In My Time

The days fall short of summer’s length,
Like an old man pining for youthful strength.
There’s a crystal light that glimmers in the mountains.
Bluebirds splash like children in the fountains.

Tendrils of cloud cling to the peaks.
Everyone listens as the wind speaks
Through the trees with its northern breath.
Winter’s creeping closer with its hint of death.

And the river flows placidly by
Murmuring, “I’ve seen millions die,
In my time,
In my time.”

A Buck Moon burns behind the trees,
Where only their tops wiggle in the breeze.
The moon dims the stars with its virginal light, 
Sharp shadows form in the darkness of night.

And the river flows placidly by
Murmuring, “I’ve seen millions cry,
In my time,
In my time.”

Would that I could turn round the direction of time
And return to those hills that young lovers climb.
What would I see through these ancient eyes,
That before I had missed in adolescent disguise?

What better pastimes has every old man,
Than to remold his life with arthritic hands?
Nothing can be changed but wouldn’t it be fun,
To return and undo what should never have been done?

And the river flows placidly by
Murmuring, “I’ve seen millions try,
In my time,
In my time.”

                                                            March 2021
Published
Categorized as Poems

Labyrinth

Circles within circles chase around the mind
Forming balls of confusion, hard to unwind.
Tangled dreams, ragged thoughts,
Recycled ideas and beliefs that had been bought.
Around and around they fly like spinning wheels of time
Confusing the senses with what is yours and what is mine.

Act Two begins with the freshness of wind 
Changing directions; to end is to begin.
When hope rises slowly like a morning mist
The sun shines obliquely with a sudden twist.
The air is clear like a painter’s light,
Hope blossoms full on a moonlit night.

Frightening simplicity.
Is complex comfort?
Is comfort complex?
Take away the me
And what do you find?
Memories of emotions left behind.

October 2020

Written as an exercise within a printed labyrinth, thanks to Wind River Retreats.

Published
Categorized as Poems

Whizbang

House prints across

An Oklahoma prairie.

One rusted oil derrick

Bows in silent remembrance

Of the past.

The remains of Whizbang, OK

July 2019

During the oil boom of the 1920’s, Whizbang, OK grew up almost overnight. It no longer exists. Mary was born not far away, in Fairfax, OK. The name, Whizbang, has always intrigued me so, I had to visit. There are several versions of the origins of the name, one being a woman known locally as Whizbang Jane. From that, you might be able to guess her profession.

Strange as it may seem, I wrote this poem while in ICU at Greenville, SC, Memorial Hospital. I don’t know why it came to me at that particular moment or in that unusual place. I had no pen nor paper and I didn’t have my glasses. I had to repeat it over and over to myself to remember it until I could write it down 24 hours later,

Published
Categorized as Poems

The Future Is Just A Breath Away

My feet now tread on shaky ground,
In an uncertain world that swirls around.
They say to look for the magic in the air,
I've tried but I don’t see it anywhere.
I want to be numb, without a care,
To turn away from a future that isn’t there.
When I close my eyes the darkness never comes
Brilliant stars dance around celestial suns.
Is that the magic they talk about,
Concealed in a crevice between hope and doubt?
I tiptoe across slick stepping-stones,
Gazing down at sun-bleached bones.
The river tumbles swift and clear,
Above its roaring I can barely hear,
As an angel beckons from an open door
Guiding me safely to the distant shore.

January 2021
Published
Categorized as Poems

Out of the Darkness

Out of the darkness there shone a light,

Like a ship out on the vast ocean at night.

“You are not alone,” the light seemed to say

“I’m here to guide you as you sail on your way.”

Out of my heart, my spirit began to soar,

Above and beyond the far distant shore.

The sails were set, the rudder held true,

The wind carried me far out into the blue.

I gazed ahead to where the waves met the sky,

When I thought I heard a lone seagull’s cry.

“Fly, fly, fly,” the bird seemed to scream,

As the caress of the current carried me away like a dream.

Out of the darkness came a voice loud and clear,

A voice vaguely familiar, comforting to hear.

“Rise up and soar, be one with the wind,

Glide over the fences that once held you in.

Throw open your heart with a laugh and a smile,

See the world once more through the eyes of a child.”

I shook free the shackles that had bound me so long

To a world of confusion where souls have no song.

I let loose all the sails, let go of the sea,

And leapt to the sky, for it’s there I shall be,

Where the moon and stars fade in the night,

And out of the darkness, there shines a light.

John Longbottom

February 2021