A Poem for the Holidays by Harvey Davis

Harvey Davis is in the senior member of  the Creative Writing Class from New Horizons Senior Center, now on ZOOM every Wednesday. Harvey is in his mid-nineties and just published another poetry book. (I reviewed previous one, We the People, on my site and you can access it by typing the title into the SEARCH box). Here is his poem for our prompt last week on the holidays. It applies to all of us, regardless of our ethnicity, religion, or political viewpoints. Thanx, Harvey! (Note: The lines are longer than the width of the page, which I cannot change.)

The Perfect Gift for the Holiday Season

You will imagine from what I’m about to say that I have lived for many years. This guidance is offered so that you can happily avoid some unwanted tears. Most of the time advice is given to help young people grow and to advance, To avoid mistakes made by their elders, and their knowledge to enhance.

As you get older and wiser that feeling of self-aggrandizement fades away.
Real wisdom starts to develop; what is important gradually you display.
It’s not what you get, but what you give, that becomes more important in your mind. You will learn later the value of sincere gratitude; it is only a matter of time.

You develop the most important traits in your life; they make you who you are.
Take my word for it, in any way that you can measure, you are better off by far.
It is just the opposite of eating where nourishment comes from what you take in.
If you ask any successful person, they will tell you success comes out from within.

My hope for this holiday season is for there to be a lot of special giving.
This gift that you share will always improve and inspire everyone’s living.
I am offering to you a win-win situation where everyone will positively gain. There is no better creator of joy, confidence builder, or good friend to obtain.

What is it that everyone needs and always enjoys in large amounts? What turns sorrow into joy, crying into laughter, when it really counts? What makes enemies into friends, and a frown into a smile?
A four-letter word that I guarantee makes living worthwhile.

Have you guessed what that special four-letter word is by now?
There are some people who are still trying to figure it out, somehow
Who have lived a lifetime in darkness, and still don’t have a clue.
You can put it in lights, spell it clearly, & they still will not know what to do.

Sometimes people are mistaken that anything that has cash value is the thing That it accurately represents the four-letter word that people are pursuing. But that is far from the truth: honestly, there is no way to put a value on it.
It can flow like a river and be collected in barrels, and never given bit by bit.

It grows in the oddest places, can be harvested morning, noon, and night.
It can be the hardest thing to find, and yet immediately in your sight.
The greatest joy you will have is giving it generously to the ones you cherish.
The message of this holiday season is that the nature of this gift is one you nourish.
Of all the gifts that I have given, it is always the highlight for good reason.
This is the gift that makes a difference: LOVE. The perfect gift for the holiday season.

Harvey Paul Davis December 11, 2021

Up Close and Personal: A Rhyme for My Anniversary

NOTE: I belong to a creative writing group from our local senior center and every week we have a prompt that we use to express ourselves on paper. We each read our essay, story, or poem aloud and get feedback. The bonus of this read-aloud is that we have come to know one another on a very personal level as well as hear some enjoyable readings.

I am sharing this rhyme I wrote for class and for our 17th anniversary yesterday, because many older people feel that LOVE is only for the young, and what I have learned is that there is no “expiration date” on falling in love. (I met Alan when I was 65 and he was 69.)

P.S. I have been taking photos of trees just on the tip of turning and  posting them here. Remember September Song? “The autumn leaves drift by my window…..the autumn leaves of red & gold….. and this is my favorite season!


A Touch of Gold!

“I’ll Never Say Never Again”*

After 30 years of marriage and a very difficult divorce,
I thought I’d never remarry: “singledom” my only recourse.

My theme song had been: “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” by Bacharach.
Sung by Dionne Warwick, would I ever get my happy heart back?

The first few years I was both angry and very sad
Followed by financial & emotional struggles, oh! so bad.

After six years alone, no more crying a bucket of tears
And began to take stock of the rest of my years.

Reinventing myself I went back to Empire State College
For a 2nd degree in Nutrition Education, expanding my knowledge.

I also began to edit, helping Penn Staters with their degrees,
And at the same time, expanding my editing business fees.


Gold Turning to Brown

I learned there were worse things than not being a wife;
Acknowledging the fact that I still had a good life.

Then, after 13 years on my own, I made one last pitch for a mate.
Put my name in The Jewish Exponent; was I just courting fate?

When I made this decision to reach out one more time,
I did not know this would generate more rhymes

Of how I met Alan and let my heart melt,
By his way of showing me just how he felt.

They say “Love’s More Comfortable the Second Time Around,”
And that’s exactly what I have learned and found.

I still struggle with issues that I have not resolved,
But most of the pain has slowly melted or dissolved.

Now I live with a new take on “A Thing Called Love,”
Learning that only late, when push came to shove.

So I’ll “Never Say Never Again,” you see,
Because letting in Love is Life 101: “Let it Be.”

*Words in quotation are the titles of songs I remember from when I was younger, except for A Thing Called Love.

Half ‘n Half

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