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Thursday, April 28, 2011

If I had Rome















If I had Rome to call my own;
And the ornate dome of the Pantheon
Caesar’s palace would be yours
With vaulted ceilings and marble floors
If Athens and Parthenon in turn;
Your face would adorn every Grecian urn
You would be most by Athena blessed
As priestess of her house and guest
If I had Paris, you’d have the Louvre
For you, the Eiffel Tower I’d move
Or if I owned London; then Big Ben
Would wake you up when I tucked you in
Double-decker busses; a fleet you’d rule
For a little girl to ride to school
If I found the lost city of Atlantis
And raised it from the deep Atlantic
You could be queen and I; your fool
Would give you the world’s biggest swimming pool
But all I have is this pen of mine
And scribbled rhymes in simple lines
I’m sorry that I don’t have Rome
I can only offer this little poem
But with a love you can believe in
Pure as angel’s love in heaven;
The place you gave me from the start
The very first day you stole my heart
When the doctor placed you in my arms
And I fell bewitched by all your charms
No city of angels could replace
The dimples in your cherub face
And the greatest treasure I’ve ever had
Was to hear you call me “dad”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eternal


















The tree of life is Eternal
Though many winding courses travel
Among its branches and through its roots
All things are intertwined and irreversibly linked

Time and space are neither linear nor lonely
They are the life that drives the tree to leaf
We bud but for a moment brief
We wither and we fall

Among the sacred roots we are absorbed
And our lives become the nourishment
Of every history and future
All that we love and everything beautiful

Roots sunk into the foundation of the universe
Push branches high into the heavens; growing
The universe is expanding and we with it
Our knowledge transcending into the divine

When we reach that sacred Nirvana
We will be as delicate birds set among the branches
Singing the creation of the world;
Part of everything; now blessed with wings to fly

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fisherman










The line is cast in waters of hope
Failing to obtain the goal; cast again in faith
The Fisherman is patient
He needs nourishment for his soul
There is comfort in this recreation
There is peace of one who waits
To improve his situation
He may change his station or his bait
But seldom is his creel without
Upon returning home
He seldom harbors any doubt
But waits for fish to come
My soul is like the line cast out
In hope that harbors little doubt
Cast again by love within
I am a determined Fisherman



© 2011 Fabian G. Franklin

Government Accident








Words subtle as a car crash
Jagged metal and broken glass
Smoking engine sound of sirens
Spilling blood and gasoline

Can’t U turn with steering busted
Junkyard dreams dented, rusted
Drunk driving drama; bourbon breath
Under influence of life and death

The government of our society
Has failed the test of sobriety
No future for elderly or poor
Just crush them down a little more

Politicians going nowhere
Conversations but they don’t care
Sobriety tested and put to blame
Government wreck bursts into flames

No tickets for their total lost time
No sentence from these guard rail rhymes
That jumped the curb and hit the sign
Reading STOP as the poet scribbled these lines

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CONCENTRATE





CONCENTRATE



T@@@@@@T@@@@@@@T@@@@@@@T@@@@@@T@@@@@@@@@T@@@@@@@@@@T@@@@@@@@T
############################################################
Brick red dust; fine as powder rolling over the fender of a 55 T Bird
Georgia summer clay cracked like the hymen of a virgin in the back seat
A musky aroma hangs around the rearview with fuzzy dice and shades
Desperation is the order of the day but delivery comes only at night
Black leather jackets and white tee shirts; the contrast of night and day
Innocence wrapped up in angst; feeling tough and ready to play
The peas are all picked in the purple field but the flowers haven’t come to pod
Dreams are somethings that are accepted as real like rock n roll and God
##############################################################
Keys in ignition of a 68 Boss Mustang; engine rumbling like a gurgling ghost
Georgia summer clay soaked with the rain of the times and its tears and war
The air is like the steam inside a pressure cooker and there’s no “pop off” valve
The police are the enemy of freedom when that freedom is freely expressed
Peaceful demonstrations depicted as riots with rubber bullets and tear gas
Experience wrapped up in the mind and memory; the protectors betray.
Fighting a war nobody is for is their way to say the people have no say
The kids are all picked out of our neighbor’s homes and the harvest was ripe
They had begun to speak of revolution! But the minds that came back were quiet
##################################################################
Today he walks but he doesn’t drive. He walks with a limp from a shell
Georgia summer clay hot as any sunny day he can remember since then
The radio speaks unrest from every corner of the world and he can feel
He can feel everything changing again; he fears evil change this time
Armies of silent people in black clothes watch civilians now…no protests
He’d seen innocence turn to experience but this was something more advanced
The National Guard is not at home where it should be guarding the nation
Subterfuge wrapped up in media packages; sold as propaganda to the masses
They have begun to talk revolution again; look for the concentration camps
#################################################################

Friday, April 15, 2011

Understanding Beauty


The beauty of the rose is in the bud
Fresh is the flower being born
The scent of youth is strong and good;
Sweet as the dew of a summer morn

The beauty of the leaf is in the fall
When colors burn in fiery blaze
Orange and yellow; crimson all
Mellow; the ending of its days

The beauty of man is flower and leaf
Newborn babe and ancient wise
Beginning joy and ending grief
Innocent and knowing eyes

We are fragile as the flowers,
Stronger than the mighty oak;
In our sad and lonely hours
Words of love and faith are smoke

Let us comfort one another
Like infant held in wrinkled hands
Brother, sister, father, mother;
Spring and autumn on the land

Burning leaves and budding blooms
There is beauty in the plan
Old age for youth is making room
And Mother Nature understands

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shackles


Pregnant pain gave birth to addiction
Swollen up and swallowed up by herself
Need put iron shackles on her feet
Braded brass pins with hopeless hammers

Outside the stone cell, freedom danced in flowers
But the walls seeped lonely ache from within
A squirrel hiding acorns dug between the cracks
And buried a treasure in long forgotten soil

Little light fell through the bars; broken on the floor;
The ashamed sun came but for a few moments
But roots sunk lower to find rain beneath the stones
Then, like all things green, a living stem rose secretly

Photosynthesis showed baby pictures of life
And the pain longed to be pregnant again
She built a cradle of hope with nothing to fill it
And then mourned her abortion of love

Silent rage burned away inside the stones
Melting them like wax and winter snow
In the hope of different, the same was abandoned
The shackles of addiction were broken

She could barely crawl but soon could walk
Blinded by sun; the confusion too much to bear
But she remembered the cradle and brought it out
It came with a whimper and a tear

Flowers were blooming again that year
She filled the bassinet like a basket with petals
And the colors joined to take wing as butterflies
Freedom flittered and danced and she followed

When freedom was full, she gave birth to joy
Swollen up and bursting with her baby boy
Forgiveness put booties on his feet
And baby lamb’s wool lulled him to sleep

Prison melted into the past; in its place, a tree
The seed had come to fruition at last
The limbs stretched forth to grasp the sun
And on each branch hung golden poetry

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rain on Main


The tortoise shell umbrellas spread like gospel tents
Against the drumming rain and sailing mournful wind
Huddled shadows; turned up collars braced into tinsel-tiny
Pearls; each spherical world; a sea of wayfaring minstrels

Tambourines rattled down puddles; gurgled in gutters
Danced on windowpanes and slid down shutters
Across vaulted awnings of coffee shops and cafes
Rivulets of silver wound through dirt of an ordinary day

And all the busy people with briefcases under overcoats
Were frightened of the water army; a billion droplets strong
They could find no place for music in their souls; a saddened note
Where the rain, like pain, is feared and has no place to belong

A madman; soaked hair streaming down his shoulders
No hat or spring loaded dome of protection held in hand
Grasped above his head a gray newspaper unfolded
And skipped across brown potholes; laughing as he ran

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stones


STONES

We are children of earth and water;
Born of fire and sky
We recede with the ocean’s ebb
We swell with fury in the tide
Countless grains of brine washed sand
Often find communion
Partaking of the Creator
To fashion and form unions
Structures indivisible;
Bits of sand and salt and shell
Containing lives of memory creatures
That we become as well
I would not leave you abandoned
Would not see you cast out; apart
Though I am nothing more than man
I offer these with my heart
These little pieces of stones;
To remind you of the ocean’s flow;
That the tide pulls not one heart alone
But each part in all; when beckoned goes
I will see you on some distant shore
And we may share a naked sunrise
Opening a heavenly door
Opening our weary eyes
Being part of one another for the first time
Seeing through our inward eye
Where earth and water children go;
Born of fire and sky.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From my Chair


My mind reaches back to the first drops of rain on a deserted dirt road
Where a barefoot boy stood before a wooden bridge
And scuffed his calloused soles against the red and pungent dust
The mountain laurel was in bloom and the blackberries were ripening
His dirty white tee shirt and ragged jean shorts were stained with adventure
Pockets bulged with pebbles or marbles; wooden thread spools that
Had just a bit of thread left on them
He used them to tie the June bug’s leg and made a toy from his efforts to escape
With a jackknife the spools could be notched and threaded through the center
A few broken matchsticks wound the rubber band drive
And it would tumble awkwardly across the hard wooden floor of home
Homemade whistles, wooden swords and daggers were all products
Of the genuine Barlowe pocket knife he received for his eighth birthday
He’d saw another kid break his handle throwing his at a stump
He vowed never to treat his own treasure so recklessly
Walking back from the creek; a mile up the road, he would be soaked
By the time he reached the back door but there was a rack of clean towels just inside
He only had to be sure not to stain any of the “good towels”
But he disliked them anyway; they were all fluffy and soft
Along the route he caught a box turtle trying to cross the street
He brought it home and kept it in a shoebox until his father made him turn it loose
The scent of honeysuckle was wafting through the pines
As lightning bugs competed to see which ones could turn on their back porch lights
before the final rays of amber faded from the west
He had caught a fish last week in the creek but it died in the wash pan aquarium
The spring lizards and crawdads were the real trophies to be had
Spring lizards were excellent bass bait and he was always hankering to go fishing
His dad had a boat he’d built himself. It was a big green square thing
But it was floatable; had a four horsepower Johnson outboard and was watertight
Enough of the right bait and a Saturday trip to the big river might be begged
He stopped to grasp a snapping beetle and held him tight as he popped
Soon bored with the beetle, he caught a huge grasshopper that kindly spit
a full mouth of “tobacky” juice right into his hand. Yuk, he hated that.
I watch him for a long time; see his air of self-importance and command.
This is a world he knows and understands; he even knows its monsters.He has seen the copperhead sunning and the cottonmouth swim right up to the bank
One morning he met a bobcat on his frozen walk to the outhouse
But it is a world with friends unequaled…Choya; the loyal German shepherd
And Pokey…the slow but reliable Yorkshire Terrier….and of course Judy.
Judy was a blue tick hound that would howl like a roasted banshee at the sight of a coon
A coon in the day times is best to avoid because they can carry the rabies
I watch him dry his hands and feet on the stoop before going inside
I see his mother; a slender brunette beauty of a woman, strip his shirt away
“Go peel them shorts off and put on some dry britches boy”, she says.
And I try with all my might to hold on to the smell of the rain on the road.
But it slips and fades with the boy into memory
And the man left thinking is unimportant without command
He does not know this world at all
He sees a man in a blue smock approaching his wheelchair.
“It’s time for your medication, Mr. Franklin.”

Hard Scrub


There is rage beyond the rain
But there is peace in quiet
The mountain is still this morning
But it softly whispers of the rage

There was lightning in the night
Cracking jagged whips of fire
That turned the maple’s faces white
Now birds sing quietly to the dawn

The hard has worn the morning tender
The rough rubbing of the fearful night
Now the sun will bake day clean and
We’ll see what’s strong enough to survive.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ride


Vibrations from between his legs
Voice raw and intrinsic power
Urged like a horse at the starting gate
Uttering a low and guttural growl

Gloved hand on the right rubber grip,
Left finger hooked as thumb pins the clutch
Steel toed boot rests on peg
Tip tripping the gear into first

Pulling away, hears the gravel crunch
Under the heavy rolling tires
Turns back the throttle and squeezes the clutch
Engine answers with warm desire

Fourth gear echoes a melodious hum
As asphalt miles fly by
The world is a prairie in a cowboy’s dream
Before there were fences and wire

The wind cuts deep into laugh lines worn
Around the odd traveler’s eyes
Oh, and it seems like he was born
With steel and thunder between his thighs

One great beast; this man and machine
Set out to conquer the world
Passing the vistas of gypsy dreams
And longing glances from glamorous girls

Through farmlands and desert, by seashore and shop
He leans in the hard curves of life
The cement of cities can’t make him stop
Or the fields when the harvest is ripe

His eye is tuned to the gauges and mirrors
His heart; with the pounding of iron
Between his two wheels life looks much clearer
Than the dirty world with its grime

Yet even steel ponies must rest in the barn
When the tired old biker is spent
But he’ll dream tonight in his lady’s arms
Of when he’ll go riding again

The First Step


The first step is often the most difficult
Falling can add injury to insult

It takes a leap of faith to fly;
From a trembling limb to say goodbye

Love can sometimes stretch our wings
And prepare hearts for dangerous things

Stepping out on faith; into the blue
Be careful of the step but be brave too

Fields at Dawn


Leaning against the corral gate
My collar turned against the wind
I await the exit of the clouds
The anemic sun’s strengthening

Winter fields shiver in February cold
Bleak grey skies rise to blue
Last spring’s promise; lost and old
Dreams of summers past fade too

Frosted grass surveyed by cows
Which only stand and stare
Into the chilly morning breeze
As if the sun were there

Chestnut horses snort their steam
Galloping from highway’s edge
Frightened by a semi rumbling
Across the steel and concrete brid

Bloodless morning; no rosy cheeks
In heaven as red as my own
Glistening snow on distant peaks
Shines silent over fields at dawn


Crows caw across withered stalks;
Sheaves of corn husks tied for fodder
The queen of frost beckoning, lost
In the wind for her crystal daughter

Ice princess answers; biting my lip
And earlobes with her playful sting
Without my notice she quietly slips
Between the layers of my clothing

I walk down to read the Fahrenheit
On the barn it reads twenty degrees
I wrap my jacket around me tight
And hear the sighing of the breeze


Cold air filled with the threat of snow
Embers glow on the hearth at home
Crackling sleet bites at my window
Crossing winter fields at dawn

Life is a Long December


Life is a long December
When the nights are cold
And arms are empty
Years just go by passing

Without a woman’s touch
A man can turn to stone
Within, an epitaph; carved,
Lived and died, alone

It is a futile thing…
To try to share one’s soul
It is most unappreciated
And never understood at all

The butterfly cares not
Whether we find it beautiful
Nor does the rose
But man is vain as a peacock

He must have the universe
His way or no way at all
There is much darkness
On the way to touch a star

When the night comes
I’ll walk beneath the street lamps
Along the sidewalk
And count the lights

Left on in bedroom windows
Yellow lights of love
In family houses
And lover’s apartments

But away from the lights
I see heaven more clearly
A hundred billion lights
Twinkling in the dark

Something familiar there
Alone among the stars
Calling out my name
And my spirit reaches


Is it cold in outer space?
Are you warmed by yellow sun?
How will I find your galaxy?
Can I hold you in my arms?

It’s cold here on planet earth
Love is barely remembered
We reach for a burning star
But life is a long December

December Fire


A blanket of burning lava spilled across the hills.
It flowed into the sky and set fire to the clouds.
The boiling heavens drifted east to morning;
pink cotton candy bubbling in an ocean of blue.

The eleventh of December was bitterly cold.
The embers in the sky were deceptively bold.
The sweetness vanished before the rising sun
as burning beauty turned golden on the lawn.

Now distant purple mountains smolder.
Halos of fog surround them…celestial crowns.
The world wakes; stumbling to the highways;
pilgrims oblivious to the red fires of dawn.

Clouds


Gentle mist stirring above
Tranquil floating kiss of love
Upon the frozen cheek of sky
Winter mornings passing by

Forecast rain or sleet and snow
Tell me where your spirits go
Appearing silent from the blue
Vanishing in heaven’s hue

Summer doldrums breeze might stir
Hoary tufts of rabbit’s fur
Magic tendrils disappear
Into vaults of nervous air

Anvils in the heavens hang
Purple bruises flashing fangs
In bolts electric and exciting
Rumbling thunder, jagged lightning

Children lying in green meadows
Imagine shifting animals
Fantastic dragons and unicorns
Are there by fantasy reborn

Not a place to have one’s head
Like angels for their blissful bed
Bellows of the wind might billow
Sails of rest; celestial pillows

Ethereal white; your wedding veils
Listening for the golden bells
From the sun to shine and sing
In morning like the bright dove’s wing

The black and gray of rainy days
Has sung your darker harmonies
But sweet the pink of soft reflections
Cotton candy spun confections

In my mental predilections
Make you nearer to perfection
Heaven’s curtains; cotton shroud
Blanket me with drifting clouds

Between the Lines


The most important things have no words;
the brilliance of a sunrise; the song of birds.

They aren’t often appreciated as any other;
the hard work of father; the patience of mother.

We expect them to be there and they never fail;
so we neglect them; taking for granted all is well.

Oxygen is invisible and without a sound or taste.
We discount every breath we take that cannot be replaced.

We do not count the seconds, the minutes or the hours
until we arrive at the grave in a hearse full of flowers.

Time creeps up on each of us; stealthily quiet;
it only announces itself as the hair turns white.

The body grows weak and wrinkled and frail
but passage of time is hidden beneath a veil.

Perhaps vowel and consonant sounds are not employed;
in an infants cry; in tears… a new bride sheds in joy.

These important things would seem absurd
if each had to be promptly written down in words

Eliot said he’d measured out his life in coffee spoons
I have measured mine by stars and phases of the moon

My silly lines of poetry mostly go unheard;
though sung by every sunrise and every mockingbird

Man is the Image


Man is the image of his God
A truer statement was never made
For whatever God a mans worships
He will aspire to become like.
If he worships a bloodthirsty,
Vengeful, destructive, condemning God
Then he will aspire to be the same.
Man has written that you shall fear God.
God has written LOVE.
The secret name of God is upon your heart.
There is no fear in perfect love.
A God that is loving, kind, forgiving,
patient, understanding, all creative
all powerful, peaceful and wise;
I would make my own God thus.
I will aspire to become the image of my God.
I shall not condemn.
I shall not hate.
I shall be patient.
I shall exercise understanding.
I shall forgive even as I am forgiven.
I shall love my fellow being as I love myself.
I shall respect all equally
but none more than the Creator.
I shall give thanks continually
for the blessings of my God.
I shall have peace of mind and spirit.
For man is the image of his God.

Winter Hunt


Ears like mobile radar against the setting sun
Across the snow he travels; listening
Deep in winter burrows other creatures slumber
While above; the silent white lay glistening

Pointed nose, pointed teeth; mouth like a smile
His whiskers gather crystals in the cold
Thick fur protects him across the frozen miles
As sun reflects on ice; its yellow hint of gold

He stops with radar erect; alert and excited at once
Head tilts checking the exact location twice
Head first into the snow he makes a lightning pounce
He all but disappears in a cloud of snow and ice

Scarlet droplets on the white testify success
A field rat has met an untimely demise
Clumps of loose snow still frozen to his chest
Bones crunch as Mr. Fox enjoys his prize

The Courage of a Whisper


Let me know the courage of a whisper
before it becomes a shout.
Grant me the freedom that causes no harm.

Awake in me the honesty of one without fear
who has not known prejudice or greed.
Blind my eyes to colors of skin and money.

Give to me the faith of a trusting child.
Let me know my blessings are too many to number.
Let me know I can always count on you.

Stir the glowing embers of passion in my soul.
Let me be a creator and not one that destroys.
Let me rebuild things others have carelessly broken.

Fill my mind with beauty and knowledge.
Fill my heart with love and compassion.
Let spill my overflowing spirit to everyone I meet.

Let me feed the hungry and comfort the sick.
I would be the companion of everyone who walks alone.
Give me the quiet when the world drowns out your voice.

Let me not shun the duties which have taught me patience.
Let me bear in silence with a harnessed tongue
the wrath of the violent and the ignorance of fools.

Teach my soul forgiveness and mercy.
Let me understand that justice is more equity than law.
Give me the wisdom to discern the difference.

Let me remember the tenderness of mother
Give me the liberty to be meek and unashamed.
Teach me that peace is greater than conflict.

Make my spirit strong, tempered in fires of responsibility.
Let my word be as my hand; my bond and my pledge.
Let me respect all and value every opinion but none too much.

Fill me with the meaning of life that I fear not death.
Give to me enough of heaven that I fear not hell.
Let me know the courage of a whisper.

The Weight of Mountains


The wind played the needles like piano keys
Sighing the whisper of the pine bough breeze
When scattered between bold arms was blue
And heaven seemed flickering music too

Here I sat on St. Valentine's Day
Watching the valley tremble and sway
My mother;the mountain, will never depart
The mountain is buried deep in my heart

Only love is able to bear the weight of mountains
Only love can turn the desert to a sea of fountains
Only heaven can paint scenes of breathtaking art
Only God can move the wind to play Mozart

Straw Man


Sledge hammer suavity; chiseled charm
Handles her eggshell ego with care
Never intending to cause any harm
Too many friendships broken out there

Dreams shatter where hearts are centered
The axe falls to the grain of the wood
Even reality gets splintered
And sharpened slivers draw the blood

The balancing act hard to perfect
Like Humpty Dumpty on the fence
Between the politically incorrect
And naïve honesty of innocence

Discretion can save life and purse
But only when it is practiced
Like lines of love so well rehearsed
They even fool the actress

White knights on chargers are so few
And far between this modern day
No heart tin men may have to do
Or cowardly lions that pass her way

While we’re on the road to Oz
I’ll sing the scarecrow’s bright refrain
I know that I’d be dangerous
If I only had a brain

Dark Prince


South American Jungle:
High up in the trees
Drip…Drip
Blood falls through
The canopy of leaves
Legs of a carcass hang
Draped across a limb
Half-eaten, drawing flies
A few brave scavengers
Move in

Silent death roams the underbrush
Padded paws with razor claws
And all the jungle world
Is HUSHED…
While the killer comes round
And near
One hundred and eighty pounds of cat
This is his fourth year

The calf belonged to
An Argentine farmer
They invaded his territory
Now he becomes
The hunted
He fished this morning
But it left his belly empty
The rivers are overrun
With two-legged enemy

Solid black beauty
Sleek, efficient, calculated
He haunts the riverbank
And hunts the alligator
He also hunts
Orinoco deer
This was his domain
Till farmers settled here

He is one of but a splendid few
Destined to die
At the hand of mankind
The great jaguar prince
Has met his match
At the clearing fence
And the roofing thatch
Meanwhile his jungle
Burns away
And as the rain forest dies
He knows behind those
Silent golden eyes
Someday soon
He too must go that way

In This Alone


Hold your firstborn baby to your breast
Hold the hand of forever at the alter
In the eyes of mother, in the lap of grandpa
Here is love
Tears of joy; of pride and pain
A daughter goes off to college
A son goes off to war
Births, weddings, funerals
Times of blessing; times of loss
See the future in the faces of youth;
A senator with his crayons and coloring book
A judge in her mommy’s Sunday hat
Their clear, bright minds like virgin waters;
Full of life and free of pollution
Here is love;
In a child’s heart of innocence;
In wrinkled lines of wisdom
In visions of Eternity;
In prayers and dreams of tomorrow
Here is truth; the knowledge of God as Love
Is personal
But is this alone,
We may find perfection in ourselves.

Going on Over To Shiloh


I’m going on over to Shiloh
There’s a man waiting that I know
I met him in a dream just awhile ago
And he said his name was love

He knew everything about me
Swore he couldn’t live without me
He said there’s no reason to doubt me
I will calm the sea if it’s rough

Of course I started making excuses
I told him how I was near useless
Wanted for murder of the truth no less
And he promised me a place to hide

He called refugees by the waters
Brothers and sisters and sons and daughters
Come to the Son and the Father
And everything will be alright

So I’m going on over to Shiloh
Tell my family and friends that I know
The name of the place I’m going to go
So they won’t worry about me

Look for the Man in the shining dream
Who lives in the city by the same name
Not built with bricks by the hands of men
They can carry on without me

I’m going on over to Shiloh

About Me

My photo
Boone, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina poet and musician Fabian G. Franklin invites you to join him on a poetic journey through the soul.