Lullaby

When you sang to your baby boy
did other hearts not fill with joy
those few who just happened to hear?
for even on their darkest day
your lullaby would chase away
every doubt and pain and fear
the angels never sang like this
nor heard the pure exquisite bliss
of your song, most precious and dear

 

The Journey

My train of thought rolls down the track
I know it’s never coming back
the station master waves good-bye
a single tear falls from his eye
the whistle blows, she rounds the bend
the signal of my journey’s end
I do not grieve, I don’t regret
I take my leave and I forget

 

The Stone of the Unknown, West Point Cemetery

Ye Grave,

Your word confronts me with a start
and makes its way into my heart
inscribes itself and will not leave
so for this one I too now grieve

who gave his life and even more
is there a soul that can ignore
unknown whose fame will surely last
above, beyond and unsurpassed

unknown for whom our flags unfurl
unknown for whom the bagpipes skirl
unknown but by no means forgot
this hero, all that I am not…

…unspoken but forever heard
can more be said in just one word?

 

The Poets

Within each heart there lives a rhyme
that transcends space and transcends time
and in each soul exquisite verse
spontaneous and unrehearsed
the challenge through eternity
to lose our selves and set them free

 

Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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29 Responses

  1. Rohini

    These are all so beautiful and sad, they all have a soft quiet rhythm which is strangely calming.

    Reply
  2. Evan M.

    Thank you, Joe, for the wonderful poetry. “The Journey” strikes me most as a I enter middle age and say goodbye to my youth. A sublime poem. My own Mother’s Day poem to add below (composed with the help of my 9-year-old daughter)…

    Mother’s Day, May, 2018

    The Mother stands above
    the fray,
    Where shines for her our love
    this day.

    For when the nights are dim
    and gray,
    And when we wish dawn’s rim
    of day

    Would come to warm the cold
    away,
    Our thoughts of her unfold
    to say,

    “I wish her near to hold,
    to stay.
    The joy she brings is gold
    always!”

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Thank you for your wonderful comments and your beautiful poem.
      How blessed you are to have written it with your daughter for Mothers’ Day!
      Can it get any better than that?

      Reply
  3. Amy Foreman

    Joe, these are all wonderful, as usual! I was moved by each, but, especially by the cadence and wording of “The Stone of the Unknown: West Point Cemetery.” I wish this poem could be posted near that stone–I know it would affect others as it has me.
    Thank you for all of these!

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Happy Mothers ‘ Day Amy❣️
      Thanks for your comments.
      “The Stone…” was special for me as well. I’m so glad you like it. I felt like it was a privilege to write it.
      It started while I was there and I was sure it was going to be a Haiku:
      Unknown, so starkly
      proclaimed from a cold hard stone
      Mourning doves reply

      Reply
      • Amy Foreman

        I love it as a haiku, too! But the iambic tetrameter is perfect. Thanks for the Mother’s Day tidings! I am blessed, most definitely!

  4. Susan C.

    Hi Joe, each poem came from the heart especially the Unknown poem. Each one has its own character. They all are written so beautifully with a lot of thought. Thanks for sharing the poems and your thoughts.

    Reply
  5. David Paul Behrens

    Your style of writing and much of the subject matter are similar to many of the poems I have written over the years, including limited use of punctuation, which certainly works well in this group of poems. These poems are great and remind me of myself if I were to become a better writer. Well done! Your writing seems to flow easily from your mind to your pen and then onto the paper, making you a natural born poet.

    So, in honor of Mother’s Day, to you, Joe, I would like to declare that you and I are brothers from a different mother.

    To all the lady poets out there with children of their own: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

    Reply
    • David Paul Behrens

      Of course, in terms of proper grammar, I should have said brothers from different mothers, but you know what I mean. Nice poems. Keep up the good work.

      Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        Brother David,
        I stopped using punctuation because my wife is a master of it and is always catching my mistakes.
        Thank you for your very kind comments.

  6. David Watt

    These are a beautiful set of poems, reflective and at times wistful, such as in
    ‘The Journey.’ I enjoyed each for their sincere responses to life.

    Reply
  7. vincent

    Joe, This is a very fine group of poems. [eecumings?]
    Lullaby is tender and evokes a parents love which is so timeless.
    The Journey is so poignant: appropriate for one without a supernatural belief.
    Ye Grave is so timeless in our thoughts to those who made the selfless ultimate
    sacrifice. To intertwine the grave stone with the poem is perfect [skirl ? I had to go to the dictionary but it does capture a bagpipes sound]
    The poets gives me hope for my amateurish attempts.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Thank you, Vincent for your very thoughtful comments.
      I was pretty sure about “skirl”, but went to the dictionary myself to be certain.
      Your writing ability suggests to me that you have more than hope in your corner – you have the tools as well.

      Reply
  8. Joe Tessitore

    You have, each and every one of you, moved me to the point of tears.
    As Amy once said to me, thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart!

    I just realized (with a large assist from my wife) who you are, Evan M. I am truly at a loss for words!

    Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Joe, Let me also commend you for your poem, “The Stone of the Unknown.” While living in Hawaii I was privileged to officiate at one burial and numerous inurnments at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, aka Punchbowl. The gazebo set aside for these services stands surrounded by many “Unknowns” from the Korean War. It was my habit, whenever I passed that way, to randomly choose one of these graves and pause in prayer, imagining the family that grieved for the soldier’s death without ever knowing what had become of him. I also imagined the soldier himself, his life, his hopes, his dreams, and the circumstances that led to his ultimate sacrifice. Your poem captured my feelings . . . including the tear. Nicely done, and thank you.

      Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        You remind me of one couplet that I wasn’t able to work in:

        Is there a soul that can stand here
        and not be moved to shed
        a tear?

        Thank you James, very much.

  9. Fr. Richard Libby

    All of these are thoughtful and well crafted poems, Mr. Tessitore. I found “The Stone of the Unknown” to be particularly moving. Congratulations!

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Thank you Father.
      If you capitalize “baby boy “ in ‘Lullaby’ you’ll know what my inspiration was.

      Reply
  10. Juni

    I really love your poem Lullaby, I sing lullabies I grew up with to my young son every night. I am thankful for my friend Amy whom has partly inspired you to write it.

    JS

    Reply

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