I was brought up and still live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia so I rely on imagery derived from the natural landscape to explore human relationships. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have two daughters and three grandchildren. I have been an architectural woodcarver for over 35 years and have written numerous articles and three books on the subject. My poems are forthcoming in Able Muse, The Chariton Review, Plainsongs, Poetry Quarterly, andSnowy Egret among others.
With each pull, push of the bureau drawer,
keys shift in a lidless wooden box
with gold-lettered pins and smooth rocks
like time-tossed keepsakes on an inner shore.
Of grubby brass and lesser metals, they
are orphans with longings for lost locks.
Searching among underwear, Argyle socks,
they are faith-saved beliefs for some future day.
My father’s and his, they cannot be
auctioned with crystal, silverware, mantel clocks--
their precise cut, code profoundly mocks
their useless intention to free and be free.
They are relics in the life sentence of the unknown,
souvenired in hopes that bolts be thrown open.
No Castle Keep
Ocean steals some more of their sand,
like an army’s disputed no-man’s-land,
but re-gifts it somewhere else. Children labor
to shore-up their realm, dredge the harbor
before it is unworthy of plastic ships. Their tower
keep cannot rival Currituck Light nor defy the power
of tumult and grind, the constant hymn
that will not leave them alone. Angels skim
the glitter and cry as common gulls,
helpless as the mesmerizing tide pulls
down the best of walls. The shifting paradise
of shells and sea glass, pebbles rolled as dice
up and down the polishing beach,
is a lesson more poignant than parents can teach.
© 2017 Frederick Wilbur
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