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.

The Climb

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.

Atlantic City

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. 

Stay the Course…

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.

A Birthday Wish

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.