only a few hours remain ’til midnight
celebrations already underway ’round
our world as that special hour arrives
many countries and assorted cultures
look with anticipation to this year
that has come upon all ready or not
regardless of what religion we profess
or what superstitions control our lives
a new year is here that we must accept
by simply wishing everyone every where




what remains of my gray hair

turns a little whiter each day

aches foretell a weather change

legs once strong now grow weak

a slight tremble swirls my cup

causing hot coffee to spill

on this protruding stomach

bringing a quick flash of pain

slightly noticed not long ago

empty hours waiting to nap

sleep has become a refuge

sought more often than needed

while I try to go there these days

and yet, oh YES! I still dream


follow the sun, follow a fading sun
out Highway 290 to the edge of Hill Country
withered cottonwoods with stunted mesquites
offer deceptive shade along Main Street
to a mixture of adobe, brick and clap-board
old and not so old with none being new

if by chance you must stop for the single light
you’ll see a general store across from a saloon
occupants of a twisted, faded hitching post
suffer patiently in the merciless sweltering heat
turn left at the light and follow a narrow street
to where it becomes lost among heat waves
heat waves dancing among dust devils

a dirt path follows a sagging fence past a door
of a weathered cottage once the home of Meyer
a withered little man, dried by the Texas sun
until he appeared juiceless; yet I once saw him cry
a great respecter of solitude and silence
who could talk for hours and hours
when one was there who needed to listen

his patience went far beyond mere patience
he could sit for hours lost in his own thoughts
maybe wandering through other places and times
seeking answers for questions as yet unasked
at times I can see his calloused hand reaching
beckoning me to come join him

I keep saying not yet, not yet
but not as loud or often as in the past

…..Jerry Marks