So may your silver years pass pleasantly,
Even as you rest beside the river.
Vanities are gone, ambitions, schemes,
Evanescent as night’s vanished dreams,
Nor need you be as prodigal a giver.
There is much that now will never be,
Yet what is, is more alive than ever.
The current hurries by; the tall grass teems
With creatures, each intent on some endeavor.
Old memories float like white sails out to sea.
GIVE ME MY DEGREE AND LET ME GO
Give me my degree and let me go!
Release me from this prison of the mind!
All I know is all I want to know,
Depending on the wisdom of the wind.
Unburden me of words and numbers, please!
Allow me to hang out and do my thing.
To learn best, I should best be at my ease,
In touch with what in life makes my heart sing.
Open up the world so I can see
No further than I need to be just me.
DO NOT LOVE ME YET
Do not love me yet, for I
Am still a slender moon,
A scimitar about the heart
Too sharp to touch too soon.
Before I’m touched I need to grow
More full in golden light;
I need to smile upon my earth
And rule some patch of night.
I need to know what roads and fields
Lie in my domain
And dull my brand new ecstasies
With sophomoric pain.
I need the love of some blank boy
As cold and dark as me,
That we might grope in ignorance
And fear of what might be.
And then when I’m a silver bowl
And know what I can hold,
Then, then, perhaps, we could try love
If you are not too old.
AS I WAIT AT THE HEAD OF THE AISLE
As I wait at the head of the aisle
On Dad’s arm, about to be wed,
I remember the light of your smile
In the days when I still was a child,
And you kissed me goodnight in my bed.
And I think, as I wait by the aisle,
Of an innocent world without guile,
An Eden where goodness is bred:
Lit by the light of your smile,
A place where one tarries awhile,
Sheltered from sorrow and dread.
I wait by the head of the aisle
With a gift that no years can defile,
A beauty no winter can shed.
And I walk in the light of your smile
To a life that was mine all the while,
And a love that is just as you said:
A love that waits down the aisle
For the warmth and the light of my smile.
A LITTLE GIRL NEEDS DADDY
A little girl needs Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings!
Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night.
Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart.
Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She’ll always find him there.
SO FEW REALIZE WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT
So few realize what life is about.
If I knew nothing else, I knew warmth, pleasure,
Despite everything, I knew love.
People look for what they can measure:
A degree, money, children they can brag about,
Reasons others might wish them mazel tov.
On days like other days were moments I treasured,
Life like other lives, humdrum, passing without
Yammering, with you, with the children, full, enough …
MY LOVE IS SOMETHING SEPARATE
My love is something separate
From what we say or do.
Though we may have it out with words,
I’m still in love with you.
Just as waves ignore the rocks
On their way to shore,
And keep on coming even if
They see what lies in store,
So I will come, no matter what,
And break, and come again,
And break against your wilderness
Beyond all joy and pain.