Mr. Gilbert

The day he died the colors shone
As all nature brought him home
More vibrant than they'd recent been
They celebrated Russell's return

Husband, Father, music man
outdoorsman and teacher too,
As full as any life could be
Yet -as all do- done too soon

Sadly, he is leaving us
as autumn blazes on the land
where He hunted fished and trapped
and soon will finally rest at last

A frontier man centuries late
His heart and mind were nourished by
the falling leaves and winter snow
and spring rain and summer bloom

As a sportsman is want to do
He kept his fishing holes away
also, where the buck would be
On November's starting day.

With guitar and Saxophone
he filled all hearts with music
playing where folks went for fun
to celebrate and party on.

Teaching was his special gift
sharing learning with the young
years on years, he taught around
while living up at Rolling Ground

Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Gilbert came the hey
Happy children on first day
Well, as happy as a kid could be
When summer fun was far away

Through the years thousands learned
of Mr. Gilberts thoughts and truths
hopefully saving treasured pearls
to use them well in future years

Thousands multiplied by ten
Mr. Gilbert helped understand
That life is more than just fun
We all must care for everyone.

So today, goodbye we say
sending Russell on his way
Passing to the other side
Where we'll all meet him by and by


BL Oct 22 2023

                a poem by Adam Hanft
It is always the same way,
that after the armies have
settled into their homes and
the borders are shifted their
one lame mile
that talking rises that they
have found the little girl.
It is so, they have found her in a
tongue-tied corner of the woods,
and they have learned from
the palsied woman who lives with
her son by the bridge how in a
tantrum of strength she rose
to the window and saw
when the soldiers came they
killed the Mayor's little girl.
And so it starts, how the child
was gathering sunshine in her
rainbow creased dress when she
or how,
in another town, by another bridge
the girl was sleeping in the grass
when they came and that her
smile stuck to her lips while the sky
clanged and beat around her.
And now all the schoolchildren, so
scrubbed and solemn in rows are
standing as the Mayor, with
his one good arm,
drapes a few flowers on the brick and
wooded monument that stands next to
the bridge and a
Hundred years from the window of the
old woman who first saw the
glinting helmets and heard the
halfhearted scream roll
into the grass.

Essay on Friendship
                by Stephen Dietz playwright of the Lonely Planet, a play about the AIDS plague.
In the midst of a world that is too big and fast, a world where information
rules like a dictator and news travels like a virus, it is easy to be overcome by the
hopelessness of the world and the helplessness of we its keepers. What impact
can we hope to have? What traces will we leave behind?
History is not the story of grand acts and masterpieces. History, instead, is the
inexorable accumulation of tiny events- footsteps and glance, hands in soil,
broken promises, bursts of laughter, weapons and wounds, hands touching hair,
the art of conversation, the rage of loss. Historians may focus on the famous,
familiar names- but history itself is made, day after day, by all those whose
names are never known, all those who never made a proclamation or held an
office, all those who were handed a place on earth and quietly made a life out of it.
So what do we affect during our time on earth? What, ultimately is our legacy?
Our legacy is our friends. We write our history onto them, and they walk with us
through our days like time capsules, filled with our mutual past, the fragments
of our hearts and minds. Our friends get our uncensored questions and our yet-to
be-reasoned opinions. Our friends grant us the chance to make our grand,
embarrassing, contradictory pronouncements about the world. They get the very
best, and are stuck with the absolute worst, we have to offer. Our friends get our
rough drafts. Over time they both open our eyes and break our hearts.
Emerson wrote:  "make yourself necessary to someone.” In a chaotic world,
friendship is the most elegant, the most lasting way to be useful. We are, each of
us, a testament to our friends compassion and tolerance, humor and wisdom,
patience and grit. Friendship, not technology, is the only thing capable of
showing us the breadth of the world in which we live.

The Most Beautiful Place

On that farm,
that marvelous farm,
sits a swing, sits a cow,
sits a pig,
sits a horse,
sits a dog,
sits a mouse,
sits a cat,
sits a hen,
and on the
far corner
I sit
listening to
the whistling wind
on that happy
farm in Wisconsin.

Julia Penchaszadeh Robert 
July 2011

I am who I am
I am Tyler Bud Bezold
I am a person who loves adventures
Even if they are just to a friends house or a 
Long walk in the woods
I am a basketball lover and player
I have a love for riding horses on school breaks
I am what I am

I am a Wisconsin lover of all of the hills, creeks, 
Farm land and horse trails
I love riding horses on trails with my grandpa
And with our dogs on guard for any animals
I have always loved my grandpa and his farm
I am what I am

I am a wisher of being a Duke graduate and a NBA
Player or a graduate of an equine college to go in big shows
I still have dreams about being in  a  “A” show or in a huge basketball game
and  making that one buzzer beater
I am what I am

I am a student
A basketball player
A horse back rider
A big believer

I am a big NKU fan 
I’ve been to almost every game and some away games.
I love to watch and be in horse shows
With every jump comes thrill to me
I am what I am

I am a major believer in do what you want to do
I am a believer in being the best you can be
I love this motto “Offense sells tickets, Defense wins championships”
I am what I am

By Tyler Bezold
October 22, 2009

	David's passing               

The maple lost its leading branch
Several years ago
The choice was cut or let it be
Surely was a scrawny tree.

Hardly it is growing now
Different from its peers
That never suffered from the loss
Of life leading bow

Out in the woods most any day
The newly trees bend down
Shaded by their stronger kin
Their fate is certain end

And oft that single fledgling hangs
By thread that sealed its fate
To never fly among its mates
Or make the journey south

And so we learned of David’s passing
No money to fix the pain
Destined for an early death
Because he had not gain.

The lover left in confusion
No understanding of her fate
To whom the loss is one more string
Of never ending heartache.

They say the gods reward these folks
But we don’t see how
It is too sad to contemplate
For us the gods endow.



The coyote caught in Central Park
Died today when the folks
In a place he did not choose
Took too long to let him loose

To Africa some hunters go
To shoot old lions in the brush 
And bring their carcasses back home 
To mount on their walls just for show

In Texas and other states
Hunters quail and pheasant hunt
Birds raised in pens and held on ground
Till old men can gun them down

Often when on the road
You’ll see pheasant cock display
To cars their plumage before they’re crushed
Because they were not wild raised

Man controls and man destroys
The habitat that was not his
And will not be in many years
When nature collapses our many fears

A few hundred years are nothing long
Yet in that time such wrongs been done
There may be only a few hundred more
Before were back to before.


          March Snow

The horses know that this March snow
Is not the same as a month ago
For there is light where once was night
And the winds from west do blow

On the hillside our cows calf
And lick their shivering new born warm
Bellowing calves last week born
Suckle happily through the storm

The wood is plastered white again
And soon the bulging buds will leave
The early robin huddles near
Wondering why she came this year

Backing into wind and sleet
The animals are content to eat
And build the warmth from chewing cud
Than have to trudge through deep spring mud

My little dog does not care
As chasing squirrel and also hare
She barks with joy to just be free
Running where she wants to be

While off away from where we live
Pain and sorrow do abound
And make our short time in the wood
A sanctuary and treasured ground

We must face the world again
But first we’ll sit upon the log
And contemplate a world of fright
As the light holds back the night



          Harvest Moon

At midnight a lone cricket chirps
As walking ‘neath the Harvest Moon
We hum the old familiar tune
And feel the frost begin to form

Yesterday the forest trees
That outside our window grow
Signaled to us change had come
As they donned their autumn leaves

The cows are happily afield
Where hay so recently was cut
Finally after weeks of grass
Luxury alfalfa fills their gut

Cows are but eating machines
As farmer Pete does often say
They live to eat and eat to live
And that they do from day to day

They know nothing of the world 
Beyond the fences that are home
So peaceful with their bellies full
Content and cudding as they roam

Little Pooper now alone
Every morn does bark away
The night scent coons and skunks
Have left where she claims sway

She guards the meadow ‘low the house
And hill that rises in the south
She runs to cornfield and to barn
Warning all that she’s around

The cats are happily hunting now 
Mouse and rat and tiny shrew
Provide them both with rapid chase
And usually lose the deadly race

When walking o’er the well trod ground
We marvel at our luck and life
For here among our nature sound
A home away from worldly strife


            Elder Sarah

Eighty eight summers Sarah’s shared
Sun and rain and coyotes call
An elder now but younger first
She weathered well the seasons all

Soon passing to the other side
As all of us must someday do
She leads us there with solemn fame
Rejoining earth from where we came

Sharing harvests through the years
Loving losing living to grow
Sarah’s embraced nature’s rules
As elders fore she’ll pass the bow

Rejoice for we have learned from her
Of wonders no one else has seen
She taught the young ones ideas true
Her charge from those now in the blue

Nature is as nature free
And travelers are but we
We share earth the Spirit’s tool
And in the end She does rule

The cycle is as always been
For that we do rejoice
We have all succored Sarah’s life
And in our lives Sarah lives.

                                     BL  7/04

Swallows I sit and watch the swallows work To feed their growing brood And take a minute now and then From searching skies for food They rest upon the rocker that Sits at my office door Looking down and all around For cats on the porch floor. For two months every summer They work for calling chicks The heat of day slows them not As babies chirp for ticks Mother brings from the blue A white feather in her beak She takes it to the bulging nest Why I have no clue Soon when the five do fly The dogs and cats I’ll spy So all the work these two have done Will not be lost for our pets’ fun. The birds will still fear hawks and crows And coyotes in the grass Flying they are safe from harm May first flight not be last. We cut the hay late in July So bob’ o links and red wings And other ground nest birds Can raise their broods in peace. And now the mother looks at me As if to say she knows I’m writing of her visiting And wonderful mothering. BL 7/04         Two Passing The lights were on at church tonight As we passed on hapless chore To visit friends with child lost Whom we all will see no more. So sad as friends from her school years Mill about in reunion talk One of theirs has now moved on The first of class to cross the walk. Another day and Hannah goes To be with those who’ve gone before Less tears for she was ninety three And ready for her last journey. One day in church there are but tears Coupled with the young folks fears That if to one the end has come It has begun for more than some Next day the church is filled with peace For Hannah happily her life has ceased She is with friends she did rely Her children sigh a peaceful bye Hannah’s buried where she lived No more than skip stone from where born A life she spent within sight Of where she lays at rest tonight. One day grief and hopeless fright The next day death welcomed delight One day questions never to know The next day talk of when it will snow The lights in church no longer shine For dinners two the folks did dine The family of the Rolling Ground Has said goodbye in silent sound There are so many quirks in life That death is dear in certainty So sad, so glad in two days time Mortality once more has been resigned. And now the snows of autumn come And fires in the hearth we build To warm our bodies from the chill And light our hearts and share the dill. BL 11/03         Smokey Every morning as we watch the horses graze where Smokey lays a smile comes to our face as horses moving through the haze remind us of the sunny days. We put Smokey down this year and buried him on a crest. No mourning as his friends move past where he rests in fulsome grass feeding freely without strife those he traveled with in life. How happy would we parents be to so well nourish our progeny as Smokey does so easily. Of course we do but seldom know because we let our children go.                     BL 9/03         Gilbert Parker We saw the oak trees from afar First in the park they grew And oft and on through the years Our friendship did renew At first we shared but a cat The cat was black at that And as the time passed quickly by The loving trees reached their sky Advice and beauty we sometimes sought From trees so wizened and free The trees lived in their parks delight Built over years shared happily We can't forget the wild home Amidst the crumbling walls Painstaking beauty from every chore With grapevines sheltering welcome door. Around us now we have them dear In quilts and farmland home And books and rugs and quirky desk Their sharing lives survive And all is as all should be No worry that love ever ends For in passing through the flowered fields We all live on in friends.                     BL 7/03         August at the farm And so it begins. Andy Kathy Rob and Lisa And Michael Amy and Michael Come to the farm and Water World Then the Powwow and a Cubs game and then Tyler's birthday Dave and Lisa' anniversary Viterbo Reunion, Neighbor pot luck birthday party riding Skeeter Abigail walking Luna and Cubby and Pooper and playing house with Bernadette and Norah Silly Seamus and Talkative Tyler riding bikes Dave and Tyler Cleaning the spring Kelle speaking French and riding Her bike 100 miles with Katie while Bud and Jackie sit on the porch Then Rich and Jay and Katie and Ally and Richie and Patrick and Number 5 plus maybe Barb and Big Rich and we all Go to the Crawford County Fair to see the cows and sheep And pigs and goats and corn and eat the blueberry pie and Then pick blackberries and get mosquito bites and all wet in the creek And then grandpa and grandma get to rest. All these thoughts filled our mind As we walked to the office this morning Smelling the new mown hay.         Haying The chicory's up and black caps turning So yesterday we mowed the hay The sweet smell fills the summer air And suggests the visit of those we care We mow the grasses late each year To give the bobs and meadowlarks A chance to raise their hungry brood And not become coyote food. For when the rake combines the rows To dry in sun for evening bale Coyotes from the woods arrive To eat any chicks still alive Gruesome as all nature seems The food chain does its purpose serve There is no hapless killing here Only food to live the year The windrows wait in ordered lines The hay rake circling metal tines The swallows fly above the dust Catching bugs for babies' sust These few days of warmth and work Are for putting rations by Soon grandkids whoops will fill the air And we will know our summer's here. We make the hay in big round bales And row them on the road near hill So grandkids for the rest of year Have a playground free and near. And we will sit upon the porch Rocking as our kids deploy All is well in our small world At least for now we can enjoy We all should steal some time for fun So serious we've all become Relish now our love and luck With family in our pick up truck. Across the fields we slowly roll Laughter wringing out the droll Another year of watching deer And sharing time with those most dear.                     BL 7/03          Frosty's Sauna The mud has come again in March as it does every year to remind of green and warmth and light soon to fill us all with cheer. Last week with new born calf frozen upon the snow/mud cattle pen zero winds had done their work and we were frantic to get her in. This time of year is touch and go for mothers dropping calves and lambs we race the rain and mud and snow to born them live and healthy. It may seem strange we bear the stress and feel triumphant when we win since eventually most will go to slaughterhouse and retail bin. But our job is right now to get them born and on a teat and when the night the calf survives there is no greater farming treat. Back to our story of frozen calf a bright idea we soon did have we dragged the nearly lifeless form to sauna floor to help her warm. Carnation milk from baking shelf heated in a warming boat was soon forced down an anxious throat but yet recovery seemed remote. Wondrous strength in babies lies for soon our frosty calf was warm and looking round the sauna room a place more strange than mother's womb. Now still the mud does ooze and slurp in every step we take but Frosty frolics unaware her life was saved with lucky break. A small triumph in farming life smalls combined help us feel fine the cycle lengthened with our care still will triumph in its time. Yes the redwings have returned and sparrows busily prepare their nests in every cranny found while plovers rock upon the ground. and drabness soon will pass to sun the season muddily marches on man controls so little ground It's good to have nature 'round.                     BL 3/03          Marie Ryan, RIP Marie died in her 99th year on a cold and dreary day for a hard and weary life that tested all the way. Her lined and wizened face did tell of years of mirth and grief, Irish she was in birth and belief and till death she turned no leaf. A Gorman girl Marie was born on the family farm, she must have dreamed and been carefree and had a child's charm. In youth with sisters all around she was the oldest one, marrying a Ryan she moved a mile never further from then on. Outliving both a son and mate and son's mate and child too, new folks never knew her thoughts with them words shared were few. We live on the place she owned for many many years, yet she ne'er visited to walk about maybe because of its tears. For on our farm in '63 son Bill's Etta passed away a bitter winter valentine on her oldest child's birthday. On that day so long ago Death forever changed and tragedy marked the place where grandchildren used to race. We met the Ryans when shock had passed replaced by living life and doing all the things one must when man has lost a wife. We hayed and milked and visited with Ryans through the years but Marie was never in the mix held back by speechless tears. She mothered all the children up as best as she could do, Marie the pillar we did meet never knew her young and new And while she's gone to better place where eagles soar and angels sing John Ben and Ole, Peg and Dode still wait the mourning ring.                     BL 3/03         Melancholy Spring While robins came just yesterday a week ago the cold winds blew and nearly froze a newborn calf that chose the moment wrong to birth. Today the wet warm smell of spring permeates our pores and sight floating mist above the trees still bare but budding with delight. A world away November threatens the birds and beasts and peoples sight, the time of year that should bring joy instead sparks fear and threatens night. The leaders smartly salute their flags and order troops to kill kindly and wordily proclaim their truths that nevermore can tyrants rule. Tyrants that were just our friends and killed the Kurds with our ascent but made one step without our yea and now we've said that they must pay. And so our spring is joyless too as many fore have also been and will so to in future be until real leaders set us free To talk and talk and talk and talk and hope and learn and listen to the voices crying for an end to power making might as right.                     BL 3/17/03 Winter Trees This morning from the trees we hear the pop of limbs and snort of deer as winter again claims the land and takes all firmly in its hand. The horses hobble on icy hoof as snow packed turns to ice, the pigeons cling to barnyard roof waiting for the sun to rise. Frosted fields beckon us to wander in the diamond land since hunting season now is past walk we will with staff in hand. All the trees unclothed to show the cuts and sores of seasons past, some strong, some weak, some firmly planted, others leaning on their last. Up on the knoll where cutters came the battlefield assaults our eyes the stooped and scraggly underbrush mourn the mighty trees demise. How needed was the one new house that came from maple strong and swell progress is the calling card of loggers seeking trees to fell. Artists use the fallen log They seldom take a living tree They understand the pact they make To create life from death and free. BL 03 December 2002 Wondrous Spring Farmers round have turned the ground And let us know by plowing soil We should move our thoughts from toil And welcome spring's smell and sound. The bobolink has now returned To join the meadowlarks sweet song While down below in beavers' marsh The frogs sing lustily all night long. Happily we welcome warmth And dandelions painting gold The land that but a week ago Was covered with a cloud of snow. Our little dog jumps to the sky When after work her daily walk Takes us to the valley creek And up the hill where turkeys lie. As little boys are wont to do We tarry by the wondrous spring That gifts us water all the day And where our grandkids love to play. Poppies too linger there To clear the watercress that grows, For water playing boys to care And wet themselves from foot to hair. For no matter what the age A male can never water pass Without some act that causes him To tempt the fate of falling in. After soaking our feet a while We walk the valley to find the cows And count the calves that now are six And up to playing calf like tricks. They jump and bellow with delight As the dogs chase them round No harm meant but just to see How far they'll run before we sound. No need to rush for springtime bright Has now begun and stopped the night From hastening walk and air delight 'Cause winter's darkness has turned to light. BL 06 May 2002 Memories Bittersweet the memory Of dear friends discovering That love in life does not mean That joy is ever flowering. Warm feelings ever flowing Within a deeper mind Remembering a freeing love Releasing love in kind. They never really planned at all Is seems they just enjoyed And the love still in their hearts Fills the painful void. What they sought wasn't found For time did not allow And now they hold forevermore Sweet thoughts of when and how. BL 05 May 2002 The Bower School There ain't no gentlemen in Crowcross County There ain't no gentlewomen too Cause they've been raised from birth to hew To their menfolk and be true. Yea, there ain't no gentlemen in Crowcross County But it hasn't always been so Or that's what the old folks tell us Yet old age softens truth, ya know. A man's word has always been taken To be true and just and firm Yet yesterday and the week before There was a new truth to learn For they sold the school on the quiet Or rather gave it away And accused the folks who complained Of not knowing the legal way. Yet a man he stood and mourned In words of another day That what is legal is not always right And morality should have a say. And the lawyer and the chairman They knew where justice lay But friendship or cupidity Caused them to say nay. Yea, there ain't no gentleman in Crowcross County There ain't no gentlewomen too But then in truth there never were So there's no reason to be blue. BL 05 May 2002 Falling towers Falling towers call old men to arms To avenge a tragic deed Led by those who with youthful charms Any war they did not need We watch in fascination every day It's like a movie scene of old Men riding horses in the cold Dusty arid rocky desert far away As real folks seek to right the wrongs What does it mean for we Who sit in comfort and free To win a war we fight not for So quick to chase a nebulous foe Through rock and sand and snow While mourning those who died in pain For a scoundrel's ephemeral gain. Where is the leadership that hopes And cares for all mankind. Who knows today may salve a wound That tomorrow will fester more BL 25 April 2002 Rolling Ground Heard John Looker died on Tuesday Rather, that he killed himself Thirty-five he just had turned When he put the bullet in his head Two days to Thanksgiving After choring with his dad He went home and got a gun And ended life in a house he didn't own. We used to run into him at Rolling Ground The neighborhood bar and eating place Where neighbors gather throughout the year To euchre, visit, gossip and eat. Ron and Bonnie run it now Ones a Murphy, the other an O'Donnell Nice folks, a bit older than John And much more successful in family things Not rich since no one born here who stays, Gets rich. But comfortable we think With nice kids and a good business that They came home to run. Before, Wolf and Brita had the store Foreigners from Europe by way of Madison Who bought it from Mrs. Myers after Her husband Bill was found dead in his car, During a beautiful winter snow. Wolf died too young too, soon after retiring, And Brita now is president of the school board. They had two good kids Barbara and Brian who left And now come back to visit but make sure to leave again. rolling ground At night I walk o'er the rolling ground Where my friend Bill Ryan drove his tractor. (A farmer never walks, if he can help it; And never sits if he can squat and spit.) Beneath a moon so clearly blue And bright I can see the horned owl Catch the rabbit sitting still Oblivious that the bird can kill All about, nature proves Its beauty has a darker side, That peacefulness may be a sign Of deeper woe and deathly time. BL 25 April 2002 Sugar Snow A sugar snow fell last night To cover March's mud from sight And paint the trees up on the hill One last time with winter's white Morning's sun sparkled bright On maples surging sap to buds Urged by warmth from far away To fill sugar buckets with sweet delight. The robins Saturday returned To pastures greening in the day And pesky starlings have already Begun invading every cranny. Even on a cloudy day There is a light in sullen skies That brightens hopes of spring's return As soon as winter winds away This year we built a large new pen For mother cows to have their young Safely away from coyote yelps And covered from the rain and snow. On Friday night the first cow freshened At midnight with a mighty bellow Which raised us quickly from our pillow To move the new black calf inside To our delight at morning's light That same black cow was standing near With brown calf suckling, while nearby The born black calf bawled hunger's cry The magic mystery of motherhood Surprise old cow you now have two One keeper for our herds future One profit in the fall calf sale After cleaning pen and yard And dropping brome for mother's cud It's off to Wall Street for the day While newborns slumber in the hay.

BL 18 March 2002

Sam the Honey Man

Sam Johnson died last Saturday night
   and all who knew him shed a tear.
We learned of his death on Easter Sunday,
   a beautiful glorious day, one that Sam would
   have enjoyed, especially after the cold winter.

Sam died with little. His material estate
   will be small
The bees that he loved and cared for 
   didn't belong to him.
The hickory trees that gave him his "crackin" nuts
   didn't belong to him.
The maple trees that gave him the sap to make
   the syrup to give as gifts to many of us,
   didn't belong to him.
And yet---
   all the lands were Sam's

We will miss his "Ho Ho" at Christmas as 
   he delivered his gifts of candy and apples.
We will miss the sight of him, 
   driving by the house, surrounded by children.
We will miss a person, who in his simplicity,
   and love and knowledge of nature represented
    much of what we so called "new people"
   find inspiring in the locals who live here.

We are sure Sam suffered in life
   but he also enjoyed it well.
And, this year and every year, as we pick the wild asparagus 
   and find the morels, as we marvel at the sugar snow, 
   and the return of the red winged blackbirds, 
   we'll think of Sam 
   and thank God that we were able to know him.

May Sam the honey man rest in peace, 
   he earned it.

BL 14 April 1977

Winterland Now winter lays upon the land The blanket sprayed is nature s hand That shields the earth from too much cold So fragile folks may venture bold The chickadees cluster close Beneath the elder tree below Hung with seeds and suet fat The field mice too, soon join the show It's time to strap the snowshoes on And call our little dog to heal We'll head out to our favorite path And wend our way to wonderland Hoarfrost clings to tinseled trees And milkweed wears a shiny glow Hungry hawks circling high Look for creatures in the snow The coyote tracks are everywhere Where squirrels and rabbits make their mark That big ole buck they missed last year Has rutted off the cedar bark The suns so bright it hurts our eyes As trunching over land we go Our fortunes here for us to know The pure white joy of winter's glow

BL Feb 2002

          "Indian Summer"
Indian summer’s upon us now, with third crop hay safe in the mow. The corn is picked and cribbed up tight. The full moon shines in broad daylight.
For those few left who till the soil, they’ll finish soon their yearly toil. The cattle cud the frosted grass, with bull calves shipped for ready cash.
The woods are bare and full of deer. Soon eager hunters will be here, hoping fresh snow will ease the stress, of proving once more their manliness.
Thanksgiving is this time of year and kinfolk choose to gather near. Up here our kin are friends not blood, They share our deep felt peoplehood.
So let the snow begin to fly, and cold wind sweep away clear sky. We’ll hunker down with wood piled high reading saved books through longer night waiting the redwing blackbirds flight.

BL, 11/7/2001

Owen Flynn's Burial They buried Owen Flynn today On a snowy February sway back hill, And not a tear for him was shed Cause all his folks 'cept two were dead. The church set there like a Christmas card. The folks were dressed against the hard cold. The graveyard seemed from a Dickens book With sand and snow and a slushy look. At least by appearances you'd have to say The years had been hard on the people there, The young ones gaunt and lean and old And the old folks lookin' of stories to be told. And yet any sorrow was strangely lacking And missing also was love, For there's an age you reach in life When people say enough. Perhaps that judgment is too harsh For Owen had surely lived past his years And when you've buried sons and daughters first, For an old single man it's hard to find tears. Then who was this man? And why were they there? Since no one was his peer. Well, out in the country they bury their dead And in death everyone is dear. The service was over and lunch would be served As soon as Owen was in the ground The women save one to the kitchen repaired While the men folk moved on to the ground prepared. The folks trudged slowly up the sand snow hill With talk of tractors and cows and hay The hearse, incongruous, shiny and new Led the mournless way. All of sudden a scream let out Owens tombstone came crashing down A leg was broken, a man in the grave And Owen still waited above ground. The man climbed out; the ambulance came And Owen was quickly disposed of. For that's the problem when you live past your day, Your either forgotten, or in the way.

BL Feb 1974

Thoughts for my daughter on a friend’s father’s passing It is my hope that I too when I leave you, will do it suddenly, but well. Surely a strange wish for a father. I often recall the words of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, "Forbid me not to go", as he, on his death bed, responded to his daughter’s plea. My love, life is nature known. And nature is a cycle. As we grow we die, as we die we grow. And as we grow older we leave to make room for our children, for it is you who are the meaning of our lives and the world we seek. The blessing of children and grandchildren and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and friends and neighbors and business friends who place their trust in us, these relationships are the stuff of our life, and also our life’s legacy. These relationships are our greatest joy, for they are our immortality. And if we have done a decent job, the world gains by our living and our passing. For we leave our knowledge for others' potential growth. Dying young allows us to see all our friends and allows the family to know and share the wide circle of those we have influenced, and been influenced by. It brings all we have cared for and about together to celebrate our life and love. Death is surely an unknown, and even popes must have some fear and questions about the other side. Whoever in the family goes first, carries us all along, for we all will be there soon, in the timelessness of eternity. And in death all my dumb jokes, and dumb instructions, and faux pas, and good and bad advice, and happy and sad comments, will be there for you all to remember and expand and relive, and make much more of me in death than I probably was in life. Thank you for loving me. I will always love all of you with all my being. BL, 1/3/2002 Christine The tulip lives but a week, the rose a while longer, the oak, the elm, years on years, and mountains through the ages. Man creates beauty as love creates life, and life is nature known. Life lasts for ever and for never. A tulip should be measured not by how long but by how. BL 6/19/69 Dad Tatay your smile was so welcoming and free You taught us chess and timing too We learned so much from your kindness Your smiling love you shared with all Thank you so much for caring and for caring for us BL, 1/3/2002 Us I am not. We are. We love, and need, for reality now is us. The dreams we talked of then were not possible till now. And now it is too late to dream of then and how. We are family and self. To live is to us and the myself is ourself. To dream now is to dream as us and that dream is both reality and love. Yet our dream cannot be reality unless it is us, in love. BL, 1/3/2002 The Ring Now I am dying and free to be human for the first time in my life. Freed from the body for which I often compromised my humanness. Willingly? Of course! The choice freely made and to be made again given life. As with death, the good actions taken are often unplanned and uncontrollable. And so death take me well, and willingly, but quickly Before I change my mind. BL, 1/3/2002 Thoughts at Christmas To be happy is to love and be loved. Love is both a quantity and a quality. The more people you love and are loved by, the happier you are. The concept of love is personal. It is difficult to conceptualize love, to talk about love and to relate to love since love is always limited by custom and time and strength. When love becomes personal in its intensity for the giver and impersonal in its direction, love is complete. In a place where all try to love, love will be. For with love as with no other emotion, to make the effort is to succeed. Personal love cannot be talked about in public, in politics, or even in church. In these places love is a concept and a hope. The reality and humanity of Christ and Ghandi was their personal involvement and risk taking, their personal love given freely and unconditionally. Change occurs with love, not dialogue. To do, to help, to love is not for government or organizations but for people. To wrestle with who we are and what we are doing is to begin to love. To constantly question one's own risk level, To take small steps instead of rejecting the large, and to love, are the requirements of being human. To be human is the first and only concern. To be human is to love, and to love is to be concerned. To limit love is to destroy love. To direct love is to weaken love. To love and beloved is the ultimate end of freely giving and yet time and our human relationships usually prevent this reality. BL, Christmas 2001 The Boy I saw a little boy. He was beautiful, as are all children. He loved, as all children love, by being. He changed us, as all children change all parents. Now we can appreciate our love because we have seen ours. Our child no longer is. Our love is. Our child is. Shalom. BL, Christmas 2001

          The Question     Is it the damp cool smell of       the woodfire returning love         from burnt death in a speeding           of the eternal process ?     Is it the final burst of color in leaves       making their mark in a         heartless appreciative world ?     Is it the now brown thistle       floating unsure seeds as it crumbles         to rebuild the life of earth and folkkind ?     Is it the everflowing spring'       no longer needed and yet         impervious in movement ?     Or is it just being able to know       that we will not end         when the snow falls ? BL, 11/4/2001