rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the category “Poems”

I Feel a Little Poem Coming On

I thought I would post my last entry for the year, 2014, with a poem. I ask this question; What is it about the seasonal changes that seem to affect our psyche? I do not know, maybe you do.
The title of this poem has absolutely nothing to do with the contents; I simply liked the wording. So, with apologies to the gospel group “Three Bridges”, I borrowed the title from their song, “I Feel A Little Song Coming On.
Anyway,

I Feel a Little Poem Coming On

On this cold and gloomy morning,
The last few days of the year,
I stand gazing pensively,
from my front door across the pasture.
I see a few cows milling about,
Seemingly, with nothing on their mind
except eating the grass beneath their feet.

Brown grass withering amid patches of green
that sprang up after the fire,
like emeralds leaping from a lifeless painting.
Four hedge apples remain on the leafless branches
of the grand old Bois D’ Arc tree.
Three clustered together, one hanging alone, pitifully.
It is a lonely tree, standing dejected, sadly.

In the distance, the waters of a pond
Shimmer languidly from the wind.
Oblivious to its shrinking circumference
Unaware it is on the brink of disaster.
The drought has taken its toll.
Passing from summer to autumn to winter,
leaving spring far behind.

Outside my window a handful of Cardinals
flutter about pilfering from one another
any tidbit or crumb they find on the ground.
A murder of crows sit atop the Bois D’ Arc tree,
Omnivorous creatures, their eyes darting back and forth.
A Red Tail Hawk soars in the sunless currents above,
while his keen eyesight focuses sharply below.

The creatures of the insect world
Have long since relented to hereditary instincts
It is the changing of the guard.
As I stand before my window of opportunity
I witness the inevitable transformation
That once more rises to the forefront of life
And I am in awe.

Pete Robertson
© December 2014

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Not Just Another Day

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the end of World War I. It was declared over in 1918 at the 11th hour on the 11th day of November, the 11th month. That date is a day set aside to honor not only those veterans of WWI, but also, all veterans, men and women, who served in any war. It includes those who also served in peacetime.

Even though this poem is written in the masculine gender, in no way does it overlook the women who also served, even in the Civil War.
This poem is my effort to commemorate those brave men and women who honored me with their call to duty. I hope you find my efforts to do so an encouragement for you to do the same.

Not Just Another Day

Entwining filament into fiber,
Twisting the yarn into fabric,
the master weaver unites the nature
of his creation with the strength
of his morality.

Out of loyalty to his convictions
he strives for triumph, for success.
he does so, because it is ingrained,
fixed, and deep-rooted
in his character.

The fabric of the master soldier
Is linked with a thread of passion
and a strand of patriotism.
Bonded together, they form a shield,
a shield of honor.

In times past, the master soldier
has faced his adversaries
with courage, with daring,
with bravery and even fear.
His efforts do not go unnoticed.

I offer a mark of distinction to each
Of those who brave the unknown,
who risk their very existence
to stand for the principles of freedom.
I honor those who have served.

                                                                                                 Pete Robertson                                                                                                                                          November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

The Pond

IMG_6737

I awoke this morning to a glistening snow-crested and beautiful view of the pasture across the road. During the late afternoon yesterday, a cold front blew in and with it, delivered first, a freezing rain, and then some sleet and finally this fluffy white stuff. During the night, the temperature dipped to near 15º F and consequently everything froze solid, including the pond. Out at the kennel pens, the dogs’ water was a solid circular bowl of ice. With the freezing rain that had fallen, the gates were frozen shut. I had to take a pitcher of hot water to lift them open. The overhead polyethylene covering used for shade and protection had about an inch of ice and would not be moved. Luckily it is braced sufficiently to avoid collapse. However, I must wait until the ice melts to repair any damage. The roads are all iced over, with only a dual rut for tires. There isn’t much traffic around here, it is a very rural area. It is not likely to improve any by tomorrow. So, we are content to enjoy the beautiful views and stay inside where it is warm.

It does give me the opportunity to sit at my computer and write. I have not been very consistent in my writing. I wish I knew the answer to a more regular regimen. In the meantime, I sense a muse and act upon it. Such is the case today. Thus, the poem of the season is the result of that muse.

  • The Pond
  • The pond, she is a frozen
  • The frogs ain’t even leaping
  • the duck is stuck in ice,
  • and the birds keep loudly peeping.
  • They’re peeping ‘cause they’re hungry
  • And their feeder’s nearly bare
  • They’re glaring in my window
  • With such an evil stare.
  • these birds ain’t got no patience
  • They scratch and scratch and peck
  • we want our food and now”, they chirp,
  • They’ve made me just a total wreck.
  • The kennel dogs are so afraid to even take a step,
  • They’ve not ever seen this much snow.
  • so they sniff and sniff and sniff again
  • and still can’t find a place to go.
  • At least their pens are nice and warm
  • So back inside they go.
  • And that old duck that’s stuck in ice?
  • He’s not really real, he’s just there for show.
  • Those frogs are still in infant stage
  • This cold may stunt their growth
  • It may even turn them azure blue
  • Or maybe do them both.
  • It’s still so very cold outside
  • I don’t want to venture there
  • The snow’s ‘bout two foot deep
  • (well, almost that much…, I swear)
  • And those wicked birds, they have worn me down
  • So I’m through writing this lament
  • I’m filling up their feeder, now
  • So they won’t treat me with contempt.
  • Okay, okay, I’m coming!
  • I think I may need some more bird food.
  • I can’t get out today
  • The weather just don’t fit my schedule
  • Unless I use the sleigh.
  • Pete Robertson
  • March 2014

 

Under the Bois ‘D Arc Tree

ImageI cannot believe I haven’t posted anything since May. Time really has a way of disappearing quickly. Of course, when a person reaches my age, it disappears much more rapidly than for the youngster awaiting his/her 16th birthday and the coveted driver’s license. The times are certainly different from when I was a teenager.

I notice, too, that the summers seem to get longer and hotter, at least here in North Texas. In the pasture across the road from my house, nothing seems to be growing but weeds. I know the rancher takes care of his pasture, treats it for weed control, grasshoppers, etc., however, not much changes from day to day. The grasses wither and the bugs continue to fly/hop. I am beginning to wonder about this “global-warming” thing.

There is one lone tree directly across from my front door. It seems to thrive in this heat and lack of rain. It is a horse apple tree, also known as a Bois ‘D Arc tree. Still another alias is an “Osage Orange” tree. This name comes from the Osage Indians who used the tree to make their bows. The fruit, if you can call it that, is a round green sphere with nubs, about the size of a grapefruit, or large apple. It isn’t good for much, inedible, even the livestock avoid the green globes. Horses have been known to consume these but have also died from lodging in their throat. Some folks have used it to prevent cockroaches, fleas and spiders. I have not tested it for the specific usage they claim, although I want to try it in the dog kennels. Who knows, maybe I cannot get a leg up on the fleas. I heard that Martha Stewart used them in decoration, once. I did not see the episode. Rather sorry I missed it.
The most obvious benefit I see is the livestock use the tree for shade. I suppose cattle are not as dumb as one would think. Anyway, I think this poem might sum it up. Maybe you think so, maybe not. Have a safe and cool day.

Under the Bois ‘D Arc Tree

The fields yonder way are
rapidly becoming a crusty brown.
Summer had arrived with a passion,
thrusting its way onto nature’s stage.
A surreptitious beginning,
now rising at a blistering pace
to an igneous desert atmosphere!

The stately Bois D’ Arc drops
its pale green orbs in acceleration,
as if attracted by a magnetic field.
They fall indiscriminately
to the withered ground below,
where they will quickly succumb
to Summer’s sultry heat.

An eager drove browses the field
Seeking forage on which to feed,
yet finding no crisp morsel of green.
Numerous cattle egrets follow
shamelessly in their tracks
feasting on countless grasshoppers
disturbed by the herd.

The cattle seek shelter beneath the tree
in the torrid noonday sun.
Yet their bodies generate a crescendo
Of warming proportions.
Stragglers stand knee-deep
in the middle of the pond
in a valiant effort of cooling down.

I see creatures of nature, adjusting,
Seeking respite from an unadulterated
zealous heat, a stifling oppressive heat,
Occasionally flicking a tail,
Swatting at those pesky ubiquitous flies
and I stand in the comfort of a cool inside,
Looking out the front window.

© Pete Robertson

Thanksgiving

It may be a few days early to write about Thanksgiving, however, it is never too early to give thanks. Look around you, there is someone standing there that would appreciate a word of thanks. The clerk at the store, the postal worker, the bank teller, the pastor; these are but a few individuals you may consider and I am sure there are numerous others in your world. Seeing a smile on another person’s face will bring a smile to your own.

But consider this, do we really understand the significance of this word? Breaking it down, we know what the word, “Thanks”, means. “A word of appreciation for something received or for an act of kindness”. It is an expression of gratitude. But when we offer the phrase, “Thank you” is it merely perfunctory? Does it come with sincerity or is it just another word in our vocabulary? Much of the communication that takes place in our society today is thoughtless repetitive phrases without authenticity. For example, one might say to another, “How are you?” or, “How have you been?” never really wanting to know the answer. We have no time for the answer. So the obligatory words fall from our mouth, without forethought.

“Giving”, is also a word for which we know the meaning, i.e., to make a gift of material value or perhaps that act of kindness we spoke of earlier. This is a bit different, however, in that giving is usually done with forethought. It is a rare occasion if a gift is given without first thinking of the one to whom it is intended. “Thanks” and “Giving” are combined to form not just a word, but also, an act of expression. However, it seems to me to be more fitting to say, “Thanks, for giving.”
Continuing this “Thanksgiving” soliloquy, I sorted through a few additional thoughts. You will notice the first letter is a letter of the alphabet.

The Alphabet of Thanks

Thanks, for giving…

Apples, I love apple pies,
Babies, for the twinkling in their eyes,
Car horns, to sound a warning noise,
Dogs, for fetching sticks and squeaky toys.

Thanks, for giving…

Elbows to bend and wash my face,
Fathers, for showing children grace
Golf, a senseless sport that doth confound,
Hamsters, for making little wheels go round.

Thanks, for giving…

Ice cream, the special homemade kind,
Jello, a spineless gel that quivers the mind,
Kindergarten, for learning all I ever need,
Limousines, and drivers who don’t know how to speed.

Thanks, for giving…

Maple syrup, a tonic for the tooth,
Noses that grow considerably after youth,
Onions, a noxious kind of root,
Pajamas, not your usual grey, business suit.

Thanks, for giving…

Quilts, pieced together with spirited devotion,
Romance, passionate love set in motion,
Salt, crystallized preservative to suit the taste,
Texas, homeland, native born and God placed.

Thanks, for giving…

Ukuleles, a miniature of tuneful sound,
Valleys, and the mountains that surround,
Waltzes, my favorite kind of dance,
Xylophones, instruments of chance,
Yankees, even so, I’m thankful still,
And lastly,
Zenith, the high point in God’s perfect will.

This alphabet of thanks is but a small effort on my part. These words have no special or significant meaning other than recognizing that my thanks are due to the One Who sustains me. Your words may be different, but I recommend you write your own alphabet of thanks. Start with the Gift of God, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. This Gift, by far outweighs my attempt of gratitude. Without Him, Thanksgiving can never be complete. I am glad He thought about me.

Just “food for thought”
Have a great “Thanks, for Giving” Day
Pete Robertson

Words

 

Burning Bridges: To do something which makes it impossible or at least very difficult to return to an earlier state. Often used in situations where you have to make a choice which cannot be undone.

Words

We’ve all been down this road before.

We spoke too soon, no doubt.

for when the brain is not engaged,

the words just pop right out.

 

Sometimes our faint and feeble minds

Can’t think that far ahead.

we don’t look before we leap  

and don’t remember what we said.

 

Those hapless thoughts we’re thinking?

they’re clogging up our mind.

We can’t escape, no place to hide

No haven can we find.

 

But, here’s a concept to consider:

The reckless words we often tattle,

Can lead us up a crooked creek

without a single paddle.

 

So, keep your mouth all tightly closed

Resist the urge to scream

And never, ever burn your bridge,

Before you cross the stream.

  Pete Robertson                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                       

Morning Dew

I have spent the better part of the summer with grandkids, graduations, weddings, funerals,  reunions, our dogs, (God love ‘em all) antiquing throughout East Texas, and just trying to keep cool. The one thing I have not done is writing.

So, I have turned over a new leaf. (we’ll see) I have written two poems this past week. I am posting one today. I think it works for me.

I heard a song this past week, titled “When Teardrops Kiss the Morning Dew”. It is a blue grass tune by Alison Krauss, a very favorite singer of mine. It got me to thinking, not entirely about teardrops kissing the morning dew, but about THE Morning Dew.

When you think about nature, it doesn’t take long to discover how much we do not know. Obviously, there are many who have very different opinions about nature than I do. For example, some would have us believe we evolved from the sea. I question that, but then, I am not a scientist. My belief system says to me, that I was created in the image of the Father. That would be the Lord God Almighty..

If I am to believe that, then it doesn’t take long for me to describe nature in the terms of Who put everything together in this world. So, when I am speaking of THE Morning Dew, you can perhaps conclude that I am speaking about God.

Anyway, with thanks to Alison Krauss for the muse, I post this in my blog. I hope you enjoy.

 

Morning Dew

We try to hide the teardrops

that sometimes comes our way.

Wipe them from our eyes

and hope they’ll stay away.

 

Some say the Morning Dew

Gives moisture from the sky

I hope it draws the moisture

from my teary eye.

 

If teardrops count as troubles,

then Lord, I’ve shed a few.

I wonder if my teardrops

will taste the Morning Dew.

 

Sometimes I sense a bit of trouble

Before it comes my way.

I’m wondering if my teardrops

will complicate my day.

 

Some say the Morning Dew

can heal a shriveled land.

If that be true, dear Lord,

Then touch me with Your Hand.

 

When my tears start falling,

Lord, let me hear from you,

I wonder if my teardrops

will taste the Morning Dew.

 

                                                                                                    Pete Robertson 

                          

Freedom of Expression

Let me state for the record, I am a Facebook person. I read most of the posts and view the pictures of my various friends. I post my blog on Facebook so those of you who are interested can view my words of “wisdom”. I do not intend to offend anyone and should that happen I apologize. I merely represent my viewpoint on various and sundry subjects.

Yet, today, I am stepping into an arena where I have never gone. I must admit, that simply writing this will probably separate my readers into two different zones. I hope that you will see the purpose of this blog.  I will not make it a habit regarding the political spectrum. However, this aroused my disdain.

I saw a cartoon analogy on Facebook, comparing a republican woman casting her vote as one who is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. It was very funny, that is, until I read a caption also describing her like a Jew voting for Adolph Hitler. How absurd is that? And not funny at all. I usually see these political cartoons for what they are. Humorous!  That statement was not humorous.

It is surprising to me the liberal ideology that I see on Facebook nowadays and yet, it should not surprise me, seeing as this country is divided almost 50-50 along a liberal and conservative “line in the sand”.  I do think the liberals on Facebook outnumber the conservatives, however.

I normally do not respond to these mostly in-accuracies (in my opinion) but that comparison was disgusting and it offended me. I have Jewish friends and I am quite sure if they saw that comparison they  would be equally offended.  

 

Where did the civility of a presidential campaign go? As a child I sold newspapers on the street for 5 cents a copy and from that sale, I received 2 cents. Some days I would make as much as $1.50, other days as little as 40 cents.  Of course, this depended on what was newsworthy that day.    

I can recall two different newsworthy days from my newspaper career. The first I recall was actually the 2nd event, yet it also brought memories of a presidential nature. In 1952, General Eisenhower was the Republican candidate and Adlai Stevenson was the Democratic candidate. As a young boy of 13, the General was my choice and the day he won the election, was a day I sold well over 200 newspapers. I liked him even more. However, I certainly remember my father voting for Mr. Stevenson, for after all, my father was a Democrat. My celebration was somewhat subdued around the house. But at the same time, I think he was proud of me for taking a position on a candidate.

 

The other event, also of a presidential nature, was the assassination attempt of President Truman. November 1950, two Puerto Ricans attempted to assassinate him. I think on that day I sold over a three hundred papers. The presses were rolling out editions as fast as they could.  And the reason for the unusually number of editions sold? It was our president. Not everyone agreed with his politics, yet most everyone agreed it was an attempt on our system of government. And the nation was appalled. We obviously saw this again in 1963 with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The population came together.  

These two events provoked differences in our presidential campaigns of yesteryear. Obviously, I could not vote, but I do remember people supporting their candidate. I do not recall the tirades that we see today. I can tell you that the nation was not so closely divided in those days. It was political of course, and I remember Eisenhower winning the 1952 election by a landslide. Were Eisenhower and Truman good presidents? It depends on whom you ask. As it does with each one we elect to the highest office in the land.  

At my age today, I have a limited number of presidential elections remaining. I would hope we could regain the civility of yesteryear. I can hope can’t I? 

I will continue to support my political persuasions, as I am sure you will as well. We may disagree with whoever is our president, but we have a constitutional right to exercise our freedom of expression, even a freedom to compare apples with oranges or …!

That is how it should be.

 

Have a good day.

Thirteenth Birthday Letters

In 1993, I wrote a letter to my first-born grandchild. He had just turned thirteen. Thus, a tradition was born, that of writing special letters to my grandchildren for their thirteenth birthday. That has continued, as each one became a teenager. And finally, October 23, 2006, the youngest of six turned thirteen. I wrote the last of those special letters to her. I say the last, because I cannot duplicate the circumstances for which I wrote the letter in the first place. After all, one only turns thirteen once in a lifetime.

 

When my first grandchild was born, it was a very exciting event in our family. He was a super star sensation. He claimed all our attention, after all he was the first. And, I was still a young man. It was about that time in my life that I began writing. First a mediocre poem or two, then progressing to perhaps more sophisticated poetry and writings (certainly my opinion and it does reflect the core beliefs of this writer). Each succeeding birth of a grandchild was no less exciting than the first. Each brought special qualities to their parents and especially to their grandparents.  But I stray off point.  

 

In these thirteenth birthday letters, I wrote about them no longer being teenagers, about the circumstances and situations that would come into their lives and offering my unasked for advice for dealing with those events. Not that my advice was of any earth-shattering proportions, but it was from my heart. In each of those letters, I spoke about the love of their parents. And, about a faith in God.

 

Recently, I reminded one of my granddaughters on her 21st birthday, of her letter and she remarked that she still had it in her possession. That was my goal, for each to someday, read it to their children and grandchildren. Each of my grandchildren still has those special qualities I spoke of earlier. Their individuality shines through. Who knows, it may spark a desire in each of them about their future.

 

Well, the reason I write this today is that my youngest granddaughter is graduating from high school. I am very happy to know that all my grandchildren have now graduated from high school. I am very proud of each one, as are their parents.

I am also very proud of their parents as well, for instilling in them a sense of direction, of completion and of striving for excellence. A grandfather knows these things.

 

It is noteworthy that just as the thirteenth birthday letter tradition ended, so too does another milestone pass. Life is a series of milestones at we arrive, even almost daily. Birth, first day of school, driver’s license, last day of school, career, marriage, then we start the cycle all over again, only this time we get to see it from a different perspective.

 

My years have begun to add up. When I was a thirteen-year old boy, I never fathomed that I would be a grandfather, much less a great grandfather. (Soon to be twice!). I was too busy being a teenager.  

I still have one grandchild who is a teenager, albeit not for much longer. As she graduates and enters the next phase of her life, she can be assured of one thing, her grandfather’s love and admiration. And just as her cousins have passed this baton, she too will make her parents and grandfather very proud. And before I forget, I am now a proud great grandfather and am expecting another in November. I hope I can begin writing thirteenth birthday letters again. In 2023, I will only be a young eighty-five years old. Now that will be a milestone.

 

Have a great day.

 

June 2, 2012

Penetrating Eyes

It comes around each year about this time. A special day set aside to honor our mothers. We should not need a special day for honoring our mothers, yet it is significant for without mothers, where would that leave us.  

Woodrow Wilson declared the first official proclamation of a Mother ’s Day in 1914. My mother was born three years earlier. There is a history as when the day first began. It started actually back in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, as a means to rally the women of the day to help those recovering from the Civil War. But I will leave that research to you, the reader to discern what you wish.  

I merely want to pay tribute to my mother and to the mothers around the globe. I wrote this poem in 2008. I hope children everywhere will take note, perhaps identify with certain phrases, but above all, honor your mothers.  They deserve all the accolades. But be cautious, they have eyes in the back of their head.

 

 Penetrating Eyes

 

There she sits, arms folded, watching.

Her face reflecting the light from her eyes.

Those penetrating eyes,

Eyes we knew when we were children,

Eyes that see through bedroom walls,

Around corners, from the back of her head,

Penetrating eyes.

 

Arms unfolding, she waits, patiently,

inviting that special touch. With calmness,

She reaches outward, holding tightly,

We, who are her children,

We, who sought to dodge those arms

when our wrongdoings caught those

Penetrating eyes.

 

In her essence, there beats a heart,

A big heart, one that allows entry to all,

especially her children,

With arms that reach to hug

With a heart full of feeling

and eyes that show love,

Penetrating eyes,

 

Blessed with her God-given talents

 She tenderly nurtures her children

In Wisdom to share her faith,

In Faith to share her Christ.

And the eyes of Christ

                    look lovingly at this Mother,                        

 With penetrating eyes. 

This woman, this mother, my Mother.

  

                                                              Pete Robertson                                                                        May 13, 2012             

        Happy Mother’s Day, 2012, God Bless You

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