catapult


A WOMAN WHO NEEDs TO LOVE
I met a woman who needs to love and be loved,
But I find her heart to be a castle
Fortified against implements of destruction,
Designed to protect her from lovers
Who could hurt her once again.
She keeps intruders out,
Refuses to be vulnerable,
I could never give her my heart,
The way I want to,
Until the castle’s gate is lowered
And the moat is crossed.
How could I enter such a fortress?
Should I use a catapult to overwhelm,
Hurling huge chunks of my heart at her walls
Breaking them down with force?
Or will her heart be like the walls of Troy,
Impenetrable until the gates are opened by choice?
Can it be done with flowers and sweet words ?
How can I be tender enough,
For her to breathe again
Without believing I am her enemy?
A catapult would leave destruction on both sides,
And might cause a collapse of all.
My heart waits impatiently.
Can’t we just fall in love?

May 23, 2017

QUICKEN


“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
There was nothing I could do. Every time I saw her my heart would quicken and I would sweat profusely. My reactions were uncontrollable. I had no reasonable answer to her question. I tried avoiding her by misinterpreting what she meant. “How about them Yankees? Isn’t it a beautiful day?”
Of course, I could have simply said, “I agree with you that love at first sight is powerful and can knock someone for a loop.”
“Yes,” she said. “That’s the way I felt when I fell for your brother. It happened so suddenly I couldn’t hear, couldn’t see, and for a few wonderful moments I couldn’t breathe. That’s what I’m talking about.”
This changed my whole perspective. She wasn’t interested in me. I relaxed mentally but my heart was pounding. This was wrong. My life had been planned out for a long time. She didn’t know that my heart quickened and skipped a beat each time I saw her or even heard her name. This couldn’t be happening. I wanted to yell, to curse, or to take her into my arms and kiss her.
“Excuse me. You aren’t talking about you and me? You don’t like me? You are in love with my brother?”
“I was thinking about you, and considering whether I liked you just a little bit when I looked up and saw him. Now I can’t imagine being with anyone else.”
Now there was a problem. I had spent several years enjoying my bachelorhood. Yet I was tired of being alone, tired of going through the endless questions and answers pertaining to my future. I just wanted to find THE ONE, settling down into a comfortable life, and loving forever.
She had recently invaded my dreams and I was slowly falling in love with her. No, I didn’t fall for her at first sight. I enjoyed her friendship and in my mind connections were made with a concrete foundation. I never anticipated she would find someone else, especially my brother. I couldn’t stand being around her while she gushed about him. She was my friend, not his.
“Yes,” she said slowly, “I thought I was in love with you but you ignored me and pushed me away. I’m glad we can still be friends.”
My anger flared. It was a flash fire out of control. “I can’t be friends with you,” I said. “I need much more than that. I want passion, not love at first sight. I want a love that binds, builds, and creates. I want my heart to quicken each time I see you. I want to hold your hand on long walks, kisses after we talk, and sharing moments of joy. Don’t you want the same?”
(To be continued)

MISSING PIECES


MISSING PIECES

In a basket on my desk there are twelve coins of various values,

A few handwritten notes jotted down when things began going wrong,

Seven unclaimed keys, one left behind after a few drinks too many,

Three keys meant to open padlocks of long deserted farmhouses,

And two keys from a car missing somewhere on the back roads.

The stately clock in the hall ticks steadily along,

Unaware that the weather has changed and a cold storm approaches.

It’s raining outside and my arms are empty.

But I know my destiny is calling and I must answer,

The rain will turn into snow and cover my tracks.

Tonight she’s with someone and I wait impatiently,

My rage contained and hidden behind a smile and a promise.

I know which farmhouse they’ve been visiting,

And I know by now they have had too much to drink.

The missing car is lost forever, just like my love for her.

If we could have kept our love unblemished,

We could have grown closer instead of apart.

If she had been faithful and remained committed,

Those keys would have rusted away without being used.

It’s snowing now and I know I’ll miss her warm embrace.

The blanket of white is so appealing,

All the ugliness will be covered until spring.

All that I’ll keep are the coins to remember,

Erasing the pain from my broken heart,

Each coin represents a lover. Why did they all go wrong?

By Dan Roberson

You Took My Breath Away


Lover I Don't Have to Love

Lover I Don’t Have to Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You Took My Breath Away

You were not the most beautiful girl there,

But your eyes were expressive and deep.

I did not hang on every word you spoke,

But inside I made promises to keep.

Somehow in those first magic moments

My world stopped and you took my breath away.

Your eyes, your hair, your sparkling smile,

Each silently dared me to dance and stay.

In your presence the crowd no longer existed.

You had changed my point of view.

I turned around and blinked my eyes

But all I could see was you.

No longer alone even in my dreams

You were always by my side.

Together we shared our new world,

Your love filled me with pride.

Your mind was on something else,

But not on our love each day.

I thought we’d love forever,

Long after we turned old and gray.

You smiled and said you felt great,

And you insisted you always will,

You looked so serene and so sure,

It’s strange your heart stopped still.

Each day you took my breath away,

But you never shared your pain.

And I still love you with all I have,

But I may never breathe again.

by Dan Roberson

The Garden of Diminishing Returns


The Garden of Diminishing Returns

There were cantaloupes, squash, tomatoes galore,

Green beans, watermelons, green peppers and more,

Growing fast, trying to crawl out of sight,

I swear I could hear the garden growing at night,

But in the mornings when I checked the plants,

The vegetables were half eaten and covered with ants,

 

No matter what I tried or wherever I turned,

The results were the same—-diminishing returns!

I sat out in my chair with my dog on the lawn,

Hoping to see some critters, I’d wait until dawn,

Ground squirrels were scurrying, rabbits came dancing,

Cicadas were chirping, deer were prancing,

Everywhere I looked there was some kind of motion,

The garden was alive with activity and commotion,

Chomping new flowers and munching new shoots,

The animals were all dressed in their evening suits,

There was a call to order and they all sat down,

The biggest rabbit was worried, I could tell by his frown,

“We’ve got to control the rabbits at school,

There’s been multiplication against the rule,

Not everyone stays seated until a lesson is through,

This is outrageous! What shall we do?

Deer have been entering and then going out,

I’m not sure what’s that all about,

And the squirrels have been going nuts,

So there you have it, no ifs, ands, or buts,

We’ll have to move on and find new grounds,

This garden will be tagged as “out of bounds”,

But if we destroy too much we’ll soon learn,

One small garden yields diminishing returns,”

They thumped out a vote and gave him a hand,

It was clear they agreed with his conservative stand,

The majority was liberal enough to see,

If they harvested carefully enough there’d be,

If each did his share, working part of each day,

There would also be time to sleep and play,

He explained if they wanted, they could help him with stuff,

So they planted, watered, and did more than enough.

He told them that they still had lots to learn,

Because no one wins with diminishing returns.

That old rabbit spoke with authority before he disappeared underground,

I’m glad I stayed alert and wrote it all down.

That garden was a life source to all, including me,

It brought a new way of thinking for us to get along,

And I really like those critters, don’t get me wrong.

But if someone thinks I’m feeding that complete herd,

That’s way out of line, kind of crazy, absurd!

Okay, just a nibble.  I grew tons of stuff.

If all of you are careful there’s more than enough!

 

The sprinklers went off and woke me from a dream,

I can’t quite remember what made me want to scream.

But now I have a peaceful feeling way deep inside,

And when I look at my garden I have a sense of pride.

Every row is trimmed, organized, and neat,

But I could almost swear I see some little feet.

My garden is growing right up to the sky,

And on my doorstep this morning was a strawberry pie.

I always thought gardening would be hard to learn,

I knew there was a problem with diminishing returns.

 

 

 

 

You Took My Breath Away


Lover I Don't Have to Love

Lover I Don’t Have to Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

You Took My Breath Away

 

You were not the most beautiful girl there,

 

But your eyes were expressive and deep.

 

I did not hang on every word you spoke,

 

But inside I made promises to keep.

 

Somehow in those first magic moments

 

My world stopped and you took my breath away.

 

Your eyes, your hair, your sparkling smile,

 

Each silently dared me to dance and stay.

 

In your presence the crowd no longer existed.

 

You had changed my point of view.

 

I turned around and blinked my eyes

 

But all I could see was you.

 

No longer alone even in my dreams

 

You were always by my side.

 

Together we shared our new world

 

Your love filled me with pride.

 

Your mind was on something else,

 

But not on our love each day.

 

I thought we’d love forever,

 

Long after we turned old and gray.

 

You smiled and said you felt great,

 

And you insisted you always will,

 

You looked so serene and so sure,

 

It’s strange your heart stopped still.

 

Each day you took my breath away,

 

But you never shared your pain.

 

And I still love you with all I have,

 

But I may never breathe again.

 

 

The Negotiated Settlement


English: Rabbit shape Français : Silhouette d'...

English: Rabbit shape Français : Silhouette d’un lapin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Negotiated Settlement  (part three)

 

I leaned on my hoe and thought about all that had transpired this summer and last.  I was losing the garden war. My vegetables were disappearing at an increasing rate under the onslaught of the critters, especially by the attacks of the rabbits.  In reality I had already given up.  They were simply too much for me.

 

I toyed with the ideas of putting poison in each rabbit and ground squirrel hole, or sitting outside with my shotgun and trying to shoot just one.  I finally decided both of those plans had flaws.  I could be fined or arrested for shooting a firearm too close to residences, disturbing my neighbors with the noise, or worse, accidently shooting myself in all of the excitement.

 

As for the poison, it could have been long slow deaths for the rabbits and squirrels, and possibly for dogs or cats which happened upon a weakened rodent and decided it was a snack.  I couldn’t take a chance.

 

I sat down and leaned against a tree as I pondered the ultimate demise of the pesky critters.  My eyelids were heavy and I closed them just for a moment.  I was so tired and I needed to rest.  It seemed that I was floating, but the tree hadn’t moved.  I hadn’t moved either but now I could see and hear things I had missed before.

 

Off in the distance a strange cadence broke the silence.  The noise grew louder and I decided that the noisemaker was getting closer.  I finally recognized the sound, just as a line of rabbits came thumping and hopping into view.  It was a parade.

 

Each rabbit carried a musical instrument.  I counted twenty trombones, twenty trumpets, fifteen snare drums, ten clarinets, and ten saxophones.  At first, only the drummers were producing music, but the other musicians soon combined and began playing a Souza march.

 

Behind the musical marchers were three rows of suited rabbits. Each rabbit had two tall ears and a button nose. They wore crisp pin-striped suits and looked like they were fresh out of Entrepreneur or Playboy.  The marching rabbits stopped and marched in place before separating and forming a path to let one of the suited rabbits through.

 

The rabbit was grizzled and old.  He stepped forward and leaned on his polished cane.  “Son,” he muttered, “we’re here to negotiate a truce.  The vegetables are going to be gone soon if nothing is done.  I’m here to help you!”

 

This was a surprise.  Why did the rabbits want to help me?  I was the enemy.

 

Two rabbits handed some papers to the old rabbit.  He glanced at the papers before clearing his throat and saying, “We think all could benefit from our proposal.”

 

I thought t over quickly.  “It’s my garden so I’m willing to give the rabbits and squirrels ten percent.  No, make it twenty percent.”  I was feeling generous and happy my ordeal was over.

 

The rabbit chuckled and then thumped the ground, howling with laughter.  Other rabbits joined in and continued to laugh until he raised his paw and bade them to stop.

 

“There are so many more of us and we need more just because of our sheer numbers.  We think the split should be ninety percent for us and ten percent for you.  In addition, we also expect you to maintain the garden in order to earn your ten percent.  To be fair, for our part we’ll eat the grass and thin the vegetables, leaving you ten percent.”

 

“That’s not fair!” I fumed.  “That’s robbery!”

 

The old rabbit frowned at his assistants.  All were solemn without any changes of expression, except for an occasional nose twitch.  “You have no choice.  Take it or leave it.  We might decide to take it all!”

 

He stomped out of the garden, stopping only for a moment while he whispered to his assistants.  They hopped about nervously, occasionally frowning at me, before proceeding out the gate.

 

While I considered his offer, a young rabbit pushed against the garden fence, looking for a place to enter.  “This is ridiculous,” I said.  “They’ve gotten so fat  they can’t even get in.”

 

What could I do?  I had nothing to bargain with.  It was either lose everything, or get ten percent, if I worked hard to keep the garden up.  Unless I acted quickly I would lose my garden entirely.   I decided to agree with terms even though the settlement was not right.  This year I was beaten.

 

I shook myself.  I must have been dreaming.  An idea began to form and I smiled.  “Next year,” I said quietly.  “Next year I will win.  I will thwart all attacks because I won’t care.  I will plant weeds!”

 

I smiled again at my devilish plan.  I’d win by losing.  I wouldn’t have a garden but the critters and lawyers would get nothing!  It was brilliant!