A Treble's Song Is there a thing to match a treble’s song? The joy perhaps of spring-time larks in flight, Or how the migrant birds so deftly throng? What of the mane that speaks the lion’s might? The gentle rain that tempers summer’s drought, Or breeze to soothe its heat, however slight? How could the essence of a basil sprout Delight as much the tender means of smell? Not very well—is there the slightest doubt? Not so: a treble’s voice will always tell The vibrant heart: it does not take us long To sing and reach the realm where angels dwell. The Last Laugh One day, alone, I set out on a stroll; I went to listen to my saddened mind In hopes of finding wisdom of some kind That would for once refresh my restless soul. I wished to find my cheer that someone stole —That time when I felt overly maligned— When those, my sorry friends, left me behind Much like a car will swerve around a hole. No matter though. I knew my respite near: Well powered by a solid inner base I vitalized my will to persevere And found my old laconic happy face. For as I will be smiling in my bier, He who laughs last will win this silly race! Exigency At times some people—say at middle age— Receive a sense of a productive day That’s often followed by an urgent stage Of barely realized but dark dismay. Whereas we should feel happy with what’s done, We cannot always reach that point. We’re scared: We feel we’ve lost control, “the-rival-won,” And sense our fragile pathos much impaired. It is a wretched premonition that, Essentially, the end of life is near And all our well intended plans fall flat: “‘Twas all for nothing, that much now seems clear.” Ah, mortal one, did you not know your maker, Who works in ways that far surpass your grasp, That he’s your mover and your loving shaker Whose sovereign ways and means can make you gasp? And what’s for you still more important yet: His constant aim has been to bring you home, All safe and sound, untouched by any threat, Sustained by power as of an astral poem. My Friend Elsa Once when I was still young and curious I got employment working at a zoo. The fun and thrills grew fast and furious Until my wits and understanding grew. I learned to see the animals as people, Each with his very own aspects and quirks And some behave (like people) just like sheeple, While others often act like great big jerks. We anxious workers were assigned “our” charges: I got three zebras, a hippo and baboon, But if you really want to know what large is, My favored friend was born in Cameroon. A gorgeous female elephant it was And she and I became the best of friends. We understood each other well, because With love our difference in kind amends. At times she offered me a little ride Upon her trunk, ‘t was granted, never asked. Or walked, content, with me close by her side; The fun we had was wondrous, unsurpassed. One time, when walking to her stall with glee There was not room for us to enter in. At once she stopped, to keep from crushing me And thus prevented hurt and broken skin. We kept the same (unspoken) comport rules; Except for her overt enormous size We’d fit within the same assorted schools, But that (of course) would not be very wise. Still, after all these years I pine for her, Because my mind sees not an elephant But her, my ever best of friends, a blur: Our gap in kind no longer relevant. Above is a photo of the poet working at a zoo in Rhenen, The Netherlands in 1954 Leo Zoutewelle was born in 1935 in The Netherlands and was raised there until at age twenty he emigrated to the United States. After retiring in 2012 he has written an autobiography and two novels (unpublished).