Eighteen.
Shoulder length hair
bleached from the wheat fields
of western Oklahoma summer.
He was one with green John Deere,
one with combine gray,
taken like sprockets that turn.
Compassionate of soul
and natured tender.
Alone with the hawk and the coyote.
Lost in vastness of soil and sky.
Simplicity.
It clung like dust on wet skin.
He wore simplicity well.

In the fall
he rode his bike
beyond the college campus
winding down a tattered road
to be caressed in the arms
of a quiet place.
His private hideaway.

For those willing,
something happens
when youth and tranquility meet.
It becomes like mystic transformation,
an osmosis of narrow brook,
fragile leaf, and autumn breeze
soaked into the sinew of dreams.
A window of the divine breaks
and angels take their liberty.
Sand becomes precious stone
and common rock
the gems of treasure.
No one takes notice
except those who share
where prisms discover their light.

October sun would give way
to shadows painted across
his pages of words in blue.
Beauty. He longed to capture
beauty, to hold in hands cupped
like a ladle drawn deep.
It bathed him in simplicity.
Simplicity cleansed him well.

Children would beckon his work
then apprehended by the call of God.
But soon the door would surrender
to heartache and pain of loss.
Disappointment and complexity
would clamor and batter and weary.
Like the breath of lover memory
his hideaway would visit again,
not in form but in spirit.
The field, the brook
and the melody of angels.
Tears would trail on whispers
of beauty and mystery.
It was there,
in the quiet place of heart
that he would close his eyes
and step onward
in simplicity.

And simplicity would befriend him long.