My muse is melancholy, my melancholy is ruse, the twain have long colluded.

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  • johnrtarter 7w

    A Gentle Push of Grey

    A Gentle Push of Grey

    A breathing sweep awash in flow,
    inhaling deep then letting go of summer
    and it’s splendid view, ceding away its
    path of blue, by a gentle push of grey

    It is a mindful and cool cast of breeze,
    disturbing barren branches with depleted
    nests, tucked conveniently inside a hollow
    squeeze of limbs as winter advances

    The slippery touch of frost in the north
    upon the bark and the eerie labored
    growth reaching starkly toward the sky as
    if to pray for one last day of warmth

    Blue peeking through the occasional
    fluff of white, before taking flight gracefully
    by a gentle push of grey, that never really
    went away but hid just out of sight

    A good book, a fireplace and a sweater
    made of wool, just enough to bare the
    brunt until there is no cool or frigid space
    of air between the grey and white of winter.


  • johnrtarter 9w

    Thank You For the Storm

    Thank You For The Storm

    I have sailed in peaceful waters
    on a gentle easy wind,
    while passing many ports of call
    for one beyond the bend

    I’m so thankful for those good days
    with calm and tranquil seas,
    and I am thankful for the comfort
    found within a peaceful breeze

    I thank you for safe harbors Lord
    you have placed along the way,
    and for providing leading winds
    so my ship won’t go astray

    For those times when skies turn
    from fair to dark and gray,
    when winds start to force my ship
    to sail another way

    I didn’t know where I would end up
    with my sails so ripped and torn,
    but I stopped to thank you anyway
    in the middle of the storm

    I thank you Lord for all those days
    that keep me safe and warm,
    I thank you for the troubled seas
    and I thank you for the storm.


  • johnrtarter 12w



    You stood near when I was weary,
    broke and oppressed
    never leaving me alone at the
    height of my test

    Not even anguish of sin, nor the
    perils on earth
    made you turn me away since
    the onset of birth

    You watched as I grew with my
    frequent pitfalls
    and lifted me over those faith
    killing walls

    All the doubting that came at
    the devils behest
    could never compare with your
    promised bequest

    I am grateful you’ve been there
    with me all along
    all while working to keep me
    faithfully strong


  • johnrtarter 15w

    I Could Not Stand Alone


    With your promise Lord,
    I can always look to faith
    in your word as I recall
    and all because of grace
    you would not let me fall,
    but without you Lord
    I could not stand,
    I could not stand at all

    With your promise Lord,
    I have everything and all
    that is written in your word
    it keeps me standing tall
    by all that I have heard,
    but without you Lord
    I could not stand,
    I could not stand at all

    With your promise Lord,
    I can walk another mile
    and endure another fall
    I can face another trial
    or climb another wall,
    but without you Lord
    I could not stand,
    I could not stand at all

    With your promise Lord,
    My faith is kept alive
    by responding to my call
    and helping me survive
    the very worst of all,
    but without you Lord
    I could not stand,
    I could not stand at all


  • johnrtarter 15w



    It’s hard to cede those days of yore
    that are deeply fixed inside the past,
    forgetting more than was before
    though I wanted so to make it last

    being not so young as once I was
    with weathered insight set by caste,
    as aging does, not just because
    that road behind was fading fast

    smiling faces with kind embraces
    imprinted deep inside the vein,
    from varied times to varied places
    and memories held that never wane

    on the oft knelt altars of my youth
    where steps of decline came to end,
    being saddled heavy by the truth
    to find a place that time would mend


  • johnrtarter 29w


    It grows inside the periphery, on the
    velvety fluff and golden fleece of barley,
    wheat and red clover,
    under the cavernous canopy of blue and
    white, in the swell of warm winds
    persuading them over

    so pervasive in its wistful romance of
    aroma, at the peak of day or in the
    amber shade of eve,
    prevailing ever so faithful, like the eagle
    sailing aloft at mid sky, reigning over
    fields below its weave

    just like a breeze before a summer squall
    that opens up the sky in cool refrain
    to quench a thirst,
    and like a southern drawl speaking gently,
    it passes by, relenting to the calm
    that touched us first

    where breath is sweet and sure, exhaling
    loyal by aspiration, on the plains
    and also on the sea,
    devoted to a nation, where some bled and
    watched the embers fade, united, one
    for all, to keep us free


  • johnrtarter 35w

    Wistful, Again

    The smell of creosote lay heavy
    in the sweltering heat of those
    mid summer jaunts,
    idle time gleefully wasted, walking
    the tracks, balancing the rail at
    old familiar haunts

    The little stones that buried the
    oil soaked ties, were perfect for
    pelting an imaginary foe,
    a convenient diversion for someone
    perfecting his aim and his stance
    with every brave throw

    walking for miles and daydreaming
    until awakened at times by a
    pleasant cool breeze,
    the whistle of an approaching train,
    the pangs of hunger or a butterfly
    flittering in the trees

    there was the familiar clicking of the
    crickets hiding safely in the shade
    having nestled out of sight,
    and it would intensify in strength
    if all else had faded quiet
    and the ambiance was right

    I long to walk those lonesome rails
    and hear the soulful cry again
    on a now empty track,
    but I know the glory of those days
    that have swiftly passed me by,
    will never ask me back


  • johnrtarter 39w


    Under the cover of a silken shroud
    between an occasional embrace of light,
    in the twilight below an ominous cloud
    and a dampness from the cool of night

    airing a full and scented dispense
    of sweet lavender with fragrant cast,
    bearing gifts of myrrh and frankincense
    with a healing balm as long it last

    through a narrow entrance at the fore
    in limestone quarried from the earth,
    with a resting place behind its door
    prepared for those of privileged birth

    a place of bones where souls are shed
    with curtains torn in two then sealed,
    dogwood trees grown for the dead
    and water stains with blood revealed


  • johnrtarter 69w

    Winter’s Lurking

    Summer comes and swiftly goes
    fleeing from the autumn cool
    and winter chill, I presuppose

    from canicule and balmy breeze
    and sultry splash in backyard pool
    to a mild frost before the freeze

    from flora flowing well composed
    in summers final warm embrace
    to branches barren and exposed

    another sequent is now nigh
    with autumn settled full in place
    and winter lurking closely by


  • johnrtarter 74w

    God Cares

    God cares for every creature
    from the kitten shy and small,
    to the moose with defined feature
    and the giraffe sleek and tall

    God cares for the young bison
    grazing peaceful on the plain,
    and for the hunting lion
    with his thick and furry mane

    God cares for every squirrel
    as they flit from tree to tree,
    making homes within its hollow
    when not fighting playfully

    God cares for all the sparrows
    and all else that I can see,
    if he cares so much for those...
    he must really care for me