Monday, July 6, 2015

My Philosophy

It is hard for me to put my philosophy or what I live by in words, but I will state a few of the beliefs or things I hold as a part of the inner me. With the poet Browning I believe it is better to wear out than rust out; that all of life, not just the first or youthful part, is to be lived and enjoyed. I believe one should stand mind-tall and squarely face the present and future knowing God is directing the affairs, the ultimate affairs of His creations. I believe that hardships and sorrow and trials have the alchemy to bring out the best within us if we accept them without bitterness and dare to conquer all of them we have any power over.

I have done no heroic things. I never expect to, but I do try to give my kind, appreciative words to people, my flowers while they are alive and can enjoy them. One little thing I have always remembered to do when I have been so nervous I wondered what to do, and that has been to "do something for somebody, quick." And it has worked, no matter whether it was writing a letter to Mother or some other loved one, making a batch of cookies for the children, or weeding a row of garden.

In my life I have tried to make no compromises where the principles of the Gospel are concerned, but have been lenient and tolerant always with all people, and have tried to remember it is high to be a judge. Forgiveness is in my heart always, and I crave forgiveness, for at times I fall far short of being what I desire to be.

In concluding my philosophy I will say that I believe this is a beautiful, wonderful world filled with gracious people, that life is good, and earth can be Heaven here and now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To My Granny's Picture

Dear little Granny, let me take your hand
And thank you for the gift you gave to me--
That you could send your babies to this land
And yet remain yourself across the sea
For two long years before you also came.
There is a look of sadness in your eyes
And poignant loneliness too deep to name,
Yet back of this--I marvel in surprise--
I see a glorious faith, calm and serene,
A look of reverent courage and of peace
That you had sent them here to fields all green
And fertile with God's righteous, rich increase.
Your children's children honor you ... They stand
Holding your torch of faith in this choice land.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Legacy

He looked around the room and saw his ten--
A few short hours was all he had to live--
He smiled, "Six stately women, four tall men!
To you I leave no lands or gold but give
An honored name on which you each may build
Your cherished castles, live your dreams and find
No breath of scandal that must needs be stilled--
No specters that can haunt your peace of mind;
For though I have but walked the lowly road
My thoughts have been as high as yonder star.
My love has lightened every heavy load;
And I have watched you climb to where you are
Pride in my heart--Now my short trek is ended.
Continue choosing pathways, broad and splendid."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Granny's Rosy Glasses

Dear little granny with her charming way!
How very often have I heard her say
About some person I had frowned upon,
"My darling, put your rosy glasses on."

There was the morning when she met my John.
(Of course I did not have my glasses on.)
She looked at him and gave a little cough;
With twinkling eyes, she spoke, "Do take them off."

He won her too, and now she worships him;
She gratifies his every little whim;
And laughingly she says, "Your homely John
Is handsome, Now I have my glasses on."

The American Bard

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Portrait of Courage

(Mary and the Mother of Judas)

Beneath the fateful sycamore where still
A frayed rope hung, they sat in quietude
Of grief and saw: three crosses on a hill;
Repentant Judas ... Darkling death there nude.
Heads bowed, eyes tearless, bleak, both mothers knew
That winds through palms would sing triumphant, free,
The Song of Life, while whispers slithering through
The grass would hiss, "Betrayer!" endlessly.

"How kind and mother-wise to seek me here!
Forgive him, Mary."--Grief's taut floodgates broke--
"His hands were grasping but his heart held dear
Your Son, his Lord. Would I might ease your yoke!"
In syllables love-tender, Mary said,
"Yours is the greater burden. Lift your head ..."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let Her Dream

Walk gently little donkey for you bear
The patient waiting Mary as your load.
The silent Joseph breathes an anxious prayer
And, pondering, walks beside you on the road.
O little lamps of Heaven, softly shine,
Reveal the wonderment in Mary's eyes:
A kingly little, son, His sire divine!
Remembered angel-words still bring surprise.
Dreaming, she smiles and sees a path of glory.
The night is brightened by a strange new star,
The angels have begun to sing their story,
The Magi journey from their lands afar.
Ahead lies Calvary. Stars, softly gleam.
Walk gently little donkey, let her dream.

Midwest Chaparral

Thursday, December 15, 2011

That You May Find the King

These gifts I wish for you this Christmas day,
These simple gifts the heart may ever hold:
The faith to see the Holy Star's clear ray
Leading to Bethlehem; the treasured gold
Minted from friendship through the changing years;
The frankincense of hope to ease despair;
The myrrh of love that will illume your tears
Revealing Heaven through the gate of prayer.
From the garden of your heart may you give flowers
Petaled with all the beauty you have known
To burgeon for another's perilous hours--
Who walks with beauty never walks alone.
These gifts I wish for you and may they bring
The chrism of peace that you may find the King.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Shall Keep Faith

Though Christmas may not be within my heart,
I shall keep faith with my brave son who died
A martyr on that far Korean shore
Where terror's horsemen ride.

Then hang the holly and the mistletoe
And light the Yuletide candles; trim the tree--
Dear God, pin back death's curtain with a star
That he may see.

The Archer
First in Archer Christmas Contest

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When Every Heart Accepts

The little donkey will be journeying
To Bethlehem again this Christmas Eve;
Still gently will he step, the unborn King
Upon his back. Will Mary have to leave
The blazing Inn to seek a stable bed?
Will shepherds listen to the angel song
With man-made spheres exploding overhead;
Jets cleaving spaceways through a starry throng?
The patient donkey's journey will be done
When every heart accepts the Holy One.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Country Doctor

When duty called
Me from my home, my work, where tranquil skies
And smiling hills gave benediction-peace,
I wore rebellion's mantle on my soul.
Why should I thus uproot my feet from loam
That knew my easy tread, and go afar
To heed the cries of those already doomed?

How I am here
Where I, myself, behold the face of War
And feel his cruel arms, and breathe the air
Made foul by his hot breath; here, where I lead
Your sons through strange dark corridors of pain,
And prune their shattered limbs, and ease their shock.
While some but mutter curses, others weep
Like homesick children that they are. Last night
A lad so like my own was brought to me--
So young and fair and suffering, that I prayed
That God would grant me healing. Then I knew
He would not live the night. I saw his soul
Naked and bleeding: in its primal need
Craving the chrism of a mother's kiss.
A hardened country doctor! Yet the tears 
Rivered my calloused cheeks. I held him close.
As his eyes dimmed, I kissed his ashen brow.
He murmured, "Mom", and passed death's portals
To find, at last, the Holy Grail of Peace.

Now as I stand
In this vast auditorium of death,
War's grim face softened by the lamps of night,
I cast aside the mantle I have worn,
And place about my new-awakened soul
The robe of thankfulness that I can give
My holy gifts--the frankincense and myrrh
Of deep compassion, understanding love--
Illume the way to life, or death, for these
Our valiant sons whose birthright has been sold.

The American Bard

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mary's Lullaby

Not long the road to Bethlehem, not long:
The hours sped swiftly for I spun a song,
A lullaby that I would sing with joy
When I would hold Him close--God's little boy.
The notes I plucked from beauty on my way:
Lithe amber willows with their furry-gray:
(Would He love little kittens?) ancient palms,
An avenue of harps that strummed the psalms
Of David like a prayer; an olive tree
Wherein a dove was nesting; (He would be
The Prince of Peace.) a linnet fluting through
The quietude of skies of April-blue;
The lilies of the fields shy-whispering;
The grasses by the roadside new with spring.
From all of this I spun a song for Him.
(Would He love catkins on a willow limb?)

The donkey--Joseph leading--stepped so slow
And carefully, I wondered: did he know
He bore the unborn King? As dusk descended--
A few more notes and my song would be ended--
Came drowsy night-sounds ... Did a shadow flee?
One long discordant note wail Calvary?
No, not in my joy-lullaby! Instead,
A cradle moon low-hanging overhead
Recalled the waiting cradle Joseph made...
Travailing pain ... Yet I was unafraid
For high above there shone the Moving Star
And Joseph spoke, "Not far, my dear, not far!"

When I lay resting on the fragrant hay
I thought of all the beauty on my way
And sang the lullaby that I had spun
For I was holding close, God's little Son.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let Me Waken

Tell, oh tell in joyful numbers
That this day is but a dream.
Let me waken from my slumbers
Resting by a lotus-stream.

Surely I must now be dreaming,
Man could never be so blind
As to throw an atom screaming
At the rest of humankind!

Chromatones

Friday, December 9, 2011

Madonna of the Woodland

The Wise-Men pines looked down upon her child
Cradled beside her in a snowy bed
Of curling bracken. Forest-dark was aisled
With moonlight. As the silver silence spread
On shepherd cedars kneeling in their awe,
The night wind's muted song a lullaby,
This gentle mother of the woodland saw
A strange new star that moved across the sky;
And shining down upon the bracken bed
It made a halo for her young fawn's head.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Love's Alchemy

From the plane his comrades bore him,
Placed him gently at my feet--
Maimed and wounded, scarred and suffering.
God in Heaven! Could I meet
All the need for love and solace
In those haunted eyes--that face?
With a cry I held him to me
Sheltered in my heart's embrace.
I could feel his wild heart beating,
Clinging to my very soul.
Looking then I saw but beauty,
For love's alchemy makes whole.

Montana Poetry Quarterly

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Winter Sang

I heard the song, "Lift up, lift up
Your eyes! For beauty leaves the clod.
Oh, hush! Be still! A daffodil
Within its golden chalice-cup
Declares the artistry of God."

Within a clearing in a wood
I learned His ways beside a brook.
All summer long I heard the song
And, listening, I understood--
The thrush, the leaves, the wind, my book.

I heard the song when fruited lands
Bestowed fulfillment's accolade.
In autumn sun the willows spun
The gold of faith and I touched hands
With God ... and waited unafraid ...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Sea Is Singing

Since I have heard the music of the sea
I cannot bear to hear the voice of man
Mumbling discordant tones, for clear and free
The waves are chanting of a master-plan--
The earth a great Democracy of Love.
They sing the timeless lyric, "Peace, be still!
The God of Heaven watches from above
And wind and wave and man obey His will."
War drums will cease. The strength of wrong shall fail.
Wearing His shield, we shall erase the bars
Of hate and greed that right may yet prevail
And WORLD DEMOCRACY outlast the stars.
Above the clanging of the tongues of fools,
The sea is singing that the great God rules.

The American Bard
Hon. Men. World Peace and Unity Contest

Monday, December 5, 2011

Where Fear and Hunger Stalked

He searched in vain for beauty pure from dross,
The soul of beauty God had made when He
Had carved the mountains, boundaried the sea ...
But always in his search there fell across
His path the shadow of the albatross
Of selfishness whose discord drowned the free
Clear flutes of gentler birds; bade beauty flee
From terraced gardens ... Long he mourned his loss.

Then through the squalid streets of Greece he walked--
One drooping flower bloomed to lend its grace
Where bone-lean children carved their dreams in dust.
Startled, he saw--where fear and hunger stalked--
The soul of beauty in the withered face
Of one who gave away his last dry crust.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Repentance at the Holy Gate

Smiling cadaverously he knocked. The gate
Swung open and he said, "May I come in?"
I know the empery of Hell. Too late
Perhaps, I feel contrition for my sin
Of compromise with evil on the earth.
I might have reached a godliness of soul
But ruthlessly wrought chaos. Grant rebirth!
My cowering conscience pleads to be made whole.
My heart is now a crucible of fear.
Would that my soul had dared to seek the Fount
Of Light! With avatars and angels near,
I could have been a savior on the Mount.

The Emancipator

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Old Man Weeps

An old man, hatred glooms,
Weaves destiny--Dark is his face--
Upon the rim of chaos. Never mild,
His breath, now hot, now cold: a wind shrill-wild!
With somber threads he weaves--No trace
Of brightness from his looms.

Then love comes softly; love, a little child,
Brings skeins of sun with Royal grace.
No more the fear of doom's
Designing, for there blooms
The Rose of Peace ... Earth primrose-aisled!
The old man weeps ... yields love his sovereign place.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Desecrated Shrine

Always throughout the years I saw the Master
Forgiving, with compassion on His face;
But now I see, swift-flashing through disaster,
The javelins of anger cleave His grace.
Within His hand the very whip is lashing
He used to drive the money-changers out.
He hears the clink of coins within the clashing
Of swords that make the world a crimson rout.
Would that today we might retell the story--
The tables overturned, the changers fled;
Too many now defile the Temple's glory,
And God rebukes us for our martyred dead.
He stands majestic, as He is divine,
And bids us cleanse His desecrated shrine.

The Lyric
Second in MFCP Clinic Poems, Fall 1951

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Speed Swiftly Time

Though time speeds swiftly on his vibrant way
I do not fear his silvering decay:
So lightly tethered to the earth am I
That traveling by my star, I reach the high,
White silences ... and view the Master's weaving,
Its flawless primrose strands, the gray relieving.
How beautiful the pattern He has woven
For me to follow! Never shall the cloven-
Hoof and lion-roar leave tragic scars
On its ultimate perfection. Even war's
Harsh and discordant notes of death will blend
Into His symphony where kingdoms have no end.
Speed swiftly time. As you pass, clear and free,
I hear the steps of immortality.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Fragrance of Lillies Lingered

There among the crosses
The great, gaunt commoner
Knelt in grief and supplication.
God, in his shadow, touched him saying,
"My son, arise and behold!"

Where once the crosses rose
Was a field of lilies;
Walking through them, the living forms
Of the crucified, One among them
Like unto God who said,
"Behold, my brothers, not in vain,
Oh, not in vain we died,
But to bring undying beauty."

God spoke again,
"My son, have patience--
Look to far horizons
To see the glory of America,
And beyond, the glory of the world."

There among the crosses
God and the commoner were gone
But the fragrance lingered.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So May the Goddess Speak

I am the Goddess--welcoming you home.
Your death-strewn pilgrimage is ended when
You see my arm uplifted. On my loam
You are a kingly commoner; all men
Are peers. No feudal lord, here, has a place.
There is an alchemy within my farms,
My shops and temples, that will leave no trace
Of hunger-specters--or of war-alarms.
With eagle-pinioned valor keep my hearth
A citadel for true democracy--
The chrism of whose love will heal the earth
And planet-far erect an Empery
Of Peace. So bid me live and wave unfurled,
My Glorious Banner over all the world.

Poet's Reed
Sonnet Sequence, First in Democracy Contest

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love the Alchemist

Doleful is the world and dark;
On its rim an ancient one
Weeps to hear the wind blow wild.
Love, a laughing little child,
Carries sheaves of golden sun
To the hoary patriarch,
Takes his hand ... a dream is spun.
Shadowed ways are sunlight aisled,
Earth is singing! Hark! On, hark!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Would There Be Room

If Christ should come to Bethlehem tonight
And ask for lodging at the blazing inn,
Would there be room? Or would He know the plight
That came to Mary? Would a stable's din
Fall on His ears? His bed be fragrant hay?
Would He be mocked and spat upon and die?
Would some new Pilate wash his hands and say,
"I find no fault, but you may crucify"?
Or have the mills of time in grinding made
His own to know; to hear again His voice--
"Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid"?
If Christ should come tonight, would they, through choice,
Inscribe their banner--wave it high, unfurled--
"Jesus of Nazareth, ruler of the world!"?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Soundless Sermons

Though lips rebel not at the treadmill path,
The eyes, from deep within their smouldering pools,
Can give the lips the lie, and in their wrath
Speak soundless sermons never read by fools.

The Archer

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Sixth Door Opens

Sometimes after a day
of hearing the dissonant voice of the world,
beneath the stars I watch the moon
silver the ebon shade till all is silence;
then I step lightly into my many chambered mind
and close its five doors.

Noiseless, a sixth door opens--
a door forgotten when the five are wide.
To the patterned rhythm of the spheres
I drift back aeons to a time-forgotten kingdom
and enter, not as a stranger:
Old friends embrace me and I speak with the Gods I knew
before I breathed the Lethean vapors of birth.
Again I see the PLAN:
the beginning ... the now ... the ending.
(I sang for joy in the beginning.)

Tuned to the mysteries I hear strange music:
the strains in thunder chords and lightning flares;
in winds and quakings of the earth;
in the steel-winged sky ... in death ... and know
that the dissonance of war and tears
will blend into eternal melody.

Slowly I return.
The five doors open ...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

His Were Patient Feet

The feet of Joseph, walking mile on mile,
Were willing feet. The donkey following
His lead avoided every stone: He bore
The unborn King.

Mary, who saw their feet were tiring, knew
She must reach Bethlehem to bear her Son.
She smiled at Joseph, knowing he too dreamed
Of the Little One.

The Babe's first cry dispelled his weariness
When resting in a stable sweet with hay.
He thought of the waiting cradle as he knelt
Where the Infant lay.

Oh, his were patient feet, not hesitant:
When an angel bade, they crossed the desert sand
Fleeing to Egypt. Wearied, Joseph touched
A little hand.

And was renewed--Time passed. Returning home,
The Little One would often coax to walk
Beside him; leave small footprints by his own.
The Wee Lad's talk

Awoke his father-love: What joy to work
Together in his shop ... until He grew!
All wisely would he guide those little feet,
For he knew ... He knew!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Betrayed

The earth is an old woman
In travail, in throes of agony,
Birthing, not the shining god she dreamed--
Her rightful heritage--but a horror-child
Sired by lust and hate and greed.
The earth is an old woman, weeping
For she has been betrayed.

The Searchlight

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rock of Silence

The rock of silence
Shatters the gruesome structure
Built by calumny.