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WESTFALL GENEALOGY

My Poetry And Prose-Page 1

Here is a collection of my poetry and prose writings that I have written over the years. Most of my writings were created and composed in my youth.

(1) My Soul

I list to a call more ancient than art or form.
I feel the raindrop and the ray of sun.
I cannot check my impulse to feel.
The substance of my feelings are not altogether clear to me.
Their structure is not always open to my investigation.
A gust of wind conveys to me a longing, and a certain music composes me, but I cannot say why.

My soul existed prior to any of my other acquisitions.
I like and dislike spontaneously.
The soul either welcomes or rejects whatever strikes it instantaneously.
The determination is no more mine than is the decision of my heart to beat.
I cannot help what I like or feel.
My power is limited to extent and quality.
I can be the best me possible, or I can aggravate myself by continually going in opposition to my instincts.

(2) Between People

How little we really know about anything at all. After we live a lifetime how little we know of life. Life is feeling, loving, and hoping, but how difficult to pinpoint those things. It is not our houses, the land, and the money, but it is what goes on between people that matters. It is the feelings we cannot put into words, and the emotions that lift us up or cast us down.

This is something we never master, dealing with people, and understanding them. In a sense they are the whole of our existence, for all the other things of life are superfluous. It is for the people we live. We think it is for ourself, but all the time it is for the people in order to gain their love, respect, and admiration.

We need other people to fulfill us. In society is the beauty and harmony we seek. Our lives all touch. We are welded to the tiniest atom of the universe. We are diminished by another's death, and perchance even by another's sorrow.

(3) The Stars

At an early age we learn to revere the stars. They are perhaps the first objects that create in us awe, and that cause us to wonder at and admire the universe. Those twinkling lights out there, the stars, are our first glimpses of mystery.

In youth they speak to us of the unknown. Somehow nothing in life quite compares to the stars. The stars are beyond knowing. They are symbols of life's eternal quest. The stars are mysteries past finding out, but ever sources of wonderment, and reasons to search the wide world and our souls as well.

(4) Living Breathing Creatures All

Living breathing creatures all,
Hear them crying, hear them call!
In the marsh, and in the sea,
Some are bound and some are free;

On the mountains reaching high
creatures all, they live and die;
Some forgotten die alone
Some leave traces to be known.

For some life is but a day,
Some have years to have their say,
Some are still, some roar at the moon,
Some are always out of tune.

After sunup hear the sound,
Countless creatures all around.
Even after sunset may come
Various sounds and songs of some.

In the tall grass they may live
Or home the tall trees may give,
Some may find the cave their home
Open spaces others may roam.

Creatures in their way alike,
yet their own pathway must strike
Living breathing creatures all,
Hear them crying, hear them call!

(5) The Cold Spring Water

There is more to a place than houses and fields, and acres on a deed, there are memories. There are memories of valleys deep and shaded where little springs ooze forth, and wild flowers bloom. It is the feeling one gets in autumn climbing a hill, and the effect of a summer shower that endears a place. It is waking up to familiar sights, and getting to love the things we have become so used to that we would not change them for all the world.

A home is a feeling deep inside us, and no matter where we go or what we do, we never forget our childhood home. I remember the spring that flowed near my childhood farm house. The spring flowed from the base of a hill, and it was the coldest, clearest, sweetest water in the world. As a boy I used to lower my fingers into its cold, clear water, and wonder at the tinkling coldness of the water even in the heat of summer.

The water was so cold I could not hold my fingers in the water very long without them becoming numb. I saw it in the heat of summer still pouring its cold stream forth while the ground around revealed large cracks for want of rain, and I remember seeing the brown leaves and acorns from the old oak tree standing just above it fall and almost clog its free flow in autumn.

I remember seeing the ice in winter freeze part way over it, but never more, and I recall the snow banked on both sides. In the springtime I remember how the world came alive again around the spring's sparkling waters.I remember unloading hay into the barn, and then walking over to the spring feeling hot, dusty, and as if I was going to suffocate, and then taking a drink of the cold water and how good it tasted. I used to dip the dipper into the water and lift it to my mouth, and not drink right away, but just breathe in the water's clean, fresh smell before drinking it.

The water from the spring made me feel refreshed, and to see the whole world in a clearer, fresher light. Sometimes I would look into its clear waters, and wonder at its unceasing stream. I would wonder what strange subterranean passages it must flow through. Sometimes I would wonder about what sights it has witnessed over the ages, and what it may yet behold before the day it stops flowing. Everytime I drank of the waters of that wonderful spring I felt a new love and appreciation for life.

(6) The Everlasting Urge

It is not enough just to live. We must strive for some ideal. Some everlasting urge keeps us from being quiescent. Some prod older than the mountains spurs us on. Creation is not finished with us. We are needed in the continuous expansion.

So we eat and sleep and occupy ourselves with this or that trifle, yet restlessness stirs within us. There are horizons still to command our view, worlds yet to conquer and stars to follow, hopes to crown and ideas to make bloom, wrongs to right and evils to stamp out, darknesses to be lighted up and societies to perfect.

(7) Morning

The birds sing sweetest in the morning. They surely greet the day with exuberance. Perhaps we could take a cue from them. Morning and the sun rises and a new day begins.It is something to sing about.

Our life begins anew every morning, and we are not the same person we were yesterday. Morning gives us another chance as it hands us the keys to another day. Yesterday's mistakes went and washed into an interminable sea, and we will never pass their way again.

This morning is oblivious of yesterday as it is new, fresh, and hopeful. That is what the birds are trying to say. They know the glory of morningtime. Morning is ripe with new opportunities, and anything is possible then.

We die in our sleep a little every night, and every morning we are born again. Morning is an eternal process. All creatures would die of despair if there were no morning, and the world were perpetual day or perpetual night.

Awakening, that is a miracle in itself. Having the gift of another day, a whole new day of our own to live, that is a blessing worth more than all the gold in the world. Morning inspires the birds to sing as they seem aware of how precious life is. We have much to learn from the gentle birds.

(7a) Wait For The Dawn

The darkest night will end,
A shattered heart will mend,
And our worst fears will be gone,
Wait for the dawn.

No matter how long the night.
The daylight will be bright,
And our life will go on,
Wait for the dawn.

Give not in to despair,
We can survive if we dare,
To the night be not a pawn,
Wait for the dawn.

(8) And Live Within Our Love

Come with me my darling
In our garden let us sing,
And live within our love.

By the roses around
Let us in our love be found,
And live within our love.

Our hearts were meant to be
Knit together happily,
And live within our love.

Nothing could there be wrong
If together we belong,
And live within our love.

Life would always be bright,
And everything be right,
And live within our love.

The sun would always shine
If I knew that you were mine,
And live within our love.

We could be king and queen,
And rule an empire unseen,
And live within our love.

Come with me to a star,
Be happy every hour,
And live within our love.

(9) Ember Of Hope

There always glows some ember of hope within, regardless of how desolate and forsaken we feel, that life is good. Our moods rise and fall, and we go down into the darkness only to rise to wonderment and hope again. It seems we no longer aspire, and then almost miraculously new sprouts are put forth.

Something within us refuses to believe that life is futile and nugatory. Nothing is more desturbing than the thought that there is no point or purpose to our lives. We desperately search for some thread with which to tie all our actions together into something meaningful and satisfactory.

All human beings share the need to make life understandable and explainable in regard to their own personal lives. There is an overwhelming need to have meaning and reason to life, to have a code to live by, to have a doctrine or set of principles to believe in, to establish rules of human conduct, and to answer at least some of the fundamental questions as to what an individual's purpose in living should involve. It is a common bond which runs through all of us, this need to understand God's Creation and our role in it.

(9a) May We Have The Courage To Hope

When troubles lead us to despair,
And life seems more than we can bear;
When we can no longer cope,
May we have the courage to hope.

When sorrow and woe fall like rain,
And we can hardly stand the pain;
When for some ray of light we grope,
May we have the courage to hope.

When dark depression shrouds our way,
And fears overwhelm us each day;
When happiness seems beyond our scope,
May we have the courage to hope.

(10) My Soul Reaches For Thee

Out unto Thee O God
My soul reaches in love,
Down Thy paths may I trod
Most Holy One above.

The thunder proclaims Thee,
The night speaks Thy name.
There is no doubt in me
That all things from Thee came.

When I stand all alone
Looking toward the sky
In my heart it is known
That Thou art the most High.

The blowing of the wind
Whispers of Thy nearness,
All the things around blend
Speaking of Thy dearness.

Could I live knowing not
That Thou my God art real
When Thou art all about,
And Thy presence I feel?

(11) Fireflies

There is nothing more mysterious and wonderful to a young child than fireflies. Fireflies, how they thrill a youth when first seen in early spring. They carry their lanterns around with them, those little nocturnal insects. We never quite outgrow that awe and wonder at the mysteries and glories of nature, but as we grow older it becomes less magical to us.

Those fireflies remind us of our youth, and inspite of ourself we still feel some of the old excitement at the sight of them as we once did. We remember how we use to chase them, and catch them, and watch them glow in our hand.

However, when we grow older many of us begin to think of fireflies as just plain old bugs. The magic goes out of it for us. None can tell just when it happens, but one day we wake up and the mystery has gone out of life.

When little things such as fireflies no longer excite us, we have lost something. Happiness is a nebulous thing, and I suppose one might say that for a child at a certain age at the right time of year, happiness is a firefly.

(11a) Little Firefly

Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
Night's not the same without you, little firefly.
Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
Won't you come out tonight, little firefly?


Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
I would be so happy to see you, little firefly.
Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
Won't you come out tonight, little firefly?

Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
I long for a visit from you, little firefly.
Firefly, firefly, up in the sky,
Won't you come out tonight, little firefly?

(12) Life's Purpose

I search for life's purpose. I search for my purpose in life. We are happy when we find and pursue. We are unhappy when we stray from it. That which our heart and mind agree on is right for us. We must listen and meditate for guidance. We must in patience wait for truth.

Years may pass, but we must not be remiss in our quest. Our soul will be contented by and by. We will find our Nirvana, and the quiet waters wil flow through our being. Our purpose was etched in the stars before the foundation of the world.

(13) A Murmur

I denote a murmur in the air. It is the pulse of the universe. I listen and all is still, yet there is a murmur.Listen sometime when you are all alone and the stars shine up in the sky. Listen in the darkness of the night when silence rules, and perhaps you will hear a murmur, not from a given sound, but from the innermost part of your being.

Your being is linked up with some higher being as all things are gravitated by a center. You are in fact at one with the being of all things. Oh, you may not think so after a hectic, trying day when everything seems wrong, but you are a part of something wonderful called being.

(14) The Sea Of Life Life

This great sea
I am cast within,
No shoreline I can see
In this sea among men.

Waters so vast
Overwhelm my soul.
In the sea I am cast,
In the depths I roll.

How churns the waves
On this sea so great.
My soul understanding craves
Midst this fearful state.

(15) The Swallows

What a joy it is to watch the swallows gliding in the air at evening time. How they dart and flit ranging high into the air, and then plummeting just overhead. The swallows are experts at catching mosquitoes, and are ever at the close of day diligently pursuing that task.

They cut corners in mid-air effortlessly utilizing their triangular wings. Happy, serene creatures they seem to be skimming over the treetops. Generally they fly four or five together just above the treetops along a little rivulet in a secluded valley.

The swallows maneuver so easily and freely in the air, and make it seem like such fun. Somehow swallows seem not quite real, but almost like spirits or thoughts born of fancy, or like the shadowy figures of a dream. They seem so much a part of the scene, adornments that belong at that place at that time, that we often do not take notice of them.

Flying in their peculiar circles, swallows are entrancing sights. They seem not quite of earth, but inhabitants of the heavens, at one with the clouds and breezes, members of an angelic band dancing in the air.

(16) Oh, To Soar Like The Hawk

Oh, to soar like the hawk! To range far into the sky, and make my home among those clouds he goes flying by. See him gliding now, that master of the air, who rides out the fiercest gales with ease, and makes his home on the peaks of clouds.

His huge wings take him miles with ease, and grant him lord of the sky, a sailing in the blue. See him now motionless in the air, a brown spot in all that vastness, a lone symbol proclaiming life's glory. The hawk rides the air waves as ships ride the waves of the sea. One moment he is just overhead, and the next a mere speck in the sky. Hear his piercing whistle, his shrill call, as it echoes from hill to hill.

The hawk is a free creature. He is not tied to our earth, or subjected to our customs. He is not restricted to our dusty and thorny pathways. The hawk goes his own way, and is not bounded by the hills as he knows no boundaries save those of his own indominable spirit.

He flies above our petty woes, and pays no heed to our strife as he soars above the noise and soot we live amongst. His realm is that of the clouds and the freshest air. The winds that cool him are those nearest the heavens. A glorious experience would be seeing life as he sees it. To be as the hawk is our aspiration, and enjoy such liberty.

(17) I Ponder

Midnight and I ponder on the world and life and people, ponder on infinity and God, ponder on the reasons and designs of created things. I ponder on the world within me, that world of emotion which chokes and smothers, delights and intoxicates, and which concocts on the slightest pretense monstrous fears, and embellishes a maidens smile with ineffable beauty.

I ponder on the hopes and dreads which seem to imbue my thoughts side by side and day by day. I ponder on the doubts that weight me down, and on the beliefs that prop me up.

I explore my heart for a grain of truth. There has got to be a reasonable plan of living. There has got to be some order out of all this chaos. My thoughts are jumbled. a veil has been placed between me and truth. My life is slipping away, and so little do I really know about life.

I have not lived a day that has not been replete with uncertainty and discontent. How I search for something true and lasting that will satisfy this longing in my soul.

In the night I look out the window and see the stars, and they seem so far away. I shudder not from the cold, but from loneliness. All my years have not yielded me the peace I sought. All my searching has not yielded me understanding.

We spend our lives searching for truth. We search for it in our work and in other people, we search for it in the earth and in the sky, we search for it with our hands, our hearts, and with our minds, we search with our senses, our pleasures, and our woes. We search for truth in the night when we are alone with our thoughts. We search for truth when we are in a crowd of people, look for it in their eyes, and on their faces, listen for it in their words, and in their voices.

Truth is the tantalus that draws the scientist to continue his exhausting experiments, and that prompts the writer to search his soul for expression. It is the belief that maybe truth is over the next hill that keeps us going.

(18) Where Goes

Where goes the light at night?
In fall where flees the green unseen?
Where flies the robin "til spring?
In the sun where goes the dew unto?
Where goes the stars in day?
Where goes our soul to stay?

(19) The Old Gate

The house where I was born
Has long since gone,
And I feel quite forlorn
As my parents have passed on.

Though sagging with weight of years
The old yard gate yet stands in place.
It almost brings forth tears
So many memories round it grace.

My feet have trod past it there
Since I was a lad small
Sometimes heavy with care,
Sometimes caring not at all.

Through summers sweltering hot,
Winters long and cold
Ever swinging about
It has opened times untold.

(20) Change

I returned to the place where I had been born after many years. The old farmhouse had been torn down, and my parents had passed away. But the sunlight and the trees seemed the same. The little stream flowing over the rocks seemed the same. The birds sang just as sweetly, and even seemed the same birds I heard as a child. The birds that cheered me then, they seemed to cheer me now.

The wind had not changed as it still made that same wailing sound, and still rustled the leaves and cooled my brow. Those were the same hills I used to play upon and climb and pretend as I watched the clouds, and viewed the valley below. Yet it was not the same, and would never ever be the same again.

(21) The Virtues

Prudence

In the light of cardinal virtues
Prudence most fairly doth shine
Being in quality discreet,
The path of reason it pursues
That it might skill and sagacity combine,
Caution is its ever friend
As it with prudence doth blend.

Fortitude

And fortitude stands by to hold back
All enemies of the fair light
With out fear adversity meets,
And of endurance there be no lack
With a firmness standing against the night,
No giving forth under strain,
Nor falling back for fear of pain.

Temperance

Of all the pure lights of life that fall
Temperance reaches a hand
To hold one in the perfect way,
An ever present guide to all
Of moderation of life and self command
Of the passions and the appetites to still
Under control of a good will.

Justice

Justice the shining law of good men,
with integrity to hold,
With rectitude to show the way
Of Right prevail and through it win
A fairness and worthiness more manifold,
And with it ever fair and clear
It does bring righteousness more near.

Faith

Of Christian virtues and light most pure
Faith stands out shining afar
With a trust so good though unseen,
A confidence that grows more sure.
No tempest from the storms of evil can jar
The faith in God on high
that right and good shall never die.

Hope

And then hope comes forth from despair,
Happiness through promise blooms
With thus a hold on which to lean
The fondest hope can grow more fair,
As on the infinite the hoping now looms
Trust with expectations so
That the mind and soul the truth know.

Love

And now the crowning virtue is love,
More divine than all the rest,
With light more perfect and more clear,
A light more near to God above.
Of all virtues charity is by far best,
For it is the power good
To make men do the things they should.

(22) God, Our Best Friend

He can make the crooked paths straight,
He can cause the storms to abate,
He can create hope from hopeless clay,
And through darkest night show the way.

He can make joy come from sorrow,
He can create a glad tomorrow,
He can create peace for going on,
And be a friend when all are gone.

He can give the weary rest,
He can show the way that is best,
He can create a spirit in man
That will beyond the clouds span.

(23) It Is A Beautiful World

It is a beautiful world. This beauty is not just for the eyesight alone, but down deep within everything.

This beauty is apparent in the songs of birds, in mothers' loving their young, and in the coolness of evening time. It is physical evidence of the divine that emits beauty to our hearts.

This divinity exists in everything, and is part and parcel of all we know. Our senses are constantly taking in an abundance of beautiful impressions. The world is rich with treasure allright, but not the kind bought and sold.

Beauty is intangible, for it exists in the individual perception. We cannot evoke beauty except through the thought channels. Truly beauty is a thing man cannot get his hands on and hoard, or cannot obtain illicitly.

When our heart ceases to accomodate beauty, all the lovely sights, sounds, and words cannot secure beauty for us. Beauty is a state of mind, and as such knows no boundaries save those we place on it. If we believe all is ugly and cruel everything will seem so.

If we doubt anything is beautiful, then even our senses may not be able to persuade us otherwise. Our instincts told us the world and life was beautiful long before we even knew how to say so ourselves.

(24) Living With people

We are all in this together. Life and death, and pain and woe, happiness and sorrow are things we all have in common. We must share the world, must be willing to give of our time to others, must have understanding, forbearance, and patience to prevent alienation. We must give up some things for the sake of other people.

We must be able to give up our little pleasures and little vices and make it a better world in spite of ourself. No one gains from renunciating people. The day is long when we have no friends. Labor is twice as hard when we have malice in our heart.

We cannot go far and we tire easily when we lack the capacity to love others. Strength lies in compassion. We win the day if we care for others. See where the sunlight falls, it is on the face the person who has love. Only darkness compasses the the one who hates. Beauty is virtue's flower. Happiness is the flower of love. It was true two thousand years ago, and it will be true two thousand years from now.

(25) My Love

If I should ever have the supreme honor and privilege of finding love, I would bring my love the sunshine every morning, and a cup of fairest dew to sup. I would her hair with roses deck and place the moonbeams 'round her neck. I would steal a bit of starlight and place it on her cheek, and catch a golden raindrop and place it in her heart.

I would buy her a rainbow to put over her shoulders, and the blue sky above I would give her for my love. I would sing her love songs in the night, and bring her melody in her dreams.

I would cool her brow with the wind, and whisper I love you in the breeze. I would have the birds to sing for her, and the bells to ring for her. I would have her never know sadness, nor bitterness, nor woe, but ever know of my love. In my arms I would hold her from all the ravages of time.

She would be my pearl, my riches, my love, my life. I would find her eyes ever my joy, and ever look into them with my love. I would touch her as if i were touching something precious, and ever feel that she was something divine, something beyond mere flesh and blood. Oh, if she loved me and I loved her just think how wonderful life would be. I almost believe such a thing could not happen, but if it should I would never again doubt the goodness of life. she would be my goodness forever.

(26) Love Is Its Own Reward

There is only one thing more wonderful than to be loved, and that is to love. Love is its own reward. By loving we save ourselves from the horrors of hate. Imagine how dark the hearts of people would be if there were no love. Take all the love out of the world, and we would not survive the day. There is so much in opposition to love in the human heart. such things a hate, fear, jealousy, envy, anger, pride, and distrust war against the love in our heart. Love has to be right else nothing is right.

Evil, the darker side of people, seems to dominate the world at times. People often exhibit hostility with their frowns and scowls. People are often gruff and impatient, and we begin to think it may be all a dream, this business about love. We begin to think that maybe love exists only in fairy tales, and not in everyday life in the common workaday world.

At the end of a trying day it is difficult to believe there is any such thing as love, but rather a dog eat dog world. Somehow, someway, however some portion of love enters our heart, someone is kind to us, someone smiles at us and pats us on the back, someone pays us a compliment, someone goes out of their way to help us, and we manage to subdue our despair and believe and hope again.

(27) The Sad Irony

At so little are we distressed; we who possess houses, land, and possessions galore, we who never hunger, and are never left out in the cold, while numberless are the hordes, whole seas of humanity, who live and die starving and naked in the streets.

They are human beings just like us who unfortunately were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Have we any more right to life than they? We who have so much, but would you listen to us complain. Because we are healthy and well-fed we have the vigor to complain, but those poor unfortunates, the outcasts of the earth, have no strength left to even cry out against a cruel world.

We sit back in luxury, we the pampered of the earth, and lament the price of beans, or some little ache or pain. How unthankful we are as we grow fat and lazy eating and drinking ourselves to death.Even with all our blessings we are still unhappy, and we never seem to get enough.We are blind and cannot see how well off we are.

Perhaps for all our luxuries and possessions when all is said and done we do not fare much better, and are not much more contented than those who are born with nothing and die with nothing. It is a sad irony that those who have do not enjoy it, not really, and are less appreciative of life than those who must struggle for every morsel to exist.

(28) Somebody Who Cares

There has got to be somebody who cares. There has got to be somebody who cares about human life, respects people, and who feels deeply. It is that person who makes life valuable. Pain, bloodshed, and devastation are in part tolerable if there is left one person with enough magnitude of heart to view the ashes with compassion.

We can go to our graves with a degree of peace if we know that those who follow us will possess mercy. The person who cares gives us new hope, raises us above our mortal weaknesses, and inspires us to great and noble ends.

We would despair and cry out for an escape from a brutish world, did we not find some feeling and tenderness in the hearts of people. It is this little sparkle of the divine, this love light which shines through the eyes, and is conveyed from the heart, which keeps us believing in others and in ourselves.

It is not in vain all the struggling, all the sacrifices, and all the hardships humanity has endured since the beginning if it has produced a people who are concerned. We sink into dejection with our minds, and our hearts are brought low by the evil aspects of life, and almost we doubt if anyone is interested, or more than mildly concerned whether our plight is desperate or not. We are sometimes denied that morsel of kindness which we need to survive.

(29) The Old Whiskey Bottle

In the middle of nowhere I came upon an old whiskey bottle. Overgrown with weeds it looked as if it might have lain in that state for a number of years. The label was worn off, and the contents long departed. It once contained a half pint of liquid that once fired someone's mind, once soothed a troubled soul, or at least dulled it with stupor.

The person who drank it might also be departed, or perhaps merely guzzling down another of the same. I wonder what story it could tell about that night or day when haplessly it was thrown in that ignoble grave.

It looked harmless enough lying there a testimony to someone's carelessness and thoughtlessness, but put all together the forgotten, recklessly discarded empty alcohol bottles and cans of this world add up to quite a mess.

Once it adorned a tavern shelf, and once it fitted nicely in a person's hand, but now it abides with grass and weeds, snakes and lizards crawl over it, toads and crickets use it for a seat, and spiders build webs around it.

Hard earned money was spent to obtain that bottle while maybe wife and children were doing without needed food and clothing. That bottle might have contributed to a broken home or a traffic accident. That bottle might still be wreaking its havoc in the lives of the people wrecked by it. Now it lies buffeted by rain and snow out of place even here, and a scar on the landscape.

(30) Self

Self demands so much of our thoughts, and so much of our time and energy. But there is so much more than self in the world. A devotee to self has no time for anything else, as his pursuits become those of gratification of self. His vanity prevents his having anything but a grudging and peremptory relationship with other people.

It is difficult for a selfish person to be diplomatic and meet people half way. Only the person who puts self behind him can truly care for other people. Only those who are oblivious of self ever find serenity. Only those who are oblivious of gain or ascendancy over other people ever find contentment. The true measure of unselfishness is devotion to humanity.

Except for a very few exceptional persons, few people think beyond self. Yet there is something else in man, a small semblance of self sacrifice for the common good in every heart. What freedom it would be to be free of self, or at least gain a new self. No man is free as long as he has care. No man is free as long as he has the least bit of selfishness. What a mean slavery, this self love. How fresh and clear the air, and how bright and broad the world when we forget about self and care for other people.

(31) Searching

We search and we search our life away
Ever and ever seeking to find.
We scan the sky, we climb the mountain of clay
Trying to justify life to our mind.

We reach, we touch, and then we lose hold,
It is this, and that, and then is gone.
We are young in the search, and then are old.
Too great this place we search upon.

But search we must for we are here.
The God who put us here must know.
He surely has left some secrets near,
Pointing out the way we should go.

(32) Above

That is all we can ever do,
keep reaching above,
Keep reaching out unto,
Keep reaching out in love.

But let us never fall below,
Nor reach down too far,
For nothing good down does grow,
But ever upward does aspire.

Looking downward darkness we find,
Above beams the sunshine,
Downward only dims the mind.
Above everything is fine.

If we would reach with our hand,
Let us reach up high,
Let us look above the land,
And look up into the sky.

Above there lies our only hope,
Beneath lies despair,
Let us not below grope,
But reach into the air.

Up above there lies the answer
To all we ever need,
So above let us refer,
A reaching high indeed.

(33) War

Peace gained and not soon lost
After war has been
Can in some way pay the cost,
But cannot bring back the men.

Oh that men of power and state
Could see the evil in war well,
And looking in the eye of fate,
Could see war as it is, a Hell!

Oh that the faces of those that have died
Might appear within their sight!
Could they hear how the dying cried,
And still send men to fight?

Is conscience so far gone
From men who high office hold,
That they let war go on?
Is not this insanity old?

To satisfy a mad man's whim
A million men might cease to live,
And all this because of him.
What repentance could he give?

But war corrupts not one but all,
They all shout like foolish sheep
For this most cursed evil they call,
And then they cry and weep.

What folly sets aflame
Within men this love of war?
Why do they play this deadly game?
Why do they dabble in this ghastly fire?

(34) Salvation

Lift up your eyes and believe,
And you may your salvation receive.
All your old sins are cast into the sea,
and there forever to be.

Come and serve Jesus then,
and depart from your sin.
Jesus came to seek and to save.
Upon the cross He redemption gave.

If you repent with your whole heart,
He will forgiveness impart.
All that He asks of you
Is to repent and be true.

He will not turn you away,
Neither in the night nor the day.
Come to Him in your sorrow,
Have no fear of tomorrow.

He will His comfort give.
You may within His love live.
Think not His Compassion gone,
For it shall forever live on.

Everlasting mercy He does own.
His blood for your sins shall atone.
He casts away no one.
He withholds mercy from none.

(35) The Natural World

I never can lose my awe at the unparallelled beauty of the natural world that is unspoiled by people. Each season has its glory. Wind and rain I number among my trusted friends. My mind is calmer near trees, flowers, the grass, and the soil. My nerves relax listening to the aria of the birds and the whispering leaves.

I am richly blessed, for I still see images in clouds. The richness of the world lies in our perception. Some days it is good just to be. Beneath all the froth and sputtering there dwells the quiet. We come and look again at those things that are natural and grow out of the earth, and somehow our mind is eased.

(36) An Aura

There is an aura which emits from a person. In our mind we have a vague picture, and a vague feeling about a person quite apart from any physical distinctions which make up that person. If we like them the thought is pleasant as we bring them to mind, and the picture of them is bright and sometimes colorful, while the feeling about them is warm and happy.

Those people who are difficult to like form dark and tumultuous pictures in our mind, while our feelings about them are cold, and it is painful to think of them. In our recollections of people we remember the little things. Forgotten are most of what they said, though we might remember the way they tilted their head. We might remember the manner in which they smiled, or how they squinted their eyes when they went to speak. Possibly we recall how they laughed, or how they held their hands.

Somehow the words get lost, though at the time they might have seemed important. Afterwards, years afterward, all we remember is their smile, and whether they seemed to like us or not. We remember whether they seemed happy or sad. We remember them as a whole, and not from any one day, happening, or feature, but as one complete, unchanging memory.

(37) The Forest Denizens

The woods are not lonely as one might suppose, but has many inhabitants who live and die there. I step into the forest and at first I see very few creatures, but I wait awhile and soon they begin to reveal themselves. I see a rabbit tiptoe down the path on cotton soled feet, and then a squirrel scampers down the trunk of a tree making a scraping sound on the bark as he comes.

Then all of a sudden a chipmonk shuffles through the leaves only a few feet away, and that very instant I spot a hawk circling above the treetops creeing at the top of his lungs. Then a quail with her little chicks comes darting by hiding in the leaves. My need for companionship is gratified by those gentle folk who quietly eye me, but go on about their business. In their way they seem to say that they trust me.

(38) Heaven

Peace and joy are within thee,
And the soul is incredibly happy.
In this blessed state shall ever be,
To be as the angels above.
Ever dwelling within love.

God shall wipe away all tears,
And take away all doubts and fears,
as sweet music the soul ever hears,
Harps playing and the angels singing,
And the golden bells gently ringing.

God himself shall be the light,
And in that place there shall be no night.
Where everything shall always be right,
Where great mansions are built for all,
This our paradise we shall call.

(39) The Sound of Rain

I like the sound of music, birds, and the wind, but the sweetest sound I have ever heard is the sound of rain. I listen to the rain falling on the roof and it calms my troubled heart. It helps me to forget my failures, my fears, and my resentments in my moments of depression. In my moments of happiness the falling rain enhances my pleasure. In my moments of in between, which is generally, the rain lends itself to my melancholy pensive mood of sad happiness and happy sadness.

The rain is so cheerful and yet seemingly so sad. It does make everything so fresh, the air, the grass, the flowers, and the very world itself. And that wonderful, rich, harmonious sound the rain makes when it taps its sweet tones on everything around, the ground, an old tin bucket, a puddle of water, never ceases to delight me.

I listen to the rain with somewhat the same reverence I listen to a prayer being said, or a beautiful ancient songbeing sung. In the night especially the rain sings melodious songs to my soul. Contentment comes to me when I listen to the rain, though it is often mingled with a sad regret, or a sense of having lost something exquisite.

There is something romantic, mystical, serene, and beautiful about the falling rain. When the rain falls one becomes enraptured by the ageless sound.

(39a) The Smell Of The Rain

I love the smell of the rain,
the fresh, clean smell of the rain,
The wonderful scent of the rain laden air,
Wafted by the rushing wind so fair.

As I hear the torrent flow by,
And the sound of thunder on high,
I take in a breath of the storm,
And feel wonder at its awesome form.

From youthful memories I recall,
As a child taking in it all,
And still I love the smell of the rain,
the fresh, clean smell of the rain.

(40) Timeless Things

A glance at the trees, and then at the grass, a glance at the flowers in May and the bird of blue, and there is no beginning or end. Change stops at the edge of the woods. Modernization creeps no farther. They cannot stop the wild grape from twining, or rob the seasons of their charm.

The bulldozers crush and devastate, but the grass peeks through when they are gone. I walk beneath the old sun again as the twigs are all decked in their green finery, and the sky is a replendent blue. I feel the tender caresses of the wind, and hear the hum and silence as to my mind comes a flicker of happiness.

(41) Labor

Labor improves the spirit. It wears us down and wrings us out until we haven't anything left that is vile or vicious. Hard work gives us humility rather than vanity, and honest pride rather than conceit.

The person who gives himself to tiresome, arduous, and often monotonous labor becomes a little less selfish, for labor is a form of self-sacrifice. A person must deny himself, his time, his energy, and his pleasures to perform that great oblation, work. The person who comes home at night weary, and gladly flops into bed has paid his debt to society and to himself.

Work heals our wounds, while idleness only aggravates them more. Productive hours pass smoothly, while unproductive hours clog and grind by. Labor is the key in the lock which opens all of life's doors, while for absence of labor all doors remain locked. It is in lifting our load, and tugging at our task where all the honor and happiness lies.

(42) Time

Time races far too fast to suit me. I like to contemplate, but while I am contemplating two or three years pass-a lifetime passes away. I contemplate about life, beauty, truth, goodness, God, the essence of being, wildflowers, kittens, or the sounds in a forgotten valley. I contemplate the stars, the wonders of the universe, the butterflies, the snowflakes, and suddenly I have grown older, much older. Why can't time stop a little while? Why can't time stop and rest awhile? Where is it going so fast? Why is our being locked in time's power?

(43) The Blue Jay

I hear a blue jay in a nearby tree proclaiming loudly that he is there. The jay crows at the sun, and a happy fellow he seems bathed in the bright morning light. On and on he sings at the top of his lungs-sings, "'tis a glorious day". Across the sky he flies singing even then.

I hear the wind rising and falling, stirring the leaves, and gently flooding my brow with coolness. A momentary silence then, neither jay nor wind, as there is a pause like between heartbeats or between breaths. Now jay and wind both resound with new vigor as if refreshed by their respite.

It is a peaceful day of quiet and simple joys, a kind and gentle day in this place at this time. No ill wind blows this day, and no bird of prey is about for it is a day of innocence as love rules the hour. I wish all days were such as it would make living a simple task, and life seem blessed. The jay is singing once more in even more pleasant mood. His object no doubt is to grant me peaceful thoughts. Afternoon In The Forest

I surveyed the various patterns the sunlight made as it filtered through the treetops, and flickered here and there on the ferns and dead leaves that made up the forest floor. The air was damp, and smelled of decayed leaves and wood. It was pleasant there, though an unpleasant member of that realm, a mosquito buzzed about my face. A daddy-longlegs spider shuffled through the leaves at my feet, and then ventured to crawl up my pant's leg. After flicking him off with my finger, I leaned my head back against the rough bark of the tree.

I closed my eyes and listened to the soft whispering of the wind rustling the treetops, and listened to the faint, but steady hum of insects buzzing in those woods. I heard various birds singing in the distance. It waslate afternoon with white clouds hanging lazily in the sky, and though it was not yet fall, it was late summer and the leaves had already begun to fall. Slowly it became darker in that deep valley as the sunlight shone only on the tops of the trees, and barely peeked from the hillside in front of me. I was witness to an ancient scene that generations of my ancestors before me had witnessed.

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