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by amnicholas

Papá…no! Papá, no!
She’s a little bit of a girl,
exhausted, hungry, thirsty, from the month long journey
by foot, bus, and train.
And now she sees a big man in a uniform
clap handcuffs on her papá and drag him off.
She tries to follow.

A uniformed woman smiles at her and picks her up.
Kidnapped, a nightmare.
Her papá, her protector, rendered helpless.
The woman fastens her in a car seat, and drives off.
By evening, the child cries in a chain link pen,
and her plaintive voice joins the others:
mamá, mi tía, papá, mi hermano.
Their cries are interrupted only by sobs.

Papá, no!


by amnicholas

You are not the love of my lifetime;
A lifetime is but a whisper on the wind.
You are not one I would promise till death do us part;
Death holds no power over love.
You are not one I would ask to love me in return;
My love is freely given.
Such mortal promises and demands made in love’s name
Are transient.

But you –
The you of who you are-
You transcend.
Because you transcend,
My love transcends.
The nobility, the beauty,
The sheer magnificence of your spirit
Is infused into
The very essence of my being.

No, you are not the love of a lifetime,
And I make but one promise to you;
You are my love for all eternity.


by amnicholas

In your eyes,
I see gentleness
soft as starlight on winter’s first snow.
I see strength
solid as a granite cliff.
I see warmth
soothing as early spring sunbeams
on the cold earth.
I see just enough sparkling mischief
to make me feel young once more.
And, I see the eternal part of you
that fills my soul with peace.
Whenever I look in your eyes
I see something new to explore,
and I see all the same old things
I’ve loved from the beginning.


by amnicholas

You stand in my kitchen, making lemonade –
such an ordinary thing.
But even in the ordinary, your energy infuses
the room, the air, and my soul.
Its familiar, comforting,
powerful, magnificent presence overwhelms me,
just as it did the first time we spent a night together.
Yet, there you stand: unassuming, sincere, humble,
and I wonder if you fully know who you are, what you are.

I know.
For centuries, I have wept helplessly as you faced
unbearable ordeals with strength, grace, and courage.
My pride in you has overflowed as the honor and kindness
in your heart grew with each dawn of a cosmic day.
I have been awed as the creativity, power, and understanding
of your mind intensified through the ages.
I have been inspired anew each time you stood strong
against injustice, and bravely defended those you love
and what you believe to be right.
I have watched with love as your spirit expanded in
enlightenment and beauty with each incarnation.

Yes, I know who you are.
I know you are more than worthy
to soar in the company of the most luminous and wondrous of souls.

Love’s Measure

by amnicholas

“I would die for you,” lovers proclaim
to demonstrate the depth and strength of their devotion.
But death is but a moment of courage and noble sacrifice,
and then it’s done,
leaving the beloved with only pain.

For half a lifetime,
I looked for you in the face of every dark-eyed stranger I passed.
I ached for you in the deepest recesses of my soul.
I dreamed of you night after night
and woke up trembling with longing.
I felt the sacred mystery of your presence
without having met you.
My solitary heart cried out for you each day,
and I believed I would find you, no matter how long the journey.
And on those few days when my faith began to waver,
and the search seemed futile,
something ineffable always drew me back to the truth of you.

And so, the measure of my love is this:
I would live for you.


by amnicholas 0 Comments

The songs we danced to
whisper softly from the next room
as I lie alone on my bed.
The memories and the now
mingle in my mind
until it all becomes one,
and my body surrenders once more
to the electricity of your touch,
the heat of your kisses, and
the smoldering intensity of your eyes.
The depth and tenderness
of this love I feel
take my heart by surprise.
The light and wisdom
of your ancient and beautiful spirit
overwhelm my soul.
I am lost in you,
and I don’t want to be found.


by amnicholas 0 Comments

Harvest is complete.
Fallow fields lie brown and naked against
the relentless press of the north wind.
Winter closes in.
You are my warmth.
Memories of your hot kisses on my neck,
the soft heat of your body as
I lay safe in your arms,
and, now, even from so far away,
the expansive brightness of your soul
surrounds me with a glow more radiant than the rays of the sun.
You are my light.


by amnicholas 0 Comments

A king-size bed in a hotel room
is not the kind of place
I would expect to have a spiritual experience,
but lying close to you that night,
your soul touched mine.
And I recognized you.
I knew the noble traveler
who follows his own path,
but protects those he loves
and stands by his convictions with courage.
I heard the echoes of a child
who has suffered,
but found the strength to defy his tormentors.
I felt his pure joy of experiencing.
I felt his curiosity, and desire to always
learn more and create more.
I felt a man who knows who he is
and is wise enough to be true to that.
In those few seconds
I knew you as I’ve never known anyone else,
and somehow you left a little of your soul
with mine,
and I will love you forever.


by amnicholas 1 Comment

Childsong (Lyrical Iowa, 1993; Poet’s Review, 1996)

When I was a child,
I was the kind the other kids
shunned and taunted,
so I learned to talk to the wise old elms,
and I listened to the butterflies.
I sat in a corner with stacks of books
and traveled to far away lands,
making friends with wizards and heroes
and magnificent black stallions.
I followed the ants through their trails in the grass.
I played among the fireflies.
I gazed into the midnight sky
and heard the songs of stars
and I wondered,
And now sometimes, I wonder what I must do
to become the kind of grown-up
that child was meant to be.
I long to hear again the singing of the stars.


by amnicholas 0 Comments

Panther (Lyrical Iowa 1994)

She rests lightly against the window
on the south end of the Substance Abuse Ward.
Her dark, brooding eyes
gaze out into the November drizzle.
Now she rises to prowl the hallway,
supple, sleek, sensuous,
trapped and frightened,
crying for release from the cage
of her decayed mind.

within lurks something wild and beautiful.
She could have been a panther;
she could have been free.