Born in Bartow, Florida in 1961, Dr. Douglas Young was reared a faculty brat in Athens, Georgia before becoming a full-time professional nerd himself. He taught political science and history at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia from 1987 to 1999. He then taught at Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Georgia from 1999 to 2013, and he taught at the University of North Georgia-Gainesville from 2013 to the end of 2020 where he also advised UNG’s multiple award-winning Politically Incorrect and Chess Clubs. His essays and poems have appeared in a variety of publications, and his first novel, Deep in the Forest, is set to be published in 2021.
Do You Still Think of Me?
A splendid sunrise can make me think of you,
Or a swell blue sky or pretty rainbow, too.
You still warm my heart to stoke harmony;
Tell me, my love, do you still think of me?
I heard your voice on an old answer machine;
Oh, how my heart leapt and then felt so serene.
Your soft, melodic sounds still make me unwind;
Can you remember when you used to praise mine?
A grand garden with fabulous flowers
Reminds me of the romance that was ours;
Is there some place special that brings me to mind,
Stirring a memory of us so sublime?
Gazing up at a star-lit sky
Evokes your image and a sigh;
When it's quiet at night and you're in bed,
Do thoughts of me enter your lovely head?
I think of you when reviewing regrets --
And you remain by far my biggest yet;
How I pined for you so, but then let you go --
Do you still ever dream of me as your beau?
When the blues stalk me everywhere,
And they weigh more than I can bear,
You still star in my fantasy --
Do your dreams ever include me?
How I yearn to flee this plight,
Take your hand, and hold you tight;
Do you ever ponder how it could be,
You and me together, in love and free?
I harbor hopes we can someday still meet,
Hold hands, embrace, and at last feel complete;
To be with you again would be like a dream --
Do you still wonder how we'd be as a team?
You remain my most inspiring muse,
Chasing away the most stubborn blues.
You and love poems are like fine flowers in a vase;
Would you like me to take you in a long embrace?
Though we haven't met in years,
To me you still have no peers;
That kiss with you was the best of my life --
Do you still recall that enchanting night?
You're that stunning portrait with the sexy stare --
What a thrill it would be to caress you bare,
To envelop each other with nary a care....
Do you dare ever imagine us as a pair?
Life still intervenes
And dreams remain dreams;
But what I would give to feel your heart by mine --
Do images like this ever cross your mind?
So thank you, my dear, for conjuring thoughts of you --
Such potent memories stir quite a pumpkin brew;
You enhance my life with some mighty saucy spice --
And may your thoughts of me remain more than just nice!
Little Yellow Songbird
Walking late one winter afternoon,
I suddenly heard a lovely tune;
Looking for where the source could be,
I realized it came from a tree.
As I drew closer, how its volume soared
With the same notes repeated, never bored;
But, looking above, the branches appeared bare,
For not one living creature could I spy there.
Then, to my astonishment, did I see
A tiny bird at the top of the tree;
This loud singer was such a little fellow:
So intense, determined, and jet bright yellow.
All alone, he kept belting out bars,
Ignoring me to look toward the stars;
It mattered not at all how small he might seem --
He was on a mission, and it was to sing.
How I Wish….
Oh so many scenes rewind in my mind,
Ones I could have stolen, but didn’t try;
Boat loads of chances get gone for good –
Blow them and enter the land of Should.
All the sweet relatives who showed me only kindness,
I should have told I loved but didn’t due to shyness;
I ponder the gifts of time and love they gave
As I recall memories at each one’s grave.
A parade of pretty faces haunts me still
Of gals I should have asked out but lacked the will;
I wonder if we could have become lovers
And realize several are now grandmothers.
I recall bullies I should have defied,
But looked the other way and sadly sighed;
Yet who struck me then as truly hairy
Strike me now as not nearly so scary.
Such exciting concerts did I forgo
Since they cost “way too much” for just one show.
Some of those singers have each become a legend;
They were stupendous performers now long since dead.
How many novels I should have written,
Stories of suspense or lovers smitten,
Literary dreams put on pages,
Not lost hopes from my younger ages.
Shyness is a stubborn thief stealing chances,
A cancer of the will halting advances;
On guard to prevent any leap,
Dreams die hard on its large ash heap.
And if you let key moments pass,
And don’t leap through that looking glass,
How regret will throb at what could have been,
For a missed chance is the most lasting sin.
See the yellow weeds across the field,
However wind-swept, they will not yield,
But remain in place, tenacious and tall,
Their beauty undimmed, not blemished at all.
When the rains come,
They do not succumb,
But sit out the storm
In undisturbed form.
In sunlight, they are splendidly bright,
A golden sea of glorious delight;
And, later, after dark, on a cloudless night,
They can even glow under a full moon’s light.
They are content to remain in place,
Never complaining, exuding grace;
A Buddhistic calm defines their being –
Listen close, and you can hear them singing.
Port Arthur Pearl (Kozmic Blues for Janis Joplin)
She sang like a freight train at full throttle,
Emotions bare as an empty bottle,
Drawing so deeply from a pool of pain:
Distraught, ecstatic, again, and again.
Each syllable was brutally honest;
Her feelings were anything but modest;
She conveyed exactly how she felt,
Gripping your heart and making it melt.
She could also be subtle, and so witty, too --
Even full of joy – not just a little girl blue;
This potent performer was a rock ‘n’ roll sarge,
A magnetic stage presence who always loomed large.
Yet while her career would shine like summertime,
Her emotional strength wasn’t worth a dime;
Acutely sensitive and insecure,
Her hunger for love would ever endure.
Great success just wasn’t enough –
Perpetual doubts proved too tough;
All the applause couldn’t drown those fears –
Too many had laughed at her for too many years.
Nursed by bitter memories and fears of tomorrow,
Depression dogged her like a pit bull of a shadow;
And to be alone was terrible,
A real nightmare beyond bearable.
So she surrounded herself with other outcasts and noise –
Full of bluster and pretending to be one of the boys;
If the party was big and loud enough,
Then perhaps her days wouldn’t be so rough.
But the parties, bad boys, and cheap thrills
Could not cover her loneliness bills;
Running away from facing her fears
Failed to slow the flow of all those tears.
So she treated the hurt within
With loads of booze and heroin –
Anything it took to escape the stress,
Whatever the cost or how dangerous.
“I just want a little peace,” she said,
To bury the blues inside her head;
So she ignored the close calls and carried on still,
Until she slipped off the ledge and paid the last bill.
Yet, despite the tragic waste of a remarkable life,
I celebrate the swell music to come from so much strife;
All that pain produced a musical pearl
Which is still savored by a grateful world.
So let us enjoy her each and every song,
Resolved to never treat someone different wrong,
But provide a safe harbor for anyone run aground,
And never glamorize deadly habits that drag us down.