I have read the story before-
A great man has written the book.
It’s filled with years and tales of lore-
And of a road less traveled took.*

But sometimes standing on the shore-
The Lake- Our future’s where we look.
It’s only right that we are torn-
Between two roads- and which one’s took.

* (Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken)


The Man That Time Took

I saw the man again today-
The man that time had took-
“That one’s a vagabond.” They’d say.
Time had written a heavy book.
But the cardboard sign within his hands-
Drawn upon with feeble crayons
Told me that this man was a man
And made me ponder as I ran.

‘Twas just another jog that day
I’d seen this place before
Two streets down- then straight away
To this route my run conformed
But the cardboard sign now in his hand
Was new to me- like some grand
design that had for me been planned-
By a man who could hardly stand.

The words he’d taken time to say-
This man that time had took-
Was not some long drawn history
His simple words took just one look.
His hope was not for some substance banned.
No money did he demand.
His words were once this Nation’s brand
All he said was: “God bless this land.”

Troubled Times

Morning’s begun-
Life’s moving on
There’s time for sorrow to stir.

Noon with chagrin-
Looking to end
This nightmare wherein I burn.

Awaken within-
When hearts are dim
When your troubled soul has turned.

Remember then-
The crackling din-
Those long years from which you learned-

You take- You lend
You break- You mend
But time can’t be bought or earned.

Winter Memory

As I trod some well-worn beat
I felt the snow underneath my feet
The fragrance of the pines was in the air
And a cool mountain breeze never felt so clear.

The road I tread was no great feat
But I still considered it quite a treat
No hustle- no bustle. No modern sound.
Just the peace and quiet of winter around.

And so this moment I embraced
But suddenly of the snow I felt no trace.
Beautiful scenery around me blurred
And the startling truth caused me to demure.

Then looking at my well-worn road
I observed the pavement upon which I trode
The mountains around me- now skyscrapers
My pleasant mem’ries gone- just like a vapor.

What I would give to go again
Return to the place with no business stains
Those scenic regions are called paradise
But all of it’s traded for a busy life.

Spoken Words

Do we really know-
the power of the tongue
Spoken words seem right-
but some are so wrong
Yet somehow in the moment they spill out like a flood
With trouble and anguish- Names are written in blood

In the moments of sorrow
they can say you belong
And in the depths of destruction
they can brighten your song
But beware of those times when words are spoken in vain
For they not only cause harm- but considerable pain

I know I’ve spoken before-
of that bolt from the blue*
And the words uttered here-
are still echoed and true
Beware of those times when your lines seem obtuse
And put a watch on your mind lest your words seem abuse.

And if you happen to think
these my words are in vain
Even I will take thought-
this is written with my name
Now if you’ll do me this favor- I am not a king to decree-
Take a moment of silence and ponder what you read.

*Thoughtless (Edward Landers, 2014)

Shallow Appearances

No home – no shelter
The path of the wanderer is worn.

Hell-bound devil?
A saint – An angel?
The clothes that he wears are torn.

So gentle – So kind
His past is behind
And there’s a light that shines like the morn.

Forgive – Forget
Don’t judge – Don’t regret
The figure of darkness born.

Can you now see?
He’s like you and me.
Though the clothes that he wears aren’t adorned

The mind – The heart
Look deep not in part
For shallow is the appearance and form.