O TO BE AN OSTRICH

O TO BE AN OSTRICH

The ostrich
like Shakespeare
believes there is nothing
good or bad
but thinking
makes it so.

All problems
he has found
by taking his head
out of the ground
and looking
for them.

The solving
obviously
is a matter of foot
going faster than thought
to avoid
being caught.

Such logic
of conscience
may well be envied—
for who can dispute
what can not be questioned
or proved?

— Elizabeth Bartlett

Health and Wealth

We squander health in search of wealth;
We scheme and toil and save;
Then squander wealth in search of health,
But only find a grave.
We live, and boast of what we own;
We die, and only get a stone.

— Anonymous

Dandelion

There’s a dandy little fellow,
Who dresses all in yellow,
In yellow with an overcoat of green;
With his hair all crisp and curly,
In the springtime bright and early
A-tripping o’er the meadow he is seen.
Through all the bright June weather,
Like a jolly little tramp,
He wanders o’er the hillside, down the road;
Around his yellow feather,
Thy gypsy fireflies camp;
His companions are the woodlark and the toad.

But at last this little fellow
Doffs his dainty coat of yellow,
And very feebly totters o’er the green;
For he very old is growing
And with hair all white and flowing,
A-nodding in the sunlight he is seen.
Oh, poor dandy, once so spandy,
Golden dancer on the lea!
Older growing, white hair flowing,
Poor little baldhead dandy now is he!

— Nellie M. Garabrant

MY HEART’S IN THE HIGHLANDS

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe.
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birthplace of valor, the country of worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands forever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe.
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

–Robert Burns

Poetry – The Borrow Pit

Just down river, a short distance from the dam,
There is a borrow pit, once filled with gravel and sand.
Now it’s a pond not too big, not too small,
Where I would run to fish when my friends would call.

There on the banks a contest would begin,
Champion trout verses novice fishermen.
The trout had the advantage, it was in his home court,
Every time I tried; I would end up a bit short.

One day the trout was a bit off his game,
I snared this warrior, my new claim to fame.
I held the trout tightly as I carefully removed the hook.
I looked him in the eyes as both hands of mine shook.

He seemed to say, “You got me this time.”
“We can do this again, if you let me off your line.”
So, back in the water I gently released this graceful foe,
He swam a few feet, turned to wink, then he would go.

The trout and I would meet many more times,
He became an old friend at the end of my line,
Sometimes I’d catch him, other times I wouldn’t get close.
My friend from the borrow pit, my most gracious host.

— Albert L Swope

The Last Rose of Summer

‘Tis the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,

No rose-bud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!

To pine on the stem;

Since the lovely are sleeping,

Go, sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter

Thy leaves o’er the bed

Where thy mates of the garden

Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,

When friendships decay,

And from Love’s shining circle

The gems drop away.

When true hearts lie withered,

And fond ones are flown,

O! who would inhabit

This bleak world alone?


—Thomas Moore

A Name in the Sand

Alone I walked the ocean strand;

A pearly shell was in my hand:

I stooped and wrote upon the sand

My name—the year—the day.

As onward from the spot I passed,

One lingering look behind I cast;

A wave came rolling high and fast,

And washed my lines away.

And so, methought, ’twill shortly be

With every mark on earth from me:

A wave of dark oblivion’s sea

Will sweep across the place

Where I have trod the sandy shore

Of time, and been, to be no more,

Of me—my day—the name I bore,

To leave nor track nor trace.

And yet, with Him who counts the sands

And holds the waters in His hands,

I know a lasting record stands

Inscribed against my name,

Of all this mortal part has wrought,

Of all this thinking soul has thought,

And from these fleeting moments caught

For glory or for shame.


—Hannah Flagg Gould.