rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the month “March, 2016”

Witness

As we near Easter Sunday, let us be reminded why we celebrate this day. It is a day of new beginnings, a day of remembrances and another opportunity to share that witness. As a writer, this is probably my favorite, at least in the top five. It dates back to 1992, however, the story line goes back to a most important time in the life of a Christian. I get goosebumps each time I read it. I sincerely hope you understand the true meaning of Easter as we celebrate life, both here and hereafter.

Sounds of cursing and anger fill the air.
And yet, He groans quietly.
The burden on His shoulders grows heavy
As He walks, stooped over slightly.

The flesh on His back… lay bare by the whip,
And His feet have swollen as well.
His vision is blurred by sweat mixed with blood.
He stumbled…and He fell.

The soldiers’ authority commands fear.
One man is conscripted for use.
“Carry the beam!” they directed the man.
For the young one is weak from abuse.

The young man moves slowly, climbing the hill.
His condition prevents a fast pace.
People are gathering to witness this scene,
For there’s something peculiar about this place.

I sense something special about this young man.
He seems so confident in His fate.
But others about Him don’t seem to care,
For they scorn Him and verbalize hate.

The instrument of death is placed on the ground.
The young man is secured to the post.
Spikes penetrate His hands… and His feet…
The soldiers stand back and boast.

clouds grow dark and they cover the sun,
Thunder breaks loudly and clear.
The ground begins cracking and groaning,
And the people who’ve gathered begin to fear.

In a loud voice, I hear Him cry out
In a language, I don’t understand.
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,*
There’s something unusual about this man…

——-

His death is complete and His body’s removed,
He’s placed in a borrowed tomb.
Grief and sadness overcome His friends
As they endure this period of gloom.

And now! Its the third day! His body isn’t here!
The story He told, really is true!
He died for atonement, was buried for sin,
Resurrected… for life anew.

I witness this scene as though I were there,
For it’s embedded completely in mind.
How Jesus… suffered and died,
Was raised, giving life for His kind.

                                                                                 Pete Robertson
Mark 15:34 NASB                                                                ©1992

Optimism

I like to think of myself as an eternal optimist. My glass is usually half-full as opposed to half-empty. Why do I think that? Because I believe, everything will eventually work itself out.
For example, it has been raining for about a week. Everyday! But tomorrow, the sun will shine. This is optimism.

Animals are natural optimists. Dogs persist in optimism. We do not own an Airedale however, one owns us. Alfie is an eternal optimist. Everything leads her to nirvana. Whether she wants to play ball, find it, or believes you have a treat in your pocket, she is always in the eternal optimism mode. We have a kennel of retired standard poodle show dogs. They are eternal optimists. I have no scientific knowledge that this is true, however, observing these canines on a daily basis leads me to believe that. I make this comparison; I think I am connected with these canines somewhere.

Sailors are optimists as well. Seems to me, one would have to be an optimist to sail into unknown waters. Else, why would one ever leave port? I was a sailor. I left port. I am an optimist.  Explorers have conquered the seas, or perhaps not so much conquer as gaining an understanding,thus making them optimists.

However, those who have been before us have left markers for us to follow. Road signs, if you will. These buoys of life guide us into the calm of knowledge. They offer us a way to sail. In that sense, we have optimism as we approach those guides.

So I wrote this poem because, optimistically, it makes good sense to me.

Optimism

Floating on an angry, seething sea
A buoy struggles against the rage,
against a tenable thread of sanctuary
as if seeking escape from peril,
all the while sustaining its mission.

The world thrives on provocation.
Incendiary actions conflict with care.
Angry seas indulge in harsh discord,
waters boil with intense aggravation,
yet a buoy of optimism stays fixed.

Though we may bobble in angry seas,
Drift back and forth like fastened buoys,
Just be mindful of the strands of shelter,
for markers exist in unbounded optimism
fastened to an Anchor of eternal refuge.

        Pete Robertson
March 2016

The Day of the Storm

This winter of 2015/2016 has been one for the record books. I do not believe I have ever experienced the ups and downs, twists and turns and such variable temperatures as the season has brought us so far this year. I believe that you, the reader, no matter where you live, may have gone through much of the same.

I felt a little poem coming on to support my assumption. This week, in Texas, and especially North Texas where I live, has been very wet and stormy, with high winds, tornadoes and flash flooding. Thus far, it has been as described.                                         My poem illustrates only one day. I simply called it,

The Day of the Storm

The morning breaks silently
with a formidable mist in the air.
Still, the forthcoming day
will bring unenviable clamor.
lightning will flaunt the heavens
Thunder will roar across the sky.

As the morning comes to a close
the orderliness of routine
will inconveniently cease to exist.
marauding winds will subdue the calm.
Unforgiving and intolerant
The rage in the air will angrily erupt.

Midday illustrates fearfulness
Yet it is serene calmness that
Placates a few, alarms several,
Even concerns many, for
the disarray will have its day
And the rains will stalk the stillness.

The night will bring more turmoil
Darkness and storms convey fear
Anxiety will increasingly intensify
As the hours, dwindle away
We search for reassurance
That will put our minds at ease.

and the annual seasonal events
will share the tranquility with
the turbulence and the tension.
Yet the serenity of composure
Will abide in the comfort of
knowing Who is in control.

Pete Robertson
March 2016

Not Our First Rodeo

So, the big day came and went. To which big day am I referring? Why, the South Texas Classic Poultry Show in La Grange, Texas. I thought all folks knew about that event. Well, chicken folks in the state of Texas for sure. We were looking forward for several weeks to the trip and finally the day came. It was about a four and half hour journey in the truck with eight birds in the rear seat all properly resting in their properly vented traveling lounges properly fitted out with feed and water. Why do we call chicken feed, “feed” and dog food, “food”?  Or, cattle feed, “feed” and cat food, “food”.  Just wondering.

There were two roosters and six hens, separated much as if one would separate two or more siblings who insist on asking the proverbial question, are we there yet? If one can understand chicken talk, then those are exactly the phrases coming from the mouths of these birds. The only good thing (If you can call it good) is they did not mention having to go to the bathroom every ten miles. Well, maybe they did and I just ignored them. I recall that with my children back in the day.

The two roosters, named Zorba, the Silkie and Cowboy, the Cochin, were dueling tenors. The hens were the backup singers for those two. They covered all the chicken hits in alphabetically order, beginning with, “Ain’t Nobody Here but us Chickens”. A couple of times I had to quiet them down, once when they began doing the “Chicken Dance”. It was way too crowded for that. Try getting that earworm out of your head. Long before we arrived in La Grange, I just about had it with chicken songs. I decided to mention a phrase I have used before. “CHICKEN NUGGETS”, I yelled. They thought it best to refrain from any more musical interludes and remained silent the rest of the trip. I did hear a bit of mumbling back there, but I was calm.

Upon arriving, we ventured to the Fayette County fairgrounds to “coop in” as they say. You place each bird in a separate cage with your identifying number on a card, furnish them with gourmet feed (or is it food) and small containers of water. They are now bedded down for the night. And, luckily, we adults did likewise, at a local hotel, (I won’t use their name, however the chickens had it better).

At precisely Nine A.M., the next morning, the judges begin their job of inspecting each bird in the building. That was an exhausting all day affair. However, it did have its rewards.

If you recall from a recent post, A Day at the Spa, the “Rancherette” invited her fine little Silkies and Cochins to a day at the spa. That was a significant ceremony for it worked wonders on these fluffy birds. The “Rancherette” outdid herself, three 1st place awards and a Best of Variety prize.  One had a comb tht leaned a bit to the right. I wonder if we should have combed her wattle or wattled her comb. Needless to say the”Rancherette”was happy, I was happy. Having spent a couple of days at the Fort Worth Show, (with awards) the “Rancherette” and the “Rancherwriterpoet” were old hands at this. One could say this was not our first rodeo.

After a brief tour of the La Grange area, a visit to Walmart, (That should be on everyone’s traveling list) a meal at a local BBQ stable, tailgating in the parking lot with the birds, resting a bit and afterwards heading home. The birds gloated all the way home. I was calm, I just let them have their say; after all, they were winners. All in all, it was a great trip. Who can argue with that?

Independence Day

We are in the midst of a presidential election year as if you did not know. The candidates are very exuberant about what they plan to do if they are elected. I am not lauding one candidate over another in this piece, although as we say in the south, I have my “druthers”. I would “druther” speak to what this day means to me

Today is an official holiday. People around the world should celebrate this day. I know I do. On March 2, 1836, an event occurred that still reverberates today. One hundred and eighty years ago, Texians, who were non-Hispanic residents of Coahuila y Tejas, (soon to be the Republic of Texas), declared their independence from Mexico. I am a Texan by birth. I celebrate this day.

Recently, the state of Texas passed a law allowing fireworks to be sold for this day. This is in addition to Christmas and new Year celebrations and the Fourth of July. I have always thought it odd that we can shoot off fireworks only on certain days of the year. Normally, I am not a person who spends money on something to burn on purpose although I may make an exception for this occasion. This is a big deal. I’m not just blowing smoke.

However, the independence of Texas was not immediate. It was in dispute until April 21, 1936, when at the battle of San Jacinto the Texians defeated the Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, after the ill-fated Alamo siege.

I do not pretend to be any Texas historian and do not want to make this a Texas History lesson however; it is extremely interesting to me. I recommend you research it and discover the unique position that Texas has in the history books of the United States.

It just so happens that I will be in La Grange, Texas, this coming weekend. This is in close proximity to the position of General Sam Houston on March 16, 1836, when he received additional troops for his march to San Jacinto. This is also the place where many Texas heroes are interred. In fact, many sites through this region reflect on the historic places of Texas history. If and when you have an opportunity, it would be a fantastic road trip to tour this area.

For me, this truly is an historic day. I hope that you will in someway discover the historic values of your place of residence. They may be just as exciting to you as this is to me. And in the words of the Texians at San Jacinto, “Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad”. It all began on March 2, 1836.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my heritage with you.

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