Crunch Grass


Folks down south miss a lot
things the cold gifts to us
Some good
some not so pleasant

This morning crisp, cold air
nipped at my nose and fingers
as I trudged out to the shop

Overnight cold was winter’s hold
refusing to let go to the sun
The January thaw was working
Gulf air boosting the temps
so the soil is gushy soft
roadsides mush
fields black as coal

Frost blankets the grass
refreezing the slender spears
holding them tightly

Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
The sound reminds me
of sub zero snow crunching
as my boots push down

Crunch grass!
How hardy the grass
Lush in springtime and early summer
then lazy and browned by August heat and drought

Green and lush in fall
loving the cool temps, and rain
Then once again arrested
frozen, seeming dead
Always giving…to us!

Serving as carpet for play
luxury for my dog, as he rolls upon it
setting for the tapestry
of flowers and bushes and trees
flat lands and hills and even mountains

for critturs that need it
even a cat seeking an enzyme
a ewe or goat or cow
turning it into milk…and meat

When the world’s on hold from the cold
the grass holds it together
protecting the precious soil
Crunch! Crunch!
Amazing creation!

Lin, January thaw, 2015


Crunch Grass2022-09-03T14:52:46-04:00

Music of The Prairie


Symphony, they call it
music that wraps its arms around us
because we listen, feel,smell, see

Perhaps it’s wind we can see
percussion we feel
bow strings we stretch and tune, bend and clip
and brass we mold, shape, file and weld

The farmer is a visiting conductor
a concert master too
finely trained, taught and taut,
anxious for beginnings
plantings, tendings, and grand harvest finales

He steps up, raises his arms
eyes sweeping across all instruments, all players,
Stop! tap! tap! Tap! the baton on the stand…
an electric Attention! Attencion! Fait attention!

With his arms, his hands,
indeed his whole body, whole being
he sets the orchestra in motion

Close your eyes and listen, imagine
springtime, raindrops pinging
wind blowing gently, stronger, stronger
rising, then falling
The sun after the rain
the smell of fresh earth
the hum of a tractor coming along
little noises from the planter, slipping seeds
into mother earth

The music of our prairie
gifting food to a hungry world…

Lin, January 2014

(and now Denise Yates, singing:)

By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O’er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees, and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.

Eighteen-eighteen saw your founding, Illinois, Illinois,
And your progress is unbounding, Illinois, Illinois,
Pioneers once cleared the lands,
Where great industries now stand. World renown you do command, Illinois, Illinois,
World renown you do command, Illinois.

From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,
Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,
Till upon the inland sea,
Stands thy great commercial tree, turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,
Turning all the world to thee, Illinois.

When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,
Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,
When the Southern host withdrew,
Pitting Gray against the Blue, there were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,
There were none more brave than you, Illinois.

Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,
Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois,
On the record of thy years,
Abraham Lincoln’s name appears, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.

Let us pledge in final chorus, Illinois, Illinois
That in struggles still before us, Illinois, Illinois
To our heroes we’ll be true,
As their vision we pursue. In abiding love for you, Illinois, Illinois.
In abiding love for you, Illinois.

Chamberlain and Johnston, the Illinois state song.


Music of The Prairie2022-09-03T14:52:46-04:00



Books are bound together
warp and woof of words and pages
fibers woven into threads and strings
woods woven into threads and chapters
Front cover, back cover,
bound and determined to state
the notions and ideas of humankind
It’s those bindings that get them shared
Not one reader or two, but hundreds
and thousands and sometimes a million
or more

Consider the Christian Bible
words and pages of people stories
bound together by the idea
that there is a god
One God, holy
the binding for all mankind

So the creation of fibers
of threads and strings
that will not be broken
In the beginning and the now story
and an ending, somewhere
out there

We each one need our bindings
knowing someone cares
we spend our lives learning
how much
our pages are laid
one upon the next
tiny book, large book, a volume
created and creating
so in need of bindings

Welcome to The Book
history of the ages
words of wisdom, enduring
for all time
your time
my time
tomorrow’s time too

Page by page as our book is built
We need to seek those enduring pages
the bindings that can keep us strong, intact,
and give us meaning

Lin 2/2015



Monsanto Doors


Unlocking secrets of creation
opening doors, Monsanto folk are real
Adventuring forward, looking backward
checking, checking, and checking again
Is this good? Is this okay? Is it better?
We’re talking food here

Young scientists, men and women
moms and dads
creme de la creme of scientists
abide in the labs, the greenhouses
putting ‘new’ in plots
then opening the doors
to a hungry world
even more so tomorrow

Should we fear science?
Should we create words that frighten
and tell stories from imagination?
Or should we discover
what has been created, gifted, to us?

Squanto taught the newcomers
G.W. Carver opened more doors
Borlaug ventured farther
Robb et al started a stampede
a good one
of unlocking more secrets of creation
Using knowledge to help us eat, sustain

Those of us with plenty
need to open our eyes
to those who open doors
and lead us forward

Lin, May, 2015


Monsanto Doors2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00

Robin in the Rain


Sitting on the garden fence
Perky as can be
rain peppering the patio rapidly

Sitting tall
rain sliding off her easily
she was thinking ‘earthworm’, I’ll bet!

As our rich black soil soaked it in
the loam will surface the worms
oh, fat and juicy!
Filet de earth!
made for each other?

Our farm is home to light touches
the master gardener grooms
planting, caring for certain areas
flowers and shrubs and even trees
each in turn flowering, coloring
blessing we humans who abide
welcoming those who have wings

Humming birds find food
Baltimore Orioles stop by
as many other species do
Just for a visit
just for their time
before winging on their ways

Each and every one is welcome
we enjoy their visits
it even seems sometimes
they note our happiness to see them

Tiny creatures, so vulnerable
yet surviving, multiplying
fluttering about with abandon
some planting themselves here

Ah, we’ve nested here!
Settled down
hustling waning
nap times expanding
more often ‘setting’
soaking it all in

Becoming more like
the robins in the rain!

Springtime on the farm 2015, Lin and Kay and Kate, for the birds!


Robin in the Rain2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00

Ebony Earth, Ribbons and Bows


Kindness came to earth
the prairie speaks to us
sacrificed plants over thousands of years
turn the soil to ebony black

Gentle rains make it shine
glistening in the morning Son
Father creating mother, it seems

Breaking winter’s hardness
the earth tilts to give us warmth
farmers do their things
scratching, massaging mother earth
laying down rows of seeds

Corn, in particular
has a hardened point
sharp as a pencil it pushes up
from ebony earth comes ribbons green
so now we see
ebony earth, adorned with ribbons

From the thinnest of ribbons
come plants of promise
life spans of a hundred days
where one seed becomes 600
and the ribbons have become bows

Picture a newborn baby
fuzzy hair there
with a tiny ribbon somehow tied
then a young girl, smiling, laughing
running and jumping and squealing with joy
and then a beautiful mother
(aren’t they all?)
hair coifed just so
and a bow…

Ah, beautiful mother, earth
is adorned with a bow
seen from far above
It’s for us!
You! Me!
Ebony earth, ribbons and bows!

Spring 2015, a happy farmer, Lin, corn planted


Ebony Earth, Ribbons and Bows2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00

Fog and Fertilizer


The giant tender is a ghost
a galleon floating back and forth
sprinkling plant food along its pathways

Satellite driven
much straighter than an arrow
it glides my field…in through the early morning fog

Corn seeds wait
nestled in my shed
waiting for the perfect day
they’ll be poured into my planter
and tendered into the soil
just so, 2 inches deep, firmed
long lines of ribbons placed
rows thirty inches wide
a kernel every six inches
a few days of warmth and moisture and

Springing forth
bursting the seed coat
a root emerges, pushing down
and a shoot pushes up
the root diving for food
the shoot driving for sunshine

Earlier, satellite driven 4 wheelers
zipped back and forth
technicians stopping, pulling soil samples
Maps created of nutrition
the galleon is varying the rates
more here, less there
based upon the need

Research, education, skills,
capitalism, desire
coming together in America
The farmer and technology
Always figuring it out
How to do it better!

Sail on, ghostly galleon
your lights flashing through the fog
the field will soon be done!

Lin April 2015, working in the fog


Fog and Fertilizer2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00

Frosting on the Cake


Early springtime
winter holding on
squeezing us tightly, nightly
sunup showing a light white blanket
glistening with sparkles in the morning sun
frosted, our cake

Scarce known
our cake is what we walk on
blindly calling it ‘dirt’
but what a glorious cake it is!

Teaming with life
unseen to the naked eye
a billion microbes per teaspoonfull
are living under our feet!

Magic and mystery live there
hidden from the millenia
just now being discovered

Concomitantly we are learning
microbes in our inner selves
enable us to live
in balance, we do well
unbalanced, we hurt
digestion depends on them

How often what we see
is but the frosting on the cake!
Awaiting our discovery
they’re there all the time
Created, stretching our minds
at the complexity of it all
yet knowing, our all
is often so limited, so small

Open Creations doors and windows
Breathe in the smell of spring awakening
Listen to and savor the robin’s commentary
on the wonder of it all!

Lin, Springtime 2015
“Then sings my soul’!


Frosting on the Cake2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00



an interesting lot
trained the boys to be
hunters, and warriors

Hunter meant meat
the women did farming
childbearing, rearing, cooking
clothing, blanketing, beading
corn, beans and squash, the staples

Then first white folk
Europeans, of differing ilk
Importantly, crucially,
people of The Book
a different concept therein
First among equals

Indeed, there were still ‘Firsts’
and still are
but the Apostle Paul nailed it
“No longer Jew nor Greek,
neither slave nor free,
nor male or female…
You are all one…
in Christ Jesus.” *

But the struggle remained
over who ‘owned’ what
where the lines are drawn…

First doesn’t hold us
it’s a fleeting state
History has them strewn
across the land and time
First among equals can

The wise leader knows
especially in America
every vote, thus every person
counts, is equal

What tomfoolery says
“The winner takes all!”
It’s only for a moment
not sustainable…

Wise ones seek wisdom, so
they ‘turn their eyes upon Jesus,
look full in His wonder full face.
Then the things of earth
grow strangely dim
in the Light of His glory
and Grace…

Lin 2/2015
*Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 3, verse 28



Rain Reigns


The world is held in tension
Created that way
Sustained that way
Pause and reflect on rain with me

Picture a prairie farm
Mid summer day
Soil dry and hot
Thirsty plants
Dark clouds rolling in
Farmer and his wife looking up
Big raindrops splash their faces
Tears of joy mix with raindrops
The soil drinks
Harvest is possible again

On the other extreme are floods
Think 1927
Mississippi River
Wet fall, wet winter, Minnesota down
Extra wet spring
Roaring streams screaming rivers
Ever expanding their footprints
Scouring soil away
Whisking away homes
And more rain pain

Good things taken to excess
Come back to bite us, haunt us
How lovely balance is
How utterly fine
To fragile humans


Rain Reigns2022-09-03T14:52:49-04:00

Soil and Seeds


Secrets abound on a farm
hidden and waiting
unendiing discoveries inside
soil and seeds are diamonds

What comes naturally
is to simply walk on soil
unknowing, uncaring its value
yet life depends upon it
no one could live without it

A particle of this and that
chemistry and physics
and mystery, no

Bacteria, for example.
50 years ago in college
I studied a few
now we think a million, or more
are living in the soil (and us)
doing things important

Comes the planter
who studies seeds and plants
breeding, sorting and sifting
50 years ago in college
we knew a little
genes and chromosomes
and mystery, no

genetic modifications
a million chances for change

What some my think lifeless
soil, seeds,
discovery shows alive
fully alive, teaming

Thank you for the soil, the seeds!

Selah, Lin January 2015


Soil and Seeds2022-09-03T14:52:49-04:00

9 in the Evening


Long day
Good day
The sun came up
in all its Glory
Resplendent! Awesome! Power full!
No way to stop it, it just keeps rising!

It’s arc complete, work done for the day
it sank out west
slowly, slowly, then ever more quickly
and gone…

The evening quieted the winds
so more and more softly, gently,
nighttimes blanket settled over
as stars poked through the darkness
brighter and brighter
and the moon rose, full

9 in the evening
found me leisurely walking
strolling across the harvested rows
to pull in the last, now lonely, grain truck
I stopped

The smell of rich earth
of stalked and grain
the softness of the soil
now blanketed for winter’s keep
a cock pheasant calling out
(“I am here. Where are you?”)
and the sky, overwhelming me

I realized…
Great grandma and grandma saw the same
grandpa and grandma
dad and mom
now me.
Same stars, same field
I’m so small

I raised my strong arms in praise
stretching them as far as I could
to get them round the universe
no way
My part is so small
and the rest is so huge
I live in God’s creation
in God’s grace
I’m held in God’s embrace
for my little time
9 in the evening

Lin, ending harvest, coming winter 2014


9 in the Evening2022-09-03T14:52:49-04:00

Swimming Upstream


What comes naturally
is ‘going with the flow’
no need for a sail
just put your boat
out into the current

Lots of company
floating along
life is but a party!
A continual celebration
down a lazy river
of days, months, and years.

But there’s some folks
who set their sails
pull out the oars
and go the other way
Up the stream
against the currents
eyes on a prize

One way lies the waterfalls
a crash landing
The other, a reward
“Well done, thou good and faith full servant!”

Fully human, fully alive
assessing the situations clearly
setting out to make things better
Oh, what a ride!
Choosing paddles
sometimes tacking
against the winds
using the wind in spite of
gaining, always gaining…
closer, closer, to the prize

Making ports, landings,
out of reach to the floaters
higher, higher up the streams
high ways of life

And somewhere up there
the final landing
a dock like no other
a heavenly ‘click’
a welcome
to a mansion

selah, Lin, a leadership journey, 2014


Swimming Upstream2022-09-03T14:52:50-04:00

Chicago Steam


Streaming, steaming to Chicago
Illinois farm folks hit the roads
pouring from their farms
all across the state

Cairo to Galena
Danville over to Quincy
Champaign, Decatur, Springfield,
some 2,000 arrive in the Loop

Indeed it’s Science
modern agriculture
education on the move
botany, biology, genetics
animal science, food science
soil science, medicine
setting the bar
for the world

And it’s Technology
satellites, drones
site specific applications
computers, software
the worlds in microscopes
creativity steaming across the state

Oh, it’s Engineering!
Beautiful machines gleaming
grooming soils and planting
accuracy untold but growing
to harvesting with ever increasing efficiency
Green and Red competing
engineers abound around the farms

Math comes into play
numbers all along the way
in science, technology and engineering
the farmers know how to ply them
accounting, planning, discerning
what works, what doesn’t
they figure it out
and figure again

With seven billion Souls On Board
planet earth spins along
every year more children, men and women
needing to breathe, to drink… to eat.
Agriculture rises always
from hunter gatherers to farmers
millennia building industry
and then computer knowledge
every day, we need to eat

Chicago, four days,
Illinois Farm Bureau is in town.
Delegates propose, consider,debate, determine
the policies that govern the association
Volunteers, almost all unpaid
except they make it better
and better
and better

The President and Senators,
Representatives, Governors,
come in turns to see, to talk
the sea of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
becomes STEAM
and rightfully so

Please pass the salt!

Lin, Palmer House, December 2014


Chicago Steam2022-09-03T14:52:50-04:00

Corn King and Queen


A fascinating plant
Maize, or corn
The tassel high on top
in its time throwing pollen
Light but loaded, floating down to…
Just in time the silks
Little tubes in waiting
each to carry a single pollen grain
in to a special place
an egg in waiting
The two become one, and a kernal is born
Anchored just so, to a life sustaining spot
Protected very well in a hidden place
beneath blankets called shucks
500 kernals grow
each one loaded with genes
each gene a particular, specific fellow
with work to do, in a team
Maybe the tassel is the kingly crown
but it wouldn’t be much
without the ear, the queen!
Together they really are something
From one colonel, er, kernal,
and one egg, a queen
500 children of mom and dad!
Think about that!
And the tiny mustard seed
that grows into a small tree!
Now think about the super ‘weeds’
that throw off 600,000 to a million seeds!
Secrets to unlock!
What are we waiting for?
Prepare, study, learn, discover!
We know so much
We know so little
And we get too soon old
and too late smart!
and think about it
Think about a sunrise, a sunset
and offer praise
to the Creator
Selah, Lin, Harvest 2014

Corn King and Queen2022-09-03T14:52:51-04:00

Grand Grace


Dark plus 2
I walked to my nearby truck
the prairie was quiet
after a day of roaring harvest machines
The sky was bright with stars
more than I could ever count
what a display of span
so grand I stood held fast
I was standing on the soil
in a field my great grandpa farmed a hundred years ago
I’ll bet he stood under those same stars
and was also held fast
same as I
And my grandpa too!
Same soil, same field, same stars,
he would have gazed and been struck
at the beauty, the wonder of it all

And my dad, who farmed the same field
stood on the same soil
and after dark some harvest night
would have stood under those same stars
God’s grace is everywhere
above us
all round us
our challenge is to stop
and soak it in
Selah, Lin night harvest sky on the prairie, 2014


Grand Grace2022-09-03T14:52:51-04:00

Garden Walk


A world of color
and shape
and texture
and size

Brought from catalogs
from other gardens
from other places

Brought together
in fine imagination
becoming reality
as paintings are painted
master gardeners sculpt in plants

Beds and borders
raised and sunken
terraced and potted
arranged just so
the creations bloom
and shower color
and bring us pleasure

Once a year
the gardens open
visitors stream
to gaze and ponder
savor and enjoy

Recognizing hard work
matched with creativity
the gardeners gather
to ooo and awe
The soil so wooed
with seed and sun
food and labor
sends forth the fruits
to make it so

our tiny understanding
So pleasing
the Garden Show

Lin 06/05


Garden Walk2022-09-03T14:52:57-04:00

The Rest of the Story


Evening in the city
my experienced friend the driver
Heather and I in her BMW speed along
brake hard and speed again
the sea of cars and people ebb and flow at rush hour
To the Reception!
People from around the world
a mix of winners and judges and The Company
Interesting and fascinating folks
Argentina, China, Hungary
America and the Americas
Asia, Europe, talking, sharing
Weather and crops, home,
What’s new? What’s exciting?
Every person with a passion for agriculture
Discoveries and actions, results
Sustainable Yield Pledge Awards…
the Rest of the Story
Brett and Deborah,
Heather and Michelle and Linda
Jesus and Pablo
Robert from Cornell and Yale
Kim who knows his ‘bees-ness’
John, the publisher, writer, editor…farmer
Viktor from Ukraine and children interests
Anna from Sweden, and
Marisa, Buenos Aires and Geneva,
mix in Billy from Missouri Corn Growers,
and Lin, a farmer from Illinois…
Who put their feet under a table
and ate together in St. Louis
Morning at headquarters,
a quick rehearsal, seats assigned,
visiting with the team from Hungary and a team from India,
a team from Argentina, and then
Jesus, vice president, The Company, in Argentina:
         ” Good Morning!”
Indeed it is! as he skillfully shares
a man with passion for science
passion for people who need to eat
for people who create and do
To the Awards!
A trophy 14 inches tall, a gold leaf, fitting:
adequate, healthy sustainable food is better than gold
Congratulations and a picture with the President
a reward for doing more with less
in a Sustainable Yield way
Efficient use of water
increased yield of crops
even a program to excite STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in education)
(Please expand that to STEAM- add Agriculture for a hungry planet!)
This just a taste of
The Rest of The Story…about a company
where responsible research creates
Monsanto, the People 

The Rest of the Story2022-09-03T14:52:57-04:00

Empty Chairs


It hits hard
    the empty chair
    staring at us
A ghost sits there
    partially filling
    memories reaching out to us
A brave person sits next
    going on, keeping on
    carrying two new burdens
One the missing touches, embraces
    that link humans heart to heart
The other a thousand things
    the missing one did, would be doing
As time goes by the empty chairs increase
    numbers at funerals decrease
    those ‘on the other side’ grow
    those showing up moving slowly, carefully
    with canes and walkers and wheelchairs, assisted
Chapters close, books finish
    we lay them aside, or
    put them on a shelf, to gather dust
From dust we became
    and so return
    our fingers leaving marks
    my hands become my grandpa’s
    and I see them in my grandson’s…
Selah, Lin June 2014 
I got a jolt just yesterday.  A five star energetic lady, Nancy Strunk, recently lost her husband Duane.  At a meeting of the Farm Bureau legislative committee where she and Duane were regulars, she was sitting there with an empty chair next to her.  Just happened.  But the empty chair was ‘talking to me’, grabbing me by the throat.  They met and fell in love at the U of I, married, raised kids and worked side by side.  Now there are grandchildren.  And an empty chair.

Empty Chairs2022-09-03T14:52:57-04:00

Corn, Soybeans and Chicago


you are thinking perhaps
but oh, they are linked!
Think ‘Price!’, for a start
and the Chicago Board of Trade
World leader
bringing willing seller and willing buyer together
to find a price to sell, a price to buy
today and tomorrows too!
We’re planted deep
in the prairie soils
luxuriating in green growing crops
but, summer passing,
the crops mature
and harvest begins
where will the grain be used?
Nearby factories?
Southeast livestock?
Or will it move to water
barges and ships and faraway places?
How is price discovered?
What’s that magic number?
Chicago plays that role….
A fitting place for that to happen
as our nation provides for the world
The only major supplier
every year, not now and then
(Jimmy Carter the exception)
ships load on our shores
carrying away food
to a hungry world, a growing world
population up up up!
Across our land
the scientists labor
riding the waves of grain
they discover
pass it on
genetically modifying, carefully,
very carefully,
to grow and more
with less and less!
But true!  Fact!
Less fertilizer, less chemical,
more yield!
Efficiency over and over…
“Keep It For The Crop!”
GPS the yield and GPS plant population…
GPS the plant food site specific!
Oh my!
Now ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’
are rushing in to being
Google that one for a treat!
Oh my!
Enjoy the scenes of agriculture,
and enjoy the grain pits in Chicago
Dinner is served!
Lin, 8/2013 

Corn, Soybeans and Chicago2022-09-03T14:52:57-04:00

Windows on the World


A friend, sitting at our table
was watching a hawk at work
Our window on the prairie
was most satisfying to him
as it has been to us
and many, many others
The rich black fields stretch out
thick blankets of potential
now cold and wet with springtime rains
soon to be mothering
our food, fiber, and fuel
human necessities
Harder to measure
this view we savor
The impressive hawk
sometimes gliding, watching
then swooping down for a meal
Or the robins hopping about
or migrants stopping by along their ways
the doves so heavy looking
(can they really fly?)
In the distance a train zips by
Detroit to St. Louie
back and forth, a hundred cars
engines purring along
every mile their fog horns blasting
sound swallowed by the distance
Other folks have windows too
tapestries of their homes unfold
to make the pictures that capture our minds
Here we are blessed with space
the nearest house a mile away
there’s room for thoughts to stretch
reach out, grow
this is what home should look like…
Lin 4/2013 

Windows on the World2022-09-03T14:52:58-04:00

On Hold


What a week!
A yelling, cheering crowd
lining the streets
a man on a colt passing by
Something went wrong
or was it right?
When crowds became vicious
begging for cruelty
evil pour out
A mock trial
a flogging
another procession
then the sky darkened
the earth shook
a heavy felt curtain suddenly ripped
The world on hold
It was Friday
but Sunday was coming
The sun came up
and people went about their business
Sabbath days were quiet ones
Was the world holding its breath?
History had been opened
and sense made of so many things
Explained, in parables
Understanding stretched so beautifully
extended to coming generations
History had been made
the rebellion
the rebel
Some were weeping
some in hiding, fearfull
some were happy at last
and some were simply relieved
Who knew?
The whole world
had been put on hold….
Lin 3/2013 

On Hold2022-09-03T14:52:58-04:00

Tender Men


he Marine’s have a slogan:
“The Chosen, the Few”
that works, I think for some men I know
Strong are they,
fitting a term ‘man up’
they face life’s highway
storms and all
and keep going forward
This being earth
challenges come surely
as sun rises, sun sets
but, no matter,
these guys go
Yet they are tender
kindness in action
and tears come
It’s okay
Jesus wept
Oh how that lifts us
that ‘arms around us’ moment
when what is in a man’s heart
flows out in tenderness
A chorus comes to mind:
“He touched me,
oh, He touched me.
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened, and now I know,
He touched me…
and made me…whole!”

Tender Men2022-09-03T14:52:58-04:00

Tides and Rivers


Taking two giant, sweeping steps back,
to think about the tides and rivers of mankind
and history, the currents across the face of earth
it strikes me how good and evil
rise and fall
Some strains are so obvious
with time, looking back
Like evil doomed, but nevertheless,
waiting with power, in the wings
to rise and twist in  ugliness
Sure, Germany was a mess
paving a way for Hitler
to organize, motivate, energize
So we have pictures of soldiers,
rivers of them streaming
into parts of Europe
And Japan, too,
their soldiers, planes, ships
growing like a tide
rolling into China, Island after island
even Hawaii
Russian troops, unleashed,
binding neighbor nations
strangling them with communism
grinding them in poverty
June, 1944, Normandy,
the greatest tide of history
as the collected strength of Allies
poured onto the beaches
then surged inland
like a new Mississippi
of troops and tanks and artillary
of wave after wave of fighter planes
and bombers by the hundreds
Evil unleashed
or saviors
to push evil down
get the lid back on
we need to be careful
to step back
and see ourselves as others see us
ask ourselves what values we have
and how are we doing
No question both good and evil
can unleash energy
My favorite movie story
puts the anger of a poor Jewish athlete
up against a flying Scott, Harold.
Both run fast, motivated
by opposite extremes
of love and hate
Love doesn’t come easy
nor is it kept clean
since Adam and Eve
it’s been a struggle
What a contrast
to understand, that this is earth
and up there, out there, is heaven!
Here what’s normal is ‘all messed up’
To make it better
it’s gonna be work
hard work
step by step
three steps forward, two steps back
So we have a model
God in human form
who came, lived among us
spoke and ate and slept
A baby in a manager
a man nailed to a cross
Precious baby, nursed by his mother
a boy,taught by his father
a young man, who brought evil to focus
let it pour out on him
In Him we see answers
how to value each other
“Behold thy mother; behold thy son.”
Man, woman, each one valued
treated with respect
Little man, big man,
fisherman, scholar
tax collector, Roman
no matter
Here is the way, the truth, the life…
For a person or a nation
by Him we can measure
where we are
By Him we can set our goals
and find the paths to get there.
Lin 2/2013 

Tides and Rivers2022-09-03T14:52:58-04:00

Numbers and Emotion


Frustration rules on both sides
in the debate about the facts
I got a lesson early
in dealing with the public
Numbers are cast in concrete
two plus two equals four
end of story
but not for all!
You see, the problem is we’re humans
and humans like to think
often times in channels
or ditches or ruts
depending on your point of view
Some brains like mine are stuck
to drop into channels
ignore all else
and race along the straightaway
Ah, but others
just as fair
go this way and that way and
do curves and mountains and valleys
Serendipity along their way
Oh my!
What gives?
I’ve pondered long and hard
and have come up with an answer
the norm in this world is tension
We are all in suspension
pick something, anything
and study reveals it’s so
So we’re gonna have some folks
born to see things differently
it is all created adventure
Climb aboard!
Enjoy the ride!
Yell and scream a bit
but know
This is earth.
There will be tension.
Lin 1/2013
(“Mr. Warfel! Those are the facts!  I don’t care about the ____facts! I know what I want!”  Unit 7 school board meeting, 1983) 

Numbers and Emotion2022-09-03T14:52:59-04:00

Peace Story


Peace reigned supreme
in the Garden of Eden
But turmoil rains and reigns writ large
on the earth today
Peace broken, for the man
work, and labor
For the woman
labor of a different sort, but sure
seizing and dominating completely
Yet creation, the Creator, breaks through
from her labor a baby is born
every birth
Yet there is the child
stretching and announcing “I’m here!”     

O Little Town of Bethlehem (softly)
This tiny human
toes and fingers
eye lashes and fingernails                       
everything arranged just so 

Hosanna! Hosanna!
The Whole World is singing! 
The hope of all ages is born!

The child comes with hunger
and sleep

Time passing, a moment comes
and the mother tenderly, firmly, holds the face
“Look at me!” she says.
Captured completely
the child looks into her face.
So here we are, Christmas
God holding our faces
“Look at me!”  God says
Peace, peace, wonder Full peace
coming down from the Father above
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray
with fathomless billows of love.*
So God did
So God does…
Lin 12/12/12 


Peace Story2022-09-03T14:52:59-04:00

Sustainable Farming


Just right tall
lush and dark green
a picture of health
and productivity
A child of success
the corn plant stood
food factory, par excellance
From one tiny seed
six hundred grew
a hundred day miracle
of science, environment, and work
A symphony American
genetics, engineering, machinery,
ethics and government
conducted by a people, a nation
So, the single farmer
supported by family
and a host of helpers off the farm
feeds himself, and 155 others
Freedom, with ethics
core values triumphant
year after year after year
we are blessed
So here we are
family farm
pausing, reflecting
at the wonder of it all!
The Doxology comes to mind:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Lin 8/2014 

Sustainable Farming2022-09-03T14:52:59-04:00

The Screened Porch


An evening on the prairie
Sun sinking a way out west
A cool gentle breeze swishing the corn leaves
And a comfortable chair on the screened porch
My shirt still wet from the evening’s work
Tiredness melting away with the breeze
Reflect on life
And blessings

The rich black soil that gives and sustains
The family
The Lord is good
Friends, near and far
Our church and churches
The flotilla of organizations, that reach out, reach in
Education, that lifts
Research, that unfolds. Reveals creation

A government, that lurches and stumbles
Yet somehow, with God’s grace
Goes on
Two steps forward and three back
Then four steps forward and two back

The mate, best friend 52 years…
And counting.

Here we are
Year of our Lord

Selah. Lin. June is waning… 


The Screened Porch2022-09-03T14:53:00-04:00

Rain, Rain, and More Rain


Rain, rain and more rain
soggy earth saturated
the crops stand and take it
Creation sent the glaciers:
Nebraskan, Aftonian, Kansan, Yarmouth, Illinois and Sangamon,
the pressed their weight on the face of the earth
and ironed it flat through here
So we’re flat!
So flat the water stands
no direction bidding, calling
We await the sun to evaporate
time to soak down down down
to become an aquafer, Mahomet Teays
Up north I hear of rivers flooding
lakes overflowing
on to the mighty Mississippi
Old Man River
that living twisting water snake
that sends our waters south
The thunder softens
moves on east
the pinging rain drops slow
and we Splash Splash across the barn lot
The cattle stood out in the rain
heads down, rumps to the wind
now steam rolls off their backs
as the sun shines on their glistening black hides
Their munching away begins again
Does the grass taste better
like salad washed and fresh
I wonder
Sometimes I wish that I
could stand impervious, oblivious
to the cold splashing raindrops
water dripping off my nose
Yet I know I’m made
fragile, sensitive
with a brain that says: “Don’t do that!”
“Seek Shelter!”
“You are the crown of creation”.
The fragrance after the rain I know
the colors of all that surrounds me are vivid
Life on high
I nestle under the wings
of creation, Creator
Selah, Lin June 2014 

Rain, Rain, and More Rain2022-09-03T14:53:00-04:00

The Mountains Between Us


Nature has so many built in things
that can divide, separate us
Where we happen to be born
The parents, and all their learned differences
The circumstances, so varied yet important
Our feet get put on Life’s Highway
and we travel on
Left to see…or not
Hear…or not…
Touch…or not.
So we cling to our ‘own kind’
and the comfort of sameness
living in the valleys
between the towering mountains
How to melt the mountains?
How to level them out
so that we can be
what we are meant to be
Find a link, then another
that reaches across
above and beyond
and hold on
adding link after link after link
A rope of many fibers
cannot be broken
Caring is lifted up, held forth
but, I offer to you,
caring needs to be built on something
and that’s where education comes to help us
stretching us more and more and more
in ways we thought ‘Impossible!”
So we have Grey’s Anatomy,
a huge thick book
of all the parts
that work, and we live
for a moment
Graduations are toppings on our cakes
Yes, the cake’s been in the oven baking!
Ingredients pouring in, mixing, then into the oven
the time elapses, a buzzer sounds
and we pop open the door
heat pours out!
We set the cake out to cool
(how many of you are taking a break?)
Now comes the icing
What will you do?
Where will you do it?
With whom?
You have been prepared
and the doors are open
Go forth
and do your part
to bring down the mountains between us
Risk, reflect, and invest in people and things eternal!
Lin Warfel, May 2014
Frank Walker’s Graduation   

The Mountains Between Us2022-09-03T14:53:00-04:00

Arms Around Agriculture


Happens once a year
a gathering of the arms
Illinois Farm Bureau
407,378 members
represented by 342 delegates
from each county in the state
Cars and busses
trains and pickup trucks
the farmers pour in to the Chicago Loop
toting suitcases (and billfolds!)
Delegates and alternates, friends and staff
officers and directors and onlookers
some 2,000 all together attend
Into the exhibit hall they come
greeting one another
happy to be together
Old faces and young ones
from strollers to canes and walkers
they meet and greet and talk to each other
Young Ag Leaders engage
debating issues of the day
bright young folks
educated and well spoken
they compete and are judged
but every single one’s a winner
Politicians come too
to milk the crowd
Friends of Agriculture
The Bureau pats their backs
pays them respect

The capstone moves into place
342 delegates take their seats
Consideration of Resolutions begins
ideas to amend policies or add new ones
gathered from all round the state
sifted, combined and presented
by the TRC, the Tentative Resolutions Committee,
18 county presidents rotated from the 18 districts

Each resolution read, then discussed and debated
sometimes for a moment, sometimes for an hour
the arms of the Bureau, the minds of the delegates
engage and resolve, yaying or naying.
The votes come in sound waves, most often,
a rush of voices competing
the President assesses, sometimes looks right and left
to the astute secretaries, the vice president, the legal counsel
and pronounces the fate, “Passed!”… or “Failed!”
and the body moves on.
46 pages, this year, 2013, plus some added from the floor,
 surfaced just recently, but important to consider.
The delegates march on through
Parliamentary procedure tested:
“Point of Order!”  ‘Move to amend!”
“Ready to vote?”
Finally complete, the policies will gain feet
Thousands of feet, walking to Springfield, to Washington
carrying the ideas for presentation
with some policies becoming bills, and the laws of our land
The astonishing rich soils of Illinois
produce these people
the “Show up” folks
who move our state, our nation
the Farmers of Illinois, America,
who have their arms, around agriculture
producing the food, fiber, and fuel that sustain us.
Lin Warfel
the 2013 Illinois Farm Bureau Convention
the Palmer House, Chicago 

Arms Around Agriculture2022-09-03T14:53:03-04:00

Soil Chef


to watch a skilled chef
who knows the chemistry
to watch him or her mix
then taste, savoring, thinking
a little bit of this, a little bit of that
With soil,
we dig a trench to see
the profile, from top to deep
we slice a sample
a core
then head to a laboratory
Test for balance
acid/alkaline, neutral?
phosphorus, potassium
and a scattering of others
and then we can create a prescription:
Needs this much of that
this much of that
and so on
The mix is bought and scattered
and then we test again
and again
and again
all the while looking, watching
how the plants are doing
Sort of ‘stick out your tounge and say ‘ahhh”
There must be something more
slipping away unnoticed, unmeasured
We need to study this more
By and by we find bacteria
Not one, but a million!
Little critturs banging around
spewing out compounds, chemicals
in response to what they encounter
Wow! We find
a whole huge world we’re walking on!
What we’ve been calling ‘dirt’
is fascinating!  Complex! Amazing!

So it becomes ‘soil’
spoken with respect
and ‘dirt’ is said no more.
It seems that, sometime earlier,
soil was sculpted
in a distinct and orderly way
There must have been
a soil chef
who put this mix together
Who could have shaped
and breathed into
gave life to
yet another dimension
for us to discover
“O Lord, my God,
when I in awesome wonder
consider all
the worlds thy hands have made…’*
Lin 10/2013
*”How Great Thou Art”, Stuart K. Hine, 1953 


Soil Chef2022-09-03T14:53:04-04:00

Water Water Everywhere!


Sandy soils overlaying the ocean
holding back that behemoth of waving, foaming power
give way to sandy soils over plentiful water
Fields carved by streams and rivers
water, water everywhere!
Navy, fishermen, pleasure boaters
attuned to the waterman life
What a treat!
Refreshing, for the flatlanders of Illinois!
How tempting to wet a line
take a cruise
kayak, canoe, or power launch
Sailboat maybe?  Silently slipping along…
Water colors, flavors the lives
tides rising, falling, rivers gliding out to sea
and the sea, a mind of its own
with moods of compliance
or testing
or dominating severely
Respect required, commanded,
wisely obeyed
we mark the shores with lighthouses
build docks to capture and hold the boats and ships
build giant factories to pour their products forth
filling ships to sail the seas
Rail yards to serve the land produce
dumping their grains and coal and steel and
a thousand, ten thousand things and more
to share commerce around the world
The people sleep, yet waves lap
grinding shells, grinding sand
night and day and year after year
who can fathom the energy
hiding within the oceans?
Selah, Lin, Virginia, the York, the James, the British and First Nation names…2013 

Water Water Everywhere!2022-09-03T14:53:04-04:00

Flowers in the Rubble


Our structures stand
wind and rain
sun and cold
strong against the elements
But in a moment
the wind can torture
the rain can flood
the sun can certainly age them hard
and the cold can make them crack
Above these things
the humans reign
building, tending, repairing
but in a moment
an angry wind can take away
The roar of a freight train
on the loose
making its own track across the prairie
lifting up
dropping down
the tornado twists and sucks
smashing all in its way
But in a moment
it is gone
and quiet comes
to find but rubble
where once proud homes stood
and the people come out
scratched and bruised and bleeding
but walking, talking, looking
at the lashing the wind has done
The people are the flowers
who rise up from the rubble
to once again build
Newer, better, the structures go up
as hands and machines work together
Help has come
neighbors join and share
clothes and food pour in
as word goes out
Insurance dollars flow
gifts of money come
and folks find ways to build it back
Buildings, trees, cars and trucks
have their times and places
but the flowers
the people
rise above
Thanking God for life, and mercy
Selah, Lin 11/2013 

Flowers in the Rubble2022-09-03T14:53:04-04:00

“I’ll Figure it Out!”


Delight comes
in ever so many ways!
Years ago a college student called.
“Could you use some harvest help?”
Indeed I could, so I invited the young man out.
On the farm he was in his element.
‘Can do!” was his aim.
He did!  Expeditiously with a smile!
In the field or at our table
he was a pleasure to be around.
And we worked.
Til harvest was complete.
As planned, he graduated…
and commended his younger brother for the job.
Hired him too.
Like his brother
a ‘Can do’ person.
Driving trucks, tractors, the combine, mowers…
Did the jobs with aplomb!
He was a pleasure to be around!
In the field or at our table.
As planned, he too graduated and was gone.
Two decades passed,
and I got a call.
“Could you use some harvest help?
My dad and my uncle worked for you,
and thought you might need a hand with harvest.”
This one had a special comment,
when I gave him instructions on what needed done
and it was new to him:
“I’ll figure it out!”
Determination, crystal clear on his face.
What an attitude!  I loved it!
First thought, ‘That’s the American Farmer!”
Whatever the challenge:
“I’ll figure it out!’
We have!  We do!  We will!
Second thought: ‘That’s the American way!”
From the founding fathers and mothers on
America has done that, does that, and will do that!
Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfuss figured it out.
A history prof, he reflected on our short history,
and the history of the world.
He believed an Invisible Hand, has been upon us,
and he stated his case well.
George Washington Carver
‘figured it out’.
Studied the Bible and concluded:
‘There’s more to the peanut than we’ve discovered.’
He discovered, and discovered, and discovered.
Adam Smith, philosopher,
thought long and hard and made his notes.
Sat himself down, and in 1776
‘figured it out’.
Freedom, capitalism, and the wealth of nations…
‘figured it out’
The Hand, the Word, the mind in freedom
the attitude
and we, indeed, can
‘figure it out!’
Lin 10/2013  Kendall Phelps 

“I’ll Figure it Out!”2022-09-03T14:53:05-04:00

Butterfly World


A friend stopped by
the other day
Business on his mind
We sauntered to the backyard
a retreat environ
to set n talk a bit
Settling back, he observed:
This sure is a peaceful place!
Patio surrounded
trees and shrubs and flowers
Blue sky, white clouds
shades of greens and splashed of flowering plants
far from the din of the world
It’s a butterfly place, you see
They come, to flit about
and rest
Background sounds are wrens
several families call this home
their songs of greetings abound
as do the tiny Finches
adding to the splashes of color
Doves rest heavily under the feeders
happy to coo about, mourning
and Robins chirp their tunes
a symphony of sounds
abetted with colors
clouds moving lazily
flowers and leaves waving
fluttering sometimes
as do the butterflies
It’s a created place
combinations put in place
by the Lady of the House
the Lady of the farm
Master, indeed, Gardener!
Creates a place for separation
Come sit with us sometime
rest yourself
and soak it in
Lin 7/2013 

Butterfly World2022-09-03T14:53:05-04:00

Threads to Tapestries


Thoughts can often be threads
opportunities alone
happening but needing friends
Alone they reach out
but can’t survive
going further and further
until they disappear
But joining with others
they become a cloth
offering great things
Think sails on great ships
think uniforms on a million soldiers
Think warm blankets in a cold world
or suits and dresses for kings and queens
or denim for the workers
who show up, and carry the world
Together they can become
a tapestry
portraying mighty deeds
encouraging others to carry on
Here’s to those who create the threads
that bind us
becoming a cord of many strands
that cannot be broken….
Lin 7/3013 

Threads to Tapestries2022-09-03T14:53:05-04:00



Something about the fog
that quiets the cattle
the world
A fine white mesh
shrouding the earth
closing us in
We move more slowly
the cars
the ships
nosing our ways
on quiet
Slow down earth
it seems to say
you’ve been hurrying
much too much!
Peace, now,
murmur to each other
hold off on shout and push
and race to nowhere
Up there somewhere
the sun is burning
all powerful, to be sure
it will burn away the curtain
turn up the heat, the pace
and we’ll all be back at it…
Did you hear the low
The lazy fog horn?
Go ahead!
Mutter it long and low
and quietly…..
Lin 7/2013 


Climbing to the top


Climbing to the top of the Hill
The forest floor tilts
slides and rises
trees bored in
flora and fauna blankets rich
The sun shines through,
filtered beams of light through tall black and gray soldiers,
the mountain world challenges, teases
we humans to conquer
We are born to climb
every hill, every mountain
has a top
just waiting
What’s on the other side?
What view is just over ‘there’
somewhere, over the rainbow….
Climbing to the top
to sing, ponder, see
soak in the hills and valleys
Ants, in the scheme of things
we’re the only ones in charge
owners, no, tenants only
we can learn and grow
and understand, a little
and knowing that sense
there’s more
At the top are more
mountains to climb
always more
there we find
ours is to do the climbing
and then discover we’re small
and God the creator is big
bigger, biggest
Lin 4/2013 

Climbing to the top2022-09-03T14:53:07-04:00

Leaning In


Humans have a core value
deep within their spirit hearts
we see it in attractions
especially when they’re focused
Words come hard to define
emotions that hold us firm
love, being at the top
commanded, by the top
So we are blessed
to come to a place, a time,
when inhibitions melt
and someone ‘leans in’
instead of holding back
Ah, the world is a place
of holding back!
Safety, assumed,
in retreat, seclusion, cocooning
fences built and strengthened
locks in place, secured
Then too,
the world is a place
of lashing out
anger boiling, spilling over
to hurt, punish
swinging wildly at any and all
eyes closed in fury
Antidote: love
leaning in
the healing, growing, healthy way
to abundant life
now and forever.
“Teacher!  What is the greatest commandment?”
“Love the Lord thy God, with all your heart, soul,
mind and strength.  And the second is as unto the first:
Love your neighbor as yourself.”
And who is my neighbor?
You are!
I’m “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!”
Lean in!
Lin 4/2013 

Leaning In2022-09-03T14:53:07-04:00

Carried Along


Who, would you think
is the most powerful person on earth?
Some might say ‘The President’.
Yes, he is ‘Commander in Chief’
but in that role
the Generals and Admirals
know so much more
Even the sargeants do too!
The President comes along later
far from the jeeps in the desert
far from the ships at sea
Indeed he sits with Congress
and the Courts
to push his agenda forward
but oh, so many limits
so many strings
not there for him or her to pull.
I submit the President
is in fact carried along
by events not chosen
not really controlled on earth.
Ride along with me
out in the country
where buffalo used to roam
sit at the family table
with the farmer, the agronomist, the teacher
put your feet under the table
as the family shares the day
This, is still, the
astonishing rich soil of America!
A place of intelligence
and compassion. 
That’s where you and I live,
far from the marble and concrete
of government.
Here cows don’t give milk
somebody has to take it from them!
Nor does the soil magically yield fruit
somebody has to till and plant, tend and harvest
Engineers dream and build machines
that move the world.
Lin 5/2013 

Carried Along2022-09-03T14:53:08-04:00

Diamonds and Pearls


Context can be fascinating,,,
Want to take a quick trip with me?
Down memory lane, to
college days
and today?
There we were in ’59
the Class of ’63
Indeed, bright eyed
and bushy tailed
(and bushy faced, a Cave man thing!)
standing on the Chapel steps
singing as loud as we could sing
As freshmen at ‘Dear Ole Wabash”
we had a ceremony
The Chapel Sing
wherein we all were required
to sing the song
without a hitch
but with a catch:
Upperclassmen could do their best
to confuse, bamboozle, frustrate, distract
so we would lose our concentration, falter, fail
Whereupon a special haircut would brand
the poor, poor Rhynie!
“W” would be the only hair left
atop the noble crown!
All could see the failure stamped
announcing he messed up
The world at end…?
Time marched on
and so did we
Studying, learning
jumping through the college hoops
to life
We were young pearls
cast upon the mighty seas
Oh what varied oceans we,
so small,
did launch into
Ah, we plowed
this way and that
making marks
Law, medicine, education
all the arts of liberalism
yet disciplined to be conservative
holding fast to values learned
lived, by our profs
Their names still live in us
As President White proft to us
“We never left Wabash,
and Wabash never left us.”
So there we were
back on the Chapel steps
Singing our hearts out
competing, with each other
and other classes
‘Dear Ole Wabash
thy loyal sons shall ever love thee,
And, o’er thy classic halls,
the Scarlet flag shall proudly flash.
Long in our hearts,
we’ll bear the sweetest mem’ries of thee,
Long shall we sing they praises,
Old Wabash!”
Diamonds now,
hardened by 20 thousand days,
50 years and counting
having attained, being,
pearls of wisdom and learning
cementing around the grains of sand
that caught our imaginations then
Selah, Lin Warfel, ’63, June 2013 

Diamonds and Pearls2022-09-03T14:53:09-04:00



There is a place
for Fathers!
Perched high up on his shoulders
a little one rides along
wrapped around dad’s neck
holding on to his ears or hair
Secure and happy
to be so tall
look out upon the world
from that exalted stage
Another day
his big hand holds hers or his
as they cross the street together
Secure and happy
under his wing, protected
for that passing moment
Absent for some time
arrival home happens
She or he runs full bore
leaping up into his arms
enfolded, warmed deep down inside
together again
the world catches its breath
another passing moment
precious, counting
He or she prepares
due diligence to the task
practicing over and over
and then the race
Competing, running with the pack
then bursting forward
snapping the tape
Abba’s heart is bursting
popping buttons on his shirt
Well done!  So happy!
So many happy times:
a baby…
Turn around, this is earth
not heaven
so bad things happen
Abba’s there too
heart twisted and wrung
squeezed and scratched and cut
deep pain
Holding the hand, praying,
all he can do…
Our Father in heaven
holy is your name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
on earth
as it is in heaven…. 


Heart of America


I’ve been thinking
about where America’s heart is
and I think I’ve seen some answers!
I note a certain part of the county
where guys and gals are givers
they reach out constantly
it’s a habit
close by and around the country
Begin with ‘they are craftsmen (and women)
whatever they do, they do with passion
to do their best, make things ‘right’
Could be farming, building houses
or electrical work with insulating houses
or plumbing/heating
ah, mechanics/technitions – the best!
Gardens, foods? Dinners?
They are a joy to behold!
Dutch flats?  Flatville?  Gifford?
Like one great big family…
with great big hearts!
Okay, pick another area
southwest, this time
two small towns
each a dominant, different church
but the same predisposition
to do it well, very well
and keep on doing it better!
The same skills pursued
and mastered with like aplomb
again, two great big families
with great big hearts!
The core, I believe,
is their link to church
and not just any
but ones with heart commitments
ones that serve, the other fellow
helping and respecting are nurtured in
They help each other
and they reach out, further and further
no boundaries
they care
Jesus is the Master
guiding and directing
the way, the truth, the light
His way is their way
so they care, they serve
Oh, how they live!
Loving and laughing
crying when it fits
they are blessings
the best, they are
the heart of America
Selah, Lin 3/2013 

Heart of America2022-09-03T14:53:10-04:00

March Sunrise


Crisp morning air greets me
the walk frosted lightly
green grass grayed with ice
the warmth of the sun so good!
Winter’s hanging on
by it’s fingernails
losing to the tilt of earth
more and longer sun
Our black soil is soaking
a soppy blanket of mud
drinking in the precious water
that seedlings will soon be needing
Fitting that we are preparing for Easter
when darkness wins, then loses
and the Son bursts forth from the grave
New life is the order breaking bonds
rising to new heights, soaring with singing
The crocus spears have poked on through
buds are starting to swell
lambs dance around in the pasture
Soon church parking lots will overflow
with seekers and finders
Hosanna! Hosanna!
The whole world is singing!
The hope of all ages is risen!
He is the Way, the Truth, the Life
Now, and forevermore
Lin 3/2013 

March Sunrise2022-09-03T14:53:11-04:00



One fine Kentucky summer day
some friends stopped by the drug store.
“Come on, Ken!” they said,
“We’re gonna try out for football.
Come ride along with us.”
So he did, the high school grad.
Standing near the coach,
the coach was sizing him up.
“Wanna try out?” Coach said.
“Take this ball and get past those big galloots!”
Run, he did, tricky little guy,
he zipped right past ’em.
“Try it again”, said the coach…
and he did… for four years!
We all have moments like that,
when somebody tosses us the ball.
After we catch it, what happens?
Stand on the sidelines, holding on?
Or running, with all we’ve got,
zigging and zagging around the obstacles,
heading for the goal line.
“Lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the earth.”
We don’t run alone.
Someone was with Ken,
as he progressed to be,
using his gifts, maxing out.
Oh, did he soar, blessed
along life’s highway.
So, the ‘coach’ tosses us a ball
to see what we will do.
Yawn and watch, or
run with the wind!
Doing our part,
running with.
Selah, Lin 2/2013 


Streetlights on the Snow


Late last evening
Bundled against the cold
I stepped into a painting

I stopped in my tracks
To take it all in, a pleasure
Fresh fallen snow
Thin as a sheet blanket
Was skinned over the scene

Soft yellowed light
From street light globes
Snow diamonds sparkling
The old drug store restored on one side
A dime store on the other
Pick up trucks all white parked in lines
Like white horses waiting patiently

I broke into that world
Behind me friends breaking the silence
“Drive carefully!”
“See you soon!”
Engines grinding into life
Silence returning to Main Street.

Small town luxuries abound
If we but stop to absorb
Sip them in to savor


Streetlights on the Snow2022-09-03T14:53:13-04:00



Significant women have made statements
regarding the importance of ‘table’.
Barbara Bush said it this way:
“The most important decisions in America
are made around the kitchen table.”
As always, Barbara’s wisdom was front and center.
Grandma Warfel
near pioneer
drew a line defining:
“True friends feet
have been under your table
and yours under theirs.”
The family table is always defined
with mom and dad in specific places
honored and respected, noted always
Throughout history
it’s just the same
Everyone has a place
to start
square, round, or long rectangle
no matter
How natural Jesus was
at the table head
how unnatural he arose
with towel and bowl circled round
washing each one’s feet
Not just his own
but also with others
he joined with them at table
and he speaks to us, each one,
inviting us to His table
Living water offered…
Bread broken for you, for me,
bread that nourishes forever…
Bridges are built, maintained
at table
“I’m so glad, I’m a part,
of the family of God.
I’ve been washed in the fountain,
cleansed by His blood.
Joint heirs with Jesus
as I travel this sod.
I’m a part of the family,
the family of God.”
Lin 10/2012 


Touch and Permission


An Asian culture posits a greeting
with hands at sides, and a bow
Another culture folks fold their hands together
prayer like, and do a head nod bow
Somewhere back in our ancestry
swords were often present
firmly gripped in one’s right hand
Noted by their absence
an empty hand was extended
to grip another person’s right hand
and permission
The pastor greets the flock
service ended, folk headed home
words offered, exchanged, with all
and hands offered, taken,
sometimes held in lingering, caring ways
The politician reaches out
shaking all the hands they can
moving, always moving
to shake someone else’s hand
Glancing touches
like a thrown rock skipping across the lake
A young man, a young lady,
sit side by side
signals passing
his hand grasps hers
with her permission
and the world becomes far away
two, on life’s highway
to becoming one….
A child lays abed
burning up with fever
a mother’s hand, cool, soft, gentle,
touches the forehead
the suffering somehow is relieved
Another child running
falls and scrapes a knee
Mom or dad picks them up and hugs them
and pats them gently on the back, soothing
and the pain softens steadily
Then there’s the leap across a chasm
and full blown hugs are done
Parents and children
and special ones, with permission
are hugged and held in abandon
Pausing, seconds really, in a lifetime
but oh, so precious!
We humans have a dimension
where only we can go
Minds and hearts combine to claim:
“He touched me.
Oh,He touched me…
and oh, the joy that floods my soul.
He touched me
and made me whole.”
Permission granted
Lin, 10.2012 

Touch and Permission2022-09-03T14:53:27-04:00



Indeed, a long time ago,
but just ‘yesterday’ in history…
Great grandpa was a walking
Tolono depot just behind
Southwest into the prairie
what he saw was not a goldmine
but a ‘blackmine’
Soil soft on his footsteps
speaking to him in farmer tones
“This could be really good, really somethin'”
“This could be our home”.
So he bought a field in ’82,
and planted himself right there.
He quickly built a lean to
shelter against the winter
for great grandma and the kids.
A horse bought, and a sled
he trekked across the snow
Parkville, sawmill, boards he bought
for the first home to be built in summer.
Little great uncle Fred had a job
a ridin’ on that sled.
Last load coming home
he sat upon the lumber
waving a lantern at the wolves
who slinked along behind
First house built in ’83
great grandma was in heaven
but here on earth she worked so hard
supporting her man in the field
Monday’s she carried water
two buckets at a time
from the open ditch just north of the house
so Tuesday could be washday.
Too big a job, carrying water,
to do both jobs same day.
By and by great grandpa
happened to be nearby, when
in Tolono a rail car was in the siding
piled high with wooden barrels
Giant ones called ‘hogsheads’
were for sale that day
He bought one, and wagoned it home.
Buried it next to the kitchen
situated just so
a downspout from the house roof
could be directed in.
He piped it from the kitchen sink
aided by a handpump
great grandma could stand at the sink and pump
and carry the buckets no more
My grandma witness the first water
and then great grandma’s tears bore the message:
Happiness about a burden passed!
Seventy miles, to the south
John Delano Warfel settled
veteran of The War
the Buckeye native planted his farm
and raised a great big family
Little Alfred was born there
about the same time Ida was
on this farm
and thus begins another chapter
in ‘Farmers on this Land’.
The same young Illinois Central
that brought H.J. from Chicago,
brought Alfred up from Rose Hill
to the Tolono station.
That’s the same rail station, by the way,
where Abe Lincoln spoke his last words
on the way to Washington.
Some fifty years from ’82,
H.J. hung it up.
Moved into Sadorus
two miles to the west.
Took a little doing
to get great grandma there
several months went by
before she would give up
and follow him to town.
Alfred and Ida moved in here
the second generation.
Again war was to tumble
family plans and movings
’41 December, Pearl Harbor happened,
grabbing my folks and farming.
Hank, my dad, was called up,
and off he went to war
as John D. had some 70 years before.
Mom, my sister and I,
stayed anchored here on this place
as battle after battle waged
across the face of earth.
One year.
Two years
Three, then June, the sixth,
and Europe was invaded
Americans poured into France
my dad was among them, fighting
to push the face of evil back
One week
Two weeks
One month
and then one more explosion
Captain Hank Warfel was no more.
Except in a metal casket, and some memories.
Skip forward thirty years
and his son came on the scene
to move into the house built
the year that he was born.
He came home, with his family,
to take up plow and planter
and harvest as his fathers did
Watch his children grow
Time, like soldiers, marches on,
and now the son,
the grandson,
the great grandson’s
 grown old
Seven decades and some change
his boots walked on this ground.
Babies grown, moving away,
making their way in the other world
but rooted in this soil
His song and theirs
is “The Song of the Prairie’.
Lin 10/2012 


On the Move


Planted on a prairie hilltop
the highest spot around
the college has to grow
Engaging the community in learning!
Firm foundations abound
for buildings and for students
minds are stretched
and buildings sprout

A wing goes here
a wing goes there
students slip in, and fly away
that’s the Parkland Way!
A thousand students, two
then four then ten
and finally…
a front door to welcome them!

Thousands of feet
now ten,
thousands of feet! Over time,
two hundred sixty…thousand!
Oops! that means half a million people feet!
Borrowed rooms and buildings first
then spankin’ new buildings now forty
hundreds of thousands of building feet
of rooms linked in wings
a living, breathing place

From soils to stars
roaring engines to computer clicks
dogs and cats to people care
giving speeches and writing books
wind and fire and policeman training
pounding nails and welding iron
music and arts and theatre too
whatever needs are out there
the rooms grow, and serve the people

A place
investing in people
and things eternal
Buildings and minds still growing
and it is good.
Very good!

Lin, 5/2012


On the Move2022-09-03T14:53:28-04:00

Rolling, A Song of the Prairie


Big tractor wheels
taller than a man
carryin’ 300 horses
back and forth
back and forth
tilling the soil
planting the crop

A lazy swirl of dust
marks my way
Soil seeking heaven
…just like me
the way of earth
the way of man

Row after row
seeds of promise
nestled into the waiting soil
dark. warm. moist.
A trigger is kicked!
Life clicks!

Root down, spike up
seeking sun up, and food down
Creation is a symphony
all parts singing a song
Here it is before us:
the Song of the Prairie


Rolling, A Song of the Prairie2022-09-03T14:53:29-04:00

Working the Broom


The humble broom is a crucible tool
clean sweeping nooks and crannies
My mind is rich in pictures
of ladies working a broom!

I see grandma
with her broom corn broom
made by a certain blind fellow
down Tuscola way
Grandpa and I visited the guy
every now and then
I watched the man’s fingers fly
and he stitched the wad of strands
the product of a special corn
Grandma would work that broom
somewhere every day
inside the house and down the walk
I still see her chasing dust!

First morning in Japan
I arose and looked out the window
I saw Japanese ladies working brooms
sweeping their porch and steps
then the sidewalk on to the middle of the street!
Wow! Did they work their brooms!

Farmers had their pitchforks
handles and tines kept shiny
and farm wives had their brooms
to shoo away some critter
doin’ something nasty
“Out! Shoo! Shoo!”
I’d hear, knowing who would win
the ‘woman of the house’ for certain!

I had a certain uncle
who took it ‘pon himself
to keep us kids in line.
Somewhere in his past, I guessed,
his mom, my sweet grandma,
had used her broom on him!
His threat to us, on needed occasion, was
“You behave! Or your mom will…
work her broom on YOU!”
Terror! He had our attention!
We all knew
mom could work that broom!

Progress has come to many things
but the corn broom has survived!
Plastic tries, but cannot win
we still have the same old brooms
and farm wives still
know how to use ’em
Better behave or else….

Selah, Lin 4/12


Working the Broom2022-09-03T14:53:29-04:00

Pain Full Memories


Life can bear down hard
slapping us, jerking us around
War brings horror over the top
so tough
experiences can’t be spoken
But they are remembered
though they’re buried deep

Sometimes decades later
the ice is broken
and they come out
December 7, 1941
a ‘Day of Infamy’
when thousands died
and more were injured
memories planted deep
June 6, 1944
the greatest armada of all time
paratroopers landing
ships pouring soldiers onto beaches
bodies floating in the surf
the beach a graveyard

150,000 invaders
coming coming coming
in some outfits
9 of 10 died
but in others, most lived
to fight
memories planted deep
pain full, memories

Somehow people went on
to come home, to live,
raise families, work
The painful memories pushed back
pushed down
but very much there.
Ours to listen, to care,
to ask ourselves:
“What did we lose?
What did we win?”

What We Lost, and What We Won*
Will we remember
the world at war
Army’s marching
aiming, shooting
shells exploding
cities smashed
families dreams as well

What we won
can be measured
Freedom, from tyranny
cruel insanity
a madman was in charge
madmen came to help him
evil was set free
people died in ovens
in concentration camps

Jewish men in a line
pressed together, front to back
shot to see
how many could be killed
with a single bullet

American soldiers eaten
on far off Pacific Islands
Some sacrificed their lives
Some suffered wounds forever
and some came home to
The Land of the Free,
and the Home of the Brave…
We helped win freedom
to live and grow and be
in this land of opportunity

Sustained by God
we have gone on
that is what we won
Men and women working
worshipping freely
raising families in peace
not even locking doors
children playing into summer nights
friends visiting, laughing, talking
a generation, then two, then three
free to come and go
A handful now, in uniform
vigilant, on guard, protecting
Then, every family was touched
someone in uniform
everyone purposed:
Stop Adolph Hitler
Stop the Emperor’s minions
Stop the world, from going insane

What we lost was half a decade
millions of people and more
“Maybe we will not remember,
what we lost…
and what we won…”*

Lin, 4/2012
*Listen to Ben Bedford, writer, singer,


Pain Full Memories2022-09-03T14:53:30-04:00

Country Folks


Meandering up country roads
I did my best to soak
A beautiful spring day
blue sky, cumulous clouds
fresh green grass and budding trees

I zig zagged near a river
heading back to the farm
The woods were dotted black
with Angus cows a grazing
lazily munching along
safe and secure on the edge of woods

Easy to find the rivers
here in central Illinois
as woods line their pathways
One farmstead, then another
Well appointed homes, aged,
and neatly kept barns and sheds
Not a painting, real
Real places, real people
Secure in who they are
Breathing in the people
I know their names and faces
Soaking up the places
centennial farms planted

I got my arms around them
and I was blessed
To be a part
It is good
And I am grateful
to know and be known
by them
Page Two
Maybe we were sculpted
by some special soil
(in truth, all soils are special!)
but I do know the soils are part
of what we do each year

We touch them, feel them
waiting for warmth to mother seeds
We scratch and till them, tile them,
and cover them with blankets green
They give us food, and fuel, and fiber
to feed, power, and clothe us
The farms are laced with tools
shiny handled shovel
our hands have polished often
Shiny door handles, gate latches
where we’ve touched them often

My grandpa’s hammer
his much prized scoop
a shovel made for grain
I still have, on the shop wall now,
a little simple stool I sat on
when growing up
to sit and milk the cows!
My bride has grandma’s hoe
sharpened by the soil
the metal half the original

Prized tools all
loaded with memories working
Countless animals have trod the fields
mooing, voicing their messages
while I in jest, mimicked them and laughed
I helped to birth them, feed them,
raised them to be shipped away
They did their part

We, the people,
do our part as well
Drawing together the best
of knowledge, research, progress
bout seeds and breeds and tools and more
To tune ourselves to nature
and nature’s Creator, God
Come Sunday morning quiet
a different day for us
set aside

like the Good Book says
“Even during planting and harvest,
work (only) six days.”
Families pile into cars
and make their way to church
to sing, to pray, to study on the ways
laid out for all mankind
Amen, and amen,

Selah, LIn 3/2012


Country Folks2022-09-03T14:53:31-04:00

First Whiffs


Cold iron moves from shed
on stiff rubber tires

A disk blade or spring cultivator
eases into the rich, loam soil
and the farmer gets a first whiff!

There’s that stirring in the memory
of communion with the soil
and all the things a farmer does
to raise the plants that feed us
clothe us
fuel our machines these days
Do you have a favorite ‘whiff’?

Fresh bread smell wafting through the house?
Apple pie on the counter?
Pot roast with onions, carrots and potatoes?
Roses or apple blossoms

Oh so many wonder full whiffs!
How about the rain freshened air
after a sweet summer rain?
How about baby shampoo
on your precious baby child?
Or fresh brewed coffee in the early morning?

Bacon frying
Hamburgers on the summer grill?
Fresh mown hay some summer day
a field of clover, in full bloom?

Are we blessed or not?
The farmers and the gardeners
are out and doing their toil
I’m thinkin’ there should be a symphony
playing in the background
some singers humming quietly
along with the robin’s tunes

Selah, Spring, 2012 Lin


First Whiffs2022-09-03T14:53:32-04:00

Enchanting Land


It happens ever so often
I stop, realize,
the scene before me
this place where I live
is simply, profoundly

First light last night’s snow
slipped lightly on the trees
has marked, outlined
winter gray branches
down to the tiny twigs
snow rests
not even clinging
just lofted down quietly
as if it is sleeping there

With the dawn a little breeze
makes it look like its snowing
but only from the tree tops down!

Just the other day
we awakened to the Hoar frost painting
roadside weeds glistened in the sun
trees and bushes were wrapped
in Christmas wrappings
all white
closer looks saw
chrystaline shapes
so fragile
laced so finely
Soon the morning sun appeared
and chased it all away
back to winter’s gray!

Nighttime frigid air
driving along a terminal moraine
I could see for miles and miles
sharp black night pierced by stars
high in the sky and across the prairie
the night lights of the farmsteads
all quiet
the earth and me, so small I
so magnificent the scene

The Creator is indeed
If we just stop to see, to listen
There, all of the time….


Enchanting Land2022-09-03T14:53:32-04:00

Beyond the See


We humans have a place
a way beyond the see
treasures there abound
to savor and enjoy

The land of beauty
surrounding us
unfolds in seasons grand
summer foliage
winter whites
frosted window panes
springtime flowers
fall colors shouting
Cars and quilts
and thousands of things
that somehow pleasure our see

Then there’s love
somewhere mysteriously in us
making it possible for two
to become one
How can that be?
The something that we call heart
knowing it’s not really
but somewhere in our brain
‘the greatest of these is love’
and we know it’s so

And friendship
again, that links us
wraps us in bindings
that set us free
how can that be?
Oh what a foretaste
of glory divine…

See so often
becomes simply, property
important, yes
but with it we are all but tenants
never really owning
just passing through
receiving, possessing for a while,
then letting loose

We see words
on a page, filling a book
and thoughts swirl in our minds
about the unseen
yet we know is there
and life settles into mysteries

O love, that wilt not let me go…*
and What a friend we have in…**

Selah, Lin, 2/2012
*George Matheson, Albert L. Peace, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”
**Joseph M. Scriven, Charles C. Converse, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”


Beyond the See2022-09-03T14:53:32-04:00

Streets of Gold


Along life’s highway
are many changes
Ups and downs and curves abound
Day and night and twilight too
mix the days as we live along

Bits of gold are here and there
but certainly not the norm
as not all that glitters
is really gold

Ah, but life can be good!
Christmas and Easter
Thanksgiving and parades
Graduations and weddings
lace our lives with happiness

Discovering the opposite sex
and all that comes thereafter
can be a life of golden moments
We even cap the 50 years
as ‘golden anniversaries’….

The peak of world athletics
might well be: ‘go for the gold’
at the Olympics
gold measures the mettle, acclaims it proudly

The Good Book paints the picture
of a place of many mansions
and having ‘streets of gold’
Ah, the ending is another beginning
in the twinkling of an eye we are changed!

Take note, please,
we’ve been alerted!
A bride and groom march down the isle!
A baby is born!
There are graduations!
And finally, a celebration of life is held….

Set your sails!
Hold the course!
Head for the streets of gold!

Selah, Lin 1/2012
In memory of Dick Schmall


Streets of Gold2022-09-03T14:53:34-04:00

Unglorious Mud


Politics lives
in all mankind
and seems condemned to mud
Unglorius mostly
in varying forms
We watch it ooze along

There’s mire that lurks
at every corner
slippery slopes for certain
The pol’s obliged
ankle deep
to walk in troubled waters
then climb atop
a platform high
pontificate to the people
Maybe that’s why
the podium’s there
It hides the sodden shoes

History reads
that most sink down
or so it seems at times
Honest politician?
We sigh or snicker and frown
We desire, we want and hope,
but somehow something happens
Headlines blare
someone’s sinking
someone’s sunk
Mud has won the day

The nasty thing
is found in mirrors
Snoopy nailed it down…
“We have found the enemy,
and it is us!”
For dream as we may
wish as we do
the pols reflect on us…

We raise them
don’t you see
they’re the same as you and me

I learned a lesson
near four decades ago
when traveling around the state
I visited towns,
looked them over,
then went to see the schools.
Run down towns
had run down schools
you can guess about the students…
But the opposite was true
well kept towns
had well kept schools
it all did fit together

So if we have
our pols in mud
we need to look inside
What do we read?
What do we watch?
What do we tolerate?
Where does our money go?
How do we spend our time?

It doubly hurts
to stop and look
to spend some time reflecting
on where we are
and want to go
and how we might then get there….

Two thousand nine
we have some time
the gifts of today, tomorrow maybe
How will we invest it?
Things eternal?

Your call.
Mine too!

Lin 1/09

Robbie Burns: “O wad some pow’r, the Giftie gie us,
to see oursils, as others see us!”


Unglorious Mud2022-09-03T14:53:35-04:00



A great white curtain
has been pulled o’er the farm
nothing afar can be seen
just white, and more white

We are likely attuned
to thinking not seeing
in full and complete darkness
But nature has her way
we can’t see in whiteness!

Those long lived
have borne witness
to puzzles uncounted
We have gazed and pondered
how earth and we
came to be

We are prone to draw lines
divide the days, the years
into neat little segments
nature has ways
to cover the lines
turn our whole world white
then melt the white away

Hopefully, our whiteouts
are in people
where from time to time
the world disappears
except for special ones
a spouse, a child
a loved one so precious
the world goes away
but just like the snow
those moments melt
to be remembered
as long as we live

Can we capture and hold
those moments so treasured?
Put them down in lasting ways?
And if we do
will someone someday regard them
ponder them with equal wonder
What was so special?
They might say

We like the snow
cover the earth
but just for a day

Selah, Lin 02/08



The World of Blather


Polly Ticks
and talks a lot
gathering far and near
to hear a lot of…

Oceans are filled
with words said hastily
mountains and mountains built
of words

Searching for substance
is quite a quest
amongst the slippery slopes
But I learned very early
to watch my step
when walking in the pasture

The best right now
that I can discern
is that they care a lot
Night and day
every way they can think of
the go and go and go
to drop exhausted
then rise again
whirling along their way

Hands reach out
to grasp, to touch their hands
to be the ones standing near
Why, I remember
as a child
being near a man called Truman
His train was stopped
two blocks from my house
so a crowd quickly gathered
His voice, his manner
were kind of jumpy
jerky, some would say
I’d come to like him
when I grew up.
Straight talk!
The buck stops here!

Sifting, sorting,
is now our lot
as to the ballot we go
to stand becurtained
all alone
and make our choices there

Some are easy
they’ve offended in some way
but then it gets hard
cause none are perfect
It’s simply not to be
for they’re like us
a fallen lot
in need of saving grace

God Bless America
Please and again!

Lin Primary Day in Illinois 08


The World of Blather2022-09-03T14:53:36-04:00



Designing a sub was the task
so what to do?
Study the whale
and go from there

Sinking in sand
a desert problem
so a wise engineer
studied the camel
developed a ratio
noting the camel’s foot square inches
related to its weight
No more sinking in the sand!

Giant harvesters called combines
had a need
power at any infinite slow speed
a pump, hydraulics, a part answer
then electric switches, opening valves
then computers, controlling switches
Like the human body
brain computer, controlling valves
heart pump hydraulics
control slow…and fast

George Washington Carver
gifted agronomist
studying Genesis
knowing there was more
hidden, but discoverable,
So he studied the peanut
and saved the southern farmer
Sorry, boll weavil!

Whatever we study
we wind up amazed
at what was there
all of the time
to be discovered

“He was there,
all the time,
waiting patiently
for you.” *

Lin, 10/10
*chorus, Gary Paxton





Smiles are electric, warming moments
leaping across the spans that separate folks
Walls can come down instantly
as strangers smile at each other

Male, female, often guarded,
smiles reach out, lingering questions
speaking confidence,
a venture in trust

Across languages
smiles are starting points
opportunities to take that path
and rise above suspicions

Body language supreme
smiles ace skin color
and nationality
to begin a pleasant journey

I know a certain person
who has a smile in greeting
that sends that instant message
“I’m glad to see you!”

She gives that gift quite often
in doing so making
the world a better place.

So, my reader, smile!
And take your world on that pathway
for ‘two roads still diverge’
and the choice is ours….

Lin 12/2012



History 101


In a far far away place
is a land where liberals live
Tis a candy land, you see,
where nothing can be hard

Where never is heard,
a discouraging word
and the skies are not cloudy all day

You, Bruce friend,
have pulled back the covers
and asked ‘Who is there?”
Ain’t nobody! Nothing!
But don’t you despair!

Just over the hill
comes a sleigh full of goodies!
Yes, Bubba, Santa Claus lives!
He’s coming in January
and it ain’t gonna be purdy
’cause you and I are payin’
and payin’ and payin’….

No, she don’t know
She ain’t never believin’
So rest well tonight
and wait calm and peaceful
Who knows? Reindeer might fly?

Bubba Warfel
sufferin’ in my guns and religion!


History 1012022-09-03T14:53:38-04:00

Showers and Thunderstorms Likely


More likely,
what’s to like about more of them?
Well, you see,
I’m not in charge
nor are you or we!
We simply get to watch
and listen
and measure
and wait
some more!

Days as a kid
bicycle my ‘horse’
street drains would plug
and lakes ensue
What fun to hit high speed
aim for the lake
raise my feet from the pedals
Hit the water
and coast on through
If I didn’t make it
I had to pedal
my tennies would fill with water
muddy water
yukky water
and mom wouldn’t be happy
when socks once white
came to her muddy colored

Now I scout my fields
my pickup truck on the road
easing through the water
Water rushes from the fields
ever anxious to find a river
make a river
lakes in my field are growing
and I’m waiting

Times like these, Grandma helped
In her 90’s she’d advise
“We’ve always had a crop”
Born where I live
her history spanned a century
her parents broke the sod
dug ditches, and drained the swamps
“We’ve always had a crop”
Repeat after me? Say it again!

Showers and thunderstorms likely?
I’ve plenty of things to do
like write a poem!
clean the shop
clean my office
mow and mow again!
Go to a movie
read a book
visit a nursing home
have dinner with some friends!
How about a date tonight?
It’s probably been too long!

Just take the umbrella
cause it’s still the prairie
where ‘horizontal rain’ reigns!

Lin, Showers of Blessings, April 2011


Showers and Thunderstorms Likely2022-09-03T14:53:39-04:00

Run Like the Wind


What a joy it is
to run like the wind
zigging and zagging
around trees and fences
Jumping over small things
and charging ahead

Going nowhere
just running and breathing
and letting muscles go
Energy pouring
heart pounding
Oh, it feels good!

The great race I know
was now long ago
Olympics, in Paris France
A Scot was preparing, qualifying
a race at a time
but one race stood out
He was pushed over and fell
the pack running on
He rolled over and saw them
Was it too late?
No matter, he chased
Harder and harder he ran
and then it happened
He “ran in the spirit”
arms flailing, head back
He ran with the wind
and he was gaining
faster and faster he ran
catching, passing one
then another
At the finish line
he won
Unbelievable! It happened!

The Holy Spirit is wind
in some definitions
Moving among us
bathing, surrounding, covering
A chorus goes:
“God is moving
by His Spirit
Moving through all the earth
Signs and wonders
when God moveth
Move, Oh Lord, in me.”*

Today, this day,
set your sails on high
Run yourself, or watch
Move with the Wind.

Lin Warfel, 04/09

* author unknown


Run Like the Wind2022-09-03T14:53:39-04:00

Rain Softened World


The early morning trek
to the mailbox, a habit
was padding on a softened carpet

The air was gently cleaned
from harvest dust and more
misty, sprinkled rain
had done its work

Red and yellow maple leaves
still falling
lay wet on the green grass
making my footsteps silent as I trod

The beloved soil is soaking it in
picture a lady (discretely) in bath
exquisite the gentling time
softening with the moisture

The Japanese maple outside my window
has tiny diamond drops on darkened branches
and the pointed leaves drip ever so slowly
it needed rain as well

After some very dry weeks
the rain stops harvest, for a moment
so the farm folks are catching up inside
repairing themselves and their machinery
a second cup of coffee
not on the run!

Some cultures do a bath, regularly,
as a leisurely respite, a sigh
an ‘ahhhhh’
The earth does it too!

Lin Harvest 2011


Rain Softened World2022-09-03T14:53:40-04:00



Rain and soil
love each other
make the world go round

Sometimes, just sometimes,
our cup runs over
and creates a problem

Stuck! We say
Stuck in the mud!
Not a happy time…

A giant machine
some 15 tons
25 by 30 by 12
on giant wheels
six feet tall
purring along so smoothly

Slowing, slowing, finally stopping
sinking deeper, deeper, deeper
Hit reverse! Back it out!
Hope! Ah! Won’t go backward either!
Think! Ponder!
Do something quickly!
Sitting is not an option!

Forward again!
Give her the gun!
Just get a little farther
to solid ground

Back and forth,
back and forth,
maybe sinking deeper….
Mud is flying
from the wheels

Thinking bout chains, long ones
or a cable, a hundred feet
what to hook it on to help
Oh the ruts!
Poor poor soil!
To be so ripped asunder….

Harvester rescued
back at the shop
plastered with nice black muck
Power washer, going full blast
now piles of mud lying about
Like clothes from a teenager
piled higher and deeper
another mess to deal with

The corn’s still there
waiting for me
waiting for a day of harvest
A giant machine
some 15 tons
25 by 30 by 12
on giant wheels
six feet tall
will purr along smoothly

“By the sweat of your brow,
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground
since from it you were taken’…

Selah, LIn Harvest 09/Mud



Just in Time


The farmer’s life
is on an edge
where living things are found
Time can move
time can stop
and time can come
in a nick at times too!

Corn is lush
and drinks a lot
so ‘talks’ to us quite loud
Leaves curl up
Spike, we say,
or even turn a scary gray

When it gets dry
and the sun is hot
poor corn is prone to ‘sweat’
a lot
It’s working hard
to grow so fast
broad leaves perspire

The farmer watches
looks for rain
looks again and again
and ‘just in time’
thunderclouds roll
and rain drops fall
Dry soil gulps it in
the plants relax
unfurl their leaves
and ‘off to the races’ they go!

Drinking in sun
drinking in rain
drinking in plant food
a factory in full swing
racing towards the harvest

How blessed we are, when,
just in time,
the precious rains come down
You’ll find me humming
sometimes singing
happiness overflowing

“In His time,
In His time,
He makes all things beautiful
in His time
Lord please show me every day
as You’re teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
in Your time.” *

Lin 7/10
*text and music, Diane Ball, Maranatha Music


Just in Time2022-09-03T14:53:42-04:00

Golden Seasoning


A precious metal
that being gold
but give no thought to eating it!

Of prescient note
the color of fall
when some night switches thrown
our world of green
changes clothes
to slip in glowing gold

Soybean fields
their fruits all hidden
shout out the harvest coming
“Gold is hidden here,
beneath our golden leaves!”
Indeed, riches are unfolding
the fruits that open to us
building blocks of proteins

Corn fields try it too
but are no match for beans
Yes, streaks of gold on giant leaves
the corn forests are changing too

Ah, reds and purples
oranges and golds
slipping into tans
All shout beauty
and coming harvest

but I, I choose the gold!

Farmer Warfel, 09/09


Golden Seasoning2022-09-03T14:53:43-04:00

God’s Colors


Had God a favorite
some would say
it’s surely the color gray!

Because there is so much of it!
Say Seattle folks
who number days
until the sun breaks through
Oregon amens
numbs along
waiting for a ‘sunbreak’.

Prairie folks
are rich in gray
as winter grinds along
heavy clouds
frown upon us
sometimes a bit too long

Or could it be, perhaps,
the color blue
because there is so much of it?
The oceans huge
the skies above
who can measure all of that?

Maybe yellow
bright and fair
in flowers or a bird
or Easter dresses
fresh and crisp
delighting those who wear

Ah, maybe tis green?
Forests glens and more
grass forever
in Argentina
golf courses and parks
and yards and pastures
life is hidden there

Red, I’d choose
oh how we use it!
Fire engines
race cars
roses and more
Exciting, to be certain
But, stop and think,
of life’s blood flowing
and of course at last
The sacrifice
God designed
in red….

“To God be the glory
great things he has done
So loved he the world
he gave us his son
Who yielded his life
an atonement for sin
and opened the lifegate
that all may go in……” *

*Fanny Crosby, To God Be the Gloryo

Lin 03/09


God’s Colors2022-09-03T14:53:43-04:00

Black Gold


Some are wont to say
petroleum is true black gold
Indeed we use it greatly
making a thousand things
It pushes our cars and trucks
millions or billions of miles
carrying us near and far
to places we want to go


(a magnificent word, eh wot?)

But I’m thinking of another
black gold that’s e’en more precious
some walk upon it
plant it, water it, watch it grow
the food we eat
the fibre we wear
and even produce our fuel!

In Champaign County
we have black soil
the richest in the word!
Oh, other places have some too
Of that I’m well aware
but (here’s that word again)
here we mix with other things
that help it reach a peak

We have a government
that helps us to be free
to use it for the best
and reward those who work it

We have a learning system
that shapes and molds and makes things better
stretching our minds, and creating structures
that also bless the soil

We have an ethic
brought from abroad
with wave upon wave of people
who sense the good
and make the effort
to travel here to stay

We have religion
that regards each one valued
no matter where they came from
no matter sex or color
Our currency proclaims it
for one and all to see
“In God We Trust’
we’ve built upon
and pledge to keep on building

So many pieces
come together
built upon this soil
Black Gold
Indeed it is!
A wonder to behold!

Best, Lin 11/08


Black Gold2022-09-03T14:53:44-04:00

Radar Soup


The maps are things of color
sometimes a bit too much!
This morning greens and yellows
swath the screen across the state
heralding rain aplenty again

The picture from my window
bears great resemblance too
The rich black fields in contrast
to the richest green of grass
Thank goodness the purple leaf plum shade
is missing from the map!
And Prairie Fire Crabs in blossom
are missing from the map hooray!

Green and yellow
on radar maps
are quite enough thank you
I’m happy reds are missing
and hope they stay that way
until perhaps a July day
when crops are painfully dry

Another cup of coffee
plan B another day
Not to worry!
I have my books
and favorite magazines
and my machines will have a rest
(not my wife! I’ll be a pest!)

Life can be
a running swirl
but green and yellow
on a map
can make us stop and ponder
We are blessed
in so many ways
It is good, these colors….

Selah, LIn 05/08


Radar Soup2022-09-03T14:53:44-04:00

David H. Baker


There is an army
all volunteer
where each soldier carries a sword
Time passing by
each soldier faces a challenge
takes a turn
front and center
They turn and face the troops
and without speaking say
“If you are with me,
take one step forward.”
The brothers and sisters do….

They fall on their knees
open their Bibles
and from their hearts they pray

Lord, have mercy
We come to You
Creator and Giftor of life
We pray for your touch today
Our brother needs you
Lord have mercy upon him
He is a fellow soldier
in your kingdom
Touch him, we pray,
in ways only you can
Separate disease from his body
and grant him life
and may it be
more and more abundantly

Thy will be done, on earth,
in our brother,
as your will is done in heaven



David H. Baker2022-09-03T14:53:45-04:00

Prairie Symphony


Various maestros take us moving
across the earth in sounds
Copeland out west, perhaps,
Tchaikovsky in Russian war
Operas in Italy and more
Somehow the prairie gets captured
in words, Sandburg and Frost
and folks of their ilk

Just now I invite you to journey
across the seasons, the sounds
of the prairie, my home, yours?

Late fall has a challenge in moving
summer away, winter begins
In the middle the full orchestra plays,
the winds, brass, percussion, strings
So many sounds surround us
Please, settle back, close your eyes
and listen

Wind driven rain
on window and me
sometimes softly, gently
pitter pattering,
drip, drip, dropping
and sometimes exploding
huge splashes and splats
tinged with ice and snow
The prairie is getting a cleansing
and a pasting down for winter
gluing leaves to earth
laying down tall grasses
winds whistle past us this way and that
banging doors, whistling in songs
we know.
Thunder rolls, lightning crashes
cymbals, tympanies, bass drums, snares
wind chimes on the patio hurry
barn walls creak, metal roofs respond
Awesome energies swirl across us
and then comes silence

Winter settles over us
gray days and gray sounds
broken by fireplace sounds
the wood trying its best
to speak to us
tell us
in cracks and pops and hisses
about the years gone by
Ssssssss, listen
Crack! Wake up!
Stoke the fire
and remember the
chop, chop chopping,
the buzz of the chain saw working
The man noises of lifting,carrying, stacking
clunk, clunk, clunk, the rick is built and waiting
Early morning barn noises remembered
cattle feet shuffling
animals munching, eating
sounds of milk in metal pails
the cats meowing, begging
then the pigs squealing, pushing
each other to get some more
The chickens greeting grandma
as she scatters feed amongst them
Later morning finds us grinding feed
high pitched whines and tractor humming
hymns of life, eating

Time drags slowly, but spring arrives
new life sounds fill the air again
Little lambs bleating for mamas
calm ewes answering assurance
A foal whinnying somewhere,
then running and suckling a mare
Song birds returning
are the predawn greeting choir
chattering away so busy
fluttering wing sounds in the trees
as the sun peeks up
Trucks and trains get busy
bringing fuels and plant food
moving seeds to plant the fields
The prairie sounds are eager
to comb the earth, enfolding seeds
hurry, hurry, hurry

A blink or two and summer
surrounds in sounds of bugs
tiny whines, buzzing, scratching
listen carefully, they’re all around
Song birds have concerts in the garden
Enjoying the flowers blooming
splashing in their birdbaths, happy
then announcing ‘Cat!” and fleeing
but not far, just up high, watching, talking
Children laughing, yelling,
playing in the pool
Boys and girls splashing
“Marko!” yells one in game mode.
“Polo” yells another moving
Splash! as someone plunges deep
Sounds of friends in the backyard picnics
The murmuring of men
talking about crops, weather, markets
the higher pitched voices of ladies
talking about recipes and kids and growing
Quiet, a prayer offered in thanks
for the blessings of it all

So soon the summer wanes
the trees, the leaves, the crops
wave us into fall…again!

My words have touched so lightly
on the sounds of the seasons here
We’ll need to come again
to sift and sort and savor
creation, the symphony playing

Selah, Lin Thanksgiving 2010


Prairie Symphony2022-09-03T14:53:45-04:00



Sing, violin, oh sing!
On and on and on
through thescenes of places moving
Running down a mountain
a stream races so fast
a beautiful young maiden, barefoot,
feet pattering a message
Breathe deeply.
The mood is serenity
soothing the soul deeply
warm tears flow
feelings pour with them
blessing the spirit so finely

Bring on the Russian!
Power! Majesty! Exalting!
Passion floods from wall to wall
as the sounds stretch to reach
deep throated, challenging
full and rich and oh so beautiful
the master shares his skill

Ten thousand hours of practice
and practice every day
make the man, the instrument, the music
And we are blessed!
A thousand people focused
on the man, the instrument, the music
Then set free to applaud
and we did
receiving five extra gifts!

Selah, Lin 3/10 Itzhak Perlman





A photo is a ‘stop’
in life, that is always moving
For those I know
and know quite well
the photo also shows our limits

Skilled photographers expand the shot
bringing in more than usual
but still, are so limited
because life is writ so large

So we have good things
bad things
and things in between
all going on at once
and we are left to sift and sort
and try to understand
and be positive
but be realistic

In it all
through it all
comfort comes from friends and family
and comfort comes from above
Shared burdens are still burdens
but the carrying welcomes company

Indeed life is a panoply
moving oh so quickly
sometimes we just hang on
to ride something through
learning, sharing, sustained
still here

Earth is brutal
in so many ways
yet earth is beautiful, too
Then, there’s a place called heaven
where earthly challenges, nastiness,
are not just subdued, but beaten
wiped clean
pure and enduring
like nothing on earth can be

It’s a place for humankind
only we can think it
begin, somehow,
to sense it

Laced in the panoply
are glimpses that give us clues
then there’s the amazing love
“And can it be?”
that is a bridge
leading to a home

the panoply here
for just a moment
to put your arms around that love
and give a hug today

Selah, LIn 5/10



What We Lost, and What We Won*


Will we remember
the world at war
Army’s marching
aiming, shooting
shells exploding
cities smashed
families dreams as well

What we won
can be measured
Freedom, from tyranny
cruel insanity
a madman was in charge
madmen came to help him
evil was set free
people died in ovens
in concentration camps
Jewish men in a line
pressed together, front to back
shot to see
how many could be killed
with a single bullet
American soldiers eaten
on far off Pacific Islands

Some sacrificed their lives
Some suffered wounds forever
and some came home to
The Land of the Free,
and the Home of the Brave…

We helped win freedom
to live and grow and be
in this land of opportunity
Sustained by God
we have gone on
that is what we won

Men and women working
worshipping freely
raising families in peace
not even locking doors
children playing into summer nights
friends visiting, laughing, talking
a generation, then two, then three
free to come and go

A handful now, in uniform
vigilant, on guard, protecting
Then, every family was touched
someone in uniform
everyone purposed:
Stop Adolph Hitler
Stop the Emperor’s minions
Stop the world, from going insane

What we lost was half a decade
millions of people and more
“Maybe we will not remember,
what we lost…
and what we won…”*

*Listen to Ben Bedford, writer, singer,
Lin 5/2011


What We Lost, and What We Won*2022-09-03T14:53:54-04:00

All Systems Go!


It begins in earlier generations
who till the soil, plant the crops, and tend
Each part becomes a symphony
maybe it’s in our genes?

First came the hunters
and then, giant step for mankind,
the world would never be the same
food, sustenance, year round

A thousand generations later
a few feed themselves
and, in America, 168 others
with food left over

I play in the orchestra
a small part, to be certain
but I can see it
the big picture
here and in my travels

Half a century now
I’ve studied and applied
to do it better
efficiency and productivity the goals
and it’s happened
it is happening

Oh, lots of help, comes my way!
I’m in school forever!
Learned folk, focus their skills
genetics, computers, labs and plots
doing their part
to help me do my part

I study, select seeds
my, how the genetics have grown!
Plant them, in a very large garden
with machinery like a dream
Monitor the seedlings, tiny plants
kneeling in the soil
they and I warmed, communion of sorts
guarding them as I can
from disease and marauders
watching, always watching

Blessed by soil and moisture
sun and wind and more
all systems go towards harvest
a hungry world watching
how will it go?

This springtime morning I’m sitting
Seeds, machinery in storage
On the launching pad
It’s raining
Oh, so beautiful and soft
mothering the black soil so
filling the cup, I suppose
offsetting the oft dry August

I need grandma back this morning!
At near a hundred she would say
“We’ve always planted, always had a crop!”
her wicker rocker back and forth
her words were often soothing.

I yield to a Higher Power
to some and Invisible Hand
but not to the farmer
God is here, every step
in every thing
and me….

Selah, Lin April (showers) 2011


All Systems Go!2022-09-03T14:53:55-04:00

Bowl Weather


On the banks of the Puget Sound
the town of Edmunds perches
a little area there is known
as ‘The Bowl”
Not hard to picture
this scenic area
nestled, backed against the hills

Middle America, Mid-West,
upper Mississippi Valley,
is a bowl of sorts as well
even though locally it’s flat
from space it would appear a bowl

We get reminders
of that fact
When summer doldrums roll
The Gulf of Mexico sits atop us
the humidity pushes 90
and the air temp competes and wins
Early morning I listen carefully
expecting a fog horn blow

It’s wet!
Windows, houses, trees and grass
all that dwells herein
has been licked by that giant tongue
the water from the Gulf!

Corn just plain loves it
water hungry as it is
lush leaves laced with dew
but soybeans? A different story:
molds are prone to attack
choking the leaves and so the plants
moist soil, shaded well with the myriad leaves
and limited movement of air
the bean plants stand helpless
waiting for the searing sun to cleanse them

What a garden, we have here!
Rewards are rich and plenty
our bowl becomes a cornucopia
with a lot of work, and challenges
testing us, stretching us
to tune ourselves to nature

Bowls me over
now and then
but like a tippy cup
I pop back up
to shoulder the load and learn
to soak up knowledge
to do it better
to feed a hungry world….

Lin, 8AM, heat index 105 today (temp/humidity)


Bowl Weather2022-09-03T14:53:56-04:00



So here I sat
in great grandma’s wooden chair
the spare my office has
Next to me
back straight as a Marine
sat the latest geek!

I the geezer,
he the geek,
gazed at the computer screen
menus flashed
as he clicked along
Talk about fast!

My 120 year old chair
didn’t care, as usual,
but just think of great grandma sitting there
upstairs the washer hummed
cool air filled the room (geo-thermal)
electric lights made vision easy
and then comes the computer…
Giga bytes of memory
high speed connectivity
to the cyber world and Deere

My geek a natural speedster
taking to computers like, well, you know
College trained, company trained,
linked by cell phone to even more tech
Lightning clicks, directing the download,
entering info scoped on me
the farm
the fields
plant varieties
site specific info

Could it almost be
a foretaste of glory divine?
Where intelligence is crystal clear
where God and man continually dine?

For you see, we know
so little
And each step along the way
we discover ‘there’s much more out there’!

Froth a behemoth first computer
to Blue Waters at the U of I
mechanical, electrical ‘intelligence’ grows
faster and faster and faster
until, who knows
what comes next?

My tech friend leaves
and I get his chair
Great grandma’s goes back in waiting
for another day
when some other person
connects me with some new knowledge
new power
to do it better

God bless the young folks!
And God grant us old folks peace
and courage to keep going forward!

Selah, Lin 9/10
John Deere Apex, Farm Management Software



Little Bitty Mountains


Under our radar
lots of things hide
Whole worlds of little plants
little animals
grow and survive

Earlier I wrote
of God’s favorite color
(that being gray, that day)
Well I now have discovered
most interesting plants
or animals
or we’re not sure what to call them

When a fungus marries an algae
it produces a lichen
Symbiotic, they are, they say
They live all around us
but it takes a scope
to really observe them

Wow! Mountains so small
yet so finely made
they grow and explode
spores all around us!

We find them on bark
on rocks here and there
What fascinating … things!

What good are they
we’ve yet to discover
but how neat to pull back
yet another cover, to find
God’s creation so complex
we are left here to wonder
what we’ll discover next!

Lin 8/1/10
“This is My Father’s World” Maltbie Babcock


Little Bitty Mountains2022-09-03T14:53:57-04:00

Good and Tired!


A farmer’s life can be a challenge
to body, mind, and spirit
But in those challenges
comes good as well

The body has its limits
borne out in getting tired
Muscles ache, complain and more
but for these a remedy exists

The family room holds a recliner
a great big chair that folds
actually it enfolds me
as I lean back, and melt in
my body plainly speaks

A thousand blessings surround:
the prairie lives in peace
I worship as I choose
air conditioning (geo-thermal)
electricity in abundance
water better than champagne
a loving wife

Surrounded by abundance
nature at full speed
harvest coming in aces
Nature is singing praises
and my spirit can go along
It’s not just in the stars His handiwork I see,
nor in majestic winds and clouds
It’s in myriads of plants
fascinating animals
and continual discovery
of grand design
It is good.

A rest and I’m up an at ’em,
going again to do a thousand things
I’ve never done before
and a few I’ve done again and again!

I’m good, satisfied,
and tired can be good too!
Yes, I’m good and tired!
And it’s okay!

Lin Summertime, 8/10


Good and Tired!2022-09-03T14:53:57-04:00

The Pounding


Prairie rain can be profound
pounding earth into hardened brick
pounding people caught out in it

Thunder booming
lightning crashing
big drops splashing, blinding
wind whistling a frantic tune
Nature on the run!

The trees twist and turn
and thrash about
bits of leaves falling down
branches cracking with the strain
grass laying over, giving in
brushed one way for a day

The farmer watches powerless
save for the quiet prayer
he feels for his plants
crops no place to hide, no respite theirs
just stand and take it, best they can

And then it’s over
dripping from the roof and trees
water gurgling in the gutters
ditches flowing lots of water

Away it goes, streams to rivers
rivers ever bigger
and then the gulf, or mighty oceans
to lie and wait the sun transference
into the air, into the clouds
to find its way back here

Blessed, are we
with ample rainfall
to water us, and water plants
water through the seasons
the tiny part
we can drink
so fine
so beautiful
so pure

Thank you Lord
for many blessings
Summer rain among them!

Lin, Thunderstorm, 6-10

water comes from:
97.5 % oceans
2.5% fresh, 70% of that is frozen (poles, glaciers, permafrost)
All living things have about 0.75% to live on, mostly underground
Agricultural use:
United States-41%
World as a whole – 70%
source: The Economist, May 22, 2010


The Pounding2022-09-03T14:53:58-04:00

Monday Platefulls


The scratchpads are full
maybe over running
It’s Monday morning
and it’s not gonna work!

Too much to do!
Too many places to be!
How is this gonna play out?

Thank the Lord for the gift
of life and opportunity
energy and health and thinking ability

Two steps back
write it down

Praise for the day
the beauty in it
and the blessings of place
this place
this time
these people

Remember He left His place
to come to our place
to take our place
so we might go to His….

Now move the mountains!
Invest in people
and in things eternal
Just do it!

“Got any rivers,
you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains,
you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes
in things thought impossible…
and He will do
what no other power can do….*

Selah, Lin Monday morning 4/10
* unknown author of a chorus


Monday Platefulls2022-09-03T14:53:59-04:00

Monday Morning Fog


Pre dawn cool and dampness
came to a head this morning
Fog wrapped around the farm
settling like a cumulous cloud on us

Eerie kind of feeling
walking out to work
trucks and trains
a half mile away
sounded oh so close
Even the birds were hushed
from their usual sun up chatter

The air seemed so heavy
like it wanted to lay its burden down
I guess it did!
Fogged us in!
Made us feel so small again
so captured by the weather

Rain and snow
ice and wind
each take their turns
And now comes fog
urging us to bow
to recognize
how little we really control

How sweet is time
gently passing
the good old sun
fixing things up
Breaking through
burning away the fog

The Son does the same
He is patient, so patient
He breaks through
‘burning away the fog

“We see through a glass dimly,
and then face to face’…
And is new every morning
with faith fullness.

Selah, Lin 5/10


Monday Morning Fog2022-09-03T14:53:59-04:00

The Farmer in the Dell


Times and words do change
people change with them
Take a walk
down merrily lane with me

Pull up your mind’s eye
to picture a wooded valley
stream dancing through it
sparkling water, happy place
a bonny bonny day

I see some lovely pastures
some slowly grazing cows
I hear them call, and answer back
they start to move my way

Milking time
feeding time
throw down some piles of hay
Bucket in hand
I grab the stool
a seat on a peg
begin to fill the bucket

Another day
on the farm
I am part of it
From the soil
tilling, toiling, shaping
like dad and grandpa
I spend my days
in rhythem with the seasons

Growing things
planting, caring, harvesting
Amazed at sun up, again at sundown
My muscles do their work
I am a living farmer

I’ve come to know
another Dell
this one sits in office
One eyed, keyed
it has a brain
and does a lot
to help me farm today
I travel through it
gaining knowledge
zinging around the world
It’s awesome, but ages quickly
three years and out, most times.

Wrapping these things
into one person
the living breathing farmer
day by day we’re changing
Doing it better
doing it faster
subbing labor for machine
yet inside
I’m still the same

Could you see me
in an office
walled away from nature?
The generations mold me
so that deep inside
my life scratches where I itch

I’m home
on the farm
my hope is here forever
as long as life shall last
It’s part of me
I’m part of it
Blessed, I remain
the farmer.

Lin 2/10


The Farmer in the Dell2022-09-03T14:53:59-04:00

S and S


Sunshine and snow
after the blow
are so very welcome

The brightness is high
sunglasses a blessing
oh how the world glistens!

Rain changed to snow
ice freezing on trees
silently enduring the burden
then came the wind
laced with snowflakes
round and round it blew

All night the moaning
whistling of wind
roads drifting, cars sliding
CRASH! Tragedy struck…
A precious young girl drove too fast
We all shudder, then weep
when a young one is lost

The sun keeps shining
but our hearts are in our throats
“There but for the grace of God…’

There are other lost young ones
still living, but lost
We must hurry on
to share Good News

Life here is temporary
but heaven is permanent
We need to share
how to get there….

Lin 2/10


S and S2022-09-03T14:53:59-04:00

See, Saw, Seen…


What did I see
just the other night
when the wind did blow and howl?

First I heard
the tympani roll
louder and louder they pounded and boomed
Then flashes of light
zipped and zapped
sizzling whatever they touched

Then a big drop splashed
then two
then more and more and more
All at once a giant firehose
seemed directed at our house!

What did I see?
Nothing but water
as it poured across our windows.

For twenty minutes
then some more
though lesser rain was falling

Finally, I could see
lakes and rivers covered the land
where earlier there were none!
The lakes were huge
the rivers roaring
tearing across the fields

With the morning sun,
I went to my shop
got my gloves and hard hat
then checked my saw
tension just right, chain fresh sharped
filled her with fuel and looked

Saw I wood
for many hours
making ash branches chunks
Sawdust, noise, cut and cut
Eventually I was done

What would be seen
some winter’s night
would be memories of a storm

As the fireplace glowed
we would know
our work was yielding warmth

Seeing, sawing, now seen in full
the story has an end….

Lin 06/09


See, Saw, Seen…2022-09-03T14:54:00-04:00

Alimentary, My Dear Watson!


Simply extraordinary
when we think about it
the processes inside us every day

Open the hatch
send something down
and then study from end to end
changing food to energy
the system works
year after year after year.

Some would posit
it’s but evolution
happening, accidentally, over time.
Step by step
for thousands of years
it just sort of…happened.

My mind is simple
won’t stretch that far
so I’m left to wonder

I know a little
having studied it a lot
and lived many decades now
a baby nursing
a toddler smearing
teeth coming…and going
and coming again
Some muscles seen
many so hidden
silently working away
Valves of tissue
molded just right
all this hooked together.
Penny in?
Penny out!
The little one lives to tell
Oh the loads
that enter, leave,
processed, of that there is no doubt!

Simple things like ‘chew’ and ‘swallow’
and ‘feel okay’.
Compounds created to dissolve and use
the chemicals we call food

I have a friend
a professor smart
who has studied it all most deeply
His reaction?
His main thought?
“Every day,
thank God…for your liver!”

Take a moment
and do just that
offer up some praise
you have the gift
to be alive
and chance to understand

Lin 04/09


Alimentary, My Dear Watson!2022-09-03T14:54:00-04:00

A Long Long Time Ago


A long, long, time ago
in place so far away
I sat ensconced
in a classroom large
and soaked up many thoughts

The professor grande
marked with chalk
almost made it smoke
as ideas unfolded
from his mind
and numbers flew like jets

He had these sayings
meant for life
so we took them down in ink
“Read the problem”
he’d tell us twice
or maybe ‘twas a thousand
“Do it the easy way!”
He’d say with a smile
knowing the miles it would save
One thought stood out
that I captured then
and thought since a million times:
“Systematic and Rational”
the fall back pattern
to look for in any problem.
“What’s that mean?”
the students pondered
including me, myself, and I.
All we got from him, I think,
was that ever puzzling smile.

No he’s 90, or there abouts,
and I asked him the other day.
“What’s that mean?”
“I dunno!” He answered.

There you have it!
My lifetime spent
pondering something imponderable!
So now I say it,
as a learned man
but when queried as to meaning
I simply smile
and leave the person
to ponder as I’ve done.

A million things surround us
above our best honed minds
we can learn a lot
but still far short
and ever will it be

You see,
I’ve come to know
that this is earth, not heaven
and I’m earth bound
for a little while
left with many questions


Lin 08/08

Reflections on Professor Kenneth W. Perry
From a student’s seat


A Long Long Time Ago2022-09-03T14:54:01-04:00

The Prairie Floods


The Gulf of Mexico
seems tucked away
bordered by nice beaches
across the broad expanse of blue
breezes blow and blow
absorbing moisture, by the bucket

As winds are bound to do
they circle round
and move on paths
ordained by some mysterious hand
On their way
the prairie greets them
and there they drop their load

Sometimes welcome
to salve the thirsts
of growing flower and fauna
and sometimes, yes
they get carried away
…the buckets are too many!

The dark clouds roll
the thunder booms and lightning flashes
as rain pounds the waiting soil
raining raining raining
it keeps coming coming coming
until rivers form
and hurry away
overflowing banks and flooding lowlands
the waters cover the earth

The prairie becomes
ten thousand lakes
with water rushing down
lifting soil, moving it too
and making seedlings drown

Whose the boss
when nature calls
Not I, the farmer says
he does his best
to tune himself
to all nature has to offer
but sometimes, nature kicks back
and demands her way
the farmer’s bound to watch
helpless, for a time

Grandma offered wisdom
the history of a century
when it’s too wet
she said ‘Be patient”
we’ve always planted corn
and when too dry
she said the same:
“Be patient”
we’ve always harvested here

So, I wait.
I know
His eye is on the sparrow
I know he watches

Amazing love
how can it be
that thou my God
should die for me…*

Lin 06/08

*Charles Wesley, “And Can it Be”


The Prairie Floods2022-09-03T14:54:02-04:00



I looked down at my foot
and reviewed what I knew upon it

Toes that helped me run
racing in the wind
around a cinder track
Toes that helped me jump
far across the sand
Toes that wiggled
at my command
toes are complex things…

I thought about a knee
seniors often do
how they work
what curious design
that they can grow
and do
so many different things
yes, knees are complex things

I thought about the muscles
from toes to wiggling ears
all around my body
the are bound and do their things
yes, muscles are complex things

I though about my bones
how strong they are yet growing
how ‘alive’ they are
in all their places
shaped in so many ways
yes, bones are complex things

I thought about the nerves
bundled and working well
firing messages day and night
as long as life does last
ah, nerves are complex things

Eyes? I’ve studied them
and the many different cells
simply amazing
hooked to my brain
and working very well

The brain? Indeed so complex
computers compare in awe
of how it sifts and sorts and does its things
and yet there’s even more

Somewhere in me
there lives a soul
that lives and breathes with wants and wishes
to understand it all

Taken together
I’m a complex being
indeed unlike any other
so much I do not understand

But I know whom
I have believed
and am persuaded
to keep that
which I’ve committed
unto Him, against that day.*

Lin 06/08

*Daniel Whittle, based on 2 Tim 1:12



Fruits and Veggies


Hands unseen
preparing the soil
planting the seeds
cultivating the crop
…and placing the fruits in boxes

Hands unseen
along the way
some will bear some blisters
some a cut or bruise
But, be assured
someone bled for you
to have that fruit or veggie

They bless our bodies
help us grow
help us be a healthy bunch
Inside, the chemistry works
further in
a soul abides
there some hands have been

A man was born
long time ago
he walked the earth
like you and me
But he was different
pure, you see
never a spot or blemish
then a crown came to be
thorns, a raucous halo
and lashes
upon his back
via de la rosa
and his hands were marked
nailed to compensate
bled for you and me

And we have life
our chemistry works
as long as we shall be
and evermore


Fruits and Veggies2022-09-03T14:54:02-04:00



Pictures snap a moment in time
to remind us again and again
of special people
and special times

My office walls are graced
with many I remember
and some I contemplate

A group of twenty
hard working souls
who chose our president
becoming friends along the way

A sign in India
about a well
and links to Champaign Rotary

A senator, Paul and me
seated in Springfield chambers
The senator now gone
Paul healed of cancer
soon to visit France
and my father’s battleground

American Indian brave
seeking God
atop some western hill
Another chief
white haired now
teaching a group of boys

A friend’s small child
smiling down
eyes bright and eager
surrounded by smaller shots
birth to crawling
oh how incredibly precious

On my desk
a special pair
a doctor and his wife
lifelong teachers
of all that’s good
all that’s worthy
faith, a firm foundation
a little bit of Jesus
for us to see, to study
and try to grow like them,
like Him, their Savior

Here I spend
a lot of time
putting numbers in places
But above it all
family and friends
lift me up
to special heavenly spaces

Selah Lin 03/08



Shovel Ready*


Shiny pack of shovels
ceremonial ones, I’m certain
await the portent people
also standing around
A lot has gone before
but now the hour arrives
news cameras
reporters with pen and pad
a loyal interested crowd
line up with shiny shovels
at the ready

A signal word is spoken
the shovels bite the ground
little bits of earth and rock are moved
construction has begun
a cheer rings out
Teams of men and women
will parade and work the ground
other teams will pour and nail
bolt and weld and build it up
Still more will paint and polish
until a year from now
the shovel ready crew returns

Standing before a completed building
the folks will say some words
and a ribbon will be cut
teachers will man the helm
students will file into class
learning will take place
hands will be on tools of trades
skills will grow, and graduations happen
faces after faces will come
study and do
and go

Mankind marches on
coming, learning, finally working
serving and making things better
Half a million feet have trod
the Parkland campus now
More coming, more learning, more working
they are the faces that help you
at the doctor, dentist, shop
fixing you and your possessions
the oil of society

Shovel ready!
People doing!
Celebrate the folk
who anchor Parkland College
investing themselves in people

*EST Ground Breaking, March 2011


Shovel Ready*2022-09-03T14:54:04-04:00

I have walked among you*


I have walked among you
some dozen years now
learned your faces
know your voices
can call your names

I’ve heard you speak your passions
seen you walk the lines
of reaching out to help
I know your heart to serve

Together, we have sought out wisdom
invited in, listened to and questioned
the best and brightest in the land
who ply themselves to understand

Together, too, we’ve helped to build
I’ve seen your courage
know your metal
watched you taking action

There’s more to come
change, adapt our middle name
lead is what it’s about

Walking together
speaking our passions
searching out wisdom
changing, adapting, acting
we’ll challenge the mountains
and by God’s grace move them…

My best to you!

*In accepting ICCTA’s Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award,
Lin Warfel quoted from his own poem “I have walked among you”


I have walked among you*2022-09-03T14:54:12-04:00

Summer Frost


The early morning sun
is shining down on me
It’s my last day of planting
and I’m thinking about frost!

Why would I do that
on such a warm sunny day?
Ah, the years have taught me well
in sometimes cruel, sometimes harsh ways
Be ready for weather
surprise is up nature’s sleeves
I’ve been there! Seen that!
September frost does happen….

Back in ’74
or there abouts I think
just south the house
stood a fine field of beans
chest high, record yielding, I thought
Evening on the patio
I gazed across the field
the breezes waved the field
like on some distant shore
Maybe best ever, I thought,
then turned away to suppers call
and time to play with kids

Night time brought coolness
then a cold front passed through
dawn I looked again
frost sparkled like diamonds
on the sea of emerald green
As the hours passed
the color darkened
and darkened more
until the whole field was black!
Arrested! Killed! the plants were dead!

From sixty bushels to six
in those few hours happened
Money all spent
on seed and fuel and machines
my year’s pay shrunk
my wallet very flat

We study and we plan
to maximize returns
then we gamble
trust, some say,
and plant another crop
It’s all part
of the farming adventure
not for weak of heart!

Like the Shakers
our hands we give to work
and hearts we give to God
For we are so small
and get reminders
this is earth, not heaven!
Perfection’s not for here
but there is a place
awaiting us
the choice is ours to make…

Lin 06/08


Summer Frost2022-09-03T14:54:14-04:00

From See to Shining See


Early morning finds me
out standing in a field
What I see amazes me
amazes me

What was, just weeks ago,
winters’ spoilage covering
the browns and tans and grays
has come to be another color
speaking growth and life and promise.

As far as I can see
a blanket of greens has covered
the fields we farmers plant
The early morning dew
the bright and shining sun
make a sparkling, shining sea
of maize and soybeans growing.
Gentle breezes blowing
cause the leaves to wave

Oh, what promise is showing
of what there is to come

In a hundred days or so
this blanket will have run its course
a hidden switch will throw
and back to browns and tans we’ll go
the harvest will begin.

Where one tiny seed was planted
the tall corn plant will be
five hundred seeds will wait
to be food, fibre, fuel
For now it is for us to pleasure
to see what God has done
We tilled and planted sure
but God created life

Tiny seed, tiny egg
with amazing living potential
Will we plant them
Will we let them grow
Care for them
Love them


From See to Shining See2022-09-03T14:54:14-04:00

Waiting for Rain


A summer afternoon
some weeks with little rain
the sky darkened in the west
Rows of corn and soybeans stand
No choice have they
on weather serves
they simply, purely, wait
With me and friends
oh we talk about
chew eschew
wait also
But we watch the sky
ponder the clouds
check the radars and the net
Our churches join to pray
daily, we do too
and wait

Lin 05/05


Waiting for Rain2022-09-03T14:54:15-04:00

Scattered Thunderstorms


The corn curls and spikes in thirst
the soybeans barely grow
cracks appear in the parched soil
We know, we sense
their mindless cry for water

The weatherfolk make their commentaries
about the lack of rain
the market masters spin their webs
and make their largest gains
but the farmer and his family
look to the skies in vain
“I need rain.”

His savings are all out there
in seed and fuel and plant food
in machines and labor out there
waiting to see what comes
For some, their lives are out there
there is no other plan
no crop, no money, no farm next year
“I need rain”, says he…

Small wonder farmers pray
they know their helpless state
no politician makes it rain
Simply God, knows what’s at stake
and moves, wonders to perform

The stars align, the oceans roar
the thunder and the lightning come
but rain, so welcome,
is what we pray for
two inches!



Scattered Thunderstorms2022-09-03T14:54:15-04:00



The plants and I
study the sky
hoping, thinking: Rain
Seeing naught but blue
from north to south
east to west and
high as eye can see

Not today
the message says
will rain, gentle rain
give drink to plants and me
we’ll have to wait

The timings not ours
we control it not
in any way or form
it’s but our lot
to watch
to wait
to know

His eye is on the sparrow
I know He watches me
to see what I will do
how I will act responding
to challenges built, created ‘in’
the world that does surround us

Study there
reveals a plan
created beauty and complexity
discovery unlimited in creation
limited only by my and our uncovering
We build a dam
and send the water
to flood the fields and grow
plants in deserts
food abundant
We study all the plants
and codify, modify,
bend to our current purpose
We fertilize, we chemical
we fan the genes to marvel
what we’ve ‘created’
(really discover)
only to come back

To watch the sky
my plants and I
to hoping

Lin 06/05



A Summer Passing


A summer passing
with scant rain coming
drizzles and dew
and those not often
the warm sun drying
soil and plants

Forecasts promising
but rain not happening
the days turn into weeks
while farm folks watch
and farm folks pray
and folks with yards and gardens
use their sprinklers often
then they watch too
for signs of rains
and note the forecasts promising

Thirty percent, forty percent
fifty and sixty too
still not much happens
and the soil dries further
the plants begin to wither

The wife in garden
I on mower
watched the skies begin to darken
we talked to God
and kept one eye
to wait and see what happened
First a sprinkle
then big splashing drops
(good omen, to be sure)
then finally heavens opened
and like a blessed shower bath
waves of rain poured down
Wet, but not caring,
I headed for shelter
as wife headed for the porch swing
The rain kept up
as did our thanksgiving
and soon the puddles formed
first time in weeks, no months
we’d seen the puddles
oh what joy we felt!

Wife sat and swung
while warm tears ran
thanks and happiness flowed
Of course we hugged
and thanked some more

Farmers, nature, and God
living close
knowing each other
happy to be alive
and see the rain
smell the rain
feel the rain

Lin 07/05 A half inch…


A Summer Passing2022-09-03T14:54:15-04:00

See The Children


In the whirling world of work
it’s so easy to stop and watch
but so seldom done…

Children, around the world,
at play, no matter where
adapting to their place
some climbing trees
(to read a book, or play Tarzan/Jane)
some running, chasing
a bird, a bee, a butterfly
or a dog or cat perhaps

Sometimes serious
sometimes so happy
their laughter fills the air
Grandparents get to watch

A comfortable chair
in a spot of shade
no hurry to go or do
just watch, and savor
little ones right now
knowing, they will grow quickly

Maybe they are our gauge
of how things really are
like the butterflies
so dependent on a just so environment
they reflect the good and bad
honest to the core

Some live in hunger
some are just plain fat
some are stuck inside
glued to screens of various sorts
and some are out and playing

“Imagination. More powerful than knowledge”
Einstein said a while ago….
And that is where the small ones live.
A bedroom monster
under the bed
Harry Potter
flying in their heads
Good angels, bad angels
far away places
where it snows in summer
or planes fly so high
or ships plough the waters
and it’s okay to ask,
some hundred million times:

Somewhere in our world
we need that chair
that shady spot
to sit down and watch
to study and see
all the world’s children
How are they doin?
And do our best
to keep the good things
and work to fix
what could be better.

Selah, Lin 07/08


See The Children2022-09-03T14:54:16-04:00

First Day of the Week


Let the week begin again!
The garbage man just came!
The dumpster of living refuse gone
I can begin again, dear Finnigin!
Through the week I toil and sweat
fixing this and that
making and building all sorts of things
and then there’s ‘stuff left over
Flotsum jetsum whatever you call
it things not worthy of keep
so into the dumpster they go
perhaps ‘the American Way’

In the simple ways
of long ago
or Amish living today
recycling goes on daily
with only a squeal left over
Experience is a teacher
when food fiber and fuel are scarce
things get used and used again
‘then fixed for almost forever

Not so, in America today,
we build to throw away
when the shine comes off
We enshrine in plastic
more and more
then buy strong shears
to break the box
throwing more away

The earth opens up
and swallows the trash
in gulps ever growing larger
Trash haulers love us
get bigger trucks
compactors on wheels
streaming our alleys daily
We’re tidy, though,
by eventide
the refuse is covered up
valleys full
we just move on
trains and barges rolling out
farther and farther from the towns
I love my dumpster
I don’t want to think
about the enormity of it all
the garbage heap
the garbage mountain
the earth becoming level
valleys gone
all filled up
with the refuse of us all.

Lin 07/08


First Day of the Week2022-09-03T14:54:16-04:00

Bread and Soil…


Somewhere a man, woman kneads a pile of dough Ingredients measured
all created
mixed together just right Water, flour, yeast
joining chemistry together as the hands, the fingers, roll and squeeze and shape roll and squeeze and shape

Somewhere a man, a woman
kneads some special soil
Ingredients measured
all created
mixed together just right
joining chemistry together
the hands, the fingers, knead and mix
knead and mix
preparing for seeds or flower

As time goes by
secrets unfold
at first we watch
but then dig deeper
“What happens when…”?
We want to know
Tools are born to help us
Magnify, more and more
we gaze ever deeper, deeper
discovering more, seeking more
the things that are there,were there
all the time
We see patterns – created? designed?
Finer and finer we study’
each discovery a ‘wow’!

So we have some stories coming through the ages: “I am the bread of life.” and this from the beginning: “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
and man became a living being.”

What is it draws mankind to the soil again?
What deep down longing’s satisfied in
kneading, shaping, soil or bread planting seed or flower?

We wonder.
Fresh baked bread aroma…
Summer rain on garden soil…
We touch the warm brown crust
We hold a fruit or flower
Enfold a tiny child to us?

Glimpses come
then whisk away
Little bits of heaven?
Is there somewhere, ‘out there’?
It all is brought together:
Instead of ‘seeing through a glass dimly’
We’ll see all, face to face…

Lin 1/3/09


Bread and Soil…2022-09-03T14:54:16-04:00

Strange Brew


“Tis a strange brew we are we humans
We struggle to stay dry in rain and dew and humidity
Then jump into a pool or lake or gulf or ocean
We snuggle in our beds delighting in a bit more sleep then rise, stiff and sore from staying there too long
We spend a lot of time a lot of money too
for entertainment big and small that disappears like magic
A really fine dinner finished the last piece of an apple pie is certainly the best piece ever so we pause, debating, “Do I eat it now?”
Eliminating suspense, or do the logical thing
and leave it ’til I’m hungry?
A man and woman marry
and spend the years a talkin’
observing, reflecting, commenting about
a thousand million things
Then reach a time of silence
just sitting with each other
passing memories between each other
somehow without talking
their spirits having become one
Indeed we are a strange brew
body, mind, and spirit
a chip
one might say
off the old block
on a journey measured
by a little piece of time
The body made from dust will one day return to same
the mind may leave a trail in pages pictures kept
the spirit moves into another realm about which we get but glimpses
Loving long
becoming one with another may be one page, one picture of that spirit world we go to
All I know for certain is that it is good to wonder
Selah, Lin 09/08

Strange Brew2022-09-03T14:54:16-04:00

After the Storm


Yes, the wind did howl and roar
the trees shook and pieces of leaves flew
branches broke and came crashing down
barn doors bent and strained against the strength
lightning crashed and thrashed about
stinging particular areas
leaving chunks of bark
scattered far
and an electric smell particular
thunder rolled and rumbled loud
then rumbled loudly again
at last
rain soaked world
was quiet again
and the sun came out so clear, so bright
I walk the farmstead
survey the fields
the wet grass soaks my shoes
and mud, sweet mud is all around
I could almost hear
the thirsty plants
drinking deeply the fine cool water
the air rich
with cleansed aroma
and the world right again
as we crave it
comes between
the rain and drought and keeps us
on our toes, or on our knees
in humble adoration
of the beauty, of creation
oh, how awesome!

Lin 07/05

After the Storm2022-09-03T14:54:17-04:00

The Olde Barn


Great grandpa’s day,
a first on the farm
was the income producer the proud new barn

Rising stick by stick
skilled hands hewed, pegged
put together the skeleton
then roof and siding and more
a little room for tack
a little room for special feed
a little room for tools and a vice
stanchions for the cows
who would stand and munch while we milked
and a giant space for hay

Oh the memories piling with the hay!

Playing in the mountain
with grandpa far below
a fell into a cavity
I could see the top way up
and yelled for grandpa
He heard me and came quickly
dropping a rope down to me
pulling me up and out
(I still get claustrophobic!)

Another time I climbed the ladder
to throw down hay for the cows
just about dark, it was
As I reached the upper floor
two red beady eyes,
and a big mouth of sharp teeth greeted me
I yelled and raced down and out
to grandpa’s laughter
A possum had run me off!

Another time I tried to help
Grandpa had a brand new pitchfork
he only had half broken tools
I was working with the hay
most awkwardly
the handle being for a grown man
and me but a small boy
So I used my brain and thought
“Saw in the tool room, vice to hold the handle”
and I cut the handle to my size.

Grandpa was apoplectic
but never said a word
’cause my motive was pure-
it was for WORK
a religion of sorts.

The stories are many
I sure could go on
about life in the barn
I need to write that
for the grandchildren?

A hundred ten years have passed
since great grandpa worked there
and now, now,
the barn can’t be used
doesn’t fit what we do
and is gonna come down

A giant machine will come
and with a great iron hand
swing and bang and bring it down
to a sad, sad pile of sticks
Yes, we’ll recycle, as much as we can

Soon it will be
like a spent party balloon
laying, waiting
to be sorted out and gone
The party is over
but the party goes on
just in another way

Good bye, old friend
you served ever so well
but you, too, must return
to the soil from which you came.
Lin 11/2011


The Olde Barn2022-09-03T14:54:17-04:00

The Sun Comes Up


The psalms often end
with the word “Selah”
It is thought to mean
‘the orchestra comes up’

Behind the scenes
music is playing
ever so softly
background notes

Is it not so
often in our lives
when the times are tough
when the days are dark
the sun comes up
and the orchestra
that was there all the time
blossoms into full notes

So we have springtime
when our clocks jump ahead
and Easter presents
The ‘music’ comes up
the winter hidden sun
soaks and warms the soil and us
and colors unfold around us
bathing our bodies, minds, and spirits

Ah, yes, the Son comes up!

Selah! Lin 03/08


The Sun Comes Up2022-09-03T14:54:18-04:00

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