Two fragile souls, forged
and reformed,
strong and weak
in places different, still
fractures feel harmoniously

Spontaneous uncertainty, both
overwhelms and calms,
a heart racing, a brain

An arm, taken
a gloved-hand held, heat
felt, a fire starts
gentle first kisses, life
plans are made

Quiet intensity, held
close breaks free again,
overwhelming a cautious heart,
deep and slow, dancing
in time, these two

The boy, determined confidence,
a bundle of energy, buzz-cut cowlicks highlight
quirkiness only a child can embody.

The teenager, empowered,
in creative communities, artistic and musical, shy
and reserved one-on-one, afraid
of appearing foolish.

The father, loving and sentimental,
touched to tears often, children grown
desires to protect appear controlling, hard
to let go, but learning.

The man at mid-life, determined confidence
and energy still, lost and found
at once, boundless creativity, sleeping less,
alone, but love and quirkiness still shine,
breaking through an aging façade, revealing
a self-portrait of the boy, now refined.

© 2013, David L. Harkins

I watched you grow for nearly a year,
three hundred fifty-seven days to be exact
from conception, stretching, then growing,
then stretching again, showing yourself more
and more with each iteration.

Your birth brought warm hugs and toothy grins
from your new family and I, from a distance, watched
for signs of your distress, quietly
moving amid the happy laughter, hoping
to go unnoticed as I cradled you,
and calmed your cries.

One hundred-forty people, more, or less, saw
your first steps forward, offering oohs
and aahs while I weaved quickly out in front,
and then behind, removing obstacles, ready
for your first tear-inducing tumble.

In three days time, the family left, raining joyful tears
in appreciation of you, their souls filled with love and pain,
a deep, achy sadness from leaving you to blossom,
in their absence, another year, maybe two,
before returning to see how you have grown,
and stretched, and grown again.

We waved good-bye, you and me, before
I tucked you into rest, for a while,
to dream of courage and creativity, brimming-over
in future lives, and all because your first breath,
your tiny, tiny, breath did everything, or maybe just enough,
to bring the family together.

As I left you to rest, I stopped to look at you again,
and in the dark silence I knew, my heart
had seen your heart, too, in stolen glances
through those unknown fractures your birth
created in my soul, as the beauty
of your existence caused my distraction.

I turned out the light and walked away, leaving
you to dream, to become what you need to become,
while I watch quietly, for a year, not two, for you
to stretch, and grow, and stretch again, just enough,
to turn on the light, open the door,
and tell me it’s  time to begin, again.

© 2013, David L. Harkins

I sat with you,
exposed and aware
of the darkness and light
passing between us,
like two notes an octave apart
playing harmony I alone heard at once
misaligned and in unison.

Carried by the quiet ebb and flow of your voice
I traveled with you through time, told
by stories and poems of your life
and then of mine,
to places kept walled away
save for the words
we both use as keys, to open
a still beating heart, hidden
from all but those we believe are worthy
of the search, and those who possess
the courage for the journey.

Small cups stacked nearby,
remnants of the dare
that brought us to this frozen place
in time, serve as the only witness
to a communion of minds
contemplating new possibilities in the night
that now the daylight colors as forbidden,
and so I wrap those gentle moments in a cloak
of the past hidden from all, but our memory.
© 2013, David L. Harkins

Self-portrait as an eight-year-old,
determined confidence in
a bundle of energy,
buzz-cut cowlicks highlight quirkiness
only a child can embody.

Self-portrait as a high school student,
empowered by the community of theater and music,
artistic and creative, shy and reserved one-on-one,
afraid of appearing foolish.

Self-portrait as a father,
loving and sentimental, touched
to tears often, “dad days” now too far apart, desires to protect appear as controlling,
hard to let go, but learning.

Self-portrait as middle age,
confidence and energy of a different kind,
hair falls and grows oddly, paint and songs return, sleeping less, alone, but love, and quirkiness trickle from
fractures in the facade revealing a refined self-portrait at eight.

Big dreams
of far-off places
where knights ride
atop white horses
seeking still sleeping
hearts of beauties
never to be found.

Big dreams
of bright blue skies
amid pillowed clouds
upon which castles
once built with hope
endure quiet lifetimes
undisturbed and empty.

Big dreams
of eternal happiness
with love and passion
amongst quiet laughter
achieved magically
by daring instead
to dream big.

© 2013, David L. Harkins

When I am eighteen again,
I will remember the excitement of living
and forget the dramas of daily life.

I will see more bright smiles in the hallway
and fewer dull reflections on the hallway floors.

When I am eighteen again,
I will build stronger friendships
and tear down my insecurities.

I will do more of those things I want to do
and worry less about fitting in because of my choices.

When I am eighteen again,
I will fall in love with a giggling girl
and overcome my shyness to ask for a date.

I will remember how it feels to be eighteen
and forget I am not eighteen.

When, I am eighteen, again.

© 2012, David L. Harkins

I will be here when you wake
my love,
to witness
morning sun
break the window.
Room aglow, your body glimmers;
your eyes, slow to open
your lips, a smile parts.
I will be here when you wake
my love,
to feel
soft skin
beneath my hands.
Head to toe, your beauty traced;
your breaths, quicken at my touch
your body, into mine falls.
I will be here when you wake
my love,
to console
falling tears.
Heartaches kissed away, your soul assuaged;
your hands, held tightly
your head, against my chest rests.
I will be here when you wake
my love,
to rejoice
amidst romance.
Happy laughter, your life beloved;
your ears, hear whispers
your heart, love’s secrets hold.
I will be here when you wake
my love,
I will be here when you wake.

© 2012, David L. Harkins

Small wings
aflutter worlds away,
opening doors, concealed
from view.
Midnight currents
carry dreams afar,
amassing strength, unobserved
by time.
Full clouds
cloak chaos within,
consuming hearts, exposed
from desire.
Morning lights
ignite hope undying,
eclipsing loneliness, surrendered
to eternity.

© 2012, David L. Harkins

by years
unknowingly, longing.
by miles
patiently, lingering.
by two
intensely, longing.

© 2012, David L. Harkins

Small, deliberate acts of a parent;

a foundation for a child’s success.

Small, deliberate acts that make a difference;

past, present, and future.

Small, deliberate acts of appreciation;

always welcome.



Night comes quietly
surrounding me in darkness
but for a tiny flicker of light
just beyond my grasp.
My light.
My hope.
My inspiration.
My muse.
Sent to guide me
she leads me to the place
I need to be unknowingly
illuminating paths
long since lost to time.
Doors thought closed for eternity
now open effortlessly
when touched by the softness
of her light.
My heart
once locked behind those doors
blooms with gratefulness
for what it now feels.
Shadows creep in
to remind me of the light’s brevity
and of my life desires
that never shall be.
My light.
My hope.
My inspiration.
My love.

© 2010, David L. Harkins