As I was growing up I doodled from time to time and even wrote a few poems. During those teenage years the writing of poetry was a pastime, some days the rhymes rhymed and some days they just stank. Enclosed herein are a few of those verses and thoughts that seemed so important back then. Maybe they'll make you laugh or as with the one above, you'll cry. (Age when written)
The Day After
T'was one I loved so fair and pure,
Painful and untimely end was hers;
Tis a sad thing, for death there is no cure
That one so dear to many should die;
Resets thoughts of the Creator's dreams
Tho thru' the waves of pensive thoughts
oft times is heard a cry
The time passes on and man easily
forgets, but missing is the
Laughter and joy that once was clear
Silently deploring the wrong
I awoke with visions radiantly
And I saw myself as the culprit
A mind open to beauty
sees the beauty of
intimations of God
Gay as an ancient, merry as
a drunken maid, cheerful as
Harlem street at twelve,
is this world of ours
Sinful as Florida's northern coast
beats the craving heart of man;
the lust of women past their prime,
is this world of ours
The cuss word used as cheer
swings wide the gate of hell;
out pours a damning thing to fill
Sinful, sinful people we, knowing
not of humanity, breathing sin on
all we see in this forsaken
Is it man that ruins himself,
or woman that ruins man, cry,
cry, say both, in accord, in
Joyful, joyful people we, when comfort
lodgings we accept, modestly needing
only a bed and mistress care to live
Is love a forgotten word, or one
used each night to bind, and
it only costs a dime in this
But tired of passion or desire
spread we our soul to dry; and
I think not, and sigh, all is this
Wake we from solemn sleep, to crave
again, each and every night,
flesh, gin, words of sin, are found
Will we ever be a race apart, lacking
in sin, having true love to close
the gates of Hell! all of this
From A. Dumas
* A great deal of human wisdom
is contained in the words -
* To learn is not to know:
There are the learners & the learned
Memory makes one----------
Philosophy the other
Each story must make a
single emotional expression-
Each poem brief and musical-
God speaks from nature and
From a person's own soul; since
Trust yours not other's opinions
Personal initiative - Serving God Alone
Work on, slave on, Sandburg would say,
True logic he easily displayed.
But the starting is to the finishing
As de Milo would be to fire lighting.
The man that makes himself,
Through education gaining his wealth,
Up life's ladder he doth climb, until,
Through lofty perches he views heaven sublime.
If through evil means he wished this throne
God rebellion seen,
Would have him from heaven thrown.
Iambic pentameter, how William wrote those sonnets never ceases to amaze me. Sonnet No. 1 was also my last. It was hard to do.
Sonnet No. 1
Back in dear old colonial day,
The settlers came from England and from France;
and with them came each gay and native dance,
Thus portraying the Motherland's way.
The hardships and pain were great to bear,
They increased still further with each royal tax
The colonists burned not their lamps with English wax
T'was not their wont the English coat to wear.
They rebelled by dumping the English tea
Their money they cared not to share;
Thus the great war was soon begun.
The English planned their attack by sea;
Though their lives the colonists lost, they didn't care
By this war their Independence was won.
The comely word I write
This message lingers on my breath
And lives, till I look aside,
causing its death
The room is quiet and a shrouded peace prevails;
Only the murmuring heartbeat breaks the stillness
It comes slowly at first, rendering a rhythm to the quiet
The slow pounding seems to sing a beckoning song
The darkness turns blacker and the beat grows louder,
Drumming its message to the ever encompassing
Walls like a crying plea,
The message echoes from wall to wall.
" Tout comprende c'est tout pardonner"
To understand all is to forgive all -
Measurement is for things measurable
"Totsiens" Afrikaans for "Till I see you again"
"Je t'aime. Une fois je t'ai trompe; mais je t'aime"
I like you, I may be disillusioned but I love you.
Notes are very handy things
If planned and written in proper form
But notes differ as do beings
Pity the person who does scorn
Now, even though some do remember
By writing down important things
Others cannot quite remember
Even bitsy little ole sayings
The latter is due to a simple fact
That the person in question, writes her notes
In the oddest and most unlikely places.
And its a crying shame she can't find her quotes
For she's liable to lose or has lost them
On some wayward paperback
And now it's as if they'd never been
I'm sorry I made this crack.
There was a time there when avoiding Latin, we would put a good book between the cover of the text. I used "White Fang". The girl who got caught, I don't remember her name (probably Judith).
Oh, Me ! Oh, My
It is a very fine nose, as noses go.
It hasn't a dull look as snubbers noses have.
It isn't real shiny, as are the noses of brownies
It isn't long or short nor broad or thin
Nor pointed or stout.
It isn't turned up nor turned under
But it glows as the break of dawn.
It has an important look as noses do,
Though it isn't set off nor does it show off
It curves in proportion to the face
I love this nose and wish I could call it mine
Better yet, it is the nose of a girl friend
On whom I see it all the time.
(The superintendent of schools had a daughter, Carolyn, a friend my
age, I think I was being mean yet nice.)
From Spenser: Love is the Lord of
Granddad Brack: The longest way around
might be the shortest way home.
W. J. Bryan: Religion, the only influence that can control the heart - out of
Religion - the foundation of morality in the individual
which are the issues of life. A multitude of books is used to train the human mind; and when you've studied them all, that mind is but the agent of something greater than the mind itself. The mind is but an instrument used by the heart, and it takes only one book to train the heart that ought to be the master of the mind.
Morality - the power of endurance in man
Sophocles: Love in old age - Peace; most gladly I have escaped
from a mad and furious master.
Pindar: Hope cherishes the soul of him who lives in justice and holiness
and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his journey; Hope which is mightiest to sway the
restless son of man.
Tennyson: Blessing on the falling out that all the more endears - When we
fall out with those we love and kiss again with tears.
FDR: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious
triumphs, even checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor
spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live
in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
Charles Davis: "To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth. This was the ancient law of youth. Old times are past, old days are done; but the Law runs true, O Little son!"
John Hughes On Leadership: "The subtle and sensitive attuning and disciplining of all words and deeds - not to mend the petty conflict of the moment, nor to close some tiny gap in the discussion of the day - but to define and to advance designs and policies for a thousand tomorrows. "
"National Observer", 4-29-63.
Thomas Mann: On Wisdom: "..to alter our very substance, to make something out of us from what we are - that no cultural force is in a position to do.......every possibility of cultural growth must presuppose an entity which possess the instinctive will and capacity to make personal choices, to assimilate what it receives and work it over to suit its peculiar needs. As Goethe (said) "that to do something one must be something."
(from A Sketch of My Life)
do again what
I had done before
I would wish
run again where
I had run before
I'd try to run
I were to
choose again the
girl I sought before
I'd pick the maiden
fair I chose
But by thought and reason of philosophy
'First Cause' has no value
Thus fades wise Socrates' view.
Reason alone not ample enough to see
the reality and eternity of the soul
I wonder,into heaven pries what fool.
From Elbert Hubbard's "Little Journeys"
* I am today what I am because I was yesterday what I was.
* The poet takes the world into his onfidence - as all poets do for literature is
* Whether you love God or fear him depends or whether you love others.
* Disappointment can drive the mind on to its ideal or hinder it from ever
* The love story that lies in the realm of illusion representing an eternal type
of affection is the love of a poet who loses his own creation.
From Dryden: What the child admired, The youth endeavored and the
Indian: "Omy kai 'ann" - "Howdy"
"Oma' Ka' Day" - "Hello my fine feathered friend"
(my Haskell Institute friend)
Unknown: An educated person is one who can take a relatively
thing and put it into words that no one can understand.
Pray as if it were up to God
Work as if it were up to you
William Cullen Bryant:
He, who, from zone to zone
Guides though the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must travel alone
Will lead my steps aright.
The greatest and fairest sort of wisdom by far is concerned with
the ordering of states.
The good of man must be the end of the science of politics.
Politics is the doctrine of the possible, the attainable.
I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are
a woman. (Girls -I decided to leave this thought in so you
would know what you're up against in life)
More on Love
And what is love - an idle flower
That sometimes grows in spring
An what is woman - a raging fire
That sometimes burns the heart of man.
That which turns men into putty
Love if true - never alters
The itch around the heart that can't be
Don Blanding: Why ask for proof that the soul lives on, When a
body dies; Do Caterpillars recognize their angel-selves In
Shakespeare: Of all the wonders I yet have seen, Love cannot be
Milton: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Browning: It isn't what a man does, but what he would do that exalts
I'm the only
Without a hope,
Only a dream in my heart.
God and the Soldier we adore
In time of danger, not before.
The danger gone and all things righten'd
God is forgotten & the soldier slighted.
Whether it's the lilies of the field
the sunflowers brown and gold,
Or the turning aspen trees
It's the love of living we see.
The tasselled corn standing tall
the rolling fields of wheat,
and the snow topped mountain peaks
All portray God's loving care.
It's time to draw this story to a close. There's a whole book of these poems and collected thoughts, but you've been given a flavoring and much more and I'll not only be accused of being maudlin, but someone will send out for the guys in the white coats. In the period covered by these pages, one of my last attempts at writing down what I felt or was feeling at the time, is presented below. You may have never known this, but I was quite taken with a certain lady my senior year in college. She was her sorority's candidate for homecoming queen that fall, and we had become close friends. To Alpha Phi's 1964 candidate for homecoming - a friend.
Not long from now a homecoming queen
will be chosen. To elect one woman
as a queen from thousands is a serious
matter if perilous in the undertaking.
Yet it's not the process about which I'm
thinking, but of the queen who may or
may not reign. I've sisters and each is
a queen in her own way. But it's not a
sister to whom I compare, but to one
small thing that goes to make a queen.
Poise can be learned, and superficial
beauty made, but there is a certain
quality that is neither bought nor taught
nor made. This quality can only emanate
from a heart that is warm with kindness,
a soul that knows but goodness, and a
gentle nature that is forever sweet. Such
a quality is "queenly grace" and it's sad
that all women haven't it. Possessing
such grace makes one a queen in reality
if not in fact. Should one be crowned
with the title queen, she'd not truly
reign without this priceless quality.
So you see my friend, no matter what
your station may be, I shall always
call you queen though you say it isn't
so, and I need never prove what I know,
that as God reigns in heaven above, so
shall you always reign a queen below
because of your queenly grace and a
priceless quality of love.