FRONTCOVER

 

Contact: ralphnahra@cox.net

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107 poems, 203 pages, $9.95

Below . . . a few samples.

Thomas Nahra's childhood roots are in a small village in Lebanon. His youth was tranquil and happy, surrounded by relatives and friends. The literary awakening began with a grandfather, Joseph Nahra, who delighted in the oral tradition of story telling, reciting poetry and recounting literary plotlines.

Twelve years old when World War II ended Thomas, his younger brother Ralph, and their mother were able to join their father in America. The father took them to live in Cleveland, Ohio where he had bought a beverage store in a multi-racial neighborhood. A classic American melting pot of ethnic and cultural harmonics.

Fascinated by the English language, Thomas immersed himself in a broad mix of literature of all genres, a lifelong passion he never surrendered. A graduate of John Carroll University with a major in Social Science and Business Administration, he made a 25-year career as a vocational rehabilitation supervisor with the State of Ohio working with the disabled, training and helping them find employment.

He also launched an accounting practice, teaching new immigrants how to start a business and explaining the nation's tax laws. His reading continued unabated and for more than 40 year he wrote poetry, plays and short stories. Thomas Nahra has never published. Until now.

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The Ballad of Susan

Susan, a poor girl,

With a strange eyes of red,

Met a man on the street

And here is what he said:

 

“My child of the eyes of red,

And how their beauty shines,

Come with me to my house

I have a dress that’s fine.”

 

Susan blushed, her head bent,

In modest grace;

Her lips parted and formed

A rose on her face.

 

“Stranger kind I thee thank,

For well pleased am I;

But I must not this accept

Lest my mother cry.”

 

The stranger smiled and gazed,

For their eyes to meet;

Then held a phial bright,

Her attention complete.

 

“My dear child of blushing face

Smile and let me see;

Fear not thy mother’s wrath

I will give perfume to thee.”

 

Susan smiled a radiant smile

Her face was all aglow,

Her eyes sparkled with delight,

Of what she heard and saw.

 

“Stranger kind I thee thank,

For all this is grand

But I have nothing to give

We live from hand to hand.”

 

The man held her gentle hand

And pressed it to his own;

The birds cried in the sky

To see their friend so drawn.

 

“My dear child of modest face

Think not what to pay,

Rather leave all to me

And do whatever I say.”

 

“Stranger kind, I thee thank,

My head is drunk with love,

But I must not accept

For His sake above.”

 

The man changed not in smile,

His face was firm and clear;

He drew forth a golden bow

And placed it in her hair.

 

“My dear child of innocent youth

Take this present and wear;

I will give more to thee

My home is over there.”

Susan trailed, in eager pace,

The stranger who led the way;

She was not seen again

Since that unhappy day.

 

 

 

New Year Wishes

May the days be bright

All the year ‘round;

And the heart be light

In the happiness found.

 

May the fates be gentle

To any life in blight,

And the time be filled

With love and delight.

 

 

Springfield My Town

Springfield is the town

I have made my own

Yet I do not descry

Where I have grown -

Cleveland was my teacher

Aitaneet was my root

America is my country

My dream city is Beirut.

This city of Lincoln

Has much to lend

To the passing traveler

Of the native blend -

There is the scent of history

Which draws one to belong;

There are the friendly faces,

And the desire to stay on.

 

 

Heaven Look Down on Me

Heaven look down on me

And bestow a little clarity.

The daily ritual of sleep and rise

Draws me not closer to what is wise;

What mental effort I attempt

Seems feeble beyond contempt;

New life, new joys quickly pass

Calamities invade and trespass

The high walls, the thorny fence

I had built up in defense.

I read a book, I take a stroll;

Heaven seems kind, but that is all:

There is no meaning, there is no voice;

The choice we have is no choice;

Fame and fortune are good and fine,

But not enough - I long for a sign;

Goals are set but to what end?

Men plan but heaven sends.

So heaven look down on me

And bestow a little clarity.

 

 

To Maria

Look my way I beseech thee

A cup of love to share;

With a heart, aches to hold thee

Oh, grace of lily, beauty so rare.

The soul from the heart request

A pause, a rest by your side;

A moment of peace in his quest

To ebb the flow of the tide.

 

I whisper to the wind, my love,

In the hope of reaching you;

As it moves in the space above

And bring your answer too.

Now I pine in consolation,

Having shared the air with you

And further dream in imitation

Our hearts and souls in union too.