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A Very Simple Miracle

This Christmas,

the eightieth of my sojourn on
this blessed earth
a miracle,
albeit a small one,
occurred.

Through the rapidly shortening days of
November and into December
we watched our Florida garden
as an ancient pink azalea,
shaded from the sun by a tall orange tree,
struggled to produce
the blossoms which always came in January.

This year,
in the garden,
as I read about St. Luke’s words
describing the Christ child’s
birth in Bethlehem,
the pink azalea bloomed
and blossomed on Christmas Eve.

The Wonder of Paul Robeson

After over fifty years, he is recalled by this observer

As a man of infinite charm and quiet thoughtful grace,
Gentle in manner, unique for one of such a powerful
and muscular physique,
Soft spoken, a deep voice that rumbled in his chest.
Considerate and kind, a handsome, tortured
thoughtful face,
Never serene when contemplating the past history
of his troubled, struggling race.
But as he threw his head back and began
To sing of the future his rich voice held, for all,
The hopeful promise of a far better place.

A Line or Two From an Admirer with a Long, Careful View

[Author’s Note: This poem was written in honor of Lee Rockwell’s retirement from the Nebraska ETV Network.]

This network place has been conceived
and built with grace, love
and care
And the hopeful expectation that he’ll always be there
To meet the challenge when an assignment commands
Tact and logic, follow through, quiet excellence
in administration of the project’s demands.

One might even call it a careful and expert
laying on of hands!

Whom do we eulogize with such a tribute anyway?
Lee Rockwell’s his name and we deeply regret
That alas, today, he’s taking leave of us and going
away.

And as we remember his dedication to the
cause of education
His courtesy and kindness dispensed without
reservation
We’ll hate to try to fill Lee’s large shoes,
It’s just too much of a feat
for our small feet.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

[Author’s Note: This poem was written in honor of Gene Bunge’s retirement from the Nebraska ETV Network.]

As in earlier times the Town Crier might report very
reluctantly
“The saddest news of the day concerns our good friend
Gene Bunge.”
Distinguished by a heritage of Minnesota’s sons and
daughters who are
Long on character and rugged strength, his record
Reflects dedication to their truths which he
learned at length
From those fine people who believed and taught
honest effort and sincere dedication
to honorable causes.
And to whom he listened, took their words to heart
without doubt or hesitation.
That his years of constant effort here in Nebraska
have certainly made sense
Is demonstrated happily in our common
cause of network excellence
And have resulted in a distinguished record
that cements
Nebraska’s pride in the network’s fine accomplishments.
We’ll remember too Gene’s interest in supporting
symphonic music and the arts
And in the local theatre he became a man of many parts!
So Gene’s reached high in his lifelong quest
You have to agree he’s done his best!

The Last Page…

…of my Big Chief writing tablet begs me to fill its

empty lines
With words that mean this day has meant more
than other days to me
Because they do grow shorter as the years add up
And even an hour seems to run its course
more swiftly.

One hand of the clock hastening to catch
its look alike
Only to hang there together, suspended in time
For a brief moment before disengaging
and moving on.

It leaves this viewer somewhat short tempered,
Even nettled for having used the precious
moment
To observe and record time gone by,
Even wasted.

But was it?

A Guilty Innocent

by Marshall Jamison

He was fifteen. His girl, a year older
But not much wiser, kissed him hard twice,
Drew a deep breath and told him, “Late,
Five weeks late.” He responded to the kisses
With passion, got up from the couch,
Ran a comb through his hair, and smiling
Sympathetically,
Walked out of the basement play room,
Out of her life forever.
She never forgot or forgave him.
After a long, long time he finally forgave himself.

Tornado

by Marshall Jamison

Along and across the undefended beach races
The unwelcome guest from the West —
A shrieking, searching, tearing, ripping, stabbing, stranger
That finds every weakness in the hastily,
Frantically prepared defense, prayerfully arranged
to meet its terrible power.
The Florida Weather Bureau calmly describes its approach
with warnings and watches.
But look out! God help us! Here it comes!
There goes the roof!