The Art of Poetry

The Art of Poetry

Back around the year 1967 when I was in college I took a class in literature where we discussed the art of poetry. It inspired me to try my hand at it. Here is the result.

 

COURAGE

By

J J Dewey

I was a man like another,

Who coasted the easiness of the way;

There was a man – he called me brother,

And I heard him call my name.

I turned my head to the voice I heard,

No form in sight could I see;

Then to my right, a spoken word,

“My name is Courage – I’ve come to thee.”

 

The voice cast fear into my heart,

I wished to run I knew not why;

The air itself was rent apart,

I bowed my head and thought to die.

He spoke, he spoke – a voice so loud

I could not hear till I was still;

A whisper had become the sound

Heard so clearly I fought for will.

 

My name was called, and that I knew;

I could not escape the thought, the voice,

My brother I have come to you,

But yet I give to you a choice.

Again I feared what he would say

He is not an easy man to draw;

Could I really go his way,

Or was my spoken name a flaw?

 

Again I heard the voice, it called

My name and that was no mistake;

Then for time I tried to stall –

Lost in a dream, I wished to wake;

But on my arm, gently a hand,

Pulling me toward his way;

Why, I could not understand,

Had Courage ever called my name?

 

I glanced at him his form in viewed,

I could not turn, I could not run,

For a question I put to you –

I want to know why you have come.

He smiled at me, I felt at ease,

And said I knew you would come through;

What I have shall be no breeze,

There is work for you to do.

 

He whispered all into my ear,

And I was weak with what he said;

Again I had begun to fear

For the road I had to tread.

He sensed my thought and said to me:

A gift I have, and do not tell

I wait for you in eternity,

I am yours if you do well.

 

 

REFLECTIONS OF TRUTH

by J J Dewey

Since I was born I heard His name,

But never saw Him with the eye.

Yet the whole world does laud His fame,

But when He comes they bid goodbye;

And in their mind they form a view

Of how to them He should appear.

They cry and cry out for the Truth,

And when He comes they will not hear.

 

The Truth is large said one to me.

I shall know Him when I see Him;

Beauty fair, adorned handsomely,

And He shall gladly call me friend.

A minute had not passed in time

That Truth walked by him, footsteps light,

A slender man without a dime

Unadorned, simple to the sight.

 

Truth said to him: “I’ve come to thee

To ask if I can give you aid;

You can know things you cannot see…

If you but ask you’ll be well paid.”

The man gave Truth a wryful sneer:

“Depart from me, you simple man;

You have nothing I want to hear.

You’re too easy to understand.”

 

Truth walked on, I felt He was sad,

For the man I saw did despise

The simple Truth he could have had,

The only one to make him wise;

But before Truth left from view

Something told me to follow on

To learn from Him and be wise too,

And go right now or He’ll be gone.

 

I followed to see where He went,

And saw that He passed many by.

The few who saw had pure intent,

But most had clouds before their eyes.

The man of learning gave one glance,

And said, “We two do not agree.”

Next He walked up to an old man Who said:

“My fathers have taught me.”

 

Not discouraged – not retreating

He came across a fisherman.

The fish were biting, he was reeling;

He said: “Come back some day, my man.”

Disheartened, but ever seeking

‘Ere He spotted a fair young boy

Who did smile and set Truth weeping,

His heart was ever filled with joy.

 

The Truth and child saw eye to eye

For He imparted all He had,

But when at last they said goodbye,

The learned man saw to the lad.

I thought and thought of what I saw,

And lay beside a lake so clear

A looking glass without a flaw,

I thought I saw Truth ever near.

 

 

THE PERFECT MAN

BY J. J. Dewey

My conscience is a perfect man

Whom I would like to see,

No scare or mars upon his face

Adorned so handsomely.

He bids me come with hand in mine

To follow in his path;

I am the way to truth divine

And peace of mind that lasts.

 

No, I cried, I cannot bear

The thorns along the way.

There is not room for you and I

As Vie night leaves with the day,

Go alone and leave me here

I’ll find a downhill grade;

Don’t worry of my simple fears,

And I will have it made.

 

He looked at me with countenance sad

Foreboding in his eyes;

I wondered what could be that bad

Perhaps that I should die?

He turned his head so I could not see

The tears within his eyes,

But from the very heart of me

I thought I heard him cry.

 

I loved the man, I knew not why

I finally realized,

The path he owned before my eyes

I knew I should not die;

And in my mind there flashed a scene

Of the night I had left behind.

The perfect man gave his hand to me

We mounted up on light.

 

 

I CALLED UPON DESIRE

By J J Dewey

I had visions and thoughts for me;

The road ahead was a simple plan.

I made the path to walk with ease,

As a journey to another land.

I did not dream the hour so late,

And, rushing, fell into the mire.

Could I escape the looms of fate?

I called upon desire.

 

Life without a pursuit or cause

Does make my days so fleeing be;

Time never turns back on her laws,

And makes my mind a deep blue sea.

Then comes that spark I must retrieve,

When everything seems dire,

And as a way to get relief

I called upon desire.

 

A thief has stolen half my life,

And yet before me many doors;

I must take everything in stride,

I dare request for nothing more.

A door flew open by itself;

A voice said “Do we have a buyer?”

Before I spoke I asked for help;

I called upon desire.

 

And now my life has reached an end,

The last door bears Death as its name,

And yet I hope to call him friend,

For he receives me without shame.

I did the things I had to do,

My work became a burning fire;

In my labors I did pursue –

I called upon desire.

 

 

TIME WAS MADE FOR MAN

By J J Dewey

Time was made for man,

Not found among the Gods;

Created for those on earth

Whose perils they do trod.

Why do the Gods use it not,

Is life not made from it?

Yes, the life of man is wrought,

In time he digs his pit.

 

Time, the silver lining of space,

The stars and earths give heed

No more than the human race

With every word and deed.

Man sees his life and then divides

By two and two and two

Years and days and days and years

He lives them through and through.

 

But the Gods who never die

And see things eye to eye,

In some way we don’t understand

Have nothing to divide;

For who with their peace of mind

Would ever want an end?

Time cannot fly in their blue sky,

What measure can they intend?

 

But what peace has man to held

And say abide with me?

He only looks to joy foretold In eternity.

Until that time, he counts and counts

The minutes and the days.

Sorrow and imperfection mount

And he counts the ways.

 

But at times, when man stands still,

And seeks his self within;

He finds a spirit and a will,

And pleads -Don’t leave again!

A taste of heaven you’ve given me

Time makes it flee away;

Now I see as the Gods do see,

There’s no time in eternity.

 

For another poem by JJ go HERE

June 15, 2000

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Christmas Poetry 2007

This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Christmas Messages

Here are two Christmas related poems. The first was written for the Keys group in 2007 and the second written in the Sixties for a college paper. Enjoy.

Through His Eyes

The Master rested from his work and arose
It was that time of the year again
The time that the nations celebrated his birth
And give gifts one to another.

He stood up and looked West
And saw to the East, and to the North and the South.
“What are the minds of men thinking this year?”
Was the thought that demanded an answer.

“Has the world made any progress?
“Is the consciousness of Christ that is in me ready to manifest in them?”
“If I go to them will they let me teach them,
Or will they crucify the Son of God anew?”

His eyes pierced the veil and he saw a man scolding his friends.
“You do not honor Christ by celebrating his birth on an old pagan holiday.
“Your giving gifts does not honor Him.
“Your celebrations are a mockery he would scorn.”

But the Master looked into the hearts of his friends
And saw the consciousness of Christ taking birth.
One had donated gifts to poor children;
Gifts that made them feel like God cared for them.

Another gave more than he could afford to a Bell Ringer
And this lifted the spirits of the downtrodden.
Another sent a package to a soldier all alone away from home.
His heart was glad and felt peace in the midst of war.

The Master sent his thoughts to the mind of the scornful man.
“It is true that human materialism comes through at Christmas “But so too does the better part of the human spirit.
“Some of the forgotten are remembered and give glory to God.”

He looked again and saw a Father troubled by a recent divorce,
separated from his children.
His ex-wife hated him and tore up all his letters and trashed his presents.
This Christmas a letter and presents came again, but this time she
thought of Christ,
Her heart was softened and the children saw the words “I love you, from Dad.”

The Master looked far away and saw a man who had lost his faith.
Poor fellow was about to glare at the skies and curse God for his troubles.
A knock came at the door – young carolers sang with giving spirit.
The words and melodies gave new birth to his wounded heart – he would
try and believe again.

Again he looked and saw a man hurriedly driving through the snow,
late for a Christmas party.
He spotted a car stuck off the road and was about to pass by, but
then stopped for that’s what Jesus would do.
It was a lady on the way to the hospital to see her father before he died.
He helped her on her way, was late for the party but on time for Christmas.

The Master looked again and again and saw good works that may have
not been done if not for Christmas.
His heart was gladdened
Not because Christmas was as he designed
Not because humanity was particularly spiritual.
Not because they gave gifts
Not even because this was his birthday, for it is not.

His heart was gladdened because those who paused to think of his
message this season
Went the extra mile in helping their fellowmen,
And lifted their spirits.
Perhaps when every day is Christmas there will be peace on earth good
will to men.
Perhaps.

The Light of Christmas

The snow falls.
The bells ring.
Male and female hand in hand,
Communication.
Passing lights and colors.
Music in the air,
A spirit of gaiety is there.
The music rings: “par-um-pum-pum-pum,”
Everyone hears the boy and his drum;
And the heart of all begins to burn
Kindled by music that exalts the mind,
Like the Spirit at Pentecost.
Felt though unspoken, even by he who feels lost.

Boys and girls, their eyes reflecting wonderment,
Glow bright, then dim, then bright,
Have no thoughts to hide…
Purity inside.

A youth buying presents, though not enough,
His friends buy more and get more than he.
He wants to be someone else, somewhere else.

Men and women walking, many Christmases in their past;
The brightness of their eyes fading with the years,
Worn by experience.
The glimmer there is a reflection from their children.
As the moon reflects the light of the sun,
The light of Christmas belongs to the little ones;
We must see through their eyes.

Next: Christmas Message 2008

Copyright © 2007 by JJ Dewey, All Rights Reserved