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William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
English Poet and Dramatist


True love does not exist, save the poet,
and therein, only in his gentlest dreams
where it settles, centering the heartbeat,
and rendering his life a misery.

Knowing One True Love is not a joy,
but an unfulfilled desire, a dream
unrequited and quickly gone to vapor
in the face of parents, husbands, wives,

would-be friends and other miscreants.,
all of whom are certain in their bones's
good for them is good for everyone
and must be obeyed, amen, amen.

And so we come to question life itself,
for if there is no love but per instruction
what good is all the rest? Just this, we find:
To eat and breathe, beget and teach our children.

that there is more to life than food and breath,
then pray we die before the joie de vivre
departs them and they slump beneath the weight
of knowing that true love does not exist.

Harvey Stanbrough
Pittsboro, IN

"Sad is his lot, who once at least in his life, has not been a poet."

Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)
French Poet


Two Santas pass, one jolly, staggering,
the other far too thin and glassy eyed,
and distant sirens wail and hawkers curse,
try everything to lure the passersby
"I need to sit awhile, y'know" C'mon!"
and beauties who no longer look in mirrors
frequent the corners, hawking wares themselves,
their faux mink barely covering their hips,
A lonely, older gentleman, his eyes
quick-misting, tips his trembling hat and smiles,
and one flips him the finger; his sad gaze
belies his pain at having lived so long.
The rumble of the train growls through the ground,
reminding him that someone's going somewhere
he'll never go again – they're going home.
He shuffles on into the fading night
Two blocks down, a pair of fine old ladies
dodder from the sidewalk to a shop
looking for the perfect cards and trinkets
with which they might display grandmotherhood.
They will not venture here, fearing Christmas
fades where lights are dim as unwashed children
and wishing not to blight their happy mood
with people God himself has written off.

Harvey Stanbrough
Pittsboro, IN


Its fawn face swirls, an eddy from my spoon.
And unsophisticated as I am,
I've added cream for lighter outlook in
my china cup, a java god. It yields
my languid smile, well-being from a bean's
obliteration - nearly ground away
to waken senses striving to keep on.
Momentum's mocha taste invigorates
the dullest moments of the afternoon

Carol W. LaForet
Bucks County, PA

"The biggest temptation is to settle for too little."

Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)
American Writer / Poet and Trappist Monk


These lives are ordinary, these few dreams
we are given time to dream remarkable
only to us, who—in our silent fervor
to mark our way so others (say, our children
or other fellow unremarkables) might follow—
find, after our demise, nobody did.

The post demise perception is a theory,
of course, and open to interpretation
according to the several other theories
to which we variously ascribe: the god
or gods or goddess(es) to whom we pray;
the maleness or femaleness of our selves;

belief or not in congregational
athletics, a spiritual limbering-up of self;
our interim destinations, Right and Wrong;
and how we felt upon each sad arrival,
having left something, someone behind;
reflexions on those gods and on our selves;

and whether anyone will read our lines
and wish that they had written them and wish
that they had had the opportunity
to meet us in the world that went before
we dreamed the final dream we were allowed
and passed away or kicked the can or died,

whereupon, I think, we all will find
ourselves as unremarkable as those
we left behind, the ones we hoped would follow
the trail we marked – unremarkable
as those we chose to follow while we lived –
and that we neither di nor were, but dreamed.

Harvey Stanbrough
Pittsboro, IN