Sunday, June 06, 2010


You lay on my chest, small Robert,
All eight pounds and some ounces
Of You.

Ticking and clicking and clinching,
Startled too, when a door slammed.

You were warm against my chest. small Robert,
Quiet, contented.
Our breathing synchronized, oddly enough.
Perhaps the rhythm of my heart
Was reassuring yours'.

My old right hand looked huge
On your small back.
Patting and stroking,

Left arm close under your small butt,

Sixteen days of your sojourn
Had gone by.
I was proud to hold you.

Be strong, small Robert,
Grow apace.
Be brother to the human race.
Cherish all that God creates
And long years hence
As life abates,
In your children you will see
Where lies immortality.

I love you, small Robert.


Dec 13, 1972

Robert Ernest LaRock; 1920-1978



I looked at little Jacob
As he slept unaware,
He'd just then come to join us
(He didn't have much hair).

Comely, strong and healthy
With a quirky little smile
He nursed upon his mother's breast
with pleasure and with style.

Watching tiny Jacob,
My heart upon my face,
I thought about the future
And the course he'd have to trace.

Will he walk on astral planes
And pull old Plato's beard,
Hunt with vast Orion
And talk with creatures weird?

Wish to be on Venus
And find that he is there,
Know that Ursa Major
Is really not a bear?

Gently baby Jacob,
Take your lovely time--
Let those multiplying cells
Nature's trellis climb.

In you is a miracle--
Teeming, rampant, rife.
Flaming issue of the sun,
Pulsing, potent life.

Grandpa LaRock

Robert Ernest LaRock 1920-1978

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Silent November

He rides on silent wings
Hen hawk in November skies
And preys on warm and furry things
As the old year dies.

Bleak and dwarfed, wind-slanted,
Stark and bare the tree.
Blackened earth, hill-canted
Sleeps, and waits for me.

Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday scribbling 8 Oct. 2006

A short essay written by my Dad some time before 1978. This is for the assignment re; people watching for Sunday Scribbling.


A young lad eight or ten years of age, sturdy and handsome, stopped his bike across from my porch the other day on his way out of the park. Still straddling the crossbar, he planted his feet solidly, looked straight ahead and stated his case.

"I'm gonna count to ten," he hollered, "then I'm goin' home."

He didn't seem to be talking to me, so I didn't answer. He counted in a loud voice, conscientiously, not stopping at ten but giving whoever he was shouting to the benefit of the doubt by continuing to twenty. He waited , silently, then hollered again.

" I'm goin' home."

He said someone's name, too, but I couldn't make it out. There was no one in the street as far as I could see, but then I realized he was orating for the benefit of some kids in the park playground, which was almost a block behind him.

Threatening to go home three or four more times without moving a wheel, he started counting again. I watched the group of kids in the playground but they didn't seem to be aware of his existence. All of this time he never turned around.

Two neighborhood dogs came over to investigate and get in on the action, so the lad got off his bike and rolled in the grass while they licked his face, but he soon remembered his wheel and started the countdown again. This time there was a note of desperation. Still no response.

Finally he rode away, leaving a trail of invisible tears.

Robert Ernest LaRock (1920 - 1978)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Gray and silver in the sun
Glassy smooth and still.
Giant river steady run,
Give my heart a thrill.

Green sometimes, sometimes blue,
Gargantuan in size.
Graceful is the word for you,
Grateful are my eyes.

God made the river's mighty flow,
Gave this gift to man.
Generations come and go
Gliding 'cross its span.

Gather up each brook and rill
Gently seaward stream.
Give me leave to look my fill,
Grant to me this dream.

© Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)

Thursday, August 31, 2006


The precarious beat of the lonely heart,
The valiant pump of life's blood
There in its dark cavern, working,

Who thinks of thee, dear heart
'Til you cry out in anguish,
Perhaps to be stilled forever?

Pick up a silken, squirming puppy,
Feel the wild throb of terror
And love.
Gradually it slows, trusting.

Listen sometime, if you can,
to the beat of a baby's heart
Within the womb. Deep.

Pick up an injured birdling, gently,
Oh, ever so gently.
Mute eyes seemingly unblinking,

Let his warmth permeate your hand-
Speak softly, murmur reassurance-
There is a universal language.
The language of the heart.

God knows.

© Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)

"What In Me Is Dark . . . "*

Within my ill-sorted lexicon
There lies a treasure infinite in scope
At which I peer with tantalizd hope
And pry and probe for pearls that I can pawn;
Or glowing phrase which I might build upon.
To seek, to find and not forever grope
With fumbling fingers powerless to cope,
Before the fervent flame has flared and gone.

If limpid luminescence fades with time,
perhaps the fault lies not within the eyes;
This flashing brilliance is but pantomime
Of stellar light that waxes, wanes and dies.
Though blind, man still the infinite may climb
To win again a promised Paradise

© Robert Ernest LaRock

* John Milton (1608-16740, Paradise Lost [1667],
Book I Line I.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


© by Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)

Durward Winze had spent most of his life without a goal. he read many books on how to be a success. Some of them were cleverly done and easy to understand, whereas others were patent frauds or come-ons. A few were honest, practical how-to books that could be of real benefit to the serious success-seeker. All, without exception, predicated success on the establishment of a goal, which he did not have, so the rest of the advice, however expert, was of little value. As he drifted along, a plaything of fate as it were, his lack of worldly success would sometimes cause pain, but he became inured to it and somewhat fatalistic.

Then one day he heard about another how-to-book. Its title was Goals, but his informant didn't know the author's name. Durward understood that the book was essentially a list, in alphabetical order, of thousands of goals ranging from adultry to zealotry. He tried the book stores; they'd never heard of it. He went to the local library; they did not have it but promised to try to get it. No success. He wrote to the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, The Vatican Library in Rome. His self-addressed, stamped envelopes came back containing regrets and asking the author's name. Books in Print listed seventeen titles beginning with "Goal," or "goals," and he sedulously checked them out, even one that proved to be about hockey, but all he had to show were several useless additions to his shelves.

He refused to be daunted, however, going from city to city, attending auctions and pestering librarians; to foreign countries (incidentally expanding his linguistic abilities to eight or ten languages) where he badgered bibliophiles and bookworms, Oxford Dons and archivists, and caused the book-stall owners on the Left Bank to petition the Prefecture for protection. He would travel until his money ran out, take six months off from his quest and work at any available job to build up a stake. As he became older he returned home and conducted his search by mail and telephone and word of mouth. He filled dozens of notebooks with fascinating book-lore, human-interest stories, personnal philosophy and observations. He died at a great age, his search unrewarded.

After his death his son gathered up the notebooks and took them to a publisher. The editing job was colossal, but it was done with care and affection and rare discrimination. Released to the trade it exploded overnight into a best-seller. Its title is Goals, by Durward Winze.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sonnet For Julie

The sonnet's made for lovers to impress--
Or maybe noble sentiments impart.
A kiss, a wish, a fragrant rose to press,
A catalyst to stir rememb'ring heart
With sudden chill. Not fitting place for Dad
To tell his love. Perhaps a simple verse
Would do, to tell sweet Julie that he's glad
Of her. No trite and banal lines rehears'd,
No fond and foolish sentiments of love;
He borders on old age and she is youth.
Can Spring and Autumn walk with hand in glove
Pretending that the truth is not the truth?
Enough! Enough! What need of reason clear?
Just say it with your heart and she will hear.

© by Robert Ernest LaRock (1920-1978)