by Gail Van Hoesen
Would you care to stop awhile
And rest along the way?
You’re weary from your travels;
Do you need a place to stay?
Through life’s uncertain journey
We are plagued with great concerns,
Still we shoulder up our burdens,
Trusting in a safe return.
Just when we think we’ve lost our way
And feel so all alone,
We meet a kindred spirit,
And realize we’re home.

I can feel it in the crisp nights,
When the moon sails full and clear;
I can smell it in the burning
Of the leaves of yesteryear.

I weep to hear the wild geese call
Across the waning year.
Autumn is upon us;
I can taste it in my tears.

Come and sit beside me
And hold your hand in mine.
Speak to me in silence
Amid the raveling of time.
The day is almost over;
Shadows lengthen on the lawn.
I feel the ache of winter;
The summer's almost gone.

I feel the winter's frozen grasp,
Its frigid, howling winds that blast
And bend the icy branches low,
While spring sleeps deep beneath the snow.

A winter storm whitewashed the earth
And hushed the frozen land.
White silence fell and, for awhile,
Erased the stain of man.

Poems by Gail Van Hoesen
Photos by David S. Rose
by Gail Van Hoesen
I have looked upon the meadow
In the dawn and green of Spring
When life was full of promise,
And the want was for nothing.

I have looked upon the meadow,
Lush with Summer flowers gay
When life was wasted freely
And obligations never paid.

I have looked upon the meadow
In the golden Autumn haze,
And felt the sorrow coming
In the twilight of the days.

Now I look upon the meadow
Where Winter snows won't last.
The years are almost over,
And the night is falling fast.

Beneath my boughs,
Some comfort find
From sorrow and travail.

My branches shall
A solaced be
Where hope and peace prevail.
Have you ever watched the fireflies
On a liquid summer night
And caught them in a bottle
To embrace their magic light?

Or heard the distant whistle
Of a solitary train
As it thundered through the darkness
And wailed its sad refrain?

On a tin roof in the rain
That recalled a part of childhood
And took you home again?

It tastes of bittersweet nostalgia 
And a slice of apple pie,
A hot dog at the baseball game,
And memories you can't buy.

Like a precious, newborn fledgling,
Full of innocence and faith,
I watched you, full of wonder,
As you grew in form and grace.

But time moves ever onward,
Rushing through our flight of days,
And when I wasn't watching,
You spread your wings and flew away.

A tune drifts through the twilight,
A bittersweet refrain.
It haunts me with its reverie
And takes me home again.
At summer’s bright beginning,
Her promises held true;
Endless, sunny days
And cloudless skies of blue.
But promises are broken
And summer must depart,
Through bitter cold of winter,
I’ll keep you in my heart.
You cannot give me riches
Of gold or priceless art
As precious as the memories
I keep within my heart.