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The Villanelle


"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."


Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
Scientist


I'LL GREET THE DAWN


When I am laid away and all is done –
my journal closed, and all my last words said –
I'll greet the dawn, and not the setting sun.

Don't grieve for me, for in the longer run,
(Though friends may softly murmur, "He is dead."
When I am laid away and all is done),

I'll find a new adventure just begun
when soul and spirit will be fin'lly wed.
I'll greet the dawn, and not the setting sun.

I can't believe I'll face oblivion
As heart beat stops, and consciousness has fled,
when I am laid away and all is done.

I'll enter the bright land of Halcyon
where all my troubles will be quieted.
I'll greet the dawn, and not the setting sun.

It is not death that robs life of its fun,
But rather darkness of the soul instead.
When I am laid away and all is done,
I'll greet the dawn, and not the setting sun.


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



"War is the business of barbarians."


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821)
Emperor of the French


MOON OVER ARLINGTON


As silv'ry rays intrude on silent lanes
at Arlington, the stones define the cold
and endless rows of those who died in vain.

Here lie the bold – in death with nothing gained,
a shrouded consequence of all we dold –
as silv'ry rays intrude on silent lanes.

Here lie the gentle ones – those whom the strain
of war so quickly turned from young to old –
and endless rows of those who died in vain.

Here lie the ones who fled – their souls in twain,
their nerves in knots, afraid and uncontrolled –
as silv'ry rays intrude on silent lanes.

Here lie the strong – the ones who fought the pain
in silence, family values to uphold –
and endless rows of those who died in vain.

Eternally together lie the slain –
our sons and daughters, colorless and cold –
as silv'ry rays intrude on silent lanes
and endless rows of those who died in vain.


Harvey Stanbrough
Pittsboro, IN



"No man can pass into eternity for he is already in it."


Frederick William Farrar (1831-1903)
English Scholar and Author


DEBITS AND CREDITS


The hour has come, all things must end;
Shut commerce down by master plan;
Our memory, your dividend.

Archangel tympanums portend
A reckoning upon the clan;
The hour has come, all things must end.

Compute the sums you had to lend,
Balance the ledger while you can;
Our memory, your dividend.

Think hard as nails and comprehend;
The glass was full but fast it ran;
The hour has come; all things must end.

Toward closing time all timers tend;
Paid up the trades you once began;
Our memory, your dividend.

You suffered rather than offend;
Took less, gave more to every man;
The hour has come, all things must end;
Our memory, your dividend.


Troxey Kemper
Los Angeles, CA



"Dare to be naive"


Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Architect


CHAOS


Too many people in my dream last night
I lost all track of what they came to view
I welcome eagerly the morning's light.

No one apparently had any right
To make decisions based on feeble clues
Too many people in my dream last night.

Now that I have them gathered in my sight,
Perhaps, I'll give a penetrating cue
I welcome eagerly the morning's light.

At least among themselves they do not fight
Except for just a discontented few
Too many people in my dream last night.

I watch suspensefully in fear and fright
Searching the dark for things that I could do
I welcome eagerly the morning's light.

New dawn arrives and brings to me insight
There's no need now for me to follow through.
Too many people in my dream last night.
I welcome eagerly the morning's light


Janet Parker
Leesburg, FL


"Do right and fear no man. Don't write and fear no woman."


Old Proverb


May 2,1803 - 203rd Anniversary – May 2,2006

A Villanelle to the Louisiana Purchase


Our prayers and deepest concern go to the residents of New Orleans and to those in neighboring states for their trauma and loss from the devastation of Katrina and Rita in September, 2005.


THEY SAID THEY WANTED IT BACK


For fifteen million bucks, not beads,
(Manhattan went for less this fee),
a fire sale flared beyond our needs.

Spain, England, France first sowed the seeds,
by treaties that no one could see
for fifteen million bucks, not beads.

Though not empowered for such deeds,
two statesmen mused, "a deal must be-
in our lifetime, beyond our needs!"*

Along with crocodiles and reeds,
Louisiana held the key
for fifteen million bucks, not beads.

The U.S. doubled land and weeds,
Napoleon was up a tree,
offered it all, beyond our needs.

Some days when lust and ego feeds,
the spoils of war make gold debris.
This fifteen million bucks, not beads,
bought thirteen states, beyond our needs.


Mary Gribble
San Marino, CA



*President Jefferson sent the American statesman James Monroe to Paris to aid the American minister to France, Robert R. Livingston, in negotiating modest options. Napoleon told them, "All or nothing!"


"I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The
greater part of all the mischief in the world arises from the fact
that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They
have undertaken to build a tower, and spend more labor on
the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut."


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
German Poet, Dramatist and Philosopher


A POET'S WISH


A poet's wish is not to be thought right,
nor is it to condemn or prove a wrong,
but to provide a constant, burning light.

When millions starve to death without a fight
while governments grow fatter, waxing strong.
A poet's wish to not to be thought right,

and coming to the aid of wisdom's sight,
his end is not to write iambic song,
but to provide a constant, haunting light.

When misery, a homeless child's birthright,
makes days seem endless and nights overlong,
a poet's wish is not to be thought right

nor is his wish to overcome by might
or to incite the teaming, homeless throng,
but to provide a constant, haunting light.

When children wander streets alone at night
in desperation, begging to belong,
a poet's wish is not to be thought right,
but to provide a constant, burning light.


Harvey E. Stanbrough
Pittsboro, IN



"Patience is the companion of wisdom"


St. Augustine (354-430)


A Few Wet Bars
(to El Niño)


When showers pound and do not vacillate,
if invitational, there's friendly glee.
Resolve is different in liquid state.

Moods flow to peace or grow to rapid gait,
men rush or contemplate; cows find a tree
when showers pound and do not vacillate.

Plans made in dryness must or must not
wait.
Tired windshield wipers blink, but cannot
see
Resolve is different in liquid state.

Housepainters pace while farmers' fears
abate.
Big rain comes tailored to one's frequency
when showers pound and do not vacillate.

Computer's down; deliveries are late
and it's not clear who won the lottery.
Resolve is different in liquid state.

Those not born ducks seek to procrastinate
all pleadings from responsibility
when showers pound and do not vacillate.
Resolve is different in liquid state.


Mary Gribble
San Marino, CA