Tag Archives: poetry


When I was little, my mom sang “Birthday of a King” in multiple churches all over our area of OH.   At Christmas I still miss hearing her sing it as I played the piano so that she could pratice it.  Christmas memories are beyond special.

On that same thought note,  a poem strikes that same chord within me, and when I find a special one, I fall in love with poetry all over again. Since this is a rather long one, I will not write much except to say that the tiny infant whose birth we will soon celebrate in a hrist-mass is the King of…”all [my] heart and… all [my] soul and…all [my] strength and…all [my] mind;” Blessings!Be! in this Christ-mass season for He is King of Kings.Babyjesu

“Christ’s Nativity”~ Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

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july 14 bWhat a fun day!!! Walked the neighborhood. Saw amazing clouds. Played with dogs. AND – finally – I can see the top of my desk. Needless to say – I still have piles of pictures – I still have more photos from the Kaufman albums and my mom’s box to figure out where they go – BUT I CAN SEE THE TOP OF MY DESK! Sometimes, that is just enough. A small step in the right direction completed.

“If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

Under one of the piles was a tiny notebook. It’s hard black vinyl cover is stiff. The black notebook“Made in the USA” company logo is still imprinted clearly on the back cover. Tiny binder rings seem to work as well as when it was new. 6 rings that are still aligned properly – snapping open and shut as fast as my arthritic fingers can move. In these days of “throw-away” binders, it makes you wonder at the workmanship of an earlier time. A tiny flap in the back could even hold secrets, if someone wanted to tuck one inside of it.

“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.

Dad’s handwriting fills the first few pages with addresses – names of local elders from my childhood stare back at me.. Masonic? Legion? Paper route? Smith, Gettrest, Byers, Mayer, Allerding, Snively, Workman, Bowman, Fisher, Horn…on and on. Names that are as familiar today as they were 50 years ago. That is the neat thing about growing up in a small town. Small streets take shape in my mind. Their tall trees still casting deep shade over my head as I walk them in my mind. Spring Street. Mt Vernon Ave. Market Street. Water Street. Wood Street.

“If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

dance recital 1958Mom’s writing takes over after awhile. Pencil, pen, typerwriter. Sequential steps written from my dance lessons at Yvonne’s, so I wouldn’t forget and could practice daily on our linoleum floor. Prayers written in ink. A friend’s recipe for salad dressing. Poems typed or writen out on the small lines as well. I laugh as I look at poem after poem – typed with no or few mistakes. How do you do that? I’m constantly correcting myself as I type. I think about the old typewriters on which I learned to type, and I thank the LORD that I don’t have to type on such a thing. My fingers would be exhausted. Helen Stiener Rice, one of mom’s favorite poets, fill the rest of the pages. But – on the very back page – facing the hard plastic cover – there is one more poem.

“Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.” ~Walter D. Wintle, c. 1905

Poetry, like the music it is, flows timelessly into my soul. Its messages transcends time, and I wonder why we don’t have more poetry like the ones copied into this notebook. Often, in our society, we get caught up in the “new”. Our materialistic society has tended to “throw-away” many things that still hold value just because we want “new”. The messages still speak. The rhythm dances across the page, and I relax a little more. As I read the prayer my mom copied so long ago, I know it is time to close my eyes and say my own prayers. Thanks Father for this great day.

“May God who hears our every prayer
Keep you always in His care…Amen”10924249_990347287645542_5893194421026985232_o

(art work by Akiane/ Saxapahaw photos)

Old Deuteronomy

Several years ago, when I was performing in CATS with a local theatre BookOfPracticalCatsgroup, Old Deuteronomy was the cat full of wisdom and grace.  Most musicals have a wise person passing out wonderfully timed wisdom to those seeking help.  Wisely, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber had the sense not to change much of T.S. Eliot’s original poem, “Old Deuteronomy:

“Old Deuteronomy lived a long time;He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession, He was famous in Proverb and famous in rhyme, A long time before Queen Victoria’s accession…” 

Deuteronomy has never been one of those books that I spent much time studying in the past.  In fact, I spent very little time in the OT.  I just didn’t think it was necessary.  After all, I was a child of the New Covenant.   Jesus was where it was at…the narrow gate…the Way…       The sad part of this history lesson is that I don’t believe that my thinking is unusual.  Most of the churches I attended in my formative years (and I attended a bunch of different ones since I was usually getting paid to sing in their choirs) gave only a passing nod to the OT.  Besides, they only had so many Sundays to get across all those wonderful stories that happened between Matthew and Revelations. 

“Be silent, O Israel, and listen!  You have now become the people of the LORD your God…”  Deut 27:9b

Maybe it is because I always have so many questions.  Or maybe it is because I tend to rebel much more than most people would ever guess.  But the last couple of years, God has set my feet on this path of understanding the Jewish portion of Jesus, and why the Old Covenant is an integral portion of our redemption.  It has not been an easy journey (after all I do tend to be a little  – ok – more than a little – stubborn).  Reading the OT can be tedious at times and boring at best.  Timelines are confusing.  Names just don’t tumble off your lips.  And really?  All the violence and patriarchal society thing drives me nuts most of the time.  Just how does God’s people do all this nastiness, and He still loves them?  And then I look at me…and sigh.  If my life was miraculously dropped into the Bible, I would definitely fit right in with all of God’s nasty acting people.

“Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,  He sits in the High Street on Market Day.  The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat, But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away…”

Unlike the dogs and the herdsmen, Our Father doesn’t EVER turn us away when we seek Him out.  Our nastiness continues.  Violence — Wars — Terror —   yet — when God’s people continue to trust and put their faith in I AM, the miracles follow.  GRACE.  My Bible’s study guide says that the theme of Deuteronomy is “Devote yourself wholeheartedly to God”.  I keep trying to remember that as I am reading it.  It is a book full of Moses’ final words to God’s people. It was the end of the 40 year journey.  It was the start of a new life in a new country.  Finally, it is the land of “Milk and Honey”, and it was in front of them.

“Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants…’” Deut 34:4b

It is just something to think about as we watch the world unravel.