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Paul Vernon Deffendall


Evansville, IN, US

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Faded Rose


Paul Vernon Deffendall

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Paul Vernon Deffendall


Years have passed by
but it still
seems like yesterday.

Shadowy figures,
forgotten dreams,
a dear voice
and endless laughter
from a golden summer
just like yesterday
or like yesteryear
when I was younger
just barely ten.
Ages of time
away from me now,
but I still remember
you, Steven.

Strange how clear
things are now.
Passageways in the fog
that makes up my memory
that I travel.

The golden summer--
June: the family reunion.
We went off together
with my brother and sister
to explore Burdette Park lake.
Who wanted to stay
and listen to the adults
reminisce about old times?
We were young
and brave.

Maybe we should have
asked permission,
but perhaps we knew
that permission would
be hard to get--
especially from your mom.

As I remember it
we were catching
tadpoles-- really wild animals--
when your mom
discovered us.

Even though the water
was ankel-deep
she acted
as if you could have drowned
her precious
eight years old son.
How dare we take
such a risk?

My sister
really paid for it.
She was the oldest
and shoud have
known better,
at least your mom
told her she should have.

If we only have known
about August . . .


I didn't see you
after that day.
You lived out of town
away from me
until August
when the future stopped
for you.

I still hold the tears!

Your mom took you
to visit grandma
up in
Peru, Indiana.

(I've been there
it's a lovely place)

In the month of August
nice, hot
ice cream weather.

Parked cars.
Empty streets.
At least it looked empty
except for the approaching
ice cream truck
on the opposite side
of the street.

Ice cream truck slowing.
You running.
Another car
coming from the other side
driven by a young woman.
Disaster looming.

A mad dash
between parked cars.

She doesn't see you.

Maybe a thump.
A fade to black. . .

DEATH. . .


A few days later
I realized my loss
of innocence
during visitation.

For the first time
I understood death.

You weren't just sleeping.
You never were coming back.
It was final.
Life was over.

I cried . . .
oh dear lord,
I cried!

Cousin Mickey and I
didn't run around
like the children
we once were.
The freedom of youth

Sometime during
the visitation
Mickey and I
talked quietly.

I still remember the

It was short.


I meant it then,
and even today
some twenty-four years later
I feel the same.

In Memory: Steven Marvin Schneider
Sunday, July 8, 1962 - Thursday, August 12, 1971

For All Those Who Died


Paul Vernon Deffendall

I stand here
sometime in December
it really doesn't matter
exactly when
not in this place

a silence
quilts hanging
on the wall
pieces of lives

silence as I look
at the different panels
as individual
as the lives they represent
all who died
before their time

a sacred feeling
a shrine
a public place
for the tears
for remembering

yes for the remembering from four corners
steady, strong
four voices
four people
the names of
those who died


are there no tears
left for the innocent?

second by second
word by word
the recitation continues
all those who died

family members
sewing, creating
this traveling memorial
this wonder
of cloth
pieced together
little, igsignificant
but when assembled
whole football fields
are covered
in its wonderment

but what purpose?


some panels
contain personal messages
from family
from friends
from lovers

it really doesn't matter
it shows life
this quilt

Joseph once owned
a multi-colored dreamcoat
but this creation
holds the dreams
of not just one man
but of hordes of people
united in one common bound:

to remember their love ones
who died all too soon



Paul Vernon Deffendall

In Memory: Don Shireman --- Died July 1994


Little lights
from many candles
somber people
standing in a circle
quiet as flames dance
in the wind
two whispered words
"in remembrance"
of whom I don't know

I've never met him
don't know his story
how he lived
the joys he possessed
or the pain he bared
before the end

I only knew him
through his neice's love
how her eyes shined
when she talked of him
the love she bore her uncle
shone bright as any star
even on the darlest night
that came as she knew it must


Night time
it's windy
and the flame dances
on the candle tip
I can't help
but wonder of life
why things happen
under this starry sky
silence greets me
as I stare at my friends
of the love
Shawna's love
for her uncle
who died last summer

Not just some
faceless victim
but someone loved
by his frienda
his family
his lover

It's personal
this feeling
when you know someone
affected by this plague

The joys are remembered
but sadness reigned
that night
as I watched Shawna
as she quietly cried
grief is a potent thing
sadness anger
the endless questions
the impotent rage
at people's belief
that AIDS victims
deserved their fate

Blind fools
who don't bother
to see the light
that we all share
in our souls


Starlight above me
as I sit on a hill
the river flows below me
quiet remains
as I hold the candle
now just a stub

I never knew his name
I never met him
but somehow
I know I'll never forget
a neice's love
the memory lives
in the soundless echoes
of my mind
and tears fall
as I wonder of
the needless waste
I feel a need
to do something
any thing
in remembrance

My heart cries
as another spirit dies
it doesn't matter
that I didn't know him
I know Shawna
I witnessed her grief
I cried with her
and Roxy that night

So I sit in solitude
aimlessly staring
down at the river
my own private vigil
watching as the starlight
dances on the river
much as the candle flame
danced earlier

Forever lights
these stars
as forever as the memory
of a departed friend

Faded Rose


Paul Vernon Deffendall

In memory Christopher Robert Schellhase
July 16,1977 - November 10, 1995

A cold winter breeze blows
in a chilly November's night--
cloudy, sad looking.
It matches my mood
as tears fight to fall.

I sit wondering
of a twist of fate
forever questioning.

Oh well, I'm here
waiting, thinking,
reflecting on a life
I barely knew.

So full of life . . .
. . . eagle scout . . .
. . . band member . . .
. . . honor student . . .

Snatches of conversations
filling in the pieces
that I don't know.

I met him a
couple of times,
and I liked
what I saw.

That zest for life
that shown in his eyes,

that prankful zeal
sparkling in his being.

And under it all
I sensed a great caring
hidden from view
perhaps or perhaps not.

I didn't know him well enough
to say for sure.

But he treated me well
giving a friendly smile.

This poem perhaps
is a small thing--
my thoughts, my feelings.
I grieve with you,
and you'll be in my prayers.



Paul Vernon Deffendall


I too dreamed of flying
to touch the clouds
puffy and damp
and to lay sleeping
looking down
to the ground below
and watch in
perfect contemplation
as the earth drifts by

A dream of peace
to see the world
as only the gods before me

Dreams are made
to transform reality


Icarus, you
flew under your
own energy
knowing the power
of self-flight
with homemade wings
of feathers and wax

What was it like
playing tag with the stars
looking over Zeus's world
all powerful as a god
observing ordinary man
on the island below
soaring ever higher
to touch the clouds
and to witness the wonders
unseen by mortal men
in their mundane world
far below your feet
until you flew too high
and wings fell apart
as wax melted and
feathers burned
crashing to the ground
in ruin
but unlike the phoenix
you'll never raise again


A brisk wind blowing
on a cloudless day
as dreams flourish
to reality
I watch the hawk
which I named Icarus
screeching in defiance
or is it a challenge
for me to join him
in the vast deep
oceans of the sky

With wings I too
might lift myself
into your heavenly realms
without a plane
or even a glider
to support myself

No I want self flight
to play tag with the wind
and to feel the breeze
rush by me as I fly
and to feel the sun
upon my back
as I rest on a cloud

Dreams are made
to challenge their makers
and to transform the world


Soft wind blowing
puffy clouds drifting
in the currents
forever circling
beckoning me

Dreams, realities
and the powers that be
await me
to take flight
to go where before
only my dreams took me
breathe in, breathe deeply
the heaven scents
and the knowledge
that the ability
lies within me
only if I begin
to push aside my fears
and join Icarus
in his flight

He screeches above me
calling, pleading
me to come to the heavens
and join him

Fears hold me back
Icarus, were you scared
just before you flew
to escape your prison
with your dad
ahead of you
to flee an unjust confinement
willingly risking it all
to taste freedom. . .
the unlimited freedom
of the heavens


Soft sunset
the northern lights burning
the skies a brilliant orange
with streaks of red
racing up to the heavens
a pathway for me
guiding my eyes
Jacob's ladder
awaits before me
silently beckoning
with Icarus calling
go ahead, be free
of the bounds
that limits you
throw off the weight
that Atlas bears
join me in the
freedom to fly
uninhibited by cares
worries that you suffer

Silently I look up
with longing lighting
my tear streak eyes
if only I dare

Without thinking
I reach out
spreading my arms
as if they were wings

I feel the weight
from decades of cares
slowly drain from
my conscious mind

I look about
as one new born
pregnant with hope
for the morrow
and the knowledge
that only I matter
not the past disappointments
that held me down for so long
the same disappointments
that fettered my wings
grounding me

Surprise I glance around
clouds drift to the left of me
puffy castles and
steaming dragons
shine clearly through
the settling sun below me
a gentle breeze
massages my front
and I slowly realize
that Icarus flies before me
that I too am free
from the concerns of life
and the angels are cheering
while Zeus smiles his approval
as I buzz the clouds
that surrounds Mount Olympus
and below me
the great tapestry unfolds
in brilliant blues
and dazzling greens
and all the other colors
in their spectrums
that together creates the earth

Not the earth that I once knew
but something transformed
into a place of endless wonders
and infinite possibilities
Am I a God, I think,
but no,
I'm just a man
one that flies for now
and Icarus calls me onward
to the end of all things
which also marks the beginning

Twilight Song


Paul Vernon Deffendall

I wonder sometime
of most anything
wondering of myself mostly
why I am so depressed
most of the time now

My dreams are bearing
their first fruits
as I rush towards
graduation next month

But my spirit seems
to be lost in a
dim twilight
that comes before
the dawning of a new day

Only I don't know
how to find my way
how to break free
of this endless cycle

It held my spirit
captive for so long
a belief of insignificance
of nothingness
that despite everything
I really don't matter

Sometimes it feels like
I'm only fooling myself

What chance
do I have

It's nothing new
these thoughts
only I can't seem
to reach my
safe harbor
as I used to

Only the fog
of uncertainty
blocks my sight
as I sit miserably
by myself
writing finally
of these thoughts

My desire flew
out the window
I don't know what
happened one moment
tomorrow's bright promise
carried me over the
waves of doubt

But now
even my brain
my thoughts
crawl like molasses
fighting to free me
to save me once again

Only I find myself
not caring
just let me crawl
away by myself

Into my darkness
perhaps it is
where I belong

I'm so close to success
why does it plague me now
just a little further
towards the dawn
towards the new beginning
that I prayed for

But the twilight
is so seductive
lost to the
passion and pain
that flows in me

I'm floundering
fighting for air
pointing the way
yet afraid to ask
for the help I need

On College Life


Paul Vernon Deffendall

Nonsensical images dance in my mind
of snakes and dragons
laying in a field of
cold cold stone
as dreams launch
into the reality that makes
all of us stone crazy

We only think
we rule
these computers

But in reality
these computers
are dragons
that run this maze
we call school
so much for rats
we are the lab animals
we come on schedule
laughing smiling
but just who rules

Surely we don't
as paper after paper
disappear in some
unknown electronic
gibberish as we
call it forth
after working on it
for what seems like eternity

Do we find ourselves
pleading to the
insanely blinking
courser as it taunts
us with an empty screen

Will we panic
will we scream
will we turn blue
in the face
as tirelessly the
courser blinks at us

Still it blinks
this unwavering eye
that we stare at for hours
hoping that letters appear
on the blank screen
as the line moves on

In time to rapidly
typing fingers
before some monster can
crash the system
or some unknown virus
freeze our screen
stealing that part
of our souls that we
sacrificed in the writing

Surely they know
those professors
who set up the papers
with impossible dead lines
cold blooded cold hearted
be these teachers
these experimenters
their search for knowledge
feed our anxiety
as nothing works
they feed the dragons
their self important
tasks as educators
politicians out of hand
to convey knowledge
or to save the system

I don't know
maybe one too many
virus attacked my screen
or too many crashes
stold my paper
ripping it from existence
not caring of the time
it took to compose
for some grinning gargoyle
of a teacher who
protects the sacred
confines of this temple
of higher learning

And the great god
computer who holds
our souls for ransom
apart from the reality
of the real world
we toil endlessly
in this secluded den
in the monster's den
waiting for the sleeping
monster to wake
hoping it doesn't until
we escape from its confines
freshly written paper in hand

Not bothering to check
for hidden glitches
until the teacher smiles
and says correct it
feeding us once again
to the dragons

Does any of this happen to you

I fear the monsters
as I write this

Some days I toil for hours
over insignificant
assignments that seemed
important but only
receive check marks
yet they're all important
for the ogre who assign them

Sometimes I wonder
just what it's all about
these endless torture sessions
as we struggle over
the next wave of tests
that always seem to be
grouped together
in some marauding packs
these be dragons
or these be dinosaurs
some extinct nightmare
that torments the minds
of students everywhere

No matter how much we study
can we ever hope
not to lag behind
with the great god
computer accepting
our unknown sacrifices

Oh well all efforts
might not be wasted
as we war against these
demons called professors
these imps called instructors
these devils called
finicial aide administrators

And the great god
of it all the staff
with more heads
than hydra

They lurk unknown in
the proposed class schedules

Will we get a new sheep
ripe for the picking
or will we get leviathan
glaring at the fresh meat
foolish enough to
sign up blindly
for their classes

Buth these rules
who decides my fate
their requirements
and the beating we take
for the sake of a
higher education turning
mild mannered Bruce Banner
into the Incredible Hulk

Don't make me mad
by cancelling classes
at the last minute
or adding a new requirement
that never seems to be offered

Even the food
reminds me to study
nothing tastes better
than stale leaves
from some ungainly book
relegated to this
in someone's system

Somehow I don't think
that applied physics
needs be digested
in such manner
dry reading makes
dry eating

And lurking over it all
hiding in closed offices
and closeted together
these puppeteers
with strings attached
to our souls
pulling this way and that
as they control
our very future
with one single entry
on the great god's
hideously blinking courser

Making the known unknown
making lives miserable
for a song or a dance
or even an arm or a leg
we need respect
not hard times
as money draws us
to those devil's delight

Somewhere else
the pundits wait
checking each list twice
before the close
caressingly near
these students are
to freedom unless
a stroke of a pen
adds another necessity
that's hard to fulfill
to the tedious list
of requirements

The gargoyles grim
as on stage we march
living sacrifices
to an uncaring world
we've escaped this den
where iniquity flourished
but the devils laugh
as each name rings out
these be the zombies
these be undead
with life squeezed out
and new ideas supplanted

Long live the class
of whatever

Sex on the Beach


Paul Vernon Deffendall

a cool burst of
freshness enveloping
my being
invigorating, cooling

totally satisfying
feelings seeping into my soul
as my inner self

passion floods
towards its climax as
I look at my partner
laying beside me
in the cloaking darkness
underneath the pier

silently sighing into
the coolness
enveloping my aura

silent laughter as I
kiss the richness
of my lover's
lithe figure
as together we
watch the daystar
sink towards its bed

nobody near

alone we gaze
into each others' eyes

words are meaningless
we know each others' thoughts
acting reacting as one

probing with my fingers
seeking for the prize
she responds drawing
me deeper into her embrace

until locked together
we join
softly moaning
as the tides
gently lap at our feet

lingering touches
softly massaging
arms and thighs
breasts and sides
while watching the tides
build to its climax

and through
our collective being

the moon peaks out
from behind a cloud
casting its soft
over our thrashing bodies

gritty sand
salty spray of seawater
reflecting in
the soft moonlight

jewel like
drips of liquid
silky skin
reaching out
together we sleep
in each others' embrace

gulls crying out
their eternal love
of their mistress
the sea
nudges me awake

no lover around
only an empty
coktail glass
by my cupped hands

containing only
a slight trace
of the elixer

sex on the beach



Paul Vernon Deffendall


I swore that
I would never
experience this again
but somehow
even in daylight
sorrow finds me

With an impotent
rage flaring
inside of me

The sun is out
a bright September
morning but inside
the clouds have gathered

I mean what was
the chances of
another person
I know being affected
by this modern plague
called AIDS


I wonder
where it began
this bitterness
this anger
at being unable
to do something

Damn it
we are talking
about a life
being stolen
too soon

By a disease
most people
consider to be

We don't talk
about things like that
especially here!

But why not
the light still shines
as bright as any sun
flaring brightly
even when the clouds
try to block it

Clouds made up
of ignorance
and fear

The one thing
that would help
the most we deny
and conveniently
look the other way

There's nothing fair
and we ask

"Why him hasn't
he suffered enough"

And bitterness
seeps into our hearts
the ones willing
to give a damn

And we think
that no one understands
as we fight
a battle inside
to find some sense
some justice
in something
that amounts to
a cruel twist
of fate


This time
it's personal


I never met
the people involved

But as I said
once before
that doesn't matter

I can hear the love
in Kelly's voice
for her brother

I can hear the pain
as she struggles
to find understanding
in something where
only a chaotic mass
of questions thrive

And the anger
the confusion
bleeds over
to other matters
and other people

A cry for help
in the wilderness
to someone anyone
to provide a map
but there's none
to offer

Most people prefer
to stay as far from
death as possible
especially a death
that's taboo

But I never cared
about what people
thought about things
or about me

This is personal
this is family


So once again
I sit on a hill
watching the river
this time it's day

To me the river
represents the passage
of time itself
with a beginning
and an ending
that we call life

Only right now
the river is
full of rapids
as a life ends

The pain and grief
remains behind
nobody ever really
recovers from it

Hope exists still
the memories will
fight the pain
and grief lessons
in time

A gift is needed
something special
and wise words offered

I have nothing but
a thought to leave
behind as I float
down the river

Life flares
as a burst
of light from
the brightest of suns
and even alone this
light we call life
can illuminate the
darkest parts
of our universe

Departed friends
and family
are the stars
that guide us
through the darkness
we face in our lives

The Bridge


Paul Vernon Deffendall

Come be my shining light
in the darkest of night
lead me far to the other side
across the river and the tide

Come and stand by my side
come and become my sight
guide me beyond the infinite night
where love rages like an ocean's tide

Show me the secrets you hold
while I fight the deadly cold
fly with me up in the sky
with life's fire to guide us by

Where two hearts join two souls
where two shall be made one
and at last the breech shall be made whole
but only in the light of the sun

Guide me, carry me
be my pathway to the other side
join in phoenix's blazing light
and fly on the wings of love

When shall we meet again
and whither shall we go
it matters not to me
as long as I am with you

An Image From Kosovo


Paul Vernon Deffendall

based on a photograph called "Boy With Gun"
taken by Jessica Brandi Lofland

a ghostly image from a photograph
calls out to my soul
from a land I never visited
and really never knew
existed before

and I wonder just how people can
possibly be so unfeeling as to
steal the innocence from
a little child such as him

innocence that I took for
granted inside the fairy tale
crystal palace that I
lived in as a youth

of course it was only
make believe but grim reality
never intruded into my world
of multi-hued rainbows
that transported me beyond
my petty troubles

unlike this child
the young boy
from Kosovo

he stands poised this warrior
that should only be fighting
make believed monsters typical
of childhood that all
children do or playing
dodge ball with his
friends neighbors

not ducking real bullets
aimed by some
half crazed soldier

the child in the picture
he witnessed unspeakable
monstrosities made
worse by the reality
of it all grieving
as close friends bled
and died in but the
golden spring of
their childhood

I played war as a
child but never
like this lad with
real bullets and guns

I can eaily place
my child who I
never knew existed
too easily into
this scene

shining light brown hair
blown around by a
light breeze

but instead of endless
gales of laughter
streaming out of him
only silent pain
radiates out from
eyes made ancient
before their time

the final touch
the final horror
attracts my sight

instead of a ball
or a prized toy
he holds a gun
in his small grasp

I wonder about
mankind's future
as I turn sadly
away don't they
realize that by
destroying the
innocence of youth
they destroy the
hope of the
Earth's redemption

Coat of Many Colors Lord of All


Paul Vernon Deffendall


it doesn't matter
what color you are
it doesn't matter
how you show your love

I offer unconditional
love for all my creations
no one is better
than anybody else
or even of a
superior race

can you choose
which child
you like best

I created the wholeuniverse
to hold mankind

my greatest work
and my greatest

they're too eager
too choose the
perfect race the
perfect people among
their idea of what
perfection is
killing off what
they consider to be
below their society

I don't understand
if I could not choose
what makes them
believe that they
have the wisdom

no I created

the great tapestry
that mankind
represents inside
of my being

the brilliance of the
rainbow on the
coat of many colors
that the planet Earth
wears depends on the
color of all mankind
no one is above
anyone else I
should know


Dance of the Innocents


Paul Vernon Deffendall

In memory of Melody Elaine Smith
July 11, 1961 - April 30, 1996
may she rest in peace

graveyard silent
a Celtic cross poises
in the midst of the
fields of innocents

some days the cross cries
with dew drops but
in the sunset
and the racing rays
of fading light
the drops reminds me
of tears of blood

silently dripping
from who knows where

especially at dusk
one can see
an image form
from the Celtic cross
a young lady
a masculine man
or some being of
indiscriminate sex
and an unguessable age

I don't know
or can even guess
as I sit nearby
just out of sight
to honor an
old girlfriend

who died young
thinking of my feelings
that long laid
dorment in my soul

an image a vision
I'm not exactly sure
in this sanctuary
of eternal rest
that seems to
belong in another
universe not of sorrows
but of extreme ecstacy

storybook drawings
of what paradise
looks like dances
in front of my eyes

strange I think
I never done this before
as my thoughts blend
with reality and a
vision appears so real
to me that I blink
several times to
make sure I'm not

no it's real including
the background
strumming of a harp

not until then do
I notice the strange
figure standing at
a newly dug grave

I noticed it earlier
just has I arrived
a polished marble
tombstone reflecting
the dying sun
a single ray illuminating
the dates of birth and death

It's a baby's plot
surrounded by others
and statues of baby
angels and little lambs
all the trapings of a
nursery that one
expects to view
only it's strangely
out of place here

a soul newly formed
to spend a lifetime
of joys and hardships
cut down too soon

now the figures sighs
over the tiny grave
and from it's back
wings sprout until
I realze that
she's an angel
perhaps the caretaker
of the tiny ones

I shouldn't be here
I'm contaminating
this holy sight by
my very pressence
too old to locked
up in my own sorrows
in my own knowledge
of my inner nature

perhaps even locked up
in my knowledge that
I could have done
something different
I don't know what

yet I find myself
glued to the spot
when I try to leave
and I sense for a
moment the angel's
tender eyes on me
tender and sad
as if she failed
in one of her tasks
but then the feeling
melted away as she
looked somewhere else

and my own puzzled
glance followed hers
she spred her wings
to the cool breeze
wearing a halo
shining bright above her head

she holds her arms out
as if to receive some
gift from above and a
smile plays across
her face and eyes
that defie all description
twinkle in the star light

slowly a nimbus of
pure energy drifts up
from the freshly dug grave
gaining solidity as it
approaches her arms

a special burden
that she's been given
to care for eternity
as a tiny infant
at last lies in her
embrace with happy
cooing and gurgling

the little girl
that died young

with this miracle
I find myself once
again conjuring up
images of the happiness
I once knew so long ago

a vision a ghostly time
that calls me back
to a more innocent
time in my life

before I grew cold
and uncaring about love

when all I needed
for true happiness
was a single touch
from my girlfriend
and a single glance
from her love filled eyes

we were young and innocent
only she never stopped
believing in the goodness
of mankind and the
realities of miracles
showing up every day

me I turned to wonder
the darker side of my soul
living only to see the
worst of people and the
worst of the world
convincing myself
that nothing deserved
to be saved or worshipped

what happened
to change me so
I'll never know

so she left my side
who cared
what's love anyway
but some false emotion
or so I thought
at that time of my life

a night time made
worse because it's
of my own doing
because I made the
sacrifice that lead
to this time and
to the cemetary
of broken promises
of broken hopes

I find myself wishing
that I could see her
one last time to heal
the one last mistake
that I made in my life

not that I deserve
to be treated differently
I got what I deserved
she's with the angels
and I walk alone
with only my memories
and thoughts about
what might have been

I glance at the angel
lovingly kissing the
baby girl and her eyes
sparkling with all the
colors known to men
and with colors unknown
except to the angels

I notice that those eyes
rest on me with understanding
and a reflection
of my pain
radiates from them
a look I've seen
too many times before
on my own face in the mirror

a look a little child
wears when mommy's gone
and he or she has to
face the world alone
for the very first time
totally lost looking for
some kind of support
not knowing who to trust
in this strange new world

I never thought I'll
ever see such a look
on an angel's face

she sighs carrying
the baby in her arms
gently rocking her
back and forth
her voice easily
merging with the
harp in the background

pure music without
mankind's imperfections
carrying the mystical flow
a touch of paradise
in this sanctuary
of innocent souls
like the baby girl's
like my old girlfriend's

how I wish now that
I could turn back
the clock and see
her alive if only
for a millisecond

and hear her voice
calling my name
once more

I wonder why once again
she was taken so young
her life still laid
ahead of her
and I wonder why
I'm allowed to live
after all the many
years that I sought
passive suicide

maybe it's true
that only the good
dies young

I find myself crying
knowing that some believe
that a man shouldn't cry
but why should I care
about what others think
I never have before
and a man should be
allowed to cry

if only to ease
a broken heart
for a little while

soft footprints behind me
so soft I'm not sure
just when I noticed them
or the angel smiling
directly at me
as if she approves
of my crying

I don't know
this night and
its surprises has
carried me beyond
to some other realm

where anything
can happen and the
world outside the
cemetery seems to
be a part of another
universe although
there's nothing seperating
it from this reality

my thoughts belong
to the past for now
as I watch her grave

earlier I talked to
her to this spot that
is the only reminder
that she lived and
now sleeps forever
alone with no company
except for the
occassional visits
from her family

now I'm here on
this anniversary of
my lady's death
the angel of my morning

do you ever forget
the first person you love

a soft touch on
my shoulder startles me
back into the present

at first I'm confused
not knowing st first
when or even why
I was conscious of
the soft footsteps
but not in the way
that intruded in
my private musings

it takes me a while
to realize that only
the wall stands behind
no one entered from
the front although
I'm not sure of
anything this night

a fleeting memory
of a long lost time
from a different era
when hope flourished
inside my being
long before I grew cold

just seventeen
a tentative touch
on my shoulder
soothing a building
rage from deep
inside a tormented soul

from a girl
I barely knew
yet she sensed
my need
and knew somehow
to respect my privacy

but I looked
almost against
my will
and seen her
concerned look
shining in her eyes

past visions
when will they
stop haunting me
in the daytime light
where I no longer dwell

I'm a creature
of the shadows now
the morning's long gone
and twilight is here

even from
the scent she bore
of freshness
and the start
of a new day
after a terrible night
full of storms
of doubts and uncertainties

aagain a soft touch
lights on my shoulders
more demanding

the pain flares
inside my heart

I find myself
turning around
against my will

to be met by
a quizzical look
from a pair of
spectacular eyes

glorious red hair
shining in the
pale moon light
everything as
I remember from
my dreams

I turn my back
quickly avoiding
meeting the angel's
eyes as I quickly
get up and take off
walking fast and
trying not to think

until I hear my name

I stop not knowing
just what to do
pain racking my heart
and tears streaming
down my face

I feel her look
resting on my back
just patiently waiting
for my next move

I stood there
in the road
a few feet away
from the car
in a moment that
lasts forever
yet at the same time
no time passes
in the mundane world

before I sigh
and say that
it's nice to see her

she waits
for my next move
the angel appears
in front of me
holding the baby
and I give her
a weak smile

in a low whisper
I ask hesitantly
can I have this dance

a low laugh
greets me I
never danced with
her even though
I knew she wanted to

a little boy lost
a grown man
holding his breath

soft footsteps
behind me as I
turn around
to face an
impossible dream
turn into reality

I look at her
with all my love
showing in my gaze

not knowing or
even caring
as I take her again
into my loving arms

we dance alone
in the moonlight
not saying a word
I didn't care about
anything but her

then the angel
joins us in the
celebration of renewal

I feel as one reborn
new to this world
and the breath
of freshness blows
into my soul

we talk quietly
long into the night
sitting on the hood
of my grey chevy

about the past
and what happened
as heavenly music
hums in the background

I found forgiveness
in the long talk
in the cemetery

just before dawn
she whispers that
she has to go
but she'll always
be with me

I walk her back
to her grave
wishing her a peaceful rest
as I watch her
fade from view

I turn to go