[Reata Dils McDonough (b. 1886) was the maternal grandmother of Dwight Murphey, and he is adding this section to his collected writings website as a way to perpetuate her splendid poetry.  There was no Copyright stated in her book of poems, “Autumn Leaves.”  At the end of her collection, she included three poems by her husband Frank McDonough, Jr, [1885-1964) and they appear here.]


Autumn Leaves


A collection of poetry by


Reata D. McDonough





This is today.  All that is, is yours.


All other days have passed


Into eternity.  This is today.


Let its laughter ring


Or let its tears flow,


Where all the other tears have gone


So will the laughter go.  This is today.


Dread not its passing, for from


The vastness of the great unknown


Will come another day of which


We can then say, this is today. 




Sweet earthy perfume filled the air


And throaty warblers whispered over head.


I walked through Springtime gentleness


Beholding life arising from the dead.


I laughed as sun and shadows soft


Danced on and paved my sylvan way.


There I seemed to feel you near


And heard the words I longed to hear you say.


I felt your kiss upon my lips,


Upon my cheek, my eyes, my hair.


I felt your beating heart next mine


And, dearest one, I knew that you were there.


The fleeting hour sped all too fast


Although my heart bade it remain


For there within the wilderness


I walked beside you once again. 


Then shadows deepened all about,


The throaty songs were twilight evening prayer.


I turned my weary footsteps home


With saddened heart because


I left my dream out there.




The sands are strewn with empty shells,


Each one of which at some time housed a living thing


Which built and dwelt within its own confines, not free


Until at last it broke the bonds


And drifted out to sea


To join the vastness of the deep,


The shell cast off, the sand its destiny.



And so it is with all of life, though it be housed


In shell or plant or flesh and bone.


It grows and builds and lives therein


And then when life, the soul, is freed


To wander on its way sublime,


It leaves an empty shell cast off, to join


With others on the sands of time.




Through countless moons my arms have cradled snow


And gold of sunrise and dawn’s bright play,


To shelter of my branches bending low


From stalking beasts came breathless, fleeing prey.


Through long, long years my arms were raised in prayer,


Waved cooling breezes over fevered earth.


My seeds have scattered, made the world more fair


With all the trees which they have given birth.



But now I wear the blackened shroud of death.


The wild things which I harbored turn from me.


The birds flee from my hungry, reaching arms


For now I stand in gruesome effigy.


The acrid burn of smoke sears every breath,


White ash conceals the paths where wild things trod.


Though dead I speak, my end shall not be death.


My shriveled finger points to stars and God.





I walked through dark Gethsemene


But did not kneel to pray


I saw the Savior kneeling there


And silently turned away.


‘Oh, let this cup pass from me,’


I heard the passioned plea


And from His prayer He then walked forth


To Face Eternity.


He drained the cup and so must I.


My heart joined His in prayer


For in the Garden as I walked


I heard Him praying there.




He gazed in awe upon the lofty crags


And glinting snow on spired peaks,


On scenes of earth no man had trod.


In whispered tones quite like a prayer


He spoke as to himself and said


And there are those who say


There is no God.




Here God laid His land in tenderness


On wondrous beauty He had made;


Great mountain heights with crimson crags


And hidden tree-rimmed emerald glade;


Snow tipped peaks which flame with dawn


Mid soundless anthems to the day,


Where sunlight bursts like cymbals’ clash


As dark of night time steals away.


His hand caressed and blessed these lofty heights,


It lingered fondly, lovingly


And then it lifted as He said


‘Oh earth, my grandest work I give to thee,


Here clouds will rest exhausted by the storm


And wild things seek for refuge on thy breast,


And man will seek the fullness of thy gifts,


And in thy solitude his soul will rest.




One fleeting smile


May lighten a day


For one who feels alone,


One cheery word sounds like a song


That echoes on and on.


One helping hand


To one needing help


May act as the touch of God


Making light along a dark way


That some weary soul must trod.




A gentle voice speaks to my soul


As I in wonder see


The jagged lightning rend the sky


And wind shake every tree,


And small birds’ throats swell full with song


And fragile ferns lift heavy clod


That voice stills all my questioning


And whispers “It is God.”




The hand of Fate writes on the wall of Time which stands


Between this hour and those which are to be.


From word to word with steady stroke it writes;


Lifts up the veil of mystery revealing lights


Of Joy or shadows of Despair,


Spelling out each life from cradle to the grave.


No rage, no plea, can change or move that hand


Or blur the words which it has written


For what is there spells Destiny.




Like rivers searching for the sea


Are human lives and destiny.


           * * * * * * * * *


All rivers wind and bend and turn


As tho indifferent to certain place


But thru it all the ocean waits


To claim its own at last in boundless space.


As on a chart which Fate has drawn


Where human lives and destinies are lined,


Each life there twists and turns and writhes


To match the crooked pattern Fate designed.


And as the patterns all are lived


The unseen hand marks destiny


For as all rivers flow to the sea


Each life flows toward Eternity.




I waved farewell to my beloved


And he waved back to me.


I tried, how hard I tried to smile


But through my tears I could not see.


And then my love returned one day


How glad can one heart be!


I held him close within my arms


But tears were blinding me.




I am waiting and listening


To hear your step upon the walk.


I am waiting and listening


To hear you speak, to hear you talk.


I am waiting and listening


And I shall till life is done


And I hear a gentle whisper


Saying softly, “Come.”







The soft sandaled tread of the old Padre fell


On death-hushed silence like a funeral knell.


The candle flames flickering, dancing like ghost


O’er statue of Infant, on Saint and on Host;


On angels bedecked in soft cloth, ancients old,


And lace made by Nuns and on chalice of gold.


Before the carved chancel, there on the dirt floor


Was laid a crude box with the black shroud thrown o’er


To cover the poverty, all which remained


Of a life weary mortal and all he had gained.


There in the old mission with cross near his head


He was equal of Chieftain, when Chieftain lies dead,


With hands clenching nothing was he given birth,


With hands clenching nothing he parted from earth;


Those hands no more empty than hands of dead kings


For death takes away nothing more than life brings.








The glint of wide-spread wings o’er head,


The throaty warblings from on high


Mark well the passing of a bird


Across the turquoise sky.


Capture that sweet freedom


And still that song in flight?


Better take the sun from the day


Or take the stars from the night.


Still not that joyous singing


To which his heart gives birth


And which he shares with mortals.


Poor wingless mortals bound to earth.


Wish not to take him captive,


Rejoice that he is free


To wing his way in joyous flight


And sing his song of ecstasy.




Oh gypsy heart of mine, be still.


Heed not that wild, sweet calling


Of Nature’s splendor on the hill


And leaves so gently falling.


Heed not bird’s call on frosty air,


The crimsoned berry’s shining,


The purple sunsets on the peaks,


For these, wild heart, cease pining.



Bid me not dance my wild free dance


With tambourine a jingling,


And swirling skirts, so full and wide


My gypsy blood atingling.



Oh, gypsy heart, wild gypsy heart,


What is the use of trying?


The hills keep calling out to me,


My soul seems to be dying.


I cannot still that soft sweet voice


That calls to me from yonder


For I must live true to my blood


And love and dance and wander.




It was a long, long trail


To the top of the hill,


But how lovely all the way;


The flowering of Spring,


Sweet life just beginning


And ripening fruit of the years,


Brought forth by the sunshine and shadows


The sunshine of laughter, the shadows of tears.


Here on the top of the mountain,


Viewing the valley below


Frustrations are all forgotten,


Memories glimmer and glow.


Here on the top of the mountain


My loved ones are close in my heart


And how well do I know, of my life


They were the loveliest part.




Oh, Master Power, of my small fate


Guide well these hands for me,


That I may carve from stone of life


Some beauty all may see.


Let not the tools Thou gave to me


Grow dull with blank disuse,


Compelling me to meet each day


With feeble, poor excuse.


With strength endow this soul of mine,


Compel me to carve deep


And from this life bring beauty forth


Which otherwise would sleep.





      I will do unto others


As I wish them to do unto me.


Perhaps I am grasping and greedy


But gladly will I do it free


From any thought of gain or merit


But just for the feeling inside of me.







A glass of rare champagne


Could be the symbol of our lives;


Its effervescence as the fullness of our youth,


With eager hands we lift it to our lips


And taste its richness,


Feel the sparkle and the glow.


And when at last the glass is drained,


Intoxicated, thirsting still,


Our lips cling to the crystal rim.


And then as tho to squeeze another drop


To quench our thirst for youth anew,


We clutch the empty glass,


Reluctant still to let it go.


Then hopelessly the hand relaxes its hold,


The glass lies shattered at our feet


And ne’er again shall it be filled.




Across the lazy Rio Grande


I saw two laughing eyes


And dancing feet and swaying grace;


Love took me by surprise.


I caught a slender hand in mine


And brushed it with a kiss.


My heart sang out.  I never knew


That love could be like this.


I watched her for a moment long


Then caught her close to me.


Here sweetness there within my arms


Was all I thought could be.


I whispered then, I love you dear


And what was my surprise!


I found my answer, waiting


In those laughing, Spanish eyes.




Little toddler holding to my hand


Chattering like a magpie


With words I could not understand.


Woo-woo, I learned at last, meant ribbon.


Umpeta, of all things she said aslant,


Was a word that meant her favorite—


Her old stuffed elephant.


Salliedown I did not fathom


Until my darling little clown


Dropped down on her hands and knees


And laughed, “See?  I salliedown.”


Everything she tried to say


Seemed to come out wrong


But that did not bother her,


She said it loud and strong.




For all the good things which I share


I thank my God each hour.


For dewy gems that shine at dawn


And nestle near the heart of every flower.


I love the sound of waterfalls,


The lilting songs of birds in joyous flight


And Winter’s ermine robes on lofty pines


And moon and stars of velvet night.


I thank Him for the towering peaks,


The canyons deep where wild things wander free,


The loves serene from those I love


Which they have given me.


I love this life although I know


For every joy there is a tear,


But for them all I thank my God


And feel His presence ever near.




I would pray, dear God, as the Indians pray,


Not for myself but for others.


Seeking no favor for my own


But for my tribe, for my brothers.


Asking to hear and to understand


Your voice in the winds, in the gales,


Giving full thanks for the harvest of the fields


And for the wild things of wilderness trails.


Let me pray to Thee, God, as the Indians pray


Not with voice but with whispering heart,


Seeing Thy handwork and feeling Thee near,


Not far away, not a heaven apart.


Let me pray as the Indians pray


Not with my lips, but my heart.




Crude stone walls enclose this acre,


Rust locked hinges seal the gate,


Sunken graves are marked by crosses


Where these dead lie still and wait.


Here lie Coronado’s Children 


Who left loves in quest of gold,


Lured from homes to ’dobe wastelands


By the stories wanderers told.



Here they found the gold of sunlight


Found the turquoise of the sky,


These they saw not, seeking earth gold


In this land where they must die.


Here lie Padres’ bones and vestments,


Crucifix in clutching hands;


Troubled hearts no longer troubled


By the ways of these strange lands.


Here lie Indian youths and maidens


Who trod paths their fathers trod;


Fearing white men, they were Christians


But their God to them was God.



Sacred acre closed in silence,


Place where pain and trouble cease,


God here breathes a benediction


That their souls shall rest in peace.




Oh, Phoenix bird, arise, arise


Or can you not repeat the act


Which legend tells of you?  But try.


Oh, try to spread your wings and soar


Above this ash of once a burning love.


Oh, Phoenix bird, but try!


You stir not.  Is there then no hope


Of pinions spread again in heaven-borne


Flight?  No song from out your heart


To mark the ending of a night?


The legend then is false


And never true could be


For proof would be if I


Could feel the stirring of your wings


Within the heart of me.




Summer days are past; October days have come.


The world is lighted bright with golden fires


From stubbled fields where harvests grew


To lofty aspens’ quivering spires.


The mountain slopes are shimmering


With scrub oak’s golden tint


And snowy peaks, like frozen flames


Reflect the sunlight’s golden glint.


October days are golden days


When God bids Nature rest


For she has given of herself


And fed the world from her breast.


And now, as with a Midas touch,


Gold glitters thru the air


And life suspends ’mid splendor bright


For Autumn gold is everywhere.




Ancient dwelling of the Redman,


Pyramiding skyward, golden tiers,


Mellowed by the sun and starlight,


Standing thru uncounted years.


Dobe taken from the hillside


Forming shelter for each clan


To enclose the pains and gladness


And all emotions known to man.


Here the gurgled sighs of dying


And newborn infants’ cries,


And tears and laughter mingle;


As in ancient times, they still arise.


Here are held the aged traditions


Used and cherished as of old


Long before the whiteman conquered


With his cross and quest for gold.


Those whose fathers builded


Still dwell within your golden heart.


Unseen barriers have held them


World within a world apart.




Thy summit reaching for the stars


Bathed pure in silvery mountain mist


Lifts high a cross o’er man’s dark world


Defying doubt of atheist.


A rosary, like emeralds


Adorns your lower pine-clad slope


Rewarding thee for wearing high


The emblem of eternal hope.


The Great Creator’s hand has carved


Thy towering granite slope with might


And filled the place where He carved


With snow of gleaming white.


Perhaps an eagle soaring near


Did see Him at His holy task,


But mortal man would never dare


Such favor of the Maker ask,


But bow his head in wonderment


And breathe an awed and fervent prayer


For worthiness to look upon


The snow-white cross which He placed there.




Though I no more the sun should see


Or roses blooming by the way


I shall have had enough of life


For I have had today.



If myriad stars should cease to shine


Or silver moons to give their light,


My love, my life would be complete


For I have had tonight.




Of the blessings God gave to others


He gave to me the same.


If I neglect, or fail to use them


Mine alone is the blame.




With beauty gleaned throughout the day


And flushed with shining, golden light,


The radiant sun sinks into rest


And yields her scepter to the night.


While quivering pines on ridges high


Against the sky are filigree


And color fades from out the West


The day joins with Eternity.


Soon night in sable garments wrapped


Treads softly o’er the shadowed earth,


And dreams of morrows’ new bright day


In darkened hours are given birth.




Life a dream?  Oh, let that not be true


For then if I should wake


I might not be with you.


I’ll love you through all life and death,


The fleeting days of life are few,


And when they close me in the tomb


My soul will come to you.




My gypsy heart is crying


And calling you to me


As Spring lights every hillside


And life is full and free,


To climb the heights through stardust,


Through winding woodland vales


To where our hearts shall lead us


Along sweet gypsy trails.




Night falls gently, quietly


Over old adobe walls;


Stars swing low beneath the sky,


From nearby hills a night bird calls.


Breezes whisper in the willows


And wake each sleeping bird


To listen to the chanting


That ages past have heard


Voiced from long ago into this day,


And the long tomorrows coming


Will hear them in the ancient way.


Spirits of the long dead Redmen


Make nightly visits to their clans,


Leaving ghostly footprints in their coming


On the wind blown sands.


Ancient customs never changing,


Dance and legends still the same,


Bind the past close to the present


In this land of sunset flame.




When I come to my journey’s end,


No sweeter gift could death bestow


Than that I lie beneath the pines


Where wild things wander, come and go.


Where fields of flowers dance in the sun


And birds sing joyously,


And night, like velvet wraps the world


In silence and tranquility.


Where winter winds shall later bring


My shroud of glistening snow


And sounding in the branches there


A heavenly oratorio.




Eternal God, if God there be,


Bid me not live eternally,


Commit my soul to wakeless sleep


Lest when I wake I wake and weep;


Oh let there be but dreamless sleep


For when I dream, I dream and weep.




Birds cease their dreamy twitter,


Sky and stars turn pale before


The coming light – spent is the night,


The dark is lighted.  A flame like blazing


Molten gold bursts suddenly across the sky.


Great, glorious, awesome comes the sun


Beyond all words to say, This is


The dawning of another day.




Like a winter blast, like a cold hand


Gripping, tearing at my heart


Comes, now and then, the realization


That forever we’re apart.


No more the feel of your dear presence


Or security there by your side,


No more the quiet understanding


These things are gone, all gone


Alone, I am drifting with the tide.




Cloaked in the tatters of ruthless years


The old house stands abandoned to the elements.


Vengeful time with clawing hand of sun and storm


Destroyed, and still destroys, till naught of loveliness


Remains.  No humans walk across the creaking floor,


Or break the silence of the lonely rooms.


The emptiness is crowded with the lives it’s known


Like perfume lingering o’er a rose. 


The restless winds which wander thru the corridors


Resound the laughter and the joys of youth,


The startled wail of newborn life,


The long drawn sigh which broke the bond


And freed a soul to journey to the Great Beyond.


This was a place of fulfilled dreams and sweet content


But with the passing of long years


So passed the ones who built and loved it so,


Leaving it to mourn their parting all alone.


The tall rooms sigh with every passing breeze,


The great house cries with every passing gale.


The empty windows stare like sightless eyes


Searching from this tomb of memories


For those long lost yesterdays.




 It is said


Laugh and the world will laugh with you.


How easily is that proven true;


Just laugh and laugh and really mean it


And the world will join in with you.


And it is said


When you weep that you weep alone.


Nothing could be more untrue


For when sorrows and troubles confront you


Neighbors and friends take your hand


And help in leading you through.




Life is a trader, this I know


Of all the things I have learned,


She never lets you have a thing


Until it is fully earned;


A Shylock asking pound for pound


Without a Portia’s plea,


I know, for when at last she gave me truth


She took my youth from me.






Dear, it is hard to let you go


With just a mere adieu.


I long to hold you in my arms


And know the feel of you;


To feel your heart beat close to mine,


Your breath upon my cheek,


To see the love within your eyes


And hear it when you speak.


But if I should once hold you close


This much I fully know,


I could not find it in my heart


To ever let you go.


So say farewell and wave adieu


And blow a kiss to me


That I may cherish in my heart


And keep in memory.




Like robins by an empty nest


We’re sitting here alone.


We are not sad, we laugh and talk


Of all the happy times we’ve known;


The stockings and the Christmas trees,


The dolls, the drums, the laughter gay.


The years have softly rolled like tides


And taken all these things away


But memory holds them close and dear


And will till life shall fade.


We thank you for the joys you gave,


The happiness you’ve made.


No matter where your lives shall lead,


To distant lands or near


As long as you are happy there


We’ll be happy here. 




Living has so much to give


And all is ours to share


Just for the taking without a price.


The treasures are everywhere;


The wonder of rain and clouds overhead,


Star-reaching peaks a-glitter with snow,


Sunsets of gold and sunrise of red,


The light of day and dark of night,


Stars sparkling brightly on blue velvet sky


With millions and millions all scattered about


Paling a bit as the moon passes by.


There is perfume of grass and of flowers,


Wild things, from eagles, to panther, to dove.


But best of all these precious things


Is someone to really love.




Swift gales sweep from the mountain tops


And winds swirl up from the plains below


To spring-fed dells of canyons deep


Where white-trunked aspens bend and blow.


Each leaf lifts up its shining face


As green is changed to shimmering gold.


Then soon they dance away with courting winds


And leave the trees with hearts turned cold.


Soon with the weight of winter’s snow


The barren branches bow and bend


And for a season let life go.


Most, when snow burdens are released


Slip quietly back to stately forms


And lift their arms in life anew,


Forgetful of the winter storms.


Others bow in memory


Of burdens which they lately bore.


Heeding not the call of Spring


And fail to rise and live once more.




I love this, my land,


The hills, the plains, the sea,


And yet, above it all, I love


The freedom it has given me.




When the curtain goes down


At the end of act three of


The play on the stage of life


The question arises


What next is to be.



Will the stage remain dark,


Will the curtain not rise?



Surely three acts are not all the play


The story is still incomplete.


The grand finale is still to come.


We wait and with every heartbeat


The question arises


What next is to be.






Love grows brighter


The more it is used


But it can die slowly


From hurt or abuse.


Just so long can it suffer


With wounds deep inside,


Patiently, secretly hurting


Concealing with pride


Lest others should know.


Eventually comes the one hurt too many


And love lies dead


Freed from subversive tyranny.




He who walks in my garden at dawning,


When grasses are dewy and wet,


May behold the choice handwork of God


In such beauty he ne’er can forget;


All the wonders of petals unfolding,


To hummingbirds paused in their flight


As bright dancing beams of the sunrise


Awaken each bud from the night.


It is here in my garden at dawning


One sees mysteries no man can explain,


And yet with each golden dawned morning


They happen again and again.




You ask me if I think there is a God.


I do not think, I know.


Have I not seen a tiny seed


Fall to the ground and grow


With stem and leaf and flower?


Have I not seen the great sun rise


And arc my world then disappear,


And nights with stars hung far in space?


These things I’ve seen from year to year.


Without a God to guide its flight


How could a hummingbird spread tiny wings


And find its way o’er land and sea


And for a time remain, then come


Homing once again to me?


Can man make a petal of a rose


Or thrust one blade of grass


Through earth’s hard crust


Or check the ocean’s mighty force


Along a sandy shore?


I cannot doubt; believe I must.


You ask me if I think there is a God


I do not think, I know.




Say heart, behave --  don’t act that way


It’s hard enough to wait


Without you pounding ’till it hurts


Because we heard the gate


And heavy footsteps drawing near.


O, hark, I hear his voice!


That’s the sweetest sound of all


It makes us both rejoice.


We wouldn’t trade him, would we, heart,


For games or juicy bone?


No wonder you are pounding so,


We’re glad that he is home.




As I walk along the shaded path of life


If I can, with but a smile,


Light a smouldering spark of hope


In some poor heart;


If with some word of kindness


Help someone to bear his cross


And if my laughter can be joined


With other laughter rising high


To join with songs of birds,


When I have reached the sunset of life’s trail,


Full well I then shall feel


I have not lived in vain.




I want to see another Spring


With purple lilacs bending low,


With stately tulips growing tall


And bending when soft breezes blow.


I want to live and see once more


Another rose burst into bloom


And apple blossoms, pink as dawn;


Oh, Life, you must not leave too soon.


I want to live a little while


It need not be so very long;


I want to see another Spring


And hear again the finche’s song.


Dear God, if I may have my wish


I will not ask for one day more,


Not even sight of painted hills


Of Autumn days which I adore.




When man can hold one leaf upon the bough


When once it starts to fall,


Or make a tiny humming bird,


Or hush the night bird’s call;


When he can hold a mighty wind in check


Or still the smallest breeze;


When he can stay the tide’s onrush


Or tint the sky cerise;


When he can force the great red sun to rise


Or flowers to break the sod,


’Tis then, and only then that I might say


Perhaps there is no God.




Let me hold the hand of a friend


Whose heart is honest and true


And I will feel a giant’s strength


To fight my battle through.


But empty words


From the lips, not the heart


Are words merely spoken


Leaving me cold and weak and alone


With the hurt of my sorrow unbroken.


Let me hold the hand of a friend


Whose friendship and love I have known


Then I can go on and fight to the end


Though I fight my battle alone.




Tho’ the world be lashed by tempest


And the surging billows roar,


God gave His promise to the world


That floods should come no more.


And painted is that promise


At the end of rainy hours,


In the colors that He gathered


From the trees, the grass, the flowers,


Let us prove that we are worthy


Of the pledge against the sky,


Knowing He will keep us


And our souls will never die.


Let us serve Him and our brothers


And this nation rich and free


With fidelity unfaltering


Which He gave to you and me.


His hand rests, oh so gently


On all things He has made,


And the bright hues of the rainbow


Say we should not be afraid.




For a time you nestled close beneath


My young and happy heart,


A gift from God through one I held most dear,


Taking life from my life,


Sharing of my soul.


A joyous miracle within me


Mingled with an unnamed fear.



Came the hour of your first cry


And life was yours to live apart from me…


But no, that could not be!


My eager arms reached forth,


In them you belonged,


You were a part of me.



How quickly passed those happy times.


E’er long uncertain little feet


Were toddling by my side


Trying out first steps into the years,


Holding tight my finger,


Asking me to guide.



From then to now seems never to have been.


The babe of long ago now leads the way


And guides me through my now uncertain years,


Imparting courage when I need it most


And giving love and laughter


Where there might be tears.




God made sunshine, birds and flowers


But something nice was still missing,


And He knew His work was not through.


So he searched through His wee little angels


And right in their midst he found you.


Then in all of His goodness and kindness


He gave you to us to cherish and love


And this we will always do.


Dearheart, life is a big jigsaw puzzle


Each piece has its very own place.


Some will be pieces for sunshine


Some for shadows, too.


Pieces for laughter and good things


With now and then a few for tears to show through,


We hope only just a few.


When the pieces are all fit together


It will be of your very own life


A thing of beauty for all to see;


Your very own masterpiece,


How very proud you will be.




by Frank McDonough, Jr.


Where do the little side roads lead


That we pass on our journeys afar?


What secrets lie at the end of those trails


Which are guided by some hidden star?



This shady one enters a cypress swamp


And hanging moss hides it from view,


But it winds and wanders to a clearing home


Where the love light burns steady and true.



The sunny one wanders through graying sage


Over limitless plains and hills


Into distant yonders to valleys green


Where peace dwells and turmoil stills.



The trail which leads up a mountain gulch


And climbs to the end of the stream,


Comes to a rotted windlass and shaft,


The end of some wanderer’s dream.



At last one comes which is the one I take


Into the canyon with spruce and pine,


Around a curving hill to a garden green


And this one I know is mine.



by Frank McDonough, Jr.


I love the gently rippling stream


That flows between the soft and rolling hills


And to its destiny of nurtured fields


Its part in Nature’s scheme fulfills.


Until one day the clouds descend


And pour their wrath upon the peaceful land,


In devastation and destruction bound,


’Tis this I do not understand.



I love the peace of rolling waves


As out to sea the blue fades into mist,


The white foamed breakers come ashore


And meet the sands to keep their tryst.


And then the peace is broken by the storm,


The angry waves destroy the beauty of the strand


And spread an ugly litter over all;


And this I do not understand.



I love awakening beauty of the Spring,


The greening things and spreading warmth each hour,


The gentle swaying of the spruce and pines


And dead things coming into flower.


And then one day when life should be a-bloom


The deep snows come and biting winds command


Return of Winter’s ice and chills,


Destruction which I do not understand.



by Frank McDonough, Jr.


Not even death can take you from me.


Love has blended your soul into mine.


Though my heart should beat no more, dear,


It would sing and live again in thine.


Through life and through all time, dear,


Our two souls shall be as one.


We can no more be parted


Than the daylight from the rising sun.