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Winter’s Hold, Cold


Just before the sun comes up
I head out to the barn
The soil’s turned concrete
or granite?
It’s so hard!

Nice to think it’s just a crust
shielding life down deep
Creatures live, under the frost
roots are holding life

Makes me think of a birthday candle
that relights itself, again and again
Winter snorts and blows
icing the world
but, aha!, nestled down
nature lives, and readies
for the world to tilt back
sun warming again
in spring

What things do hold us?
What is permanent
not held by winter’s cold?
One, I posit, is love.
A mystery, a fact
part of a couple
united in marriage and more
caring, yes, but more
self for others

How appropriate that in bleak midwinter
a child is born, for all mankind
wrapping a blanket around God’s love
Holding us close, communicating
caring, yes, but more
self for others

Selah, Lin Christmas 2013

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Seasons|0 Comments

Bitter Cold


Welcome to the Arctic!
and you didn’t even leave home!

Down, down, down comes
the sub zero blanket of air
freezing all it can

Soil, rock hard
snow, crunching cold
“Crack!” noises here and there
as materials contract, shrinking

We bundle up
and just keep going
hindered, modified
trudging to the barn
early morning darkness

Why don’t birds feet freeze?
How can the cow udders be so warm?
How can hairless pigs survive?

Chop! Chop! Chop!
The horse tank’s frozen over
8 inches of ice now covering
and the cattle are thirsty, of course.

Pieces of ice sting my face
propelled by the ax impact.
I throw some chunks aside, stepping back
to let the cattle drink.
I turn the valve, and the windmill pumps
warm water flows, 50 degrees down deep

Settling on the milking stool
I tilt in
my forehead warmed by Bessie’s flank
my cold fingers squeeze out milk
Grandpa’s doing the same
the ‘squirt, squirt squrit’
of our rythmic milking, the only sound

The udders empty
and we carry our steaming milk buckets
across the barnlot to the house
We’ll return
to grind feed, check the cattle
throw down straw
think of spring!

Selah, Lin, minus 3, windchill worse January 2015; January 1948

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Seasons|0 Comments

Gathering of The Clan


Coast to coast they come
to the Heartland
Flyover Zone

The gene pool arrives!
Gammy and grandpo hosting
kids and grandkids
a family of American Eagles
and eaglets

Generations in turn
learning to fly
and flying away
but coming back
the family farm
a hundred thirty years and counting

Eagles, eaglets
dreams coming true
Priests, professors, designers and politicians
(Now there’s a nest plumb full!)

Risking, reflecting,
investing in people
and things eternal
the stuff of life
and life abundant

Oh yes scrapes and tears
winds and rains and
Thunder storms
But after the storms
Sun coming out
Fresh air, birds singing, flowers blooming
food growing on the farm
people, helping people grow

Food for the farmer
and a hundred fifty five others
the system setting them free
to think and do a thousand things
limited only by their imaginations

So songs ring out
Prayers of thanksgiving given
around the table they gather
the Warfel/Perry clan

Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen…*

Selah, Lin Christmas 2014
*Old Hundredth L.M.

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Loved Ones|0 Comments

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

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Heaven & Earth|0 Comments

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.

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Heaven & Earth|0 Comments

Mothers of Distinction


I discovered my wife
in mother mode
was a person of distinction
For a start
how could she do it?
Deliver a baby
But she did
Five times

Her love grew
for each one
and also for me
How could that be
that love can expand so
and do it again and again

At each stage
suckling to cup
baby food to burger
cooing and gurgling
to standing on a stage, reciting
first toddling steps
to running races
first day of school
to graduation exercises
mother mode was supreme
is supreme

So if we define love
as an accurate understanding
and an adequate supply
of another person’s need(s)
we see the depths
of Mothers of Distinction

52 years later
5 children, 6 grandchildren later
sons in law
daughters in law

How can we say thanks?
ah, we’re back to love
the greatest of all
said Jesus

Lin to Kay, January 2015

By |July 20th, 2015|Categories: All Poems, Loved Ones|0 Comments

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