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The Curse of Verse ............ poems by George Thomas Swikehardt

       A place of peace  

  by George Swikehardt

There is a place in meadow sweet

with trees that offer shade

in which to hide from all life's trials

and mistakes that I have made. 

The smell of hay so freshly mown

is perfume to my nose

and seems to please me even more

than that of a fresh-cut rose. 

High up in the leafy boughs

of an oak tree, proud and strong

the squirrels collect their acorns

to store for a winter long. 

A distance off, not far away,

a deer gives me a look,

and wonders if I mean her harm

as she drinks from a babbling brook. 

And like some symphony of joy,

a hundred birds do sing,

as if it were, instead of fall,

the very start of spring. 

To this place of boundless life,

of beauty and of peace,

is where I come to cleanse my mind

and bring my soul release.    

            Sleep

  by George Swikehardt

 

I cannot find the path to sleep,

for this longing will not cease,

this need to feel your body's warmth

that brings my heart its peace.

The texture of your flesh so soft,

my hand upon your skin.

The tingle at my fingertips

as passion does begin.

The gentle curves of your sweet form

I long to now explore,

and feel the beating of your heart,

from now, forever more.

I need to hear the sound of you,

and every breath you take,

and know that I can kiss your lips

whenever you awake.

                         The Rose

              By George Swikehardt

Today I found a yellow rose, its petals moist with dew,

and admiring its beauty, my thoughts did turn to you.

The softness of its texture, though wondrous to the touch,

simply couldn't rival, the skin I love so much.

The moisture on its petals, caught me by surprise,

for it made me think of tears you cried, from those wondrous, deep brown eyes.

The leaves of green from its sturdy stem, made me think of gentle arms, that often held me close to you, as I discovered all your charms.

And as I placed it to my face, its aroma pure and true,

I couldn’t forget the wondrous smell or the longed-for taste of you.

And so I picked the yellow rose, then took it home with me,

and placed it in a special vase, my love for all to see.

Slivers of uncontrolled imagination

by George Swikehardt

The mind is an amazing thing

and drags you there and here

with thoughts that travel far and wide

of things you love or fear.

The thoughts may come in slivers

of imagination that's run wild

with things adult that alternate

with the memories of a child.

You never seem to find a way

to erase so much that's past,

as memories, both good and bad,

seem eternally to last.

Imaginations slivers

burrow deep within your mind

and a method to control them

you never seem to find.

You imagine how things might have been

if decisions had been changed

and all the things that had passed in life

were somehow rearranged.

Who dares

by George Swikehardt

 

Who dares to judge my mortal soul 

and cast me down to hell 

unless your name be that of God 

whom I know, not very well.  

For only God, as I am told 

shall have that sacred right 

no matter what the content 

of the prayers you make at night.  

Oh, you may pray for my demise 

and my trip to Satan’s lair, 

for what I may have done to you

 that you perceive unfair. 

 Living in your house of glass, 

from which you cast your stone, 

thinking there's salvation 

for a soul that's yours alone.  

Though Satan’s lair of hellish flame 

may sure for me await 

I expect, without a single doubt, 

to meet you at the gate.

This day

by George Swikehardt

This day I am quite smartly dressed in a suit of finest tweed 

and all the fine accessories a well-dressed man could need. 

This day I wear a silken shirt underneath my suit of blue

accented by a silken tie of complimenting hue. 

This day my face, so weather-worn, is shaved and clean enough,

and in the eyes of those who know no longer looks so rough.

This day these calloused hands of mine are manicured and clean

and look not like the hands of one who labored on machines. 

This day the parlor of my home is filled to overflow

with all the friends and family I somehow failed to know.

This day the dining table is covered, every place,

with plates and trays of endless food that bring hunger to each face.

This day a keg of golden beer and a case of finest wine

are there to satisfy the thirst of all the guests who dine.

This day I look much better than I ever have before

and have a lot more company than has ever passed my door.

This day I truly realize how much in life I've missed

with those who gently touch my hand or my forehead softly kiss.

This day I know I've wasted life and would make one final bid

to have the chance to make amends before they close the lid.

                                          What God Might Say

                                       by George Swikehardt

 

Who art thou that profits from my word,drapes himself in garments of the finest cloth and adorns his neck and wrists with trinkets of gold?

Who art thou that builds cathedrals of stone and finest wood adorning them with precious metals while the poor among you go hungry and shiver from the cold? 

Who art thou that travels in chariots of luxury speaking what you profess to be my word to the gathered masses of those longing for an honest shepherd?

Who art thou that twists my message to suit your misguided hatred of others of my flock and to commit violence upon those who share not your tainted word? 

Who art thou who claims to have spoken with me though I have never uttered a word in your ear and upon me, you lay responsibility for your depravity?

Who art thou who has forgotten that my only begotten son preached not

in temples of gold but in the open air of my creation?

Who art thou who remembers not the simple existence of your Messiah

who wore not robes of finest cloth nor adorned himself with gold?  

Who art thou who has wrought upon my creation the greatest of inhumanities, the most unholy of crimes, and doing so in my name, you become so bold? 

Who art thou but the greatest sinner amongst sinners, the spawn of Satan, the scourge of humanity, the deliverance of evil and untruths upon the sacred lamb.

Who art thou but one upon whom I turn my back and thus cast my gaze instead upon those whose faith is in their hearts and not in your deceitful sham. 

I saw a unicorn

by George Swikehardt

 

A unicorn is something that's rarely ever seen and yet I'm sure I saw one,

you'll see just what I mean. 

It was down at Billie’s tavern on a rainy Friday night. I was drinking boiler makers and feelin quite alright. 

But then I caught a glimpse of it and it didn't fit the scene. It was tall and pink and had a horn that looked a fair bit mean. 

It walked up to the bar and said,"I'll have a bowl of rye" 

and it was then I realized I'd drunk enough to die.

It said, "Hey, how ya doin?" as it looked me in the face. 

I must have done a minute mile as I ran out of that place. 

I never go to Billie’s now, in truth, I just don't dare, 

'cause I know that friggin unicorn is hiding someplace there.  

Brain farts

by George Swikehardt

 

Rhythm:

Its rhythms fairly constant 

but often I have found 

it seems my heart does skip a beat

whenever she's around.

       

I thunk: 

I scribbled down some words today,

poetic verse, or so they say

and wondered if it really stunk.

In truth, it seems it did…. I thunk.

 

Derriere: 

The French do call it "derriere"

which has a lot more class

than when we English speaking folk

refer to it as ass.

 

Sour grapes: 

The acrid taste of sour grapes

still lingers on my tongue.

Been making too much vinegar

when wine is much more fun.  

My willy    

by George Swikehardt

 

When I was just a little boy, I know it may sound silly, but I never really understood the purpose of my willy.

I knew it came in handy when I really had to pee,

but why the thing would stand on end was a mystery to me.

It seemed that it would pop up whenever it desired, whether I was wide awake or in my bed so tired.

And as I did explore it, as boys that age will do,

it gave a nice sensation that I grew accustomed to.

In spite of dire warnings that it would make me blind, I continued with this pleasure and didn't really mind.

But now I start to wonder about those warnings from the locals, for today I'm being fitted with a pair of new trifocals.

Nameless

by George Swikehardt

A million pairs of eyes I’ve seen as life has passed me by,

yet only hers outshine the stars that fill the midnight sky.

And oh, the many smiles I’ve seen as I’ve travelled on my way

yet only hers becomes the sun that lights my every day.

Countless tender lips I’ve kissed though most have left me cold

and only hers so soft and warm can touch my very soul.

Other arms have held me yet never felt quite right

and only hers around my waist can see me through the night.

And in her arms as love we make is where I finally learn

that in every case that came before I received but did not return.

Yet who she is, I do not know, and where she is, the same.

But if I ever find her this poem will have a name.

Damned train

by George Swikehardt

 

There it goes, that damned old train,

roaring down the tracks again,

with cars of freight a mile long

pulled by diesels three and strong. 

There he sits, in that damned old car.

He only seems to come this far,

and in the trunk, he loaded fast

a half a dozen cans of gas. 

Yet every time he comes to see,

if that train will set him free,

he never makes it to the track,

and when it's gone he's heading back. 

Back to life, so wracked with pain,

failed again to meet that train.

Back to wonder what he'll do

if he never follows through. 

Tomorrow is another night,

the train comes back at ten, alright.

But will he once again be there?

Or somehow life decide to bear.  

The afterglow

by George Swikehardt

 

Like a roaring fire that fills the hearth, flames of passion grow

and bring with them desire which we all have come to know. 

And as the flames become intense and our bodies do respond,

the heat will take us to a place of lust and far beyond. 

Then when the passions all been spent, and the flames begin to fade

we barely seem to even touch and no contact will be made.

For we are in the afterglow of the embers of a fire

that now, when lust has all been lost, did somehow fast expire.

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