A Dream, A Shadow and A Memory

(This is an older poem of mine I found today and reworked.)

Great oaks stretch gnarled fingers into a canopy
shadowing a pathway of soft grass shoots
This place…I’ve been before.
Night traverses the trees, making its way
in every direction.
But not without competition from the full and smiling
circle moon.

My gaze consumes this extensive trail,
freshly bathed in spring’s
tiny flowers.
I’m awash with the profoundest appreciation
for deep silences and a pleasant breeze.
My wait won’t be long.
And, I’ve worn my best dress. 
flowing over me in a waterfall’s wash.

It’s a pleasant contrast, I believe, 
to porcelain skin 
and long auburn curls.
He will love the sight of me.

That world vanishes in a moment.
I can see no more, and he never arrives.
Still, I know his face
framed in night shades, dark-haired,
eyes a deeply hued blue.  Perhaps approaching green.

We met amidst shelves of old books,
I recall.
He, immersed in yellowing pages of philosophy
so handsome in his intelligence.
Love was not foremost.
Yet, my heart longed for some depth and sensitivity.

The world stood silent for an instant,
my soul caught in the fire of recognition.
It was then; he saw me.  
Intensely curious, wanting to speak.
Nothing arose, 
but those flames danced 
in his soul as well.

we met half-way
and realized we were home.

Danielle Shaeffer

Condensation of Thought

always just a dream.
Some wayward
condensation of thought
Billowing through
time to time
shifted from view
in sweet Zephyr's arms
to bluer spheres
of mind.

So surely,
I paint you
every limb.
Needle by needle
of ancient pine.
A nest built high
in dreamy song.

Then fall
and fall
into ruin.
Like so many
false erected spires.
Like the final
collapsing wisp
of an age-old

Danielle Shaeffer

Blood of Doves

Blood of Doves

Unforeseen horrors approached
the sky grew black as night.
And a choking fog rolled in,
the storm of death began.

Winds of rage showed no mercy
left nothing in their stead
But the blood of doves, whose lives,
they did so fiercely end.

Now the world, looks on in tears,
not knowing reasons why
The cries of help went unheard,
mercy was never shown.

Branches of those ragged trees,
hold only what remains
Of all the sweetest creatures,
whose live ended too soon.

Restless are those tattered souls,
who have seen blood of doves.
They’ll never have the answers,
held to that place in time.

All they have are memories,
and faded hopes and dreams.
Those future generations,
have lessons left untold.

Nothing left to touch their souls,
they can’t learn from the past.
Too soon I think, we shall see,
again the blood of doves.

Danielle Shaeffer

Garden of Stars

Here I am
in my garden of stars
a long forgotten grotto
where soul to soul we’ll meet

In silent snows
past and present
I feel your heart
So steady, so slow

And, so descend
From our dreams
Into life,

Danielle Shaeffer

Untitled III

Untitled III

Slowly ticking
time away
from your life
hand over hand
around again
never stopping
always talking
time away.

Danielle Shaeffer

Yet Unfound

Sorry if I missed you
this time around
perhaps we’ll have another chance
when we make it through the crowd
I can write words
and words
but they won’t bring you near
I can shine a light,
the light
and wade through the years.

We have our own secret place
where our dreams may come
I’ve seen you there
only shielded by the sun
All so simple
yet so far
so lost in thinking
imaging who you are.

Are we sending messages
only our hearts can hear
Are we traveling roads
only souls know to steer
I’m yet unfound
much the same as you
The universe says you’re coming
and I want to believe it’s true.

 Danielle Shaeffer 12/4/2011

Bella Shade

Bella Shade

There was a maiden
fair of face
and, in her eyes
a darkness shined.
People talked
amongst themselves
declaring she
seemed a ghost.
However, fairest
of them all, she's
quite the mystery
they would boast
and, gave her name
Bella Shade.

Silently, she came
and went
among the crowds
whose smiles
were spent.
And, ever
did she know
how deep the dark
was inside.
None could deny
though dark
she seemed,
that beauty held her
like a dream.

Her voice
but soft
like the breeze
barely a whispering
through the leaves.
Long she wallowed
in mystery
and men, and creatures
could not help, but
to follow.
With emerald eyes
she drew them in
then showed
how beautiful darkness is.

Then rocked them gently
to and fro
in a peaceful grace
that softly flowed.
As starry nights
filled her eyes
they wept
and wept
mournful cries.
And when the moon
comes to rise
she reflects upon
the mournful brood
and bids them all
a fair adieu.

Danielle Shaeffer

Love's Bitter Descent

Love’s Bitter Descent

I heard you speak of reverie
how love had somehow set you free.
And, for a while, I submit
to the dream and the life of it.

But slowly perfection turned
to something much like misery’s burn.
Where only wretched souls do dance
wishing, wishing for a second chance.

But no, love is long lost and forgotten
a bitter heart is what’s begotten.
For a few love shines the light of truth
for the rest it only gives reproof.

When did the sun quit its song?
And, will the moon be gone for long?
To happiness we could not consent
and so we’re left to love’s bitter descent.

Danielle Shaeffer

My Love,The Night

My Love, The Night

For you inspire both love and fear
and bring out darkest shadows and shades
For moonlight peeks through withered branches
and guides us to the dreamer’s land
For you have held clandestine lovers
in times of peace and times of tears
For you share the horrors day does not see
and shelter those souls light won’t keep
For stars will twinkle in innocent eyes
and bring us home to some place safe
For silence is its deepest with you
and cradles softly this poet’s sadness
For somewhere in this pitch called night
there is someone who waits for me

Danielle Shaeffer

A Thousand Times For You

A Thousand Times For You

I’ve fallen, like autumn’s leaves, a thousand times for you.
Merciless breezes dragging me across dusty pavement,
but I take this torture gladly.
It is my plight, to be swept into to death
by the traffic of life.
I am she, who suffers happily.
For true to my nature, I must love.
My spirit knows not the pain of loss,
but is always reborn with each autumn breeze.

Danielle Shaeffer

More than One Night

More than One Night

I’m beautiful, but
just for one night.
The everything, you
dream about in life.
And, you’ll love me
erratically, fearless
midsummer’s night
breeze.  Feel my
chaos, falling
slowly into dreams.

I’m magical, time’s
sensual feast.
Your fantasy, for
but a night.
And, what of me
this enchanting frenzy,
of color and life.
Suffering here, no
calling comes
to my dreams.

I’m flawless, to
those without sight.
Their every truth,
accosts my life.
And, sudden insights
take them away.
To other’s hearts,
where they shall stay.
All I am, lasts
for more than one night.

Danielle Shaeffer



A quarter of a century
has passed me by
in mists and dreams
and illusions of time

The seasons continue
to roll right on
though, now, I see
I was alone all along

Twenty-five years
and nothing to show
all of my heart
forbidden to grow

There are unspoken words
and plenty of poems
Unexpressed artworks
and talents to hone

They say I lack reason
but it doesn’t make sense
what is life for
if you deny your essence

And, my generation
is just a lost cause
we haven’t a hope
just innumerable flaws

They want us to be this
and then, perhaps that
To achieve wonderful things
at the drop of a hat

Yet, they don’t see
and, they refuse to believe
those older generations
won’t set us free

Time and again
we fail in their eyes
But when our time comes
They’ll take back their lies

We aren’t hopeless
or lost in our dreams
we’ve just been trapped
by your reality of things.

Danielle Shaeffer

Silent Autumn

Silent Autumn


In distant worlds
do I belong.
Where breezes are soft
whispering long.
And souls are enveloped
by a coolness that cares.
Smoothing out harshness
of unkindly glares.

Though a light, much softer
safe for the eyes.
Warms even the hardest
of unyielding cries.
Shielded by energy
a love that consoles.
By this soft light
that welcomes us all.

“Where is this place?”
one may inquire.
In autumn’s heart,
when shadows begin.
Where the world stands still,
listen for me.
Be soft, be silent,
and I’ll set you free.




I think I am home,
but perhaps not.

I live in two worlds,
one dark and one light.

I reside in darkness,
where my mind encounters
the black terror that is worry.
And, I fight with myself
over if I should do this
or that.

I am the shade, creeping
into every corner of my mind.
But, the noise doesn’t stop
like the incessant roar of traffic.
It only wanes a little, and
leaves me when I sleep.

So, what of the light?
Every once in awhile
it washes over me like rain.
Then I guess I’m happy,
or supposed to be at least.
Yes, I can be cheerful, but
what’s the use?

I know sorrow
much better than joy.
I know every curve
of pain’s face,
every nuance
of the forsaken heart.
Tell me I do not belong,
here in constant strife.

Danielle Shaeffer

Untitled IV

Untitled IV



the empty cause

in which

we live

and breathe

then die


Danielle Shaeffer

Untitled I

Untitled I(poem form)

She continued,
breathless upon
the chilled wind
and laughing at
the threatening storm.
This thundering darkness
did not phase her,
only made her spirit elate
at the thought
of dreams to come.
And, as the cool fall
of tiny prisms began,
she dreamed
of the life
she would one day
live; free
of space and time.

Danielle Shaeffer

Dance of the Tiger

Dance of the Tiger

Like a dense and silent fog
I stalk my prey,
through the sultry heat
of an obscure jungle.
Moonlight glimmers on
the orange and black satin
of my thick fur.
I can smell the earth
and the air, heavy and wet.
The dozing calf is unaware
of my looming presence.
Soon it will be another casualty
in the blood game of nature,
and I will remain,
the essence of grace and power,
something to be greatly feared.

Danielle Shaeffer


The River Often has a Name

The River Often has a Name

That which divides us, you on one shore
I on another, often has a name.
Why Love, do you injure me so?

Keep yourself hermit,
among soft reeds of greener pastures.
Why will you not cross for me?
As you do so for many others.

Is it because I do not shout your name,
nor sing with the winds your due praises?

Or perhaps, I do not profess you my master,
but the keeper of my soul’s freedom.

Shall I endure the punishments of hell?
Maybe just die alone.

I will stand on this barren river bank
unmoving, without life’s breath,
until you wake my slumbering soul.

If need be, I shall live as Psyche did,
and through torture prove my loyalty.

Danielle Shaeffer

Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius

Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius

The licks of flame are water drops
nourishing parched limbs.
Tiny embers rise up giving birth to sparkling stars,
which smell oddly sweet of apples and vanilla.
Smoke stings my eyes and saline kisses wet my cheeks.
I choke on tears mixed with bitter ashes.
The fire whispers, its usual silent song.
I can taste that sorrowful tune.
Would Plato speak to this child of Pompeii?
No. No, he can’t; he is long with death.
The destructive flames cross the field,
and beside me lies my love, in complete dissolution.
“Can I help you?” asks a quiet voice.
Psyche comes to help me in my breathing,
for who better knows such a loss?
I fly to touch the beautiful youth,
the radiant star of infinite love.
The fire is wet on my skin,
because I can not handle such beauty.
Omnia vincit amor, I whisper.
Many more will face the same despite passing time.
The flames laugh at me; they laugh at us all.
They promise much in morning fields,
where stars rise up to be born,
and lovers find ash in place of their soul.

Danielle Shaeffer

Untitled II

Untitled II

How doth this tiny creature
know my name?
And, speak
so simply
on things
most can not explain.
Then gentle breezes
sweep away our cares.
There, it is
to see us
through the years.
How lightly it
doth flutter in
our dreams.
Awaken now
to find
exactly what
you please.

Danielle Shaeffer

Without Consideration

Without Consideration: An Old Man’s Prize


There is something distinctly poetic

about the homeless.

The unclean, unshaven

the gaunt, old man.

Traveling down the road

with a rusted shopping cart

Full of dingy and worn clothing

and other odds and ends.

But the best image,

the one that lasts

Is of the Mardi Gras beads

carefully trimming his cart

and sparkling in the sun.

They are the stars in a night of filth,

likely his prized possessions

something untarnished

by the long, hard life.

I think, perhaps,

He values more the ragged, beaten clothing.

For the rest, however,

those beads are insignificant.

A treasure anyone can afford to buy,

then carelessly toss away.

How much of our lives are bought

without consideration.

and what have we
thrown away?



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