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 to give as well as take

His middle life was night to bright days at Bedlam, his courage fable worthy
walking a path of pain and fear right to the brink, rallying when all hope
seemed gone, taking a chance at life found only in his dreams

Great will and vital spirit, embers fanned by voices of his sudden liberation
he chose 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 ask it
he led us gently to communion with his world, departing when he knew
his work was done

The pasture slope near his beloved tree is where he rests, and we will visit
bringing love

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