Friday, August 14, 2015

Up the Hill

Up the Hill
by Tom King

When I was a young man, I could scamper
Up a hill like this. No Problem. No Wheezing.
Today I stood at the bottom of the hill breathing hard,
Oxygenating my blood, preparing for the climb.

My middle-aged dog looks at me like I'm crazy,
But she's going to be feeling it about three quarters
Of the way up; about the same time I start to wish
I had some oxygen with me. Must be the altitude.

I know this shouldn't be this hard, but every year
It gets a little harder. I can't stop walking though.
I'm doing the daily miles to keep a pace or two ahead
Of troubles I once thought reserved for old people.

It's just the hills that God throws up in my path that get me.
Just when I'm going along pretty well, an upgrade appears
For no reasonable purpose that I can figure out.
Big stupid hill right there in my way;gonna leave me winded.

I guess He knows something that I probably do not.
Something about hearts and joints and blood sugar I imagine.
It is a pretty climb, though, and there are some trees for shade.
And there's a bright light up there that looks kinda hopeful.

(c) 2015
Photo by Tom King 12/13/2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Minor Gods

Minor Gods

Man builds thrones for himself;
Places where as minor gods we sit,
unkered slightly, half-expecting
Lightning bolts for our bloody impudence.

And when they do not come - the fiery bolts
A little smile comes 'cross the face
Of minor deity as the thought occurs,
"Damned, I may have got a way with it."

It is then the God they thought
Was not watching comes to call
And claim His due - a soul to pay
That cannot even save itself, when all is done.

© 2015 by Tom King

Tuesday, July 7, 2015



 A young man doesn't always think with his head
There are often less admirable organs in play;
When decisions are made - those go/no go choices,
That you come to regret at the end of the day. 

I made a few bad ones in the interminably lonely
Years spent blundering up and down and everywhere.
I spent my energy in a frantic and stumbling search,
Knowing in the hard world, you were still out there.

Lips are stupid things that dull the wits and heat the brain.
Seven times I found myself fired off the wrong direction,
By gunpowder kisses, laced with hormones and fire till at last
I learned to keep them closed - for my own protection. 

Stupid me I never thought that you might not be
An ardent kisser; that you might be a creature
Of wind and fire, mind and passion more than I ever,
Bargained for, and that lips are but a single feature.

And in the end I found that passion is not the thing
I thought it was, when I was young and hormone-raged.
 I've learned a steady fire heats passion better than explosions.
And has settled in my soul; grown ever deeper as we've aged. 

(c) 2015 by Tom King

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Love Abides

Love Abides

Upon the bleak fields of February
Mottled shadows crawl across the forest floor,
Cast by sun half-hearted glowering
Behind the drooping winter sky.

Spring still sleeping beneath wet leaves;
Warm rot, the blanket for the seeds
Last autumn cast carelessly, it seemed to me,
Upon the hard ground.

The dying leaves I watched them fall.
The green time done and gone again,
To ochre, scarlet, yellow, brown.
Question, acceptance, then finally revelation.

The green time comes and goes,
Skin fades, mottles, wrinkles;
Hair falls, eyes dim, bones weaken;
Even music slips away with time.

Till warm we wait beneath
The blanket earth like seeds sown,
To be lifted up when February’s
Done its gray deed and Spring is come.

In faith we live the green times
In hope the ochre, scarlet, yellow, brown.
But it is in the February gray
We know that Love abides.

By Tom King

Friday, February 27, 2015

Breath Taking

When at night, I look up into the cluttered sky,
When I look deep into the glittering byways,
That wind among the bright and scattered stars,
I hear God whispering my name.

by Tom King