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Ronald G. Auguste

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Phoenix, AZ, US

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IN THE AUTUMN OF MY LIFE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Ned Mullan)

Now, in the Autumn of my life,
I can't remember all that sang in Summer;
But Spring -- its Spring --
Is still a vibrant thing!

I see the green grass rich in rain.

I see the rising suns place gems
In dews of morning,
And scatter diamonds
In the spiders' silken tents.

I see the setting suns drop shades
On languid hillsides,
And cover up the whispering seas
With changing tapestries.

I see bright fishes leap --
They leap and shine --
How quick!
Their scales reflect the silvery sunlight.

I see black song birds in the crickets' fields,
Seeming to come and go in pecking order;
And paper hawks,
Sweeping the skies on bamboo wings --
Strange birds,
With dancing tails,
Floating through air on strings of cotton....

I see the mango trees,
In green and fragile gold,
And they seem poor and barren,
Empty in my sight,
Though laden with a wealth of coming sweetness,
Coming juice,
Yet to evolve from countless beads
Of yellow, bee stung flowers....

I see a boy, as if on wings,
Moving in sun,
Running in rain and showers.

The late Spring of my life was such a joyful time!

Love was, and is, an orange;
I, a pear -- Good fruit --
From whose sweet seeds two seedlings grew.

They grew ... they grew ...
In nurtured soil,
I see them grow,
Leaves finely veined,
And soft and bright,
Translucent in their sunlights, all aglow!

Sweet Spring led to bright Summer --
The Summer of my seasons --
The Summer of this life ...
I can't recall ... well ... hardly ...
Vaguely ... not at all ...
Except in broken fragments,
Of bright and broken days,
And broken dreams of broken hopes,
In sweltering broken nights....

The younger seedling, broken --
Crushed! --
In my bright Summer ...

Broken during his early Spring,
Before the season of his blooming.
Broken and shattered,
In his Spring,
By a society,
Drunk,
Entombing.

Broken,
A rising sun,
My son,
Whose shattered rays
Deepen the glooming....

O Lord,
It is so hard to bring again to life
A shattered season.

A shattered season -- memories lost....
Yearning to bring, at any cost,
Back into form,
In this,
The cheerless,
Sunless Autumn of my life....

So often must I clear dim visions through my wife.

The Autumn of my life is not yet kind.

It is being hot.
It is being cold.

But there's some joy, as I grow old.

A sprout,
In his bright Spring,
Leading to brighter Summer,
Has borne fine blooms,
Which bore fine fruit --
Fine blooms, fine fruit --
That yet may ease the sorrows of my Summer....

I hope
That I shall see
Leaves
Of
My
Autumn
Die,
In vibrant tones....

I hope the Winter of my life
Won't be like early Spring,
Less stepping stones....

I feel my Summer's loss --
Loss of my younger seed --
Deep in my bones....


YOU CHOOSE THE ROAD

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For my nephew Jason)

There is a road ahead you cannot see,
Littered with failure, woe, and cares unknown;
Littered with broken dreams, that hopelessly
Meanders through the brambles you have sown.

There is another road just round the bend,
Meandering through vales where blossoms blow!
That road just rolls on, to a joyful end,
Strewn with the wholesome crops of seeds you sow.

Oh, yes! two sudden roads branch off ahead:
One will be brightened by both sun and moon!
The other's just a path where heart-aches tread,
In so much darkness, spark of light's a boon!

You may be burdened on the road you choose,
But you, alone, in truth, can make the choice.
The future is your own, to win, or lose;
Yet, you should listen to the loving voice

Which urges you to choose the better way,
That you might journey on, complete and proud,
Bypassing all the exits to decay,
Amid the vulgar virtues of the crowd.

The vulgar virtues of the crowd, you know,
Should not prevail, unless you favour strife!
You choose the road, bypassing all the woe,
That you may journey through a happy life.


I AM THE UNIVERSAL NEGRO

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Stokely Carmichael)

I am the universal Negro.
My roots lie some in Africa.
My sweat flows in the Congo.
My blood still irrigates the New World,
Where I have been equated with the mud.
Variegated corpuscles compose my blood!

I stand as tall as Kilimanjaro --
Strong as it! huge as it! black as it!

I am the universal Negro.
I have been ostracized, and spat upon!
An outcast of the world! an outcast
Even in the countries of my heritage,
Where to hate me -- is to love!
To savage me -- is to be civilized!
To humble me -- is to be superior!

My shadow darkens the conscience of the world.
My voice encompasses the world.

Listen to my voice, and you will hear
The shame of continents, in continents of grief.

Listen to my voice!

It is the howl of humanity!
It is the passiveness of pain!
It is the wretchedness of woe!
It is the salt of suffering!
It is the merriment of mirth!
It is the doldrums of despair!
It is the fragrance of forgiveness!
It is the fearlessness of faith!
It is the sombreness of sorrow!

It is the bleeding,
Pleading heart-song, of a tormented soul!

I am the universal Negro.
My shadow lengthens on a shrinking world.


I'LL LOVE YOU STILL

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For my wife, Anita)

When you are old, my Darling, and the days
Become mere catalogues of boring things,
And wings,
Once soaring splendid, flap on common ways,
In mellow woods where fall life's Autumn leaves,
Before snows of life's winter shroud the ground,
Around,
I'll love you still.... Even as dawn retrieves
Its pearly splendor from the vanquished night,
And drapes drab city streets with holy gleams,
While dreams
Dance off to other worlds with their delight,
My hands will reach into the Arc of Time
To conjure days of laughter, buried deep,
Asleep
In bygone years, to make last days sublime.

You'll always be the fuel for the flame
That urges me onward to finer things,
And brings
Me nearer to salvation.... When you came,
My lodestar blazed in glory in the sky,
And myriad sparks feel earthward in a gay
Bouquet,
Which I would swear is blooming in your eye!

May you be blest of God, my Darling,
And,
If fate decides I be the first to leave,
Don't grieve --
Since we'll have kept our promise, understand....


SOUTH AFRICA

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Nelson Mandela)

Indeed! It is a new and shining land!
So do not waste the New Day passing blame!
From utter desolation, something grand
Is rising ... to obliterate the shame!

The sun has set upon the sorry fields,
And golden stars are twinkling in the skies.
A new sun, rising on the New Day, yields
Some moral sunstrokes to refract men's eyes!

To bend their vision to a noble view;
To cast more righteous outlooks on the scene;
To warm the hearts of bold ones -- bless the few! --
Who from their towers will survey the green.

The green now is a wasteland, black and brown,
Infested by the ills that sinners sold.
Invested with the virtues for renown,
Forge on, kind souls, and make that wasteland gold.

Gold, yes! All colours of the rainbow, too!
And all the hues and shades that fall between.
Go! Paint the land beneath the skies, now blue!
In vibrant tones the world has seldom seen.

Indeed! There is arisen something grand
In South Africa -- former land of shame.
So venture onward to rebuild the land!
Good Heavens! Do not waste time casting blame!


YOU, KILLING ME WITH HATE-FILLED, RABID EYES

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Medgar Evers)

You, killing me with hate-filled, rabid eyes,
What mad cells spawned this cancer in your brain?
Your eyes have slain a million souls, whose cries,
Choked out, will be your epitaphs! whose pain
The anguished seas in which you'll come to grief,
Rats in a vaster Weser.... Do your worst!
Enshrine with crime your God be-dammed belief
Of racial grandeur! By such crime accursed,
My tears shall leap like lances at your souls!
My sorrows will be mill-stones round your necks,
Dragging you down into Hate's hellish holes,
Demented, broken, God-forsaken wrecks.

May God forbid! forgive! remold your fate!
Lest in the end you perish, choked with hate!


A MAN FOR ALL TIMES

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For President Ronald Reagan)

Perhaps his memory will live on --
Regardless of the time --
Embellished by the things he's done.
Sagacious in his prime,
It seems he was a Lord, in deed!

Despite his common birth,
Evolved neither from common seed,
Nor common types on earth,
Thunder on high will roar his name!
Rainbows, both far and wide,
Obliterating hollow blame --
Naming him "Son", in pride....
As long as other beings will think,
Love, write and sing a song!
Death cannot take him near its brink,
Regardless of the wrong
Emotive minds ascribe to him.

As History often shows,
Great men must sometimes dwell in dim,
And claustrophobic rows....
Nevertheless, time always tears
Asunder all the lies!
Making that future mankind hears --
A truth, devoid of sighs.
Nirvana's pure state for his soul!
Faith being its lure at birth,
Oppressing wrong from Pole to Pole,
Redeeming right on earth!
Although he's A Man for All Times,
Lest we forget, too soon,
Let's praise his name, in song and rhymes,
Towards both sun and moon.

Instill this maxim in your mind:
Mere mortals often fail --
Exalted, still, the few we find,
Sometimes, beyond the pale....



MAY YOU BE LIKE AN EVERGREEN

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Byron, my son)

You are the elder from my seed.
Well nurtured, may you live and grow,
Above the bramble and the weed;
And may you bend, when strong winds blow.

May all your branches know the sun;
And may your leaves be always bright,
Yet always green, with veins that run,
In shades of gold, both day and night.

May you be like an evergreen
That stands tall in sweet Autumn's gold.
Yet, may your colors still be seen,
Verdant in splendor, rich and bold!

May all your seeds, from which are born
Your fruits - your saplings - all your kind!
Be pure, untainted, to adorn
This earth with kindred of your mind.

May droughts - if any - leave your soil
Still fertile, rich, and far from dry!
And as you bloom, despite your toil,
Listen to breezes ... as they sigh....

Now, in the blooming of your Spring,
May you prepare for Summer's gold!
May that gold a grand Autumn bring,
To leave you warm for Winter's cold!

May you be conscious as you bloom,
And bring fruit to this bitter earth,
That earth, someday, will be a tomb -
Then pain, regret ... will bear no worth.

You - Evergreen! - you bring delights,
And great joy, as my senses gaze
In Pride, with Love - I pray your nights
Will bring calm comfort to your days.


DARYL, MY SON

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(In Memoriam: 8/29/72 - 4/23/83)

Daryl, my son, was born a ray of light!
Although his flash upon this earth was brief,
Resulting in much darkness, and much grief,
You know, he left so much that seems so bright.

Love is one gem he left us on this earth,
Fragrant like flowers in the morning dew;
Resplendent in a way that would imbue
Many besides the ones who gave him birth.

No one is born who is not born to die.
Chisel that truth, and etch it into stone!
Idealism just cannot shield the bone!
Summer -- his own -- had not yet flushed the sky.

Autumn's a sunset, colourful, yet grey.
Unto its gladness, Winter will be born,
Grandest of seasons! moonrise to Spring's dawn!
Until its pomp, life should be here to stay.

Spring came, and Daryl was a sprightly ten,
Thoughtful and gentle, anxious to begin
Effecting those grand dreams being born within.
My son was born to be peer to all men.

Yet Fate, not being immutable, it seems,
Sometimes is forced take a different bend;
Obliged to tender life an early end;
Negating so much promise, and such dreams.

Daryl, my son, in seventy-two, was brief --
Born to a good beginning, full of light!
Shorn in an early ending, soft and bright --
In eighty-three, a drunkard brought me grief.


WOULD HE HAVE SAILED?

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Had Columbus known
That his travels would have shown --
Apart from marvels --
A way, and formed a will,
To slay, enslave, and kill,
Would he have sailed?


THEY CALL ME NIGGER

by

Ronald G. Auguste

They call me "Nigger!" --
Little boys and little men,
With pallid faces and disfigured souls,
And souls in the sad process of becoming so.

Like blind destitutes in a neon city,
They beg my grieving heart,
And it goes out to them
Across the narrow streets
With coins of pity....

They call me "Nigger!"

I smile.

Yes!
Knowing who I am, I smile.

They snigger.


JADE OF THE FALLING SNOW

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Jade Snow Tseng)

Jade of the falling Snow, please bear in mind
All things that come last for a little while.
Delight and joy, the dearest you can find,
Evaporate, and seldom leave a smile....

Should you despair for faded love, I pray
New love's delights will illumine your soul;
O Jade! stray from those paths of yesterday,
Where bitter memories still gain control.

The paths you walk should wend below a sky
Serene and clear and blue and free from rain.
Each day and night should carry, by and by,
Nothing that makes you feel your life's in vain.
Go, Jade of the falling Snow, and love again!


AFTER THE PARTY

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Alone with her past midnight in my room,
We kiss in prelude to ecstatic things,
Like silhouettes, while rusty divan springs
Creak out a cracked concerto in the gloom.

Her lips are warm, moist with desire's dews.
Her touch -- soft warm rubs I was blessed to find --
Caresses me, while her sighs bring to mind
The soulfulness of Mississippi Blues.

Bored, we had fled a suffocating party,
To seek a mutual lull from loneliness;
Locked in a brief -- too brief -- togetherness;
Locked in ourselves.... So what! if she is tarty,

And slinks away a stranger in the morning?
These minutes now, she's love; she's warmth;
she's bliss!
And loneliness dies, not being born for this,
But for the jibe ... and the indifferent scorning.

Oh! while we love, the Sunday hours creep
Towards the dawn with blushes in their cheeks!
Comes ecstasy -- the couch no longer creaks.
Too soon we shall be slipping into sleep....

Glad in her body, sweet, and passion-wise,
I lay bouquets of kisses on her eyes.


I WRITE OF SORRY TRUTHS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

I do not write, often enough, of roses,
Or rainbows, or enchanting Autumn leaves;
For, when I search my mind, my mind discloses
Mainly the sorrows of a soul that grieves.

Not long ago, my soul rose in the morning,
And sang some songs of joy toward the sun;
Throughout the day, its flowers bloomed, adorning
Divergent paths, until the day was done.

I wish this poem only came of charming,
And joyful things -- God wishes that were so!
But one sad day, some drinks, and laws, disarming,
Brought pain -- great loss! -- leaving a lasting woe.

Before that time, all of the folks who know me,
Will vouch that crime was always cause for grief;
My thoughts were deep -- so deep! -- no one could show me,
That there was ever cause to bless a thief.

I thought -- still do! -- our laws don't punish killers,
Or even curb the ones who rape and maim;
Those laws, so broad, replete with mindless fillers,
Can barely bruise, so thugs remain the same.

The drunken slob, who took him, who was golden --
My son, a rising sun, so full of light!
Was simply charmed by laws meant to embolden:
Probation for a year -- a sorry plight!

Should things remain that way, we shall be sorry!
So sorry, friends, but it will be too late!
Our mindless actions raise most crimes to glory --
Soon, there'll be Huns, each armed, at every gate.

I do not write, much, nowadays, of beauty,
Or love, or hopes -- the grandeur of the soul.
I write of sorry truths -- that's now a duty!
I pray, and hope, those truths will make us whole.


I SHALL RETURN

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Ned Mullan)

When I am tired of this Winter wind,
And weary of these sorrows on my mind,
I shall return, to sit and burn,
In sweet Saint Lucia, under sunny skies,
To know, again, an earthly paradise.

When I am tired of this bitter life,
And weary of contumely and strife,
I shall return, to sit and burn,
In gentle sunlight by a singing sea,
Where voices, warm and brown, will comfort me.

When I am tired of this cruel city,
And weary of alms-giving coins of pity,
I shall return, to sit and burn,
In warm savannas of my carefree youth,
Much wiser, rich in charity and truth.


A BETTER PLACE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Andrew Young)

I often grieve for our world to be
A better place to live -- that people would
Incur a universal allergy
To wickedness, and do the best they could:
Forsaking evil, prejudice, and hate;
Beholding God in reverence again;
Learning to love; learning to tolerate;
Abolishing whatever causes pain;
Performing good only for good's own sake!
Ringing out sadness with the bells of mirth!
Ah, then, and only then, could mankind make
Eden anew upon this bitter earth --

Each man, an Adam; every woman, Eve;
But undefiled! then no more would I grieve.


CANEFIELDS, MANGOES, COBWEBS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Take what you wish, from my fair isle,
And smash the rest asunder!
Take all the things which may beguile,
And shatter them with thunder!

But leave alone the whispering fields of cane,
Dream-dancing bright in sunlight after rain.

Do with the flowers as you please --
Crush all -- Except the roses!
Unless, of course, they make you sneeze!
And irritate your noses....

But leave ripe mangoes on the bending boughs,
To tantalize the grass-forsaking cows.

And if the little birds that sing
Arouse acoustic scorning,
Constrain their throats and let them wing
As shadows in the morning.

But do not touch these cobwebs! Let them gleam,
In grasses, dew-begemmed, beside the stream.


WHEN I, SOMEDAY, WALK CORRIDORS OF PEACE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Rosa Parks)

When I, someday, walk corridors of peace,
In princely places where no eyes attack,
My soul will know no joy in the surcease
Of segregation -- It will travel back
Some hundred years to men of blacker blood,
Who suffered first what should have never been!
And in these halls my eyes will weep a flood
Of bitter tears, that they could not have seen
A better world.... It's up to us to make
This racial Eden which they never knew!
So let's forge onward, letting nothing break
Our strength to suffer in our will to do.

And when, at last, we've sanctified this earth,
We shall absolve them all who gave us birth.


FIREFLIES

by

Ronald G. Auguste


Fireflies punctuate night's dark paragraph
With flickering apostrophes of light,
Or glimmer like exclamations of hope
On an unending fly-leaf of despair....

Dancing before the eager scrutiny of my eyes,
They die, momentarily,
While a leaf is turned
Towards the shining epilogue of dawn;
Then come to life again --
Winking, fire-blinking neon asterisks
On night's black velvet page.

Above, in a cloud-hungry sky,
A myriad stars imitate
The scintillating diamond dots of fireflies,
In brilliant constancy!


JOY DAYS, BOY DAYS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Guillaume, my father)

When I was young, my time was a parade
Of honey coloured days and purple nights,
Devoid of care, but pregnant with delights!
The buzz of brown bees browsing in the shade

Of frangipani made a sound to please
The coarsest ears. The murmur rose so sweet,
It seemed a soothing symphony complete
Upon the tropic air ... and with what ease,

And mystery of art, the humming birds
Performed their feats of sitting out the hours,
On boughs of wind before the gaudy flowers,
While I beheld in wonder, lost for words,

Searching my mind for intellect or sense
To comprehend that marvel! Being small,
I never really made the grade at all;
But other things provided recompense,

And soon made me forget: like running wild
With pals in hot savannas, playing games,
And at each other rudely shouting names
While getting lost in joy, till time beguiled

The lights away, and darkness fell like some
Black monstrous bird shot down while flying high
Across the bright cerulean void of sky,
And suddenly a billion stars would come!

A billion eyes admiring the moon
Tracking a rainbow made of hues unseen;
Diffusing gold upon the spangled green,
While warm winds made the grasses dance and swoon;

And crickets sang in intermittent notes;
And fireflies threw sequins in the park
Which glimmered on the velvet of the dark,
And bullfrogs cracked concertos in their throats.

These were the days, and those days were delight,
Spiced with the essence of exotic things.
Now, by myself, with boredom in the night,
I seek solace in what remembrance brings.


JEWELS SHOULD SPARKLE DAILY IN YOUR EYES

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For my grand-daughter Juliet)

Jewels should sparkle daily in your eyes,
Until sweet sleep induces them to rest.
Let hopes and dreams, on wings, throughout your skies,
Incite your soul to soar among the best.
Each thought you bear should pass an Angel's test!

Thoughts -- noble ones! -- can so enrich your life,
Vouchsafing to your mind pure paths of gold!
Indeed, such thoughts can free your heart from strife,
Vacating low lures eager to take hold,
In hidden spots of virtue, hot and cold....

All through your life, such thoughts can show the way,
Nirvana being the place to which they lead.
Be well aware the best can go astray,
Lured, beyond noble thought, to baseless creed!
O may the heavens guide your word and deed!

Observe true self-respect in all you do.
Mark jest or duty with pride's precious aim.
Feast with your friends -- the ones who care for you.
In all that matters, they'll enhance your name.
Enlist their aid, my dear, and share the fame.

Love that is sure and true is hard to find,
Despite a fervent longing in the soul!
Attest to all Love's treasures in your mind!
Unfettered by despair, that'll keep you whole!
Given such love, stay kind; be in control....

Untouched by vain regrets, sleep well at night.
Sleep, with your mind at ease, devoid of cares.
Trust that your life will be long years of Light,
Each day, of wholesome joy; none in arrears!


LONDON CALYPSO

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Dorothy and Richard Perkyns)

We came here from Jamaica,
And from Barbados, too;
From Trinidad and Tobago;
Even Cariacou!
And many other Islands, too numerous to name;
But folks, I think you ought to know
They are not all the same,
Though we are all the same.

I slave upon the factory floor,
Or navigate the buses;
I cultivate nice girls no more,
But celebrate with hussies.

I know I can do better,
For I'm educated, quite!
"So sorry....", says each letter;
You see, my skin's not white.

O to be white and airy
Like new fallen Winter snow!
I'd sing this ditty merry:
"It's so right to be white, oh! oh!"

Such ecstasy would burn my blood!
My joy would sing like pain!
I'd roll, hog-happy, in the mud,
Till I was black again!


NIGGARDLY

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For David Howard, forced to resign)

How deep and wide we've grown into a state
Where those who guide us in this fairer land
Are so unschooled and bent, they're finding Hate
In words my boyhood friends could understand!
The adverb form of Niggard, now and late,
Always pertained to Misers -- rich, but bland!

When will our hurtful people learn to find
The actual origin of words -- their truth --
Before imputing to them terms that grind,
By adding meanings sharp with nail and tooth?
Though some words carry venom, in our mind,
We should be real ... never so uncouth....

Leaders who misconstrue that word, Niggard,
Really should be perceived in low regard....

Will they demand the English tongue be changed,
Simply because their minds are disarranged?

Niggardly ... obtuse ... how long will we maintain
Those vain assumptions, when they cause such pain?


SHALL MEN BE SAID TO ROOT LIKE DOGS OF WAR?

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Shall men be said to root like dogs of war,
In garbage dumps of fear and discontent
For bones of strife on which to grind their hates?
Shall it be said men's intellect is spent
In preparing their own oblivion?

Crows of unrest cast terrifying shadows
On the war-ravaged landscapes of the world,
Portentous of men's psychopathic march
Towards the final rape and holocaust
By nuclear brimstone! Will they never learn?

The broken voices of a myriad dead
Shriek dire warnings on the burning winds,
And demon vultures gather in the heavens
In preparation for the gory feasts....

Shall it be said that men are worse than beasts?

The highest born, becoming merely rinds
Of God's created fruit? Can they not discern
That all the evils rooting in their minds,
like cancers,
Threaten their very existence?

Shall men be said to root like dogs of war
For useless laurels on a useless shore?
Disseminating horrors while they abhor
The virtues of the "Brotherhood" of man --
Suppressing them within an iron cage?

Have men returned to worshipping of Pan,
Unmoved by gospels of sin's damning wage,
To bark like mongrels in God's Holy Face,
Reviling Heaven in a puny rage,
Constructing Babels to their fall from grace?

Should generations hence, mutations trace
The history of Adones, will they see it
Deep-rutted in the scarred and brutal plains
And chasmic landscapes of a hellish earth?
And have it rammed into their piteous brains
That their fore-fathers were a race of fiends,
Who drew their laughter from atomic mirth --
Creating Hell from paradisial earth?


SOME FRIENDS ARE PURE GOLD

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Ethel Griffin)

All the things you do
To make this world a better place,
Instill a special joy in you,
And guide you on a path that's true.

They fill you with an inner grace,
Which glows so brightly in your face.

Some friends are pure gold,
Or gems that sparkle in your heart!
They put your grief, or pain, on hold --
Effuse warm sunlight when you're cold.

They even pluck the doubts apart
From all your dreams, to help you start.

You are such a friend --
The sort the very lucky find!
In you, soft human virtues blend.
I treasure all the thoughts you send.

You are so warm, so dear, so kind.
You are so precious in my mind.


THE LOVE THEY DO NOT USE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Emmett Till, in Memoriam)

The love they do not use
Grows sour in their hearts,
Like milk, in Summer heat.

Or festers like a sore,
Oozing an inner pus
Which fouls their very breaths;

And rising, clouds their eyes,
Limiting their vision
To ignorant noses....

The love they do not use
Is what I hunger for:
Unction of soul and mind;

Light for the stony eye;
Hope for the pining heart;
Wheat for the hungry gut!

The love they do not use
Turns acid in their souls,
In time, becoming hate,

Which they use, creating pain,
Like corkscrews turning in my brain.


THOUGHTS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Daryl, my grandson)

Dare you aspire to reach the eagle's height,
And soar beyond the common, out of sight?
Reason and intuition say: "You can!"
Yet you must learn to bear the ills of man,
Lest all their minds' diseases make you weak.

Govern your actions wisely, as you seek,
Under life's unrelenting folds, to find
Ideals to shape and energize your mind.

Let kindness guide you on life's tangled trail!
Let truth abide inside you, or you'll fail!
All that enriches will not soothe your soul,
Unless greed and injustice leave you whole.

Mercy's a garment you should always wear.
Endure the moments when it shows a tear,
Because that garment will not always fit....

Love is a rainbow that is always lit.
Only the heartless seek to dim its light!
Only the callous can't judge wrong from right!

March, when you must, a pilgrim on the road,
Forlorn and weary -- bent beneath a load
In search of answers to alleviate
Especial sorrows, born of luck, or fate.

Life is a journey, neither safe nor sure.
Death is that journey's end -- you will endure!
Aspire to touch those things that lowly lie,
Unblemished, though not dazzling in a sky....

Grant that some heaven can be found on earth!
Undo all that you can that throttles mirth!
So many shortfalls plague man in a blight,
That you should use your being to make them right,
Ennobling you to reach the eagle's height.


THE WORST DISEASE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

The worst disease is like a common cold,
But more destructive! Once it's taken hold,
It takes the human heart as in a vice,
And squeezes it between two walls of ice
Till common love becomes a frozen sap,
Which cannot rise to flow out through the tap
Of humane actions. Such is its effect,
It damns the best souls with a foul defect,
Just like a blight, which, starting from the roots,
Makes only bitter or aborted fruits
Upon fine trees which otherwise would bear
The crispest apple and the sweetest pear.

The worst disease is only racial hate.

The vilest forms reduce men to a state
Of paranoidal fury -- no holds barred,
They rave left, right and centre, hitting hard
At anyone who flaunts a sepia skin!

No songs or freedom marches can begin
To diagnose the horrors it creates....

No cures can be concocted for these hates,
Warping some people's souls like dried up limes;
But laws should be enforced to fight the crimes
Resulting from the rash of this disease!

But would that really help? Whom would it please
To mould their morals to unwanted codes,
Even to stanch the venom that explodes
Within the narrow regions of their brains,
Like silent thunder over barren plains?

Hate's elixir will not be found in laws,
Or inconsistent protest that abhors
The worst disease and its grim aftermath.
Nor in pretentious attitudes of wrath.

The answer lies beyond all earthly ken,
Deep, deep within the sullen hearts of men.


WORDS OF ADVICE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Nelson, my grandson)

Nurture the finest traits, to gild your time.
Extol the strengths and virtues of all things.
Let poets sing their songs, in prose, or rhyme.
Serenely sip the joys the sweet sort brings.

Of all the habits which you might acquire,
None should impair that deity in your mind.
Ascribe to all fine thoughts -- they're yours,
for hire,
Lest vain and callous ones make you unkind.

Extend a helping hand; relate to sorrow;
X-rays can show your heart, but not your soul;
Allow yourself to give, though you must borrow
Nothing that will debase -- impugn -- your role.

Dare to be bold! Reach up, and far, and wide!
Enshrine ideals that will not devastate!
Rebut the chaff! Learn there's no place to hide
Beyond barbed wire tentacles of hate....

Let Love become a metal staff beside you.
Obey Love's rules -- none's sharp enough to hurt!
Obey Love's rules -- for royally they'll guide you,
Marching on roads that do not lead to dirt.

Fear not! Fear not ... the pitfalls on life's journey.
Infuse your being with prowess of a knight!
Enclose your being in armour! Life's a tourney,
Leviathans can't win -- unless they're right!

Dare to be great! Dare to be up, and running!
Against the boldest beasts that fate can bring,
Unleash your inner strengths! Unleash your cunning!
Go brave into life's fray, while ideals sing!

Unite with truth, and kindness, to be fair.
Succumb with sympathy to forlorn cries.
Treat other beings to joy; curb their despair
Eagles, you know, both rule and share the skies.


TO SAINT LUCIA, WITH LOVE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(In Memory of my Dear Mother, Eugenie)

Sweet Isle, sweet home, sweet, sweet abode,
In self-exile I walk the road
Of savage cities, far away,
Regressing in a slow decay
Through Winter fevers, Summer chills,
And sad, soul-wracking, bitter ills.

The pleasures of exile are few!

I see no cobwebs, gemmed in dew,
In myriad numbers, all aglimmer --
In early morning lights they shimmer
Like veils of fine spun filigree,
Fragile, tensile, silvery.

Oh, they had been a splendid sight,
Engendering such a rare delight!

Men of great letters could but try
To praise your beauty.... How can I,
Of lesser words, be more sublime?
Evoke your majesties in rhyme
With limp iambics on a page?

They should exult and shout and rage!

If I could trap those lofty words
Singing within me like bright birds,
I might succeed in showing a trace
Of the sweet splendour of your face.

I might succeed, sweet emerald isle,
In missing only by a mile!

Do you still rise, my sunny isle,
From sun-swept seas, wearing the smile
Of tropic nature, sweet, serene --
So sweet, the worst storms could not glean
Its simple splendours? Do you still
Flaunt Immortelles upon the hill
Beyond the "Four Roads" -- orange fire,
Of which my eyes could never tire?

Do palm trees still preen on parade,
Their regal fronds proudly displayed
Like banners in a cavalcade?

Do mango trees with laden boughs
(Providing shade for lazy cows,
Tick-ridden, mottled, indiscreet,
Forsaking grass for mangoes sweet!)
Still odorize the sunlit ways
With fragrance ... during August days?

I hope that breadfruit trees are still
Prolific upon every hill,
Their silver bark reflecting sun --
Or moon -- glow, when the day is done.

Do blackbirds still sing in the park?
Do fireflies illume the dark
Like twinkling asterisks of light,
To lend an eerie air to night --
To captivate -- and bring delight?

Do happy children still play "Nay!"
After the coppery heat of day
Has softened, and a mellow moon
Makes ghostly shadows dance and swoon,
While lovers lie in beds of grass,
Where frogs and crazy crickets pass?

And what of Castries -- wood and stone --
Where frequently I walked alone
(When I craved lack of company)
To muse on Love and Poetry?

I dream, no matter where I roam,
Of that old house which was my home,
And often wonder: Does it stand,
Still doleful, on its plot of land,
Communing with the burning street
Where people passed on dancing feet?

Or does it glow, new-bright, but quaint,
In a brilliant coat of paint?

How vivid still the memory
Of days spent in the company
Of precious friends, not loath to share,
(Over cakes and iced root-beer)
A meager purse of jaded wit....

Perfunctory laughter at each bit
Would sometimes swell to a crescendo,
Upon a smutty innuendo!

How fares my old school, set above
Those foaming waters that I love --
On Vigie headland, from where one
Can see your hills roll on and on,
And see the hills of Martinique rise
As if before one's very eyes?

And Pigeon Island, green and grey,
A seagull's cry from Gros Islet,
That little fishing village set
Like turtle shells caught in a net
Of sunlight by the water's side --

Do children there still race, or ride,
Those gentle waves that splash and curl
Like liquid love, round boy and girl?

From there, too, one can see the specks
Of ships like tiny floating wrecks --
And screeching gulls that dive to spear
Bright fishes and then mount the air
On graceful wings that whir like joy,
Delighting every staring boy!

What of those graves beside the sea,
Where Loved Ones meet eternity?

Do wild birds there still mourn their dying?
Are still sea breezes sadly sighing --
While wild waves beat upon the shore,
As if in grief ... for evermore?

Are holy roses still in bloom,
Upon each sandy, wind-blown tomb?

I hope the head stones stand, though bent,
Rooted in mournful Sacrament --
Unmoved by storms, or ghoulish hands;
Unmoving, though in moving sands....

Those dancing cane fields where I played
Truant, and very often stayed
Until the brazen sun was sinking!
And fireflies already winking --

Do they still dance, those fields of cane,
In sun, and wind, and slashing rain?

I still hear the cane cutters shout!
Waving their cutlasses about ...
They're singing! How their bodies gleam
With rivulets of sweat that stream
In warm profusion to the earth!

The valleys echo with their mirth!

What of those pastures where I played
Ball games, and generally displayed
My lack of skill for any sport --
Though I could revel and cavort,
Gay as a clown, in hills of hay,
While sunset lent departing day
An ethereal air of peace,
And boyish hearts mourned the surcease
Of daytime past-times, rich and dear,
While countless bats spun in the air
Like shreds of grace, endowed with wings,
Free-wheeling in eccentric rings?

And what of Micoud, Vieux-Fort, Dennery,
Choiseul, Anse-La-Raye, and Laborie,
La Ressource, and Babonneau,
Roseau, Ti Morne, Marigot,
Canaries, and Soufriere,
Where The Pitons rise in the air
Like monuments to tropical
Enchantments -- rare and magical?

Oh emerald harbinger of peace,
I weep, I mourn for the surcease
Of all those joys which you inspired
Deep in my soul -- by splendour fired!

Your bright birds and your flaming flowers
Ignited all my youthful hours!

Your forest giants, reared so high
That they seemed to support the sky,
Awe-filled my soul and made me tower
Among the clouds -- brimful of power!

And how can I forget the joy
Which rocked me when I was a boy
Alone beside your singing sea,
Enraptured by its melody --
Surging sweet among the billows! --
While I, bemused on sandy pillows,
Had visions of this dreary land?

Who can share or understand
My feelings now? Words can't conceive
The awful way in which I grieve
For you, my little island, rising high
Above the restless sea where seagulls fly
Like paper scissors in a fickle breeze....

I see the sun set fire to the seas
And seashore hills, while colours riot loud
On the tremendous canvas of a cloud
As huge as the Atlantic! -- more sublime
Than anything immortalized in rhyme!

Deep orange, purple, rose, and pink and gold --
A spectacle stupendous to behold!
Reflected in the mirrors of the sea,
Like rippling tapestries of imagery....

I miss warm ocean winds, the glint of sails
As boats cleave greenish water, and the hails
Of boisterous workers on the crowded quay,
While sailors go in search of revelry
Until the early hours of the dawn,
When, gaiety ceasing, their cares are reborn.

Oh sweet Saint Lucia, locket of the chain
Of golden islands strung out on the Main --
I left my heart deep in a lonely wood,
Where I had -- in bird-broken solitude --
Composed a poem to a dusky girl
Who had me spinning in a giddy whirl!

A splendid girl -- breath-taking like a gleam
Of sunlight on a laughing mountain stream.

When shall I walk your golden sands again,
And let warm waters wash away my pain?

Or bask upon your sands, beneath the trees,
While your kind sun consumes my miseries?

Why do men journey far away from home?
Why must men suffer sorrows when they roam?

I was an angel in your hills of praise!
Serene my soul was in my younger days....

I miss your rugged, sun-swept, palm-fringed coast.
I miss your shimmering sands -- of which I boast --
And countless other things ... but I miss most
The haunting joy your setting sun instills,
While bats and shadows flee across the hills....

When I no longer can endure this pain,
I shall return -- Oh Paradise! -- again.

When, from the homing ship, I see your shore,
I'll weep ... but, afterwards, weep nevermore....


WHOSE NAME WAS NOT RELEASED

by

Ronald G. Auguste

" ... and a juvenile, whose name was not released...."

And thus, they lay the ground work for the beast.

Why can't those fools who run our system learn
That Flame -- not SIZE -- is what makes fires burn?
That LITTLE fires -- if we don't contain --
Become resistant both to sleet and rain?

Is common sense one of the gifts they lack?

Why don't they flog themselves? -- it might come back.

Why can't they see -- for Heaven's sake in Hell --
Both teen and adult onslaughts make us YELL!

Some juveniles are mean -- it's not their age!

They're born to be like Brutus on life's stage!

You let them go, to hone, and to pursue
Their base intents.... Tell me, what will you do,
When they are grown, and worse in every form?

Older -- as young -- exceeding all the norm?

Will you go back into their younger days,
And flay yourselves, since you ignored the ways --
The proper ways! -- to treat those evil souls?
Will you go back, perusing all their scrolls,
And flay yourselves, since you'd have brought such pain
To all who bled? ... for you were stupid; vain?

Why won't you see some youngsters are just kinds
Of Mindless Beasts, and you can't change their minds?

You cannot make the truly blind to see!
You cannot build up Moral points for free!

Why do you think that you can change the fate
Of Apes, who deal in Ignorance, and Hate?

Pardon me! No! Not you! The Apes, I mean --
I hope you Apes can somehow read between
The lines I wrote, and know I use your name
Just 'cause you're close to us.... Yes ... I feel shame!

Let those who think that I'm not right -- they're wrong!
And all their crazy ideas don't belong! --
Please wear some signs -- all sorts that can be seen!
Requesting that the young thugs should be mean
Only to them! -- their kin! -- since they have dressed
The Laws just in kid gloves, for when they're pressed....

All that, of course, to all law makers, too!
I wonder what those mindless fools will do?

You, reading this, or listening to my words,
Please, understand -- my heart feeds not on curds;
But, all the while, I see my young son's blood,
Seeping through cracks in tar, to clean the mud.


SAVOUR YOUR LIFE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Sedacy, my grandson)

Savor your life, and try to live it well!
Each day should be a milestone on the path
Devoted to pure Truth, where Angels dwell,
And Love and Kindness keep one's mind from wrath.

Cherish each moment of each passing day.
Your life should be a charm, where joy holds sway.

Wealth -- be it gold, material things, or thoughts --
Ascribed to lowly deeds, merely depose....
Love is the wealth which transforms all the naughts.
Despite your circumstance, Love grants repose.

Enlist Love's radiant force to guide your soul --
Negate the faults which would impede its role....


REMINISCING IN AUTUMN

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Denny Guge)

Once, in an August time,
I roamed the fields of my sweet island home.

Free as the birds,
And happier than their songs,
I flew the ways of sunlight, in prime pastures,
In the constant Summers of my youth.

I danced on high with paper hawks that rode
The windy hours in erratic frenzy,
Until the savage sun -- in anger --
Hurled its javelins into the west!
And mauve and pink,
And scarlet turning rose and gold,
The wounds would bleed a tapestry
Breath-taking in its beauty!

More splendid than the crowing,
Dew-gemmed glowing,
Cobweb-sparkling,
Coral-tinted, holy dawn!

I sang with rainstorms in the brooding hills,
While giant thunder roared in rage to see
Electric talons maul the pregnant sky!

I flashed with leaping fishes in blue rivers,
To cool my sun-shot bronze in sweeter waters.

I roamed savannas while day fled the landscape,
Where the waning glow of sunset lingered
Like stubborn fragments from a shattered rainbow!

I was the steel-jaw
Crunching Lord of cane-fields,
With elastic-bucket-belly never full,
And rumbling for more cane juice!

I was a swift reaper of the mango harvests,
In the blessed-no-more-Latin days of school vacation,
When the sun, Olympian in the heavens!
Seemed to explode into a trillion shafts
Of brazen, blinding light, killing the hours
Towards the sudden star-sung birth of night!

Oh for the pleasures of my island home!

Its majestic mountains, proud and rolling,
Rising-falling-rolling ever onward to the sea,
Serene and rippling-green-and-cobalt-silver
Shining in the sun -- when weather showed a happy face!

Or wild! tempestuous! heaving dark-and-raging
To the shell-and-almond-seaweed littered shore!

Green dancing fields, seen from the heaven
Of a wind-swept ridge,in sunlight after rain!

And mango trees, past blossom,
But in fruit -- sweet scented, rose-and-purple,
Greenish-yellow orbs of goodness
Hanging on the swooning boughs!

Now, in October days and self-exile,
I prowl the sunless asphalt lanes of England,
And the wind-swept, swirling, countless, whirling,
Bloody Autumn leaves are as my sorrows,
Tossed in the chilly winds of my despair!


SMOKERS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Smokers -- especially the young --
Are walking down a darkened road.
They breathe on poisoned weeds of dung --
Voila! you see, it's a la mode!

Would young folks, watching older folks
Puffing away with heaving chest,
Also believe that eggs, with yolks
Replaced by crap, would taste the best?

Despite the death news here and there,
Their fuddled minds can't grasp the facts.
They're huffing, puffing, everywhere,
Crimping their veins for heart attacks!

What makes the youngsters think it's cool
To light a cigarette and smoke?
Why can't they see only a fool
Will do so? -- silly dame or bloke!

Do youngsters think it makes them grown --
More adult -- to fall in that trend?
Why can't they see that each puff blown
Just brings them closer to joy's end?

Smoking's a vile, unhealthy thing!
Smoking belies a thoughtful mind!
Smoking such loss, such ails, can bring --
Smoking is simply so unkind....

Let that vile thing go up in smoke,
And let it be your very last!
Why should you let your senses croak,
So long before their time is past?


DON'T

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Colin Sedacy, my nephew)

Don't you abuse, and ruin your days,
For when they're gone, they won't come back.
None can be pulled out of the stack.
Don't you abuse, and ruin your days.

Don't fail to cleanse your mind's decay.
And do it now, not just in time!
Brush off the dirt; remove the grime.
Don't fail to cleanse your mind's decay.

Don't lose your head on words of praise.
That praise may be untrue -- not meant!
That praise may be by devils sent.
Don't lose your head on words of praise.

Don't stretch, or reach, beyond your length.
The thing you grasp mayn't be a prize --
May be too small, or oversize.
Don't stretch, or reach, beyond your length.

Don't you know life is give and take?
Share all the beef; don't leave all bone.
Yes! take some free, but share your own.
Don't you know life is give and take?

Don't you believe all that you hear.
Some may be lies -- some fairy tales.
Some may insist that shrimp are whales.
Don't you believe all that you hear.

Don't fail to see life can be fine.
Sometimes it's bad; often it's good.
Sometimes it's simply knock on wood.
Don't fail to see life can be fine.

Don't fail to clean life's cluttered ways,
For danger lurks in every crack --
The sort which can mess up your track!
Don't fail to clean life's cluttered ways.


A SPECIAL PRAYER

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For You, Reading These Lines)

O may your years be many, and your days
Untouched by ill and malice.... May warm rays,
Refulgent from an ever-lasting sun,
Surround you richly, till your days are done.

O may you walk smooth roads, suffused in light,
Not caring but for kindness, truth, and right!


A HUMAN KIND

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Nelson Mandela)

Made into slaves against our will,
In freedom, we are shackled still!
But, like the sun, which tells our story,
We humbled men shall rise -- in glory --
Above that sea of causeless rage,
To claim, with love, our heritage.

A human kind, we shall be free,
To walk this earth with dignity!
To live and love, like sons of God,
Fearing no more the white man's rod.

Hearts full of love, we shall arise!
Our joyful songs will rend the skies!
Our carefree laughter, and our mirth,
Will sanctify this bitter earth!

Humbled and shamed, we've suffered long.
Denied our rights, we are deemed wrong
Because we strive to take our place,
As humans, in the human race.

We are received with wrath and scorn,
And ostracized! Were we not born,
Like you, white man, of woman's womb?
Like you, too, destined for the tomb?
Formed out of clay, and given breath,
Until we catch the cold of death?

With wicked might, you seized our land,
Subjecting us to harsh command!
Since then, you gave us lowly fate;
Denying love, you feed us hate!
You savage us with fang and claw!
You place your sins beside our door.

A human kind, your kindness ceased
To the black man, but not to beast.
You treat us second to your dogs!
You house us in foul pens like hogs!
You sentenced us without a trial!
You'll live to rue this base denial,
For God did not give you the right
To judge his sons, though black as night!

Look to your souls, and mend your ways,
For few are your remaining days
Of rabid rule. Poor petty fools,
When will you learn? What use are schools
To you, if you just will not see --
You rape your own humanity,
Because you've nurtured foolish fears
About us, for too many years?

Without a care, you made us slaves.
You were less primitive in caves!
For you assumed a hideous role,
And laid siege to a people's soul.

Aren't you aware of your past deeds?
You're still enslaved to savage creeds
Which make you scorn a race's blood!
Dragging its pride through filth and mud!

White man, you are a human kind,
But one who left most good behind,
Becoming vain, unjust, and blind!
Oh look around! It's not too late,
To feed us love, instead of hate!

We, whom you humble, suffer now.
Sorrow is etched upon our brow.
But we shall triumph through despair,
To be made equal everywhere!

Yes! We shall rise above the flood
Of hatred, to redeem our blood
To right, with love, each petty wrong,
Which make us bow, yet make us strong!

You made us slaves, against our will.
You freed us, but you bind us still.
You marred our fates, and smeared our story --
But lost! for we must rise in glory,
A human kind, forever free,
To walk this earth ... with dignity.


DO NOT PRETEND TO KNOW MY RACE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Rev. Joseph Lowery)

Do not pretend to know my race,
When you don't even know my face!
How can you know the way I feel?
Though I am down, and out at heel,
I'm still as cold and strong as steel!

You've told your tales,
Which labeled me a paragon of savagery.
Yet you revile my noble black,
While I am pinioned to the rack, of your abuse,
To satisfy your savage urges!

No matter how you try,
You cannot break me, and I will not die!


YOUR RARE GIFTS BLOOM

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Miss Fenna Dalton, aged 16)

First is perceived the richness of your hand:
Each stroke and motion mines the brushes' gold.
Now that fine eyes have seen these jewels grand,
New gems of Art will bloom for us to hold!

As you reveal your talents, joys unfold....

Dawn on your canvas will ignite a world,
And nightfall will engulf, and make it bright!
Love, in your Art, will hurl all doubts, unfurled,
To domains of clear truth, and pure delight!

O may Dear Father Time grant you that right.

Near to the utmost top, your rare gifts bloom,
And glory and renown in splendour wait!
Radiant, your promise swells to fill that room,
Translucent with Art's buds ... for every date.

Indeed, your wealth's assured in Art's Estate.

Such beauty blooms from every stroke of brush,
That thrills which fill the rooms are awe ... and hush.


SOVEREIGN IN YOUR SHADOW

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Mikhail S. Gorbachev)

Mankind, in many ways, owes you a debt,
If only for the visions you set free....
Khrushchev, returned, would growl displeasure, yet,
He inwardly would glow at what he'd see:

A lesser brute -- a Grander Soviet!

Incalculable forces heard your call.
Legions, in retrospect, will breathe your name.
States -- Sovereign in your Shadow -- great and small,
Grant that their futures brightened when you came.

Of course, the SICKLE might yet change the Fall.

Regardless of the fleeting fates Time brings,
Bolster your inner being, firm in your ways.
A song is endless while its singer sings....
Cherish --we praise! -- all your remaining days.

Hell holds no place ... Heaven's not just for Kings.

Each of your acts, however small your stage,
Ventures to free and lure man from his cage.


FEEL ALL THE JOYS OF LIFE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Emily, my daughter-in-law)

Exceeding all the treasures in his mind,
May your heart bloom Love's bright perennial flame!
Increasingly -- and surely -- may you find
Love's strong attraction when he calls your name.

You! -- despite changing years -- please stay the same.

Bear all the trials which may cause distress,
Lest sorrow from its ordeal touch your soul,
Or dissipates thoughts which bring happiness,
Or undermines life's most important role.

May all life's trials fade, and leave you whole.

Feel all the joys of life from day to day.
Instill all their fine moments in the tome
Entrusted to your care along life's way.
Let only beauty touch you as you roam.

Displeasure just displeases all at home.


HEART'S WINTER

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For President Lyndon Baines Johnson)

Sometimes, a season in the climate of the heart,
Quite like the Winter of Siberian zones,
Benumbs the senses,
Congealing to the marrow of the bone;
And cold winds sweep across the heartscape,
Where joy-fields,
Shrouded in deepening snows of sorrow,
Lay fallow in the cold glare of a dead sun
Beneath the sombre balefulness
Of a shrieking asbestos sky!

And in rare moments when remembered warmth
Converges with icy streams of grief,
Despair is born,
Appearing like the pall of a billion sad tomorrows
Over the pain-ravaged,
Sorrow-matted meadows of the pining heart.

Death, among other things, harbingers such a season.
Much worse than death, is being hated without reason.


NOW, I DON'T KNOW HOW I CAN GO

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Ned Mullan)

Of course, I used to think that I'd return
To paradise, on earth, to end my days....
Now, I don't know how I can go
Back to Saint Lucia, for pot's pale lights burn
My old savannas ... where hope now decays....

I used to think, one day, things here that bind,
Yet set such sorrows free, would send me back!
Now, I don't know how I can go
Back to these places lurking in my mind --
They now set sorrows free, all bound in crack....

I used to think, for a less bitter life,
The Caribbean's sun would lure me home.
Now, I don't know how I can go;
For one now finds, down there, the sorry strife --
The very problems which engulf this Rome....

I used to think that constant needs for pity --
For man's degraded souls -- would drive me there.
Now, I don't know how I can go
From this degrading place to my birth city.
Now those degrading traits are everywhere....

I used to think, at last, bereft of mirth,
I'd hunger for my home, where joys ran free!
Now, I don't know how I can go
Back to Saint Lucia -- paradise on earth! --
For all those problems here have crossed the sea....


ON BEING A NEGRO

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Muhammid Ali)

I am a Negro! -- therein lies my pride.
The worst atrocities I have defied
To break me! -- I shall never run and hide,

Though I am ostracized, and down at heel,
Derided on all sides, and forced to kneel
In dust of pain to fiends who cannot feel;

Who perpetrate the most inhumane deeds,
While clinging on to base inhuman creeds.
I am a Negro, so my black blood bleeds

From wounds that fester to my very soul!
Inflicted by those beings whose sweetest goal
Is to deny all that would make me whole....

When will they realize that I, like they,
Am but a petty mortal made from clay
Who must revert to dirt in vile decay

When my sojourn is ended on this earth?
A gram of dust is any body's worth,
No matter what its race or rank at birth!

But being a Negro, I have suffered long.
My suffering is the soul within my song.
Listen, my friends, you'll hear it, sad and strong,

Sweet as the moaning of a morning breeze
Through lonely stands of weeping willow trees.
Have you ever heard sadder songs than these?

No man, except a black, can ever know
The other agonies that do not show
Beneath the rawhide veneer of my woe!

I suffer just because my skin is black!
As did my fathers on the wheel and rack!
They did not break! Man, I won't even crack!

But I shall purge my being of shame imbued
By your repulsion and solicitude,
To saunter proud, proud of my Negritude.


OUR WEDDING POEM

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Anita, on our wedding day)

Our old lives ended -- our new life begun....
O may that life be like a static sun,
Forever burning, lighting up a way
Of love and peace, through an eternal day
Full of kind deeds born of a mutual caring --
Sweet little things to make our lives endearing.

O let us love full free, that we may give,
With selflessness, as long as we both live,
Not only pleasures, thrills, and joys -- well spent!
But hope, and faith, and trust, and sweet content
To each other ... and let us bare our hearts
To learn the maxims there that Love imparts;
And when comes trouble, or a little woe,
Be understanding, dear ... the cause will go....

A wedding is a fusion of two souls,
Two hearts, two loves, two minds, two goals,
Forever into one.... Does that sound wise?
To me, it does; but we must compromise,
That our two lives may blossom as one flower,
Which grows more fragrant every passing hour ...
And sends its perfume lingering on the air,
Sweet as a song that will not disappear,
But haunts us with clear notes throughout the day,
And haunts us still, though our youth fade away.

I love you dearly -- now that you're my wife,
You are the very essence of my life!
The yearning and the breath! and yes! the star!
And all the other precious things that are....

Please love me long, and let your love be true,
Fresh as a rose in dawn's light, gemmed in dew.

My love is great! My love is tower tall!
In width and depth, my love surpasses all!
But Dear, such great love feels the greatest hurt;
And even mountains crumble into dirt....

May God, and all his Angels up above,
Grant us their peace, to make divine our love.


HE SAW THE LIGHT

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For F. W. deKlerk)

He was a welcome catalyst for change.
His voice was heard, in light, above the storm;
In reason, and in hope, in cadence warm,
Beyond hate's warped ideals in scope and range.

He saw the light -- there stands his lasting form.

Let's sing his praises! Let us not forget
His virtue's a broad cloak, reflecting truth,
That should spread far, to gender love and ruth,
And banish, to a void, all vain regret.

He saw the light -- enlightened the uncouth.

He will be numbered well among the few
Who saw and wept, and blunted that grim goad
Prodding a people down a hopeless road,
Deprived of Human Rights, and comforts due.

He saw the light -- and lightened up the Load.

He is the man who turned and saw the light!
That light was pure; found kindred in his soul;
Illumined his way toward that splendid role
Portending ends to despair and to blight.

He saw the light -- and made his nation whole!


SPRING SONG

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Byron, my son)

I danced down many a street,
By the pale Spring beguiled,
And none that I did greet
Replied.

Some of them looked at me
As if I were insane,
While others gawked, simply
Inane.

The nearest to a word
Came from the birds that sing!
Good Lord! Hadn't folks heard
'Twas Spring?

What frosts of reticence
Still froze their cruel lips,
Stifling eloquence
And quips?

Joy in the silent Spring
Took me to dizzy heights,
My glad eye fashioning
Delights

Round every budding leaf
And blade of glinting grass!
My thoughts whirling from grief
En masse.

O how can I forget
How slow the sweet day waned --
Was it for my regret
It rained?

For as I swirled away
Homeward in fading light,
The Spring rain seemed to say:

"Goodnight!"


ON THE BEACH

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Edison Lansiquot)

Bronze-hewn,
He strides the silver strand in Sunday sunlight.

The swooning waves curl at his feet,
Then sigh into the sand....

He struts.

Beneath his copper skin,
His muscles sing like wires ...
And his eyes smolder with a glow of inner fires.

Clean limbed, and palm-tree tall, he struts,
Basking in the sun's hot admiration,
And the approving glances of dusky,
Tempting girls,
Whetting their desires,
Reclined like splendid yachts upon the torrid beach.

Given half a chance, he'd rig up each!

Without a qualm,
He'd break their calm,
And put wind in their sails, then set them drifting....

Sea waves, sun waves, leap and flash!

He leaps and flashes,
Cleaves the water, going under,
Their bells of laughter
Ringing in his ears like thunder!


SNOW IN THE CITY

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For my wife, Anita)

The snow invaded London New Year's eve,
Routing the drabness with a holy whiteness;
Made me forget the day was one to grieve,
And lured me out to frolic in the brightness.

The morning was like linen, starched and crisp.
The snow, like cirrus fallen from the sky,
Mantled the chimneys, each breathing a wisp
Of smoke that vanished like a vapourous "I".

Snow sanctified the roof-tops, and the trees
Bowed with its splendour like garlanded girls.
Where any drifts lay light, a bitter breeze
Raked them like Autumn leaves, in silent swirls.

London, transfigured in a gilt of snow,
Gleamed in the glory of the New Year's sun,
Flaunting its freshness in a radiant glow!
The snow would turn to ice, crack like a gun

Beneath the rape of cruel tramping feet,
Within a day or two -- but now it slept
In gathered folds upon each city street,
So beautiful, that watching it, I wept.

I wept for beauty taintless and divine;
And, afterwards, I wept a little more,
Because I knew, beyond Atlantic brine,
A golden sun had risen on the shore

Of my small Island, and there everywhere
People were getting ready to begin
The New Year revels with riotous cheer!
They would get drunk on happiness' gin.

Christmas had come, leaving me numb and cold,
Chilled by a lack of good-will to most men,
Yearning for Yuletides I had known of old --
I thawed in snow, and I loved London then.

At Brockwell Park, watching small birds alight
To eat the crumbs some kindly hearts had sown
In snowy fields, my heart bloomed in delight
Such flowers of peace as I had seldom known.


A SPECIAL SON

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Byron, my son)

By all accounts, you are a special son.
You're gentle, and you're kind. Ah, yes! you're one
Regarding whom all fine things can be told,
Or praise be spun ... in filaments of gold.

Never out-spoken; ever one to please!
Guilt-free of petty habits meant to tease;
Exemplary your motives, and your deeds
Reflect a rare concern for others' needs.

Abounding from your heart, there seems to be
Love that is deep and swelling, like a sea!
Discernible in all that you address --
Astute, yet humble ... not bent to profess....

Unbiased in opinions; calm and sure;
Griefs, gripes, and taunts from others you endure,
Unbending in your morals, straight and true.
Solemn, yet joyful; tinted with a hue
That's varied like a rainbow's, and is seen
Empyreal like the rainbow's, minus green....

O may your years be many, and your days
Untouched by ill and malice.... May warm rays,
Refulgent from an ever-lasting Sun,
Surround you richly, till your days are done.

O may you walk smooth roads, suffused in light,
Not caring but for Kindness, Truth, and Right!


AT HER DEATH-BED

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(In Memoriam: for Eugenie, my mother)

Her honey-coloured cheeks, grown pale with death,
Cold to my touch like a dew-wetted stone --
Their beauty faded, aged, lacking breath,
Were scrolls of skin draped loosely over bone.

In wracking pain, I knelt beside the bed
On which she lay in death's eternal night,
And wept a flood of tears about her head,
While moths droned mournfully in candle-light,
And shadows grieved like sorrows on the floor,
And voices swelled within the outer room
In elegies and hymns unheard before.

In humble love, I made my heart her tomb ...

And grateful tongues composed her epitaphs
With simple, heart-felt words that glowed with praise.
Kind strangers craned through windows like giraffes,
Then murmuring sadly, went their separate ways;
And through the pall of grief, I seemed to hear
A soft voice saying: "My child, do not weep.
Your mother always had been kind and fair
To everyone! Her love was rooted deep
In understanding, and she was so dear
In always being there with a helping hand;
She's earned a place in Heaven; have no fear.

Someday, you'll meet her in a better land."

I whispered "Amen." to the halcyon voice
That stilled the storm of sorrows in my heart.
Around the lights, the moths seemed to rejoice.
In me, a song of gladness strove to start --

And in the room, her spirit seemed to stir.
The clock ticked time's eclipse, but not for her.


YET TO BE BORN

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(In memory of John F. Kennedy Jr.)

Oh JFK! Your life was like a sun --
Approaching midday -- in an open sky;
But ruthlessly, before the day was done,
Fate interloped, to send your soul up high!

Fate's deed aborted all those years of light
Being formed within to bring a clearer dawn,
So your mind could conceive, even in night,
Your father's covenant ... yet to be born....

Your sky held promise of a longer day,
Except that cruel fate made darkness fall
Fast on the clearing where you'd paused to play,
Until Time beckoned, and you heard its call.

You might have been to us a brighter star,
With steady beams, to guide and lead us far.


THE NUMBER EIGHTY-FOUR

by

Ronald G. Auguste

Written after reading the Sports Section of
The New York Times for 09/09/1998 and 09/10/1998
and seeing no mentionreference to Josh Gipson

(For Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa)

The current number does not light my fire,
Although its heat has sparked so many flames.
The name is Gibson, man; it's not McGwire!
Folks still are quite confused; mixed up in names.

Now please don't get me wrong, for Mark has done
A booming job of batting at his game!
But, truth be told, he's so far from the sun!
There's still such racial ratting and such shame!

Do you believe that if those Negro guys
Had been accepted equal on the field,
Gibson could not blasted all those tries,
Leaving a record far from being repealed?

No matter that the blind still rule the day,
The number Eight-Four is here to stay!

Until someone blasts Eighty-Five away!


OUR REFINED CULTURE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Dr. James Gleason, Principal of Horizon High)

It says you don't deserve much if you teach,
But that you're priceless if you throw a ball,
By hand, foot, bat or racket -- out of reach!
Past limits, where the dumb and noble call.

Although you surely spent long years to learn,
Our refined culture grants you bits to earn.

Your mind might delve into the deepest star,
Or probe the reaches of the farthest sky,
But you, not being quite worthy, won't go far,
Or trail those prodigies who make balls fly!

Despite the fact that you could help most Spell,
Theirs is Financial Heaven -- yours is Hell!

Even a feeble Teacher does much more,
Than any super athlete, for our kids;
But our refined culture, tending score --
With blinded eyes -- just misdirects its bids.

Of course, the clever parents form each crowd
That elevates the athletes; and they're proud.

The wealth of Learning exceeds that of sport!
Debasement of our Teachers is a crime!
Tell that to folks in common; most will snort,
Simply unmindful how we waste our time....

When will we clear our minds to realise
Our Teachers beat our athletes, and are prize!


YOU'VE BEEN A DEAR DELIGHT!

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(To Queen Mother Elizabeth, for Her 98th. Birthday)

Heaven should grant you, Queen, a longer life.
Angels applaud your Regal Reign on earth,
Praising those joyful years as Noble Wife --
Praying your years will be the most on earth!

You have been such a charm through all those years,
Britain's been blest -- and Great! -- because you ARE.
Imbued with fine ideals, none in arrears,
Reason and Love assert that you're a Star!

The memories you've cultured in our mind
Have drawn us into realms of constant hope.
Devoted to your subjects -- every kind! --
All of your days grow splendid as you cope.

You've Been A Dear Delight! So warm! So sage!
Dear Queen, you've been a Beacon, ever true!
Ever becoming Brighter as you age,
Although your light was dimmed in 'fifty-two....

Rarely do Sovereign Subjects feel so dear --
Queens, like most Royals, can be stuck on high!
Unbiased, wholesome styles -- like yours! -- are rare.
Each of your winsome traits evokes Love's sigh....

Each of us hopes this birthday's neither last,
Nor least, among the many you have seen.
May God, Dear Queen, evoke the finest past!
O may this birthday be the best there's been!

Truly, the chances are we'll never meet!
However, let's all reach across the miles,
Ennobled of each other.... Let us greet --
Rejoice this Day! -- Prayerful, with Love and Smiles.


THE GOLD MEDAL

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Dan Jansen)

Against the boldest blades of luck he sped,
Given to breach the ice against all odds --
Oh yes! In all those races, though he led,
Luck took away the consent of the Gods.
Disaster always seemed to strike! So he
Determined number eight would be his last;
Astonished, luck grew careless -- luckily,
Neglecting to be tough as he blew past!

Just let us praise that man! His noble heart,
Although hard-pressed by vagaries of fate,
Negating every stroke that marred its start,
Sundered all barriers to the entry gate!

Exclusions seemed to have him in their hold.
Nevertheless, he broke, and won the Gold!


US AND CHINA

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For President Bill Clinton)

US and China should not stay
Engaged, and must not marry,
Until the Chinese move away
From Tibet, where they tarry!

We would be simply trading guile
If we should pay no heed to this,
And stroll with China down the aisle,
Deceived by her delusive kiss.

China will be a brawny spouse,
A burden we cannot control!
Tenacious to expand her house,
Feigning an altruistic role.

Although we should approach her still,
In courtship really fraught with qualms,
We should not give our ring until
More than her easy smile disarms....

Remember how the Russian Belle,
Disgusting, raped the Baltic States?
Let China know Tibet -- by Hell! --
Must first be freed, without her gates!

Until Tibet is freed, all Trade
Improvements must remain unmade!


NOT AKIN TO EAGLES

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Pat Buchanan)

The world is a large school-yard where we're big!
Biggest among the boys who strut their stuff!
Why should we not resist when things get rough,
As depraved bullies make the small boys dig
Burial places if they dare act tough?

Should savages be immune to reform?
Free to perform like monsters without fail?
Must all their ruthless, vulgar needs prevail?
How will you fix the places they deform,
If, not akin to eagles, we are Quail?

Why should we act as if we do not know
Those bullies use harsh measures to retard
Freedom at playtime -- usurping the yard....
You know, unchecked, their tyranny will grow!
Why should we look away in disregard?

Our world's a school-yard -- we must bear in mind
It swarms with heavies who should not be free,
To pounce upon every small kid they see!
You know they'll beat the helpless ones they find!
Why won't you see we should not let that be?

Man, you're so dense, you force me to be crude!
Those vicious scoundrels, thinking we will pass,
Or, at the worse, just kneel down and say mass,
Behave like modern Huns -- they're loud and rude!
Why can't you see at times we must kick ass?


THEIR RIGHTS OF PASSAGE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Native Americans)

The Borders shifted with each step they took.
Both North and South, the Natives freely came
To meet their own -- in sands; by bubbling brook;
Unstopped by current barbs which make them lame.
No Borders lay to hinder them from game.
Their Rights of Passage were they went and came.

The Lands were theirs; and every move they made
Led to their bloodlines, or to Tribal mates,
In caves, stone dwellings, or the tepee's shade.
Unhindered by our Borders, free of gates,
It took our baleful acts to mar their fates --
Their Rights of Passage circumscribed by Dates.

The choice is ours now -- Let them be free!
To come and go, pursuing ancient rites,
Across Ancestral Lands untouched by sea....
Let's blend all Souls to sing of Gods' delights!
Let's bend our wills, conceding from our heights
Their Rights of Passage dim none of our lights.


WONDERINGS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Dorothy Lykes)

A little boy, I used to wonder why
The sun and moon and stars glowed in the sky;
Why grass was green, and why the sky was blue;
Why cobwebs changed to diamonds in the dew.

The rainbow puzzled with its many hues,
As did the wild sea, shot with changing blues.

My wondering has not ceased: As I grow old,
I wonder why it is that some men hold
Their fellow human beings in such disdain,
Sowing the seeds of so much hate and pain.

I wish that they could know, and would believe,
To what extent they rape and agonize
My people's soul.... O Lord, won't they perceive
The sorrow that is living in our eyes?


THE EVE OF YOUR DEPARTURE

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Dorothy Zahner)

The eve of your departure, you and I
Went for a walk; the afternoon was clear,
And clouds sailed like gondolas in the sky.

We strolled up to the Morne, lingering where
Rude flowers tossed their heads, until the shrill
Serenade of a bird lured us from there --

And then, in gentle sunlight on a hill,
We saw the sea through portholes in the leaves,
Ashimmer in the sunshine! Almost still,

A seabird sailed the skies, and on the eaves
Of the horizon, a big white ship gained
Harbour-wards to you: For the hand that weaves

The chequered fates of mortals had ordained
That you should leave warmth, friendship,
love and home;
And when you went, nothing but grief remained....

But on that day, beneath the dazzling dome
Of azure heavens, we had a last fling!
While you had dreams of London, Paris, Rome,

And I, alas! hawk with a broken wing,
Hopped lame beside you, bird of paradise,
Hawking to soothe my sorrow ... hawks can't sing.

I heard a sob, looked round, and in your eyes
Unshedded tears were glistening like dew.
Girl, I was overcome with glad surprise,

And tried to think of something nice to do --
I climbed a mango tree, fed you its fruit,
And whispered: "Girl, no mango's sweet like you."

And then you smiled. A lizard on a root,
Basking in sunlight, seemed amused; it stared;
And suddenly I did not care a hoot

For self-pity! The lizard disappeared
Into the trembling foliage of the tree.
You watched with shining eyes, while my eyes cleared.

From then, we shied from words; you, close to me,
Seemed far too fragile, so we spoke with looks;
Somewhere, a blackbird made a melody,

And there were copy-cats in leafy nooks.
You said you could discern the sweetest note.
Our eyes collaborated to write books....

And then, we kissed in hunger as the boat
Honked loudly in the harbour; hungry, yet,
I felt your honey-kiss cling to my throat;

And when we sighed "Goodnight", the sun had set
In clashing colours out upon the bay --
That beauty haunts me still -- I can't forget

How swift that vapourous rainbow changed to grey,
While my heart flew within me! My blood burned!
I never really loved you till that day!

But when your letters came, you thought I'd spurned
You, by not saying "Good-bye" on the quay --
As Paris did for Helen, girl, I yearned,
But could not bear to see you sail from me....


O PRINCESS DIANA

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(At the news of her Death)

O God! How quick the bloom of being blows free!
Plucked from Life's Tree ... by an ignoble fate....
Rare is the rose which leaves earth, sky and sea,
Imbued with scents to haunt each future date.

Nurtured by precious values -- gems, inborn;
Commingled with rare love and care -- a queen's;
Each of her actions lent light to life's dawn,
Suppressing it's dark gloom -- all that demeans.

Should Angels come, to rain tears of their own,
Death -- her demise -- would render more, not less!
In truth, in merely coming, they'd have shown
A Heaven's need to make known its Distress....

Nonesuch -- the best of being -- so hard to find,
Angels might come, to replicate her kind....


OH MOTHER TERESA

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(At the news of her Death)

Of all the loving souls who walked this Earth,
Heaven proclaimed for her a special place --
Mind pledged to Charity, to ease its dearth ...
Ordained with Truth, to teach the human race.

Time can't curtail the wonder of her life,
However long and far the Ages roll --
Except our world stays blind, or dies from strife,
Refusing canons which refresh the Soul.

Trust, Hope, and Faith, and Love, which she enrolled,
Eternally, in ways which cannot die,
Reach far beyond our reaches, etched in gold,
Enhanced by God, beneath the furthest sky!

Such were her feelings for the sick and poor,
Angels will sing in praise, for evermore....


O, THE KU KLUX KLAN

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Jerry Springer)

Of all the tribes who prowl our mixed up land,
The Ku Klux Klan are probably the worst....
Hell's well aware that they comprise a band
Eternally condemned -- forever cursed!

Kindness and love are alien to their mores.
Un-Godliness makes sanctity taboo.
Kin to the snake that Heaven still deplores,
Legions still crawl, spitting forked tongues at you.

Unless they change, and purify their ways,
X-MAS will seem more like their Satan's birth.
Kneel, now, and pray ... and wish them better days,
Lest hate remain their beacon on this earth....

Although they seem to walk the ways of men,
Nonesuch -- may God preserve them from hell's den!


COLOUR BLIND

by

Ronald G. Auguste

I love you,
Even if you're white like snow;
Or even if you're blacker than a crow!

I'd love you, even if your colour didn't show.


A PRAYER FOR TODAY

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Langston Hughes)

Give me a poem of delight,
For solace, when I'm feeling sad;
And give me music in the night,
To make me glad.

And give me laughter and a smile
That sparkle easy, and sincere;
And give me love -- though for a while,
I'll count it dear.

And give me faith that I may be
Unmoved by storms of hate and spite,
So even in an agony,
I'll do what's right.

Give charity to make me kind
Even to those who do me wrong!
And both in body and in mind,
Please make me strong.

But leave some sorrows that I may
Still have recourse to turn to Thee.
O give me joy! -- to greet each day,
On bended knee.


A Walk in The Park

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Bridget Carroll)

The skies seem cold, extremely desolate,
Though savage sunlight rips the afternoon
With brassy talons, while pale voices croon
Of weather changes. Walking through the gate,
I feel an eerie longing for the moon.

And lovers lilt across the singing grass,
The girls demure, the fellows debonair,
Like movie players in a screen affair.
Nobody notices me as I pass
From vague elation, to a keen despair.

Some toddlers bawl in prams beneath the trees,
While ice-cream vendors hawk their frozen joys,
And chattering girls, and frisky little boys,
Swarm gleefully around the vans like bees!
How personal becomes their impersonal noise.

Black as my mood, beneath black Summer trees,
I pause awhile to soothe my sorry soul,
Where all the dignities live on the dole.
I'll keep my Negritude till fires freeze!
Without this blackness, I cannot be whole.

For it's my essence, setting me apart,
An equal man, yet different, heaven knows!
For have I not sustained a rage of blows --
A rage of pressures meant to break my heart?
And yet ... and yet ... heck! rancour hardly shows.

The Summer shimmers on the aspen leaves,
And gilds the children running in the park,
While I impatiently await the dark,
For darkness more becomes a heart that grieves.
Oh not for me the singing of the lark!

Yet would I hawk my life's blood for a song
To hurl like spears into the heedless sky!
That, piercing it, our God, hearing my cry,
Would take away those griefs suffered so long.
O sorrows, smother me, and let me die!


A Walk in Winter

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Ted Christ)

The chimney stacks weep smoke into the sky.
Frost-fashioned mirrors image the decay
Of sleazy houses, standing stark and high,
In the cold breezes of a Winter day.

The sidewalks are deserted as I leave
The chilly prison of my lonely room,
Where happy recollections made me grieve,
Beside a huffy heater in the gloom.

Shreds of torn paper (Keep the City clean!)
Dance crazy spirals on the asphalt lanes;
Some kids peer out through windows, vaguely seen,
Their noses squashed against cold window-panes.

The Winter sun leers like a jaundiced eye,
Through sombre clouds, upon the Sunday City;
As if dust smitten, it begins to cry
Unwarming tears of radiance -- like pity.

I leave the loveless houses far behind.
Beside the Thames, half empty buses roar
Like starving monsters of an alien kind.
Saturday's crowds are gone; sleek pigeons soar

Above the silent buildings, beating air
So passively, on graceful, throbbing wings!
I stand to watch them, rooted in despair,
Moved by the thoughts of home their freedom brings.

Cold bitten to the bone, and hungry now,
I lick my lips, a lawful fugitive.
Fog from my breathing freezes on my brow.
O Lord, to shuck these heavy clothes and live!

Unmindful of the heartless hurting me!
Unmindful of the bitter Winter frost!
Unmindful of this abject misery,
Brooding on joys I'd known -- in exile lost!

Oh why in hell must some be so alone?
Only the murky river makes reply.
Deriding me in its drear monotone,
It seems to whisper: "Why, oh why, oh why?"

I watch it, slinking in an oily flow,
And long to drown my sorrows, deep and slow.


Love

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(To Anita, on our Wedding Day)

Love is simply a sublime friendship!


THROUGH BRILLIANT SEASONS

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For Bill Gates, Jr.)

We see your blooming green turn into gold,
In veins of priceless worth, to gild your life;
And as you give and share from wealth untold,
You do give birth to dreams to lessen strife.

You'll grow through brilliant seasons, day by day,
Replete with awesome splendour, as in Spring;
Though Winter might presume, it will not stay,
Since Summer sweet will sanction everything.

Beyond the bounds of living, there can be
Eternal warmth and radiance for your name!
Perchance, through ages after, Man will see
Your vision -- and conclude truth as the same.

So with such splendid fortune, as Time grows,
Grant that your name, your virtue, light its shows.


I THANK YOU NOW

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For My Friends, at Thanksgiving)

You've touched my life in very special ways,
Assisting in my growth, through all these years.
Your friendships helped me to endure those days
When I was full of sorrow, swamped in tears.

Your friendships, firm, are forged from finest gold.
They form uncommon rainbows in my mind.
Now, when I ponder friendships, new or old,
Yours really are the grandest ones I find!

You help me bloom to a collective height.
You set your friendships' jewels in my soul.
You join me on the road, and in your light,
We move together to a common goal.

I thank you now, and send A Special Prayer,
That God will bless and keep you in His care.


THIS MOMENTOUS SEASON

by

Ronald G. Auguste

(For our Friends, at Christmas)

May this momentous Season bring to you
The crowning joy of all fine Seasons past!
May grand good fortune smile on all you do,
So every thrill -- each dear delight -- will last.

This Holiday, so rare, will be a show!
It'll open portals to a Thousand Years.
May there be spread around you all the glow
Of the past thousand, with none of the cares.

On Christmas morning, a new sun will rise,
To mark the ending days with dazzling rays!
The gathering glow will settle in your eyes,
Forming a New Year sun, to light your ways.

The dawn of the next Thousand Years will bear
Bright promises ... to bloom for you each year.


Autumn

by

Ronald G. Auguste



I call it Autumn, since it's streaked with gold
In many quiet hues throughout its coat.
Its eyes, sweet amber, lustrous to behold,
Make it the sort of cat on which some dote.

Its purr is a soft sigh of silver song.

So gentle is the manner of its gaze,
It fills your mind, so you'll remember long,
When ills and bitter things assault your days.

It's such a silent beauty -- nimble paws
Transport it over fences, yard to yard;
Yet, still, it does not trespass -- breaks no laws;
And holds none of its kind in disregard.

Autumn, though not that season, is so fine,
Compared -- for any reason -- man is swine....


In Truth, and Light!

by

Ronald G. Auguste


(For Pastor Jeff Ebright, and Lorraine)

You've known us in all seasons, good and bad.
With Heaven's Guidance, you have touched our souls.
In moments of despair, you've made us glad,
When pain, or sorrow, sought to dim our roles.

Yes, you brought joy and substance to our days.
You taught us to abide in Truth, and Light!
Your Judgment served to clear our wayward ways,
When doubt, or loss of virtue, blurred what's right.

You have been transferred elsewhere, and must go,
So other souls may glean gems from your mind,
To revel in that sanctity we know --
The Truth that Love involves all Humankind.

We trust the spirit of your Love will stay,
To guide us on our journeys, everyday.


This Season Will Be Full of Cheer!

by

Ronald G. Auguste


May all the rapture of this Christmas bring
Delight that's everlasting in your soul,
To gild your New Year, and to let you sing
Angelic anthems, pleased in your life's role.

This year brings one millennium to a close.
We pray its last days bring a crowning joy,
To make it be the best of all of those
That you recall, since you were girl or boy.

We hope that ancient bright Star will appear,
To guide you, as you frolic at the start
Of the new millennium's opening year --
O may that Star's light stay within your heart.

This Season will be full of cheer! We hope
That all your wholesome wishes will come true,
And good cheer will prevail, so you will cope
With any sorrow which might come to you.

This coming year will grant you love and peace;
And year by year, these blessings will increase.


In The Land of Chad!

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For George and Jeb Bush

Elections were like Halloween this year!
The meanest guy in guise was not a kid!
That costumed rascal strutted, free and clear,
Assured his brother's sunshine goons would rid
Some priceless votes cast for the other guy,
Who dared the courts to lean to counting straight!
The goon squads, though, were baseless in their try
To grab the sunshine state ... at any rate....

Now, in these states, where court supreme prevails,
When Constitution's raped ... it always fails.

That vain pretender, dressed for halloween,
Procured a presidential suit at bat!....
Yet looks less grand than what he's lately been:
A governor of this ... devoid of that....
Two governors, in league, their morals rude,
Quite full of aptitude for low and bad,
Stole, using wile and guile, and methods crude,
The presidency in the land of Chad!

Chad is that state in Africa where they
Might not last long enough to strut a day.


A Wedding Poem

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Emily Bloomfield, and Byron Auguste, my son

Your old lives ended, your new life begun.
O may that life be like a splendid sun,
Forever burning, lighting up a way
Of love and peace, through an eternal day
Full of kind deeds, born of a mutual caring -
Sweet little things, to make your lives endearing.

O may you love full free, that you may give,
With selflessness, as long as you both live,
Not only pleasures, thrills, and joys, well spent,
But hope, and faith, and trust, and sweet content,
To each other ... and may you bare your hearts,
To learn the maxims there that Love imparts -
And when comes trouble, or a little woe,
Be understanding, and the cause will go.

A wedding is a fusion of two souls,
Two hearts, two loves, two minds, two goals,
Forever into one.... Does that sound wise?
To me, it does; but you must compromise,
That your two lives may blossom as on flower
Which grows more fragrant every passing hour,
And sends its perfume lingering on the air,
Sweet as a song that will not disappear,
But haunts you with clear notes throughout the day -
And haunts you still, though your youth fade away.

May you love dearly: Now you're husband and wife,
Please be the essence of each other's life -
The yearning and the breath; and yes, the star!
And all the other precious things that are....

Treasure your love, and let your love be true,
Fresh as a rose in dawn's lights' gems of dew.

True love is great, and wide, and mountain tall!
In width and depth, true love surpasses all!
You know, such love will feel the greatest hurt -
Why, even mountains crumble into dirt....

May God, and all his Angels up above,
Grant you their peace, to make divine your love.


More Radiant than Gems

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Fouley Diakite

Although yours tell the eyes they're formed from pearl,
They did not come to you from the blue sea....
They're whiter, and they gleam; and on you, girl,
They're so spectacular they sing to me!
Seldom have I seen such as years go by:
Bright, beautiful, and clean -- to an extreme!
More radiant than gems that glaze the eye,
They scintillate like jewels in a dream!

Nature was kind to them; but kinder, still,
You must have been to them in daily care;
With such continued care, they always will
Remain a joy to see, beyond compare!

How rich is he who gazes ... and then sips
Wine from these rarer pearls between your lips!


Morning Song

by

Ronald G. Auguste



When I awake, and gems of dew
Lie holy on my window-sill,
They bring to mind sweet thoughts of you,
Waking from dreams behind the hill....

O Angel! -- were you pledged to stay
Beyond reach of my longing arms,
My soul would cry and sigh your way,
To hymn praise to your sacred charms.

Behind the hill, I hear your voice,
Entrancing in the morning air --
And suddenly the clouds rejoice!
And scatter sunshine everywhere!


My Ambition

by

Ronald G. Auguste



I long to write!
I live to write!

Shall I succeed?

Will people read ...
What I have written?

Or will my efforts bleed --
Rejection-bitten! --
And lie dust covered in a tomb
Of yellowed pages?

Dead bright birds
In the airless gloom
Of shrouded cages?


Light from A Falling Star

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Monica Lewinsky

Some cads will hug and touch, and kiss and tell!
Well, should our President be one of those?
How could he if she made him feel so swell,
While he consumed her breasts and kissed her toes?

Our President should tell Starr "Go to Hell!"
And damn -- at least, in thought! -- that lousy jerk,
Who just insists our Chief-of-State should tell
Of sexual indiscretions while at work....

That Independent Counsel's motives smell!
The reason for his aim's way off the mark!
Our Sorry System yields no means to quell
His dervishes and guide him from the dark!

His day will come! Why, all those fine beams are --
Don't look surprised! -- light from a falling star....


Like Hercules

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Leo Went

He is a man of strength, as you can be.
Especial talents gild his heart and yours.
Reach up, like him, and grab the stars you'll see.
Cleave to the high roads as life's faith implores.
Unshackle all those traits which mar its mores.

Like Hercules, let faith infest your soul.
Engage his manly customs in your quest.
Serene in love, and gentle, act his role,
Lest lesser mortals claim the title Best.
Each of his deeds is worthy; none is jest.

Observe a name like Hercules -- be bold!
Whatever fortune brings you, light or dark,
Embolden your ideas to fit his mould,
Negating all restraints as you embark
Towards your life, in deed! Life's not a lark!


Loving Three Sisters

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Brenda & Andrina & Jessica

I'm in a quandary I had not planned,
Since I arrived on this fine holiday.
My senses, reeling, cannot understand
These thrills that carry joy, and then dismay.
Loving three sisters, each a different form,
Transports my lonesome being beyond the norm.

The first of these is lean, and willowy,
With eyes, a soft dark brown, to weep in red.
Her sparkling teeth often are pearls to see.
Sadly, like me, that lissome one is wed.
She is the kind who'd be so soft to touch!
My heart is certain it could love her much!

The second is a rose who's full in bloom,
Voluptuous of being, and soft of voice,
With petals which can sweeten any room,
And make a sad and lonely heart rejoice.
If I were free, she could delight my life,
But she's the image of my brother's wife.

The third is radiant, somewhat like a star,
With heaven's allure sleeping in her eyes,
Whose light will follow, though I travel far,
Back to my place, where my love lives and dies.
Her kiss might be far sweeter than a berry.
Halle, not lovelier, might be as cherry.

Suppose my circumstances changed, I'd try
To settle in light of her stellar glow,
Since other factors would make me deny
The prior pair, despite the gems they show.
Loving three sisters brings a wistful ache.
I'd love star's berry, split, upon each cake.


Prostate Cancer

by

Ronald G. Auguste



Some Scientists search wide and deep to learn
The cause for Prostate Cancer; they don't know
It is lack of the scourge of things that burn --
Sweet rain, pure bounty for most things that grow.

Sometimes a simple action brings the cause
Of corporeal ills -- not something grand!
But Science always tries to father laws
Which Mother Nature might not understand.

Science has searched for years, but has not found
The proper answer for the Prostate's ill....
The Prostate needs the storm which swells the ground,
And courses through your taps -- so drink your fill!

Drink water! Fill your gut, though lacking thirst;
Your prostate will prevail, and you won't burst!


Where Is that Girl?

by

Ronald G. Auguste



Where is that girl who said
Somebody told her that I'm very shy?
Her words stick in my head,
Where they'll remain until the day I die.

If only she had seen
My bashfulness, compounded by my fears,
Had stayed what should have been,
To leave me sad, forsaken, through the years.

These years rolled on, until
We came together, in that lovely place,
Where love was born, but still
Her attitudes attest I've lost love's race.

"Who is that boy?" she asked;
"Somebody told me that he's very shy!"
Now, coming through, unmasked,
I give true answer, which her views deny.


Rose of my Dreams

by

Ronald G. Auguste



Though you may bloom, still, from afar,
How can no loss, or discontent,
Engage me, as the fire went,
Receding like a falling star --
Eclipsed by time, burned out and spent?

Spring is long gone, and Summer's seen
All of our gardens growing old;
My Fall is scarcely flecked with gold,
As Winter sneaks upon the green,
Reducing ardour in the cold.

You've bloomed in dreams upon my ways,
Since Spring, when I was out of speech;
Uncourted, you grew out of reach.
Rose of my dreams, now all my days
Are filled by fears your Prophets preach.

Green are the gardens where we grew.
Each bloom still bears a scent of you.


A Shining Light, in Blue

by

Ronald G. Auguste



There'll always be a shining light, in blue,
However dim, or dark, the later glow....
Especial thoughts sing in my mind to you,
Regarding bright dreams, born so long ago,
Each dying, gently, as my heart beats slow.

Softly, your vision glimmered through my years,
Alluring as some mangoes I recall --
Mangoes, untouched; my bashfulness, my fears,
Allowed just one, whom I loved most of all.
Resplendent through these years, you did not fall.

Your lips are quarter moons I long to kiss!
Share some bright moments of their light with me.
Use of their slightest beams will bring me bliss.
Reveal some passion! Set your spirit free,
Attuned to mine, bound in Love's symphony.

Grant me one minute to caress your hips,
Each second sipping nectar from your lips.


Parental Love

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Nicole Williams and Errol Ashby

Parental Love should run for endless rounds,
Although it should not be just like a game
Where players are ignored, when out of bounds,
By referees whose slack can lead to shame.

Rules should be set for every vital play
Which little players, in or out, must learn.
When they infringe those rules, or disobey,
Both referees should, in discipline, be stern.

Parental Love should hone the game of life
So children grow to adults, straight and tall!
To spare the rod, in deed, cuts like a knife
Which hinders real growth, to keep them small!

Parental Love -- if proper! -- makes them howl,
Whenever Junior Players run a foul....


Let Love Be Sacred

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Vanessa Piccolo

Venture along your life's long road,
Among its finest floral forms.
Nature has granted you're bestowed
Especial strengths, to fight life's storms.

Savour each challenge -- every hope
Should cheer your heart; engage your soul.
As long as you're sincere, you'll cope,
In every mode, which checks your role.

Sing with a voice which travels far;
And shout those songs which utter joy!
Beware of melodies which mar --
Enfeeble, mangle, or destroy....

Let love be sacred in your life.
Love is the virtue which bears all.
Ascribe to thoughts which stifle strife!
Peace, then, will hasten to your call.

Instill life's virtues in your mind.
Cherish its pleasures as you grow.
Cherish its treasures, and you'll find
Only the good good lives bestow.

Live all your days in ways that sing
Of just the good in everything!


Kenya's Rose

by

Ronald G. Auguste



In Memoriam -- for Rose Wanjiku Irungu

Amid life's shattered monuments, in peace,
She called to life, keeping rank death at bay,
In days of Hope, until death had its way,
Dismissing life, bringing her voice surcease.
In her slow death, her life bade hope increase.

Within life's tangled tons, her soft voice rose,
Urging a Gallant Team to greater task,
Anxious to keep at bay death's lurid mask;
But death, prevailing -- heartless! -- pinched her nose,
Leaving mere hopeful faith dead in repose....

The hope that stirred her voice will fill the breeze,
To stir the senses of the ones who toiled
To save her life from hell, where hatred boiled!
Listen to future murmurs in the trees --
They'll seem to say: "Oh no! You're brothers! Please...."

She is not gone! Not while the soft wind blows
Fresh fragrance from that flower.... Heaven knows --
And trusts men who are brothers will suppose --
Faith's scent, Hope's bloom, linger from Kenya's Rose.


Lesser Shame

by

Ronald G. Auguste



I give ... because I cannot read--
Or enter--through their minds;
And if I don't, my soul might bleed,
Swamped by a shame that blinds.

You say they're thirsty just for booze,
Or starving for some dope!
Walk by? I could, but then I'd lose--
How sadly I'd lose hope--

The hope that everytime I give,
My honour takes a turn
To underscore that while men live,
None should, through hunger, yearn.

You urge me now to go and buy
The meal they're begging for--
To tell the truth, I'll not deny
A false knock at my door.

If ever I should Hunger claim,
A meal's cost would be lesser shame!


I Pray that You'll Forgive

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For my wife Anita

My trend to loving thoughts was lost,
While I was lost, in my own hell,
Demeaning what your good name cost--
A name which you had grown so well....

Your reputation and your name,
Built over years--and day by day--
Can't fall beneath fictitious shame,
Made up by lies, bent on decay....

Your pain should have far greater reach
Than all the ails yet to be born;
Your Virtue, Dear, should aim to teach,
To make my living less forlorn....

Teach Noble Hearts do carry Ruth,
To overlook the vilest deed!
In Love--teach Trust, and Hope, and Truth.
Forgive--and answer to my need....

The grief and pain that I now bear
Are consequence of what I told;
I pray that you'll forgive me, Dear--
Let me back inside from the cold....

I pray that you'll forgive my sin--
Open your door, and let me in....


I Wish You Well

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For my nephew, Zachary

Zest in a happy life! I wish you well --

A fine tableau of days, and happy years;
Chance that will bring true friends who'll treat you swell,
However circumstances shape your cares.

Although life, surely, can be hit and miss,
Redeeming charms and traits will mark your days.
Years, through your lifetime, will bring warmth and bliss;
Love, of the sort to summon song and praise....

Useless perceptions won't constrain your mind.
Dreary companions won't walk by your side.
Gold will enrich you -- though you may not find
External sources, you'll be rich inside!

Regions of splendor will enthrall your soul,
And Hope's bright blooms will flower in your heart.
Unless you go astray, you'll gild your role!
Goodness, that's gracious, will enhance your part.

Unbound, among your wishes and your dreams --
Serene, and treading softly -- harbor Hope....
There, too, free Faith and Trust; despite what seems,
Engaged to Love and Kindness, you will cope.


As You Graduate

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Monique Renť, my God-daughter

My earnest prayers will follow you
On all the pathways of your life.
New lights will brighten all you do,
In myriad shades, when doubt is rife,
Quelling those thoughts which dim your view.

Until your life's bright sun has set,
Each rising sun will bring a day
Radiant in beams of joy, to let
Each memory enthrall and stay!
Nothing will cloud them with regret.

Engage the virtues, Love and Hope,
Freely, among your daily deeds.
Obey their laws -- though broad in scope,
Regard what bounty each one feeds!
Bound to such laws, souls learn to cope.

Expend each hour of your light,
So you'll see stars as bright at night.


May Years Bring Wisdom

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Tre Mathurin, on his 3rd. Birthday

Foremost within your mind -- the number one
Of all your virtues! -- let love reign supreme....
Right through life's ample seasons, till life's done,
The benefits of love can be the cream
Regarding all you do under this sun....
Ensure your life's no nightmare, but a dream.

May years bring wisdom as you move along
All your life's varied vistas, steeped in light,
That you may grow and prosper, firm and strong!
Handsome of heart and mien, bearing delight!
Use kind love's precious habits; shun all wrong!
Resolve to render good deeds, day and night....

If open-minded love lives in your soul,
None of life's harmful faults can take control.


My Heart Melts

by

Ronald G. Auguste



Written for someone, who requested it

It's not been long since our souls met,
But I'd like you to know
From the moment that I saw you,
My heart began to glow....

You fill a longing in my heart,
And now, what joy I find!
Until you came to set that flame,
Such yearning filled my mind.

Now when I look into your eyes,
So radiant and so clear,
An inner peace dwells in my soul,
And puts such sweetness there.

Whenever you are standing by,
My heart melts, as I start to sigh.


A Handful of Splendours

by

Ronald G. Auguste



Oh! I have seen brash breakers breaking free
From the tumultuous shackles of the sea
To crash in thunder on a littered strand!
And I have seen the rainstorm smite the land,
Leaving the grasses trampled in defeat!
And seeking still to bolster its conceit,
Go on to break black branches from the trees,
Applauded by an inconsistent breeze....

And I have seen the landscape clean and cool
After the storm -- the river and the pool,
In shades of blue in shades of hanging leaves;
And rain drops dripping slowly from the eaves;
And wet savannas, succulent in green;
And misty mountains brooding on the scene;
And frangipani flaming in the air;
And sunlight, sunlight, sunlight everywhere!

Oh! I have seen the tropic sunset blaze
In shrieking hues to leave a golden haze
From which the greatest spectacle is born --
The pearly, dew-gemmed, scintillating morn!
Yes! I have seen such splendours! so my heart
Must yearn for them ... although even a part --
A little part -- would put my mind at ease,
As from the Summer murmuring of bees....


Be Kind and True through Life

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Brandon, my nephew

Be kind and true through life in all you do.
Regardless of distractions, keep that aim!
Assert a claim to precepts high so you
Never are caused by shame to lose your name.

Divert your mind from deeds that carry blame.

Of all the treasures which can gild your life,
None can surpass the Love born of your Soul.
Jewels aren't worth a penny, earned through strife,
Or baseless actions meant to gain control....

Suffuse your life with light, and keep it whole.

Extend a useful hand to those in need.
Provide to each a portion of your worth.
Harbor no ill; grow tall in word and deed.
Savor life's truths; share its uncommon mirth.

Include the gems instilled in you at birth.

No one is guaranteed life's grandest top,
Assured of passage through its golden gate.
Nor is one guaranteed life's final crop,
If, reaping its fine fruits, one plants too late.


Native to Cricket

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Francis 'Mindoo' Phillips

O spin the ball at any height or pace!
Far to the river's bottom he would hit!
Right through the boundary past a fielder's face!
At the pavilion's rows where braves would sit!
Native to cricket talent, touched by grace,
Choice of Saint Lucia's heart, which found him fit.

Industrious at bat, with stunning aim!
Sure at the wickets given him to keep!
May our resigned selectors bear their shame,
In that they always rendered cause to weep,
Negating all his might -- precluding fame!
Driven by cricket, man, his skills ran deep!

O with what ease he broke the century mark,
Or stopped the ball as it blazed past the stump!
Pure art and strength banged leather from the park,
However swift or high the bowler's jump!
Indeed, his long shots, popped off dented bark,
Lazily picked unripe fruits, in a slump!

Let it be written on the cricket-field,
In letters hewn from bats and topped by balls,
Perhaps some questioned what his kind might yield,
So he was left at home ... where fame still calls....


If I Could Ride the Whirlwind

by

Ronald G. Auguste



For Whitney Young

If I could live my life,
Beyond the whirlwind of men's ripping hates!
Free from the strife rife in the world!
Far from the knife of ostracism --
Hurled through darkness!

If I could fashion song!

If I could fashion song,
Through joy, instead of this perpetual pain....
In sunlight, not in this perpetual rain....

If I could fashion song sung not in vain!

If I could find no bar,
And leaping upward, reach and clutch a star!
And free from terrors, brand it with my name!
Still free from terrors, make it sing and flame!
Would such a deed not exorcise my shame,
And glorify the wombs from which I came?

If I could ride the whirlwind!
If I could guide the whirlwind!
If only I could turn aside the whirlwind,
And channel it, through corridors of men,
To puff my grim tormentors shrieking to the sea!
To snuff the eyes of sighted ones still blind to me!

Swirling them, whirling them, then hurling them to doom!
Plucking them out like cobwebs from a dank and dirty room!

If I could ... If I could....

Lord, rive the shackles that bind!
Scatter the dusts that blind!
The maggots that breed their cancerous seed
In the shadowy cells of the mind!
And help us! O Lord, help us!

If I could ...
O Lord....