Monday, September 26, 2016

April 29 - Bridge Builder


I remember how that bridges
Always held an utter fascination
When I was just a bootless boy
With ample time and much imagination.
When I would with building blocks, Erector sets,
Hunks of stone, woodpile scraps and slivers,
Litter the house with rickety bridges
That spanned imaginary rivers.

It was the barriers I suppose
That I never really liked,
Always in the way of where I wished to go,
Barring every quiet trail I hiked.
Rivers invited me to build canoes.
Gullies, ravines defied me to try
To traverse intricacies of knots and rope,
Some book had taught me how to tie.

In the intervening years I’ve built
More bridges than I care to say
Some well used. Others, not so much.
It does not matter anyway.
You are not required to always cross
Every bridge encountered everywhere.
Bridge-builders do not mind, just so.
If a bridge is wanted, it is there.

That’s all I really wanted all along.
To leave behind me crossings that abide
A string of bridges, spanning barriers
Paths by which to reach the other side.
I hope that God will leave some rivers
When he makes the Earth anew.  
Chasms I can throw a span across;
And places I can build a bridge or two.

© 2016 by Tom King

Sunday, September 25, 2016

April 28 - A Refuge


A Refuge

When I build a place of refuge,
I compass myself about
With walls, but I always leave
A door and window facing out.
I cannot block away the sky
Nor the mountains or the sea.
I will not place a wall between
The warm brave sun and me.

                                                                © 2016 by Tom King

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

April 27 - Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Sometimes you just need
Food that tastes like home,
Flavors you share with someone else,
Smells that make you smile.

I used to think that
What you ate was not important.
I was wrong about that.
The smells sneak up on you.

Smells that take you back to places,
You’d forgot you’d left behind;
A joy that all of us,
In the family share it.

© by Tom King

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

April 26 - An Old Man Without a Dog

An Old Man Without a Dog

An old man without a dog
Walks down the hill toward home,
Just past the place along the road
Where he left the dog behind.

In the same way he left
Other companions,
A brother, a father, a son
A love already home waiting.

The ground gently falls away,
Beneath his feet, sloping down
Toward his journey’s end.
Without thought, he slows his pace.

Meandering now, his senses alive,
He drinks the nuances of smell,
Of light and color and movement,
Of leaves rustling, of birds chattering.

Life is precious down near the end,
Now that he finally sees where he is going.
His feet linger not wanting
To miss anything worth tasting.

He wanders steadily toward home,
Where he knows a comfort waits;
Waits with arms outstretched,
Listening for his footsteps.

© 2016 by Tom King

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

April 25 - I Sing Because


I Sing Because
I sing because I cannot be silent
When the world is hurting.
I shout because some things
Simply must be heard.
I weep because some things
Are worth weeping for.
I tell stories because we need them
to make sense of our lives.

I ask because unless someone asks
We'll never get an answer.
I write for those who need to read it
All in black and white in order to believe.
I comfort because a sympathetic hand
Makes it so we do not feel alone.
I sleep in peace because I know,
I have done all I

© 2016 by Tom King

April 24 - Two Weeks From Everywhere

The town where I grew up was small. How small?
I could walk the town all the way across and back
In the space of an idyllic sunny afternoon
Along some random sun-dappled, leafy track.
They were all like that, the roads and streets and trails,
Tucked among the gnarled oaks and chinaberry trees;
Drenched with pungent crape myrtle perfume,
And the sounds of dogs and kids and humming bees.
It was a town that taught you patience patiently.
If you needed something not on hand, they'd get it,
But you could count on waiting 14 days in any case.
Two weeks, a fortnight you could safely bet it
No matter what it was; no matter how large or small
Time warped itself always into equal spaces.
You learned to live with it or else you moved,
Somewhere rushed, more nervous, wired to faster paces.  
I carry some of that little town with me now,
Especially as I grow old, my powers wane, and my career peaks.
And when some nervous youngster demands to know how long?
My answer now's always the same about two weeks!

© 2016 by Tom King