No Quiet Silence

There is no quiet silence.

there’s the turning of the page,

a peal of laughter,

a snatch of conversation, innocuous and inane,

the rush of wind over the ears,

the rustling sway of wind-dancer branches,

the susurration of the sea,

the cracking of the baking soil,

the buzz and click and hum of droning insects,

the sizzle of fires

the churning core of the world birthing mountains

the hiss and patter of the blizzard’s snowfall

the wail of the newborn,

the dying sigh of the old.

And death itself is only sleep,

as restless spirits manifest to tell us all:

There is no quiet silence.

 

Bereft

The westering sun feels good

across my shoulders,

but it will not be up

much longer.

 

The days shorten, and soon

Winter’s teeth

will nip and pull

on Autumn’s dry teats.

 

The narrow crag

between

the high cliffs

bids me enter.

 

And I know the diasporic eyes

of the cave dwellers

will mark my passing.

 

My sword in hand,

useless against their numbers,

yet all I have,

may one day tell the bloody tale

of what happened here.

 

There will be no light to guide me,

for even the stars fear to shine on this place.

 

My soul begins its dirge,

and I step into

my story’s end.

 

Long Road, Short Time

Splash, skip

jump, flip

stick your tongue out

pout your lip

 

Grow, play

run, pray

getting taller

every day

 

Chores, toys

birthday joys,

making friends with

girls and boys

 

School, sports

jeans, shorts

staying focused

out of sorts

 

College years,

drinking beers,

childish anger,

grown-up fears.

 

Career, life

children, wife

Partners team to

deal with strife

 

Kids adults now,

partners old,

summer years

turn into gold.

 

Partner leaves,

one remains, wipes away

the teary stains

 

sits, porch

love’s torch,

lonely heart is

feeling scorched.

 

silence, loud

family crowd,

grandson gently

pulls the shroud

 

Broke hearts

tears flow

in the ground

they watch you go.

 

end of days,

end of rhyme.

 

Long Road,

short time.

 

Let These Words be True

So when all is said and done,

and I’ve seen my final sun,

and the final tale is spun,

who will say what I have won?

 

Have I touched a human life?

Relieved someone else’s strife?

Offered comfort, peace, and love

to someone I’d rather shove?

 

Have I made a small child smile?

Did I walk the extra mile?

Did I listen for awhile?

Aided someone through a trial?

 

Did my giving of a gift

give a trodden spirit lift?

Did my words that gave approval

lead to heavy load’s removal?

 

Did the music that I play

brighten someone else’s day?

Did the lessons that I taught

make the out-of-reach get caught?

 

Perhaps I will never know,

for I do it as I go.

From the surgeon to the skater,

plant a seed that may grow later.

 

May these words I write be true.

May they be true of you, too.

When Evening Falls

When evening falls

I come to this place.

I like the way the colors of night

gather to say goodbye

to the colors of day.

 

The birds claim their beds

with songs of belonging,

and the rustling brush whispers

as the chipmunks find their dens.

 

The evening stars

peer through the forest canopy,

bright and clear.

 

A bright moon pokes its shiny face

over a distant mountain like a child

burrowing from under the covers

to favor me with a smile.

 

And somewhere nearby

is the sound of running water

I’ve never tried to find.

 

I name it

Evening Falls,

and take the pleasant path

toward home.

 

 

Plunder

Into my life you came,

bold against the rising sun,

your wind-tossed locks alluring,

your bright, bold eyes searing.

 

And I opened my chest to give you the contents

of its heart, and at first you treasured them.

The glorious days of sailing with you

were warm and secure, with clear skies and

wide horizons.

 

But in time, you craved not the warmth of my heart,

preferring the cold hardness of gems and coins.

Not the stable strength of my arms,

but the fickle roll of riches.

 

Turning yourself to seawater,

you slipped from my grasp

and left me no choice, set me adrift

with no anchor, no oar.

 

Under the stars my heart withered.

The sun-kissed days grew dank with brine,

and the raucous racket of overbold gulls

pursued my foundering lifeboat.

 

I dreamed that in a reef of nascent coral

I put the seawater to my lips as if to kiss you

once more,

but therein lied a fatal thirst,

and under a high tide moon,

I spilled it and left it behind.

 

What remains ahead is unknown, uncharted,

yet with a sense of direction and purpose,

of longing fulfilled, a calling realized.

As the gull calls fade, the windsong rises.

 

And I know that in the distance,

a paradise awaits my arrival.

I shield my eyes from the sunlight

dappling the dancing waves,

and sail on to fate’s warm hearth,

alone

but finally

free.

Silent Thunder

I heard it call

so clearly.

Nearly went deaf

from the

rumbling roar

of its

cloud shattering fury.

I walked the beach

alone

that rainy day

and watched the heavens

darken.

Harken to the 

thunder’s commands.

Lightning pulled its

pale lavender tresses down

and kissed the ocean’s face

in heated passion.

Crashing, the waves

sent their foamy fingers

to shackle anchors

to my ankles

and pull me inside

and down

to drown

in fluid beauty.

Drawn to the edge, I wandered.

Challenging.

Foolish.

And the thunder saw me

and ceased its call,

cut its command.

I waited, dreading what I wanted

until

the panoramic parting

of the clouds

let through a patch

of wan sun.

The thunderous voice

began to soften,

and finally, mercifully

went silent.