“Tis Well”

A giant of a man

to whom history bows

As schoolboy’s sing

his legend proud

 

Our rivers symbols

where freedom flows

Through nighttime crossings

in driving snow

 

That freezing winter

at Valley Forge

The enemy slept

our hope restored

 

Embracing conflict

in search of peace

As patriots bled

our bonds released

 

A giant of a man

to whom history bows

In debt we live

our souls endowed

 

The first to lead us

the first to pray

The last to leave us

‘Tis Well’ this day

 

(Valley Forge Memorial Chapel: June, 2022)

Poets Of Convenience

Poets of convenience

reality to sway

A stain that lasts forever

excuses not parlayed

 

“Thou Shalt Not Kill” long spoken

ancient law upon the land

Religious, secular, or more’ bound

the truth has one command

 

A billion screaming babies

by curettes scraped away

As smug self-righteous killers

demand to have their way

 

The pathway to eternity

lined with voices put to death

“Thou Shalt Not Kill” their epitaph

—damning your last breath

 

(St. Josephs University: September, 1972)

One Step From Perdition

That day on the ledge

he started to shake

Each memory a tremor

of every mistake

 

The choices made suspect

as nightmares returned

The price of redemption

his destiny spurned

 

Alone and forgotten

his eyes straight ahead

Afraid to look down

where his hopelessness led

 

Each breath getting shorter

his heart beating loud

One step from perdition

one step to enshroud

 

But then in an instant

a voice could be heard

Not friendly or caustic

but rooted and learned

 

“Well jump if you have to

defeat as your crown

Your sins to fall with you

—forgiveness unfound”

 

(Dreamsleep: June, 2022)

Romancing The Serpent

Poetic depiction

prosaic description

Vowels come in colors

the rest black and white

 

They call to us orphaned

they call to us nameless

Our pens but a lifeline

that save with each write

 

To romance the serpent

to anger the saint

Each word symptomatic

our feelings acquaint

 

A bard or a preacher

their weapons the same

Whose caliber loaded

—to praise or defame

 

(Radnor Pennsylvania: June, 2022)