An ancient river, centuries-old shops and restaurants steeped in a 2000-year history and
culture set the scene. The ambiance seemed divinely contrived to facilitate the purposes of
our meeting and the very fodder from which the greatest poets are sustained.
Not newcomers to the area, Kay P. and I were assigned to the Army Security Agency Field
Station in Augsburg, Germany in 1974. We were colleagues in the intelligence community
with no romantic overtures to our relationship, save an appreciation of poetry and profound
philosophical discussions. Kay wanted to spend the evening with a poet, so we planned the
evening to be appropriate for the purpose.
At the time and place, we quickly found ourselves hopelessly immersed in the philosophical
foundations of my writings throughout the evening. It was the first time since Vietnam that
I'd felt worthy as a person. I still recall sipping the red wine and feeling the warmth of the
large hearth inside the Balkan eatery. I still see the swans gliding by on the Lech flowing by
When windowpanes begin to weep with autumn's chilly dew,
I'm taken back through seasons passed to one delight held true,
A rendezvous that time allowed, a gentle evening spent
Amid a time of long discord when days were dreary bent.
I feel the stretch upon my lips, the smile returns once more.
Again, I smell the Balkan fare prepared on Lech's old shore,
The mood is cast in high regard, the wine is tart and dry,
As Augsburg ripples in the wake when swans go gliding by.
The ancient windows frame our view and day begins to wane
As rivulets meander down and streak the dampened panes.
The ambiance of ages passed beseeched us not to leave
And held us in its warm embrace throughout the ebbing eve.
My heart was scarred, without regard and hardened by the war
But her esteem unveiled its worth, while nothing had before.
She saw the child that once was me, I'd long since cast aside,
And bade he climb astride his mount, engage his life and ride.
Now, she is but a memory, whose kindness soothed my heart,
For we embarked upon our lives on paths ordained to part.
Her subtle way escaped my eye till time had made it clear
That her esteem had set me free, that night I hold so dear.
The poetry that filled my soul remains these many years,
Impassioned in my warmest thoughts when autumn first appears,
When windowpanes begin to weep, a-glisten with the dew,
And I return to seasons passed, to one delight held true.
Sometimes between the lines,
trembles the hallows of unspoken goodbyes,
expectant and charged, like a theater scene,
in the moments before the curtain rises.
In the dream that I've had,
I am southward bound, so it must be early autumn.
Someone has turned a giant dimmer switch,
and the sky is grayer.....
Wild thorn-berries have been picked, all the branches are bare,
the gutters are filling, and evenings are long.
Through the limbs of knotted trees,
a sun flitters between light and shadow.
Leaves are adrift, disturbed,
littering the twilight sky
with unfettered words,
clamoring against the leadlight of a window,
pleading to be heard.
Somehow, the leaves are swept away,
by a bridled hesitation.
No summer aria has been sung,
and the words go unsaid.
Leaves fall to the ground,
and the light leaves the world.
The red velvet drape descends,
leaving unfettered leaves, and unsaid words, adrift, in the dark.
For The Contest "Vibrant Verse" Sponsored By Charlotte Puddifoot
As the wind ripped the leaves from the trees
I thought of you
As I stood there like those trees
Stripped of all their glory
Their only crime
Giving birth to beauty
I watched them fall
All those brilliant leaves
And knew you could never stop
Poetry in motion.
THIS POEM IS NOT FOR ANY CONTEST
Written: September 14, 2014
Author: Elaine George
Autumn leaves released against the cruelest winds
unmoored, without a distant shore to land
have no instruction, nor direction,
swept up on waves of winter seas
Drifting boats without their oars
curled tight against themselves
Here, there, ...soaring where?
until they fall
and must not curl
tight against myself
but be kin to nature...
soar the waves of winter seas
adrift in a sea of knowledge
following directions of my heart
unmoored, but with a distant shore to land
against the future of autumn's cruelest wind
9/12/14 For Shadow's Contest: Double Etheree
The sun had a way, of lighting the fires
that would often die, and turn to ash, and dash our hope
The wind had a way, to spread the flame,
to light the way
or die in vain
Sun-ripe gold and red leaves
have lined each trail and every road with heavy brilliance
Our eyes, perhaps unwise, were often blinded by the glare
But embers, frozen there, remained alive
Approaching autumn, there is new fire
Ripe with the sun, we have been shaped and formed
grieving over postscripts, of a faded summer sky
while the outstretched arm of autumn
reaches through the trees---
Her leaf-fluttered hand opens fingers wide
brushing passed branch silhouettes, to look into the sky
and has tossed the evening embers
to light our way
For Gail's Contest: Where Frozen Embers Still Burn 8/27/14
. ‘Violin’ was written on a soft dark velvet night,
As I drifted - in the dreams - of the flickering - candle light;
Ne’er pre-planned - nor pondered - nor was she - pre-conceived,
She came from deep within me, appearing on the screen,
As did my favorite poem - my darling ‘Cannon Lee’.
‘The Love of a Gentlemen’ - and ‘Where the Heart Resides,’
Came from treasured memories - I tried to keep alive;
With words - chosen carefully - to create solidity,
I brought them back to life - to live eternally,
In vivid hues - more beautiful - than all the autumn leaves.
Others - fell like drops of dew - from flying fingertips,
That raced across the keyboard - in hopes they wouldn’t miss,
The chance to share the beauty - my eyes now fell upon,
Through the kitchen window - across the river - and beyond,
Where fields of liquid diamonds - glistened in the early dawn.
Others came in metaphors - disguising secrets held;
To painful in reality - for me to ever tell.
‘The Rose and the Thorn’ - poured herself upon the page,
A sonnet of over-whelming grief - rising up from hidden rage,
Releasing me forever - from my gilded cage.
These poems I write - come day come night,
Come candle or come neon light,
Come wind, come rain, come joy, come pain,
They are the life - the Great Creator - breathed in me;
They are my breath!
They are my poetry!
Author: Elaine George
Written: January 13th, 2010
Inspired by: Deborah Guzzi's contest 'How Do You do It - How do you write your poems'?
Authors Note: This poem was written on route to Bath, North Carolina via Ferry
crossing. It was written on a note-pad from the' Hampton Inn' and transferred
to my lap-top after returning to Swansborro.
“Look up,” she cried,
And the rains came swiftly,
Overwhelming her youth
With migrant purpose.
Interrupted her sound-scape,
Giving her pause.
“Look around,” she said,
And autumn bowed to her,
A colorful character
In shades of golden afternoons.
She found solace and comfort
Through the grace of experience.
“Look up,” she laughed,
And silver dusted her hair,
Weighing the diversity
She wore as a crown.
Became her teacher,
Yet unforgiving presence.
“Look around,” she said,
And spread her arms wide,
Dancing in the perspective
This life is transitory,
By the seasoning
Of one’s attitude.
Wind so cold.
Fondles my face.
The tears from heaven.
I wonder if i wish
to stop them
The little voice in me says,
Wait, don't go.
Stay a little longer. I plead.
Sing for me today, rain.
With the gliding rhythm on my piano,
Chilly Wind, caress my bare skin
with the pure coldness that you bring.
like it's my first time in the snow.
the fire tree never fades in the picture.
The yellow sunkissed leaves, too.
What is it about Summer and Fall
that I can't forget?
Memories. Sweet imaginations.
The chilly rain. The misty wind.
You are here.
Freeze me with the sharp coldness you give.
Calm me. Maybe, comfort me.
And, if you leave
Will you visit me when summertime comes?
Before it gets too late
And again I fold.
When I awoke
from that place once dreamed
when I was seventeen,
and looked around
and saw how swiftly autumn came
with falling years, ….
I have no tears
yet, still, I get,
a few small pangs,
A tinge of blue, a bit askew, construed regrets
So futile yet…they linger near...
My eyes were wide, with expectation,
when youth was mine,
So little did I know
what line or direction I would go
The plans and dreams and schemes I chose....
I would touch and teach and rush to change
And make an impact in the chain...
My offerings would change the world...
I would be heard, leave a mark, light a spark
A legacy would be my life….
No matter pain, or consequence, or sacrifice
Instead of course, I stayed, on course…like others do
My dream turned into sanity…
Those youthful schemes had sincerity,
I see them now with clarity
What I've learned since then, makes sense to me
Some things are simply meant to be
Those dreams became a family…
My offerings have changed the world, in grander ways
I do believe
My children came, first one, then two, then three
I never dreamed of dreams so full
Three supreme adults, are the result
How dreaming dreams, can still come true
and often is
in fact, the true, remarkable
Dramatic Verse (Verse Drama)
I never knew I'd be in heaven
In the autumn of my years,
Or that I'd be immerged
In the brilliant art of words,
Or float above operatic notes,
Or view ballet through
My elated tears.
I never thought I'd meet
Inspiration face to face,
Or feel it rise within me
With a poet's surrendering grace.
I just know that I'm contented
As profound love keeps flowing
From my impassioned heart.
This is the gift that artists
Of this world yearn to impart.
© Connie Marcum Wong