Gerard John Conforti




Living for over half a century with overwhelm- ing loss and loneliness, Gerard John Conforti turns to his powerful gift for words to write "poems gathered from my heart." In 1999, he learned that his last surviving brother, Victor, was undergoing treatment for cancer.

 Having already lost his brothers Eric to a traffic accident and Anthony to AIDS, Gerard reached a state of panic and despair in which only his ability to write tanka kept him in his days. Firmly rooted within the tradition of classical Japanese tanka, Gerard writes of love and loss in the form of letters to his brothers, parents, friends, readers, and God. These are also epistles to him- self: letters that ask unansw- erable questions, that acknowledge and accept pain. At the same time, however, his tanka are letters of celebration, reassurance, and courage. He celebrates nature, love, family, friendship, God, and his own extraordinary optimism. He reassures his brother Victor and sister- in-law Elsa of his bound- less love and of the fact that "the spirit never dies." He reassures his parents of his forgiveness. And he reassures us all that our mortality is inextricably and comfort- ingly linked to the cycles of nature. Even in the depths of unbearable pain, Gerard paints a world of warm, vivid yellows, a landscape filled with buttercups and daffodils, sunshine and starlight, and "moonlight/ flooding my being with grace." Gerard catches courage from Victorís courage and his own power to control emotion and create beauty through language.

 Although he wrote these tanka "as a gift of life" for Victor, they are also a gift to his readers. We cannot help but be moved and inspired by his courag- eous testimony to love, optimism, and the power of the word.

Pamela Miller Ness
August 2000





These  poems expand the periods of my childhood life in Mount Loretto, an orphanage on Staten Island, to the present. I have come to terms with myself as Somerset Maugham did in writing his novel, Of Human Bondage.

There are many poems in this collection I wanted to leave out, but decided against it. The only way I could forgive myself and others was to leave the poems written as they appear. From this I have found some peace of mind which most writers of books seem to find for themselves.

It took a shattered family life and many human mistakes in life to write such a book for my brother Victor, and Elsa, his wife. It's been a long struggle, but I've overcome many obstacles which have made me a better and stronger person for it. At the present I am trying to overcome two decades of pain caused by others, but I want the readers to know that what has come may someday be gone, but the memories will remain.

There are many hard lessons one must learn in life and those lessons teach valuable lessons which hopefully aren't repeated. I've surely learned much through my life experiences which I could, and have, and will, teach others.

I want to thank Cor van den Heuvel, Charles Trumbull, Jane Reichhold, and Robert Spiess for making my dreams come true by publishing my first two books, Now That the Night Ends, by AHA Books and Chant Press, and Pale Moonlight by Deep North Press.

I'm also grateful to the many people who have stood by my side in very difficult times and have been a great inspiration to me in my writing. I love them all.

Gerard John Conforti
New York City
July, 2000




For My Brother Victor & Elsa His Wife

the sun moves slowly
overhead at noontime
the fatigue sets in
and my brother needs to sleep
and dream the stars away

brother, your courage
is stronger than my heart,
which loves you so much
and cares for your wife Elsa,
who holds you and comforts you

many years have passed
since we were brothers at play
on the green meadows
when life seemed longer than we thought
May God always bless you

the sea stretches far
where the winds play on the tides
enslaving the sea
crashing on the distant shore
where the tides recede like tears

I know how much
suffering you must go through
coming and going
out of hospital rooms
trying to overcome your illness

do not give up hope
for the winds blow in the trees
all year round
even when it snows or rains
the sunlight is always there

I think of you often
after three years of absence
I hear your voices
in the middle of the night
when the stars shine in your window

all the many years
you worked to make a living
you have escaped the illnesses
which have burdened your brothers
I would never wish on you

God gave me a gift
to share with the ones I love
to bring an end
to many who have been cursed
and suffered most of their lives

let the light shine in
a glaring light of hope
devoid of pain
which has invaded your life
and now is destroying you

I never thought
you loved your brothers so much
until the dark cloud
moved away from the sun
and filled our hearts with love

I will never say
farewell to you or Elsa,
which has bound us closer
than ever before
like roses clinging in the winds

the early spring rose
in the dewy morning
brings you love
which, like the blue sky,
will last for eternity

every day that passes
like the wind in grass
brings memories
of long ago
in a field of dreams

one day soon
you will walk the road
of flowering leaves
and find eternal bliss
among the ones you always loved

on the city streets
where I used to walk homeless
you came to my aid
and with Eric helped me 
find a job and a place to live

Iíve lost everything
but gain your heart and love
where memories
will linger like the warm spring
in the heart of every flower

one day
I will join your spirit
like the spring winds
blowing through the meadows
and whispering in the trees

do not fear the future
where fate awaits us all
for the spirit never dies
and the wind is proof of this
invisible yet felt

I know, Victor,
that you see life
more than I
aware of fate
about to embrace you

sometimes I feel
you donít fear death
but laugh at it
like a courageous warrior
ready to take it on

I never thought
I would be the last to go
but God had plans
for me to use my words
to write and love you all

already I feel lonesome
knowing Iíll be left
to carry on
as though silence beckons
and silences your voice

early this morning
I woke from a dream
in the silence
the stars met my eyes
as I thought of you, brother

I do not know
where life will take me
when you are gone
but the journey is endless
down a beautiful road

night quickly passes
into a glorious morning
when the sun
climbs the blue horizon
and the bells toll and toll

I would like to
embrace you for the last time
like the blazing sun
embraces the spring flowers
ever so beautiful as you

I refuse
to say farewell to you
but the end
is always near in sight
and the tears never cease flowing

I have not seen you
for the longest time
o righteous brother
my love for you is endless
and my heart aches to see you go

today, the sun
shone through the bedroom window
on this winter day
your heart is a ray of sunlight
in the clear, blue, cloudless sky


it is too early
for the cool autumn days to come
when the flowers wither away
let us be hopeful
for the spring returns more beautifully

I gaze out the window
of this lonesome room of mine
yet my thoughts
are like the spring starry sky
watching and comforting you

now the night
gleams with the sparkling stars
in the spring sky
the moon loves the heaven
and the flowers love the moon

as night passes
and the stars melt into morning
the song of birds
sound in the silence of meadows
where buttercups glow in the grass

the spring winds
sweep across the green grass
up the sloping hills
where the winds blow into flowers
and the sun climbs the horizon

let the sea
draw your love with the tides
falling on the shore
where the sand recedes
drawing you both toward the moon

the beautiful robin
sings all day long
in its nest of birds
he feeds and protects
from sunup till moondown

the dream of tomorrow
flows into a river of life
where the morning sun
drives its light deep
into the heart of the water

the windy flowers
growing beside the river
flowing into the sun
flourish all spring long
and multiply along the river banks

above the vast sea
the stars and moon at night
gaze upon the tides
with their beautiful peaceful light
in the warm blowing summer winds

there are many paths
leading through the mountains
each one singing
with the wake of morning birds
as the moon fades in the sky

the light in your hearts
is like the sun
streaming forth from the clouds
breaking over the meadows
in the center of the valley

tomorrow morning
as the sun rises in the sky
you will open your window blinds
and the sun will stream in
and brighten your lovely room

the light of life
deeply touches the inner flowers
with tender sunlight
streaming through the spring winds
the shade of flowering trees

the night ends
given way to the dawning light
in the warm summer
the days are long and bright
and give way to drops of pouring rain

the winter is gone
and the birds flock to their nests
in the freshly grown trees
the leaves protect them from harm
and give them shelter from the rain

the buttercups
along the path in the meadows
dream of life
awakening to the spring rain
when the earth absorbs the snow

the dandelions
blaze in the spring grass
like deadly weeds
choking the roots of grass
the grass out-chokes the weeds

the violets
growing in the green grass
caught my view
along the love path I walked
I passed with joy in my heart

this coming spring
the honey bee will drift
from flower to flower
seeking the nectar
it stores in combs for the winter

O joyous spring
the world comes alive with song
after a quiet winter
passes into a deep north
the flowers press through the earth

the frozen earth
thaws away in the warmth of spring
as shoots of daffodils
show the first sign of the season
the yellow flowers in melting snow

let us bring joy
like the first day of spring
which brings bliss
to every colorful flower
lasting through the summer

long ago
the flowers withered and died
the leaves fell heavy
upon the decaying earth
but that was long ago

life is beyond
the tribulations of life
which must go on
and never cease going
till we touch the clear blue stars

Victor and Elsa
donít be sad in what I write
for you will never die
like the newborn stars at night
flooding the heavens with light

Victor, I would never say
what happened to me over the years
and leaving you sad
for I am content now
surviving all that Iíve been through

I pray for you
each passing day
never giving up hope
for your health to return
and living longer than you thought

Victor, I am so happy
you have Elsa as your wife
she worries for you
and also hopes and prays for you
and miracles do happen

tonight, I stayed up
and wrote many poems to you
only to show
how much I love and care for you
as the dawning light brings you love

tonight, my ex-roommate
sleeps away the starry night
as I write of you
in the early hours of morning
the last weekend before spring

do not worry for me
Iím sure Iíll be all right
like God watches over me
heíll do the same for you
and bring you more hope than ever

you will awaken each morning
more content than ever
when the spring flowers sprout
you can always think of me
like flowers make me think of you

it is 9:30 in the morning
and Iíve stayed up all night
thinking and writing for you
all forty poems or more
I give to you as a gift of life

today, I will sleep
for a good many hours
but your love for me
has brought me to the point
of loving you even more

the day before spring
the trees and flowers are budding
toward the noon sun
drifts of clouds are passing on
the daffodils blowing in the winds

the spirit of spring
is felt in the warm spring winds
blowing across the meadows
where crowds of buttercups
give life to the green grass

the pond in the meadow
reflects the flying geese
in the placid water
the mallards sit in the sun
in the bliss of cool spring light

this beautiful spring day
lies in the petals of flowers
where the warm winds
blow across the green hills
and the flowers weep for you

my love for you
grows stronger every day
this coming spring
I watch the flowers grow
in their solitary blades of grass

now, the starry night
brings the tides of my feelings
to rise and fall
like the sorrowful sea
crashing on the distant shore

look toward the sun
rising on the horizon
its crimson joy
the ocean tides awaken
to life, each and every day

tonight, again I write
to you, Victor and Elsa,
while the soft music
plays in the silent room
the candle flickers softly

now, at midnight
the lamplight burns in the room
but soon
the light will be turned off
as I lie in bed gazing at the stars

as you sleep tonight
dreaming far into the stars
the morning light
begins to spread across the sky
awakening you to the first day of spring

the snowflakes fall
in the middle of winter
the cold wind blows
into the cracks of the window
as ice forms on the window glass


across the harbor
the morning fog obscures
the skyscrapers
standing bravely toward the sky
the fog moves on into sunlight

the suspension bridge
linking Brooklyn to Staten Island
holds its own strength
from solid concrete and cable
the traffic moves easily onwards

Victor, remember
you traveled from Manhattan
to Staten Island after work
to visit me in the hospital
It was more than a joy to see you

you, brother Victor,
are my last brother alive
and if you go away
Iíll be left to remember
a cluster of flowering buds

I understand, Elsa,
what you and Victor are going through
the aching pain
within your grieving hearts
are like falling blossoms from trees

Iíve learned
if you put your heart and soul
into what you love
you can accomplish anything
even at great odds against you

Victor, donít be broken-hearted
from what Iíve written on paper
I wanted you to know
how Iíve felt the last 52 years
and that Iíll always love my brothers

Elsa, I love you
for taking care of my brother
who needs you
like the sun needs the rain
and the nights needing the day

this April
reminds me of Eric and Anthony
who have gone
into the winds of day
blowing out into the distant sea

Victor and Elsa,
I think of you every day
with hope and joy
may both live long
through the coming seasons

Iíve seen the dawning light
brighten my view of spring grass
reflecting the blue sky
in the dewy morning
the grass dries in the rising sun

youíve accepted
your imminent predicament,
which you face bravely,
and one day Iíll do the same
no matter what the cost

after chemo
you feel ill all through your body
the side-effects
can be intolerable
as you lie exhausted all night in bed

Cor gives you his regards
meeting you some time ago
impressed him
and he cares deeply for us
the last of four brothers

when I see you again
in September
I know my heart
will break in two
and tears will flow

Iím hoping, Victor,
you pull through your illness,
but if you donít
Iíll join you somewhere
in the distant galaxies

I canít afford
to lose another brother
such as you
the oldest of the four of us
death has skipped over me

this morning
I gazed out the window
of my room
and studied the stars
joining the four of us together

For Rev. John Budwick

as the day darkens
and your eyes no longer
see the mighty stars
in the rising morning sun
you will open your eyes to God

itís been a long road
we have walked together
now I will
walk the road alone in the day
until the sun also sets for me

autumn will be coming soon
and the beautiful flowers
along the river
will bow to the falling leaves
and also bow to the flakes of snow

If you only knew
the sorrow I feel now
I love you always
for what youíve meant to me
all the years of our lives

now is the time
to waken to the song of sparrows
outside your window
on this warm summer day
the sun will blaze in your hearts

see how the winter snow
falls silently upon the earth
when it taps against the window
and flows down the glass
I alone will be watching all day long

listen to the winds
blowing into the tree leaves
how beautiful
to feel the raindrops
in the blistering heat of summer

how will the night be
when the stars shimmer
into your eyes
so far away
up the path of the mountain

there are the seasons
as the stars move across the sky
when life on Earth
dies to the cold and ice
then wakes to the coming spring

across the tides of the sea
the distant twilight
begins to shimmer with the stars
there are so many lovely lights
across the mighty galaxy

Brother Victor,
you are so joyful
even in the darkness of night
which will close your eyes
you face the end with courage

Victor, we were once far apart
it took two of our own
to bring us closer
then the moonlight on the grass
which flowers now with our love



at Mount Loretto
the meadows stretch to the hills
where the sea
sounds every minute of the day
and can be heard from the mansion

as children at Mount Loretto
we were separated from each other
but remained brothers
in heart and soul
never knowing how much I loved you all

the woods at the Mount
stand silent of childrenís voices
but the winds
sway to the memory of my eyes
the long winding road we walked

when the snow came
blowing fiercely across the meadows
we were warm
inside the long dorms of beds
where I listened to the wind each night

the winds swirl the earth
across the baseball field
where we played ball
running from base to base
till we were champions at home plate

the cattle farm
stands no more in the hot sun
where the cattle grazed
across the fresh green meadows
and the farmers no longer work

when the fireworks went off
I sat on the cottage roof
and watched them explode
from a distance in the twilight
the stars gazing on the horizon

in the woods
where we used to play hide and seek
as young children
I could not find you one day, Anthony,
and wept all the way back to the Mount

I remember Anthony
when the older kids at the Mount
jumped and beat him
till he gave into their blows
as I stood helplessly by

I remember too, Anthony,
when the clergy signed
you into Willowbrook State School
and how you resented this
hating our father to the very end

my loving brother, Anthony,
you always protected me
from impending harm
and put yourself out for me
at a great cost to you

I think you remember, Victor,
when we were separated
into different cottages
a broken family already broken
always fending for ourselves

I stood there alone
at four years of age looking out
the playground's wooden fence
at the falling tree leaves
in the autumn of 1952

our father never kept promises
when it came to visit us at the Mount
to discharge us
from Mount Loretto in his uniform
yet we were always happy to see him

ďOne day weíll be free
from this mission libertyĒ
is what I used to sing
at the age of five
there was no escaping

I will always be there
remembering memories
of hills and meadows
we walked as children
and as loving brothers

the railroad planks we walked
counting them
through the winding woods
and never looking back

you both have courage
as each passing day
brings a challenge
and strength and caring
bounding your hearts forever

tonight, the stars
are again present in my window
the same stars
I viewed the previous night
ever so blissful in the sky

why do I love stars?
theyíve always been there
even as a child
I thought of the Creator
who made nights so lovely

at Mount Loretto
the long wooded shelter
we walked to and from
only made me stronger
in the middle of winter

Mount Loretto
wasnít the best place for us
but it taught me much
about how nature governs us all
despite what it all has come to

when I was sixteen
I couldnít write a proper sentence
but I knew a writer
who impressed me no end
and since has remained in my heart

when I left Mount Loretto
I though it was over for me
what I always knew
was uprooted from me
but my memory never failed me

today, Mount Loretto
has become a lost lonely place
the voices of kids
have vanished to the winds
and the old graveyard is a memory



I could remember
all the joy we had as brothers
going to the Bronx
to visit our father
who loved us endlessly

our father
taught us to appreciate
the struggles we endured
because when good things happened
it became an endless bliss

itís not worth
hanging onto regrets and sorrows
only to forgive
the ones whoíve caused you pain
you taught me well, Victor

it took me 52 years
to forgive my father
who suffered too
and was unhappy
when he lost his sons

I see you, Dad,
in your army uniform
what you were like
when it came to discipline

for twenty-five years
you were locked away in a hospital
and lost hope
of ever having your family again
I love you, Mom, for your bravery

one day, Mom,
you will learn what happened
to your sons
and my heart will sink
to see tears in your eyes

one day, Dad,
you came into my bedroom
as I lay in bed sick
and said, ďget out of bed, be a manĒ
then you beat me till I wept

I never thought, Dad,
how you could drink so much
in a drinking bar
while your sons drank soda
and you kept to yourself

walking the dusty road
I noticed one day, Dad,
tears flowing from your eyes
was it the wind and dust
of just self-pity

after I was discharged, Dad,
from the Navy in 1967
you told my brother Victor
not to help finding me a job
I wound up on the streets anyway

Victor, you always
had faith in me
even though I didnít live
up to your expectations
I knew you deeply cared

if it werenít for you brothers,
no telling where Iíd be today
there are always streets to walk
and shelters to stay at night
I never wanted either dead-ends

the world turns
with the heavenly galaxy
moving over us
the rivers, seas, and mountains
shedding light upon the waters

Each dewy morning
in the early part of spring
the rising sun
warms the cool earth
drinking water from the flowers




do you remember Sarah
you met some time ago?
She knows about our brothers
who passed too soon from life
and wept without knowing them

I awoke tonight
to noise in the next room
the reformed addicts
were talking loudly
while violence on TV shook the room

Iíve always lived alone
and have always preferred it
to the noisy city
but the silence is deep tonight
and the loveless moon gazes down

as the mighty stars
crowd together in the heavens
some rain to the ocean
like sorrowful falling tears
burning through the universe

you never know
what awaits you at the end
of the winding road
leading through the winter woods
melting into flowering boughs in spring

waiting for the one
who embraces you in their arms
and feel the warmth
of her soft kisses touch your lips
is a dream of buds in spring

youíve done so much for me
when darkness set in
you brought a spark of hope
to my, my aching heart
my best to you, Charles, Jane, Cor

I miss you, Ellen,
the fire that consumed you
had brought tears to my eyes
I will never forget
the suffering you went through

I know your pain well
Everything you and others have gone through
saddens me with tears
and breaks my heart in two

I remember Van Gogh
painting through the night and day
for ten long years
he suffered terribly
like Theo, thanks, Ed, for your help



youíve made me very happy
for all youíve done for me
and tonight the stars shine
ever brighter than many years before

the night edges at my soul
sleep is hard to find
like a star in the pond
reflecting the moonlight
flooding my being with grace

I cannot sleep
I cannot eat
the oppressive clouds
linger within my mind
let the light shine in!

the adversity
is too hard to bear
the night waits for day
which never comes like
the singing of sparrows

this cup of tea
is steaming in the winter
it is cold
but it never snows
and the nights are long and weary

let me find bliss
among the mountains and valleys
not in this room
where the days are bleak
and the sunlight never shines

how can it be
that the light in my heart
when the hopelessness sets in
and the storm is approaching

they say be positive
when the odds stack up
to face me each day
like brick walls
moving in on me

I've faced my problems
for twenty years now
only cowards know
how to find the safe haven
deep in the mighty forest

if I could break loose
from the bondage of the mind
linking my thoughts
like powerful chains
holding me prisoner

thank God for friends
who have compassion
for the suffering
edging at my soul
which brings the strongest to tears

I must be
another John Keats
or the rebellious Shelley
who knew what oppression and suffering
exists in this rolling earth

I don't care
who likes or dislikes me
edging on hate
I never threw a stone
to harm anyone in my way

people think
I don't care about anything
yet they've walked
past beggars on the streets
or the homeless on park benches




never have I known
such sorrow Iíve seen in my life
the suffering Iíve seen
in and out of hospitals
is beyond the mercy of God

Iím filled with joy
when I see the green meadows
covered with flowers
which makes up for the punishment
Iíve endured all the past years

now is the time to hope
for the best of things to come
never given up
what you believe in yourself
for the benefit of man

nations conflict with nations
in war and peace
many never knowing
what befalls a poor nation
can happen to the powerful nation as well

I look out my window
when the sun first rises
over the horizon
I see the beauty in the spring
and the road heading to the adult home

when youíre used
and hopelessness sets in
never give up
no matter what the challenge in life
always strive for the brighter light

the distant twilight
darkens into a starry night
with billions of suns
to brighten the long winter nights
every day of the year

there are people
who would destroy this nation
and the individual
who may have done nothing wrong
only live the best they could

only yesterday
I was young and innocent
but real life intervened
and now you know what I say in words
trying to keep my sanity

Life can be very unfair
as one person told me once
but there are many paths
leading through the hardships of life
and no one escapes them all

in the dawning light
the hazy moon shines on earth
from the budding trees
a crow sails by over them
its caw awakens the morning

this morning Iím thinking
about strolling the paths
of Snug Harbor
to hear the spring birds sing
and see the dewy flowers sprouting

the night seems so dark
when overcast with clouds
yet the moon
sometimes streams
through the rain and snow

the winds are clear today
the mighty fog has moved on
into the distance
the sun is rising brightly
over the towering skyscrapers

there are no more
withering leaves on the trees
from last autumn
only the life and birth of leaves
coming forth to greet us

tonight, the streets
of the city of New York
are silent now
yet I hear your joyful voice
meeting me after a day of work

do not fear life and death
theyíre both part of nature
and the stars
shine for God eternally
like the rebirth of flowers in spring

we are all born
separately in this life
like single flower buds
or single stars in the heavens
we are like one another on Earth

my love is endless
for you, Victor and Elsa,
like infinite space
where there is no end to it
I hold you both in my heart

on the sandy shore
I stand viewing the distant sea
the rising sea
tosses the lone buoy about the tides
as its bell clings and clings

above the sea
the gulls slide in the winds
blowing onto the shore
I can hear their cries
as the gulls search the rising tides

for over ten years
I didnít venture out of the city
to travel to upstate New York,
where nature would breathe
the newness of life into me

the raindrops fall
between the light of the moon
patterning the flowers
which hold drops in their petals
until the sun sparkles them to life

I can not see the trees
nor the distant paths
leading through the woods
where the fog lingers
all morning long

the odds were against me
but I never pretended
to be like God
but he gave me a gift
to write my days away

Iím lost in a fog
and canít seem to find my way
out of it tonight
I will wake in the morning
my mind clear as day

I eat my dinner alone
the clock on the wall in the silence
is all I hear
till the beating of the rain
taps on the window glass

my tears are silent
yet I donít weep for myself
only for the ones
I have lost to this life
and the ones who suffer now

I do not know
whether to turn this way or that
which confuses me
as to where life
will leave me next alone

Iím tired tonight
but I canít sleep the night away
the stars
are there to keep me company
in their silence

sometimes I listen
to the radio on the table
but it doesnít comfort
my mind in what they say
because of their ignorance

on Staten Island
Iím a foe of the people
whoíve tried to destroy
all that Iíve lived for
and wish bad things on me

the dawn arises
into a peaceful morning
all the peace
I find here on this island
comes with the rising sun

the mediaís on my case
I canít watch TV
nor listen to the radio
Iíve lived in silence before
and probably will again

I do not know
how long I have to live
it will be my own hand
which destroys me forever
or some crazed man waiting for me

Iíve done nothing
to harm anyone, ever,
Iíve always tried
to protect my rights
which have been taken from me

live up to what you stand for
a belief in God
the Bill of Rights
and the Constitution

Iíve been harassed,
threatened, humiliated
for twenty years
do not fool yourselves
the world begins and circles back

I wish I could
turn everything around
but itís late
and Iím tired
of doing my best

Victor & Elsa
people have misjudged me
Iíve survived
all the painful years
now you know psyche people are strong

they slam doors
call me God, which Iím not,
make comments
all to their own ignorance
theyíll never live down

in the psyche hospital
the psyche patients there
work with their doctors
to bring me down
and increase my symptoms

there is hope
in the blazing spring sun
slanting rays
through green pines
the song of blissful birds

it seems today
that the sky pours with rain
in the summer heat
yet tonight welcomes the cool winds
blowing into the windows of my room

how I missed
writing in words tonight
the lamplight burning
as the stars gaze
around the center of the moonlight

the sky will be overcast
hung low with clouds
sweeping down in wind and rain
upon the roof of the house

in every dewy flower bud
there is a shimmering star
in the still of night
the clouds pass one by one
over the light of the moon

this lovely night
a moth flutters about the room
its wings cooling
the very life of it
on this cool windy night

today a spider
spins a web for its prey
no I wonít
kill it with the heel of my shoe
it is too tiny and harmless

what would happen
if there were no days or nights
weíll be the void
of external space
ever expanding through the universe

when the end comes
and I lie dying in the hospital
I will look back
through all the trails of tribulations
and know it was worth it all

never give up
in whatever you believe
set a goal
and take it seriously
and you will go far ó very far

what else can I say
going from room to room
in the heat and cold
of summer and winter nights
I am sick with loneliness

they shout out God
as though Iím invincible
well, Iím still here
so someone must be watching
and keeping me safe

life is precious
for all the days we live
like flowers
reaching for the blaze of sun
flowers oh beautiful flowers

I gaze into the daisies
blooming in spring along the path
the beauty I see
is two-fold over joy
like the daffodils up the path

the street lamps burn
through the night
as I sit writing
poems gathered from my heart
the shadows of leaves move on the window

dreams are made of flowers
sprouting about the meadows
the wind in the wind
the twist of rain in rain
brings the sun to this spring day

the nights are short
the lovely moon and stars
on this spring night
shine joyfully
above the distant light of the sea

is there any way out
of this nightmarish trap
I donít know
I think I need help
from people who care

  All poems in For My Brother Victor & Elsa His Wife
 Copyright © Gerard John Conforti 2000.
Online Version  Copyright © AHA Books 2000.

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