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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chevelon Canyon

Chevelon Canyon Arizona, March 2013
I’ll tell you what
A canyon taught.
One early morn in early March,
Before a swooping lark.

Rolling mists rose from downstream,
Obscuring bush and stone,
Ascending thinned unveiling,
Rocks, trees to azure dome.

I perched on a stone mid shallow brook
That babbling - the silence broke -
A long night rain, had changed the scene
I drank it in, a waking dream.

Behind and up the canyon wall -
A sudden crashing thunder roar!
I jerking turned to see the wreck!
Of breaking branch and smashing ore!

Unseen except inside my mind -
Rumbling thunder rolling pour -
‘Til silent rest on slope and shore -
Amazed me all the more.

A mighty Ponderosa pine!
Had loosed its grip on earth and life,
The sandstone wall had let it go,
But not without a fight!

All around that mighty tree -
Stone and branch came breaking free!
Scars of change - though never seen.
Untold except by me.

Though spectacular to me,
Quite an ordinary thing.
An altered course a changing dream!
What – if I’d gone upstream?

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Mom and Rodney, Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix Arizona, September 1981
A difficult piece! -
Where to begin? -
To capture a moment -
Memory - burned in!
Emotion exquisite!
A page now complete!
A life in transition!
A moment of peace!

That day was slow coming.
For weeks – barely known -
Each day now it’s building! –
These – confronted reflections,
Now compound each hour!
A - fulcrum - to cross – a turning page!
One phase pass away!
The future to gauge!

No question I’d go.
Though young when first told.
Preparation will cost,
In both hours and gold.
Memorizing the verse -
And books - pencil in hand -
Expanding my grasp –
Unbinding my soul!

A dime at a time!
On the strength of my back -
With the skills of my hands -
Bent to the task -
Saved all my living -
Sacrificed some fun -
Working each day -
‘Til the gold was all done!

Preparation complete!
What did I gain?
My hands could do things!
As well as my brain!
A request was placed,
The commission had come,
Kobe, Japan -
There! In paragraph one!

The first flight of my life!
A lean nineteen years.
In Utah eight weeks -
A hard language I yearn -
The flight to Osaka,
Did eventually end.
How does a farm boy
End up in Japan?

Twenty-two months pass,
I stepped from a plane,
Onto a jet way,
A satchel in hand,
Stride swept me along,
I came through the gate,
To an awaiting throng,
That moment is come!

My mother was there!
Praise the strength of her faith!
Tears streaming down her angelic face!
Going straight to her arms!
Longed a loving embrace!
My eyes were clamped tight -
Tried stemming the flow -
But the tsunami washed o’er!

None to break in.
Slowly conscience again!
The crowd had now grown!
Strangers needed to see -
What joy was the astir?
Oh! Who has come home?
Known faces brought hugs,
Eyes puffy from tears!

That is the moment!
I remember it all!
Seen again now and then,
Easily recalled!
I wish everyone had,
An anchor as strong,
As the love that I felt,
On that day now far gone.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stone Scars

Colosseum, Rome Italy, 2012

Colosseum in Rome -
Walls pitted and scarred.
Paths worn in the stone!
By what and by whom?
Only wonder can own.

Guards - millennium old?
Nobles carving a mark?
Slaves nearing an end?
Workers carelessly wrought?
Never to heal - impossible thoughts!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How did he know?

Brian and Braxton, Mogollon Rim Arizona, 2009

Trucks left roadside,
Forgotten in the night,
By a trail through the snow.
Is this the way we go?

Snowflakes swirling in the dark
Gear snug against my back.
And bush and tree obscured by night
Reflect and grab my beam of light.

Are we there? No! Stay close!
If we lose our way
We’ll freeze to death!
He said as much, keep up!

To the brink of death!
I heard him say –
And back alive!
The other sighed.

The Scoutmaster knows!
He’s up ahead -
Weary I struggle up the grade
Or through snow, mud, sand or rain.

Each month we camped -
Each place seemed new -
Some new thing learned -
And not a few.

We marched through the streams,
O’re dirt, not street,
In day in night, in dark in light,
On weary legs, on hurting feet!

“We’re here!”, came a call
From someone in the night.
It raised my spirits,
It raised my might.

We did hard things!
And now I see -
What I’ve become,
I am quite pleased. 

How did he know?
Just what to do -
Just where to go -
Will I ever know?