My Poem “The Devastation of Notre Dame”

Notre Dame is on fire.
Awestruck onlookers
are watching and witnessing
the horrifying destruction
of a French landmark
in the heart of Paris –
a place well-known,
iconic, holy, and meaningful
to the French people,
and to those who have visited
the beautiful City of Love –
as flames from within
the 850-year-old cathedral
rise and cause irreparable damage
to a French monument
that has always meant so much
to all who have gazed upon its breathtaking
gargoyle-adorned towers
and medieval architecture.

There are no words to describe
the images that the whole world
are seeing being displayed on T.V.
and being shared on social media,
and not even by those people
who are so close that they
can feel the heat
that is being emanated
from the burning building
from the other side of the River Seine
in silence, in shock, in disbelief
at what they are witnessing.

There are no words to describe
what has been lost…
there are no words to describe
the beautiful and unique
stained-glass artwork
that has been destroyed…
there are no words to describe
what scars will be felt
by those seeing such
a heartbreaking sight.

My heart goes out to those
who feel such a profound connection
to this well-known place of worship –
to all the residents of
and the visitors to
this historic and spiritual place
at the heart of the city of Paris,
as well the country of France itself –
all having to watch the dark silhouette
against the raging flames devastating
the iconic cathedral of Notra Dame.

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My Poem ‘The Wilder Tower’

I will never forget the first time I saw
and the first that I climbed the steps
of the “Wilder Tower” – the lightning tower…
I will never forget the silence that I heard
and the feeling of peace that I felt
when I stood atop the stone-built tower
that stands as a monument in a former battlefield
in Chickamauga, Georgia…
I will never forget and I could never truly describe
what I was thinking and what it meant to me
to be where I was and with whom I was with…
I will never forget what came over me,
nor how fast my heart was beating,
as we were standing and looking below and beyond
to the green-grass and to the trees
that stretch to the horizon in almost every direction…
I felt as if I had always been meant to be there,
and as if the tower itself had been calling to me
and beckoning to me all my life.

The Wilder Tower stands tall and steady,
and over the years since its construction first began
it has literally weathered everything:
from a delay in its building,
to being hit during a thunder-storm
by a bolt of blue-lightning…
the Wilder Tower is magnetic
and it is a place that draws people to it…
the Wilder Tower is somewhere anybody can go
to climb, to stop, to think,
and to call out for an answer
from whomever may be listening…
the Wilder Tower is a powerful place
to find inspiration if you are romantic
or artistically-inclined,
especially if you a young-lover,
an artist, and a poet.

To some people, a building is just a building …
to some people, a tower is just a tower…
to some people, a memorial to a battle
is just a reminder of a violent past –
however, to me, certain places have great meaning
and they have the draw and the gravity
that they do for reasons
that are sometimes spiritual in nature…
our planet – the world that gives us
all that we could ever possibly want or need –
has many places on it that will forever have a memory
imbued and associated with it
that will always make them places
that are meaningful and special…
I have stood atop skyscrapers –
from the towering Empire State Building
to the beautiful Rockefeller Center in New York City –
and though those buildings and the skylines
that I saw will stay with me forever
in my memories that I will always remember,
nothing and nowhere could compare
to the first time that I stood looking at,
climbing the stairs of,
and then standing atop of
and high-above the ground,
with my heart in my hands,
while smiling and in-awe
of the 85-foot tall
Wilder Tower.

My Poem ‘In memory of’

One of the greatest things
you can do is remember;
one of the most touching things
you can do is to not forget;
one of the things that grounds us the most
is a memory that holds us in place
so that we don’t drift away –
some memories are like anchors;
one of the things that has stood the test of time
still remains the greatest archive
that could ever be envisioned…
and that place is a world,
and that world is our beautiful planet.

The lands of every country on Earth
are speckled with the graves
and the monuments of the lost and the fallen;
every society and every religion
remembers their people in different ways;
perhaps one day the only thing
that will remain of humanity on Earth
will be which still remains
engraved on worn-out vertical tablets –
electronically? solar-powered?
Or, perhaps, on good old-fashioned
marble and stone?

Humanity has changed and continues to change;
mankind is moving forwards,
but still continues to remember
and embalm that which to them is sacred;
humanity has the means to be
at-peace the world-over,
however some cannot live
unless there is a fight to be fought
and a war to be waged;
mankind can only be blamed
for what it has done and for what it still does –
every-body has to sleep
in the bed that we all make.

In my time here on Earth,
I have learned that some things
can be put off until tomorrow –
however, the most important things,
the people who we love and who love us,
should never be side-lined,
nor ever ignored;
I have learned more than once
throughout my life that, no matter what,
each and every one of us in our lives will be hurt –
however, that which becomes a part of us
we were gifted with so that when we need it
we can draw on something as powerful as a memory
to pick us up off the floor;
as I have lived, learned,
and occasionally lost,
I have slowly understood life more –
and I understand why there needs to be a hell below
just as there needs to be a heaven above;
I, personally, hold on with all that I am
every day to my memories
that I still return to when necessary…
when I need to leave my own monument
which is always anchored to the place,
or to the person, where, or to whom,
it was created in memory of.

My Poem ‘Time Capsule’

One of the great things about poetry, and poems,
is that they are time capsules;
one of the greatest experiences for anybody to be
is an archaeologist, a digger, a finder –
a person with a question, searching for an answer;
one of the great things about capturing moments in time
is that one day in the future
you can accidentally unearth an old poem, a faded photo,
or a small gift that someone bought you,
and instantly know and remember where and when you were
at a time in your life, and in someone else’s life;
and, to some people, the pieces of time
can be like rocket fuel,
and one of the greatest things about being a writer,
like me, is that I know that I will always
have a wealth of memories in the form of living
and breathing mental pictures, and in notebooks,
filled with thoughts and emotions of mine,
that will someday number so many
they may even fill an entire library,
and I sometimes wonder what people will say and think
when my own words and experiences
are read and come to light again in the future.

I always wanted to leave something for other people to find,
a question that only I could answer –
when I was a child I even made my own time capsule
and buried it in my garden,
and for all I know it is still there;
at my school, we also buried a class time capsule –
however, what someone will find one day of mine
I cannot tell you, because unfortunately I do not remember.

The memory of the world is fluid;
to leave our mark, we need to make our own monument;
things can easily be forgotten,
and can quickly turn to dust,
if you do not etch them into reality
so that they cannot be rubbed out or undone –
and in that way they will always be
a seeing stone, a crystal ball,
and a bubble of time that will never burst.

When you read this,
remember that this is me who is writing this;
whoever you are,
remember and keep alive this moment,
and reread this poem of time,
and please keep a hold of your own memories –
it is one of the most human of things to do,
and also one of the most natural;
if you want to keep something for a rainy day
so that you, or someone else,
can rediscover it one day,
make it the thing that at that moment
is your life-long and your most precious wish.
Leave things behind you like breadcrumbs,
and keep going, and everything you leave behind,
of you, will be its own time capsule.