Along with stories, I have for most of my life, enjoyed writing poetry. Some ok, some bad, some terrible, and once in a long while, a winner. You be the judge, and please leave constructive feed back.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dark



It's dark
dark as I have ever seen it
like midnight at the bottom of a well
on a moonless night

I can hear
sounds all around me creeping
like animals from my worst childhood dreams
that left me shaking with fright

I know
there's nothing there to harm me
but part of me refuses to believe
prefering to be scared

I think
of something in the shadows
waiting to grab me at the time
when nothing can be heard

I see
movement in the dark
terror grabs my heart
my legs want to run

It's dark
and darkness holds courage hostage
when the imagination runs free
with no fences to stop it's roaming.

© James L. Frady
8/21/1997

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Long Walk to Nowhere

A Long Walk to Nowhere.

I came, I saw.

I took it in.

I looked about,

and then again.

I saved the view

In memory,

Then moved along,

With more to see.

I walked the way

Others had gone,

Then turned and made

A trail, my own.

I walked where feet

Had never trod

upon the loam

And untouched sod

Up to mountains

Lofty and high

I stood between

The earth and sky

I lifted eyes

To see the stars

And longed to go

Out where they are

The universe

Spread out before

With stars like sand

On the ocean shore

Eternity

To search it out,

Find its secrets

And end all doubt

To know if we

Are all alone

In the cosmos

On our blue home.

I stood until

The Milky Way

Had faded out

With coming day

Then dropped my eyes

To find the trees

And shaded  lanes

Calling out to me.

I wandered down

Beneath their shade

And lost my way

As there I strayed

Beneath the trees’

High canopy

With no old path

To guide my feet

But lost was where

I sought to be

The forest’s peace

Washed over me.

I thought of stories

Ancient and old

Lore of the forest

So long untold

The whisper of wind

In the leaves

Telling of things

We can’t perceive

Things that haunt

The deepest vale

And giving birth

To Lore and tale

The legends rise

As shadows flee

Just past the edge

Of What we can see

Deer and squirrel

Retreat or hide

Themselves from me

Though I have spied

Silent movements

In brushy shade

And found the tracks

that they had made

A songbird sings

An ancient song

That first he sang

at creation’s dawn

Others there join

The throaty chorus

Music to lead

and go before us

I emerge in

A sunlit field

Wildflowers there

A colored thrill

The Buttercups

Yellow and bright

Fire Pinks so red

Fill up your sight

Indian Paintbrush

Are near the trees

While Queen Anne’s Lace

Sways with the breeze

The bees, they hum

And work each flower

Collecting nectar

Each daylight hour

Spreading pollen

Going their way

The sweet, sweet nectar

Is their only pay

The breeze lifts up

the sweet perfume

Of all this beauty

And all these blooms.

The field I cross

A stream to find

Its course it runs

All pebble-lined

It finds its way

From woods to woods

Across the field

Where I now stood

A shady pool

There hides a trout

In the eddies

That swirl about

It seems to float

A ghost below

Through the current’s

Unsteady flow

I watch it swim

For just a while

Then turn and go

Another mile

Down beneath

The evergreens

Where the sunlight

Is seldom seen.

There in twilight

Shaded and cool

I laid to rest

for an hour or two

I heard not silence

as one expects

But soft quiet sounds

of birds and insects

The breeze that stirred

The treetops high

Below was soft

Just drifting by

A crow came by

Right overhead

He called his call

And quickly fled

On ebon wing

Across the sky

He flew away

I don’t know why

I left the pines

and found a road

I looked each way

then on I strode

I turned there right

Pure randomness

though left looked fine

and was, I guess

I strolled along

this man-made way.

My feet no prints

did leave that day.

Until a path-

way caught my eye.

And then I turned,

the road behind.

I wound my way

through nature's calm

It soothed my soul

Like a spiritual balm

Renewed in strength

And mind at ease

Troubles cast

On a wayward breeze,

I turned back to

The daily grind

With peace within

My heart and mind.

© James L. Frady

April 30, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

My Ship, A Ghost

My ship, a ghost on a misty sea,

still sails the waves and calls to me.

Out where the horizon is an empty line,

Her shadow still sails across the brine.

I feel the yaw, the pitch and roll,

Inside my heart and mind and soul.

While the awesome power of her thrashing screws

Drives her forward on her endless cruise.

Her bow drives deep into a cresting wave.

She rides it up with sea-foam spray.

Pausing high upon the crest,

With a blood red sun sinking in the west,

She plunges down with her mighty weight,

Under the steady hand of the boatswain’s mate.

I see her on a moonlit night

On a sea of glass with her deep red lights.

The phosphorescence of her wake

Is the only mark her passing makes.

Her boilers and engines are hot and mean

With 1200 pounds of hot dry steam.

Davy Jones, down deep below,

Looks at her hull and watches her go.

She’s a ghost from the past on an endless cruise

Through the memories of all her faithful crews.

She still sails on in all their minds

Though she was sold for scrap in ‘99

I think of her often with a heart-felt sigh

And a touch of the sea in the corner of my eye.

I walk her decks in midnight dreams

Where she waits for me sometimes it seems.

To cross the brow and cast away,

And sail into the distant grey.

My shipmates and I will not forget

‘cause that old girl is sailing yet.

She’ll sail with us to eternity

On a smooth clear ocean of memories.

My ship, a ghost on a misty sea,

still sails the waves and calls to me.

© James L. Frady  March 6, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Get away

Get Away.

Far above this maddened world

Far from the frenetic worldly pace

Far from the rabid modern life

I find myself in a lonely place.

Above the cities swarming crowds

Above the hectic world below

Above the strife of man on man,

I have a haven where I go

The world demands I lose myself

The people all assimilate

The flow of the crowd drags me along

I run away to my escape

Hectic people push and shove

Hectic traffic clogs the streets

Hectic lifestyle kills your soul

I am more than working meat

Life is more than work and sleep

Life should not be constant grind

Life is once and then you’re gone

Slow down and rest your worried mind

I go up there to seek myself

I climb above the highest tree

I leave the frenzied daily grind

To commune with God and He with Me

Go to the mountains and let it go

Go above hurried pace

Go out where the world slows down

and slow life down in a lonely place.

© January 29th, 2018.

James L Frady

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Carolina Spring

Lightning bugs and whip-o-rills
June Bugs on a string.
Bullfrogs in an old farm pond,
Carolina spring

Stars across a velvet sky
The milky way delights
I see the dipper overhead
And Polaris shining bright

Deep shadows, black beneath the trees
A place for hide and seek
A field of waist high meadow grass
Where any child can sneak

Mountain shadows to the west
Create a ragged sky
And in the darkness, suddenly
A bat goes flapping by

A hoot owl down a lonely path
In a deep and shaded vale
Calls his hollow cry somewhere
To claim the wooded dale

And I stare off into the night
And breathe the night air in
Just a short few minutes there,
But I was young again


© James L Frady  6/1/2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Grim Reaper and Me

The Grim Reaper and Me

The Grim Reaper is after me.
He's constantly on my heels.
I live just past his bony reach.
His cold breath I can feel.
 
His one desire concerning me
Is to finally grasp my flesh.
His only job is to send me home
And give me eternal rest.
 
He began his chase one fateful night
In nineteen sixty five.
When I was born into this world
And stepped into this life.
 
In childhood years he nearly won
With calls as close as a shave,
But I slipped his bonds and carried on
And dodged that cold cold grave.
 
I heard him laugh when I took a fall
one bright hot summer day.
He thought he had me when I hit the ground
But I got up and walked away.
 
He sent some bees, a thousand or two
That chased me and took me down.
In mortal pain and swollen bad
I made it and I'm still around.
 
He almost got me with a loaded gun
When I fell, the gun hit and fired,
Right over my head and hit some rock
And it missed me as thin as a wire.
 
I grew into a healthy man
But he never left me alone.
He wants to stop me in my tracks
And break my sturdy bones.
 
On a cliff in Europe, I climbed some rocks
So high it would take your breath,
'til one gave way and I started to fall
To a distant rocky death.
 
But one lone twig from a gnarly bush
Projected where I could see.
I grasped at it and got a hold
And the Reaper didn't get me.
 
On and on he follows me
Just as he follows you.
And one final day he'll have his way
And my life will be through.
 
Until that day I intend to live,
For I know that I must die,
And I intend to make the best
Of every moment of life.
 
The Grim Reaper is after me
He's constantly on my heels.
I live just past his bony reach
His cold breath I can feel.
 

(c) May 25, 2017 James L. Frady

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Old Barns and Memories


I stand and gaze at an ancient barn
of old and weathered wood
Leaning over hard toward the ground
Where once it stood
Straight and strong against nature's
Unyielding endless blast
And I can see its once great strength
But those days have passed
 
The heavy weight of years is bearing
on its weathered frame.
Time erodes its strength
and nothing stays the same.
The days are blowing on it
a river of constant change.
Then one day you look and only
the memory remains.
 
I stand and look at long years
Which much too quickly pass
And memories that march by
Are all that last
Things all fade away
With moth and rust
But memories remain until
We return to the dust.
 
(C) James L. Frady April 8, 2017