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Patience in the pass of time
Resurrects the need of mine
To ponder why, the where, the when
Mankind's courage tends to bend.
Be it in the space of fear
When a threat, perhaps, is near,
Be it in when a smarter man
Outwits with a sharper plan?
What the odds when she who smiles
Condescends our lesser wiles?
Painful should we all rescind
To insecurity's foul wind.

Why the quickened, racing pulse
As faster challengers convulse?
When hesitation in the heart
Circumvents the courage part?
Where that moments damning pause
Kills legality's last clause?
A gathered sweat on worried brow
Nervous twitching reveals, now,
Courage fled on wings of steel
Crystalizing what is real...
Hollow symptoms, (plain to me),
Timidity's complicity!.

M.
18 July 2021
I see more and people standing back, not wanting to get involved while
the heavies walk all over them. Timidity seems contagious in that most won't stick their neck out and back themselves. Whatever happened to the pride engendered by a performance involving courage and self respect?
Whatever happened to self esteem?
A mirror will suffice, no doubt.
The high furrowed forehead,
The heavy-lidded Asian eyes,
The long-lobed Indian ears.
Brown skin beginning to spot,
Of an age to bore and be bored.
I turn away, knowing too well
My face, my expression
For all seasons, my half-smile.

Birds flit about the feeder,
The dog days wane, and I
Observe the jitters of leaves
And the pallor of the ice-blue beyond.
I read to find inspiration. I write
To restore candor to the mind.
There are raindrops on the window,
And a peregrine wind gusts on the grass.
I think of my old red flannel shirt,
The one I threw away in July.
I would like to pat the warm belly of a
Beagle or the hand of a handsome woman.
I look ahead to cheese and wine,
And a bit of Bach, perhaps,
Or Schumann on the bow of Yo-Yo Ma.

I see the mountains as I saw them
When my heart was young.
But were they not a deeper blue,
shimmering under the fluency of skies
Radiant with crystal light? Across the way
The yellow land lies out, and standing stones
Form distant islands in the field of time.
here is a stillness on this perfect world,
And I am content to settle in its hold.
I turn inward on a wall of books.
They are old friends, even those that
Have dislodged my dreams. One by one
They have shaped the thing I am.

These are the days that swarm
Into the shadows of legend. I ponder.
And when the image on the glass
Is refracted into the prisms of the past
I shall remember: my parents speaking
Quietly in a warm familiar room, and
I bend to redeem an errant, broken doll.
My little daughter, her eyes brimming
With love, beholds the ember of my soul.
There is the rattle of a teacup, and
At the window and among the vines,
The whir of a hummingbird’s wings.
In the blue evening, in another room,
There is the faint laughter of ghosts,
And in a tarnished silver frame, the
likeness of a boy who bears my name.
A Benign Self-Portrait
N. Scott Momaday - 1934-
It was old
built of rough local stone,
mud and rough sawn
native pine.

There was a crack
down one corner
wide enough
to insert your hand.

No toilets
or running water,
just two foot tracks
over the hill
to the nearby creek,
one for girls
and one for boys.

A wobbly teacher’s desk,
a dozen or so
old student desks
and two chalk-boards
on easels
were the only furnishings.

It was winter –
dry, desert cold,
with morning frosts
and a freezing daytime wind.

For warmth
we’d feed a pine log
through the doorway
into the open fireplace
to feed a meagre fire,
our only source of warmth.

I keep a photograph of it still,
though the memory is so rich.
The chalkboard date is
24th April 1963,
although I had started there
three weeks earlier
on April Fools Day,
but it was no prank.
This was a place of learning,
and I was both teacher and a learner.
Mostly written for myself and our grandchildren, but why not share it.
salute to the heroes
who battle the blaze
of raging infernos
with billowing haze

they drop into combat
in smouldering heat
a ****** forest
holds little retreat

brothers* in arms
who forge the attack
scaling the landscape
with 60 lb packs

down in the valleys
and up through the hills
hectares burning
as time stands still

bombers and copters
descend from the air
as dozers dig trenches
with no time to spare

the enemy rages
and embers rush
the firestorm flames
consume the brush

an evening ignited
in blood orange sky
candling trees
with tinder dry

may we always remember
the fighters of flames
who battle the burn
without any fame

saving families, and cities
wildlife and ward
a charred streaked face
their quiet reward
*and sisters!

🔥…ignited by sparks
or a discarded roach,
when using the forest
mind your approach! 🔥
My heart could not beat without his
so small
so delicate
in a world of its own

I have known grief and tragedy
heartache and lost
the blue loneliness of depression
as cold and dark as an empty sea

I have known love
in many different faces
in many different ways
I have walked through
its endless fields
of flowers burning
in the palms of eternity

but this love
in his heart

it is born from legends
of fairy tales forgotten
prayers from old gods
whose name we never knew
the magic and wonder
that is only found
in the heart of children

all children

and how blessed are we
to know their smiles
and to hear their laughter
to be touched by
their infinite wisdom

so simple
so true
so beautiful

how is it that we have forgotten
we too were once children
how did we lose our way
where in our education
were we taught the things
that stripped us
of our own magic and wonder

and will we be foolish enough
to hand this same education
down to our children too

hope

at times is a heavy burden
a burden we must not drop
a burden we must carry
for our children sit atop this hope
they play and laugh
and imagine
within this hope
they carry and protect
the love of wonder and magic

here in this hope
is their better tomorrow
their better world

I squeeze him a little tighter
and a little longer
hoping he will manage
to hold onto his childish wisdom
despite his education

and I feel his little heart
echo against mine

so small
so delicate
building a world of its own
Take my advice, I’m not using it.
thinking you know what but not knowing the how.
Dystopia holds the key
To this worlds future misery,
Coagulates the values old
Man, in times past, used to hold.
Flocculates the chances caste
To, wherein once, the Gods might ask
Why seek this path to empathy
In thy chosen, cold, eternity?

M.
16 June 2021
Planet Earth
A response to Patty M's chilling verse, "Where are the Children?"


'
He wants to shake the moss off his
back and leave the tadpoles behind.
They remind him of his misspent youth, and
wasted spring.  The blackbird sings of
blue skies, far off lands,
and the bullfrog dreams of flying.
Oh, to not be stuck.
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