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Voice
We present original poems. We know our audience. That is the key to any writing. The audience
for this poetry is simply me. I write about what I know and remember and love.

If you need a voice. Perhaps we can post your original poetry here. So live, love, write.


   --Jerry Grinstead

 

Here are some more poems of mine

Gardens of Desire

 

He pretends to listen, and then turns away.

Turns away to continue his day.

He no longer cares if she knows she's not loved.

There was love once - maybe twice.

 

A persistent ringing in his ears

From incessant chit-chat through the years;

The echoes of her oblivion foment

A deluge of denial and missed love.

 

Too late for him to escape now, save to

His garden where, except for

The ringing in his ears - it is quiet.

Peaceful, and finally, finally quiet.

 

It's much too late for her tears to

Cultivate a love for whom

The weeds of pity have overgrown

The gardens of desire he tends alone

Lilacs

 

Lilacs out the kitchen window

Dance in the sun with a fragrance of home;

The last spring smell suggesting summer,

Subtle, hinting at wonders to come.

 

Climbing in the lilac tree is

His exploration of color and strife.

Darkest green leaves drink in the light,

In harmony with verdant life.

 

Storm purple, the petals so small

Fall off the ends of branches like snow,

To be gathered by small hands and shared

As wondrous delights only he and I know.

 

Just a faded memory to a boy grown old.

Still, a summer scent, or a dusting of snow
Brings lilacs out the kitchen window to mind,

And the seasons, the years, become spring.
 

And so it goes

Air as still as a coffin’s embrace.

Nothing in, nor out. Only dead space.

But the yellow glow of the storm’s impending wrath

Seems comforting to the girl in its path.

 

Lawnmowers in trees on this summer’s eve

Go unnoticed until they stop. And she looks up

For what is causing the roaring silence.

Soon, again, the cicadas begin their ensemble.

Allowing the girl to resume her storm vigil.

 

With just a breath of wind, so it begins.

Umbrellas bloom to deflect the violent wash.

The storm, too, silences the cicadas,

And cleans the still, yellow air, along its path,

Comforting the girl wading in the aftermath.

 

An Ohio storm on a summer’s eve

Goes unnoticed until it stops. And the girl looks up

For what is causing the roaring silence.

Soon, again, the cicadas begin their ensemble.

And so it goes … and so it goes.


 

When I’m 80 years old

 

When I’m eighty years old

Let me still be happy remembering

I've sat on the Champs-Elysées sipping wine

And drunk Guinness in Brú na Bóinne.

 

When I’m eighty years old

Let me still take comfort that

I’ve a home to come home to that’s mine

And garden tomatoes fat from the vine.

 

When I’m eighty years old

Let me still share the love

I’ve nurtured and cherished in kind

With friends like you and this family of mine.


 

His family vacation remembered

(1966 – nine years old)

 

A fence leans westward in the wind

Cursing the beating from the sea.

What keeps the fence from falling down

On this narrow cape to Provincetown?

 

He finds shells, jaundiced from the sun,

Gathered at the feet of weathered posts.

Shells that cower under relentless blows

Of a blasting sand that stings his toes.

 

He watches his parents through the fence.

Beaten and battered, his mother still stands.

She cowers and curses all men, and then

His father grabs her and beats her again.


 

Forgiven

 

“Be, woman, for this meal, all thy sins forgiven,”

Said the Irishman with a bow.

“Now you’ll not be forgiving me anything, old man,”

Said the woman, “Eat your soup and be still now.”

 

“Can I not pay compliment to the woman I’ve loved?”

Asked he, with hat in hand.

“I’ve been complimented many and many a time,”

Said she, “Don your pants and be gone, man.”

 

“A long way I’ll walk ere I return, love,”

Sighed he, opening the door to leave.

“And a long time you’ll talk, so it seems,”

Said she, “Give us a kiss ere you grieve.”

 

“If I give a kiss, it’s not soon I’ll be leaving,”

Said he, pushing closed the door.

“Then back in with you, sir,”

Said she forgiven, “And be man again on the floor.”


 

So hard to leave

 

Why must it be so hard to leave?

You know I'm ready. You know I'm done

Lingering, burdening, day by day,

With ills and bills my daughter pays.

Why test now that I believe?

 

Can there be more that I must do?

Perhaps forgotten or left undone?

I've been daughter, mother, lover, friend.

I ask, what more? And, to what end?

Is there more than my faith in You?

 

Why must it be so hard to leave,

For me, when babies join You now?

I'm sorry for my selfish mood.

I'm usually really very good.

Still, why must it be so hard to leave?


 

Friends and acquaintances

 

Acquaintances I’ve met on planes are not

Unlike shadows of clouds that pass under me.

There for a moment; then forgot.

But all the same in their odd familiarity.

 

Friends at home and friends away are not

Unlike songs I sing to me.

Here for eternity; never forgot.

And all different in their joyful peculiarity.


 

Once upon a time

 

And they lived happily ever after,

After their divorce.

When they finally had time for each other,

They couldn’t stand one another.

 

The lesson learned in leaving is

The same it’s always been.

Frost said, ‘there’s always something to be sorry for.’

We should have said ‘I’m sorry’ more.

 

But, it was only a matter of time.

When we were young, it flew so slow.

And time stopped when we were left alone;

Familiar strangers; almost unknown.

 

We live happily ever after, now,
And we've found our other true loves.
But what might have been, first love of mine,

Once upon a time?