Saturday, December 24, 2016

Monday, June 8, 2015

Song For My Father

From an island six thousand miles away,
a young man sailed towards his future,
leaving all he had fought in a World War to secure
and protect for the honor of his country.

His wife and children stayed behind to wait
as he struggled with adventure to find a home,
in whichever port he landed they would come
and together trust their lives to fate.

Inside his duffle bag he brought the tools
his father had given him for his own good:
strength, courage, respect for elders, laws, and God.
Everything he would need to reach his goals.

Luckily in this new language and citizenry,
he found a few friends who spoke his dialect
and shared his dream to re-collect
the pieces of  an extended family.

In these new cities would be grown
a living for themselves where their children
could pursue a personal dream
they would call their own.

The province of his birth was always in his heart;
he did not abandon the customs of his youth.
Each day was a testament to the truth
of how he played his part.

Now each of us is gathered here to witness
the place where he is lain to rest
in honor of a sailor's last request:
love of country, family, duty and service.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Joseph in Nazereth

Each flame in fire dances different,
each piece of wood provides its own rhythm,
each movement makes us wonder where it went
while we watch as the ashes burns through them.

Early morning, somehow the calm sunrise
opens its eye and banishes the moon;
breakfast hearths crackle as a rooster cries.
The difficult decisions come too soon.

There’s nowhere to go to escape the fear.
I am told they know our names and faces.
We’ve sheltered with friends but we can’t stay here,
they look in all the usual places.

The news is noise: sound without true meaning,
everyone talking with full conviction
all at the same time, about the same thing,
as if they would know how to take action.

What do they say about what’s happening,
who’s opinion matters and should I care;
 if I could run, what do I have to bring?
Denying the choices is easier.

How much does Mary suspect and shouldn’t?
I heard a solemn voice commanding me
because it was still fearful I wouldn’t:
authoritative without subtlety.                         

Ben Gage
Merry Xmas

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The World Turns

Explosions have not been heard from the bomb
they reported everywhere yesterday.
Words on paper become things thrown away,
please continue on your day and stay calm.

The world's an alien place not like home
with strange languages and exotic food.
How can anything different be good?
There must be a limit to who’s welcome.

Power creates the might to be a fool.
Who makes right has the right everywhere.
I’m blind but I can still see it from here.
My guess: this is business as usual.

Adults decide, we are the girls and boys,
disaster surrounding us just makes noise.

Ben Gage

Saturday, September 10, 2011


She's the single reason for the blue note,
the naked ink brush black line gesture wash,
the only sonnet Shakespeare never wrote
of love's eternal eventual loss.

We heard the f-holed guitar cry baby,
saw the figure in that damn drawing dance,
mesmerized by a magical maybe
with a gambler's once in a lifetime chance. 

Listen to the plaintiff sad song lament,
quietly portrayed with tender beauty,
unembellished on love's bare instrument:
a small forgotten folk tune's melody.

As  I awake from the spell I am under,
I will miss what I cannot remember.

Ben Gage

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Musician

Speak of small things quietly to yourself,
nod if there are any answers, smile
spontaneously for no reason while
you wait like every book on a shelf
to be opened for the lines to escape,
new images and symbols are our hope.

Stay in tune as if a loved instrument,
a saxophone or guitar in its case,
available for music anyplace
whenever the sounds of song are absent:
beautiful melodies we have not heard
are freed, a story with each note a word.

Ben Gage

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Joseph’s Doubt

The journey was harder than expected,
his early optimism disappeared,
each step burdened as they plodded ahead,
with an unknown future to be feared.
He heard an unbelievable story
with strange pictures and difficult feelings,
by the woman he loved uttered purely,
honestly and he believed her: truth rings.
But tomorrow is always different
then yesterday’s final preparation.
“How could I know what the miracle meant?”
he asks, his heart aching with the question,
ashamed of the apology he spoke,
as if he were newborn and just awoke.

Merry Xmas
Ben Gage