Over the years, I've tried my hand at poetry. These are some of my favorites:
- Standing by gleaming water,
It’s already mid October.
A moments hesitation;
Should I, should I not?
And then the rush of coolness
Over my entire self,
My scalp starts to tingle
But my body rejoices.
Alone in my element,
I surface for air.
Sunlight orients me in
My new dimension
And I glide along,
At one with the world.
My rubber appendages
Give a burst of speed
And my body warms
As my arms churn foam.
Five laps more and
Then I relax and
This old body
Becomes a child ,
Bathed in amniotic fluid.
On my back now,
I take in the sky.
A falcon swoops down.
Leaves , leaves everywhere
And I glide along.
At one with my God.
- A Scottish Fantasy
My love lies lying on her side.
The waves may leap, may jump, may swirl
They ne'er disturb the slightest curl.
She ate too much Thanksgiving day.
We pushed her o'er and there she lay.
She floated high, swirled round and round,
We punctured her and she went down.
On USAIR to and from Pittsburgh - 1995
The slick black ice is long since gone
Powdered by a late fall of snow
A few cloudless days in the open sun
Have caused cracks in the crust to show.
Soon the ice breaks up and moves at will
Of blustery winds and, hence,
The pond warms up and the surface chill
Is less as it grows more dense.
The murky depths rise up with speed
Awakening sleeping trout
Who rejoice in the chance to feed
As the silt goes flowing out.
This is the way God works his plans,
These are the rules we play.
It all boils down to the atoms and man
Must accept what comes his way.
But isn’t it great that his rules are bound
To make this marvelous earth,
Where the pond inverts as Spring comes round
And grasses once again flourish.
So sure I am that God sets the rules
And man must plan his goals
By accepting his fate and using God’s tools
In a way that makes all men whole.
My thoughts travel fast as the speed of light
So time is slowing down
I think of Shirley and it only seems right
That she’s in her velvet gown.
Shirley and I lost wonderful mates
To death that to us seemed cruel
Somehow, now, we’ve accepted our fates
And find in each other a jewel.
God had his plan for Betty and Bill
And we both remember their love
By taking it all as a fact of God’s will
And making their memory our own.
A prayer can be a ritual end
Or a sudden rush of thought
But the best by far is a wish for a friend
That they get the best they ought.
My thoughts travel fast as the speed of light
And their message carries weight.
I think of Shirley and what is right,
Of God and of our fate.
Joe Fox, August 31, 1995
An Anniversary Present - 1995
It started back in ‘91
And it all was Betty’s say so
When the Foxes returned from Dunmore Town
They rented a place on Marco.
They looked up Joe and Marian
And the four of them had a ball
With fabulous trips to the Everglades
And stone crab meals galore.
While the two Joes conversed like engineers
The women talked of the Villa
This lasted well beyond several beers
Before all retired to their pillow.
The next year as a change of pace
They went to Everglade City.
The Foxes stayed at Marian’s place
And that might be the end of this ditty,
That could be the end of this reverie
Since Betty died that summer
But Joe came back in memory
And thus avoided a bummer.
Two Joes and Marian Braet
Took a chance and tempted fate
By taking a rented canoe
Out on Collier Seminole Bayou.
The day was fair and the wind was free
And all was quite auspicious
They saw an osprey nest and a manatee
And several types of fishes.
But coming back along the slough
They found a tempting byway
With a lake at the end when you got through
But the route was exceedingly narrow.
And then of a sudden the water grabbed
And pulled them down the channel
Fox, in the stern, used his oar like a blade
To try to avoid the bramble.
As a rock cuts the flow of a waterfall
When it dives down to the river
So the oar cut the foam of the tidal bore
As they swerved to avoid a sliver.
And suddenly the branch of a tree
Loomed ahead like a hatchet
Braet grabbed thing to move it free
And the canoe broached in the current.
The canoe gave a lurch and they lost their perch
And suddenly it was over
They stood in water above the knee
And held the tree for cover.
Now the name of Braet, it rhymes with great
And that’s how Marian acted
She stood there in the midst of the lake
And grabbed everything that floated
While two upset guys turned the boat around
And faced it to the current
And raised it up and turned it right
And climbed in in a moment.
And Marian watched, she didn’t scream,
She knew she hadn’t aughter.
The fellows turned to look downstream
As she climbed in from the water.
They floated further down the slough
Then turned and paddled like hell
As they caught sight of Joe’s eyedrops
Being eaten by a crocodile.
Thus ends the saga of the canoe.
Joe Braet said to keep it quiet
But every single word is true,
Except it really was an alligator.
But strangest of all, it seems to me,
Is that they still asked me to come,
So on this their 50th anniversary
I decided to write them this poem.
Best wishes and lots of love, Joe and Marian.
Joe Fox, March 13, 1995