The seasons of a life


Memory’s lightning flash

fleetingly illuminates

forgotten traces of the past

The fragrance of lilacs

a shaded mountain yard

forest covered steep cliff rocks

where sentinel pines stand guard

a small wooden mining house weathered white

father’s large rough hand his gentle might

soft covers in a velvet night

dreams of mermaids and of flight

the spring warbling of meadowlarks

fireflies, floating yellow sparks

a Sunday school song

church sermons that went on too long

endless hot rides in an old black car

gathering humming moths in a Mason jar

Sunday night tag with cousins 'round barn and trees

burying ourselves in mountains of dried maple leaves

a Victorian farmhouse with shingled roof

two stories high or more

cellar, library of religious proof,

attic, dusty memorabilia to explore

an old tire swing, high in the limb of a giant oak

muffled laughter’s ring as aunts, uncles, and grandparents spoke

a cast iron stove, the orange glow and popping of a coal fire

a pendulum clock, leather sofa, high ceilings, porch chairs woven of wire

a cardboard sword too soon bent

on a train trip with grandparents sent

mother handing me her last cent

as my lonely dog outside pent

grew old without human touch

figurines of glass gathered dust in mother’s hutch

fishing from frost covered seats of a small flat bottomed wooden boat

on a fall fog covered lake with weather too cold for one’s coat

quiet white winter blankets of snow

turned to forts and snowmen, some for war, some for show

sleigh rides, slides, noses too cold to feel

the smell of a warm home cooked meal

clear skies, stars so bright

the frozen stinging bite, of a frigid endless night

the snows swirling whirlwind of dust

the crunching of its crust

daffodils poking up through the ice

shedding my shirt at the sun’s advice

a yearning for summer’s sultry weather

cherry blossoms, peach and rose buds together

showing their first hint of green

robins the hum of bees, the thrill of spring

eating ripe apricots in a tree house with a friend

the summer breeze rocking the ship as boughs bend

over schools of grasshoppers swimming in wavy seas of dried fox tails

as we fired our cannon pits under the rustle of vast leafy sails

the whirling, gushing roar of an ice cold mountain creek

amidst the white bark of quaking aspen, tall pines, and glacial peak

the sudden pull of a fish on the line

canyon cookout, hamburgers, watermelon, my first taste of wine

a long past, warm summer night

the chirp of crickets stars so bright

the perfume of magnolia and scent of jasmine

the intoxicating thrill of first love forbidden

a future that looked so bright

with one that was so perfect, the first fight

awakening before the sun

for work one wished was already done

sweat, dirt, fatigue and fears

long hours, my child’s first tears

so many moves over the years

school finished, jobs lost, new careers

traveling to a new land

walking the tropical beaches warm sand

children's laughter, balls and dolls

now an empty house where no one calls

their forms grown and gone

no more toys on the fresh cut lawn

at each other we just stare

the weather’s changed, a chill in the air

an eternal love faded, broken heated

what was most important now departed

friends and relatives where did they go?

fallen like dry leafs, under the snow

framed pictures of faces frozen in time

they no longer feel real

another place another clime,

never religious now I kneel

wrinkles, sagging skin,

falling hair, a double chin

my father’s face appears in my mirror

what I once feared now grows nearer

the snows of age in my hair today

cold dark skies

so tired, sleep pulling at my eyes

to nap and let all this pass away

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  • jarcher54

    Breathtaking and lovely in its modesty and packed with allusions that trigger the reader's imagination and memory. Very little commentary, just the flow of the narrative and the universal humanity and vulnerability shared at the end. Wonderful!

    • sorenbarrett

      Thank you Jarcher I most humbly appreciate your most gracious words they are deeply appreciated.

    • Bella Shepard

      I murmured these words as I read the beautifully flowing lines, and they touched me so profoundly. Sweet, enduring memories that are etched indelibly on the heart. You made my day, thank you!

      • sorenbarrett

        Thank you Bella for your most welcome review and most kind words. So glad that it made your day.

      • L. B. Mek

        'a small wooden mining house weathered white'

        'my father’s face appears in my mirror
        what I once feared now grows nearer
        the snows of age in my hair today'
        genuine tears in my eyes
        I am a witness to your bravery, dear Poet
        this is my favourite of all your brilliant poems, cherished friend
        thank you! stay strong
        ''The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
        But I have promises to keep,
        And miles to go before I sleep,
        And miles to go before I sleep.''
        Robert Frost

        • sorenbarrett

          Since I began to read your poems L.B. they have touched me and some have left me in awe while others have changed the way I look at things. I have looked to you as a mentor in poetry and I bow to your knowledge of the greats. I thank you for your encouragement that often makes my day.

          • L. B. Mek

            right back at you oh humble poet
            I too, read and drink from your wisdom's ink
            onwards then
            to that next blank canvas, my friend

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