Poems from long ago


I was walking in the woods the other day

Rain fell on the quiet path

It bathed the leaves and filled the air with a fragrance of life renewed

I thought of you as my eyes surveyed the fallen trees

Watched the rain drops and saw what nature beheld

I picked up a small stone as we once did

And started to hurl it into an unknown corner of the forest

I didn’t though, for I suddenly realized I couldn’t

Just as I couldn’t through you out of my mind

I put the stone in my pocket

And gently caressed it, as I continued my walk

I’m no good at throwing stones anymore

I just seem to collect them like old memories
L McCloskey, A Path in Marshfield, Sunday, Sept 5, 1988



It’s Saturday in Vermont

The sounds of Autumn are closing in on this August day

Pick some of those tiny pine cones from that tree

We can take them to our son

He would like that

We can include them with the arrow head you bought at the gift shop

Do you hear the chain saw

Did you see the daddy long legs

Look at that clouds

So White and puffy as they float past us

As we drift in our world of peace

Oh, and the breeze

Do you feel it as it gently caresses you cheek

Later I’ll try to repeat the sensation

When I touch you and hold you close

You say it’s been half your lifetime We’ve been together

It’s not that long you know Compared to what’s ahead

There will be more tomorrows like today

More pine cones to pick

More arrow heads to buy

And clouds to pass our eyes

And yes, the breeze to touch your cheek

When I’m not with you to do it myself

It’s Saturday in Vermont

The sounds of Autumn are closing in on the August day

There will be more tomorrows like today

I promise

L McCloskey, Grafton, VT August 1988


What lays down that path we didn’t travel today What if we didn’t stop along the way in that meadow If we hadn’t rested on the cushion of soft green grass What would we have seen
In the meadow we saw the blue sky with the tide of changing clouds

We heard the crickets symphony providing us with their song We felt the breeze that brought the scents of nature We saw the woodpecker with it’s multicolored coat pecking the solo
Would our lives have been different if we didn’t stop What mystery was missed on the path we didn’t choose to follow I guess the mystery we found in the meadow Was too precious to ask What if
Perhaps tomorrow we can try the path But our devotion will remain in the meadow
There is a path beyond the meadow We didn’t choose to follow
But the mystery we found Was what we were seeking
L McCloskey, Vt 1988


How can I capture this moment How can I hide it away How can I bring it back when I need it
I needed it now But then I needed it before I know I will need it again
Alas there will be no moment like this again The memory will have to be what remains An image in my mind Of what was
What is as the moment passes There will be other moments Some as good Some not so good But none as this very moment
If I could I would wrap my fingers around this moment And ever so carefully I would put it in an old canning jar I would twist on a shiny new lid With a fresh seal to hold the contents within
I would place the jar in my secret cellar On a shelf reserved for only my finest preserves
And when my need was the greatest I would go to that jar And take only the tiniest portion of the moment
Remembering to promptly close the lid To prevent any extra loss of the contents
I think I could make it last a hundred years But my need is so great I would probably use it up in a week
How then can I capture the moment It’s too precious to lose
L McCloskey, Vt 1988



The morning tide spills in over the waiting rocks
The seagulls walk the sand near the water’s edge playing a game with the moving water
Small crustaceans pick among flowing tidal pools and struggle to keep their balance in the current.
Fish of all types search for food beneath the surface, out of the range of the foamy water.
Wind lifts up the salty water and fills the air with a cool moisture The air is cold and winter in drawing near
The beach that months ago was filled with bathers draining the summer sun is now devoid of all but the gulls and hearty lovers.
The place is now a library of memories Looking down at the sand, foot prints remain from the one who was before
New impressions will follow for others to find It’s getting cold and the wind penetrates the old army jacket like a spirit leaving a dying soul.
A hunger fills the stomach but it is not for food it craves He walked the beach, felt the cold, left his impression The spirit is cold but the memories he brings are warm.
A smile enters the face as the tears fill the reservoir of the eyes Water from the rising tide flows over the shoes and the witness is gone
He walks on but no sign is left behind It will be a long winter It will take many months to dry the shoes and the eyes
Leo Winter 87

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