STOIC

Camouflaged by distance

And flanked by a disillusioned past,

He wept by night;

And by day stood tall and deliberate.

All his body could do was to follow

As his soul raged on;

All his mind could do was spin.

Fooling everyone but himself

He plodded on - and on - and on;

Never believing himself,

Always wondering why.

Leaving all his joy behind

In a small grey box.

THE FAIR

The fair from a distance is a wonderful sight,

With a childhood glint and a mystical glow

That strokes the night with a firework brush

And a dose of terror from a rickety old ride.

The wind carries memorable smells on it's back;

Popcorn, machine-oil and blue-ribbon cows,

Big piles of sawdust that cover the messes;

All getting ripe in the hot August sun.

Liars and cheats and thieves run the show,

But today I don't seem to mind a good fleecing;

It makes me forget that money's my master,

As it should when time slips away behind joy.

Screaming with fear, all the kids beg for more,

As grown-ups scramble for shade and some beer.

The hot sticky ground creates popular benches

And candy floss dreams start to bud in the night.

Angry new teenagers collect in the darkness,

Snuggling into their rock hard cocoons;

Content to leave childish summers behind,

While inside they mourn the loss of their youth.

In years to come they'll be back to recapture

What they so hastily left behind in that season;

Chasing life backwards like old smokey remnants

Of the firework's shadowy grey spider clouds.

Our town's cycle turns like a huge lighted wheel,

Coming back around to make us remember;

Reminding us not to stray far from our hearts.

The fair from a distance is a wonderful sight.

ME PEACE

I let her sleep a lot today;

It was easier than taking her out,

Always running the risk of something,

Something that could kill her.

Not that it wouldn't bring her peace,

But staying alive's the thing to do.

So unattractive to be dead;

So complicated and terrible.

She loved to live, to be awake;

It seemed a shame to waste her day.

But in her sleep I found my peace,

And now my peace will never end.

EXCEPTION

The fog made buildings disappear

But couldn't hide your face.

The rain washed the city clean

But couldn't erase your memory.

The wind blew through the trees

And through the place that was my heart.

The sun warmed everything on earth,

But me.

SUMMER'S GONE

Summer seemed shorter again this year;

Why can't they just leave the poor clocks alone

And let the last long days take their natural course.

To die with dignity without manual assistance.

Pretty soon the sail-boats will all be wrapped up

And the sand won't burn my little girl's feet.

Big towels will give way to bundled up poets

Trolling the beaches for old washed up rhymes.

When ocean-towns loose the bright light of summer

Their offerings soon become subtle and rare.

Diamonds return to coal, fueling the winter;

Leaving the long shadows in charge for a while.

Someone had a fire in their fireplace last night;

How could it already smell like Christmas?

Then I remembered that I was in California

Where Autumn amounted to one windy day.

A column of Harleys flowed down 101 south;

Like a river of angry rats running from the cold.

They didn't seem so tough from a mile away;

As I watched from the relative safety of my hilltop.

Faces turn inward with lingering sun-tans;

Wondering where their next dollar will come from.

Just in time another summer's gone;

Thirsty for rain and five o'clock nights.

I'll soon find another season of memories to share

As reminders drop like red and gold leaves;

Pressing my thoughts between pages like flowers,

They'll always come back to bloom in due time.

NOVEMBER

Ripe golden leaves spun to the ground

Reluctantly giving up their cozy summer homes.

The cold squeezed in through the cracks in my floor

As November prepared to give way to winter.

Ghosts howled and cried out loud to be noticed

As I prepared for the long year ahead.

Her house was mine now but she still owned it.

The walls purged her misery and bled with her fear.

Time now ran like thick wet sand

That finally gave in to the undertow and drowned.

Sweet death paused as her soul gave way

And turned itself over to the powers that be.

STOLEN YOUTH

I've changed;

Collapsed And grown back.

I've died Inside.

Outside Knelt by bedsides:

Felt pain,

Her's and mine;

Still young.

My youth dragged

As her's sped by;

Racing.

Prematurely gone

To a cold dark hole.

Now I'm left,

Stripped alive.

Alive At least;

At least alive.

FATHERLESS CHILDREN

Incandescent life

Angry

White hot

Insignificant death

Violent

Bone cold

Society corrupted

Warped Wrung dry

Fatherless children

Killing

Need love

Purchase "Seven Summers" Darren Block's latest book of forty poems. $22.50

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