R L Kilgore

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Apr 18

You, leaf, lying wilted and wasted,
You, blissful child, too soon taken
From a life you hardly tasted.

 What ignoble fate of essence
Unrequested and sorely rewarded,
Clothing your host in springtime’s attire,
Humming in concert to laud the caress
Of summer’s light breath, balmy and warm,
Howling to protest the blustery storm.

But was your voice heard?

Would the same melodious song
Sound just as sweet with one less soul
In a chorus one hundred strong?

Resplendent in your autumn finery,
So ruefully shed. Another will come
In your stead. And to what end?
May Heaven hold a place for you,
My friend.


Comment to  rlkilgore@gmail.com

Apr 7
A Siren’s Plea
icon1 Ron | icon2 death, immortality, Life, Poems, poetry about age | icon4 April 7, 2011 @ 11:02 pm| icon31 Comment »

A distant siren’s faintest cry waifs
In surrogate voice for one about to die.
Is that an ambulance or just the wind?
Wait, there it is again, nearer,
Louder in crescendo piercing wail.

So mundane as to warrant idle notice,
Intrusive and annoying to calloused curiosity.

Flashing lights and lettered windows hide,
Impersonalize the pain that rides inside.
And who cares, a family or friend?
And might that feeling truly be of grief,
Or rather relief, a life soon may end?

Anguish knows its limit with the dead
But honors no such boundary otherwise
For release of those who might survive,
Where tragedy lurks like a latent virus
And waits to rage when least attended.

And so the siren’s plaintive cry pales
To dull and distant whimper, out of mind,
Allowing traffic to continue.


Jul 10


                  (To Toressa – After 44 Years)

Beauty came in the guise of innocence
And wrapped her arms around our youthful days
Until the lust we recognized as love
Sang its final song and departed.

I remember it well.

The grass was smooth and soft under our feet
And the days were long enough that nights had only
Time enough to cool, and cover our passions.
And love came easily, like apples in a laden orchard,
Easily plucked and delicious but now indistinguishable
As birds flying in flock, flitting and sweeping,
So all blend together and become the whole.

Still we remain, you and I, lovers
Regardless the accumulated years.
No evening finds its heaven filled with stars
More faithfully inclined – maybe the language
Of an unknown tongue can answer why, or,
Perhaps, the reason lies in the silence
Of a falling snow.







Jun 25

    Clouds drift by
    As on parade.
    Who knows where bound
    Or whence they’re made.
    Capricious winds
    At frenzied pace,
    Swirl, then leave
    Without a trace.

    Winds and clouds
    On whimsy pass
    As precious days
    Ordained may last.   

    Unknown fates
    Their lives compose,
    Just fleeting moments
    To strut and pose.

    Only memories
    Remain to hold
    The legacy
    To be told.
    One generation,
    At most two,
    Remembers clouds
    And winds that blew.


Comment at:  rlkilgore@chartertn.net



Jun 21

Born naked and bleak in a cold north wind
To plunder gold from Autumn’s attire,
Winter comes with a skeleton-toothed grin
And icy minions on a ruthless hand.

Each Season finds itself, in order,
Victim of immutable fate,
But life struggles desperately to grasp,
Over nature’s will, another breath.

So Autumn leaps on back the wind
Like a rodeo cowboy rides.
Defiant spurs gouge bucking gusts
To wipe away the skeleton’s smirk
And let the interloper know
Leaves will fall when Autumn decides.

Comment to:     rloykilgore@gmail.com



May 29

What shadow slides across this earth
So randomly as to engulf
One soul but not another?
What cloud portends a destined storm
To hasten those unworldly throes
For one man but not his brother?


With each dawning, renewed light
Reveals the one, by chance, selected
To feel that day the shadow’s passing.
And with each evening, smug presumptions
grow more tempered by realization
Of time, after all, not everlasting.

Perhaps most fortunate are those
Who never feel the cold or rain
Or hear the thunder – for whom swift lightening,
When it strikes, inflicts no pain.


Jan 3
We Know
icon1 Ron | icon2 death, immortality, Opinion, Poems, poetry about age | icon4 January 3, 2010 @ 2:02 pm| icon3No Comments »

In the span of eternity,

Sixty seconds, sixty years,

Mere specks of no consequence

But for consciousness of those

Who perceive their own demise.



Oct 20

We were best of friends, you and I.
Preoccupied, self-absorbed, I failed
To notice your insidious betrayal.
Oh, Sweet Time, what have I
Done to deserve your treachery?
You have stolen from me and
So continue. You took my youth,
And now seek my vigor, leaving
Desperate yearnings. You have 
Abandoned me adrift on a river
With a precipice approaching 
Where I cannot see the edge
But I can hear the roar.


Sep 19

Uproarious laughter filled our lovely party,
An ongoing din with no discernible source
Except one’s own voice.  The dance was crowded
With like kind souls who, feeling the beat, twirled
In unison while wings of time seemed furled.

Faces changed, their passing hardly noticed.
A fortunate, chosen few flaunted their gifts
And unearned beauty on a gilded stage
Surrounded by the rest who, unsung,
joined in refrain, “The night still is young”.

A chair, left like a door ajar before
A solitary empty plate and crumpled
Napkin coarsely tossed, as memorial
Stands, a lonesome cemetery stone
For one who was, in the end, alone.

And the dance goes on.




Aug 31

If death were as peaceful slumber
Sailing on a gentle sea
With cooling warmth from summer breezes
And lying there were she with me
To fill love’s idyllic dreams,
Ambrosia for eternity,
Then hasten coming of that day.


Futility begs a minute glimpse,
By means worldly senses lack,
To dispel musings wary
Of conjecture’s wishfulness
Gauging immortality -
But certainty is today’s possession
And there reason enough to tarry.




Jul 29
Two Worlds
icon1 Ron | icon2 Opinion, Poems, poetry about age | icon4 July 29, 2009 @ 5:00 pm| icon3No Comments »

 A pleasant seat of a sidewalk cafe
Over mocha coffee and a crème brulee
Amidst genteel ladies and white tablecloths
And, unobstructed, a view across
An elm studded park with closely mown grass
Nestled between urban concrete and glass -
Serenity in a turbulent sea.
Why then would young mothers draw their children near,
Not for cuddling but with presence of fear?

He shuffled up the walk with seemingly no mind
Of those around who avoided a sign
That would draw his attention and likely request
For money. (In order to lessen the chance,
Avoiding eye contact works the best).

    The Downtown Salvation Mission Retreat
    Serves those of his ilk just down the street.
    By day their throngs disperse like flies
    In summer heat to shadows and shade
    And reappear as evening tides
    Pull them as cattle to trough,
    Obliged to give their souls in trade
    With prayer for another meal.

Between stocking cap and jacket collar
His face stained brown from dirt on dirt
And deep lined crevices dark from squalor
Gouged by wind and cold,
He fumbled at his pocket for a lone cigarette,
Fingers shaking with the paper matchbook,
Searching which end to strike,
Oblivious to the time he took -
A three minute ordeal for a ten second task.
And quivering lips sunken from too few teeth
Sucked as discreetly as obvious would allow
From a brown paper bag, the poor man’s flask.

     Judge him and judge him harshly,
    Whatever loves he might have known
    Lie squandered in another life
    Through no fault but his own,
    And dread from fear of tomorrow
    And sorrow over times long now gone
    Extend no further than this hour.

He paused, unaware the blight he posed
obstructing the tranquil view of those
who sipped mocha coffee over white tablecloths
and spoke of coming weather









May 29
icon1 Ron | icon2 personal poetry, Poems, poetry about age | icon4 May 29, 2009 @ 8:41 pm| icon3No Comments »

Rolling up the interstate,

Cruise control on seventy-eight,

North to Lexington, K. Y.

Dark enough for headlights on

And light enough for ashen sky

To outline billboards zipping by,

The chevy gobbles highway strips,

Spits them out of straight rear pipes,

And the radio pounds out sixties’ gold.


I was drinking, I believe,

The very night I proposed

Marriage on a New Year’s Eve,

A long time ago.

Spontaneous words at the time

Issued from a muddled mind,

Yet some innate internal guide

Recognized that by my side

Sat an angel.

Was she sent to serve a sentence

And I put here to be her penance?

I suppose I’ll never know.

Time as best I can tell

Is motion perceived as change

Relative of another to me

However still as I might be.

But what if both remain the same?

Then decay assumes the name.

So change is not to be deprived

Nor time denied.


Damn, I missed my exit.




May 24


Sweetness of the morning, a breath of air
Drawn and hardly noticed, if at all,
By youthful haughtiness presuming its entitlement.
Of more concern, social events of the day -
Who’s going to be with whom and what to wear.

Tomorrow’s dawn brings just another day
When its beauty is made common by endless supply.
Mortality, when all vistas extend out of sight,
Is only a word, understood without true comprehension
From urgency induced by time’s forsaking way.

Passion of the loins grudgingly releases its grasp,
Not by choice, to passion of the heart and the mind
Where yearnings are compressed against the wall of finality.
Each minute, each second, relentlessly squeezed until,
Surely, most truly cherished are breaths drawn last.


Comment to     rlkilgore@chartertn.net




Apr 12







This poem was written for an elderly lady, Haydee Cansada.  She was born into position and wealth in Cuba, but had to leave when Castro came to power.  She lived in a small apartment in our town to be near her brother, her closest remaining relative. I took Spanish lessons from her and the reference to an owl comes from a discussion we had about why the owl is a symbol of wisdom.  She longed for the chance to see Cuba again but it never happened.  I wrote this for her as a present while she was still alive.

          Caribbean Blue
  (a Haydee, una dama de Cuba)

Fog of morning rolls up from the ground,
Windless motion that carries no sound
Except the hoot of an owl.
Out past the porch where ought to be trees,
Hangs abstract forest without any leaves,
Shrouded in a misty cowl.

Down the front steps, grass, smooth and deep,
Soft, wet and messy, adheres to my feet
And bends temporarily prone.
The air had texture that rubs on my face.
My God, how have I come to this place
To be so all alone?

Symmetrical webs perspire in the light
Reflecting labors completed last night,
Designed not to hinder the view.
Beauties of Spring, their colors in array,
Just memories masked by this curtain of gray.
Vainly, I strain to see through.

At last through the mist an unfiltered ray
Of sunlight cleaves cleanly, announcing the day
With its welcoming light.
Slowly, above, the veil changes hue,
First lacy, then pastel, then Caribbean blue.
Again the beloved sight!



Apr 12
Two Old Men
icon1 Ron | icon2 happiness, Poems, poetry about age | icon4 April 12, 2009 @ 8:43 pm| icon3No Comments »



Two old men together
In a small cafe downtown
Near the corner talked
About good old days.
They talked of being in the same
First grade and their competitions
Through the years of school,
Competitions for grades
Where one became salutatorian
And on the football field where
One starred as the receiver.

They talked of competition
Over girls, especially Sarah
Whom one eventually married
While the other remained a bachelor.

They talked of their businesses and
Accomplishments, each proud
In his own way of his.
Two old men in a cafe together,
One drinking coffee served by the other.







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