Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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heart of the matter

heart (hart) n.
chambered, steady
quiet presence
of love’s river
laced with
and courage
lost sometimes
mended often
freely given
ready always
for encounters
with joy
my soul lives there

Day 17. A little behind, but no matter. A definition poem.


the lover

brown eyes that relegated
those of graceland’s
long-gone king
to minor status,
a dedicated would-be ladies man,
busking for apples
and caresses on his velvet nose,
infinitely curious,
sidling up to eager hands
and hearts to give
as well as take

his middle life
was night to this
bright day,
his courage fabled now.
what does it take
to walk a path
of pain and fear
right to the brink,
yet rally when all hope
seems gone,
a chance at life
remembered only
in a dream?
great will and vital spirit,
embers fanned by voices
of his sudden liberation,
then simply choosing life.

a miracle of parts,
his resurrection,
measured by small steps,
great victories for him
and for the people
working to reclaim
his life in full.
despite his none
too patient jennys,
and indifferent sheep,
once healed he stood his ground,
they were his charges,
as was any child
that came within his reach,
a solid presence for small bodies,
lovingly benign,
an echo of his youth.

his friendship won
was golden,
taking morning kisses,
braying out his siren call.
sometimes fierce,
he never claimed perfection,
nor did we expect it,
and he led us gently
to communion with his world,
departing when he knew
his work was done,
at rest now on the pasture slope
near his beloved tree,
and we will visit,
bringing love

for Simon, who died yesterday, january 3, 2015. and for Jon and Maria who shared him with us.