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, December 12, 2014

Clouds On A Cold Windy Day

Clouds On A Cold Windy Day
I see clouds following their skyward way
Rolling through a sea of flawless blue
As they cross from west to east this frozen day
They are not staying here, just passing through.
They cast cold shadows on the winter grass
Brown and grey and frosty on the ground.
The only evidence that they have passed
Is the chill they leave, then they're eastward bound.
They left the mountains as I watched the sky
And came my way with unhurried haste
And now overhead they're speeding by
As if they're late and have no time to waste.
Over east they'll disappear from view
Across the dappled Piedmont's rolling hills
I stand and watch, with nothing else to do.
Unlike them I am at peace and still.

(c) James Lee Frady 12/12/14

Monday, December 8, 2014

On Calhoun Mountain

On top of Calhoun mountain,
Blows a cold and lonesome wind.
It moans in the naked treetops.
Like a spirit who has no friends.
It flows up the frozen valley,
And finds me in this place.
It's knife-like fingers caress me,
And cut at my cold, cold face.
On top of Calhoun mountain,
The darkness fades toward dawn.
Pink clouds over eastward.
Tell me the day is coming on.
As I sit here in the stillness,
And the bright stars start to fade.
A rooster in the distance
Is crowing in the day.
On top of Calhoun mountain,
There is snow upon the ground.
The windswept peak is drifted
The snow is swirling around.
The birds which had been huddled,
Beneath the limbs bowed low.
Are stirring with the morning light
And fluttering to and fro.
On top of Calhoun mountain,,
Where the wind blows and sighs.
It's cold and clear and lonely ,
And lovely to my eyes.
On top of Calhoun mountain,
Is a distant, lonely place.
It's my lonesome jubilee
A place of peace and grace

(c) James Lee Frady 12/8/2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Old House

The Old House

The windowpane of dirty glass
Kept the cold from getting past
The snow outside lay cold and still
On ground and tree and windowsill
The neighbor’s house not far away
Was alive with the sound of children’s play
But this old house up on the hill
Stood silent in the winter’s chill

One small chimney in the back
Puffing out a plume of black
Against the sky of cloudy gray
The only sign of life this day
Nothing stirred on porch or yard
Life itself seemed frozen hard
Inside the house though, anger raged
Within a man trapped by his age

No one stopped to say hello
They passed his drive and on they’d go
To town or visit with some friends
He wished someone would visit him
Day turned to dark and then expired
Still he sat beside his fire
Never came that friendly knock
Only the toll of the mantle clock

Why is it that no one cares?
To go and see who’s living there
When they pass, they sometimes slow
Then reconsider and on they go
“Much to busy, he won’t mind
if I come back some other time.”
Other times are busy, too
Soon enough it will be you
Shut in and so all alone
Trapped by age within your home.

©1990 James L.Frady

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Evening Thoughts

Evening Thoughts

No stars tonight
Just mottled driven clouds
And a gusty wind
Through tree limbs sighing loud
And the last few glowing rays
of sunset in the west
on one lone cloud
Forlorn,  separate from the rest

Crickets chirp loudly
As if they already know
That summer has passed
And soon they'll have to go
through long frozen months
Barren and silent and cold
As the cycle that is winds down
And the year grows grey and cold

A distant dog
Barks at a distant threat
That is no danger
And hasn't threatened yet
But he's warned it now
And sent it on its way
The dog is alpha and rules his turf
If only for today.

The dew falls
The moisture coats the ground
And the leaves
That are lying all around
The clouds are rolling out
Revealing the timeless stars
That ever seem so close
And ever seem so far

I could lay here
In the dark and breezy night
And listen to its sounds
And watch its shadowed sights
I could close my eyes
And in memories, live till dawn
Of distant places and times
And dreams I used own.

(c) September 21, 2014
     James L Frady

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blackberry Winter

Blackberry winter has come in early May
When the blossoms were white on bramble, bush and briar.
April had given us warm and sunny days
And birds in the trees singing like a heavenly choir
And May started with promises of sun and spring.
With Summer soon to follow fast upon its heels
But when the berry blossoms did their blooming thing
A front from the north brought cold late winter chills.
No frost came to kill our tender garden plants
But that has happened before and so we feared
That the icy breath of death would come to pant
Upon the vines and stalks that we had reared
The nights of this cold snap linger but at last
We think we made it through the final chill
And now we can put this winter in the past.
And enjoy the blackberries blooming on the hills

  © James L Frady  5/18/14

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Fall of Night

The Fall of Night

I lie beneath the darkening sky
And watch the distant jets go by
I hear a screech owls haunting cry
And feel the approach of night

I look above at a waxing moon
It's nearing full and will be soon
The whip-o-rill sings his cheerful tune
To the swiftly approaching night

The stars at first were very few
But I laid and watched as the number grew
They filled the heavens through and through
As they filled the deepening night

Lightning bugs flashing green 
Across fields and forest  can be seen
Like jewels on some nocturnal queen
Ruling the kingdom of night.

A gentle breeze stirs the grass
Whispering of times long passed
And dreams that disappeared too fast
With the swiftly passing nights

I lie beneath a darkening sky
And watch the distant jets go by
I hear a screech owl's haunting cry
And love the fall of night.

©James L. Frady


Saturday, January 25, 2014


This poem was written after going to Chicago with my daughter last year.  It is made up of a collage of images that I saw and felt while there.  I had thought I had posted this before but it's not here, so now I am adding it.


Grey skies
low clouds like a ceiling
dreary fog
Excited feelings

Bitter cold
Icy wind cuts and blows
howling through the streets
Grey skies spitting snow

Always on the go
Start and stop traffic flow
Echoing canyons of streets
Taxis fly and horns blow

Tall grey
Concrete and glass
Buildings reflecting
The people who pass

Modern buildings
Blocky and square
And older ones
With their Gothic flair

Past and future
And present meet
Blending and clashing 
on the grid work streets

People rushing
And brushing past
Stiff against the cold
Going somewhere fast

the people are busy
crowds ebb and flow
buses, cars, and taxis
stop start and go

A busy town
With work to be done
Schedules to meet
Businesses to run

Lofty majestic 
Solemn and high
Hancock and Willis 
Look down from the sky

A city to see
From above in the night
Arteries of traffic 
A galaxy of lights

People moving 
Streets aglow
Darkness above
Golden lights below

Icy Ancient lake
Deep, grey and cold
Rolling to the shore
for ages untold

Ancient shorelines
now modern concrete
waves are patient
and continue their beat

City of secrets
though shiny and bright
homeless under bridges
shiver in the night

Panhandlers and beggars
Reach out as you pass
They pause on their cell phone
"Got a dollar? " they ask.

Shiny streets 
Cold and black
I'm not staying 
But I will be back.

Bitter cold
Icy wind cuts and blows
City of Big Shoulders 
City whose surface glows

(c) James Lee Frady 1/25/2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Full Wolf Moon

Full Wolf Moon

Clouds cross the face of the Full Wolf Moon
In the deep of a winter’s night
Alone in the dark I stare at its face
And cast my eyes on its silvery light
Shadows, soft as a lullaby
Drift across the frozen ground.
Trees as black as the dark abyss
Stand silent all around.
A hollow breeze in the valley below
Moans through the forest sublime
Chilling my bones with fears unknown
From irrational ancient times
I drift in spirit through ages past
To ancestral tribal bands
Struggling through winters long and cold
Lean, and empty, on the frozen land
Wolves howling on moonlit nights
Starving and waiting outside
For someone to wander too far from the lodge
Or the remains of something that died.
Howls in the pale lunar glow
In the shadows of snow-laden trees
Wolves on the night of the Full Wolf Moon
Stalking us through our memories.

(c) James Lee Frady 1/15/2014