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at the commencement all the world was dared
for a small prize a kiss  and then a hope
so that the magic feeling would be shared

not by the ones whose  urgency was feared
as they came running down the morning *****
at the commencement all the world was dared

just so they could with justice be prepared
for honourable parting we elope
so that the magic feeling would be shared

in proper form and time by those who cared
more deeply and were happy they could cope
at the commencement all the world was dared

yet we survive while all the children stared
as new dawn seemed to offer yet more scope
so that the magic feeling would be shared

by all the folk who knew they had been spared
to hold with strength what they could barely *****
at the commencement all the world was dared
so that the magic feeling would be shared
onlylovepoetry May 2017
~
To: Gods  
From: Only Love Poetry
Subject: Manchester Commencement


~
dedicated to Nat Lipstadt, my better half,
who whispers when life whipsaws beyond belief,
there still will always be,
a new sun come,
a day newly needy for an only love poem



commencement, a lovely,
so human contra-dictional term,
to begin, to end, the meaning meant  
in the ear of beholder,
though this year,
the meaning perhaps, is
in the heart of the true believer

a perfect end of May day, fully unofficially summer
but for the brisk crisp spring sweater weather temp,
informing that the official calendar heated demarcation day,
yet a full month ahead,  
but the news reminding that neither man or nature  
don't necessarily respect
foolish man made conventions of any kind

once again, return to the isle of shelter,
lawns lush, the waves speaking in wave lapping, watery tongues,
which suddenly all humans comprehend,
the sky, a milky blue cappuccino and
I struggle desiring to disbelieve that the
almost summer holiness communing has begun with a  
****** pointless Manchester commencement

the external perfection clashes with the internal revilation,
knowing anger is unprofitable, understanding and resolving
not even close to possible, the waste of why and what for's

thrice, already sent you missive missiles,
that acknowdge did not hit the target,
you must be the the hard hearted pharaoh
who won't let my people, any people, go,
till all of us hold our eldest child in our arms, dead

the is no point in anger, the consoling of souls,
disregarding the vanity of revenge calls,
the Einsteinian repeating insanity of praying each of us,
to different gods to do what we stupidly call the right thing,
expecting different outcomes

so what's the why and the wherefore for just another poem?

to prepare the soul, keep yourself at the steady,
for the next one, never complacent, staying unready,
commencements are either endings or beginning
who can tell for sure, sometimes a bit of both

and in a poem, composed only of love,
written with solemn tears decorating the screen,
finger slipping on the warm sad wet,
a kind of scar tissue, a healing, but differentiated,
returning similar, but forever changed, different,
is still something human I can true believe in, no gods necessary

~
5/27/17 2:21pm
Smoke Scribe Aug 2018
Imagine that
I could write a salve,
compose an ointment of verbal herbs to heal,
even mere protect the already-torn-so-easy mental flesh,
just to disguise/hide the multi-colored bruising our
fickle mistress-in-common provides when you are down so far
another bruise joining the cast like a  floodplain subsuming one more feeding creek bed into the shapelessness of indistinguishability

imagine that

where atoms hide eternal between creation and destruction,
borrow brief the set exact you require to restore the taken years
from fathers/mothers/brothers/sisters,
children,
return that which went unused by the uninvited, unseemly human whim of war and lies for no gain

imagine that

the deep sinkhole of despair that ***** one in, years in the formation, appearing in instance, and worse does not drowns but leaves helpless, unable to climb out, and all our scratching digs us in deeper until we cannot be, seen or heard or just be

imagine that

a check comes in the mail, payable left open for filling-in,
in the amount of full restoration, with no additional fees of guilt needed for deposit and cashing/caching out: and you wake up
and the stony chest is breathing lungs free

imagine that

and I do; for I am the smoke of return and rest, sky inscribing,
knowing precise needs and the screams and the years unfair taken,
they are screened through the five perceptions, and the word weaver
sets the loom for each peculiar requisition, no imagination needed

imagine that

you lament and anger demand verifiable proofs mathematical,
cursing the knights of false hopes with untethered regret

I do not imagine that; hear it and accept; my task, imagine that, making you imagine that, thus commencement of repair begins
when

we imagine that

for this how new healthy cells  are born

quiet-now,  go, imagine-that, now
if you recognize yourself within, it is no accident!
thank u all for the love and appreciation. one writes many poems in many disguises, so it is hard to believe  that an 8 month old poem, sent to you for safekeeping, is shortly thereafter barely recalled.
and then is rebirthed, and wouldn’t change a word...
imagine that!
tonight we gather
to mark a
commencement day

four decades on
from a late June
afternoon

exchanging
embraces and
bon voyage wishes

departing a grand
chandeliered Rivoli
embarcadero

bound
to glorious
destinations

our bold sails
welling with
youthful
exuberance
in pursuit of
dreams
and intrepid
endeavors

our life
journeys
are blessed
with rich
abundance,
the grace of
challenge and
the gift of days

this evening
as we reconnect
to share the joys
and wisdom gleaned
from well lived lives
we will also celebrate
in multicolored splendor
the lives of classmates
who have commenced
journeys to other
destinations

though their
earthly sojourn
is complete
passed friends
remain alive
in our memory

surely the spirits
of the beloved
will walk this
room tonight

forever young
their quiet presence
will gently touch
tender hearts

they’ll appear
as they once looked
on their finest day

and as we relive
the bits of our lives
we shared with
one another

we may feel
the grasp of a
warm hand
as we once did
during that
snowy evening
west end walk

we’ll dance with them again
around Tamblyn Field bonfires
gyrating in a shared
ecstatic ebullience

we’ll applaud most likely
to succeed lives
most beautiful smiles
and crack up
to the hilarity of
class clown jokes

we’ll taste the kiss
of an after dark
Lincoln Park
rendezvous

groove to the
rock steady
beat of a
bad company tune  

we’ll submerge again
in a Yellow Submarine
to embark on an epic
Greenwich Village
journey

we’ll roll down
the shore on old
Thunder Road
windows open
hair blowin
radio blastin

we’ll taste the sweet sip
of Cherry Cokes
and Root Beer floats
at Roadrunners

chasing lost love salty tears
spilled over ***** upperclass home boys
and the soft blush sentiment of a
first French kiss

wouldn't it be nice
to swoon to the
fantasy and
winsome yearnings
of favorite
summer songs

filling our head’s
with mind
blowing collages
starring
team mates
drama club
second takes
heady chess club
checkmates

we’ll marvel at the disruption of
premillennial breakthrough science projects
created by pocket protected slide ruling
entrepreneurial math wizards

we'll recall droll gossip
by drab hall lockers
dim gym showers
awkward dances
Yippie people power

patriotic assemblies
cool sharp dressers
right on brother
Que Pasa lil sista

rock and roll album covers
Simon and Garfunkel poetics
Go Go Boots kickin
FM radio psychedelics

Midnight Confessions
emphatically blared
from the cafeteria jukebox
Civil Rights, Earth Day
and righteous
anti war activism

tribes of hoods, Ra’s,
jocks, artistes and tie dye hippies
everything is groovy
lets get a sandwich at Ernie’s

first carnal explorations
Moody Blue Tuesday trysts
man could she speak German
boy do I dig her dress

we did hard time together
at split session detention centers
ate chocolate chip cookies
cracked up to Mr. Thomas’s
Ides of March tragedy

took first tokes and
sips of Boones Farm
we partied hard
and did no harm

admired academic brainiacs
and the civic commitment
of student govie reps
shut down the gubmint
was never a threat 

basketball rumbles
Bulldog football
**** Ludwig soccer teams
nimble cheerleaders

leggy majorettes
kick *** marching band fanfares
compelling masquer presentments
Park Avenue wayfarers

they were
crew mates
on The Soul Boat
rode shotgun
to Midnight Rambler
Doobie Concerts

cruised hard in
the Root Hog
Rat Raced Louie
in tiny white Pintos

we booked
many a mile
with our lost
friends

on the road to
this evening

authoring
volumes of
fabled odysseys
and fantastic
recollections

their stories
are our stories
telling our stories
keeps them alive

some may say
gone too soon
but the measure of
a well lived life
is not counted
in days, nor
accomplishments

but how one has loved
and how much one was loved

quietly there
always with us
forever to be
a wholesome
part of us

as the brothers
from Cooley High
would say

lets tip a sip
for the brothers
and sisters who
ain’t here….

God bless
Godspeed
enjoy the evening
vaya con dios mis amigos

Music Selection:
Pat Metheny
Mas Alla


RHS 74
Class Reunion
Elks Club
Rutherford
11/29/14
Umi  Mar 2018
Lunar Tear
Umi Mar 2018
Go on with haste and fly through this undawning memory of love,
What is the moon looking up at, perhaps a dance of pulsar stars ?
What is the sun looking down at, perhaps the life growing from light?
An eternal sinner wanders under their light, with no aim, no goal,
All he carries shall be the pride in his heart, with undying love burning as bright as a hyper nova in the nearby young nightsky,
Lingering sadness seeps it's way through, to the surface of the moon, forever to be bound in an orbit, overshadowed, shining in lesser light,
Yet does it oversee, what beauty it brings to the night, or what it would be if darkness reigned supreme without it and the stars to rise?
Enlighting the darkest of nights for us, forgotten it keeps up his duty,
For maybe, even if just one is touched by his luminosity it would be enough to keep going, until the time comes to greet the break of dawn
The milkyway alike a river of stars, each with their own story to tell,
Stars stand with their secret hidden, an orbital parent to many planets
The sky is the eternity in a land of pure fantasy and hope after all,
A dream which knows no death till its termination draws near,
But isn't waking up the commencement of something far greater ?

~ Umi
preservationman Jun 2018
Education gave you knowledge
Opportunity will be your honor of privilege
Your life will focus on achievement becoming an accomplishment
You achieved making your first step being “EDUCATION”
Applaud yourselves Graduates
But let me applaud to the Parents, Family Members and Friends in giving you the necessary encouragement to continue and stay the course through education and you too graduates should also applaud
Learning was the objective
Concepts with principles became subjective
Connectivity brought you to adaptability
The whole element was “PREPARATION”
You entered your own portal that started you on your way to knowledge
You will now exit with education in showing you how to step out, and test the waters of all your future endeavors having a destination
You are ready to go out and use what you learned in actual reality

No matter what your endeavors are always follow with “Proceed leading to Succeed”
Easy enough
But the task will seem complex, as you will have to cross numerous hurdles in getting to your destiny
Remember, Education wasn’t easy, but prepared you with tools in knowing no hurdle can stop you in your journey of success
Education gave you the formula in turning complexity into simplicity
You will run into a dilemma but have the necessary resources to formulate a remedy
You are ready for the challenge
You were tested through education in going beyond the limits
Knowledge was succeed to conquest
Yet learning will always be ongoing no matter what whether you are pursuing another Degree(s) or career aspirations
You should be inspiration beyond
But don’t let negative vibes around you derail your opportunity

Opportunity and Commodity are within you and it is because of knowledge within education
It is up to you to grasp and conquer
Seek out and just explore
Negativity simply ignore
Like my Grandfather once said to me, “LIVE AND LEARN”
This I instill in all of you
In order to gain, you must pursue
Let your footsteps be movement
Leave a mark you personally established
Be confident and assured
I can’t stress this more, “Thank the Almighty Lord
Think on encouragement from
I am proud of all of you graduates
I know it wasn’t an easy task
Concepts you tackled but it is preparation gained
Remember to keep up with Technology and new approaches
Your learning should never stop
But be a step ahead with continued learning in helping you climb to the top
Your Teachers and Professors are proud of you
Your Family and Friends waited for this proud moment in sharing your excellence in accomplishment
As you walk out the doors to your new frontier always remember where your education was given in knowledge instilled
“Climb every mountain and pause for a moment, and continue to climb until you reach the top”
Thank you and your opportunity a waits.
Kingafroninjaa Jul 2012
I never felt like I belong here.
No matter how hard I tried, I never belonged.
Could it be I'm destined for something greater than life on this planet
Or am I doomed to spend eternity with the latter?
I wander across this land in search of who I am but it seems there is no answer no where in sight.
Am I suppose to quit this journey or continue to walk in denial?
How long must I endure this nightmare til I finally wake up and face "reality"?
At the night's commencement, memory of this life drifts away into the forgotten stream.
I can taste the answers but the moment I begin to relish in its delicacy, it fades from my grasp.
What is left for a king whose kingdom has fallen?
I went on a trip with a white girl & I never quite came back
preservationman Jun 2017
Success can only take place if you have fulfilled achievement
You must think positive in voice
Later incorporating your own concepts being your choice
The Graduation Cap being your thinker
Your Graduation Gown being the Copper and Gold Ticker
Education that took time
Research, Lectures and Concepts that were all combined
You learned discipline in what it takes to succeed
It’s all up to you in how you will proceed
Education gave you the tools of solution base
As you leave the school for the final time you have become the institution trace
You are the pride and honor of any school
Yet you will be the asset and the fine tool
Your eye on endeavors
But it’s no time to sit back sliver
This will be your time to deliver
Think wise and be clever
However, there is no word being never
Step up means step out
Always hold your head up
Dignity being your pursuit
There will be times when struggles come through
Education and Education alone would have shown you in what to do
A moment being your time
Having a smile will be just fine
But never forget during while
Your life has just begun, but think theory and beyond
Education was like an endless mile, but it involved understanding during while
Remember, education is an continuing entity in being ahead and sustaining the learning process
Knowing when
Establishing how
But use all the resources from education
Careers are chosen categories
But you will become the new success story
Your far off has reached today
Yet these will be the words you might say
“I have achieved even when I had doubt, but education helped me see my potential, and I know I can excel”.
An evening all aglow with summer light
And autumn colour—fairest of the year.

The wheat-fields, crowned with shocks of tawny gold,
All interspersed with rough sowthistle roots,
And interlaced with white convolvulus,
Lay, flecked with purple shadows, in the sun.
The shouts of little children, gleaning there
The scattered ears and wild blue-bottle flowers—
Mixed with the corn-crake's crying, and the song
Of lone wood birds whose mother-cares were o'er,
And with the whispering rustle of red leaves—
Scarce stirred the stillness. And the gossamer sheen
Was spread on upland meadows, silver bright
In low red sunshine and soft kissing wind—
Showing where angels in the night had trailed
Their garments on the turf. Tall arrow-heads,
With flag and rush and fringing grasses, dropped
Their seeds and blossoms in the sleepy pool.
The water-lily lay on her green leaf,
White, fair, and stately; while an amorous branch
Of silver willow, drooping in the stream,
Sent soft, low-babbling ripples towards her:
And oh, the woods!—erst haunted with the song
Of nightingales and tender coo of doves—
They stood all flushed and kindling 'neath the touch
Of death—kind death!—fair, fond, reluctant death!—
A dappled mass of glory!
Harvest-time;
With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,
'Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.
The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass—
Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;
And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop
Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,
And orange clusters of the mountain ash.
The crimson fungus and soft mosses clung
To old decaying trunks; the summer bine
Drooped, shivering, in the glossy ivy's grasp.
By day the blue air bore upon its wings
Wide-wandering seeds, pale drifts of thistle-down;
By night the fog crept low upon the earth,
All white and cool, and calmed its feverishness,
And veiled it over with a veil of tears.

The curlew and the plover were come back
To still, bleak shores; the little summer birds
Were gone—to Persian gardens, and the groves
Of Greece and Italy, and the palmy lands.

A Norman tower, with moss and lichen clothed,
Wherein old bells, on old worm-eaten frames
And rusty wheels, had swung for centuries,
Chiming the same soft chime—the lullaby
Of cradled rooks and blinking bats and owls;
Setting the same sweet tune, from year to year,
For generations of true hearts to sing.
A wide churchyard, with grassy slopes and nooks,
And shady corners and meandering paths;
With glimpses of dim windows and grey walls
Just caught at here and there amongst the green
Of flowering shrubs and sweet lime-avenues.
An old house standing near—a parsonage-house—
With broad thatched roof and overhanging eaves,
O'errun with banksia roses,—a low house,
With ivied windows and a latticed porch,
Shut in a tiny Paradise, all sweet
With hum of bees and scent of mignonette.

We lay our lazy length upon the grass
In that same Paradise, my friend and I.
And, as we lay, we talked of college days—
Wild, racing, hunting, steeple-chasing days;
Of river reaches, fishing-grounds, and weirs,
Bats, gloves, debates, and in-humanities:
And then of boon-companions of those days,
How lost and scattered, married, changed, and dead;
Until he flung his arm across his face,
And feigned to slumber.
He was changed, my friend;
Not like the man—the leader of his set—
The favourite of the college—that I knew.
And more than time had changed him. He had been
“A little wild,” the Lady Alice said;
“A little gay, as all young men will be
At first, before they settle down to life—
While they have money, health, and no restraint,
Nor any work to do,” Ah, yes! But this
Was mystery unexplained—that he was sad
And still and thoughtful, like an aged man;
And scarcely thirty. With a winsome flash,
The old bright heart would shine out here and there;
But aye to be o'ershadowed and hushed down,

As he had hushed it now.
His dog lay near,
With long, sharp muzzle resting on his paws,
And wistful eyes, half shut,—but watching him;
A deerhound of illustrious race, all grey
And grizzled, with soft, wrinkled, velvet ears;
A gaunt, gigantic, wolfish-looking brute,
And worth his weight in gold.
“There, there,” said he,
And raised him on his elbow, “you have looked
Enough at me; now look at some one else.”

“You could not see him, surely, with your arm
Across your face?”
“No, but I felt his eyes;
They are such sharp, wise eyes—persistent eyes—
Perpetually reproachful. Look at them;
Had ever dog such eyes?”
“Oh yes,” I thought;
But, wondering, turned my talk upon his breed.
And was he of the famed Glengarry stock?
And in what season was he entered? Where,
Pray, did he pick him up?
He moved himself
At that last question, with a little writhe
Of sudden pain or restlessness; and sighed.
And then he slowly rose, pushed back the hair
From his broad brows; and, whistling softly, said,
“Come here, old dog, and we will tell him. Come.”

“On such a day, and such a time, as this,
Old Tom and I were stalking on the hills,
Near seven years ago. Bad luck was ours;
For we had searched up corrie, glen, and burn,
From earliest daybreak—wading to the waist
Peat-rift and purple heather—all in vain!
We struck a track nigh every hour, to lose
A noble quarry by ignoble chance—
The crowing of a grouse-****, or the flight
Of startled mallards from a reedy pool,
Or subtle, hair's breadth veering of the wind.
And now 'twas waning sunset—rosy soft

On far grey peaks, and the green valley spread
Beneath us. We had climbed a ridge, and lay
Debating in low whispers of our plans
For night and morning. Golden eagles sailed
Above our heads; the wild ducks swam about

Amid the reeds and rushes of the pools;
A lonely heron stood on one long leg
In shallow water, watching for a meal;
And there, to windward, couching in the grass
That fringed the blue edge of a sleeping loch—
Waiting for dusk to feed and drink—there lay
A herd of deer.
“And as we looked and planned,
A mountain storm of sweeping mist and rain
Came down upon us. It passed by, and left
The burnies swollen that we had to cross;
And left us barely light enough to see
The broad, black, branching antlers, clustering still
Amid the long grass in the valley.

“‘Sir,’
Said Tom, ‘there is a shealing down below,
To leeward. We might bivouac there to-night,
And come again at dawn.’
“And so we crept
Adown the glen, and stumbled in the dark
Against the doorway of the keeper's home,
And over two big deerhounds—ancestors
Of this our old companion. There was light
And warmth, a welcome and a heather bed,
At Colin's cottage; with a meal of eggs
And fresh trout, broiled by dainty little hands,
And sweetest milk and oatcake. There were songs
And Gaelic legends, and long talk of deer—
Mixt with a sweet, low laughter, and the whir
Of spinning-wheel.
“The dogs lay at her feet—
The feet of Colin's daughter—with their soft
Dark velvet ears pricked up for every sound
And movement that she made. Right royal brutes,
Whereon I gazed with envy.
“ ‘What,’ I asked,
‘Would Colin take for these?’
“ ‘Eh, sir,’ said he,
And shook his head, ‘I cannot sell the dogs.
They're priceless, they, and—Jeanie's favourites.
But there's a litter in the shed—five pups,
As like as peas to this one. You may choose
Amongst them, sir—take any that you like.
Get us the lantern, Jeanie. You shall show
The gentleman.’
“Ah, she was fair, that girl!

Not like the other lassies—cottage folk;
For there was subtle trace of gentle blood
Through all her beauty and in all her ways.
(The mother's race was ‘poor and proud,’ they said).
Ay, she was fair, my darling! with her shy,
Brown, innocent face and delicate-shapen limbs.
She had the tenderest mouth you ever saw,
And grey, dark eyes, and broad, straight-pencill'd brows;
Dark hair, sun-dappled with a sheeny gold;
Dark chestnut braids that knotted up the light,
As soft as satin. You could scarcely hear
Her step, or hear the rustling of her gown,
Or the soft hovering motion of her hands
At household work. She seemed to bring a spell
Of tender calm and silence where she came.
You felt her presence—and not by its stir,
But by its restfulness. She was a sight
To be remembered—standing in the straw;
A sleepy pup soft-cradled in her arms
Like any Christian baby; standing still,
The while I handled his ungainly limbs.
And Colin blustered of the sport—of hounds,
Roe, ptarmigan, and trout, and ducal deer—
Ne'er lifting up that sweet, unconscious face,
To see why I was silent. Oh, I would
You could have seen her then. She was so fair,
And oh, so young!—scarce seventeen at most—
So ignorant and so young!
“Tell them, my friend—
Your flock—the restless-hearted—they who scorn
The ordered fashion fitted to our race,
And scoff at laws they may not understand—
Tell them that they are fools. They cannot mate
With other than their kind, but woe will come
In some shape—mostly shame, but always grief
And disappointment. Ah, my love! my love!
But she was different from the common sort;
A peasant, ignorant, simple, undefiled;
The child of rugged peasant-parents, taught
In all their thoughts and ways; yet with that touch
Of tender grace about her, softening all
The rougher evidence of her lowly state—
That undefined, unconscious dignity—
That delicate instinct for the reading right
The riddles of less simple minds than hers—
That sharper, finer, subtler sense of life—
That something which does not possess a name,

Which made her beauty beautiful to me—
The long-lost legacy of forgotten knights.

“I chose amongst the five fat creeping things
This rare old dog. And Jeanie promised kind
And gentle nurture for its infant days;
And promised she would keep it till I came
Another year. And so we went to rest.
And in the morning, ere the sun was up,
We left our rifles, and went out to run
The browsing red-deer with old Colin's hounds.
Through glen and bog, through brawling mountain streams,
Grey, lichened boulders, furze, and juniper,
And purple wilderness of moor, we toiled,
Ere yet the distant snow-peak was alight.
We chased a hart to water; saw him stand
At bay, with sweeping antlers, in the burn.
His large, wild, wistful eyes despairingly
Turned to the deeper eddies; and we saw
The choking struggle and the bitter end,
And cut his gallant throat upon the grass,
And left him. Then we followed a fresh track—
A dozen tracks—and hunted till the noon;
Shot cormorants and wild cats in the cliffs,
And snipe and blackcock on the ferny hills;
And set our floating night-lines at the loch;—
And then came back to Jeanie.
“Well, you know
What follows such commencement:—how I found
The woods and corries round about her home
Fruitful of roe and red-deer; how I found
The grouse lay thickest on adjacent moors;
Discovered ptarmigan on rocky peaks,
And rare small game on birch-besprinkled hills,
O'ershadowing that rude shealing; how the pools
Were full of wild-fowl, and the loch of trout;
How vermin harboured in the underwood,
And rocks, and reedy marshes; how I found
The sport aye best in this charmed neighbourhood.
And then I e'en must wander to the door,
To leave a bird for Colin, or to ask
A lodging for some stormy night, or see
How fared my infant deerhound.
“And I saw
The creeping dawn unfolding; saw the doubt,
And faith, and longing swaying her sweet heart;
And every flow just distancing the ebb.

I saw her try to bar the golden gates
Whence love demanded egress,—calm her eyes,
And still the tender, sensitive, tell-tale lips,
And steal away to corners; saw her face
Grow graver and more wistful, day by day;
And felt the gradual strengthening of my hold.
I did not stay to think of it—to ask
What I was doing!
“In the early time,
She used to slip away to household work
When I was there, and would not talk to me;
But when I came not, she would climb the glen
In secret, and look out, with shaded brow,
Across the valley. Ay, I caught her once—
Like some young helpless doe, amongst the fern—
I caught her, and I kissed her mouth and eyes;
And with those kisses signed and sealed our fate
For evermore. Then came our happy days—
The bright, brief, shining days without a cloud!
In ferny hollows and deep, rustling woods,
That shut us in and shut out all the world—
The far, forgotten world—we met, and kissed,
And parted, silent, in the balmy dusk.
We haunted still roe-coverts, hand in hand,
And murmured, under our breath, of love and faith,
And swore great oaths for one of us to keep.
We sat for hours, with sealèd lips, and heard
The crossbill chattering in the larches—heard
The sweet wind whispering as it passed us by—
And heard our own hearts' music in the hush.
Ah, blessed days! ah, happy, innocent days!—
I would I had them back.
“Then came the Duke,
And Lady Alice, with her worldly grace
And artificial beauty—with the gleam
Of jewels, and the dainty shine of silk,
And perfumed softness of white lace and lawn;
With all the glamour of her courtly ways,
Her talk of art and fashion, and the world
We both belonged to. Ah, she hardened me!
I lost the sweetness of the heathery moors
And hills and quiet woodlands, in that scent
Of London clubs and royal drawing-rooms;
I lost the tender chivalry of my love,
The keen sense of its sacredness, the clear
Perception of mine honour, by degrees,
Brought face to face with customs of my kind.

I was no more a “man;” nor she, my love,
A delicate lily of womanhood—ah, no!
I was the heir of an illustrious house,
And she a simple, homespun cottage-girl.

“And now I stole at rarer intervals
To those dim trysting woods; and when I came
I brought my cunning worldly wisdom—talked
Of empty forms and marriages in heaven—
To stain that simple soul, God pardon me!
And she would shiver in the stillness, scared
And shocked, with her pathetic eyes—aye proof
Against the fatal, false philosophy.
But my will was the strongest, and my love
The weakest; and she knew it.
“Well, well, well,
I need not talk of that. There came the day
Of our last parting in the ferny glen—
A bitter parting, parting from my life,
Its light and peace for ever! And I turned
To ***** and billiards, politics and wine;
Was wooed by Lady Alice, and half won;
And passed a feverous winter in the world.
Ah, do not frown! You do not understand.
You never knew that hopeless thirst for peace—
That gnawing hunger, gnawing at your life;
The passion, born too late! I tell you, friend,
The ruth, and love, and longing for my child,
It broke my heart at last.
“In the hot days
Of August, I went back; I went alone.
And on old garrulous Margery—relict she
Of some departed seneschal—I rained
My eager questions. ‘Had the poaching been
As ruinous and as audacious as of old?
Were the dogs well? and had she felt the heat?
And—I supposed the keeper, Colin, still
Was somewhere on the place?’
“ ‘Nay, sir,’; said she,
‘But he has left the neighbourhood. He ne'er
Has held his head up since he lost his child,
Poor soul, a month ago.’
“I heard—I heard!
His child—he had but one—my little one,
Whom I had meant to marry in a week!

“ ‘Ah, sir, she turned out badly after all,
The girl we thought a pattern for all girls.
We know not how it happened, for she named
No names. And, sir, it preyed upon her mind,
And weakened it; and she forgot us all,
And seemed as one aye walking in her sleep
She noticed no one—no one but the dog,
A young deerhound that followed her about;
Though him she hugged and kissed in a strange way
When none was by. And Colin, he was hard
Upon the girl; and when she sat so still,
And pale and passive, while he raved and stormed,
Looking beyond him, as it were, he grew
The harder and more harsh. He did not know
That she was not herself. Men are so blind!
But when he saw her floating in the loch,
The moonlight on her face, and her long hair
All tangled in the rushes; saw the hound
Whining and crying, tugging at her plaid—
Ah, sir, it was a death-stroke!’
“This was all.
This was the end of her sweet life—the end
Of all worth having of mine own! At night
I crept across the moors to find her grave,
And kiss the wet earth covering it—and found
The deerhound lying there asleep. Ay me!
It was the bitterest darkness,—nevermore
To break out into dawn and day again!

“And Lady Alice shakes her dainty head,
Lifts her arch eyebrows, smiles, and whispers, “Once
He was a little wild!’ ”
With that he laughed;
Then suddenly flung his face upon the grass,
Crying, “Leave me for a little—let me be!”
And in the dusky stillness hugged his woe,
And wept away his pas
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!—Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress—to assist the work
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself )
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers,—who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it;—they, too, who, of gentle mood,
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more wild,
And in the region of their peaceful selves;—
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart’s desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;
Wcre called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,—the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!
I left this town in 75
a dumb drunk ****

or as a friend once
poetically observed
"a beer quaffing linebacker"

but tonight I return
an enlightened poet
ready to recite
a stack of poems
eight years and two days
removed from my last drink

now relishing
the sweet intoxication
of drinking in
seas of words and letters,
brading a life's narrative with
solitary lifelines of truth

This town knew me

I know this town

The pomp and circumstance
of my high school commencement
occurred in this very place

I know the exact spot
near St. Mary
where Moose was killed
that awful
Good Friday evening.

After enjoying
the team revelry
at a Saturday Night
victory party;
I ran my hand across
the scarred Poplar
on West Passaic Avenue
that abruptly ended
Fic's life.

I slink past the house
filled with heinous memories
of my youth, cringing
through relived nightmares
of my father brutalizing
my naked mother in
an alcoholic rage;
and remain busy
trying to lick the still
raw sting of running wounds
inflicted by a mother
consumed with a
raging bitterness of
self righteous resentments.

Beer, *****,
Strawberry
Boone's Farm
and lotsa rolled bones
destroyed my family home,
murdered childhood
friends and greased
the wheels of
getaway cars in
fruitless attempts
to escape emotional
nightmares.

From where I stand
I can throw a stone
in any direction to mark
the scenes of
a hundred stories
that authored
the constitution
of me.

Across
the street
I can see
the lights burning
in the apartment where
Weehawken Joe
once lived.

Take a look.

He was crazier than
Tony Montana and
like Scarface not a
single lie could
be found in him;
he also possessed
the gift of
the best jump-shot
the Bulldogs ever had.

Years after I left town
I burst into tears
when Buns Hines
broke the news that
Weehawken  Joe
died of throat cancer.

Mortality is a
bitter truth
to swallow.

All along
Park Avenue
old commercial haunts,
save Varrelmann's Bakery
long gone.

Further up the street
my pilgrimage ends at the
WCW homestead.

In the fading light
of a glorious
autumn afternoon
the house appears
rundown, empty,
mournfully shabby.

On an upper floor
a lace curtain gently
flits and darts out an
open window.

I ponder
the words
still dwelling in
the dark closets
haunting the rooms
of this distressed edifice.

I wonder
how they now
sound?

The faint noises
hidden in
dusty corners
moaning a
ghostly presence,
creeping the halls,
clattering about
the kitchen,
bounding through
the living room
in an old beat-up
Red Wheelbarrow;
rolling along
moving to manifest
faintly whispered echos
into fully formed phrases;
liberating expressive sentiments
of a very blue house...

Eight years, two days
removed from a drink,
I'm grasping for letters
fumbling for the words
listening for sounds
churning within me
seeking to release
the revelations
of my truth.

Crosby, Stills Nash & Young
On the Way Home

William Carlos Williams Center
Rutherford NJ
10/02/13
"Go on forth young graduates,

And show us who you are

You're now our future leaders

We know you will go far"

And so commencement ended

Pictures done and people changed

Now, off to private parties

All orderly pre-arranged

But four young girls stood waiting

Until they were alone

"Let's head out to the party

And tomorrow, we shall phone,

Each other and we'll organize

Our final tete a tete

We'll plan something so special

A thing we haven't thought of yet!"

So, they went their separate ways

And they thought of all the places

That would hold a fitting luncheon

For their girls group "The 4 Aces""

They all got home around half past five

And all slept till half ten

After breakfast, phones were ringing

As they planned to meet again.

They picked a little tea house

called "Flavored Leaves of Green"

They would meet for a tea party

They would really make the scene

A week today they chose to meet

To celebrate together

They'd meet for tea and cakes

Regardless of the weather

And one more time, they'd choose to wear

The prom dress from that year

Big frilly hats, and long white gloves

and all that froo froo gear

The day arrived and they showed up

All ready for their tea

The Aces all decked again

Their luncheon was at three

The girls all talked about their plans

Of school and summer work

Two would council campers

While the other two would clerk

They loved their day and played the part

Of ladies with no cares

They knew it was the only time

They'd dine here, to be fair.

The final act of these four friends

Before they left and packed

Was to sign a pledge between them all

You could say, a small pact

"In twenty years from this day forth

We'll meet again for tea

On July twenty seventh

Of the year Two thousand three"

The sheet was signed and on their way

They booked their reservation

The girls all hugged and said goodbye

To end their celebration

Now time went by as it always does

And each girl went a different way

But in twenty years, they all looked forth

To meet again that day

The firtst Ace, Jill, went on to school

And married while she studied

She lost track of her Aces friends

Their paths were slightly muddied

She went to school in Omaha

A vet she chose to be

Her marriage lasted fifteen years

And...well, children...she had three.

Andi, chose to work instead

She left town to chase rainbows

She knew that here, her *** of gold

Would be wherever she chose

She moved out to Chicago

Where she was a big success

She became a photo artist

With a Lakeshore Drive address

Cindy, well...dear Cindy

Married five times through the years

Each one was shorter than the last

And one....just fifteen beers

They chose to split the very night

They they chose to become one

He left with her head bridesmaid

And the catfight....it was fun

Cindy spent two nights in jail

For beating up her beau

And she really laid a beating,

In her words, "Upon that **"

Lucy, never did leave town

But she let on that she did

For at high school graduation

She was pregnant with her kid

Her boy was born at Christmas

She did not even tell his dad

He was off to find his fortune

And she sometimes wished she had

But, she made up tales to tell her son

Of who his father was

But, she never told the truth to him

And that was her son's loss

She worked around the village

Never really getting out

She did her best for her son Jamie

There never was a doubt

She loved this boy with all her heart

And so she chose to stay

She'd sacrifice her future

And she'd dream of "just what may"

have happened to her if she left

If he had not been born

But, to her, a life with out him

Made her feel sad, forlorn

Twenty years past by so fast

The Aces plans were set

Each one had hoped the other

Would not dare to forget

Allthough good friends in high school

They'd never kept in touch

They went different directions

Their new lives, well....were their crutch

Cindy was the first to show

So, she stayed outside to smoke

When a voice came from behind her

And she knew just who had spoke

Lucy, grabbed her arm

And then she hugged her really tight

At least two of the four Aces

had remembered, got it right

They went inside to grab a seat

And Jill came in behind

And over by the bar was where

Andi, they would find

They all dressed up and wore big hats

And prom dresses as a lark

And they sat and told their stories

Of their lives till after dark

They vowed that they would stay in touch

And that they would converse

They all agreed they'd talk this time

And nothing could be worse

Than twenty years of silence

Between friends like the Four Aces

Even though they lived such different lives

They missed each other's faces

Another pact was signed this night

But this one for five years

To meet again for tea and cakes

And they signed it through their tears

Cindy left to catch her flight

and Andi left as well

Then Jill got up and hugged Lucy

And then she bade farewell

This left Lucy all alone

At the table all alone

When a gentleman came over

And he sat down with a groan

"Your party was successful"

Lucy smiled at his words

He was the tea house owner

A collector of rare birds

She thanked him for the party

It was one she could not miss

And on her way out past him

She gave him a light kiss

For not only did the tea room

Belong to this kind man

He was also her employer

For, 'twas his kitchen that she ran

You see, now it's been twenty years

Since they went to lead their lives

Some becoming so successful

Some becoming moms and wives

But Lucy, never left this burg

She raised her son alone

And she'd worked at this small tea house

It was her second home

She did not have the money

To come in as a guest

But her boss, was a sweetheart

And he'd made this night the best

Tomorrow she'd be back at work

Making meals for those who came

To the "Flavored leaves of Green"

and she'd be Lucy, once again..
..
For Kelly....
Nat Lipstadt Mar 2017
rose at the wee three hour,
to verify the factual, "they" have cancelled
this particular Tuesday in NYC due to celestial inclemency
named
ma Bella Stella

the guv and the mayor,
a creator's doctored note received
from the supreme being of their choosing,
** ** **, whaddya know, we city folk and grownup kids get a day off,
cause we got a special kind of cold, called a nor'easter

sho'nuff, an atmosphere perusal
shows a whiteout sensual ensual,
through a sleepy bedroom window,
visible the commencement of 18,
maybe 24, inches, can't be too sure

but it's all about safe over sorry which is why,
really good poets rewrite a new poem countless times

rose at the wee three hour,
a snowy add-on found to our raging winter,
a poem~note^ from you, patty girl,
about transition and juxtaposition
which leads me here, here being on the
writing couch roundabout the now wee hour of four

for the juxtaposition of the blizzard external
and your early-morning poetic missive
has transitioned to blizzard inferno internal,
visible the commencement of 18,
maybe 24, lines, with poetry, one can't be too sure

you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink,
you cannot lead a poet to certain words without making him think,
you phrased me a phrase, so consequential, guilty you are of
robbery in the first degree, stealing my mind in furtherance
no mas sleep

the providence words you provided shot off
so many alt-poem routed roots that I must now provide
a trigger warning to you dear reader, that I am near to
dangerously drowning in an internal blizzard of very
l e n g t h y poem possibilities

transition and juxtaposition

dumbstruck

are not our entire lives consistent of transitions
by the elemental random juxtaposition of
consequential accidental, just happen to happen happenings

to all my friends here,
how did our juxta-wooded paths happen to cross
we are citizen~strangers of the planet
Never Met
who exchange secrets and confidences as if we,
transitional, friends but, of one family born

dumbstruck

now past the five,
my torrential impulse powered thoughts
have slowed to tortoise speed
and someone has mercy on my soul
calls me back to the
snowed-in blissful bed

but this my parting pattyshot

if i ever get the shoulder tap,
"kid,would you like to update the
Five Books?"^^

I know instinctually intuit,
the first book, no more
Genesis

the first chapter of the
nattyman version
**Transitions and Juxtapositions
^" I decline
to align
my spirit or word
preferring instead
to tread
upon rules
CREATED
by
FOOLS

But the alignment of body and soul
defies
transition and juxtaposition,
as prayers unfold.
How beautiful is poetry
a raging rant or fervent plea,
expressed exquisitely.

hugs
patty m

^^the Five Books of Moses a/k/a the Old Testament
5:45am
march 14 2017
-------------
Storm Stella whips the US Northeast. The monster snowstorm, expected to bring winds of up to 60 mph and reduce visibility to zero, put 31 million people under a blizzard warning and has already resulted in the cancellation of over 7,000 flights and the Falcon 9 rocket. CNN predicts the heaviest snow between 6am and 9am ET.

— The End —