IF YOU SHOULD

if you should consider my demise
be it by knife or shiny gun
you’ll see a glimmer in my eyes
that is like a newborn sun

Rays my dear much too bright
you would shudder in their glow
peace and warmth born from light
your cold heart will never know

ignore this drop upon my cheek
given time enough it will dry
just smile knowing you still sneak
through this oft recurring tragedy

rage my dear like a black cloud
I won’t reconsider this least
your darkness will never shroud
that light rising in yonder east

pleasing

There are three infallible ways of pleasing an author,
and the three form a rising scale of compliment:
1, to tell him you have read one of his books;
2, to tell him you have read all of his books;
3, to ask him to let you read the manuscript
of his forthcoming book.
No. 1 admits you to his respect;
No. 2 admits you to his admiration;
No. 3 carries you clear into his heart.

— Mark Twain, “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar”

Invitation

I don’t care how old you may be
or what you have done to survive
I want to know what makes you ache
do you dare dream of meeting your desire
will you risk looking like a fool for love
for your dream or the thrill of being alive

I care not what planets caress your moon
show me you have touched the heart of sorrow
if you have been torn by life’s betrayals
become shriveled from fear of further hurt
I want to know if you can sit with pain
yours and mine or simply your own
without moving to hide, fake or fix it

I want to know if you can be with joy
yours and mine or simply your own
can you dance with reckless abandon
until ecstasy floods your being
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful
to be realistic while remembering
the silly limitations of being human

It doesn’t matter if the story you tell is true
I want to know if you can disappoint another
in order to remain true to yourself
can you bear the accusation of betrayal
while not condemning your own soul
can you be faithless while deemed trustworthy
I want to know if you can see beauty
every day even when it is not so pretty
can you draw your own life from its presence

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine or simply your own
and still stand at the edge of the lake
shout “YES!” to a silent star-lit sky
it doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here at all
I want to know if you will stand with me
in the center of the fire and not shrink back

it doesn’t interest me to know where,
what or with whom you have studied
I want to know what sustains you
from within when all else falls away
I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself and truly like the company
you keep during those empty moments

YEARNING

another year is coming to an end
long forgotten songs venture forth
from depths of stagnant memories

if time could be kept in a bottle
must needs ask where was my heart
please release me and let me go

some day you’ll call my name
still nothing more than a game
embers beneath a fading flame

another holiday comes upon us
will all my children finally call
how many will visit this year

our generation was lost in space
no time left to start over again
glass ceiling has finally flown away

even though I reach out for more
being born under a wandering star
hurts more than spoken words tell

should one become more beautiful
what happens when we meet again
causing that last teardrop to fall

MOTHER

Your arms were always open
when I needed a hug.
Your heart understood
when I needed a friend.
Your gentle eyes were stern
when I needed a lesson.
Your strength and love guided me
when needed gave me wings to fly

We thank God
for those precious mothers,
who brought us into the world,
nurtured us, taught us, loved us,
encouraged us, strengthened us
have always been by our side.

We naturally think of Proverbs 31:10-30,
“Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies….”
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father,
and forsake not the law of thy mother:
For they shall be an ornament of grace
unto thy head, and chains about thy neck”
(Prov. 1:8-9).