Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Every now and then I face questions like, "Hey, how come you don't ever write any love poems?" and "You claim to be a writer. Shouldn't a writer be kind of a romantic and write mushy, wimpy love stuff?" Or, "You always refer to yourself as a poet, but I never see any love sonnets, or anything even close. Why?"
Most likely it has a lot to do with the time I was born. Little boys who first saw light of day in the early twenties learned early in life that you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Real big men stand tall. And they never cry. Expressions like ,"I love you," weren't commonly used (at least in public) by heroes of that time. And, to this day, they still don't come easy.
And then when it gets right down to the mechanics, or the nuts-and-bolts of the thing. We writers who use the English language have two-and-a-half strikes on us right from the start. We have only four words, five at the most, that rhyme with "love." French scribes have more than 40 words that rhyme with "amour."
Oh, I suppose I really am a romantic at heart. I have been known to cry at sad movies. And I wrote a real honest-to-gosh love poem once. A young nephew asked me to write something for his wedding and to read it at the ceremony. I later used the rhyme for one of these columns in 1996. And I felt honored when a minister friend who now lives in California asked for a copy of it. She considered using it for future wedding ceremonies.
I was once asked to put together and read a eulogy at an old friend's funeral. Some of this was in rhyme. Not exactly a love poem, but a labor of love. I received a number of requests for copies of it. Several of my more serious and/or religious, poems have "made it to church," having been used by ministers as pulpit-material.
When I started playing around with various computer programs, I really didn't have any intention of making my own greeting cards. And then one day I decided to design a birthday card for one of the grandchildren. Naturally, I had to include an original rhyme, a few Clip Art pictures and designs, and finish with, "With love from Grandma and Grandpa" (in flowing script, even). The first one was well received, so that required another for the next family birthday, and then another and another. Soon there were graduation cards, anniversary cards, and even Christmas cards. Now they all seem to be expected and much appreciated, and my expenditure of effort is well repaid with love.
For me, life, happiness, fulfillment, and all those good things depend pretty much on family and friends - warm, honest people - folks we can trust. The kind we feel comfortable with and whose company we enjoy. Some of my better greeting card efforts go into birthday and anniversary creations for my wife Gloria.


The flickering candle's
Gleam lights up your eyes,
Makes a banquet feast of
Our burgers and fries.

Time we spend together,
Your love and your smile
Smooth out life's rough edges,
Make it all worthwhile.

We don't need a mansion
Or rambling estate.
Our dwelling may be old
But it suits us great

We've no need for limo
Or fancy sports car.
We're happy and pleased with
Things just as they are.

We don't crave to know all
The great queens and kings.
We prefer just common Folks,
and common things.

No champagne or truffles,
We're pleased with our plateau,
Pure plain middle-class.

We don't whine about things
we're doing without.
Contentment is what our
Life is all about.

We need to impress no
Folks we meet today –
Each Tom. Dick, or Harry
Who happens our way.

For us, fame and fortune's
No absolute must,
Or a host of friends,
half Of whom we can't trust.

We prefer the kind who
Are true from the start,
The ones we know have our
Best interests at heart.

Now, close as two peas in
A warm, cozy pod,
We count all our blessings,
And give thanks to God.