Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the category “Poems”

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

Chasing Dreams

I must apologize for my absenteeism from writing my blog. I have been so busy around my house and frankly, I was suffering from severe mental block. I could not find anything worth writing. That is until now. One of my nieces married the love of her life this past Saturday. Now that woke me up. Weddings usually cause the females in the crowd to cry. That certainly was the case this past Saturday. However, it worked on me as well. And I don’t apologize for that.

Shelby married a genuine real cowboy. Being a genuine real cowgirl, I never expected anything less. It was a terrific cowboy wedding.                                                                                                          All of my nieces are special to me and Shelby is the first of that generation to marry. I was honored to preview her in her wedding dress. You can see what a lovely bride she is.Image


In honor of Chase and Shelby and as a gift to them, I wrote a poem and I want to share it with the blog world. 

Chasing Dreams 

His Dream

When I was a child, I dreamed

of being a cowboy,

the kind you see in the movies.

I would wear a white hat and

a big belt buckle,

and my old flannel shirt

tucked in my blue denim jeans.

With my bandana tied around my neck,

I would saddle my horse

and ride across the prairie,

into the wind,

chasing my dream.

Somewhere out there

I would meet the girl of my dreams,

Fall madly in love and

Live happily ever after.

Her Dream

When I was a child, I dreamed

of being a cowgirl,

the kind you see in the movies.

I would wear a leather vest with

lots of fringe

and sparkling rhinestones

glistening on my belt.

I’d wear a cowgirl hat 

with a ponytail hairdo.

Saddling up my dusty colored bay,

I’d ride into the wind

Chasing my dream.

The winds are blowing

from somewhere out there

For the love of my life is

catching his dream.

Their Dream

No longer children who dream dreams,

of being cowboy and cowgirl,

The kind you see in the movies.

we grow older, but dreams

never go away, for

if you dream enough dreams,

they’re sure to come true.

together we mount our horses to ride

Across the prairies and into the wind.

Through deep valleys and over the hills,

Love is the strength of our way of life,

wherever the winds may blow. 

With matching bandanas and lots of fringe,

cowboy boots and faded blue jeans

Our horses are raring to go

We’re chasing new dreams.



                                                                                                Pete Robertson

The Highest of Heavens

Some of you may have noticed that I have been absent from cyberspace. I apologize. It has been extremely busy around “This Old House” what with remodeling, etc. However a friend remarked that I should “get a hankering” to explore the truth about the greatest gift for all humanity. thanks, Jackie, for reminding me.

The Highest of Heavens 

“Can you not see the irony of this?

This child- -a king-? Born in Bethlehem?

Is this some form of mockery?

I… am Herod the Great,

I… am the ruler of this land.

Seek him out if you must,

But I am king, not He.” 


And the Lord God Almighty said,

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2


In the highest of heavens,

Even, the heavens above the heavens,

The Most High

Sits on the glorious throne of the Lord God Almighty.

In the beginning

And from your splendid throne

You Were…


Before light was bright …

Before the assemblage of cosmic matter…

Before endless space came into being…

You Were


Before time became measurable…

Before humanity even breathed a single breath…

You Were…


Before nothing …

You Were…


And even before all of this, my name…,

MY NAME…! was on your lips,

And my soul… MY SOUL!  was on your mind.


And in that highest of heavens, 

at your right hand sat the Plan for my soul.

You whispered my name,

He said, “I’ll go!”


Then from that highest of heavens,

Down through the endless space,

in His measured time,

Brushing aside cosmic matter to save humanity

As the True Light…

In flesh …He came…


And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14     


Today, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it isn’t His birthday, neither is December the 25th. We celebrate not the day He came, but that He Came. Some ask, is it real? I say, Oh, yes, His Birth was indeed real. He is real.

 Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus, the names of everyone ever created in His image even before the world existed?  God whispered your nameThen He came…

Merry Christmas

“Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder”

 This isn’t a rallying cry for an old sailor. “Anchor’s Aweigh, My Boy, Anchor’s Aweigh…” is more my style. It certainly makes more sense to me. However, my grandson is career Air Force. I’ll at least hum the tune for him.

Thus far, he has had an interesting career in the Air Force. His military duty has taken him from Wichita Falls, to Great Britain to South Korea to Italy with short stays in Florida. His primary duty involves mechanic work on fighter jets.

He ventured back home to Texas for his annual leave, (which he receives about every 18 months, military time is different from civilian time). He came all the way from Aviano, Italy. That’s quite a journey. But, this story is not about his military occupation. It is about family.

All my grandchildren are very special to me, and Jeremy, being the oldest, has been faithful in visiting his grandpa. Over the years, he has made extra special trips to visit me regardless of where I have lived. I treasure those visits and I am truly grateful he is willing to come and see me. To be sure, I was not the only reason he came home. He also visited his stepfather, mother, his sisters and cousins.

Most of us do not have the opportunities to be around family as much as we would like. When it does happen, it is an exciting happening. One of those happenings was supposed to take place last Saturday. My great grandson, Judah, was having his first birthday. We were supposed to bring potato salad. That’s another story.

We left our home around 9:30 in the morning. Had the camera, the birthday presents, and the potato salad. While driving through the small community (which shall remain nameless at this point), we passed several antique automobiles traveling the opposite direction. A driver in front of me had stopped in my lane and as I recall, no turn signal and I never saw any brake lights. I hit her car in the rear.

Let me say this, we were not injured severely enough to require any medical attention, for this we can be thankful. And on that note, that ends any further conversation concerning our collision. But, some of the potato salad spilled in the ice chest.

Over the years, people experience difficult times. If that has not happened in your family, then you have something for which to be very grateful. However, I suspect that is not the case. Because of the accident, I was bemoaning the fact we would not have the chance to visit with  Jeremy. That is, until his mother called and said, he wanted to visit. It would be a very short visit for he has to return to Italy next week and he still has friends and folks to see.

As I said, it was a short overnight visit. We managed to spend some quality time with him, his mother and his half-sister. We took them out to dinner and shared a few stories. It was special and I am so glad he came.

On Thursday, they left returning to his mother’s home in Alvarado, Texas. He will continue on to Houston and back to Italy. I suppose you could say, “Off he goes into the wild blue yonder…”

So often, I think about how lives were much simpler in years past, when our children were younger, times were focused around family life and and most of us had our family around us. It may have something to do with my age.

 Nowadays, we are so scattered around the country, even the world. Seldom do we see them enough. Granted, travel is easier today (although more expensive) as opposed to the fifties, yet, lives are so busy that we never seem to find the time. That is a sad thing. I do not know how to change that.

Some of us are reaching our age limits. We need to find the time somehow to keep families together. We need to hum those old tunes, laugh at those old corny jokes, and remember those “good old days” a little more often. We need to at least try to relive those days in some sort of fashion. And we need to eat more potato salad. (Come on over, I have some left.)

Yes, life does go on. Thanks, Jeremy, for coming to see your “old grandpa.” .  ©September2011                                                                                                                                                                           Have a great day

His Roots Run Deep

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about birthdays. Actually, it was about my failure to remember birthdays. Not my own birthday, I have a unique ability to remember that one, just not others. I do not know why that is, unless I am being reminded of the fragility of growing older. At my age, I can confess that there are many more years behind me than before me.

However, the subject of birthdays has come up again. I have a great grandson who will celebrate his 1st birthday on Labor Day weekend. (someone told me) He has a big party planned with many family members coming. Well, his parents are actually planning it. It will not even show up on his radar screen. He is the first great grandson of my generation, at least in my family. He is the first grandson, the first nephew, the first 2nd cousin; all told, he is first in many categories. He is special.

Since September 4, 2010, times have been very tumultuous, what with tornados, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes, and Judah’s first year. However, that is not necessarily what I would like him to remember. It is an historical year, of course, but I would want him to know his heritage, of those from which he came.

I would want him to know that his 8x great-grandfather, Reverend Dr. William Morrison, born in Scotland in 1748, settled in New Hampshire around 1781, was ordained by the New York Presbytery, February 12, 1783 and became pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the West Parish, now known as Londonderry, N.H. His roots run deep.

I would want him to know, that he is a very blessed young man to be born in the great United States of America. That he can be anything he wants to be because of the freedoms established in 1776. He must realize that freedom is not given lightly, that there is a duty to uphold those freedoms. His ancestor, Dr. William Morrison, lived in a state that has “live free or die” as its motto. His New England roots run deep.

While the times are very different today from when I was his age, I can only imagine what they may be like when he reaches my age. I would hope he would still be living in the home of the free. Whether he desires to be a doctor, lawyer, preacher, mechanic, carpenter, (like his old great grandpa Pete) or even a politician, it is possible, if he still lives in the land of the free. All of those professions and occupations lie in his ancestral background. His roots run deep.

I would want him to know about other ancestors who passed through Louisiana, staying awhile, becoming “Cajuns”, before finally moving on to the great state of Texas. There is a lot to be said about sausage gumbo and “crawfish etoffee” before attacking a smoked brisket and TexMex. His “Acadian” (Cajun) roots run deep.

I would want him to know that Texas is the greatest state in the union. I am sure there will be disagreement about that, however, it is my blog and Judah is my great grandson. There are those in his family who were not born in Texas, but they got here as soon as they could. He is an authentic Texan. His Texas roots  runs deep.

I would want him to know about his parents, his grandparents and of the bloodlines of his ancestors, those who fought in wars, those who paid the ultimate price in those wars, those who discovered new horizons, those who mentored and educated, and those who lived their lives in a simple fashion. His roots run deep.

I would want him to know his Christian heritage. That personal beliefs can and do play a part of the makeup of each individual. That personal integrity, honesty, and sincerity, coupled with compassion and a belief in God, The Holy Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, will provide him with a secure knowledge of a strong faith. That will carry him far into the life before him. His Christian roots run deep.

Judah, I could tell you  stories about a proud great grandfather (me), your great-great grandfather and even your great-great-great grandfather. Perhaps, someday I will have that opportunity. Until then, young man, enjoy your childhood, cherish the years of your youth,  they all  pass only too quickly, but your roots run deep.

Judah, this is what I would want you to know.                                                             Grandpa Pete

Have a great day

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