My Life’s Palette by Dennis McHale


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It all began
with the glowing green meadows;
cool, dew-moistened blades of grass
softly pressed into the shape
of a young boy’s naked feet running
frivolous and joyous
in the backyards of my innocence.

In time, the azure-blue skies
puffed with the carefree brilliant white cotton-candy clouds
of my adolescence fed my wandering dreams,
lifting me to new heights,
pressing me tenderly against the heavens.

In my teen years, the skies grew heated
beneath the raging, orange-flecked storms
battering the massive walls of my pubescent limitations.
I fought bravely against the darkening forces shaping me,
but was laid low with the sizzling strike of a silver bolt of lightning,
my body then forged in the ruby red-hot fires of puberty.

As a young man, there came a day with you in it;
a dazzling star as yellow-bright and full of light –
your beauty washed over me, igniting my purpose,
I was blinded by the intensity and the nearness of you,
awakening within me the amazing brilliant white glow
of desire, love, and hope.

Eventually, the blue-black sheet of night
was pulled over me; the skies darkened a midnight onyx
leaving me lying in the cool-grey mist of the shadow of Death.
The lights dimmed as did my voice,
as the murky fingers of Death reached toward me.

I was immediately lifted up into a new beginning;
the soothing winds of forever washing over
the palette of my life
as once more my heels were dipped
into the forgiving green blades of grasses
of eternity’s meadow.

A Lingering Pain


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In another life, we would call this love.

Today it is just a lingering pain,
clenched fistfuls of it lashing forth upon the shore.
The oceans scream.

We want crisis, oh, how we hunger for it.

When we were young, we ate sorrow without sugar
before losing ourselves in the forest of shame.
Beyond our innocence, beneath our yearning yokes,
we lay together secretly in this seashore cavern;
frantic with love.

I was the lazy one, eating your peach without washing it;
writing a song for my supper
and with a bare mouth, kissing the very ankle
that kicks the life out of me today.
Our bodies rolled in and out like the tides
and in the forgotten distance, the thunder laughed
at our selfish lust.

Today, the beach below is sliced by dying rivers
brown-blue and reaching for the seawater;
One wet finger of water traces into the cavern
and licks our naked feet, causing me to
momentarily thrust too deep
while you, asleep, curse the very dream of me.

We met here once, as children full of hope,
our thirsts slaked in the moistness of the cave.
The ash-white hotness of passion powdering your fingertips
upon the small of my back, pulling me into your deeper meaning,
so hot then the sands turned to glass
crunching and shattering beneath our frantic embrace.

In that life, we called it love.

Today, the moon sucks the tides back to her
jealous bosom, leaving us naked and thrashing
like dying fish upon the shore.

Today, my love, is just a lingering pain.

The Speed of Life


old-age

 

I’ve threaded the needle once or twice
And paid the price for my sacrifice.
But now old age has tempered me
I’m not the man I used to be.

When I was younger, or so it seemed,
I still had strength and hopeful dreams;
With youthful promise I fought for love –
Reached for the heaven and stars above

Countless days lost in desire,
Lived to set the world on fire.
But now my time has much diminished:
Where once I started, now I’m finished

Youthful dreams do mock my nights
I now awaken to winter lights.
My life unfolds in finite measure,
Robbed of all the things I treasure.

The circle of life has run its course,
And to this point I reinforce:
Don’t lay to waste each given day –
For all too soon we fade away.

 

Three Seasons of Life


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In the youngest years, there is fear and pain

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In the middle years, there is ecstasy, laughter,
hope, promise. happiness, delight, pleasure, bliss,
confidence, optimism, courage, faith, joy, desire,
hopefulness, buoyancy, brightness, anticipation,
choice, sex, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Old woman

In the final years, there is fear and pain.

The Speed of Life


I’ve threaded the needle once or twice
And paid the price for my sacrifice.
But now old age has tempered me
I’m not the man I used to be.
When I was younger, or so it seemed,
I still had strength and hopeful dreams;
With youthful promise I fought for love –
Reached for the heaven and stars above
Countless days lost in desire,
Lived to set the world on fire.
But now my time has much diminished:
Where once I started, now I’m finished
Youthful dreams do mock my nights
I now awaken to winter lights.
My life unfolds in finite measure,
Robbed of all the things I treasure.
The circle of life has run its course,
And to this point I reinforce:
Don’t lay to waste each given day –
For all too soon we fade away.