May the first is traditionally the beginning of Spring
St Joseph is their patron saint this day to be
the only free day when no workers joined
the throng of people shuffling looking already tired
to wherever they work, eyes down still shut tight
Make them work long hours you will find
was their bosses right.
May Day the food was prepared with what money they had
try to find some newish clothes to wear,
though second or third hand.
Their beautiful daughters would wash their hair
then brush it until it gleamed
a small flower was placed with utmost care
A maypole is placed in the village square
With bright coloured ribbons dangling there
The fiddler would play, soon up stepped the gents
follwed by the maidens, with no lover as yet
They weaved and they bobbed shouting with glee
Many a romance started when they danced happily
At the side the morris men would dance
Jiggling their bells sending you into a trance
All made for a happy day, set in your memory
making you smile for another year
before a day free
The may queen was chosen some blushing young beauty
Crowned with a ring of flowers and a small bouquet
She would dance for the people in a small ring
waiting to see who wrote and would recite the winning madrigal
May first brings the spring and buds bursting into flowers
A trillion small petals like a shower would flutter down
the myriad it makes brings a smile to your eyes
Cheers everybody it's spring,
our bodies need this time to relax and survive
Penned 10 April 2015
* madrigal. - a short love poem
Picture taken by an old friend Dave Chang who gave me permission to use it.
Submitted to the "Gone Fishin" contest
Trollin’ the islands at Texoma,
It was April, 1964.
New rod and reel in hand,
I’d NEVER been fishing before.
A Garcia 2510T casting rod.
The reel, a Mitchell 301,
Plus hand-selected worms and lures…
I was ready to have some fun.
My teacher, a master fisherman,
Had fished all over the earth...
From trout in Austrian mountain streams
To sea bass just west of Perth.
He showed me all the basics,
Including how to tie a lure.
“No snaps. They’re no good.
Tie’em on…just to be sure.”
He made me practice casting.
“Take aim with your rod’s tip
Take her back - ten, eleven, twelve, one;
Smoothly return to ten… with just a little flip.”
While I practiced the casting motion,
He said, “Large Mouths will be jumpin’ bugs.
Water’s bubblin’ with Sand Bass spawnin’.
You’ll know the difference if one gives you a tug.”
As we drifted around the islands,
He said, “I think you’re ready.”
So, I picked a lure, a pretty Heddon;
And tied her on. My hands were steady.
Yellow with black dots and a weed guard.
A streamer tail and double treble hooks.
Who knew if she would do the job,
But I liked the way she looked.
As I tied her on, I looked around
For a likely place for my first cast.
Magazine pictures always showed weeds
In the background of a striking Bass.
So, I picked a reed bed in the shallows;
Threw my first cast, watched her fly.
What happened next was the stuff of dreams.
We couldn’t believe our eyes.
About eighteen inches before she lit,
A monstrous Large Mouth erupted from the water.
My teacher screamed, “Holy Mary, Mother of God!
Kiss O’Reilly’s Ugly Daughter!”
When the Bass broke water, it scared me.
My whole body jerked and shook.
So sudden, so silent, it seemed like slow motion.
Until I heard him screaming, “Set the hook! Set the hook!”
When the big Bass scared me,
I must have set the hook.
The tussle was on, long and hard.
This fish didn’t want to be cooked.
My lack of skills prevailed, however,
As I finally reeled him in;
I grabbed him by the lower lip,
Like I’d seen Don Wallace do, time and time again.
“Oh, my God”, he murmured as he weighed the Bass;
“Jeez. Over thirteen pounds....Thirteen pounds, two.”
He took out his Polaroid and laughed,
“I’ll take a picture of this fish... holdin' you.”
He snapped the picture of me holding the Bass;
On the back wrote the date, the length and weight.
As he turned to put the camera away……
Get ready. This is the part that’s great.
I’d watched Don Wallace ‘catch and release’.
He always did that on his show.
“This fish put up a good fight.” he’d say;
“Now it’s time to let him go.”
Yes, as my teacher put away the camera,
I held the big Bass by the lower lip and tail
And ‘swished’ him in the water,
Making sure his gills would not fail.
My teacher turned and saw what I was doing
Just as I let the big Bass go.
This, too, was like slow motion
As I heard him screaming, “NOOOOOOO!”
“Why would you do that, Lad?
Do ya know nothin’ at all?
A fish like that... on your very first cast?
Well...Lad, that fish goes on the wall.”
“Well…he’ll be here next year.” I said with a smile,
“And even bigger, I’ll bet.”
He said, ”You’ll make a fisherman, Lad.
It’s not for the fish that we fish…
but for the great stories we get.”
I still have that lure…and the rod and reel.
Still in their bags and boxes, just like new.
I thought about selling them on eBay,
But 50 years later, they have sentimental value.
You see…I’ve been invited to go fishin’ several times
By golfin’ buddies and other friends;
But for some reason…I really don’t know why…
I’ve never gone fishin’ again.
They say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
And I believe that is a fact.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of truth and,
In the meantime…..”Ya’ll come back!”
when winter comes and skeletons of trees
stand starkly upon the snow
i will think of you
and your head on my lap before the fireplace
skating on the gaunt, deep pond
where we made love on brighter days
hot chocolate and fired brandies
and standing at windows while flurries fell
when it is spring again and trees bear promises
as islands of snow die slowly in their shadows
i will think of you
when all was alive again and you believed in us
within the world of nest-making and streams going home
making bouquets of foothill flowers
constantly profaning the word “forever”
and imagining that winter was forever gone
when summer is upon me with sweltering wrath
i will come to the forest where we walked and
i will think of you
where we were prone beneath the well dressed limbs
in a canopy above us, fitted into one another like lovers
by the quarry lake where you were covered in beads of water
and the sun loved you and glistened upon your body
where i looked at you as one would view sunsets or miracles
autumn will come with all its dark omens and i will walk
upon the crisp leaves made spectacular by death
and i will think of you
where the earth wore its gaudy colors while ours had faded
into the murky hues of uneasiness and fear
and soon the trees will awaken alone and naked to the world
and i will understand their plight in a box called home
where once laughter lived and life was wonderful
there was a time before seasons and sentiment
when small, gentle hands covered my eyes with giggles
and you gasped, “oh, i’m sorry! i thought you were someone else!”
i smiled then and replied, “i am.”
it was the spring of us that led into the caldron of summer passion
before time and treasons took their toll
before reality and reason tore the glitter from our eyes
and our autumn came that condemned us to our winter
An old board and a rope had made me a swing,
Sitting there when I was around the age of nine,
I curiously looked up to see the first sign of spring,
Where a robin was building a nest of twigs entwined.
Summer's heat burned my shoulders, so I sought shade,
I climbed up into your strong arms at the age of fourteen,
Along with a book, I relaxed in a solitude no one could invade,
I found myself lost within the pages and the leaves of green.
On a lazy, autumn afternoon, at the age of twenty-three,
I raked the dead leaves that buried my feet into a pile,
Through the orange limbs my black cat peered down at me,
Then leapt from the tree to play among the leaves for awhile.
Now, as I am rapidly approaching the age of thirty-one,
Branches are encased in ice, as winter continues to unfold,
From my window, I see the cardinals and the disappearing sun,
Reminding me that life still survives in the bitter cold.
March, 7th, 2014
Gail Angel Doyle's contest - "Memories On Branches"
Relishing the breeze
Next to you on my barefoot
Moonlit night, I'm here
I do not know?
My Wishes are Simple
My wishes are simple,
my desires few,
to gaze upon an ocean,
and marvel at a solitary drop of dew.
My wishes are simple,
my dreams not too grand,
to feel the waves teasing my tired feet,
with no footprints left in the cool, wet sand.
My wishes are simple,
my thoughts serenely gentle, calm,
my heart resting beneath a swaying palm,
healing my being, caressed by nature's soothing balm.
Hither I stand, at crossroads,
And then I gaze, at the yonder end-
The vague horizon from where I began;
And all that I may ever deem
Is that- my days
Have been a waken dream.
Hither I stand, at the edge of my dream;
Then I wonder, at the depth of my trance-
An adventurous journey through the wondrous woods;
An idyllic stroll through the vicissitudinous meadow;
And from the final station as I depart,
All that I can ever say, is that
Perpetuation has been a rouge
Of fleeting phases of my life.
St. Stephen’s College.
I do not know?
Fallen snow will remind of me/ it is snowing ...
Slowly as in the dream/
Boy word-beads/ with signs on his spine/
He kisses fine/
Your eyelids /
And it snows ... It snows /so slow/
It does/ and you're thinking of me/
'Coz it's warm/ it's better to stay in warmth/
Waiting for summer dim/
It is snowing/ slowly like in the dream/
Flakes/ go round/ playing the music theme/
You've been looking for rescue/
You searched in wine/
But it's in me/
all the rescues are mine/
It is snowing/ the snow is fluffy and white/
If you see darkness/ I'm deaf and blind/
there's the cast of time/ on the arm/
But I discern the light/
Dreams/ upon your eyelids tips/
Prepare you for winter drowse/
And it snows/
Fallen snow/ will remind of spring /
it will crumble and crackle in vain/
It will snow / fluffy /white/ and slow/
And you'll become whole/
It was winter, and I ceased to remember.
No dandelion blooms in December.
Their presence hadn't been seen since fall,
but they were prominent, I now recall.
At spring's first touch I saw the color,
even yellower than butter.
My heart began to flutter at one's wake.
This flower was alive, not a plastic fake.
Then everywhere they seemed to appear---
the color of sun, the color of cheer.
Overwhelmingly, they possessed every lawn,
greeting each peculiar dawn.
As summer's sun began to blare,
their distinguished color dissolved into air.
Then something curious began to settle.
A magician's act dressed each faded petal
with points as lovely as songbirds nearby,
soft and clustered as lashes of the eye.
I could make a wish to blow them away,
but they'll leave more remnants as they stray.
They'll sprout with the sun and a soil that's wet.
Maybe I could never forget.
A life of beauty and happiness denied, of innocence
smothered like a flame, I have always lived; but when
I hear your lovely voice, my Lisa--
now I am free.
I was dead before I even entered into this world, a
place cruel and without feeling, cruel and without
the love and understanding I finally know in the rich
harmonies of your voice, my Lisa--
which sets me free.
Before I could even hope to bloom like a sensual
flower caught breathless and naked in the first, rainy
sunbeams of spring a great evil--the threatening,
inner hostility of a dark figure overflowing with
bigotry--transformed me into a joyless
waste of ashes.
From that terrible moment on I fought all the ugly
and horrible assaults as his unwilling possession, a
gladiator in the arena of his constant abuse and
myriad threats, subject to his occasional hostile
across the dinner table.
But when I hear your voice and imagine its tender-
ness and compassion as an unearned gift meant for
me despite him and my child-like self-loathing:
I feel the love and self-worth denied me, taken from
me simply because it was too easy to not rape from
a child whose only fault was that he was born
O Lisa! Because of the music of your lovely voice--
now I am free! Free from my years as a gladiator in
the arena of his constant abuse and attacks;
free to bloom like a sensual flower caught breathless
and naked in the first, rainy sunbeams
of Spring again!
The night air is cool and collective,
Running through my hair and face.
Even when I’m with people, I feel alone
In this cold blooded space.
It’s like walking through a garden
Of all your favorite foods,
But none of which can substantiate
For that one so special mood…
that beautiful frame of mind.
I only go there with you,
And only you can make it unwind.
I discovered a passion unlike any other
And in my finding I opened a world,
A world I did not know existed.
I’m on cloud nine every time I think of you,
Just the thought of you brings joy to my heart.
This garden holds many beautiful things
Many delightful pleasures,
Many cold nights,
Ecstatic times and unsystematic times!
But they mean nothing to me,
While I’m alone…
Walk with me through this garden.
I do not know?
Those Distant African Nights...
The shadows swayed in your candlelit room,
a cool breeze teasing your bare back,
streaks of lightning forked in the Johannesburg night,
as my hands stroked your hair,
kissing your soft mouth,
ever so tight.
You whispered that you loved me,
and I kept silent,
the rain fell,
the breeze teased your naked back,
you whispered that you loved me,
as my lips found yours,
the rain washed over our tender nights,
lightning and candlelight,
etching poems on your burnished skin,
a fear gnawed at me,
We parted ways,
and you could never forgive me, you said,
now, after numberless thunderstorms,
the rain that falls,
echo the countless tears that I have shed.
You are long gone,
happy, I pray,
yet the memories persist,
those precious moments shall never,
like the Jo'burg rains,
and I wish you well,
for loving me as you did,
for it was I who was not worthy,
and it is I who is not worthy,
You were always true,
it was I who always,
to give myself,
completely to you.
The taste of sea rules in my blood
my spirit answers soar
a pound of chasing beats my heart
my feet stand wetting shore
There's no trite answer I can give
when screaming white night calls
This thrill is not a simple joy
To it I am enthralled
How passion’s seeds ignite in us
is not my word to say
But with spring bids the north bound seas
I know I'll be away.
V Anderson-Throop 2013
I do not know?
You whispered in my ear,
a breathy secret, hushed.
“I love you”, you murmured.
I said nothing,
lost, in your arms,
I found a home. At last.
“I love you”, you said,
I said nothing,
lost in my thoughts,
I found peace. At last.
“I love you”, you said,
words failed me then.
They still do.
In one corner of my room,
That is shaped like a tomb,
There is a window, where I sit
And see my world through it.
I see the rising sun,
I see the melting dew,
I see the blooming flowers,
I see the sky’s changing hues.
I embrace the fading sun,
I live the joyous rains,
I feel the flowery fragrance,
I walk those lonely ways.
I float with the summer clouds,
I breathe the winter breeze,
I touch the autumn leaves,
I celebrate the cuckoo’s springtime songs.
Through the window,
I see my world.
Neither the autumn leaves,
Nor the springtime songs;
Neither the winter sunshine,
Nor the summer rains;
Would have been great
Had it not been through my window rails.
Through my window,
I see the world.
In the window, lies the entire bliss;
Beyond the window is only an illusion.
I wrote the Invisible man poems many years ago. These poems, and I have not submitted them all, was for a little girl who died in a road accident. They are a tribute to her memory. It was a dark and very sad time and I miss her so much. The Invisible Man poems are supposed to to show the the darkness of my world, the way I felt. They are very precious to me. Thank you for reading.
The invisible man goes behind the stores looking for some food, by then he has
had enough the bitterness and hate. He thinks if he has happy thoughts he will be happy.
It seems its always a warm spring day when I walk with you down my memory lane,
I remember always holding hands with you as we smile and walk down there again,
The sun is shining brightly with flowers budding along the pathways of the past,
Pointing out little birds and beautiful wild flowers are my memories that last,
No clouds dare to mar the sun's watery glow, which melts into skies of soft blue,
No shadows would dare to mask the sun when I'm walking back in time with you,
From those long ago golden times I remember only happiness and never any tears,
Those were the most beautiful days of my life, the sweetest of all my many years,
For a short while I forget my loneliness the dreadful loss the hurting and the pain,
It’s always spring and happiness when we hold hands skipping down old memory lane.
Thinking of the past makes him so very sad, sadness that comes from deep within,
A wrenching passion that makes him lower his head into his coat to hide his warm,
tears that uncontrollably drip from his gaunt cheeks and splash on his ruined shoes.
Nasty bullying men taunting him and pointing out what he already knows that he is a
cancer on society that he stinks worse than the garbage he rummages through and would
better off dead.He shuffles past these people and leans on a wall Invisible sobs loudly he can't stop.
All the pain and constant sadness is too much so he goes to a supermarket and buys some,
cheap booze to ease the pain. He queues with his bottle of cheap vodka his face still wet
with tears. Everyone moves from his queue to another one Invisible cannot get out of the
shop quick enough. He sits on a bench in the shopping center and begins to drink.
The more he drinks the quieter the taunts are. Darkness hides him in neon light his sadness
is now bearable.He sits with his bottle between his legs and just stares at the floor and
as the booze disappears so does Invisible.
I do not know?
I feel it
The tugging in my bones
Like a young child pulling at my shirt to get attention
That gentle urge to look their way
It whispers in my ears
Left shoulder it sits
Left right left right
Never quite in view
Tickling like a strand of hair gone awry
It slides across my fingers
Like an itch I can't scratch
The desire to move
When I know I should be absolutely still
I hear it
Like a ringing in my ears
Or a fly buzzing in my ear
The humming of the lights
It calls to me
Mumbling like the dry eyes commercial guy
It longs for me
Like a drought stricken farmer prays for rain
It commands me to dance
Flitting like a butterfly sailing in a windstorm
Like the fever of a sleepless infant
On and on it screams at me
I am coming
Like a wild cat at midnight
It reaches out to embrace me
Like little ones safe in their mothers arms
Restlessly I wait
May came and flowers of all colors and shapes declared their earthly glory;
their perfumed wafts mixed with the spring morning crisp breeze
entered my nostrils, but their strong aroma made me sneeze...
while cherry and apple blossoms smelled like the fair skin of young Mary!
Towards noon, Fields of Sasha Daisies waved under the wind's warm breath as a gift,
and with that beautiful image in mind, I sought the perfect flowers for a lovesick girl;
ah, they were very tempting, so I picked them with a gardener's precise craft!
Did I forget to ask her the real reason that made her bluer than a lonely bluebell?
I often spoke to her, but her unhappy smile hid a mystery I couldn't solve:
had Mary lost love or was forbidden to have one? But why cling to fears?
I had hoped that giving her my flowers would have made her believe in love...
someone who cared and was willing to listen sparing her useless tears!
Returning home, I heard two Marines telling Mary, " We're sorry, Brian fell to the foe! "
And seeing me holding Sasha Daisies, she ran and embraced me to express her woe!
While I'm reading a poem about it on the previous page
the girls come over to visit their boyfriends and dance
in high shoes and perfume. Their legs are strong and their voices high.
And the guys get high and hard thinking about what the girls are like
behind their eyes.
That says more about me than reality. And it's exactly four lines.
Ken Patchen would say his angel smells sweet and sassy.
I feel the bony fingers of mine who has been working to stay alive.
Enough small poetry. One must conceive of a project --
say a poem about a bridge -- or stop writing
and instead walk over the bridge at sunset and see the city in a nuclear
the clocks, the Watchtower and the docks gone and no smoke.
I still exist but I'm late for my job. I'm dressed well
in honor of true love and Spring which both outlast the holocaust.
The manager cans me with the cold hard eyes of one who accepts the
Goodbye to the rows of dead metal desks and goodbye
to those who can take it longer than I.
The guys downstairs do not read poetry and very little prose.
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money does not
occupy their minds.
The sex pistils of the mountain daisy is no concern of theirs
and the man upstairs who plays the horn is less than a curiosity but makes
When I feel like this nothing matters and this is good --
get warm with wine, turn out the lights and turn up the radio --
if only there were a woman who liked the down and out life too.
In the end someone sticks a gun in my face in the South Bronx.
How I got among the fire escapes in the sooty alley I cannot say
but it is one of my earliest memories. Perhaps it is my grandmother
holding my hand
or one of the clowns. I say drop that fucking gun and he blows me away.
Time for change, trickle stream.
I smile dark days, memory past.
New dawn until change.