We hie to meet on the crest
Of that far off north hill
Beyond the befogged dale
And hope to remember still
Old promises to share
And dreams to keep
Deep into a dark cold night—
Wherever lost is our chance to sleep.
Where has our 7-throned dragon flown?
Can the slaughter of Irpul be forgiven?
Where has conscience and care and mercy
And plain humanity been off driven?
But find me in the womb of the dale,
Mountain tops are for lords and masters;
My path leads to despair and slogged trial
Cleaning up after others’ so well-planned disasters.
The commander points us towards Kyiv—
The butcher bill is yet but half-paid.
The game goes on, we put in our ante,
All the corpses sweetly in tight alignment laid.
Moscow rest on a fresh sea bottom;
Would the Kremlin be chasing after
And I can return home to clean off
The cobwebs that enshroud the bare rafter?
Hah, how the yankees stand supporting Ukraini
Hiding behind those NATO euro-skirts!
But tis time to stand and march for hilltops,
No matter if back, soul, and eye hurts.
One day I hope to walk past that far crest…
Commander says Attack! I guess it’s for the best.
Fog and Fireflies
The fog rolled in
And left me insufficiently clear
The reason for the day
Was made overwhelmingly dear
13 crashed the truck
9 angels departed Midland
The Vladomyrrs remain stuck
With Ares flames fully fanned
Then the sun rearose
Warming our sad refrain
Hope akindles slowly
For our brothers in Ukraine
The fog rolled out
And we’re left with tears anyway
We wish you brighter hopes
On this too-dark St Patrick’s Day
Wait for the fireflies to wing you evensong cheer
Pray that soon all brothers can live in the clear
Do You Mean Me?
Are those soft words meant for me?
Is it now safe to settle into tranquility?
Icy rains ahead on roads fog-wrapped
Fleeing a love wherein I was once trapped.
Twelfth Night revelers muster at the Carrollton barn
Their annual trek to recover their childhood yarn:
Hey, throw me something mister!
Hey, don’t look that way at my sister!
Meet me at The Avenue and Seventh
Of course! Bring your cousin Kenneth!
Doubloons, cups, beads, catch the daylight;
Oh baby, kiss me good; sweetie, hug me tight.
And so Hump Day with ashes full arrives
And recriminations cut with dull knives—
I only kissed her once on a day care forgot.
We’re done, that’s it, you’d rather not—
Why is life in the thirties so stupid?
Aren’t we adults, who killed Cupid?
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness,
Into that snare of wrong turns;
To put down hard roots
Into a newer unloved land;
Grasping, weak and missing—
Another lost kite string over the hedge;
Another lost thing we swore to keep;
Living a clueless life over the edge
As now I lay me down to sleep?
Are those soft words meant for me?
Is it now safe to settle into tranquility?
Diseases and ruin now arrive to drag us back home.
My armor was never silver but warehouse chrome.
O, to die in Ashland, intox’ed by her clackety-clack.
Just to home return, but you can never ever go back.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie
A catastrophe of old goslings
Came sauntering on by
Hunting perhaps some pumpkin
Or, maybe yet, a little pecan pie
A horrendous howl of honking
Sliced thru the early morning’s fog
Perturbing the pigs and piglets
Of our farmers: Mr. and Mrs. B. Hogg
Seems our geese were quite giddy
Having been passed over for the block;
So, Thanksgiving would could be grand
For our fancy pastry-chasing flock
Peering perkily from yon copse,
Sally Gossamer Wingstep did risk a look
At the scene of gosling and farm
That rested askew beside the country brook
The winds nappered around from the North
Painting trees and cheeks in orange and red;
Our woodland fairie was on a mission
Having come in place of her ill cousin instead
Beyond the span of the Hoggs’ Farm
A fig tree grew splendid, round, and high
With just the right, rich and sweet fruit
To go in the Queen’s Holiday Figgerry Pie
Sally soared high up the loaded boughs
Selecting the most succulent figs to bag;
Thence to return to the Queen’s Kitchen—
Now weighed sore down, causing her flight to badly sag!
Overloaded Sally collapsed just past the copse;
The goslings saw, then quick-wobbled over to assist;
Flapping wings, cheery honking, and madness
Cut thru the thick new holiday’s swirling mist
Fairie and catastrophe arrived in a tumble;
Hooray, the figs to cook were delivered!
A freshened wind rolled thru the trees
Sending leaves reddening and beshivered
Sally asked how could she ever thank them
As they’d helped finish her mission on the fly—
And there on the morrow, our heroic of goslings
Munched on some of her Majesty’s Best Pumpkin Pie!
Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t forget to have some pie!
Young Love Pauses
Marcus V Featherstone winged about the morning mist
Contemplating marvelousness if Sally G. he might have kissed
But she’s far too grand, he thinks, for one as insignificant as he
Perhaps if he completed the Annual Race to the toppermost of the Queen’s Tree
The he might could just barely maybe conclude he warrants the attention of said miss
Sally G. foraged amongst the garland vines of fairykind’s farthest field
She commanded by the memory of a certain someone’s cool violet eyes to yield
But he’s far too grand, she thinks, for one as insignificant as she
Perhaps if she completed the Annual Race to the toppermost of the Queen’s Tree
Then she could just might perhaps sort of conclude she warrants his attention to wield
The morning of the Annual Race dawned a foggy and clammy-close though yet Grand Affair
But such was the history and joy of the Queen’s Event that most of fairies did nae much care
But that few reached the canopy and much warning was about the hazards of such a quest
Some trained for years, and though many many failed to summit, they all tried their honest best
Oh, but at Start Time, the mist cleared, the skies blued, and the weather could be a day most fair
Marcus V. would go the southern approach and make his noble stab for glory
Sally thought after the eastern boughs to write the best of her winged story
Neither knew of the others flight plan or even that they would be there
Neither thought the other could possibly think this would be a thing wise to dare
Oh, then clouds shrouded the Sun and the gathering mists promised to turn the day most hoary
Lost in the dark and the fluff Sally alighted on the next promising soft tree bough
Crushed in the knowledge of this failure: what, oh what would she do now
Flying way off course, Marcus drifted ever and more further east
Summiting the Queen’s Tree seemed a dream to be cast off as a need least
But a far soft keening did Marcus and Sally perceive, but to reach the fairy, how
Working bough to bough, the two young winglets sought to help the crying one
Shaking off disappointment as this had been their plan for a heart to be won
Sally got there first to find a wee fairy far too high for his own good
Trying to impress a stern lofty Father as if such heroics ever ever could
Marcus arrived shortly after, tamping down his joy for the good that needed to be done
Down the tree Marcus and Sally silently escorted their frightened cold charge
Stealing glances at each other, young love paused, though their longing loomed large
His Mother flew up to embrace her naughty though ever brave young son
Father too weeping flew up to his boy, holding his loved and cherished one
Sally and Marcus feathered off, such a familial scene they knew not into barge
Marcus V Featherstone flutterbuzz-winged about the morning mist
Sally G foraged amongst the garland vines of fairykind’s farthest field
Remembering how the moment came when longing caused something to yield
And at the foot of the Queen’s Tree, as Marcus made his thanks, his cheek Sally had kissed!
But Sally Gossamer Wingstep already was planning to train for next year’s Queen Tree’s Race
The Granite, The Bouquet, and The Sad
The light followed the star over the hill
As the fog rolled in with the cold
Twas a different kind of Christmas story
At least as far as I remember what I was told
A deep abiding affection afflicted the old man
And finally had the means to fulfill a promise
And many, many lonely miles he did trudge to deliver
A last bouquet of daisies to lay before his one fair miss
In younger, luckier days our man had paid fervent troth
To she who now dwelt in yon granite sarcophagus,
But a wrong spoken word had ended it all forever;
Such a piteous loss as to be endured by any one of us.
But our Vanity is a grievously jealous mistress;
And he could not, would not forgive, the slight by his true love.
Such tragedy our old man had scripted in a cold bile ink,
Disparaging of her and placing his wounded veil above.
Carole, the second beauty born of Marble Falls
On one lank Christmas Day between the great wars,
Loved above all Nature’s beauties the blue daisy—
She would fill her Mother’s pots, trestles, and jars.
Silas, our poor fool from a far crescent city east,
Would bring bouquets of blue daisies to ply his troth,
And won her heart, and a date sure was firmly set—
What could possibly set aside such as this Love’s oath?
A sorry, sad mistake came to undo our lover’s story:
Carole observed unartfully our Silas over harsh tone:
As blasted to the quick, Silas cast off his cheery mantle,
And demanded keenly by Carole to be left forever alone!
Oh, Silas! One word passed without art has chilled thee so?
And bereft of her future, our shaken Carole turned to leave.
Only alone, later in his poor ivory tower of hot wind and pride
Would he see his error and allow himself to grieve.
Carole, the second beauty born of Marble Falls,
Would later, at last, marry fairly well, if not too grand.
Silas, alone, tended to his vanity and found old age,
But twas Carole to first find her final rest at Death’s hand.
Silas, hearing of Carole’s passing, fell slow to his knees
And swore a prideless oath to take every Christmas Day,
In honor of Carole, his cast-off joy, a last birthday gift:
A simple arrangement in a pristine blue daisy bouquet.
The light faded over the hill after the star found its new home.
The old man had placed his bouquet when his heart beat its last.
The fog blanketed the granite and the bouquet and the sad.
Is loneliness the grand prize for a wrong word lost to the past?
Not all Christmases are all tinsel and cheer—
Silas and Carole speak to us in more mature themes.
Please, this Yule, find it inside you to forgive and forget
Or woe may scuttle your fonder, finer, future dreams.