The Dance

We dance in the night, you in scarlet sheath,

Bodies swaying, so close I feel your heart

Beat fast and faster, your sweet, fragrant breath

Lingers warm and inviting. Then we start

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A slow, passionate rhythm, to the beat

Of distant music drifting on the strand,

There for other lovers. In the fierce heat

Of a tropical night, you press your hand

Into mine, come to me insistent, we’re

Face to face, hips to hips, lips gently touch,

Whisper words that only hearts can hear.

The message clear, the urgency too much

To ignore, we fall together and give

In to the primal need for which we live.

Fading Memories

I see her standing strong against the tide

Of fading memories that bring her, still,

Great moments of happiness. Can the ride

Into the future bring her one more thrill?

And one more? And one more? In quiet times

Alone what does she see, what does she think?

Can she find solace in a book of rhymes,

Words from Hunter’s mind, perhaps, or the plink

Of Jerry’s banjo, or the two combined

To make poetry she danced to at night?

Alone with her thoughts, a struggle while her mind

Whirls to music of her own making. Might

She find contentment living in the glow

Of the sweet memories she wants to know.


Photo by: Donald Gianatti on Unsplash

Of all the things we daily do, it seems

We take for granted little miracles:

Poppies. Raindrops. Hummingbirds. Dogs. The dreams

We dream. The random tiny lyrical

Moments that come and go, that bring us joy

When least expected. How can we slow down

The pace of the life we live? We employ

A handful of tricks and treasures which, known

To us when, in desperate need, we dig deep

Into reserves of untapped strength to find

A smile, a nod, a pleasure, so we weep,

As emotion gives us time to unwind.

I can control, direct my attitude.

And I can fill my days with gratitude.

My Hero

She was my hero once, she was my joy,

A mighty and an independent soul

Who brought comfort to a lost, flailing boy

Grown up too soon and struggling for control

Of a life out of sorts. I watched her bring

Sympathy and empathy in a time

Of desperate need, when such a simple thing

Seemed beyond the grasp of a confused mind

Shattered by events misunderstood, when

Nothing made sense. Her mature words were balm

To a family needing just that. And then

Bearings found, we all found a sense of calm.

Dear Nicki, you changed my life, this I know.

You’re with me now, and everywhere I go.


You cared for them, you’ve nurtured them it seems

For all our time together. It has been

Both joy and challenge. Your open heart teems

With love and empathy. One can’t begin

To comprehend the depth to which your love

Goes for those whose lives you’ve shaped, given skills

To navigate a crooked path. Above

All else you gave them strength to mount those hills

That stand between their place and lofty goals,

That present those obstacles in the way

Of success. You’ve helped them define their roles

As strong, wise, capable women today.

The fruits of those you’ve nurtured foreword go

And leave their mark—and yours—for all to know.

Dancing into Oblivion

@CallumSkelton on Unsplash

The deep recesses of the scattered mind

Buzz viciously, informing crazy thoughts

Of carnivals and suicides that wind

Around each other, tangled up in boughs

Of twisted memories. In saner days

The pounding releases my busy brain

To cope with what’s in front. But in the craze

Of here and now, the repeating refrain

Of a world gone mad comes too close to home.

It brings with it a spinning, whirling gyre

From which escape is possible in some

Alternate moment, but onto a wire

Strung across the universe. I balance

Carefully. This is not a place to dance.


In a distant land a tyrant brings storm

And destruction to a good people whose pride

Exceeds all the madman can bring. While torn

To bits by fire from above, they won’t hide

In fear, but rather stand up, take the fight

To the aggressor. The bully can’t bring

Enough heat to make them tremble. Their plight

Has gained our rapt attention as they cling,

Courageous and determined, to the ledge

Of survival, never once looking down

Into the abyss of failure. Their pledge

To the generations future and past

Is to hold dear a freedom that will last.


What is this thing that poisons all our hope,

That keeps us separated, leaves us ache

For human touch? We work so hard to cope

With the loneliness we endure. We make

Excuses to ourselves that we can deal

With the pain of isolation. We lie

To each other, pretending that we feel

As if this isn’t cause enough to cry

Out in desperation. To those we crave,

The pain of separation is acute.

We fool ourselves, pretending to be brave,

But longing for one touch is absolute.

The solitude we treasured for so long

Is overwhelmed by a need to belong

Growing Together

The love we share is deeply treasured. Now

As ever, I discover new and deep

Connections. Years don’t diminish the vow

I made to honor you. I try to keep

Finding new and different ways to tell

You how much love I have to share with you.

The effortless grace you exude, the well

Of deep kindness and caring are the glue

That holds this ship together as our lives,

Complicated and challenging, sail through

These difficult times—more than that—survive,

As anxiety swirls around us. You

Make me a better man, this much I know.

I’m grateful that you’re here, to help me grow.

Faces of Stone

Faces of stone, a village underground,

Community of heroes, every one

With a hard-earned tale. When no one is around

They keep a silent vigil ‘till the sun

Comes round again to warm the earth above

Their resting place. They left a legacy

For us the living, with unfading love

For their time with us. With eyes closed we see

Their spectre dancing through our consciousness,

To conjure valiant acts. We shan’t pretend

Their sacrifice to make a hard world less

Troubled didn’t forestall a violent end.

In their brave service we must seek release 

From lasting grief and find a place of peace.