top of page

The Poems of Horizon: for Harlan

Updated: Jun 27

These are the ten poems by Dr. Harlan Payne that I set in "Horizon: for Harlan."

I. Starlight

Watching the campfire’s dying light

Under this starlit summer night

While shadows of pines softly dance and lurk

Beneath the ageless mountain’s mirth

I wonder... why the air is so still?

The quiet is so loud it gives a thrill

To your spirit as you realize

You are made of the stardust that

Sweeps from these skies.

II. A New Day

The sun will rise and pierce the skies

It doesn’t care about my sleepy eyes

The rhythm of the day unfolds

In spite of cares your soul may hold

So let the rays of warmth shine in

The day and you can walk as friends

III. Winter Evening Moonlight

Lost in my sorrow

Emptied of my hope

I looked through a window

Upon a late winter’s evening landscape.

The barren tree lifted its arms to a sky

That had lost its grip on the day

And behind the branches

Shone a moon short of full by one day.

The tree said, “Lie down and sleep.

And I will break the moonbeams with my fingers

Into soft little notes that will fall

Into your mind and play

You a sweet lullaby.”

IV. Una Casa Nueva

Life can begin anew

With every drop of morning dew.

With every drop on desert plant

Your mysterious, loving God may grant

A new path to unknown opportunity

That can transform your life into serenity

We only have to believe and say

With every drop on each new day.

V. Spring

She leisurely awakens..., stretches..., sighs a

Little and wipes the sleep from her eyes.

Then tilts her head back a bit and luxuriates

In the warmer, sunny skies.

The wrinkles are smoothed from that old brown dress,

But suddenly she takes it off,

Deciding on one of green lace.

Her eyes have a clearer, blue hue now,

And happy anticipation shines from her radiant face.

As she passes fingers through her rumpled hair

To enliven it with shades of verdant greens and frosted yellows.

And though her moods can change very quickly now,

She strolls through April as she mellows.

My lovely, mysterious Earth... out on her spring fling.

VI. Risk

It is said that life has highs and lows

At least that’s how the story goes.

But too many people it seems to me

Exist in a state of mediocrity.

They seem to fear the highs in life

Maintaining it just means too much strife

The risks involved are not worth trying

So instead they live life... dying.

But I’m convinced it’s worth the risks

To savor the fruit, that grows on life’s cliffs

And so I’d rather not just survive

Because... no one... gets out of this...


VII. A Winter Farewell

On a harsh winter day, it is crushing to say,

Such a sudden and wrenching farewell

To one so young with so many songs

We just knew were soon to be sung.

Along with the grey snowy skies

We shiver and realize our eyes

Are wet and burning with grief,

As we stare at this end

And can’t comprehend

That your journey with us has transpired

But, as we crawl our way through this pain

We can’t help but try to explain

To ourselves that your spirit is free.

Released from our midst

It will go on to exist,

In a realm we can only partially sense.

And once we are drained of this emotional pain,

We realize we were astoundingly blessed

To have walked a few miles

On point with the master of hope.

In our journey to come we’ll remember the fun

That you taught us to have in our lives,

And we will try to become and try to pass on

The joy you embodied for us.

VIII. Change

I heard you groan with a sourful moan:

“Now nothing will ever be the same!!”

I felt the anguish in your voice

As its claws sliced your soul with pain.

Never the same? ... of course not; life is change.

So fill your mind with incandescent thoughts

To burn in your new life with a beckoning flame.

IX. Horizon

Crossing through your event horizon

You are irresistibly drawn to me

Spiraling around the majic Playa

Of this inland desert sea

You will taste the flames and colors

And swim in the dusty winds

You must lose yourself in celebration

Embrace music as an intimate friend.

When my arms lift high, then you may see

Your reflection in my flaming looking glass

Like Alice you may fly right through it

To be changed and burned up at last

Transformed by the events stored within you

That will shape your new, evolving self

Then I will scatter you like stars out into

A new reality of Life.

X. Listen

When I am gone

It’s sweet to know the lives of those

I loved will carry on

So it is my fervent prayer

That in the stillness


Between the notes

And the ticks of time

As I am listening to your voice You’ll be hearing mine

4 views0 comments


bottom of page