Years ago I taught an adult education creative writing class. One of those students was Levi C. Stevens. Mr. Stevens wrote two profound poems which he shared with the class. I was so impressed that I asked for copies. While rummaging through my box of old writing materials and samples last week, I found those poems. I called Mr. Stevens to ask permission to share those poems on my blog and was delighted when he said, “Yes.” I hope you enjoy reading them. (Mr. Stevens is currently 85 years old.)
WHEN I WAS YOUNG
by Levi C. Stevens
When I was young, I could not see
the options availing themselves to me.
Chance after chance, slid silently by,
like fluffy white clouds in a colorless sky.
Blinded by hear-say, unable to screen
the vast opportunities, uncovered, unseen.
I can’t help but wonder what I could have done,
had I sought possibilities when I was young.
When I was young, I was exuberant and bold,
spurning the valid advice I’d been told
that Time holds the Cards, in this game we call Life,
dealing hands of Prosperity, Misfortune and Strife.
Folly had claimed the Throne of the Day,
casting Wisdom and Caution aside by the Way.
Oh, to turn back the pages of Time, one by one,
and delete those illusions of when I was young.
THE HOLLOW MAN
by Levi C. Stevens
He was sitting on the Bench alone,
his eyes of faded blue stared down.
He once stood tall, like a sturdy Oak
but now sits bearded, un-nurtured and broke.
His clothes are his assets, they’re grubby and worn,
all crudely patched, barely keeping him warm.
He’s weathered Life’s hardships again and again,
til nothing was left, but a bleak, Hollow Man.
His joy was his family, the one he once had,
of four lively Sons, and they all called him Dad.
And his beautiful Wife, he could never forget
her radiant smile, that day when they met.
She was lovely, delightful, a sight to behold,
he vowed when he saw her, she’d never grow old.
But Time somehow alters the Worlds’s best laid Plans,
leaving nothing to offer a bleak, Hollow Man.
His achievements outdated, was the News of the day
A Hero, a Lover, now what do they say.
A Beggar, a Drifter, this sort we don’t need,
a useless old man, he’s just someone to feed.
The past is a Teacher, so learn while you can,
the World has no pity, for a bleak, Hollow Man.