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F. William Broome

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Dahlonega, GA, US

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An Old Gravel Road

by

F. William Broome


Narrow winding rolling or level,
life is enhanced
on a country road to adventure,
toward new vistas without destination,
a path to special places
unrecorded in the heart until now.

A walk down a rugged lane
rewards with discoveries
not seen on highways,
unfolding beauty of roadsides
may include small creatures
inviting quiet entry into their worlds.

A walk down an old gravel road
is to travel in time,
seeing yesterday and tomorrow,
exploring offerings
of nature's domain enhanced
by man's regard for what is right.

A primitive path
is more than a way to get there.
A blend of dirt and stone,
a woven carpet
with a twist of outdoor wonder,
in a stroll down an old gravel road.


One Of Us Will Cry

by

F. William Broome


A day will come
perhaps too soon
when one of us will cry,
as life tells us that one will be first,
leaving the anguished survivor
to face the loneliness ahead.
One of us will cry
as tears are shed
during the other's final hours,
confirming that a separation awaits,
halving a solid marriage,
embracing a lifetime's shared progeny.

One of us will cry
and that one will not for long
have won the day,
for too soon time loses elasticity,
closing tightly
until both of us are gone.
Which of us goes first
matters not at all,
at several years past four score
the struggle ahead will slow us
with unknown days
of pain in the heart, in the body,
and an aching in the soul.
When our inseparable lives end
there will remain our final question,
Does such love live on in the love of others.


Options

by

F. William Broome


What of those who wait
of the tranquil unhurried
of the talented reluctant
of the quiet unheralded

Will they be considered
be willingly received
be fairly evaluated
recognized honored

May they get approval
given earned rewards
acceptance evaluation
showered with praise

Out of human expression
talents opinions ambitions
often die for lack of volume
stilled in belittling dissonance


Heartbreak

by

F. William Broome


The strange man is moving against her,
and Iím sick and want him to stop
doing that to my friend.
Sheís hurting and fighting to get away from him.
I never saw grownup people naked,
doing what Sammy had told me about.
How did a man ever get in her house
to do this to her in a dark room in the daytime?
I rang the doorbell three times,
to show her the prize Iíd won
for my story about pirates,
knowing sheíd be proud of me for winning.
But Iím ashamed now, after seeing her
doing that with a man I donít even know,
wondering if I could ever talk to her again
and let her see the big silver dollar Iíd won.
Now, my friend has a man
to tell her good stories,
to show her new things,
and do that stuff in bed that hurts people.

I Never

by

F. William Broome


I never ached for her
to take notice of me
I never walked by her house
hoping to see her
I never played in her yard
till way past dusk
I never shared a sandwich
at a picnic with her
I never walked a fence
to get her approval
I never saw a movie
holding her hand
I never carried her books
to or from school
I never wrote a note
to her in class
I never bested a boy
who teased her
I never once saw her
all dressed up in church
I never did any of these
from childhood to eighteen
But she at nineteen and I at twenty
did many other things
Like falling in love
then staying married for all time

The Last Burlesque Show

by

F. William Broome


Talking pictures buried it deep,
then television threw dirt on top
of Americaís native variety shows.
"Burlesque," a fine French word,
describes the comic or derisive
side of life, but in America, it
means, jokes, smut, dancing girls,
enjoyed by rowdy cheering men.
For some, we didnít lose much
seeing the last one fold years ago,
but the shows were fun, outlets,
condemned by churches, womenís
groups, and united do-gooders.
Mostly harmless, they employed
talent, some of which went on to
become stars of stage and film.
They were incubators for humor
enjoyed by all levels of society,
try-outs for women and men who
deserved a chance to perform.
Low admission "Burly" shows
gave relief to the out-of-work,
the homeless, lifeís drop-outs.
Where today is there a refuge
for souls needing a lift, a song,
a borderline joke, dancing girls?
Burlesque, reflecting the best of
America, was a slice of each of us
- before we became sophisticated
- too pompous for belly-laughs.

Meeting Miss Daisy

by

F. William Broome


I donít talk to bus-riding strangers
donít answer questions
nor respond about the weather.
Today is different
sheís all dressed up in styles decades old
too elegant to be a threat.
Her serene manner emits
dignity and graceful style
a bearing approaching royalty
when she smiles I melt and return it
Greeting me in a voice of tinkling chimes
telling me itís a fine day
my rusty baritone replies
It is a fine day
a beautiful and remarkable day
a day I will remember as long as there are
ladies endowed with quality and class.

The Mountains Call

by

F. William Broome


Where too many birds are heard
to tell them apart -
the mountains call.

Where morning dew
is deepest on valley land -
the mountains call.

Where countless white clouds
fill a forever blue sky -
the mountains call.

Where breezes brush the face
in soothing comfort -
the mountains call.

Where refreshed thought speaks
of peace and quiet -
the mountains call.

Where considered judgment says
it is time to rest it all -
the mountains call.

And where these deserved rewards
come together at last -
the call of the mountains is answered.

Rhubarb Is A Pie?

by

F. William Broome


From a plant grown way up north - and out west
Southerners learn of a noxious nutritious scrub
coming out of the good old buckwheat family
its leaves poisonous but the stalks are food
used to make into a dubious dessert pie
needing loads of sugared flavorings
and rugged brave souls to eat it
hell-bent to live dangerously
fooling old mother nature
consuming weeds that
we the eaters of
turnip greens
will never
n e v e r
touch -
y'all

A Veteran Remembers

by

F. William Broome


Tokens from military service
leftovers embedding young life
historic mimeographed orders
insignia symbols of service
sixty years before
the world on fire - life on hold
half the world
killing the other half.

Mementos of combatís price
subtracting casualties in a group photo
warmed by Christmas card in sub-zero
dripping tears on Grandmaís obituary
a million miles away
fighting for survival and home
both sides justifying the unthinkable
for causes too noble for a foot soldier.

Confidante

by

F. William Broome


You and I will be together in
the way of committed lovers
to drink fine wine
eat gourmet food walk along a river
hand in hand sharing secrets
for the very first time
to empty cups of every desires.

We will fly to your favorite mix
of scenery galleries museums to
admire sidewalk art attend street musicians
sample local cuisine and set the stage
for your walks with me into
an outdoors of awesome grandeur
and find a lake offering quite tented nights.

We will travel as deserving lovers
to give ardor fertility and growth
breathe in new beauty and creation
bare all inhibitions
bathe in sensuous pleasures
if you will show me love ís vale
I will show you passionís height.

Riding Yesterday's Train

by

F. William Broome


Steel wheels rods and gears grinding,
screaming in relief from built-up steam.
Power for an engine delivering people on-time,
a train driven by skilled dedicated workers.
A coal eating monster belching cinders,
working for riders relaxing to the click of wheels.
Passenger cars sway in a game of follow the leader
rolling into leaning curves,
rocking slightly on the straight-a-way.
Walk the aisle, Main Street of a moving village
every seat yielding private drama.
Nibble sandwiches, celebrate dining car fare,
gourmet edibles unimagined until eaten on a train.
Count poles zipping by at rocket speed,
hoping your total beats the other side.
Ask the conductor about his crew,
how men move tons of iron over ribbons of steel.
Scribble names of towns painted on depot panels,
a promise to remember but forgetting the next day.
A ride on a steam engine train at the end of an era,
as rail travel passes into obscure history,
leaving only that lonesome sound
of a far-away train whistle,
still heard by a timeless rider.

Finding Persimmons

by

F. William Broome


The tastes of childhood arenít there
without a young boyís bounty from
wild fruit trees offering edible treats as
forever parts of growing up
country style just outside of town.

His favorite tree flourished on
hills pastures and creek banks offering
prime sweet fruit to a young pilgrim
discovering unknowns of natureís
refreshment on late fall days.

Shaking the tree yields frost-kissed
rip morsels ready for quick bites of
tender juicy goodness in
savored moments as he reaches
for more bites of natureís joy.

In a lifetime land development takes
away too many delicate fruit treasures
cheating generations of the wondrous
miracle when keen taste buds
meet wild persimmon for the first time.

Loving Thee

by

F. William Broome


How do I love Thee?
Thereís no need to count the ways
because listing them
doesnít define the depth
nor measures the length
nor does it convey the warmth.
is of no use in picturing beauty
underestimates brain power
fails to convey a sense of humor
underestimates social skills
bumbles a gift of kindness
ignores true gentility
trifles fairness in your being
never defines softness of voice and
over simplifies depth of devotion.
So, making a list for loving thee
is simply not right for you and me.

When a Beautiful Something Pleased You

by

F. William Broome


Sweetly missed is your sigh while
enjoying unexpected small pleasures
but missed mostly a flickering smile
saying to me far more than words
how complete you became when
a beautiful something pleased you.
What I thought would be missed
is lost in many things popping in and
out of mind such as delicious moments
when the two of us could become one
without others ever taking notice.
Missed most is the way you rested
your head and soft hair in the cradle of
my neck and shoulder for silent time
that said nothing else needed sharing.
Recalling fragments of our lives together
hurts deepest in my singleness and
remain beyond the vale while memories
encourage better lives for our offspring.
I know now that all the things I miss are
ours alone such as a flickering smile saying
more than words how complete you became
when a beautiful something pleased you.