By Tom Voiss

If she had known what to expect, she probably would have refused to be born at all. At least she would have made it more difficult, but she thought everything was normal, so she just went along like everybody else and slipped out onto a cold scratchy hay bale. It wasn't really that bad at first. She had seven brothers and sisters with her and they, well five of them, all snuggled together to ward off the chilling winter cold. One of the sisters had slipped through the cracks in the bale and mama couldn't reach her and another one of her brothers had been born too close to the edge of the stack and had fallen onto the hard cement floor. The dark gray bed sapped what little warmth he had in him and soon he was ice cold and still. The conditions were less than ideal, but to make matters even worse, mama had to find food. She fed the five then after still one more attempt to retrieve her dying daughter, she left in search of nourishment.

As she left the quiet barn in the first light of dawn, she felt pleased. She was tired and she certainly was hungry but as the warmth of the morning sun swept across her, she tingled. She stretched and yawned and decided which direction she would go for her morning ground squirrel. It was a bad choice. No sooner than she crossed through the corrals and entered the pasture than she was spotted by another hunter. He had wandered into the ranch area in search of food. The pickings had gotten sparse and he, too, was hungry. He crouched stone still, his yellow eyes the only movement as they followed the progress of the doomed cat. The air was perfectly still in this land of death as she moved ever closer to her fate. Her last thought was one of confusion. She saw him, probably in time to get away but she had been raised with four German Shepherds and the alarm bells came too late. She hesitated and in that hesitation she was lost.

The five kittens were wide awake a couple of hours later when the man came into the barn. He took several of the bales, none that disturbed the kittens and clipping the wire that bound them released them to their purpose in life, food for the waiting horses. The kittens were not so lucky and as the day progressed, their tiny cries for help stilled as the energy drifted from their weakened bodies. The sibling on one side, no longer generated any warmth, but she was too weak to even try and move.

Just as she was drifting into what she knew would be her final sleep, she heard the voice of the little girl and hope sprang anew in her tiny being. "Daddy, look a baby kitten. It's dead. Oh poor thing. It was so little." She looked around and found no more, then she looked up and started climbing the stacked hay. She spotted the huddled kittens and crawled to them. She touched them. They were freezing cold and still. "Oh Daddy, they're all dead." She caressed them gently. Love pouring from her little fingers. It was then she saw a leg twitch. "Daddy, daddy, they're alive. Daddy come here, help me". She picked up the little calico and searched its tiny body for any sign of life. "Oh you poor little thing. Why you have a mask on your face. You look like a bandit. C'mon, Bandit. Come on now." the warmth of her hands produced their reward. She felt the kitten move. The kitten, in her state of semi sleep, felt the warmth of her hands and responded with yet another twitch. Oh it felt so good to feel the heat and hear the soft gentle sounds of love.

The love and warmth quickly found their way to the core of her being and her spirits soared If only she wasn't so desperately hungry.

The three that lived were in the warm kitchen, close to the fireplace. The little girl, Beverly, was dutifully giving them goats milk from an eyedropper every few hours. She would repeat the ritual, even through the night. Bandit was still her favorite and as she hungrily sucked on the eyedropper, bubbles of milk formed in her nostrils and Beverly gently dabbed them away. She loved them all, but Bandit was hers.

Several days later when she could finally open her eyes, she was thrilled with the sight of Beverly. She had soft blonde hair and the bluest eyes and, her smile, her smile made Bandit warm all over.

They were getting bigger now and started exploring the kitchen. Beverly's mother complained that they were always underfoot. So, out they went into the attached garage. The space by the automatic door gave them access to the outside world. They took full advantage of it.

Bandit crawled through the tiny space, her supple body conforming to the convoluted curves and angles. As she looked about her, she was delighted with a myriad of flowers and bushes that greeted her on every side. She was followed by her brother and together they crawled through the honeysuckle. Twisting, turning, crouching and jumping, they went on their way. The smell was heavenly and the shadows were broken here and there by dancing rays of warm light. She spotted the small trunk of the grapevine and headed toward it. It angled up and as she grasped its dry surface with her sharp bt.tle claws, she knew they had found a home. She rushed up a few quick steps, her tail switching. This was wonderful. With another burst of speed she was above the honeysuckle and the warm afternoon sun treated her to an exquisite bath. She basked for a perfect moment in the glory of its rays, then stole a look around. Below her was her brother also paused in wonder at the beauty of the moment. Honeysuckle abounded. The grapevines were just beginning to show buds of green. Winter flowers were bowing to the budding flowers of spring and a verdant blanket of grass draped across the slumbering slope from flower bed to its opposite manicured edge. The dirt walkway under the burgeoning arbor was hard and clean and along that path walked Beverly. She spotted the kittens immediately and rushed to them. They were about at eye level. "Bandit, what are you doing?" she laughed. She reached out and gently tore her loose from her perch. She took his brother and walked over to the soft lawn and sat. She placed them in the grass. They were feeling good. Bandit darted at her brother, knocking him over in the process. Then she leaped in the air. All four feet, and was scurrying away as she hit the ground. Her brother, not to be outdone, rushed after her and Beverly beamed in delight at the agile acrobatics. They flipped and jumped and rolled and ran. Up the vine they went. Bandit jumped from the vine, her brother in hot pursuit. Finally exhausted, they rested in Beverly's lap.

As Bandit grew, her nights were filled with cuddling to Beverly's neck and her days with sleeping, playing with her brothers or tormenting the German Shepherds. She never had been afraid of them, but as her confidence grew, she became more mischievous in her taunts and attacks. She knew they'd never hurt her. Tasha, the old female, was the only one to fear -- to respect was more like it. She had always treated them like her own and she wasn't above disciplining them -- harshly. No, they couldn't get away with much with her, but if they wanted loving, she was the one. She would lick them and cuddle them and if they were hurt, she would comfort them. Kulan was the most fun. He was young and big and macho and sweet. She would jump on him as he slept, then was gone in a flash, as he looked about bewildered and confused. At other times she would just walk up to him and smack him on the nose, much to his embarrassment. She would not hurt him. She would just show him who's boss. It was great fun and he deserved it. He was the one that was always stealing her food.

She learned to hunt with her brother. She loved it. She found she was a better hunter. She was smarter, faster and most important of all, she was more patient. She could lie in wait for a very long time, her tail the only motion. At first she would bring her trophies to Beverly, happy and proud; but Beverly didn't seem to appreciate the results of her patients and prowess, so gradually she stopped sharing her hunt with her.

Life was good. She was content and loved and filled with the magic of life. Her days were varied and exciting and her soul was filled with peace. One day she was out hunting. She had spotted a ground squirrel and was just waiting for it to leave its home far enough behind for her to make a dash for it. She watched and waited, then she suddenly made her move. Just as she was ready to pounce on it, there was a blur of fur and squirrel all rushed together. She stopped short and saw her squirrel in the jaws of the biggest cat she had ever seen. She humped up and hissed viciously. She was mad, but she was scared too. My God, he was big. He hissed back, not moving. The arrogance, but she had to admit he was big and, well, and very good-looking. He turned to move away, his gray furry coat decorated here and there with stripes and spots. His throat was snow white and his large ears had tufts of hair at the end, but it was the eyes that got her. They were very large and golden and quite beautiful. As he turned she saw, with alarm, that he had no tail, well not much of one anyway.

That night as she lay cuddled with Beverly, her thoughts drifted back to him once more and she vowed to see him again.

Time and time again she returned to the place, but it was some time before she finally saw him. The weather was turning cold. She had just gotten her squirrel when he happened upon her. He stood motionless. She remained crouched over her quarry and silently watched him. He approached slowly until he was right in front of her. He tentatively touched her nose and from that moment on, she was in love.

She knew she was pregnant. She just knew. She was happy and spent her lazy days on Beverly's bed or lying by the fire. She dined on goats milk and dry food, if she could get it before Kulan and she waited for the day she would be a mother. She was cuddled and coddled and hopelessly spoiled and her rapport with Beverly took her to new zeniths of comfort. She was one with the universe around her and would live out her years in idyllic happiness. When this journey was complete, she would take with her all she had learned of love and peace and apply it with unerring truth through the eternity that would be hers.

Return to Poems Page



By Tom Voiss

The Christ Consciousness that exists in all things exists in the dog to a degree realized by few of the life forms gracing the universe. Except in mankind itself, the degree of love, selflessness and sacrifice demonstrated in the noble dog has no peers. This is the story of one such simple beast -- an animal sanguine of heart and sanguinary by training. An animal, a sponge of human emotions, but a death defying, death dealing instrument honed to perfection. This is the story of Rinny.

"I think Tasha is having her pups." The little boy, Jason, peered into the box nestled by the fireplace. Tasha looked up at him, her smile unmistakable. Quietly her tail thumped the side of the blanketed space. She intermittently strained and whimpered and the labors came. This was her third litter. She was an old pro. Jason pet the tiny things with soft, gentle caresses. He was mesmerized by their little yawns and stretches and as the days went by, this fascination and his affection for the puppies captured all his leisure hours. He was with them constantly. Tasha didn't mind and the pups loved it. They came to know his voice and in anticipation of his loving hands, would rush to the side of the box so he could touch them more. When they were old enough, they followed him wherever he went. They tussled on the lawn and ran through the flower beds. He tossed little toys for them and they bounded after them in their clumsy fashion, each trying to outdo the other. They'd snap and growl and attack each other. Sometimes when the competition got stiff, they weren't playing and the little attacks, puny as they were, were the harbinger of things to come. After all, they were German Shepherds and many centuries of instinct fueled their developing personalities.

By the time they were six weeks old, their personalities had developed to the point that the casual observer could distinguish one from the others and there were eight of them. Jason had narned them all and it was hard to say who he loved the most; but if one were to guess, well, Rinny would be a pretty good guess. They were born of the San Miguel blood lines, which made them the distant progeny of the famous Rin Tin Tin, so like so many litters before them, one of the pups was destined to bear the famous name. It had not been an easy choice, but as they developed he just sort of became the natural candidate. He was the most aggressive, the fastest and the fact that he adored Jason so much probably didn't hurt. His devotion was boundless and he was more than a little jealous. He didn't like to share Jason with any of his siblings.

At about eight weeks of age an ad was run in the local paper announcing the pups for sale. Jason's parents explained to him that they must be sold. As one after the other disappeared in the arms of happy strangers, Jason became sadder and more terrified that someone would take Rinny. His begging and pleading had saved him so far, but they were getting down now. Only one male remained, Rinny. Jason was able to hold them off for a few more weeks, but finally the sad day arrived. A man came and offered top dollar for Rinny and his two remaining sisters. They were a little over four months old.

Jason was not a very strong child. He was prone to heart murmurs and high blood pressure and the adjustment was much more difficult for him than anyone realized, but he survived. He was seven years old.

He heard his parents talking one evening after his father had been on the phone for a very long time. He realized that they were talking about Rinny. It appeared from the conversation that the man who had bought him was displeased. He was very difficult to train and seemed to resent the harsh discipline that his training technique employed. Now Jason's parents weren't trainers, but they were certainly animal lovers and his father suggested that maybe a different approach would be helpful. The new owner did not take kindly to this suggestion. He felt that his way was the only way and he continued in his domination of the indomitable animal. When Rinny refused to be bullied, the man would cuff him or abuse him verbally. Things were definitely going in the wrong direction. Then one particularly disheartening day for this sensitive honest animal, the man went too far and Rinny snapped at him, viciously. Fear now entered the relationship, so it was the beginning of the end. He sold the dog to the local police department announcing to them that he was a mean, untrainable problem dog. Jason found out about it and since the police station was only two blocks away, he was able to easily sneak over and see his beloved Rinny. The dog was beside himself with the joy of seeing Jason. The boy would bring him treats and sit with him outside his run for hours in the early evening. He'd drop by on his way to school in the morning with words of encouragement and love.

Rinny's days were filled with training, but thank God, it was tempered with love. His trainer, Kelly, was a kind man and he loved his dogs. Incongruously, it was his job to turn them into killing machines. They looked to him for their very survival. All food came from him, all affection and even their beds were a reward after a hard session of training. They were taught, the hard way, not to take food from anyone or to be coaxed by a stranger's voice. Any reward, they soon learned, came only from Kelly. The rest, they soon grasped, were only deceptions. Jason was the only exception and to the frustration of the trainer, Rinny seemed difficult to work with. He just wasn't buying the program. One day Kelly discovered why. Jason was forbidden to see Rinny after that and though heartbroken, the boy stayed away.

Rinny's training progressed rapidly after that and his natural instincts and integrity made him the most talented pupil Kelly ever had. He was fearless and his response to Kelly's commands became instantaneous. He was the paradyme of attack dogs and Kelly was pleased. Rinny was ready for the street. He became a legend in his own time. He also became the stud dog for not only the local Canine Corp, but was selected by other police departments to sire their offspring.

The years went by and occasionally Jason would spot Rinny in a Canine Car. Once when a drunk had plowed his car into the local jeweler's storefront, Jason saw Rinny standing guard while the police boarded up the area to protect it from vandals. He called to the dog, but there was no response. He stood at his post, a picture of concentrated energy.

Jason was twelve now and his Tasha was eight years old. He adored her, but he never forgot his Rinny. As the years had passed, his high blood pressure had gotten worse and he was under constant medication. His exercise program was rigidly restricted and his diet was carefully supervised. He tried to keep his spirits up, but depression became a real problem. He would sit by the window after school and stare out, thinking of what might have heen. He loved sports, but all he could do was watch. His sedentary life was like an imposed sentence and his heart screamed for freedom. but there was no relief.

The day he was coming home from school and saw Rinny was one of those glorious spring afternoons when the world seems particularly alive. Bundles of clouds tossed against the sky marched in sharp contrast to the brilliant blue canopy. Drifting shadows moved to the maestro wind and hid for a moment the crisp clean day. Then, like a magiciants cape, they passed over the resting landscape, returning its light once more. Jason was content as he trudged along to another afternoon by the window. His reverie was broken by the screaming tires as a car careened around the corner. It was going too fast. It couldn't make the turn. As Jason watched transfixed, it seemed to move in slow motion as it hit the curb and leaped into the air, slowly rolling through the clean sky. It hit the telephone pole at about the same time the police car rounded the corner. It skidded to a stop. The policeman jumped out, leash in hand, and on the end of that leash was Rinny. One man crawled out of the smashed car. He looked around, dazed for a moment. "You are under arrest!" barked the officer. The man took one look and ran. "Get him!" the canine cop ordered as he unsnapped the leash. Rinny was off. Jason was transfixed. He couldn't move as he watched Rinny bound after the fugitive. The man pulled out a revolver and as Rinny rushed at him, he fired it three times. The first two shots missed, but the third caught Rinny full in the chest. It was like he had been hit with a club. He dove nose first into the pavement, then carried by his momentum, his body flipped over his fallen head and slammed into the street. He was still. Jason rushed to him screaming as the policeman gave chase. The dog lied in his arms. Jason was sobbing uncontrollably, clutching the dying dog to his frail chest. As people gathered around, some tried to get Jason to let the dog go, but he would have no part of it. Then a man looked into his eyes and said, "Son, I'm a doctor, let me take a look." And he did. The bullet had entered the right side of the chest and exited through the rib cage. It had then hit his back leg, shattering it, but he was alive.

Jason visited Rinny everyday and the dog remembered him and to Jason's delight responded with enthusiasm to his attention. Rinny was through as an attack dog and the police agreed that he should spend the rest of his life with Jason.

As the dog recovered over the following months, Jason would take him for long walks in the neighboring hills and they would increase the distance gradually as these months passed, until they were traveling many miles everyday. It was summer now and the days were spent in idyllic companionship. They were inseparable and Jason became like the dog, stronger and stronger, as their hikes increased.

When it was time for school, his parents were amazed. The school physical showed no signs of his heart murmur and his blood pressure was normal. He was growing so fast that they couldn't keep him in shoes or clothes, but they couldn't have been happier. By the following spring, Jason was a different boy. He had outstripped his schoolmates in height and his hikes with Rinny had become runs, long runs. That spring, for the first time in his life, Jason went out for a sport -- track.

The day he won his first race, Rinny sat with his folks on the sideline, his head resting on his paws and there was a smile on his face as his tail thumped happily.

Jason, drenched in sweat, exhausted and happy, hugged his Rinny. His parents stood by and as they watched, they realized that Rinny had done for their son what no human being could do. He had given him his health and as the dog looked lovingly into their son's eyes, they knew the gift was forever.

Return to Poems Page



By Tom Voiss

It's been so long ago now; it's really hard to remember or maybe it's because of the way I feel or have always felt. When was I born? I could say when they carved me I guess or when they finished painting me, or when I was mounted on the carousel. But if I'm really honest about my feelings I'd have to go back even further, to when I was part of a beautiful tree in the Black Forest. Oh so long ago. I have fond memories of my growing years. I learned to deal with the elements that are. I learned patience and I learned that you can be taken away from everything you love and know, and be put into, oh such totally different circumstances and still live. Why even thrive. Yes, it's been a good life. I wouldn't say easy, but well on to my tale.

I'm proud of the way I look and I must say my life before I was injured was filled with compliments. Even when I was being carved, the expert woodsman remarked on my quality. "Now this is what I call a perfect piece of oak." Yes, I remember it so well. The man who carved me was quite old. His hands were rough but I didn't mind because he touched me so lovingly. He was constantly caressing me as he sought out the perfect horse that was captured inside. He worked slowly, puffing on his old pipe. Mmm, the smell was delicious. I can still smell it, even now. It kinda permeated my whole being as he carved and puffed for all those months. "Say, now that's a pretty one, Joseph." The man stood, hands on hips, and scrutinized me closely. "I like the lift of the head and the way you've raised her front foot in the air. She's a real beauty." Joseph puffed on his pipe and looked at me as he ran his gnarled hands over my now almost completed surface. "Yes, this one's special", he mused. I was so proud.

Joseph's wife was to paint me. I liked her. She would come into the studio always with a smile and a jolly laugh. "Oh, now that's real nice, Joseph. I love her big, thick mane and her wonderful tail. I like the way it lifts and curls. Why Joseph, she's just beautiful." She always smelled of fresh baked bread and she always made Joseph happy. When she'd leave he'd hum away and I could feel a kind of new energy through his hands.

When it came time for me to be painted I couldn't help being excited and could hardly wait to find out what color I would be. White, black, chestnut, it was all I thought about for days. They chose golden palomino with a glorious antique white mane and tail. My saddle was burgundy with gold trim, and the draperies that graced my sides were rose and cream with dark green trim. I looked wonderful.

I was installed on the carousel in early spring. It was all new and boasted rabbits and pigs and birds along with its many horses. I think it's only fair to say though, that, well I could hold my own The children flocked to me. Even grown ups. I remember once a man lifted this pretty girl up on my saddle and as the music played and I moved rhythmically up and down as we turned, he proposed. She said yes. But ah, it was the children, the wide-eyed, happy boys and girls who wrapped their arms around me like they would never let go. I carried them gently up and down as we moved along to the crescendo of sound and lights.

As the years moved by I began to feel my age. My paint was cracking here and there and finally I got pretty crackled all over. I had dried out some ancl there were even hairline cracks in my wood. Who'd of ever thought it. The carousel was getting older too and it creaked a bit and groaned at times but we all kept going rain or shine and the kids kept coming. I wasn't getting the compliments I got when I was young but I knew they enjoyed me and that was the most important thing. Then one day the engine quit. The children were very disappointed. I remember the little boy on me kept kicking me and beating me with his fists. I was more hurt than hurt, if you know what I mean. This engine trouble became pretty regular, then the trouble with the gears or something. Then it was just trouble, trouble, and pretty soon the kids didn't come anymore. I felt terrible but that was just the beginning. They took us apart and discarded us like old worthless junk. I was thrown, yes thrown, they broke my neck, into an old dark warehouse. I lied there for years in the dark and the roof leaked. The rain would drip down from the high, dark ceiling and run in cold rivulets over my exposed side. It was awful. My paint, well, let's not even talk about it. I was a mess. Then one day they opened the warehouse doors and started looking through the piles left from so long ago. They laid all the carousel horses in one place and they looked us over. They inspected me. "Might as well burn this one. I think it's hopeless. Look, it's neck is even broken." A young man looked down at me. He touched my neck. Oh, it felt good. It had been so long. He ran his fingers over the cracked neck. His companion shook his head. "Forget it. Come on, let's check out the rest." He left.

They spent about a week selecting the chosen ones and they put me in a heap, and not too gently, with the other rejects. I heard what they were planning for us. They said old oak made a great fire. I just couldn't believe it was happening to me.

Then they drove the truck into the warehouse. It was one of those cold, wet mornings. The sky was dark and I felt a chill run through me. Then they started throwing, yes throwing, us into the back of the truck. Then the young man walked in. He walked over to me just as they were grabbing me by the tail. "Wait, I think I'll take this one home." "Fine with me but I sure don't know why. It's a wreck." "I know, I know, but there's just something about her." He reached down and picked me up and I fell in love. He carried me to his van and gently lied me down inside. I could have wept. He drove me to his home and took me inside. His wife opened the door. "Oh my, it looks like she's been through a lot." She touched me and I knew finally I was safe.

He worked on my neck. He sanded me and polished me and rubbed oil on me night after night. I was beginning to feel pretty good, and oh his pipe, I loved his pipe. It reminded me of, oh so long ago. Then it came time to paint me. I had heard them discussing it. They were going to paint me exactly like before when I was young. I was thrilled and what a job she did. She couldn't have been more careful. I knew she liked me.

They placed me by the window in a large kitchen and I look out over rolling hills of oak. The sunsets splash the last light of day on me every evening and I am content. She polishes me a lot and I'm constantly complimented. But Joe's my favorite. I mean, he saved my life but, I don't know, I just love him anyway. There's just something about him. His wife walked into the room. Joe was reading at the table smoking his pipe. She walked up behind him and ran her hand through his hair. The sun was setting and cast a golden light on the carousel horse. "I just love that horse" she said. He nodded, "Yes, I know. I've always wanted one. My grandfather used to carve them. Did I ever tell you that?"

Return to Poems Page



By Tom Voiss

It had been quite a night. The wind, it seemed, had been par kink chill was still suspended in the misty air. The first light from the dawning sun sent flashing darts here and there then, gathering in strength, it bathed the slumbering hills in a warm glow.

She really wasn't herself again this morning. It was that time of the year and though she knew by now it was just the way it was, it didn't make her feel any more chipper about it. Besides enough was enough. IT had been the required three months. God, when would her energy return? It seemed like it had been forever. Maybe she was just getting old.

Then as the sun warmed her naked extremities, her body felt a twinge of pleasure. It was not much at first but it did awaken that "old feeling." "You know it might not be such a bad day after all." It had been such a long time. Slowly the dampness that enshrouded her exterior started a slow burn. Yes it was steaming, ever so slightly, but it was steaming. She dared to hope and in that hope was born the desire. She stretched into the thinning air as it continued its warm caresses.

Every fiber of her body was coming alive with desire. Every branch seemed to turn toward the gathering warmth for more, more, more.

By nightfall she was a different being. As the sun fell exhausted behind the distant horizon, she, in response to its hours of unrelented attention, seemed to sag, looking forward to the peace that was to be hers through the night. She knew he would return in the morning. When he was that strong, that anxious, he always did. So she rested and waited, happy and content.

She was not to be denied. The sun arrived in blinding glory right on time. It is really only fair to say that she had suffered some concern. After all, she had had it happen before. The big entrance, then nothing for days, or weeks even. Sometimes after a day even as glorious as yesterday, she had almost frozen to death. One admittedly wonderful day, then not a word for weeks. No that, definitely, was not her thing.

By the end of the day, exhausted and happy, she knew that this was "it." What a day! He didn't let up for a moment and she was tingling in every square inch of her being. She knew it wouldn't be long and she would be breaking out all over, covered with the little bumps of life that blossom into her delicate gift to the coming spring. But first things first! She needed a shower. Oh, that would feel so good. Somehow she knew she didn't have to worry, she would get her shower. It was days of warm passionate caresses before it came and when it did, it was warm and gentle. She loved it.

It wasn't long before she began to show. She was so proud she could hardly contain herself. As a matter of fact, she couldn't. There was nothing subtle about it. One day she just burst with happiness and little buds of new born beauty filled her burdened bosom.

Everyone could see how beautiful they were. The way they complimented her quiet strength and added a dimension of delicate pink to her strong, angular and perfect features. they were a symphony of contrasts blending in perfect pitch in a concert of visual delights.

The days of spring blended with the hot passion of summer and her appetite for the sun never diminished. On the contrary, she seemed almost insatiable. On those days, which were seldom, when he didn't appear, heaven sent showers filled her days. She was quiet, content and more than a little pleased with herself. It had been quite a summer romance but it was, as all good things, coming inexorably to an end.

His visits became less frequent. She didn't notice in the beginning. Then one day, the heat of his passion was noticeably diminished. She wasn't really too alarmed the first time, but then it began to become a habit. Yes, something had definitely gone out of the relationship.

She didn't blame him. He was seldom around now and she started fending for herself. She kind of pulled herself together. Her once delicate blossoms had long since matured and she surrounded herself with their verdant caresses. The warmth that had gone out of her life had, of course, left its mark on them. They were more vulnerable. They seemed to be just drying up. They would curl up in the evening and every morning it seemed more difficult to straighten out. As the rains came and drenched their aching bones, they found that they couldn't soak up the rivulets of water that weighed heavily upon them.

Rolling gray monsters filled the sky, trembling through them, shipping them in frantic contortions and lacing them with choking rain. Some just couldn't hold on and cavorted capriciously to their final rest.

The leaves began to change. As the monsters left them, they started to turn in color. They were very dry now, sapped of energy. There was a peace about them and as the colors changed to the autumn reds and golds, they took on their own kind of warmth and a peace prevailed that they had never experienced before.

They needed no sun, no rain They were complete and content within themselves. Though some did say when the light danced on their deep, warm hues, it was more glorious than they had ever appeared -- even in their youth. Their stunning beauty was their final gift to the universe and they quietly drifted back to the earth from which they came, enriching her with their presence. Defrocked and bare, once more alone, she prepared for her well deserved rest, and as the winter began its onslaught once more, she stood tall, proud and alone and dreamed of the spring that was to be.

Return to Poems Page

Return to Pasos on the Web!

Return to Paso on the Web! Links Page

This page created and placed 5/10/97 by Pasos on the Web!