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S: The Writing of John A. Spencer

BC: I will strive to the best of my ability and personal strength to promote awareness of injustices, right wrongs when I can, and actively work to solutions of inequitable practices in both my personal and professional life. John A. Spencer

FC: The Writing of John A. Spencer

1: Into the hand of Oz I giggled and laughed And clapped my hands At your magic shows And you smiled Far away smiles - And your eyes told me That I was real

2: Beautiful are the Kind (14 years old, 8th grade) Pale light shed by a full moon Floated through the heavens, earth-bound. Tall pine trees casts their shadows over the park, "Hark, is that a voice I hear?" whispered the moon to the timbers. "Tis but a young boy, lost on his master's estate," They replied with solemn movement. Presently the wind grew stronger And the boughs in motion flew. Cold and numb our lost child grew Fainting where he stood While the snow came slowly down From feathery clouds in an alabaster sky. There he lay, covered with snow, Unconscious because of the cold. As the night passed to dawn, and the dawn to morning, The landlord, clothed in rich silks and warm fur, Went boar hunting in the park adjoining his chateau. The morning passed And the great tusked beasts congregated in the same neck-of-the-woods Where our young lad had grown faint, Thus, the company of hunters came following the boars.

3: By-and-by the laird, on his white stead, Came upon the stiffened and frostbitten body of our serf. "Come!" cried he, quickly dismounting his horse. The other lesser gentry and guests came at their host's command. "He is alive!" cried the landlord in great exuberance. "By some miracle he has been spared death. You sit on your horses like dimwits." "Your actions should be swift and without thought." "Come. Hurry. let us take him back to the manor." The host was kind, and in his kindness beautiful; The gentry were cruel - for what was the life of a serf? It was weeks before the young peasant was in health again, But soon, after a period of recovery the landlord came to converse. "Surely you are a saint!" began the child, "For you took me from the clutches of death, And you nursed me, and made me well." "Dear boy," replied the laird to this, "I have loved you since I first saw your emaciated body On the field of hunt..." The peasant broke in! "Truly the kind are beautiful, And their place in heaven secured!" With the last word went the last breath of his life.

4: That night God descended in a vision to the Lord, In a familiar voice it said: "Thou art a saint - For thee took me in from the clutches of death, and you have nursed me, and made me well. Truly the kind art beautiful, and his place in heaven secured."

5: She promised me things That gods dream of She gave morning smiles I gave her my love She had eyes like the ocean But the debt that I owed Was to give up my soul To this dusty road. The year's at the spring The day's at the morn Morning's at seven The hillside's dew-pearled The lark's on the wing The snail's at the thorn God's in his heaven All's right with the world.

6: And summer night approaches Warm and soft Like the breath of a panther The last lamp is extinguished With a kerosene flicker As crickets and bullfrogs Sing their final chorus And dark eyes close Hidden in shadows Untainted by the ages Unstained by deeds of men The breath of truth Whispers to the wind Giving man hope.

7: My life has been passing in innocent ways King Bacchus rules night with his nectar sweet day Bacchus rules night, steals the light Come what may My life has been passing in innocent ways. God defends the just and true Which does not apply to me or you. Phone on the wall Waiting for a call. Cause I don't give a damn If I don't know where I am. It doesn't matter anymore If you are laying on the floor. You can't even find the door When you are laying on the floor.

8: The damp, fog-clouded windows of my apartment Look out upon a gray afternoon sky And turn back a cold reflection Of vacant eyes. The hollow memory of streams With sandy banks Waits for evening Dissolving into the empty faces Of the sleep walkers in the street. Outside A soft rolling thunder Tells of distant mountains being moved Or of rain That will not come. Still wrapped within curtained dreams Tomorrow lies silently - As silent As yesterday. Colorless fingers search The cool, moist window glass Trying to remember When it was different. A time not motionless - Not waiting for the rain. 1972

9: Well today I started loving you again Love I guess I am right back where I have always been I got over you just by enough To let my heartaches mend And today I started loving you again What a fool I was to think I could get by With only these two million tears I have cried Should have known that for me the worst was yet to come And the crying time for me had just begun

10: And we walked the woods together Hand in hand The soft, brown, sweet aroma of decaying leaves Bit into our nostrils And it was but we two And the earth. The tumbling shafts of sunlight Breaking through the thick tapestry green Laughed As we laughed. And we, we two, were alone. Together. Together while the bed of spongy, fern-like moss Flaked, seeded, Giving of a new life And we lay there. Listening. In the hush of the forest. And we watched, and we witnessed The silver-steel bark of a sapling birch tree Glinting a soft, sparkling purity. And we kissed. Of love. Of learning of love.

11: We felt the morning dew Dampening. Staining with fern Scenting our hair with pine. And we breathed life's pungent, moist breath. We watched it thicken and mingle its blood With the hazy wisps of morning fog. And we lay there watching Tasting the living. The tears of a thousand ages For life must end. And in our life, we tasted death And we held each other's hand, tightly, waiting, Like children.

12: Tinted ghosts of midnight's color Retouched shades of blackest black- A painted face of death's own pallor Smothers me as I look back. The lies I've told have tripled threefold Now thinking of the things I've done The trusts I've had, but never would hold - My private lie, when I said I'd won. Darkening shadows of the life I knew. The lie I'd lived and lived so well The gray-black gloom of a dying hue Imprisons me in my private hell. And now I find it's much too late To love as freely as they gave The cold engulfs me in my hate Only darkness now - and then the grave.

13: The rain fell. The softest rhythm Pitter-pat, pitter-pat, Forming puddles. Still, inside and Warm, the toy soldier Dusts himself And flexes his rusty joints. The hows Wash away Leaving only darkness. Cold and damp The misty gray morning Drowses and blankets The world with its softness. And the rain falls soft and sleepy Trickling and running And panting the window pane. And now the toy soldier Rests until another rainy day.

14: Laugh, Morning, cry The fields we ran Of daisies and petals And tall grass And rain stormy nights Have swept away With clouds and fairy tales. Remember the morning When Arthur drew Excalibur When there was no time Or distance And the Land of Oz Was just outside, When snowflakes were Diamonds And heaven had golden streets And Angels. You hadn't learned to kiss yet Or to really cry. Feel the unending darkness And the deep loneliness of night And only the flicker of light In infinite time And infinite space.

15: Touch me We are real Close your eyes We will help Don Quixote Battle the windmill And listen to the MIller's Tale. Spent a lot of time yesterday Trying to think what to say But by the time I am old and gray It won't have mattered anyway.

16: The news is out All over town That you've been seen Out running around I know that I should leave, But What can I do You win again This heart of mine Could never see What everybody knew But me Just trusting you Was my great sin What do I do You win again

17: Welcome Welcome to my world Won't you come in Miracles I guess Still happen now and then Step into my heart Leave your cares behind Welcome to my world Built with you in mind Knock and the door will open Seek and you will find Ask and you'll be given The key to this world of mine I'll be waiting here With my arms unfurled Waiting just for you Welcome to my world

18: My Life Within Another Lives A soft blue haze of a burning red, A quiet stream in a blazing flame, The silence of a thousand bells When our eyes are wed Are all the same. The echo of an unspoken word From moving lips that give no sound That move of love too great to say Yet the pledge still heard Locked in and bound. My own life within another lives And her soul is all I have for mine Her eyes, my sight; her thought, my truth. The honey she gives I drink as wine. As morning receives the death of night And death grant my love one final sigh The hurt too deep, the loss too great For without my light With her I die.

19: Lynico In the evening I can see her still Against the red-cast end of day When twilight shadows the tears Of broken dreams of broken clay And as the twilight turns to dusk Her deep gray eyes as now the sky Could conquer in a single glance The greatest man, the smallest lie And slowly dusk turns into night To hide the truth I've known so long The whiskey breath that I now breathe Twice as bitter Tastes twice as strong And as I see the darkness fade To lighter shades of breaking day The morning chill turns cold and clear Of broken dreams of broken day

20: Once upon a time in a very strange land inhabited by only giants and little people (with no medium sized people in between), there lived a young man with an adventurous mind who had the idea that somewhere there were a set of universal laws that would tell him what was good and what was bad, what was kind and what was unkind, what was right and what was wrong, and that by carefully following these laws, he would make his fortune and find the happiness that he knew was his right by birth. This young man (we shall call him Jasper for the purposes of our story) was one of the little people. Often he would let his mind wander through the wooded forests, through fields of hyacinth and swaying heat, and would try to imagine what it would be like to have a tree here or a flower there that he could call his own. The giants owned all of these lands, he knew, and controlled their disposition and access as was their want. What would it be like to be a giant, Jasper wondered. But oft it was his daydreams would turn into sleepy nods and Jasper would fall asleep, dreaming of giants and little people and the laws. That would hold his fortune when he should find them. One day, however, Jasper decided that his imagination alone would gain him none of the things for which he longed, although, of course, he did not yet know what those things were. What I must do, thought Jasper,

21: is travel to distant parts of this kingdom, yes, and still further into other lands. Somewhere I will find the laws which I seek. And so, with a farewell to his family and friends, he was off. Those who did not know him well pointed to him as he passed, laughing at his foolishness,"I will show them," he shouted, waving his fist at those who had not bade him to make his fortune. And the silly bastard has not been heard from since.

22: The black gutted ashes of the incarnate dead With senseless, blinking vacant eyes Peering, spittle at the mouth Licking the iron dirt for nourishment Blindly, but not wanting. The robot horde marches on Twanging springs, coiled, uncoiled Full of a creeping, blood-like rust Crushing a metal hand of its own origin From the same pocket of tasteless ore. The dying and the dead, Side by side, Rushing to complete their ordained cycle Strike out blindly And then caress their decaying parts. The flashing lights also die The monster son of hollow-eyed man Lost in its own existence Vomiting its red and green shadows Upon rotting flesh. The gray-black shapes move slowly forward Kicking, crashing wildly Muttering utterances of midnight's meaning Bring forth their own, Bastards of darkness tossed into the gaping void

23: Outstretched rusted metal hand A programmed computer of insanity Watches, its putrid brown-green guts Spill out upon the white tile floor. A silent silver horde At the slime Laps hungrily Tearing chunks of dripping flesh From the oozing wound. Puking so to eat more. And then nothing remains The mechanical buzz has resumed its intensity. Drooling empty faces march forth in endless rows. Marching slowly, precisely, evenly, not daring to miss a step. With unchanged meaning, Back to the pocket of ore.

24: Ode to Motorcycle Jim Motorcycle Jim spent her summer in a chair She crashed her motorcycle and flew off through the air. She didn't mind the flying, she liked it rather well. But claimed it was a short flight, and the sudden stop was hell. Motorcycle Jim broke her ankle all to pieces Docs pinned it to mend it, work worthy of a thesis. They chaired her and prayered her until she felt some better. Then oiled her wheels and rolled her out, cause Jim's a real "go getter." Motorcycle Jim said a motored chair would thrill her But docs said "no", that wouldn't go; another crash might kill her. Still Jim is cool and no one's fool. She showed she had the power To cruise down hills and get her thrills at eighty miles per hour. Motorcycle Jim has an old man and a garden. She plant 'em both, she says on oath, without the slightest pardon. But 'till that time, it would be a crime if she didn't do her job Of slowin' down and keepin' round Motorcycle Bob.

25: So you're feeling disappointed And your world is all disjointed No cheer In here They jeer at God's anointed White Sam And your colleagues don't respect you And they often just neglect you Outcast Dead last So fast did they reject you White Sam And you get the chief assignments And they smirk at your refinements Stay meek Don't speak Don't seek for realignments White Sam

26: Bobby "Ray" Corbett: From his Children to his Children He gave us horizons to reach And we ran and climbed and ran again Until our legs and bodies were strong. He showed us rivers to swim And currents to brave So that we could grow in courage And in willingness. He threw baseballs For us to hit, And he hit baseballs For us to catch In order to develop Our judgment. He was as quick to share With the other fellow's team As he was with his own. Thy gym and his home Were always open. Haven to a tribe Of dirt-smudged, eager faces. Each of us special To Maxine And to him.

27: He let us love achieving, But he would not tolerate arrogance. And he taught us that we could endure losing Through trying again and trying harder. In his leather and gravel voice He called each of us "boy" Well into our adulthood, And next to him, We were. Each day that we live, he lives through us, The first generation of his children. And each day that we teach, His hand reaches down To help the next child along. May 1989

28: To Millard at One Hundred "Be square with a man - Be honest and do right. And everything else Will work out." Millard Hinkle told me that More than twenty years ago. And, by all accounts, He himself has lived that credo Since he was "old enough To figure out what's what." Long into the evenings, Millard has recounted to me The early days of Nicholas County. Mountain men and lumberjacks. Big snows and spring floods. Hardships and triumphs of will and spirit, And about the personal lives of my ancestors. We have fished. Walked in the woods. Marveled at bear tracks and deer runs. And just sat and listened To God's own creatures Sing God's sweet songs.

29: Early on, Millard tried to prepare me For the family business. He wrote on a piece of paper "Credit what comes in. Debit what goes out." Or maybe it was the other way around. But he told me to carry the paper And to "Look at it every so often." And carry it and look at it I did. And more than every so often. But I could never get it straight Even after I looked at the paper. Which doubtless is the reason That one early January afternoon When the store was closed for inventory Millard called me aside. Put his hand on my shoulder, And suggested as gently as possible That perhaps I should be thinking About preparing myself For another type of vocational endeavor.

30: Then, when I was choosing a college, Millard pointed out that Milltown grade school, The old high school, And Greenbrier Military School Had all closed down Shortly after my leaving. And he asked me, Just on the off chance That there was something to it, If I would mind attending college Out of state As West Virginia needed every single school Which it had. After the University of North Carolina Closed briefly in the spring of 1970 Due to campus unrest, Millard admitted that he was "More than a mite uneasy" About my decision to join the Navy. Millard and I have walked And talked. And he has shared with me Wonderments and grit truths. And he has carved into me Like a newly whetstoned Barlow On soft pine.

31: More than thirty-five years ago C. A. Deitz said, "Twinkle, twinkle, Millard Hinkle." Emerson, Deitz or otherwise, Couldn't have said it better. 1989

32: On Stephen Blasik's Friend You thought you'd never meet him Though you'd often heard his name, And those required to greet him Say they'll never be the same. He'll visit you in daylight Or when you're on the town. No time and place are quite right When the elephant sits down. When the elephant gets weary, And decides it's time to sit, He's usually quite leery Cause he wants his seat to fit. He checks the couch and wicker chair. The swing won't give him rest. He nestles here and snuggles there Then he settles on your chest. You first try to ignore him Hope he'll take the hint and leave, And then you would implore him But to speak you have to breathe. You wouldn't mind just fainting, Pray that when you wake he's gone, Except the thought that's tainting - That you'll wake at Forest Lawn.

33: This pachyderm's intention And message are quite basic He wants your full attention, And respect, Stephen Blasik. And when he leaves, he's not far, A pal through thick and thin. And if you're not above par, He'll visit you again. So one last word to ponder - No use to rave and rant Cause though you are A Wonder He's still the elephant. 1984

34: To Phoenix Steve from a Friend of the Duke Greetings, Stephen Blasik, sir. Heard you had another scrape. The problem is quite basic, sir. They're running out of tape. They've sliced and spliced and stuck things Where things ought not be stuck. You're out one day, the phone rings With news of more tough luck. They've lost count of your admissions. The whole staff knows your face. So there with the physicians Is your own parking space. And now you're in a wheelchair For quite some time, of course, And though you hate the feel there It's better than a horse. Still one last thing I'll give you A thing the Duke don't miss If you want to ride and live, too The horsie needs a kiss.

35: To Mom at Christmas Mom, I can't give you anything this Christmas But me (I realize that's not much) And I can't find enough words Or the right words To thank you for being Everything to me - I'm grown now And have a family Of my own - But when I feel a hurt, Have a problem, or a special jog And especially at Christmas I will always be your Little boy. I love you. 1982

36: To a Real Well Pal Once again I'm writing you With regards and my "Hello" The sickness bug's stopped biting you You're up and wired to go. No pachyderm to worry you No bucking bronc to ride No grandchildren to hurry you To find a place to hide. You and Mom can take your time Go where you want ot go. You're feeling like you're in your prime Just like some time ago. So enjoy your peace and slow time Let you mind and body rest Cause we'll all be out in no time And you must be at your best. The plans call for mountain climbing And the Colorado River Rapids rafting tests your timing Like rock faces do your liver.

37: And then we want to rough it In the Baja's nether reach We know you'll want to tough it So you can practice what you preach. As I said, we're glad your fine We're going to have some fun We'll get up 'ere the sun can shine And won't quit till we've done. We thought this news would cheer you We knew that you'd be glad That we would "round the clock be near you To keep you busy, Dad.

38: Farewell to Stephen Henry Blasik He was a man - And into your hands Oh God He commends to you His eternal spirit As a man He was not perfect Nor did he claim to be But he strived To do right He gave no excuses But he pained in solitude For his transgressions And he allowed others To do the same He cradled his family In his hands And his hands were strong And tender

39: He respected his fellow man And asked in return To be respected He loved life Did not fear death And lived for his family And his country As he believed, Lord, You would have wished Him to He was, dear God, What he appeared to be And he presents his spirit To you As a man and as a child of God

40: Farewell to the Penguin Parade I was marching late last year in the penguin parade minding my mind, Not involved particularly. Nor were you I saw you, Of course. You were three rows back And two columns over To the left. With Dali clock eyes Eclectic in their pursuits. Peter Max lips That smacked Of petulant indifference And now I can never march again Or run, walk, or glide Through the ice floes Without searching for roses To Katherine on our wedding day, August 2, 1980

41: The kid chatted with me While I munched She's very Independent And Versatile That way. She can chat While I munch, Or, She has been known To munch While I chatted. Sometimes we munch Together Without discourse At other times We trade Idea balloons Or Opportunity knocks cards Without munching At all. The kid and I both feel That flexibility Is the better part of Inflexibility. Also, it's shorter.

42: To a Teacher on Her Graduation (1985) Well, young girl, it's been some years You're closing in your prime. You've paid your dues with no arrears And you're getting out in time. When you started your profession You thought you'd never stop But now by your confession You're ready for the shop. Remember in the fifties You got apples and perfume The kids brought little gifties Not bombs that go ka-boom. And little boys and little girls Were clear to tell apart 'Cause earrings and blond waist-length curls Were more than just a start. When ornery was a spitball And saying "hell" or "damn" And tardiness a pitfall That required "I'm sorry, ma'am."

43: Now you pay them to attend class Give praise for non-fatal fights And handle them like old glass Or you'll violate their rights. And in the trenches warfare When you're fighting for your life A token is just bus fare When they've got guns and knives. Soon the kids win grand communion Will spell out what they like, And they will form a union So they can go on strike. With many smiles from good years When coffee cost a dime, You can leave with no tears "Cause you're getting out in time.

44: On Mother's Day I guess she will always think of me As ten years old. Frozen in time With runny nose, skinned knees, And untied shoelaces. Just the other day I tried to tell her And she said, "Don't be silly." I remember well when she was one of the guys And we would all go sled riding. When our mittens had finally frozen stiff And even the most crazed of us would rather Plop in a snowbank Then careen wildly down Spruce Street or Chicken Alley. We would gather the survivors And trudge home to strip - And watch her make magic (She was the only guy who could) With chicken noodle soup, sandwiches, and hot chocolate.

45: I remember rocking and fevers And nights when I was too sick To sleep And she sat and held my hand And told me stories. And I was so very happy that she did But I wanted her to think I could Handle it myself And was only consenting in order to humor her. I remember summers at Uncle Buck's And riding the red car at Jerryville. And how she picked berries and Fell off the red car just like the rest of the guys. Yesterday I spoke with her And today as well - And she's still one of the guys- And my best friend - And those memories - I know that they didn't happen (The events themselves, the memories are everyday) Within the last week But it doesn't seem more than a month or two A month or two, at most. 1984

46: Lord, I feel good Right now - I'm listening to the kid Laugh again - It's been Some time. She laughs With high giggle Dissolving into Low chuckle That could Ping crystal Or Polish china. She's been away For a while - At arms length But at Fingertip touch - kept away By a turned head With deaf ears - That had turned inward, Dysfunctional By hint of self-indulgence | Her laughter Has been Occasional By a friend Who called - A friend who has not Forgotten to laugh - Nor to listen. God, it's good To hear the kid Laugh again. 1985

47: I am not easy to know At least that is what I am told And I can understand Because of all that I do not know About myself. But I am not unapproachable Or even separate And I do really feel But not outside - Except when I cry. I know how it is to be alone When someone is too close I want to be alone And I am alone - And sometimes lonely. Today I will be with myself All day. Often I am not very good company I may not be Today. If it were tomorrow Maybe I could know you And see with you And laugh at myself And understand.

48: Easter 1987 Bunny sniffing at the bedroom door Starship eyes under covers - Panting, small and warm As Teddy Bear breath - And hippity hop away. Little legs Pumping pedals Like windmills In a hurricane Fueled by gummy alligators, Careening like laughter On rivers of asphalt. Plastic jet fighters On recon missions For twister slicky slides, Swing fields, And jungle gyms On the ready For a pair raid. Wind down and button down for the vets Picking picnic and memories and fussy, dirty babies.

49: Old Sol Beginning to droop Like tired eyes. And tired eyes Shutting down Like Old Sol. Like old souls Into the good night. 1987

50: To Katherine at Thirty-five When I first met you, You had not yet arrived. 35 mm SLR slung low, Ballet eyes wide open. Lithomaniac. Fresh face. Florence Nightingale of kittydom. Listener. Bon vivant. You opened the door Yourself. And stepped through With all ten little piggies. Into the Tweed Ring Telephone conferencing. And networking.

51: Home at last. Little Daisy Mother. Camcorder at the ready. For your Bell and Peanut. For gym and swim. For Tee and Soft. For better or worse. I do take thee. Still alive At thirty-five. Happy Birthday. 1988

52: Concert (1998) The music of your being Has always Held me in thrall. On so many occasions When I believe That have timed your life rhythms. You bridge to a syncopated beat That entails a half-step catch up On my risking being left behind. Upbeat brass riffs And muted woodwind melodies Slide by each other, Glissando, And then embrace In a brocade of harmonies That is the lace work of you. You succor me With dulcet cradle songs. You startle me With towering crescendos. You regale me with Twelve-tone rows. Play on! Play on!

53: Mirrors We are mirror images, We too I sense you in my reflection And on azure afternoons Burbling fountains Spout your likeness Left and right When I need you I must look no further Than my image Walking in pace with me In the department store windows, Pausing when I pause, Resting when I rest, Then going great guns for a good cause When I reflect upon my essence. I reflect upon you And our cosmic congruence To Katherine on her birthday 1996

54: The kid gave me Ten extra winks This morning Because she said that I had had a Restless night. Wrestling alligators Or constructing a Gigantic palace on the Pepperoni pizza Building blocks Extra cheese And hold the anchovies, please. The kid fixed me An ante meridiem repast While I showered Away The extra cheese And alligator breath. Eggs, sunny side everywhere, Steaming egg-enriched rolls That looked like large Hot-buttered, optic yellow Tennis balls.

55: Bacon as sweet That its donor must have Been killed With kindness And sweet-sour orange juice With little orange flakes That Donald Duck must have donated From his private stock

56: Love and Godspeed on your Graduation On Monday for the first day of Kindergarten, Mom dressed the two of you in Osh Kosh overall, Stephen, a blue whirlwind who promised to be home for lunch, And Roberta, read and ready to make her mark in the world. On Tuesday, you cruised through elementary school With Daisies and Little League and dancing and tennis. Father/daughter and Mother/son functions and kids-to-work days. The world's largest Christmas tree at Lantana. Stephen everywhere at once Roberta on a mission Departments of Energy and Poise. Wednesday and middle school were terrific. Sleepovers when no one slept. Community walks. More baseball and tennis. National softball. Disney World, Metro Zoo, Lion Safari, Monkey Jungle when the spider monkey tried to keep Roberta And the alligator ate Stephen.

57: Thursday morning and high school. Life on the run. Space Mountain and soaking Mom with the Flume New friends with wide eyes, Some taken into the heart with shared dreams, Time compressing. Race-a-rama. Mom and I holding our breath. Friday morning on the close horizon. And Friday will seem like a half day With early dismissal. Roberta and Stephen We wouldn't trade a moment with you For extra lifetimes. You have not just completed our lives, You have defined us. 2000

58: The kid smiled at me As I was accoutering myself With my stainless steel Psychological report and testing pew. Low flash, Medium cool Like the white keys Of a ragtime piano Sliding into blues. Glissando. The kid bussed me As I was engaged in Depilatory pursuits With my Atra self-adjusting Razor. It was a Good-awful good-morning. Got-to-hurry-I'm late, See-you-in-the-morning, Have-a-nice-day, Gee-I-wish-I-had-more-time, Got-to-go-bye-bye, Kiss. Then she left for her job, And I left for mine Shortly thereafter. Nice kid.

59: To John

60: And blue is still a color The ocean, green and deep The midnight tide receives the tears For I wrath the rivers weep. The seashells etch a picture In the soft, white silver sand A painting of a memory When we walked here hand in hand. The same soft silken moonlight That cascaded from your hair Now tumbles to its silent death Unlike when you were there. The seashell love that we once knew Of windswept beach and cover Was guarded by a thousand stars That dimmed before we bode. While still comes back the whisper Now echoed to a cry That broke and crushed my seashell world With just one word - goodbye And blue is still a color The ocean, green and deep The midnight tide receives the tears For now I also weep.

61: Daddy by Roberta Spencer He was my heart My soul My world My life He was my comfort My support My fan My hero He was my friend My dad My love My angel. Your little girl

62: Dear Daddy, I was reading a letter you sent me last year when I was at school in Texas. You wrote, "You are my sunshine!!" Daddy, I hope what you wrote is true because then I will be closer to you when you are in heaven. I have been constantly closing my eyes so I can picture you. I love to see your sparkling blue eyes and your fun-loving smile. I used to love the way your eyes squinted when you laughed. As I close my eyes, I replay all of the fun times we shared. Like the time you ran for a drop shot and flipped, head first, over the net. The time you ate Maverick's dog snack thinking it was real "pig in a blanket." The time you held Jarin's hand in church, thinking it was mine. Every time you would say, "Katherine, I mean it this more cats" and mom would sneak in with homeless cat number 6. And the time you and coach got stuck on the coral reef in Hawaii. I will also never forget the times you surprised me at my Texas A&M tennis matches; all the girls on the team were jealous...and they had reason to be b/c you were the best number one fan. My freshman year, against the University of Texas in Austin, I looked up in the stands during warm up and there you were. My knees went weak...the sight of you took my breath away. My sophomore year you surprised me when we played Vanderbilt on Valentine's Day. The

63: night before the match the team was out to dinner and you walked up to me with a huge heart shaped box of chocolate-covered macaroons from favorite. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have my daddy with me on Valentine's Day. And my senior year when we played UNC, you flew in the night before without me knowing and walked out on the court with a giant pink Easter bunny and freshly cut flowers. Daddy, I keep replaying those memories, but there is one particular night I can't stop thinking about. I had come home from college last year for winter break and I couldn't sleep. I walked out to the living room to find you laying on the couch b/c you couldn't sleep either. We started talking about how much we loved each other and I said I didn't know what I would do without you. You looked at me and said, "You will never lose me. Just look in your heart and I will be there with you." I have looked in my heard and I have felt your presence but I have also felt you in other unexpected ways. For example, on Wednesday morning I woke up to a beautiful arrangement of yellow roses. There was no name on the card, just a note that read, "In memory of a special man whose heart will always reach out to his yellow rose of Texas." Daddy, I know you helped them write that...that was a message from you. I miss you terribly and I can't wait to see you again. Love, Your little girl, the next Dr. Spencer

64: My Dad by Stephen Spencer First day of school Tears pour down my face like rain Grasping onto your leg Like a boa around its prey Not wanting to let go. You have always been my strength. Staring at my tennis racket Feeling the energy of the match. Thinking about the worn down black strings Searching for some deeper meaning. The tension reminds me With your voice in my head Bend but don't break. You have always been my strength. In New Haven you saw a coach No longer a little boy Lost in the maze of life You have raised me to be a man According to you, The Man!

65: Follow through, don't be afraid Is what I would say Or was it you? We are the same. You have always been my strength. I love you, Dad.

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  • By: katherine b.
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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: over 6 years ago