A few original poems ...


It's been some years since mother died
and yet not once since then
have I sat and cried
beside her grave.

A lovely woman, amply framed,
who favored, savored even
    Emeraude, and blue jays,
    daffodils, "Amazing Grace,"
    and Chicken Cordon bleu,
    and Brandy Alexanders.
But then the hateful cancers,
the horrible, insatiable crabs
devoured the flesh, they
destroyed the place in which she lived
the too short while she lived with us.

A gentle woman, and gracious,
she feared old age, the steady   ebb,
the fading gifts of mind, of body
that left her father lacking simple dignities,
dependent.  She knew:  not knowing was no solace,
it was in fact much worse to her than just not having.

O how much more unfair:  for leaving us too soon
she was not fully spared, or even some,
some twenty, thirty years of raging anguish,
the pain distilled it seemed in half a year as life
was rapid-boiled, was steamed from loving, jaundiced
bones, evaporated.

          O but please and O but would
          and O why could she not go gentle
          O go gentle    just    O please go gentle
          Please, and ...
                             and, finally

And no, since then not once
have I sat beside her grave.
But she has sat with me,
within my heart, and tried
to mend the broken places
--with daffodils, "Amazing Grace,"
and the heady scent of Emeraude--
and kept me gentle company.

It's been some years
and still sometimes
I sit and cry
a lonesome

1989, ©1998, Ed Lein


The sky in doubt,
dusk tears the light.
This twilight time
when "tears of night ...
by ones and twos"
begin, then flow.
Uncertain, sobbing
torrents sieze,
take siege.

But darkness
(soon day's weeping ends)
envelopes doubt.
And peaceful night--
transcendent, soothing
--woos, amends.
Amen, and peace.

Full night about,
and stars and awe:
the stars like
souls alight.
A choir of souls,
a single voice,
one light, one soul
--your soul a part.

A choir apart
a part of all,
a light of souls,
one voice.
This night of awe,
of stars, the sky
and peace.

1989, ©1998, Ed Lein


The mirror: broke;
the image: scattered.
Shattered hope holds fast
in troubled flesh.

From splintered glass
shallow wounds soon mend.
Scars faded, soon forgot
(or late forgiven)

1979, ©1998, Ed Lein


Hell hath no fury,
Lost love leaves no scar
As hateful and worrisome
As an ill-tempered car.

1982, ©1998, Ed Lein


You're feelin' tense alone at home
so take a hit and hit the road.
The sky looks pissed or maybe stoned
    on neon.
Your hot-rod purrs, your Hot Rod stirs,
you're feelin' BAD and wailin', sailin' free...
Control is oozin' but you ain't losin' it (oh no) 
    or Nothin'. 

You rush along to nowhere good
Should some "gash" pass 
(a "piece of ass" a "pie to slice")
you idle by and bray some inane
"Hey, bay-bay-baby!" to impress some bro.?
or may-may-maybe to turn a head
to feed your own misguided, misplaced 
(you stupid slimy selfish supercilious 
Or what's much worse (or much the same)
you think: "All babes is 'ho'es who need 
the likes of Me to make 'em smile and coo" 
(it's sad to think that some girls do) 

But say a prayer 'cause sane girls don't. 
Go trip and trick and race alone into 

1989, ©1998, E. Lein


A winter's month of springtime's days
wondered at the season's change,
and challenged trees and Lenten flowers,
swayed from care, to sprout and bloom.

Bold lovers wooed while children danced,
and daring buds (as from Jesse's branch)
peeked out mid-winter, mid un-April showers,
fooled by the sun to discount the moon.

Sly winter then, too long dismissed,
betrayed Love's garden with an icy kiss,
and chilled the soul and bade it cower,
and changed Love's bower to a frozen tomb.

"Jesus arose!" waking hills would proclaim,
but, dumbstruck, no chorus of flowers remained
thus to sing. Like a too-anxious lover,
spring came too soon.

1989, ©1998, Ed Lein


An exquisite mist floats gentle
on the sultry perfumed breeze
of summer's silent mid-night,
and mirrored moonlight graceful
dances as the timid-breaking waves
massage with whispers
the long expanse of lisping sands
that measure slowly lonesome heart-beats
of the timid, breaking waves,
and exquisite mists float warm
and gentle.

1989, ©1998, Ed Lein

(The Meaning of the Dawn)

It seems with forlorn songs that mourning doves
mistake the meaning of the creeping dawn
and ululate when dreams release their hold,
and eulogize the dying of the stars.

"When Phoebus comes to counsel and console     ,
To wash the slumber off dawn's ruddy face           ,
Then waking morning-glories glow with dew,          
 And lowing cattle pace their well-trod way."           "

(Kyrie eleison)

So, too, slowly, we suit up and follow suit
while distant steel/glass towers capture light
and gleam like votive candles: silent, tall--
bright beacons of prosperity and hope.

(Christe eleison)

They beckon and we rush to heed their call
(sustained by bacon, coffee and croissants)
and mockingbirds sing lauds and then reprise,
and, peopled, streets and sidewalks are revived.

(Kyrie eleison)

But as the chill subsides and shadows shrink,
through unwashed, hungry lips a child sighs low
for daylight robs her only home-of-dreams.
Her hope sinks fast. A mocking bird sings on.

1989, ©1998, Ed Lein

(or, fundaMental)

T. Wolfe quothe,
"God Love's Them Both"
(though not, of course, 
    in the same room)
makes no mistakes
so call me "Brother,"
"We hold these truths
to be"--but wait!
Not quite the same...
that "Mark of Cain"
(D'ya hear the one:
       An apple pluck'd
       The price: her pain
       And youth eternal
       Down the drain)
"God Loves Them Both"
We's awll Gawd's chil'en
(except, of course,
    for those goddamnfaggots)

1977, ©1998, Ed Lein

Lead Us, Good Shepherd
Original Hymn text, for Sunday Morning (Traditional Service Music)
We come before you, Lord,
  Your praises singing;
We come to hear Your word:
  Hear our thanksgiving.
      Enter our hearts we pray;
      Our fears and faults allay,
      And lead us night and day,
Lead us, Good Shepherd.

Come, Lord of Time and Earth,
  Keep us from judging;
Help us see others' worth
  Without begrudging.
      Lord, help us put aside
      Our selfishness and pride,
      And ever be our guide,
Lead us, Good Shepherd
Savior of Age and Youth
  In every nation,
Bind now all hearts in truth,
  Love, and compassion.
      Teach us to shun offense,
      Free us from arrogance,
      Lead us to tolerance,
Lead us, Dear Shepherd.

We kneel before you, Lord,
  Our sins confessing;
We now implore you, Lord,
  Grant us your blessing.
      You are our Sole Defense;
      Restore our innocence
      Through your benevolence,
Merciful Shepherd.
Ever be with us Lord,                         (DESCANT: Be with us, Lord),
  Our souls embracing.                      (Our souls embracing).
Savior, by us adored,                         (Savior adored),
  Our sins erasing:                             (Our sins erasing):
      Guide and protect, we pray,         (Guide and protect now, we pray),
      Those here and those away        (Those here and all those so far away),
      Who follow, night and day,           (We will follow You night and day.),
You, Loving Shepherd.                        (Lead us, we will follow, Good Shepherd).
©1997, E. Lein

A choral setting of "For Matthew"

For Matthew (Lament & Prayer)


Wyoming stars in silent horror cried
as Satan's fists struck hard again,
then crucified God's gentle child.

And there the weeping night in disbelief beheld
a broken boy's despair: chilled bones, alone,
barefoot and bleeding, swaddled in an icy shroud
distilled and crystallized from autumn's tears.

O hear the first bird's cry
and feel the breaking of his heart
to realize his mother's grief.


Why own this fear? Our silence multiplies,
condemning us complicit in his pain,
complacency our guilty wile.

Now pray his suffering might our apathy dispel;
let hopeful deeds amend and help atone.
No hateful shouts of rage--but let us call aloud
for justice, truth, and love, from sorrow's haze.

O hear the first bird's cry
and heed the waking in our hearts
lest death be vain. Rest, Matthew. Peace.

©1998, Ed Lein

A choral setting of "Astronomy"
 Astronomy (Song for Maureen)

There's Jupiter ...
It's like five million miles away,
but textbooks never mention "up"
--I guess 'cause everything is relative.
        I'll bet it's lonely there.
        I know it's lonely here
without her.

I'm wondering,
how far away is heaven?
Some say it's just beyond these stars ...
I guess a song won't have the answer,
        but I bet it's lovely there.
        I know it's lonely here.

And if home is where the heart is,
well, then mine's beyond those stars,
a million broken pieces
out of reach.

I'm wondering
if there's a God in heaven,
and can He turn this night to dawn?
I know a song can't hold the answer,
        but she won't be lonely there.
        But god, it's lonely here ...

And if home is where the heart is,
well, then mine's beyond those stars,
a million broken pieces
out of reach.

Now I'm wondering,
how far away is heaven?
Some say it's just beyond those stars.
I know a song can't hold the answer,
        but you won't be lonely there.
        God knows, it's lonely here,
        so lonely. It's lonely here
without you.

©2005, Ed Lein

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