(Title suggested by Fla.)
News item, N.B. Sunday Standard Times Jan. 12, ’64 p. 17
“Emden, Ill.” Pheasant cracks picture window.
“Dazed by impact, the wild bird shock off broken
glass and walked away.”
Crashing brush and booming gun
Announce the Season has begun
To decimate the pheasant flock
And Implement the freezer stock.
The Ring-Neck knows this very well,
So let him then, the story tell.
“They flushed me from my hiding spot,
So, I seemed off before the shot
Could zero in. Now in my haste
No plan devised, the danger faced
Was urgent and before I knew
My course, a house loomed into view.
A saving space both clear and wide
Beckoned a haven safe inside.
And so without a further thought
Veered for the safety that I sought.
Man’s habitat I seldom choose
But now I had no time to lose.
Man does not aim at houses I know
So here I’ll rest an hour or so.
Pheasant Surprise #2.
Then Crash! and stars, a sweet refrain —-
I fell as did the window pane
So large and clear as it had been
But never would be so again.
Stunned for the moment, I arose
And wandered off on tingling toes,
Mulling in my pheasant mind
Why windows had to be that kind,
That human hospitality
Is not what it’s cracked up to be.
And so it nearly came to pass
That I’d be pheasant under glass.
You’ll have no birds
Without some flying.
You’ll have no love
Without some crying
You’ll not have courage
You’ll not have joy
Without a tear.
Tis in the nature of these things
That yet affects both serfs and kings,
For what we have,
We still have not.
Such would it seem
To be man’s lot.
If we could have
Life’s fullness here
Then what were life
For Heaven’s sphere.
POINT OF VIEW
The Blue Jay isn’t blue, you know,
That’s what the experts say,
Light refraction makes it so,
His color’s really grey.
Science has a thousand eyes,
Its findings must be true,
But most of us with mild surprise
Still see the Blue Jay, blue.
In silken bonds astir
Within the chrysalis,
Not knowing yet the whir
Of wings. This
Demands a waiting term
A proving worth
Before the worm
Feels second birth.
Who pressed for Dionysus’ cup,
The purple wine
For all the friends of Pan to sup
In ancient time?
Another Vintner could not know
That from his vine
A living wine would glow
As Blood Divine.
Two Vintners, yet with divers brew
For two needs spent
The shrilling pipes: His words anew,
I surely know
I’ll never see the day
That I’ll not go
Out of my way
To catch a sight
Of flushing wing
Explode in flight.
I know birds sing
Though I can’t hear
Well as I should.
I know they’re near
In field and wood.
When snows have gone
I’ll look for friends
Nor miss their song
Where the hard road ends.
These are winter Junco days
Grey, with white draped trees
Dotted here and there with Jays
And questing Chickadees.
These sportive birds of northern snow,
For us held out some cheer,
Who never get a chance to go
Southward every year.
Undaunted by the ice and cold
They thrive on scanty fare.
We too, like ancient Spartans bold
Their hardy lot can share.
And so here in our northern clime
We’ll spend the whole year thru
And leave midwinter summer time
To the migrating crew.
EARTH AND I
I have a bond with the warm brown earth
And the growing things of the mold,
A kinship with an ancient birth
And the fallow crop of age untold.
I have a share in the seedling’s stir
And the groping way of the shrew.
I hear the split of the sunken burr,
Of crumbled forms when the world was new.
The Earth and I have a long time date,
And I know she’ll be there for me,
Patient lover, she’ll surely wait,
Knowing I’ll match her constancy.
But I’ll concede the faithlessness
That my cold embrace will tell,
For all that I’ll bring, I must confess
To her narrow couch, – a shell.
2/12/1964 Ash Wednesday.
At Jericho, one blind from birth
Who cried. “O Lord, that I may see”
And felt the instant healing earth
Reveal a world of ecstasy.
Wordless for a world turned bright,
This by far the saving grace,
Out of darkness into light
He saw his Savior, face to face.
Bar Timeus, may we show
With our sight again restored
Your example, steadfast go
Follow Him, Our Saving Lord.
Matthew, Mark and Luke mention, “and he followed
Him” tho Matthew gives two blind men; Mark mentions
him by name. 10:46 John 9:1-27 describes spittle and
the later washing at siloe.
LOST AND FOUND?
Too often does a man
Play truant from his Soul,
Pretending that he can
Adroitly scape the whole
Of being, A shadow lost
In devious maze,
Nor reckon out the cost
Until the later days
With weary steps retraced
Slowly back to where
Old memory feels it’s placed,
And hopes to find it there.
Who but our Good and Loving Lord
Would, from a Paradise stoop down
Bless our poor workings with reward,
His erring, willful creatures crown.
No one but He could so devise
Sustained Redemption once begun,
Continued on in Sacrifice,
The Gift and Giver all in One.
I know that I will never find
The magic of the small boy’s mind.
Step from an airplane in full flight
And harvest in the stars at night.
Regain our places without fuss
And change our plane into a bus.
In grandma’s apron stow our prize
That we have gathered from the skies.
The imagery’s unmatched I know,
The secret’s held by Ray and Joe.
I’m not sure, I must confess
But I can entertain a guess.
the daisies picked in summer’s field
Accounts for the celestial yield,
And grandpa’s car I could explain
As both a bus and aeroplane.
But there remains an oversight,
Where do these youngsters go at night?
Their gift is sheer precocity
On embryonic poetry.
They’ll need it well as each one grows
Into a world of sodden prose.
Wish I could step from planes that way
And pick with them their stars by day.
Star Gatherers #2
This was a game played by Ray and Joe, of which Grandma was a very necessary part. Actually the “plane” was a magic bus that could fly, step and remain docilely waiting
while a quantity of stars were picked from the mid air
of the bedroom and placed in Grandma’s apron. Then all
would resume their seats in this bus and each
would take turns driving the bus. Refueling was no
problem. Just stop the bus and get some gas.
I never pass a marshland now
But that I see with future eye
The land re-claimers dredge and scow.
A spring of wildlife soon to dry.
Here man outwits wild nature’s need,
And plants his swank “Development”.
Nor cares where birds will find their feed
Or even wonder where they went.
But I have heard Atlantic’s roar
And felt full furied hurricane,
And found a likened sculptured shore
Return to margin land again.
So all’s not lost, this much I know
Old nature’s wounds are healed and soon
From new formed roots the cattails grow,
Some dawn will hear the laughing loon.
Suggested by reclamation work at end of Brandt Island
Road during summer 1963, including grand plans for
making a resort on the Island. A causeway was half
completed when I last saw it, connecting the Island
with the “new Development.”
Now comes the harvest time of Fall
Time of plenty, but on turning
We find lavished over all
Lawns and streets dead leaves for burning.
Wind and man have their duel,
Now the high priest takes his stand
For the season’s ritual
Pontificating rake in hand.
As he stoops and careful lights
The piled up readied sacrifice,
Ringed by small fry acolytes
Prepared for bright and smarting yes.
The first wisps curling in the air
Presage the all consuming fire
No Vestal tended with more care
Than he the Season’s funeral pyre.
But there’s no dying in these trees
Cyclitic powers working slow,
Completing nature’s mysteries
Send out a single message “Grow”.
So cremation’s not complete,
For after snow and sun and rain,
Brown leaves will scamper at our feet,
We’ll burn our dying year again.
Who gives command
To this small band
Of shorebirds in their headlong flight,
With perfect will
To curve the course, now left, now right.
No signal heard
But every bird
Wheels as a part of plumaged whole
The land once more
On sandy shore
Where each resumes his separate role
Till new alarm
Once more scales them into space.
For “scope or fun
The perfect fusion of this race
To instant timed
None left behind.
No clumsy tyro spoils this show.
Who taught them we would like to know
The fluid blend of curve and swell
Proves surely this, He taught them well.
Suggested by Outermost House Capt. 7, Sect. 2.
This winter grass
Grown old and brown
Still waves above the snow.
Knowing icy winds will pass
And feels a stirring down
Where the quiet rootlets grow,
Embryonic, dark, unseen.
Patience is a virtue here,
All in due time without delay
New season soon will shift new scene,
It always does from year to year.
The brown stalks know another day
Will bring new grass, and make it green.
SECOND SPRING AGAIN
Now comes the mystic time again
The longer days with warming rain
When morning grass has newly lost
The aged look of bearded frost.
In keeping with this newer look
The ice succumbs to wooing brook
And both run full. The word
Is passed and distant heard
The twittering of stirring things;.
Bird notes and soft gurglings
Of “peepers” in the ponds at night
Where stars are mirrored in their light
And dandelions golden eyes
Peek out like stars from grassy skies,
Rejoicing in new sight and sound
We marvel at the world we’ve found.
New life and new adventure near,
And though we’ve seen it every year
Its newness wears a pristine sheen
To match its new and lustrous green.
We who know each passing phase
Now in our winter, welcome days
That sound the old familiar ring
It’s great to be alive at spring.
This small brown bird
With bit of white,
Which once was heard
In wooded night
By northern rivers’ sylvan vales.
Here frozen stands
Caught in his trill
By unsure hands
Lacking in skill
That vainly tries and always fails.
Your bird won’t sing,
But this I know
You’ve heard his ring
So long ago
He’ll take you back to the old trails.
Recalling all the ancient ways
You both learned form the Montaguais.
Beston’s favorite bird which he particularly mentions
in the St. Lawrence, ch. 14. “Small birds of the north”
and which he heard in a glen at Cap. a l’Aigle during his
journey in preparation of his book.
TO A SNOWFLAKE
Small fugitive from outer space,
Atomic dust dressed up in lace,
Delicate and etched with grace,
Shaped and formed so singular,
Flecked with the nature of a star
Minute sojourner from afar
Bringing to this world below
Celestial nourishment to grow
Full lie, this flake of snow
Disappearing with a breath
Or piling up to awesome depth,
Could you be messenger of death?
Proving what we aught to know,
Not only seeds of life we sow
Soft droplet, are you friend and foe?
The restless breeze
Fingers the trees
Combing cloud wisps
From the eyes
Of cool blue skies.
And softly lisps
Promises to come
With warming sun.
Earth’s old refrain
Often the rain
And springtime mists.
From over Appalachia’s crest,
A flood of warming upper skies
Rolled in today from out the west.
Spring caught New England by surprise.
Warm winds slam the icy shore.
Two ancient foes in quick attack
Bright sabres flash, the thunders roar
Young March has broken winter’s back.
Old age has a backward glance
With heart that seldom sings
Peering for the old romance
Filled with old rememberings.
The new horizon is too far
To race against the sun
Kinship with the fading star
The course is nearly run.
But still there is a quiet peace.
Hope lingers in these eyes,
Sounds of din and battles cease,
The child awaits his prize.
I see the old deserted nest
As once it was last spring,
Filled with clamoring unrest,
Gaping mouth, the futile wing.
A relic now, this cradle sways
Symbol of a life that’s gone,
Its use fulfilled. Now other days
Will make it lonely with the song
Of other birds. Another brood
Will swing again in nearby tree
Caught up in the Changeless mood,
To sing again Spring’s mystery.
Thru the mists the grey group swings
With soft and distant thunderings
Of a thousand milling wings
Swooping in with muted roar,
Landing on the glistening shore
To see what ebb tide holds in store.
They loved the forest far too well
To blaze a trail of trees
And so the oft told stories tell
The fate of such as these.
Of how the searchers worked in vain
But never trace was found.
Footprints lost in snow and rain
No signal, sight or sound.
And yet I’m not so sure they’re lost,
These wanderers astray.
They took the risk and weighed the cost
And liked it best that way.
For there are forests of a kind
With their peculiar trees,
The sylvan fosterers of the mind,
With well blazed memories.
Perhaps a clearing is the goal,
The distant mountain comes to view,
A bright horizon for the soul
When life was young and new.
New item: Old man, last of his family, wanders into the
woods. Search continues.
My good but quite prosaic friend
Cares nothing for the scenic view,
Will not agree, much less pretend
That Nature’s face is always new.
He casts a cold indifferent eye
At lakes hemmed in with mountains tall
And turns away with terse reply
“When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”
Of course, at that he could be right.
Stones, water, skies, are much the same.
Katchdin lacks Mr. Everest’s might
Though each one holds its proper fame.
A pond is water or the sea.
Blue skies you’ll find most anywhere
My friend contends emphatically,
“Clouds are clouds, and air is air.”
It;s how you form them in your mind
That Nature’s facets pall.
No simple formula I find,
“When you see one, You’ve seen them all.”
SECOND SPRING SONG
The March day got to dreaming
Of April’s softer skies,
The Vernal warm rays’ beaming
Caught Crocus by surprise.
Winter sports a frosty grin
At these mixed up cues,
As sprightly spring comes tripping in
TEALS IN FLIGHT
The tired, restless feeling of the old
duck not able to make the migrating flight with the
flock but not quite knowing why, trying launching
starts that do not really come off, with lonely
reminiscent eye finds himself pond bound while
the others take off and away. He paddles around
disconsolately and seems to know he soon will
be prey for the predator – “Sharp-tooth, talon, ice
THE TEAL’S LAST FLIGHT
Here in this inlet by the edge
Of this forgotten Northland slough,
Hemmed in by the saw-toothed sedge,
He idly circles, testing now
The dragging green tint wing
Limp, useless at his side.
He lifts his head inquiring
Scours the heavens far and wide,
For hopeful glimpse again of those
Familiar forms so like his own
Whistling wing strokes as they rose,
Heading for Alberta’s dawn.
He senses that his vigil’s vain
But pushes outward from the shore,
Defying all the stiffening pain,
Attempts his springing rise once more.
One wing will not work as two,
The listing body falls away,
Spinning in its awkward slew,
Green wing will not fly today.
From Mississippi’s stream
He led his hurtling green wing band
Guided by the mystic beam
To the new beginning land.
The Teal’s Last Flight #2
This luring pond fell into view,
A promised quiet interlude.
Wings slant and the tired crew
Begin their slide for rest and food.
Too late he heard the cracking gun,
Too late to slip or turn.
A shock and then the spinning sun,
The crumpled wing the pellet’s burn.
Then the trembling crazy slide
Ending where the tall grass grows,
Blends with the tawny bird to hide
From retriever’s nose.
But that was suns and moons ago,
Frosty dawn – the shorter day,
Darkened clouds, He seems to know
The flock will not return this way.
He circles round to calmly wait
The urge of life now burning low,
Unmindful of the final fae,
Sharp tooth, talon, ice or snow.
Forlorn, this living bird can dream,
The half bird with the shattered wing
That chains him to this inland stream,
Still waiting for another Spring.
RICH AND POOR
From Dives table fell
The crumbs for Lazar, so
The rich one gained his Hell
The starving one his Heaven, though
Those self same crumbs with blessing given
Could plead poor Dives case
And Charity him could have shriven
And saved him from that awful place.
We know the Scripture story well,
The Justice of it we can see
But who is this poor Dives, pray tell
Could it be your – or me?
Thought for Humility.
It has taken man about 4000 or 5000 years to become
his present idea of the perfect being. The cockroach
attained his well over 20,000 years ago.
Dear Jesus, Lord, we pray
For him who stands
Before You on this festive day,
With newly consecrated hands
To offer up his heart and years
To share Your Sacred Sacrifice.
Please pardon us the happy tears
That mist these grateful eyes.
He was ours, but not all.
Somehow we knew some day,
Heading Your gentle call
He’d place his footsteps in Your way.
Dear Jesus, hear our prayer.
Sustain him in Your Holy Joy.
Priest, man as he stands there,
But yesterday he was our boy.
Fear not. He calls you, “friend,”
His Chosen One, and puts Himself
Into your hands each day;
Trusts you and has no fear.
Friend gives to friend
Equally and more,
Measure pressed down and running over.
He gives Himself to you, entire
You can give nothing less,
So, place yourself confidently
In His Hands each day
In that mystic moment
When all is silent
And the Word takes Flesh,
As you complete
At His small bidding
The Sacred Bond of God to man
While Heaven stands in awe
While you bear
Life to waiting souls..
For this you were ordained
Fulfillment of Eternal Plan
His Love has found you
In this moment
And will abide forever, Fear Not.
ME AND THE MASTERS
I am a journeyman with rhyme
Taking meter as I please.
No limpid scousion will be mine
Iambic feet are brought to knees
“Poetic License”, that’s the dish
I feed on and expand,
Translating prose just as I wish,
To fit the fancy at my hand.
I make my rules and so depart
From Masters with their finesse keen.
I’ll never substitute for are
“Ne’er” for “never” – “evening” as “a’en”.
Some reason stays, I cannot find
The need to change a simple sound
And call the blowing wind, “the wind”
It’s easier I’ve always found
Matching rhyme now with the sense
Of what you’re saying, so
I guess that is the difference
“Tween” me and Byron, – there I go
My rule is fractured with that “Tween”.
Caught in my snare I must confess
The other boys keep all their sheen.
My posey star grows less and less.
The only birds I ever see
Are ones I’ve always known
The silent ones of secrecy
Of keeping well alone.
Guess They’ve found the reason why
The well spring of my list went dry.
Your quick ear and sharper eye
Which song from hidden brush
Silent to the passer by
The speaks for Hermit Thrush
While I vainly searched around
You surely named it by its sound.
But I’ll keep looking just the same
To fix high soaring hawks
Keep up the ancient game
Set out again on old familiar walks.
I’ll miss a lot of birds, I know
But you’ll be with me as I go.
Spring really isn’t slow
But plods with steady gait,
Sleight of hand beneath the snow,
Well known to us who wait
To see the softened pond
Go dimpled with the rain.
Bud, bush and leafy frond
Take on new life again.
We, patient, wait our little while
To see her slow bright smile.
“In Spring a young man’s fancy turns to ————–
And those not so young turn back to other springs. I
do not hold that Spring is for the very young. They
Can be spendthrift with it. The old hoard and
treasure this season as an heirloom with which they
must soon part, but still strive to hold it as
a promise of the Greater Spring. Easter could
Not come at any other time.
LAMENT FOR A LOON
Here at the low-tide’s sandy edge
Limp, silent, still the black sheen form
Nesting in life’s last pose, the sedge
But half conceals him, and the warm
June sun will have its way.
No more to keep his slow patrol,
Quick sounding for his watery prey
Deep riding on the outward shoal.
Silent now his raucous cry,
The taunting laugh that Walden knew.
This is no way for such a bird to die,
Ancient when most the world was new.
Now science stretches out a hand
And deftly lifts him from his bed
Of matted grass and changing sand,
Slung to a waiting truck and sped
To where a questing nosey knife
And some biologist will know
What brought to end this vibrant life
Here at tide’s ebb where the sedges grow.
In the summer of 1961 Fla and I visited a beach on the
Inner Cape, at the foot of side road of Rt. 6 and saw
the carcass of a loon, undamaged. An official of the
Wild life Service took it away.
CAMP SITE REVISITED
Here are the walls that mark its bounds,
The groves and clearings that I used to know,
But change has touched these once familiar grounds,
The Scout Camp of these many years ago.
Young pines and maples thickly crowd
The front field and the seedling trees
I knew, now screen the passing cloud
And taller bushes trap the summer breeze.
The mountain shelter stands alone
Much as I left it and its open face
Rests, secure from supporting stone.
Within, a phoebe finds a nesting place.
Patrol sites show this Scouting skill,
Fire places wait the friendly flames.
Echoes of camp songs seem to fill
The woods and shouts of scouting games.
Time was I knew this wooded land.
Years pass, and when I come again
Midst all the change alone I stand,
Seedling to trees, boys to men.
November’s wind is a mother’s call
To flower children at their play,
Unmindful of the season’s fall,
And winter soon must have its way.
Her vibrant voice sounds loud and harsh
But love is there (as any child can tell),
Well known to flowering field and marsh
They heed the call from dale and dell.
Lightly she tucks them into bed,
Thin blanket first, and later with the cold
The heavy cover she will surely spread,
This loving mother wise and old.
THE QUIET LAND
This is the land that I would see once more,
The mystic land full of creation’s grace,
Wide, sweeping scimitar of shore,
Vast ocean’s night sprawled out in foamy lace.
This is the quiet scene that I would see
Before my tired eyes close down in rest.
Land, sea and sky in placid majesty,
The flame tinged clouds go sailing to the west.
Here undisturbed the quiet noiseless things
For one who sees much better that he hears,
Twilight and dawn, the soft descending wings
Then silent shadows as the ending nears.
These summer days are just too much for me,
A quick surrender to the vagabond
I find myself confronted by the sea
Or suddenly beside a wayside pond.
It only takes a bird’s swift flight
To carry me beyond the wall
Of work day world. You might
Call me lazy, but then after all
I an be very busy in a way.
Tracing bird tracks on the beach
Or watching warblers at their play,
Or Monarchs just beyond my reach.
I can’t describe the alchemy
That turns me back to Nature’s way.
I know it is too strong for me,
I can’t resist a summer day.
REAL ESTATE VENTURE
Bought a piece of land today
Down by Mattapoisett way,
Though I know its getting late
For dabbling now in real estate.
For this I have a special plan.
I’ve always thought that every man
Should own a piece of property
To give him some security.
A country place beside a wood
Nice quiet, friendly neighborhood.
A smallish place, but then
The standard size for most all men.
About as nice a place I guess
As even tycoons could posses.
Yes, bought as nice as it can be,
With room enough for Fla and me.
MOMENT OF GLORY
A dingy sparrow wings
Toward flaming west
And in that moment brings
An image bright
Of Tanager, his breast
This instant now aflame –
With fading light
A dingy bird again.
I’ve often wondered, with surprise,
At the insect’s wide range view
With all his many hundred eyes
While I have only two.
But then there is so much to see
In this wide world of ours
For all the years God gives to me
He gives him only hours.
Out of the night the call
Of memory’s baying hounds
Disturbing dreams, and all
The old frustrating sounds
Of when the trail grows cold
Or crossing scents delay
The fruitless chase of old
Wraiths whitened in the day.
Why play their foolish game
Backtracking olden days,
Running down the same
Familiar endless maze
Of what has been
And will not be again.
Man inherits the earth but only for a time, and strives
for a very small portion of it, and the very smallest portion
of it comes to him at the end, not as a reward but as an
Time is the universal clock with its thousands of
faces and multi-million cog wheels, constantly dropping
out and constantly renewed. I ride one of the wheels
turning with dials for heat, cold, sleeping, eating, loving,
laughing, crying. The seed and its bursting into flower,
it’s dry stalk, its dust, the seconds, minutes, hours, days,
months, years. I took flight with the eagle wing of youth
and flutter to earth as a wounded quail. My fancy has
roamed the cloud crowded summer sky. My soul has tasted
the warm summer rain and the stabbing needles of winter. I
have journeyed along the Milky Way and once slid down the
curve of the rainbow and was not all disappointed by
the jarring impact of earth with not a bit of gold in sight.
My cog wheel begins to slip. It cracks, and while I
still spin with it I see other cogs revolving near by and
I know that some time soon I’ll be whirling out of this
wonderful clock at a dizzying pace and another will take
my place. But that is as it should be and will continue so
until the mainspring lets go and all the thousand faces,
and multi-million cog wheels go flying who knows where.
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUN
Today we pierce the outer space
With energetic darts
The school boy and machinist talk
Like scientists of parts
We’ve photographed the nearest orb
And now so very soon
We’ll land our newest space craft
And man upon the moon .
And so the olden love song and
The nursery rhyme somehow
Join hands and sing for sheerest joy
The lunar vaulting cow.
We’ll keep on firing bullets
At the blinking blooming stars
And skip away to Saturn, visit
Xenias, even Mars.
But still I’ll trade the spaceman’s jargon
For the Children’s nursery tune.
The strangest flight the world has seen,
The eloping plate and spoon.
Who knows what the morrow brings,
I know so I will surely say
I know where a warbler sings,
A marsh where bittern play,
Where killdeer loop and wheel,
And pipers scamper all along
A glistening beach and keel
Their flight to spray filled air.
If not today, tomorrow they’ll be there.
Another day and soon will burst
Another dandelion globe.
A maple leaf will feel the first
And every lake will soon begin to blush.
I know the chipmunk’s furtive way
Of joining in the rush
Of hoarding, while the jay
Leaps to his scolding rounds.
Tomorrow sure, if not today,
I know the sights and sounds.
I see tomorrow’s blueprint clear,
These things will all be done and more.
What difference if we won’t be here,
The surf will surely test the shore.
A phoebe nest beneath a bridge,
A rose will tempt a bee
A hawk patrols a windy bridge,
A rainbow paints a fantasy
Of airy archway cross the sky,
What matters who is there to see.
The sun and stars will hang as high
And cast their spell of mystery
Stirring up the season sings
I know what the morrow brings.
One thousand years away from kite
To sound swifter planes and satellite,
Are but a twinkling of His eyes
Our pygmies lost among His skies.
He smiles upon our summer night,
Illumined by the June bug’s light,
And tho we skip on stepping stones
Through starry meadows that He owns,
Indulgent lets us have our way
and aids us at ambitious play.
He knows we’ll tire of our fun,
Nor pierce the hard core of His sun.
Perhaps we’ll reach beyond the rim
And turn our eyes again to Him.
Where only shades of green should be
I caught a glimpse of red and gold.
A blushing maple timidly
Sets forth her fashion clear and bold,
Not caring if the season’s young.
Autumn’s palette touched her soul.
While listening to the woodland’s tongue
She chose the garb of oriole,
And tanager which flitted by
With dripping scarlet fire.
His flowing beauty caught her eye.
She blended it with her attire
And so she sets Fall’s fashion pace,
Flaunts her color proud and gay,
First of her kind, to her the race
Far in advance of opening day.
A small maple sapling seen sporting autumn color in a patch of green along Sconticut Neck Rd.
Now comes the time for gathering,
The early evening of the year.
The south bound flocks are on the wing,
The harvest days grow near.
The middle time before the cold
Of winter, – after summer’s blaze,
A time to pause and grateful hold
The fragrant quiet days.
Asters, and the yellow grasses,
Last targets for the questing hum
And so the summer passes.
Oh, we will have fair weather,
White clouds and bluing skies,
One last bloom, a fallen feather,
Before our summer dies.
I’d surely like to take a ride
With my grandson Joe
Aboard his mighty magic ship.
The places we would go.
First, cut upon the ocean
And then upon the sea,
Wherever we’d a notion,
And the sights that we would see.
Bolivia, the far off Isles,
Visit Sister Mary too.
Travel ’bout a million miles
And even maybe two.
We’d cross the Andes neat as pie
And jump the Isthmus too.
(You see our magic ship can fly)
With Joe the skipper, me the crew.
The wondrous thing about his boat,
He makes this very plain,
For all the miles we are afloat
By dawn we’re home again.
This follows pretty closely Joe’s description
of his travels in his boat, as told to Grandma.
These small voices sound
A woodland stream
Fern hidden, cool
Inviting dragon flies
Scorned by the angler’s lure.
A stripling birch
With whispering leaves
And hidden there
A transient warbler’s muted song,
While in a sunny wildflower patch
A nosey bee makes noisome business
And on a nearby dusty road
A country boy announces all is well
With off key whistled tune.
I shall not evermore
Look on a sandy beach spread
A blue green sea
But that I’ll recall him back from the dead
Days of yesteryear and see him
Striding out toward expanse of sky
Such as the picture shows him
And the Image I
Shall keep, – the lithe, trim,
Figure, dauntless, breasting forward
To the shining destiny ahead.
Lines occasioned by a photo of JFK
walking across a grassy sandy patch toward
the sound from the compound at Hyannis port.
CAROL FOR MARY
Somehow we knew you would not stay
For everyone must have a star
To follow so you went away
To where it took you to the far
Off land: a new Judea where
The voice and light led on to Him
As clear as in the midnight air
Brought wise ones on to Bethlehem.
REMEMBRANCE JFK ’64
We did not have him long
Who marks the echoes of a song
The Heart is surfeited with tears.
When life is full of years.
We know him young, strong, brave
Gave vision far beyond a grave.
Of day is done, and still
A flame upon a wooded hill.
Fulfillment of a destiny,
Enshrined now in eternity.
Nov. 22, 1964