Courtesy DiegoPH on Unsplash
As days go by, as years go by, it seems
That love grows larger, stronger, more intense.
Around my head the aura daily teems
With waves of affection. The heightened sense
Of contentment and happiness abound
Because the love that fills my swelling heart
Defies all explanation. Just the sound
Of your voice inspires, awakens that part
Of me that only you can touch. I can
But only hope to make you see and feel
The reflection of your goodness. What man
Can do I vow to daily make a real,
Focused effort. I’m proud that you are mine,
I give you back my heart, My Valentine.
Big, bright, wide eyes. These are the future kings
And queens of the universe, if they choose
To exercise the power learning brings
To bear. To find a way to make great use
Of all the information set before
Those wide, bright eyes. There is no way to stop
A motivated climber yearning for
A way upward, to reach the mountaintop
Of his—or her— personal realm. They’ll learn
That the only obstacle is the one
They think they can’t overcome. But to earn
That hard-fought prize, to know that they have won
All they desire, they will have to believe
That they can. Only then will they achieve.
I cannot know what it means to be Black
In America. Neither can I know
What it means to be a woman. See, back
In my youth I learned what it meant to go
Anonymous amid oppression. It’s
A simple thing to disappear when life
Presents barriers to those whose bits
Of DNA condemn them to the strife
Of standing out. My ease at who I am
Informs an entitlement that I bear
Uneasily. Naive, I smiling ran
Like a cretin, a rube, without the fear
About which others prayed. But now it’s plain…
A white man cannot understand their pain.
We walked together, not yet hand in hand
Along the boards, along the ocean’s edge.
A needed friendship, footprints in the sand,
But long before we knew there’d be a pledge
Of love, of honor, faithfulness, and troth.
We opened up deep wounds of recent pain,
We shared some hidden secrets that we both
Had long vowed not to share. Time and again
On early summer morning walks we spoke
Of things that mattered, of things that did not,
But care was always taken ‘til we broke
Through to a deeper, inner tight-wound knot
That, when untied, revealed the empty holes
That love would fill, and thus unite two souls.
You came to me when I was upside down,
When smart and kind and calm were just the salve
To soothe and smooth, to see beyond the frown,
To give to me the gift I had to have.
I came to you, a crossroad up ahead,
Two paths: escape from entropy to plot
A way forward with a plan; or to tread
Still water ‘til a lifeline showed its knot.
We came together in a time of need
Unknown. Two separate souls searching to find
What we didn’t know we wanted. A seed
Took hold, a buried golden vein was mined.
Now twenty-five years on, I still believe
You are, as then, the reason that I breathe
In times of crisis one cool head prevails;
In times of plenty pragmatism rules.
She will not be seen going off the rails,
Neither will she be seen all draped in jewels.
With strength of character, driven by love;
Driven by right and wrong; driven by need
To protect; driven by something to prove;
She’ll get to understanding; at great speed,
To clarity. Her world demands a force
That pushes through difficulty with smart—
And kind—choices and actions. They’re the source
Of all her wisdom, thoughtfulness, and heart.
No one should doubt she’s ready to fulfill
Her goals, if only by her depth of will.
it’s incomprehensible. All alone
Even as those in my life nearby fear
The dreadful future humans face. Unknown
Is what lies ahead. I cannot appear
Racked with anxiety for those I love,
Vulnerable and young, not yet equipped
To deal with such horrors. It’s mine to prove
An inner strength a resolve, with tight-lipped
Determination not to fall prey to
The vagaries of the uninformed mind
That would poison the tough, courageous few
Who soldier on in the face of the blind,
The ignorant, for whom turning away
Is how they cope, what gets them through the day.
We sit, alone together, passing time,
When what we’d rather do, me and my wife:
Go out, spend time with friends, find hills to climb,
Go play, get drunk, make love, get on with life.
The things we take for granted give us pause
And help us to appreciate the things
That, in those better times we seek, because
The need for acquisition never rings
The alarm bell that reason ought to sound
When we forget what values mean. To think
About what’s real and what’s not brings us round
Again to what we want or need. The blink
Of an eye can alter our perspective,
Can turn us round to assess how we live.
Photo by: Jeff Finley on Unsplash
Her majesty is everywhere we turn,
From grand expanse of azure going red
Above our head at day’s end, to the burn
Of her blazing, white-hot light on the dead
And endless fields of parched western deserts.
The miracle of nature’s vast control
Of what feckless human endeavor hurts
With its destructive ways reveals the soul
Of a force greater than what we can kill
With mindless greed. Her strength is time. She can
Outplay, outwit, outlast, exert a will
Far greater than the dreadful, mortal man.
The majesty will survive. We may not.
We acquiesce, or die, as it grows hot.
It’s not another number, but a state
Of mind. You get older if you allow
Yourself to do that evil thing, but wait–
You’re really getting better. Only now
You have the wisdom youth can never know.
And beauty? It’s a transitory thing,
Perceived as a treasure by those who go
To awful lengths to seek the golden ring
Of artificial youth. But I, who live
A wondrous life, a gift from one who sees
What lies beneath, know true beauty. I give
To you a peaceful respite beneath trees
That worship longevity. May this prove
To you that what I treasure is your love.