We have been together
treasured joy now for many years
we trust each other with our
emotions, with affection, tears,
Any day when you are sick or hurting
I feel your pain - significant other,
when eighter-one needs attention
we help one another...
These mutual friendly feelings
for assistance, approval, support
form our tight bonds,
usually never broken
Sharing visions, time together
we respect each other,
regardless of shortcomings
I know you, "I love you anyway"
The wrinkled gent woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. Staring into the
darkness he saw nothing. Gloom and fear ganged up against his mind. Had he
heard something? What was it? Something falling with a bang? What?
He had heard things fall in the night such as glass picture frames—old strings giving
way. The picture would crash to the floor, shattering the glass. He would recognize
this. But he did not hear shattering glass.
Was it a thief in the night? He lay listening, not daring to move. The night was dark,
cloudy, gloomy—and scary! Desperately replaying the sound, he heard a bong in his
A bong! That would have come from the old grandfather’s clock. Yes, it had to be his
grandfather’s clock. He knew it. His stomach released its tension.
His eyes popped open again. How could it be the clock? The clock stopped running
when his grandfather died – forty years ago, this very night!
Suddenly the clock started striking. Twelve strokes at midnight. With bolt-upright
attention, he sat in self-detention, and pondered.
His grandfather was a strong man who lived to be ninety years old. Then the clock
stopped to run no more. One of his kin wrote a song about it, and it was sung for
“My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, so it stood ninety
years on the floor. It was taller by half than the old man himself, though it weighed
not a penny weight more . . .”
He would find out why the clock was striking. Slipped quietly to the room near the
clock’s encasement, he saw the clock standing with its door open.
His eyes adjusted a little, and there in the floor he saw a dark object. What was it?
He had left nothing there on which to stumble in the night. You learn a few things,
he thought, in a long life like his. And you keep things picked up so you won’t fall
Moving with stealth, he saw something hunched and furry, standing vigil with eyes
reflecting light. His cat! Apparently, the cat had chased a mouse up the clock
seeking safety. Its weight tripped the spring wound tightly, causing it to strike.
In his delusion the old gentleman grabbed his shotgun from the mantle. With the
menace looming bigger, he quickly pulled the trigger. Now the old grandfather’s
clock is no more. And the cat and mouse are a taxidermy chore.
Written for John Heck's "Choose your forte!" contest
When we get old with arthritis in our bones we make thoughtful decisions about the use of our time. We can amuse our grandchildren while our children inhabit their jobs. We can volunteer to help others like a wolf that knows how to hunt. We can do something creative with our hours and work toward an outcome that warms people’s hearts.
We have options about what to do with our days. We can sit alone in our homes like the last drop of water left on a rock, or we can behave like practiced magicians who can slow down the clock with the snap of two fingers and live like an elder who is not afraid of the dark and be more inclined help our family and friends as they voyage down the highway of time.
Why is it when someone go kill them self
That they always have to go for such a violent way?
Is your life so miserable?
Wouldn't you want to go pain free?
To become pain free
In order for the deed to be done
A violent way is the only option
Is there something wrong with that picture?
Sitting working in my private room a grandfather clock ticks and tocks so very loudly,
Like a metronome tuned into my mind my eyes become heavy my lids slowly begin to close,
My mind drifts into very dark places, jet black places with a tiny white dot way off,
I walk towards the dot and after miles and miles it started to grow so much brighter.
Looking behind to see where I started there was nothing just the darkest of dark black,
I have no choice but to keep on walking towards the white dot now confused and scared,
After hours and hours I reach the dot but it is not a dot now it is a new bright world,
There were green fields greener than I have ever seen the trees had heavy velvet leaves.
People walked towards me they were smiling they were happy I wanted to shake their hands,
But they hugged me and held me and talked so kindly my troubles and worries disappeared,
Young children skipping, my new friends laughing it seemed I had known them all my life,
Being with these people was pure happiness we walked up to a white mansion we went inside.
A beautiful girl came running out to meet us she stood in front of me and gave me a rose,
It was the reddest rose I have ever seen it was frosted and gilded and drops of dew fell,
A man with grey hair and a white suit sat by a piano and began to play the sweetest tune,
I leaned on it's shiny surface and could feel the beat of soft hammers on wire, pure music.
All smiled and clapped when this maestro had finished my friends giggled as they saw my joy,
They asked lovely questions nice questions I enjoyed answering as they made me feel good,
We got up and began to walk back to the place where I had first met my wonderful friends,
We talked we laughed everything was about nice things I could feel the smile on my face.
Then the man with grey hair and the white suit said it was time that I made my way home,
Still smiling I desperately wanted to stay forever he saw this and said to have patience,
They stood in line by the entrance each person hugged and kissed me tears ran down my face,
The next thing I knew I was in my private room the grandfather clock still going tick tock.
I thought about my wonderful dream those wonderful people and still felt very warm inside,
It was all so very real and was very disappointed knowing it was just a lovely sweet dream,
Those people in that beautiful garden blessed with such loveliness they seemed so very real,
Standing up and stretching I saw something by the door it was a beautiful rose frosted and dewy,
It was the reddest rose I have ever seen.
He sits there, not quite motionless, for
even the comfortable must alter their
perception occasionally, frozen stare
upon a craggy visage, tiny fox-like predator
eyes peering into your soul. “What are his
origins?” ask the bespectacled intellectuals.
“Who is he?” and “Why has he taken up
his unwelcome residence here?” The buses
pass carrying workers, students, captains
of industry. They look at him but they do
not see him. The children see him.
Wonder in their dreams how he came
to be. Some want to be rid of him.
They have no reason, no justification
for alarm, nothing to warrant their
uneasiness. One daring young lady
sat beside him, whispered a secret to
him, both shook with laughter.
Passersby were startled to see the
interaction and summoned the
the childs mother. “What have you
taught her that makes her think that
she can do such things?” They asked.
The young lady tried to speak but was
hushed by the serious looks she was
getting from the adults. That evening at
bed time the young lady’s mother asked
her: “What did you say to him?”. “I said:
‘You look like grandpa.”. The mother sat
back, quieting a tear, and reminded the
young lady that her Grandpa was no
longer here. “I know, Mommy”. She said.
Well then, what did “he” say to you?”
The young lady sat up in bed and smiled
“He said that he was there every day,
and any time I wished to sit with him
and read to him it would be fine.”
“Mommy”, she said, “do you remember
grandpa”? “You know …how his face was
all rough, and his hands hard and
spidery, and how he would like it when
I sat with him and read?” The tear that
had been held “quiet” made a sound,
ran down the mother’s face as she
hugged her daughter and put her
to bed. The next day mother and daughter
walked to the old tree, felt the roughness
of his face, touched his spidery thin
branches, sat with him – and read.
Soon others came to visit, sitting and
whispering, laughing and reading.
for they know who he is, what his
origins are, why “he” waits so patiently.
John G. Lawless
For PD's WHATEVER - Poetry Contest