Ken Gierke

Milestone

Well worn,
our path together,
though not

well-traveled.
Our destination
nowhere near

the one we chose.
Where we parted,
all that remains

is a milestone
of what once was
our life together.

Reading Between the Lines

Expression

Fine lines, creases
Framing the lips
Corners of the eyes

Within those eyes
A gleam of enthusiasm
The dull shade of weariness

Regarding those lips
The glimmer of teeth
A solemn line of doubt

Impression

A gleam in the eyes
Taken for joy
Or is it anger?

Teeth shown in anger
Or is that a hint of laughter?
The lips might say

Or is it all weariness?
The answer lies in both
Behind the mask

Shorter Still

Far from brief, the time left
when viewed in the past.
A lifetime to shape a future,
with no end in sight.

Shorter now, it seems.
The slideshow of bygone images
little more than a time-lapse,
details fewer each day.

Shorter still, ahead.
The end on the horizon,
while goals slip beyond,
their time misspent, gone.

Beneath the Waves

Nearly whispering, I say,
“Every wave that ever passed over
this shell is held inside for you to hear.”

Eyes wide, you ask, “When I get bigger,
can I dive with you and hear the shells in the water?”
And so your thirst for knowledge was born.

Yours is now a world of numbers,
but you have known wizards and knights,
poetry and prose, music and art.

And, from time to time,
you still hear the waves
washing over that shell.

In the Dark

What transpires in a week? In a month?
You show a different face, revealing more, yet less.

There is a cloud hanging over you. Below,
around you. Are there secrets you would share

under different circumstances? The greater the light,
the less I know of you. Are you more open to another,

while I am left in the dark? You make no promise
I’ll see you this evening. We play this game,

you keeping your distance as I try to read you, each day
the window ever smaller, till you fade from sight, again.

Passing Madness

There’s a madness to it
this rush to color

From a blanket of green
to red
yellow

blazing orange

and, finally,
to brown

We are seasoned in this experience

And so we wait
for the return of green

Until, once again,
the madness of color
that marks the passing of the seasons

Path to Winter

golden leaves
warm light on cold day
honeyed tea

maple leaf
on path to winter
will not wait

fallen leaves
carried by river
memories

bare branches
seen in fading light
shorter days

single leaf
clinging stubbornly
winter wind

~~~

Ken Gierke has been published in The Short of It, Vita Brevis Press, Silver Birch Press, and Amethyst Review, as well as in The Moons of Autumn from Word Weaving and easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, from D Ellis Phelps.  His poetry blog: https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/ Ken also had pieces selected for the first anthology – The Sound of Brilliance.

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