Float Near Me

27 05 2013

Stay near me—do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find I thee,
Historian of my infancy !
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father’s family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:—with leaps and spring
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.

William Wordsworth
butterfly 1

A Pool of Water

21 05 2013

The poor and the needy are seeking water and there is none;
their tongue is dried up with thirst.
I, Yahweh, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the barren heights
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness like a pool of water
and the land of dryness like springs of water.
I will put the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive oil tree in the wilderness;
I will set the cypress, elm, and box tree together in the desert
           so that they may see and know,
and take to heart and understand together
that the hand of Yahweh has done this…

Isaiah 41:17-20

Lexham English Bible (LEB)

paradise pool

The Last Long Drive

18 05 2013

“As he turned the star shaped rowel over in his hands, See Bird felt a knot form in his stomach. Someone had tampered with his mount. He knew that, from this moment, he would be backing down no more. He could take personal insults. He had of all his life. But his instinctive sense of fair play had been violated, and besides that, he could not abide someone who would deliberately hurt a trusting animal.”

Karl L. Stewart, The Legend of See Bird: The Last Long Drive  (Publisher Page, Terra Alta, WV: 2012)

Stewart has submitted to the marketplace of ideas a good, old-fashioned, Saturday-matinee western. This 21st-century telling is more realistic than too many of those of yesteryear, but it still possesses the mythos that has, for decades, characterized tales of the 19th-century American West.

The copy editing isn’t perfect, but that’s easy to ignore. The writing is as sturdy and straightforward as the stereotypical Texas cattleman. Here’s a sample or two.

“And while, to some, it may have seemed a picturesque or romantic enterprise, to the young men riding herd in the one hundred degree Texas blast furnace, the long drive was often tedium itself. Ten to twelve hours in the saddle, loafing along, not really driving the herd so much as following it, eating as much dust as beans – this was their job. And all for a pay day at some Kansas cow town followed by a night or two of debauchery before heading back to the ranch once again, only to birth and brand and roundup yet another herd the following year. This is what the cowboy lived for, and by and large, he wouldn’t have traded it for any other life he could imagine.”

“As See Bird rode the perimeter of the peacefully bedded herd, the distant howl of a wolf carried with it a sense of peace to his soul that he had seldom felt in his years of cowboying. The Milky Way, another trail, draped itself across the night sky. He reined in his horse and sat silently for a few moments, letting the prairie night work its magic on him. Back when See Bird was a child, his Sunday School teacher, Miss Tarkenton, taught him all about the Garden of Eden. Adam walking with God, he thought, could not have been closer to his creator than See Bird felt this night. I may not even own the horse I ride, he thought. But then why do I feel like the richest man in the world? Unable to answer his own question, he nudged his horse forward and resumed his watch. Somewhere across the herd a clear cowboy tenor was singing something sad about a town called Laredo.”

Some books make one wish he could give the paper back to the tree. This one’s no waste of resources, or of the reader’s time.

On Mother’s Day

12 05 2013

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy’s the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother’s first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow-
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky-
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

William Ross Wallace



8 05 2013

Upon a showery night and still,

Without a sound of warning,

A trooper band surprised a hill,

And held it in the morning.

We were not waked by bugle-notes,

No cheer our dreams invaded,

And yet, at dawn, their yellow coats

On the green slopes paraded.

We careless folk the deed forgot;

Till one day, idly walking,

We marked upon the self-same spot

A crowd of vet’rans talking.

They shook their trembling heads and gray

With pride and noiseless laughter;

When, well-a-day! they blew away,

And ne’er were heard of after!

Helen Gray Cone


Every Common Bush Afire

7 05 2013

blackberry in red

Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,

And daub their natural faces unaware

More and more from the first similitude.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Song: On A May Morning

5 05 2013

Now the bright morning Star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The Flow’ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
Hail bounteous May that dost inspire
Mirth and youth, and warm desire,
Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing,
Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


John Milton