A Cardinal Sits With Me

CARDINAL - HOLLINGSWORTH - BFPA Cardinal sits with me at end of day.
It is a bleak, unhappy time,
And I have lost my way.

He seems content to stay a while and rest,
And my front porch is cool with shade,
Sun moving to the west.

On other days I’ve seen him flit and fly
And labor quite industriously
For food that caught his eye.

And then he’d pick at wings and clean and preen,
Then dart away and back again,
Quite nervous did he seem.

He’d change his stance and cock head constantly,
Not holding still a moment long;
He agitated me.

But, suddenly, this eve he’s come to sit.
As if he knows my sorrowful plight —
That I am in this pit.

And now and then he sings aloud his song.
But when he stops to rest a while,
For much more do I long.

I’m sure his day is done; he should head home,
But here he sits beside my chair,
Just so I’m not alone.

His beauty, I have finally come to see,
Is unsurpassed: his ruby hue,
Wings black-edged perfectly.

In truth he is a masterpiece of life:
Each part of him a sculptor’s dream,
Down to his beady eye.

A good half hour he’s stayed and felt at home.
And looks right at me now and then,
To say, “You’re not alone.”

I sigh and realize I am content.
I close my eyes; begin to smile.
This is what Jesus meant.

He urged us to behold the birds of air,
And take a lesson from each one
About His love and care.

“Yes, Jesus, I’m at peace in You at last.
This little bird you sent to me
Has now fulfilled his task.

So take care of him, Lord and keep him strong,
And send him out to other souls
Who need to hear his song.”

Then opening my eyes, I seek my friend.
But he has flown while I have prayed —
His mission at an end.
~

[“Look at the birds of the air! They don’t worry about what to eat — they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food — for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” Matt. 6:26 TLB).]

“Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t worry! You are more valuable to Him than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:30-31, TLB).]

 

 

~~~~~~~

Dr. Jehovah Rapha — a poem

Dr. Jehovah Rapha
HEALING FOR YOU COVER  - HANDS ONLY - smaller

(Exodus 15:26, Mark 5:25-34)  

Her brow was wet with fever,
And her body wracked with pain.
She did not know just what was wrong,
But the symptoms would not change.
She knew she needed healing,
But she had no way to pay.

Who to turn to; who to trust;
Who to show the way?

A friend said to her, “Sister,
I know a doctor kind.
He cleanses lepers, makes lame walk,
And gives sight to the blind.
In fact, He’ll take on any case,
And cure it every time.” 

Oh, would that I could go to Him,”
She then was heard to say.
But since I do not know His name,
How can I know the way?
And even if He’d take my case,
I simply cannot pay.” 

My dear, fear not,” her friend replied;
There is no need to fear.
I’ll take you to Him right away;
He’s really very near.
His name’s Jehovah Rapha; He’s
‘The God that healeth thee.’
And because of His Son’s precious blood,
The healing – it is free!

~

© 1998 Sandra Conner

 

Love On The Line

BLUE TELEPHONEThis little poem came about as the result of a poetry challenge I discovered last year. The topic for the poem had to be the telephone, and I decided to see what I could come up with.  As soon as I started thinking about the subject, I remembered reading the true story of a WWII serviceman who had intended travelling to the Midwest (while home on leave) to meet his girlfriend and propose marriage before he went back to duty.  A blizzard kept him from making it across country, but through the kind ministrations of a romantic telephone operator (remember when we had real operators instead of computers?), he was able to convey his proposal and receive an answer. This poem is based on that unique love story.
TELEPHONE POLES

LOVE ON THE LINE

I read about a Navy guy;
‘Twas during World War II;
He felt that he was so in love
But one thing he could do.

He was on leave, New England way,
And running out of time;
Snowed in, he could not meet his love.
His only hope – a dime.

So in the pay-phone booth, he dialed
The zero. Faith was high.
He told his soulful story to
The operator, Vi.

He gave the number for his love,
St. Louis her address,
And Vi said, “There’s no promises,
But I will try my best.”

So, hanging on the line out east,
The sailor heaved a sigh
And waited with a pounding heart
Till he heard back from Vi.

“I have your party, sir,” she said,
Three minutes’ worth of time.”
“Three minutes!” cried the sailor.
“That isn’t enough time!”

His darling’s voice broke through the wire,
Her voice so light and thrilled,
“What great surprise, your calling now!
I heard you’re snowed in, Bill.”

“Yes, dear, and now I can’t get there
Before my leave is through,
But there is something vital that
I have to say to you.

“You know I’ve loved you for a while;
And I have to know for sure — “
But Vi broke in just then to say,
“We’ve lost connection, sir.”

“Oh, no!” he cried. “You’ve got to help!
I’m ready to propose!
I couldn’t go back overseas
Unless I’m sure she knows!”

“I’ll try again,” Vi said, but then — 
Back on the line, so sad — 
“I can’t get you connected, sir;
The weather is so bad.

“But I can hear your party, sir,
And she can still hear me.
If you’d want me to relay your words,
I’d do so happily.”

He heaved a sigh, wiped tear from eye,
And drew deep breath somehow.
“All right,” he said. “It’ll have to do;
I need her answer now.

“Please say, ‘ I’m so in love with you
That before I go to sea,
I’m asking you to be my wife;
Please say you’ll marry me.'”

So Vi relayed the message sweet;
He waited in a stew
‘Till Vi came back online and said,
“She’d love to marry you!”

Now many years have come and gone;
The couple made their home.
And in every room the pride of place
Goes to the telephone.

~

WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Character

The challenge is to describe a person in our life so that he seems real to the reader. I recently described a friend of mine in rhyme, so I thought perhaps I’d share that piece, in the hope that readers would enjoy a poetic take on this challenge. And, yes, this guy really does exist.

Tall Guy

I know a guy who’s very tall,
Stands six feet, seven inches.
He finds his height a great delight,
An asset in the clinches.

He’s very smart, and that’s a help.
It compensates the strain
Of all the time it takes for blood
To move from heart to brain.

In public he stands proud and straight;
He literally has a ball,
When people lean waaaay back and say,
My goodness, you are tall!”

Height has its setbacks, though. Take clothes:
His must be special bought.
And going in and out of doors,
He must take special thought.

And then there’s dating; it’s a trial:
He’s anxious, Heaven knows,

To hold his partner cheek to cheek,
Not middle chest to nose.

But — proud — he sees his height as Heaven’s
Gift – a special gene.
Believes all men wish to be tall,
And with envy they are green.

So happily he struts about,
Looking for the perfect mate,
His only foe the hometown priest,
Who stands at six foot, eight.

~ ~ ~

To take part in this challenge, visit here:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/weekly-writing-challenge-characters/

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups — Week 76 — ‘Beneath The Surface’

This week Julia gave us a word prompt for our 100-word challenge:
“… beneath the surface …”

100 WORD CHALLENGE LOGOIf you’d like to participate in this weekly challenge, you can visit Julia and get all the rules at this link:
http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week76/

My imagination led me in the direction of poetry this time, and I found that it’s much harder work to get poetry to come out right with such a short word limit. But it was fun trying, and I managed to make it in 102 plus Julia’s 3. 

BENEATH THE SURFACE

While browsing antique shops, I made a great find!
Unearthed a rare treasure. Never saw one in kind.

An elegant bowl, with a handle and lid;
Beneath so much tarnish, it’s true beauty hid.

Though black with the ages, I hugged it to me;
Beneath the surface, silver glory I could see.

Polished and rubbed to a radiant glow,
On party buffet my prize purchase would show.

It gleamed and it glowed, holding punch the next day,
When – horror of horrors – I heard a guest say:

Heaven help us! Is this the best silver you’ve got?
I’ll not drink my punch from an old chamber pot!”

~ ~ ~

Snowchild

(a poem by Sandra Conner)

I originally wrote this poem about a year ago, when snow was predicted for our area. Today, we are under a BLIZZARD warning, with snow falling fast and furiously second by second, and I am re-posting this poem in an effort to remind myself that “it isn’t really so bad after all” —– Yeah, right!!!

The truth is that my family and I have been praying fervently for a reprieve from what forecasters are expecting, because what has been predicted cannot be good for anyone. Moreover, we have 17 family members trying to get home for the holidays, traveling to this area from the Northeast, the Southeast, and the West — some of them on the road even as I write this. We are looking to the Lord for His mercy to take control of the situation, for the sake of our family and the hundreds of others facing the same problem right now.

Exif JPEG

Exif JPEGI’ve added a couple photos taken through the cheerful perspective of my Christmas lights. The first shot was about 6:00 this morning, and the second one about 50 minutes later. So far things don’t look too terribly bad. We would appreciate the prayer agreement of all our friends out there in cyberspace. In the meantime … enjoy this poem and see if it brings back some memories for you as well.



Snowchild

When I was a child, I thought as a child,
And snow was a thing so delightful.
From school we were free; we got wet to the knees,
And our mom’s day was thrown all off schedule.

But now that I’m grown, I must do on my own
All the chores Mom and Dad used to dread:
Stock up food by the loads, drive on slippery roads,
Shovel snow, and repair that old sled.

Now I look with dismay at the skies leaden gray
As I trudge to the store for supplies.
De-icer and salt sell out fast with no halt.
I need new boots to tread on the ice.

The wind from the north is bitter and harsh,
But my temperature, still it is rising;
I am in a foul mood, for I see nothing good
That can come from a snowstorm arriving.

But then the flakes start, and I feel in my heart –
Watching white, fluffy, wonderful, wild
Filling all of my world with such beauty unfurled –
That in truth I am still just a child!

Tall Guy

a poem (and a true story) by Sandra Conner

I know a guy who’s very tall,TAPE MEASURE - LONG
Stands six feet, seven inches.
He finds his height a great delight,
An asset in the clinches.

He’s very smart, and that’s a help.
It compensates the strain
Of all the time it takes for blood
To move from heart to brain.

In public he stands proud and straight;
He literally has a ball
When people lean waaaay back and say,
“My goodness, you are tall!”

Height has its setbacks, though. Take clothes:
They must be special bought.
And going in and out of doors,
He must take special thought.

And then there’s dating; it’s a trial:
He’s anxious, Heaven knows,
To hold his partner cheek to cheek,
Not middle chest to nose.

But, still, he sees his height as Heaven’s
Gift — a special gene.
Believes all men wish to be tall,
And with envy they are green.

So happily he struts about,
Looking for that perfect mate.
His only foe the hometown priest,
Who stands at six foot, eight.

A Mouse Is A Mouse — Or Is It?

MOUSE 3a poem by Sandra Conner

 

~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is it mouses, or is it mice?
I’ve asked this question more than twice.
As I sit before my monitor,
I’m quite sure I am just not sure.

When two computers I must use,COMPUTER MOUSE WITH COLOR 3
All the appendages come in two’s.
I shuffle keyboards, arrange them nice,COMPUTER MOUSE WITH COLOR 2
But then I must hook up the … mice?

My only other choice is “mouses.”
My sensitive nature that arouses.
For an English teacher I’ll always be,
And “mouses” chafes and nettles me.

Surely “mice” should be allowed,
But then I start to laugh out loud.
Confound that name! How did it start?
Bill English and Doug Engelbart!

It’s all their fault; they must admit.
And foolish names are such a hit.
And dictionaries help not at all;
They make it an individual’s call.

So back again to where I was,
More frustrated now because
As I struggled to name the counterfeit,
Its namesake from my sandwich bit.

~~~

~

 

Ignoring The Call

a poem by Sandra Conner

Middle age is calling me,
But I just cannot go.
I have too much of childhood left,
So much that I don’t know.

Why, I still love to color
And to play with paper dolls.
I still delight in bubble pipes
And bouncing rubber balls.

Ah, middle age is calling me,
But I just cannot go.
I still feel like a coed,
Full of life from head to toe.

Yes, middle age is calling me,
But my decision’s made.
I’m just too young at heart to go.
Middle age’ll have to wait!

Anticipation

a poem by Sandra Conner

Coming and going,
To-ing and fro-ing,
Thoughts in a dither,
Stomach aquiver …

Scurrying, worrying,
Phoning, conversing,
Weighing last doubts,
Last chance to bow out …

Checking all pockets,
Fastening lockets,
Rosebuds and bouquets,
Fragrant, sublime haze …

Guest in their places,
Smiles on the faces,
Music on swelling tide,
“Here Comes The Bride.”

Bored

a poem by Sandra Conner

I am bored … so bored.
I need something else to do.
Wrack my brain … the pain.
What will help? Don’t have a clue.

Talk on phone … endless drone.
Do my nails until they gleam.
Clean desk drawer … fun chore:
Found lost candy and hand cream.

Still I’m bored … so bored.
Without something else to try,
I’ll have no choice … guilty voice:
Must start my real work by and by.

What’s For Dinner?

a poem by Sandra Conner

To borrow an old “country” expression, I can say for sure that “it’s coming on to my favorite time of year”: Autumn in all it’s radiant blue, gold, and russet glory, Thanksgiving just around the corner, and Christmas just far enough away to be able to spread out and savor every little moment of planning for the joys ahead. Now, being a writer, I have to express all that enjoyment in some literary way. However, there’s SO MUCH enjoyment that, even though last week I wrote a Thanksgiving poem, I find that this week I have suddenly created another. I was sure you’d want to enjoy it with me.

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

I spot him there, behind the barn,
A full-plumed, regal bird.
He looks up, straight into my eyes.
I speak no single word.

It’s happened thus, in passing years —
At least for two or three:
Each mid-November I’ve set my mind;
He’s been there to greet me.

Now, lifting his head in challenge strong,
He gobbles loud and long.
I lower my gun and heave a sigh:
To kill him would be wrong!

So, wrestling with my double mind,
I trek home to my wife
To explain why once again this year
Ham will greet the carving knife.

Ah, Thanksgiving, How I Love You!

I absolutely refuse to celebrate Halloween, but I love Thanksgiving dearly.  Almost every Thanksgiving in my life has wonderful, love-filled memories, and I always start celebrating the holiday early.  So I’m beginning extra-early this year with this brand new poem.  I realize that this holiday tends to be primarily an American holiday, but many people around the world do take time during the harvest season to celebrate and be grateful for the year’s bounty, so I hope it gives all of you a lift and a bit of extra joy for this time of year.

AH, THANKSGIVING, HOW I LOVE YOU!

a poem by Sandra Conner

Ah, Thanksgiving, how I love you!
Golden, crowning jewel of Fall.
Beacon of warmth and camaraderie,
Sending glad invitation to all:

“Gather to worship; gather to visit;
Gather to focus on all that’s worthwhile;
Feast from tables resplendent with harvest;
Feast on the love in a touch and a smile.”

All the year’s labors weigh heavy upon us;
All the world’s problems seem bigger by far.
But out from that wearisome struggle you call us,
And laying it down, we run to where you are.

And whether in cottages, mansions, or churches,
Community buildings or tables in parks,
We gather with gratitude full — overflowing;
To the Giver of blessings lift voices and hearts.

Then we return to life’s pattern awaiting.
Filled up with joy, we set off on our way,
Warmer and richer and kinder in spirit
For pausing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. 

I hope each of you can celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with someone you love.

Photo courtesy of The Graphics Fairy: http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/