-poem" placed there among the rest
gives birth to punishment unfair to me!
But I will do my penance with a smile
and write to thee of how I always feel.
Love words to thee I'm spinning all the while
because, though new, my love for thee is real.
And so I pray thee safe from distant harms
until the day I hold thee in my arms.
There is so much that each of us must do
to bring good order to what was our prior state.
It keeps the distance great between we two
what "will be" brings me hope and I will wait
I think of you encircled by my arms
to feel you pressed so close against my breast
as all the outside cares our love disarms
and all connections fears are put to rest.
All I can do for now is think and write
of what adventure our tomorrows hold
I cannot reach across for you at night
and with love's blanket seek to you enfold
I know you feel as I and long to be
with me in love with you, you loving me.
An ivy covered nest it shelters there
a couple who have newly learned to be.
In seeking a joint life they wish to share
full of flowers, fragrance, songs and sights to see.
It never was their plan to be just so;
'twas happenstance that forced their paths to cross:
we never can be sure of what we know
and chances can be gainful or bring loss.
But standing at that fork in their life's way
they took that trail which unknown lay ahead.
You can't decide both to go and to stay.
You need to trust your heart and not your head.
If my heart is right I know that you will see
We shall grow and blossom each most lovingly.
To dream of you is where my mind finds flower
I love to think of when we can be joined
In thoughts of you I've spent a frequent hour
The precious seconds with you I've purloined
But, oh the pain of being here alone
When holding you is no more than a dream
And all your words to me come by the phone
We snatch brief seconds guessing what we mean.
I hope, in time, to hold your hands in mine
Where are not most vexatious things to heed
No children clamoring to take the line
And I can give you all the love you need.
Though absent love has put me in a state,
You needn't think that I'll forget to wait
The spring is quite a season for the eye
I love to view the blossoms in the breeze
Around each corner something new I spy
Newly born like blade of grass and bud on trees
It is the hour of the birth of life
When frozen hands relax a deadly grip
All nature's males seeking out a wife
While youthful love on sprightly dance will trip.
I hope that soon I will not view alone
The glories of rebudding that is spring
I pray for prior sins I may atone
And then with other creatures I might sing
But I will tell you this, and count it true
Twill be no glory song 'till there is you!
The whisper of the ocean is my friend
I long to hear the babbling of a brook
The sound of water makes my senses bend
Into a place where others seldom look
The beach can be a special warming place
No matter if in February chill
For me it always marks a special place
To go there seeking solitude I thrill
I ask no other folk to understand
Or see what awesome beauty fills my eye.
To be there where the ocean meets the land
And feel a oneness, water, earth and sky
To think of sharing this would never do
But I would make exception, love, for you.
I cannot , Darling, help but think of thee
Though other cares intrude throughout my day
I, in seclusion, with thee long to be
To touch thy cheek and learn thy gentle way.
I reach for thee at night and can't thee find
But surely quite close feel thee nonetheless
It's because of thy possession of my mind
It's there I feel the warmth of thy caress
So soon would I compress the distance great
That occludes attempts to touch thee even now
And obviate the patient need to wait
I would whisk thee here and leave thee wondering how.
I sublimate my passions with thee there
What joy we'll know when we become a pair!
Love has a fine and gentle, precious sound
When first it wafts out sweet into the air.
It warms whatever being it's around
And fills the heart of one who's waiting there.
Some quiet place within my soul knows
The need inside me always to confess
The touch which planted fast in my heart grows,
Although it be a seedling, nonetheless.
The gift you gave to me is treasure true
And one that will not tarnish o'er the years.
What we may in the future chance to do
Will come to me with smiles and not with tears.
It would make my heart glad if by my touch
You too have shared this treasure half as much!
You shall not make my world a better place
By filling places where I am not whole.
Our separation gives us time and space
Which leads us both to ultimate control.
Should we neglect to learn these lessons due
And treat our pieces as if puzzle parts,
You finding you in me and I in you,
Will always lead us toward new broken hearts.
So take what I can give to you, my sweet.
I'm here for you as long as I may live.
Yet could I place the world there at your feet
It would not be the best gift I might give
To name the greatest service I could do:
It's to be all I need -- then come to you!
It's time that I should trundle off to sleep
I should not think these thoughts of you, my dear
I have tomorrow's rendezvous to keep
I should not fret because you are not here.
But think of you I must, for you I love
And miss the time whenever you're away
I can but look alone to God above
To bring us close together, this I pray
I know I'm only whistling in the dark
No earthly power can know what path we take
My dreams of us might only be a lark
And waiting for you could be a mistake
I don't know much of anything but this
My life will be a void without your kiss.
I did not ask to sit here thus alone
It could be worse than me alone with me
This empty feeling's not the worst I've known
The choice to separate came not from me.
Stretched out within this jet way to the sky
A sea of concrete, baggage craft and planes
I wait my flight and sadly wonder why
Through most of her is gone -- a part remains
I guess there is a place where no one goes
That holds the secret that we all might share
And if I ask to find it, heaven knows
If anyone would ever find me there.
Such places can not hold out hope to me
Reunited you and I will never be!
I don't decide just when to think in verse
The rhythms flow uncalled into my mind
Some time it oft can seem to me a curse
When unrecorded I leave them behind
At times I wave insistent thoughts away
And take control of pathways of my head
Sometimes I think they'll come another day
Like winter birds they fly away instead
But few could know what resolution brings
When on a paper I can place a thought
Or understand the song my spirit sings
To see what my creative labor brought
When all of my creative juices flow
It is the greatest pleasure one could know.
Love should be like the circle bathed in light
Found in these candlesticks I give to you.
The flame will send its glow into the night
An abiding love in time will give its due.
I think if I could build for you a dream
It would be that you find this endless love
The fabric of your lives would have no seam
While bathed in light that shines from up above.
I know that paths from end to end aren't smooth
And times will come when darkness drowns the light.
Perhaps those times these words can help to soothe
And restore truth that sometimes slips from sight.
I know the love that's found while seeking peace
Can only with the pass of time increase
If you could walk beside me here, my queen
I think our lives could take a gentle path.
We could explore what now remains unseen
And I could dry your tears and hear you laugh.
I would, I think, find trails within the wood
Where nature spreads its verdant canopy
as we walk while holding hands we could
Look to our souls and be all we might be
For now our distances to oft cut short
The time we need to find out who we are
And though we try each other to support
The time and miles have proved a lethal bar
I pray each night for strength from God above
To wait out his plan for us, my gentle love.
Come lay beside me, hold me fast my sweet.
Exchange with me the treasures of this night.
We two can join a pleasured love elite,
while valuing each other's gifts a-right.
Let's strip our worldly outer cares away,
Our love the only blanket that we need,
And vanish all concerning of the day;
To outside interruptions pay no heed.
For I am lost in you -- and you in me
Our love will rise like butterflies to light
The gifts we give set one-other free
The fabric of our love a pleasant sight
Although we've loved our fill when time to leave
we both know, with the dawn, what we must grieve
Can I but hope to tell you how I feel
When days pass and I have no word of you.
I wish I had the chance from you to steal
The right to call and means of getting through
But you, with lover's cowardice abound,
And withhold from me the answer to my prayer.
My destination's in the lost and found.
You seem intent to try to keep it there!
I don't intend to complicate your life.
I just would hope that I could chose my way.
I don't, for now, see you a future wife,
Even should you be divorced some day!
I just want part of you, for now, that's all.
Too bad I can not ever chose to call!.
Days of spring mean special time to me
I walk along the arbor's gentle green
Beneath the bridge the river seeks the sea
My spirits rise to view this verdant scene
If not enrobed with gold from out the sun
This view would hold no change from seasons past
Because the spring has in my mind begun
My attitude seems warmer now, at last
It truly seems we make our place to dwell
Although we view it coming from without
The mind creates its heaven or its hell
And forces us to live in it, no doubt.
I could at last achieve my greatest hour.
Were I to hold the reins of mental power
I look up to the towering canopy
Of trees limbs reaching upward to the sky
And try to learn the lesson left for me,
A gift from nature none would dare deny.
As breezes blow, their swaying to and fro
Keeps all the gentle beauty in is place.
The need to bend, the trees all seem to know
And meet the force of nature full of grace.
I pray that I may find a way to take
The messages that I have chanced to see
So I can learn to bend and not to break
And, while I live, be all that I can be
This simple gift of truth is all around
The wood is where God's messages abound
A gentle promenade into the light
as mommy holds fast to a tiny hand
while in her other holds the flowers tight
she gathered from within this magic land
The woman's eyes they gaze a wistful blue.
Her face is rounded in the deepest thought;
full of passion, lips suffused with dew
and all the glow that kissed loving brought.
Could I but walk inside that quiet glade
and touch the things that Renoir often saw
I'd live within the beauty that he made
but here I stand instead in total awe
To see his gifts turn turbulence to hush
What miracles of canvas, paint and brush!
Inspired by Renoir's "Promenade" seen during a trip to the Barnes Exhibit while
it visited the Philadelphia Art Museum in the spring of 1995. -- vdo
back to "Selected Poetry"
Fleetingly we touch each other as we pass
through our travels on to places yet unknown
while viewing life as through a looking glass
and in cold reflection we remain alone.
A miracle that we may find, despite
the ways in which we often seek to hide,
a part of what we're made of gains the light
that could stay lost in darkness deep inside.
When friendship bridges distances of years
Bringing with it recollections which are fond,
Sometimes of laughter -- other times of tears,
Then isolated hearts at last respond.
I feel the need to let you know it's true;
if you'll be real for me -- I will for you!
The finite nature of my life is not
so well displayed right to its very end
that it's obvious how little time I've got
or that my broken places may not mend
It seems as if the timeless hand of fate
in touching a bright face to leave its mark
permits the souls it spared to celebrate
but, if truth be known, we're whistling in the dark
To leave this life alive there's no escape.
We only fool ourselves with different thought,
elevate to warfare any little scrape
though the real battle we have not yet fought
I spend such time denying I can't know
when Death taps on my shoulder -- will I go?
By now you know how much you mean to me!
At least I hope, at last, that this is true.
To be first with birthday wishes I would be
but it is difficult so far away from you!
Were I with you, I might start out your day
at midnight sharp when wakened with a kiss.
Perhaps I might just coax you into play!
Would you accept a present such as this?
At daylight I would bring to you a treat,
a tray of fruit, no piece of which you'd scorn
would be placed upon your bed lap -- oh so neat!
Love, Bananas, 'Berries and a sunny morn!
And of course you'd have, for better or for worse
upon your tray, some sentimental verse.
In growing into who we're meant to be
we travel through a wilderness of trails
Sometime we miss the path we'd hoped to see,
unavoidably our vision often fails.
But if we try on failure to renew
the resolution to be who we truly are
and above it all to our own self be true
let truth become our single guiding star
At our long journey's end we hope to say
that we've been faithful during each life test
and though our choices often went astray
we always tried to do our very best
No matter what the outcome, this we know:
the "who you are" will teach you where to go!
My heart is truly beating with the sea
as wave on wave comes crashing to the shore.
Each minute's precious music fair to me
as timeless into time my spirits soar.
And so goes passing second, day and hour
Of water rolling endless on the beach.
True glory be to God in all his power
To man such an eternity can't reach.
So I must celebrate the wondrous scene
And lift faint praise to all that I survey,
But weakly try to speak of what I mean
Words can not hope this beauty to convey.
The magic spreads before me where I stand
This majesty of ocean meeting land.
I can't help that I'm staring at your card
To remind me of this night I spent with you
To stare at you in person I was barred
But to stop me now is something you can't do!
I see your smiling face and recognize,
Remembering hours ago I held you fast,
Such pleasure just to look into your eyes
And feel the warmth your gaze upon me cast.
I know it's fearful now look ahead
To what tomorrow brings to aching hearts
I will not push -- I'll take what comes instead
And trust to wondrous and auspicious starts!
We both have many wounds that time must heal
But is there doubt what we've just shared is real?
I think sometimes to be alone with me
Can be a wonder full of pleasure rare
The peace that solitude can bring, you see
Can put to flight the thoughts of trial and care
It's not that I would banish from my side
Those loving souls who complicate my life
But I must have what often I'm denied
In duties asked of mother and of wife
I doubt that I would trade what either brings
I could not live without my family
And knowing how the quiet in me sings
For me to chose just one would not be me!
Just to know my needs this way gives life a lift
And to be at peace with me's a special gift!
I find my life is cornucopiesque
The plenitude surrounding me is great
While god in philanthropic arabesque
Leans closer still his bounty to donate
No one around me knows all I possess
They see the tribulations that I scoff
But tender friends and children to caress
Are fortunes which cannot be carted off
Despite these gifts I truly recognize
When some who would control me touch my life
The tears that I have hid behind my eyes
Blur the wealth while substituting strife
It's hard at times to live noblesse oblige
When your heart's castle undergoes a siege
You cannot know the way you've touched my heart
Temporarily is not the proper word
I grieve the fact that we are still apart
Despite what you have in the silence heard!
Our memories amaze me with their life
Without a time for meeting face to face
These feelings seem to overcome the strife
That we have fought alone in separate place
I still have dreams of being close to you
And finding time to walk, you by my side
And if heard that you and I were through
You've listened love to voices which have lied!
For me, the time with you not in my head
Will happen only after I am dead!
Betty Birthday Sonnet
How should one note the birthday of a friend
Whose generosity has known no bounds
Her altruism never seems to end
A try to square the books simply astounds
So I am left to try to demonstrate
Appreciation that I feel galore
With meals and trinkets which are less than great
And words with which the balance to restore
I say these thing somewhat with tongue in cheek!
There is no contest as to show our thought;
I doubt it true that either one would seek
To measure love by gifts that we have bought.
But I can say to you and know it's true
I can't give more than share myself with you.
back to "Selected Poetry"
I can't help think of being in your arms
While sharing time together, one on one
A new and loving feeling gently warms
The relationship that we have just begun
My darling it is good just knowing you!
You fueled the passion that gives birth to words
And lifted veils revealing treasure new
Akin to springtime flowers, trees and birds
This magic nature born in loving you
Gives wings to thoughts and helped my spirits soar
God grant the things we share are good and true
Our hearts can learn to sing now as before.
I thank an ever present Higher Power
For granting us each magic day and hour.
When I think that you'll be flying soon to me
And I will hear your laughter from nearby
It's such a fine entrancing thought you see
At last to view the twinkle in your eye
So far from me you live and yet we're near
In every way except proximity
Because I know you'll be with me, my dear,
Anticipation works inside of me!
Yet, as I know all things must come to ends
This visit, too, will bring a time to part
As with these verses, love to you ascends
And when you go it will be with my heart
I only dream of coming wondrous day
When my true darling never goes away.
At last I know how radiant can be
Your smile when sensing how someone might care
And maybe this time you won't chance to see
A time to come when he's no longer there
But could I help you try to break the script
That love is always dashing for the door
While clutching in his hand the heart he ripped
From the breast where issues love for ever more
I don't quite know if you can change this way
Or if the pattern fills some other need
But I assure you, there could come a day
At last you could from loneliness be freed
How our love tale will end is up to you
I promise I will do all I can do!
I look into your eyes and feel your love
It warms me, fills my heart with hope and joy
And who could fail to thank the Power above
Conceiving you did all his skills employ
But once again I serve the master cruel
By saving a fair damsel in distress
Again repeat the lesson as the fool
With each seductive gesture and caress
By now you'd think I'd learn not to repeat
The same mistake exactly once again
Look down once more and see her at my feet
A lover who's unworthy of all men
Oh, God might I abandon the despair
By finding loves in need of my repair.
I couldn't see the signals that you sent
I was confused as anyone could be
One minute I'd see love and then it went
And you remained just tolerating me
I guess it helped to bring your child, sweet
Afraid that she might lose her mommy dear
And I would kiss the ground beneath your feet
Which didn't help assuage the child's fear
And yet it was a wondrous time for me
To travel, just your daughter, you and I
The folk who saw us said, "Nice family!"
You saw me turn my thanks up toward the sky
I couldn't tell you what could cause more glee
Than having you and children close to me.
I felt the warmth that lay within your gaze
You touched me and your hands contained a fire
To think of then just puts me in a daze
To miss that hid but obvious desire!
O what a treasure to be wanted so!
Could anyone find higher value gold?
And yet to think back then I did not know
'Twas me your arms desired to enfold.
I promise my attention to the task
Of learning what goes on behind those eyes
When next within their golden glow I bask
That I might see right through the thin disguise
I hope you know how mightily it's true
When you are wanting me, I'm wanting you!
I never cease to wonder at the way
these word appear in time to fill the page.
And yet I never knew when time was near
when I must write and muse desire assuage.
I used to think from my emotions came
the drive to scribble rhythms on a page
but now I know I only have to aim
my mental dish at where these signals rage.
The blessing's mine to know that I can call
at any time to whence these verses flow
and transcribe poems as in my ears they fall
what I, just seconds prior, did not know.
I only wish that, for my muse's part,
Each such gift could be a work of art?
I ride this train as through this rain it runs
past fallen house and trees reborn of spring
the buds festoon banks counting trash in tons
and conflicts man and nature often bring.
Whenever we give gifts don't we expect
at least a "thanks" in word or some display
the gift enjoy position of respect
or use that shows it's cared for in some way?
But look around the planet that's our gift
and see what we recipients have done
to make better and in all respects uplift
and improve it far beyond what was begun.
For all our lack of care I hope and pray
The Giver won't reclaim the gift someday.
When I was just a child I used to fight
against the end of light we call the day.
As an adult I've come to love the night
and sensual respite it brings my way.
To fondle you and hold you in my arms
most often seems to happen after dark
brings what, in other venues, cause alarms
to think that rubbing lips creates such spark.
To share such things continually amaze
us two who somehow seem to leave this world
as in our passion up in smoke we blaze
and warmed before this fire we lie curled.
Had I but known what waited out of sight
I doubt that I'd have railed against the night.
I drop a coin into the open well
and strain to hear the sound its impact makes.
What kind of sound it is I yet can't tell
nor howsoever long the journey takes.
On my lips as falling object finds its path
the wish that I may always chose to face
both things that bring me tears or time to laugh
inextricably bind my soul with grace.
For finding what I have along that road
that led me to this well in open glade
in time it's been my choice where ere I've strode
from gifts my opportunities have made.
That final destinies are never known
Is part of learning just how we have grown.
back to "Selected Poetry"
Dear Lord, I wish to thank you for this day
and friends along the way I've chanced to find.
When I look upon my life I'm forced to say
it's not exactly what I'd had in mind.
It aches my brain to try to figure out
how twists and turns accumulate to this
and pleased I am that you choose not to shout
of how far from where I've aimed I often miss.
I doubt sincerely that you have a plan
with specifics on just where I am to go!
Chance will show us more assurance than
a vain attempt to learn what you must know.
But it often seems my gratitude abounds
when what transpires around me just astounds!
So many messages come from my heart
it's as if my brain was relegated last
It wasn't also so right from the start
all to often I have hid in moments past.
The times I chose to hide have cost me much
I think it best to show the things I feel.
Though I recall when I regretted feeling such
a plethora of pain which made me reel.
I found emotions in a prior life
while training how to spot and give them voice
and on learning that I'd lost a prior wife
to suffer wakened feelings gave no choice.
Since I have feeling where I once had lack
The love you give I gladly give you back
But now I answer to another call
to sing your praises comes not from upset
and though I feel it deeply I recall
I seldom wrote from joy -- more from regret
But this is love that's all so strange and new
because it comes with mitigated fear
I know deep in my heart that you are true
and with each daybreak I will find you here.
To know at last that I can be secure
gives rise to inspiration that is pure.
It seems as magic with you in my arms
to stroke your neck and listen to you purr
to share our day with wonders and alarms
to stop the time and slow its ceaseless whir.
I cannot help your wonder to reveal
as I enjoy the gifts you give to me
to share a love that's obviously real
in ways that no one else may ever see!
We sing our song at night before we sleep
and know the loving treasure that we keep!
So time is passing as it always does
and you are counting minutes as it goes
decrying stacks of years and all that was
how fleetingly it passes heaven knows
I wish I could with either words or deeds
reassure you that your value only grows
and tell you just how well you meet my needs
make me feel loved from forehead to my toes
But I cannot replace a word within
your mind that you have chosen there to keep
nor make know that aging is no sin
life's not a bucket from which your days seep.
On this, my love, forever you may rest
as day on day my time with you is blessed
Another banner day I've spent with you
Like children wondering at all we see
as side by side wide eyed these treasures view
appreciating all that life can be
The colors Vincent chose to grace a page
The crossing lines that Mondrian arranged
suggestive colors Monet chose to stage
to bring illusions home to eyes estranged
But we find art in every place we look
along the road, at home and in the sky
in children's voice and in babbling brook
such wondrous beauty almost makes us cry
How can our life be anything but charmed
When with this gift of wonder we are armed.
back to "Selected Poetry"
My love, my eyes are heavy now with sleep
I long to take you in my arms to hold
and lie beside you 'til the dawnings creep
and dark of night's replaced with morning gold
You make my days a gift to be revered
I treasure each because they start with you
and nights reward for having persevered
in searching 'til I found a love like you.
The glow of setting sun just makes me long
to hold you very close and stroke your hair
because with close of day there comes along
no longer lonely nights that we now share
Each minute of each magic passing day
finds me rejoicing that you've come my way.
Could I let pass a Valentine excuse
to write for you another verse of love
and leave this moment to a lesser use
than praise of you raised to the stars above.
You know that such a thing could never be
for me to skip a sonnet on this day
for so long as you within my life I see
I'm compelled to sing your praise in every way.
I know to hold you often is enough
to soothe your cares at closing of the day
and show those small expressions of the stuff
that makes you feel so loved in every way.
And so I write for you as from the start
Now more than ever, your love owns my heart.
Whose image in the leaded glass could shine
with light within as from an unseen sun
and with it's glow our mission to define
in terms of love for each and every one.
This stained glass angel that I stand before
transported from another time and place
in controversy almost never more
would be allowed to show her shining face
But now, in truth obscured by argument,
we catch a glimpse of angel's inner glow
snatched here in glass from out the firmament
displayed in light that future time might know.
What Angels teach is music from the spheres
With thanks above, the music reached our ears.
I sit with thoughts of you and start to write
to tell you once again what's in my heart
a task I do with love both day and night
the hardest thing is knowing where to start.
Your warmth toward me shows how much I was missed
when we are reunited at days end
and doing chores we check off down a list
reminds me what it means to be a friend.
I never counted on a partnership like this!
It was a thing of which I'd only dreamed..
And thinking of that night when we first kissed
could anything be good as then it seemed?
It teaches us some things we cannot know
like how love starts and what can make it grow.
back to "Selected Poetry"
Valentine's Day 2005
Of course it's time to midwife or to nurse
for sake of season to my Valentine
my brain into delivering a verse
and use this gift particularly mine.
I know you never cease to be amazed
at how the words pour forth with love for thee
when other men would sit there looking dazed
the sonnets seem to fly from God to me.
is the inspiration for my gift
I think of you and all my senses lift.
T'was babes that brought me to your loving arms,
concern for children common ground for us:
to hold at bay their young life threatening harms
and give them health to live and play and fuss
I never thought this unexpected bliss
could come from such an unconnected act
and 'till that early April morning kiss
thought not of getting love and giving back.
Most don't expect that service could bring bliss
Some think that volunteering's thankless work.
But helping others always leads to this
And always brings an unexpected perq.
At first it all seemed very hard to do
So glad that perservering brought me you.
Ok, another year has come and gone
another miracle of love and joy.
Wait! Weeds can still be found upon our lawn!
Perfection has not found this girl and boy.
Like marks in leather testify to truth
we have some imperfections with us still
and as we say good bye to parting youth
More marks will pop along, I'll bet they will
But I can't dream of better company
to pass away the ending years
No better match exists to age with me
for sharing wonder, laughter and our tears
So anniversaries -- come and never quit
It's fun to think of sharing all of it
It's often said we know not what we've got
until we lose the things we value most
while spending time on things not worth a lot
until we're left with naught but memory's ghost.
Thank God because I suffer not from this.
I know the bread side which my butter lies.
It's you that my heart knows it dare not miss
and this is truth I care not to disguise.
Yes, February comes with chilly days
the fourteenth brings me notice of the time
when I should sit and write of all the way
that show my love to you again in rhyme
Please dearest say forever you'll be mine
and ever more remain my Valentine!
The freezing rain arrests the drift of snow
and forms a crust that glitters in the sun,
resembling not Nor' Easters that I know.
It dashed the hope for deep snows when begun.
I hearken to a time so long ago
when as a child I watch the new flakes fall.
It seems to me back then when started snow
it did not end before it drifted tall.
The ploughmen roared on gamely through the night
to make a place for cars when came the day
and scarcely from the starting snow flake's flight
with diesel noise and lights they made their way.
The snow storm and the plows all did their worst
But in the end, we know who finished first.
back to "Selected Poetry"LXX
I am seldom ever at a loss to say
the many things that often cross my mind
and those who need to seek another way
when words don't flow, I leave them far behind!
I don't know which -- a blessing or a curse
that brings words so quickly from within my heart.
I'm only sure that it would be much worse
were it to be impossible to start.
My dearest, I can never credit take
for inspiration that from you abounds
any claim of mine is a mistake
it's heaven sent when poetry astounds!
Just as I must thank my God for granting you
it's God's gift that makes words I write you, too.
Valentine's Day it comes around again
again I'm blessed to spend it, love, with you.
By now, they're dim reflections of time when
we weren't yet fully coupled, me and you.
I treasure every instant that has passed
and thank my God for you into my life.
The thoughts of love for you are ever vast
and I'm so glad to have you as my wife.
So once again I keyboard words for you
and vainly try communicating love.
My darling, know that we are ever new
like you, our magic came from up above.
So know you this and lest you ere forget
to show my love I've barely started yet.
Hello there, Don, you've passed another year
And I've been privileged, sharing quite a few
In fact, three score and two you've had me near
Although it's not all benefit to you!
But we've been friends in good times and through heck
And seen the ups and downs resolve to this:
To each we've been the other's pain in neck
But through it all, no moment would I miss!
So here at Cosmos come to celebrate --
your broker and accountant being good.
I lose it and he counts what's dealt by fate
To think of it, we both should wear a hood
But this I say of you and I should shout
There's no finer guy than Don, there is no doubt.
February 18, 2008
I hope you never tire of hearing how
you sparkled up my life just being here.
And memories that hurt are missing now
Erased by you alone just being near
I think of you a lot when you're away.
I long to spend our time just being with.
It's joyous starting each and every day
with you to prove true love is not a myth.
And so an anniversary arrives
of that warm day when you agreed to say “I do.”
Together we have pledged to spend our lives
to pass our time together, me and you.
Just as the seasons bring both good and bad
Both ups and downs with you will make me glad.
July 20, 2008
No one can say by what I was possessed
To try to spin out poems in groups of eight.
It's doubtful by great skill I will be blessed
but just to try to do it is my fate
It has been said that words belong to me
And writing sonnets comes as quite a gift
But you as inspiration certainly
can give my writing skill the biggest lift.
And so I've headed down that daunting path
To try to weave more than one hundred strings
Perhaps this task will only court the wrath
Of that fair muse into my ear oft sings
I can't envision what this holds in store
I do it for you – you are worth much more.
Reflecting on those distant early days
When we were new and nothing much was set
We both thought we would go in different ways
And both of us had so much to regret
The only common thing we shared was loss
As each had had a love depart our way
And though it seemed our paths were meant to cross
If we found something special – would it stay?
Although it was unplanned right from the start
We started spending time just being near
And found the pathways to our heart
Each passing day became more clear
We've learned it as the hands of time revolved
that we were always meant to be involved.
The myriad of things with which I'm blessed
are welling up within my very soul.
To tell of them quite often I'm possessed
but time relating thoughts will take its toll.
There probably are not very many ways
to say the same things over and again.
Avoiding repetition would take days.
Me find that time? I surely don't know when.
So I slog on and try to put to words
the things I may have often said before
and hope my thoughts can take to wing like birds.
So I'll set forth and see what lies in store.
By blessings that I find I have enjoyed
of course you know my spirits all are buoyed.
You never know when magic plans to strike
And season with the spice that makes the day
I only know the recipe I like
Recalling gourmet pleasures all the way
The taste of miracles is truly fine
They roll across the pallet side to side
I know their constancy cannot be mine
But presence now and then can't be denied
Getting full of wonder isn't hard.
It's something that I've grown a taste to keep
It's true they're seldom growing in the yard
They make me thank my God before I sleep.
Magic, miracles, wonder all come true
They came to me in quantity with you
Another day together is all done
and snuggles plan to cap the golden time.
As I recall the day was thus begun
As lightly turns the hours into rhyme
To share each other in a fond embrace
With touch and kiss and glance and happy phrase
However long our day there's still a trace
Of you that lingers on with me through several days
A fool would pass such time and never note
How fortunate he was to share such joys
I claim no wisdom but it gets my vote
To elect my fortune better than most boys
I would be blind indeed to miss the view
Of my good luck in sharing time with you.
You are kindly to accept the words I pen
As if they were all writ by golden quill
I read them and confess that now and then
Forced phrase and rhyme too often have their will
It bothers me that I can not perfect
The work I craft to tell you of my thoughts
At time it seems to be from pure neglect
Light handed work with imperfections fraught
But knowing what a daunting task I seek
to say more than how deep is felt my love
And of your wonders let you take a peek
Is power owned alone by heaven above.
So I eschew perfection and instead
Just do my best to leave nothing unsaid.
back to "Selected Poetry"LXXX
The pleasure gained from being close to you
in truth, defies imagination bold.
I doubt that I would ever thought it true
A priori though by brilliant scholars told!
The fourteenth day of February's here.
Together years of nearly fourteen, too.
And I've learned as year has stacked on year
the joy that's gained from merely loving you.
My heart, praise God, has known so many joys
it might be hard to name just one the best
Among the scan my memory employs
it's you that stands so far above the rest
So I will do whatever I must do
to stretch the time that I might spend with you.
It must get old to hear the words I write;
as if I could with adequacy tell
how being with you brings endless delight.
But I can never say it quite so well!
God knows I've often practiced quite a bit
as all our minutes progress into years
but still I can not find the words that fit.
They always seem so hollow to my ears!
But I won't let my incomplete attempt
dissuade me from continuing to try.
Through your eyes, you have made me seem exempt.
With kindly heart you grant an alibi.
Although you will accept what ere I do
it makes me seek a higher goal for you.
Though asleep to the world, she reaches out to me
as my presence is detected in the bed
just as at times she snuggles close you see
well after dark before I rest my head.
It's what we do less benefit of thought
gives evidence to truth that's in our mind.
While sleep persists no fakery is wrought
in unconscious acts no falsehood can we find.
With countless acts thus shows what's in her heart
and warms me with discovered signs of love
that fills me up whenever we're apart
with gratitude for gifts from God above.
In a thousand ways as these it seems to me
with her is where I'm truly meant to be!
Valentine's Day 2010
LXXXIIIGreat Good Fortune
July 20, 2010
Our Tenth Wedding Anniversary
LXXXIVAnother day of wonder has arrived
back to "Selected Poetry"
Always so precious are you, sweetest one, XCI XCII XCIII XCIII XCIV
Is it true that Liz is really ninety-five? XCV XCVI XCVII XCVIII XCVIV C CI CII CIII CIV CV CVI CVII CVIII CIX CX CXI CXII CXIII CXIV CXV CXVI CXVII CXVIII CXIX
CXXVII CXXX CXXXII CXXXIII CXXXIV CXXXV CXXXVII CXXXVIII
to work your magic on me every day!
I must admit it’s always been much fun
to christen each new place our special way.
O’er the passing years the things we share
reverberate in recollections dear
and each event we’ve seen, no matter where,
will warm my heart as memories reappear.
I honestly can’t claim to rise above
the thoughts that tend to cloud my mind with blue
but it would be so much easier my love
were I to sublimate with thoughts of you
No way could thinking lead me to despair
were I just to focus on you being there.
A pair of sixes is the current count,
the wonder that consists of passing time,
and all the projects together we might mount
could not but reinforce this love of mine.
The longer is the time I spend with you
the more I wish it earlier begun.
I tell you this and know that it is true
with you at times bad events can be fun!
I relish every second that we share
and wish that I could shape each and every day
to show you just how very much I care
to share my life with you in every way.
With every passing second that we spill
It is with joy our destinies fulfill.
Betty Birthday Sonnet for November 14, 2011
We promised to abide no matter what
may come our way in months and years ahead
and even without if or and or but
we couldn’t avoid bad, have good instead.
As years fly by I can without a doubt
see exceeding hours of joy than those of grief.
So as our lives keep putting time to rout
to escape all challenge is beyond belief!
I guess this holiday I’m forced to face
a threat that I would rather not have seen
but with your love I’m in a better place
than any other that I might have been.
This God knows and ever more is new
I can face anything right next to you.
December 25, 2011
Such heavy thoughts can seize upon our mind
to blow away the wonder all around
impervious to beauty we might find
colors of dawn and gentle morning sound
It’s almost conspiratorial intrigue
that rushes in to steal away the joy
marching to us league piled onto league
toting sorrow to a happy girl or boy
And even then the illumination fails
the light that’s close at hand if we but look
could we but sense surrounding spirit trails
we might replace the sunshine that they took.
This I feel right to my very soul
My attitude’s the one thing I control.
I am astounded at the things I know
an eclectic list at least, if truth be told
I've worked upon it ceaselessly and so
confess impressing me, were I so bold.
Standing back to see this work and gain a view
I tear apart each feature in my mind
and in me wells esteem that's born anew
as ordinary things are left behind.
But honest thought is a relentless force
It tears at this sand castle I have built
it's summer breeze will quickly dry the sand of course
and turn this structure finally into silt.
Ah, truth will let the "full of self" air out
what I thought I knew I find myself without!
February 2012 and Liz Snyder has Ninety-five Years
She sure is using time without relief
but in the years while she has been alive
she’s done so many things beyond belief!
She starts with stardom, excelled to skate and swim.
She met a service man whom she’d outrank
succumbed to many charms John brought with him
left them with just ten kids and God to thank
These memories we know will quickly pass
some without notice some with loud fanfare
but to it all we raise a toasting glass
we’re truly privileged just by being there!
What of her years each one of us have shared
it’s been a treat we’re glad we weren’t spared.
It's evening once again and we prepare
for spending a celebratory night.
Anticipating fondly when we're there
and hold Ima and friend within our sight!
The night's an anniversary of birth
four score years past on February 1st
is why we gather here tonight in mirth
to share a meal and slake a happy thirst.
It's a treasure to have shared a fraction large
of the passing time we celebrate tonight
five years short of forty saw me barge
into your life; I must have been a sight.
Each day stacked onto day it's plain to see,
you in my life has been a gift to me.
Lest we forget Eva Lynne
You surely might have picked another day
to celebrate it as your natal time
but since being close to Ima is your way
it's early February by design.
Even so you, you know it's your identity
you can't into the background slyly sneak
a person of your special quality
is in each and every way truly unique
So I can't forget to tell you how you are
so valued to the ones who know you well
Eva Lynne you have already traveled far
keep this in mind while sounds your birthday bell
You have a value that can not be denied
And virtues great that even you can't hide!
Of all decisions that have happened in my life
seems that most of the all the best have involved you.
Some bad ones too, before you were my wife
the circle of my type had left out you.
But there was that blessed intervening hand
that reaches in my life from time to time
and when I’ve reached the most that I can stand.
it turns the discord into magic rhyme.
So it is when I have thoughts of you
the bitter and the sweet are special spice
there could be nothing better I could do
in sharing all the naughty and the nice.
I can not claim to ever be so swift
to plan you here. You give my life a lift
It’s often true we seldom know our prize
has value far above the sum we think.
As mortals far too often feel surprise
in counting what we find upon the brink.
I must confess I fell into that trap
when viewing love to be from much too far
and though you later fell into my lap
It took time to see how valuable you are!
But now I know post dozen married years
what precious gift to me you have become
and wiping memories out from prior tears
your value is an escalating sum.
I hope each day that I can prove it’s true
that I appreciate that value that is you!
I’ll not forget our honeymoon in France
a piece of it is always in my mind
how displays of pastries truly made you dance
your nose on window glass and me behind.
And how we tried to find for me a cheese
that fought against the essence of the town
to convey the concept sharp there was no ease
my fractured French sure made me seem the clown.
Cheese in France is soft, gooey and sweet.
It goes so well with bread and local wine
I quit the quest for a sharp cheddar treat
and in the process all turned out just fine.
But, love, in truth just being there with you
demotes whatever else that I might do!
What a super sense of humor hath God's time
that watches us as through its realm we pass
while we fail to sense its reason or its rhyme
and maybe miss the sand fall in time's glass.
It's said that youth is wasted on the young
and that's the meaning I asseverate.
Not appreciating what we are among
or not valuing until it's oft too late.
Perhaps if we could just like Merlin be
and live life in reverse at least in mind
then early it might come to you and me
what all too often late in life we find!
Perhaps you've grasped the import of my song:
We catch life's value near the final gong!
Some think it difficult to find a thing that's true!
It led Diogenes to sport his famous light.
But darling, since my fate has brought me you
Not finding truth has never been my plight.
How constantly has shown your guiding star
to light my heart no matter what may come.
To have you close brings forth events that are
an antidote to things that poison some.
Let other winds that pass us shake the days
and frighten those with roots not deep enough.
I feel stability from you in all the ways
that fall one holding on to less stern stuff.
In every way I wish that I might be
support to you as you have been to me.
Each passing year with you brings me surprise
as you seek higher pinnacles to top
that equal time you've lived beneath the skies
with goals you down and tasks you best non-stop.
I've labeled you for all your friends to see
and doing so, I'll lay you even money,
to turn a phrase is nothing new to me
but nothing fits like "Energizer Honey!"
Five Ks, 10 Miles and Marathons are naught
but things for you to conquer and move on
surprisingly with dangers seldom fraught,
one recent wound excepted lingering on.
But dearest love, we all have faith in you
It's fitting because you have taught us to!
The time may be when I no longer find
the words that come when summoned to the page.
I've often marvelled how they come to mind
and how they often make me seem the sage.
No doubt the world will spin just as before
despite my inability to write.
To not be making sonnets any more
won't cut or lengthen any day or night
But I thank God this gift is not reclaimed
and so continue saying what is true.
No one can say that I'd be blamed
for wishing just to sing of loving you.
So I continue thanking powers above
for helping me communicate my love.
We've suffered through some stuff, this much is true
health issues dealing such a heavy blow
while testing both our patience through and through
and learning terms we'd rather never know!
Out of the woods may not describe the state
I find myself along recovery's road,
but in this clearing I can surely state
I so respect the courage that you showed.
Although I know at times you felt some fear
as we confronted threats from the unknown.
It gave me comfort just to have you near
when all the demons by us were full blown.
This much I sure can guarantee is true;
most everything is bearable with you.
How far should one look seeking out a friend,
as friends, I think, have value more than gold.
For me I know the search must never end
and lacking friends one can feel truly old!
Sometimes the finding is but happenstance,
an ill wind blowing good things into life.
Ol' Marvin introduced us just by chance;
how good a thing whence often came just strife.
So we have shared quite many happy years
a thing I pray will not soon find an end
taming markets where so many found but tears
by using senses on which we could depend.
But this I say and I can prove it true:
Among my greatest friends I number you!
March 26, 2013
Could I believe you’re shortening my life?
This anniversary finds you giving care
not that it’s new, for since you’ve been my wife,
when I need you, you are always there
Still, time I spend with you goes by so fast
the daily hours seem much less than twenty-four.
I pray our together times forever last
If so, dare I ask a second more!
Each day I find more treasure in your soul
in looking out for others, not just me!
These facets form a special caring whole
that make you just as special as can be.
This proves to me that what I think is true:
my days fly faster when they’re spent with you.
Our Anniversary 2013
I thank God for you, my darling, every day.
To omit thanks is something I can't do.
With you, my life is blessed in every way!
I can't imagine life that's missing you.
We spent some time apart before we found
the love that truly fills our lives today.
And I recall days when you weren't around
and wouldn't choose to live my life that way.
Gods gifts are seldom easy to detect
apart from sun and water, life and air
Upon reflection we can all select
the countless treasures "someone" has placed there.
God granting you I couldn't guarantee
I'm still thankful that you're here with me.
The Bard wrote sonnets on our fleeting youth
which would soon die were it not partner shared.
I read these lines and think it be the truth
that ulterior motive's used to make youth scared.
Smooth skin is soon replaced by furrowed brow
while eyes that once were bright are too soon dimmed.
I think the poet refers to our "now,"
These days when future hours left have slimmed.
Threats aren't needed to gain intimacy
and flatter you to bring you to my bed
But you daily gain in beauty as I see
because of wrinkles and gray hair on your head.
You're wondrous now as when new loves begin
Because you've maintained the beauty that's within!
Betty's birthday, November 14, 2013
It's time again to show what's in my heart,
to share again the love I have for you.
It wasn't always smooth right from the start.
Despite that, we've created one from two
Neither of us lost identity.
You and I still can be who we are,
respecting all that makes us you and me
while merging our together parts thus far.
In April "Us" will celebrate 18.
In Hebrew count I know they call it chai,
and it's not lost on me all that can mean
just how life toasts this couple, you and I!
That past is prologue is a fact I know.
And just imagine how this love will grow.
Valentine's Day, 2014
I'm not supposed to, 'cause you're not my mom
make anything of this, a special day!
No flower, candy, gift on which to glom
and not to notice any special way.
But I can't help but think of you today
in how you've blessed the moments of my life
Though I'm not to blame for your own Mother's Day.
I'm am so grateful that you are my wife.
I think we both agree it's for the best
that kids had come to both before we met.
The parenting, worries, triumphs and the rest
Were best accomplished prior, that's the bet.
But I still bless this recognition day
because you bless my life in every way.
I wonder, do you think I see you stage
the happening you fashion every year
that time can fly and you don't seem to age
but what a treat I feel to have you near.
Perhaps it's that you're Energizer Honey
you take your strength from everything you do.
Five k, Ten k, Marathon like money
I gain strength just by watching you.
Soixante neuf may sound much sweeter as an age
but I don't care a bit how it is called.
Though numbers might cascade right down the page
each passing day with you I'm more enthralled.
Whatever number candles on the cake
I'll help you blow them out, make no mistake.
There are some gifts that cannot be denied
whose value fairly bursts upon the mind.
Like life itself, it's treasure cannot hide
and if we look we're always sure to find.
I see those tiny steps though long have past
when greatest gift I had encountered first
and wonder still, good fortune makes it last
like water oft can slake a major thirst.
So long has lasted time together spent
and day by day discovers yet once more
though I know, to me you're only lent
I'll celebrate each second that's in store.
It's has been quite a time since I first knew
the gift you are and every day renew.
I often wonder at this thing called time
that grasps us as it moves along its way
sometimes neglecting reasoning or rhyme
we travel blindly on from day to day.
In trying to make sense of how it works
I've exhausted all the thought that I could wish
and remember most basic of life's quirks:
the discoverers of water were not fish.
So surrounded by the passage of an age
and occasionally paid attention as it goes
within life's chapters turning each day's page
how this book ends still no one ever knows.
An arrow pointing onward - such is time
not repeating often showing rhyme.
There is no doubt as to my fortune great
in finding you some twenty years ago
at the time it seemed I found you very late
I'm looking back toward all I didn't know!
Each day together seems to me a gift
that wrapped in pretty paper looks to be
designed to give my spirits quite a lift
when open to the wonders that I see.
No, you are not perfection to the world,
a standard that no other soul could match,
and as your idiosyncrasy's unfurled
observers could have learned that with dispatch.
No matter imperfections others see
You'll always be the perfect one for me.
I cheer the Bard who often chose to write
the sonnet form that henceforth bore his name
that I've adopted morning noon and night
never thinking I might share his fame.
But iamb follows iamb in each line
the gate I find so pleasing to my ear
continues on in each example fine
in scribing sonnets on - year after year!
No, Shakespeare will have naught to fear from me
although the standard I have chose to lift
in trying capture what I think and see
as through the mental thesaurus I sift.
Trust me, I think it daunting hard
attempting to write sonnets like the Bard.
My love sees digital as her finger tips
while geeks like me see it a different way
Switch on her cell oft from her memory slips
when she goes shopping or goes out to play.
So there I am in need of reaching you
a need fulfilled so easily by cell
but the thing is off, I guess I always knew
tech and you can send me straight to hell.
I confess, no matter noises made
I will never lose the sight of that which counts
and tiny imperfections seem to fade
as all our time together daily mounts.
Tiny things might sometimes take me to the ground
but surely beat not having you around.
It’s been almost two decades — wed fifteen,
the time that we have spent together, love.
I struggle telling you how much you mean
you’ve always seemed a gift from up above.
Anniversaries are sacred time for verse
Along with birthdays and the holidays
And I for you can still a sonnet nurse
to tell you of my love in many ways.
I’m thankful that this method I employ
does not to you seem less than one that’s fit
and you iambic lines seem to enjoy
you read and smile all fourteen lines of it.
I tell you one thing and you know it’s true
I’ll always try to tell of love for you.
Wedding Anniversary, 2015
Some think it true that aging makes us less
attractive than possessions younger are.
That new alone is worthy of caress
while years condemn what would have been a star.
I guess that new can sometimes recommend
somewhat more than little age can boast.
Comestibles oft quickly reach an end
to life which counts itself in days at most.
Ah, but think of things improved by passing days:
a rich red wine that cellars oer the years;
black diamond aged can thrill so many ways;
some seasoned cognacs tasted will bring tears.
But I’ve observed in years that proved it true
there’s nothing ages half as well as you.
Betty's Birthday, 2015
Three score and ten the yule tide it has passed
and you have shared the last few just with me.
You are a gift received this time at last
and, many more I hope I’ll live to see
Another year is coming to its close
but magic, it keeps going on and on
and if my luck continues I suppose
I’ll celebrate with each succeeding dawn.
Our gifts to others caused us all this joy.
I’m shocked each day at how the gift’s returned.
From helping unborns — little girl or boy,
We’ve grown from all the countless lessons learned.
I know as I sensed almost from the start
I’ll never see the boundary of your heart.
Cupid’s arrow falls where ere it may.
I speak with knowledge based on many years
and I recall when pierced many a day
that wound oft would eventually bring tears.
But that dart with you attached surely fell true
and works its magic even to this time
for twenty years I’ve been in love with you
and in that span you oft moved me to rhyme.
I know the chance that gifts are overlooked.
I’m guilty of that error now and then.
But in the words of time that now are booked
I see our start and can remember when.
Some blessing might be hidden from my view
but I can see the blessing that is you.
Valentine’s Day 2016
I made the fateful call about that night
to see if you might deign to join me there.
Only octogenarians in sight
you looked on and didn’t seem to care
You accepted and I later found it true
I asked because we’d never be “involved”
You said okay you felt the same way, too.
So off we went then with that problem solved.
My love, we both then had a broken heart
from loss when someone close could not return
and neither of us knew right from the start
we’d struck a spark from which a fire would burn.
Two broken hearts now have been repaired
inevitably because each of us have cared.
for the twentieth anniversary of our first date, Lafayette Lodge #14 A.F.& A.M. Ladies' Night -- April 26, 1996
Sweet sixteen, the years we're man and wife
and for me, not an instant of regret,
save for the time you weren't in my life.
But, give me years, we'll make up for that yet.
Your presence sweetens things I wouldn't chose
Like challenges that come from day to day
in health complaint and battles I might lose
You soften troubles in your special way.
I guess that comes from dealing with the truth
we are alone at birth and when we die.
I know that was my way back in my youth.
Since you, I know that lonely is a lie.
Our days together I will treasure still.
To pledge to end your loneliness I will.
Our 16th wedding anniversary, July 20, 2016
Fifty-five, Not the Limit!
Hiawatha never stood in a canoe!
It's something that would be all too strange to see.
But the L.H.S. seal claims that it is true,
although we all know that it couldn't be.
Perhaps some things we learned at Liverpool
don't hold water when we try them for a fact.
Let us not yet castigate our school,
despite all the fallacious things we've tracked.
So much has changed since 1961.
It's a wonder that we recognize the place.
So many things transpire beneath the sun.
It has to put a smile upon our face.
In our reunion year of 55,
We should be glad that we are still alive.
Written for the 55th high school reunion, Liverpool High School, Class of 1961, July 20, 2016. With gratitude to my mother and Catherine Slavin. Van D. (Bud) Olmstead, Jr.
Nature of a Gift!
Another year, a present to decide.
To find a thing that’s good enough for you.
And it’s so awfully hard just to decide
to choose a fitting object to pursue.
So much needs be in that which I’d bestow
because you mean so much within my life.
It’s true, no greater gift I’ll ever know
than when you finally said you’d be my wife!
Each November brings the arduous task
of finding such a thing that measures you,
but knowing that is all too much to ask
I’ll have to do the best that I can do!
Just waking with you makes my spirits lift.
To me you are a very special gift.
November 2016 and the observance of Betty's birthday.
They claim an elf distributes our gifts,
around the very last month of the year,
with ideas that oft are gleaned from lists
complied from items that are not too dear.
The thought we had was not to break the bank,
sure not the intent from the One above,
and put finances swiftly in the tank
when wa are buying gifts for those we love.
IF truth be known, I cannot get enthused
at lists of things that I might ever need
But enjoying watching, so amused,
I've everything I want or need, indeed!
With all my heart, I pledge this to you
You’ve made all my earthly dreams come true
Betty’s Christmas Sonnet, 2016
Another February creeps on frozen feet
to visit lovers waiting for their spring
inspired to find the words that put it neat
in ways that make those lovers glad to sing.
Iamb that’s strung along is not that hard
and to make it scan seems so to come with ease.
Ah, but to theme and rhyme in ways as did the Bard
I fall short in this standard I would please!
So we await the warming of the sun
with leaves and buds that blossom once again
I’ll finish up this sonnet I’ve begun
Secure in knowing that I’ve faced the pain.
But if I’ve maybe touched your heart, my love,
you are the inspiration from above.
Valentine's Day, 2017
Such a trooper you turned out to be!
Twenty-six miles and a fraction more
and in your wake, as proud as he could be,
stood your love who couldn’t love you more.
So many never even make a start
of if they start could fall along the way
But you, my darling, are so strong of heart
You finish ‘cause you know no other way.
So here I stand and I’m in total awe
at the finish you still seemed really fresh
as if you could be looking for some more
like medals or a beverage to refresh.
This and other things I tell to you
In saying I’m amazed at what you do!
21sts Anniversary of our first date on April 26, 1996
My mother? No you’re not it’s plain to see!
It pleases me to watch how you are loved
and that is much more meaningful to me
contrasting how by me you are beloved.
Your daughters treasure you, of that I’m sure
as well your grandsons value you so much.
It’s likely so because your heart is pure
you never dwell on unkind things as such.
Generosity and kindliness abounds
I never tire of watching you behave.
Anger to you? I never have had grounds
Your even temper makes us all your slave.
So I will join in praising you this day
You’ve blessed all in every special way.
Mother’s day 2017
Again another passage in our time
and I once more composing lines for you
while choosing what is suitable in rhyme
with focus on the best that I can do.
Conveying just how much you mean to me
is such a thing I always try to do.
I live in constant hope that I will see
that I have aimed the message straight at you.
You are so kind as you accept these lines
and tell me words of thanks when you have read
the latest missive for the current times
I’m trying hard to with my love embed.
Our anniversary brings another day
to pledge to you my love another way.
Our seventeenth wedding anniversary -- 7/20/2017
A man encountering beauty seeks to praise
in speech that might reveal just what he sees
but in attempting to discover ways
the sought for words may bring him to his knees.
But for gifts that truly share the tale
and not be shadows of a prior sun.
In recounting of the dawn we often fail
recalling of the way it was begun.
With time I will not fail to persevere
no matter that oft times I feel inept.
To think that I’ll keep trying must be clear.
My words will lead to where the treasure’s kept.
Each day I find new beauty to expose
These words a light I pray to you it shows.
On enforced vocal rest, it’s true
deprived of what I view is best
to tell my depth of love for you
I miss that more than all the rest.
I’m confessing biding time
until the passing of the days
I’ll just sit here typing rhyme
and make you read the loving praise.
Sometimes I wish you more verbose
and competition for the air
I’m always filling, Heaven knows,
with words that may be foul or fair.
But this I say and know it true
I’m better just for loving you.
To find you, did I ever really try?
I guess I almost even missed my chance
How long for me those brown eyes to descry
I always look into them when we dance
But, no! This fool said you were not his type
and I was doomed to look another place.
Still wrapped up in my self-created hype,
not recognizing magic in your face.
But heaven saved me, sent me straight to you
because a friend said, “You must help me out.”
Since I would never get involved with you.
an asked for date would change my life, no doubt.
In the couple decades that have passed
I’ve learned how much I overlooked at last
I should not say I put it down to chance.
No one could ever claim to win that much.
That you could find me worthy of a glance
is a happening that's well beyond my touch.
For me to be your choice is such a gift
and I shall never cease to be amazed.
You by me when I wake gives me a lift
confessing that it leaves me slightly dazed.
You know that I have trod this path before
without the outcome you have given me
and of our years, I pray for many more
while things I do will give that gift to me.
Now that I have you in my life be sure
I’ll give my all to make our love endure.
Betty's 72nd Birthday -- 11/14/2017
Santa told me, “Time to write some lines
as Betty’s due a Christmas sonnet now!”
as if the words I write all grew on vines
that I can pluck when ere I need somehow.
God grant me all the wisdom to contrive
rhymes conveying what is in my heart
I want these words surely to come alive
and help to finish well what I may start
I don’t think my sonnets differ not
and fail to show originality
although so many of them share a plot
the words and rhymes are new as they can be.
But know you this and be sure that it’s true
the ways that you inspire are always new.
I think of fluffy clouds with azure skies.
The golden sun shines on the sea and beach
the unknown depth within your dark brown eyes
are miracles too far beyond my reach
I’m constantly aghast by wonders seen
just driving all alone on country lane
in spring the magic of new green
how winter ended no one can explain
It fills me with a joy beyond my words
so many things are magic in themselves
running children and the flight of birds
are not the kinds of things you take off shelves.
But of all the wonder I see day to day
You fill my life in such a special way.
I stand in awe as miracles abound,
a creature who respects by whom he’s made,
beholding with my thoughts all that surround
with growing things of every hue and shade.
The very sounds I hear bring me to tears
as do the breezes and the warming sun.
Those breezes often blow away all fears
and bring me back to where I had begun.
It is so often easy to avoid
all this grandeur everywhere I look,
but seeing you beside me fills a void
the beauty you provide could fill a book.
Your love’s another miracle I see.
You are just so spectacular to me.
Valentine's Day 2018 (Sonnet One of Obligation for 2018,
It's an obligation I feel, not one thrust upon me. There are six:
1. Valentine's Day; 2. April 26 -- anniversary of our first date
3. Mother's Day; 4. July 20th -- our wedding anniversary;
5. November 14 -- Betty's Birthday; 6. December 25.
I’m not a face upon the doctor’s wall
There’s little room for anonymity,
but I am sure that I could bet it all
that out there, there be hundreds just like me.
Our gratitude may not be on display
but it is not less genuine we’re sure
His knowledge and his skill when turned our way
have led us all to the paths much more secure.
I’ll bid the mi shebeirach list good bye,
when Sataloff has finished with my case
but without a guaranty he’ll try
to put, at last, a smile upon my face.
I thank my God for help from RTS
because--the best he'll do and, I know, nothing less!
On the eve of my procedure, February 25, 2018
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
Always so precious are you, sweetest one, XCI XCII XCIII XCIII XCIV
Is it true that Liz is really ninety-five? XCV XCVI XCVII XCVIII XCVIV C CI CII CIII CIV CV CVI CVII CVIII CIX CX CXI CXII CXIII CXIV CXV CXVI CXVII CXVIII CXIX
CXXVII CXXX CXXXII CXXXIII CXXXIV CXXXV
XCI XCII XCIII XCIII XCIV
Is it true that Liz is really ninety-five? XCV XCVI XCVII XCVIII XCVIV C CI CII CIII CIV CV CVI CVII CVIII CIX CX CXI CXII CXIII CXIV CXV CXVI CXVII CXVIII CXIX
CXXVII CXXX CXXXII CXXXIII CXXXIV
So this is our year twenty-two my love
The start of our year twenty-three is here
We’re due to send our praise to Lord above
because I’m holding truth that is so dear
I could not think of better harmony
It fills my heart with unimagined joy
My soul is boyed in thoughts of you and me
that you’re my loving girl and I’m your boy.
Growing old with you is such a blast
I never dreamed there could be such a thing
Recalling all mistakes within my past
I never dreamt the joy that you could bring.
Another first date anniversary is here.
with pleasure since I know that you are near.
Our first date was Lafayette Lodge #14's Ladies Night, April 26, 1996 - We celebrate it every year.
Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
Let us just say we know what you are not: my mother — I know you would never be and though you surely pledge your love a lot to children only mine by marrying me. On Mother’s Day I’m driven to give praise to you because I wonder at your skills in keeping daughters close within your gaze assuaging worries, deftly treating ills. Your even tempered hand does you so proud. I rarely see you lose your loving way You seldom voice a negative aloud instead you’re looking toward a better day. You’ve made yourself so wonderful a maw and I can only stand and watch in awe. Mother's Day May 13, 2018
Simple pleasures in this life abound,
to brush our lips together in a kiss,
one thing makes me glad that you’re around.
I pray you’ll never leave and make me miss.
I love to press my lips each day to yours
and feel your breath so soft upon my face
my special love for you daily insures
that I will always be within your space.
And both of us in seventies we are
but share a love that’s true both young and old
and this, our 18th wedded year our star
still shines as our true love remains as bold
So, still my very blessed darling dear,
I’d kiss your lips whenever you are near.
Our 18th wedding anniversary sonnet, July 20th 2018.
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A gift Catherine Slavin chose to give
that made me love the sonnet’s very form
Elizabethan sonnets had to live
within my heart as it became the norm.
Eleventh grade English was the special place
where I began to write these fourteen lines
I must admit it changed both time and space
and sonnets grabbed a place within my mind.
An English teacher planted well this special seed
and as I said just when I had begun
this love of rhyme was such a special gift
that worked its wonders as it filled a need.
So, I listen well to voices in my ear
and write them down so other folk might hear.
I’m quite amazed of beauty that abounds
and fills my eyes with wonders to behold
It makes me thankful for all that surrounds
each blessed miracle as it unfolds.
What a special gift it is to me
to witness and record these special things
and I am truly blessed, so much to see
and share with all the happiness it brings.
I do not know just what has chosen me
to see and share extraordinary things,
I only know that I am blessed to see
all this, the wondrous joy it brings.
So, I will watch and share as I can do
and promise I will always share with you.
Each day I say that you’re my treasure.
A thought of you will fill my heart with pride
There is no way that anyone can measure
the love for you I carry deep inside.
Now we celebrate another year since birth
begun November 1945
But I confess my greatest source of mirth
is just to have you next to me alive.
All this world is wrapped in constant wonder.
The impossible can happen every day.
With you around my doubts are put asunder.
You make my dreams come true with every day.
So now we do a fete for seventy-three.
I thank my God you’re doing it with me.
Betty's birthday sonnet -- November 14, 2018
Let’s think about the meaning of a gift
the things that make us greet them with a smile.
Receiving them oft gives our hearts a lift
and fills us with good feelings quite a while.
You were so unexpected from the first
such a thing can make good presents great
as you were when upon my scene you burst
although I confess I realized it late.
To think that I had thought you weren’t my type
and only asked you out with that in mind.
I learned that I was victim of my hype.
I realized you truly were my kind.
You were a magic gift in every way
and prove it so with every passing day
Betty’s Christmas sonnet for 2018
I remember 1953
Within that year are things I can’t forget
My momma said, “A baby’s on inside me!”
No faster could the nine months pass, I’ll bet.
I was sure he’d be a little man.
And amniocentesis wasn’t done
But sure enough, she had my brother Jan
that day he came was surely so much fun.
I got one hundred on a spelling test,
a thing those days I didn’t often do!
But the birthing of my brother was the best.
Could not have been much happier, it’s true.
This very day, Jan Eric was alive.
and today Jan Eric’s sixty-five.
In observation of my brother Jan's sixty-fifth birthday
It’s Cupid’s Day again this time of year
and, of course, that means another fourteen lines
to ask you “Be my Valentine, my dear!”
and host you where this couple often dines.
I’ve taken you to eat at the Caffe
for New Year’s, the wine dinners and such kind.
With tasty food they always have a way.
They’ve put some pleasant memories in our mind.
But, though the food and service are the best
they will not be the top of what we do.
The magic that by far will beat the rest
is that I spend that evening with you.
The pinnacle of good fortune that is mine
is that, each year, you are my Valentine.
Our 22nd Valentine's Day and its sonnet.
I did not know you when you were a boy
still, understand I’ve known you half your life!
We’ve shared some electronics as a toy.
You stood for me when claiming my best wife!
Not everything has been all joy and light.
We’ve had some disagreements in our day
But always patched things making them all right
and reached an understanding in our way.
Well, Ninety Guy, I’m glad we got this far.
It’s a joy to share these special times with you
and when tonight I’ll seek that special star
I’ll wish, my friend, for much more time, it’s true.
It’s been a treat to know you as a friend
and someone upon whom you can depend.
in celebration of Donald E. Hallam’s 90th Birthday 2/18/2019
It was such warm and glorious spring night
I knocked upon your door to pick you up
We headed to The Grand, all big and bright
To meet the folk from lodge with whom we’d sup.
Perhaps we were a little out of place
Too young to be included in that crowd
Both there by pretense surely in this case
Truly, we should not have been allowed!
You were invited since you didn’t fit my mold
Involvement was impossible you see
Okayed because when the truth be told
You were thinking just the same as me.
As time would pass we’d learn just what that meant:
We found fantastic love by accident.
April 26, 1996, a friend of mine had begged me to attend Lafayette Lodge #14
Ladies Night. “I can’t go without a lady.” In my current situation,
broken hearted, experiencing a nasty divorce, I just didn’t want to get
involved with anybody. I tried to think of anybody with whom I wouldn’t
get involved and thought of Betty. I asked her, and for the same reason I
had asked, she accepted. Yes, that non-involvement led to a 23 year
relationship and a 19 year marriage.
How do I pay the value that you’re due
another Mother’s day has come around.
The ideal mother’s found by watching you!
In mother’s skills you certainly abound.
On occasion you might turn your skill on me,
although it at many times would take me back.
I know you are as caring as can be,
but Mom, I wish that you would cut me slack.
I know for sure how hard you are on you
and how you seldom feel you’ve done enough.
But many mothers feel that way, it’s true,
although doing more would certainly be tough.
So I’ll will try by giving you my heart.
Reassure you when I think you’ve done your part.
Mother's Day, 2019
How in the world could I have found you?
I’m sure that I could never give you odds.
I happened on you when I felt the most blue
In choosing you , forsaking prior frauds
The crack of dawn and sadly broken
are things that can’t be fixed, I’ve heard it said.
But I, by being with you from the start
I’ve learned a new reality instead
My heart was patched up just as good as new!
I never would have thought it could be done,
but then I never counted upon you.
I failed to realize you were the one!
You’ve heard before but even now it’s true
The blessed broken road led straight to you.
19th Wedding Anniversary, 2019
Can passion live a quarter century?
That span of time is ending now for us
I think back to when we were newly “We”
and realize each day since then’s a plus.
My face lights up when you come in the room
You touch my back when you think I’m asleep
Your kisses still can make my heart go zoom.
We are such special company to keep.
About that passion, in our seventies
we find a way to make our special time
To find excitement in each other is a breeze
as we, the tree of love together climb!
My ears couldn’t have a better day
than hearing when you breathlessly say “K!”
November 14, 2019, Betty turns seventy-four. I probably have to
write two sonnets, since this one is sort of — eh — private. Happy Birthday, my love.
When I was young and in eleventh grade
I happened on an English teacher there
t’was her doing love of poetry was made
and changed my life forever, this I swear.
I felt so much encouraged that I tried
to write much verse, used both blank and rhyme.
I read the Bard’s “compare to summer’s day” and cried
I now was loving sonnets all the time.
I won a prize for verse when in that school
but sonnets were from then a greatest joy
I hope my friends don’t take me for a fool.
I continue as I pass to man from boy.
William Shakespeare has been such a gift to me
So, I dedicate to him one-fifty-three.
I love the sonnet. As the piece above mentions,
“Shall I compare thee to a summers day” blew my mind. As I
read more of Shakespear’s brilliant works, I vowed to try to write
as he did’. I’m certain I’ll never achieve his level of quality
but I did, with this sonnet, write as many as he.
To believers, Christmas is itself a special gift
by sending to us all the Son of God.
Such a thought gives all of us a lift
no matter to which creed we give a nod.
No doubt good people are our greatest gift
if we realize that fact is true
that special people make our spirits lift
despite some of the other things they do.
In keeping with the spirit of the gift
God gave by sending you, my love, to me
You saved a heart that then had been adrift
by bringing me the best of company.
You bringing me, each day, the gift of grace
can’t fail to put a smile upon my face.
Yes, it's one of the obligatories, this one being for Betty's
Christmas sonnet. You are a gift to me, my love --- Christmas 2019
I anticipate this special time of year,
when so many folk have set their thoughts on love.
It’s special, too, because I have you near!
I swear that you were sent by Powers above.
So I am, once again, just seeking text
to tell you just how fortunate I feel.
I never know what words will happen next.
Still, I seek to make affection real.
I never think that I have found the stuff
that tells how much your presence means to me
Perhaps no words can ever speak enough
how powerful my love for you can be.
My love for you can truly reach the sky.
To make you know it I will always try.
Yes, it's another one of the obligatories, this one being for
Valentines Day. Betty, will you be my Valentine?
Oh, my love, the pleasure of things new
enjoying things we’ve never done before.
It was such on my first date with you.
We’re looking back on years of twenty-four.
Our date was set identically in mind,
agreed that we would never get involved.
Fantastic! As the night went on we’d find,
Our relationship was destined to evolve.
Describing how it felt to be with you,
it’s strange just how superlatives abound.
You seemed to fit just like a favorite shoe.
So pleasant in just having you around.
Amazing how it led to wedded bliss
that evening topped with one amazing kiss.
April 26, 1996 was Betty and Van’s first date.
Pretty good start for a 24 year run.
A wondrous day that Thursday when you said
"I do,” with all our friends upon the green.
With three daughters you were quite a mother then,,
In no way did I didn’t help, that’s what I mean.
But, still I have to share these thoughts with you
as I’ve oft observed you o’er the years
A gift of mothering I’ve seen you do
And do well in sharing joys and wiping tears.
I’m very much in awe of all your skills,
just as I am when they are turned on me,
You’re a victor both in triumphs and in ills.
This gift in scant few others will we see. .
I join in the mighty chorus when I say
I truly wish you Happy Mother’s Day.
Twenty years has passed since we said our I dos
and yet it seems as hours have past to me
the days and weeks fly by, what ere we choose
to do with time - how very blessed are we
To do it all again -- the answer's yes
I wouldn’t want to lose a precious day
Chance brought us both together, dear, I guess
I wouldn’t have it any other way
I count our days together as a gift
the treasures time has given one by one
Waking next to you, it gives my day a lift
and the day gets better once it has begun.
And so my darling you can plainly see
I treasure every anniversary.
July 20, 2000 was our wedding day. The time has been magic since then.
My first thought was I had chosen you for love
but then it seems I’d gotten much, much more
Your companionship was sent by God above.
Your goodness no one could help adore.
I watched you with your daughters wrapped in love.
You fought with gentle care to understand.
and when you treated me that way, my dove
I knew I couldn’t help but be your man.
In time together you gave loving care
in illness and in troubles on the way.
No matter what, my darling, you were there.
And gave to me support each passing day
And all the love you had for me in store
Eclipsed in deed by giving so much more.
November 14, 1945 Betty was born. This sonnet is for her seventy-fifth birthday.
Special is all time that’s spent with you
From the first when we were starting out
Of course, often many issues come with “New.”
It wasn’t long before we ironed them out.
In our past, things merit cheers or censure.
We’ve taken them in stride along the way
We hold the view each one’s an adventure.
We let them pass as start another day.
This adventure teaches we’ve done right
In looking at these thing the way we do.
Me in hospital night after lonely night
Counting seconds ‘til I’m once again with you.
I sit in bed and close your Christmas tome,
Rejoicing in the fact I’m coming home.
December 23-28, Van was stuck in the hospital.
This sonnet is for Betty for Christmas that I spent with the nurses.
This Valentine’s day comes cloaked in snow,
a blanket on the town of fluffy white.
It cannot cover what my friends all know:
that you are just this patient’s great delight
So, I sit and type the things I need to say
to tell of approbation and much more
you take good care of me in every way
a plethora of rewards are yours in store.
I know I can’t help getting on your nerves
It would take a saint rise above the stress
From overtaxing you I try to swerve
and cease from ever causing you distress.
I’m guessing all these things you do for me
are the greatest Valentine I’ll ever see.
Valentine’s Day 2021
Before me all the world is going green
with temperatures turning moderate it’s true.
I’m certain you can guess just what that means:
I’ll spend another Easter just with you
I lavish my attention on your tasks
that remind me, once again, the time of year
and when “what’s on your Wednesday shopping list?” he asks
He knows it has some hot cross buns, my dear.
You’re exceeding sweet to observe my holiday
with charoset, the zeroah and maror
An interfaith household in every way
Your thoughtful actions I cannot ignore.
So the Last Supper was a seder night
to observe your holiday like mine is only right.
Easter 2021 which falls on Pesach VIII
How can one place a value on a kiss
There are no scales on which one can be weighed
But sharing one brings features one can’t miss
reactions on the body are displayed
I recall our first kiss many years ago
a quarter century right from today
On our first date I really didn’t
if sharing our first kiss would be the way?
Oh joy, when my affection was returned
Some serious magic worked upon my mind
To walk you to your door I’d long since learned
But not tonight, all manners left behind.
To this day with every kiss I get from you
can cause me to forget all things I knew.
Of course, 4/26/1996 anniversary gets a sonnet.
I treasure your kisses still.
We find ourselves again at Mother’s Day
and I am challenged finding words to write
your mommy skills are shown a special way
and oft are used to truly fix me right.
I know I bristle when your skill’s expressed.
But that’s just due to insecurity
With male ego I have long been blessed
that leads me to male independency.
But in my heart of hearts I know it’s true,
despite the many failings I display
I treasure all the special things you do
in fixing challenges in your special way.
Your help to me has often given joy.
I’ll try hard not to think that I’m a boy.
Mother’s Day, 2021. (a freebie — not obligatory)
©1995-2021 Van D. Olmstead, Jr.
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