Posts Tagged ‘love’

Three Ladies, Three Loves

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Essays
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Three Ladies, Three Loves
By Norton Nearly

Throughout a fortunate man’s life, there will be ladies and love, and the number that makes him whole is three. Three tenses of love: past, present and future.

Lady One creates the man, introduces him to the destination called love. She takes his hand and guides him along the learning curve of love. Lady One captures all his early love, protects it and helps it grow. Maybe Lady One lives long enough to meet Lady Two. But no matter if they meet, Lady Two helps Lady One become past tense.

My Lady One, Marion Francis, taught me more about love in our fifteen years than either of us knew while still together. Hers was a compassionate, high expectation, strict and proper curriculum. A teacher by trade, a teacher of love by instinct, she wiped the runny noses and bandaged the skinned knees expected of any good Mother, but she also wiped the literal arse of a crippled boy and patiently taught him how to walk again literally and figuratively at age nine. She handled a handful of a husband and raised two successful Lady Twos as well. My Lady One never met my Lady Two, but she set a high standard for many who auditioned for the role.

Lady Two takes the man’s heart on adventure, sailing over dangerous waters along new and different latitudes of love, to lands un-explorable by Lady One. Hand in hand, they probe the contours of the wilds of romance. She becomes the linguist in a new language of love. Lady Two will forever be present tense, regardless of the nouns, verbs and adjectives used to make a life together.

My Lady Two, Kimberly Ann, has been in this role for going on thirty years. We have fought like cats and dogs and have cuddled like kittens and puppies. Not much is hidden after thirty years of commitment, not middle of the night leg cramps or rush trips to the hairdresser to cover the grey. My Lady Two has tolerated endless stacks of books around the house and countless sticks of obsession, cut and drying, that I will some-day fashion into walking sticks. I have tolerated her lack of understanding of the value of a few too many drinks or being too much like one’s Father. I have learned to accept her constant satisfaction with life. Yes we are beyond the wild romance days, but the love remains like the primer coat of paint on a classic car. I have tried to walk out the front door a time or two, but with doorknob still in hand, have always realized there is nowhere else better to go. Her far less erratic hand has never even reached for the doorknob of exit. Making love once in the rain is exciting like the first time you win at tic-tac-toe. Making life continuously through countless storms is like beating a chess master. And Lady Two helps you create Lady Three.

Lady Three looks up to the man, knows him as her first love and as role model for all who are to follow. Once again the semantics of love change. She becomes the compass of life yet he must captain the ship upon which she sails. He and Lady Three learn together, as unbeknownst to him, so did Lady One and he. The Lady Three topography is one of unknown adventure; future tense.

My Lady Three, Kathaleen Marion overwhelmed my heart in ways even One and Two could not. The innocence, desire and uncompromising trust of my little girl has mysteriously fulfilled me. Her joy is mine, her pain magnified in me. I know how to love fully because of One and Two, but Three is the lucky recipient of my smart, skillful, unwavering love. And now I am beginning to see her initial investigations into potential Man Twos. You see, it goes the other way as well; in a fortunate woman’s life there will be three men, three loves.

So much is the same and so much is unique in each of these three loves. They are life’s journey’s fuel tank. The Mother fills an empty tank. The Wife keeps the tank full. The Daughter begins the inevitable emptying.

Yes, I have loved three ladies. And I am whole.


Pocket Lint

Posted: March 30, 2015 in free verse, Poems, poetry
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Pocket Lint

From the book, Stained White Shirt

Pockets of hope wake me
on occasion
though I sleep soundly most of the time

I love to stuff my hands into those pockets
fondle the lint
seek other hands in there to hold

She had but one front tooth
used it to smile cautiously
and beautifully

She dressed far too young for her age
per someone’s standards
but her timid conversation invited me deep into her pockets

a passing moment
as is all hope


Posted: February 28, 2015 in Poems
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by Norton Nearly
from the book Stained White Shirt
contact at for info on purchasing a copy

She grew from a
fine Burgundy vine
He poured from a
cheap cask of Port

meets Robusta

Fine Teuscher chocolate
paired with a foil wrapped kiss

She was rare and wanted
like a French forest truffle
He was common and accepted
like a back yard spore

oak barrel whiskey
plastic jug hootch

a hand-rolled Cuban
a machine made cig

She matured like a
cave-aged Roquefort
he grew old like a
plastic wrapped slice

and clams

Russian Imperial stout
with domestic lager

Together they consumed all
fine and fair
couldn’t see labels
as for classes didn’t care
They simply enjoyed the bounty
of life
lived and loved
as man and wife

It’s love that decides
who compliments who
and finding truth in love
is the best you can do

or so he dreamed
looking at her a mansion on the hill
as he drove on past
in his imaginary Coupe de Ville

The Dance

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Poems
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The Dance

a girl in a wheelchair
taught me how to dance;
impediments fenced her in
yet inside the hydrangea bloomed;
with fingers and eyes intertwined
we allowed the Waltz to do the speaking;
with Feng Shui choreography
she guided me across a floor of tranquility

we floated through an intricate yet natural dance
of acceptance and understanding,
and when the moment ended
she returned to her shrouded world
and I stood alone

I cannot remember the song in my ears
and will never forget the music in my heart…
I will always have that dance
I pray she does as well