This one took me some time to write. I wanted to get the right feel on it, I'd welcome any comments... "I was wondering if you could write a song or poem or something for me...I raise dogs for people with disabilities, and after a year I must give them away...It is truly bittersweet. Would it be possible for you to write me up something expressing the feelings involved in this process, which I could give to her future partner?"
Heart of the Wolf The heart of the wolf, once tamed, will always remain true, And you are wise; you have insured that it be not torn in two. But now I see my destiny, and I'll see my duty through, But deep within my memory, will be my days with you. When I was young I met you, fated to be my first best friend. And, being young, I knew that our time together could never end. We ran, we played, a truer bond I'd never made, On each other we could both depend. And so we grew, as did my knowledge of what I soon must do. So I drank knowledge, so that I might spend my time with you. Though side by side, you became mentor and guide, For I had a gift to share and that you knew. The heart of the wolf, once tamed, will always remain true, And you are wise; you have insured that it be not torn in two. But now I see my destiny, and I'll see my duty through, But deep within my memory, will be my days with you. Now I go with my master and together we will take on this world. And I welcome the task and the trust that has unfurled. But you'll be there, deep in me somewhere, This memory of our time that I will keep as a pearl. The heart of the wolf, once tamed, will always remain true, And you are wise; you have insured that it be not torn in two. But now I see my destiny, and I'll see my duty through, But deep within my memory, will be my days with you. Cliff Lake 3/20/'99 Copyright©1999 Clifford Lake
In some ways, this is one of the sadder pieces I've had to write. This woman had asked me to write a poem about her daughter who had died the year before...
A Song for Haley and Me I still smile when I remember your smiling scrunched up nose, The blush on your cheek stolen from a fragrant rose. Posing for any and all in sweet innocence, That you should be gone at all makes the least of sense. The world was SO big, and you loved all you could see, I still believe you were the best part of me. And now you are gone from us, we that remain flesh, But I am sure you know that you are not loved any less. Sometimes I look at you with our pictures side by side, Something I have never done without having cried. And sometimes I think a full life for you was denied, Because sometimes it seems that you were taken without having been tried. I remember Grandpa caring for you in ways he'd never before shown, As if this might be his last chance; could he have known? You brought out the best in us, we had so much to give, When you died, I often thought that I could not live. Sometimes I look at you with our pictures side by side, Something I have never done without having cried. And sometimes I think a full life with you was denied, Because sometimes it seems that you were taken before I had barely tried. Now I am left with memories, some pictures, and emotions coated with dust, And a longing to ask The Creator the questions that I must. But for now I can get by on this certainty: That no matter where I am, my baby is watching over me. Sometimes I look at you with our pictures side by side, Something I have never done without having cried. And sometimes I think a full life for you was denied, But I know I cannot reach you without first having tried. Cliff Lake 12/6/1998 Copyright©1998 Clifford Lake All rights reserved
A friend of mine asked me to write this one about her adopted brother who is also my best friend. He still lives, & has yet to see this piece.
Eulogy for a Drunken Friend Chorus: Two steps forward and then one step back Sometimes with only one foot on the track Two steps forward and one-step back Sometimes he falls off the track But one day he will move forward, And when he does, he won't be looking back He's got eyes drooping back into his head, And a belly out to here And a fatty nose perpetually red And his hair won't grow in front of his ears But on those days when you most needed a friend He looked mighty good Whether he was far or near. Chorus Now maybe he couldn't shake his brew, But I never knew his mind to be unclear And he usually had the right words for you No matter how many of his hands held a beer You always ended up seeing him when you were blue 'Cause with one joke, he could dry up anybody's fear Chorus Now, there were times that I'd dismiss him But still he ambled on But now I find that I'll miss him But it's too late; he is dead and gone But the day will come when I'll need him to listen And that's when I will sing this song Cliff Lake 11/3/96 2:15AM CST
One of the owners of the carnival I worked for requested this birthday greeting:
Not Fifty-Nine There's a lady around here somewhere who may have just turned sixty And because she's middle aged now, she may not be so lickety splixty Yet she's a slyboots, this one You might say she's slixty, This lady around here who may now be sixty Let's say you need some advice, I myself have turned to this person who might by sixty She may just be able to help you through Your little fixty, Up those fashionable sleeves she wears She might have a little trixty This woman whom some say is now turning sixty So keep in mind our friend, This Grace, now allegedly sixty, Because you know, she's not just our ticket pixty, No, she's got a brain razor sharp and quixty, And if you don't believe me just ask Chris or Vixty. Cliff Lake 8/25/95
Best friends sometimes find it hard to say everything they mean, so they ask me...
Colleen and I Sixth grade enemies, remember that? The slightest excuse was good reason for a spat. But on any and all that looked on we had our revenge: Because in spite of ourselves (and each other) we became friends. Sisters, friends, confidantes are what we have become. In my book, girl, you are number one. All those hours on the phone, wasn't that fun? Telling each other the secrets we wouldn't share with anyone. And then there were the rumors, and the Big Fight, Thank God the truth was finally dragged into the light. We got through it all, with only the slightest of pain, What I am trying to say is that, somehow, we will always remain Sure, college is only mere months away, And "Goodbye" will be the hardest thing I have ever had to say, But you I will always trust, tears bring only rust, You see, there is something of you in me, and there it will always stay. Cliff Lake 11/28/'98 Copyright©1998 Clifford Lake, All rights reserved.
Another carnival piece, this time about one of the owners,one of the owners' girlfriend,and Kent Sykes. This one also has the distinction of being the very first poem I ever wrote to someone's specifications. It took me 45 minutes...
Trucks, Tires, & Women (Thanks to Kent Sykes for inspiration, madness and other gases.) Blonde and sleek and pretty and mean, She's a real man-drivin' machine She don't need no one stokin' her fires, She just needs a man to keep her in tires Always lookin' round for them Firestone deals, This here woman's really Hell on wheels. She could just about drive you mad - But you'll never get there 'Cause her tires are bad. Chorus: One of 'em can't keep rollin' One of 'em blows up trucks, But I ain't got nuthin' on either of them Guess I'm always shit outta luck But I'll just keep on drivin' And pullin' 'em both on down the road But I might be headed for my own little break down 'Cause three is a heavy load. Built and busty, she keeps me lusty, But she's got piston trouble She's datin' my boss and that of coss Continuously busts my bubble She drives like hell, creatin' that smell Whenever she's throwin' her oil And I gotta shut down when she goes aground That woman's keepin me at a boil Chorus: I used to be a groover, but now I'm just a mover, And haul 'em from fair to fair. And these two women, though they keep me grinnin' I'm glad I cut my hippie hair. I gotta call 'em friends; They're no means to my ends, So I gotta pick ' em when I see 'em Though I'm not dead yet, I've got one regret - Part of me belongs in a museum. Cliff Lake 7/29/94
Self explanatory, no intro needed.
In Viet Nam Thirty years ago I left, never to be the same. Thirty years ago I learned a country's new name. Thirty years ago I put my uniform on. Thirty years ago, I went to Viet Nam. We were a unit, we were a team, we were friends. We were soldiers, we were The Enemy, we were the means to an end. We were applauded, we were scorned, we were gone. But mostly we were nameless faces, We were in Viet Nam. And Mr Nixon cried : "Escalate !!" and, my God, how we cried. And the hippies cried : "We want Peace !!" and, my God, how we tried. And our Moms and Dads watched us on the news in their homes and, my God, how they died. The jungle was alive, and I descended into Hell. The jungle was an enemy, and I hated it well. The jungle was my hiding place, be it ever damned, Because the jungle helped me lose myself, Lost in Viet Nam. And Mr Nixon cried : "Escalate !!" and, my God, how we died. And the hippies cried : "We want Peace !!" and, my God, how we cried. And our Moms and Dads watched us on the news in their homes and, my God, how they tried. I met so many men, I watched them come and go. I met so many people, most I would never know. I met so many dangers, they made me what I am, I met so many, but they're behind me, Dead in Viet Nam. And Mr Nixon cried : "Escalate !!" and, my God, how we tried. And the hippies cried : "We want Peace !!" and, my God, how we died. And our Moms and Dads watched us on the news in their homes and, my God, how they cried. Cliff Lake 11/26/'97 Copyright © 1997 Clifford Lake
I could never figure out why these 2 women wanted this one written,
but it's probably none of my business anyway.
Eric (By request, 2nd attempt) It seems we never got a chance, the reasons aren't clear. No time to share the secret glance, and now you're far from here. We barely even said hello, and good-bye took less time, And so you never got to know, it seems like such a crime. Now gone from us is your smile, that we do so adore. Just think of us once in a while, we'll never ask for more. And we too will remember you as you walk in distant ways, And know too that our hearts are true, and will be all the days. And as you walk far from this home, in spirit so shall we, No matter how far from us you roam, it's Eric we'll always see. We'll close this now, we'll say good-bye, but there's one thing left to do, Listen sometimes and you'll hear us sigh: "Eric, we love you." Cliff Lake 1/22/'98
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