At the fallen gate, p.1
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       At the Fallen Gate, p.1

           Daniel Hargrove
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At the Fallen Gate
"At the Fallen Gate"

  and Other Poems

  by Daniel Hargrove

  Copyright 2014 Daniel Hargrove

  Cover art copyright 2014 Daniel Hargrove

  This book is published for anyone's enjoyment. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Users may read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal are appropriately credited. The users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.

  Table of Contents

  1) At the Fallen Gate

  2) Garden Game

  3) Laces and Dust

  4) On the Block

  5) Were I So Tender Hearted

  6) If Ever Under Lock and Key

  7) In Counting Scars

  8) In a Fall of Roses

  9) Where Once a Treasure Lay

  10) A Perspective on Myself

  11) A Garden, Graced

  12) Insinuation

  13) Slowly

  14) The Lost Pursuit

  15) For the Fine Hours

  16) Within Our Smiles

  17) Without a Fight

  18) Press

  19) The Journey of Words

  20) Compulsion

  21) A Balanced Unit

  22) In Seeking a Home

  23) After We Gathered the Wood

  24) A Day in the Park

  25) A Prick in the Wool

  At the Fallen Gate

  My fortunes have struck a hollow note.

  Where I was once a man of sweets,

  I am a man of bitter herbs,

  and words now escape me.

  At six we fall and sit and cry...

  at sixteen we laugh at the fallen...

  at 36 I find it is too easy to fall...

  at 60, if we fall, we may never rise again...

  The worst part of life, I think,

  is the pettiness, the small-minded and crass

  things that we have heard

  a hundred times before.

  If you are like me

  you carry scars on your heart

  that whisper to your foolishness

  when you trust (when you shouldn't).

  My brow forever shadowed

  at what I learned, all too young...

  at the ill that lurks in man

  and finds his brightest hour.

  The very best part of life, some say

  is the love, and make no mistake,

  it is love that walked the long mile...

  it is love that makes us whole...

  ...but love has torn a young lover's heart

  many times over, and once again...

  and once again, as it has before

  love has tricked a trusting soul.

  Garden Game

  Oh, how we wish that wheel would turn,

  and, oh, how we wish that sun would rise...

  if only that blossom would unfold it's beauty;

  if only that ice would melt in the spring...

  Under a splash of stars untold

  these old scars keep a prayer

  caught in my breath,

  and ringing in the sky...

  I love you, dear garden...

  at the end of a rainbow,

  in the mind of a child...

  love you, and need you, and care for you...

  ...but I have ridden that wheel

  in search of you so long...

  ...I have watered that flower

  in the hopes of sun....

  That sculpture of ice that stands in your pool

  in the winter, in the snow, that speaks to my heart

  will cry in the rain, when the clouds release

  the chill in our bones from its dark shackles...

  Laces and Dust

  Hidden in her coat

  was a picture of a church

  with the dogwood in full bloom,

  and memories of swearing men

  every other night

  crowded her thoughts...

  nights loomed large,

  and loneliness settled on her

  like a shroud of fog,

  and her shoelaces

  were always knotted in a bunch...

  her eyes were like sharp knives,

  and cut every person

  who looked straight at them...

  she wore rings on seven fingers,

  mostly gifts from

  three ex-husbands,

  and she still had a book

  she had when she was five

  that she fought her brother for...

  women always avoided her

  and men in their sixties

  always seemed to catch her

  in a fishnet of eyes...

  most of what she wore

  was knitted from yarn

  which she bought at the crafts store,

  and she kept two knitting needles

  in a small bone-colored purse,

  and they stuck out one end...

  she had a fourteen year-old cat

  with one yellow eye and one pink,

  a yellow tabby with rough fur

  that always fell out into the carpet...

  a bowl of hard Christmas candy

  sat on her table

  that had not been touched

  in almost ten years,

  and the pieces were glued together,

  a solid mass of hard sugar...

  dust gathered everywhere

  around her small apartment,

  on costume jewelry trinkets

  that laid out, scattered

  on oak bureaus and dressing tables,

  and she counted the days,

  and she counted the weeks,

  and she counted the years

  on a calendar with paintings of small town life

  that hung in her bathroom

  until she finally passed away...

  On the Block

  ...and after a time

  you found you could lie

  to that special friend...

  and of course, they could lie to you.

  If they had a pang in their heart

  you could ignore it

  and they wouldn't mind too very much...

  and you would not mind if they had such a pang...

  You would both agree

  about Billy Joe,

  and Billy Joe would be red in the face,

  and burn alone in a room in tears.

  If one day you gave a cold shoulder

  to your special friend

  they would be unhurt, it wouldn't matter...

  they would still be there if you were alone.

  One day you grew up a little too much

  and your special friend

  was not a friend at all, anymore...

  cross my heart and hope to die.

  Were I So Tender-Hearted

  And, yes, I was so tender. . .

  so tender that I cried

  at just the thought of it. . .

  at just the thought of crying.

  Hard words can hurt.

  Can hurt, can even wound.

  Know me, know I am hurt

  by those hard words.

  You wield that knife

  so carelessly, so easy.

  Now I hold that knife,

  and I am an angry man.

  Once I was Robin Hood,

  and once I was an arrow. . .

  straight at King John's rotten heart

  did I whistle my tune.

  If Ever Under Lock and Key

  I had known the old man, a bum, for many a year...

  I won't share the story he told to me, with you,

  Some nights on the curb, drinking beer, and feeling blue...

  about what his wife had whispered when death was near.

  Most nights the old man was drunk, but full of cheer,

  but not this night, so the dread within me grew

  he would tell that long old story I thought I knew...

  but something was different, in his eyes there was trust, if a tear.

  Without a word, he gently pulled off his shoe

  and showed me the ring that his wife had held so dear...

  the diamond he gave her before she would say "I do."

  It was at that moment that I knew his deepest fear...

  that some bum would steal the ring for money for brew,

  but he would not lock it away, he needed it near.

  In Counting Scars

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