S: At 10 Years
FC: At 10 Years
1: Enchantment The daughters of Eve Are born knowing magic. With sparkling eyes, elfish smile and the briefest touch They work spells over the hearts of Adam’s sons. But as they grow Most exchange this gentle art For blunter tools: The raw appeal of lust, Sophistication, a cosmopolitan air. These elements have power too, of course Yet are empty of the deeper enchantment. But she Even in blooming womanhood She works the magic yet Gardens spring where she passes Born of the roses on her cheeks, daisies in her teeth And the blue-bells set deep within her eyes. As in autumn a maple showers the ground with gold As a springtime brook turns its path to emerald She scatters life and light in her wake. I would that I could drink of her enchantment That I could be bathed in her light. And yet I may Spring of 1999 as I fell in love with Rachel.
3: Warmth A coal. Orange and glimmering, Like sunset through a diamond. Radiant with heat. Tonight. The frozen river cracks and pops in the darkness, And ice forms ‘round the edges of every window. That coal If I could hold her Against my skin; To my heart; She’d teach me warmth, Until the Son returns.
4: The Question
7: Addressed to My Love My dearest love, it’s sleeping time As I lie awake and pen this rhyme And you, my love, breathe so deep And drift along in blessed sleep Your pretty face, your gentle brow Is laid upon your pillow now You feel so close, yet time is far I know your heart, not who you are But what is now, and what is then, When I shall read these words again? But to that face and gentle brow That’s laid upon your pillow now. The crickets play, the stars like glass And on the trees, the moonbeams splash But through your window it’s too dark to see The one who is my bride to be. Or that face, that gentle brow That’s laid upon your pillow now. So sleep my love, m y precious dear Until our Lord will bring us near And I can hold you as we rest And pull you to my beating chest And kiss that face and gentle brow That’s laid upon your pillow now. Written in 1993 on the top bunk of a Clark Dorm Room, imagining such a day.
13: THE DREAMER The dreamer burns Inside churning, aches with yearning For that one love. But I have found her! The seeker quests Forward pressing, never resting For that one love. But I have won her! He who’s lost it languishes Nothing extinguishing, ever anguishing For that one love. But I still hold her! And I will not let go.
16: KISSING YOU Kitten soft and Tiger fierce Intensity my soul to pierce Simplicity yet so complex Sensitive with wild effects Increasing pain but more the joy Nearly man, I feel a boy Gaining Not Save Dampened Face Yet more than ere’ I could replace Only longing, hope, and thirst Until I am again immersed
21: How Love Holds Hold me, she said, with a tear. And I did, Held her in the way a wind-whipped climber clings to face of the cliff, Like a spider precariously suspended, gripping its silky cord, As a child’s chilled fingers draw warmth from his mother’s willing skin, I held her in arms somehow both meager and mighty, And she sheltered, lifted, warmed me; Thank you, she said, You love me well.
23: Source of Strength Events and ticking clocks. Responsibilities, requests, want-to-do’s, and things people say are fun. News hours, newspapers, novelties and other things that seems so old. They press down upon me With Jupiter-like gravity, Slow my stride As an ankle-deep mud, Push against my chest Allowing me only half the breath I need. In worse moments, they even seem To paint or’ the sunrise with a storm And then use its wind to rip trees up by their roots And stand them on their heads. But still—she leans upon my shoulder (As if I gave strength to her!) I draw her to myself Like drawing gulps of pure oxygen Like Hafestis and the earth Like Sampson and his curls And I become the possessor of such power That I could plant those trees back in the ground Set them right-side-up And with them all the world.
26: Water in the Castle Two gulls spin and squawk Above a beached, flopping grunion. A distant barge bellows, And a bright red crab Scuttles across white, dry sand To the shade of a wave-worn rock. The brown-haired, sun burnt boy Sees only water, though. He uses the feeble resources at hand To prevent the tide From filling his fortress. But every wave laps higher And higher Until finally he sits, Allowing the silver and foam To rush over his legs And through the gates. To hold it back Would be as impossible As keeping thoughts of you From filling my mind.
31: Living Without It now seems that the world before held only Fragranceless jasmine Oranges with no sweet Black and white rainbows A silent Niagra And a poet who had no words Riverbeds of dust Violins without strings Rainforests in drought Heatless coals, blunt razors, and pillows of stone It sometimes still feels that way when you are far.
32: A Hundred First Kisses There’s nothing quite like a first-time kiss, Awkward as a just-dropped foal, and every bit as eager; Soft and moist like its white-suede nose, And as pledged to hope as any fenceless rangeland. But what I have now is even better: Better in the way a seed becomes a hot day’s favorite shadetree Better like early blossoms transformed to berry pie. Better as February larksong turns into whole meadowsful of bees and daisies... Better than a hundred first kisses.
36: TOWER A tower stands top yonder hill, lovely slender against a starry sky. “Noble!” says the man from afar; “Strong!” as he draws close; “And beautiful at any distance.” Her smooth stones splash back copper from summer sun, and soft cream in winter’s gentler light. In every season, from her ramparts two great sapphires gleam, like blue beacon fires to hope held, love labored for, and dreams defended. Long banners sweep her heights, the hues of earth: fresh-turned soil and aromatic cedar. In times of peace, those who travel near hear music of voice and violin. In war, she welcomes the fearful and wounded to the refuge of home. Storms sometimes lash and pound, test their gales upon her walls with thrust of lightning, clubs of hail. But at their end she yet stands, and thanks them for the cleansing. Soldiers, too, small and fierce, seek to scale her walls. They overwhelm her moat, claw and batter, leave their marks. Yet still she stands, and grants them shade. To me, also, she gives Shade Storm-shelter Music, beauty and home Of a kind no other edifice could match In palace, fort or castle Even were I to travel the world thrice over.
39: Eager to Wake Someday I will wake. Things now so real shall seem as if they were dreams, And hopes now held as dreams shall be more real Than the soil beneath my feet. This is beyond my imagining And yet, He has shown me how it is to be. For even now I am being roused To moments more true and bright Than I’d thought this realm could hold She Turns me from weighing life to living; Impassions me to know my Lord; Bends my thoughts from the temporal to the Eternity held within each moment Causing me to forget that I exist. If my final quickening Is to be half as bracing as this (I suspect it will be much more than that) Then when He comes to wake me from this wakefulness He will find that my bags are set by my bed, Packed.
41: At Ten Years I hardly knew you then Loved you desperately But hardly knew you, it now seems. Perhaps someday I will look back upon today And say the same. But oh, I have eased the latches to many quiet rooms and Softly tread in orchards I’d never known were there. In every chamber and field freshly found, And each new-angled gaze on things I’d thought I understood, All that I have discovered and all that has discovered me Has left me breathless again and again at the Beauty, strength and wisdom of the woman Whose I’ve been, and who’s been mine These ten years.