2005-03-03—Hal Wingard—Poems to Eileen
Hal Wingard's birthday gift to
her recent 75th birthday, Eileen Wingard of San
Diego received from her husband Hal a booklet of 37 poems that he had
written to and about her since 1977.
his continuing love song for Eileen, to whom he now has been married 50 years,
Hal accompanies most of his poems on his guitar—so I guess they should be
named the 47-page booklet "The Two Dollar Diamond" after a gift he
once bought for her to lift her spirits. "I
wanted something special—/rich and really nice—/a thing of lasting value at/
an inexpensive price." I think
with this booklet, he came home with an even better bargain.
of the poems are romantic, some speak of the couple's physical attraction for
each other, some nostalgically review their travels together, some express the
irritation that all married couples occasionally feel with each other, and other
poems address some of their enduring values. The collection is but a tiny portion of Hal's output, which
his friends long have been begging him to publish formally.
of the copyrighted poems in Hal's booklet touched Jewish themes.
He wrote "Ruth's Song" following a Jewish Marriage Encounter
session" in December 1979. "Special
Days," comparing the day he met Eileen to more mundane days in history, was
written almost exactly five years later.
that Eileen had shared "life's storm with me," Hal dedicated "Makhtesh
Ramon" to her in 1997. With a salute to Hal—and to the woman and
accomplished violinist who inspires him—I happily reprint three of these
poems, with the plea that Hal write and publish more of them.
you go I will always go with you
Naomi, how I miss your son
Not here in Moab's bitter land
So, as you leave for Bethlehem
Special days are many; I'll tell you a few.
Can't compare in any way,
The day that ancient Buddha discovered Peking duck...
The day that Cinderella rode a pumpkin to the ball...
Sigmund Freud discovered that life is not complex....
A storm strikes Makhtesh Ramon
The Negev, surprised and out-powered,
As water assaults the wadis,
Then shortly, with storm force expended,