Like Chocolate for Love

We thought it was a bit odd
   that such a colorful and vibrant fellow
   would don with such enthusiasm and fervor
   the somberness of his own fashion quartet
   punctuated by solemn staccatos of
   swishing, humming, and scratchy dark brown
      polyester slacks,
   matched with a sordid dark brown and long-sleeved
      tailored shirt,
   layered under a blended dark brown V-neck sweater
   polished off with dark brown professorial shoes, tie
      and spectacles
   bicycle helmet and pant clips
   perfectly engineered in tone and hue,
   a natural expression of deep earth and resilient bark,
   consistently the same wrapping
   but ready like a piece of dipped chocolate
   to surprise us with an interior flavor we would have
      never expected.

We watched his life like a shooting star
   or a comet.
   Dazzling, purposeful, pointed yet poignant,
   stratospheric would almost be an understatement.
   He dared to dream big
   pierced veils and helped to discover deep sea
      creatures not yet seen or imagined
   reached for galaxies
   conversed with constellations
   brought a youthful inquisitiveness to a world waiting
      with broken puzzles
   asked probing questions
   listened gleefully
   conversed earnestly
   inspired with sparkling effervescence
   wrote the textbook
   proved gravity
   coaxed original gestures into robotic figures
   measured earthquakes with numbered languages on
      chalky surfaces
   while birthing a new generation of technological

   If the world was his oyster,
   teaching became his calling,
   and the stars his home.

Passionate, scripted, driven and directed
   we watched in wonder while he launched rockets of
      knowledge into pioneering minds
   and sliced through blinking skies waiting with new
      planets and suns.
Surely like a piece of chocolate
   we would taste how his silky, smooth nature
   saturated our memories
   long after it melted into lingering sweetness.

We could hear his heart on most days
   from the next room over.
   Rhythmic, unapologetic, happily and in friendly
   it embraced many
   loved fiercely
   flickered warmly
   and left no one behind.

One afternoon over coffee he informed me
   that the most important thing was love,
   reported by a man
   who had the courage to keep his heart open
   with personal skies brightly lit
   despite a false start
   and a hard fall
   while starlit dreams scattered like meteoric tragedies
      into darkened caverns.
   But like chocolate for love,
      once you eat your first piece
      how can you not want even more?

We discovered together almost by accident one day,
      he and I,
   a light anecdote to life's melancholies.
   While parked one afternoon in front of his computer
      spacious enough to interact with congress
      we giggled, wheezed and clutched our aching
      while we watched home videos of well-intentioned
      and overly-zealous,
      backyard engineers attempting to outwit the
         smarter species of squirrels
      with painstakenly-crafted squirrel-proof bird
      endless and mind-bending obstacles  which had no
         beginning or end
      and last but not least,
      catapulting squirrel spacecraft
      sophisticated and advanced enough to garner the
         competing attentions
      of NASA and Lockheed-Martin combined!
   Together, we had hoped while we huddled and
         secreted ourselves away in the corner office
      that our time in the sandbox would not ever come
         to an end
      the sun would never set
      and the comet's tail would never grow cold.
   In that time between time
      we could have eaten a whole box of chocolates
      and not ever noticed that we had.

We became enchanted sooner than later
   while he played classical CD's
   illuminating in surround-sound the exquisite harmony
      between arithmetic and music.
   He encouraged us with his musical perspective
   while conducting his secret orchestrations
   to consider the interplay between logic and feeling
      solo and rhapsody
      precision, artistry and finesse.
   Ultimately, he showed us that in joyful harmony and
   one can play and fiddle life into an authentic and
      elegant sonata worthy of the rising self.

   For it is through embracing the duality and the
         incongruous anyway
      we also learned over time under the tutelage of
         inspired notes and chords
      how Bach birthed the Brandenburg Concertos
      and Handel's Messiah brought sublime exaltations
         into the world.
   And while each of us continues to seek the personal
      rhythm to our unique mystical and heartfelt
      Surely we have earned a fresh piece of chocolate
      for every hard-won inspiration and night-sky
      we were brave enough to reach for and loving
         enough to deserve.

We watch together as the comet makes its' last spirited
      traverse across the far corner of a galaxy we still
  while The Great American Eclipse reminds us
  that Hello and Fare-Thee-Well are but two sides of
      the same eternity......
   one completes the other while endings after all
   are just part of a new beginning, again and again.

As we individually continue our destined and starry
      quest of where we each are called to be
   let us gleefully pull something earthy,
   dense and brown from the recesses of our veritable
   just when we want to feel a little bit closer.
   Let's eat more chocolate as if we had never tasted it
   listen to Bach's cerebral melodies
   percolate coffee at 4pm with those we're close to
   chase squirrels
   dive for oysters
   live fully
   love earnestly
   reach higher
   ask more questions.....
   wonder about everything
   never stop seeking the wondrous frontiers of our
      hearts and souls
   while we cherish each moment as if it were our last
      sunset in the sand box
   on the most beautiful day on Earth.





About this poem

In memory of my step-father Robert H. Cannon. He ran the PHD department of Aeronautical Engineering at Stanford University, teamed with NASA and pioneered the robotics industry. In his later years he and I would often enjoy his coffee breaks together at 4pm, and with chocolate of course.

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Written on August 21, 2017

Submitted by spiritu700 on July 31, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:54 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 6,169
Words 974
Stanzas 11
Stanza Lengths 19, 22, 3, 9, 8, 12, 30, 13, 15, 8, 22

Robbin T. Hartridge

Robbin is a retired landscape architect and enjoys writing when the inspiration arrives! more…

All Robbin T. Hartridge poems | Robbin T. Hartridge Books

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