Models for Configuring Friendship

A knight for whom the Grail is wholly you;
the one who greets you sans your power, might;
who never counts the favors that accrue;
adheres to you whatever is your plight.

An audience for fear, for woe, for laugh;
an egger on, abettor of your best;
the writer, keeper of your epitaph;
the one who most appreciates your quest.

Your Pythias, your Jonathan, your shield;
who fiddles first or second at your call;
returns to you at need though far afield;
would make you Paul, though likes you well as Saul.

If more than three such traits are met, surpassed,
then toast to friendship not to be outclassed.


Ballad of Bin Laden:  What If . . . ?

Osama loved a Jewish miss.
Four parents were dismayed.
“Oh, let me marry her!” he pled.
“Else I’ll turn renegade!”

“We’re college mates.  I love her mind.
She’s highborn, no housemaid.”
Her parents fetched her home at once.
Bin Laden led a raid.

The two were well into escape—
their plans had been long made.
A rival roused the whole household.
She died from father’s blade—

“She’ll not take Allah, forswear God!
My debt to Jewry’s paid!”
Osama took her in his arms,
stood, stared, was unafraid.

His kin would not receive her corpse.
In desert cave, he laid
her down, swore privately jihad,
then vented his tirade.

Rejected by both lands, he fled.
Afghanistan would shade
Bin Laden’s machinating brain
and form his barricade.

The grievance-laden flocked to him.
Rich, poor, lovelorn sought aid
to launch crusade against the world
in poisonous serenade.

Their fusillade of hate flies forth:
“Invade!  By stealth, invade!
Kill, kill!  Kill every sleeping giant!
Our wrongs must be repaid!”

But evil feeds upon itself.
Good only seems to fade.
At length, the world must be put right.
The plague has overstayed.

Retreat to think upon your loss,
Bin Laden, Renegade!
If you would have an afterlife,
your peace must be self-made.


Former college president, Dr. Lynn Veach Sadler has published 5 books and 72 articles and has edited 22 books/proceedings and three national journals and publishes a newspaper column.  In creative writing, she has 10 poetry chapbooks and 4 full-length collections, over 100 short stories, 4 novels, a novella, 2 short story collections (another in press), and 41 plays.  As North Carolina’s Central Region Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet 2013-2015, she mentored student and adult poets.  She works as a writer and an editor.  She and her husband have voyaged around the world five times, with Lynn writing all the way.

Featured Image: “A Gathering of Friends” by Le Sueur Eustache

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One Response

  1. B

    I love the flowery humor in your poems! So rare these days. I often have to confine this flowery humor within myself. Many people who I used to think of as friends did not reciprocate the friendship and then I became grim and bitter. But now I really feel that same lightness here in your poems. I just keep it to myself when there’s no one to share it with. But at the same time, I feel that by doing this, I am sharing it with the whole world. And in those instances when I can share it explicitly with people it is also nice.


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