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POETIC FLIGHTS 2

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Poems about hope and love are listed on the index of poems

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poems of hope

Below the rumble of the stars,
We cry, laugh, and sometimes roar,
Always wanting
Just a little
More--

Oh how
Life's unfairness we deplore!
We barely twitch--
And then,
Alas,
Depart.

In this universe of billions,
On this tiny chunk of earth,
Its living skin
So snugly wrapped
Around a core of molten rock,
We should prize
Our precious stock:

We have defied unlikely odds,
We have won the lottery all.

poems of struggle
The three bandits jeered
As I stretched my neck up
Through the safe lattice
Of the lower branches--
And then as if to clinch
My inferior position
A soggy, half-nibbled missile
Was flung at my face
By the cheekiest one;

My wobbly ladder reached
Halfway--no more,
The darkest and sweetest
Hearts
Just outside my grasp--
But oh, how it pained me
To leave them hanging there,
To reward that gang
Of thankless thieves--
Or worse,
To just let them bleed
And rot;

Watching as they danced
On those swaying twigs
High up,
Unquestioning of
Their acrobatic skills,
A delicious urge wriggled
Up:
Dethrone their insolence
With the cold brute blast
Of the water hose;

Was it the lack of claws
And fur on my belly
That kept me pinioned--
Or an old scab of fear?
Above the worms and sow bugs
I hovered,
The whispering greens
The pulsing of tree
The breath of dizzying
Blue
In my eyes,
And in that moment
Sensed
The balance of all things;

And then shrugging off
My wounded pride--
Perhaps to raise myself
To a more rarefied
Height--
Started my way down.

poems of struggle
One day we moved to where
the houses were wedged
together in naked rows like
shoe boxes
topped with upside down V's
street after street
you could hardly tell apart
one shoebox from another;

The lawns, square bits of green;
freshly cemented sidewalks,
newly paved roads--
nothing hidden, nothing old;
the trees too young to climb
and in the backyard--
now to be our own--
more backyards with nothing
for our imagination to grow;

No secret places to discover,
no sound of the steam engine
thumping and straining
as it tried to grip the tracks
below my bedroom window;
no bleachers on the roof,
where on hot, buzzing afternoons
like ruling kings and queens
we could sip our lemonade;

No bountiful chestnut trees,
no squirrels, no mighty oaks,
no crunching cinder path
to the silent convent woods,
where in bottomless winters
down treacherous slopes
of pillowed, knee deep snow
we'd gladly hurl
our small, invincible lives;

Someone had made a big mistake
was the gray, unwieldy thought
that for days shadowed my mind.

Sometimes you've got no choice
if you want to get ahead,
my father mechanically said.

Then after a little while
we just got used to it,
planted things
and watched them grow,
made new friends and
filled life's holes,
until we hardly remembered
what we had before--

Yes, that was how it was
when younger eyes saw more--
and less,
when time barely had a grip--
but now, as I lean over
the frosted railing
above the buzz and antics
twenty-nine stories below,
fingering my Rolex watch,
I toy with this silly thought:
did a single living tree
when giving up its leaves
ever feel incomplete?


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