He Had No Favorites

1980’s poetry. Enjoy.

Beyond Panic

He had no favorites.

He loved them all.

He would hold them in bunches and bundles

until his hands and arms were filled

Though they loved him,

they would not always go willingly

They flourished elsewhere

in other worlds

in other times

in other limbos

When they left him,

he cried for them all.

He had no favorites.

© Alfred W. Smith Jr.

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And Yes, I Still Believe in Love

And yes, I still believe in love
I still believe it’s there
It’s trembling out there somewhere in
the frosty winter air

Or trapped inside a mountain cave
from which it can’t escape
because it fell while running out
and gave its knee a scrape

Or floating on the raging sea
and looking for a light
to guide it safely home to shore
before it’s out of sight

Perhaps it’s on a city street
outside at a café
You didn’t hear it call your name
and hurried on your way

Perhap it’s somewhere crying for
it cannot find a heart
that seems to want to keep it and
not tell it to depart

So when we say we ‘look for love’
that happens to be true
I still believe it’s out there and
it’s looking for us too.

When I Walk the Streets of Paris (for Annie)

When I walk the streets of Paris

you won’t be beside me,

but you will be there.

And I will converse with you in

a terrible French accent to make

you laugh

A yellow rose,

the kind you loved best,

I will leave at the top of

the Eiffel Tower

Another, tossed into the Seine

to float downriver like a wish

now come true,

A bright and beautiful bloom

in the crepuscular evening

I will take pictures where your memory

will fill the empty spaces.

Your smile unseen, but felt.

In the bistro, I will flirt

with the waitress and ask her

if ‘oo-la-la’ is really a thing,

(and ask her to say it, even if it’s not)

I will visit the Louvre

and admire the

incomprehensible paintings

with indecipherable meanings

In the outdoor café

I will order two cups

of coffee, and

leave yours untouched.

And on the last night,

standing on the balcony,

listening to the melancholy melody

of an accordion

below in the courtyard,

I will toast us with a glass of red wine,

Celebrating the fact that we finally got here

And now,

we’ll always have Paris.

Within

Within the world

we wandered

and walked without

a care

 

Within our hearts

we reached

and opened them

so they were bare

 

Within ourselves

we wondered

at what the other

sought

 

Of that bare heart

within us

we offered without

thought

 

And so within our love

without the world

we left behind

 

Without a backward glance

we closed the door and

drew the blind

 

And deep within each other

we put our trust and fears

and then discovered real love

is not without its tears

 

And so without you

now I live within my memories

 

The tears within my eyes will stay

I’ll live without love, please.