Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's a Blank Sheet of Paper

January 1, 2015

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for the New Year.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Here’s a blank sheet of paper. Another one.
An illusion, to be sure. An annual one.
Pretend each year that you can start anew.
Pretend each year that you’re no longer you.
Years come and go; that yearly pretense lasts,
Not discouraged by its many pasts,
Enduring because necessary for
Whoever seeks improvement yet once more.
Yearly resolutions tend to fade,
Each weakening soon after it is made,
As one retreats again from plans to dreams,
Real change being harder than it seems.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Here's a Blank Sheet of Paper

January 1, 2015

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for the New Year.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Here’s a blank sheet of paper. Another one.
An illusion, to be sure. An annual one.
Pretend each year that you can start anew.
Pretend each year that you’re no longer you.
Years come and go; that yearly pretense lasts,
Not discouraged by its many pasts,
Enduring because necessary for
Whoever seeks improvement yet once more.
Yearly resolutions tend to fade,
Each weakening soon after it is made,
As one retreats again from plans to dreams,
Real change being harder than it seems.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mary at Midnight, the Babe in Her Arms

December 25, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Christmas about reason and faith.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Mary at midnight, the babe in her arms:
Ever the myth makes its way to the heart.
Reason gives way to desire and art,
Rendered quite mute by the quake of its qualms.
Yes, of course there are angels filling the sky!
Choirs of angels – how could there not be?
Heavenly hosts like a luminous sea
Rejoicing as God comes to Earth from on high!
Is this true? I mean really? As true as my thumb?
Sense has a way of making no sense.
The value of each soul needs a defense.
Maybe a sign can be more than a sum.
Angels sing daily as humans do ill.
So sing with them! Sing! Of peace and good will!

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How Strange, the Way Life Comes upon the Moment

December 18, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about happiness for the holidays.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

How strange, the way life comes upon the moment!
Accident seems no more blind than choice.
Perhaps there is no clarity in comment.
Perhaps one needs to hear one's wordless voice.
Yet there one is, with life no less a gift.
Happiness heeds neither time nor place.
One sails on course; one does not mean to drift.
Life, however, sets all winds to grace.
In this time of yearly celebration,
Do, then, sing the melodies of joy,
Alive to beauty, ripe for revelation,
Yet perfectly in tune with each sensation,
Sense of life no living can destroy.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blessed Are Those Who Can Embrace the Darkness

December 11, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Hanukkah about life and death, light and darkness.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Blessed are those who can embrace the darkness,
Opening the way to loving light.
No DNA can fail to fear its death,
Nor asthmatic fail to fight for breath,
Instinctively in terror of the night.
Even so, we know life can't be endless.

Some would like their being to be endless,
Each day, each hour, each moment free of darkness,
The fear of it, the thought of coming night
Hidden 'neath the holiness of light,
Ever wishing for eternal breath,
Less alive since less alive to death.
In faith one finds an antidote to death,
Zealously believing in an endless
Afterlife, a being beyond breath
Breaking like a dawn upon the darkness,
Each soul reborn into eternal light,
Timeless in a garden shorn of night,
Happiness forever free of night.

Each moment is a moment because death
Lets one limn the ecstasy of light,
Lets one grasp one's joy because not endless,
Every moment bearing one towards darkness,
Now each more dear for one's short lease on breath.

Grace can be granted in a single breath
As one finds Eden on the edge of night,
Blessed by both the light and coming darkness,
Rejoicing in the gift of life and death.
Infinity is instant and yet endless.
Each consciousness is blind yet full of light.
Let each moment be eternal light
As all that is, is compassed in each breath.
Nor can one be but one is all and endless,
Despite the doleful destiny of night.
Knowing this, one need not turn from death,
Embracing it, for life is lit by darkness.
No God need turn that darkness into light,
Nor miracle decree the death of night,
As every breath sustains a grace that's endless.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Some Would Sing Unmercifully of Joy

December 4, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a humorous Season’s Greetings poem about bearing the holidays.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Some would sing unmercifully of joy,
Even as the darkness fast descends,
A soporific meant to spirits buoy,
So blissful that it gives one's heart the bends.
Often holidays can be a pain --
Needy, noisy, full of aggravation.
Still, it might seem churlish to complain,
Given Uncle Scrooge's reputation.
Remember, then, to cherish every day,
Even holidays, with heartfelt cheer,
Embracing what you cannot shoo away,
Though with a little snort that says you're here.
In everyone a bit of humbug lurks,
Nor should you judge a cover by its quirks,
Granting fools a bit of charity,
So long as you come by it honestly.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time Is a Gift, like Food or Love or Death

November 27, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Thanksgiving about the gifts of time and death.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Time is a gift, like food or love or death,
However much one wants to live forever.
All that is, is in a single breath.
Now is ample time for each endeavor.
Knowing one will die makes time more precious
Since even music needs a proper end,
Giving each note density and purpose
In a compass one can comprehend.
Vistas have horizons, even though
Infinity still lurks beyond the stars,
Nothing that a grateful soul can know,
Given that one’s gift such knowledge bars.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Years May Sing of Darkness

November 20, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about death.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

The years may sing of darkness.
The heart still sings of light.
On the edge of evening,
The will holds off the night.

Ah, yes, the winter's coming.
We will not make it through.
Spring will burst with beauty,
But not for me and you.

This is not cause for sadness.
This is not cause for tears.
Our brief time here is timeless.
The song outlasts the years.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deep Sea Divers Dove One Day

November 13, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a nonsense poem for children.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Deep sea divers dove one day,
All decked out in green and gray.
Underneath the sea they saw
A million muskrats, maybe more.

“What kind of creatures could you be
Underneath the salty sea?”
The deep sea divers asked. “Don't you
Need air to breathe and burrows, too?”

“Oh, my! Oh, my!” the muskrats said.
“It's time for treats, then off to bed!”
And in a flash, like fin-tailed fish,
The muskrats turned in one bright swish,
And vanished like a whispered wish.

Deep down they went where whales trade
Their favorite shellfish in the shade,
While walruses wear woolen coats
And stingrays feed seahorses oats;

Where turtles dance with manatees,
And snoring snails try not to sneeze,
And seals in tux and tails sing
While serving scallions in the spring,
Too deep dark down to see a thing.

There the muskrats went to sleep,
Deep down below the deepest deep,
Too deep for deep sea divers to
Descend to, as deep divers do,
And far too deep for me and you.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Voices of the Dead Are All Around Me


November 6, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Veterans Day about coming home from war.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Voices of the dead are all around me.
Everyone alive seems much less real.
The smoke and screams and bombs and blood surround me,
Enduring through the love I still can’t feel.
Reality is rarely in the present
As truth and falsehood are defined by pain.
Nor can I stand one moment that is pleasant.
Sanity to me just seems insane.
Death is more attractive than a wife,
And loneliness a far less lonely life.
Yet I must turn and somehow live again.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy, Happy Halloween

October 30, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about ghosts for Halloween.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Happy, Happy Halloween!
A funhouse till tomorrow!
Let the living squirm and scream!
Leave the dead to sorrow.
Only ghosts endure such pain,
Well beyond their age,
Each undone again, again,
Each condemned to rage.
Nor can they turn the page.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Let the Love Be Free of Lust

October 23, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about love, lust, and marriage.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Let the love be free of lust
And watch the marriage die.
Devils dance on days of dust
As desperate lovers lie.

Yet how might lust survive the years
Of naked intimacy,
The thousand nights of talk and tears,
The flesh too tame to free?

The answer lies in lovers' dreams
Made flesh in lovers' play,
Where each becomes the other's means –
White canvas, willing clay;

A mutual acceptance of
A mutual desire
For lust, a generous act of love
That fuels the inner fire;

Still themselves, still faithful to
A marriage of the heart,
Making old love ever new
With chaste and playful art.

© by Nicholas Gordon


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cierra Juliann

October 16, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a psychological name poem about being an older sibling.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Cierra Juliann's an older sister,
Infant no more, well before her time.
Everyone adores her little brother,
Recently emerged not far behind.
Remember how one reads the book of life,
Alternating happiness with tears,
Journeying towards love as man or wife,
Unready else to bear the weight of years.
Let her read the lesson of her longing
In her jealousy and fierce affection,
And get to know the labor of belonging,
Needing such travail for her protection,
Not least to tell life's blessings from perfection.

© by Nicholas Gordon.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chasing the Horizon

October 9, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Columbus Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Chasing the horizon
On a windy sea,
Land fast disappearing,
Underway and free!
Maybe there is something
Beyond that distant line,
Ultimately nothing
Senses can define.
Days may seem like moments,
And moments seem like years,
Yet the wind is wine!

© by Nicholas Gordon.

video

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Year After Year, You Promise to Atone

October 2, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Year after year, you promise to atone.
Often, yes, you actually mean it.
Maybe you remember life’s on loan,
Knowing you’re expected to redeem it.
Into prayers you pour your willing heart,
Perhaps at times unsure of what you’ve done,
Perhaps at times unsure of where to start,
Uncovering what look like sins, though none
Requires much atonement on your part.

© by Nicholas Gordon.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ritual Recalls the Revelation

September 25, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Ritual recalls the revelation.
Once the eternal enters time, it fades.
So might we sustain it through sensation,
Having melodies to serve as aids.
Hear, O Israel, the ancient words
As song, and savor both the sense and music!
Sing with the bright cadences of birds,
Holiness so sweet you can’t refuse it!
A synagogue is sanctified by song,
Nor ought familiar prayers be simply read.
All one’s heart is where it must belong,
Here singing with the living and the dead.

© by Nicholas Gordon.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Living in Eternity

September 18, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a philosophical poem about eternity and time.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Living in eternity
While traveling through time.
The moment could be infinite
If one were so inclined.

Moments come and go;
The moment still remains,
Is what is, the only is,
The whole the now contains.

Oh, yes, of course one's little wave
Will break upon some shoal.
But waves are ripples of the deep.
The ocean is the soul.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/Rbm7vfbj9Nw.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mommy and Daddy Love You

September 11, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem to a child about love.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Mommy and Daddy love you.
I know you love them, too.
And so it doesn’t matter that
They're sometimes mad at you.

Love is like the bright blue sky
Above the clouds and rain.
Soon the big black clouds move on.
The bright blue sky remains.

Sometimes you don’t notice it,
‘Cause love is like the air.
When you’re happy, when you’re sad,
Love is always there.

Love is like a little song
That you can sing and sing.
Even on the darkest days,
It brightens everything.

Mommy and Daddy love you.
I know you love them, too,
And they will love you all your life,
No matter what you do.

They will love you all your life,
No matter what you do,
No matter what, no matter when.
And you will love them, too.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/7qudeJEOW9Y.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fifty Years, and You Remain a Child

September 4, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a birthday number poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Fifty years, and you remain a child,
Infinitely valued, loved, and treasured.
Fierce winds may rip away at autumn leaves,
The kind of turn by which one's life is measured.
Yet Eden lingers, innocent and wild.

Years matter not, nor chance, nor choice, nor change.
Ever you must be a child still.
Ambition matters not, nor joy, nor grief,
Reason, passion, temper, fortune, will,
Since you know love that nothing can estrange.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/ebXMFQ6Wr8U.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Life for Most of Us Has Not Improved

August 28, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Labor Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Life for most of us has not improved.
A few billion live in agony.
Beasts live better, and are far more free.
Of course, the rest of us are deeply moved.
Remember, then, though business may be brisk,
Decency demands we buy and sell
At prices that reward the labor well,
Yet yield returns that justify the risk.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/DlkmiMvetAM.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let Not Lust Undo Your Greater Longing

August 21, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about love and lust.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Let not lust undo your greater longing,
Lest you lose the love you most desire.
The point is not the partner you are wronging,
But who you are, and what grace you require.
It may be fear that keeps you from betraying
The trust that keeps your present life intact.
But fear alone should not keep you from straying;
The inner truth should flower in the act.
A moment is just one step in a dance
Performed through life upon an inner stage,
Choreographed in turn by will and chance,
Viewed more from the balcony with age.
Choose love, then, over lust, and dance with grace
Within a long and mutual embrace.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/HS8cR6NZ0kw.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Light of the Senses

August 14, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about being blind.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

LIGHT OF THE SENSES

SINGER

Each note is like a moonbeam in the night,
More visible in darkness than in light.
You sing with closed eyes; I must sing with none.
Yet equally we would shut out the sun.
For music, like one's passion, seems to be
Purer when there's nothing one can see.

PIANIST

The melody is no more sound than touch.
My fingers sing; I press the keys with such
Grace as I can hear within my heart.
So beautiful to be consumed by art!
Though vision might be wonderful, I know
That I am who I am only so.

COMPOSER

I do not need to see or even hear,
But with a well-trained mental eye and ear,
I have an orchestra that plays within,
Ready every moment to begin.
The music issues forth like God's first light,
Filling with its radiance my night.

SCULPTOR

My hands are my sophisticated eyes,
Knowing better where the spirit lies
Within the shape you survey in the light.
Touch is far more intimate than sight.
I feel by feel the feeling that the form
Wishes to embody once it's born.

POET

I write about a world I cannot see
In images that are part fantasy,
Drawn from other senses that I use
As both my passionate eyes and choral muse.
None sees the world unfiltered through the mind.
Mine is no less lovely, though I'm blind.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/CO17MWdXTwM.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Say Goodnight, Gracie

August 7, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a lullaby.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Say goodnight, Gracie,
It's time to go to sleep.
The animals are all in bed –
The horses, pigs, and sheep.

The baby turtles are tucked in,
The zebras in the zoo,
Seal pups on little pillows lie –
Now, Gracie, how about you?

Only the moon is not asleep.
It sheds its pale light,
And says, “I wish that I could sleep,
But I must shine all night.”

Say goodnight, Gracie.
Your body needs to rest.
Your heart could use some quiet time
Tucked inside your chest.

Take pity on your tiny toes,
Your fingers, hands, and feet,
Your arms and legs, your ears and nose –
They all could use some sleep.

Give your eyes a little break,
Close them for a while,
And in the morning, when you wake,
You'll wake up with a smile.

Say goodnight, Gracie,
It's time to dream your dreams.
Ride your winged horse to the stars
Upon the moon's pale beams.

Mommy and Daddy also want
To dream our dreams tonight.
So go to sleep. We'll kiss you now,
And then turn off the light.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/F5yYTaI8Plg.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Success Is Measured Out in Humdrum Days

July 31, 2014

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is an anniversary poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Success is measured out in humdrum days.
Enduring love evolves from ecstasy.
Vested in a choice, one settles in,
Eventually becoming what one is,
Needing what would else be mere desire.

Years pass, the elemental union stays,
Each turning bit by bit more otherly.
A change without becomes a change within,
Richer than what once was hers or his,
Self no self could by itself acquire.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/-Snr1k5lF6Y.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eid Is Bittersweet

July 24, 2014 #798

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Eid al-Fitr, the feast that ends the holy month of Ramadan.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Eid is bittersweet. The holy month
Is over and the mundane months begun,
Devoted to the world of work and pleasure.
A sense of satisfaction comes at length,
Like winds that through the open windows run,
Freshening the soul, at last at leisure.
In celebration, then, and with new strength,
Turning to the many from the One,
Re-embrace the lives and loves you treasure.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/aBRCQ-Odp-c.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let Me Love You Long and Well

July 17, 2014 #797

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a love poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Let me love you long and well,
Long past passion's prime.
For love begins as passion, but
Becomes far more in time.

Let me dream with you beyond
The woods that line time's bend,
And see not just a lover, but
A mate, companion, friend.

Oh, is it far too early to
Imagine what might be?
We are only you and I,
Not near to being we.

Love is like that, making plans
That dance within the heart
Before the words can find their way
To where the curtains part.

So let me love you long and well,
Though for now we wait
For life to catch up with what I
Would like to be our fate.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/BT2oMxii5ZA.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Because the Root of Poverty Is Injustice

July 10, 2014 #796

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Bastille Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Because the root of poverty is injustice,
And there is wealth enough for all to have
Sustenance and shelter, and the promise
That all will prosper if they work and save;
Indeed, because those then have fewer children,
Leaving each more room in which to grow,
Leveraging lives through education,
Elevating lives by what they know:
Do not succumb to comfortable despair,
And think the poor, like flies, are simply there,
Yielding what might be to what seems so.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/uSgMPWmNBGQ.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Indeed, This Should Be Interdependence Day

July 3, 2014 #796

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Independence Day (USA).

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Indeed, this should be interdependence day.
No nation can lay claim to independence.
Despite the myth of sovereignty, we are
Entangled in a web of greed and need,
Poised upon the lip of life’s destruction.
Eventually, pain will have its way,
Nor will we fail forever our descendants.
Death comes singing anthems from afar,
Even as each victim is a seed
Now blowing in the wind of our redemption.
Come, then, for the Earth will have its say,
Eloquent on the subject of dependence.
Divided, we have not the strength to bar
A nation from its exercise of greed.
Yet as one world, we can avoid extinction.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/mylUe9xF6zk.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Right Action Is the Mother of Right Feeling

June 26, 2014 #795

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Ramadan.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Right action is the mother of right feeling.
As one does, one ultimately becomes.
Mere words are insufficiently revealing.
An act of faith revives what living numbs.
Do, then, faithfully the month observe,
And by your abstinence your spirit serve.
Nor will that act be any less than healing.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/7iq0rtKHp2g.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This Is a Time of Extraordinary Hope

June 19, 2014 #794

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a wedding poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

This is a time of extraordinary hope.
What makes a couple think their love’s for life?
The passion comes and goes as couples cope
With what it means to be a man and wife.
Love that lasts is more than just a feeling,
More than ecstasy or tenderness,
More than empathy, however healing,
More than affection, joy, or happiness.
All these are love, and yet they will not last
Without a daily, conscious act of will.
The bridge between the future and the past
Is the choice to love through good and ill.
Love can be for life, but only when
The choice is made again, again, again.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/3fheWnV409I.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Find Your Children Everywhere You Look

June 12, 2014 #793

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Father’s Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Find your children everywhere you look
And nurture them with passion and with pleasure.
The road you're on and those that you forsook
Have joined in what you ultimately treasure.
Each life is filled with love one can pass on,
Returning, turning, burning till one's gone,
Such sweet inheritance as none might measure.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/enC4ECBCs7I.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Glad to Graduate and Sad to Leave

June 5, 2014 #792

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a graduation poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Glad to graduate and sad to leave.
Ready to go, reluctant to depart.
Anxious to learn what more we can achieve.
Divided down the center of the heart.
Underneath our premature nostalgia,
Avidly we dream of things to come.
The moment is a multilayered mixture
In which each part is greater than the sum.
Our longing is the source of memory.
Nor will we soon forget when we were we.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/2jv0IoYIRSU.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Tiny Toes Are Not My Nose

May 29, 2014 #790

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for children.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

My tiny toes
Are not my nose.
My chubby thighs
Are not my eyes.

My slender hips
Are not my lips.
My salty tears
Are not my ears.

My soft, soft skin
Is not my chin.
My tummy-tum-tum
Is not my thumb.

My wrinkled palms
Are not my arms.
My tight-clenched fist
Is not my wrist.

And yet I know
I am made so
When they combine
They are all mine!


© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/Z56cZl1xbfI.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Maybe One Must End the War Within

May 22, 2014 #790

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Memorial Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Maybe one must end the war within.
Each must first find peace within the heart.
Maybe one ought neither lose nor win,
Ought not presume to tell the two apart.
Remember that this means that one’s own hate
Is something one no longer needs to fight.
A hatred of one’s hatred is a state
Like any other in the way of light.
Do, then, in yourself just leave the field,
Abandoning your saber and your shield,
Yielding the long struggle to be right.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Graduation Means that Now You Must

May 15, 2014 #789

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a graduation poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Graduation means that now you must
Repay the debt so innocently incurred,
Although the final tally seems absurd,
Demanding more than you consider just.
Unwillingly you had to make your bed
And now must lie in it, though we are all
The better for your choice. We like to call
Individual what is instead
Our common good. We feed on your success,
Nor can we be unscathed by your distress.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/RtMCYM_A7Vo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Maybe No One Wholly Leaves the Womb

May 8, 2014 #788

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Mother’s Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Maybe no one wholly leaves the womb,
Of which the memory remains as love --
The need for innocence, the unslaked longing,
Hunger for the beauty of belonging,
Each being for the other what might prove
Redemptive, as love makes the moment bloom,
Self losing self in song, in grace, in giving.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/6zNHckCP7yU.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ten Years! Such a Round, Emphatic Number

May 1, 2014 #787

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is an anniversary poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Ten years! Such a round, emphatic number!
Each step's an invitation to a dance
Not unlike the foxtrot or the rumba,
Yielding to the rhythms of romance.
Each is one, yet dances as a couple,
A single body joined by love and art,
Rejoicing in the movement, sure and supple,
Singing to the music of the heart.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/eD81Ou3jDkI.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time Speeds Up as One Grows Older

April 24, 2014 #786

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a philosophical number poem about the nature of time.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Time speeds up as one grows older.
Half one's life is one to two.
In a year, a year's a third.
Realize, though it seems absurd,
Time's proportional to you.
Years for dogs and cats run slower.

Free of time, beyond the knower,
One with all, eternal, true,
Unreachable by will or word,
Resides what will one's life renew.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/yfcM-ecRyaI.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy Easter to My Love

April 17, 2014 #785

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Easter.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Happy Easter to my love!
After leaving paradise,
Perhaps a little love is nice,
Proving what no priest could prove.
Years will not that grace remove,
Eternal goodness given twice,
Although the heart be dipped in ice,
Saving all who would so choose.
The love we feel is simply this
Enduring bit of Eden's bliss,
Revealed within each joyful kiss.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/-ljMBch_ptY.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Perhaps This Is No Time for Telling Tales

April 10, 2014 #784

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Passover.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Perhaps this is no time for telling tales.
After all, the slaves are still not free.
So what if God once parted the Red Sea,
Saving us, when slavery still prevails?
Ought one turn to save those left behind?
Very few would face the Pharaoh's host,
Emerging from the sea with little lost,
Ravenous to kill who would be kind.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/TptsH-B4mgQ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cabrina

April 3, 2014 #783

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a love and name poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Cabrina is the lover of my life.
All I am is hers, as she is mine.
Blessed are those who have a loving wife,
Redeemed as grace and joy in one combine.
In love one finds what else could never be,
Nor could one see the meaning one can see –
A beauty at the heart of life's design.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/dxlDzp1YcAY.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mothering Sunday Is a Time to Speak

March 27, 2014 #782

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Mothering Sunday (British Mother’s Day).

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Mothering Sunday is a time to speak
Of what most days there seems no need to say.
The bedrock love on which we build our homes
Has the salience of eternity,
Enduring underneath the shifting years.
Remembering the selfless love we seek,
Infinite love embodied here in clay,
Nurturing hearts and tendons, souls and bones,
Grace incarnate, frail sublimity,
So might we surround with love our fears.
Umbilical thoughts sustain us through the bleak
Nights that turn so slowly into day,
Dreaming in a desert heaped with stones
As we find sustenance in memory,
Yearning for you still with childlike tears.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/DGlyXsZbepA.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Dreamed I Must Be Sleeping

March 20, 2014 #781

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a humorous poem about dreaming.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

I thought I must be dreaming that
I thought I was awake,
For I was without question in
A most peculiar state.

Who was thinking I was dreaming
I was thinking in my sleep?
Was I awake while sleeping?
Oh, this was far too deep!

Or was I dreaming I was thinking
I was dreaming in the night?
And would I wake up tired or rested
Come the morning light?

The alarm beeped, and quickly I
Rolled off the rumpled bed,
Grateful for the clarity
That lit the day ahead.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/gSapt66Qty8.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Self Becomes Less Self the More Self-Served

March 13, 2014 #780

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for St. Patrick’s Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Self becomes less self the more self-served,
As who one is arrives from parts unknown.
Identity is never one’s alone,
Nor can one learn unchanged a single word.
Thus the self by nature is a part,
Present in the body of the whole.
A healthy arm or leg is not a goal
That one pursues regardless of the heart.
Remember, then, that one is more or less
In common with the boundaries one draws,
Choosing or not the love that sings and soars,
Knowing or not what brings one happiness.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/xxFWE2uGTmU.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Pound My Leather Hand and Wait

March 6, 2014 #779

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about baseball.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

I pound my leather hand and wait
For it to gobble up the ball
Skipping towards me like a stone
About to break a knee or shin.

But I reach down my giant hand,
My shovel-shaped, web-fingered hand,
And scoop the skipping stone up in
The webbing like a ping-pong ball.

I sling it to my throwing hand,
Then barrel it across the field.
I pound again my leather hand,
My giant hand, invincible.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/yBixnz9Eqys.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mugabe and Mandela

February 27, 2014 #778

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a political poem contrasting the ways in which Mandela and Mugabe founded their African states.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Mugabe and Mandela,
Two strategies for change:
One would whites include;
One would whites estrange.

Murder begets murder;
White murder begets black.
Once one goes for blood,
There’s no exit back.

Power unrestrained
By wisdom, love, or law
Leads to even greater
Horrors than before.

Yet letting whites retain
The property they stole
Leaves blacks still dispossessed,
Though equal at the poll.

For wealth is ever power,
Wont to have its way
With those of any color
Who happen to hold sway.

And so the pot still boils
With anger finely honed.
Was violence avoided?
Or was it just postponed?

Mugabe and Mandela,
Two ways to found a state:
One through storms still sailing;
The other drowned in hate.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/SieZYn0ArGw.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love Comes Unexpectedly

February 20, 2014 #777

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about love.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Love comes unexpectedly,
As though a melody
Came flooding into everyday,
Turning thought to dance.

It isn’t sensuality,
Or plain good company,
Or beauty, or a fragrant spray
That brings one to romance;

But these and some sweet mystery,
A sensuous sanctity,
That makes a family out of play
And fate of wayward chance.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/SEwTvah0K4E.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vast Differences Between Us Are like Oceans

February 13, 2014 #776

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Valentine’s Day.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Vast differences between us are like oceans
Across which we can fly with open arms.
Let us put aside our doubts and qualms,
Enduring through the joy of shared emotions.
Need is the sustainer of devotions,
The answerer of queries and alarms,
Issuer of ecstasies and charms,
Nemesis of unromantic notions.
Each of us needs love as we need food.
‘Ere we see, we longing look for love,
Surviving only by that gift of feeling.
Deeper than mere sentiment or mood,
A hunger we remember little of
Yet yearns in ways redemptive and revealing.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/DBKFvchMjaI.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Little Lucy Loves to Read

February 6, 2014 #775

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for children.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Little Lucy loves to read,
Reading hour after hour.
Each story plants a tiny seed
That will grow up into a flower.

She reads within her garden where
The flowers oh so slowly grow.
There's lots and lots of beauty there,
In all the lands where she might go.

Oh, Lucy! Read of queens and kings,
Of girls and boys and unicorns,
Of fairy elves with rainbow wings
And ships that vanish into dawns!

And when you grow up big and tall,
And leave the garden far behind,
Look back, and see within the wall
Your flowers sheltered from the wind.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/bsvpBiQorfU.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

There's No Secret to Nobility

January 30, 2014 #774

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for the Chinese or Lunar New Year (The Year of the Horse), written by the horse.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

There’s no secret to nobility.
Having seen it, one knows what it is:
Easy elegance, restrained but free,
Yielding grace that’s more than hers or his;
Enduring loyalty to one’s liege lord,
As much for love as for a sense of right;
Reverence that looks for no reward,
Out of some sweet source of inner light;
Friendship that pursues its proper end,
That needs a whole of which one can be part;
Humility, on which pride can depend,
Ever the safe refuge of the heart.
Human animals are far less able,
On the whole, to give themselves to love,
Reason being far less sure and stable,
Sensing what is real at one remove.
Even so, some few might noble prove.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKMGw92ocuY.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Festivities Pull the Cork on the Champagne

January 23, 2014 #773

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a forty-fifth anniversary poem.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree.com/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Festivities pull the cork on the champagne,
Opening up the bubbles stored below.
Rising, laughing, dancing as they go,
They burst upon the palate like sweet rain.
Years pass like songs repeating a refrain,
Festivals that mark the tuneful flow
In verses that voice well what all well know,
Verities that life and love sustain.
Each anniversary is like a wave
Yielding to the uplift of the shore,
Ending in a rush of froth and foam.
Again, again, the sea gives what it gave,
Returning, turning yet again for more,
Singing 'cross the well-worn sands of home.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/AhMoEnTWrWY.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Make of Me a Hero

January 16, 2014 #772

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree.com/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Make of me a hero, but I was
A failure in what mattered most to me.
Remember well the ill that sainthood does,
Taking holiness for victory.
I think we are as far away as ever,
Not from equal laws but equal lives.
Little has been done to make life better,
Unless you like the shift to guns from knives.
The icon of my face is now a mask
Hiding the destruction of the poor.
Each day is worse for millions than the last.
Raging unregarded is a war.
Know, then, though our president is black,
I would march again, could I come back,
No icon, but a loving, peaceful scourge,
Gathering strength where race and class converge.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1VN22Sbs5M .

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Friends Are Where One Offloads What

January 9, 2014 #771

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem about friendship.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree.com/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Friends are where one offloads what
One cannot bear alone –
Spoiled goods that jam the gut,
Sorrows turned to stone.

Why does the act of telling friends
One's troubles ease one's pain?
Nothing changes, nothing ends,
Yet one can cope again.

It's not that one is looking for
Advice or sympathy.
One has pent-up words to pour
Into reality.

A friend is like a field on which
Such feelings can find air.
The point is not to say too much,
But simply to be there.

© by Nicholas Gordon.

Watch me recite the poem on YouTube at http://youtu.be/yOS2f1ZM2dU.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eager for a Miracle

January 2, 2014 #770

Dear Subscriber:

This week’s poem of the week is a poem for Epiphany.

You can hear me read the poem and listen to the music for it at my site by going to http://www.poemsforfree.com/week.html.

Yours,

Nick Gordon

Eager for a miracle, one sees
Plainly and precisely as one wills,
Immersed in purposes, plans, goals, needs, desires,
Peering through the windows of a dream.
How might one see right through the way things seem,
Adjusting for the light of inner fires?
Numbers measure what the measure kills.
Yet some truths are best measured on one’s knees.

© by Nicholas Gordon.