Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Veracious Animus

My ledge is empty—no need to jump off.
Distant now is my prevalent trough.
All the memories of my troublesome thread—
Picture this picture: escaped danger and fled.

I am dye cast in the wool,
Resolute through it all.
And down though this life may pull,
I'm no longer your thrall.

I held my eyes to the stars when you were mine.
I held my cries to myself when you did not shine.

An easy time—it perhaps would have been—
To spin our wheels while our fervor wore thin.
But in a moment we would surely have known—
Our future moments were our futures alone.

I am a mountainous crag,
Unable to be moved.
For this I don’t often brag,
But it needs to be proved.

My ledge is empty—no need to jump off.
Distant now is my prevalent trough.
Horizon greets me with a beautiful view—
Picture a picture that is long overdue.

Jack Larimore © 2005

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Dream Within A Dream

I’ve dreamed a life but did not live,
The life that God to me did give.
And now I gaze to distant sky—
Painted horizon where dreams still fly—
Above these staggered steps I take,
And from this dream I will not wake,
I will not stray from visions sewn,
Upon this distant sky I’ve known.
But should tomorrow in time dawn,
Interrupt this dream I’ve drawn,
I’ll shield my eyes from piercing light,
And rush unto the distant night,
Where my life does sometimes seem,
To be a dream within a dream.

Jack Larimore © 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Again, to the Well

Odd that you chose a well
To describe what you see;
Years ago I wrote of such,
Wondering if others could ascertain
The meaning of my words.

And now I sit there again,
Pondering the reflective waters,
Eager for a swim,
But terrified of getting wet.

Quietly, I walk across the warm bricks,
Only to walk back and sit again.
No encumbrance is greater than comfort,
An unwillingness to change,
Only to ponder such.

But you are right—
I do not search for this—
It finds me,
In the same place as before,
Seated on the edge of the well,
Staring into the icy waters
That only warm on the surface.

— 2006


Damn you, wretched bird,
Foul creature of the air.
Too long you have haunted me,
Tracing my every step.
I have answered your knock;
I have seen your black,
Reminding me of past mistakes,
And unchased dreams.
Just today, you showed yourself again,
Slowly stepping behind me,
Coyly pecking the ground,
Hoping your motive would not be seen.
But I know you too well.
Nothing pleasant in you can be found.
Knock no more upon my door.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Lingering doubts—
Clouds of expectation—
Hang gently over me,
Soft hushes of hope for the next day,
Or thoughts of what might be.

Some roads—
Winding paths to the unknown—
Are too long to be traveled.
Yet they haunt us forever,
Chasing the memory of youth.
We are but chances—
Shadows of ourselves,
Exchanging hellos and goodbyes in one breath.
There is no expectation,
No lingering hope for another encounter.
And the realization of such fact—
Cold though it may be—
Prepares the self for the destined nothingness,
But never for the solitude on the other side.

And so it is with me
When upon that night I remember.
It meant so little in the moment,
Yet its stains shall never be cleansed.
Glances back lead only to hope for tomorrow,
When the sun rises to a new day—
Without you—
Same as yesterday.

The escape will manifest itself;
Slowly you will slip out of my mind,
And into the abyss of my once-lived life.
But each night—
This to that—
Will be filled with you,
Dancing youthfully in my aged arms,
Which push your memory away
And still ache to hold you again,
Only to find you,
Lingering softly the way only you can.

— 2004

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Tribute

He sits across from me—
Checkered shirt,
Bifocals perched mid-nose,
Whisker-peppered cheeks,
Hand firmly wrapped around his favorite mug.
Amidst only the crackle of slow-burning oak,
He studies the board intensely,
Ponders every move
And the countless possibilities ahead.
He sips his cooling coffee,
Reaches for the king’s knight,
Then slowly rescinds:
There are other possibilities to consider.

It is this quality more than any other
That my father most bestowed upon me—
The steady analysis of a move,
The tedious decision:
Push with the bishop,
Or protect with the knight.
So we are in life—
My father and me—
Two emotional pawns,
Ready to jump at a moments notice;
But through time and trials,
We are tempered with patience and caution,
Leery of the dangers which come with rushing into battle.
We are Scotsmen:
Willing to do anything of our own accord,
And nothing at the demand of another.
He reaches for the king’s rook,
Then slowly rescinds:
There are other possibilities to consider.

I should use this time to ponder my next move,
Or at least the ramifications of my last move in hindsight.
Instead, my mind escapes the board
and focuses on his face.
This man—
To whom I owe my wisdom,
my intellect and temperament,
my humor and discipline...
my life—
And yet I have not made a dent in that debt.
Sons—fortunate enough to have fathers like mine—
Pay tribute to their fathers in death.
Tears at the grave,
Spawned by memories
Of food always being on the table,
Painful reminders of that debt—
Sacrifice the depths of which my pen cannot hope to portray.
We remember our fathers as great men,
And we so honor them at death.
But would not our fathers prefer to be honored in life?
Perhaps the piercing pipes that wail “Amazing Grace”
From some distant graveyard hilltop
Are mor for the son than for the father.
He reaches for the king’s bishop,
Then slowly rescinds—
There are other possibilities to consider.

The wait, for some, would be too much,
But not for me.
Every moment of tedious study,
Every moment of torturous pondering,
Give me but one more moment to honor my father
While he still has pieces on the board.
Eventually, though, the game will end.
There will be no more decisions,
No more pondering the possibilities.
Despite my efforts to pay tribute with my life,
That debt inevitably will be still unpaid.
And so, when that day comes,
I will stand quietly,
Shiver from the cold,
Remember how food was always on the table,
And as tears gently careen down my cheek,
Tremble as the distant pipes
Pay tribute for a debt I can never repay.

— 2004

Sunday, February 26, 2006


This trail of tears,
Cast upon me in years gone by,
Now I cast upon those in my wake,
Unwilling to escape what I've known,
To push aside myself,
But rather hold to who I was,
And who they were—
Echoes of a time long since passed
That has passed everyone but me.

— 2005

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Out here on my own, alone.
Down from twisted stance.
No more bars surround my path;
No more bruises from the wrath.
My skies are split wide open;
Erase my mem’ry fast.
This is new innocence.
This is my present tense.
Abscond from the past.

This dark corridor of glee
Seems to welcome me
For a solitary night;
A chance to reason
All the pains
That haunt me when
There was no treason
To a promise made.

Into the vein of the city,
Into the blood of the river,
Many possibilities,
Perhaps too many,
Circle high
Above the flooded street.
Secrets kept in secret,
Soon float in the open air
Of passionate swells
And capturing hells.
Escape to the city again.

-- JML, 2003