Archive for the ‘romance’ Category

…middle of winter, thinking about June. The sun did shine a little today but at 23 degrees, I cursed the sunset and wish the day didn’t have to end so soon.  But I put extra comforters on my bed, and wished I had a fireplace to sit by and compose words of summer, tales of friends…rhymes of my old loves as the frost descends at afternoon’s end.

Walkin’ the floor, folding my clothes…longing to be able to feel warm grass on bare toes, and having a drink from a garden hose. I watched a man at work the other day, pruning the rose bushes that bloomed till November. Even the flowers that had faded and withered still held onto the breezes of late July, the summer rains, and passers by…as did I.

I thought about sunrise at four am, dreamed about an open window and a nap in the afternoon. I sighed a winter sigh and looked to the west, looked to the sunset and realized that I hadn’t had dinner yet. And I reached into my pocket to find but an empty place, so I took my hand out and reached for you there. And I did find you tucked away warm and smiling in a dusty memory, found you waiting for me as I whispered a prayer. I sang a love song softly to your faded picture there…sang a song of lost loves and solemn days. As a mournful dove joined with me in the chorus before taking wing for a warmer place to sleep away night.

Middle of winter and the music is playing low. January slipping quietly by and reminds me to not wish it away…cause even un-embraced winter days are worthy and needful, and make great memories. And I will laugh of such nights in the July afternoons, but for now, you’re all I have, and I’ll have you along with a warm pair of socks and a James Taylor tune. And I’ll sing our song there in the shower as the suds roll to the drain. And I’ll be quietly reminded, that our time ended too soon.

It’s the middle of winter, and I’m thinking about June…thinking about long shadows and the rustling of leaves, and wishing our time hadn’t ended so soon. Matthew

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Sometimes she’d come to me after sunset…

With a fire in her eyes…and even the darkness was but a whim.

She’d look into my eyes, sigh a shaky sigh…then peer right through me…

And there would come that smile, that whisper, that toss of the head, a cascade of shining hair.

And that laugh, part whisper, part pleasure, part victory…and all passion.

Then the silence was all around, but for a ragged breath, a hunger, an urgency.

There too was water, a clinging, a shiver, warmth, and a soft winter sky.

An occasional game of billiards, and a passionate welcome at the door, that took me to place where the tiny deaths beckoned, whispered and ushered both to a place so right, so rare…

Some days there was a journey, a turn behind the wheel of classic steel…and lessons that would take one through journey, after journey…and one day came that drive…to travel for a decade, then another.

And in the passing of time came those moments revisited, those nights recalled…laughter echoes and sighs again warming…

But there was always a desire for the creation of fresh memories, new moments…and bubbles churning in the night.

But mostly an absence, a wonder, a plea in the night…and a fond recollection time and again.

Then one day a quiet and tentative reunion over miles, over years, overdue…


And again I’ve heard the laughter, read words that validate and bring a tear and a smile…And the knowing of things again all but forgotten…

…and I say it again, and again…thank you for answered prayers, for reuniting the one that touched, and the other that felt…then returned the favor…and once more accompanies me on some enchanted nights…

I look to the horizon, to the south and east.  And come evening…I sigh and settle…and hope perhaps for a call…Matthew.

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Sunday afternoon…the shadows are growing long. September lingers still with its subtle reminders…and November is about to board at the station of time…Regardless of my wishful thinking, leaves will soon descend and meet me at boot level and give way to the remnants of sunny hours that dwindle as the solstice of winter waits in the wings.
It is a yearly ritual, the dance between nature and I, turning my back to the chilled breeze, my face to the midday sun. Turning my ear to the changing chorus of the winds as the branches empty and the notes of the storms fade from a low moan to an empty sad sigh…
My steps become a bit more urgent, my hands will fill pockets in search of warmth…and dusty gloves will soon be shook free of the warm month’s exile in a coat pocket or seasonal drawer. Longer sleeves soon step back into the fray after months tucked away. And before my breath can be seen in the shade, I will return again to thoughts of friends gathering there around the flames,  around the tables, around the bend where we’ll find each other…hiding behind smiles and handshakes and quiet sighs.
And I will greet the frost with gratitude, with respect and a nod…for it had the strength  to bring the fairer season to her knees, and ushered in the shades of autumn…the passing of days in dwindled hours.
And I will look to you for a warm embrace, a hand to hold, and love the sight of a cold weather tear there in your eyes…and I will tend the fires, in the hearths and hearts…and burn the midnight oils, not in wait of spring and summer, but in gratitude for the one just passed.
I’ll see you in the yard, with a rake there in your hands, and send a wave and knowing smile as we tend to the tasks and glance at the setting sun, and Canada geese on the wing, come home to graze and nest while the darker months pass…Happy autumn friend.


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She’s been coming around most nights, a little after dark…and a bit earlier as each day  passes…teasing me and taunting me and flashing her cool and beautiful ways. And I’ll leave my window open and allow her to hover softly over my blankets all night until well after dawn. But I know that sadly, she’s here to chase my lady away…to slowly erode her resolve till her plumage is tattered and torn, faded and fallen and lost to the long nights.

But I refuse to toss my lady to the elements…and though our time together seems to dwindle and grow shorter with each passing day, I still roll over to greet her at sunrise, and have coffee with her on the porch. I love seeing her in red, in pink, and always; orange…She dresses for me come dusk and then dawn…

I admit to be fickle, to loving more than one…to seeing one, then the other…sometimes on the same day. Let’s admit, they tend to be irresistible, and once their mind is made up…exits and debuts are an unerring eventuality. And what one makes up in longevity and warmth, the other overcomes with an unbelievable array of colors and a crisp presentation…As much as there might be a slight rivalry between the two, except for a long moment when one comes a lightly knocking and hanging around after sunset at first. And the other lingers and loiters out of fondness on one hand, and spite on the other…but for a little less time each day…God knows there’s room in this heart for both of them.

So far this year, I’ve loved my pair of lovely ladies…and without fail I’ll be smitten again when their distant relation Autumn shows up with her palette and brushes and long cool evenings and soon to be frosty dawns…She sings low to the birds that south will soon be calling them away, and rose petals will tighten and hang on with desperation…and shadows grow longer earlier each day.

And Autumn will linger as did Summer…till my blue Mistress Winter blows into town and chases her way…Welcome to you Autumn…with your cool breezes and warm colors…later dawns and earlier evenings…welcome…where have you been? MLL

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I was rummaging thru my life’s discarded things…I found parts of you, and I found parts of me…I found parts of us

 I wasn’t happy to find us there, but I knew we had once been those things together…and I was glad for the times that were us…And I was ashamed for the fact we had tossed bits and pieces of each other away…I was sad I had thrown shreds of myself to the abyss…the same for you.

And though I cannot put the pieces back together, I can do things more kindly when there is a new “us” to cherish and nurture in my life. A new “us”, that won’t include you.

It will be better than we were, because of the “us” you and I once were, and the things I learned after you and I tossed “us” away.

But there will still be me…I’m wiser, and I will do better…and there won’t be any more pieces thrown away for anyone to have to see…MLL

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Late Thursday night…a day wanting to be Friday. Even days have to wait for the passing of time, of long moments and thinking that is wishful.

My old cat is more awake than he has been all day…feeding in the other room. My younger cat…she is likely hidden in plain sight, watching me with her beautiful eyes…the same eyes that prompted me to adopt her from a shelter before I had even stroked her fur or heard her purr. God knows who belongs together…and it takes little or no convincing when it’s right.

I will be awake for a while…in the dog days of summer here in the desert, late afternoon will bring heat near or over a hundred degrees come the dinner hour. And when nature wants to strut her stuff, it will stay nearly as warm till after midnight. I will wait till the cooler time of the tiny hours to open my house to the night, and place fans in doorways and my window above the bed to draw the kinder air into my hamlet beneath the sycamores and desert stars.

Just a few more minutes of my late Momma’s birthday to mark and reflect on her being, her passing, and her being again…in my waking thoughts and very best dreams…

My Dad was very quiet today…I can’t imagine the marking of their anniversary and her birthday one day following the other. He has earned the right to a moment of silence, even if it lasts all day. It’s good too, just to sit with your dad…for the sake of a few days a year, enough has been said for one to know that silence speaks, and sings. And silence recalls, remembers, and celebrates not only what has been…but too what could have been, and what certainly will come at their reunion and the walking away of those two…hand in hand as their two silenced hearts still beat as one.

For now, in the lingered heat of a night late in July, I will consider the cooler hours at hand, the approaching yawn of pale light that is dawn and a day that will soon tire and whither in the heat that will surely bring the eager intentions of many to a place of resignation. And of shade being sought…and quiet reflective laughter at the recollection of bitter cold winter days that were cursed as we lived them…a distant and scorched memory.

Tis a late Thursday night, aspiring to be an early Friday morn, and I will bid adieu to one and embrace the other…as I hear the silence of my thoughtful dad, and strain hard to hear the echoes of laughter from the always near and caring soul of our much missed Mother…

Matthew Lyle Landsman

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The cold pillow sets there next to me…the empty spot where she used to lay. The tired yard shoes, worn gloves, and ragged coat she wore to tend to garden and chore…she would leave them next to the washer, just inside that squeaky back door. Her keys hang there on a board with hooks and notes and paintings called tole.
She wasn’t a terrible driver, but she somehow seemed to get lost a lot…and on the way she’d go junkin’, especially Friday morn. I think she wandered and reminisced to songs of old, looking for yard sales and old friends to pass the time away…window shopping and chocolate dropping and being happy with things she had. She looked around and saw the half acre yards that others had to mow and knew she’d get tired of all that after a week or so. She was so much more than what others collect, polish and protect.
She was dry flowers and baby showers and dusty bottles of rainy day wine…clothes she wore when she could fit in them, and clothes she wore when she was happy just being who she was. God’s girl, whether she felt skinny or a little bit more.
She is still here…on the radio station that was hers. And those songs that would bring her cheek to mine on a worn spot there on our living room floor. She is here in the reflections in our coffee cups…I’ll keep hers next to the pot, on a napkin, upside down…just in case she happens around. Here…in the way the lid never quite got settled straight on the container of flour. I miss her baking…as will our children. She lives on in their smiles and mannerisms.
She had a way of sensing another’s tear about to form, and touching a cheek to capture that drop on its way down. She had a prayer in her fingertips, a reassuring song in the quiet look from those kind eyes. She could look out on a cloudy day and remind us all that sunshine through a mantle of green is only possible because of darker days and rains. She was all those things and much more.
But in quiet moments I will remember walking with her, and the sharing of dreams. Knowing which parts of her hurt a little more when the clouds were swelled with rain. How she would tear up a little when she heard a special song, or read something written in her grandma’s hand. I will recall her scent…that little bottle that reminds me of embraces and love that she sprayed just above her heart. Oh how it lingers still on the sweaters and coats she wore. I will keep them hanging there where they belong…and give them an occasional spray to refresh the hugs and love there.
But mostly, I will be grateful for the memory of her breathing there on the pillow next to mine, keeping her vows…making mornings worthwhile. I will recall midnight talks we had quietly after our kids were asleep. And I will feel her watching me sleep…on those nights she came to me late, after time spent pondering, folding clothes, and things she was always did to make ends meet. She was special like that.
And every day when I make the bed up, like she always did…I will fluff her pillow again…and hold it to my nose and breathe in her essence. And when I lay me down to sleep, I’ll look over there at the cold pillow setting next to mine…and I will give thanks and recall all those nights when her pillow was yet warm.
Matthew Landsman 03-2012

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She won’t arrive on a bus, for that would require a schedule and a sense of time. She can’t be bothered with expectations nor does she have a need for personal validation. She knows she is anticipated, is prayed for, celebrated, and that life really does evolve around her. She shows up in whatever she’s wearing, and regardless of weather, she’ll have you step outside, and then make you wait for her. And though she runs both hot and cold…she is worth the wait and moody ways.

This lady will take your breath away, make your eyes tear up, she’ll melt even the coldest of the cold. She is a shady lady, but after she shows up late she will bring you roses, songs and cause the heart to stir to life…

After my mother, I have loved her most and longest…even though we meet but once a year…I’ll even shed some clothes for her when she does finally arrive. And she always follows a dark time and makes the recent memories seem like an endless nightmare. For her, I will cease the stoking of the fire, leave my door open wide, and even clean up the place and venture out into the light…

I do love her shamelessly and without fail. …Hello Spring, let us renew our annual tryst until your sister we call Solstice comes around and takes me in her arms, and keeps me awake till all balmy and lazy hours. Although you will abandon me once again, I will scarcely notice. You will be forgiven as always…and I will welcome you again in a few months short of a year…Adieu my fair weathered lady friend…My favorite lady, Spring.

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Here is my vision of how a young man might have induced a young lady to join him in a life as a pioneer in farm country during the 1800’s and early 1900’s…A proposal of sorts…

My Love…I will plow, till and turn. I will drag, rake, stack, and burn. I will clear the land and plant the seed. I will give you everything you need. I will thin the timbers from that grove near the river…I will saw, plane, groove, and pin. I will haul, dig ditches, pump, and dam…I will seed, cover, water, shade and tend. I will feed you and ours from the fields near the home I intend to build…from what I brought, can create, and can find in nature.

And after the stones are made foundation, after setting the timbers for frame, wall and floor…Then I will plank, pole, and shake; covering those frames, walls, ceiling, rafter, and roof. After you unwrap the panes from the quilt and towel, I’ll bring sunlight into your kitchen, bedroom, and parlor. Then I’ll build you a porch with shade from a great tree. And I’ll hang a front door. Mine and yours…And we’ll call it home…you and I.

Matthew Landsman

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John and Norma…it was meant to be. Not one in a million…one in billions. And yet there they were for the duration. Though nobody knows for sure what the duration will be ahead of time, but the intent is there for more decades than we are sometimes gifted. The granting of one love and that set of vows is the real gift…One set of lives together…then the addition of family, little lives out of combined souls. It is indeed an enviable accomplishment. John and Norma…plus Jason and Jeremy. Priceless.

John was called to service, to duty, to sea. While his home was at times on the waves near lands and countries where the winds of change were in need of stern encouragement…But the real rudder and true North stayed home upon land. I speak of course of Norma. And while others waited for flags and masts to emerge from beyond the horizon, Norma kept the home fires burning. And she contributed her part as liaison between those out to sea and the faithful souls in wait of a port busy once more with vessels and loved ones home safe again. Perhaps today she serves as ombudsman between the ones left earthbound, and with God there on her heavenly shore…

I have thought a great deal about the dedication, the faithfulness of both of them, about faith and fears, and the strength that comes from the successful passing of as many missions and separations for extended periods. The times John spent out at sea reminds me of some words spoken by a late President when I was but three years old…Recently it has taken on a new, deeper meaning…

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.” (JFK)

This lends then to my vision of our young couple living at a distance with many miles of land and oceans between them, and yet the elements JFK referred to also lent to keeping them together with the common bonds offered by the saltiness of the swells that supported crafts on the waters, of the tears on both ends of reaching bow and safe harbor. The salt from the sweat of labor and battle…and in times of anxious waiting. Elements  on both ends that brought the salty sea into the hearts at home, and the promises and comforts of home to places beyond the horizon where patriots travel in duty to country, and in hope of coming home.

Although Norma’s departure to a different sort of sea was untimely and equally unexpected, she is none the less afloat on a sea of a celestial sort, somewhere beyond the horizon, beyond the place where ocean meets the sky. Somewhere down the road, John will arrive at that place…past the spot where a river crosses over the bar. A place where the line between heaven and earth become one. A place where a living soul waits, and a departed soul beckons to beyond the shore and one waiting there.

Matthew Landsman 03-04-2012

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