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This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

I hear the cry of Africa,

See her saddened plight —

Lackluster eyes, no hope or dreams,

Watch day and night.


Listless resignation,

Men gaze o’er vast parched plains,

Useless to plant in dried-out earth,

Waiting for blessed rains.


People far past anguish,

No more tears to shed,

No food, no clothes,

Hard earth for a bed.


Hunger pains diminished,

No longer feeling pain,

Too little food, too late,

And no one to blame.


I hear the cries of Africa,

Mourning on the winds,

In wake of death,

Starving hands reach quietly for their friends.


Haunting face of children

As hunger stalks this land.

No quarter given, and death lurks

For both beast and man.


Women stand bewildered,

Eying their helpless brood,

Wasting away, to laugh no more

For simple lack of food.


I hear the cry of Africa,

Wafting o’er the dry blasted sand,

People of proud heritage,

But what future in this drought-stricken land?

Rodeo Clown

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

He ran a gnarled hand

Through silver-streaked hair.

Arthritis caused pain,

Anguish and despair.


This year, he’d quietly

Turned age sixty-two.

His days as a clown

Were long since through.


Memories flooded back,

Playing tag with his mind,

Back through the years

To a much younger time.


Back then, he was the best…

The most agile around.

Someone better with bulls

Just couldn’t be found.


Rubbing his neck idly,

He gave a soft sigh.

Back then, he could rodeo,

Drink and tell lies.


He could jump over a bull’s rump,

Stop him dead in his tracks,

Then turn him aside

With a quick-handed whack.


He’d sure made it look easy.

There was never a school

To teach rodeo clowns

How to handle mean bulls.


Many a hard-riding cowboy

Was thrown high to fall flat.

They owed their health to the clown,

Plus a tip of the hat.


Many of those cowboys,

Rising up from the ground,

Will ride once again,

All thanks to the clown.


He makes it look so easy

While with danger he’ll flirt,

Keeping bull riders

From both injury and hurt.


The next time the rodeo

Comes into your town,

Watch over the action

Of the rodeo clown.


Maybe you’ll see

Another one there,

Running a pain-filled hand

Through his silvery hair.


There’s a twinkle in his eye —

His interest honed keen.

He’s watching the clowns

And the bull riding scene.


He’ll be wearing

An invisible crown

Because once he was king

Of the rodeo clowns.


This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:


I’ve climbed snow-capped mountains,

Searched lush valleys below.

I’ve trekked through high aspen meadows,

Drinking where hidden streams flow.


I’ve climbed over lofty crags

And walked through wildflower meadows where you roam.

I’ve smelled spruce-laden air

In the untamed beauty you trod and know as home.


I’ve searched when hot and thirsty,

Muscles crying out in pain.

I’ve hunted while wet and hungry

Against your allies, snow and rain.


When matching wits, my hunter’s tricks

Have all seemed to fail,

Yet your courage and strength never falter

As nature helps you prevail.


Each year, aspen trees

Begin wearing coats of red and gold,

When campfires flicker in the mountains

Against night air, crispy cold.


My ears strain to catch a bugle call,

Which splits the clean, clear air.

The mighty stag, Wapiti,

Is moving in his lair.


Yes, I’ll answer his ringing challenge,

For not to respond would cause me pain.

It’s time to once more play hide-and-seek

On his terms, in his terrain.


This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:


Hear then a tale of questionable strategy

Involving a wondrous creature.

Results were almost near tragedy,

Species extinction, Nature’s own sad teacher.


Their existence brings about mixed feelings

As they quietly pass on parade,

Slowly plying changing ocean currents,

Passing near man unafraid.


Gentle and playful, they offer no cause

For unfounded fear or alarm,

Never inflicting pain in their watery domain

While displaying whale-loads of charm.


The solution was always very simple,

Very easy to understand.

You see, while we’re able to travel our oceans,

They’re unable to travel on land.


Then let’s leave these great gentle wonders

In care of Neptune’s safe keep

To breed and play, live and die, peacefully,

Inside blue marvel of their deep.


This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:


It hurts! It hurts!

I know it’s pain.

I know! I know!

I’ve been told by my brain.


Through jangled nerves,

The message comes loud and clear.

Eyes will see the flowing red

Which will bring me fear.


Stop the red quickly,

Before life runs its course.

Stop the red! Stop the red!

Stop it at its source.


I’ll send a message back.

I’ll send it up the line

To tell the ole brain quickly,

“Everything is fine.”


See how I cope

With you now, “Ole Pain,”

I’m completely safe

And ouch-less, sane.


I stop the red and shun you,

Completely unafraid.

I’ve discovered a medical miracle —

The ouch-less Band-Aid.

Final Metamorphosis

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

I’m soaring now,

All is well.

As I glance down

On a worn-out shell.

I hear moans and crying.

What’s it all about?

Everyone wants to weep,

Yet I wish to shout.

Inside, looking out,

Now I’m outside looking in.

Bright, fresh beginning,

Freedom without end.

No more headaches

Or pain exist here.

Fresh new world,

Full of laughter and cheer.

Over the old earthly cocoon

You weep and moan,

But transfiguration is complete —

The butterfly has flown.

Spirit form unfettered,

At last completely free,

So why all the sorrow?

At last, “I am free!”

When Love Dies

This poem is from Autumn Leaves:


Words spoken in anger,

Forever enshrined.

Feelings mixed and scattered,

Emotions entwined.


Feelings torn asunder.

Thoughts agitated, grieved.

Words like darts, festering wounds,

Through time unrelieved.


No peace of heart,

Corrosive, eroded…

Flame burned out,

Tranquillity exploded.


Grapes dry out,

Dying on the vine.

Clouds blot the sun,

Pain heals with time.


Beauty of the rose

Fades away and dries,

Like love when it withers,

Is tortured, and dies.

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