[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.]
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.
THE CHARRED PINE TREE
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.
IT IS GOD
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.”
WRITING ON THE WALL
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.”
BURIAL AT SAN XAVIER
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.
TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
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.
JUST FOR THE FEELING INSIDE OF ME
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.
THE EMPTY GLASS
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.
FROM MY HEART
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.
MOUNT OF THE HOLY CROSS
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.
GAIN OR LOSE
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.
SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT
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.
WAKE ME NOT
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.
TOMB OF MEMORIES
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
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
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.
JUST WAVE ADIEU
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.
TRIBUTE OF LOVE
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.
THESE ARE MINE
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
LOVE CAN DIE
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.
LIGHT THE WAY
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 LIVE
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…
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.
TOUCH OF A HAND
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.
TO MY GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER VICKIE, WITH LOVE
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.
THE LITTLE ROADS
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.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND
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.