Poetry Corner

My Friend Harry’s Julkrubba Wood (Trees)

I don’t really know a lot about Harry, but I really do know him.
He spoke little, but said a lot; though it’s what he did that counts most.
Let me list a few memories here, lest unspoken they grow dim;
For Harry’s aura gently filled the room, but he was not one to boast.

Over the years at our little church, he’d sometimes offer a juicy dish.
Then he’d leave the kitchen, and use those hands to help build a home,
Habitat for Humanity: a fitting name for such a man, we might wish
Our own character could reflect so well the human genome.

Talk about your holidays! Saint Pat’s, Valentines, Christmas, and all
He’d come with those artist’s hands filled with many a trinket,

Wooden, beautifully hand-made, to decorate the tree, or wear to the ball,
Such treasures inspire many a use; all one need do is think it.

One such treasure: years ago, Harry made us a Nativity treat,
He said the Swedish was Julkrubba; he followed that tradition.
Teen grand-daughter saw “scene,” heard “Swedish”, ‘n said, Harry’s sure “sweet”.
But she was right: we could say being “sweet” was his mission.

Harry’s spirit will live in our hearts, and also surely in his art.
Our church Christmas tree will always display its little part.

Speaking of a tree and wood art reminds me of a familiar verse:
       “I think that I shall never see
       “A poem lovely as a tree.” Which inspires me to say:
       I think that I shall never see, Nor could there ever, even be
       A sweeter man than dear Harry.

— Joe Wetzel, Jan. 24, 2018

An Invitation to the Happy, Beckoning Nature Trail

Of course,Roy Rogers rodehis horse, Trigger,
Go figure, y’all.

While, car jockeys just put the pedal to the metal.
They’ve got real mettle; they hall.

Other proud, helmeted riders speed more slowly
And sometimes even fall.

But, like Roy, they too straddle a saddle—though smaller,
And that ain’t all,

They pump pedals in the air, tostarttheir wheelsa spinning;
And mightlater breathe heavy,yet keep on a grinning.

At times, they form a line to “draft” fromthe wind;
With such teamwork their spirit never gets dimmed.

Some days pretty flowers or birds might catch their eye,
And they twist and try totake in the wonderas they fly by.

Of course a dawdling turtle always has the right of way,
Even a carefree one slowly traversing thewarm overlay.

Serpents,in kindness, we always go ‘round and eschew.
Though, of these out there we see but a few.

On very long rides, we have to really dig deep,
Yet,joyful power swells from ourhiddencastle keep.

Of course, we stop (at the signs) and let cars pass too,
Some honk and smile, others seem to gaze like at the zoo.

Are they thinking, “Yikes, look atthose old codgers on bikes!”?
We salute them too, no matterif they prefer tykes.

Most important: bicycles build bridges between the riders,
And to the beauty of nature, in a world too full of dividers.

–Joe Wetzel, May 5, 2018

Mom’s Will

I am of sound body & mind, being filled with a mixture of hope and foreboding for the future.

I wish to give my children all the things that I’ve thought about.

At this time you all are rather young, 10, 6 & 5. But I hope that you will understand what I have to say. I do not have many material things to bequeath you, but the things that I will list below are very valuable to me.

My love for you, Ellen, Arnold & Amy, is more precious than gold, more rare than platinum, more pure than diamonds. Only a mother’s love give, not take & lasts forever, long after the image is gone. I give you a mother’s loving kiss, her tender touch, her tears, like jewels, whenever her children did something for the first time that her heart swelled and overflowed.

I give you the knowing of right from wrong, the love of one’s fellow man.

The compassion for the one that is suffering.

The desire to help mankind.

And above all, the courage to stand up for what is right & the strength to see it through.

My darlings, I give you the love of beauty:

The rising up of the sun is a breath-taking sight. When you look at this, you can only find inspiration.

The clouds, like tender puffs of cotton all soft and floaty on a summer afternoon, or the sky a clear lovely blue all frosted with white on a cold October afternoon. The brilliance of the snow reflecting the sun, all this beauty is yours forever.

The feeling that you have when you’ve done something really good, and only you know about it. It is a warm, satisfied thing that spreads from your fingers to your toes. I give you this.

The satisfaction from a job well done. The pride in completing a job, and the perseverance of finishing it no matter how difficult. These things I gladly bequeath you, and many more.

My wish is that these things may guide you and perhaps show you that many things constitute wealth. For you are wealthy when you have a heritage of love.

The world is yours. You must face it with courage.

Help one another, love one another, and never let anything come between you.

I wish each of you a very happy, healthy & fruitful life.

      —Betty Reiss Haiken