Love is Both a Path and a Guide ~~ Original Poems and Photographs by Rodney Standage, Gilbert Arizona

~~ Read Critically ~ Write Consciously ~ Speak Clearly ~ Tell Your Truth -Clint Smith

Monday, January 27, 2014


Blue Ridge Reservoir Arizona, 2012
The summer’s late afternoon sun,
Sent sparkling light through pine and fir,
It was slack tide on the Puget Sound.
Like glittering stars on a blue-green mirror.

The majestic eagle perched -
Up on the craggy shore -
Aware of all, yet ne’r a blink nor flinch.
And contemplating? -- Sure!

Calm air held no sound at all,
But a ripple against the hull.
My kayak gliding toward the shore,
Slowing to a lull.

From the paddle’s blade so still -
A droplet fell and formed a ring -
That slowly I left behind,
Slowing all the while.

At thirty feet I slowing stopped.
Then eye to eye we stared -
What thoughts did she possess?
Trust she did or fly she would!

At length she’d seen enough,
Spreading wings on air did soar,
Circling round then down the shore,
Then out across The Sound.

A beauty and a wonder still –
Though many years have passed!
The gift she gave to me that day!
I wish that all could share.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Unknowable Things

Mountain Man Rendezvous, R Bar C Camp Arizona, 2004

In early January to beat the frost,
We planted the seeds and strawberry starts.
In egg carton trays dark soil replete,
Laid out on a table and a plastic sheet,
And felt we’d accomplished quite a feat.

Each day the seeds warmed by winter sun
Each night moved in from frost that comes.
The days ticked off, week one, week two,
First beets and squash then onions small,
But the strawberry starts were strongest of all.

Returning one evening - something was wrong,
A wind blew the sheet and covered the plot
The strawberry starts were wilted and brown
Though the dew was thick ‘neath the plastic sheet
High heat made the tiny plants frown.

I trimmed the plastic, it won’t happen again!
One will recover and two maybe three
The rest look dead; pray the roots hold strength.
Should I have known? Could I have guessed?
Or was this for me an unknowable thing?

Some will say, “Learn from a book!”
Others watch another man’s work –
These are good to be sure –
And simple is the path of some
Though the best made plans oft’ hide a glitch!

The unknowable thing – it happens a lot,
To the one who dabbles and tramps all about
What have I learned from the unknowable thing?
It’s a schoolmaster with a long wooden stick!
Why, what don’t I know? For you never forget!

But the folks who repeat, “I don’t know how to do;
I’ve been burned in the past; I’ll leave that to you”;
By rule - limit meeting the unknowable thing.
And that is a thing, saddest of all.
Like a horse that is never led from the stall.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Mountain Man Rendezvous R Bar C Arizona, 2004
The best stories and classics teach,
Many virtues and secrets deep,
They stir emotions near the heart,
Use careful words and image smart!

The themes that oft are written of,
True love found, true love lost;
Conquered foe or mountain height;
Family ties and innocent life.

Of all for me most poignant is
The ungained dream! The unsung song!
The young, the weak with worthy goals,
Whose life suppressed; though desire strong!

Beaten down by the careless arm,
Diverted by a duty strong,
Enlisted in another’s cause,
The longing heart’s desire wronged!

These stir my soul rob my voice –
And if I could make it right;
Should I change the classic tale?
Is it not the point?

Why does this theme affect me so?
Where is the link that makes it so?
Does it come from childhood strife;
Little friends or teenage foes?

What about the things I know –
The things I learn; the places I go;
The books I’ve read; the people I saw;
The plans I’ll make; the strife I’ll cause?

Or is it deeper than experience -
The spirit that makes me who I am -
The deeper me that directs my thought -
The path I tread; the things I’ve wrought!

And if so, why; why do I care?
Why am I caught with this little snare?
Someone’s freedom lost?  – This I know! -
It stirs and churns deep in my soul!