Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

A redneck’s love poem

I have to share this poem that a brother-in-law sent to me. I can’t give credit to the author as no author was given. But the poem brought tears to me eyes, and I’d be selfish not to share it. Have a great day.

Susie Lee done fell in love.
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ’bout it all
She told her Pappy so.

Pappy told her, “Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon yo’ ma don’t know,
But Joe is your half brother.”

So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said,”There’s trouble still.”

You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother.

But Mama knew and said, “My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe;
You ain’t no kin to Pappy.”



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Not by Choice

There are times when circumstances prevent us following our routines.  Not by choice we must make changes.  Open heart surgery sidelined me.  So this blog remained dormant for a couple of months.  I thought what better way to get back on track than with an Easter poem I wrote on Easter Sunday eleven years ago.

The Third Day

And early in the morning

At dawn the third, sad day,

The women hurried to the tomb.

The stone was rolled away.        The stone is rolled away

They feared someone had taken

Their Lord, they knew not where.

And when they looked into the tomb,

They saw two angels there.

“Fear not for He is risen!”

The heaven’s pair did say,

“Go, tell His loved ones now;

You must no longer stay.

Tell Peter and the others,

They all will see Him soon.

He is alive! See where He lay!

You see the empty tomb.”

The women hurried homeward.

With joy their hearts did beat.

“We bring good news,” they shouted.

“The Lord has risen indeed.”           empty tomb

And Peter ran to see it,

With John, who raced ahead.

They saw the stone rolled away.

The tomb contained no dead.

That eve the Savior met them

At breaking of the bread.

“See here! My hands, my feet, my side,

Behold I live!” He said.

They worshiped and adored Him.

Their eyes were opened wide.               Jesus

They saw God’s plan of salvation.

They could no longer hide.

With thankful hearts and power

They told how they adore

A living Savior, risen Christ,

Alive! Forever more.

And throughout all the ages

We can be sure of this –

The lowly man of Galilee,

Our living Savior is.

(WHM Easter morning 2003)

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A poem for the season

I had intended to post another excerpt from my novel “Beyond the Law” , but it’s the Christmas season.  It’s a time of year that can inspired me to write a poem.  Over the years I have written a number of Christmas poems. Thinking about the Biblical account of that first Christmas, it has always amazed me to realize that a baby born in a smelly stall is still celebrated today, more than 2000 years later while Herod, the powerful ruler at that time, whose impressive palace stood not far from that stall is long forgotten. Herods palace No one celebrates his birth.  There are no poems and songs written about him.  His impact on history is long forgotten.  I hope you will enjoy the one I have chosen for your enjoyment today.

Bethlehem’s Child

What child is this?

Born of old,

His birth the prophets had foretold.

They called Him Mighty God and Prince of Peace

And looked to Him for sin’s release.

What child is this?

Born in a stall,                                                                                                             manger scene

His birth the angels proclaimed to all.

Shepherds in fields had seen the wondrous sight,

And looked for Him by heaven’s light.

What child is this?

He found no room in Israel’s inn,

Yet wise men came to worship Him.

They found Him still a little boy,

Their hearts He filled with untold joy.

What child is this?

God’s gift to us, He came to do His will,

And history His story tells us still.

A counselor, a guide, He came to be.

The promised Savior for you for me.

What child is this?

Born in a cradle by love divine,

He knew and loved us throughout all time.

Left His heavenly Father and His glory,

To bring us Christmas’ wondrous story.

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Remembrance day poppyIt’s Remembrance Day today.  Have you ever wondered why we wear a poppy and why we gather to remember?  Our youth, I’m sure are wondering about it.  Without anyone pointing them to the answers they might get the mistaken idea that what happens on November 11 each year glorifies war.  So what is it we should never forget?  What should we always remember?

Yes, we should remember those who gave up their life fighting against oppression.  They did not go to glorify war.  They joined in the battle, because evil regimes threatened their loved ones’ freedom and oppressed other people.

We must never forget that freedom and peace sometimes comes at an enormous individual and collective price.  How fortunate people in this country are can be seen in the fact that few who have never experience war firsthand really understanding what it means to have lost all basic freedoms and to live in fear daily.

It is vital that we now always guard the freedoms we have lest we lose them.  No group, no country is immune to those with evil and selfish goals and ambition and would not stop short to enslave others to reach those goals.  field of poppies 4

Years ago I wrote a poem in memory of my father who was killed when I was five.  He was not a soldier, but he was a citizen of a country held in the grip of an evil dictator and his hordes of henchmen.  Near the end of the war all males older than fourteen had to report to defend against advancing armies.  The Russian army had advance close to Breslau or home, then a city in East Germany, now called Wroclaw in Poland.  A few weeks earlier we and all civilians had been ordered to flee to points west and south.  That late winter he lost his life.  We have never been able to find out where he is buried.  One unsubstantiated report we did receive said he was shot while forced to dig a mass grave.  The poem below, “Did the Bugle Weep for You?” I wrote years ago a day or two before Remembrance Day.

Did the Bugle Weep for You?

My father, young and full of hopes and dreams

Of life yet to be lived for many days there after                                      Bugler at dusk

Of your mother’s smile, your wife’s soft touch

Of your sons’ and daughters’ smiles and laughter.

In the last days cold duty called you to take arms

To defend against advancing army’s guns

An army of men also with dreams and hopes

For their future days and waiting loved ones.

My father, young and full of hopes and dreams

A dictator’s senseless war one cold, dark day slew

Your hopes, your dreams and your life still young.

At the end of your day – did the bugle weep for you?

(WHM in my father’s memory)

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I venture to guess that at one time or another we all experience a nightmare.  Intriguing to me is the fact that waking up seems not to end the nightmare right away, but prolongs it and maybe even heightens it for a time.  A few years ago, after that kind of a dream, I tried to capture the nightmare phenomenon in a poem.  I found the task daunting.  That end product haunts this page below.


stormy nights
hide calming
heaven’s lights.
high above
the hawking void
places no soul should
penetrate alive.
Dreams flee
and nightmares stray
where troubled souls
will venture.
There to torment
the innocent heart
lost in silent cries


      once waking,walking-water-29543120
the ticking
of the clock
cries out,
“It isn’t so!”
And mind roams
slowly toward day.
Considers unreal hours
Spent in helpless chaos
and from past terrors
strives to break free.
Though night has passed,
yet instinctive thoughts
haunted by terror’s claim.
Until dawn brings comfort.
Light hides the night,
relieving the heart
and mind’s torment and
healing the troubled soul.

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Many consider May to be the loveliest month.  We wish for it in the grips of winter and dream of what May brings to us. In many areas of the world it is the time when spring has conquered winter finally.  The sun shines warm, mostly without burning.  The world appears full of blossoms and new life.  The wind blows warm and softer.  It is as if love has filled the air.

Years ago I wrote the poem that follows on a late winter day that seemed to foreshadow this lovely months.  We have experienced half of May this year.  I hope you have enjoyed it and will also enjoy the poem.


532I heard from streams a new song rise,

Echoing among the hills tall throng.

I saw in barren fields snowbells wake

Joining in dance the whispering song.

I drank beneath waking trees sweet air

Tempting with blossoms all the day long.

I touched a tiny newborn blade of grass

Flirting with the breeze and growing strong.

I dreamed in natures bountiful hands today

Of faint, mellow hints of the coming of May.

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This weekend I thought I might post another one of my poems.  I hope it will bring pleasure to the reader.

The Road

Stopping, too tired to go on,

I looked up and saw before me

Mount Cain trip 004

The road. –

Stretching, rising, carving a way

Around walls of cold, rugged rock.

The path –

Though long and uncertain

Seemed begging me to ascend

To where the sun did sweep

In pleasant, velvet strokes

The fleeting hours to keep.

There rivulets –

In hidden hollows newly born

Swept into life-giving streams

Through fields barren and worn.

I wondered, as I rested there,

The road-

Leads where, leads where?

Mount Cain trip 019


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              A Christmas Prayer

Father in heaven we give you praise

For this time of year, the Christmas days.

Help us to remember during this season

The meaning of Christmas and the reason

We celebrate this blessed time each year,

Sing carols and buy gifts for all we hold dear.

Help us in the frenzy of the shopping mall

To adore the one who was born in a stall.

In the hustle and bustle as we go our way

Help us to be still, to think and to pray.

Let us recall God’s angel old Zacharias saw

                                                       Augustus’ decree, the shepherds’ great awe

                                                      Who heard the angel from heaven’s glory     Christmas at our house 003

     Announcing the Savior’s birth and His story.

        Help us to sing with heaven’s host of his birth,

     Of God sending his son and of peace on earth.

We give You thanks for all You have done,

And take time to worship your glorious Son.

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A sample of my poetry

A Broken Promise

There, on my table,
In the center stood
In crystal
On the polished wood,
A rose,
Exquisite in design.
Its head,
A crown,
More finely shaped
Then any by a mortal made.
Its strength,
A thorn, poised and secure,
A promise ring,
Of long life sure.
Its breath,
A healing for the soul,
A touch of love,
Sweet, beautiful and whole.
Each silken pedal
Perfectly the other wed,
But there on my table,
The rose was dead.

W.H. Manke – Sept. ’94

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