page 20


             THE BLESSING OF SIN

Eve and Adam - that's where it all began,
    they messed up God's beautiful plan.
Before them lay a life of ease, heaven;
    but why not instead of two, twenty-seven?
Let us stop and think - why just two,
    they'd share the Earth and sky of blue,
God would have given unto them
    all their wants every single whim.
All but that wish - which we call a tree,
    really tho' - it's something called family.
So that sin they performed, first two then three,
    and so it has gone throughout all history.
Here I sit writing this pungent poem,
    thanking Eve and Adam for my home.
I was going to write on the blessings of sin,
    when I started to write, when I first begin.
I was going to say that on this Earth,
    if it wasn't for sin there'd be no birth.
That means no Bible, Rome, Egypt or Christ,
    no murders, kidnappings or mailtruck heist;
No Cain, Neros or men dying on the cross,
    to think that all this would be a loss,
If it wasn't for sin; God gave all a free will,
    and at the beginning it started downhill.
It is easier you must agree to go down than up,
    we drink empty, not full, a cup.
Sin will go on forever as will eternity,
    God will forgive us, yes, with serenity.


---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 page 19


                            Crickets played
                                  in symphony with the
                               wind amongst the grass
                                           near river's edge

                          The Missouri lay deep
                                           in its bed
                                     awaiting dawn's light


                          Not so the owl
                                      which flew near
                                    catching sight
                                           in a moonless
                                               cloudless night

                             Dove and flew
                                  amongst a trillion
                             billion stars
                                          stars . . .
                                      amongst the stars
                                           and there I saw
                                                      infinity



-----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  page 18


  Lie I awake at night
              listening
       to a drummer's beat and roll
   as acorns tap, tap on my roof
           and a midnight wind
                                 does stroll


 


           Begin may we, to feast
                     on our summer's toil
                     as nature rains its colors
                       on the soil,
                    breath air fresh with
                       mornings frost and chill,
                     measure our summers worth
                      by our harvest's fill

 
          

                                                    

                Where the there that was then,
                    the when that could have been,
                    the were that was sure to be, 
                    but wasn't, and now we're not we.

                                                 

  ---------------------------------------------------------

 

                                                                   page 12

How tightly we close our eyes
         against the light of dawn
     as we lay
              warm
         in the bed of night
     drawing over head
              its coverings
                                   anticipating
         what dawn brings
How early we retired
         to its comfort
                 in the wintry
              days
                       when
                 the sun leaves us

Do we not find then alone
         day to be but an interlude,
     Do we forget, dividing our sleeping
              the bed shall yet
         remain
                              awaiting
                          our return
         when day
              has exhausted
                       us to sleep

 

---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     page 11

It was south of Berlin
    where we called home;
not that the beauty was
    any more or less there,
settling came before we
    reached so far north.

It was the snow in Berlin,
    already, and while yet
  cold, none had fallen
    upon the lakes here
  south of Berlin, then
    Soon enough though it did!

So every year, about this time,
   we look to the mountains
 where it lies and
      remember the snow
that fell then, and that here
      south of Berlin, it too shall.



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                                                                page 10

                S h o e s

I found something new,
     which I alone can view,
From my cellar's tiny window,
     I secretly watch, here below,
The passing of many feet,
     between my window and the street.
Some are polished and very bright,
     others seem to have been in a fight.
Some are gay and a happy red,
     others are black as if they're dead.
Some are small and very little,
     others seem to fit a fiddle.
Some go by very, very fast,
     others are slow as they pass.
Maybe I can also someday,
     with shoes, pass along this way.
And when that day I can,
     they will not be red, black or tan.
Mine shall be of a pure white,
     laced with the blackness of night.
I shall walk proudly in my shoes,
     past people, doors and other's views,
Knowing that I have a place to go,
     and no one else but I will know.
That I was once haggard and poor,
     and walked bare footed on the floor.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    page 9

              SOFTLY 

Time is as the flow of a river
The water is what carries the flow
The river bed is where we are
The banks the bounds of it
The immediate surroundings
Of drainage
The realm of one
Rivers are met
Thus become is more
Till an ocean is
The source met
There intermingling
Ferment
Death
And Birth
Become and rise to heights
Within all this - man
Cries out -- "Destiny"
And the rippling waters
Laugh softly
As the rain falls
Again
On the mountain top.
 

                                                                                


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                                                                  page 8




We saw in that time ago,
      so little; not even the largest of dreams
    could have begun to fill today.
Might we though today, dream
      those smaller dreams; which, realized:
           bonded thanks with sincerity.

 




                     Through the windows
                                        of our rooms
                            enters the light
                                         of the world


                       Might we care for them
                            as the years go by
                          tend to our panes
                              paint and putty

                     Through our windows
                           in the night our
                                             light
                         might let others see

                              




-------------------------------------------------------
                                                          pages 5 - 6 - 7


              Loneliness V-VI

My steps had taken me deep into the
    wooded hills having followed trails,
Trails used not by man but the runs
    of various rudiments and predators.
And when it was a long bend did come,
    skirting foliage dense and deep, I
Found myself impelled therein to go
    though I saw no ready way there in.
So I bent and crawled 'neath thicket,
   catching, tearing both cloth and flesh.
I assured myself it was a must price
    and laughed at a scampering rabbit.
Shortly though the bush did thin and
    I could stand though yet crowdedly.
My boots a blessing against underbrush,
    I had nothing though to fend branches.
They snapped in quick blows and further
    tore and shredded my remaining wear.
Small drops of blood mingled and ran
     with sweat stinging minor wounds.
At this point I paused both in rest
    and thought, wondering at my actions.
But started soon enough, knowing I would
    but pay twice the price for nothing.
For what I sought or thought to find
    I had absolutely no idea whatsoever.
Knowing the fool I was, I sought no
    answer but gave over to the urge.
My thoughts lending to what surrounded me,
    at it, its density and variety; reason.
About was every sort of bush and berry,
    here and there a fern or mushroom grew.
Well robbed of sun and light by trees,
    of pine, cotton, birch, maple and oaks.
All seeking their place and more room,
    in some unknown contest or pitting game.
As I continued inward, it did appear
    their struggle somewhat slackened, but
Nay, perceived was a change about them in
    that they stood less bent and twisted.
Tall and strong, their circumference of
    increasing size; bush, fir and fern

                                                                    page 6

Even mushrooms grew expandedly now and
    I sought rest there near a larger tree.
Picked berries from a near bush that my
    thirst; and hunger as well, be quenched.
I must have dozed for a short time, for
    I awoke in a start from something.
Again a flash, 'twas a high noon sun...
    breaking the heavy canopy high above.
Standing, somewhat rested now, I set
    out once more now less encumbered.
Tho' no hope was in the vegetation,
    as I reached deeper into the woods.
For shortly after starting out from
    the stout trees and brush, I found
Those beyond to be in various stages
    of dying or stunted in growth, life.
As if denied some source of life force,
    or crowded by those I'd just left.
I saw no reason; though seldom I had
    ever, for what I saw, tho - sometimes -
So I journeyed on thinking an end or
    perhaps even a path would be near.
Such hope is seldom filled immediately,
    no surprise came at further encumbrance.
Branch and twig lay dead, felled in no
    certain order upon the wasted ground.
I found myself having to clamber over
    trees, somehow felled with yet green.
Facing no less of the same far ahead,
    slipping at times, once incurring a gash.
Which I swiftly wrapped stopping blood
    but not the anguish shooting now within.
My body began to numb; I found myself
    wanting to stop but somehow went on.
At last sight was caught of a clearing,
    and strength returned to aid me on.
Soon enough the dead and dying began
    to clear; my way now was hastened.
What trees there were were all stunted,
    brush was twisted upon stony ground.
Less larger branches and more twigs lay,
    and few were any of the smaller shrub.
Wiping salty sweat from my eyes I saw,
    saw something I thought a dream, illusion.
                                            
                                                                    page 7
So haste was made over the forest floor
    toward what was the apparent center.
Caught in sight was a titan of a tree,
    its size that twice of any redwood known.
Its branches seemed horizontal trees
    themselves stretching far and heavily.
That one tree in its whole commanded
    half the clearing; near six acres...
That one tree in its height only surmised,
    stood possessing the heart, the center.
Daring any to challenge its held claim,
    stopping, downing all who even so dared.
'Twas then I knew the why of the density
    of the woods I'd just managed through.
All the daring and young crowded, surged,
    to reach, meet its test; their fanaticism.
And more knowing ones stood their ground
    attempting to hold back all others.
Sending their spawn to challenge, best,
    or die trying, so the last encountered.
Under its immensity I stood now bared
    and bloodied, weakened and paining.
No thought of else but the knowing came,
    came and went in slow tripping measures.
I then turned to leave, to find again
    the trail which coursed clearly on.
Which heard the song of birds, shared
    the hoof, paw and fleet little feet.
The trail which ambled yet bound all
    the woods, even the secreted meadows.
To there I sought my way, knowing it
    offered balms and cooling waters...
There I could share in the harmony and
    flow, never driven, never stopped.
For though one might grow broad or high
    it lays no jealous hold or testing.
But catches the winds and heavy storms
    that the lesser might thrive and grow.
That is its power and it's shared by the
    sprouting pine, the birds and flowers.
I've cast my boots aside and loosened
    my belt as I knowingly amble along.

                                                                                  

----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      page 4


            The tree stands tall
                        oak hard and branching
                   shading, catching
                             wind and rain
                        and tiny feet
          Your arms stretch wide
                      fingers pressed
            you hold that leaf
                        to your heart

                 your eyes seeing but the tree
         Upon the forest's bed
               knowing the warmth of thy womb
              in my napping
            standing tall catching wind
                                          and rain
                             and storms tearing
                         the cool of air
                                   the warmth of day
                             and life
          Know me thus
                     and in all ways
                      never close your
                                        eyes
                               or fail to hear
                                  as I stand near,
                                    near the warmth
                                                of thy soul.



---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      page 3



                               Reason
                                   that
                                    at days end
                                      full bloom
                                                   be

 

  ...And don't forget
           the weep hole
       in your retaining wall
         or it'll fall
               come rain
          or cold
                 long before you're old.

 

 

                               Everything isn't always
                              Though nothing ceases to be,
                            for what it was is what it is
                                     whatever it is we see.


 
                                                                                
---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     page 2

                     A leaf budding
                           upon a tree leaved full
                        is heard not
                                   nor is it seen
                                         or known
                                      to none
                              'cept perhaps the tree
                                   yet
                              you saw and heard
                                                                  me
                                     as I passed aside of you


                        The air alone
                              does feel the
                                                   falling
                                                                 of
                                                                       a
                                                                        leaf
                                and perhaps the earth upon
                                       which it does alight
                        so, too, I know
                        you felt the love yet
                                         remaining within and
                                       as clouds which passed
                                                 that day
                                     you touched it
                        No softer bed than the forest
                              floor
                           and I did sleep
                                  upon the pillow of your lap

                          softly nestled against thy womb


---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  page 1

  Called
        are hands
  to shapeless
                       clay
       spinning
                  timely
         upon
                   the wheel
         where
                        foot
           pumps
                    so vigorously
  Called
          and though
                       the two
    are of one
              The guiding
       of the hands
                     The gentler
                            more cautious
   As
       formed is
                         shapeless
                                   clay
                     and
                          a vase
                        becomes.


-------------------------------------------------------

                    Table of Contents

 Called...                                                         1
A leaf budding...                                           2
Reason                                                           3
And don't  forget...                                       3
Everything isn't always...                            3
The tree stands tall...                                    4
Loneliness V-VI                                          5-7
We saw in that time ago...                           8

Through the windows...                               8
Softly                                                               9
Shoes                                                             10
It was south of Berlin...                               11
How tightly we close our eyes...                12
Peace came...                                                 13
The Wall                                                         14
January                                                          15
Ledge                                                             16
Unchanged                                                   16
A Need to Be Needed                                 17
Our Future                                                  17
Lie I awake at night...                               18
Begin may we, to feast...                           18
Where the there that was then...            18
Crickets played                                         19
The Blessing of Sin                                   20
A candle's light                                         21
Remembering is at times...                     22
Life in a Cup                                              23
Revolution                                                24
A wild rose...                                            24
The old full branched tree                    25
Afraid, you say...                                     26
Arrested Progress                                    26
Good for Nothing                                    26
Heard...                                                     27

In the forest there's a tree...                  28

------------------------------------------------------

                 




                           Nature's death
                                compensated
                                     in renewal.

                          Mankind must too--
                               to live
                                   have life






--------------------------------------------------------

                Rocks of the Stream

 

                           Book II

 

                       The Valley

 

                               by

 

                   Gerald William Brooks







---------------------------------------------------------------- 

                                                                  page 28


In the forest there's a tree,
     it grows for you, for me.
Its name means individuality;
     the fruit of which is reality.

As we all must in our days,
     live our lives, walk our maze
tasting its fruit along our way
     we laugh,
cry, work and play.

 We may in the forest near our tree
     realize the roots of individuality
Roots from each entwined in reality
     nourished from one that you be.

One body, Earth, one night one day
     walking here, forward, in the maze
We may live, die and never say
     to He that made it all this way,
                                            thank you!

 

 
                                    

---------------------------------------------------------------
                                     page 22


Remembering is at times
                              hard to do,
    but the day the dog dies
             sorta' remains with you.
Life is changed then,
    another--may become
                              a friend
         but that's all again,
                  and another dog.

Life is precious, living
       goes but one way and in
    the passing some things
    are not remembered,
They remain with you.

 

 

 

 


--------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      page 21



   A candle's light
      bright
            by which to see
   in day or night
            truth and knowledge
       inseparably one.

   A hundred thousand million
                                         I image
            to be
   maybe more
            and in life it is
   one at least
                          we might see
   need one see more
                        numbers do not
                                                exist
       in and of the light of truth
   knowledge extends not
                        beyond itself
   A candle's light
       bright, carry one may I
       by which to see in day or night
       truth and knowledge, inseparably one
                                    in life


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                                                                     page 16
       LEDGE

There,

   just at the woods' edge
   the ledge lay bare --

                                a bit.
Time had come to bare

     more of it --
   enough to walk upon.

Baring the ledge where it lay
    near the surface;
 thousand  years  ago
      it was the surface.

Here we see a part of it;
   the foundation upon which
 our land lays, our homes
    here our feet may track on it.

Our soul surfaces sometimes
    here or there -- friends to touch.
Keep the edges clear, swept clean
    as the ledge -- don't cover it.

 

 
                                 UNCHANGED
                   They came to make a free land,
                       thinking they'd start anew.
                  They forgot man will never change,
                       and that he downs those that do.



--------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   page 15
                           January 

Old man where, where do you go?
    your tracks cover in the deepening snow,
You carry no baggage; nothing of the kind,
    all your past, your present, in your mind.
You are dressed poorly for this type of weather,
    you walk bent in sadness, in happiness never.
What is this place you are about to enter?
    is that your shack placed in the center?
It is empty and cold just a picture on the wall,
    you sit and hold it - what do you recall?
The face is faded from the years long past,
    someone is coming, the turn of the hasp.
'Tis a little girl, a basket on her arm,
    you look up surprised, as if in alarm.
She comes to you - the basket placed on the table,
    you look at her, smile, on the basket a label.
It reads, "Happy New Year" - plain and simple,
    Oh, what a smile, on your face a dimple.
She starts to leave, you call her back,
    she turns smiling, words you lack.
In that moment you think of a past year,
    when your little girl you held so dear.
Rising, you walk to her, your hands are bleak,
    touching her, then kissing her on the cheek.
You rise, then she reaches up on her tips,
    her hands are warm and so are her lips.
Leaving, she says, "I'll return tomorrow,"
    your eyes follow her now, in sorrow.
Slowly you walk over to your bed,
    pulling the covers up over your head.
The sun setting, shines in golden hue,
    a beam through the window engulfs you.
Then the moon with it's pure mirrored light,
    glows within your dwelling all the night.
This was once a mansion where your were born,
    you lay there now, will anybody mourn?
She comes, enters, then she goes to where you lie,
    she speaks, you are gone, she knows, she does cry.

  -------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     page 13

     Peace came
         in surrender
     came when the fire's
         kindling
                  was buried
     came when
              across the universe
         seen was
                  a fire mirroring
                  a child born
              and so
                      a child within
                  was
                      laid to rest


                             A child
                     born
       still-life
       crying from the empty
                                   womb
                  of his mother
         wanting
                  only to be,
              if but
                       only
       in that brief moment
                            called birth
                         if
                       but only
         touched
     as that it would have
                                 known
                          that much

---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      page 26


Afraid, you say,
     to go this way;

Two afraid fear no more
                                than one,
         shall we be on?

 





           ARRESTED PROGRESS

    The centuries old country road
         carrying progress's heavy load,
    did watch and weigh the meeting of two:
         a speedy white car and a man in blue--
    a two-minute gain became a fifteen-
    minute loss.
    The balance is; "speedy progress isn't
                                                always boss!"

 

 

 

                      GOOD FOR NOTHING

                      To be good without pay
                              or a thank-you
                           for what you did today.
                    To do it and be done
                        and move along your
                           way, good for nothing.

 

                                      


---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    page 25
 
The old full branched tree
       must fall one day, if
            the woods themselves are to grow.
That it loose a branch unused
    and bend the sun's light
         the sapling may grow, so
         one day break it's fall.
What was ours may last if given,
    held we'll never know.
                 The old full branched tree
                 must fall one day, if
       the woods themselves are to grow.

Unused branches fallen
       allow the sapling room to grow
                 breaking wind and ease the falling.
                         What was ours may last if given
                    held we'll never know.
 
       The old full branched tree
            must fall one day, if
                 the woods themselves are not to die.
             Yet, neither need stand
                  alone in time in the waiting of;
            That youth receive what age gives
                 Pending view of the sun.
            Unused branches allowed to fall
                 help the ancient oak to stand,
                       fallen the branches nurture
            Youth breaking wind.
                                               

The old full branched tree
          must fall one day, if
                the woods themselves are to grow.
                               Yet neither need stand alone
                                     in time in the waiting of.
      Unused branches allowed to fall
            help the ancient oak to stand.
                 Youth standing near break the wind
 

                                                  

----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    page 24

              Revolution

Revolution comes in its height
                    not with war
     but in the silence of dreams,
                           war ends revolution
     establishing order
     as sides are chosen
     lines of division are drawn;

Who then dreams if not you and if you
     would fly, fly unrestrained and high.

 





A wild rose
              picked
     doesn't last the night
Better the rose
                       tended to
         in a life's
                            passing

 



----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       page 17

               A NEED TO BE NEEDED

                 When we are young
                         just after birth
                         we need - our mothers.
                 When we grow older
                        we shy away from
                        our mothers - not knowing.
                They look and want to
                        console us in times
                        when we are lost.
               We try to do without
                       their comfort and care
                       forgetting when we were young.
              Not realizing the want
                      of mothers, their need
                      to be needed by us.
             But when they pass away
                     in sad memory we think
                     of how we left them out.


 

  OUR FUTURE

Yes, time will pass,
       as it has gone before.
We'll strive for peace,
          it will only end in war.
 

---------------------------------------------------------
                                                               page 14

                 THE WALL

 The walls were there long before our
          grandparents were born; countless
    stones laid with stones, a lifetime's

          labor of an era no longer spoken of.
                                                                                     They are there all about and none

     will have them down through few
              will put them up these days, one
                       stone laid on stone all a line.

Forest has taken back what once
      was forest with no vengeance to
          the walls, though trees grow where
               the wall was standing - ago.


 For one I'd say there is a pleasure
         on seeing the wall, far back --
    a horizontal line among the many
          vertical trunks of trees.

         "Wall it in and wall it out",
            it was said and right
              as most and I, too believe
             though other uses abound.


   For the looking at from
      where within one stands
  and knows the capacity,
  and using it fully

        Not begrudging that which
           lays beyond or secretly
         wanting it down or the
      wall beyond and yet another

        A wall is for laying things
               on, or near, gives one
               time for thinking before it
               is reached, and certain
               things in certain places

                       Walls are for laying up
                              or down, for in this society
                              our frontiers are found
                              no longer beyond walls.

               But that we built them
                and if we spend the time
              to build them we certainly
                   ought to allot time to
                          take them down.



---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     page 27

Heard
     throughout the valley
         though sounding softly
                    a leaf's rustling.

It does alert
         others to look
                                listen
         as to its cause, reason

A falling leaf
                    is heard,
         and felt
              upon the forest floor

And though it can't be lifted
         to where it fell from
     its reason for falling
         concerns all in the forest

A call perhaps for all
         to lean a moment, to
     give if but attention
         and for one perhaps
              to act in recipiency

 

 

 

 

 

                                       27


-------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   page 23

                LIFE IN A CUP

What will it be, she says,
     just a cup of coffee, just coffee.
Do you want cream, pream, or none,
     no, just black and hot, black.
She served me my cup of coffee,
     I looked at it--steaming, black, hot.
I sip it from a spoon at first, because
     it is bitter without taste and hot.
Slowly it cools, the bitterness seems gone,
     I drink in gulps til' the last.
Then I slow my drinking pace,
     enjoying those last cold bitter drops.
The cup is empty now, gone forever,
     She comes to me, saying, "A refill."
I tell her, no it was just fine, winking,
     She smiles and gives me the check.
Oh what a small price to pay--a dime,
     I wonder, does God pay a dime, or more?
He gave us life, hot, creamless, and black,
     Hot, steaming with energy and life.
Creamless, yes, but we can still dream,
     Black, yes, but filled with hope and faith.
When we were young we just sipped our life,
     as we grew older we drank in gulps.
Then as age came we thought of how,
     the prime passes so fast, freely.
And we sip those last cold bitter drops,
     then--our cup--is empty, life is gone.
God comes to us asking, "a refill,"
     we say--no--thank-you, it was just fine.
God pays the check for us--smiling,
     and takes us to his home in heaven.

 

 

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