The Visit


Remember Me, My Love
Remember Me, My Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Visit

 

Let’s talk about how we feel

 

Because life is very real.

 

One day things will change,

 

And I’ll visit no more.

 

 

 

Remember the early years

 

When you came home and

 

Wanted to talk about your day?

 

I just wanted to sit and be quiet.

 

We compromised and I listened.

 

You cooked and I washed dishes.

 

I worked on the house and built a barn.

 

You took care of our household needs.

 

We were early to bed and early to rise.

 

 

 

Remember the years we shared,

 

The children we raised,

 

As  time flashed by

 

And the home that was blessed?

 

 

 

Remember how  we cherished each day

 

As we fought our diseases alone and together,

 

Sharing our pain and our love?

 

Do you remember all that, love?

 

I really miss you.

 

 

 

I’ve learned to talk while you listen.

 

Time passes slowly

 

And I wait patiently

 

For the moment

 

When we’re together again.

 

 

 

 

 

The Love I Left Behind


Author: Bagande
Author: Bagande (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

My heart built walls because I could not trust.

 

With no one to care for my heart could rust.

 

I challenged my heart to venture out again.

 

Because of deep wounds, it was reluctant to begin.

 

I was helpless at first, but my love ran deep.

 

Soon I was searching for a lover’s heart to keep.

 

But walls separated us and soon I hastened on my way,

 

Looking for a new relationship to fill my day.

 

I searched desperately, yet I could not settle down.

 

A perfect woman was elusive and never could be found.

 

I became a victim of my own love/hate wars.

 

Bouncing from love to hate, I blamed failure on the stars.

 

But surviving was not living, I needed one true love.

 

I looked for guidance from Venus and Cupid above.

 

Dreams were all I had, though troubled from the start.

 

But I did not give up my search, orders came from my heart.

 

One last try, I decided, before my search was through.

 

That was when I got lucky, because love brought me to you.

 

Later I was chosen to lead the annual Valentine parade downtown.

 

I protested I was unworthy, for love had been hard to pin down.

 

Friends mentioned I had struggled while remaining gracious and kind.

 

Losing in love several times, I had scattered love and beauty behind.

 

I saw relationships blooming profusely all along my crooked way.

 

Then I realized love conquered all, and found the better way.

 

 

 

 

 

Truth and I


walking together
walking together (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

 

Truth and I

 

 

 

“Truth,” said I, “let’s spend the day,

 

Walking together wherever we may.”

 

 

 

“Are you sure,” she asked, “You want to be with me?

 

For I go places you’ll never be.”

 

 

 

“Truth, you’re beautiful,” I vehemently claimed.

 

“Throughout the day you’re always the same.”

 

 

 

I thought I could sway her with flattery and flowers,

 

But she remained unchanged despite my powers.

 

 

 

She said, “You don’t understand my heart or my mind.

 

I’m out in the open but hard to find.”

 

 

 

She said, “I have many faces and I’m rarely the same.

 

I can be rampaging or be quiet and tame.”

 

 

I believed in one Truth so I laughed out loud.

 

I ignored the levels of Truth because I was proud,

 

 

 

Truth stood before me stark naked and plain,

 

If I embraced her, would she be as cleansing as rain?

 

 

 

“I love you, Truth, I won’t be denied,”

 

But I exaggerated a lot, and, of course, I lied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gentle Giants


Rider's view in Avenue of the Giants, California.
Rider’s view in Avenue of the Giants, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gentle  Giants

 

Packed together shoulder to shoulder,

 

Stretching higher than a rainbow’s sigh,

 

The redwoods reach up and scrape the sky.

 

No wider than a river’s grin,

 

No longer than a cloud can cry.

 

What majesty these giants portray,

 

As they reign from day to day.

 

Their subjects are content

 

For gentle do the scepters sway.

 

Only the wind can make them smile

 

As they share wisdom for awhile.

 

Tall and proud they guard the land

 

Gentle giants mile after mile.

 

 

 

The Monster from Forest Drive


English: Raider's Road, Forest Drive Sunlight ...
English: Raider’s Road, Forest Drive Sunlight shines through the new growth on the pine trees on the Raider’s Road, Forest Drive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Monster From Forest Drive

 

 

 

A monster lived at forest edge,

 

Right at the end of Forest Drive,

 

His neighbors chose to lock their doors,

 

If they wished to stay alive.

 

 

 

Both his wings had been broken,

 

With a cane he could hardly walk,

 

He didn’t look mean or scary,

 

But he could talk real monster talk.

 

 

 

There were rumors he lived in the basement,

 

Others said the attic was his home,

 

He was often seen on cloudy days,

 

And at night he chose to roam.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

 

 

No one knew where he came from,

 

He suddenly appeared one day,

 

The neighborhood was upset he was there,

 

Because he took their place to play.

 

 

 

Their meeting place had been at forest edge,

 

Where their bonfires often lit the sky,

 

He built his house on their spot,

 

Without telling them his reason why.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

The witches of the cul-de-sac,

 

Stirred up a powerful brew,

 

They thought their potion lethal,

 

But he said, “Thank you.  I’ll have two.”

 

 

 

To their surprise he took a sip,

 

Without losing his feeble mind,

 

There seemed to be no aftereffects,

 

Except the foot he dragged behind.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

Blood-red wine was his favorite drink,

 

And bones he chewed for lunch,

 

All thought his manners were impeccable,

 

Royal blood would be their hunch.

 

 

 

One dark night they gathered,

 

To discuss his solitary ways,

 

He had made them all uncomfortable,

 

For five years, two months, and ten days.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

In a large casket they sealed him,

 

No more to see the light,

 

Security police accidently let him loose,

 

And he slipped quietly into the night.

 

 

 

Somewhere in this vast country,

 

He was last seen entering a town,

 

Hunters of all kinds searched the woods,

 

But no monster could be found.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

Class Reunions Are Measuring Points


50th Class Reunion
50th Class Reunion (Photo credit: roanokecollege)

 

Class Reunions Are Measuring Points

 

 

 

After my senior year in high school,

 

I left and vowed I’d never return.

 

For twenty years I kept my word,

 

For I had worldly lessons to learn.

 

 

 

But I began celebrating with my graduating class,

 

While I continued acting on life’s stage.

 

I found class reunions to be entertaining,

 

I wasn’t content to be left frozen on a yearbook page.

 

 

 

My ten year reunion seemed a little cold,

 

Conversations were earnest and matter of fact,

 

I laid out my dreams for all to see,

 

Pressure was on me to perform and act.

 

 

 

“Step in line.  Let me take your picture.”

 

I wanted pictures reminding me of the past,

 

I believed the beautiful people should pose first,

 

Although my inner fear was I might be last.

 

 

 

“Smile!”  the photographer barked,

 

My picture was taken and I found my seat,

 

Around an oval table sat unrecognized friends,

 

Who waited for a tri-tip dinner and good things to eat.

 

 

 

An invitation to the twentieth reunion arrived by mail,

 

“Your senior class is inviting you to attend,”

 

The invitation told me where and when,

 

Then signed, Your Anonymous Friends.

 

 

 

My curiosity was piqued by that note,

 

I put it on my calendar to make sure I was there.

 

Classmates arrived from parts unknown,

 

They all looked different; I had to stare.

 

 

 

Some men had beards or lost their hair,

 

My high school sweetheart was someone’s wife,

 

She had been married fifteen years,

 

Had a truckload of kids and was enjoying life.

 

 

 

I went from table to table searching for friends,

 

But many didn’t respond and didn’t go,

 

I tried not to show my disappointment,

 

When people asked, I’d say, “I don’t know.”

 

 

 

After twenty years the race was still on,

 

Life goals were in concrete set,

 

Families and jobs were often compared,

 

Friends asked, “Have your expectations been met?”

 

 

 

Classmates acted young and were chasing dreams,

 

They were waist deep in life as years flew past,

 

Each reunion became a measuring point,

 

And it seemed everyone was having a blast.

 

 

 

When the thirtieth rolled around I was racing by the rail,

 

Some classmates were ahead and avoiding the dust,

 

Their fortunes were already made,

 

They’d reached a level called “upper crust”.

 

 

 

The fortieth reunion was far more relaxed,

 

My retirement was rolling into sight,

 

Conversations were more about grandkids,

 

Houses and travel, and how money was tight.

 

 

 

Although I needed glasses and the light was dim,

 

I dared to study one rough-hewn face,

 

Memories of a young athlete competing

 

Were evoked from distant time and space.

 

 

 

His face was one I immediately recognized,

 

But when I shook his hand he seemed surprised,

 

“Bill,” I said, glad I could remember his name,

 

“Remember when we beat the Tigers in the big game?”

 

 

 

Then a woman’s face, etched with lines,

 

Hiding things she seemed afraid to share,

 

Perhaps she worried about a child’s health,

 

Or about a husband who didn’t care.

 

 

 

I wanted to distract her with a few kind words,

 

“Mary, I sat behind you n Spanish class,

 

I just wanted to tell you thanks,

 

Without your help I knew I could not pass.”

 

 

 

My role in life was to encourage and entertain,

 

I never won any academic awards,

 

But seeing my friends grin or smile,

 

Was to me a fantastic reward.

 

 

 

Once my mind had kept my body under control,

 

“Mind over matter,” had been often said,

 

Now my mind was losing its grip

 

“What’s next?” was running through my head.

 

 

 

I bought tickets to the fiftieth reunion

 

I decided to go before my energy drained,

 

Time was taking its daily toll

 

Sometimes it seemed little energy remained.

 

 

 

Before festivities started I looked around,

 

Wondering why men and women stared at me,

 

Squinting as they looked at my name tag,

 

They mumbled things like, “Long time, no see.”

 

 

 

It was time to focus on serious matters,

 

Because discussions centered around health,

 

Medicare, operations, medicines, and pills,

 

I noted that everyone cared less about wealth.

 

 

 

There wasn’t enough time to share my life,

 

For after dinner there was a live band,

 

Stirring up excitement with words I knew,

 

Playing sixties music to those who could stand.

 

 

 

Time and years had changed me,

 

From being indestructible with unstoppable plans,

 

I came to the realization I was fragile

 

And life had not been left in my hands.

 

 

 

My mirror tells me I have changed,

 

The years had not always treated me kind,

 

If I wander off or get left behind,

 

I’ve come to the conclusion I’ve lost my mind.

 

 

 

My features have coarsened and my hair turned gray,

 

Suddenly it seemed I became old and bent,

 

But the memories of reunions I’ve collected,

 

Are there to remind me I was glad I went.

 

 

 

I wouldn’t do things differently if we meet again,

 

Except print name tags larger so I can see,

 

An extra one backwards, larger, and upside down,

 

For I might need to be reminded that I am me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Beginning


 

Dancing around
Dancing around (Photo credit: a hundred visions and revisions)

 

My Life from the Beginning

 

I awoke from darkness and fell into light,

 

Cold was the day, not as warm as night,

 

Understanding the world was my very first task,

 

Answers surrounded me, all I needed was to ask,

 

Wet puppy kisses, purrs from a cat,

 

I found favorite things precious like that,

 

Storms in summer bringing driving rain,

 

Scratches and bruises, living with pain,

 

Dancing and laughing till dawn’s early light,

 

Learning to love was well worth the fight,

 

The world continuing to be comfortable and fun,

 

Until I struggled with challenges not easily won,

 

Relationships were fragile, few were deep,

 

Ripped from my grasp, not mine to keep,

 

Without knocking or asking, time opened a door,

 

Health and wealth were not mine any more,

 

Minutes passed swiftly and turned into years,

 

My memories were washed away by tears,

 

Nights were growing longer; cold was gaining ground,

 

I gave away all the treasures that I’d found,

 

I left behind the darkness and entered the light,

 

Laughing and dancing, Oh, what a sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip Wolfe


 

English: Little Red Riding Hood
English: Little Red Riding Hood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Phillip Wolfe

 

The family that lived at the edge of the oak forest kept away from the town folks and rarely interacted with their neighbors.  One of the townsfolk might catch a glimpse of one of the children talking to forest animals or see the children climbing trees. Sometimes in passing conversation some peculiar circumstance might be mentioned but in general everyone thought it best to mind their own business.

 

Mr. Wolfe and his wife took two walks per day, one at daybreak and the other just after the sun set and stars were beginning to pop out of the dark canopy of night.   Some of the townspeople suggested that Mrs. Wolfe was an artist and Mr. Wolfe was a writer but no one bothered to ask or do any research.   The guesses were true and they were well known in some circles. Mr. Wolfe was also a character actor appearing in many minor roles.  In the big city their names were occasionally mentioned in the society pages but in their small town they were just normal people with abnormal children.

 

Mr. Wolfe owned a mom and pop mini mart five miles from their house and a mini storage facility next to town.  Although many said the Wolfe family was rich the family was careful with their money and bought forest land which they donated to the U.S. Forest Service.

 

Things didn’t always go well for the family. Because the children had ongoing problems in school, Mrs. Wolfe, after teaching three years, decided to stay home and take care of the three boys and one daughter.

 

In their younger years the four children were hard to describe.  They seemed to blend in with every kind of scenery or scene.  When class pictures were taken the Wolfe children never were in focus or were hidden just out of the picture.  Newcomers to the area might ask, “Where’s Johnny? Or where is Abigail?”

 

After a few days the newcomers didn’t ask anymore because the regulars would simply turn away glassy-eyed and ignore the question.  It was said that Johnny and Abigail could hide in shadows or cracks in the walls.  Of course that was nonsense, or at least it couldn’t be proven.

 

The two younger brothers, Justin and Phillip, were even harder to explain and even harder to ignore.  Their movements were quick and their voices too loud for indoor activities and the Wolfe house couldn’t contain their restless activity.

 

Outdoors the children were at home, especially when they were in shady areas or partial darkness. When twilight drew near and nocturnal animals were shuffling about, the two boys became restless, energized and alert.  On nights when the full moon swallowed up the sky, the two younger brothers roamed the countryside, and went racing about, carefree and wild.

 

Both smiled constantly, but if they felt threatened or saw someone bullied, their demeanor changed.  The smiles changed to snarls and the fight was on. On several separate occasions bullies challenged Phillip and Justin but the battles were always short.  A whirl of motion here, a snap and a growl, and the bullies were on their backs, pleading for mercy.  Although it didn’t last long, peace reigned for awhile.

 

When they were in their twenties they appeared suave and sophisticated. All of them had been exposed to stage and cinema and were anxious to see if the thespian life was their calling.

 

Johnny and Abigail took small parts hoping the roles would expand.  Justin and Phillip were not sure they wanted to be actors so they held back.

 

Justin learned a lot about himself while protecting others.  After the first time he had come to someone’s defense, Justin wanted to be a deputy keeping law and order.  In his opinion every person deserved equal treatment.

 

Phillip, the most unusual of the four, had special qualities.  Everyone believed he had ESP because he had the uncanny ability to look at someone and know his next move.  It was thought that Phillip could track any animal across rocky terrain or across bodies if water.  Phillip knew his abilities but he let people think his powers were unlimited.

 

Once, during search party training exercises, Phillip demonstrated what he could do.  It was recorded on film by a deputy and verified by several others.

 

“Philip bent low to the ground, took a quick sniff, tilted his head back and howled, long and blood-curdling.  He then proceeded to track a mountain lion to its den.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Wolfe family had long been fans of the Theatre and claimed they had several well-known relatives, one of the most notable being Virginia Wolfe.  Abigail had taken voice lessons and seemed destined to be a star but bright lights frightened her.  Even after therapy she seemed blinded and unsure of herself.  She was the first Wolfe to face disappointment in acting.

 

Johnny, the next in line, was accused of pawing several leading ladies.  His chance to become a leading man was diminished. He was ruled out of future productions and became the second disappointment.

 

Justin seemed a shoo-in for the role of a leading man.  Handsome and well-liked, Justin wanted to be the hero and win the lady’s heart.  However, in his first role the leading man was a villain. In Little Red Riding Hood Justin wanted to transform the wolf into a good Wolfe.  His request was turned down and he dropped out of acting to begin a career in law enforcement.

 

 

 

Phillip finally tried out for a part.  He wasn’t trying to make it big, but merely get his foot in the door.  He learned his lines quickly and easily.  Becoming too involved was his major concern.  Could he actually lose a stage fight or give up a fair maiden?  It was difficult but he managed to stay out of trouble.

 

Around town, trouble seemed to haunt him. Usually he sat by himself, away from groups, just watching others and studying their mannerisms for future roles.  One night he drifted into a small bar located just off the main part of town.  He was sitting quietly on a stool sipping a margarita and listening to country songs.  The band was good but not great.  There was a change in rhythm and intensity when a lady with a bass guitar took charge. She was good.  Phillip was impressed as her fingers danced across the strings and the music came alive.  After a series of songs she stopped and beckoned to Phillip.

 

“I need a drink,” she said into the microphone.     She leaned her guitar against the wall and out of harm’s way.  “Are you going to buy this girl a drink?’ she asked as she sidled up to Phillip.  Her gray eyes watched closely, measuring his slightest reaction.

 

My pleasure,” he replied.  “Bartender, give the lady whatever she’s been drinking.  Just put it on my tab.”

 

He stood up and scooted his chair towards her.  “Have a seat and rest your weary bones.”

 

It was evident to Phillip that men rarely treated her like a lady.  She blushed and said, “I’m Kristine. I’m glad to meet you.”

 

Phillip got up slowly, extended his hand, and said dramatically, “I’m the Lone Wolfe, the only one fortunate enough to meet a beautiful lady like you.”

 

The bar was crowded and the room was warm.  There were only a handful of women and the men were frustrated and growing meaner by the minute.

 

“It’s hot in here,” she announced. “I need cool air.”  She fanned herself for effect and then started towards the door.  Glancing at Phillip she asked, “Well, are you coming or not?”

 

The situation was strange and Phillip knew instinctively that something was wrong.  The hair on the back of his neck had risen.  Still, he was curious if this was a set-up.

 

“Of course, darling.   It’s cool outside and the moon is full and beautiful.  It’s something to howl about.”

 

“You’re just too funny,” Kristine said. “Now tell me who you are and what brings you here tonight.”

 

“Phillip.  That’s my name.  I just wanted to hear a good band and relax. It was a bonus when I saw you.”

 

She led him to the parking lot before she said quietly, “I think you’re a narc.  We don’t like troublemakers around here.”  She wouldn’t be alone and confronting him like that.

 

A slight sound caught Phillip’s attention.  “I think we have company.”

 

In the shadows several men hurried towards them.   Phillip mentally noted five men, all large and muscular.

 

Kristine moved away from him.  “Goodbye, stranger.  You should have stayed in the country.”

 

Phillip moved swiftly at the edge of moonlight, becoming both shadow and reflection.  Phillip knocked the first two down easily with jabs to their throats.  He was too fast and elusive.  “Is this a ghost we’re trying to catch?” one man panted. He circled them, attacked, and destroyed their confidence.  In short order he left them huddled in the middle of the parking lot, whimpering and shivering.

 

Phillip strolled through the door and sat down.  He ordered a drink.  Kristine stared at him in surprise.

 

Phillip raised his glass.  “Here’s to you.  When your friends recover tell them that not everyone is a pushover.”

 

Phillip’s reputation as a fighter led him to new roles.  Before long he had several roles in martial arts films playing alongside Buck Morris and Mackie Shan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relatives


 

Bill
Bill (Photo credit: J0nny_t)

 

You can always count on

 

Relatives to do you right,

 

They’ll try to help you

 

With all their might,

 

They’re of the same blood,

 

They’re your kin,

 

Just don’t turn your back,

 

Or they’ll do you in.

 

 

 

My doorbell rang.  I wasn’t expecting anyone and I didn’t think anyone knew that I was living here.

 

“Uncle Dan, could I stay at your house tonight?”

 

Who was this young man standing before me? He looked familiar and yet he didn’t.  I hadn’t seen him for ten years.  My mind raced, trying to put my previous information about him together.

 

Michael?  I thought you were still in the Army.”

 

“I’ve been out for two years.  I was discharged because of my disability.”

 

“Sorry.  I didn’t know.  Michael, what’s wrong?”

 

“It’s my back.  The doctors said there’s been permanent damage.  They also discovered problems with my internal organs. I might not look like I’m in bad shape, but I am.”

 

Michael stayed two nights then more,

 

I couldn’t seem to get him out the door,

 

The money he made was more than mine,

 

Out on his own he could do just fine,

 

 

 

My telephone rang until it drove me insane,

 

Why do relatives cause me such pain?

 

“It’s cousin Bill, Sue’s fourth, I’m the good son,

 

I’m here to look around and have some fun,”

 

Michael and Bill were a deadly pair,

 

One claimed to be hurting, the other didn’t care,

 

At three or four they’d stagger in,

 

Then sleep until it was time to begin again,

 

I tried to evict them and toss them out,

 

They refused to go and they had some clout,

 

 

 

Finally I just gave up.

 

 

 

A letter came in the mail, way too late,

 

With a message from my cousin Tate,

 

“The law is after me,” is what it said,

 

“They think I shot two men dead,”

 

 

 

I don’t think I’ll open any mail, answer the phone, or communicate with anyone, especially if it’s a relative.  My house is full of relatives and I’m up to my ears with trouble.  I think I’ll move.  Don’t tell anyone. Perhaps this time I can stay hidden for awhile.

 

 

 

Rent, Borrow, or Steal


The Art of the Steal (film)
The Art of the Steal (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I met a man who had wise words to pass my way,

“Relationships are very special you’ll soon learn,

If you take care of your woman I can’t lead her astray,

She’ll stay true forever and her love you’ll earn,”

 

“I don’t need your material things,

I have enough of my own,

What I want is the love of a woman,

Perhaps you have one to loan,”

 

“If you have a habit of neglecting her,

She’s frustrated, lonely, and tired,

Give me some time alone with her,

I’ll send her back inspired,”

 

“Boldly I’ll go to make my play,

Quietly I’ll make my appeal,

It doesn’t really matter to me,

Whether I rent, borrow, or steal,”

 

“What if she’s in your way this very day,

And you’ve got things you want to do,

I could return her in really good shape,

After I borrow her a time or two,”

 

“Should you need help to pay some bills,

I could rent your woman to give me thrills,

But if I find she’s lonely as well,

I’ll turn her on until I’ve had my fill,

 

A woman ignored will find a new home,

I’ll steal her from you if you’re not alert,

I’ll rent her from you or you can give me a loan,

I don’t care if someone gets hurt,”

 

Off in the distance I could see his profile,

“Was he serious?” I thought as I hurried inside,

“Is it that easy to lose someone you love,

Why did he choose me for his wisdom to confide,”

 

I’m not sure if it was me he meant,

But I paid more attention as time went by,

I gave my woman tender loving care,

And, lo and behold, she’s still there,

 

I think that stranger might have been a fake,

Because a man wants a woman in whom he can confide,

Someone to love and give respect,

A woman to be proud of and keep by his side,

 

But this stranger had frightened me,

With stories he claimed were real,

So I was careful to protect my own beautiful woman,

From those who wanted to rent, borrow, or steal.

 

 

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