Memorial Day

I hung the flag out today

The grand red, white and blue

In memory of all those who died

For our land, so precious and true.

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Their blood, sweat and nerve

Permeate every grain of sand

And surge within leaves and grass:

“Walk softly on this sacred land.”

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The wind echoes with their cries

Do you hear them calling out?

From sea to shining seas they sound

Over hill and dale they shout.

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Oh, say can you see

By the dawn’s early light,

The glorious red, white and blue?

It’s there! It’s within sight!

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We’ll remember all they gave

For those who followed too;

They are owed such a great debt.

“Patriots, we’ll never forget you!”

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Memorial Day 2017

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© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

 

LIVING

 

To touch the cup with eager lips and taste,

not drain it;

To woo and tempt and court a bliss—

and not attain it;

To fondle and caress a joy,

yet hold it lightly,

Lest it become necessity

and cling too tightly;

To watch the sun set in the west

without regretting;

To hail its advent in the east

—the night forgetting;

To smother care in happiness

and grief in laughter;

To hold the present close

—not questioning hereafter;

To have enough to share

—to know the joy of giving;

To thrill with all the sweets of life

—is living.

                                                         unknown

A BAG OF TOOLS

 

 

Isn’t it strange

That princes and kings

And clowns that caper

In sawdust rings,

And common people

Like you and me

Are builders for eternity?

 

Each is given a bag of tools,

A shapeless mass,

A book of rules;

And each must make–

Ere life is flown—

A stumbling block

Or a steppingstone.

—R. L. Sharpe

I’m Flyin’

© Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

 

 

I am a perpetual dreamer.  As a little girl, I believed in the little stories I read, the songs I sang, and the few movies I saw.  I could vanish for a whole day in the words of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah—

“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay My, oh my, what a wonderful day Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

“Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder It’s the truth, it’s actual Ev’rything is satisfactual Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!”

~ by Ray Gilbert

and rematerialize with that bluebird on my shoulder.  Every word etched its meaning into my spirit, and the sunshine did head my way.  It’s the truth…it’s actual.

Being little was the grandest time of life.  As little people we accepted things with simplicity and an anything goes attitude.  If we could imagine it, then IT was real.  Do you remember playing cops and robbers?  Cowboys and Indians?  (I must interject here that I was a tomboy!) You could be Tonto or the Lone Ranger; you became Dick Tracy til you went to bed and woke up to a new identity.  Or you became Silver and could run faster than any other horse.  You even knew where to find the best sour grass in the whole world, that secret place out behind Grandpa’s barn.

I think my favorite hero to play was Superman.  There was this special field near my house that had a long narrow lay of the land, with a slight dip in the middle of it, perfect for lift-off.  I’d start at one end of it and run for all it was worth til I reached the middle.  There I would jump into the air, arms outstretched and nose to the clouds, believing with all my stubby legs that I was IN THE AIR…only to set down a few seconds later on the dusty dry ground.  But I kept trying and trying…and trying.  Oh, what fun, acting as these imaginary people.

One song especially affected my young life:

Somewhere over the Rainbow

*composed by Harold Arlen and the lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

When all the world is a hopeless jumble And the raindrops tumble all around, Heaven opens a magic lane When all the clouds darken up the skyway, There’s a rainbow highway to be found Leading from your window pane To a place behind the sun, Just a step beyond the rain

Somewhere over the rainbow Bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can’t I?

 

I sang that song with my heart, thinking that if I truly believed, I could fly over that rainbow with those bluebirds.  With childlike faith I DID fly over the rainbow.  It launched me into an imagined escape from the very troubled world in which I actually lived, an escape I desperately needed.

I still dream…every time I read a book, a poem, watch a movie, attend a play, hear Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time, and more.  Heaven does open, like the song trilled, to a place beyond the sun, just a step beyond the rain…to a whole new world that God calls heaven.  The Bible states that a heavenly home waits for everyone that has drawn their life on the account of Jesus Christ.  And it’s not a dream.  It is reality.  It’s signed, sealed and delivered…waiting for the nod of your head, the creaking open of the door to your heart, the throwing down of the ultimate freewill of one’s soul.  “Yes, Lord, I am yours.”

L’Chaim!

 

The Rose Still Grows Beyond the Wall

 

 

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,

Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,

Watered and fed by morning dew,

Shedding its sweetness day and night.

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As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,

Slowly rising to loftier height,

It came to a crevice in the wall,

Through which there shone a beam of light.

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Onward it crept with added strength,

With never a thought of fear or pride

It followed the light through the crevice’s length

And unfolded itself on the other side.

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The light, the dew, the broadening view

Were found the same as they were before;

And it lost itself in beauties new,

Breathing its fragrance more and more.

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Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,

And make our courage faint or fail?

Nay!  Let us faith and hope receive:

The rose still grows beyond the wall.

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Scattering fragrance far and wide,

Just as it did in days of yore,

Just as it did on the other side,

Just as it will for evermore.

~A. L. Frink

 

 

Now the day is over . . .

 

Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh,

Shadows of the evening steal across the sky.

Jesus, give the weary calm and sweet repose;

With thy tenderest blessing may mine eyelids close.

 

Grant to little children visions bright of Thee;

Guard the sailors tossing on the deep blue sea.

Comfort every sufferer watching late in pain,

Those who plan some evil from their sin restrain.

 

Through the long night watches may thine angels spread

Their white wings above me watching round my bed.

When the morning awakens, then may I arise

Pure and fresh and sinless in Thy holy eyes.

 

~Sabine Baring-Gould

A WOMAN’S QUESTION

 

Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing

Ever made by the Hand above?

A woman’s heart, and a woman’s life—

And a woman’s wonderful love.

 

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing

As a child might ask for a toy?

Demanding what others have died to win,

With the reckless dash of a boy.

 

You have written my lesson of duty out;

Manlike, you have questioned me.

Now stand at the bar of my woman’s soul

Until I shall question thee.

 

You require your mutton shall always be hot,

Your socks and your shirt be whole;

I require your heart to be true as God’s stars

And as pure as His heaven your soul.

 

You require a cook for your mutton and beef,

I require a far greater thing;

A seamstress you’re wanting for socks and shirts—

I look for a man and a king.

 

A king for the beautiful realm called Home,

And a man that his Maker, God,

Shall look upon as He did on the first

And say: “It is very good.”

 

I am fair and young, but the rose may fade

From my soft young cheek one day;

Will you love me then ‘mid the falling leaves,

As you did ‘mong the blossoms of May?

 

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep,

I may launch my all on its tide?

A loving woman finds heaven or hell

On the day she is made a bride.

 

I require all things that are grand and true,

All things that a man should be;

If you give this all, I would stake my life

To be all you demand of me.

 

If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook

You can hire and little to pay;

But a woman’s heart and a woman’s life

Are not to be won that way!

~Lena Lathrop