Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poem: What if we Knew

Photo by Rita Bourland © 2012
What If We Knew

What if we knew 
What each day would bring,
That every small thing 
Really mattered,

What if we knew
Our lives might soon change,
An accident loomed,
Or some other problem

We could see all the lives
Impacted by ours,
The folks that we hurt,
And those who were touched by our words,

What if we knew
The actions we choose
Could change
The whole world
For the better,

What if we knew,

Would we doing something new,

‘Cause the fact is, it’s true,

The things that we do
Really matter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Poem - Give or Take

  My college dictionary from 1971 -  Photo and Poem by Rita Bourland © 2012

Give or Take

By some estimates, there are 250,000 words
In the English language,

Give or take,

Plus we add new words every day
Due to our ability to create, expand,
And change language to suit our needs,

Amazing that we often choose the easy words,
The hurtful, debasing, lambasting words,
When thoughtful, insightful words
Might ease the way to something more,

A dictionary holds the words,

Flipping through the pages,
One finds words to fit every occasion,

Exhilarating, uplifting, expansive words,
Compassionate, caring, loving words,
Intelligent, questioning, rational words,

No need to succumb to the first words
that come to mind
When better words,
Clearer words,
Kinder words,
Are there to use,

Our words define who we are,
And what we believe,

With 250,000 words
Give or take,
We can be wise, reflective and inoffensive
All at the same time,
And still have a few words left over,

Give or take.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Poem: Blank Pages

 origami box and photo by Rita Bourland © 2012

Blank Pages

Blank pages are we,
To be
Molded, folded,
Shaped by loving hands,

Encouraged and guided,
To take our first steps,
Make friends,
Study hard,
Choose a path,

And good things will come,

Not always so clear
Those uncharted paths,
Those unwritten chapters,
Those scary first steps
On our own,

Truth be told,
We are shaped by the paths that we take,

A bit of a guess how the story will end,

Yet breathing,
Loving, seeking,
Dreaming, believing
In the truths we hold dear,
Will yield a full book
Of pages filled in,

In the end,
It’s our life to live.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Beneath a Patchwork Sky

 Charles Shepherd's farm - Monticello, IN
photo by Rita Bourland
 Beneath a Patchwork Sky

Beneath a patchwork sky, an old farmer is laid to rest.  No more tilling the fields, planting the seeds, waiting for rain. He lies in a field outside of town where flowers abound. Flags blow in the wind, stone angels keep watch; birds soar through the air unaware.

All other fields are full of corn.  Row upon row, mile upon mile, the roads are lined with corn.  Standing at attention, saluting those who pass.  Walking between the rows, one hears the wind rustling the stalks, whispering a language unknown to human ears.  

These are the crops that feed the nation. 

Farmers rise before dawn to start their day; it’s just their way.  They tend to the chickens and cows; fix their machines, head to the fields.  Their office is the land, their business the crop.  They know weeds and seeds, sand and soil, drought and torrential rains.  

This year the drought tests patience; the yields are so meager. They wait, hoping God will provide, yet knowing all is lost.  Already they plan for next year’s crop, hoping to have money for the seeds they need to start anew. 

They pray their labors will be blessed.  Sometimes late at night they weep, wondering if prayers matter at all.

The old farmer’s grave will be cared for as days go on and he'll be remembered for all he did.  The seeds he sowed have grown into children of his own and into a farm that still lives on, tended by others who till the land with loving hands.   And so it goes, and so it goes.   

Droughts will come and go – at least one hopes it’s so.   For all we know the old farmer will use his heavenly seeds, casting them down to earthly ground, sending a sign of hope for next year’s crop.   

One wonders how a seed can grow at all, and yet it does – a miracle sown beneath a patchwork sky.

*I attended a funeral in Monticello, Indiana this week for my brother-in-law's father.  I was so moved by the close-knit families and the visual images of this farming community that I wanted to share a few thoughts through my blog.  The drought is simply devastating this year.