(Musketeers Tribute Challenge) #100 - (final update) 2 more Poems from Roy's Library - No's 19 & 20

a writing by Richard Gildea

Hello All,
Two final Poems from Roy's wonderful library.

"Embrace the Uncertainty of Life" - No 19 (another personal choice)
& "Farewell" - No 20 (my Noble Brother William's perfect choice to bring our friend's Tribute to a close)

(Both poems are attached to the complete list below).

It is our intention to continue the "Run" until the 15th of July (which will be two months to the day since our friend's sad passing).
We Musketeers would like to thank all who have posted during this period

Roy's beloved Son Ralph has also sent his hearfelt thanks for the Love, Respect and genuine Friendship expressed by all on VN (it means so much to him).

Should you wish to send a personal message to Ralph, please attach it to any further submissions.

The Musketeers doff our hats to all; we will be taking a short break following our 'Tribute Challenge' before entering the fray once again.
God Bless /|\


The 20 Poems from Roy's Golden Quill : -

"A Daddy's Love" No1
(Ralph's Choice)

In the still of a frosty morning
Midst a market-town's noontime rush
At the gentle approach of evening
As dusk spreads its shadowy hush
Hearing the wild sounds of nature
Each countryside vista you see
All leafy-strewn paths gladly treading
I would you were sharing with me.

Whatever road your feet may follow
On smooth-laid or rough-hewn terrain
In moments of triumph or sorrow
Through hours of warm sunshine or rain
Spring, summer, autumn and winter
Wherever you wander worldwide
Tho I may be absent in body
In spirit I'm there at your side.
by R.D.K.

(as chosen by Nancy and Denis)

I walked a path, with thoughts forlorn
deep held, one early yester-morn
and as I trod my lonely way,
'neath lowering skies and clouds (thick, grey)
high-up above my head there rang
a blackbird's song – as loud he sang.

My head held back (to upward peek)
I watched the creature's trilling beak,
as bravely welcomed (he) the dawn -
as yet another day was born.
Like (as was) I who walked alone,
'twas plain that bird had agèd grown
and perched (high on his leaf-bare bough)
upon a tree that graced the slough;
with spirit primal, cheerful, free;
cast contrast on the gloom in me.
Damp-feathered, sought he to dispel
my loneliness? I ne'er didst tell;
then too engrossed, black pondering;
since which I'm oft-times wondering –

IF all my Loves (yet tender-year-ed)
had yestermorn (to me) appeared;
each with (erstwhile) affection burning;
o'ercast skies to brightness turning –

Would not that blackbird's sunrise greet
(to me) have sounded e'en more sweet?

(Betty's choice)

Down thru the ages Poets have
‘The voice of all souls’ been;
Remembering the times
when skies were blue and grass was green:

“If ever I must sing
as Poets have” (in days gone by)
‘Twill be songs of romantic joy
ere I to my grave hie:

My poems are dedicated to
true lovers throughout time,
To all the wond'rous sharing
of sheer ecstasy sublime,
To hearts that wildly flutter
midst the joys of close embrace,
To every lasting memory
of each beloved face,
To those who with another
in surrender seek to show
the deepest felt affection
anyone can ever know:

To sweet romantic bridges
between islands – forged by Fate;
To YOU – who chose to walk on mine,
My poems I dedicate.

(Kenneth's choice)

Life is empty
The end of day a dread
And the night
A blanket of loneliness.
The knot within my stomach
Has become a leaden weight
And my heart
Knows only heaviness.
A smile becomes hypocrisy
And in my mind
The desperate thought –
“There is no you”.

At this time
(A timeless age ago)
There stretched before me – Oh!
So many hours -
When every glance held promised bliss.
At this time
(A mere yesterday ago)
There had not been
The tenderness
Of our first kiss.
At this time
(A wisp of time ago!)
I could not miss
The softness of your touch –
But now I do.

How cruel the paths of life can prove
To those who must stumble down their ways
Searching for someone
With whom to share
An eternity of loving.
How strange the paths of life
How strange indeed the path
Which ended in your embrace
Your tender smiling face
One reason more for living.
How long the paths of life
When needs be I must tread alone
My lonely way
In anguish ever dreaming
Of your caress.
Oh dearest one!
If you but knew the depth of my despair
And deep distress
For – Suddenly
Life is empty
The end of day a dread
And the night –
OH! How the night will be to me
A blanket of loneliness – now –
There is no you.

(as chosen by Rita and Conrad)

It was here two souls embraced,
Long ere was changed Earth’s mortal clime,
Unknown to an uncaring world were we:
How pulses raced,
How swift flew time,
Youth’s innocence; devoid of subtlety.

Here today no hint remains
That erst this was our special place:
Year after year the seasons plague this spot.
On hedge-rowed lanes
Of us no trace,
Nor clue how feckless chance defined our lot.

Nonetheless, both Oak and Elm,
Conversing, through soft breezes blown,
May well relate, perchance to Butterflies,
“In this green realm
Love’s seed was sown,
Bequeathing a bouquet that never dies.”

(Nishu's choice)

I love - the sound of summer rain upon a roof of tin.
The golden hues of falling leaves – when autumn days begin.
The wintry patterns Jack Frost paints across a windowpane.
The call of lambs, to mother Ewe, when spring comes round again.

I love- to sit beside a pond and watch ducks floating by,
Or stroll among tall forest pines – beneath a clear blue sky.
To hear the chimes of church bells calling worshipers to pray'r.
To ruminate (before log fire) in a rocking chair.

I love – to watch a kitten playing with a ball of wool,
Or placid cows (all chewing cud) with tummies nicely full,
Or puppy dogs – who chase their tails and try to lick my face,
And love the way birds soar aloft – with wondrous ease and grace.

I love – to see dawn's early light reflect on morning dew.
To look into a midday sky – with scudding cloud or two.
To watch as painted butterfly enjoys an afternoon,
Or gaze, with awe, as setting sun gives way to silver moon.

I love all Nature's innocence – in all her many forms
Untrammeled and devoid of any legislated 'norms'.
I love the lack of shame innate in all this Earth creates
And (no less) the naturalness of my inherent traits.

I look with scorn on prudery and arbitrary rules.
Am prone to deem pretentiousness – the intellect of fools!
For those who fault my hatreds – I don't give a tinker's damn
And claim my own penchants – as but a part of who I am.

"A Clown's Sad Sonnet" - No 7
(Gail's choice)

.Sad parting is the load that weighs me down;
A misery I wake unto each dawn;
For I, in this life’s circus, am the clown
Who outward laughs, whilst inward is forlorn.
Where e’er I go, o’er foreign lands and seas,
The moods I oft display are living lies,
With mind concealed, as if on a trapeze
My woe is borne aloft beyond surmise:
Estranged from thee, my life is but an act;
The days? Ringmasters with no heart or let!?
Thus are my heart and mind by torture racked,
As hour by hour I long for thee and fret:
Alas, I know I must this anguish bear
Until, forsooth, we are again a pair.

(Drsudarsan's choice)

In gardens of his life, he practiced husbandry
But from ‘expected course’ he went awry;
He said: “If Clotho, Lachesis, have haunted me
They will do so until the day I die.”
In youth he sought to dwell in peaceful bower
Believing happiness would grace his plot;
Estranged from treasured buds ere they c noould flower
Remorse and sad regret is now his lot.
Blaming fortune, providence or destiny
Are not the thoughts that he would most prefer
But says: “I’d rather blossoms lost surrounded me;
Forgiveness obviating extraneare”.
Though wronged himself, he deemed: “all fault is mine!”
‘To err is human, to forgive divine’.

(Roche's choice)

If but once thou had defended
thine assent at break of day
That we twain be blissful blended
seeking not such tryst to stay
Or to me been beneficent
and mere whispered –‘I agree’
‘Twould for me seemed cause sufficient
to have gladly taken thee.

If thou had but once requested
‘Come to me at break of day’
And I’d come (refreshed and rested)
to where thou (woke) waiting lay
Or in thy month’s fruitful season
thou had shewn desire for me
‘Twould have seemed e’en more good reason
to have gladly taken thee.

Had I heard but merest mention
(From thine lips) that thou felt need
For us- to each- be bliss’d extension
(Thine the goblet – Mine the mead)
Or if thou (e’er meek) had stayed
gladly to yield self to me
‘Twould time been (by me assayed)
to have gladly taken thee.

If through all mine hours of needing
thou one finger had employed
To beckon me (my hunger heeding)
and with courage thou’d me buoyed
Or if in the slightest measure
there’d been opportunity
‘Twould have been such wondrous pleasure
to have gladly taken thee

(John's choice)

By mid-September will have dawned the time
For Scottish folk to make a telling choice;
About their current poverty and crime
To speak forth with one clear united voice:
Will “Wallace” crying “FREEDOM!” win the day?
Or is the "British Family" our shield?
Can Scotland (Independent) make its way?
And (without need for Claymores) play the field?
We Gaelic folk (including Manx) are proud;
Believing we can stand on our own feet;
To no one (feeling) our heads ought be bowed
With confidence we’re ready to compete!
Whichever way a Scot votes – ‘twill be true –
Their life’s way is praiseworthy – through and through!

(Eddie's choice)

My Life is a book, without pages,
Written down with invisible ink;
A Play, acted on empty stages,
About thoughts only empty minds think:

My life is a motionless journey,
As are all the lives mortal souls live,
With mindless Fate as the Attorney
Whose sole brief is –to ‘get’ – never ‘give’!

My life is a voiceless choir singing, lo
In the depths of a waterless well,
Or a bell that no one can hear ringing,
In a Store that has nothing to sell:

Like someone who builds bar-less cages,
Or a ghost who insists he’s not dead,
My life is a book, without pages,
Full of nonsense like you have just read!

(William's choice)

In thrall to stress
In mists of pain
One's mind seeks moral compromise
To reason and to agonise
As – in one's heart –
The questions start
Midst vales of bitter tears we cry
We search for answers
Asking – Why?
Why the flotsam?
Why the dirt?
Why – the inner sense of hurt?
The blemishes – on tattered page
The scars of toil
The bruise of age
The empty dams and dried-up streams
The futile hopes
The shattered dreams
Like sterile links in mortal chain
Or scattered chaff from winnowed grain
From dust to dust
One lives – to die
The Ages pass
The Seasons fly
A Generation comes and goes
And seeks the answers no-one knows
How did so grim a catalogue of woes begin?
And WHY?

An answer – to such questions – found
In scorching sun
On barren ground
In whitening bones of beast or man
In waning zeal or ruined plan
In helpless plea
In desperate prayer – as drowning fingers clutch the air
In birthing pains
In still-born fruit
In noxious stains of ill repute
No solution comes to mind
To ease the plight of deaf or blind
To stem the tears of orphaned child
To mend the hurt in one reviled
To wipe debt clean from any slate
Or rebuild lives destroyed by hate
Or renew faith
Or restore trust
So – Crumbling lives return to dust
And grieving starts
As – broken hearts
When tempted more than one can bear
Cry out
(To who knows what or where?)
How did such pain?
How did such stress come forth from former nothingness?
And WHY?

(Keith's choice)

Oh sweetest soul that e'er God took away,
What, in this world, is left for me to care?
But just to sit in quiet solace,
Your ever-present tender face
My only cause to live another day,
And hope that we will meet again somewhere.

Oh dearest heart that e'er I longed to own,
I seem to hear you softly beating still,
As oft I did when you were mine;
Now, kneeling distant at your shrine,
Wherefore do you tread death's dark way alone
When, hand in hand, we planned dreams to fulfil?

Oh sweetest, dearest love there are no tears
Left more to shed, my depth of grief to show,
As proof, that, if my eyes have cried,
Part of my soul, with you, has died;
Tho long and bitter be the coming years,
One day, where you now rest, I'll gladly go.

Footnote: - (Composed at "The Auburn" Lezayre Road, Ramsey, in the Isle of Man - at the age of 10).

"Twould Better Been" - No 14
(My own choice)

I wondered what remained, if aught,
Of mien, erstwhile, sounded sweet;
When, in her gossamer was caught
By web youth weaves with kind deceit:
Did I escape? Or she relent
And let me go, for good or ill?
Perchance would count as time well spent,
To learn if she enchanted still!

Urged on, by yearning memory,
I sought again a love let slip,
And Lo! From stark photography
Came forth renewed acquaintanceship:
I looked upon that frozen face,
Dismayed, to ask, “Who therein dwells?”
And marked how age retained no trace
Of one who'd cast enticing spells:

As groans within did suffocate
All breath of curiosity,
I paused, aghast, to ruminate
On Time's unfit propensity:
“Wherefore? (I thought) need I, hereon
Employ poetic praise again?
Or seek regaining that foregone?
In absence worn, 'til rendered plain!”

And yet, constrained am I, perforce,
By virtue of my own decline,
To former musing lines endorse
As fitting one who once was mine:
Tho wiser, than when erst enslaved,
Still yet, at mention of her name
She, young and lovely, stays engraved,
As fair of face and ripe in frame:

And I start wondering, if aught,
Of one, who I adored, remains;
Loath to admit by her was caught
In web of gossamer that wanes:
“Who now? (Sighs mind's self-pityings)
Enchanted, strolls with her beside?
Or,song of glad enslavement sings
To she who sought to be my bride?”

‘Twould better been I'd served her cause,
Or mine! Had I escaped – for good,
And left Time's work behind closed doors:
As now, alas, I wish I could.

(another choice of William's)

Thoughts are, at best, but brief events,
Like leaves on rivers rushing by,
But worth far more through transience
Than scudding clouds in azure sky:
For nigh on ninety fleeting years,
Thoughts have my own mind’s zephyrs seemed,
As breezes bearing smiles or tears,
E’en drifting through things I have dreamed:
A poet (since eight years of age)
Each verse some of my thought displays,
While some are absent from each page,
For much one thinks a secret stays;
E’en so, what I must now admit
Must surely be (while I still live)
That notwithstanding hidden wit,
With pen in hand, my thoughts I give.

"My Poetry" - No 16
(another personal choice)

When ninety years shall all of you deface
How will those in the future ever know?
Unless my verses shall cut to the chase
Your beauty (when at twenty- four) to show!

For I have written much in praise of you
In poetry – from my heart’s memory
With tales (about we twain) which are all true
Of how your beauty long imprisoned me!

How sad - The day that you bid me goodbye
Thus - ending all I’d hoped would be for life
To say I did not care would be to lie
For I had dared to hope you’d be my wife!

Though pangs of cruel age may be the case
In sleep I oft imagine you are here
My poetry will nought of you deface:
Let my pen write of dreams that I hold dear.

"Compassion and Love" - No 17
(Edorh's pick)

Years of wishful thinking
Extract a heavy toll
Rendering impoverished
Body mind and soul
Disappointment's bitter gall
The price a dreamer pays
For pointless strivings
Empty faith
And blindly followed ways:

But - Years spent never yearning
Give hope no chance to fail
Devoid of expectations
Life's a barren trail
So even though trust when betrayed
Paves one's way with tears
Both love and friendship
Help to ease
Those wishful thinking years.

"The Ways I Trod" - No 18
(another personal pick)

Time will soon have passed away
For such a man as I have been
Whose life traversed a woe-strewn path
From pangs of birth to final scene
Who now in thrall to age reflects
On how it seems his lot was framed
When through youth's veins rash vigour coursed
As zealous dreams his mind inflamed
And hopeful trust in things Divine
(Inspired by faith more blind than true)
Did inward serve as stoic spur
Though list of failed endeavours grew:

Thus one more once intrepid soul
By fortune-ill nigh whittled bare
Stands on the threshold of demise
Beset by melancholy air
Encased in body weak and worn
And whispers (more to self than God)
“When hours for me have ceased to pass
I'll glad farewell the ways I trod”
Moreover just today I dreamed
(As if ‘twere proof I don’t belong
Within the realms of mortal time)
This afternoon all clocks went wrong.

"Embrace the Uncertainty of Life" - No 19
(Roy's poetic response to my own 36th Challenge title)

“What’s the point of being alive?”
(I heard a sick one say.)
“Life seems to be so meaningless;
What purpose paves the way?
Relationships with others
Lie like debris on life’s road;
What point is there in labouring
Beneath life’s heavy load?
Where is life meant to take me?
What lies behind each bend?
Where will life’s path have taken me
When I get to the end?"

I then looked at a ‘young one’s’ face,
And saw reflected there,
The same perplexing anguish
I (when younger) had to bear.
I listened to that young one’s cry,
As echoes of my own,
And with a hug, said gently –
“These are doubts, I too, have known.”

“Mankind, I guess, feels they must know
More than there is to learn;
They waste their lives, persuading
Fires of questioning to burn:
Instead of getting on with life,
Content with what is here,
They search for what does not exist,
And fill their days with fear.

There is no point in being one
Who ‘wishes on a star’!
There is no point in being
Beyond, just being
Who you are.”

"Farewell" - No 20
(William's rather appropriate final choice from Roy's collection)

He knew the time had come to take his leave
To friend and foe alike to say “FAREWELL”
A man who’d learned what one should NOT believe;
If WISDOM rules ere tolls the final bell!
His dad had counseled ‘Nought forever lasts’
(A truth upon which wise minds can depend)
For Time (e’en o’er each tide) a shadow casts
Ere bringing all and sundry to an end!
He knew how scarce true friends in this life are
And how for him they’d played a vital role;
Accepting him (in spite of ev’ry scar)
Thus making him a well rewarded soul!
“You all know who you are” they heard him cry
As (ere he died) he waved a fond goodbye.

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