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Knowing that Life rides a stormy sea
And cloudbursts oftentimes overwhelm,
I'll rig the sails and face what may be . . .
If Love is standing guard at the helm

Fearlessly I'll walk Life's thorny path
In the dark of night or sunless day;
I'll grapple with Fate's relentless wrath . . .
If Love 's blessed radiance guides my way

And when despair grabs hold of my hand,
Gallantly I'll cry my share of tears
While waiting for storm clouds to disband . . .
If Love's at my side to calm my fears

When all seems lost and hope goes astray,
And my dreams lie withering on the vine,
I'll endure and rise above the fray . . .
If Love's hand is clinging fast to mine

When my spirit flees this mortal frame
And is summoned toward the dark unknown,
I'll fare well enough with memory's flame    . . .
If Love lingers when all else has flown
A seed of Love that never found
The hallowed path to fertile ground,
The fruitless trees, the orchard bare ---
Bitter pain of unanswered prayer

A tired heart, trampled by Love's feet
Dolefully yields in utter defeat;
No eyes gaze upon its despair.
Although unseen, the pain is there

An outstretched hand that no one holds
As night's obsidian cloak unfolds;
Mournful sobs permeate the air---
O, what pain! And no one to share

Hours of blissful happiness
Followed by guile's fatal caress;
Wretched pain of Love's sad farewell . . .
O, what stories the past could tell!

Though such reminiscing brings regret,
Still, the heart whispers "Never forget,"
And so to Love's treachery we're resigned,
And journey on  . . .  with pain close behind
When a tree waves its green leafy hand,
Most don't notice, but I understand;
The swaying of a flower, the buzz of a bee . . .
That's how my garden beckons to me

The little blades of grass gently nod
As a worm pokes his head through the sod;
Cast blame if you will on my vanity,
But I'm certain he's looking for me

Now the wind wants to join in the game --
Spying a windchime, it takes careful aim;
Soon the air fills with a soft melody,
And I smile, knowing it's playing for me

I watch as the sun sweeps clouds away,
Showing off with such gaudy display;
But I must admit, the sun's victory
Causes the flowers to dance with glee

And I stand in awe amidst this scene
Of peace and beauty.  If I were a Queen
What nobler entitlement could there be
Than these treasures unfurled before me?

A warble suddenly hushes life's din,
And soon more feathered minstrels join in;
But such incidents are no mystery . . .
That's just my garden calling to me
My pen hovers over a blank page
As red ink drips from my wounded heart;
When bitter thoughts flow like Spring's melting snow,
A dark narrative soon fills the chart

O, please forgive the gray clouds that ensue,
But in my world sunny skies are rare;
And many a night I ponder my plight --
But no comforting words stir the air

When love's anguish cannot be constrained,
Then the heart must transcribe its lament;
Sad thoughts find release, bringing a strange peace
That's absent when heartache is pent

A bit of salt may blanket my words ---
Not of the sea and its restless tide
That comes and goes, free of all cares and woes --
But from tears these weary eyes have cried

How much must a heart invest in love
Before it receives a dividend?
Though it pays the toll, it can't reach its goal . . .
Too often, the signpost reads "Dead End"

I pray the Court of Love intervenes,
And this cruel decree be overturned!
Might there be one flower in this sunset hour
Yet to blossom  . . .  or has court adjourned?
I've no need to seek divine deity.
Seeing a glorious sunrise spread its light,
I bow in awe at this amazing feat -----
A solitary star vanquished the night.
O, the majesty of Nature's might!

And as the moon dims his silvery torch,
Feathered minstrels open sleepy eyes;
What choristers could sing a sweeter song?
(To mention angel choirs would be unwise ---
Never have their voices filled the skies)

Rainbow-hued flowers, their heads bending low
To the gentle stroking of a breeze,
Fill the air with a hypnotic scent
And the humming of delighted bees . . .
It is to such things I bend my knees

Then upward my eyes are suddenly drawn
To vaporous clouds drifting lazily,
And I ponder that enigmatic realm,
Hesitant to unfold its mystery.
(Could this be God's true identity?)

Crickets chirping, wolves baying at the moon,
From the pond, a frog croaks his opinion;
The ocean's roar, the Autumn woods ablaze ---
And over it all we have dominion.
And yet . . . I feel I'm Nature's minion

But if an elusive God is your choice,
I look upon you with  pitying eyes;
Marvels surround you, and yet you still seek
That obscure and silent, unresponsive prize . . .
An unseen God that common sense denies!
I dared not hope to glimpse Heaven
Nor sit on Contentment's throne;
A darkened abyss was my domain
And Love's radiance unknown

There was no cause for dreams to stir
Or my senses to run wild;
The indifferent ebb and flow of Life
Left my weary heart beguiled

I preferred the grave to this fate,
But you rolled away the stone
And drew forth my cold exhausted breath,
Replacing it with your own

Quietly you opened the door
To my heart and entered in;
Your loving words, spoken faint and low
Spread joy where sorrow had been

Like the muted flutter of wings
That guide a bird to its mate
Came the gentle whisperings of Love,
Silencing the voice of Fate

And so this heart, dying in degrees
(Lifeless though it seemed to be)
Bounded with glee when it heard your voice . . .
At last!  Love had called to me!
Everchanging winds of discontent
Paint temptation an alluring hue;
Gilded words softly caress my ear --
O, what anxious impulses ensue!
But then something draws me back to you

Sweetest intimations tease my heart,
Drenching my thoughts like the morning's dew;
Invitations to romance entice . . .
Dare I venture down this avenue?
Certainly not!  let this thought pass through!

The flames of temptation stoke desires
That only fealty's promise can subdue;
But the embers must not be ignored --
If unguarded,  they'll blaze up anew
And soon unfaithfulness makes its debut

Lips that have been parched by burning sighs
Quiver when a fount comes into view;
How ardently I could quench my thirst,
How inviting this seductive brew . . .
But then something draws me back  to you

Temptation exudes such sweet perfume ---
How easily a vow can go askew;
But the door to my heart is secure,
And my conscience remains free of rue . . .
Your love's tender power binds me to you
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