Winter Paints December on Lake Erie

If you look closely, you will see
The masterpiece Winter painted
Along mighty Erie’s shore
In the darkness, well into the early morning light

You will see his fondness for ever so subtle shades of gray
How one by one he bends, sheaths the tall ornamental grass
In rounded silvery whiteness
And how he paints ripply footprints at the water’s edge

If you look closely, you will see
The fluttering gulls in the distance
Seemingly small, yet not insignificant
Every detail a pixel of life

There’s more, if you look closer
If you’re willing to brazen the biting wind
Like the pile of jagged sticks, and mossy green rocks from summer
Now a single creamy white ice sculpture

And if you hold your eyes and heart wide open
You can read the painter’s signature
Written in the battleship gray sky—
December

Memorial Day Remembered

I remember as a young boy loving Memorial Day
because of the small parade in our town Martins Ferry
honoring those who died serving our country, and
the family picnic when family members usually at war with each other came together, and
how the holiday symbolized school would soon be out for the summer, and
how the sun lingered and dallied much longer
allowing us to play early and late in the day, and
how we felt eternal like childhood was forever

December Years of Our Lives

I wish I could be
Satisfied for just one moment
Unafraid of serendipity
Strangers stealing sweet complacency

Somehow we manage
To find ourselves
Side by side
With truth and unreality

No answers
To all questions
Far less certain
Than our lingering fragile suspicions

So many times
I, like you, wondering
Is this all there is
Have I lost my direction

Just the other day
I met a man using fire
Forging reflective glass
Helping us see ourselves, find our way

Dismissing youth
Men with fewer years
I sat and watched
My own dismal, fading sunset

Secrets Locked Away Forever

So much inside us
Locked away
Inaccessible until
We discover the combination
Releasing deep secrets buried in the soul

These secrets
No mystery to the deepest part of us—
That part belonging to something larger
Yet out of sight they remain
Until the rusted lock and chain are taken away

Never easy
Dealing with the hidden
Even terribly lost parts of ourselves
But once in
So much more becomes known

Once we find our way
Even the deepest secrets—
Those buried in the cave of our heart
Become known
Releasing our grip on what binds us to eternity

Click here to see the picture that goes with this poem.