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Fred Haney

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Auburn, WA, US

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Mistress

by

Fred Haney

My mistress, the sea, is raging again
Her angry breath rips through my sails
She fills the sky with dark brooding clouds
And my ears with the haunting wails
Of proud but desperate, foolish souls
Who have tested her wrath and vanished,
Lost in the folds of her angry breasts
For their greed, condemned and banished
Exiled to drift in a Sargasso Sea
In angry waves that churn with spite
Doomed to sail in a rudderless ship
In a blackened, unending night.
I hear their pitiful, helpless cries
In the wind that howls in my ears
And the rain that pounds me unmercifully
Are their desperate, angry tears
Her veil of black death obscures the sky
Her vengeance screams out with such fright
And though she taunts and torments this fool,
She comforts this fool through the night.


Travis

by

Fred Haney

Close your weary eyes, my sweet Travis,
To a world only a child can see.
Close your eyes and keep dreaming, my love,
Of all that you can possibly be.
I can't promise you a bright tomorrow
And I can't always make dreams come true
But I can hold you now, safe and warm,
To keep you from the foggy, foggy dew.
I pray that I will remember, dear,
What it's like to be a child once more
To squeal with glee and excitement
Awaiting you behind every new door.
To look at the world through brand new eyes,
And feel a child's innocent delight
At the first birth of a tiny leaf
Or the first wishing with all your might.
I want to be there for your first step
Or when you climb that tree alone
But God please grant me the inner strength
To allow you to grow on your own.
Soon you'll be pulling my apron strings
And I'll turn quickly around to see
A young man, tall and handsome,
Standing proud before his bride to be.
Be still until then, my sweet darling,
Let me hold you close to my breast
Until your tomorrow begins, my love,
Close your weary eyes and rest.


Honesty

by

Fred Haney

The trouble with being too honest
Is the same as the telling of lies
Both may be treated with equal contempt
That have little to do with their size.
Too much of the truth is not condoned
Even with the best of intentions
A lie now and then can do no harm
According to normal conventions.
A little white lie told innocently
May have saved a friendship or two.
But ask yourself what about the truth?
Why is that so difficult to do?
For those afraid of such honesty
Who cannot say how they are feeling
They leach and suck the integrity
Of others from whom they are stealing.
Sincerity breeds contempt from those
With whom honesty has no effect
But for those unafraid to face the truth
Honesty is the mother of respect.


Mountains or the Sea

by

Fred Haney


I stood before the crossroads
To begin a long journey
One road led to the mountains
The other led to the sea
Which way should I go, I wondered,
To my left or to my right?
I could be at the vast ocean's edge
If I traveled through the night

Or maybe to the mountains
If my clothes could stand the chill
And if my legs could carry me
Up over the farthest hill
The autumn wind was calling
And whispering my name
And if I stayed beyond the fall
It wouldn’t be the same

My heart lay in the meadows
When the leaves of fall descend
But all my dreams lay straight ahead
Somewhere at my journeys end
I sensed someone was watching
And I turned around to see
And there she was just sitting alone
Beneath the shade of a tree

A woman dressed in gossamer
Glittering, brightly glowing
Her eyes were filled with wonder
And a smile that was all knowing
"Most will go to the left," she said
"Through the forest by the pond
To the meadows painted with flowers
To whatever lays beyond.

But those that do, never return
We don't hear from them again
And sometimes I even wonder
What happened to those young men?
They say the music of the wind
Can steal your heart and soul
And they spend their entire lives that way
Never ever reaching their goal.

And others seek their fortune
Where the ocean meets the sky
But then they lose their way back home
And I sometimes wonder why
What lies beyond the mountains?
What draws young men to the sea?
What reason would you have to leave?
What could it possibly be?"

I suddenly felt too weary
And dropped down on one knee
The sun was hot and I gladly sat
With her beneath that tree.
I felt her warmth seep in my soul
As she took my hand to see
And searched my eyes for what was there
The mountains or the sea.

"I have a special gift, you see,
Of what lays ahead for you,
I can even read your fortune
For a paltry penny or two."
I dug into my pocket and
I gave her what I could find
She smiled with glee, then offered me,
A sip of her brandy wine.

"You're going to find your destiny
Something wonderful today."
Though she didn't tell me what
I begged, but she wouldn't say
And when I demanded then and there
She giggled with pure delight
"Can you catch a bright shooting star
By wishing with all your might?

You may as well chase the fleeting wind
Turn a mountain upside down
Or ask a raging river
To be quiet. Not make a sound
Don't you know that the longest journey
Begins with the heart and soul?
And the path you chose to start this day
Only ends when you reach your goal?"

"Dreams," she said, "come and go
But they're all the same to me.
I've lived my life one day at a time
For whatever is meant to be.
I've seen the burning passion in
The young men eager to be
Away from here no matter to where
The mountains or the sea."

The sun sank slowly from the sky
I thanked her again for the wine
But my travels had only just begun
And the journey ahead was mine
I said a good bye, gave her a kiss
And she looked for a moment at me
"Remember," she said, as I turned to leave
"In your heart find your own destiny."

It's been many years since my retreat
While I've sailed the seven seas
What would I have found, I wondered?
Had I chosen to climb through the trees?
Through the mountains and the valleys
And the mists that tempted me
Would I again have faced the choice
Of the mountains or the sea?