Each day Annie Lesley opened a can
Her eighty-six-year-old hands trembling
As she sat with her cat and ate pet food
What is wrong with this elder’s rendering?
Pride swallowed to remain independent
Large, sunken eyes peered from her weathered face
Her late spouse a decorated hero
Annie’s lifestyle a national disgrace
More enlightened cultures all over the world
Have revered their seniors throughout history
Asians and Native Americans
Are just two who honor their ancestry
Polynesians, other Pacific tribes
Respect the wisdom that comes with age
Seniors are welcome in family homes
But here in the states they’re placed in a cage
Bone-thin Annie Lesley chose to be free
Amazing neighbors with her endurance
When social services tried to intervene
She fought with remarkable resilience
Old photos on walls told many great tales
But only purring Tibby was listening
Each morning she rose to care for her cat
Until the day that Tibby went missing
In tears she claimed he must have been poisoned
Though in cat years he was older than she
Each day she sat by the window, staring
Awaiting the homecoming of Tibby
She’d been abandoned by society
Lost in the world’s most “progressive” nation
For sacrificing her spouse in World War II
Annie received little compensation
This widowed war bride never had children
Her mate had met his fate in Normandy
Posthumous awards she dusted each day
Annie’s life was defined by loyalty
To a man and a cat who never came home
And the vigil she kept all alone
Ended quietly one warm summer night
When an angel came to take Annie home
With a can of cat food in hand when found
Annie had nothing else to eat in her house
This is the way a veteran’s wife died
And tear stains had blemished her faded blouse
Although seniors’ wisdom is heeded
In societies that grow from history
Too many like Annie lead lonely lives
Wisdom untapped, they die in poverty
Over the top lads, for old Blighty! Hold the colours high!
Say a little prayer for me, for this summer day we die.
My brothers from the ripened field and blackened mill, shop floor,
Your brother in a killing field to fight a rich man’s war.
In bloodied mud and shattered wood, fight legions of the brave,
Unwitting youth, you’ll do your duty until you’re in the grave.
A sergeant greets a fresh-faced boy, “welcome to the slaughter!”
Here you die from three diseases, bullet, gas or mortar.
In arms we fight together and in leaden hails we pass,
We die amongst the filth and stench that once was verdant grass.
“In the morning we will remember them” we hear the leaders call,
Those fickle words of history, will not remember us all.
We will walk then, you and I
When daylight shuts her weary eye;
Down the streets where beggars sleep
And drug crazed addicts spend their keep.
On streets that wind through thick and thin
Past monuments of broken sin
The painted whores who smile a lot
A rejected child that time forgot.
The evening hymn that sorrows sing
The call to prayer that church bells ring;
The sounds and smells that rape a city
The calls for help that won't find pity.
Do we have time to heal the curse
That captures all the universe
Or would it really be worthwhile
To quell the question with a smile?
But we have walked these streets before
And hoped our ears could dim the roar
Of silence gripping cold nightmares
That come unbidden up the stairs.
We share the night with lesser fools
Who stake their plight without sound rules
For each new challenge finds old pain
That lives to give then comes again.
I have seen fair lady April
Dance with daffodils;
I have seen the misty dawn
Light moors and windy hills.
Painted in dark shadows
Of a sunlit afternoon
I have smelled the heady scent
Where blue hyacinths commune.
I have heard the curlew's call
As she sailed the wild dark sea;
And seen the sailor guide his ship
In the dream that used to be.
I have known precious moments
In the echoes of a song;
But I never knew the comfort of
A place where I belong.
I called to the winds of autumn
As they wrapped up the dying year;
"Oh stay for a moment and tell me
Of answers I need to hear".
Who is the rival of prudence
Who is the merchant of crime
Who closes the eyes of beauty
And steals the hours of time?
Who brings the winter to age
From the springs of the fountain of youth
Who is the companion of sorrow
And destroys the justice of truth?
Who's the apprentice of Satan
The Prince of the Power of Air
Whose appetite is transgression
With more than enough to share?
Who weakens the power of the great
Who slaughters the wisdom of wise
Who brings the honest and gracious
To depths that others despise?
The winds of autumn now answered
With a voice like a phantom call
"It's an evil afflicting so many
Who drown in the drink alcohol."
This is the spell of the devil
Who casts his net from hell
An addiction with power to destroy
Gathering all who are caught in its spell
For his net will gather the unwary
To beguile lost souls with his breath;
This is the destruction of lost dreams
That perish in the arms of death
The Flame, aflicker, licks and flays,
illuming evening’s negligees
With braided curls she swirls and sways,
and flits and floats in light ballets
A Flame, to conquer creeping fog,
flew dancing towards a random log
Her flight perplexed a leery frog
beside a silent somber bog
The Flame, a ripple, all alone
alit on leaves where birds had flown
The aching twigs began to moan
A rising breeze began to groan
The Flame arrayed an ancient oak
with torrid tongues and veils of smoke
A beaver bailed, the dam had broke
The leery frog soon ceased to croak
The Flame uncoiled and lashed midair
and cauterized with utmost care
A cold coyote fled her lair,
left trapped behind... a torpid bear
The Flame, unfurled, went wild and grew,
enkindled cats and caribou
Remaining... not a residue,
as reeking vapors bade adieu
The Flame revealed her strength unshackled
Flora, fauna crisped and crackled
Fire Witches clucked and cackled
One more forest stripped and hackled...
The arsonists were well aware
the Flame would travel everywhere...
The weirs are gone, the land is bare,
and soon you’ll find a city there
Daddy never did understand.
That violence doesnt bring comfort.
A lost soul seeking acceptance from a unwelcome hand.
She was silent no one ever knew.
The secrets behind her bruised eyes.
A shocking victem none but all had a clue.
She cried to empty walls never speaking aloud from fear.
A confession of pain and shattred trust.
this is only what angles hear.
Scars selfinflicted are better than that
As she lays a broken shell gazing at the celling.
She questions if others know what will they say.
Doing whatever it takes to stay numb.
Innocence lost a parent should never betray.
The guilt was placed apon the wrong head.
Void of all emotion.
No child should yern to be dead.
At times it gets to uncomfortable so in
another direction we steer.
For at times it's just to painful to stomach.
What only angles hear.
Their lives begin, that special day
Your hardest job, is on the way.
Walking and pacing, all night long
Knowing that one day, they’ll be strong.
Watching them crawl, then walk and run
Treasure each moment, share their fun.
They grow so fast, enjoy each day
For sometime soon, they’ll move away.
Years of school, sometimes they will drag
We’re filled with pride, we parents brag.
Teaching our kids, always be kind
Lasting friendships, many will find.
Do as I say, not as I do
We all have said, our parents too.
The truth comes out, don’t cheat or lie
Don’t try and skimp, to just get by.
Take the right path, we try to guide
Sometimes they don’t, we let it slide.
Knowing they must, find their own way
Life is tough, on track they must stay.
Bumps in the road, many will hit
We as parents, just have to sit.
Learn from mistakes, it takes its’ toll
Their independence, that’s our goal.
The hardest part, is yet to come
When high school years, are said and done.
We’ve done our jobs, as best we could
We must let go, or so we should.
Give them their wings, and let them fly
As we sit back, and often cry.
Turning the page, is hard to do
Wondering if, they listened to you.
Reach for the stars, follow your dreams
It takes time, forever it seems.
Your heart will break, can’t let it show
It’s so difficult, letting go.
The saddest eyes I have ever seen, were green
Filled with broken promises and broken dreams
And looking closely in them I could see
Every horror and trauma she had ever seen
And the tortured past… that her life had been
And I cried the tears she could not cry
As she hid behind her broken eyes
The heartaches of living are many
The comforts of living are few;
The truths we are told are not many
And the lies we were told have come true.
Anxiety's anguish and burnings
That trust, now frustrated brings
The endless sorrows and yearnings
Are lost in the exhaustion of things.
We're done with the frivolous fancies
They sufficed in times of the past;
When we gathered the poppies and pansies
We knew the dream couldn't last.
When all who are weary are sleeping
Collecting their joys and their cares;
Their planting now ends in the reaping
Of thistles and thorns and the tares.
What happens when dreams are all scattered
As leaves are tossed in the storm;
When our faith has been hopelessly shattered
And hopes and our dreams won't conform?
What we had should have been and therefore
It might and perhaps it will be;
And if not, we should prepare for
A flight from reality.
We speak of the worst and the wiser
But the wiser and worst are as one;
Philosophy is the despiser
Of all that lives under the sun.
There is nothing concrete but confusion
There is nothing decisive but death
We imagine our lives an illusion
For life is an ephemeral breath.