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Civil Twilight

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We just met
Yet ... I know you
As myself, I know you
Before now, before then, before time

Bounding a meadow through the dew of eventide
Careful business for a muggy summer eve
A jelly jar to fill with fireflies
It was there ... then

The emerald-gold spark that shimmers your gaze
It held me rapt, as it does now
A large one, caught - winking me through the slits in my fingers
Much too delightful to be confined to a glass prison

So I spread my hand and let it twinkle away
Somehow my child's heart knew it was ... more
Grander, more weighty, more important
The color stayed ... within.


Then ... years later
The same exquisite hues and glow
In an instant, come and gone
Last remnant of a Caribbean sunset, melting

Bursting green and bright, wide across the horizon
Cumulus clouds shattering sunlight into golden shards
Like the gild columns of Olympus, fallen
Rolling, glimmering as they tumble to ruin

Or giant ropes of precious metal, weaving the heavens
Splashed brief with a flare of chartreuse
An instant only, but an instant blooming in elegance
So beautiful that it seemed a phantom

Surely, in all my wits, I must have imagined it
Yet, it remained within ... until now
There, swimming your eyes
Beyond expression.


Once more, I found it
Drowning in middle age madness
Searching for answers to The Question
Yes, THAT question ... the ONLY question

Crossing an ocean, it matters not which
Again, Sol had just set, without a cloud or wisp of weather
When, upon the far reach, the moon rose like a madman
Mocking the sun in its greatest breadth and boundary

So bright and yellow that the swells turned transparent like jade
The colors, too, as water and moonlight swirled
Glistening and turning, scintillating like some priceless gem, untold
It was YOU - the eyes that hold me now - there!

I was breathless, taken, plunging that beauty in delirium
Just as I had all those years before ... as I am NOW
For you are the standard, the archetype, the constant, the measure
The reason for those moments of wonder and awe ...

You, the brightest star of dusk and dawn ... my civil twilight.

~ 1st Place   in the "Best Free Verse 2019" Poetry Contest, John Hamilton, Judge & Sponsor.

~ 1st Place ~  in the "Pick A Title - Free Verse" Poetry Contest, Edward Ibeh, Judge & Sponsor.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019

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Date: 6/30/2019 6:44:00 AM
Oh yeah, forgot to FAV this masterpiece when I judged it, and I've done so. Congratulations on a top win yet again, Greg:-)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/30/2019 7:03:00 PM
I am humbled by your kind comments, my friend, and so thankful for you time and friendship! Blessings to you and yours, My Poet Brother! :o)
Date: 6/29/2019 8:25:00 PM
I have one to whom I might also dedicate this supernal, transcendent write. Few poems come to my eyes with such grace and leave me breathless, floating in the moments after sunset until after civil twilight when stars appear and memorize the moment.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/30/2019 7:03:00 PM
This comment is poetry in itself, Mark, and I so appreciate the kind, thoughtful words! Blessings and heartfelt thanks to you, my friend! :o)
Date: 6/29/2019 8:11:00 PM
This is amazingly beautiful Greg! Congrats on your well deserved win :)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/30/2019 7:02:00 PM
Oh, you are very sweet to say so, thank you VERY much, Sandra ... blessings, my friend! :o) <3
Date: 6/29/2019 8:01:00 PM
Gregory beautiful write and an amazing win! Congrats!;)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/30/2019 7:01:00 PM
Many kind thanks to you, Brenda - blessings, my friend! :o) <3
Date: 6/29/2019 7:39:00 PM
Great write G, congrats on another win, you know what I like!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/30/2019 7:00:00 PM
Thank you SO much, John, I greatly appreciate the placement and kind comments ... I put a LOT of myself into this one, and I am especially proud of it! Blessings, my friend - I pray you are well, and your songs are coming together! :-)
Date: 3/11/2019 5:37:00 PM
Congratulations on your top win my dear friend! Hugs n' Love! xomo <3
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/29/2019 12:46:00 AM
Thank you so much, Maureen ... I greatly appreciate it! :o)
Date: 3/9/2019 7:17:00 PM
Thanks for participating in my contest, Greg!:-) Wow, I don't even know where to begin with this stunning masterpiece. This is one of your best ever, IMO. Congrats on your first place win!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 3/12/2019 3:59:00 AM
I am very much honored, Edward, and humbled to be on a list with so many superb writers! I wasn't sure what direction to take with this one, but I'm so pleased you enjoyed my poem ... this was a fun project, and helped me put life into proper perspective. Blessings and thanks to you, my friend! :-)
Date: 3/7/2019 7:26:00 AM
Gregory, this stimulating write brushes a myriad of vivid hues upon ones senses. Outstanding poetry!!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 3/7/2019 11:28:00 PM
Thank you so much, WH, I greatly appreciate the kind words, my friend! :-)
Date: 3/7/2019 5:36:00 AM
Your entry is breathtakingly beautiful Greg! It will be most difficult to outdo this magnificent masterpiece as you have set the bar way too high for most of us. I tend to think you even dream poetry as it seems to flow so eloquently from your pen. This is a definite keeper my friend. A Fave for me! You shouldn't need any luck with this beauty! Keep warm. xxoo : )
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 3/7/2019 11:38:00 PM
(3) Oh - and yes, I DO dream poetry, lol, quite often! I actually have a pad and pen beside me on the bed each night, because I often wake up after dreaming a poem (or song) and if I don't write it down immediately, I'll lose it. I also get ideas in those "in-between" times, so it helps to be prepared! :-)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 3/7/2019 11:35:00 PM
(2) ... it's OK, just part of how this place works, and I'll be able to read and comment soon, (which I love to do). We all get discouraged at times, but the kindness of a few (like you) make it all worthwhile. You are a gem, (as is your work), and I am very thankful for you! Blessings, Dear Poet! :-) <3
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 3/7/2019 11:34:00 PM
This is such a wonderful comment, Connie, and I thank you so very much for taking the time to read this "longer" piece and say something so heartfelt. I am SO busy with life at present and sick with the flu, so this boosts my spirits, and without time to read and comment on others' work lately, I'm getting few comments ...