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"The poet has realized that he has his own way,which is neither scientific nor philosophical, of knowing the world."


Jacques Maritain (b. 1882)
French Philosopher


THE KYRIELLE

TELL ME THAT I'M BRAVE


Time runs ever faster, faster
Life can be a cruel task master,
and I am but a humble slave
O Kismet, tell me that I'm brave.
So much to do, so little time.
Death takes a friend still in his prime,
a friend beyond my power to save.
O Kismet, tell me that I'm brave.
My lifelong friend is gone, and I
must be content to mourn and cry.
I see the shadow of my grave.
O Kismet, tell me that I'm brave.

William J. Middleton, Ph. D.
Chadds Ford,PA



"Of all kinds of ambition,that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest."


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)
English Poet,Dramatist and Novelist


WORK THIS IN


Another day to change the world,
you prod yourself, lips gently curled.
Without a clue to how, you trust,
Stand firm, and do all that you must.

Of course, one must seek out some fun
to savor at the setting sun,
for nature longs to make us dust.
Stand firm, and do all that you must.

Two opposite-direction goals,
implanted, tire out lesser souls;
a good time and reforming thrust.
Stand firm, and do all that you must.

He mentioned these ideas, how they
confused him when he planned his day.
(Good E. B. White had scholar's lust.)
Stand firm, and do all that you must.


Mary Gribble
San Marino,CA



"No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures."


Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
English Author, Lexicographer & Conversationalist


A SHOT OF LEMONADE
KYRIELLE TO THE 85th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RATIFICATION OF PROHIBITION
JANUARY 16, 2005


In eighteen hundreds, booze and foam
were reasons men were not at home.
In nineteen-nineteen, Pa would grin
at home, while Ma stirred bathtub gin.

In speakeasies, where jazz was loud,
young gangsters burst in bragging, proud,
while beaded flappers blocked out sin.
From our home, Mom hawked bathtub gin.

It was not love of gourmet grub
made folks join an exclusive club.
With World War's end,hoorays were in.
Ma spread the word of bathtub gin.

No chat of Bill or Hillary,
but Ma's renowned distillery
and how to comfort next of kin
with Pa's last drink of bathtub gin.


Mary Gribble
San Marino, CA



"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my Maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."


Winston Churchill (l874-1965)
Statesman and Author


THE PANTOUM

NINETY-THREE


My aging aunt will soon be ninety-three.
She's wheelchair-bound and cannot say her name.
Once she was famous for her artistry.
Is this the price that she must pay for fame?

She's wheelchair-bound and cannot say her name.
She cannot even feed herself her gruel.
Is this the price that she must pay for fame?
The muse of artists shouldn't be so cruel.
She cannot even feed herself her gruel.
She cannot recognize a single face.
The muse of artists shouldn't be so cruel.
Fate stole her fragile mem'ry to erase.

She cannot recognize a single face.
Once she was famous for her artistry.
Fate stole her fragile mem'ry to erase.
My aging aunt will soon be ninety-three.


William J. Middleton,Ph.D.
Chadds Ford, PA



"If you're going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it."


Leo Bosten


HOLES


A letter wrote itself, entreating you,
as I recall, a score and more ago;
those weary words to our Big Sister, too;
I swore off cigs; there's data you should know.

As I recall, a score and more ago,
it shouted, "Stop now!" if a pen could shout,
I swore off cigs: there's data you should know.
With laughter, both my sisters tuned me out.

It shouted, "Stop now!" if a pen could shout.
Sis Mag could make you laugh until you cried.
With laughter, both my sisters tuned me out.
A hole burned in our hearts when Maggie died.

Sis Mag could make you laugh until you cried.
They pierced her flawless neck so she could breathe.
A hole burned in our hearts when Maggie died.
She left; we stayed and watched our parents grieve.

They pierced her flawless neck so she could breathe.
Next, Baby Sister cheered her with a wig.
She left, we stayed, and watched our parents grieve.
Stop puffing, Baby Sister; come, think big.

Next Baby Sister cheered her with a wig.
I prayed I could my naive sibling touch.
Stop puffing, Baby Sister, come think big.
I said, "Come clean, for you have seen so much."

I prayed I could my naive sibling touch.
And then, her wig and holes gave little fun.
I said, "Come clean, for you have seen so much."
But profits, damn the cost, again had won.

And then, her wig and holes gave little fun.
Those weary words to our Big Sister, too.
But profits, damn the cost, again had won.
The letter wrote itself, entreating you.


Mary Gribble
San Marino, CA


THE HEROIC COUPLET


"There is one art of which every man should be master – the art of reflection. — If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all?"


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
English Poet and Critic


VALENTINE


It was lonely in my house,
No sign of a lover or even a spouse,
So I opened my heart to the church and the town,
With the hope I might find someone of renown.

But before that happened, I needed some pills,
Not for me, but for my little dog's ills.
Inside, of the Hospital, I found this neat blonde;
She was English and Irish from across the Pond,

We soon went to dinner and the days really flew,
And our love for each other just grew and grew.
So when I asked her to be the spouse in my house,
She was first as quiet as a mouse.

But then she agreed to be mine, only mine,
And now she's become my eternal Valentine II.


Harry Letton



"The child is father of the man."


William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)
English Poet


VERNON,TEXAS – SUMMER 1938


"Times are hard!" the grown-ups said,
but we still had our beans and bread,
and sometimes for a special treat,
we'd have fried steak or other meat.

My ragged pants were cool and neat.
And who needs shoes to pinch their feet?
For it was fun to hop around
and miss the hot spots on the ground.

Remember old Scoutmaster Brown?
The finest man in our whole town!
He'd take us camping by the Pease
and let us do just as we please.

Grandmother lived in the house next door.
I'd spread the funnies on her floor
and lie there till I read them through.
I liked "Alley Op" and "Chief Wahoo."

And Grandmother had lots of trees to climb,
an arbor with a green grape vine,
and the biggest, sweetest mulberry tree
that ever stained a boy like me.

Remember that sometimes we'd play
"Monopoly"? It'd take all day.
And other games? We played a few –
like dominos and checkers, too.

And was it a hundred in the shade?
Then we'd have some lemonade
and I could drink an awful lot
till my whole stomach was a big cold spot.

"Times are hard!" the grown-ups said.
"Jobs are down! The economy's dead!"
But as for me,I'd have to say
that times were great in every way!


William J. Middleton,PhD
Chadds Ford, PA



"Memory is the receptacle and sheath of all knowledge"


Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.)
Roman Orator


MEMORIES


Ages ago one day my parents died,
I touched their box but did not look inside;
Now when my latest castle falls to dust,
They visit me and show me what I must;
Somehow I keep their gentle presence here,
To say a word of grace within my ear:
Or is it that they wish to be with me,
And in that longing come across the sea?


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"If a man really has an idea, he can communicate it and if he has a clear idea, he can communicate it clearly."


Nathaniel Emmons (1745-1840)
American Theologian


PARADISE FOUND


And so my thoughts are all of yesterday
when life was young and heaven thoughts away.
If I could think of it, all mine to claim
and I had thoughts of riches and of fame;
too soon the body felt the strain of age
and knew the uselessness of utter rage,
that all the dreams I cherished would not be
and few there were who chose to comfort me.
I learned the truth that man must walk alone
to seek his way, to find his final home,
a frightening journey with full twists and turns,
until at last the final candle burns
and lights the way ahead where heaven lies,
a Paradise unto these weary eyes.


Janet Parker
Leesburg, FL


THE TRIOLET


"So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more."


Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
English Poet Laureate


TRIOLET FOR LOVE


I love you in the brightest light of day.
I love you in the darkest fold of night.
My love feeds on the warmth of each sunray.
I love you in the brightest light of day
And when the shining sun shall fade away,
my love will flourish in the candlelight.
I love you in the brightest light of day.
I love you in the darkest fold of night.


William J. Middleton, Ph.D.
Chadds Ford, PA



"Fashion must be forever new or she becomes insipid."


James Russell Lowell (1819 - 1891)
American Poet and Essayist


VALLEY GIRL


My lily-of-the-valley girl
Must have the fashion of the week
So she can flirt and twist and twirl,
My lily-of-the-valley girl
Wears ornaments in every curl
And paint galore to gild her cheek.
My lily-of-the-valley girl
Must have the fashion of the week.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"There is not a single moment in life that we can afford to lose."


Edward M. Goulburn (1818-1895)
English Divine


"Fall seven times,stand up eight."


Japanese Proverb


TERZA RIMA
FENCES


Sometimes it may be true to say a fence
That's good, denotes adjacent folks are fine.
Strong boundaries may set some precedents

To let a stranger know you draw the line,
A rotten fence does not good neighbors make
If passersby pluck lush grapes from your vine.

I wouldn't want a high wall so opaque
Around my digs, that I appeared aloof
Yet open air between, seems a mistake...

I'd like some privacy beneath my roof.
My patio and lawn are my domain
And one is lucky if his plan's foolproof.

In case I feel the urge to entertain,
I'd like to ask the guests on my terrain,
Don't bother dropping by, Saddam Hussein.

Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA

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"We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy that things are impossible."


François Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1630-1680)
Courtier and Moralist


THE TETRAMETER
THE HOMESTEADERS


A family of pioneers
Set out to homestead in the West,
Staked a claim in New Mexico,
A territory called best.
Some things were great, but others, bad,
Including drought and little rain.
Ten thousand insects ate the crops
And fortune held them in disdain.
The summer heat, the winter chill,
Conspired to form discouragement
But something gave them strength to stay,
And ride a sea of discontent.
In seven years, good omens came
Rewarding them in their story
Of fighting on, despite discords
That came with the Territory.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"All human power is a compound of time and patience."


Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)


SOLITUDE


With trepidation I faced life,
Gave the surrounding world a glance
And sought a spot away from strife
At Hermit's Peak the circumstance
Of peace and quiet was my romance.
Montezuma is my neighbor;
Here I rest while others labor.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA

THE SAND OF ENCHANTMENT


When folks are in a joking mood
Say, "The real estate is moving."
They mean the wind is getting rude.
Grains are swirling, dancing, grooving
To a different drummer, proving
At Satan's beck, a flagellant.
Such devil winds do not enchant.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"All things are connected"


Suquamish Indian Chief Seath,
for whom the city of Seattle is named.
1855


THE OTTAVA RIMA
ROOT OF THE PROBLEM


The callas did not burst with springtime bloom
Their failure can be traced to one named Mac
He came as gardener when weeds mushroomed.
And slashing weeds, he cut the callas back
My lilies were my pride for my showroom.
Alas, too late to save them from Mac's whack
But seasons come and go, no guarantee,
At least he did not cut my cherry tree.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds."


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)
English Poet


THE RISPETTO
UP, UP TO THE STARS


I like to think the stars and I
Once above the miseries on Earth,
Could find contentment in the sky–
I'd see around me, a brand-new rebirth.
If I could have that dwelling place,
Floating, carefree, lost in time and space,
That star-land would rank a seven,
Almost to number ten,in heaven.

Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"TIME WILL BRING TO LIGHT WHATEVER IS HIDDEN; IT WILL CONCEAL AND COVER UP WHAT IS NOW SHINING WITH THE GREATEST SPLENDOR."


HORACE (65 - 8 B.C.)
ROMAN POET


DECASTICH
TIME IS HEAVY


If the future holds a promise
then it easier to go there,
but when time's heavy on your hands,
patience merits a Croix de Guerre.
Why does time for me weight heavy
though I apply the Golden Rule,
pay the tax for every levy?
Faint fame comes – likely ridicule.
What I need's a skin that's thicker
and a bouncing back that's quicker.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"We trust somehow that good will be the final goal of ill."


Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892)
English Poet Laureate


THE DIZAIN
TIME TO GO


The paramedics came for Annie Brooks last night.
My dearest neighbor fell while going down the stairs.
I'm glad she managed to fight back against her plight
And reach the phone. I know we old ones should beware
of pitfalls waiting, when we leave our rocking chairs.
I have a notion that my neighbor won't be back.
She's badly hurt. She may not die with quick dispatch
but linger, hooked to cold devices needlessly.
It's meet to dig a grave and batten down the hatch.
My wish is being ready, when they come for me.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS SHOULD BE OF USE; WHEN A MAN IS HANGED,HE IS GOOD FOR NOTHING."


François-Marie de Voltaire (1694-1778)
French Poet and Dramatist


CANZONE
A FINAL STONE


Although ignored, the five-year old defied
state-sponsored killing as the way to go,
a penalty which tossed her hope aside,
next, took her adolescence for a ride.
To sink as low as they was to debase
all that made life worth living: joy and pride.
Those who thought this the answer had not tried;
still, she would make them listen, have her say:
Someday when she grew up, she'd have her way.
It was not criminals alone who died:
when nurses told of brown and black man's plight,
her sheltered mind knew something was not right.

It made her ill to see revenge delight,
for school and Sunday School had been her guide.
Imagination filled her dreams at night:
Did Texans execute the rich and white?
She treasured each day's mysteries, although
it haunted her that all her will and might
was not enough to give blind hearts insight
to see in false assumptions a disgrace
to all who think such thinking is on base,
that their beliefs are grounded and airtight,
that those who execute have earned their pay
and imitation reasoning will stay.

While growing up, she met minds made of clay
their pride in How Things Are high as a kite.
She watched, while well-scrubbed people held at bay
discussion on the practice of the day,
belief that dead offenders turned the tide,
that future killers would perceive a ray
of light – the consequence – and would not stray.
She did not want a world so filled with woe
that those who were in charge would blandly sow
new seeds of violence, while the facts lay
still. lifeless, comatose, requiring light
of reason to bring justice to its height.

Supremes no longer scrutinize each case;
when evidence of guilt becomes a "nay"
they find it inconvenient to erase
the errors they assembled at swift pace.
Some feel no rush to keep their insight bright,
yet keep their dry-cleaned robes hung in their place.
(Supremes do not find pink slips in their SASE.)
I wrote to one, one time. No one replied.
How can they sleep with innocence denied?
Why won't they once be honest about race?
And yet to be considered is the blow
to Parents, Siblings, Children, who sink low.

Faux accusations aid the rapid flow;
those left behind exist in somber space
with duties to keep up the grave and mow
the grass, their confidence eclipsed and slow.
To punish relatives is worse than fey:
most did their best to help the inmate grow.
Because their kinfolk erred, they are called foe
and some will feel alone in their own sight.
Becoming dead does not make one contrite,
or change remorse he did or did not show.
Offenders' work for victims, if once tried,
could aid those left. It could not if he died.

Someday the politicians will not hide
in "what the voters want". This does not fight
the core, which makes a criminal say, "Hey,
the state is dumb as I — as far from grace.
If they may kill, why keep restraint in tow?"


Mary Gribble
San Marino, CA


Canzone Lesson

First Stanza - abaacaaddaee
Second - eaeebeeccedd
Third - deddaddbbdee
Fourth - cdcceccaacbb
Fifth - bcbbdbbeebaa
Envoi - aedcb


Sure He who gave us reason with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not  that capability and godlike reason to rust in us, unused.


William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
English Poet and Dramatist