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Monday, March 24, 2008

Grandfather's Poem...


My father found this poem which his father wrote around 1917 when he was about 17 years old. Before he had my father. I thought I would find a photo for it. I wonder if my grandfather could ever imagine that his son would find his poem. And his grandson would help contribute a photo to make it complete long after he was gone. I treasure little things like this. One day I will make it to Cliffwood on the East Coast. I think my Seneca and Mohawk ancestors are buried there from what my dad remembers in cleaning a small Indian cemetery in the woods with his father. I hope I can find it someday. To reconnect with my kupuna there and with the spirit of my grandfather. It sounds like he loved that place...


CLIFFWOOD

At last I stand upon the ridge and gaze in silent rapture
Upon the sparkling lake, the hills beyond the upland pasture.
Then down the slope through wooded glades along a winding road,
Till close upon the water's edge, there rests a trim abode.

It bears the mark of friendship, of comfort and content;
And tells of pleasant hours, those within its walls have spent.
'Tis here one finds a cooling breeze in the shade of leafy oaks,
And spends the passing hours, relaxed, in the presence of real folks.

No finer things hath God wrought, than Nature's gifts to man,
Abounding in the lake or sky, or the woodland close at hand.
All through the day, the fleeting birds sing gayly in the trees,
And Seneca's rippling surface moves with each capricious breeze.

Beneath the dappled surface of the diamond studded lake,
Dart finny denizens who oft the surface water break.
Before the breeze the sailboats ride with straining canvas set,
And vanish in the distance where the earth and sky have met.

Each day the restless water reflects cloud patterns of the sky;
The azure blue of sunny mornings, sunset streaked with purple dye.
When black storm clouds gather, and the angry white caps toss;
Its jade green waves dash madly, blending with the rock cliff's moss.

When day is done, a gentle breeze sighs through the whispering trees,
And we gather round the bonfire on the beach and take our ease.
We eat beneath the canopy of the blue sky overhead,
And meet in friendly fellowship with the breaking of the bread.

At last the shadows gather and the moon rises overhead;
Weaving a magic carpet with shimmering silver threads.
Against the sky on distant shores are lights of man's creation,
That shine with all the brilliance of some heavenly constellation.

The moon now dips beyond the distant hill, epitomizing time and space,
While we enthralled merge with the gathering darkness in the night's embrace.
The glowing embers fade, engulfing shadows dim our failing sight;
We sit transfixed, our souls enriched, exalted by the magic glory of the night...

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