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The Road Less Travelled Poems by Rick DeGraw

Contents Yes, That Generation 1 The City 2 Events 6 Finding Life 12 God 38 Love and Lust 58 Politics 94 Wondering 98 Memories of Wood, Brick and Mortar 110

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.� —Desiderata

Yes, That Generation I graduated from High School in 1964. I graduated from college in 1968. Yes, that was my generation. The 60’s, those turbulent years, those wonderful years, when young was a culture, when the King was still alive and the Beatles were a hairstyle and a cultural direction. We’ve all read about the 60’s, how the first of the baby boomers were “hitting the scene.” I was born in 1946, the first year of baby boomers. I abhorred the Vietnam War and I was afraid of it. I spent my elementary school years hiding under my desk to protect me from the expected nuclear bomb blast. I believed adults when they told me that if I was walking to or from school and saw a bright flash in the distance, grab a white sheet from the nearest clothesline, no one had dryers yet, and cover myself to reflect the heat from the bomb blast. Does anyone wonder that we distrusted adults just a few years later. I experienced my first physical love in the early months of the decade’s first year, on a snowy night in front of a moderately roaring fire. I loved music and loved to dance but I never collected 45 records. The only records I owned as a child were 78’s from my grandfather, old country ballads. I learned to love the earth from him as well and to dig and plant and watch things grow. I marched against the war, demonstrated for civil rights, went to Ray Charles’ concerts because I “fit in,” and believed in free love, when I could find it. In 1969, I joined the summer of love and drove cross country with two couples in a VW bus with, of course, LOVE painted across the back of the bus. I drove a 1960 VW sunroof beetle that we painted in Peter Max style – bright blue, chartreuse, yellow and hot pink. I learned that police are drawn to vehicles that do not fit standard color schemes. I wasn’t musical. I had no money. I wasn’t particularly handsome or well-endowed. So I expressed myself like many of us in the 60’s. I wrote poetry, stories, verse and anything I wanted. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad, just that it was. I read everything Ferlinghetti ever wrote including his novelette, HER. I loved Robert Frost and Alan Ginsburg. I had original Navy bellbottoms, tie dyed shirts, sandals, a ponytail and a mustache. I acted in theaters and was sworn into the national actor’s society, Masquers. This compilation of writings isn’t earth shattering or even good. But it is clearly expressive of me, my times and the pressures that the 1960’s imposed on those of us who came of age in its decade. Most of these writings were produced between 1963 and 1970. Some are dated, some are not. Most were created in classrooms, at the edge of the Westminster College lake or along the canals and in the forests of Princeton. They are compiled here for your enjoyment, not necessarily your edification. I didn’t update or modify them. They were collected in handwritten papers from all types of notebooks and scribbling and saved over the years. I only rediscovered them in 2009 and am transferring them to a more permanent home in this publication. Enjoy … and be cool. Rick DeGraw, 2012


The City A Man Died Tonight A man died tonight; his woman cried tomorrow; his children asked for Daddy tomorrow night. A man died tonight, a good man, a suburban man, a tweed suit man. A man died tonight because rats run in the houses yesterday, because cold water doesn’t make a man feel best in the morning, because plaster doesn’t taste as good as turkey. A man died tonight, he was killed because football on asphalt bloodies the knees, because money can buy Nirvana when a life is empty. A man died tonight because he fought for his wallet, led with his life. A man lay in the street tonight, his life fed the sewer, his soul cried to those already in fear – help was so near away. A man is dead yesterday, his deliverer is rich today: 40 dollars, 3 credit cards can buy a new life; the cards are good for quite a while, their owner cannot inform of loss by written notice within 48 hours. A man died tonight because all streets do not lead to Rome, because money goes only to broken families, because landlords live in suburbs, because a book is bought by its cover. A man died tonight because no one is sorry, because he died not only for his sins but for ours, because he felt not guilty. A man died tonight because no one learned; another will die tomorrow.


Big Wide Wonderful World 1964 It’s ridiculous the way we live

But we can be right

Because no one

While our brother’s wrong

Knows what the other person does

In our big world

Or means

We live

And because no one is

But in worry

Quite sure what the other

That our neighbor


Down there

That there is so much misunderstanding

Up over

In our world


We don’t believe the claims

Might just be better

Of our enemy

Than the likes of us

And we’re not always sure

So in our mind we make

Of the thoughts of our friends

Sure he’s worse

We never see

So that each

What is really there

Little person contributes

We only see

To our big wide wonderful world

What we think should be

Of fear.

Our neighbors can’t know something When we’re not sure


The City One Minute on the Senses February 1969 How can our eyes be opened When we are blind? How can our sight be pure When our hearts are empty? How can we use that lovely gift of sight And yet not see reality? How can we view a life And think it less important than ours? WE DO! Distorting our own vision We no longer see what is. We see only what we think should be. The world is not as small as our minds, But we would like to see it so‌


To Die For How do I break my cycle?

What do I do about my role?

My father is poor.

I’ve just gotten booked

My father is dumb.

For getting my girl hooked.

My mother’s a whore

She used to be sweet, she used to be fine

She works in a slum.

But not anymore, she lives for the dime.

How do I stop the trend?

My sister’s thirteen

She lives in a dream.

What do I do after this?

Should I just sit and cry

She spends her days

Until my next fix?

In all the wrong ways.

But no, no wait,

I think I’ll just die.

How do I stop the repetition?

My brother’s on dope

He has no more hope.

My baby brother’s nine

He’s hooked on the wine.


Events Fundamentals of Expression February 17, 1969 What more beautiful form of art than that of oratory? What more easily perverted form of art than that of oratory? Words have the power to soothe, relax, make secure; used differently they may ignite, excite and destroy. What art form has been used in so many different ways: Lincoln used it to beautifully honor men, Hitler beautifully used it to destroy men, and Johnson used it to deceive beautiful men. As much as we say a speaker has a responsibility to his material, we may also say, “We all interpret material differently.” As we say the speaker must be true and faithful to the listener, we say “Everyone hears only what they wish to hear.” As we say a man must be true to his conscience, so we say “We hear ourselves differently than others do.” So what does one say of a speaker? How can we state objective purposes when subjectivity rules interpretation? Some men can speak of anthills and evoke millions into a frenzied response; others can speak of horrible injustice and not even stir the dead. A speaker has a responsibility: he has the responsibility to honestly read, digest, speak and listen to what he says and how he says it. Beyond this, responsibility cannot be assigned. I’m sure Lincoln never realized his address would touch the heart and be eternally memorized; I’m sure Hitler felt he spoke honestly; and Johnson probably even feels he acted in all truth! Honest interpretation is foremost, but who will speak to the meaning of honesty?


A Dusty Wind March 31, 1970 As a wind, as a wind, as a wind –

“Where is your soul? Do you not love your Mother?”

She passes, as a wind.

Her age is beginning to show,

She whispers, “May hearts beat, why must I die?” The wind sings, through her hair –

The scars in her face cannot be erased.

She dances, she whimpers, her joy fi lls the fi elds.

Her life-blood is broken down, burnt, built, and decayed.

She soothes, she asks “Why should the desert rise? Why

Her cries are not heard,

must there just be dust? Why must we make caves?” She scampers, riding the calm of a breeze, Skimming the wheat, crying in the dust.

Science wipes her eyes, ravages her virginity. “My walls are broken down, I cannot be known again. My true loves will not repair me, my veil is black.”

“Why do we kill the sheep, what are these mounds in my breast?” She questions, she sobs, she wonders why strength is

Her beauty graces beauty,


Her softness tenders love.

“Why kill the fl owers, why coat the sea? Why not live your

Her lights guide the nights,

life, why not let me be?” Her life sings in the wind. She drifts as freshness in a wind, As in a wind, as in a dusty wind.


Events JFK


The whole world mourns at the loss of a man At the prime of life, who worked for us intensely. He lies now with him above, but forever shall be with us. Through one savage inhuman act We have lost a man who lived for each of us And accomplished much in guiding us right. May we never forget the way in which he served, Always for us and our country…and the way In which he died; Our president, John F. Kennedy.


Living in the Dark If man could but watch the world

With no more reason than to say

For one small day of time

“You’ve been a bad, bad boy today.”

He would see this world of ours

He could watch the people sweat

As small, confused and wrong.

And pay taxes to their owners

He would see the fat-round man

In order that they may be saved

Sitting on the poor man’s back –

From the terrible wrongs of others.

And see the largest city

Yes, if man could watch our shining world

Stooped by the change of wage.

And not be involved within it

He could watch the worshippers

He would see many wrongs to right

Go into the house of God

And then try to right them.

And curse the minster

But man cannot be uninvolved

When threatened by their sins.

He must remain a apart.

He could watch the many small, small men

So wrongs go on wronging

Wage war on one another

And man lives in the dark.


Events Science Class The students are taking a test, the teacher is taking a rest, the room so quiet and still, the papers, we’re trying to fill. The questions, so hard and long, the answers, so short and wrong. A friend walks into the room, the students removed from their gloom. The clock on the wall says stop, the answers although we ain’t got. The test is done, the perfects, none, the students leave, and again, they breath.


The Saturday Review magazine December 7, 1963 “One picture is worth a thousand words.” But a picture certainly isn’t as clear as a word description. This picture could represent many things to many people: “looks like a TV test pattern;” “reminds me of the intricate pattern of a seashell;” “one headlight of a car entering the fog;” “a motorcycle after it hit a little old lady.” To me, the picture looks like our Earth in the distant future. The center ball becomes Earth; the right side is the African continent, while the left is part of North America. The bright part is the atmosphere’s reflection of the Sun. This view is from a distant world, focusing its attention on earth, maybe as a future part of their vast domain, far more powerful than Earth. I see this picture as a view of the Earth through a 16-inch gun designed “to stabilize the trajectory of a projectile.” I received an A on this project with a “Nicely done” comment.


Finding Life A Child Who Does Not Die Oh to be a child again

Oh to learn again as a child,

How sweet the taste of truth, how fragrant the

How kind the teacher’s switch,

smell of waste. How gay the broken glass, How bright the bare bulb, How entertaining the fuzzy rats.

How warm the tanned behind, How fi ne the tattered books, How great the shortened days, How convenient the playground sales, How clean the fi lthy halls.

Oh to gain the innocence of childhood, To feel the warmth in the arm; To cough smoke from the throat; To know the gait of the Saturday drunk; To see the colors of the evening whore; To hear the brawls of the old couple; To run with friends to stay alive.


Oh to be a child again To have the advantages of youth, To laugh at such destructive force, To have faith in life, To rant, to rave, to stay alive. Oh, to be a child who does not die.

A Senior’s Goodbye 1964 If the world should stop today

When I’m in the dumps and see

And living would come to an end

Your cute little smiling face

I would still have much to say

I don’t think how hard it can be

And broken friendships still to mend.

And forget all the human race.

But even if I died now

Although you’re small and petite

I could never really regret

And you degrade yourself all the time

The life I had and how

I know you’re really so sweet

You’re the greatest friend I met.

And as friend, I’m so glad you’re mine.


Finding Life Confused Life is like a psychological maze Where the rat is always confused. He never knows whether to go right or left.


Daisy the Mutt 1964 I said to my darling

And I soon fl y to you.

I love you my sweet

As soon as I touch

But always be quiet

The softness you are

And always discreet.

My anger becomes such

You comfort me

That is calmed and dispersed.

When my thoughts run low

I’m crazy about you

And make life with thee all happy and gay.

And I love every touch, BUT –

When my wife begins nagging

You can never be mine

And my family unbearable

For you’re Daisy the Mutt.

My feelings start sagging


Finding Life Dying Since Birth So short is the life of man. So quickly goes his time of joy. So fast does youth’s blossom sleep. So soon innocence turns to sin. When still an innocent Time seems so slow; While still young Waiting is a monotony. But when the waiting has ceased, Man sees the waiting as joy. Youth has gone, he sees beauty die. Color fades from hair, Softness turns to rough, Smoothness wrinkles, And then man lives, and lives and lives. Dying since birth.


Experience as my Teacher May tension let me go

But I will face them,

If only society

Astound my superiors,

Did not rate

Raise up my underlings,

Status as so great.

Draw close my peers.

If only I could live

I shall tense viciously

For nothing but to live,

I shall bear perhaps,

With no purpose but to live

And to die after life.

Or bathe

The brunt of defeat

in the salts of victory. I must face my peers,

But whichever, I shall know

That I have enlarged

With no greater weapon

Myself and my world

With experience as my teacher.

My underlings, my superiors,

Than a booming voice

And an unsure memory.


Finding Life Finding Life on Your Own! Time, Time, Time, Where am, which, am I going? Where am I? Where you requested. I’ve never been here. I don’t know this place. Where you desired to be. But this is nowhere. Strange…it feels like someplace, no, no! I didn’t mean to be here; you brought me, why? Your life is your own, you so requested. Your life is your own. My life’s my own? No – there’s…, what is there? I feel the bonds, but I don’t see them, I don’t know what they are. Gena, she’s a bond, no wait, she’s a freedom, a life, another refuge, but, but, there are bonds, there are chains. I’m confined – aren’t I? The picture of a man’s destiny is his own to paint. You are what you eat. A penny saved is a penny earned. Cleanliness is next to godliness. What? With it! That’s all crazy. You are what you make yourself. You’re old, you look well, you look … middle-class. Yeah, that’s it, you look middle-class – rich enough, comfortable, 45, maybe 50. You gotta be a nut, why’d you bring me here? You requested that… I didn’t request anything. I never saw you before. I have seen you before – I’ve seen you all over the streets; you always look sad and in a hurry. You always look like you’re scurrying around on a little screen showing old-time movies. You guys really bug me. You look like you’re dead on your feet, no feeling, no desires, and, I’ll bet, no fucking either. You always look like you’re going no place. I’ll bet though that you tell the other guys about the exploits you have when your wife’s away, huh! The only exploits you ever have are your wet dreams and then you’re probably embarrassed that a man of your age isn’t satisfied. Yeah, that’s probably right. You’re a hung-up, over-the-hill nut that wants to try some of his own. Right? One tires of thinking and even of acting, but one never tires of loving. There’s an up and a down, I’m usually up.


What, what is this? Where am I? At least if you want some skin you could take me someplace nice and try. You’ll find I’m not the type. Why just a little while ago, Gena and I were…wait a minute. I was with Gen. I was in her apartment. Who the fuck are you? Where am I? You are where you requested. I am who you desired. I don’t understand. I don’t…where, wait, Time, Gena, where am I, I’m again, I’m again, I’m another no place. You’re here again, you’re here again. Leave me alone. You are. I am what? Speak to me, damn it, you little bastard. Now wait a minute. I was with Gen. We were, yeah, that’s it! We were playing with some stuff she picked up. I’m in a flight pattern. That’s it. This is a bad flight, you’re imaginary. You don’t exist. You are right. I do not exist – but I will. You shall be my birth. The inn is not crowded. I don’t understand. Make me understand! You are young, John; young, virile, ambitious. You despise all of me, yet here I am. Where is it that I am always going that you hate so much? No place. That’s where you bulging execs are always heading. No place. No place! You have traveled in your mind, John. You decided to travel. Where are you, John? Where are you? I don’t know. I’m no place, you ass. No place at all. Tell me where I am. … Where are you? Hey, where’d you go? Are you going to leave me here, you bastard? You god-damned, middle-class, paunchy, 40-year-old executive? Where the fuck am I? I’m here, John. Here with you. I’ll never leave you alone. You’re here, John. You’re no place. You have gotten there early. I’m … I’m free … no place. I don’t understand. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate….


Finding Life Fly 1964 Have you ever seen a bird in the sky? A bird in the sky that knows how to fly?

Yes, I have seen a bird in the sky And someday, yes, someday, I’ll learn how to fly.


Free Oh why can’t we live to be free

Why do we worry for mother

To be free, oh, to be free

Why not just let her be

Why can’t we live to be free

Then she won’t worry bout me

Why must we sit in prison

Just sleep with who we want

Confined by our loves and our fears

And leave by ten next morn

Caught in the woes of the world

And never, oh never we’d worry We’d just remain always free

Why can’t we live to be free Oh, to be free, to be free

Oh, why can’t we live to be free

Oh, why can’t we live to be free

Yes, to be free, to be free Oh why, oh why can’t we be free


Finding Life Friends May Be Near May your years all come cool,

In love have we fallen

And your looks stay as sweet

But only just firneds

So the boys will all drool

So when one turns to sullen

While you stay discreet.

The other makes amends.

May each candle that burns

May stay we friends all our life

On your calorie cake

And your husband and my wife

Bring many returns

Not mind us being here

And you happy will make.

So that friends, friends may be near.

And may you marry Someone sweet and dear – But please, please tarry To a place very near.


I am Leaving 1964 I am leaving sir, please stop me.

I see why it’s true,

How will my children live on?

As death sets the pace,

Oh sir, I cannot see –

For what did I ever do

What will I do at dawn?

To make the world a better place?

How sir, can I leave now.

The world will fi ght on

The world needs me;

As in my bed I lay,

Who will push the plow,

For the coming of dawn

Who will my replacement be?

Shall bring a new day.


Finding Life I Must Leave to Live I must leave to live.

The only way I may live is to leave.

My death remains intact

I must leave and fi nd new days

As long as I remain an ant

Uninterrupted by the people problems

In the great hill of society.

Which are falsely perpetrated in my life.

I lead my life through day Through night, I wander coolly But with sweat glands producing, Through the asinine experiences

I must free myself from myself – I cannot be myself anymore – I must be a person – But no longer can I be separate, I cannot be new.

That unknowing adults Say make life wonderful.

To live, I must leave But there is no place to go.

I live, through no personal intentions,

And fi nd out that nothing new ever appears – Only the ancient days are repeated.


Man With lines across my view

The leaves, with no purpose but beauty and life,

The world is divided in layers.

Protecting their master, the tree.

Beginning at the utmost region

The wires used as strings on a puppet

There is nothing.

To dominate and control man.

Nothing but blue, quiet, unique blue.

Below all this conglomeration comes Man.

The blue which is always there,

Man, the ruler of the world.

Activates docile lovers,

Man, who is above all.

Softens hardened hearts.

Man, who bends to no one.

Below it comes the white,

Man, who vainly attempts to invade the blue.

As a giant marshmallow

Man, who is ruled by the doings of the white.

Held over Hell but never burning.

Man, the conqueror of the woods,

Moving lazily, but swiftly,

The controller of all power,

Turning fierce and dousing

The builder of the wires.

The fire that scorces it.

Man, who has no superior.

Moving downward come the leaves

Man, a stepping stone,

And the huge system of wires

A sidewalk, a path upward.

Encircling man’s world.


Finding Life Nostalgia’s an Odd Feeling The last day

It depends where you are,

Of whatever you’re in

Who you are, what time it is.

Is always sad in a way.

J dies, R fails,

Your Scout troop, high school,

M and B marry,

Summer, college.

F is president.

All the people, the friends –

But I don’t know this,

Seen no more.

I’ll never know again.

Where do they go,

Nostalgia is an odd feeling;

What do they do?

It makes one sad

Success, failure,

By reviewing happy times.

Marriage, death – All are in the scheme:


On a Leaf that Cannot Die, but Did 1965 The leaf sits in the wind

But came the wind, February, March,

Trapped on a tree’s small fi nger

Then April.

With a pointed spear through its heart.

Ripped in half on a pointed spear

No friends to whistle with

By fi erce gale – falling to the earth –

No life to live –

Replaced by budding life,

Only bleakness, loneliness.

Which will fi nally die and be

Pinned to its fate forever.

No more than a memory.

It lasted the bleak cold Hanging on, reminding man of life That once was, and now is only memory.


Finding Life On “The Graduate�


Where is it that we go

When wonders never cease

When laughter has all gone

And wise men never tread

What is the world saying

What is it that is said

What more is there to say

That the world may not deny

When the hurt is all alone

When life is at an end

And you’re with the one you love

And its only just begun

What more is there to say

What more is there to say

That has not yet been sung

That will never more be said

REMEMBER The Past is Always Clean 1966 Odd how memories return

Your memories remain

For memories can


The same

Make the sad man happy … or sadder

The lonely man no longer lonely – perhaps

They may hurt

Except better each year.

Memories are still…wonderful. Remember our first date … Remember the time when we …

That day …

You and I always … That was great … wasn’t it?

When we built our treehouse …

Memories are … like screens

One necessarily feels empty

The time we had that accident

Letting in the fresh air

And keeping out the bugs.

Immediate reality isn’t as real

As remembered memory

Remember only those things

We never had as good a time as …

Which make the heart ache

Yeah, I remember when Andy …

the mind wander

Boy, I used to love that.

the world disappear

And keep those memories Although times have changed Place has changed

Mind has broadened

Friends are new

Build them up, never, never

Tear them down.

Don’t live in the past

Remember it though

For reality is too dirty

Perverted And ugly The past is never like that The past is always clean And remember Today is the future’s yesterday Someday

It will be nice …

Remember that day when …

Yes, I remember

Those were good days …

Yes --- I remember I’ll never forget.


Finding Life The Futility of Growing Up


Once past the age where vote doth count

They plant the seed

They begin to rule and tensions mount.

Tight, deep in earth;

They never once, with youthful eye,

But as it breaks through

See the bed in which their children lie.

They miss its real worth.

For no longer they think

They never dream a child’s dream,

Nor grow, nor live,

Nor wonder what adulthood is like;

And all they have

Never climb trees or follow the bees

Is what they give.

Or wander through nature on a tiresome hike.

They give what they can;

For now they’re mature,

Force it on youth;

They live and they learn

Build the foundation,

And the only purpose for them

But leave off the roof.

Is money to burn.

The girl in Meter 1964 The girl in the ruffl ed pink cotton dress With face not yet wrinkled by toil or stress, Strode through the fi elds with a heavenly gait And came to the garden by which I wait. She gently caressed my waiting young lips And into my back dug her fi ngertips. Her self close to mine, my mind young to life, I soon lost my head and made her my wife.

The ruffl es fell from that pink cotton dress – Then years went by and I loved her the less. I left her one day, my wonderful wife; Now I warn you, youth, be careful in life. Be not fooled in those younger teen years Or your life may just be self-pity and tears.


Finding Life The Perfect Fool April 22, 1969 Once, just once, perhaps men should question the meaning of their own lives. Men should ask only once, once is enough because an answer is never available. So, if man asks the question of the meaning of his life more than once, then he has deluded himself into believing that he answered himself after the previous question. Or, if he asks the meaning of his life knowing full well that he never answered his earlier question, then he is deluding himself again by believing that he has learned so much since he asked the last question of the meaning of his life. So, alas, if a man asks the question of the meaning of his life more than once in his lifetime, he is either a perfect fool or an imperfect optimist.


The Woman Sobs So Silent The soldier plods through mud, and blood

And medals can’t be loved

The politician sits at home, speaks of death

So the wives are left with a letter

And the politician tells the soldier to die

That says in wonderful words

And the soldier honorably consents. And the young men leave their colleges, wives and dogs To fl ock to the politician And be told when to die.

He is dead, he died like a man. The politician smiles And says the war was grand And the woman sobs so silent

When asked “Where is your man?” Will their glory reign eternal When their body leaves this earth? Glory can’t be eaten


Finding Life Time is not slow Time does not change, it is not slow But hope, expectation make it so. Love makes the lonesome day so long The happy day so short, so fast. Love is like the new day dawn Light does not come

Until the dark is past.

Yet when the bright noon is –

When love is at its full

We must enjoy it so, so quickly

‘Cause soon comes the eve –

The slow, slow dying into night. Never, for some, to rise into light. No, time itself does not slow But oh, how love makes it so.


With a Bow to Ferlinghetti One of these days I’m going to move away

So nobody will know whether

Where people don’t walk the way they do here

They’re really different

Or run the way they do here

Or whether they’re the same

Or sip milkshakes the way they do here

Or whether they really want to be inbetween.

Or neck the way they do here

But if I go away

Or go to school the way they do here.

To where there is no one

I want to leave

Like anyone that’s here

And I want to be myself

And there isn’t anyone

With no interference from parents

Who is like I am

Or “pals”

Or different than I am

Or cops or dead aunts

Or indifferent to the way I am

Or teachers or everybody else

Then I won’t like the way I am

Who stick their noses into my business

And I won’t be able to be different

When its none of their business.

Than the way I am

I wish I could go someplace where people

Because every way I was

Aren’t like the people I know

Would be the same way they are.

Who are fakes or phonies

So I guess I’ll stay here

Or who wear clothes that make them different

And be different than my neighbor

Or the same

And the same as my father

Or inbetween

And inbetween all the other different people.


Finding Life Without a Name How absurd to be different from the crowd. Not too loud, Not too proud, not too fishy, not too brashy, keep it cool, Not too mousy, not a creep, but not too neat. Take your cue From the way they’re talking…way they’re walking. Think like they think. Don’t stand out. Don’t be a square, nor too long hair. Play it safe Man. Take it easy, incoherent and even breezy. Don’t take the rap and all that crap. Who wants to lead And maybe bleed? Don’t stick your neck out, Silly Boy. Then you’ll know that blissful joy of never knowing who you are Or why you came, and everyone can be the same – without a name.


And everyone can be the same – without a name.

You Killed Me, Friend April 1969 What is it friend?

And why friend, why brother,

What is it that you say?

What good did it do you?

Have you seen the flowers fade from life,

Are you happier, more secure;

The trees turn brown in decay?

Is your business really safe?

Have you felt the final touch of holy water on your head – Have you heard them say, “He’s dead, that’s good, he’s dead.”

Friend, remember Dines and Lazarus, And think of years from now. Where are you going,

I have friend,

What is in your way?

Yes, I have. I’ve lain in earth, With rotting flesh and maggot eggs; I’ve seen the slim, the filth, the worms and insects of death. I have friend – I’ve seen that scene – It’s bad, my god, it’s bad.

Brother, friend, you killed me, Yes you did. I died early, weak and poor, But proud that I had lived. You killed me, friend – You let the gutter die; You killed me friend –

But you know all that, don’t you friend? From your limousine You’ve seen the gutter, You’ve heard your brother cry ..

You let them beat me dead; You killed me brother Yes you did. You killed me with your hate.



God A Tree 1964 If I could be what I want to be I’d be a tree. For a tree is green And always seen – by many people From ground or steeple.

A tree is strong and lasts for long It stands in weather And warm’s bird’s feather. It’s roots grow deep And sap does seep Into the ground without a sound.

A tree builds homes And a tree builds domes And a tree’s great love Is the One above.


Because God Loves Us May 6, 1969 How sweet the apple is, how tasty its fruit. How could its gentle juice burn the flesh of man? How could smooth, cool skin brand our flesh? Why would its moisture-laden meat rot in our throats, putrefy in our stomachs? Why, we ask, why? The reason that the fruit of a white, soft flower would eternally destroy man is because God loves us; because God loves us; because God loves us?


God Chapel Prayer 1968 Our dad with the Upstairs Pad, Like we dig your name. We hope your Upstairs Pad will come here Like may Your hopes and aspirations be done

On the dirt ball as they are in Your Pad.

Fork over our crumbs in the 24-hour cycle. Let us off for our sins as we try

To bury the hatchet with those who sin against us.

Don’t entice us, but free us from Evilsville. Like the Upstairs Pad, might and glory


Are Yours unceasingly.

Fog Man drifts through life

In a haze

Groping for God

In the fog

Searching for his soul

In a deep mist.

Fog does not blur God’s vision.


God Found in the Lord How enormous one event can be To a young, searching mind. How great a catastrophe When the grade isn’t made. How small a tool Such as brotherhood Can smash an image One has of oneself Is beyond knowledge Except to the broken spirit. Human brothership is needed By all who need help But help may also be Found in the Lord.


God Does Not Exist Life is a moral jungle With very thick vines Which break when you swing on them.

Life is a psychological maze Where the rat always turns the wrong way.

There is nothing dirty or vulgar

About the human body –

All evil is in the mind.

God does not exist For the benefit of Man. Man exists for the benefit of God. Man should remember this.


God God Sees There is no sky

That light is alone

Save one star piercing the night.

But surely not dead

There is no sound, no air,

For about it be said

But it’s rays lifting my sight.

“It’s worth will be known.”

It fights for its share

A ship in the sea,

Its piece of the dark –

A plane in the sky,

Such a light in the heavens

Wandering darkened and free

Guides man in his ark.

Be led to safe home By God’s one bright eye.


I Cannot Watch Where the sky meets the earth my life begins

And watch His wonders –

And does not stop

Until God tells me I cannot watch

Pass by only to recur

The sun rise in the morning

Some time hence.

And set at dusk.

And second,

Birth, wind, storm –

My life shall continue

May I find someone who loves not only me

Through streets of filth

By lanes of love

Someone who will not leave

Someone who will be with me forever

In fits of passion

During times of gentleness

But my soul

After life has stopped

And may I die

May I die

Life will have been well-lived

Having completed two things during my stay.

If I die having found

May if first find god in a way

Two things – God and the love He gives

That is personal –

To man.

May is peak to Him each day


God Is this Why? Christians say in prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Yet in this world of ours Every country hates the other. Is this what God meant, Or maybe His Son lied? No two religions the same – Many beliefs in every land. Is this why our Lord came, Why He gave us His hand? Between colors no love No people feel meek. Is this why God sent His dove? What does our Father seek?


Merry Christmas Are we actually so afraid That we really won’t be saved. Do we think at Christmas time We can erase sickness and crime.

We do we think we can really kid Because for one day our evil’s hid. It’s really stupid to hide our own sword And try to fool our God, our Lord.

Merry Christmas.


God On a Nail Somewhere Somewhere, beyond the rainbow, we’re allowed to sit and stare and wonder where and how and who are you? The keys to heaven hang on a nail somewhere, somewhere, somewhere; but I haven’t been there. Love and kindness abide in every man and can rule and can guide and can bring peace – somewhere, somewhere in there love abides; but very few find it and even fewer care! Somewhere a man understands, THE man understands, somewhere; sometime I’ll be there, somewhere; but I don’t know when.


Peculiar Not too many names are remembered in our modern world

expenses. No, because he was like everyone else. He

but there are some.

wasn’t different. The one we remember was different, in fact

We all remember the man who was thrown in jail and still supported his churches,

peculiar. When our strange one found himself with a woman of a segregated minority, he didn’t scorn her, or make her leave, or turn his back on her. No, peculiar, he talked to her

And it was because of his churches he was thrown in jail. We

and changed her life. And when he discovered the hungry

all remember his name.

or needy, he didn’t call the authorities or put the burden on

And the man who was stoned for his faith and dies as he looked to heaven asking God to forgive his murderers; we remember his name too. And the man who was lowered to the state of common peasant – did not conform to the standards of the time.

someone else’s shoulders. He fed them himself, perhaps with food he would have eaten. And they never forgot his name. Even as he died he was peculiar. He didn’t curse his tormentors, no, he blessed them. He allowed himself to be arrested and tormented because he would not conform, because he was peculiar. Today he would still be peculiar,

There were many blind beggars who, people believed, were

concerned when indifference is standard, loving when hatred

blind because they or someone in their family had sinned.

is easy, gentle when force is quicker, and devoted to mankind

But this peculiar one didn’t worry about what caused the

not himself.

blindness, only how the poor man could be cured, and they regained their sight. How peculiar. He lowered himself, stepped into the gutter, to help filthy beggars with no status, how strange. And we remember his name.

“for being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should

But do we remember the Christian who watched a brother be

bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every


tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God

Folcroft, U of Miss., or who willingly cheated on his business

the Father.”


God Petition the Lord with Prayer When I was back there in seminary school, there was a person there who put forth the proposition that you can petition the Lord with prayer, petition the Lord with prayer, petition the Lord with prayer. You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!


The Only King God is the only King Who hasn’t been dethroned by Man.


God The Tree 1965 The tree stands against the sky – alone – desperate It has no green cushions to hold back the wind It has no veined hands to catch the rain It is dead ----- it has no life It has no voice to speak Can do no more than listen

The tree stands massive against the dark Yet a weakness prevails within it. The tree is dead – and can only wait For its moment of rebirth – The resurrection that is essential

The tree stands alone – deserted – desolate As does the Lord in our world.


The Turning Point Project Many of the problems faced by the ministry today involve young people. In order to deal with these problems, the minister must attempt to understand, not necessarily become a part of, the “youth culture.� This culture is made up of thoughts, ideas and ideals, memories and dreams, all of which are not concretely related but are held together loosely by converging thought patterns. I intend to make a film along with slides and sound track to attempt to present this revelation period of youth, the coming of the new direction, the awareness time. From this beginning revelation the directions that can be followed by the young are innumerable; but this beginning revelation is an important experience of the young that the ministry must try to understand. This turning point, this dream, this experience, this trip is produced with the help of youthful minds: the pathways open to them after this happening are produced by the adult world: where they go is our problem-we need not build hallways, but only open doorways.


God The Turning Point In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Stamping out life is not God’s purpose, they say;

And God saw that it was good.

Follow the leader is a false game to play.

And the earth was without form and it was void. Then God created man in his own image

But the father says no and he builds new jails, sets new bails.

And man multiplied and covered the earth –

Beauty must be controlled,

We’ll tell you when to love, when I was your age!

With sludge and blood, shit and waste,

And man said that it was good. Listen to us, God will punish you-if he doesn’t we, Then man created sons in his own image

We who play God on earth, we will.

And his sons saw that it was bad And they said “Hell, no.”

My God, where are we going

But man perservered, he forced his sons and his daughters.

He held his golden calf high and formed his own

Who the fuck thinks he can tell me who I am –

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 commandments.

But his son said love and his daughter said lay – but with love. The young said care, be fair, believe your fellow man is the same as you.


Why are we here –

MY GOD, MY God, My God, my god?

There is a Pigeon 1964 There is a pigeon. He cares not for me. He fl ies in the sky, he feeds off the sea. He cares not for you, he cares for the earth. Not a trouble he has that to mention is worth. He loves this old world, the sky and the beach, But many things his small wings can’t reach. He knows there’s a God, he shows it each day – For he fl ies in the sky more oft than we pray. For he loves the maker of the beach and the sky So dream of our Lord each time he fl ies by.


God To Man Where the sky meets the earth

My life begins And does not stop

Birth, wind, storm –

Pass by only to recur


Some time hence

God tells me I

And second,

Cannot watch The Sun rise in the

May I find someone

Who loves


And set at dusk


My soul

My life shall continue

Not only me

Through streets of filth

Someone who will not

By lanes of love


Someone who will be

In fits of passion During times

Of gentleness

May I die

With me


And may I die

Afer life has stopped Life will have been

Having completed

Well lived


Things during my stay

If I die

Having found

May I first find God

And the love

He gives

In a way

That is personal –

May I speak to Him each day


And watch his wonders –

Two things - God

To Man.

Until We’re One 1965 In this world of ours at present

What does our Father seek?

Every country hates the other side.

Preaching the Word may be deplored,

Is this what God meant,

Or perhaps it will be tolerated:

Or maybe His Son lied?

Yet to other men our Lord

No two religions are the same –

Is openly and truly hated.

With many beliefs in every land. Is this why our Lord came,

What is it that Christians say in prayer:

Is this why He gave us His hand?

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

Between colors there is no love

But here on earth I know not where

And no people feel really meek.

My glorious Lord could come.

Is this why God sent the dove.

And I know He won’t, until we’re one.


Love & Lust A Gentle Nibble 1963 A gentle nibble on the ear, a soft, just-touch, kiss, A transfer between eyes, A head rested on a breast Whose softness yet rigidness Transfers the true femininity Of a lovely creature. A kiss, tightened limbs, Growth of passion, hurried breath, Love. Release, relaxed tension, An unloving process Without unloving. Unentangling from a love. Softness of true love Again is covered By man-made moralities.


A Magic Pill A word from you, dearest one, Gives me the faith I need To conquer all my trouble and To steadily proceed. You give me strength and confidence By offering your hand And when you look into my eyes I know you understand With you there is no failing My courage you restore It isn’t any wonder that Each day I love you more. Your kiss is like a magic pill It drives my care away Your smile a priceless work of art A heavenly bouquet. The medicine you give to me Is of a special kind Because it never fails to bring A certain piece of mind. And so when heartaches weigh me down I always turn to you For reassurance that will help To bring me smiling through.


Love & Lust A Murmur Love is not an understandable feeling. It is no cymbal crash No trumpet blast. It is no metabolism change Though it affects some that way. Love is the one Who makes you smile Even when you’re depressed. Love is the one Whose eyes always glow Even when you can’t see them Love isn’t bells and violins Nightclubs or shows, Love is a murmur A feeling that grows.


All Mine 1964 I love you all round the year If you left I’d shed a tear. You’re the greatest girl I know, As beautiful as new fallen snow. I love your features and face, More beautiful than silken lace. Your eyes sparkle and shine all the time; Boy, am I glad you’re all mine.


Love & Lust Bells & Violins 1964 Love isn’t bells and violins, nightclubs or shows, Love is a knowledge – a feeling that grows.

Love is when you look for one person among all the rest Love is who makes you happy when you feel distressed.

Love is a feeling of pride when she does something well, Love is a soft, dreamy murmur – not a loud, ringing bell.


Beneath our Feet Love is nothing that we really know

Love is something we don’t know

Love is something we must find

Love is like new fall’n snow.

Then let it grow.

So beautiful with its fresh coat

Love is not who we possess

But oh, oh so soon to go.

Nor be it the touch of flesh.

So soon turned not so pretty

Real love does never stop

Cause time has way of doing such.

Although one dies or moves about,

But what have I said, no!

It is forever on the mind

For love is not like fallen snow.

And from the mind ne’er will rout.

Love is more the ground beneath –

Love cannot be stopped

So hard, so soft, so cold so warm –

By separation, space or time

Whatever like, tis always firm.

Love can only be o’ercome By new love entering the mind.

Love gives support

But even then, though been replaced,

Though at times, tis soft,

Old loves seem to have their place

Beneath our feet.

And never really, really die – But find new crevices in which to lie.

Love is like the earth – From which we eat, work, live and love. Real love is crusty, deep and sound From which all future is abound.


Love & Lust Blond 1966 Blond, yet not really, hair Slight, but not thin, but nice. Dimples, double on either side

Of a very nice smile.

Too sad sometimes, But the happiness Makes up For all the sadness. Bright green eyes Too often sad. Eyes, smile, glow So happy when all together But often not connected. Happiness radiates From this face But its hidden Much of the time. Such a beautiful face, Wonderful smile, Eyes full of love – It’s a shame They’re not used All the time.


Close to You May I always be close to you So when I feel blue I can clasp about you My arms tight and firm And then you will know That I love, oh, love you so.


Love & Lust Grippable February 1971 There is no world in which to live

The waterways are jammed, no one knows port,

Only a life in which we whirled.

I prefer Sherry, she acresses with her thighs.

The spiders weave their breakfast

They are as deep as pools, painted fancy on the bottom,

Ants are reaching China – that’s good,

Through rippling filters. But even filters produce tars

No one else wants to. Poor China,

And there are too many on the highways.

So huge, so bulging, much too breakable.

High is a way, low brings up the rear – so soft, round, firm,

She cracks her plate and flowing breasts crush forward. The softness sucks, feels so warm; Smothering is too slow and produces Oedipuses With too many arms. But the graceful ink Envelopes all, paints us Black, cries us home. Sweet Chariot – pollutes the air, wears out the horses, There are too many oats.


delicious, So grippable. But cheap wine makes me sick. So goodbye, The toilet bowl awaits. Water swirls about my ears, Piss and blue don’t mix.

History is of Princes and Mistresses How is it that we fly Our wheels still touch the ground; The poles go by, the time, the states, We sleep on cushioned axle, Eat from carried stores, Drive on top of all.

How can we fight Why should we want, We’re friends; We eat, we sleep, We wine, and dine In one small bus, We’d have to love No room to fuss.

Rick DeGraw Summer of Love, 1969 Life in a VW Bus across country


Love & Lust Kept in My Heart My love is like a rose; Fragile to fall at a touch Strong to stand a wild wind. Her skin soft as the petal fuzz Yet tight as a dew-closed bud. Her heart the pollen of rose Soft, willing to give to others Easily hurt by the taker’s sting. Her love the life of the rose Easily opened to the warmth of life Tight as death in the chill of hate. My love is a newborn rose Plucked from her stem To remain forever open and warm While kept in my heart.


Linda Bare Linda Baehr I swear She’s sweet And neat And funny My honey My bear My Linda bare.

R stands for righteous – Ricky’s main trait I stands for idiotic- after all, Rick ain’t no saint. C stands for charming – for which Rick strives K stands for killer – his eyes are like knives. And Y stands for yes – yes, maybe he’s nuts,

But we still love him.

By Linda Baehr


Love & Lust Locked in Place Her arms spread high

She gently protects delicate creations.

Her hands reaching out

She courageously stands in the face of storms.

Standing there forever

In torrents of rain she smiles

Slowly moving upward

And thanks her Lord.

Quietly sleeping, never dying She once ruled the world

The modern world has passed her by

But now is only a slave

Needs her no more.

Crowded in selected spots

She now stands with few friends

Where she can best be used

She no longer reigns

For the enjoyment of others.

She now only watches.

She is only a tool Slowly prepared, not for beauty

She still loves

As she was meant, but only

But is in want of love.

To be destroyed and used.

She is more beautiful than all mankind But remains unnoticed by the world.

Once so beautiful

How lonely she must be,

The Queen of the skies

This wonderful, kindhearted tree.

The protector of the heavens A resting place for all God’s children


Love Shall Pass But Time Remains 1964 The stars above compare to love As vast as the time love lasts. Forever shining as the silver lining Which covers the cloud of love As space envolves the stars above. The distance between the stars As is between the Earth and Mars, Is vast and great As the impatience of a lover’s wait.


Love & Lust Love Will Live Again 1963 Upon her lips I laid a kiss And there I found a love. A love so vast and intimate Beyond comprehension by man. A love that says To both involved That the other will be true. A love that causes many aches And drives one to despair. But one warm kiss Will remedy all And love will live again. Yes there are times of argument And fighting fierce and bold The end always finds the lovers both Embodied in each others hold.


Lovers May the heavens open their arms To lovers and their love, May Spring bloom soon and fresh So lovers may love in the Sun. May leaves fill their bushes And trees gain their hands To hide lovers from other’s eyes And shade them from the Sun. May grass grow soft and smooth And flowers bloom bright and fragrant, So lovers may cushion their love And fill nostrils with scents anew. May soon the Winter withdraw So love may replace the cold, So love may cover the bleak and snow So lovers, their new love know.


Love & Lust Marcia & Jimmy Were two friends Who thought each other nice Marcia & Jimmy Became more than friends And now they’re throwing rice.

Marcia & Ricky Knew each other For a heck of a long time Now Marcia likes Ricky And all he can do Is write poems that rhyme.


My Sue 1962 The soft touch of warm hands Upon a cold cheek, The gentle upsurge of human warmth Against the cold exterior of society, A soft squeeze, a gentle kiss, A frenzied excitement, a lover’s passion; An anquished spin of love A hurt like no other can be known; A relief of heart A relaxing of love A soft, endearing kiss Laziness throughout the body, A feeling of love Deep, non-stopping, all-able love, For no one, no one but you, A love so steady, you, my Sue.


Love & Lust Never Leave 1964 Oh, that you may to me never leave And that we to each other may love And hold tight to each soul As we might to each heart. May we know each thought As it leaves each heart And strive to be The best one to the other.


Oh, Diane 1964 Oh, Diane Your love is grand Your touch is soft It sets my mind aloft Your gentle kiss Puts my heart in bliss And your wonderful eyes Tell my love no lies.


Love & Lust Only for Me 1964 Why, why in this world

But a kiss that is, so different,

Must we all live like you,

So unlike, not like all,

Or him, or her, like that.

Not yours, not his, not that.

Why can we not Be us, be me, be you,

Why can we not To one love be true

Like no one, not him, not that. Why can we not love, Separately, by no rules, Just by love, by passion, Not by society, not love Like yours, not like that. But love that is Not was, or should be. But is, within each one Of us, not you, not that.


Not together, not you – Not him, but only For me.

Pigtail Full of Ink A little boy throws a block at a little girl.

A young man slips a ring

The little girl reached home with a pigtail full of ink.

On a young woman’s finger

A little boy was spanked

But she needs time to think.

For ramming a little girl’s bike.

A young woman answers a young man yes

A little boy spins a bottle and it stops

After she has decided

At a little girl.

What she knew all the time.

A little boy blushes as the little girl grabs him

A young man says I do

And kisses him on the lips.

Followed by a young woman.

A little boy chases a little girl

A young man supports his wife.

The girl doesn’t run too fast.

His wife now holds a secret.

A boy and a girl hold hands in the movies

A male child is born to a woman

While a man paces the floor.

And eat from one box of popcorn.

A boy honks his horn

Their child grows: ………………………………….

A little boy threw a block at a little girl.

And a girl races from the house.

A boy runs out of gas

The little girl reached home with a pigtail full of ink.

And a girl protests

But not too hard.


Love & Lust Where Perfect Things Lived 1963 If there were a world Where perfect things lived I would not exist Except in love with you. Your softness, Caressing gentleness Lips, eyes and soul Would rule my perfect world Because there would be No point of satiety Which I could ever reach In accord with your sweetness.


So Soon to Go 1966 Love is something we don’t know

Whatever like,

Love is like new fallen snow.

It is that upon which we stand.

So beautiful with its fresh coat But oh, so soon to go.

Love gives support, a firmness –

So soon not so pretty

Though at times tis soft,

Time has a way of doing such.

It shall oft harden.

But what have I said, No…

Love is like the earth we love –

For love is not like fallen snow.

From which we eat, we work and live.

Love is more the ground beneath –

Real love is like the earth –

So hard, so soft, so cold and warm –

Support which feeds all life.


Love & Lust Something More 1966


What is it that we enjoy –

It’s not just the touch

The touch of flesh,

Its not just the kiss

The rigidness of excitement,

It’s the one: that person

The softness of the skin.

Who lets you know that

Do we enjoy just any touch,

Something more than touch

Just any one at any time.

Is present.

Or is it more the one:

Something much more than touch

The one whose soft hand

Something much more than feeling

Gently flows over our skin

Something we really can’t name.

Giving us the ultimate in enjoyment,

Something called love.

Excitement and pleasure

But love is such an inaccurate word.

All wrapped up in one package.

Something more is there

What is it that we love

Much more than love,

In the soft, warm thighs,

More than cherish

The stiffened yet soft breasts

Something more

The tingling body.

I don’t know what.

Steal Your Heart If I could give you my heart Right from the start I would do so without So much as a doubt. I would worship you so You always would know That your heart I would steal To keep our love real.


Love & Lust The Eternal Christmas Christmas comes but once a year

It never ends, it never slows,

For most of the people I know.

It’s always warm and bright.

Except for me and me alone,

For most there is but one pure day

Christmas occurs but once;

For me there is no end;

And after that the happiness

For most the trees come down,

The smiles, the joys, the warmth,

For me they’re never cut.

All disappear, not to return

For most, Christmas is a short-lived

For one whole, full, long year. But for R.D.G., and him alone, Christmas is everlasting –


love – But for me, Love is the eternal Christmas.

The Follybear 1966 Listen to that fantastic follybear

There was no stopping

Forget the words of Mother.

And you knew that

How are you to stop

That wonderful day

A girl so delicate and funny.

In the autumn.

How could you turn off

And now you’re still there

The race of love

And the follybear’s gone

On that soft, green grass

But he’s left his mark


By the babbling brook

That sunny, crisp day

In the autumn.


Love & Lust The Inner-most Depths 1963 Your love is the center of my world.

I feel the greatest desire

It is the object of all my affections.

To make you mine through love’s

When I hold your caressing hand And draw it nearer to me My desire for you increases In terms unknown to the common

passion. When my arms encircle you There is no better feeling Than the warmth of your flesh.


When your soft, warm thighs

When I draw your body to me

Are pressed against me

I feel a warm tingle

My mind is a flash,

In my inner-most depths

My heart pounds heavy

Of my heart and desire.

And my love becomes passion,

When I feel the warmth of your breasts

Over which we have no control,

And the rigidness in them

And you become mine.

Against my cool body

Comments from a friend and an English teacher: “This is too brutal, I can’t go on. This isn’t quite what I expected.”“And you claim you want to be a minister? This is really arousing!”


The Sperm Must Swim What is life but a search for love, For companionship, for a mate. The wild horse may kill for mates, The elk must fight, the sperm must swim. Yet man, what does man do? He does not fight, nor kill, nor even swim; Man woo’s – he has lost his need for savagery and Has lost much of his need for real love. The love of man is mediocre, calm, seldom furious. Man is pinned to one mate, one taste of love for most is his life. Man has left the fierce love of the animal kingdom He no more intercourses, all is spent on the special one. Man does not use his animalistic feelings to perform his love – Poor Man.


Love & Lust The World May Stop Living The world may stop living But your beauty won’t stop giving A bright, shining light Always turned just Right in the center of my heart


To a Heart Set Apart 1964 But if it were so I’d sure like to know For my mind’s a flurry And my heart’s a worry. You see I’m not sure If your mind is pure And your love is real Or just a bum deal. You’re doing wrong And you’ve been going along So you’re breaking my heart As you’ve done from the start. I love you so much But I’m getting in dutch Because you think I’m just wise And don’t see the love in my eyes.


Love & Lust To the Adult Meetings on Teenage Sex 1966 Oh, how foolish these people are,

Should we split an atom

The item we really need?

My, how poorly informed.

And watch its fission

All we want and all we need

These adult group meetings

To remove our fear and worry?

To determine why we like love.

Should we write to a Senator

Is someone to show us some feeling.

The answer is really so simple

Or assassinate the president

There’s nothing complicated at all.

To relieve the frustrations we have?

Someone to hang on to. Someone to hold near And someone to hear Our problems and our woes.

What are we given to help us in life, a minister who’s biased and puritan, A religion that hides the world’s truth? These are not helpers, They’re childish inventions

What else do we have Not much, not much at all.

That the world has created to change us.

Should we speak to our recorder


But we do need love, Even an hello or a smile. But since no one will give us these

The reason we love Is that we need

We don’t need sex

And hear ourselves speak

Can’t they understand

As these adults like to do?

Can’t they comprehend

What are we to do? Should we just go through life in a daze?

The reason there’s sex The reason we love Is because we can’t get it FROM YOU!

Toni, I wish I could do and be What you want of me. I wish you could tell me

Clear and concise

Just what you think of me And what I do wrong. I wish you would consider me Something special And really be warm When you hold my hand.

I wish you would melt When I hold you real tight And I wish I could kiss And hold you all night. This note to you I don’t mean to be cute I want you to think about it. Don’t fold it up

And say “That’s nice.”

But read it again

Right now.

Many times I am “hurt” by you, But only because I’m not “just another boy.”


Love & Lust Without Love In life man should love In love man should live Man should be happy while living life To be happy he must love To love is the root of evil But there is no happiness Without love.



Politics Harken Wives! Seminary wives have something other young wives would give anything for – a husband that has a permanent draft deferment. Imagine the loneliness, the uncertainty, the frustration of the woman that waits for the impersonal letter telling of her husband’s gallant death; imagine and do something to stop it, you lucky ladies of Princeton.


November 22, 1963 Above the world he stood

His thought to help victims of age

With kindness in his heart,

They slaughtered and they stomped

A thought of peace within his breast,

And roared with rage.

The people’s burden on his chest.

He worked to help Dark peoples on earth

His life he cared for not

With the power he was worth.

As he walked with the common lot. They shook his hand

The world now loves him,

And though him grand

Retract all they said,

While they plotted behind his back.

For now, now, now he is dead.


Politics Statement by Princeton Theological Seminary Moratorium Committee - April 24, 1970 For seven Fridays from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm this committee has conducted and participated in a token noon-time fast and a vigil outside the Seminary Administration building to protest the immoral involvement of the United States in the Republic of Vietnam and the other Indo-China countries. The protest has been peaceful and the participants have invited and encouraged discussion of our views. The views of this committee concerning the dangerous and gross immorality of the actions of this country in the Indo-China countries, since the period following the Second World War, have been formulated only after careful evaluation of many facts, statements and opinions, including official public documents and open admissions by such high officials as President Nixon. The decision to publicly and vocally present the findings of our study, and the study of others, before our fellow citizens is one recognized, even demanded, by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of this country. It is a right and responsibility we as Christians must continue to exercise. To fail to do so and to submit to current attempts by many in this country, including high government officials, to suppress by means of slander, force and unconstitutional laws all views which do not coincide with official administration views, is to submit to tyranny and to suicide as a free country. If the time comes when dissent is no longer tolerated or listened to, attempts at violent revolution become viable and responsible actions. We, of the Moratorium Committee, do not feel that that time has arrived, although it is fast approaching. If a representative government is to work, there must be active participation by all concerned citizens in the political process of that country. If a representative government is to have a meaningful existence, the policies, foreign and domestic, of the government of that nation must reflect the consciousness of the dignity of human life, whether that life be in Vietnam or in Harlem. WORK FOR PEACE. WORK FOR PEACE CANDIDATES IN 1970.


To Be Free 1964 If we are free, then let us be. Let us live our lives the way we see. Let the Blacks, let them be free. Let the Whites help this to be.

What is that we fight, is it wealth, is it might? Let our struggle be against poverty, misery, hunger and plight. And please, oh, please increase the broadness of our sight And see that Blacks and Whites are not meant to claw and bite.

Let men love all mankind and let them feel and let them find That men are different, yet the same in soul, in heart, in sight, in mind. Let us open first our own front door and on our house hang the sign That says, “Brother, you are welcome, You and You and all Mankind.


Wondering A Miracle? April 7, 1969 I seem lost,

Midships and aft sliding downward,

Floating in a negative world.

Surely they’ll go under,

Direction is neither here nor there,

Hold your breath

Absurdity plows the fields,

Your mind will be smothered.

Obscurity decides my future.

She’s going under, Floating downward - - stopping?

Floating, bobbing, dipping,

Shallow water?

My decks awash

A ledge? Mountain? Miracle?

My cargo’s shifted. Lying to in the waves

The Captain’s deck is dry,

Battered on one side

Her head stands out of water.

And not helped on the other,

Now all we must do

Calm is no help.

Is refloat her.

Foredecks dropping under,

All I must do is salvage her,

Water finds its own level

All I need do is swim.

Bubbles burst at the surface.


Disturb Me Not Disturb me not Unless a Prince Or a Queen Comes by. Do not take my time Unless a miracle Or disaster occurs. Do not call me Unless the world Comes to an end. Do not bother me My time is too limited To wastefully spend.


Wondering Easily Forgotten In a world such as ours What real hope do we have? For life so easily made Is snuffed out even quicker.

Man is such an unprotected creature His presence so quickly removed. His bet on life is easily lost By anything from a bacteria to a bullet.

And once man is gone What is there left? There is only left memory – Easily forgotten.


Sonnet in Lambic Pentameter In this country of ours, of flame and light,

His Son came “to seek and to save the lost”

An eerie cross darkens the once-blue sky;

And so to help those who feared the end.

For in this troubled land life goes not right

But in our land more important the cost

So many problems within the people lie.

And wonder which type of flowers to send.

This land has love, filth and gold aplenty

An eerie cross darkens the once-blue sky –

And riches and stench for all men and anyone-

But we do not see it, for it’s too high.

But of faithful ones we have not many For God’s pure will shall never be done.


Wondering Ode to the Little Theatre 1966 Is this a theatre which I see before me,

But even though there is

With crumbling walls and dirty halls?

No more uncloseable curtain,

Come, let me see thee –

No more unusable wings,

I see thee not, and yet I know your presence.

You will always be, forever.

Art thou not, Little Theatre, Sensible to feeling as to thought;

Little Theatre, we no longer stand within you –

Or art thou but a creation of the mind,

It is now your turn to be within us.

A memory which lingers on forever.

For you shall be in us In thought, in loving memory.

We knew you Little Theatre – We knew you as home,

Goodbye, dirtgray stage

A shelter of quiet in a world of noise.

Goodbye stale, sweaty air,

But now, Little Theatre,

Goodbye squeaking light booth.

You are memory only.

Little Theatre, forgive us for your destruction – Good bye. (On the occasion of the rebuilding of the Westminster Collebe theatre)


Speculator In our world of conformity mixed with independence, it is hard for a city man to free himself from the street stench, fire escape conversations and apartment house landlord troubles. There is no place to go unless he takes the trouble to grasp the monotony of his existence and find a non-urban vacation-dreamland. But this cannot be a lush resort. It cannot be a dude ranch or a seaside; for there is no liberation in these places. For freedom a man must find a place where he can disregard the hands of a clock and listen only to the voice of God. I’ve found this place. Two hundred miles northwest of New York City the Adirondack mountains can be seen by the weary traveler. With secret instructions and an almost uncanny sense of direction I found a small town with the completely uninhibited name of Speculator. I first saw Speculator at the mist-filled hour of 5:30 am. As I realized that I had finally arrived I could sense a greatness hiding somewhere in the mist that covered the great lake, almost three miles long, and apparently suspended by the massive groupings of trees surrounding the lake and extending to the mountain peaks. I couldn’t resist removing my shoes and lying on the small beach in front of the little cabin which would be my home for a few days. As I lay on the beach I watched the mist slowly rise from the lake. The water was clear and calm. The island in the center was not a mass of commuters or homes, just a silent piece of Nature waiting for the warmth of the sun. In fact, the only traveler was a small boy paddling a canoe who stopped a mile away and began to fish. In the silence, I could hear him casting his line and then watched him settle back to wait for a fish to eagerly end his life just for the taste of a delicious worm. For almost three days I lived a life devoid of mental and physical stress. I awoke when I wanted to: no alarm, no banging of doors, no rattle of trash cans. My dark suit and good shoes stayed in the closet. I didn’t need to worry about Sally neighbor thinking I looked like a slob or a hick. I just needed to be comfortable. The food I ate wasn’t special but I had cooked it myself. I didn’t have to tip the waiter or compliment the cook. All I had to do was congratulate myself and thank the Lord. When I get depressed or lost in my world, I think of the time at Speculator. I see the moon glimmering on the water, hear the owls hooting wisdom, and remember the silent darkness of the night. I could see every star in the sky. I could hear the lord whispering to the trees and see his creations scurrying in the darkness. When I’m dejected, I think of a world yet unspoiled. Dogs don’t sniff fire hydrants, men don’t worship banks, people just live a live that is free, uncorrupted and free.


Wondering Study 1964 I work all night with no rest, Because of fright for tomorrow’s test. I try so long to cram my head With all the things that must be read. My brain sighs with all those facts, Fingers sting and my eyes have sacks. I must keep going on my trip of woe, Else I won’t be knowing and my mark’ll be low.


The Teacher Above the world he stands, Behold the mind, any man’s. He governs all right, The land at any height. He stands all alone, For the friends he has known, And lost along the way. He wishes he wouldn’t stay, But he knows he must For they’re in his trust. His pay is little, As small as his vittle, His reward is great But it’s tempered with hate. Many call him a preacher, But I…I call him a teacher.


Wondering Their Friends Found Them Guilty 1969 Where do you go when you’re lost in life – Where do you swim while adrift at sea. Who do you call when heads don’t turn, Who do you hold when so few are warm.

In the endless sea of bobbing heads, In the emasculated forest of walking legs, In the gaudy group of overripe bellies, Where are the beautiful people?

Where are the Christs, the Buddhas, the Kings, Where are the kind, warm, wonderful beings, Where are the sons of God and the wives of lovers, Where are the divine ones – those who really know?


Where do you go when you’re alone in the crowds, Where everyone likes you and smiles and lies, Where everyone’s pleased to have you to dinner and feed you dessert and see you go home, Where do you go when, but for one, you’re alone?

Where are the leaders who really care,

The ones who actually love.

Where are the men who are closest to God,

The ones who make life worthwhile.

They’re dead, my friend, they’re dead. Their friends found them guilty.

Waves 1964 My mind is the waves, each crest is a thought. Each hollow a sorrow, each break is distraught. My mind never ceases to wonder at waves – About where they go, about where they stay. I wonder how each grain of sand Holds a thousand years knowledge about our loved land. Each grain must have seen the coming of life; Each grain must know our trouble and strife. If all sand could talk it surely would say Go on human race, get better each day.


Wondering Who Knew? December 1963 What is a mistake? Is it a blooper Or a blunder Or an oversight? Is it a fluff Or a lapse Or a misapprehension? Is it a misunderstanding Or a slip-up Or perhaps a miscalculation? If there’s a miscalculation There may be a misconstruction Which in turn leads to a misinterpretation With a misinterpretation There is a misconstruction Which can lead to a fallacy. A fallacy is a real boner And a boner is a mistake. So do everything right, For if you don’t There may be an error.


Why Man is Still Alive September 1969 Absorbing the beauty of Nature, Is that what we do? Absolving the nature of Beauty, Is that where we are? Dissolving the unit of Structure, Who knows what we do? Destroying the structure of Unity, Who cares what we do? Who cares what we do When we hide the body. Who does know why When we exploit the skin. Who does care, who really knows Why man is still alive – Because he has killed everything worthwhile.


Memories of Wood, Brick and Mortar by Richard DeGraw April 1, 1965 A house is more than just a shelter. To the people living in the house it becomes a home. To real estate agents, a house is a business commodity. To a construction engineer, a house is a dream in the future which will become a reality through hard work and ingenuity. To a family who has just left a house, it is a memory: a place where children played; a place where Johnny got his first dog; a place where the two baby Easter chickens are buried under the front porch. To a family who has just moved, the old house is a place that will be revisited to see if the new owners are taking care of it. An old house is a loving memory which, over the years, will become less important but will never be erased from a child’s mind. In my life, four houses hold honored spots. The first house was in Brookline, Pennsylvania. My grandmother, grandfather and aunt lived there. As I remember my grandparent’s house in Brookline, it was an attic and an apple tree. As a young boy, I loved three things, freedom, solitude and food. The apple tree provided me my freedom, the attic my solitude, and my grandmother the food. The attic to me was an amazing place; it contained the souls of bygone ages and it was a fascination to my youth. There were two small windows, one at either end of the attic. The light rays never touched the treasures hidden in the dark corners and huge trunks. Never do I remember being able to fully see things in the attic. That’s what made it so fascinating. Everything was hidden from the world and I had been chosen to rediscover an age past. My grandfather had been a coal miner and his brother had served in the cavalry in the Great World War. My discoveries ranged from letters about a coal mine cave-in at St. Clair to a picture of slaughtered horses on the battlefield. In my mind, many were the times I struggled for days, or at least what seemed like days, to dig through tons of earth and rock in order to reach my rescuers before my air gave out. I dug with my hands and often, on the brink of collapse, I would be saved. My rescuer was usually a 5’ 2” gray-haired grandmother who would ascend the stairs from the shaft below with the words, “Lunch is ready, Richard.” Then I was sure my rescue was complete. Because never would anyone be trapped, no matter how serious the situation, when my grandmother had cooked one of her delicious lunches.


My grandmother is Pennsylvania Dutch and I always thought that Holland must have great cooks until I found out that the Pennsylvania Dutch are really German. My grandmother would always have some homemade dessert, from fresh chilled apple sauce to Lemon Meringue pie. But my favorite dessert was her apple dumplings with vanilla icing and plenty of sticky apple juice. Nana, my grandmother, cooked apple dumplings in separate containers so that the juices from the apples would settle in the bottom and I could enjoy the sticky juice with my dumpling. Nana’s dumplings never seemed to cool; they were always a little warm and the icing was still soft and the juice still sticky. Another good part of Nan’s cooking was the leftover dough which would be made into shoe-strings. Nan had always baked shoe- strings for my mother as a child so I presume the name shoe-string originated a long time ago. A shoe- string is a flat piece of dough with a coating of sugar, a sprinkling of cinnamon and several pads of butter on it. All this is baked and makes the most delicious concoction I’ve ever tasted. Everything my grandmother ever made tasted delicious. That’s why I didn’t mind picking apples on the old apple tree in the backyard. I knew that the apples I picked I would soon be eating in dumpling form. But there was another reason I loved that old tree. I loved the power I acquired when I climbed into its highest branches. Grandfather always told me that he remembered when the tree was so small that you could stand on the ground and pick all the apples. But now the tree soared into the sky and took me to unheard of heights. When I see the tree now, I know that somehow it was actually taller when I was younger. Someone must have cut the top off because it’s not really that tall now. But then, then it was. I could almost touch the sky, not quite, but almost. Every twisted knob on that tree trunk, from bottom all the way to the top, meant that sometime before someone had picked apples from a branch that is no longer there. I could sit in that tree and wonder what happened to the people who had picked the apples. I was sure that some Civil War soldier, with a shabby beard, a wrinkled face and a massive musket rifle, had reached up and eaten some of the apples from my tree. But then I learned that apple trees don’t live that long. I was sure, though, that some tired soldier would have liked to have eaten one of my apples. And then, whenever I began thinking of eating, I would realize I was supposed to be picking apples and I would scurry out of the tree with a bucket of apples for nana. I was never able to watch the secret ingredients Nan added to her pies because Mom would always come and take me home to our row house in a suburb too close to the city. Before I left I always kissed Nan and Pop and


Wood, Brick and Mortar promised to return as soon as possible. I’d always return but the old house changed in a few years. It became an old house with an attic full of old things. But Nan and Pop never really got old and Nan’s cooking never changed. But my needs changed. My interest in solitude changed to an interest in my young society. I was never really fascinated again.

The house in which I lived as a child never really interested me. It was a row house with no attic and no back yard. We had a small front yard and I always enjoyed bringing small plants from Nan’s house and transplanting them or, if the plants were too big for me, Pop would come over and we’d work together. I always had fun when I worked with Pop. But I had lost interest in much that had fascinated me at Nan’s house. I still wanted to discover and explore but I didn’t want to be confined to an attic. I wanted to roam and find places where important things had happened. Or, even better, cause some important events to happen. The only place that was explorable in my neighborhood, in fact the only place where asphalt hadn’t replaced the earth, was the Jewish Cemetery. I used to spend time there, reading the old tombstone dates, looking at the glass pictures, and wondering how the people died. I was especially fascinated by the children’s graves, so small compared to their parents. It never seemed fair to me that I should be standing over someone who had not even reached my age. I remember the oldest tombstone I ever found was dated 1873. It stated that the man had died of wounds inflicted during the war. I guessed that meant the Civil war and then I wondered if he was the soldier who hadn’t been able to pick some of my apples.

That cemetery was the only place I felt free in. Then one day I was picked up by a police officer and had to have my parents free me from the 69th Street Police Station. It seems some boys had broken many of the tombstones the night before and the police thought I was one of them. Right then my last place of freedom was closed to me. For almost a year I was dissatisfied with everything. My grandmother’s house didn’t suit me and my house didn’t suit me. But then what seemed like a miracle happened. My grandmother moved to a new house in Newtown Square. Newtown Square was, at that time, still in the country and there


was plenty of space to roam. But even better than just a new house was the big white Sheep dog that lived next door. His name was Shep. He’s dead now, but for two years he was my best friend. Shep was a great dog. I taught him to sit up, shake hands and to be mean when I wrestled the big Grizzly Bear on nana’s front hill. But best of all, Shep understood me. He was sad when I was sad and he wagged his tail when I was happy. He never went back to his own house when I was at Nana’s. He used to sit near me when Pop and I worked in the garden. Of course, Shep and I always got hot and tired before Pop but at least we tried hard. Shep was always with me and everyone liked him. Even Nan liked him although she wouldn’t let him in the house. Nan used to make me lunch and then bring it out to the porch so I could stay with Shep. I always sat in the green chaise lounge near the large Lilac vines and Shep would lay his head on my leg and I would feed him while I ate my lunch. After lunch we usually went for a walk. About a mile away was the Strawberry mansion and estate. Shep and I would walk for hours under the pine trees. I never really saw the ground because of the blanket of pine needles. When the cones used to fall, it was my job to collect them and take them back to my aunt. She always made beautiful wreathes for doors at Christmas, tinting the cones gold or red or silver. I always watched her. But now, whenever I see her making wreathes I can only think of the blanket wreath she made for Pop’s grave when he died.

When Pop died, everything seemed to collapse. Pop had suddenly been taken ill and had to go to the hospital. It was then I really began praying. It was my twelfth birthday and I had gone to a Boy Scout meeting that Monday night. When I came back, Mom told me that Pop had died. I tried not to cry but I did. I couldn’t believe he was dead. He had been in the hospital only two weeks. Why, just the summer before I had played in the A baseball league. Pop never got to see my games because it always turned cool at night before the game was over and he wasn’t quite well enough to take the cool night air. But after every game I used to call Pop and tell him everything that had happened. I was always so excited when I called Pop. I just couldn’t believe that he was dead. A few weeks after Pop’s death, my grandmother’s neighbors moved and took Shep with them. Shep went blind a few years later and


Wood, Brick and Mortar died soon after. He was almost seventeen years old when he died. My two best pals, Pop and Shep, were gone and I was quite lost. My father decided that we should move and have Nana and Aunt Alma live with us. Dad bought me a dog and I had another friend. By the time we moved, Penny, that’s what I named my new dog, was almost six months old and big enough to start to want some running space. The place we moved had plenty of room for penny to run freely.

When we moved to Valley Forge, I was already a teenager. I found many new friends in the new school and still had the freedom I wanted in our two acre wooded back yard. Life went on rather normally for me. Valley Forge changed; it grew into a very large community. I changed and enlarged with it. On my fifteenth birthday, I bought myself a car and worked on it until I turned sixteen. I fit into my world and was contented. But no matter how contented I ever become, I know I’ll never forget the attic, the cemetery, Shep or Pop. How can I forget the people and places that meant and still mean so much to me?


This book is dedicated to the lovely Gina DeGraw. Thanks for the ride. Rick DeGraw, 2012


The Road Less Travelled  

Poems by Rick DeGraw