Poems/Songs

Columbus Day

COLUMBUS

Behind him lay the gray Azores,

Behind the gates of Hercules;

Before him not the ghost of shores,

The good Mate said: “Now we must pray,

For lo! the very stars are gone.

Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”

“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!'”

“My men grow mutinous day by day;

My men grow ghastly wan and weak!”

The stout Mate thought of home; a spray

Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.

“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,

If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”

“Why, you shall say at break of day,

‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'”

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the Mate:

“This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.

He curls his lip, he lies in wait,

With lifted teeth, as if to bite!

Brave Admiral, say but one good word;

What shall we do when hope is gone?”

The words leapt like a leaping sword:

“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck

And peered through darkness. Ah! that night

Of all dark nights! And then a speck–

A light! A light! A light! A light!

It, grew, a starlit flag unfurled!

It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.

He gained a world; he gave that world

It’s grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”

–Joaquin Miller

NOTE:   History, Scripture, Literature gives us testimonies of giants of heroism who walked this earth. Today we still have those who are shinning examples of endurance and great character. Some may be in the public eye, but many live a quiet and courageous life. I have had the personal privilege of knowing some of these individuals. They, as this poem does, inspire and challenge me in my own personal walk. REMEMBER….darkness is always followed by the dawn, rain ends with a rainbow, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

               “Sail on!, Sail on!, Sail on! and on!”

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Encouragement, Poems/Songs

A Strong Tree

 

THE STRONGEST TREE is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds of every direction beat upon it.

  • It is bent and twisted until it until it becomes a giant in stature.
  • This is the TREE which the carpenter wants his projects made of, and the furniture maker seeks.

THE OAK TREE* 

A mighty wind blew night and day.

It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,

Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark

Until the oak was tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held its ground

While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke,

“How can you still be standing, Oak?”

The oak tree said, “I know that you

Can break each brand of mine in two,

Carry every leaf away,

Shake my limbs, and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,

Growing stronger since my birth.

You’ll never touch them, for you see,

They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn’t sure

Of just how much I could endure.

But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,

I’m stronger than I every knew.”

 

Always, always, always believe that no matter what crosses your path of life….

  • If you have  deeply planted roots…you will make it through.
  • I believe in the deepest part of my being that time heals a broken heart.
  • But, the truth of this fact depends upon what YOU CHOOSE to do with your time.
  • Determine to plant your roots deep.
  • Then you will be able to bend when the strong winds blow….and not break.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Poem, Author Unknows

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Encouragement, Poems/Songs

Life Happens

 

It is the middle of the night and here I am writing to whomever may read this.

  • Many loved ones (friends and family) are on my mind right now.
  • Life has happened to me and to them.
  • Life has effected even you.
  • We all are on this road that has twists and turns, beautiful scenery but also stormy, difficult and sometimes devastating roads that must be crossed on this journey called Life.

We make a plan, start our journey, see our goals being met and are peacefully enjoying the trip.

  • Suddenly out of nowhere we stumble across obstacles on our pathway.
  • So much of the time, this is the way Life goes.
  • There’s a line from a song that comes to mind...”I didn’t promise you a rose garden.”
  • With roses there always come thorns.

When this happens, what do we do?

  • Some of us too many times make poor choices.
  • I feel safe in saying that all of us at one time or another have wanted to choose what really is a selfish way out.
  • We take the easy road and quit.
  • We give up or make a wrong turn.
  • We live in denial.
  • We grieve and have a life long pity party.
  • We seek escape by working too much or indulging in too many pleasures.
  • We may hide ourselves in front of our electronic devices.
  • We blame ourselves and withdraw from life.

When this happens, what SHOULD we do?

  • The poet Robert Frost put it this way: “The best way out is always through.”
  • We pick ourselves up and STAY ON THE ROAD.
  • Choose a good support system: faith, prayer, family, friends.
  • Talk to yourself in a positive manner.
  • Fill your mind with the things that encourage you.
  • See the beauties of nature and listen to the message she teaches us all.
  • Put the words angry and bitter out of your life.
  • Leave dreary, negative entertainment alone.
  • Always believe in yourself and others.
  • Be of help to someone else.
  • Let your life and love shine.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Keep on, keeping on.

The good news is: no matter how disturbing and restless the night…

  • The morning always breaks through to dispel the darkness.
  • This truth was brought home to me in a very significant and powerful manner.
  • It was a long, painful and tortuous night.
  • At times I felt my heart would burst and I would not survive the approach of a new day. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 kjv).
  • You will make it through.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky

And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind.

Walk on through the rain.

Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.

(You’ll Never Walk Alone: Rodgers and Hammerstein 1945 from the musical Carousel)

This Song has been an important part of my thought life for many, many years.

  • I heard it for the first time when I became a member of the seventh grade choir in Junior High School.
  • The music and lyrics have stayed with me since that time.
  • The words are beautiful, true and challenging.
  • “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has in many ways been my “go to” song when Life Happens.
  • I know I don’t walk alone.
  • That thought has been my constant companion through the rough times; the darkest of nights.
  • It can be yours. 

“The strongest people are not 

those who show strength

in front of us, but those 

who win battles we know nothing about.”

–Anonymous

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Poems/Songs, Seasonal

Fathers’ Day

“My Father didn’t tell me how to live;

He lived and let me watch him do it.”

–Clarence B. Kelland

Today we celebrate all of our Fathers.

  • They have many names: Dad, Daddy, Papa, Poppy, Grandad…..our own children called my Dad: Dado.
  • They are a most important and necessary person in our lives.
  • They were designed to be roll models, leaders, protectors, providers, the strength of our homes.
  • I learned many things from my own Father who I called Daddy until the end of his days.
  • I married into a family and gained one of the greatest men I have ever known as a “Father.”
  • My own husband has filled that vital role for our children.
  • As adults, they still express their love and appreciation to him.

As we pause today to remember the Fathers in our lives, keep in mind that many of them have given their all for country and family.

  • Remember the children they left behind; the void in their lives.
  • Many men have stepped up to shoulder responsibility for these children.
  • They are men of a special make-up and are true Fathers in every sense.

Years ago there lived an unusual Father and poet, Edgar A. Guest.

  • Personally, I have enjoyed many of his verses.
  • He looked at the common experience of life with humor and great insight.
  • The poem following these words is by no means disparaging to Father’s.
  • It is the words of a man who in addition to being a writer was a Father himself.

To Fathers everywhere: enjoy your day, relax, smile and laugh a lot. You deserve it.

FATHER TO SON

The times have proved my judgement bad.

I’ve followed foolish hope in vain,

And as you look upon your dad

You see him commonplace and plain.

No brilliant wisdom I enjoy;

The jests I tell have grown to bore you,

But just remember this, my boy:

‘Twas I who chose your mother for you!

Against the blunders I have made

And all the things I’ve failed to do,

The weaknesses which I’ve displayed,

This fact remains forever true;

This to my credit still must stay

And don’t forget it, I implore you;

Whatever else you think or say:

‘Twas I who chose your mother for you!

Chuckle at times behind my back

About the ties and hats I wear.

Sound judgment I am known to lack.

Smile at the ancient views I air.

Say if you will I’m often wrong,

But with my faults strewn out before you,

Remember this your whole life long:

‘Twas I who chose your mother for you!

Your life from babyhood to now

Has known the sweetness of her care;

Her tender hand has soothed your brow;

Her love gone with you everywhere.

Through every day and every night

You’ve had an angel to adore you,

So bear in mind I once was right:

‘Twas I who chose your mother for you!

(From Collected Verse of:  Edgar A. Guest)

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Poems/Songs

A Mother’s Creed

 

I Believe in the eternal importance of the home

as the fundamental institution of society.

I Believe in the immeasurable possibilities

of every boy and girl

I Believe in the imagination, the trust, the hopes

and the ideals which dwell in the hearts of all children.

I Believe in the beauty of nature, of art, of books, and of friendship

I Believe in the satisfactions of duty.

I Believe in the little homely joys of everyday life.

I Believe in the goodness of the great design

which lives behind our complex world.

I Believe in the safety and peace which surround us all

through the over-brooding love of God.

Ozora Davis

(From the Book: A Little Girl is Something to Love)

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Poems/Songs

The Singing Soul

 

Sometimes I fall prey to feeling a little sorry for myself and what I perceive are my small problems.

  • I always determine to not let myself stay there.
  • People who have overcome great obstacles to lead an inspiring, effective life bless and encourage me during those times.

One of those individuals is Myra Brooks Welch, a poet who lived from 1878 until 1950.

  • During her lifetime she was called “The Singing Soul.”
  • Something someone said a couple of weeks ago has caused me to remember and to meditate on her most well known poem “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”

In 1921 she heard a speaker address a group of students and was inspired by what he stated.

  • She said this poem wrote itself in 30 minutes.
  • She felt it was a gift from God and sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin.
  • She believed it didn’t need her name on it and the poem quickly became popular.

Several years later the poem was read at an international religious meeting “author unknown.”

  • A young man stood up and said….”I know the author, and it’s time the world did too.
  • It was written by my mother, Myra Welch.”

What the world did not see, was Myra in her wheelchair, battered and scared from severe arthritis.

  • One of her greatest loves had been to play the organ.
  • Her ravaged body had taken away her ability to make music.
  • But instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry.

She took one pencil in each of her disabled hands.

  • Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words.
  • The joy of these words out weighed the pain of her efforts. *

 

THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile;

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

Who’ll start “ the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar”; then two! 

“Only Two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three”…But no, 

From the room, far back, a gray-headed man came forward and picked  up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said; “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,

And going and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand what changed its worth.”

Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

and battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin,

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;

A game – and he travels on. 

“He is going” once, and “going twice,

He’s going and almost gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by 

The Touch of the Master’s Hand.

 

Poem composed by Myra Brooks Welch

*From Book – One Hand Typing and Keyboarding by Lily Walters

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Life's Journey, Poems/Songs

The Rose

 

…….February 7, 2015

 

 Some say love, it is a river

That drowns the tender reed.

Some say love, it is a razor

That leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger,

An endless aching need.

I say love, it is a flower,

And YOU its only seed.

 

It’s the heart afraid of breaking

That never learns to dance.

It’s the dream afraid of waking

That never takes the chance.

It’s the one who won’t be taken,

Who cannot seem to give,

And the soul afraid of dyin’

That never learns to live.

 

When the night has been too lonely

And the road has been too long,

And you think that love is only

For the lucky and the strong,

Just remember in the winter

Far beneath the bitter snows

Lies the seed that with the sun’s love

IN THE SPRING BECOMES THE ROSE.**

 

Above all the months of the year, February is the month of love.

  • Because of February’s theme some people choose to get engaged or married during this month.
  • Many times the fourteenth becomes their special date.
  • February celebrates our personal valentines with cards and gifts.
  • This time of year has romance, hearts, flowers (especially Roses), candy and lovely songs that speak to us of love.

I would venture to guess that Roses are the number one favorite flower of a large percentage of people in this world.

  • Their beauty, variety and form is unsurpassed.
  • One of the most expensive perfumes in the world “Joy” comes from lavender roses.

Roses are not easy to raise. It takes attention and care to establish a young Rose bush. 

  • You can’t just plop them in the ground anywhere.
  • They need a specific spot, the correct soil, the right amount of light and water.
  • The most surprising thing to me was how deep and big of a hole has to be dug before you can plant a new Rose bush.
  • As the roots become established it is then time to be alert to pests.
  • They like to hide on the underside of the leaves to do their damage.
  • If ignored, the plant can easily die; especially a young one.

The best time to cut Roses is when the bud is fully developed, but not quite yet in full bloom.

  • That’s when all the preparation pays off and for a few days we enjoy the form, color and sweet scent of a Rose.
  • If you choose not to cut the blooms for your pleasure then you must remove the dead blooms.
  • A Rose will produce more if new or old blooms are continually removed.

Finally, when their growing and blooming season is over they need to be pruned. 

  • This can be difficult to do but is a necessary process to ensure a healthy future.
  • You must trim back the older branches; sometimes quite severely.
  • This encourages a stronger plant and even more blooming during it’s next cycle of life.
  • Although it’s beauty is now hidden the Rose will bloom again.

The song “The Rose” is a thoughtful song, not necessarily about romantic love.

  • The message of this song is about life and how we decide to live it.
  • It’s about choices and living our lives from the inside out.
  • It’s about taking a chance and putting yourself out there.
  • It’s about our dreams and disappointments.
  • It’s about being broken, but getting back up and starting again.
  • It’s message is about life, death and rebirth.

As you have read the past few words, I trust you will think about what has been said. Note the parallels of “The Rose” that apply to your life and faith. We can all take comfort in knowing that after winter has spent itself…….“The Rose” will bloom again.

“Remember, anyone can love a rose,

but it takes a great heart to include the thorns.”

(Unknown)

 

**Composed: by Amanda McBroom, 1977 – – Sung by Bette Midler

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