Monday, October 19, 2020

Four days, four moods, four poems

On four different days in four different years I was in four different moods and wrote four very different poems. They could have been written by four different people.

October 25, 2004

Our friend Carolyn came over for lunch
And as we finished at the table
Someone said, “Let’s go for a ride!”
So into the car we piled,
Like children giddy with anticipation,
Not knowing where we were headed
But eager to be having an adventure;
And someone said, “Where shall we go?”
And we said, “We don’t know!”
And someone else said, “Name a direction!”
And because the fall thus far at home
Had been drab and disappointing,
We headed north toward the mountains, laughing.

Five hours later we returned,
Tired but invigorated,
Having been to Helen and Unicoi Gap
And Hiawassee and Lake Chatuge,
Making all of the hairpin turns
And ascending, always ascending, until
We crested and began to descend
Through another set of hairpin turns,
And all the while we oohed and ahhed
And said how glad we were that we had come,
Drinking in the brilliant reds, the dazzling yellows,
The shocking oranges of autumn, the mountains ablaze
Against a clear blue sky.

Byzantine Christ

Naught else consumes me, naught but the prize,
Naught but the flicker of love in your eyes.
All else I flee from, all else abhor,
All else excoriate, all else deplore.

This is my one goal, this is my quest,
This my one hope, and away with the rest.
All else is vanity, all I despise;
Say me a silent Well Done with your eyes.

The Thing About His Poetry Is

it just lies there, flat as the proverbial
pancake, it doesn’t lift off the page
like a rocket bound for some distant
world, it doesn’t make your brain want to
soar into the blue. The herons are

never flying in his poetry and no stars
are ever mentioned; he wouldn’t recognize
a constellation if one hit him square
in the face. Your heart with rapture
never fills, there are no fields of
daffodils with which it can dance, in fact

dancing itself is pretty much
frowned upon in his economy,
it’s all business with him, cut and dried.
If his poetry were the financial section
of the newspaper there would always be
a bear market without the slightest hint

of hope, and in spite of all this
the public can’t get enough of him,
his books are all best sellers and
he’s making money hand over fist
even though the thing about his poetry is
it just lies there, flat as the proverbial


To Eleanor

The moon, falling softly on the sea;
The wind, moving gently through the grain;
And you, turning quietly to me –
......You three bring joy, silent joy that stills my pain.

The sea, which receives the moon’s caress;
The grain, which receives the wind’s soft touch;
And I, who receive your quietness –
......We three are blessed. No one else can know how much.

Over the years I have written around 40 poems in all. Some are better than others.



  1. I'm not a poet but, like most people, have attempted to string some words together on a few occasions. So I appreciate, to a small extent, what is involved mentally in wishing to create a poem. "Why?" I used to ask. I never received an answer. I'm not fit to judge your poems but, notwithstanding that, I can offer the view that I appreciated and enjoyed both the second and the last poems. I wondered why those two more than the other two. Then I noticed that their structure was different. Could it be that? I'm not sure. Perhaps I shall return later and see if my view has changed.

    1. Thank you, Graham, for commenting. I have been told by others that the first and third poems are really prose, not poetry. With that in mind, perhaps the reason you enjoyed the second and fourth examples has to do with rhythm and rhyme.

  2. I enjoyed all your poems and yes, they are all different but so are we at different times in our lives. I enjoyed the happiness and lightness in the first poem and the rhyme pattern and feeling in the second poem. The third poem makes me wonder what poet/writer you were talking about, and the final one is a very touching and gentle poem.

    I have written quite a lot of poetry since my teenage years and I still do occasionally. I rarely show my poetry to anyone though as it tends to be very personal. There is a special satisfaction and release in writing poetry in my opinion. Thank you for sharing yours.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Bonnie.. I deliberately chose four completely different poems for this post. I appreciate that you addressed each one individually. I had no particular poet in mind when I wrote the third one, and that is the truth.

  3. I enjoyed your poems! What a sweet poem to your wife!
    I never got the hang of writing poetry although I can come up with some funny Dr Seuss style rhymes.

    1. Kathy, thank you for your comments. “To Eleanor” is one of my favorites.

  4. You are a very good poet. You really "feel" the words. These poems are so different. Maybe you should put your poems in an e-book and send your nearest and dearest the link so that when you have gone they will know you better through your words - your poetry. Also - I hope you will write a few more to add to your forty. Poems about this and that, the future, the past and the here and now.

  5. Thank you, Neil. A compliment from you, being somewhat rare, is greatly appreciated in these parts. My muse seems to have taken an extended leave of absence, but one never knows when she may return.

  6. Byzantine Christ can be sung to the tune of Blessed Assurance.
    It speaks of total commitment, which doesn't surprise me, I appreciate the poetry as well as the sentiment.

    You're good!

    1. That is astounding! You are right about “Blessed Assurance”! I am blown away.

      Thank you for the compliment.

  7. Thinking of you. Hope all is well.

    1. All is well, Kathy. Thanks for asking. I took a few days off from blogging because Real life had become a bit hectic.


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