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.
The magic came to Christmas Day when shepherds first were told,
When wise men brought their frankincense, their myrrh and gifts of gold,
When heaven opened wide its gates and angels came to sing;
For in a manger on the hay, lay Christ, the newborn king.
I found it first at Grandma's house, so many years ago,
When she prepared her Christmas treats and Grandpa seemed to glow.
The house was full of warmth and love, so sweet, so pure and real;
And what I cherish most of all, that Christmas magic feel.
It's in the music, on the air; just turn the dial to find
Inspiring songs that sing of peace, goodwill to all mankind.
They sing their praises unto God and spread their Christmas cheer,
And everywhere the songs are sung, they find an opened ear.
Its clamor, sparkle, warmth and hope, of which we try to write
In pretty lines of words and rhymes that never sound just right,
Can best be seen in children's eyes when they awake to see
What Santa Claus has brought and placed beneath the lighted tree.
The magic feel returns each year with warmth on coolish nights,
With memories steeped in seasons passed, in songs and blinking lights,
At Grandma's house, her Christmas treats, aromas rich and spiced;
To recognize the best in man, and honor Jesus Christ.
Emerald etchings are given birth
to bask their lives in summer's sun,
until brushing brutal winters cheek,
They cower yellow; brown undone.
Swirling down onto concrete pyres,
They somersault to a random grave.
The earth lays claim to copper corpses
But the winter wind is a cunning knave.
It finds and flips the fallen fibers,
then flings them crisply to the street.
The failing sheaves of burnt magenta,
tossed like chaff from harvest wheat.
Now strewn about with playful malice,
and denied the resting place they crave,
for the golden sun is a glint of amber,
but the winter wind is a chilling knave.
Take away my static hair,
My thick, wool toque, my glassy eyes.
Take away the chilly air,
The endless clouds, the covered skies.
Give me back my sun-streaked hair,
My floppy hat, my shaded eyes.
Give me back the sea-salt air,
The fluffy clouds, the crystal skies.
Take away my dull, dry skin,
My soggy mitts, my booted feet.
Take away the frosty wind,
The icy paths, the slushy streets.
Give me back my sun-tanned skin,
My denim shorts, my flip-flop feet.
Give me back the toasty wind,
The sparkling dunes, the sandy streets.
Take away harsh Winter's sting,
His gales of hail, his banks of snow.
Give me back my darling Spring,
Her rising sun, her lovely glow.
Oh, love in spring, you’re peridot,
and new’s the grass; with dew - aglow!
On clovered knoll ourselves we fling.
You’re peridot, oh love in spring!
In summer’s sun, love blazes red,
and to the dune at dusk we’re led
neath cobalt sky that’s crimson spun.
Love blazes red in summer’s sun.
When fall arrives, our hues change oft.
Like leaves through winds of life we waft.
Then comes the chill, but love still thrives.
Our hues change oft when fall arrives.
When snow descends, we’re changed to white,
the color of reflected light.
And though we die, pure love transcends.
We’re changed to white when snow descends.
March 25, 2014/ For the Dabbling in Poetry Forms Contest
of gautami phookan
` ` , ,,,, ,` `` ```,,,,,, ,`````
magenta boughs sheer as bridal lace
adorn mid summer-time trees
they flutter like acrylic confetti glazed,
and scattered on rapturous breeze
Botticelli petals drift like scarlet flakes down
to gather round pastoral feet,
their fragrance fills September’s gown
with brushstrokes so apricot sweet
bridal trees alight as beguiling mists
all clad in sultry glow’s array
awoken by a waft of groom's kiss
on this, God’s first September day...
© all rights reserved
Especially for Brian’s September
By nette onclaud
There comes the time when spring has run its course
And summer days lay heavily on the land
When eager steps have slowed to garner strength
The stream runs slowly as if in reprimand
Summer's wealth oozes like honey from a comb
Horizon stark, not a cloud to soften the sky
Evening settles round like a golden cloak
And life seems slower as summer slips on by
Colorful symphonies sound
As red and gold bells fall down,
Shook loose by crisp cool air,
Tinkling their way to the ground.
Displayed on the limbs of trees
Are rich orange marmalade leaves,
Visions of autumn’s dessert
Tasting sweetly upon the breeze.
Autumn brews warm concoctions
With auras of perfection
And richly spiced aromas,
Which soothe our frayed emotions.
Fall’s festive nature brings out
A spirited dancing shout
And lovely celebrations
With beauty bursting about.
For: Autumn's Beauty Contest
Hail beats against the window,
Wind howls on without remorse.
Do you hear what I hear?
Winter's voice is blithely hoarse.
Trees are glazed with icing snow,
Panes are veiled with frosted lace.
Do you see what I see?
Winter's face is full of grace.
Pine pours spice into the air,
Ginger floats in gentle wafts.
Do you smell what I smell?
Winter's perfume - fresh and soft.
The hearth is bright with fire.
The chilly night brews up a storm.
Do you feel what I feel?
My darling keeps me safe and warm.
THE SEASONS OF MY LIFE
In the Spring time I was blossoming,
The world was bright and new.
I learned to laugh annd cry and fight,
For what I knew was true.
That there`s a time to have your fun,
And there`s a time for work,
A time when we must learn to earn,
And value all life`s perks.
In Summer time I learned of life,
Of people and the world.
I learned that life`s a mixture,
Of experience, a whirl,
That sometimes life moves way too fast,
It should be sipped and savored,
Or else it plays out way too soon,
And loses all it`s flavor.
In Fall I learned acceptance,
That what must be will be.
It does no good to fuss and fret,
`Bout what was denied me;
For some it seems are richly blessed,
While others get the crumbs,
Who gets what is up to God,
From Whom all good things come.
Now Winter fast approaches,
And what`s important now,
Is what memories I`ll leave behind,
Who remembers me, --- and how.
For At This Age Contest by Nette Onclaud