Gene Belmont is another regular at the Maui Live Poets gatherings.  I especially love his story poems about the by-gone days of his raucous youth.  When I asked him for a poem that held special meaning for him, he sent me this pensive, meditative one that he had written….


I’m 82

and I’ve known

the light and dark


the light was easy

the dark was hard

and still is


but always, always

as from a candle

a little flame

in heart and mind

gives ease and guidance


when it seems the flame is out

a spark remains


I’ve said

I can’t go on

but the spark said

you can and you will

and I did and I do


I’ve said

I’m all done

but the wisp of smoke above the spark


you’re not and march on

and I wasn’t and I’m still marching


I’ve said

that life is crap

but in the dark

the oily odor of the wick


it’s not and fertilize your dreams

and it isn’t and I’ve grown



even when the flame is out

a spark remains

and pushes back the dark

Gene Belmont 2/26/2015 ©

He says, “I wrote this poem straight through in one sitting. I read it once in silence, and once again aloud. My thought was that if I fiddled with it the rhythm would be compromised. Not editing.  Unforgivable I know, but I stand fast.”

Hee!  That’s cool, Gene.  Thanks, eh!

Picture credit:  Flame by Clare Black via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]


Please note:  If you would like to contribute a poem to this blog, please let me know by leaving a comment below.  I’d be happy to hear from you.

I do ask three things of my guest poets:

  • a poem of your own making that has great meaning and mana for you,
  • the back-story for the poem — what inspired you or how you made it or whatever you want to tell about it, and
  • an image you own that I can use as the featured photo in the header. (The last is optional. I do ask that the image you share is one you own — either an image of yourself or something that relates to the poem.  If you choose not to send an image, then I’ll go find something that works.)

If you click on this thing –> “Guest Poet Portal” you can submit a poem right now.


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.

9 thoughts on “COMPLETE CANDLE

  1. Loved the poem! I could very easily relate to it and it’s message. Pulling my own memories, my tribulations, my dark times. I also loved he didn’t edit it to not to affect the cadence of it. I always tweak mine as they rarely come out great right out of the gate. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Dan…I’ll pass it along to Gene. Please come again!

    2. Thanks, Dan, For the nice comment.

      1. You are right, rhythm carries this poem reflecting the weary march and strong resolve of the poet!

        I would like to contribute a poem to this.

  2. Laura Civitello says:

    Wonderful poem. Emotionally direct and universal. I’m so glad to have found this website on fb. Mahalo to Lisa Alo.

  3. Hi, When I read an article , I hope I can feel something , is my wish to feel that sense of conecction when one can share something and identify with it, thanks for sharing this poem, as I read it I could relate and remember parts of my life when I felt beaten and as the poem says I am still going.
    Makes me realize that I am not alone,

    1. I’m really glad Gene’s poem helped, Javier. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Please come again….

  4. This poem resonated with me, as I am 83, and, yes, I can remember the ups and downs; good and bad, and now, at my age, can understand them much better.  This poem emphasizes to me that a positive view of life is important. 

    I also like that he wrote it straight through, with no changes. Sometimes when we write, if we are lucky, some unseen force out there seems to help edit the words and says a message that needs nothing more to be complete. Nice!

    1. Fran, I am really pleased that Gene’s poem resonated with you too.

      Please do come again.

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