Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Silver Poplar Tree

             The beauty of a silver poplar tree
              Is so enchanted and devine
              Standing tall, proud and free
              With a shimmer and a shine

             Casting shadows in the breeze
             Its graceful limbs bow down
             A show of silver, green leaves
             Dancing upon the ground

             Against a painted, blue sky
             A sheer loveliness at noon
             With a captivating presence so high
             Breathless beneath a full moon

            When God made the silver poplar tree
             As tall as any cloud
             Adding silver to his tapestry
             He must have felt quite proud

            Susie Swanson

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To Be A Poet

                                I say to you from one who has known
                                To be a poet you must walk alone
                                Happiness and sadness, they both must share
                                The same road that lies before you there

                                The voice of laughter may sing you a song
                                Reach out for the chance to sing along

                                On darkened paths you may walk down
                                Sadness with tears can be an achieving crown

                                Many hills may seem to steep to climb
                                With a mountain of words you can climb any time

                                Go forth and trod each path you're on
                                The measure of a poet can be mighty strong

                                Prepare yourself for the journey ahead
                                And never look back until you've sewn the final thread

                                Hold tight to your dream and never let go
                                And wait for the lyrics to put on a grand show

                                Susie Swanson  Published  April 2010

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wagon Wheels

                   Hallowed scenes from yesterday
                   Keep passing through my mind
                   Of wagon wheels and their old-time way
                   And the tales they left behind

                   As silent today as they may be
                   I still hear the creaking sound
                   Echoes linger so pleasantly
                   On every road I travel down

                   Hauling supplies was a necessity
                   And hauling crops even more
                   The old wagons came in handy
                   For any and every chore

                   Patience became a virtue
                   It was the only way around
                   With every mile the journey grew
                   It became an all day trip to town

                  When church bells did ring
                  The old wagons continued to steer
                  Each family they would bring
                  As they traveled far and near

                  The old wagon wheels kept turning
                  For many a dusty mile
                  When progress started churning
                  They quietly went out of style

                  It was a very different time
                  When wagons were at their best
                  The were truly one of a kind
                  Now they deserve a rest

                 Those grand old wagon wheels
                 Surely holds the key
                 Down country roads and hills
                 Locked forever in our memory

I was inspired to write this poem in memory of my Dad. He was born in 1904 and died in 1998.  Although he wasn't highly educated, he was a wealth of knowledge, like an open history book. He told while growing up there wasn't any other way to travel besides walking, but by wagons. He and his dad would drive an old wagon to town for supplies and it would take the whole day just to get there and back. People would depend on those old wagons to take them everywhere. But as the years passed and a few vehicles came along, my dad would walk to town, or at least start out walking. When he got to the main road someone would always come along and pick him up. It was always someone he knew, because everybody knew everybody else. My dad was no exception. It seemed everyone knew daddy, and the ones that didn't know him got to know him really fast. He never met a stranger. He told how he walked to work and left out really early in the morning and never got back home until late in the night. He never made much money, but back then it seemed to be enough to get by with. He worked hard all of his life for very little money, and away from home after he and mama married and us kids came along. He worked on road construction and there were times he couldn't make it home for two or three weeks. We sure were glad to see him when he did make it in home, except for the ones that were promised a whipping with good reason of course.

 I could write all day about the things my dad has told over the years and how things were so different in his life-time but I'll stop for now with this one verse from "Wagon Wheels".  I think this verse was meant for him as well..                   It was a very different time
                               When daddy was at his best
                                He was truly one of a kind
                                Now he deserves a rest

And with that I'll only say ...Thank you Daddy for teaching me the history lessons, and what a great history teacher you were..  Poem Published April 2010   Susie Swanson

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ties That Bind

              He walks the dark streets
              looking for a place
              To lay down his head
              and he'd gladly embrace

             Maybe a park bench
             or a dark, corner street
             Tomorrow's another day
             with the same repeat

             The hunger in his stomach
              he knows quite well
             A familiar, constant struggle
             he tries not to dwell

             A hot cup of coffee
             sounds like a plan
             A few dollars in his pocket
             he'd feel like a new man

             His whole life's worth
             since he fell through the cracks
             Are the clothes on his back
             and in two old sacks

             Every now and then
             he remembers a home
             Some old, familiar faces
             it keeps him pushing on

             An old faded picture
             of what he once had
             Before he lost it all
             and things got so bad

             The voices in his head
              is a never ending thing
             They live in his sleep
             and every little dream

             He fought so hard
             in that long, drawn-out war
             He only wants some peace
             nothing less and nothing more

            The peace he longs for
            he fears he'll never find
            He lost it in Vietnam
            the place with ties that bind

           Susie Swanson

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Age Old Creek

She sits on her side
Of the age old creek
Memories of the other side
Her mind takes a peek

While growing as a child
The days were well spent
It brings tears and a smile
For many years of content

A simple life to roam
So quiet and serene
A wonderful old home
With fields of green

On her side of the creek
It's so different in time
Life's living is sweet
In a fast forward kind

And the age old creek
Will always be a divide
For a past life's retreat
And a present life's pride

Susie Swanson

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Am A Quilter

I am a quilter
With a quilter's embrace
I capture the essence
Of a patchwork's face

I am a quilter
With a quilter's chart
I cut each piece
To begin each start

I am a quilter
With a quilter's hand
I sew each stitch
And bind each strand

I am a quilter
With a quilter's pride
Willing and ready
To show my quilting side

I am a quilter
With a quilter's design
I'll leave my quilting
To another quilter's time

Susie Swanson

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beauty In Every Season

Spring is such a wonderful season
So beautiful and serene
I capture every moment
Of its magnificent, landscape scene

The magic of a summer storm
Is quite a determined sight
Brings new meaning to the season
On a hot and humid night

The cool, crisp nights of autumn
Oh how I love them so
The clear, blue skys of autumn days
And the leaves all aglow

The first snowflakes of winter
What joy they do bring
My heart becomes a child
And begans to dance and sing

There's beauty in every season
I find them ever near
Waiting to be captured
Anytime of the year

Susie Swanson    Published April, 2010

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mama's Gift

My mama had a special gift that she carried with her through-out her life. A lot of people could never comprehend this gift because they didn't understand it, but they are still talking about it today. She had the ability to cure the thrash (also known as the thrush). Now some may be saying, what is the thrash? It's when the inside of the mouth gets covered with tiny, painful  blisters and the mouth can become so sore that it's hard to eat or sleep and a person can become miserable. Mama always said it could travel through-out the body and pass through the bowels if left untreated, which is exactly what happened to a few people before they learned about mama's cure. She always said there were three kinds of thrash, red, white and yellow. She could tell what kind they had by looking in their mouth and by the color of the blisters. We never knew what she used, the only person that knew was daddy and she only told him because she needed him to get her medicine (as she called it), and he never failed to get it. It didn't matter about the weather or the time of year, then after he got it he would slip it into her hands. There was a lot of speculation about what it might have been. May have been a leaf, an herb or maybe even bark from a tree, especially during the winter. But daddy wasn't about to tell because he knew how important it was to mama and her secret cure. Oh we kidded him about it alot but he would just laugh and go on.

They came from far and near over the years. Folks that we didn't even know and had heard about it by word of mouth or some other way. Even her own medical doctor started sending people to her because he hadn't got any results with his methods. She never once turned anyone away. The adults not only came for themselves but they brought their small children, even infants (I remember one that was only three weeks old).She would take the small children into another room and bring them straight back and the adults she had to blindfold because she didn't want them to see what she did. Then she would always tell them that on the third day to expect it to get a little worse but it should get well after that. If not, for them to come back and she would do it again. A few had to come a second time because they had it so bad. I remember one elderly lady came three times before she finally got well. She sure did sing mama's praises after that, not that mama wanted any praises sung. But she did expect some to come again because it was such a bad case and the fact that she had done it so much she certaintly could tell the first time.She even performed her magic on me one time, blindfolded of course and to this day I don't know what she did but it surely did work. She took my son (her grandson) down into the cornfield one day when he was about two years old  and I could tell a lot of difference in his mouth in just a day or two. But for everyone she treated she would do it and walk away, for she knew in her heart it would work. I admired her faith so much sometimes it would bring tears to my eyes.

So today as I reflect back upon it all I truly believe it was her life's mission to help anyone that came along in a way that no one else could. She demonstrated that her whole life. It touches my heart so much today when someone tells me how mama cured them of the thrash and the fact that they didn't know what they would have done without her. And now even though she's gone her legacy lives on, not only in my heart but the many hearts she touched through-out her lifetime. Thank you Mama for your precious gift and your many acts of kindness but most of all thank you for being my mother and your un-dying love. I promise that you or your many gifts will never be forgotten...    Susie Swanson