Mother

Mother
No nobler thought
my soul may claim
no softer word
my tongue may frame
than that one word
Mother
Of all the compassion
sweetness and love
of all the goodness 
of heaven above
God Bless that
one word
Mother

CLOCKS

government has changed our clocks again

they do this twice every year without fail

my chickens could care less they have no clock

as daylight approaches they slowly awaken

twilight deepens they return to their roost

an almanac is totally useless they don’t read

what need have they of a weather forecast

instincts protect from seasonal vagaries

God gave man dominion over all animals

but still we have learned nothing from them

all share one hundred sixty eight hours each week

yet it is man who thinks he can alter time

can a carpenter cut a piece from a board

add it to the other end making it longer

spring forward fall back days are still days

moving our clocks an hour changes nothing

man in his arrogance always falls short

GRANDPA’S HANDS

        Grandpa
some ninety plus years
sitting feebly on a patio bench
not moving with his head down
just staring at his hands
so I sat down beside him
he appeared not to notice

as I sat longer I began
to wonder if he was OK
not wanting to disturb him
yet needing to check on him
finally asked if he was OK

He raised his grizzled head
looked at me and smiled
Yes, I’m fine, thanks for asking
he said in a strong clear voice

I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa,
but you were just sitting here
just staring at your hands
I wanted to make sure you were OK

Have you ever looked at your hands
I mean really looked at your hands?

I slowly opened my hands
stared down at them
turned them over
palms up then palm down.
No, I guess I had never
really looked at my hands
as I tried to figure out
what point he was making.

Grandpa smiled and related his story
Stop and think for a moment
about the hands you have
how they have served you
throughout your years

These hands though wrinkled,
shriveled and weak now
have been the tools
I have used all my life
to reach out grab and embrace life
They braced and caught my fall
when as a toddler
I crashed upon the floor

They put food in my mouth
and clothes on my back
As a child I was taught
to fold them in prayer

They dried the tears of my children
caressed the love of my life

They tied my shoes
pulled on my boots
They held my rifle
and wiped my tears
when I went off to war

They have been dirty,
scraped, raw, swollen, bent

Decorated with my wedding band
they showed the world I was married
and loved someone special
They were uneasy, clumsy
when I tried to hold
our first newborn child

They wrote the letters home
trembled and shook those sad times
I buried my parents then my spouse
walked my daughter down the aisle

Yet they were strong
when I dug my buddy
out of a foxhole
and lifted a heavy plow
off my best friend’s foot

They have held children,
consoled neighbors,
shook in fists of anger
when I didn’t understand.

They covered my face
washed and combed my hair
cleansed the rest of my body

They have been sticky and wet
bent and broken, dried and raw
And to this day when not much
else of me works real well
these hands hold me up
lay me down again
continue to fold in prayer

These hands are the mark
of where I’ve been
the ruggedness of my life

But more importantly
it will be these hands
that God will reach out
and take when he leads me home
And with these hands He
will lift me to His side
where I will use these hands
to touch the face of Christ

I will never look at my hands
quite the way same again
But I remember God reached out
took my Grandpa’s hands
then led him home

When my hands are hurt or sore
or when I stroke the faces
of my children and wife
I think of Grandpa.
I know he has been stroked, caressed
and held by the hands of God.
I, too, want to touch the face of God
and feel His hands upon my face.

INTO THE FUTURE

clem_expoAs the old year becomes memories
and we move forward into the future
I ask God to bless all those  who
have taken time to visit my simple blog
some have only given a curious glance
as they passed through on their way
to areas more interesting than mine
there have been many visitors
most with encouraging comments
all have been a blessing to me
and I pray that one day I can
give just one other blogger
the kind of encouragement they need
to continue sharing their thoughts
with those interested persons
most of whom few of us will ever meet
May the Lord and Father of us all
continue to bless us and keep His
sheltering arms around us as we
go through this coming New Year
help us to always stay in His Service
in the name of Jesus we pray; Amen