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Read an Excerpt
With Selected Poems
By Charles Hays
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 Charles Hays
All rights reserved.
SHE WROTE ME first when she said, "It is very important for me to find a man who has your abilities and your feelings for the women of this World. When, I read your Facebook Profile, I knew that you might very well be that special person for me.
So, I ask you, "Can we become better friends? I want to get to know you better if that is possible and if you are willing to take the time that will allow us to become better friends or, should I say, the best of two close friends for each other's private pleasure."
Her first E-mail arrived at a time when I was drowning in my own sorrow about my dear wife's departure because of ovarian cancer in 2010. She mentioned that she was still grieving the tragic loss of her husband as the result of an awful car accident which happened three years previously.
So, at the beginning of our mutual discovery of each other, we were on common ground as both a widow and a widower. It seemed somehow appropriate that we would be ideal pen pals when it came to our common grief and the recovery process there from.
I was a prime candidate to help her and, likewise, she was a superb choice to help me with my own pain. Pain had united us and, through additional pain, we would one day part. But, until our break up time occurs, I pleaded for continuance of our connection. I had a few years left and I wanted to share them with both her and her daughter, Ruby.
My first attempt at poetry for my dear Belinda was structured around my own feelings and I prayed that she would approve and accept my sincere words to her which were written for her and her alone. One has to begin somewhere and, for the two of us, I began with these heartfelt words about my own sentiments.
Has left me with a controlled aching.
Enjoyment, wonderment and fright
Were within me both day and night.
My special person has been revealed
For many years, she has been concealed.
But, now our souls are entwined as one
To be this way until we are done.
She replied to me that she was not yet assured. She asked me for more information regarding my stability. I assumed that she wondered how well I weathered our tropical storms so I wrote her back the following:
I stood rigid and erect without any rescinds.
I was thinking of the high seas that you plowed
Going beyond every threatening, angry cloud.
Worried if you would make it safely to a port
Knowing that your mission was never one to abort.
Leaving me with the idea that you are the best
At what you do and far better than all the rest.
Let me explain something about my latest love, Belinda. She has a Degree in Marine Engineering and she has served her employer for twelve faithful years as the Chief of Operations. Her work places her at great risk because she is always riding the high and mighty seas through thick and thin.
Each trip back and forth on her container ship from her home port in the UK to the different harbors of the Western hemisphere is full of fright and concernment that her World might just suddenly end, especially during the stormy days and nights for this time of the year. What a brave person she is to take on such dangerous assignments and for the likes of others, both Ruby and me.
I used to think that such seamanship services belonged only to only strong, stout men. But, but now, I know better. If a bonnie lassie wants to do something bad enough, this Auld Tyme saying will apply.
And, a powerful will
Their natural drive
Will make her dreams arrive.
She wrote me back to say, "No, that's not what I meant when I asked you about your stability. I know that you have a strong ability to resist all dangerous external effects. Every good writer has to be firm and resolute or his novels would never be completed. It is easy for a writer to quit and harder for an author to continue, each day with all things considered.
What I want to know about your stability involves the manner in which you stand against any and all temptations. Are you firmly against alcohol, drugs and cigarettes? Do you ever waver and relent when you are in a deep depression? Do you write on a daily basis or do you go for days and weeks without being able to write any words? Where do you stand on the matter of firmness?
I wrote her back to say the following:
All I do is to think
About my expressions.
I have no depressions,
Beyond my wife and you
Worried if you are true.
And, for good measure, I added these subsequent sayings, "I don't do drugs because I believe that my body is one of God's many temples which should not be abused in that manner." Further, I said, "I am at my computer every morning after breakfast trying to create a new book which will outsell all of my other books. It's a chase that usually requires 8-10 hours per day and almost seven days of every week."
But, when it came to her question about 'firmness', I was stymied. Do you reckon that she was talking about sex? Or was it more about my ability to resist stress or pressure? I told her that I was as steady as any other strong-willed man and that I was resolute in all of my endeavors. But, I didn't add very much about my low testosterone. I am an eighty-one year old man and I believe that I am entitled to at least one secret, correct?
Apparently, she had received enough words that spoke about stability, because in her next E-mail, she inquired about 'security'. Quickly, I consulted my dictionary to discover the true meanings about the word, 'security'. According to Mr. Webster, these were the associated definitions:
(1) The quality or state of being secure.
(2) Freedom from danger.
(3) Freedom from fear,
(4) Freedom from anxiety.
(5) Freedom from want.
(6) Freedom from deprivation.
(7) The ability to fulfill an obligation.
(8) Something given, deposited or pledged to fulfill an existing obligation.
(9) Facts about outstanding debts and ownership.
(10) Measures taken to guard against espionage, sabotage, crime, attack or escape.
Wow, was she asking for the Moon! I was a charter member of the starving Author's Club and she wanted all of the 'security' that I might ever bring to our small table for two. Bullocks, my table was empty enough for only one person, not two.
Admittedly, she was a remarkable woman who could sing, dance and play the saxophone but, I was a gifted wordsmith and very little more. It was a hopeless mismatch but something about her still rang true even if it was only my deepest innermost feelings. In other words, I wanted it to be a simple love affair and not a struggle over money, neither mine nor her own.
I wondered what she meant by security so I pushed the envelope somewhat further when I sent her my reply.
Please, won't you tell me why some of these restrictions must apply? I simply cannot do them all. And, there's no man who is that tall.
Funny thing is that I am still awaiting her reply on all ten of the clarifications about 'security'. I knew that I was treading on a slippery slope so I turned to another subject which she had included in one of her E-mails. There, she had mentioned another interest called 'opportunity'.
Now the same dictionary had very little to say about the word 'opportunity'; e.g.,
(1) A favorable juncture of circumstances.
(2) A good chance for advancement or progress.
At the end of the day, I wasn't hiring a maid and, with this awful Depression of ours, the State of Texas wasn't much of a juncture either. For too many people it was more like a 'dead end' event. Jobs were scarce and becoming scarcer with every day that passed with these hard times.
I may be wrong but I interpreted her window of 'opportunity' to mean that she was merely asking for a close companion with whom she could share her thoughts, feelings, experiences, dreams and fantasies. For this, I was ready, willing and able to serve her desires.
But, when I wrote her back to tell her that I was searching for the same goals, there was no reply. Oh, yes. I did tell her that I was eighty-one years young. It was a stupid move but I wanted her to know the truth.
I decided to drop that bombshell because of her much younger age. If she had graduated as a Marine Engineer when she was 22 years of age and if she had served her employer, for twelve years, then that would make her about 34 years young. She was young enough to be my grand-daughter and I felt a guilt trip about the entire arrangement.
She was too young for me so I wept a few tears and wondered why are some men destined to be so lonely? Why me, Lord? I have feelings and I despise being alone. Life isn't meant to be lived as just one single person. It is designed for two people who adore each other, irrespective of their actual age. What matters most is beneath the skin, is it not?
I hate being alone. I want love. Why can't I have my Belinda even if it is for such a short while? Oh, to touch and feel the presence of a beautiful strong woman in my bed. And, to watch her glide across the floor using her birthing muscles with each and every step.
I yearn to hear her sing those old Irish songs that I loved in my youthful days. I want to watch her dancing across the floor and making sensual motions that I could never make. I want to hear her saxophone renditions of the older songs which are implanted forever in my mind. Names like Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller come to mind as remnants from the big band era. That would be Heaven on Earth for me.
My first wife was with me for fifty-four years but she suffered badly with cancer and several other serious ailments. Has God sent me a youthful angel to watch and love at my advanced age? Is this my reward from God for taking such good care of my brother and my recently departed Dorothy? If Hugh Heffner can get married at an advanced age, why can't I?
If so, then that is all I would ever request in any of my evening prayers. She would be my heavenly angel to worship and caress until I am done with this dying business. In other words, Belinda could make my final years heavenly, dynamic and kinetic, if she chose to be with me instead of those wild and ugly seas.
I offer her freedom from a dangerous life with great risk. King Neptune could steal her away from me at any moment so I am dutifully concerned with the great risk that she is taking by sailing the high seas on an overloaded container ship or a very heavily loaded freighter. I offer her a calm relief from the stormy seas. I offer her a little poem as a special treat.
I need you to ease my constant pain,
I offer you stability,
I offer you security,
I offer you opportunity,
I offer you substance and quality,
I offer you love and spirituality,
I offer you faith and support for your potentiality.
I need you and you alone,
For the times when I'm all alone,
Why don't you sit with me on your throne,
The Port of Houston needs you,
And that includes me too,
We can be Landlubbers, we two.
I sent her my little rhyming poem but, she never bothered to reply. For days after my second silent rejection, I moped around the house wondering why she remained so silent. Once she wrote me the most elegant E-mail that I had ever received. But, now, nothing but silence and sadness were in my house and my heart.
I moaned and groaned for several days before I decided to write her once again. In my younger days, my pleading words could move mountains so it befitted me to try, try and try again. Yes, I was more than twice as old as my bonny lass but, I was resolute, I was wise and I was stubborn. She was worth several replies or different tries so here goes with another effort.
I looked over her original E-mail to study once again which approach might serve as my most effective reply. Her lovely words in that beautiful first connection seemed to be directed toward my more personal interests. For example, she wrote the following to me and only to me.
"I am really interested in knowing what makes you the special person that you are today. I want to know more about you, your family, your background, your life experiences, your past relationships, your goals, your dreams, your personal interests and anything else that you want me to know.
I even want to learn about the secrets that you rarely share with anyone else, I want to learn about you and what involves your tender heart and vibrant soul. I want to build a friendship with you that will be everlasting and like no other that you have ever shared or experienced. She bid me 'lots of love' and she signed off with the expression, I hope to hear from you soon."
The writer in me wanted to write volumes of words in my defense but that could be too overwhelming for her so the poet in me took over once more. Sometimes, the less that is said is far better than many pounds of text. And, for me, poems inflame the imagination much better than volumes of text might do. But what response should I take as my first area of interest?
I decided to describe what makes me tick as a writer and a less than talented rhymer. If I am a special person to her, what would she be looking for in my answer? How does she envision me? I gave up on all of the possible approaches as I began my own and very personal plea.
Made a writer out of me.
To love all things that be,
Is my own destiny,
Which I want to share with thee.
Then, I took on the challenging rejoinder of dealing with my family and my background.
A fellow of plain poverty.
But one of love and respect,
For almost any subject.
Including my wild Irish girl,
Who is my one and only pearl.
Next, I chose to consider a reply to her query about my life's relationships.
I've been a warrior of one.
Faithful to my wife,
For my entire life.
Following that, I tackled her interests in my experiences. I said,
I have heard most of that blarney.
I have sailed the oceans so blue,
And, I have written good books too.
I have played the game of baseball,
And, witnessed more than just one brawl.
But, listen to me my dear girl,
Let's both try to give it a whirl.
Next, I pursued my goals by writing her these words. I have always been a good caregiver so I began with that thought.
Until we have to say adieu.
What you wrote me was audacious,
Making me absolutely ageless.
So what I live for at this time,
Is to be with you at bedtime.
Come as you are, if you will,
I will just take another pill.
Then, I reflected upon her kind query about my dreams. My dreams are with me at all times and wherever I might go as I struggle to undertake my career of being a successful writer. But, what she doesn't know is this. My dreams are about her and no one else. And, it's hard to write about other people when you are so smitten with the special person called Belinda.
Are all your thoughts about the sea?
Do you dream about me my Love,
Tell me true, my beautiful dove.
I want your answer to be true,
Even if it hurts through and through.
If there is room for some romance,
I am willing to take that chance.
Next, I pondered her question about my personal interests. There were many of course because she was born in Ireland and worked out of the ports in the United Kingdom. But, none of them seemed to be worthy enough to risk losing a valuable person like her who came into my life when my own lights were diming and fading more, each and every day.
I was interested in her and without any reservations whatsoever. However, if she did have beautiful red hair and a touching Irish brogue, I would not turn her down, not in a million years. Every man who has a bit of the Irish in him longs for a bonnie lass with striking red hair and and a strong homeland inflection. I did reveal some of my personal interests when I asked her this question.
The size of your brazier.
Thirty, forty or fifty?
I did that in full knowledge of the fact that anything over a mouthful is decidedly an excess. Then I got serious again and continued my writing about my own personal interests.
A business woman, tried and true.
I want someone who is friendly,
One who is completely trustworthy.
Honest with every spoken word,
And caring for each of her herd.
God fearing and tranquil throughout,
An angel ever so devout.
With me for now and ever more,
Past every nook or rocky shore.
She can be athletic and tall,
That doesn't matter, not at all.
She needs to be mentally stable,
For what this guy brings to the table.
She should be physically fit,
A positive gal of true grit.
Of the kind that inspires pure joy,
Not the kind that tries to annoy.
She needs to a good listener,
For this over-the-hill author.
A worldwide recognized ambler, A warm, caring and harmless guy.
Who loves to talk to an ally.
That is an outgoing person,
And, a quite outstanding woman.
Excerpted from Internet Attraction by Charles Hays. Copyright © 2013 by Charles Hays. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One: JOY.................... 1
Chapter Two: DOUBTS.................... 12
Chapter Three: CLOSURE.................... 18
Poem 1-5.................... 25-29
Poem 6-10.................... 30-34
Poem 11-15.................... 35-39
Poem 16-20.................... 40-44
Poem 21-25.................... 45-49
Poem 26-30.................... 50-54
Poem 31-35.................... 55-59
Poem 36-40.................... 60-64