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Richard R Radtke

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The Red, Red Rose and Death
by Richard R Radtke
Rated "G" by the Author.
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A poem I wrote regarding a friend




     Each man, is just that, each is his own, but some men are a bit more, they touch the lives of others in a way that defies explanation, in a way that cannot be said.  Like a sculptor, they see what is deep and they trim the excess away.  They give without any want of return, friendship given freely, arms outstretched, hands open, ready to clasp.  Love is their weapon, their tool.  Men like this are rare, but more than that, men like this are to be remembered, treasured, and in the end our hope that the God above will give them their full, fair share.  




    And I, failure is aware of my name.


    I stand, scared, alone in the fading light of the dying day.


    Empty, a shell, in back a road that seems to travel through hell.


    Waiting through the pain, for a friend, and then, feel the


                       Fresh breathe as the past arrives, and brighter now...  




    Times go back, back, and slow


    Childhood, held close, the last breath, the smell of a red, red rose.


    Summer days, and then the silence of the cool night.


    Springtime showers, thunder crashing, lightning glowing bright.


            A man, old then, forever young, sitting in the sun...




    As a child I played at his feet, smiling.


    My young wishes, his commands..., so it seemed then.


    Walks through the park, visits to his old friends.


    My first bike, shiny and new, ridden in the childhood we both knew


            Old man, old friend, if only it were still true ...




    The living room at night, Quasar burning bright,


    across its glowing tube shadows played, and you..., you held me tight.


    Popcorn, sticky with butter, the smoke from your pipe...


    drifting, rising. spanning the height


    Old man, we laughed and dreamed of the new day...




     Each day to them, was a canvas, and the artist stood before its unfilled face, planning, painting, each dab placed precisely in its place.  The canvas blank in the mornings rich light, was covered, filled through out the day, until by the dark of the night, with care, it was placed in the trunk of memories, that sat at the top of the stair.  No unearned pleasures, a full fair measure wrung from each day.




    And the rising sun, would make its struggling way.


    Away we go, to adventures unforetold, away into the day.


    Toys bought for me, though now I see...for you too.


    A helicopter, shiny, new, you pulled its string, upward, free it flew


            Old man, you see, I think, no I knew, even then...




    For years afterward, the ceiling there in the room


    bore the scars of that first flight, and Louise would comment


    on it in the night.  the chipped, scarred, mark it stayed


    through the years, honored perhaps, now remembered with tears.


            Old Man, gimacing in the night, but smiling too, in delight...




    A secret, between us I suppose, we knew


    though we never told, and Louise knew too, of that first flight


    She knew too, though would not say, your wife, your mate


    A silent, silly secret, that is secret still, of a gash, of a scrape.


            Old Man, smiling then, and gathered clouds onward came...




    On the porch, each, in our own childhood we sat,


    watching, waiting for the first showers of spring, the rain, pelting down,


    torrents on the ground, eyes wide as the thunder crashed,


    the last drops, dropped to the ground, and the clouds collapsed


            Old man, still we sat, two children in the rain...




    Waiting then, and then there was that final day,


    the sun knew, up in the sky, and the flowers too, the day you died


    laid out, finally you had gone to your well earned rest


    Remember the rose I laid upon your chest, before the casket closed


            Old man, clutching a bit of spring, carried in a red, red, rose...




     Men with the heart to try, and within them the good.  No other motives, just the love of a friend.  They live, and they try, some misunderstood, forsaken.  Others trusting, mistaken, and yet their soul unwilling.  Their friendship, given freely, is given with love.  Who is it to know the reasons, enough it is to know.  Do not analyze, but then in the dying light, compare, your life with theirs, and pray they measure the same...




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Reviewed by George Carroll
He has left a life long mark on your life and he is smiling on you from heaven. A great tribute to a man amongst men. And yes I can remember my first sons birthday and I bought him an erector set and of course it really was for me.
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