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Below are poems written by poet Robert Nehls. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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His eyes are dark, but, there's still a spark. 
There are canyons in his face.
His lungs are gone and it won't be long,
'Till his heart can't keep the pace.
He's lived three lives, had his share of wives.
The decades have been nine.
There's a soul to bare, with a joy to share.
And he always says, "I'm fine."

He's a wise old man and the whole damn clan,
Likes to hear him tell his tales.
He remembers when as a boy of ten,
He was raising up the sails,
Of his father's boat and he'll always gloat,
"It was hard work for a boy."
"Hell, it was hard for men, but I'd go again,
Just to feel that youthful joy."

With dreams to follow and pride to swallow,
He reached for life with lust.
Following his heart, met his first sweetheart,
On the street he calls, "False Trust."
After one short week, they were heard to speak,
"Until death do us part."
Then, the next two years, thunder, lightning, tears.
And she left with his torn heart.

Lost in grief a while, it was hard to smile.
And he wore his armor well.
Heartless, hurt and laden, but a fair young maiden
Put him under her sweet spell.
Speaking of her dreams, and the gold dust streams
Sparkled in her clear blue eyes.
Making his blood stir, and he followed her 
To the land of pastel skies.

Bitter cold up there, but he didn't care.
She could make the hard ice melt.
Then his heart returned, and a fire burned.
True love was what he felt.
She could feel it to and the fever grew,
Like the child in her womb.
But, a family was not meant to be.
And her corpse became it's tomb.

His whole world shattered and nothing mattered.
Streams and canyons echoed pain.
Cursing God and man for the evil plan,
That was driving him insane.
Wandering aimlessly in the open sea,
Of demented souls that quit.
Two long years go by, and he can't deny,
He remembers none of it.

Then at twenty five, well, he comes alive,
And decides to live once more.
Like a broken spell, he walks out of hell,
Passing through life's open door.
Everyone there knows where the story goes,
And the old man kind of grins.
With a little wink, he begins to think,
This is where my life begins.

There was gold out there and he didn't care,
What it took to make it his.
"I'll be rich one day," he was heard to say,
"And that's just the way it is."
Well, he mucked and slaved but he never caved,
So the gold gave up the fight.
There were nuggets found measured by the pound;
Bringing golden dreams in sight.

Just a vagabond who was rich beyond,
The means of any king.
He was young with health and he bathed in wealth,
As the girls began to cling.
Well, he played the field, but he wouldn't yield,
To the pressures of the heart.
There were memories, love was some disease,
That could tear a soul apart.

He was rich it's true, but he also knew,
That you can't buy happiness.
So, he headed down to his old home town,
To what? He could only guess.
It was strange to see the old filigree,
Pressed in frames upon the wall.
Faces lost somehow to the years that now,
Drift into his heart's recall.

Seven years had passed since his father last,
Took a breath upon this earth.
Mother held him tight and to his delight,
He began to feel his worth.
No conditions there, love was everywhere,
Riches far beyond the gold.
So, he bought some land, and he took the hand,
Of fate with a life to mold.

Was a big barn dance, when another chance,
At true love was brought his way.
With her skin so fair, and her golden hair,
He was drawn to Jenny Mae.
Dancing close all night and to his delight,
She allowed a little kiss. 
When he dreamed of her, the thought would occur.
There was too much there to miss.

He was ready then, his heart soared again,
And he longed to tie the knot.
Down upon his knee with a marriage plea,
A sweet wife was what he got.
Life brought so much joy when their baby boy,
Had been born out on the farm.
And eventually it was them plus three.
Fate had swung it's loving arm.

There were ups and downs, but the world goes round,
With reunions every year.
And he swells with pride as he holds his bride,
Sitting next to him it's clear,
That we may grow old, but there's always gold,
To share when love abounds.
Laughter all about, life that seems to shout,
Love's the greatest of all sounds.

Tell us more, they say, right up 'till today;
He's reminded where they were.
He includes them all in his tale as tall,
As an ancient Douglas fir.
Jenny holds his hand, ah, this life's so grand.
And the old man kind of grins.
With a little wink, he begins to think.
This is where my life begins.


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  1. Date: 10/11/2014 7:46:00 PM

    A classic!
  1. Date: 10/1/2014 5:53:00 PM

    Hey Robert it is so wonderful to see your fabulous poems back here on the soup. Until reading this piece I did not realize how much I have missed your great poetry. This epic was worth reading from beginning to end...Well done, my friend, hope this starts a long stream of poems....peter
  1. Date: 9/24/2014 7:24:00 PM

    Robert, A really quite beautiful write here!! "Life's Stories" as you've depicted in this instance has great inner meaning. Your words and situational metaphors testify powerfully to this. Your rhyme articulation is exquisite!! I found out about your poems through Jerry Curtis who was kind enough to read one of my recent poems. I will certainly check your works out from time to time and invite you to read mine as well. Enjoyed your work here immensely!! Cheer and Best Wishes, Gary
  1. Date: 9/18/2014 5:49:00 AM

    I have always been in awe of the epic poem since I read Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The depiction of a single life, which you wrote here in "Life's Stories" is one which I will place in my favorites folder. It is a gem, my friend. Jack C
  1. Date: 9/17/2014 4:08:00 PM

    what a well told tale, my friend, and the ending is absolutely delightful. IS it for that marriage and proposal contest?
  1. Date: 9/16/2014 4:00:00 AM

    Wow! Im totally awed! To write such a marvelous epic ballad in such a difficult awesome rhyme scheme n pattern makes for a masterpiece by u! I can only wish to write so great! It's wording art! I lovd the sweetheart line so much too. So nice to read u again.!
  1. Date: 9/4/2014 8:08:00 AM

    - Wow .... an honest life story ..... for good and bad - "That you can not buy happiness" !!!! - Robert, a great honor to read your write - An amazing story told with your words and thoughts - Thank you - Have a nice day - oxox // Anne-Lise :)
  1. Date: 9/3/2014 5:35:00 PM

    This is a Masterpiece, Robert I really enjoyed this, my friend. I hope all is well with you.
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 11:44:00 AM

    This poem is truly superb. I am adding it to my fav list and wish to thank you for it!!!!
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 11:09:00 AM

    what an epic write. it must of taken a lot of your time but well worth it. thank you for this fine read.