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   unpublished poetry
waldos way
He had never been content
to leave the great design
                          of things
to Nature's realm and whim.
               The hills were his
to decorate or leave alone.
His choice to populate
a lea with clover, or let
daisies go across
                    to yonder yard.
In spring when grass was
                  all but nothing,
he would wish it tall wheat
                  and in bloom.
In autumn he would send it
back to innocence again.
Alfalfa also moved from
yellow out of seed
             to yellow harvest.
No verdant undertaking
      and no knowledge, So
no regret.


With clover
coming out of earth
already lavender on top,
             the birds confused,
sputtering, muttering amid
what should be ragweed
                    but was not,
no wonder rain
kept holding back until
it spilled from only
                   holding back.
If nature's days seemed
quartered, left unchecked,
There was cause. Too
much is made of natural
seasons, their clime
                   and chime.

The sky was his as if
           imagined out of
             his thought only.
Why not the wind?
Sometimes he had it
blow back recollections
                  of old stones.
An agate. A hollow rock.
A marble crumb that
wanted so to be a palace.


A hapless bit of limestone
nearly ground to nothing
by one too many breezes
in one too many times.

He would listen
as non-apparent streams
rolled over memory rocks.
His mind would polish
         every orphan stone
not touched by wind,
                       by water,
as if a thought caress could
make up for lack of gravel,
                      family life.

Other winds were always
               breathing down
some hidden valley's neck
or making mischief,
talking grief, in far towns
without high fences. Why
not give his breeze
                     a useful job
like jeweler's shammy?
What harm could
                   purpose do?

So much for sand
that would be boulders,
                       left to time.


I promise to remember
to forget my promise.
It is the least a man
                          can do.
I would do more, he said,
                         but can't.

Copyright 1998 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music Group. All rights
reserved and no part may be reproduced in any form without written
permission of owners.
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