"If I lift up my eyes to the hills,
Out of the Blue
A minstrel hums and strums but doesn't sing,
Seeking a new tune among his chords and strings.
An artist studies his palette for a clue,
Hidden among his colors, what next to do.
Writers ponder with raised pen in hand,
For the Spirit to move them with silent command.
While some look to clouds as if to find,
Sculpture, phrases, perhaps a rhyming line.
Or like the Psalmist of old,
With eyes lifted up to the hills, we're told.
All stand like empty idle robots,
Spellbound, without spirit or creative thoughts.
Desires and wants recited without prayer,
As empty they wait - naked and bare.
The barren earth too, must wait all winter long,
For the Spirit of Spring to begin it's song.
We wait for the Spirit, to hear Him say,
Let me be your Inspiration, I am the Way.
Now is the Time.
Today is the Day.
When two or more were gathered, you were truly blessed,
For these were your founders, who now from their labors rest.
With mustard seed faith and a vision of long ago,
To build a church where families would worship and grow.
A splendid inspiration, an eternal living thing,
With it's life in it's people, it's spirit evergreen.
Not with a will in brick and stone alone,
But in their hearts to make this church their home.
Your everlasting arms now reach far and wide,
A shelter from worldly care, where grace and love abide.
On Devonshire, as you proudly stand there,
Serving God's people, an answer to their prayer.
Like the Good News, may you never grow old,
Proclaiming the Living Word, truthfully told.
May you never forget who fills your cup,
Or who first broke and shared your daily bread.
For the Light of His Spirit will never grow dim,
As you do many things, in remembrance of Him.
The Toll Road Throng By: Minna Smith
The street I walked that cloudy day
Above a busy toll road lay.
I stopped: the cars that 'neath me went
Sped to and fro on missions bent.
Some cars were red, some blue, some white,
Trucks all seemed loaded, quite.
Their drivers had some task to do
Some goal in mind, as on they flew.
In all that throng of busy folk
None knew the other, or ever spoke.
It was no friendly bunch, no doubt,
Ahead some goal, perhaps some plight.
I wondered had they left from homes of love,
And a trusting look to God above?
Were their hearts trained to see,
"As thy days thy strength shall be."
My prayer went up that very day...
"Lord, bless each one along his way."
The city awakes, the endless traffic courses through it's veins,
Some unseen master wields the whip; holds it's reins.
Roaring through the day... snoring through the night.
Cars rush like globules without being told,
Driven hard in their rush for gold.
'Round the clock, speeding through a labyrinth maze,
Theirs not to question why, but to obey like slaves.
But wait, that one up there seems somehow out of place,
Peacefully standing on an overpass, above this mad rat race.
She alone takes time to hope and pray,
That those below will be guided and helped along the way.
Surely those down here, who have no time for God or prayer,
Need that Guardian Angel standing up there.
The Time Piece
Say, Doc: What's wrong with my little clock?
It won't "tick" or even "tock".
It's little hands rest on it's face, with nothing to say,
No longer cheerfully telling me the time of day.
Well, there's lots of "spring fever" going around,
And so we have lots of sick clocks in town.
Some of them just plumb forget how to tell time,
And they lose their voice, bell or chime.
Of course, they were taught how, when they were made,
Taught `em young ---in the "second" grade.
Why I know an old Grandfather Clock that never forgot,
His deep voice doesn't say "tick, tick, tick",
It says, "tock, tock, tock"!
Looks like this one couldn't get to sleep at night,
Couldn't relax, a case of being "wound up too tight".
Our special week for Daylight Saving Time,
Is tuning up all the clocks so they'll run and feel fine.
Now this drop of oil ought to do the trick,
And have it chirping again right quick!
Yep, there it goes, "tock, tock, tock-tick, tick, tick".
You're truly a Grandfather clock as you tick-tock away.
A gift from my Grandfather to his bride on their wedding day.
All these years standing in our entry hall,
Polished, stately, proud and tall.
To me, in your solemn way, you seem to say,
"Better to be a little early, than late today."
You measured and shared each day that was ours,
Living as a family, enjoying the days, minutes and hours.
A stern master for it was you alone,
Who governed the departures and arrivals at our home.
Making sure we were early to bed and early to rise,
Keeping us healthy, wealthy and wise.
Often you've heard our apologies and that old refrain,
"Look at that clock! We're going to be late again."
Youngsters were apt to use the back door at times,
They could avoid your stares but not your chimes.
Today the clock maker checked your tick-tock and time,
And despite your age, declares you're doing fine.
Now with the legacy of family and time,
I too, am a Grandfather, and the grand old clock is mine.
The Mud Pack
On the way to the beauty shop one sunny day,
Our heroine stopped to play along the way.
Workers were mixing cement for the street,
And youngsters were putting their names in the wet concrete.
When stooping over with the best of intent,
She lost her balance and in her head went.
Just think of all the time and money she'd save,
If she'd let it dry and have a permanent wave.
A Christmas Wish
Often is told the old story at Christmas time,
Perhaps glibly, from memory each word and line.
How only from a lowly stable, He was not turned away,
For just one night, surely we'd find room for Him today.
But our lives become tangled with tinsel, noise and din,
And in our haste we no longer see clearly or even listen.
It's silent night again. Hark, as the angels sing.
Thrill to the joy that to the earth they bring.
Quietly cast away every care, every earthly thing.
Answer His gentle knock, Open the door and say,
"Happy Birthday Lord Jesus, come into my heart,
This time to stay."
A Fair Exchange
Surely, we each have a few trophies stored away,
Of happy times, kept bright for a rainy day.
To share from the glowing embers of the mind,
Past scenes still vivid, fresh, not dimmed by time.
It's about the "firsts" we like best to tell,
Not the many that followed near so well.
My first long pants, first date,
The first tooth of our first born,
First plane ride, first family car,
The honk of it's big brass horn.
All of our senses kept sharp, fresh and real,
Of color, smells, sounds, touch and feel.
Some even embellished, against the tarnish of time,
Like a poem changed slightly to make it rhyme.
Dear Friends: We've exchanged memories...
Sometimes as we hoped they would be,
Forgive me my trespasses, and I'll do as much for thee.
A Day Well Spent
God must have got up early with a mighty yawn,
And started long before the rooster crowed at dawn.
And after carefully putting each star away,
Set about the task of making another day.
Everything was to be sparkling clean and just right,
After being rain-washed fresh during the night.
The polished orange sun would rise warm in the sky,
Welcomed with the music of doves and the bluebird's cry.
A gift to me, surely this day was all mine,
With a full measure of minutes and hours of time.
As if for me alone, I was king for a day,
To spend it, and share it in a friendly way.
Why not tell of this in a poem, and then,
Send or take it to a shut-in friend.
And if perchance he would think or say,
"Thank you friend, you've made my day."
Then smiling I'd answer, "No, don't you see,
Twas God alone that made this beautiful day,
for you and me".
The Age of the Sage
Along in the process of natural attritions,
We collect a few perhaps final additions.
Like the hallowing of the old good news,
We settle back into the comfort of our old shoes.
Things and memories too worn to give away,
Are kept as tokens of a former day.
Little blessings like pillows...
Now ease life's harsh blows,
Padding the sharp turns of our lives,
Like the old felt hat that shades our eyes.
With an arm chair that's learned to fit just right,
And our TV companion day and night.
A favorite story, poem or bible verse,
A dish pan, key chain, broom or purse.
A certain cereal bowl, a certain cup,
Though chipped and unmatched, never given up.
Old tools that seem to fit the hand,
Even old friends that understand.
Old trespasses forgiven, our lives now redeemed,
We sit on the bench, watching the second team.
Learning each new day to act our age,
More comfortable in the audience, than on the stage.
Ms., Mrs., or Miss Issippi
Me thinks that the Miss Issippi river,
Must have been our country's first womens libber.
Without suffrage and the right to vote, per se,
For thousands of years, getting her own way.
How come your still just a missie,
Miss Issippi, is mighty "iffy" to me.
Born in a spring fed lake, cradled in a stream,
With a spirit of a river to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Swirling down from Minnesota, when clearly very young,
Others joined and grew bigger as they rushed along.
"Mixing it up," headstrong in her southern flight,
Girdled between levees, sashaying left and right.
Miss Ouri remained single staying by her side,
Always to be a bridesmaid, never to be a bride.
After meeting a suave Ohio, she'd never be the same,
Slyly planning all along, to keep her maiden name.
For at Cairo she married the dashing Ohio,
And united as one, her river bed no longer solo.
Off in a flood of best wishes, it was the bride's request,
To have a Mardi gras honeymoon, riding the crest.
Following these current events, their life was sweet,
And soon the arrival of rain drops,
Brought the pitter patter of little feet.
An Old School Tie
Many years fondly recalling, dear old professor,
Your courses in appreciation of literature.
A quest for words and the joys to be found,
Within books, alive with color, sights and sound.
Persuading us to seek, taste and find,
Choice passages pleasing both the palate and the mind.
Careful that your words fell not on shifting sand,
As you tilled our young soil with a gentle hand.
Many notes and quotes now long gone,
Return like echoes of a favorite song.
When memory allows names and places to grow dim,
We open old books and find them still waiting within.
And find you still standing in welcome...
at your Old East College classroom door.
With your lifelong gift of fifty years or more.
A tall fence divides my neighbor and me,
Making us work hard at being neighborly.
There, morning glories bloom and thrive,
Showing no favorites to either side.
Fascinated, I watch the busy bee,
As he visits each blossom so daintily.
And I ponder my thoughts, however wee,
Of how the Lord provides for my neighbor,
the bee and me.
For though my thoughts be very small,
I know He's Lord of Lords and Lord of All.
I don't reckon God would object,
As long as we have proper respect,
If we write poems and songs about Him,
After all, the Bible is plumb full of them.
For the most part, as far as I can see,
He lets others do the writing ---like you and me.
He created a world of things to write about,
And there's lots more in heaven too, no doubt.
It's pretty hard to sit mum and still,
Surrounded by so much that's beautiful.
And know that you'll surely never find,
Any subject that comes to mind,
That He didn't create first,
For us to sing or put to verse.
The fact is, He must like poets and poetry,
Else why did He create you and me.
And I just don't think He'd ever make a fuss,
When we tell of His great love for all of us.
I'm always very quizzical,
About my annual physical.
They go over me from head to toe,
There's nothing they don't seek to know.
No secrets can you keep from them,
About the heart, it's beat and rhythm.
So the diagnosis for this old sage,
Was "Love" in a very advanced stage.
The Glory Road
Remember what Isaiah and John had to say,
About building the Lord a straight highway.
But how's a poor poet to make every hill low,
And exalt every valley, I'd like to know.
We'll write poems with the faith of the mustard seed,
To move all the mountains we're apt to need.
We'll fill every pot hole with poems and prayer,
And have it smooth as silk when the Lord gets there.
Ours will be a Glory Road never needing repair,
Bringing joy to the needy and those in despair.
And while we're at it, let's make it plenty wide,
Cause there's lots of us that want to walk by His side.
The Divining Rod
Wash Day, Wash Day, won't make it rain,
Clouds pass over, forgetting why they came.
Dust a blowin', e'nuff to make you cry,
Despite the tears, everything's hard and dry.
Man's wasting time, ever since he came,
Inventin' ways to kill everything.
Still hasn't figured out how to make it rain.
With so many people, why is there so few,
That know there's still lots of things,
Only God can do?
O Man, what good is your dining rod,
Unless it be in the Hand of God?
Did you hear His call in the chapel bell?
Did just His presence say, "Come all is well"?
Sometimes does He tell you of His great love,
By having to give you a gentle shove?
Does His voice call out from a burning bush;
In the coo of a dove or song of a thrush?
Did you wrestle His angel with all your might?
Were His words in dreams or shafts of light?
And perhaps if you heard nothing the whole night through;
Was it because He was there just waiting
To hear from you?
My Garden Calendar
In July when it was so awfully hot,
I sought a refreshing winter thought.
My garden then blooming lush and fair,
Would be stripped, cold and bare.
Then would I be comfortable and content
To just remember the warmth, and blooms now spent?
Well, perhaps Jack Frost would put on quite a show
With crystal palaces of icicles and snow.
But if it were just drizzly, cold and gray,
And I'd yearn to chase the blues away;
I'd dream of the Christmas time of the year,
When Jesus was born and...
Be of good cheer!
To Bead or not to Be
If I were to have a rosary---
Very large beads, I'd want for the first three.
For if it were not for the Trinity,
The rest simply wouldn't be!
An Everlasting Gift
(for Gillie's Birthday)
Beauty came to bloom on our wedding day,
Fifty years ago - now golden - seems so far away.
So fragile and delicate, we had our fears,
Would it withstand the doubts, the tears, the years?
Invitations were sent out bidding all to be there,
Hoping the Lord would come, was our fervent prayer.
The gifts and best wishes from each dear friend,
Would long be cherished in remembrance of them.
Among the gifts would there be an eternal thing;
Something heaven-sent that He would bring?
Surely the guest that once turned water to wine,
Would bless us with a miracle standing the test of time.
For He brought His love, encircling us in a wedding band,
To walk forever with us, hand in hand.
God put millions of bright stars in the sky,
And millions on earth like you and I.
He gives us His Spirit as He does His Light,
To overcome the shadows of each day and night.
We find His sheep most everywhere,
Hoping for friends like you, willing to share.
Do not send the Light, but bring it along,
With food and warmth and a happy song.
Each good Samaritan lights up our land,
A brilliant witness with a helping hand.
You will see a smile light up some needy ones face,
When you give what you would need, if in their place.
Be not blinded to the Light they need.
Enlighten them, even teach them to read.
And when there's someone whose light grows dim,
Give yours! It is but a reflection of Him.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Row on row, idly we stand,
Ready to serve, to lend a hand.
But left unwanted on a shelf,
Often passed by, when we could help.
We are history, romance, adventure,
We are counselor, companion, teacher.
Waiting silently, unheard, almost dead,
Until our pages are opened again and read.
We have power mightier than swords,
In ink and type within our words.
Come and hear the masters of long ago,
With the wisdom of the ages for you to know.
So young and old, hear our plea,
For we would be a friend to thee.
Setting the imprisoned and shut-ins free,
We are the books in the library.
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