Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time to savor them all

Yesterday's poem marked the last of Evelyn Coffey's work that I have. I have run across titles of others and so hope eventually to locate them and publish them here. I am indebted to the Daniels family of Michigan for their love gift to Evelyn in saving the poems that have appeared on this blog and for giving me access to them.
Go back and enjoy the poems that are posted here, and be enriched by my cousin's zest for life, her empowering faith, and her Irish gift with words.
Evelyn's story was detailed in the first three or four entries.
It's been a beautiful journey for me.
Cousin Pat

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Street-Car Promenade

The clanging gong of midnight sounds.

Now trolleys, steaming hard and fast,

Their schedules filled, with hearty bounds

In panic rush to meet its blast,

Each car more eager than the last.

The day well done, the merry crew

At twelve each night hold rendezvous.

Evelyn Coffey

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thunderstorm in February


Are the winter-white skies,

Broken and desolate

Like my heart.

Beat, dull-fingered rain,

No-silver-singing rain,

Beat upon this heart’s blanched windows

Like multiple hammers

On an empty drum.

No tinkle in you now –

Flat now –

Stolen the music

On the rolling rim

Of each drop


Sound, thunder!

Cut, lightening,

Sharp and shrill!

Cut like the sharp,

Shrill blade

Of a saw.

Make way for spring –

Carve a path in my heart

For spring –

Spring, throbbing

In sky as a room throbs

When a cello

Stops singing.

Burn me!

Burn winter’s shadows

From my heart.

Evelyn Coffey

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To Brown Eyes

Amber-voiced chancel

Of a white soul, what holy

Of holies lights you?

Evelyn Coffey

Saturday, January 7, 2012

To a Blackbird

Black- feathered sheaves that slap harsh air

with waving wings dart like spooks

through dismal, gray-spun skies, I watch

your silhouette with dainty flare

secreted on a dark-barked tree.

Your plumage melts in shadows deep

as night. Unsought and unobserved,

your glee may pour its mirthful cup

into the snow-drenched ground below,

or soar the heights of powdered dome,

cloud-barred from view. Abandonment

is yours. Envy is mine, whose wings

are bolted to earth’s stagnant clay.

Evelyn Coffey

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Secret Heart

Across the years he could recall

His father one way best of all.

In the stillest hour of night

The boy awakened to a light.

Half in dreams, he saw his sire

With his great hands full of fire.

The man had struck a match to see

If his son slept peacefully.

He held his palms each side the spark

His love had kindled in the dark.

His two hands were curved apart

In the semblance of a heart.

He wore, it seemed to his small son,

A bare heart on his hidden one,

A heart that gave out such a glow

No son awake could bear to know.

It showed a look upon a face

Too tender for the day to trace.

One instant, it lit all about,

And then the secret heart went out.

But it shone long enough for one

To know that hands held up the sun.

Evelyn Coffey

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Sea

To Fred W. Boltz, Lt. Com. U.S. Navy

The sea

Has a way of building a man . . . . .

The sea

With its deafening, massive span.

Out of the stillness . . . in the stark,

Dim spread of colossal dark,

The soul of a man has room to grow,


As the clean, white whip of the surf;


As a ship’s sure cleft of the sea.

The sky

Has a way of molding a man . . . . .

The sky

With its winging, cloudy clan.

Out of the twisted winds, the wonder

Of lightning-laden strides of thunder,

The mind of a man has room to grow,


As the stars that cradled silence,


Circling truth as gulls sight prey.

The soul

Has a way of finding a man . . . .

The soul

With its fearless, mystic plan.

Out of stardust and ocean foam,

Grinding clay and pregnant loam,

It shapes the noble heart of man,


As the sun that conquers shadows,


As the waves that burn in brine.

Salute this man of ocean’s making!

Drink him joy with singing lips.

Drink him joy with glasses breaking . . . . .

Master of men, and seas, and ships!

Evelyn Coffey