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.
You, who are so perfect in my eyes, so beautiful- adorable, and I, so flawed, ugly, damaged and crawling with defects; why do you enjoy my company?
You, who are so sleek and slender, humming with a quiet intellect and a serenity about you, and I, so grossly overweight and pretentiously boastful and nervous; how can you abide my company?
You, who are a paragon of patience, so understanding and self-assured, and I, so insanely impulsive, so myopic and brimming with self-doubt; how do you stand my company?
You, who are so sweet, so considerably kind, so thoughtful and generous, and I, so bitter, so selfish, so self-absorbed; why do you choose my company?
You, who are so self-composed, full of self-control, so sound and stable, and I, so very neurotic, so completely compulsive and verily volatile; how can you tolerate my company?
You, who are so diligent, so driven and ambitious, so achieving, and I, so lackadaisically lazy, so uninspired, so complacent; why do you settle for my company?
You, who are ethical, so moral, so very virtuous, and I, so corrupt, so unprincipled, so wholly wicked; how can you endure my company?
You, who are so normal, so well-adjusted, so conventional, and I, so maniacal, so unbalanced and irrational; why do you condone my company?
You, who are bubbling with charm, who loves unconditionally and is absolutely accepting, and I, boiling with rage, fueled by misanthropy and incredibly intolerant; how can you welcome my company?
That you love and accept me for who and what I am, is a treasure beyond measure. I cherish your company, but why you cherish mine is something I cannot fathom. All I know is that I love you, my dear, beloved friend.
**This was written for two very dear friends: Karen and Tommy :)
***I also love palindromes ;)
*****FREE VERSE OLD AND NEW ENTRY
You are the wild flower in my palm
With no stem to keep you anchored to this covetous earth
You are the fragile thing I dare not cup,
As your petals whittle away under the wind
And flit unfettered in the air;
Exaggerated fear leaves my fingers numb
Hungry need leaves my fingers twitching
And my hand is paralyzed by turmoil
As every breath of wind takes another petal from me
And brings to my lungs, my chest and my heart
An overwhelming scent of need-
You are the wild beauty in my palm
And I dare not hold you to my chest
For I fear to crush you
To know first hand
That caged beauty, is beauty no more.
Alone in loneliness
Amid forever nights
And these four walls
In faint, whisper soft your name
I beg out loud to the nothingness that remains
"Please not another nightmare, no more storms"
But, answers are merely glimpses of light
Filtering through the pane
Cast empty shadows on the wall
Of places where you used to be
Eyes wide open
Now asleep, afraid I am to fall
Trapped within this never ending dream
I cling to all the memories that I have
Spinning me closer to where you were, in parallel on the edge
The thoughts, like imaginary rubble, comes tumbling passed
A fire for you still burning inside
Why can’t I let go of the tragedies last
And silence your unrescued suicidal screams
Or is it only the rain falling faster as it taps harder, and harder upon the glass
Or is it of your wandering spirit
Haunting with its vindications
Of "why’s" I can never seem to grasp
All this amidst lost stares into black windows
Where gutters overrunning, burdened by the strains
And I swear I see your reflection
Among the flashes, tracing out illuminations about your face
And for the first time
You are noticeably absent of all the worldly pains
And your lips releasing out a comfort that for so long I've been seeking
As I hear the words echo within my stormy heart "That where you are everything is okay"
God is always love
Forever seek the kingdom;
Praise the creator
Keep giving what you can give
Please endure until the end
Protecting the meek ones earth
Watching over us
Helping us to cope with life
Comforted with hope and trust
When you find rhythm
You find your hearts inner core
Celebrate the times
Make them better than before
Reminisce and dance all night
We sit alone in the shadows outside,
Blowing smoke rings in the dark;
Watching them rise and then divide,
The cherry just a glowing spark;
This is what living is all about,
I’m more happy now than I care to admit;
Talking, laughing, and hanging out,
Just sitting here with our cigarettes lit;
Blowing smoke rings towards the sky,
Your simple words tugging at my heart;
I lean on your shoulder with a satisfied sigh;
And watch as they slowly drift apart;
Doing all the things we shouldn’t do;
I liked being here alone with you,
Blowing Smoke rings in the dark...
When all of youth flees
and even the whitest eye reddens, rheums,
words, fair words, dispel the gloom.
When hands are mapped with age and knurled,
still, they transform the page, the eye, the cage,
for where words flow, the mind goes,
to the pristine smiles and
the smooth curves which once were
yours, your cheek, your neck, your hip.
Deny me anything but the word
for it’s magic will soon be all that remains
of fleeting youth.
I don’t care if you have a degree
or that your self-published textbook
is a decree to take a closer look
at time-tested, armor plated antiquities.
I don’t care if you know your stuff,
fluffing your sleek, interlocked lines
and keeping things just so, just so
in ascot wearing, dandy rhymes.
I don’t care if you can recite
the Mikado in its entirety,
as you pose in the spotlight,
Yum-Yum for all posterity.
I care about the longing
that I found in the verse
of a friend, words filled with whys
that scattered a soft, rainy season
to the oblivious winds.
I care about the heart
that became a puzzle, tiny pieces,
a thousand tiny pieces calling
out for me to reassemble,
winged things both soaring
then suddenly falling like
art that almost trembled
in gentle riddles crafted to tease.
I care about the grip
that held the pen and how the paper
became damp and creased
as thoughts played in short stanzas,
tethered to honesty,
such a rare and noble quality,
even on the pages of poetry.
I care that caring is vanishing
like stone angels in cemeteries,
conversations on park benches or
the respect for ones peers:
those that dot their teary i’s,
those that shiver in life's trenches,
those that scry with ink, language seers.
They ask so little in return,
Only the freedom to search for truth,
in their own voice, in their own time,
and safety from condemnation,
ruthless lies and snobbery.
I care about a forgotten virtue.
I care about decency.
Blood that screams mixes with tears of fears,
Over your hypocrisy and useless years.
Fresh cuts don't matter - your attentions yet wane.
It's just too easy to shut down, I could end this pain.
But, escape artists aren't artists at all.
When life ends the real journey begins, the journey to be
Above imperfection and glorified weakness everyone sees.
Life trickles into the drain of the sink, wash it and pretend
The veil is burning off,but there is only so much fire can mend
Besides, escape artists aren't artists at all.
Mornings are dreadful time in life unless waking beside gorgeous woman hopefully
a not married one husbans can be such a downer.
And when ya wake to a warm beautiful creature by your side.
And the first thought that comes to your mind is i wonder whats for breakfest.
Then ya probaly cant read the menu to start with and desserve
to have a oversized weight lifter re arrange your ribs.
Im a southern man once means several things non of which means im normal.
And this morning finds my yerning for a trip and widespread mischief.
My amigo had vanished after are trip south of the boarder I remember saying
to myself as i watched him running naked across the dessert being chased
by the flying monkeys he was surley seeing after his consumption of a foreign substance
There goes a fine american.
I would have ran after him but but i didnt want thoose things to turn there attention to me
I herd they had a thing for southern actscents.
And theres nothing worse than a bunch of horney flying monkeys trust me
Ive delt with this problem befor.
and being it was happy hour i knew my slightly insane amigo would understand
in all his naked glory.
Besides I left him some sneakers and a sixpack.
And kept his credit card for safe keeping.
Naked men have no place to keep credit cards and I figured he was in no state to handle
So as i sit behind the wheel ready to to get lost in the madness of fast food and
the ant hill of insanity that is wall mart i turn my thoughts to vegas.
For where would a lost nude slightly insane person run to and feel at home.
I had turn the music up to drown out the sound of whoever was in the trunk.
I figured if i had put sombody in there in a drunken moment.
It had to be for a good reason.
And so with slightly hungover mindset are road begins.
and so with that do the games also.
And i figured hanging around with a cops wife wasnt the smartest idea.
That and im allergic to bullets.
My muse and 16 year old spirtiual advisor had phoned me to say that.
I probaly needed to Invest in the spirt of Jack Daniels today.
And hey she had went to church more than once so who was I to argue.
With a five five spitfire by the name of tinker.
so with A unknown companion in the trunk not helping my hangover i was off
to the races Untill next time kiddies.
Adios and im off to find my amigo.