Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Donna J. Stone !

Donna J. Stone

Today is the birthday of an American poet and philanthropist Donna J. Stone. Several poems of Ms. Stone (February 23, 1933 - December 12, 1994) were published individually, both before and after her death, as well as a book of poetry entitled Wielder of Words: A Collection of Poems. Presenting some poems : Being Poet

The Daffodils

A friend brought me some lovely daffodils,

And winter weariness gave way to spring.
I look at them and see how sunlight spills
Upon a pond where barefoot children sing.

How soft their golden touch upon my cheek --
A baby's hand, who now stands tall and strong.
I think I hear a lover once more speak
Of why the world would marvel at our song.

So delicate, this gentle little bloom.
It reaches eagerly to meet the light,
And in its beauty never would assume
That blossoms fade and wither in the night.

My friend must sense the aching in my heart,
For often with her kindness she instills
The hope that God will let His garden start
To fill my life with lovely daffodils.

My Valentine

His name was John,
And laughter danced within his eyes.
He held my hand
And told me lies.
He was my love.
We pledged our vows.
I walked in ivory and lace.
A smile was sunlight
On his face.
We were so young.
Our love died hard.
But it is better to have known
The wonder that was
Ours alone,
Than not at all.
His name was John.


How little hands reached out to me,
When I could stop the chill
And hunger
In the night.
And how you'd always run to me
To share the sparkle
And the turbulence
Of flight.
Too swiftly gone,
Those early morning years,
That talcumed sweetness
And your hand in mine.
Too swiftly gone.
When did I look away?
When did the little boy
And man combine?
Now here you are,
My wise and splendid son.
Long gone the child,
Unless it now be me.
Still reaching out,
Still making memories.
Because you know
That one day you will be


The poet said
Don't ever tread
Too softly toward the night.
As dusk appears,
My twilight years
Cling to the waning light.
With careful aim
I feed the flame
Of youth, while yet it may
Reflect the fires
And bold desires
That were another day.
I wonder if
I'll ever leave
A memory in time.
Will words live on,
When I am gone,
To make my poem rhyme?
Oh, I have dreamed
A thousand dreams,
But few have come to be.
I see the bend
Where all dreams end.
What will be left of me?
A shadow falls,
Tomorrow calls
To angels as they tell
Of love and laughter
Living after
We who knew them well.

Of Matt and Me

The doctors said he’d never be
More than a child of two or three,
My firstborn son.
He’d grow in stature and in limb,
But there would be a part of him
That missed the sun.
“Put him away!” That was the voice
Of those who thought there was no choice
For Matt and me.
They couldn’t see a mother’s will,
A child whom illness could not still –-
My Matt and me.
It was a long and slippery climb
With days that never seemed to rhyme,
But Matt was strong.
He learned to reason, learned to care;
His beat was different but rare,
A cheerful song.
He holds a job at thirty-two,
More than some learned people do.
He does it well.
There isn’t anyone as kind.
He’s learned to seek and how to find
Refuge from hell.
This is a dear and gentle man,
Who gives the most of all he can –-
Love without end.
So if you glance at Matt and me,
Don’t miss the splendor that is he –-
My son, my friend.

Changing Seasons
Spring came to stay, one Sunday afternoon,
No more to be denied.
It broke with brutal light
Upon my world where withered hopes
Endured the grayness.
It crept into the hollows of my soul
And mocked the atrophy of life’s regrets,
Invading without shame my winter fortress.
You came that day, in all your shining youth,
To spend an afternoon,
Remembering a time
When spring was welcomed as you played
And gave life meaning;
Remembering the girl I used to be,
And saddened that too much was yesterday,
And wanting more for me than just survival.
And on that day, that Sunday afternoon,
You brought me budding plants
And baskets full and green,
To hang again as once they bloomed
And spiced the morning.
We worked together and put in the roses.
Their colors seemed to fuse and heal my heart.
Or was it you again, my precious son?

Mother at 75

It’s hard to write, but you still do,
Because you know that words from you
Make me feel better.
The hands that once were never still
Have long and lonely days to fill,
And write a letter.
You tell me little of your pain
But, rather, that it’s spring again
And life is growing.
You say you sit there in your chair
And watch the tulips bow in prayer,
The sun all-knowing.
You and the sun enjoy the play
Of birds that love a day in May,
As is your pleasure.
And you breathe in the sweet perfume
Of life that’s just begun to bloom
And know its measure.
A tear might fall just now and then,
When memories creep around the bend
Without a warning.
So strong they take your breath away --
Could it be only yesterday
That it was morning?
But you don’t linger on the lost,
Or what tomorrow’s time might cost;
Today is better.
So while relaxing in your chair,
Observing beauty everywhere,
Write me a letter.

Another Autumn

God heaves a sigh, impatient with the stifling August thief
That steals the breeze from summer's dance,
Assenting no relief.
And so begins the first cool breath of autumn.
The trees strip-tease, and pirouette, unfastening each gown,
Releasing limbs that tremble
As their youth slips to the ground,
While blushing at the bolder moves of autumn.
An amber ambience is mixed to fill the Master's brush,
And fiery hues of sunset
That engulf us in a rush
Of joy. He paints the glorious blaze of autumn.
Staccato wood notes wake the wind. An owl laughs at the moon.
The parchment crunch of footsteps
Moving to a quicker tune
Of autumn -- haunting music that is autumn.
From time to time, as mortals do, I grumble at my lot.
Why must it last another day,
This life that luck forgot?
But when God starts to color in His autumn,
I know I have to live another autumn.

Return Trip

Is there a point of no return
To dreams made when we're young?
When do the lyrics fade away
Of songs too seldom sung?
Why did the pillager of time
Wipe out my winning hand,
And help the joker mock my loss?
I cannot understand.
Where did they go -- those hopes, those dreams,
Those castles in the air?
I'd like to play my hidden ace,
But find it isn't there.
Too late! Too late! I have grown old
By struggling to survive.
I thought the troops at my command
Would always be alive.
But they retreat, and so do I.
The miles before I sleep
Look long and lonely to these eyes
Where laughter used to keep
Its torch that led me through the night,
Its candle for the storm,
Its fire that chased away my fears
And kept my children warm.
Dare I reach back for one hurrah?
It frightens me to try.
There's just the shadow of a spark
That has refused to die.
I'll feed that flame! I'll write the poem.
Perhaps it will inspire
More dreams, more love, more happiness
To gather 'round the fire.