Friday, May 6, 2011
my old friend
This morning, I was looking in an old notebook for a specific poem and, as often happens, found another.This small notebook was one that I bought for a quarter when I was a teen and besotted with poetry.As I read through it, and as the cover falls off, I am struck by my young, good taste. Millay, Dickinson, Byron, Keats, Yeats and Frost. It is long on sea and mountain poems, friends, country and love.I am glad I kept it for so long. Especially today when I want to offer one of the inscribed works to an old friend.
We met when I was ten and he,twelve.And yes,we were lighter of foot.Our friendship was lost in the moving forward from teenage to child-filled adult, with moves to the West, South and Texas. After 9-11, a graced "co-incidence" happened and we met again on-line and picked up where we left off after the soccer ball had been put away, the maples taken down from our street and we had rushed to grow-up.
As I typed this authorless poem, I grew quite misty, but my friend of almost sixty years is made of sterner stuff and he will be fine ;maybe he will swell a bit at this tribute.I hope so.
My Old Friend
It seems the world was always bright
With some divine unclouded weather,
When we with hearts and footsteps light,
By street and park walked together.
There was no talk of me and you,
Of theories with facts to bound them,
We were content to be and do,
And took our fortunes as we found them.
We spoke no wistful words of love,
No hint of sympathy and dearness,
Only around ,beneath ,above,
There ran a swift and subtle nearness.
Each in most thought was known to each
By some impetuous divination.
We found no need of flattering speech,
Content with silent admiration.
I think I never touched your hand,
I took no heed of face or feature,
Only, I thought on sea or land
Was never such a gracious creature.
It seems I was not hard to please,
Where'er you led I needs must follow,
For strength you were my Hercules,
For wit and luster, my Apollo.
The years flew onward; stroke by stroke
They clashed from the impartial steeple,
And we appear to other folk
A pair of ordinary people.
One word, old friend:though fortune flies,
If hope should fail-til death shall sever-
In one dim pair of faithful eyes,
You seem as bright,as brave as ever.