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When first her form was visible in autumn’s softer light, It dawned on him that lack of warmth had been a bitter blight. The air was sweetened by her breath: she needed no perfume. He stood in silence as he watched her float around the room. There was a laughter in her eyes, that danced enchantingly, When other persons walked her path, she spoke engagingly. He gazed as she arranged the art with speed and expertise. He had no fear of any task assigned to Hercules. He vowed that he would soon dissolve her anonymity, Then turned his face to catch her look with keen expectancy. He saw her weaving on the loom as did Penelope, But did not dare to dream that there could be an ecstasy.
Terror trembling in the core. Does she find you just a bore? Will she send you through the door? Will you see her nevermore?
Round the table drinks are flowing, Beer and wine and food galore. Max’s cheeks are brightly glowing: All his tales we just adore. Makes no diff’rence what the gender, Tales of love are always told. Else’s arms are white and slender, Fingernails are flecked with gold. While on lobsters we are dining, Lisa sips her beer and sighs. Sitting in her corner pining For a young man good at lies. Rudi’s wife has now divorced him We all know the reason why. Chances really are quite slim, That she’ll be ever dropping by. Arno is our special feature, And the tales he tells are long. In a voice just like a preacher, He declares what’s right and wrong. All the tales we tell are showing That our lives are ever flowing: Tales of losing and of keeping, Tales of sowing and of reaping.
I speak, ‘tis clear, of course, in jest: Your standards are too high. Your thoughts are all above the chest, Or far below the thigh.
Waiting silently for food, orange cats our hearts have wooed. But, to their silence they’re not glued: When at times they’ve meowed and meowed We have thought we’d have them stewed, Little monsters from brood Little Babe and Bubba dood. All our thoughts were close to lewd, We’d have danced through Auburn nude By our friends and strangers viewed. But we didn’t, for then you’d For our frenzy us both sued. You’ll not think these lines are crude When your life with cats is strewed.
Ponies on a carousel. Children captured by the spell. Both are now from time set free: Whirling in eternity. Rising, falling — round and round; Where they run is sacred ground. Through the rain, sun, heat, and cold, Those who ride do not grow old.
Some Say 01:04
Some say that all of life is Spring And so they to each blossom cling. These never will in harvest sing. They’ll never learn to live full swing.
I felt your soul within your hand The day I found your world. I sensed your touch without demand And hopes were heaven-hurled. As fruit when found before its time Requires us to wait, The perilous must reach its prime Before we love our fate. Your craving for a freer heart Would make its presence known. Your pain had played a crucial part: Your would not live alone. The bachelor buttons that you picked Were placed in wild array. Their petals could not well-predict That life would lead this way. A garden is for tasting wine And resting in the shade, As two lives learn to intertwine, Forgoing all charade. We cannot live for evermore, But we await no hell. We’ve walked along the ocean shore And found the sacred shell.


Robert Greenleaf’s A Modern Woman’s Life and Love premiered on March 11, 2012, at the National Gallery of Art. A Modern Woman’s Life and Love, a cycle of songs for soprano voice and piano, was performed by American soprano Carmen Balthrop and accompanied by virtuoso pianist José Cáceres. In A Modern Woman’s Life and Love, based on 8 poems by Ken Walters, the poet has written the poems as a gift for his wife and she in turn sings them back to him.


released March 11, 2012


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Robert & Elizabeth Greenleaf Music Auburn, Alabama

Well known as a composer of piano music, Elizabeth Greenleaf has had numerous pieces published by The FJH Music Company.

Dr. Robert Greenleaf is an Emeritus Professor of Music at Auburn University. His opera Under the Arbor premiered in 1992 and was shown nationally on Public Television in 1994.
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