in the eyes of heaven

as I stood there
with my muse
both of us looking down
at a head stone
for a man
with the name Goodwin
who was in the Navy
like her father
this was a small
private cemetery
near Deep Creek
where her
mother’s parents
are also laid to rest …..
I in wonderment
read aloud the words
engraved on the face
of the stone   ~
‘Fired 1st Shot W. W. I’
how my mind
suddenly
raced back
to when my muse
first told me
the doctor
thought she had MS  ….
…..  it felt to me
as if a bullet
had entered my chest
~   my
unsuspecting heart
exploded with emotion
the pain shook my body
to the very core
of my soul
as I gasped for air
I quickly recovered
’cause I instantly knew
without hesitation
I had to be strong
for her
one of the strongest
people I’ve ever known
who has been there
for me
through thick and thin  ….
…..   even though
MS
had taken
the first shot
to bleed away
her strength and health
I vowed to myself
I would not flee
from this assault
thrust upon her
but I would stand steadfast
with her in the field of battle
~   for it is there
we’ll fight the good fight
against this seemingly
merciless foe
defiantly to live
with joy and hope
the best we can
until both of us
have achieved victory
in the eyes of heaven
like the soldier before us
and the grandparents
of my muse
laid to rest …..   beside us

Image &  Words  by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

like this historic canal

on that day alone with you
in Richmond …..   as you and I
walked along
the calm water
of the canal
a quieting peace
came over
my spirit
its usual restlessness
became suddenly still
very much reminding me
of the way I felt
as I leisurely sat
for the first time
at your home in Chesapeake
however   ~   during
this experience with you
in Richmond ……   is when
I made the promise to myself
to let you
get to know me
way   ~   way more
than anyone else
much like this
historic canal
we slowly walk alongside
where its rich past and value
for the people
who have lived here
or are living here now
and for the visitor
is being told
I will reveal myself to you …..
……   how you inspire me
to be forever captured
through my images and words
my dear   ~   sweet muse

Images & Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

monumental

I know at times the weight
of the challenges
before you
my dear
sweet muse
feel monumental
and daunting
the task
to slow the progression
of your relentless foe
when the fight
in your spirit
dwindles
’cause you are fatigued
and in need of rest
such a lingering condition
as this
would even bring
the mightiest of warriors
to their knees
without question
and in my eyes
I have seen no other
as brave and strong as you
your efforts
through the years
even as a mother
to sustain
you and yours
have been nothing
short of heroic
I have this unconquerable
faith
in your dauntless
resolution to overcome
and some day I pray
my images and words
of our experiences
together
serve as
a monument
built to honor
what you have meant
to me
your son and others   ~

~   these were the thoughts
going through my mind
that day as you and I
climbed the hill
to the Wright Brothers
National Memorial
Monument Tower
and the conformation
in granite
I received about you
and your conquest   ~
~   the words inscribed
in the base
of the structure
and radiated to the world
through the design of its
6 relief panels and its beacon
as with Wilbur and Orville
you will achieve and overcome
by your “dauntless resolution
and unconquerable faith.”

I truly am a believer in you
my dear sweet muse…..

Image & Words by ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

rest assured

designated mile post 4
a spot on the Outer Banks
in Kitty Hawk
just a small stretch
of the land
touched by sea  …..
…..   restless water
with waves
daily washing and reshaping
the sand that makes up
the beach
filled with footprints   ~
fragments of seashells
and wind carrying
the noise of the gull
gently mixed
with the voice of people
bathed in sun   ~
skin covered with lotion
and salt residue
from a swim to cool off

on this particular day
and moment
I stand watching
my muse
as she playfully moves
around the water’s edge  …..
…..  I breathe in
a sigh of relief
’cause
she for now
is in a state of peace
distracted briefly
from the ills of MS
the villain that tries
like a tyrant
to rob her spirit
of the joy for living
she deserves
to have ……

I say to myself
that ain’t gonna happen
not while I am alive
I will always be
close enough
to keep her standing
while the feeling
of sand and water
soothingly moves
around her feet
and between her toes
with the gift
of comfort
it gives
to her mind
body and soul  ~
rest assured
my dear sweet muse

peace out   ~

Image & Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

stoic

when visiting my muse
I have come familiar
with the neighborhood
that surrounds where I stay
while doing what I call
a shuffle-jog
something
I came up with
to minimize
inflammation
in my arthritic joints
because I refuse
to stop exercising
and I have found
no better way
to nurture and calm
my churning mind
always thinking
lots of stuff
whether deemed
valuable or not
(my muse thinks
and thinks too)
well anyhow
on these runs
two stoic looking trees
Eastern Redcedars
Juniperus virginiana
have become
symbols of strength
and reassurance for me
they stand tall and defiant
as if to say
up yours
bring it on
together we can
withstand
anything
the Nature gods
throw at us
and that’s how I feel
about the bond between
my muse and me
as two becoming one
in resolve ….   being there
for each other
not only overcoming
whatever life
presents before us
we’ll find joy   ~   hope
and fulfillment
like these two trees
within our acts of defiance

Image & Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

memorable

this day in my mind’s eye
I see my muse and me
everywhere
even
in a random
cloud formation
as it moves
along the horizon
above the roof
of the house next door
up in the sky
two fluffy shapes
synchronistically floating
together
at times appearing
motionless
as I face them
they move from left
to right
and as it always is
when I visit my muse   ~
~   in this instance
symbolically
she is the cloud
in the lead
and me the one
enthralled as ever
closely
trailing behind  …..
…..   I see my head
and nose
on a neck
stretched forward
mouth wide open
as I playfully
reach out
to slow her down
so I can keep up
while she
enthusiastically
takes me
somewhere
memorable
that she knows later
through image and word
I’ll artistically bring forth
the tale of our adventure

Image & Words   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

what exists beyond

I represent the possibility
of what exists beyond
the narrow path
defined and controlled
by the indisposition
that surrounds you
which selfishly consumes
robs like a thief
the precious
and valuable
moments you have to live
your life
with hope and purpose
to find satisfaction
and realize fulfillment
but rather
the untiring
persistence
of your indisposition
with its exhausting
affect on you
creates the false illusion
of normality
and nothing more ….
…. and yet
I represent the possibility
of what exists beyond
the narrow path
defined and controlled
by the indisposition
that surrounds you
my dear
sweet muse  ~
~   grab my hand
and walk away
with me
and experience
that vast sea
called life
’cause
you deserve
so   ~   so much more
so let’s live it
while we can ….

Image & Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

why she is my Muse

the visit with my muse
l had waited so long for
was about to end
it was my last day there
and the woman
who inspires me
to write words as these
finally felt good enough
(her struggle with MS
and sleepless nights
makes her so fatigued)
to come out and play
be
my
personal
guide
and show me the sites
while telling me tales
of earlier years
as she and others
traveled by car
from Chesapeake
down roads numbered
168
158
12
for swimming  ~  sunbathing
and dining
with other forms
of entertainment mixed in
along the Atlantic shoreline
those ‘Outer Banks’ …..   stopping
in North Carolina destinations
named
Kitty Hawk
Kill Devil Hills
Nags Head
to name a few …..
…..   eventually  ~  during
our
drive down memory lane
my muse
directed me to pull over
at Mile Post 4
where she decided
we’d have lunch   ~
~   this historical spot
built in 1874
as a Lifesaving Station
manned by a heroic staff
who helped all those
nearby on ships
under duress
at sea
where often
rescuers and crews
were watched over
and warned
by the legendary bird
of which
this place
is now called   ~
The Black Pelican
Oceanfront Restaurant

my muse and I
ate seafood
and drank
a Bloody Mary …..
…..   well me
I lovely looked
into her eyes
as I thought to myself
‘simply spectacular’
about
this time
and place
I was enjoying
with her
as she honored me
with her
passionate
memories
filled with
her zeal for life
though hidden in fatigue
at times
while she struggles
with the affect MS
has on her
mind and body

now you know
why she inspires me
to write
~   why
she is
my Muse ……

Image & Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

You are there…

my dear
sweet muse
I
often
feel
as if looking
out the porthole
of a ship
near Portsmouth
the place of your birth
where I hope to get
a glimpse
of you standing
at the shore …..   waving
vigorously
to get my attention
before I sail on by

but in reality
this imagining
finds its inspiration
from when
I stood looking
out the door
of the Black Pelican
Restaurant
located on
the Outer Banks

You are there…
I
am here
so much space
between us
I’ve had to learn
to love you
from a distance

I
cherish
the moments
we’ve
shared
when not
a part from
each other
I
remember the day
you jumped in the ocean
with your clothes still on
when you stood
in the open field
with no one else … texting
your son
at the Wright Brothers
National Memorial
and you just had
to buy me that shirt
from BrewThru
so I could officially
share your memories

You are there…
I
am here
so much space
between us
I’ve had to learn
to love you
from a distance
my dear
sweet muse
I
often
feel
as if looking
out the porthole
of a ship
near Portsmouth
the place of your birth
where I hope to get
a glimpse
of you standing
at the shore …..   waving
vigorously
to get my attention
before I sail on by

Image & Words by  ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

white petals

bit by bit as I approach …..
I feel the gentle pull   ~
of the white petals
sprinkled delicately
along the sidewalk
beneath the flowering
pear trees
from where they had fallen
a captivating lure
like the saintly voice
that flows
from a mystical creature
known as   ~   siren
I am pulled
toward you
my dear
sweet friend
how I yearn
to once again
take our
leisurely strolls
down the streets
of where you live
in Chesapeake
while sipping a Bloody Mary
or when we were
out and about
the streets of Richmond
we visited the reality of Poe
and then watched
our football team
at that place called
Buffalo Wild Wings
and never
to be forgotten
our day near
the Elizabeth River’s edge
at Deep Creek
Portsmouth City Park
then later by the dock
as we peered
across the waters
to Norfolk ……

~   it is because of times
like these
is why I know
for sure
you are The Muse
for me
who inspires me
because of who you are
to be more than
I thought
I would ever be
whether standing with you
in front of
the Chesapeake
Water Tower
or far away from you
when I hear your voice
as the siren of mystical times
while standing
under the branches
of a flowered
pear tree
with its
white petals  ~  touching
my feet …..   being
forever pulled towards you

Image & Words by ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

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