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A Selection of Poems

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I am first a physician, a distant disciple of Aesculapius and Hippocrates[1]; a clinician, a teacher, and and a student. I am an Obstetrician. I stand before my patients[2] and facilitate their births.  I share their joys; I feel their pains.  Yet, caring for the well-being and the illnesses of patients and their families is to accept that medical science in all its depth and possibilities is not precise and that human mind and flesh are perishable.  We are today steeped in myriad medical technologies that in themselves bring hope to previously hopeless conditions and pathologies.  Yet there is inexorable suffering which accompanies failures and tribulations of all new medical technologies.  The paradox of new technologies to cure and cause pain is real and evident. I believe that I as a physician have been granted by oath and by ethic the privilege to examine and treat, to counsel and advise a fellow human being while using albeit modulating the use of these technologies. Indeed, the future is bright for medical innovation and the alleviation of suffering, but we must be careful not to allow this technology to wedge the doctor/patient bond. We must recognize and heal those ‘unspeakable’ losses evident when medicine and technology can longer treat and the physician can longer cure for when technology fails, the physician must not. Physicians must set their patients and their families on a course of acceptance, comfort and understanding. We must sit at their bedside and in the pews at their funerals for when our deeds and actions, our skills and intuitions no longer can heal, we must not abandon the soul of our patient.  These tenets must be propagated and preserved in the education today of tomorrow’s health professionals. 

Medicus Nihil Aliud Est Quam Animan Consollatio"[3]



 The best doctor is also a philosopher.”[4]  Inherent in what defines the physician-patient partnership is an unfaltering responsibility of the physician and an unconditional trust of the physician by the patient.  Together these bond the chasm between the vulnerable patient and the knowledge and experience of the physician; a synergy of the need for care and the privilege of caring.  I believe the medical professional at all levels must step back from each moment in his/her patient care routine, and reflect on what he or she is doing, why it is being done and what influence it is having on their patient’s lives. This self-reflection is integral to professionalism for it encourages the formation of a philosophy of care and ethic of practice, which in turns fosters self-examination and meaning, empathy and compassion. [5] 


Poetry is my venue for “self-reflection”. A synergy exists between poetry and medicine for each share from their origins themes of life and death, sorrow and despair, love and futility, promise and hope. A simple poem can transfer frosts of despair and gleams of elation inwards, and when written on the occasion of a birth or a death, a tribute or a memorial, a secret feeling or a revealing epiphany- when these poems have a name and a reason- they answer in the affirmative, “does poetry matter?”[6] 


I am increasingly engaged in dialog with my students and young faculty members about the privilege of being a physician, why we do what we do and how we can best help serve our patients. This is a most promising time to become a health-care professional for there is in our immediate future enormous promise in human genomics, cancer therapies and other capabilities of advanced medical technologies. Yet, we must infuse this science with humanism[7].  We need to assure that the benefits of these technologies are fully realized and that their expanding sphere of influence does not disenfranchise the patient, depersonalize the physician-patient relationship and above all, that they permeate each and every family in every community.


Like most every physician, my career is rich in poignant stories of patient’s lives and illnesses, which have impacted and shaped my career.  All have juxtaposed finite technology with the ephemeral human condition rendering both hope and tragedy.  My patients have been my teachers, etching in the crevices of my mind human lessons and insights. Their medical, surgical and emotional travails helped me become a complete physician.


When we are ill, vulnerable and in need of care and although our spirits may fade and our viscera may bleed, we are enabled by the agents of our humanity empowered by ancestral song and promise (Berman, 1999). Furthermore, all who require care must have access to receive that care with expertise, respect, dignity and compassion. "The body, impotent to maladies; thirsts for harmonies of cure by gentle ways and artful skills to dignify countless souls' infirmed and helpless wills..."(From Nadiyb, 2014. Berman). Furthermore, the human dimension of healthcare is a personification of humanism, which I believe can be best described by the words of my esteemed mentor, Dr. Sherwin Nuland:

"The physicians of the Hippocratic era called medicine "The Art". They knew that the care of their fellows was an act of creativity. They also recognized that each patient and his or her physician form a bond that is unique unto itself. That bond is the foundation upon which healing takes place. The bond's formation and maintenance is the fundamental aspect of 'The Art,' no less a creative act than is healing itself. It goes beyond the notion of mere empathy and sometimes comes very near to be a form of love. It is when we cannot cure that the bond of patient with doctor reaches its ultimate challenge."(Sherwin Nuland in Parenthood Lost)


Central to many of my poems is the theme of death before, during and immediately after birth. When the outcomes of our patient's pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, we struggle to find the right approach to break the news to them, treat them medically and/or surgically, help them recover physically and emotionally, and console them in their grief. Most of us have not been taught to provide this bereavement care. We learn fast that there are hospital nurses and social workers, bereavement counselors and therapists, support groups and religious ministries to whom we can refer our patients for immediate bereavement care and subsequent follow-up. We can do the D and C and we can attend and assist in the birth of the baby who has experienced an intrauterine death. But then, for many Obstetricians, we refer our patients for bereavement care. When we hold in the palm of our hand an eighteen-week-old fetus immediately after our patient miscarried or attend the stillbirth of a term pregnancy, our intellectual knowledge and rational thought fade as we struggle to find the right words to say. Unlike the repetition of performing a surgical procedure, no matter how many times we have experienced a loss with our patients, it does not become easier. Although the stillborn baby which might have been born viable represents the greatest emotional and management challenges, we must recognize any loss in pregnancy as a life-altering event for our patients.


The care of the patient experiencing a Pregnancy Loss is a paradigm for what we do as physicians. It tests not only our clinical skills and judgments but stretches the fibers of the human aspect of caring very thin. Although we might ask, “how can we heal when our patients’ children are incurable, when they are suffering or when they die or what do we do when the advanced technology that has become a part of our black bag fails”, we must understand that we can heal by providing comfort , empathy and hope. As bad as this experience is for our patients, we can make it better. If we remain aware that we are the link between the stillborn baby and the bereaved family, that we were the first to touch and hold their child, albeit their stillborn child, then we can share this with them, remember this with them, and from this point forward, heal with them. The bond we form becomes the unbreakable fiber, which strengthens and indeed cements our role in the doctor-patient relationship.


There is art as well as science to caring for the parents of a child who has died, either before birth or afterwards. Countless mothers and fathers and those close to them silently grieve with little resolution over the loss of their pregnancies, newborns and children. Seeking reprieve from their sorrow, they cry and yearn for solace and hope, many times for years following their loss; cries that are but a muted weeping of despair as a child so longed for is not born, or is not born alive, or dies during childhood. Pained by these losses, their lives seem devoid of hope. The joys expected from normal childbirth and child-rearing turn to sorrow. We as physicians share with them in this tragedy as now the balance between caring for the well-being of the child shifts to caring for the tolling physical well-being of the mother and father, the agony of their emotional well-being and that of their immediate family. The shadow of their grief will be indelibly imprinted in their minds and souls. Death may strengthen or threaten to tear apart the bonds of their relationships with friends, family and themselves. We, their physicians must recognize the impact of these losses, be the first responder in this time of need, and abet the healing process, no matter how long and difficult. The loss of a child brings to us pain that is primal and endures forever. Poetry enables us to ask why even when we already understand how. It permits us as as healthcare providers, witness to the frailties of our humanity, to abet healing through the very core of what makes us human, our language and our personal emotions. 

The impact of words and thoughts at these difficult times are universal. Sometime ago, I received a note from a father who just had lost his prematurely born daughter to the condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. One twin died in utero and the remaining twin was born at 25 weeks, gravely ill and on life support systems in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. After a brave but futile struggle, she, too, died. Her father contacted me from England, asking if I could suggest some words to read at the memorial service for his children. I sent a few lines to him and his bereaved wife. In their reply I learned that they placed these words upon the headstone of their twins' grave:



“Let us not succumb to this portent,

The solstice of our darkest hour.

For it is but a finite point

Upon an infinite journey

Which began with all creation and

Upon whose path walk

The souls of our children;

Pure as the silence of the virgin winter,

Alive with winds of indomitable hope”




Poetry enables me to ask why even when we already understand how. It permits me as a Doctor of Medicine, witness to the frailties of our humanity, to abet healing through the very core of what makes us human, our language and our personal emotions.  It is my platform to tell my ‘stories, to honor my patients, my friends, my family and indeed, the essence of humanity, the “family of man”.  It is my hope that this volume, my complete writings collected on the occasions of loss and celebration, love and understanding, observation and introspection will permit the reader to borrow my words in times when theirs are lost.



" Poetry, by making us stop for a moment … gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other. [ii]
Rita Dove

The Poems



The Covenant 

I am an artisan,

A painter of hues unfading 

To blend upon my pallet

Infinite promise 

And emblazon on my soul 

A landscaped canvas

Stretched to infinity 

Between pillars of prayer. 

Neither stalked nor  

Conspired against am I. 

Only Fate has been my betrayer. 

And although the defenses 

Of my mortal flesh have weakened, 

The borders of my body 

And the cisterns of my soul 

Are strong, alive 

With pulses of blood

And liquors of hope. 

I will not lament  

Nor ask of this from you. 

I will not know defeat 

Or the wrath of any pain 

For I, like a solitary seedling 

That yearns to taste the falling rain, 

Know well that God's eyes alone 

Will shed but triumphant tears... 

...Upon my brow for me

And for my covenant of victory. 



The Gift[iii]

“Out of my window the strings of the
harp are struck, Oh, my heart! How is
it so deeply entangled in the echoes!
There is the limitless sound of the trees,


there is the limitless brightness of the moon”[iv]



Today the sun cast hues of hope.
Open eyes and grimaces,
Heart beat flutters,
Angel cries.
And then serenity.
A life lived long enough
To taste the sweetness of
A mother’s kiss,
A fathers kiss;
Caresses and caresses
And whispers,
And kisses again and again.
Blessings, prayers, tears;
Moans of weeping.
Silent moments.
Raging thoughts.
Peaceful thoughts
Which memory’s keeping.
No shadows.
Pure light.
Eternal light.
From sun and stars and moon glow.
Save the night of today
When the moon eclipsed, turns umber.
And Teodora be our gift, forever.  




He, the doctor;
plays the theatres of maladies,
thrusts deep into
entwined complexities
of life's forces which
penetrate nearly to death...
and to death,
while spectator-less
scenes amass of wretched disease,
spurning wrath of reason,
and frames of frozen helplessness,
turn towards thresholds of despair...
but not crossing.


The healer;
lusts against disease,
at his rostrum his faculty
to gift preservation,
to imagine suffering
and bring imaginable defeat;
to lift endless torment
with gentle hands of dignity;
to gaze at pain but see life;
to ponder its wonderment
and ironies, peel away its injustice,
and unearth the marbled core of its soul;
to smile, to cry, and now to pause.

The scholar;
who unaccustomed to
senescence, though lighter now
of visible labour, will remain
to till our minds with wisdom and
leave in its furrows, the very families
of humanity he served and bettered;
a shining light, arousing and inspiring,
a never-exhausting actor who compels
an operating theatre of great drama,
of untiring hope…
and amidst the extremes of misery,
of indefatigable compassion,
for it is he who defines




I have born my soul to God, my son.

As he slipped into the crevice of death,

I could not watch nor see his image before me,

But I knew of the perfect beauty of his body

Even when he nestled within me,

For he is loved as a mother loves a son

And no pearl nor ruby nor even diamond

Can light the shards of shattered dreams

More than this love.

Peace will come to me, I know

And my son, my soul,

Will take from each
Of my uncountable tears

Eternal sustenance as he rests

Now in the body of our earth
And learns that what we know
As the saddest sadness

Is but a gate into the mystical

And miraculous wonders of
Tribulation, promise and hope.




The East Wind connected with Aurora, the Dawn[vi]

“If she is a saint, then her symbol is the Thistle”


Born with skin as soft as thistle-down,
And tearless cries resounding,

You are of the wind which bellows in our breasts, 
A miracle in a world of miracles.

You have severed the doubts of uncertainty,
With vestal vision you bind our hearts in unity
And when we speak of love and peaceful dreaming,
We look at you and see the fringe of daylight
Streaming into our hearts

Porcelined colors of the dawn.





In my home, you were my light.

Your blood, my life,

Your love my love.

In my home all your heartbeats were for me.


And when my heart,

Once a fleet and aflutter

With sonorous marching did now falter, 

I had not the wish

To forewarn nor advise.

For I could hear the calling

Of an angel's rhapsody and
From afar see small lights
Marking passage heavenly,
Trailing ‘embered’ footsteps
To forever guide your thoughts
Of me your child.




For Georgia[ix]


You the Master of Art

Witness no illusion to

What you have done,

For you have written scriptures

For promise and yearning,

You have wedded victoriously

The intellect and the passion,

The form and the fashion...


Necessities, as the shoulders of our children

Carry forth from your faculty

Weights of truth and discovery

Summoned when the silence of the night

Is pierced with calamities

And the arduousness of the day

Crave creative wonder.

And we know...although the assent,

Set in the scorched air

Of ten Augusts passed,

Is now completed

In the shining of this Springtime...

Reverence and friendship,

Like the very soul of Art

Is never lost,

But as the seasons themselves,

Endures in cascading timelessness.


For William[x]


I know where songs are made

And where simple words are born.

It is in the hearts of dreamers,

And in souls of those who mourn.


With lyric, love and tearful sorrow,

Music comes alive,

Giving death a reason,

Assuring we’ll survive.


And when the music dissipates

And only words remain,

It is the words that last forever, 

Soothing sorrow, healing pain.


Words inscribed indelible

In our books for young and old,

Words that open minds as flowers

Whose petals in the spring, unfold.


William has bequeathed to us

Like these words of which I write,

Enduring love and gilded wisdom,

Every minute, hour, day and night.


So read the books and see their words

Enlighten your children’s' minds,

For there is no greater beauty

Than the beauty words define.






"…I am part of all that I have met;

Yet, all experience is an arch where through

Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades

Forever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use![xii][xiii]



They number hundreds of thousands, his words;

Arranged in manuscripts;

Theses, hypotheses;


Nestled between the long shadows of science

And the tall pillars of



Searching to unravel the paradox

Of chaos from the order which is life.



They number hundreds, his students;

Children of his intellect;

Beneficiaries of his passion,

So vital that its privilege

Is not of teacher, but of Mentor;

With wisdom to be guide and

Faithful counselor

As he feeds the fires of their aspirations,

And the fragments of their dreams,

Each a child itself,

Longing to grow and understand

And conquer the haunting

We call disease,

The maladies of illness.




And they number twenty-two, our years together;

Father to his students,

Father to his children,

Grandfather to his greatest joys; 

We celebrate [tonight] our

Privilege of being his colleague

And share in his transition from leader to


Of what remains to be discovered,

As our Mentor pursues

Those fortunes of medicine

Which as the ancient's decried:

          'Will vanquish misery

           And grievous disease






Summoned by the voice of destiny,

We peel our skins of daily toil,

Our moments of banal routine,

And stare beyond reflection as

Azure skies blacken and

Blossoms freeze and fall;

As elements seek reason.

Yet living remains a promise,

Beckoning, yet not begging.

Nesting in sinuous branches,

Forgiving; not forgetting. 

Singing; not rejoicing.

Weeping; but not crying.



For there is no tarnish

On his breaths of gold;

No decay. 

His virtue reigns,

Fusing generation to generation,

Parent to progeny, young to old.

Though mortality is certain,

Its finality, its eternity,

Endures in those sacred passions

And deeds bequeathed, today;

As we shed our carapace

To unfurl life's grandeur

Of simply love and grace,

And gifted time…

Beyond dismay.



















Beyond the limestone Obelisks [xv]

O child!...On thy head

The glory of the morn is shed

Like a celestial benison!

Here at the portal thou dost stand,

And with thy little hand

Thou openest the mysterious gate

Into the future's undiscovered land

            Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


the limestone


and spired temples'

towering climbs,

come miracles

from your children

who touch

a simple candle flame

and with neither

fear nor pain,

turn fire

to wick and smoke,

and welcome

peaceful darkness,


...who vanquish

massive pyres

that burn

portraits to ashen sketches

to scatter

about the crevices

and pitted skins

of ancient stones,

who quell the squalor

of fallen hopes

and fill our cisterns

with art and poems



your children,

wisdom be their strength.

In conflagrations

their reach

will quench


weightless fires

to shine

a promise

through window panes

upon your Temple's spires.




As you mourn,

And as you grieve,

I know what you think and say,

For whispers from within a heart

Sound louder when you pray.


I taste your tears

And smell your scents

Feel love though here I lie.

As you ask again and again

The unanswerable question, why?


“Why this loss?

This fate for Matt,

Our son, our brother, our friend?

Why should such a benevolent man

Suffer so tragic an end?”


Though I cannot make answer

Nor understand,

Reasons that be.

I can tell all as you lie in prayer,

My affirmations, I promise, will be.



Love insists our hope
Hidden in winter’s façade.
A child. An image.
A memory. A promise.
We shall unveil its wonder;
…The gift of tomorrow,
And why we love, today.



…Even the stars have cried


In solemn silence we walk the woods

beneath the boughs of willows, wailing


In a room of silent tears

You gathered in your sorrow

Hovered, hugged;

Gazed bewildered;

Why I’ll not live tomorrow.


In a room of silent tears;

If I could, I’d cry;

Out loud; To tell

Of this secret moment

Of why today I die.


My lot was cast at this hour…

Which birth and death both share,

Yet understand the sense and reason

God Loves; God calls;

God cares.


I now reside in peace…

As you grieve and say goodbye;

Shedding tears with immortal heavens

Yes, even the stars have cried.


The Passing Tides[xviii]


I loved the river:



I loved the wind:



I loved the daylight:



I loved the starlight:



I loved my ‘dear ones’:



I am now all that I loved:





In prayer we plead return,

And in dream, awaken!

We fall to stare at gleaned grasses

Scattered about forgotten fields,

Singed by a senseless lot,

And thirst to cry forever.



We will not be draped

In the blanket of loneliness called solitude.

For deaf of song and absent of vision

Of who we are and who are our children,

Its veil will descend, then disappear.

We are "alive together".


The margin between breath and breathless

Is narrow, like twilight and darkness.

Moments of simple thoughts

Become ageless memories.

There is triumph to taste,

Love to embrace;

Havens of hope to inhabit.


Soon, the curtains of chaos

Will rise with the setting stars

As memories of joy

Bond with joy itself

And we will smile once more,

At last to breathe a painless sigh

Of what is love.





I could not cry, though my eyes wept. 

I listened, then paused,




I felt a fury. I craved to hear more.

I asked how could this be?

This young Doctor

Who writes and speaks as an elder; a prophet.

Knowledgeable of the flesh which marks us;

Of our souls which bind us;
And of the tapestries of humanity,

Fragile and vulnerable as they are,

Who strive to overcome
Stains of prejudice and disease.

And then I listened again,

To her, the Accentor of a profession,
Struggling with its privilege and meaning,

And I smiled,

For I know I have heard from her tongue,
The trumpet-call of Hope.




Could I have died so soon, 
So soon that my cries  
Were silenced in your womb?  

So soon that I'll never touch  
Your breast nor feel  
Your hands caress   
My brow?   

So soon that you never got  
To sigh and cry  
Sweet tears of joy,   
For your first child,   
Your first born boy?  
Could I have died so soon?  

I suspect not,   
For I felt the passion   
Of your love around me   
As my heartbeats slowed,   
Then stopped.   

As I lay motionless,   
I heard the misery  
In your cries that   
I would not be born alive   
And wondered, why?   

Yesterday father, you fathered me.   
Today dear mother, you birthed me.   
I was there, you were there.   
We all stood witness.   

I heard your whispers, 
That you love me.   
I heard you tell each other   
How beautiful I was viewed  
In my eternal quietude.  
I even felt your soft caress   
As you held me to your breast.  

On this morn, mourn not for me.   
With ethereal grace I have a name.   
I have a home; I have a life...  
To live through all eternity.  



Alabaster columns of sunlight, gleaming, 
Illumine the darkness of this day.  
Nightmares turn to peaceful dreaming.   
Awesome fears fade far away.  

Though now my soul no longer dwells,   
Upon the world as I have known,  
Still I live beyond the pastel  
Elysian fields, which are now my home.  

Weep no more for me, beloved, 
For I can sense no pain.  
At one with God in heaven above  
You; I'm at peace, and at peace shall I remain.    



Our first-born cries.  
A golden dream with  
Expectations as promising as  
The expansive petals of the  
Sunflower....and hope,   
To learn the provinces  
Of a virtuous world:  
Kindness compassion,  
Benevolence, caring,  
Integrity, tolerance, delight  
In sharing... as she emerges  
From her veil of childhood to  
Bathe in the joys of her  



Commencement [xxiv] 

I bear today  
A countenance of promised dreams; 
Sanguine visions sweetened with  
May-time baskets  
Of floral scents and sights  
To smile upon the face of  
Spring's delights. And while  
The frosted tears of winter's cry   
Melt and flood the  
Mountain streams, 
I pause to wipe the  joyful tears  
I've cried  
For my daughter's life and being,  
And her countenance of promised dreams.  











I remember the rainbows.

The simplicities of youth:  smiles, laughter,

Quixotic dreams; my mind filled with

Poetic thoughts of conquest.

Of stormy nights and of

Rain-soaked days there were many, but

I only remember the rainbows.


When I sat in the woods, I

Watched the light from the morning sun

Gleam through a phalanx of oak trees.

And I climbed to the highest rock and dreamed,

That I was one with the clouds, afloat,

Above the verdant land

That was my home.


And then, set upon the shores,

I would stare at the waves rolling softly towards

The beach.  And I questioned how long the sea

Has been the sea, and wondered if these same waters

Were traveled on by the ancients.


I bemoaned the poor and the sick and the weak.

With vows to help I sought out my fate.

With rapture, and a spark of enthusiasm,

I've become a healer.













Liquor about my child 
confined within  
My faltered womb  
How you betrayed all my  
Life's hope.  
Yet it is hope  
That will befriend and bath   
her primal soul  
With sweetness to  
Eternity's end.  



Listen all to the music of trumpets, 
Of harps; of lutes.  
With harmony they announce a joyous birth.  
Her namesake a river whose banks  
Of fertile soil caress the ripples of its  
Vital waters. Her life full of wonder, 
to flow endlessly, yet willingly, 
Into larger seas with unknown boundaries  
And infinite depths.  
For as the river flows out from the wilderness, 
So from our bodies her life began; 
With love and hope,   
Our angelic daughter, Jordan.  




My tears are watermarks

Which imprint forever

Sentient reminders of gentle hopes

And dreams subdued.

Extant in painful thought they are

And sleep afar

In caves of ancient echoes

Wailing for my perished child

Who now guised in angel's silk

Sings madrigals of sweet delight

And turns my tears heavenward

To drift peacefully into the

Forgiving canyons of winter’s night.




















Softer than the softest rose  
 are the clouds on which I sleep.   
Sweeter than the springtime honey  
 are the thoughts that I now keep.  
Farther than the farthest star  
 is the home where I shall live, 
Deeper than the greatest love  
 is the love I've yet to give.  

A love that is immortal  
 and will grow with each new dawn.   
What in our lives we shared together  
 will remain to be reborn.  
So grieve no longer upon my death, 
 my soul is still; at peace.  
I suffer not upon this journey; 
 my ascent to ethereal grace.     


Cameron  [xxviii]

I no longer see the stars; I am the stars.  
I no longer breathe the wind; I am the wind.  

I am the sweet smell of honeysuckle after an  
Evening rain.  
I am the dew on the rose petals in early  

I am harmony and I am peace.  
I am love.  

In sorrow, my mother and father cry, 
But they need not fear. For I am strong.  
My heart is whole and in union with my soul.  

I understand my fate and I smile.  
For nature's will is my destiny   
And my guide through eternity.  




Far above the obscure shore   
The sky cast forth a" darkness visible"  
That speaks your sadness forever more, 
Of a loss that's ever so insensible.  
But above these clouds where the sun beams glow  
With no shadows to cast or eclipse, 
My soul lives on; I feel no sorrow  
For in my world, I still exist.   
To those who love me, I feel your love.  
There is no pain, I am at rest.  
I have my peace in this heaven above, 
And with your prayers I am forever blessed.  




The chilling winds of March do blow, 
As on this day we mourn.  
And from our eyes fresh tears do flow, 
...our child will not be born.  
With God's consent did she ascend, 
To his Empyrean throne, 
A  refuge surely to transcend,  
This grief we feel at home.  
So as the 'Ventose' winds abate  
And springtime flowers bloom, 
We know  her soul is incarnate  
In Heaven's immortal womb.  




Every cell in my body cries.  
I want to reach out, embrace you and  
tell you I care.   
I feel your pain, I know your needs, 
but I cannot find a way to comfort you.  
I watch the sun at dusk and sense  
its strength
And know it will rise again.  






















Arise from behind your shadowy cloaks, 
Sinuous branches of olden oaks, 
Reveal thy life and thy glory; 
Your luminescence of immortality.   
Forever have you shown yourself
Upon this earth where mortals dwell, 
To remind us we live for eternity, 
If not on earth then heavenly.  
With lenity and grace, you comfort, 
When from our loved ones we must part.  
You give us all the strength to bear, 
The formidable burdens of our despair.  
And a lessening of our sorrow, 
As we live, love and delight... beyond tomorrow.  


 "All we know  
  Of what they do above, 
  Is that they happy are, 
  and that they love."  
           Edmund Waller  

If I could wish myself a dream, 
It would be to retreat for a lifetime and hide   
From a world of unjust suffering   
Where mankind's afflictions and pains reside.  
I'd labor to quarry limestone and granite  
To fashion for my very own  
A sanctuary to spend infinite years; 
Eternity would now be my home.  
I'd cultivate gardens of forsythia and violets, 
Plant olive trees and harvest grains; 
Grow apple orchards and grape vineyards, 
From their full bounty would I be sustained.  
Of lyres and harps there'd come splendid music, 
Beautiful children would dance and be gay.  
Sadness and crying would never bear witness, 
Illness and sorrow would remain far away.  
You'd be the first to visit my home, 
Sweet child whose earthly life has been taken.   
For here you would live and love and be blessed, 
With God at your side, your eternal beacon.  


Sonnet of Faith[xxxiii] 

Appareled in a veil of grace, 
Angst and despair showed its face.  
Yet from your eyes a gleam did shine, 
A hint of nature's grand design.  
To teach us all that we must cope, 
And never lose our faith and hope.   
That all things bad and all things sad  
Will be eclipsed by what makes us glad:  
Love and trust in one another.   
Wholesome values as father, mother.   
Embracing our children sweet and fair, 
Holding their hands, combing their hair.  
These are the flames that within us burn, 
The passions strong for which we yearn.  
So, while today your loss brings drear, 
The morrow's sunshine will again appear.  




I grasped his strong hand  
weeping edema beneath  
mottled skin and  
pulsed coded messages.  
Then with a kiss  
placed gently upon his brow, 
withdrew, and said good-bye.  
Around us, aprons of sand  
embroidered shores of saline oceans.  
Inland, grasses wove their tapestries.  
Grains, blades and salted pools mingle; 
reservoirs for creation, 
repositories for death.  
Silent is our  
morning's song, 
lost our morning's glory.  
The grasses stilled by quiet winds sleep  
day-long now. Rays of crimson sunbeams  
like thorns, pierce  
the clouds of our despair  
as our dissonant cries fade  
into nothingness.  














every morsel  
of hope, 
precious gift, 
and open your eyes  
to its wonder;  
common images  
earthly sights  
hourly routines  
that maintain  
the equilibrium  
of why and how  
you live  
and lived.  
in what are your joys  
and then  
for just a brief moment  
let them close  
to the darkness  
and paint  
upon the canvass  
of your soul  
of  secret longings  
that come alive  
in  these minutes  
of solitude  
called dreaming,  
art forms to dance  
from the palette  
as you revel in  
this secret world  
of unspoiled vision  
and immortal promise  








My shrouded body  
lies interred in frigid  
caverns of blackness, 
as you mourn and fear  
the coldness of my death  
and the abyss  
of my nothingness.  

But neither barren  
nor alone nor pained  
am I, or will I be  
for as the midnight  
at full moon, I'll gleam  
God's light  
through all eternity.  




Gone are ten thousand days  
of perfumed winds  
bellowed from the  
lungs of God with  
gusts and drafts that  
scattered wandering seeds  
of despair, craving  
earthen roots to anchor  
their promise of reborn  


The Morning Dove[xxxviii]  

By reason unexplained  
came the wrath of nature's  
will and pain upon an olive tree, 
to cleave unequal its fair soul  
and hurl each fracture into  
stormy destiny. And as time  
and hope and prayer  
within an earthen womb  
nurtured tendril branches  
where buds and blossoms bloom,  
I cried, for I was first to  
see a morning dove bear a  leaflet  
in the Spring and fly  
homewards... for eternity.  




The moon's thin crescent  
casts dim spears  
of speckled light upon the  
path I walked this night  
with your hands in mine.  
And although darkness  
hovers close above our bodies,  
warmed with dew's sweet tears,  
you turn your eyes to mine  
to see the embers shine  
and burn to ash all despair  
within the abyss of my soul  
and praise tomorrow's scented air   
I breath, for now my body's whole.    


Martyr for Desire  

for all children, lost



You are my quiet darling.  
Your eyes, like morning burn   
The minutes of futility  
To contrite hours, turn  
Eastward where begins the dance   
Of ocean tides, and slumbers still  
The famine of our grief, to hide       
So deep within my wounded will.   
A promise poisoned from the start  
So brief without reply or song  
Did graze your spirit in my field.  
"Return to me" I cry, I long.     


As chaos prods my anguish, yet  
Neglecting fortunes in my soul,     
Tinted hues of destiny  
Are tender thoughts which sorrow stole  
From me when first I heard your voice;  
Each murmur on your breath that sang  
Like harps converging as a choir,  
And chimes afar, with passion, rang.      
You are my quiet darling   
Within a cold and flameless fire, 
And I, a prism in the shadows;  
A silent martyr for desire. 














From oblivion to infinity  
without origin or finality,  
our minds petrify like fossils   
ancestral passions  
to consummate all life's promises,   
while above us wind-songs cleave  
one cloud in two,  
two to four, four to eight  
and create  
infinite dispersions  
so we may see  
stars flicker,  
moonbeams' shadow  
sentinels for sunlight's travel,  
...and watchtowers for the treasures  
of eternal hope.  



I loved  
the quiet time I spent  
when every heart beat  
you had sent  
to my flesh  
and to my skin  
flowed forth to bring  
me peace within  
your silent womb, 
...I loved the silent time.  

And even as  
my tiny heart  
labored at death's call  
before my start  
at birth and life, 
and as I ailed, 
soon no longer  
to inhale  
or feel your pulse to mine, 
...I loved the quiet time.  

My body now  
apart from yours, 
still lives, yet not  
upon your shores, 
and suffers not  
nor is in pain  
for within  
its new domain  
I can love the quiet time.  
...I loved the quiet time.  




I've touched  
and kissed,  
and loved you...  
... now I  
float in  
above you.  

please me  
from my  
transparent shadows  

Though my  
on earth  
My spirit lives  
in this  

...And like a rose  
in desert's  
A miracle  
is what  
I have  









The Mist[xliii]  

When winter's gloom succumbs, 
and grief melts in the sun, 
warm currents on my breast will stream, 
and turn frosted tears to sunbeams...  

Sadness moistens my brow like  
mist. Silent tears coalesce upon my cheeks.   
Petrified by the cold of winter, 
Forgotten by the spring thaw, 
I shiver and feel lost  
in this the season of my sorrow.  
Loss has embraced me more than  
once, yet it has never seized me.  
Hope has been my reclamation, 
My emancipation, 
From the bondage of despair.  
Hope exists in the swelter  
Of summer and persists  
As the leaves fall in November.  
Hope thaws the snows of winter.  
Hope does not forget.  
Evening's Song[xliv]

I know the scents of evening's-light, 

The sweetness of its songs, 

And its taste of honeyed dew 

That fills me as I watch it greet 

The fresh first light of dawn. 

I feel the silks of evening's-clouds 

Caress my weakened frame,

To the music of a symphony; 

Resounding, ringing, beating, singing 

Tearing at my pain. 

Beyond meadows, valleys, mountain-crests, 

Riverbanks and streams,

I've known the joys of giving; 

Touching, caring, loving, 

For this is what I've dreamed.

As landscape's margins meld together 

As dusk seams itself with night, 

My body mends without it fearing:

...From the deepest darkness 

Comes the brightest light.









Winds rush about me 

fueled by earth and sky 

to purify stagnant basins 

where thrives the praise 

of autumn's last remains, 

its gentle rain, 

its moonlit frost, 

the falling ocher leaves 

that cluster in brittle piles 

to blanket earthen roots 

whose petals now are lost... .

..and I, confined and desperate 

to smell the scent of pine 

adrift in winter's frigid winds 

in darkening December skies, 

about to touch the promise gleaned 

that now within me lies. 































Longer Days [xlvi]


Today, my senses are paralyzed 
In frozen chambers of dismay 
As in solitude I chant  
Silent notes of prayer.  

Like a leafless tree writhing, 
I long for blossoms  
At spring's first dawn 

When the brightest days 
Are longer than  
The darkest nights, 

When the breezes are warm, 
And the air is fresh  
With the scent of laurel, 

When climbs of roses  
Bring new hopes to bear 
And tears of time  
Drown my despair... 

...When oblivion is home  
To all my dismay. 















My Heart Be Yours Forever [xlvii]


I make you both a promise

In these my infant days, 

Half my heart be yours forever, 

The other for God- in praise. 

For he has blessed me with abundance, 

Granted more than I can give, 

Never will I feel dismay,

Your love is why I live. 

When you hold me very close, 

Your pulse feels slow and sure 

Which calms the flutters of my heart 

And gives me hope that's pure. 

As my parents you are frightened 

That my tiny heart is frail 

That my body cannot endure assaults 

Fate to it assails. 

So, I must tell you mother, father, 

I implore you...be assured 

Spirit transcends my adversities 

Horizons harbor my cure. 















Butterfly Breaths [xlviii]
Every day awakens  
With kisses on your brow; 
With mist that veils the early light   
And hides the morning clouds.  
With butterfly breaths of longer days   
Where heard are fewer sighs, 
And echoes from a mountain's song, 
Dissolving plaintive cries.  
No longer will the seasons part   
The year; dividing into four.   
Now hours blend to days and weeks, 
Weeks to months, forever more.  
Every day awakens   
With visions of what's to be:   
Spheres full of joy and wonder, 
Timeless moments of Infinity.  





Soraque [xlix]

Winds drift on ephemeral wings  
To watch the sun's veil lift.  
Distant, darkened skies crack clouds.  
Humans cry out loud.  

As I kneel to meet my death  
Mortal and frail, I fall  
With ravaged mind abused  
And hide in temples  

Of immortal winter sequestered  
From one life's end  
To the end of all and wait  
As infinity becomes my soul.  







































Earthen trails confuse in 

Lost loneliness of nightfall.

Darkness that blinds 

My path is like shadows 

That fleet with the sun 

Rising and falling 

Appearing and disappearing. 

Yet in those aged fortressed forests 

Where loneliness and fear 

Bring profound blackness 

And where despair shivers 

Have I found my way.



For Oliver, Born of The Sun 


Our senses light ephemeral

Like a mist whose song is sung 

Upon the glory of the dawn, 

And then moments, 

Even hours later 

Stretches towards 

The silvered profiles 

Of slivered moons 

To watch as scars 

Crevice the substance 

Of your heart 

And mark its passage 

To our love;

...And now we dream 

As tiny angel breaths, 

Warm with endless promise, 

Melt to spawn 

Infinite acts of faith.





You are a muse of healing.

Your hands

Like summer meadows,

Catch silent silhouettes of

Gentle breaths which caress

Forsaken hearts

To dance about again,

While instruments of Sunlight stream

On fragile leaves of promise.…

And in quiet shadows

Of peaceful dreams,

Play duets of hope and affirmation

Uplifting curtains of uncertainty. 



















Return home  
Upon the long and winding road, 
Where etched is your pathos.  
You empowered the breeze  
To make shadows sway, 
Silent voices speak, 
And all grace rejoices. 

Return home 
Upon the long and winding road, 
Conjoined with faith, 
To dance among the boughs of spring. 




I have stood here before

When birth deceived and

Surrendered to my hands

The very spirit and soul of humanity;

The essence of life save life itself.

And I have touched before

The angle hair and silken skin;

A child lay bare, still and silent

In these outstretched hands

As my will cried out

To scream a breath of life

Into his pale lips

Now frozen in the mist

Of endless dreams.

Yet today I smile

As I have smiled before,

For from such drear

Comes a voice;

A voice, so serene

That it transforms

The searing pain felt in

Our hearts into song;

Melting stones of sorrow

Into liquors of love,

Forever a memory

of our dear Child.






Love Contained[lii]

Music floats on streams

Of summer’s final breath

As rains of hope

Wash famine from my lips.

And now love contained

Within my marrow sleeps

And I am left to dream and wonder

While angst becomes my silent partner,

Dueling with the rain.


I love the music

Which floats on streams

Of summers final breath

And hear it even as

Sadness mutes its song.

For its rhythm is certain

As the pulse of my heart;

Its voice everlasting,

As my memory is long.

















"Until the day of his death, 
 no man can be sure of his courage" 

Jean Anouilh, Becket 

He was a being in search of his destiny, 
And with abundant virtues and dignities, 
He filled his days with endeavors of selfless devotion.  
A sage with a love for mankind, 
He cared for the needy with reverence. 
Though the sorrow we feel is deep, 
We must not share in his suffering, but 
Triumph over his death by committing our 
Hearts, our bosoms, and our most visceral spirits 
To profound purpose. 
Yes, stand tall, thy men of courage, 
For a leader amongst us has fallen.  
With gallant humanism, and valiant resolve, 
He leaves our mortal plains and hills of despair 
To ascend his mountain peaks of glory. 
With his inspirations of vitality and hope, 
Everything was beautiful and good. 
We lament his short life yet find comfort that 
His mortal being was but "a fleeting gleam" 
Between two eternities of tranquil salvation; 
Be comforted; for now, His soul is at rest, 
Cradled in peace. 


Beneath their feet the parched leaves crack. 
Lifeless, fallen branches fracture.  
To mend the pains of endless thirst. 

A mother cradles to her chest, 
The newborn child upon her breast, 
And while gazing towards the cloudless sky. 
Asks why to be born if now to die? 
Wasted by their arid land, 
Children beg with outstretched hand  
Their feeble voices impotent, 
To cry; A Death-Watch all too silent.  
Hunger cries but finds no ears, 
None to help their doleful tears.  
Impoverished people bearing sorrow.  
Starved today; entombed tomorrow. 















The Din[lv] 

a clamor. 
than the searing noise of 
trucks, motorcycles 
and the like, 
pains my ears: 
gunshots and sirens, 
screaming mother's tears. 
murdered teens- 
just children you know, 
dead now over some drug deal 
or gangland ego. 
a disordered, senseless waste 
of human life and vigor, 
granted to every person of every 
of just equality. 

yet of those who escape 
the leaded missiles 
from wanton guns, 
or needles 
infected with contagion; 
of those not starved 
for food or love 
or for learning; 
nor for clothes 
or shelter or for yearning 
to have a solitary chance 
to breathe 
per chance. 
the fresh air of a country 
i ask: 
"what is it you fear, 
what clamor do you hear?" 







I have seen the caul 
like honey glazed 
contain and bathe 
in sweet succor, 
kept watch as 
mother's wombs 
tear in pain to 
bear their child
and then as if my first, 
stood aside and 
cried with awe at 
the birth, that quiescent harbor 
where life sings 
psalmic verses 
of calms and storms 
rains and draughts 
sun lights and dark nights, 
agendas to live on  forever. 




The first song on earth 
Was a child's cry, 
A canticle of absolute beauty. 
Each note a bequest for eternity;
Ageless music of heart-sounds 
And first-breath sighs 
To immortalize 
The promise of humankind. 



A Silent Gravity[lviii]

When great men fall, great legacies remain,
Perpetual incarnations of words and deeds…
And family…
Which thrive while silent gravity
Mends our pain and binds our souls

With joyous song,

In recent moments which pass too slowly

As cobble stoned thoughts struggle day-long

To find symmetry.

And our memories like dreams appear and disappear

Becoming random glimpses of sunrises,

Blurred by the haze of mourning,

Yet glistening with mists of love

Which lift our life one step higher, every day.




































It is in these moments that we gaze upon the moon,

It is in these moments that Nature becomes our Egeria[lx]



Today, near May, the harvest is behind us

Yet as much, it lies ahead. 

We plant our seeds even as the icy sun

Strains to warm the earth.

We prepare. We are sure the

Brilliance of the blossom will come to be

And the scent of the lilac tree briefly will penetrate

The early mist of springtime once again.

In this glory infinite, there will be

No longer mourning of what has been. 

For I have loved, and I love still,

And created a child and another-

Who walk distant frontiers,

To torch and fade despair

Into transparent exile...

Silhouettes emblazoned heavenwards

As I watch and turn a smile…



…and watched as ponds

And serpentine streams,

Relentless in their ebb and flow,

Carved channels of ancient thoughts and dreams

Like fossilized intaglio.

Yes, I have lived and I have known
And traveled on northern trails,

And western peaks and pastel fields. 

I have sensed the scents of daffodils

And the melodies of songbirds.

I have reveled in the excesses of my heart;

The splendor of the day;

The quietude at night;

Countless raindrops on countless petals;

Sunrises splashed in pink and white.


And today, near May, though the harvest
is behind us, yet as much, it lies ahead.  











To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something
else is the greatest accomplishment.  
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fortunate, are those…

whose lives so fragile,

And in just being, so struggle

To feel a sense of freedom
From the pain

Of malaise and hunger, 
And the maladies

Which from the formative years
Steal their persona;

Fortunate are those…
Whose lives are touched by you.


You have learned and witnessed,

Taught and practiced

The tenets of what it means to give,

And live your dream.

And now, with profound kindness…

You will overwhelm the pity of physical agony,

You will plant seeds of happiness in gardens

Disrupted by blight and sorrow.

You will care when caring seems lost.

You will cry when caring has lost.

You will smile when your kindness creates peace.


And of tomorrow,

You will see

Through mists of uncertainties
Which veil the newly born and older.

And with passion, skills and fervor,

Pursue cure and order
For afflictions of a blameless child.

As no greater worth is there
Than for you to share what
Rests inherent in your heart:

Your Art, Your soul, your sense

Of right and wrong.
And above the rest,

A righteous ethic that strives,

Without pretense, to heal, lifelong.





Ayam (עוֹף)

(a glow)

for our first grandchild, Olivia


we loved before we heard your cries

before we saw wide opened eyes

before we touched and held and kissed

before our tears spilled forth with bliss

we loved you free without condition

and now you're here, our apparition

an image of our sweetest thoughts

that your birth today has brought

the winds of love blow in our minds

inviolate thoughts that seal and bind

the goodness that your life will know

fan embers in your heart-to glow

scorching deep beneath the skin

as your gentle life begins

embraced forever by those who care

who care for every breath of air

you savor; every breath sublime

to love you every moment,
to love you for all time.

and now, Olivia, you have a name

and another, Ilana; yet one, the same

precious child, swaddled with love

as the sun drapes its hues far from above

to warm and to nurture, spark hope and inspire

a life that is whole, for you we desire

and your smiles and giggles, laughs and coos

that delight us today, will bring words that you’ll choose

to speak, and to think, ponder and dream

with a fire in your heart, and a glow that will seem

muted and calm when compared to your passions

to follow the goodness-your parents will fashion

and know sweet child of our child your dear mother

you are beloved for yourself and for no other

     so Livi…live long, live well, be strong
     never know hatred, angst, pain or sorrow

     never know sadness, nor shed sadness’ tears
     live with promise, with wonder and love- all your years.












We seek answers for questions which cannot be answered.

We grieve at a time when we should be smiling.

A moment in a century of years which has come too soon,

Unexpectedly, with a force we cannot combat.


Among us, there is no better person. 

Among us, no better Physician,

Then this man we gather today to honor.

We cry aloud not just to sound our sadness

But to trumpet our love.


Our thoughts confuse us. Why?

His Life, His Missions are now our memories.

Indelible in our ephemeral thoughts.


We will always hear

his gentle tones of gentle words

And feel the caring others knew when they,

Frightened and sometimes frail,

In desperate need,

Alighted from their illness, free

Of morbid pain and agony.


If we feel richer today…

Amidst the drear of Funeral and Eulogy,

It is because we revere

A man we strive to emulate.

And thus, through death and legacy

We come and magnify our goals,

To unravel every morsel of our souls,

And strive to live as Gordon lived.

















Facta non Verba[lxiii]

Open your hands and embrace the
Matters of affairs and intricacies of

Those who need counsel. Let not volumes written
And words carved
Between the cornices of courthouses
And spoken
From the benches of courtrooms
Stand alone in defense.  Empower with skills and judgment;
With knowledge gained and growing.   Stand tall. Be a watchtower of integrity. A source for security;
Advisor consummate; Trusted advocate. Be proud. Be Noble. Win accolades. Servo puteus, serve well.


























Belonging to the Spring


Undaunted, I greet the paradox of spring.

I dream …of golden notes

Floating in the silent night.

Joys of breaths and heartbeats

Simple passions of delight

Sing on winds diaphanous,

Of the glory of the bloom

Which never disappointing,

Soon, bathes all beloved

With perfect hope.

It is the season of opulence

When sweetness obscures

Dark halls of winter's liar

And dew upon the grasses

Cast light of morning's hour

Into the windows of the soul

Where fragments of loveliness…

Of love, coalesce

Into being,































"The mass of men lead lives
of quite desperation"[lxv]


With myself, alone I share

Private thoughts of what I care

For truth; for love, for death and birth,

Humility, humanity; my own self-worth.

I have known my traveled paths

Though now uncertain of what fate's cast,

I believe that my life's purpose-

Its true meaning-has yet to surface

Upon the shimmering white-capped sea

Of moral souls; what lie ahead for me?

Shall my vessel point tomorrow

Into the Doldrums filled with sorrow,

Or Eastwards towards the rising sun,

Adrift in days of Halcyon?

I say the latter bests the former,

I've not the fashion of a mourner.

I need to feel what is to be,

Can only be more good for me,

And my family and of Man.

What lies ahead is nobler than

What thus far is fate complete.

...Lotus leaves I will not eat

Nor to Capua make a journey

But with virtuous harmony,

I will meet my destiny

With courage, vigor and integrity.




Judge not what be chanced our childhood,

Youthful rituals oft more understood

By self than one's mentors,

Balancing rights and wrongs and what-fors.

Yet within the asylum of our youth

Is discovered much of truth.

Cyclonic powers of morality

Awaiting well-nurtured maturity

To awaken like the lily chaste;

Virtues to cherish and embrace.



I awakened in the early night

As the gleam of moon's gray light

Diffused through old cracked window shades,

Listening to radio tunes that made

Echoed songs of adolescent years.

Music that even now I hear.

Music that helps me to recall,

Those wee morning hours all,

Reading, thinking, planning, dreaming,

Sketching, writing, inventing, learning.

Hours, days, months, years,

Preparing for life which today is here.

Introspection had begun,

For I was determined to become

One with science and with humanism,

Brother of Aesculapius, a good physician.




At this century's sure demise

How (after fifty-six years!) wise

Will I be? What will I have attained?

Dreams, kindled like a flame

in my head for one half century

Or nothing more than mediocrity.









You are my bright star,

Aglow with a radiance far,

Equaled by only Aurora, herself.

You shine in the evening

With a splendor equal to her dawn.

And deep into the night you illumine,

From the soft light cast through the

Frosted panes of the moonlit window.


A score of years has passed. I reflect.

With no regrets, I suspect

Another score or more we will spend

Together, with our children and theirs.

Generations to care; and to share

our love.




































You are a consummate obsession,

A mind's sole possession.

A shadow cast from memory

Of splendid specter and rhapsody.

A venerable vision, if only a dream,

Closer to reality so it seems.

But dreams end abruptly when the body awakens

When from one's mind they are suddenly taken.

Not to appear for seasons to follow,

Yet always returning like the augural swallow.

Now, such dreams return to my mind,

To quest for the truth, be it blessed or unkind.





































Heart sounds[lxvii]


When you were twenty-two years old,

And I was twenty-four,

We met and felt a passion deep,

We hadn't felt before.


The evening air was cool and breezy,

The starlit sky was clear

The city's ambient pulse-beats,

No longer could I hear.


For above this din, my heart did pound,

As we spoke those first few words.

And with my senses overwhelmed;

Heart sounds were all I heard.





































I will see you once again,

Before my final dream,

When winter's coat of snow remains,

In springtime pools and streams.


I will gaze within those pools,

Upon your bright reflection;

Mirrored image of virtues true,

A dearest recollection.


I will be with you in love,

Your life I'll rhapsodize.

A deeper passion need not I prove,

When death doth close my eyes.





































Bonds of blood cannot bend

For upon these bonds we all depend.

To care for family, we obligate.

When we cannot we designate

Other persons to care and treat,

Persons we trust to bring defeat

To the ailments of those whom we love so much,

With skill and kindness and a caring touch.

I thus acknowledge with true approbation

Your virtues: Trust. Excellence.

Compassion and Inspiration.






































In Search of Manu [lxix]                      

"The earth we abuse and the living things we kill

will, in the end, take their revenge, for in

exploiting their presence, we are diminishing our




I fear for my cherished land,

With a sorrow in my heart,

As I witness our modernity

Tear the fragile earth apart.

I look above, the chromatic skies

Where hawks and eagles soar,

And tremble silent with my thoughts:

They'll be safe harbors nevermore.

In pain I bare witness as

Emerald columns of evergreen,

Majestic redwood, oak, and elm,

Vanish from our forests' scene.

And of our noble canyons

Where the mighty rivers roar,

Weakened by the will of time,

They collapse upon their shores.

Yes, I fear for my cherished land,

With a sorrow in my heart,

As I witness our modernity

Tear the fragile earth apart.



I cry for my Nation's living,

Nature's children who must endure

Imminent peril of extinction,

Man, and beast, Rich and poor.

Ancient species' sacred homes,

Vanquished by iron plow;

A necropolis of whooping cranes,

Condors, Wolves, and Spotted Owls.

Habitats of graceful beauty,

Perfumed flowers, and plumage,

Fragmented, isolated, wasted

By our civilization's pillage.

Nor are spared the vibrant seas,

Where Fish and Whale and Dolphin

Struggle to survive a refuge

Ravaged and polluted:  humankind's destruction.

Yes, I cry for my nation's Living,

Nature's children who must endure

The imminent peril of extinction,

Man and beast, Rich and poor.


I'll be father to my land,

The earth is my estate.

I'll be teacher to its children.

So shall be my mandate:

I'll not hand industry license

To effuse its waste in our water,

Which destroys the ancient ecosystem:

Tantamount to mass slaughter.

Through treaty, vow, and summit,

My pledge to global neighbors:

Deter cataclysmic collapse;

So our survivors can be our inheritors.

Through my sovereignty I will affirm

That Mankind and Earth are entwined.

Flora and Fauna and each human being,

Cohabit one home; pray we thwart its decline.

Yes, I'll be father to my land,

The earth is my estate.

I'll be teacher to its children.

So shall be my mandate.





"The Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth."[lxxi]




I love to explore

the sandy coves

and crunch the spinous shells on the shore,

quite numerous when the tide is low.

Rows of cat-o-nine tails

bow to the wind.

Furled sails

rest motionless like mannequins.

The current creeps slowly

southward; each ripple

a softly

folded wave on calm, mirrored waters.

Riggings sing.

In tiny pools seaweed floats,

whirl and cling

to barnacled pillars and aged boats.

My Marushka, maiden fair

of the sound,

leans to port in breezy air.

Serenely, the sea around

me beckons, as nighttime's shroud,

vaporized by the sun awakening,

disappears among the cloud-

less sky of this great morning.



























Bare no malice, anger,

prejudice or hate and


all searing conflagrations

of your fellowman; his plights of

sickness and poverty; his homeless pain

his depressions and day by day strife's.

Abet others who be sicker or poorer,

ailing from greater oppressions, and

look beyond the facades of hypocrisy

and denial and un-roof the truths.

For it is here you will find your naked self;

mind and soul and physical being of your


Forego your shelter, your clothes, your moneys.

- all amenities, and stand

stripped to your fragile core,

exposed, and vulnerable.

Primal equality.






























Our Voyage


We are not lost, we are not gone

 Though beloved, you fear this be.

We are but, on a sojourn,

'midst the solace of the sea.


We'll not request asylum here,

And soon we shall depart,

The world as we have known it,

With much comfort in our hearts.


Our lives have been like orchids,

Thriving in the rain,

Our children cast as seedlings,

Of their flesh, we now remain


In spirit, soul and courage,

They will live what we have taught:

Unbridled deeds of goodness

Impelled, without forethought.


For those who ask if we might feel

A corporal sense of pain,

We whisper but a single line,

"Our God is God humane."


There is a oneness between us now,

Union of bosom and soul,

And it will endure for eternity

May this thought, for you, console.






















There's a song that I hear, it comes in the night

and sounds like the music of dreams,

It tells of the hopes of our sovereign land

and sings of a promise supreme.


There's a light that I see, it rises at dawn,

and gleams like the rays of the sun,

It shines within all of our hearts everyday

and the hearts of our daughters and sons.


There's a scent that I smell, throughout the land

that smells like the lilacs of spring

It sweetens our spirit and brightens our souls,

No more joy could a sense ever bring.


These elations of life all cause me to cry

Tears oh so sweet and so real,

For I have to leave-but I shall return

To my land, to my home, Yisroel.






























Solstice [lxxii]


The sun

staring upon me

has stopped

for one immeasurable moment,

a lone pause in an 

infinite journey,

a slivered chasm in a

timeless wandering.


The sun

staring upon me

has stopped

to embrace

and welcome me traveler

to the borderless

boundaries of



The sun

staring upon me

has stopped

to comfort;

Its light transcends

the darkness of despondency,

Its warmth melts

the icy crust

of mourning.


The sun

staring upon me

has stopped

to deliver

a quarry

of hope out of hopelessness,

tranquility from turmoil...

...and peaceful dreaming













Promised Light


I have shed my garments and

With calloused feet walk naked

Into the straw meadows of the dark.


My sustenance though vaporized

Floats like the clouds,

Glisters like the stars.


And as I search and cry in fear

I glance into the blackened sky

To see droplets now appear


Like diamonds from our sacred earth

That burnish in this darkest night

To become dreams of promised light. 


































The Stones and The Sand[lxxiii]


There is not much our lives to long

but breath the air, hear a song,

walk beneath some sapling pines

search a dream, slow the time,

See truths distant horizons hide

float on waves at even-tide.




You touch my golden hair

With silken fingers

and hands afire with

Embers of love.


Like earthen stones

And sea-born sand

You are the infinite

Minerals of my life.


With you,

I am the mountains,

The forests and the seas.


With you

I have foundation,      

Elements, for my being.


Every breath I breath

is for you,

And you, for me.


For always...

my dearests.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my family.















For Annie[lxxiv],


“The camera is an instrument that teaches
 people how to see without a camera.



If our mind be our camera, memory its film,

Eyes, a lens through which we view;

Then you be our image of dearest affection,

A childhood unveiled, a light shining through.


As dreams of tomorrow, unfold and evolve,

To flourish in times which challenge and try;

The Life thus far lived becomes your foundation,

A friend for those moments, soon to pass by.


Joy comes often to those you have touched,

Fashioned from unselfish caring and deeds;

Without provocation, or retribution,

Your kindness befalls friends and family in need.


We cannot overstate the pride we both feel,

A pride that will grow with each passing day;

Dear Annie, we wish you years of contentment,

As we watch your “commencement” to High School today.


























Rubicon [lxxv]

Our home is

Filled with love,

And you.


A caress of the sea.


A chant of the wind.


Electricity in our veins...


Bright dreams.


On mountains draped

With mist;




Fly with butterflies.

Love gardens;

Love deeds,



Ensheathe yourself

With the garments of humanity:




Let aspersions of the moment, melt.

Savor peaceful dreaming,

A silent poem,

A mellow thought.


Commence and share.

Plant flowers

In arid air

Where misfortune breathes.

"Guide seekers to the land of bliss."

Begin each day with a kiss

Be aware.

We Love you.








For Annie[lxxvi]

"This is not the end,
 it is not even the beginning of the end. 
But it is perhaps the end of the beginning."

Winston Churchill


Our hearts are all a-flutter; our minds are full of song;

The May winds are rejoicing; as we celebrate day-long.


Honoring your learning, loving who you are;

Another blessed daughter with a fate to cast a-far.


We pine inward at the flight of time, but openly we smile

And beam for your achievements and your loving, giving style.


Our pride is like a mountain peak, no higher can we climb,

You have finished your baccalaureate, in four years the proscribed time.


And now more learning to pursue, commencement if you will,

Preparation for tomorrow's dreams, a lifetime to fulfill.


We wish content and hope for you, love, success and more,

And the wonders of your life ahead;




























The Means[lxxvii]


 “The Existence of virtue
depends entirely upon its use”



My friend.

Our Integrity is measured

Not by the expense of time

But by its means:

How we live,

Whom we love,

What we sense and feel.


Fueled by spirit,

Kindled by reason,

We assume a purpose.


Furrows of our palms

Map our travail;

Fingers, its instruments,

Voice its praise.


Traversing age of years,

We are valued by our deeds.

And our prosperity becomes

The reward of our virtues.

























Naked are our thoughts,
Our souls are crying..
We are your voices,
Sorrow’s silence.
For as we speak, alas,
We sing;
And proclaim to all
Our love for you
And from you the love
You bring.







































Forlorn, with tears
And cries, am I.
To lose you to your death
Without but even gasp or sigh,
Save a wisp of Angels breath;
…the darkest sorrow

I have known. Yet,

Your image burnt in my

Soul is my gift, my grace,

And always will I see your face

Upon the simmer of

Placid ponds

And in the clouds where

Sunbeams hide

And raindrops form,

…And I will speak kind words
And write of you
And sing in sweet demure,
In early morning's dew
And in the crown of daffodils
Which bloom amidst the storms
Swept cross my brow,
In every dream
In which it seems
You come to me.

My love forever
Do I avow.
























How we love to come here

With our innocent hearts,

Here where blossoms bloom,

Garden-trees flower and 

Shadows shiver in gentle winds;

Where fertile soil sows its fruits

Hosting moments of passing time.

Where in early morning, dew

Drips from satin petals

And tendrils of daylight stream

Until whispers of evening breezes

Float off the Sound;

As our wondering thoughts

In silent moments

Of peaceful dreaming

Lighten, and at last,

Our hearts adorned,

Unfold to plant unfailing roots

And reach for moonbeams

And beyond.





























Respice, et Prospice
Look backward and forward (L)

Passion remains, privilege endures,
while life and lifeless,
each lifted by my hands, coexist.
On journey long, journey full,
with origins beneath golden skies,
I strive to heal, diminish fear;
making real, priceless promises of life each day.
And yearn…for it is not time
to reach the edge where breath beats
and heart sighs succumb,
still from imagination and contribution
nor where dreams drop to stagnant pools,
ripple towards silted banks then disappear
into crevices carved by debris
and rain and all things natural.
Not time to leave visions
of reformation, reclamation;
to leave pathways lit by opportunity
covered with vines of spirit
and climbs of renewal.

But a time of great hope.
Hope to affect lives, teach tenets,
create paradigms; counsel, care, mentor,
affirm a promise; a fate perhaps
as fortitude, my foundation of resolve,
rushes in my blood, every pulse a wave
approaching unfamiliar shores,
mighty and assured.
I will leave love behind
but will not lose it.
It will not fade to vapors
as common as fog
but rather guide me to be proud
of its wondrous years of caring and of healing;
years that turn now not to clouds but to earth,
To root something once unimaginable:
to marvel again and again
and by word and deed,
to create and bond
what means and brings for all, good life...
...a good birth and beyond.







No longer do I fear my death,  
For my weakened body now reborn,  
Will witness every dawn of every morn   
That is yet to cast itself upon  
The remnants of my past.  
And thus, the light above me now,  
With rays aglow in silent symmetry,  
Will forever shine far into that eternity   
Where I will be  
At peace.  








































Clothed in winter's vale of lace, 
Stands an aged tree.   
Awaiting springtime's youthful face, 
To birth its hues of green.  
Yet here upon this winter eve,  
A birth did not await.  
A daughter whom from love conceived, 
Born pure and delicate.  
Her father's hands were first to touch,  
This soft and graceful form.  
A special being to love so much,  
And rejoice with each new morn.  
So, as the snow drapes on the boughs, 
Of olden elms and oaks.   
Know well this child of winter now,  
Is blessed with spring's new hopes.   
































Rhapsody II
Gone are ten thousand days  
of perfumed winds  
bellowed from the  
lungs of God with  
gusts and drafts that  
scattered wandering seeds  
of despair, craving  
earthen roots to anchor  
their promise of reborn  

















The Tree  

Be free  
Imprisoned one,  
Last remains  
Of a fallen tree  
Fractured by an  
August storm,  
Sapped and devoured,  
Hollowed from decay,  
Destitute of life's  
Precious humors.  
Debris encrusts your  
Body like a death shroud,  
Yet the poet knows your spirit,  
The artist your beauty.  
Be free.  

































We are a constellation.
Our wonders and turmoil:
Of caring; grasps science and skills with hope;
Of understanding; grasps measurement and analysis with insight.
Caring; understanding;
Beacons of what drives us to do what is best.
We are a constellation.
Compelled by mission.
Consumed with passion;
No one leader;
A team of many;
With many bright stars
But none brighter
Than whom we honor
A devoted voice
For the patient;
A just and reasoned voice
For us all.
A thank you cannot be enough
But our blessings are abundant.
Thank you and greatest of wishes.




























The frigid air frosts our skins. March, unrelenting, chills us.
The carapace of virtue stripped bear with one last breath; a sigh,
a thought, a song, a prayer, a plea, perhaps a smile.
Aware that we must all leave but before, must cleave
from every moment every morsel of that which humanity has gifted us.

He knows of scythes that gleaned, of seeds spilled then
rearranged, in wombs of fragile, fallen leaves where rooted
embryos await to season next; incarnate, reverent, to bare and bloom,
to live again and die and live and die and live.

And we know the seeds of all nobility remain alive in deeds
of noble men as he.

Of men that live and write of worth and truth
and yearn to teach, abet and heal and love the words of centuries past,
unfinished some, and others cast anew to burn in hearts where shadows
rise and fall to crave his wisdom, pillars forged by mind and hands for all.

His scalpel carves it path. The body, impotent to maladies;
thirsts for harmonies of cure by gentle ways and artful skills
to dignify the countless souls infirmed and helpless wills;
and of those he healed, now left to wail, doleful as diaphones
in morning fog they mourn until they sleep.

Our heavy hearts will lighten as we remember brighter moments.
His deeds bequeath immortal dreams. Petrified in our senses,
visions indelible, a benevolence to appear and reappear like seasons,
and remind us that we shared in words or voice, in thoughts or touch,
the sacred air he breathed each day.
















Distant Sunsets


We look to distant sunsets,

Where muted dreams are dreamed

And searing pain's extinguished

To learn that in the silence

We can still hear music play,

Velvet notes which cushion

Every thought of darkest sorrow,

And believe despite our pining

There will live in distant sunsets

Forever thoughts of you today

And in our muted dreams tomorrow.






































What I am, I am.
My afflictions are my affections.
My chaos, civility.
Tides pause, breaths sigh.
Those who dream, dream.
While I with pleasure cast
Ravages and travail obscene,
To a venomous sea, to shatter
Upon the cliffs of despair,
Forgotten forever
As I travel, un-traveled avenues
Of promise.




































Quietude of the Stars

For Mary Rose with love[lxxxiv]



in profound silence,

tears cry into the abyss of eternity.

blossoms pause, scentless

for a moment, to mark

the grip of grief we witness,

a mortal conflagration, senseless,

beyond the reason we know or have known. 

agony, seared into our hearts

by a flaming stake of fate to reside

everlasting leaving us lonely, afraid,

mere broken remains of healers

enslaved by her pain

and the void of her beloveds.



infinite stars yearn to glow and

crackle in the night sky,

but today neither glimmer nor glisten;

mired in a quietude of blackest blackness,

shadows in a universe amid

the lengths and depths of piercing despair...

...yet each remains a vigil;

each awaits the awakening

of hope that always comes

from dreams and prayer

that drive even the bleakest and the weakest

towards sanguine promise.

as too we wait, we pray, we cry,

for the precious, interred, and
and for her to awaken, eyes to open

to the majesty beyond the sky

of bluest, blue, where quiescent stars

arise to shine again

to crackle and glimmer and glisten

in their infinity.







Dedicated to family, friends and colleagues
for the New Year, 2020


“...then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!

The brooding and blissful halcyon days!”[lxxxvi]


Let us wish to:

retreat from all unjust suffering, 
banish afflictions, vaporize pain;
fashion peaceful harbors and orchards, 
cultivate gardens, plant trees, harvest grain.    

dream of lyres’ and harps’ splendid music, 
watch beautiful children dance and be gay; 
never see sadness and crying bear witness, 
keep illness and sorrow far, far away.

abolish the hunger that threatens the fragile,
crave for vision and prescient wisdom;
nourish each other with love and kindness,
live with bountiful hope and compassion. 

seek out always life’s streaming sunbeams,
dissolve each dark cloud in sunlight’s way;
entwine outstretched hands with one another...
        …and turn all tomorrows to halcyon days.























You who soon will light 

On wing tomorrow

And soar to cross the roads

The rivers and the borders;

Breaths of change to cast

From depths of wondrous purpose past,

And build with blocks found here

That anchor work and deeds 

And many passions dear; 

Fear and feel no void,

As forever sealed 

Like gold in vaults

Within its earthen mines,

Your memories will be never stolen 

From the purses of your mind.


You at the core, the soul,

The vitreous beauty of place and time,

Your home to first breathes 

Day after day after day...and year after year. 

Where special moments 

Awaken miracles, as
You behold each child’s cry, 

A wish for all to hear.

And fervor for each,

A wind-rush, bending stalks 

And stems earthbound

With a gravity, holding fast …a witness from the start;

Outstretched hands to touch

To love, to yearn with open heart.


Now, you will flourish 

And you will heal 

As you have healed,

Forward as the sun each day

And you will smile when you remember,

Those you knew from yesterday, 

Yet best is what needs to be,

Each to march your destiny 

Like royalty towards fertile fields 

Where hands and hearts again combine 

To better lives of those who need

Devotion, skills and presence

That you so beautifully define.





The compass or  "south-governor"

 (sÄ«nán å¸å—)


To find our way when night shines black,

And life's work struggles to raise the bar;

To create a difference for all on earth,

At times, you know, we need a star.


The bar of truths that science lends,

To souls and thoughts of certain minds;

To genius rare -yet here today,

A man whose equal none will find.


A granite pillar holding strong,

His vision un-roofs mysteries;

And heavens to reach with inquiry,

To learn what makes us live and be.


An artist etching intaglio,

On canvases of academe;

Sustaining us his protégés

And our collective, purposed dreams.


A Magnet he for his own ilk,

Humanists, ethicists, scientists, scholars;

Venerable, formidable, leaders and friends,

Who trust, revere, respect and honor.


Yes, when our night shines black with doubt,

When all seems hazy, uncertain and grey;

Nate remains our enduring compass,

With prescient wisdom, illuming our way.