Last year, I let you in on a little secret about me.

I love poetry.

In high school, I couldn't stop writing it. The words seemed to flow from my pen every time I put the tip to paper. The world inspired me in ways I couldn't explain.

By the end of the day, my notebooks would be filled with scribbled down thoughts that eventually became a collection of poems.

I haven't written much poetry though in quite some time. Actually, not since I started here at the TIMES NEWS because when you write as your full-time job, you find that sometimes writing for fun just doesn't seem fun anymore.

Maybe one day, my muse will find me again and I will scribble poem after poem in the margins of my reporter's notebook, but today, unfortunately, isn't that day.

In the meantime, I'm going to share a few more of my poems, which were written while I was a student at Panther Valley High School or Lebanon Valley College.

Wanders

I see them burn in the heavens above,

Dancing, twinkling as if in love.

I watch them dance all through the night,

Never fearing, never having fright.

I watch the sunrise, the glorious dawn

The dance is ending, they will soon be gone.

What do they hide from and where do they go?

Why do they leave, are they pursued by a foe?

I never see them throughout the day

I wonder why they go away.

As night sets in over the land

I see them appear as if hand-in-hand.

First only one, then more gather 'round,

And yet there I sit alone on the ground.

I wish I were up there so I could join in

What an honor to be there when their dance will begin.

I close my eyes and hear the sounds

Of the music that begins the royal rounds.

I see them in the heavens above

Dancing, twinkling as if in love.

(Wanders was written one night while on vacation in Sea Isle City, N.J., with my best friend's family. The night sky that evening inspired me so much that I sat down, and in a matter of minutes, found myself forming this poem about the stars.)

Dark Black Clouds

The dark black clouds move gently across the unexpecting sky,

Swallowing everything in its path.

Thunder rumbles in the distance and lightning strikes the one whose soul it has come for.

The soul of a loved one, a sinner, a hero one who was loved by all.

Helping and caring,

Friends to the end,

One who will be missed for all time.

The rain begins as it cries for the dead

Falling and dying itself as it hits the earth.

Tears from the heavens breaking through from the cloud's evil destruction

And knowing that they will not be here for long

Because the soul will want it and they will grant it

And the sun will shine tomorrow to help the living move on.

(Dark Black Clouds was written first as an assignment for my high school literature class, and later tweaked in 2003 after a dear college friend of mine, Mariko Furukawa, a Japanese exchange student attending Lebanon Valley College, was killed in a tragic car crash that involved the deaths of two other fellow LVC students. Mariko definitely made my freshman and part of my sophomore years a little more enjoyable, and she is still missed.)