A new day’s dawn wakes from its sleep,
pink and orange hued clouds streak across the sky.
A burst of color that slowly wanes
emerges into the sun, now brighter and more blue.
Tiny buds and blooms, and grass that now turns green
shows the promise of new life
where frolicking squirrels, and little birds
all busy with work and play
rebuild their nest and tend their young.
A new season, fresh and fragrant spring
has arrived and pushed away the winter blues.
Joyce E. Johnson (2017)
There once was a tiny leprechaun
who lived in the hills of Ireland upon
fields of flowers and grass so green
he wandered about, but couldn’t be seen,
the little man known only as Shawn.
Then one day he came to town
sprinkling his lucky gold dust all around.
Like a bit of magic, he spread his cheer
to everyone everywhere, far and near,
then quietly left without a sound.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone who wants or needs a little cheer. 🙂
They stood with others solemnly by
saluting the fallen and the brave
risking life and limb to bring about a promised peace.
Listening to the strains of, “Amazing Grace,”
flag draped coffins are carried under a guarded sky
across cemetery lawns to their final resting place.
Eulogies and names; so many to honor, too short a time,
families of victims pray their loved one’s story lives to remain
a memory, not forgotten, and why they gather today
because of terror unleashed like the rampant spread of disease.
Eloquent words gracing memorial walls and stones
don’t bring closure nor adequately explain
to those suffering loss with unfathomable pain
why a tragedy of this kind strikes with evil intent,
leaving more unanswered questions that remain.
How can there be those who choose
to live with such prejudice, and hate
towards others whose lives they count not
worthy of grace, mercy and love,
but think it better they not live at all.
In a world broken, where strife and anger exists,
rising animosity and distrust is given to believe
there is no hope, and people succumb
to the chaos and confusion that rises up like an ugly fist.
Joyce E. Johnson 2017
Footnotes; The story above is fictional, but the situation is real every day, here and elsewhere. There will always be hate and evil that rears its ugly head, even as we think things will, or might improve. The increased anti-Semitism and hatred towards groups in our country and others continues, even while our president works to set in place measures to stop that. Two years ago I posted fictional stories under the title, “Acid Rain” about two brothers, both having the same mother but different fathers. One brother took the path of a terrorist, and the other an officer with the Israeli Defense Forces. You can find their stories here under the Acid Rain fiction heading in the menu on my site. The prequel to this story series began with Brothers Divided. Their stories are fictional, but the one of Isaac and Ishmael are not which I used as inspiration for the stories of Sam, and Gamal. The recent events of increased vandalism and terror threats to the Jewish Community centers in our country and increased anti-Semitism throughout the world prompted the poetic fictional story above.
When my father died in 1982 he had a personal library and collection of old books that he often used for reference for his sermon notes. He was a pastor of a church and loved quoting not only passages from the bible with different translations, particularly the Greek, Hebrew and King James. But he also used some from great poets if there was a vein of similarity in what they published to notes and thoughts in his sermon notes.
Being the voracious reader, collector of books, and poetry buff that I am I inherited some rare and ancient tomes from him that I still have today, some of which are barely holding together. I even have an antique German bible belonging to my paternal grandfather that was also his. Another little gem from his collection is a reproduction of a little devotional book full of favorite scriptures and poetry verses used by president Abraham Lincoln.
I thought I would share a thought from Lord Byron, the British poet from the little book above, “2000 Sublime and Beautiful Thoughts,” an antique published in 1897 by The Christian Herald publishing house. It is full of poems, quotes and thoughts from some of the most famous of classic poets like Tennyson, Longfellow, Browning, Emerson, Byron, Wadsworth, Dickens, Voltaire, and Shakespeare.
This is a quote from Lord Byron. “Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”
Words are powerful. They can be positive tools of reinforcement. They have the power to impact a life, produce change, uplift and encourage a despairing soul, instill hope, inspire creativity, bring joy and happiness. Do you have a favorite poet, a quote, thought on this, or words you remembered that inspired you that you would like to share in a comment here? If so, I would love to hear back what you have enjoyed.
Joyce E. Johnson (2017)
With sheets of old yellowed parchment spread out
the scribe sits down at his splintered worn desk,
and with withered hand he dips his quill
into a thick substance inside the inkwell,
and turns his face towards Heaven, blessed be He,
God of the universe, and praise to the One
who sits on the throne, all the earth be His.
It is not what the scribe hears with audible voice,
but what his heart hears and knows to be true
for that which is given him scribed upon
with sweeping gesture, flourish and swirls
the Hebraic characters penned in ink
are the scribe’s writings on ancient scrolls.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017
We get Chinook winds here in northern Colorado that can get up to 100+ mph. The strength and force can blow over even the strongest trees. That happened recently to some trees we had up on our mountain property northwest of Fort Collins. We don’t live up there full time, but when we went up there recently we found some of our largest, even healthy looking trees toppled over, uprooted completely from the ground around the rocks and boulders with the roots exposed.
It reminds me of how vulnerable our country and government administration is right now. The media running amok with ‘leaks’, compromising influences, immigration bans, repeals, etc. further adds to the already weakened, wobbly foundation. Add to that all the protest marches of people taking their gripes, complaints, personal vendettas and agendas to the streets with chants, signs and slogans like ‘a day without immigrants’ to change what they can’t, or won’t abide by, and we have a volatile situation that can only get worse, not better. If things continue as they’re going ‘We the People’ will destroy and topple what was set up to protect all when our country was founded.
Everyone has an immigrant story to tell. My grandfather and his family were immigrants from Odessa, Russia who set down roots, and established a life based on the values our country set forth in the constitution. He went through legal channels, became a U.S. citizen, was naturalized, and valued every right and freedom in this country. He voted his candidate choice, but he did not put down others who voted differently, or disagreed with him. If he disagreed on something, whether one in political office or another who wronged him he did not pick up a sign and take his offense to the street, but chose to pray over it instead of protesting over it. He carried a bible instead, and lived by the principles in it, with respect for others, regardless their political perspective, faith or life choices. If only we could return to the things that really did ‘make America great,’ what a wonderful country we would have. Like him or not, disagree if you want, but we now have a man who is trying to do that, for the good of all people.
In the New Testament bible (Matthew 13: 3-9) it tells about Jesus’s parable of the seed sown. He talks about the seed sown by the sower planting a crop. Good seed goes down deep in the soil where there are no rocks or boulders obstructing its growth. It takes root and nothing but the forces beyond our control will topple it or blow it over upon itself. Seed scattered and tossed among the rocks and weeds will be easily uprooted, blown over, and not grow. We are known by the fruit of our tree. Good seed was planted in this country when founded, and the constitution enacted. It rooted, grew, flourished and prospered. But, today much of that root system is in jeopardy of toppling a great tree.
There will never be harmony or unity here in our country when thousands choose to defy all that our president is trying to do for the whole of this country. Wisdom comes in knowing how best to reflect our voice, disapproval or disenchantment of things we don’t like. Marching in the streets, shouting chants, carrying signs, does little to affect real change. It is just a lot of noise, and fodder for CNN News.
Joyce E. Johnson, 2017
No eloquent words, flowers, gifts or cards
could he give her, but just a token
gesture of his affection
with twisted smile, and memory all but gone.
Eyesight, hearing, failing too,
he tried to form his thoughts,
while expressing his love to her,
but his stroke had stolen from them so much.
Like the younger version of himself
with vibrant, baritone rich voice
when he once belted out old tunes,
are but broken phrases hanging on.
With faint muttering he attempts to sing,
to remember the lyrics, what he wants to say
like the day he swooned her heart with song.
But, she’ll treasure what they have today
for she fears the day when he is gone.
and prays to God it lingers on.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017