Poetry


THE WAREHOUSE OF MEMORY

Deeper in thought am I this day
Those internal motions in me
Boxes of wisdom stored away
In the warehouse of memory

Musty crates of faraway fears
In secret places I have roamed
While making plans and shedding tears
On quiet pathways I have combed

Parcels of moments frozen in time
They are but reruns in my mind
All that's ignoble, all that's sublime
Become illusions left behind

I am the watchman with lock and key
Holding my flashlight firmly in hand
I guard the warehouse so jealously
For now is the time to take a stand

With steady purpose I pace the floor
Hunting down remnants of my past
I seek the centre, the key, the core
A legacy for years to last

Cartons in the corner piled on high
Arranged and labelled so carefully
Some hold the truth and some only lie
Others are always a mystery

So box upon box I scrutinize
In this my search for lost ambiance
Each faded image I analyze
And still I wait for the renaissance

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


AT DAYBREAK

At daybreak
Cradles rock
And rattles shake
In scenes of pink pastel
And softly powdered innocence

At high noon
The sun's rays reflect upon
Leaves of summer green
When all of life has blossomed forth
To reach its very prime

At twilight
The sun sets
In one last burst of glory
Then harvest colours fade
To shades of dullest grey

At midnight
The curtain falls
On branches black and naked
And all the world sleeps peacefully
Until the dawn's sweet light

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


THE CERTAINTY OF UNCERTAINTY

Who dares to question the certainty of uncertainty,
To grind the seeds of doubt and bury the pulp
below the sands of earth?
For if there is no belief, there is only chaos
And out of this swirling disorder
there is only despair and dissolution

And yet, credulity of itself, adhered to blindly,
has always led the way to persecution and abject
intolerance
Therefore, I will sprinkle gently some grains of doubt
Upon the surface of existence

For if there is no dissension and defiance,
There is only stagnation and a withering away
of the soul
And therein lies the dilemma of the human spirit:
To believe devoutly and yet to challenge bravely

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


DEEPER THAN THE HEART

Much deeper than the heart the soul does lie
And the grains of hope are there concealed
For it alone has heard the hue and cry
Of all our noblest dreams revealed
So many of these dreams are left to die
Since to the light they will not be exposed
And often do I ponder with a sigh
All that's been lost and all that's been disposed
It's certain that the truth is here to see
And the soul is where the truth does reside
For brutal and as stark as it must be
'Tis in the soul our love shall yet abide

For what is a love if it be not true
And where is love if it be not with you?

By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


LOVE GONE ASTRAY

Where do you turn when your love goes astray?
Do you mourn for a year or just for a day?
Do you pick up the shards and stash them away
Or crush them to shreds and let them decay?

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


DICHOTOMY

The world is as exquisite as a rose in bloom
And truly as sublime,
shimmering with curiosities
And joyful in resplendence

The world is a prickly as the thorn of that rose
and sharply it suffers,
grimacing in the jaded sorrow
of loss and deprivation

For this is the dichotomy of life,
the clear and constant duality
of the bitter and the sweet
upon which lies the source
of all that is wondrous
and all that is forlorn

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


TIDAL WAVE

A tidal wave is rising
It's pounding to the shore
I hear your voice a-calling
Will you be there evermore?

Now angry clouds are rolling
And the sky is thick adn grey
Please say you'll not forsake me
As the moments pass away

Yes, time can liberate us
But it's still a mighty foe
When facing tribulation
In the wonderland of woe

And time must be confronted
Though it's powerful and vain
It's daunting and it's deadly
And it alters our domain

There can be no evasion
Of the waves that ebb and flow
But only greater glory
In the soothing lighthouse glow

So will you not embrace me
As we sojourn to the shore
For the road is rough and rocky
On the way to evermore

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


ODE TO THE CITY

I am a child of the city
And the city beckons me
With outstretched arms
And myriad charms
And immortality

City life is brash and bright
And those towers of gold rise high
But I saw a man asleep tonight
In puddles of whisky and rye

Yet, all is forgotten
By the warm light of day\
As we sip cappuccino
In our outdoor cafe
And gaze at the people
As they hurry on their way

We do not want to know
That somewhere in that crowd
There stands a scrawny youth
A pimply-faced rebel
Who is just seeking truth

And he's learned all his lessons
At the corner of the street
And sadly in the morrow
To a prison he'll retreat

But for now, he's just swallowed
By the swelling of the crowd
And the crush of humanity
That's so brutal and so loud

Still, we remain in our outdoor cafe
Engaged in conversation
'Bout the fashions of the day
And the purchase of our tickets
For tomorrow's matinee

And as evening descends
With its twilight of grey
The lights of the city
Form a brilliant array

In bursts of splendour
Nightfall comes alive
Teeming with humans
Hoping to survive

For this is our city
So varied and wide
Imposing, delightful
And brimming with pride

This is the big town
On Saturday night
Where friendships are forged
And wrong become right
Where wealth is pursued
And innocence lost
In one reckless moment
At too high a cost

And many shaded faces
Can be found
In parking spaces
And in shopping malls
In dingy bars and dark motels
And warn-out pool halls

Slipping into silhouettes
They head for shoddy town
Where children weep and seniors sigh
And wistful women frown
For fractured dreams and long-lost youth
And  pillars coming down

But when the sun softly rises
To herald the day
We will return soon
To our outdoor cafe
And there we'll discuss
Our vacation last May
And the high cost of living
As we quaff Perrier

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


AUTUMN EVE

Under the gaze of a hunter's moon
On an autumn eve so long ago
We pranced about in a lively swoon
While crimson bales of leaves did blow

As the oaks and elms and maples blew
We tossed them high and we tossed them low
They floated and fluttered and they flew
And their colours sprinkled to and fro

Then came a wind so fiercely biting
It caused us to shake and to quiver
Home never seemed so inviting
As we walked by the banks of the river

In silence we sat by the fireside
To take our leave of autumn's chill
We stoked the flames, we smiled and sighed
The moon was gone and the night was still

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


A DANCE IN THE SNOW

Well we danced in the snow, my love and I
On a windswept night when we were still young
And we whirled and we twirled beneath the sky
And we did not stop till our song was sung

Huffing and puffing, we fell to the snow,
Our eyes full of wonder, our faces aglow
And we laughed while our breath rose in the air
And specks of white crystal dotted our hair

Hearty of spirit and ruddy of face,
We huddled warmly in winter’s embrace
The world was our sanctum, a place for two
And life was so cozy hidden from view

Revelling in our fancy, we paid no heed of time
It came upon us slowly and grabbed us from behind
Then suddenly we shivered in chills of northern clime
For now the spell was broken, to this we were resigned

Hand in hand, we trudged along, on homeward with a sigh
Snowflakes tingled on my tongue, a teardrop in my eye
Then I marvelled how moments and snowflakes slip away
Like wispy little visitors, never meant to stay

Wondrously woven bit of lace, fragile and pristine
Truly they are works of art upon the earthly scene
For as each tiny snowflake must bear its own design
So it is with moments, the ones of yours and mine

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


VERNAL BAY

We stroll about in the midst of May
Gazing at sailboats in Vernal Bay
Watching them easily glide and sway
In the gusty winds this fledgling day

Gaggles of geese flock over the bay
Children they dauntlessly romp away
With joy and mirth, they eagerly play
This Saturday morn, in the month of May

And a tree stands high right near the bay
Where nests the brood of a dour blue jay
Flapping  its wings and squawking away
As we stare transfixed this fledgling day

Riding along in the sun's bright ray
On winding roads, we pedal away
Through many a twisted path we stray
Then stop for a rest along the way

Raising our eyes far above the fray
We watch a kite as it coasts away
Smoothly it lands right by the bay
A large checkered kite of red and grey

It's warm by now and almost midday
We find a spot in the shade to stay
Spreading our cloth and a silver tray
We then partake of a hearty buffet

Arise, sweet Lazarus, to life we say
As we sip red wine and drink to May
No matter our fate in life's bouquet
Our journey begins at Vernal Bay

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


SUMMER NIGHT

You came to me on a soft summer night
When the sky was sultry and serene
I took your hand as we walked in the light
Of a garden ripe and lushly green
And we drank of sweet jasmine in the air
We gazed on blossoms and bumblebees
I saw the moonlight shine upon your hair
As you sat beneath the cherry trees
Then we took a path to the lily pond
Stepping on stones and brittle branches
And there we quietly sealed our bond
With gilded dreams and winsome glances

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


THE TOWER LIGHT

Oh I can see the tower light
It looms so large within my sight
'Tis there my aspirations lie
Beyond the vast and lonely sky.

And when the black nocturnal view
Fades into morning's gentle hue
I turn to face my destiny
As one set forth upon the sea

Many a route there is to take
And I, in wonder, choices make
That carry me to islands rare
And unexpected treasures there

Sometimes in err, I navigate
I lose my way, I hesitate
I can't avoid the fog so dense
The choppy waves, the turbulence

Uncharted waters frighten me
But if the book of life were free
I would not scour a single page
Or mar the course of future age

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden


THE BARKER

Step right up, folks, I heard the barker call
Spin the old wheel and you can have it all
Just lay your money down and play our game
You can have fortune and you can have fame

Then he looked at me with his eyes so wide
And he beckoned me to stand by his side
I paused for a moment to drink it in
And his voice rose sharply above the din

Well, he smiled at me with his toothy grin
And he pleaded once more for me to spin
Your dreams will come true, he declared happily
But one thing's for certain, they will not come free

Yes, there will be sponsors for you to placate
But you'll enjoy living on a fancy estate
Just sell your products proudly and don't hesitate
Smile at the camera and you will look great

That'll be the price for your moment in the sun
But it'll sure be worth it when the day is done
Think of all the money you're bound to stash away
And all the adulation that's sure to come your way

Your face on the front of many a magazine
You'll be at the centre of the trend setting scene
Sipping pink champagne and dancing all the night
While hoards of admirers worship at your sight

So now, young man, what will your answer be?
Just spin the old wheel and set yourself fee
You'd be mighty foolish to turn my offer down
'Cause you won't find a better one anywhere in town

Thank you, I replied, but I really must decline
There's no need to worry, 'cause I'll do just fine
Still, he shouted at me as I turned my face away
And he pleaded very loudly, entreating me to stay

It's a bargain, he proclaimed, a dandy of a deal
So don't you be foolish, boy, spin the old wheel
Ignoring his pleas, I just sauntered on my way
It was time to go home, there was nothing more to say

The echo of his voice could be heard from far away
Begging and cajoling, he implored the crowd to stay
You have no chance to win if you refuse to play
So step right up my friends and this could be your day

But I pondered his words, as I opened up my door
He's a liar, I thought, he's really not much more
And I couldn't help but feel to my utmost dismay
He was just another huckster on just another day

- By Joanne Madden
Copyright Joanne Madden

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