Thursday, August 29, 2013

I KNOW IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE...

Yes, my honest and truthful friends, it does seem unbelievable that this year marks the 50th one since I graduated from high school.  I know you all are reading these words with a wide-eyed face and dropped jaw, but, it is true that my youthful looks belie the fact that I did graduate in 1963.  I know, I know, you refuse to accept it but I am almost 68.

Now that you've composed yourself and your heart is just starting to go back to it's normal rhythm, I again reassure you that it is true.  I have a hard time accepting it, too, especially when I look in the mirror and see this gorgeous visage staring back at me with a complexion that is free from the wrinkles that other women my age have to deal with.  Have you had enough?  It's getting pretty deep in here, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, I had to write a poem about this (so what else is new?).  I submit the following.  Hope you get a kick out of it.  I sure did.

Fifty Years!!!!
by Pat (Thompson) Severin

It's just so hard to comprehend that it's been 50 years
Since graduating high school, in fact, I'm brought to tears.
It's not because of wrinkles long or lines upon my face.
It's that it's hard to grasp a time, when we felt so misplaced.

For that's the way it felt back then when freshmen we embarked...
On 'grown up school,' so serious, (t'was certainly no lark,)
Where, we were told, we would prepare for life and a career.
Were we suppose to know that stuff, when we were filled with fear?

We were the newbies, picked on, laughed at, even called some names.
Compared to upper-classman we were dirt, could make no claims.
We'd have to learn the ropes, for sure, we got what we deserved.
And special, cool, to be revered, for seniors was reserved.

But that aside we made great friends, some friends that still we have,
From Algebra, from gym class, perhaps, from science lab.
We managed to survive the likes of broken hearts, first dates,
Embarrassment, a flunking grade, the 'rules', for heaven's sake.

Yes, Lutheran High had many rules, who could forget No Dancing,
Which 'they' believed would lead to things much worse than just romancing!
For, after all, when bodies touch with stimulating music,
The thought of what would come from that, let's change the subject real quick!

We solved all that and planned the proms off-campus, not at school,
And by that means we worked around that antiquated rule.
I can't recall a person who got pregnant at the prom,
At least not on the dance floor, that would be frowned upon.

And here we are at 50 years post graduation day.
We've stood the test of time but bare the remnants of life's fray.
Now we could lie and say we look just like we looked back then,
But then there is reality, the signs of where we've been.

We're older, grayer, wiser, too, that is our hope, at least,
Although with time it's safe to say our faculties decrease.
Hope you agree the years flew by and sometimes memories fade.
It's times like these we'd best enjoy before much more decay.

I guess we are that smaller class of oldsters reminiscing,
You know, when we were young, they looked so old with classmates missing?
The ones with hair as white as snow, the dowdy and the paunchy,
The ones you'd swear, "we won't be there," you vowed that you would not be.

Oh, yes, we're there and glad to be, it means we're still around
And it's just great so many came, that some of you were found...
Despite the years, the moves, our lives that brought so many changes.
How great that we're together here, so glad you could arrange this.

And so we'll relish, once again, our friends from times now past,
Connect again, as way back when, these memories will last.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

GETTING IN UNDER THE WIRE

I know I've been noticeably absent this August but as I shared with you, I'm working on my next book of poems, Words of Witness.  Well, tonight I can finally say, "I am finished!"  The only thing left is the proof reading, that is, the proof reading after the proof reading. 

You see when you're so close to something, it's often hard to find mistakes as you sometimes see things that aren't there and don't see things that are.  My sister is the best of the best at proof reading.  As she puts it, "those errors just jump out at me."  And she's right.  She probably will get at it in the next few days so soon it'll be off to the publishing company.  In the meantime, I will try NOT to keep tweaking and tweaking. 

When a  15 page preview of the book is available online, I'll let you know.  There will be information on how to order a copy of the book as well, if you're interested.  Anyway, I thought I needed another poem in one of the sections in the book, but as it turned out I didn't.  So this the one that never saw the light of day.

PRAYER FOR CHANGE

Dear Lord above, I come to you;
My challenges are great.
This situation's leaving me
In such an awful state.

It takes a toll and I believe
I can't survive without you.
I pray and pray but maybe, Lord,
There's something else I must do.

But I don't know what that could be,
I need you just to guide me.
I need your strength, I need your help,
I can't feel you beside me...

Now, wait a minute, Lord, that's it.
You're always, ever with me.
But often life gets in the way.
I think that I'm too busy.

Forgive me, Father, for this prayer
To change my situation.
I know now I must first find you,
Make that my destination.

So now I pray your Spirit come,
Help me to seek your face.
My problems get the best of me,
What's worse, they cloud my way.

The best of me I promise, Lord,
I pledge this very day.
I won't allow the 'other' things
To sabotage my way.

I know that often I expect
A prayer 'to do the trick.'
When what I need is to be close.
Dear Lord, I recommit.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

A NEW ONE AT LAST

It's been awhile since the last post, that's obvious, but I've been working on my new book of poems called Words of Witness.  I would have been further along with it but we had our first (and hopefully our last) tornado this week.  We were a bit more fortunate than some of our neighbors in that we didn't have too much damage, just the garage door, a few branches from trees and my swing set for my grandchildren that sustained a turned over top and some cracked boards.  Our insurance adjuster will be coming on Monday and we do have a small deductible so not too devastating.

The hardest thing was losing power for a day and a half.  A person doesn't realize how much we depend on our utilities.  I can't tell you the number of times I flicked a switch when I knew there was no power.  Each occurrence, and there were many, was followed with saying under my breath, "Are you kidding me? How dumb can you be?  You know there's no lights!"  But we survived.

Anyway, as I needed one more poem for the first part of the book, it necessitated that I write a new one.  This is what followed:

ONE THING NEEDFUL
by Patty Lynn

We all think of heaven as a place far away,
Way up in the clouds where we'll hopefully stay
For all of eternity, in those mansions prepared
By God and His Son whose love they both shared...

With all the believers, dressed in pure white,
A choir of angels who sing through the night.
Perhaps we'll have halos for perfect we'll be.
We know we'll have wings and we'll sit at His knee...

As He tells us the answers to all of our questions.
We'll listen intently to all of His lessons.
And often, we hope, we can push back the clouds,
Observing the earthlings, those frustrated crowds

Who hustle and bustle, so busy they be
With things unimportant, if only they'd see
That one thing is needful, belief in God's Son
Who died and arose and eternity won.

But heaven could be much more than a place.
It could be defined by the Savior's sweet face.
It could be just having Him tangibly there,
Forever and always His touch and His care.

For that would be heaven, more perfectly lived
With Jesus the Christ who died to forgive.
And with His perfection our lives so divine
Eternally lived with Him intertwined.

No pain and no sorrow, no hurt and no tears,
No time to be measured in days, months or years.
Wherever, that place would be heaven to me,
Perfection with Jesus is all that I'd need.

So whether you think that heaven is found
Way up in the sky above all the clouds
Or envision a place that's defined by God's presence,
What matters is this for this is my message:

Just one thing is needful to experience His grace:
A heart that believes with God as the base.
For believing that Jesus has died for your sins
And rose then at Easter, eternity wins.

Commit to the Lord, living life like His child,
Never giving the devil the chance to beguile.
And then when you falter knowing God with forgive.
Then that is a life that is fittingly lived.

It matters not where we eternally dwell
For, indeed, where God lives is enough to compel
The sinner repentant, who believes in His grace
To leave earthly strife for God's own perfect place.