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April 2017

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Rex B. Valentine a poet since childhood. His many poems (over 350) and musical compositions (over 50) virtually had no outlet until he had raised and educated his eleven children. He started to formally study and publishes his work when he reached age 70. He has been acclaimed locally, nationally, and internationally as a great writer–poet. He has published seven books and numerous musical compositions. His rural background: raised on a primitive farm, dairyman, beef farmer, tree farmer, state forester, feeds and feeding specialist, general contractor, realtor, appraiser, dowser, etc.; gives him ample life experiences for writing. Also 42 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren, along with love of church and affiliates’ feed his daily production.

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A Sonnet

Oh, Wife, dear Wife, you mean so much to me,

your tidiness and cleanliness like gold.

Now, I don’t think you mean to be so bold,

but sometimes you go on a dumping spree.

My treasures are not valu’ble to you,

but I don’t part with old friends very well.

What if my ten-year oxfords have a smell?

My bowling ball got heavier, it’s true.

My jacket and my vest have really shrunk!

Please don’t throw them away, I’d miss them so.

And though you think my golf clubs are just junk,

I did go golfing twenty years ago.

I’d better shut my eyes; not see the pile;

And when they’re gone-I’ll look at you and smile.

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January 6, 2002

It was in the seventh grade a “new girl” had appeared.

Her Daddy bought the shoe-shop over town.

When introduced as Beverly, a part within me cheered,

Her hair was dark, her eyes were hazel-brown.

She moved with graceful sturdiness, determined, in a way,

That led me to believe she was a pearl.

She had that certain something; ‘twas hard for me to say

What made her that exciting kind of girl.

It wasn’t her great beauty that struck that cord in me,

Though she a pleasant damsel to observe.

It could have been her intellect, her smile, her purity,

Or could have been a full and rounding curve.

She brought a freshness to our gang, an element of class,

was more advanced, she knew more than we did.

And could she play the piano! Classical and jazz;

Performances above the average kid.

I thought, to know her better, I’d ask her for a date,

Although she’d had a boyfriend for a while.

Her answer was affirmative, my pride did stimulate;

She lavished on me her endearing smile.

I’d never had a date before, experience exempt,

But I designed a plan that couldn’t miss.

And though I was a neophyte-This was my first attempt,

I practiced how to ask her for a kiss.

My parents, dear, assisted me, they drove me to the show.

The theater was near her father’s store.

They lived in back. I guess it was a half a block, or so,

I walked, the bravely knocked upon her door.

She was awaiting breathlessly and bade me come inside.

She introduced me to her Mom and Dad.

I don’t remember how they looked, or if they laughed or cried,

But I still see the ruby lips she had.

We took our time; we slowly walked back to the picture show,

Sat in the back, I held her pretty hand.

My folks were sitting toward the front, and little did they know

the fun we had. They wouldn’t understand.

When it was over we returned and stood at her front door.

The porch was dark, we were alone at last.

My Mom and Dad were waiting in their car for me, therefore,

I had to make my move and make it fast.

I put my arms around her, but before I said a word

I felt her ruby lips as she found mine.

It was a fleeting kiss, she sighed, and then two words I heard.

“Oh Kenny!!” It was not Rex Valentine.

I was glad it shook her so she knew not where she was,

But “Kenny” was her “steady” former beau.

I left and hurried to the car; my pride was hurt because

With all my charm, my name she didn’t know.

I decided then and there I wouldn’t waste my time.

We stayed good friends until her family moved.

I thought of her quite often, but I wouldn’t spend a dime

to look her up-my pride just disapproved.

But then, one day she came again to our beloved class.

She found a boyfriend very soon it seemed.

It was our sophomore year, and behold, It came to pass,

My interest in her gradually redeemed.

I took her home one evening from a doings at the school.

We talked, we laughed, we had a lot of fun.

I had the urge to kiss her, but I thought, “you silly fool,

You better walk away, you better run.”

But still, the flame of love arose-to it I did succumb.

I gently kissed her lips and held her tight.

And then I heard two words again, how could I be so dumb?

She sighed, “Oh Leo!!” – Guess it served me right.

Oh well, I tried and failed in my romantic escapades.

But then, I guess I learned a thing or two.

Don’t be too anxious, give her time until her old love fades.

Yes, that is what a young lad has to do.

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Villanelle #6

It’s oft been said, “There’s a music in the air.”

How could it be, do melodies have wings?

I’ve often wondered why I hear them there.

They seem to drift along as on a prayer

And permeate my mind with holy things.

It’s oft been said, “There’s music in the air.”

They say new melodies are very rare,

But in my mind sometimes a new one rings.

I’ve often wondered why I hear them there.

It seems, of orchestrations I’m aware,

I hear the horns, percussions, bells, and strings.

It’s oft been said, “There’s music in the air.”

Oh, how I wish that everyone could share

the feelings from my soul that burst like springs.

I’ve often wondered why I feel them there.

The strains of melodies are everywhere.

The spirit of the universe still sings.

It’s oft been said, “There’s music in the air.”

I should not wonder why I hear it there.

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The frog fell in the pond.

I could see that he was soaked.

To my surprise, he croaked.

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There’s something about a football game

that doesn’t have to do with fame.

Anticipation energizes

every boy whate’er his size is.

If you’re a little running back,

or burly lineman on attack,

the thought of every coming game

affects each player’s mind the same.

You wonder why the butterflies

cause queasy stomach in those guys

whose muscles bulge and look so tough,

who hit so hard and play so rough,

but they’re just normal down inside

and wonder if they’ll play with pride.

The night before a game can be

so long; a sleepless recipe,

a worry time when games are won

or lost before they have begun.

On offense you must catch the ball

and hold on to it when you fall.

The linemen charge and clear the way

and not let up one single play.

You dream and practice through the night

until you get the signals right,

then just before the dawn you sleep

so hard you miss the alarm clock beep.

But when you wake it’s with a start!

You’ve torn the covers all apart

with running, kicking, football dreams

or plays that score, and defense schemes.

You rise and shower, dress and eat,

while in your mind the plays repeat.

Your concentration is not good!

Throughout the day your efforts should

produce much better than they do,

but thoughts of football strangle you.

Somehow the moment does arrive.

Excitement builds, you feel alive.

You don your jersey, pants and pads.

The locker room is full of lads

like you with thoughtful somber faces,

football suits with ties and laces.

When running out upon the field

your aches and pains are quickly healed.

Adrenaline is streaming through

your veins, there’s just no stopping you.

That power-pak that you’ve unleashed

drove out all fear; it’s gone! Impeached!

You just can’t wait for that first hit.

You exercise and run a bit

until your muscles feel the strain.

If something hurts you don’t complain,

you tough it through and hide the limp,

‘cause no coach wants to play a gimp.

It’s time to start! The Anthem plays.

The flapping flag invades your gaze,

reminding you that through it all,

win or lose, you must stand tall.

And in that moment you feel pride,

a lumpy throat, and warm inside.

The whistle blows, the game begins;

the rising football floats and spins

‘til it is caught down near the ten.

The speedy runner dodges men

and scampers through ‘til he is creamed!

No scoring here like he had dreamed.

On offense linemen open holes.

On defense they reverse their roles.

Some hits produce a loud report,

reminding us this contact sport

can rattle teeth, or break an arm.

But no one shrinks from certain harm.

The sweat, the pain, desire to win

Helps all corral that old pigskin.

The running back squirts through a hole

and crosses his opponent’s goal.

A touchdown!! Fans go wild and cheer!!

Why, I can see it all from here.

What great excitement in my breast!

We won the game! My biggest test

Was watching while my fist I’d clench;

My part was sitting on the bench.

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