Grover's Poetry Page
Here are several of my most recent poems.
As you read them,
please take a moment to e-mail me
to let me know your reactions.






  1. Bridget (Camping)   
  2. Crimson Fall
       (A Poem About the Death of John Kennedy)
  3. A Briton's Gift
       (A Poem About the Funeral of Diana)
  4. Un Sospiro
  5. Bird In Flight
  6. Where Love Resides
  7. Many Songs
  8. It Comes From You
  9. More
  10. The Rose
  11. Silence
  12. The Parts of Her
  13. The Feast
  14. The Moon Talked to Me
  15. To Tanja's Child, February 1997
  16. Promise
  17. To Don and Leigh
  18. Shadows


A Poem About the Murder of John Kennedy
by Grover B. Proctor, Jr.
A Poem About the Funeral of Diana
by Grover B. Proctor, Jr.

Click above to read these poems,
and please return to these pages when you have read them.

George Fee Note: This poem is written in honor of my dear friend George Fee, a concert pianist (also the best man at my wedding), on hearing his performance of a work by Liszt called Un Sospiro (which translates "A Sigh").

Un Sospiro
You write on my mind when I hear you play.

Your fingers touch the promised keys,
And in unison infinite fields of wheat bow and flow;
Feline breezes whispering safe commands
They gladly hear and silkily obey.

Above it all, and intoned in perfect time,
A sylvan siren sings with sweetest grace
Her eight-note invitation to be at peace--
I hear it, and am moved to know she cares.

The song echoes in octaves against Alpine cliffs,
And I hear you paint with time and volume--
The slightest hesitation here, now a softer note.
My breath dies...
                 and beauty heals and enfolds me.

You penetrate me when I hear you play.

From a color-drenched black-and-white universe,
God-like you roil the winds of care and stress,
Stealing emotions, greening jealousies, and revealing
The silver daggers driven by others into my softest places.

You press the song of redemption harder through me,
And I cannot escape the force of its demands.
I hear my past surrounding me; all I can see
Are the sounds of failures and missed opportunities.

They shout a chorus of acrid might-have-beens
Until it pours and slides and floods out of me
In a torrent of undulating regrets and sorrow,
And lies in a placid pool that smells like tears.

You ennoble my dreams when I hear you play.

In kindest pity, you look down and see me lost,
And you drape the sea-washed mantle of art around me.
I look to you for guidance, and find the gentleness
Of your song projected on the dome of my senses.

Fly into the beauty, an off-stage voice insists,
And I struggle to buoy my soul in master of the wind.
But all my efforts to soar into the ethereal void
Only show me the futility of conquering the infinite.

It isn't until I feel the diving parallel swoop,
From a height unimaginable, down to earth and up again,
That I realize the music itself has carried me up
And shown me worlds below that are mine to dream.

You purify my spirit when I hear you play.

Friend of my youth, brother to me for all ages,
I hear your heart, your soul, at the intersection
Of images and memories, of lyricism and virtuosity,
And I know in this piece and for all time I owe you much.

You have taught me to know the beauty within me,
And with that knowledge, to walk inside simplicity,
To see harmony, to dream peace, to forgive myself,
And to allow the tears of beauty whenever they come.

What is there left, when words are useless,
When music and art have said all they can say?
There is only the voiceless language of the heart;
When a spirit is so full...
                           there is only...
                                           a sigh.


Troubled, in doubt, mind confused,
You walk into the still, early morning air--
Away from conflict, to the place of nature,
And you lift your eyes to heaven in plea.
A tall tree stands; solace and power
It offers to you and to one other:
There on its highest bare branch you see
The bird; and you stop, arrested, drawn.

Regal, independent, courageous she sits,
Knowing but not troubled by all that the world
Would use to burden her, to cage her
If it could; with hidden strength and purpose
She surveys her singular universe,
Secure in her place within it,
Confident that she possesses what she needs
To be and do all that nature requires.

You imagine her mind, purposing to flight:
You see her soar, and dance, and leap--
You watch as she sets her path and,
Like an arrow strongly bowed and suddenly released,
Sail straight and undeterred for her destination.
Somehow you know you have not lost her,
But gained mystically from her flight.

She is your heart.
Follow her.

Note:   Published in the Summer/Fall 1997 edition of
The Northwood Idea.

Note: This poem is written to and in honor of good friends with whom I recently stayed in Texas, who imaginatively named several of the uniquely-shaped trees in the woods on their property. A walk through that grove and a stay in their house were equally memorable.


The cement cherub, seated primly beside
Serene garden waters falling in champagne rivulets,
Whispers his wing-clad secrets to the patient afternoon.

The Three Sisters dance in naive mirth
To sun-wafted violins and verdant guitars,
Their bodies bent backwards in abandoned glee,
Voices harmonic in praise to their Maker
And to all the beauty that autumn days deliver.

The Grandfather hears in hoary-headed humor,
Standing straight, sentinel to all his floral family;
Guardian blessings and ageless wisdom
Flow from him in stentorian silence and strength,
And he accepts the homage of all who pass.

Farther away, by the creek's silent adobe,
The Lovers wrestle impassioned as one,
Completing and beginning anew the cycle of life,
Reflecting the vision of eros and union
Into and up from The Wishing Pool of calm assurance.

Under a quiet wooded cathedral canopy,
Imagined ancient spirits encircle and bless
The Sacred Cedar, as priests and deacons
Of the evergreen templar order
Find epiphany and redemption in atoning peace.

In regal repose on his cushioned throne,
The cat surveys and approves the sylvan pageant,
And stares languidly alert at the house,
Perhaps the only breathing sentient soul
Who can see its true and eternal owners.

He blinks at the Angels who sit upon the roof,
Watching them impassively as they skate
On the slick ice-glazings of the windows,
Dance on the hearth, and breathe in the music,
Enfolded in the grace that lives there.

Smiling on Jerry and Elaine, they rejoice
That their work on earth is entrusted here,
Where love resides and mercy is a houseguest.


    There are so many songs
    I want to sing to you.
I will sing of fields and cliffs and bluest oceans,
Massive forests inviting us to admire their majesty;
And of all the wonders of this earth, laid bare and open
For us to wander, be lost, and then be found in each other.

    There are so many songs
    I want to sing to you.
I will sing of human creations; the music, books, and art
That speak of highest inspiration and achievement;
A filling of our souls by those who pour without ceasing
The richest wine of becoming the us we together will be.

    There are so many songs
    I want to sing to you.
I will sing of ideas and concepts; philosophies and thoughts
So amazing, so transforming, we will believe that we alone
Can sing in awe of the mysteries of life, love and beauty;
Only yet to find, these were all inside us, and we the song.

    There are so many songs
    I want to sing to you.
I will sing of life itself, and the ways that we two will find
To explore it; taking it in huge handfuls, insatiable consumers;
Running after new adventures, and finding pleasure most
In the giving of ourselves, together, to all we know and love.

    There are so many songs
    I want to sing to you.
I will sing of the God of Love, and all the spiritual host
Set round about us to tell us that we two have been chosen--
In silent wonder we hear--to love each other so profoundly
The world will stop to see His reflection in our souls.

    There are so many songs
    That I will sing to you.
Gazing wondrously at you in disbelief of fortune and perceiving,
I know my greatest song, were my talents worthy and enough,
Would be to tell you that the universe and three dimensions
Cannot hold my love for you that daily grows, and lives forever.


   A peaceful shy calm
Like that of a thousand quiet sunsets
Descends gently on me and
Takes me in its velvet arms.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your sighs.

   Tiny silver bells ring
And their larger sisters, more insistent,
Peal out the vast delight of life
And our carefree joy in it all.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your laugh.

   The washing of my spirit,
Rinsed clear to touch my deepest spaces,
Changes me profoundly
And lays beauty at my feet.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your tears.

   A pure shining beacon,
Placed on a hill to guide me to its summit,
Pulls all that is in me daily
To fly to you and stay forever.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your grace.

   Steel girders, wooden beams,
Rock platforms steady in life's harshest trials
Provide support when I am needy
And a haven when all else fails.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your strength.

   Garnering all that is in me
Which stands tall and solid and gives of itself,
I enfold, protect, encourage you
'Til dawn brings peace and silence.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your need.

   A glimpse of the future
And all that I will one day be and feel
Buoys me on the currents
Of the sea of present storms.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your gifts.

   Mystical yet so-real visions
Of you and me united, together forever,
Glow and dance before my eyes
Filling me with hope for all tomorrows.
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your dreams.

   The courage that it takes
To let you go and wait for you to return,
Breathless and joyfully running
Back into my outstretched arms...
   From where does it come?
   It comes from your love.


    More wealthy I
Than all the princes of the states
And captains of their industries,
In having possessed your shining beauty
    Even yet an hour.

    More pleasured I
Than any could, receiving gifts untold,
Of all they fancied or never knew to want,
In having shared delicious love with you
    One afternoon.

    More favored I
Than the man on whom all fortune
Has smiled and given highest preference,
In having found the serendipity of you
    Each of our days.

    More inspired I
Than the greatest bards, composers, artists,
As they begin their greatest masterpiece,
In having you at last give my heart its voice
    Through weeks of joy.

    More happy I
Than all the land's innocent children
With mates and pets and toys at play,
In having known your mind and soul and heart
    These brief months.

    More in love I
Than the panoply of fiction's romeos
Lined up, their ardour summed in total,
In receiving this, your sweetest tender love,
    Pledged forever.


Unique. Fairest flower.
Of all blooms, most special;
By all loved; and out to all,
Mindless of state or creed or soul,
Wafts your alluring, timeless power.

Perfect. Fairest flower.
Study closely all your features
And not one flaw, save maybe that
Which nature gives to make it clear
None else could so fulfill perfection.

Beauty. Fairest flower.
Who can but stand in awe of you,
Your form and color, pride and innocence;
Poets fail to tame the words
Which can describe your magic spell.

Giving. Fairest flower.
The only purpose in your life, it seems,
Is, untaking, to show to us mortals love.
Let me hold you; live in my house a while;
Fill my soul with sweetest bouquet.

My rose. Fairest flower.
But it is not you, dear rose, but she
Who embodies all these traits without measure:
One unlike all others, in loveliness complete;
And outwardly disposed to care for all in need.

My love. Fairest flower.
Lovely bloom, you are but a weak imitation
Of all she is to me, and more;
Enriching beyond measure; giving all;
Promises of the future; and all that now can be.


It has been the silence
which has been the hardest.

What am I to make of it?

I sit here among the whispering trees
and the cooing reassurances of the waters,
envying the sun dressed in its best silk attire,
working its way westward to stand over you;
and I know that where you are this moment
I would trade birthrights and blessings to be.

But there are no words, no messages, no secrets
being shared, no earthly sound from you that says
what is in your heart and whether I still live there.
And so I can only shake my head at all this beauty
and ask myself for the millionth time,
What am I to make of your silence?

I turn the leaves of a ghostly bound volume 
and see invisible blank verse staring from the pages,
messages written in the absence of ink and pen and voice,
but (so my heart fears) indelible in meaning 
meaning that jockeys the thoroughbred of cold dread,
a winner through the derby of my veins and senses.

My heart wants to believe that nothing has changed,
and yet, it knows so well that you must be different;
your very silence alone speaks loudly and eloquently.
And in the absence of your words and of your presence,
fear hosts the dinner party at which I am both
guest of honor and carefully chosen, inevitable entree.
He forces me to imagine the worst, when all I want is you,
enfolded quietly (a blessed silence) in my arms forever.

Has another claimed your heart, so newly given to me?
Do you fear some imagined transgression on your part
will drive me from you, or lessen the love I feel?
Are you merely confused, feeling torn and lost between
alternatives that threaten to draw and quarter you?
Do the depths of your emotions drown you in a mute sea?
Have you forgotten that I am here (yours, given freely)
to whom you can bring and say and ask anything?
What can I make of something that seems so terrible to you
that I cannot, should not be a part of it?

Break the silence, and sing to me again
in that dulcet lovely voice I do so ache to hear;
the voice that even now in its absence brings tears 
     For I think you've charmed me;
     I always hoped that someone would.
     I never had a love like this before, no...
     I never had it so good.

And when once again having heard that voice, that song,
what, if not the entire world and my place in it,
would I not happily and unconditionally make of it?


I enjoy the parts of her I know.
Crystal fountain laughter plumes out of her,
Drenching all around her in a bracing spray
As thrilling to the heart as to the senses,
Her eyes dancing all the while in the cool mist 
Inviting, embracing, sharing Beautiful Happiness.

I am moved by the parts of her I know.
On hearing words profound that amaze her mind,
Or those that melt her heart, inviting tears,
Or prick it to pain like tiny silver daggers,
She is moved to
               ... a silence  ...
                                 as expectant and enfolding
As that of Wordsworth's immortal child hidden
In a field of tall wind-waved amber wheat.

I marvel at the parts of her I know.
She feels herself a fledgling, newly hatched,
Feathers dried in the arid heat of despair,
Waiting cautiously, fearing her first flight.
But she is, if she can but see it,
An eagle perched on a eyrie so high
All the confusion and dissonance below melt to a blur
As she soars above it seeking beauty,
Truth, life, and love and finding herself.

I adore the parts of her I know,
     And ache to know all the rest.


    You feed me the banquet of love--
You set it before me, and help me lift my knife and fork;
You have prepared a feast of such scope and breadth
That my eyes and mind cannot fathom its expanse.
I taste here and there, sampling of your gifts,
And each mouthful is sweeter, more succulent,
    More satisfying than the last.

    You stand beside me, and smile--
Urging me to try this one, or that; watching my face
As I take it (you) into me; and seeing the expressions
Of deep contentment and joy there as the realization
    Of your gifts comes to me.

    The feast will never be finished--
Always replenished in ways we cannot imagine or understand,
And yet I find even the smallest crumb of you and of your love and life
Is enough to make me whole, new, alive, and fed for the rest of time.


The moon talked to me tonight.

It whispered secrets that only it knows,
That it has learned in its silent illumined wanderings
Millions of years before the Garden and the fall.

It told me I was blessed; I said, I know it.
It told me I was feeling; I said, I sense it.
It told me your soul was blooming; I said, I feel it.
It told me your heart was beautiful; I said, I see it.
It told me our lives were beginning; I said, I want it.
It told me our futures were ours; I said, I need it.
It told me I was blessed; I said, for all these reasons, I know it.


        Sweet baby,
        Child of life:
Welcome to this brightly painted carousel,
This circus and playground that is life;
Admission is free, bought with love and pain,
A gift freely given, one day yours to share.
Come in to play, to give all that is given,
And find the joys so freely wished for you.

        Sweet baby,
        Child of desire:
You swim in your world of wonder, little one,
Blissfully expecting so little of what awaits,
Dreaming the futures of the waiting,
Yet eager to be born; excited; fighting
Like your mother to make the blessed day
Of your birth a joyous and safe homecoming.

        Sweet baby,
        Child of wonder:
I marvel at all the things you are so soon--
Mother's joy, father's pride, God's gift;
Can you see from your vantage point, so young,
All that lies before you, all that lies within?
Can you truly call so loud to us out here,
And bid us live in the magic of your being?

        Sweet baby,
        Child of promise:
Most precious of lives, what riches you possess!
Love is your birthright; intelligence, beauty,
And a discerning spirit your inheritance.
What incredible days await us all in your circle,
As we see the flowering of all you are and become,
And look astonished at your promise realized.

        Sweet baby,
        Child of prayer:
Before you were born, I knew you
In your mother's womb; how else to explain
The crippling heartache of fearing I had lost you
Before I ever came to know you?
The prayerful anguish of that day we thought you gone,
Then later to find you (and hope) miraculously reborn.

        Sweet baby,
        Child of need:
I cannot explain, nor is it within any words,
The sacred loving ties that bind me to you.
Not family, surely, for we are of no human kin;
And yet I sense the need in me to be for you
A presence, perhaps unseen, perhaps miles removed,
That gives you another direction to turn when you need.

        Sweet baby,
        Child of love:
And so I come to greet you, little one,
And place myself forever at your service--
As friend, guide, touchstone, or more;
One of many lives you have already touched,
But unique in my love, given uniquely to you.
Be happy and content, and never far from me.

Note: Tanja gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, whom she and her husband named Mark, on August 22, 1997. Welcome, Mark!


Days in Spring are full of promise.

She stands, personifying beautiful happiness
In the middle of a rice field, watching
The first tender shoots explode from the soil--
Exactly as her love has done, from a heart
She had long denied as fertile ground
From which would ever come such passion.

She kneels and runs her hand
Over the lush green carpet,
And feels, exactly as her soul declares,
The promise of rebirth and growth
Of something no less fundamental
Than the renewing of life itself.

He comes upon her there and silently
Touches her hair, her face--her heart;
He watches in love and adoration
As she stands to look at him.
On her face, so expectantly illumined
By treasured joy and golden dawn,
He reads a thousand unbound volumes
Of verdant living poems, sensual and willowy,
Written only for his deepest inward silences.

From the pledge wreathed in her smile
He will gain the courage to let her go;
And from her love, the strength to wait
For her to return, running breathlessly
On that day to his open waiting arms.

Days in Spring are full of promise.


Morning. Hazy bright sun. Summer breeze.

I sit in the cool library,
Books smiling down from their nests
In silent mirror of their owners' creeds;
Time having almost run out on our stay,
I see the soft surroundings
And feel the Providence of this meeting.

Gentle music like a counterpane
To lie under and be comforted;
Constable's "Haywain" greets us
Like a long-lost placid friend;
Floral tributes surround us,
Sentinels of color at every turning;
Love, faith, serenity of beauty
Sit cat-like in the sunshine of welcome.

On arriving late last night, an enfolding greeting,
Familial in tone, genuine in depth;
Bleary traveled eyes led quietly upstairs
To the generous four-poster
And its promise of comfort and moon whispers;
The morning showing more clearly
Genuinely lovely appointments and elegant breakfast,
Feeding the appetites we had forgotten we had.

Don and Leigh, the dessert of the meal,
Sharing their dreams and experiences,
Open, giving, expansive in their friendship--
We leave you refreshed, sun-kissed, and blessed.
Thank you.


Boiling up slowly into my consciousness
Like a dream, I see you in the distance--
A willowy sylph fading in and out of the air.
I run to find you, reach out to hold you,
And you turn to mist in my fingers.

I realize I don't know you,
And cannot grasp the full realness of you.

Your life peeps out of carefully constructed shadows;
Whole days vanish as in a conjurer's subtlest trick;
Questions invited but lie unanswered and ignored.

    Who are you?
    Where are you?
    Will I know you?
How do those who call to you find you?

Tell me what it is I am not supposed to know;
Tell me why you do not open yourself up to me in these ways.
Do you pull the shade down to protect me?
To keep me from hurt? (an unnamed hurt
whose existence I take to my worst nightmares?)
Do you believe that I do not care?

For all you give to me
For all you profess to be for me

Is it possible to fall in love with
Someone who doesn't exist?

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