All That Stays

Traditional and Not-So-Traditional Poetry for Traditional and Not-So-Traditional People

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The rule is that there are no rules in J. Helen Elza’s pulsating and rare collection of poetry, All That Stays.
Laced with Frosty whispers, the traditional poems are as warm and friendly as a winter fireplace. For the less traditional poems Elza employs an undefined style that caters to whim and imagery, creating poetry that hints at James Kavanaugh and Annie Dillard in selections that range from vibrant and electrifying to lighthearted tongue and cheek. Discover the infectious and inspiring attitude of never quitting in “If You Don’t See a Rainbow”, the incredible beauty of love unspoken in “Little Red Haired Boy”, the haunting pain of “Little Man-Who Didn’t Love You Enough?” and the unforgettable portrait in words of “Savannah”. As with all things JHE, this collection is designed to stir more than memories. It is designed to stir the soul.

Little Man—Who Didn’t Love You Enough?
Ft. Worth, Texas 1979

Little man on Throckmorton and Seventh,
Your worn collar’s being mocked by the cold.
With your crew cut hair and short Army fatigues,
You’re too young to look so old.

Your shabby jacket has lost its buttons
Is there no one to sew them back on?
Where is your wife? Your friend? Your lover?
Who took your dreams and left you alone?

Your once white socks are graying
Above your G.I. shoes with the heels worn down.
Where do you live? Where are you staying?
It’s freezing—and it’s lonesome at night downtown.

Little man—who took the sparkle
And left you with dim, destitute eyes?
Whose word did you cherish and believe in,
Then find it was nothing but lies?

Little man—you shuffle when you should run.
Your gait is arthritic, too painful, too rough.
Your face is more desolate than your future.
Little man—who didn’t love you enough?

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