Oh the comfort--
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person--
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

"Friendship" by M. M. Craik

Friday, January 4, 2013


Another thoughtful piece by Edgar A. Guest. This gentleman was really quite a prolific writer. I can see why he was called the "people's poet."  His words speak to each one of us.  This particular poem is just so true. We get so busy in our little lives that many of us think "oh I'll do that tomorrow" and never really live today.  We need to get out there and jump right in and use up every bit of life we are given. It really is a gift.  That's really my fondest memory of my Aunt Florence....she was always ready to try something new.

Flo with a new camera. It looks
to me as if she's outside of
my grandparent's house in
Ohio. 1930-ish.
Life is a gift to be used every day.
Not to be smothered and hidden away
It isn't a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your vest.
It isn't a joy to be sipped now and then
And promptly put back in a dark place again.

Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
And one that the humblest may well make the most of.
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don't keep it in niches and corners and grooves.
You'll find that in service its beauty improves.

                       ~Edgar A. Guest

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thoughts on the New Year.

Flo with a dog, circa 1920-1930.
This little poem has a date attached, 1/8/58, so it's one of the later additions to Florence's journal.  Horatio Nelson Powers was an Episcopalian minister who wrote poetry on the side.

I can't find a title for this piece, but it definitely speaks to the fresh page of a new year.

A flower unknown; a book unread;
A tree with fruit unharvested;
A path untrod; a house whose rooms
Lack yet the heart's divine perfumes;
A landscape whose wide border lies
In silent shade 'neath silent skies;
A wondrous fountain yet unsealed;
A casket with its gift concealed...
This is the year that for you waits
Beyond tomorrow's mystic gates.

                ~Horatio Nelson Powers

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day by Day Resolution

Happy New Year!

Day by Day Resolution
A little less impatience with those we deem to slow;
A little less of arrogance because of all we know;
A little more humility, seeing our worth is slight;
We are such trivial candles compared to stars at night!
 A little more forgiving and swifter to be kind;
A little more desirous the word of praise to find;
The word of praise to utter and make a heart rejoice;
A little bit more careful to speak with gentle voice;
A little more true eagerness to understand each other;
A little more real striving to help a shipwrecked brother;
A little more high courage for each task that must be done.
These be our resolutions--and God help everyone!
                   ~Printed in the Oklahoma messenger @ 1930's

Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31

Thoughts on the passing of another year. Looking back at the highs and lows of the last twelve months and looking forward to a fresh year.

Here's hoping for a peaceful end to 2012 and a prayer for a positive start to 2013.

Best day of all the year, since I
May see thee pass and know
That if thou dost not leave me high
Thou hast not found me low,
And since, as I behold thee die,
Thou leavest me the right to say
That I tomorrow still may vie
With them that keep the upward way.

Best day of all the year to me,
Since I may stand and gaze
Across the grayish past and see
So many crooked ways
That might have led to misery,
Or might have ended at Disgrace-
Best day since thou dost leave me free
To look the future in the face.
Best day of all days of the year,
That was so kind, so good,
Since thou dost leave me still the dear
Old faith in brotherhood-
Best day since I, still striving here,
May view the past with small regret,
And, undisturbed by doubts or fear,
Seeks paths that are untrod as yet.
          ~S. E. Kiser

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thought for New Year

Another New Year's themed poem from Edgar A. Guest.  This is very different from Mr. Guest's usual work, the meter and rhyme scheme are a little offbeat.  The tone of the poem seems rather grim...as if the new year is something we must march ahead and face, fighting our way through.  I like to think of the new year as a fresh new slate, so I find this serious "we will conquer the battles" outlook rather dreary.

Danger and dark and fear
Darken the step o' the year.
  But out through the door,
     Though the wind blow,
   To what lies before
      Bravely let's go:
    May good health attend us
    And good faith befriend us.

Skies that are dismal and drear
Frown at the birth o' the year.
   But life isn't all
      Lived in summertime gay:
   There are winter and fall
      To be met on the way.
   Give us strength for the task;
   Nothing more will we ask.

Care's shadow lies over the land
As facing the new year we stand.
   But high road or low,
      We can battle each day
   Without asking to know
       Every step of the way,
   We have conquered before,
   We can do it once more.
              ~Edgar A. Guest
               Copyright 1932

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lines for the New Year

Edgar A. Guest wrote more than one poem for the new year.  This piece seems to be relatively obscure; but the thought is interesting.  A prayer asking for courage and strength to face the trials ahead.  Mr. Guest doesn't ask for things to be easier, he asks for help to get through the battles bravely. 

Not that ease may come to us,
   not that comfort shall be ours,
Not without toil or care,
   we may gather summer's flowers,
Not that in the year itself
    any hope or triumph lies,
But that we may hold the faith
   until the dawn is in the skies.

For the New Year, Lord, we pray:
   Grant us strength for every task,
'Tis not luxuries we crave;
   'tis not days of ease we ask,
In these times of stress and strife,
   grant us as we trudge along,
Faith to battle for the right
   and the joy of being strong.

This the happiness we beg--
   that of braving best we can,
All that we must face of care;
   all that tries the soul of man,
For the new year, this our prayer:
   May we bravely live it through,
Rich in courage and in strength
   for the work that we must do.

                        ~Edgar A. Guest
                          Copyright, 1933

Friday, December 28, 2012

A New Year's Wish

This New Year's wish is more like a hopeful resolution for the upcoming new year. All of these wishes provide lofty goals for a person to attempt.  This little prayer would make a wonderful motto for 2013.

I wish I were:
    big enough to honestly admit all my shortcomings,
    brilliant enough to accept flattery without it making me arrogant,
    tall enough to tower above deceit,
    strong enough to treasure love,
    brave enough to welcome criticism,
    compassionate enough to understand human frailties,
    wise enough to recognize my mistakes,
    humble enough to be thoughtful of my neighbor,
    and righteous enough to be devoted to the love of God.
                     ~Gordon H. Taggart