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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

4:54 min read

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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