Fathers and Grandfathers

When we see our Brethren bold,
Reach the age called Growing old,
Men grow thoughtful, mind afire,
With the echoes of a Sire.

Working, eating, drinking, they,
Striding through their noontide-day,
With a stately, decent air,
That within the lion’s lair

Stood with strength, and kindly grace,
Prompting harm to mind its place,
Carved the wilds a kindly home,
Brightly shining ‘mid the gloam.

Through mist of hazy time we see
With only memories of his knee,
The Fathers, who we’d strain to be,
Yea sometimes ought to, ‘mid a sea

Of current streams, endeavors lost,
Facades whose worth but failed the cost.
I’ll be like Padre.  Perfect?  Nay,
Just better than some foolish way.


Le Même Fleuve (The Same River)

Where did you go, rivière si beau? (beautiful river)
Your Northerly waters now South in their flow,
Your form yet unchanged from one moment ago;
Êtes-vous le même fleuve ?  “Le même fleuve?  Non. (Are you the same river?…No)

The moon waxes full, my rapids bright grow,
Bright-white and brown-navy, black-green nightly glow,
My spray with the mist from my falls glow a-sheen,
Poisson, ecrevisse:  they take flight, safe unseen.” (Fish, crawfish)

In form:  barely changing.  In content?  In flux,
Not unlike the loveliest swan, goose or ducks,
We hold still and stately for photo and glance,
While hustling and bustling in life’s forward dance.


Duck Over Tahoe

Winter ray of setting Sol,
Minted bay with silver pal
And water, gray as ashen sky,
Fraught with play and splashing nigh.

While the sun upon thee sets,
Dun and green, thy shadows get
Upon the strand till morning gleam;
Supper grand before me steams.



Between the pillow and my head,
There dwells a place of words unread,
When book still stands upon my chest;
I know not how-long.  ‘Tis my salon.

A moment passed while word and page,
They slowed, like scripted plots a-stage,
And golden hues metastasized,
Decreasing motion, heady potion.

Long my day of toil did crest,
Walked I brisk to help my best
Of thought to stir, some time to save,
The work all done, my room has won.

At last, old friend, all day forsook,
Now drowse I, slightly toward your book.
No bore: thou nightly, lovely drunk!
My bottle, word.  My lust, unstirred.

Gymnastic-like, I stretch to greet
A second pillow, cool to meet
My elbow, right, that rests in peace.
To die this way? I cannot say.

To live eternal soaring high,
To reach the restful salon nigh
To God, the giver of the nod.
To gentle word, though yet unheard.


Featured Image: “Artists on the Bank of the Dordogne River, Near Beaulieu,” 1925, photograph, by Jules Gervais Courtellemont (1863-1931).

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