Archive for December 2011

May Day   1 comment

Frances and Dana May

Above:  Frances and Dana May

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EXPLANATORY NOTE:

Frances May is my great-aunt on my mother’s side.  Frances Oleta Northcutt was born in Abilene, Texas, on December 24, 1920.  She married Dana Warren May in Crystal City, Texas, on June 8, 1943.  Great-uncle Dana, born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on January 29, 1921, died in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on January 14, 2001.  They had two children, Linda Sue May (born August 29, 1947, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma) and Carl Wesley May (born on January 26, 1951, in Tahlequah).  Uncle Carl married Paula Kay “Katy” Mead in 1979 and had two daughters, Stacy Lynn May (born in 1980) and Kimberly Joan May (born in 1983).  Chronological evidence places the composition of this poem no earlier than 1984.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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Twas the day from retirement and down at the school

Our Frances was barely just keeping her cool.

Her grade book and papers were ready to go

And things were in order for Gary and Joe.

The students were taking their last final tests

While using their cheat sheets they had hid in their desks.

Some girls in their short-shorts and boys in their caps

Were settling their heads on their heads for a nap.

Then Frances looked forward in thoughts that did chatter

To the future when problems like these would not matter.

Away her thoughts flew as it came in a flash

What her life would be like with no wild morning dash

To get up at dawn and get dressed in the dark

To be first at the school for a good place to park.

No more coffee to make to be nice and hot

And no roaches to clean from that old coffee pot.

No staff development days to be spent

Or faculty meetings to ruin hair appointments.

No more fighting the traffic to leave the school yard

Nor assembly duties on seats that are hard.

No doing hall duty nor lesson plan books

No more back talk or grading or kids’ dirty looks.

Her thoughts then turned homeward to things she could do

With her time unrestricted in freedom so new.

I can go to the bathroom whenever I please

Avoiding the hazard of bladder disease.

I can watch All My Children on TV each day

And do crossroad puzzles to waste time away.

I’ll call on the telephone Mom and my friends

I’ll have leisurely lunches and not get the bends.

I’ll start and I’ll finish long, interesting books

I’ll enjoy Dana’s company and how I will cook;

Write memoirs in French or at least write a letter

My darling granddaughters I’ll get to know better.

I know that the others will now envy me

Because I am joining good company,

Like Molly and Helen, Like Vera and Charley,

Leota and Bonner and Beth and dear Charlsie.

Then Frances continued her thoughts with a sigh

And quietly said to her friends goodbye.

We will miss this good lady who’s never depressed

Always here and on time and so stylishly dressed

But I hear her exclaim as she drove out of sight

I’ll be thinking about you; put up a good fight!

SALLY TAYLOR

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Posted December 30, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Sally Bishop Taylor Stuckey

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When Our Problems Get Us Down   Leave a comment

Above:  Moravian Logo

Image Source = JJackman

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/AgnusDeiWindow.jpg)

When our problems get us down;

When we feel that no one cares;

When our worries seem too great

And there’s no one with whom to share

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In the midst of all these feelings

In the depths of our despair

Let’s remember one who loves us

One who always will be there.

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Who will answer when we call Him

Who will love and who will care.

For our Savior knows our sorrows

He’s trod our road–He’s been there.

SALLY TAYLOR

APRIL 27, 1980

Posted December 30, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Sally Bishop Taylor Stuckey

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Christmas is Here   Leave a comment

Above:  A Nativity Play

Image Source = First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Childrens_Nativity_Play_2007.jpg)

At a Christmas pageant,

Young girls playing angels

Surround boys playing shepherds.

The narrator says of the shepherds,

“They were terrified.”

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Adorable–not terrifying–angels,

Christmas carols,

Episcopal pomp and circumstance,

A plethora of incense–

Christmas is here.

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Visiting in Americus,

Singing with a church choir not my own,

Attending a church I have come to like

Yet which is distant from my home–

Feeling comfortable there–

Christmas is here.

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For all the darkness,

Fears, and

Uncertainties

Of our lives,

We have reasons to rejoice–

God is with us–

Christmas is here.

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For all our pain and sorrow,

We have reasons to rejoice–

A child is born for us–

Christmas is here.

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Despite all that we have lost,

We have reasons to rejoice–

A son is born to us–

Christmas is here.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

Sitting With a Cat   Leave a comment

Above:  A Calico Cat

A self-possessed feline

Sits on my lap,

Purrs,

And seems content

While I pet her gently.

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This time is good

For both of us.

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The cat,

A wonderful creature of God,

And I

Help each other.

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I look into her eyes.

How does she think of me?

What does she think of me?

We two,

Members of different species–

How well do we understand each other?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

Noise Pollution   2 comments

Above:  A Television Set

Image Source = Ma8thew

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hd_tv_samsung_LE26R41BD.jpg)

I seek

Peace

And

Quiet

Yet

The television is on

In the other room,

So I sequester myself

Or

Take a walk.

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Off,

Damned television!

Come hither,

Silence!

Be gone,

Vacuous programming!

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Reading,

Writing,

Contemplating–

These I want more and more,

So that I may listen for–

And perhaps hear–

A voice of God.

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But first the heartwarming Hallmark Channel

Christmas movie,

Which will give me spiritual diabetes

If I watch it,

Must go;

It gets in the way

Of silence.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 23, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF KANTY, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHARBEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MONK

THE FEAST OF GERALD R. FORD, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, VICE PRESIDENT, AND PRESIDENT

THE FEAST OF PERCY SUTTON, CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER

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A Related Post:

http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/liberation-from-television/

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Advent   Leave a comment

Above:  A Scene from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Dunwoody, Georgia, December 12, 2010

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://picasaweb.google.com/114749828757741527421/BishopAlexanderSVisitToStPatrickS#5550353925420806802)

Waiting

And

Preparing

For

Christmas

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Anticipating

Nativity

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Seeking

And

Finding

Peace

And

Quiet

To meditate upon

The mystery of the Incarnation

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH, COMPOSER

The Picture of Life   Leave a comment

Above:   Cumberland Mountains Near Big Creek Gap, Tennessee

Credit Line:
American Environmental Photographs Collection, [AEP Image Number, e.g., AEP-MIN73], Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library.

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h?ammem/aep:@field(NUMBER+@band(icuaep+tnp5)))

On a mountain’s bleak side a lone youth was roaming,

And his ear caught the sound of the roar

Of a dark flowing river that beneath him was foaming,

Whose waves broke in wrath on the shore.

The face of fair nature was mantled in gloom,

The sky with a pall was o’ercast,

The moan of the wind like a voice from the tomb

And the rattling sleet drove on the blast.

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Yet he feared not the rage of the icy-cold river,

But he spurned the dark threats of its roll,

‘Twas a pang in his bosom that made his heart quiver,

And strange thoughts sweeping over his soul.

The lines on his brow were not furrows of age,

Years had dimmed not his pallor-spread cheek,

For unspeakable thoughts and a pent spirit’s rage

Make oft’ner the brawny form weak.

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There on a cold stone he sat him to rest,

And as thoughts o’er his burning brain swept,

In tears he poured forth his o’erflowing breast–

For sorrows untold must be wept.

And he thought “How like this scene unto life,

This blast is adversity’s breath,

These clouds are its care, these crags are its strife,

And this the cold river of death.”

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Thus as cares thronged his heart and fancies his head,

And his soul mirrored back the dark skies,

He thought a fair spirit addressed him and said,

In a voice sweetly full of surprise:

“Trouble not in thy fancy, the waters of care,

They will rise high enough let alone,

But plume thy weak fancy and go with me where

Neither sorrow nor weeping is known.”

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Then he looked, and lo! what a rapturous scene

To his wondering gaze did unfold!

The waves on the other side, calm and serene,

Kissed a shore as it had been of gold.

So bright and so fair was the beautiful strand,

As it shone in the unclouded light,

For no frowning black clouds o’ershadowed that land,

It was ever unchangingly bright.

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And his ear caught the sound of symphonies strange,

Of symphonies known but to the soul,

‘Twas unearthly, and ah! how sweet was the change

From the roar of the dark river’s roll.

And he listened and looked, and wondered and feared,

Till his spirits in rapture had gone,

And beauties even still more lovely appeared,

And beckoned his gaze further on.

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And as wider and wider his vision extended,

Other rapturous scenes met his view,

Here a mountain rose high, there a valley expanded,

While yonder, meandering through

An evergreen glade, like a silver thread winding

O’er an emerald shield, flowed a stream,

With inviting, fair banks so sweetly combining

All the charms, none the faults of a dream.

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On the streamlet’s cool banks were elysian bowers,

Never fading, never withering trees,

While the breath from the lips of the rarest of flowers

Rose sweet and profuse on the breeze.

And anon there was seen a sparkling, bright fountain,

Now a lake stretching out its bright sheen,

Then the awe-waking crags of a towering mountain,

Melting down to a cool, silent green.

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Thus delighted, thus enraptured, his spirits were borne,

And he fain would have roamed there forever.

And ah! how his heart with anguish was torn,

When he heard the hoarse voice of the river,

And knew ’twas a picture his fancy had drawn,

That he saw but a country ideal,

And that now, as quick as it came, it had gone,

Leaving life as gloomy and real.

JOHN DODSON TAYLOR, SR.

Posted December 10, 2011 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems

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