Ode to All


Can Joy be elongated to an Ode

as Schiller and Beethoven used to do?

Oh the beauty! Oh the hope!

Words and music through & through.

If we could

as good

we would.


Moody melancholy slips in,

an uninvited guest, easily

humming tunes ragged and thin,

raw, dumb and outright silly.

We strum

††††††††††† and hum

††††††††††† so dumb.


Joy isnít an Aristotelian category

or a Platonic shadow on the wall;

nor is the rose of melancholy

enough to thwart the cosmic All.

We sigh

and life

goes bye.



Tall Tale


A tall tale unequaled until now

Tells the tumultuous times and troubles,

the bloody sweaty youthful brow,

the sweet voice that moans then doubles


In pain under the heaviest cross

in human historyís many crosses.

To lose such a oneís a terrible loss

it seems, but the godsí ironic causes


are not for them who know not what

they do, for the tale continues, taller still:

The dead man rises, speaks, the lot;

yes, the Jew the Romans did kill.


The question unanswered for many of us

is whether the tale is tall or true.

Is the answer worthy of such a fuss?

Yes, I guess so, it must.



†††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††Sonnet to Unrequited Love



I'm free to love someone who doesn't love me,

I'm just as free to hate someone who does;

That suffering attaches to both is easy to see,

A suffering as cruel as any there ever was.

Why it is so is purely academic,

To ask is not the purpose of this piece,

I only know the disease is epidemic,

Incurable with normal means at any price.

If the love of her who loves me well

To her who doesn't could somehow be applied,

A solution of sorts it would constitute, but hell

For her who loves me, whose love had not yet died.

††††† Then let me love them both and all the rest,

††††† A costly choice but probably the best.

††††††††††††††††††††††† © Frank Thomas Smith