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Paula Swanson Feb 2013
Dancing outside the saloon,
they toss pennies at his feet.
On his harmonica he plays,
a tune, off key, up beat.

On his head of sparse grey hair,
he sports an old top hat.
His tattered coat of tailored tails,
frames a frayed and worn cravat.

On a thin frame the tux does hang,
his pants, held up with twine.
You can't help, but to think,
he is from another time.

Come rain or shine, he is there.
Tip of his hat to all the girls.
He gives a nod of thanks at each sound,
as round his feet, the pennies swirl.
Paula Swanson Feb 2013
Silent tears, relieved in ink,
on paper smooth and cool.
Heart and hand now work in synch,
as strong emotions duel.

There on the parchment you lie,
naked, for all to see.
You heave a deep cleansing sigh.
At last, you can believe.

Word by word you come alive,
a healing balm takes form.
Before long, you realize,
a stronger you is born.
Paula Swanson Jul 2012
As a flag, left to the ravages of wind and sun,
so too my soul, stands tattered and ravaged.
My visage now a faded memory
of once courageous colors.
My voice no longer crisp, nor upbeat.
But weak and undefined.
No longer do I instill nor evoke,
a sense of power or purpose.

I am easily dismissed as useless, unnecessary.

Yes, once I was the strong flag,
that laughed in the wind with a quick
snap and whip crack determination.

That was years and many storms ago.
Now, I give into the wind,
with a defeated wave
and the sound of a sigh.
Paula Swanson Jul 2012
It was a lifetime ago...just yesterday,
when rain fell softly upon my face.
That spoke to me of younger years,
with all my innocence thus encased.

I could feel the rainbow...just out of reach,
all the colors of moments passed.
Where truths were lies and lies believed,
countless, as grains in an hourglass.

I can bear forth the torch...yet not burn the eyes,
to scald away truth's stench and decay.
Why can't we hold to the dreams of youth,
that was a lifetime ago...just yesterday?
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Eyes the color of twilight hours,
looks down from a canvas throne.
Captured for an eternity,
her languid form, in repose.

Queen of all she surveys,
within these crumbling walls.
Moth eaten Brocade, silk spider's web.
Marble stairs and dank halls.

Once the matriarch of a dynasty,
that lived beneath this roof.
She still exerts her own will,
as watches, uncaring, aloof.

She is within the very mortar,
that binds these ancient stones.
Her blood is on the very air,
that chills you to the bone.

The floors and she are now as one.
Listen!  You can hear her footsteps.
There within the mournful wind,
hear her laughter where she once slept.

The ballroom still hosts soiree's.
Muted music of bygone years play.
While in the South Rose parlor,
you can feel her pull take sway.

She will conjole and pout,
until you agree to stay.
Then she'll lead you to the cellar,
where all her guests must pay.

These windows, on a stormy night,
show shadows walking by.
Tattered curtains fall into place,
while evil hides from prying eyes.

But do not feed the impulse,
to enter and investigate.
For within these walls, her spirit dwells
and for fresh blood, she lies in wait.
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Within the quiet of the night,
amid the shadows of my pain,
the strength I held so fast to,
ebbs, as another tear does gain.

With out the giving of consent,
it brings forth a fellow traveler.
To follow a chaotic coarse,
across my cheeks, twilight pallor.

Bare of conscience thought,  I brush aside,
the meaning each holds alone.
I hide behind my false bravado,
as my tears dry on their own.
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Behind the rough and gruff facade,
amongst the sternness and the pride.
Along with calloused hands and the scars
A little boy still resides.

in spite of responsibilities,
the hard days, daily grind.
There within a man full grown,
that little boy still hides.

In the crooked grin, stuck out chin,
mischievous twinkle of the eyes.
Crazy antics, chances taken,
a little boy joy rides.

Eat one more cookie before dinner,
spend all weekend, playing outside.
Put off mowing the lawn one more day,
that little boy decides.

Work extra hours to pay the bills,
don't let that "Honey do" list slide.
Do anything to see me smile,
His little boy is justified.
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