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LovesLost72I’m cheating. I admit this. Today’s poem was written in April, in Raleigh North Carolina, in 1982. This poem stands as one of the few pieces I’ve written that I truly love. This poem captures a moment in my life when I felt in tune with the universe, if only for the time it took to write.

The setting: Two o’clock in the morning. The cold of winter had just passed into a warm Spring day followed by a balmy evening. A storm brewed off in the night-shrouded distance. In my apartment, I awoke, grabbed pen and paper and headed out into darkness.

About a quarter mile from my bed, I strolled up to a group of trees that rose sentinel across the street from a placid pond. My oldest sister had mentioned in a phone call the previous day that she loved to hug trees every now and then. I walked up to one, embraced it – and felt nothing.

I then sat underneath the tree that spurned me, looked out over the pond, and watched far-off lightning dance in silence as a wind kicked up. My pen took on a life of its own as I relaxed back into that tree and felt the power of nature all around.


I sat.
Waiting for the trees to dance.
Leaves filled the air with their tuneful romance.
Wind swept my ears this night in haunting fury.
Mind at its rest, no need to hurry.

A moment,
Recaptured from days in my youth.
Feeling life in my lungs…
Hearing it whisper through the trees…
Over the pond…

Then I lost it.
It was gone.
Life and I,
We meet now and then,
When I am alone…

This poem is where I first learned the power of poetry. Few would read these words for the next 28 years until I finally got the nerve to publish my poetry in 2009. I entered Rendezvous in the Royal Palm Literary Awards that year in the category of Published Poetry and won First Place.

I truly do not mention this to brag, but to show by example that each of you, as a writer, should trust your writing. I do not know that I would not be where I am with nine books if I had never published Rendezvous and entered it in a contest. I do know this – I still read this poem often and it carries me back to my young self underneath that tree, and I can feel the power of the coming storm along with the peace of the moment.

I titled the book off of this poem as well. Loves Lost and Found. I titled it so because I knew back then that these moments of clarity and peace would be few and treasured. Each time I lose connection with my world, I love revisiting that morning, that tree, that storm, and that feeling of connectivity. The fact I can recite this poem from memory is special to me as well.

Pursue your writing with abandon. Allow it to reward you. Find your rendezvous with life and revel in the moment. I know you can do this.