Category Archives: healing

Ireland in Black & White Excerpt #1

From Ireland in Black and White

Photography Sam Beckett

Poetry by A.F. Winter

A tree so covered with vines
The tree disappears
But the tree remains.
I thought my love for you had gone
But love remains.

 

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978053266/

Advertisements

I’ll Know 10/28/2017

I’ll know

I no longer love you

When my phone rings

And I no longer hope

For it to be you

But I do.

For now I do.

 

I’ll know

I no longer love you

When I no longer need

To hold a pillow

When I fall asleep

But I do.

For now I do.

 

For now I do.

A phone, a bed

A breakfast plate

For now I do.

A book, a song

A broken date

For now I do.

 

For now I do

A hidden hope

Inside a prayer

For now I do

As days rush on

And chances fade

For now I do.

 


S.B. 100517

I met Sam in O’Donoghue’s

Nursing my mushroom soup and Guinness.

And listening to the pensioners playing familiar tunes.

It was cool outside and I had no desire

To leave the warm, joyful atmosphere

Created by rich food, cool stout and Irish music.

 

He brought one of the musicians a cider

And sat down at the table next to mine.

At the end of the song, he turned to me and asked,

“Are you American?”

“Yes,” I answered. “Are you Irish?”

He warmly laughed.

 

We talked for hours

About politics, and literature, and love.

Because all politics and literature

Come from love.

 

He talked about his several marriages,

And of the children he’s lost touched with,

A smile never left his lips.

I told him of my broken heart

That’s never healed.

A smile never breached my lips.

 

Sam sat back in his chair

And finished off his pint.

“All my mistakes were glorious,

Glorious and unforgettable.”

“My mistakes were just mistakes,” I  sadly smiled.

“That’s all they ever were.”

 

“Yes, but weren’t they all lovely?” He grinned.

I had another drink of my stout

Before I said, “Yes, I believe they were.”


Moving On 09/23/17

An empty space left unfulfilled,

Is covered by the past.

One cannot move beyond the pain,

With memories that last.

 

I know that suffering will fade

When tears have been replaced

With soft kind eyes,

A joyful laugh,

A gentle, smiling face.


Ingrid Thanks 4/9/17

All the broken hearts in the world still beat.

 

A stunning lyric

In a pop song

For a man

In his fifties

Searching, searching

His whole life

To be home

In the arms of another.

 

Renting, only renting

For a few years

Or less

But not anymore.

Drifting, drifting

Never stopping

No interest,

Either direction on that two-way street

Thinking he’ll never find his picket fence.

 

All the broken hearts in the world still beat.

 

But he still lives

His heart still beats

Sadly beating,

Weakly beating,

But beating still.

 

Shakespeare, Milton, Byron

Not for them.

Their voices silent.

Their poems completed.

Life is too short.

It was for them.

It was for others

Whom I miss so much.

Whom I’ll never see again.

 

But I can smell the coffee.

And it is time to wake up and do so!

I can taste a ripe, ripe summer’s peach,

Juices drip as I break the skin

Feel the sweet liquid run

Down my chin

Until I wipe it

With the back of my hand.

The stickiness remains,

That joyous, beautiful stickiness.

 

 

All the broken hearts in the world still beat.

 

Find Beauty.

Find Peace.

Find Love

And Forgiveness.

Listen to the laughter of children, unspoiled, uncynical.

Rejoice in the stories of the old as they tell of victories and disasters from long ago.

They won’t be able to tell those stories much longer.

Their voices less clear.

And softer as the past rushes from us.

And soon like them,

Our passing fancies will all have passed.

 

All the broken hearts in the world still beat.

 

Even in our darkest times,

We are still alive.

We have only a moment.

This moment.

To live and love.

To be happy.


Love is like Christmas 11/16/16

 

Love is like Christmas

The smell of freshly

Baked ginger cookies

From grandma’s kitchen

The brightly lit homes

Filled with welcomes welcome

The beautifully decorated tree

Holding gently

Memories of a lifetime,

Ornaments passed from

Generation to generation,

From friend to friend.

 

I walk down the quiet street,

Listening to the holiday parties

The Laughter,

The stories

Of good times past

And memories of good friend passed.

Their lives continue

In the retelling of traditions

And of recipes recreated.

 

I walk down the happy street

Where tomorrow morning

Children will rise,

Jumping on their parent’s bed

Gleefully yelling,

Santa was here, Santa was here.

The living room will soon be filled with

Mountains of discarded wrapping paper and

The laughter of children

As they test the warranties of their gifts.

 

I stop outside my home.

The darkened rooms.

There is no smell of cookies.

No tree with brightly

Wrapped presents beneath.

 

Love is like Christmas for me.

Never had it, never will.

And the expectation every year,

Of what Santa will bring,

Of what love will bring,

Makes my home a prison,

Sentenced to my gloomy rooms,

Waiting for release.

I walk away from my prison cell

To a darker corner of my town.

 

Mrs. Wilson’s husband passed.

It is the first Christmas without him.

Their only son died in Vietnam

So very long ago.

She sits alone with a scrapbook,

And smiles with tears in her eyes.

 

Mr. Paneer’s wife left him,

Along with the kids.

She always trimmed the tree.

He didn’t buy one this year.

He wouldn’t, he couldn’t.

He drinks another round while

Looking into the empty corner.

 

Mr. Murry died last fall.

His house is dark.

A For Sale sign sits out front.

And that is all that is left of Mr. Murry.

 

I stopped.

A light snow falling down,

Seemed to glisten in the streetlight’s glow.

Dancing, dancing,

Slowly falling.

I held my hand out.

A snowflake landed in my palm

A moment before melting.

Love is like Christmas,

Like Christmas indeed.


I will not tend my garden anymore. 11/19/16

 

I will not tend my garden anymore.

Let it grow. Let it grow.

I cannot contain it anyway.

It will wilt or grow in God’s own way.

 

I remember when I came to this place.

Four stately pines, three in the back, leaning towards each other

Dependent but independent. I thought they were weak.

I thought they would fall, so I cut them.

I cut them down, not letting them live, their lives,

Without my consent.

 

One in the front, I cut down as well

Too close to the house.

Too close to my home.

Too close to me.

So I cut it down.

Four trees, three of the past, one for tomorrow.

 

And then I cut some more,

Pruning and weeding,

Uprooting and cutting

In order to make my garden perfect.

But I have tended too, too aggressively.

Plants like people need space to grow and air to breath.

They cannot blossom in trifled containers.

 

My Gypsy Sues have died, their thorny skeletons catching me when I pass.

My Lodden Blue has wilted but flourishes far away from my tending.

Professor Anton Kippenburg refused to sprout, never wanting to share their bloom.

The winds and the rains came and scattered what was left.

Broken limbs decaying, hiding in unmowed grass.

 

I will not tend my garden anymore.

Let the weeds grow,

The mushrooms appear then fade overnight.

Let the bugs and the beasts find sanctuary.

I will not run them off.

Let the neighbors complain,

As they battle to control their own small plots of earth.

 

I will let God have his way.

I cannot fight what isn’t there.

My opinion is not required.

My approval is not needed.

What will be will be.

What will be will be.