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Epitaph

My appreciation

I have grown tired of the process of competition, and judging from the paucity of readers and comments my work gets anymore, the process has grown tired of me. I have many authors on SS and Lush that I admire greatly and shall continue to read and comment as always. Some are friends. Some choose not to be.

Sometime toward the end of my ninth year of age I started writing. My life was always a difficult one and those of you close to me know the secrets. My writing allowed me to escape for those brief moments and let me imagine myself as a normal boy. 

It was more of a diary or journal of notes at first. Then I found that poetry came easy for me. Later my stories took shape and became a place where I would hide. Always I kept them to myself though. I never let anyone see them. They were a part of me that only I could have. 

Over the years this satchel of notes and slips of paper came with me wherever I went. I always swore that someday I would sit down and re-write and organize them into a more lucid form. Then in the mid 80’s computers became more user friendly and I started entering text as it were. Although even after I transferred everything to software, I still couldn’t let go of those scraps of paper. Over a half a century later they still sit safe in that satchel. 

In 1971 my beautiful daughter blessed my life and suddenly I wanted to share that part of me no one had ever seen. As she got older I let her read my work and she began her own writing journey. Not as prolific, but then she had nothing to run away from. 

I never let anyone see my writing, but I never hid it. My secretary knew I often wrote and one day she brought me an application for a poetry contest. I laughed at her, but she kept at me the whole week and eventually won me over by reminding me it would be a nice thing to do for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. Oddly enough it would be her ninth birthday. 

My first exposure to the light was a daunting one. Only two pair of eyes had ever seen my work. Now my secretary and the world would sit in judgment of my pathetic endeavors. Letting go is hard, and my secretary had to literally drag it from my hands. She sent it to the powers that be on my behalf. I wrote “Dreamlight” for my daughter. 

When I was young and nights were slow,
I’d catch fireflies and watch them glow.

The light they shed so small, so bright,
My youth it flashed on wings of night.

I think of their light when I am sad,
And how when I held them, the feelings I had.

The nights still come, but the fireflies don’t,
I keep waiting and hoping, but I know they won’t.

They flew with my dreams to places afar,
For some other child to place in a jar.

Keep them my child as safe as can be,
Their light is my spirit, the essence of me.

The older I get, the dimmer the light,
The fireflies are gone forever from my sight. 

In what may seem to be a complete collapse of logic and common sense, this little tribute to my daughter brought to me the “Golden Poet of the Year” honors for that year. I was asked to come to New York and receive my award from Mr. Bob Hope at a national banquet for authors. Without going into reasons why and to the utter dismay of family and friends I declined. 

They also requested my permission to publish my poem in a rather pretentious thick book of poetry. I ended up on page 393 as I recall next to a piece about central heating and wall to wall carpeting. I’m joking of course, but I do remember it to be a humbling experience. 

Under the relentless harassment of my secretary, I allowed her to enter another poem to the same organization the following year. Only honorable mention this time. I wrote “Tides”. 

My youth it rode on crested waves,
High and strong from deepest seas;
Against the shore I roiled and raved,
In futile waste of energy;

Over and over my youth breached the shore,
While charting new paths to be traveled;
But still I see now what I once saw before,
No changes made, my efforts unraveled;

Victories noted and taken in stride,
Now seem so small and coldly vacant;
I thought my youth an adventurous ride,
But I see now I just flowed with the current;

I wonder at my hasty years,
Looking back in gray review;
Running from my unknown fears,
On waves of youth so high and blue;

Changes made by marks of man,
Must come from deep inside;
By efforts laid as grains of sand,
The ebb and flow of a calmer tide. 

Once again they requested permission to publish it. A much smaller book, but I was the opening poem on page one. Go figure. That was the last time I submitted my work publicly. I withdrew back into the privacy of myself.

Until I ran into a prolific writer online known as Exacta66 back in 2008-09. He is more familiarly known as DirtyMartini. Inspiring is probably too strong a word, but Alan was a constant fixture on the Top Author list and I took great pride in bumping him when I could (lol). 

Since then I have posted 138 pieces of work on different sites. Poems, musings, stories, erotica, even recipes. I have 5 more pieces in various stages of completion. I can’t seem to find the motivation to finish them.

I am withdrawing back into the privacy of myself again. On February 28th , I will remove my work from all sites. I appreciate the patience and generosity of everyone and I look forward to now having more time to read all of you. 

This last piece will be a tombstone for my work and my epitaph will be.. “Who?”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 2010-2040 LDJohnson (Dreamcatcher) - All rights reserved, including all copyrights and all other intellectual property rights in the contents hereof.

The contents and composition herein are not to be copied, reproduced, printed, published, posted, displayed, incorporated, stored in or scanned into a retrieval system or database, transmitted, broadcast, bartered or sold, in whole or in part without the prior express written permission of this author.

Unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited and will be considered illegally plagiarized and subject to any or all damage claims, and is an infringement of National and International Copyright laws.

This composition may have been inspired by something seen or heard at a time or place heretofore forgotten. In all cases, credit has been attempted to be properly given and when so given, shown as a note or in footnotes. Failure to give proper credit is a mere oversight and/or unknown to this author and not an intentional act.

It is intended to reflect an original work of fiction or based upon personal experiences. Names, characters, places, and descriptions of incidents are products of this author's imagination, fictitiously expressed, personal experience expressed either in detail or loosely referenced, or merely the humble opinion of this author. Any similarities to actual persons or events are coincidental and subject to this author's determination.

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