Crickets sing their sorrowful serenade, as embers of the dawn ignite. My mind still lingers in a broken dream, against which I've no will to fight. In an ebbing tide of hope and desire, my thoughts drift over memory lane, To visions of what my life would become, grand plans cast utterly in vain.
I still recall every guy from the gang, telling stories around campfires, As we drank warm beers and rocked to cool songs, each of us dreamers and liars. Foul gossip about the hot girls from school, fueled our lies and twisted tales. Casual winks, guffaws and loud snickers, exposed our most insincere wails.
Nights in spotlight on the basketball team, cherishing every game we won, Finding a familiar face in the crowd, where a father bonded with son. In school commons during free periods, we played Pinochle all the day, Or practiced in groups a foreign language, so that "Je peux parler Francais."
Redheads in Science and blonds in English, the French teacher we guys adored, Shattered the endless rhythm and routine; a cure for the hopelessly bored. Weekends heralded escape from the grind, sanctuaries of fun and thrills. Friday night at the drive-in theater brought romance, adventure and chills.
Graduation arrived on summer winds; we simmered and stewed in our gowns. Ceremony stopped and parties began; at keggers our sorrows were drowned. Yearbooks were passed among the attendants, and everyone signed them the same. "Good luck and have a good time in college," followed by illegible names.
We all saw each other from time to time, in the hot summer days ahead. With names and addresses, we'd stay in touch, or so that's what everyone said. I wrote some letters that fall in college, but never did get a reply. I gave up all hope of receiving one, after a few months had gone by.
Thirty years later, I've seen an old friend, a neighbor from the glory days. We smoked a cigar as we reminisced, before going our separate ways. With my cell number and email address, he assured me he'd stay in touch. I insisted that I would do the same, though it might be asking too much.
Friends drift apart as we seek our own way. How can we expect any less? Yet I seek salvation in the lifeboat, as I flounder in this distress. Crickets sing their sorrowful serenade, as embers of the dawn ignite. My mind still lingers in a broken dream, against which I've no will to fight.
Lane Diamond (David B. Lane) July 31, 2009 Count: 18 (10-8) – 18 (10-8) – 18 (10-8) – 18 (10-8)
That one takes me home, Dave. I remember those days and often want them back. This piece will touch anyone old enough to have lost touch.
One thing. One very small thing. In the line that ends ...with son, I'd add the extra syllable and say "a son," or "his son." I realize you are correct with keeping it at 18 syllables, but I don't think the music would not be lost with that kind of fix. I think a reader would actually have to be counting syllables to find it. Reading that verse aloud, it seems to beg for that added note. Maybe not. I can't write long-line poetry at all. You achieved a great deal by keeping the meter and rhyme consistent within such a lengthy piece, especially considering none of the rhymes are forced, but rather, they add to the meaning, which is an achievement indeed. Well done.