Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Prayer Like Nightbird Flying

prayer
is a
mysterious
thing
a subtle
kind of
whispering
like the
nightbird
flying
bright word
crying
on
whirring
wing
stirring
to sing
what
heaven can
bring
called
forth
by mere
speaking
living
waters
that spring
from the
river of
healing

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Ode to Morpheus

O Sleep, I give up on thee.
Hast thou forgotten me?
The sheep I numbered are running free
past all pretense of profundity.

I can trace the path that brought me here,
but the way of return is ne’er so clear.
I taste what hath sought to steer
me from what I yearn to draw near.

O Sleep, now it seems I must succumb as into my burning brain I have plumbed
to reap my dreams for words to come,
my yearning plain, O shouting eyes, be struck dumb!

Posted in Prayers

The Nectar of Tears

When
the pain
of life
fills
your eyes
and
the bees
arrive
to taste
the salt
of your
tears,
know that
when
they
depart,
they fly
to flowers
and then
to that
dark
humming
place where
bitterness
is made
into
something
sweet.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

The Silence of Winter

the hum of life did not cease.

it is simply that i was
insulated from its cadence
by the cold.
now, in the world’s warming,
when windows are raised to let in
the cool night air,
my ears are opened to
forgotten sounds.

in the silence of winter,
one must listen closely to
the growing seed.

the flower opens.
the visitor is welcomed.
outside my window, i hear the
warm buzz of bees.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Singing My Child

today
before the
gathering dawn
i saw
my heart
in the
sky
above

i heard
it flying
crying out
in joy
with the
morning
dove

singing
my child
embrace
today
for you are
precious
you are
loved

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Tis I Midst the Forsythia Bloom

Tis I midst the forsythia bloom
and for I, spring cannot come too soon;

The robin sings of winter’s doom
while her winged kin share in the boon

of seeded sustenance, their beaks to groom
what once lay frozen, forgotten neath the harvest moon.

While o’er the land this cold morning still weaves her loom,
I await the warming thaw found in the heat of noon

to free my frosty limbs from the hoary gloom,
because, for they and I, spring cannot come too soon.

POETRY – Spring, When A Young Man’s Fancy Turns To . . . War

1 Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ’tis early morn:
2 Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

3 ‘Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the recruiter’s call,
4 Sharp eyes gleaming, sugary voice calls me from my study hall;

5 This high school, my years of study here, I am done with it.
6 Now a uniformed friend has a proposition for this graduate.

7 Many a night, after homework, I dreamed ere I went to rest,
8 Of his words extolling me to rise up and fight for the West.

9 Many a night I saw the Pleiades, cutting the sky like a brand,
10 Glittering like my dreams of the exotica of foreign lands.

11 Here about the campus I wander’d, nourishing a youth sublime
12 With the fairy tales of math and science, and the long result of Time;

13 I thought of the years before me like a fruitful land reposed;
14 When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed:

15 When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
16 Saw the Vision of the battlefield and where I would be.

17 In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
18 In the Spring a similar stain shall grace my broken chest;

19 It is Spring and the recruiter gestures me towards an open door;
20 It is Spring and a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of War.

Editor’s Note: Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem Locksley Hall (1842) was used as the basis for this adaptation.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Stole Softly Love

I searched in vain for Love
since she did not search for me.
I prayed for her flame,
but lonely only warmed me.

Yearning deeply darkly for
the caress of her hand,
I swam within the hourglass
in the clutches of the sand.

The bell chimed.
The chimes rang.
The hands whirred in glee.
The pendulum would swing and
cut my heart,
A cascading sea.

In dismay I looked and saw
the future’s crushing weight,
of sweetness never tasted,
dangled before the grate.
My hands through the bars
could only feel the wind
of her precious wings as
Love passed by again.

As I sank within myself
in the blankness of despair,
to my side stole softly Love
and caught me unawares.

October 30, 1987

(Reposted from June 2016)

Posted in Prayers

Bottles of Tears

perhaps it seems that
they are wasted
this sad rain
that has fallen
from the gray clouds
of your eyes

but know this
child of heaven
each precious drop
has been captured
held close to the heart
of the One who has
cried with you

and on that day
when every tear
is wiped away
and joy is a
forever thing
these vessels
will be emptied
into that glorious
golden stream
that is for the
healing of the
nations