Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rhymes of freedom, fate, and friends

My father considered flying his greatest hobby -- until he couldn't fly anymore. At that point, he told someone in a letter, his love of Big Band music took over. Another hobby, he said, was editing a weekly newspaper. Did he consider poetry a hobby, too -- or a way of life? I don't have a backstory to any of the five poems below, so let's assume Harry wrote them simply for his own enjoyment. Or, do you think he penned a couple of them on behalf of someone else? 

Harry in the sky
Untitled (Undated)

If those who live and spend their lives on land
Could once, just once, with freedom soar the skies,
If they could see from high just where they stand,
And knowing this, lift up their sights, their eyes,
And draw direction from the truths above.

If they could feel the strength within their souls,
that powers men with God's sweet energy,
Then set their course without regard to shoals,
They'd know the dignity of being really free,
And soon the world would learn to trust -- and love.


Untitled (Undated)

I wonder if Harry ever presented this poem.
Now and then, from time to time,
I feel compelled to rhyme a rhyme,
The reason why, I do deplore,
Is GIRLS – parading past my door,
My door – and desk – and me – you see,
Front on a traffic artery,
And girls from near and far away,
Lead my quivering eyes astray.
(Especially those from down the hall –
They pass – and off my chair I fall!!)

Now those who pass with nose in air,
I follow – with a wicked stare,
And those who pass with eyes on floor,
My eyes pursue them out the door!!
But those who pause and glance inside,
With artful look and twinkling eye,
No, he's not looking at girls; he's relishing
his mother-in-law's chicken soup, 1960s
I cannot face – I shrink – I hide,
I size them up (just shoulder-high!)
(Especially those from down the way –
They know me off my chair each day!!)

There’s a saying, and it states,
All things come to he who waits,
So here I sit – so patiently,
And wait for girls to come to me.
The trouble is, there are so many,
All I want is one, most any,
In fact, I’ve picked her out already,
Whatta dish – now down, boy, steady!!
(One of those from down the street,
Knocks me off my chair and feet!!)

But just when all my dreams get started,
I’m told that soon we shall be parted,
Such is fortune, such is fate,
We never even made a date!
We had barely got acquainted,
She spoke to me – I almost fainted!!
Now she’s leaving, and what frets me,
I will die – while she forgets me.
(OH, that doll across the heather,
Now we’ll never get together!!)


Untitled (Undated)
At an office event, 1960s

A thousand thousand years ago,
Before we existed – it was long ago,
I dreamed a dream so vividly,
And the dream was all about a girl and me.
The sky was blue and the stars were high
And the girl, it was you and the guy was I!!!

I dreamed we walked by the sandy sea,
The girl who was you and the guy who was me,
And the blue-green sea and blue-green skies,
Were reflected so suitably within your eyes.
And we both held hands as we walked along,
And our hearts were young and love was strong.

But the All-Wise God looking down from above,
Decided that the Earth wasn’t ready for our love,
And he sadly laid us down to rest,
And our Souls were exalted and our love was blessed.
And we slept a deep and peaceful sleep,
For we had an appointment with the future to keep.

But the question is – is the future now,
Or is it a thousand thousand years from now?
Do we start once more and go on and on,
Were we destined to meet inside the Pentagon?
Or did Fate decree we should wait some more?
Does the future have another dream for us in store?


Untitled (Undated)

Relaxing at home, 1980s
The time has come, I must confess,
When words with which I can express,
My feelings simply can’t be found.
They echo with an empty sound.

It’s difficult to say good-bye.
For I am not too old to cry,
And this I know, within my heart,
We two are growing far apart.

But life is joy and sadness, too,
And you must do what you must do,
And though we nevermore will meet,
My memories of you are sweet.

I wish the very best for you,
May all your fondest dreams come true.
I wish success for you, and more,
In finding what you’re searching for.


Dozing with a friend, circa 1970. Was he dreaming up his next poem?

Friends (Undated)

A friend is not a casual acquaintance or a date,
And this is not a matter that is open to debate.
A friend is someone whom you like, to share your woes and joy,
And it doesn’t really matter if a friend’s a girl or boy.

A friend is someone whom you like, to share your blues and bliss,
To share a smile, a word, a look, a fond embrace or kiss.
A word, a look, a smile, a kiss, a touch, a fond embrace,
Each of these is precious at the proper time and place.

Indeed, a friend’s a precious thing, and also very rare,
Each person has so very few with whom these things he’ll share.
A friend is like a brother whom you fight for and defend,
No matter what he says or does, he’s yours until the end.

And friendships are quite strong, I think, not puny things or wrecks,
For friends are much like lovers, but of course, without the sex.
Now is it wrong or wicked, is it really very bad,
To confide in one another when you’re happy or you’re sad?

Well, if these words or thoughts or deeds do easily offend,
Then maybe you don’t understand the meaning of a friend,
You must accept, you cannot change the foibles of a friend,
But if you cannot stand me, then our friendship’s at an end.

In case you missed them, you can read more of Harry's poems in the previous two posts on this blog. Next week, we'll see why Pentagon officials hailed his poetry.

1 comment:

  1. Harry's "e-mail group" friend wrote:

    Thanks for sharing and honoring your Dad. He was a great man in a quiet, dignified way that those who knew him appreciated. He personified CLASS!!