HARDINESS IS KIN TO HEARTINESS
Hardiness is kin to heartiness.
A full-sized laugh can fill an empty heart.
Perhaps there is a play in playfulness,
Passion honed by skilled and patient art.
Yet what one wills will never lack for longing.
Happiness is just another role,
Of which the main attraction is belonging,
Linking one to some well-rendered whole.
In holidays one finds a time for joy
Dependent on a script that is well known,
A time to play the reveler and buoy
Yet again what fortune would destroy,
Sunshine singing on the silent stone.
I LOVE YOU JUST AS THOUGH YOU WERE MY OWN
I love you just as though you were my own,
Though you are not the children of my blood.
Love is not lodged within one’s flesh and bone,
But in one’s heart, which goes which way it would.
I married into you, as into wealth,
Or into some bright mansion, just by chance.
You were not why I came, nor what I felt
That made me give my life to this romance.
Yet once we were a family, out of need,
Love came bubbling up from some sweet spring,
Watering the newly planted seed
That it might in the will of sunlight sing.
So may we long remain through love and art:
Stepparent and stepchildren of the heart.
SORRY FOR BEING A JEALOUS COW
Sorry for being a jealous cow
And not trusting you.
Love should have moved me to believe
That what you said was true.
If I love you, I respect
Your being and your word.
To love someone and live in fear
I see now is absurd.
But love it was that made me fear,
A narrow, winding love
That twists itself around itself
To chain what it can’t move.
A love of desperate need, not joy,
Of codicils, not song.
A love that grasps instead of gives,
Most weak when it’s most strong.
So please forgive my lack of trust;
I know much better now.
Love’s parody will not again
Make me a jealous cow.
SING OF ALL THE PLEASURES OF THE SEASON
Sing of all the pleasures of the season!
Each moment sing as time awaits your song!
All your senses savor, with good reason,
Such delights as will not last for long.
Open up your heart to love and laughter!
Nor need you mourn who’ve fallen by the way.
Sing, and put aside what you are after,
Giving to sweet revelry its day!
Reason not with winter but remember:
Each moment is a canticle to being.
Even in the dark month of December,
This tiny cosmos is well worth the seeing.
Into now pour all your joy and sorrow,
Nor ought you stint on anything you feel,
Giving all your caution to tomorrow,
Sing, singing that the Earth might heal.
HEAVEN HAS NO HAPPINESS
Heaven has no happiness
As tortured as our own.
Perhaps the need for tenderness
Presumes that we’re full grown.
Years may filter yearnings;
However, they remain
Our gift and our redemption —
Lost, but not in vain.
In all there is a goodness
Dumped down dark and deep,
A self that would be selfless,
Yet often found asleep
Still counting unsheared sheep.
HAPPY EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY
Happy eighth anniversary!
All my love to you!
Praised be those whose paradise
Penetrates their days,
Yielding better worlds!
Even as the salience swirls,
Inhibiting your gaze,
Grace remains before your eyes,
Holiness pristine and wise,
Touching all you do,
Haunting all you see.
HOW CAN I SING MY GRATITUDE
How can I sing my gratitude,
Explain my silent sea,
Approximate in words the gift
That you have been to me?
How can I show my love to you,
Elucidate that golden drift,
Rolling wild and free?
Nicholas Gordon is a poet and the webmaster of the popular poetry site, Poems for Free at http://www.poemsforfree.com. He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. For most of his working life, he taught English at New Jersey City University, in Jersey City, NJ.