Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

A Piece of Driftwood

My Testimony - an original oil painting by Ritchie D. Hale

My Testimony – an original oil painting by Ritchie D. Hale

A  Piece of Driftwood
Hidden, discarded, tossed about, on the far-stretching, blinding sands,
A scene of desolation; not made by human hands.
Beyond the distant edge of sea, the green-blue waters still,
Beyond the heavens sun-lit rays, the tempestuous clouds to burst at will. 

Those restless waters closer by with troubled, white-capped surf,
Rolling endlessly to reach the shore of glistening, sandy, turf. 
A towering pine between the surf and I, – driftwood at its base,
Broken, bleached, and scarred by time – scars that nature can’t erase.

I viewed this gnarled starkness, seeing what God might see,
And knew that what I’d been before, no longer would I be. 
My life had been a raging surf, obtaining changing goals,
Joining each new larger wave, with constant, crashing, thrashing rolls.

My life was once a tempestuous cloud, with darkness and despair,
Which overflowed with ugliness, a life in reckless disrepair.
Most of all my life was like the driftwood by the sea,
Broken, gnarled, and scarred by sin, all hope gone out of me. 

But then I saw the sun-lit rays, and lifted up my face
And knew that God who made the world, could all my sin erase,
The raging surf and tempestuous clouds, and driftwood by the sea,
Had preached a mighty lesson on the plan of God for me, 

I knew that as I left those shores I had a brand new start.
And all that God had taught me there, had really changed my heart.

Written by Ritchie D. Hale 1972©

Just God and Me

Just God and Me

In the woods midst wind-tossed trees,
we feel such closeness,
as in the breeze
The sound of majestic timbers; cedars, Blow ceaselessly;
Just God and me.
The rustling, tarnished, dancing leaves,
Rushing with each new gust of fresh damp breeze
Made us understand, with no words uttered The others’ needs;
Just God and me.
Above my head, trees blowing with the wind
The stately cedars whisper,
while far below I sit in filtered sunlight, basking in the beauty of the moment
 …yes, still… just God and me.
How cherished these quiet times
When leaves rustle, trees whisper, distant birds call
When the sun pierces the forests’ density
… and all this when it touches me,
causes me to thank Him who created it all so I could stop and say,
it’ll always be, just God and me.

Written by Ritchie D. Hale 1978©

Songs of My Heart

Songs of My Heart
1973

             Across the still waters, atop a wooded hill, A bird takes flight   
The  sounds of night are ushered in.

My heart sings. 

Waves end at the shore of their new beginnings,
The setting sun throws its warm rays across my back

Shadows gather in an ever-changing design of gold-touched gray
on the slopes leading to the lake,

My heart sings.

“Be quiet, private thoughts”, “be still, selfish goals and ambition.” –
God is moving in and through His wondrous works.

I stand in awe of His creations

My heart sings. 

God is here – I feel his presence.
Wonder is all about me – my voice is silent, I cannot speak.

beauty,  wonder,  majesty,  greatness, smallness
SILENCE

God hears
He understands with no words uttered

And my heart sings.

July 21 A Piece of Driftwood

A PIECE OF DRIFTWOOD

As seen at Marco Island, Florida 1972

Hidden, discarded, tossed about, on the far-stretching, blinding sands,
A scene of desolation; not made by human hands.
Beyond the distant edge of sea, the green-blue waters still,
Beyond the heavens sun-lit rays, the tempestuous clouds to burst at will.

Those restless waters closer by with troubled, white-capped surf,
Rolling endlessly to reach the shore of glistening, sandy, turf.

A towering pine between the surf and I, – driftwood at its base,
Broken, bleached, and scarred by time – scars that nature can’t erase.
I viewed this gnarled starkness, seeing what God might see,
And knew that what I’d been before, no longer would I be.

My life had been a raging surf, obtaining changing goals,
Joining each new larger wave, with constant, crashing, thrashing rolls.
My life was once a tempestuous cloud, with darkness and despair,
Which overflowed with ugliness, a life in reckless disrepair.
Most of all my life was like the driftwood by the sea,
Broken, gnarled, and scarred by sin, all hope gone out of me.

But then I saw the sun-lit rays, and lifted up my face
And knew that God who made the world, could all my sin erase,
The raging surf and tempestuous clouds, and driftwood by the sea,
Had preached a mighty lesson on the plan of God for me,
I knew that as I left those shores I had a brand new start.
And all that God had taught me there, had really changed my heart.

Four Little Boys

Four little boys to clean, feed, and dress,
Four little boys all making a mess.

Four little boys, oh what mischief they made,
“Go play in the backyard, my nerves are all frayed.”

Four little boys, grown up, gone away,
Their wrestling and laughter still linger each day.

The memories so precious oft’ times make you sad,
And then you remember the ruckus you had.

Now each little boy is no longer a lad,
Sometimes how they please you, sometimes make you mad.

So when you’re unhappy and they can’t hear you shout,
Send one to the corner, and just let him pout.

Ritchie Hale, December 1999

***This poem was written for Grandma Hale, who claims she was often in tears before breakfast! 

Grandma’s Porch Swing

Though the picture is blurry, it is indeed the actual porch where Grandmommie planted thousands of seeds each year and enjoyed a colorful harvest growing all around that ol' porch swing.

GRANDMA’S PORCH SWING
Sitting on the porch swing down at Grandma’s house,
We push off from those old weathered floorboards.
High we go,
higher and higher my sis and I, till almost
our toes touch the ceiling.
Then back down, to push off once more.

The rusty hinge on the porch screen door squeaks out its raspy voice,
the spring twanging, like a taut bow as it releases an arrow.
We are on instant alert about approaching peril.
A grown-up will chide us and run us off the porch,
so we drag our feet, till the swing barely moves.

Grandma’s anxious face peers around the corner.
“Thought I heard a commotion out here. Ya’ll okay?
“We’re fine, Grandmommie.”
“Well, don’t ya’ll be taking that ol’ swing too high.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” we reply in perfect unison.

In that quiet lull as we sway back and forth, swatting an occasional sweat bee,
swinging like old people after a hard days work,
half-dozen or so hummingbirds appear
among the morning glories on the lattice at the edge of the porch.
We don’t move a muscle; we don’t even scratch our noses.
We stare unblinkingly at this great mystery of aviation.

The rusty hinge speaks out again.
The old screen door slams,
– a signal.
The hummingbirds move on,
and we, my sis and I
one more time
push off from those old weathered floorboards.

 

The Forest

The stately cedars whisper,

The rustling, tarnished leaves dance.

The sun pierces the forests density,

And I am at peace. 

October 1999

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