My Only Book

An Anthology of Poems & Prose Penned by a Protestant Poetaster ~With the Best of Inspired Others~


The Sin of Omission

Posted on August 31, 2010 at 2:46 AM Comments comments (0)


by Margaret E. Sangster

It isn't the thing you do, dear,

Its the thing you leave undone

That gives you a bit of a heartache

At setting of the sun.

The tender work forgotten,

The letter you did not write,

The flowers you did not send, dear,

Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted

Out of a brother's way;

The bit of heartsome counsel

You were hurried too much to say;

The loving touch of the hand, dear,

The gentle, winning tone

Which you had no time nor thought for

With troubles enough of your own.

Those little acts of kindness

So easily out of mind,

Those chances to be angels

Which we poor mortals find

They come in night and silence,

Each sad, reproachful wraith,

When hope is faint and flagging,

And a chill has fallen on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,

And sorrow is all to great,

To suffer our slow compassion

That tarries until too late:

And it isn't the thing you do, dear,

It's the thing you leave undone

Which gives you a bit of heartache

At the setting of the sun.

 From "The Book of Virtues"

W. J. Bennet

The Crime of the Forest --- A Threnody

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 2:46 AM Comments comments (0)

Cover them quick with a bracken thick, To hide the

scars and reptile slugs, That will habit where I

had hoped to cheer, The happy homes of the

children of men.”

The children of men I had hoped to find Inherit the

shrines of the ancient times; Love them, adorn them

and change them To the uses of angels and Gods and


I would have led them to the choicest dales, And

have opened to them my holiest shrines. Fairies to

children, would have yielded up The gifts of God to

both of them.

“where waved the crowns of the tall dark firs, Corn

and vines in the sunny fields. Clove and kine and the

honey bees Would have taken their place with the


But the axe goes forth and no seed is sown. The

temples are ravaged by a graceless clown, In violent

way, for the loot of a day, Is wrecked God’s work of


“My temples are wrecked. I fly on the fleet wind mist

to the caves of the sea: Roll, waves, over me, and

cover me deep, From the churl that knows not the

gifts of eternity.”

Oh, guardians of the nation’s weal!

A moan goes up from the Western Sea, And

echoes through the Sierran hills, A spirit strong, in

dire distress.

Oh, wild and sad, that mighty moan, A giantess’s

dying groan; It creeps along the western strand,

Through primal meadow and forest land.

Then sinks the head of the Douglas pines, The

serried ranks of the champions, The sentries of ten

thousand hills, The guardians of ten thousand vales.

Their mighty boughs take up the dirge, The reeds of

woe together merge; With funeral wave and sobbing

sough, They mourn a queen’s dire tragedy.

“For a thousand years we’ve sheltered thee, And

waxed with pride while tending thee;

Now thou’rt stricken down by a dastard clown, And

thy temples are waste and fouled and torn.”

And the tumbling rills from the mossy hills, Stopped

still in their musical murmurings,

Their pools went wile with a ghastly chill, And

trickling tears broke from their tremblings.

“Our queen lies low. Her voice is a groan, here robe

is torn (Never Before Knew she aught

but grace and melody) Her mossy bed is trampled

with mire—But list to her sad threnody.”

“Oh grief! My life is spent and hopes are dead;

Shattered my temple and sullied my bed.

My beautiful hills and vales I tread

No more—Oh, nevermore!

“I see them lie in a blackened waste,

Torn and charred.

My temple’s pillars are festering stumps,

Riven and marred.

Oh haste, blue sky, and cover them.

This poem was written by turn of the century

Detroit [Oregon} resident, J. B. Zieger, the

grandfather of current Detroit resident,

Caroline Smith. The Author died in 1920.

No rights authorized.

How You Spend Your Dash

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 11:26 PM Comments comments (0)

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on his tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noticed that first was the date of birth

And read the following date with tears.

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the DASH between those years.

For the DASH represents all of the time

That he spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved him

Know what that little line is worth.

It matters not how much we own

The house, the cars, the cash

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spent our DASH.

So think about this long and hard,

Are there things you’d like to change

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be arranged.

If we could just slow down enough

And consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

Just how other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we never loved before.

Let’s treat each other with respect

And always wear a smile

Remembering that this special

DASH will only last a little while.

And when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your DASH?


[Lawrence Scott, March 6th 1958 — _____ ___ _____ ?]


Copyright Linda Ellis


Posted on February 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM Comments comments (0)

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

From the book "Poems of Childhood" by Rudyard Kipling.

Set of the Sail

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 11:16 PM Comments comments (0)

I stood on the shore beside the sea;

The wind from the west blew fresh and free,

While past the rocks at the harbor mouth

The ships went north and the ships went south,

And some sailed out on an unknown quest,

And some sailed in to the harbor’s rest.

Yet ever the wind blew out of the west.

I said to the one who had sailed the sea

That this was a marvel unto me:

For how can the ships go safely forth,

Some to the south and some to the north,

Far out to sea on their golden quest,

Or into the harbor’s calm and rest,

And ever the wind blow out of the west?

The sailor smiled as he answered me.

“Go where you will when you’re on the sea,

Though head winds baffle and plans delay,

You can keep the course by night and day;

Drive with the breeze or against the gale,

It will not matter what winds prevail.

For all depends on the set of the sail.”

Voyager Soul, on the sea of life,

O’er waves of sorrow and sin and strife,

When fog bewilders and foes betray,

Steer straight on your course from day to day;

Though unseen currents run deep and swift

Where rocks are hidden and sand bars shift,

All helpless and aimless, you need not drift.

Oh, Set your sail to the heavenly gale,

And then, no matter what winds prevail,

No reef shall wreck you, no calm delay;

No mist shall hinder, nor storm shall stay;

Though far you wander and long you roam

Though salt sea spray and o’er white foam

No wind that can blow but shall speed you home.

Annie Johnson Flint


Posted on February 21, 2010 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s wondrous what a hug can do, A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.

A hug can say, “I love you so,” or, “Gee! I hate to see you go.”

A hug is, “Welcome back again.”

A hug can sooth a small child’s pain and bring a rainbow after rain.

The hug! There’s just no doubt about it, we scarcely could survive without it.

A hug delights and warms and charms, it must be why God gave us arms.

Hugs are great for fathers and mothers, sweet for sisters, swell for brothers,

And chance are some favorite aunts love them more than potted plants.

Kittens crave them. Puppies love them. Heads of State are not above them.

A hug can break the language barrier, and make the dullest day seem merrier.

No need to fret about the store of ‘em, the more you give, the more there are of ‘em.

So stretch those arms without delay and give someone a hug today!

Author Unknown