The Jim Archives
The Whim at Full Tide
...presents highlights from my 11th grade creative spurt.

A Sigh Goodnight

For you a song I hope will last
until our transient lives have passed.
The words are simple that I've penned;
the music semi-sweet, my friend.

For you a smile to ease your mind
when leaden clouds are all you find
upon examining the sky
(I'll wipe the teardrop from your eye).

For a girl I used to know,
though miles away, though years ago,
whose face I see by dimming light:

for you, who spurn a parting kiss--
deserving, perhaps, more than this--
I'll leave you with a sigh goodnight.

(July 1985)

Backstage at the Shootout

Childhood daydreams
grow dim in the evening
and pass with the morning.

Yesterday's heroes
are tomorrow's zeroes,
are today in limbo.

Their bright lights have faded,
their luster grown jaded;
their exit's belated.

And into the sunset
they fade in a minute
and try to accept it
(though it doesn't work too often).

(November 1985)

Reflections on Agincourt

PART I: a quote

As the last survivor said:

"Some people get the Nobel Prize for their magnum opus
some people get the noble prize for being magnanimous."

PART II: some poetry

Flutter by, butterfly.
I've no desire to see you cry.
I'll not sadden your bright wings
with tales of sorrow winter brings.

You're free as the breeze
that blows in the trees
and haven't a need
for rhymes such as these.

PART III: an explanation

I went walking in the park, in the dark,
met there by a flutter-lark.
I listened to the sounds of night
in the last remaining light,
watched the crescent wax and wane,
and then I went back home again
(and wrote this poem).

(January 1986)

Billy's Trilogy

I. For Billy and Our Hyannis Port Friends

it seems like years, doesn't it?
Would you even recognize me now--
reduced to free verse as I am?
(But it's good to see you anyway.)

Those were some mighty fine days, weren't they?
Yes sir, very good indeed--
the kind we look back upon and smile.
But they're gone
and we've grown older (wiser?).

So, friend, how have you been?
How are the rest of them doing?
I trust they are well.
Don't forget me; I can't forget any of you
(try as I might, sentimental fool that I am).

But enough of this.
All the good memories are too painful, anyway.
(I know you're busy, as are we all.
And you're right; we have things to do.
And, sometimes, it hurts less
to lose a friend than it does to lose

(October 1985)


II. Billy Brown

Billy Brown went to town
with a shilling and a crown--
there to have a merry time
and be the subject of this rhyme.

He went to the candy store
and found that it was there no more.
Seeing all was rearranged,
he marvelled at the way things changed.

He went to strolling down the lane
and climbed aboard a homebound train.
He looked behind and with great pain
lamented, "Nothing is the same."

(December 1985)


III. For Billy and Some of Our Other Friends

Billy, it seems it was later than we thought.
Do you ever get to feeling that way?
(I do, sometimes.)

Perhaps it's like in the old song, y'know?
I'm sure you know it quite well.

And what is left?
Time-worn mental snapshots
and other assorted morose images for your scrapbook
(if you're the sort to keep one).

But you, I have heard,
have met with success,
and I am glad for you.
I hope you will know that and never forget it
(that I'm glad, I mean).

And so, when you get a chance,
tell them to play a waltz,
or something dreamy like that
(for everyone needs a dream, and...
because the night,
no longer bright
with all the festal pleasantries,
continues on
e'er and anon,
regardless of our memories).

Fare thee well, William,
and send my regards to all the others, will you?

(February 1986)

Lonesome Row in Three-Four Time (Waltz)

In Lonesome Row
the paving stones
are growing cold

and all the children
who lived there
are growing old.

In Lonesome Row
nobody sees;
the dream it dies

and in the row
nobody cares,
nobody cries.

But in the row
she seems to know,
and softly sighs.

(March 1986)

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