Poems, Prayers, And Promises
Our friendship is like the beautiful shadows of evening,
Forever growing, till life and it's light pass away....
"HOG KILLING DAY IN DIXIE"
Submitted By E. S. Glosson
It was a cold November morning in 1942.
There was a nip in the air and frost was on the ground, but it was a special morning in the lives of our family.
Hog killing time!! We arose early to the aroma of coffee, eggs being fried, and hot biscuits Mama had outdone herself that day, being that every thing was rationed.
The Second World War was raging in Europe and coffee was a rare luxury for us. We ran from our beds to the room where the pot bellied stove resided to dress for that day of days! Daddy was already oiling his 22 rifle and Mama was sharpening the few butcher knifes we owned.
We were poor, but we didn’t know it cause every one else in the mill village was in the same shape.
When Hog killing time came around, everyone would come from miles around to help or give advice.
Us kids would help Mama tote water to the old black wash pot in our back yard and also gather up anything that would burn to heat the water.
It took several pots full of hot water to fill the 55 Gallon drum we put the hog in to help loosen the hair.
The vat, we called it was propped up one end higher than the other so we could slide the hog in and then take it out, turn it around and scald the other end.
The stage was set for Daddy to do the honors with his trusty 22.
“I’ve killed many a hog with this gun and never had to shoot more than once” Daddy bragged to anyone that would listen, and he had a pretty good audience,
cause everyone that came, Mama would see that they took a mess of fresh pork home.
The victim’s Name was Mable, a sow that was past her prime and couldn’t have any more pigs. Everyone gathered around to see the killing.
They made us kids stay back but we could still see Mable between their legs if we got down on all fours.
Dad took dead aim and fired, Mable just grunted, he loaded up and fired off another round, Mable just grunted.
Five times my sharp shooter Daddy shot and Mable just grunted, As he was loading up for the sixth time, I could read Mable’s mind.
“That fool is gonna keep shooting me till I fall”, so she dropped to the ground. A roar came from the crowd, Daddy took a bow, and I clapped real hard.
You see that was my Daddy. Well somebody slit Ole Mable’s throat. And they proceeded to tote her over to the vat full of scalding water.
Four or five of the strongest men lifted Mable up and soused her into the vat head first. That’s when all Hell broke loose.
Mable came out of that vat like a rocket, slinging hot water everywhere and ran under the house.
What happened next seemed like a dream in slow motion, Men were hollering “catch her!!!’ Women were screaming,
kids were crying, four dogs got into a fight in the middle of the yard and Aunt Jessie, a rather large woman, had a bladder problem.
She got so excited her bladder empted down both legs and sprayed the dogs. They left there yelping. I must admit I was scared and shed a tear or two myself.
Somebody yelled “get a rope, we’ll drag her out from under the house” Our house was built about three foot off the ground on brick pillows,
Some one finally came up with a rope, crawled under the house and tied it to Mable’s hind leg.
Nearly everybody got on the other end and went to tugging. No amount of pulling would budge her.
Since I was too little to pull very much, I went around the house to see what was holding her back.
You’ll never believe this in a hundred years but Mable had her three legs wrapped around a brick pillow and holding on for all she was worth.
Seemed like she was saying “ I’m not getting in that hot water again. They finally got Mable out from under the house, about that time a soldier came up from next door.
Aunt Jessie screamed to the top of her lungs “Let the soldier shoot it, he knows how to shoot, he’s in the Army!!”
He was all decked out in his army uniform, even had a good conduct medal on. I noticed it right off. But I also knew him.
He hadn’t been in the Army but six weeks and was about to get throwed out for cross dressing!!
A mean looking man walked up with a single bitted axe and said “No need to shoot the poor hog again” He then cracked poor Mable on the noggen with the blunt
end of the axe. Needless to say, Mable bought the farm, the crowd cheered and patted the mean looking man on the back.
After all the scrapping hair, cutting up the meat and Mama doleing out a mess of pork to everybody, It was getting about supper time.
Seemed like Mama worked all the time but she didn’t complain. In no time flat Mama had a pan of cathead biscuits in the wood stove, a skillet of fresh pork cooking
on top of it. My mouth watered for some of that pork and biscuits with sorghum syrup and fresh butter. Man! We were eating high on the hog!!
Finally supper was done and ex sharp shooter Daddy announced “ Up and over” That meant put your plate right side up. They were put face down to keep
the flies off them. My Daddy said Grace and we dove in. There was plenty of fresh pork and we didn’t know if we would be blessed like this again.
I nearly popped and the rest didn’t do too bad them selves. By the time Daddy passed out the quiting sticks, ( country for tooth picks) we were all worn out
and ready for bed. By the time we settled in for a full tummy sleep, a pain hit me, I looked at my brother and he was in the same condition. I said, “let’s hit the out house”.
We tore out of there like ninety going south. When we got to the out house someone was in it, Like I said at the front of this story, We were poor,
we only had a one holer and three were waiting outside jumping up and down. We hit the woods. For the rest of the night it was trips to the outhouse.
That fresh pork tore everybody’s stomach up, neighbors and all. I often wonder if Mable, up there in Hog Heaven was looking down on us and having the last
laugh after all. The story seen through a ten year old boy’s eyes is true.
One name was changed to protect the innocent.
Mable was not her real name.
"Had I Only Known"
Had I only known I'd never see you again
I would have changed so many things
I would have taken notes in graphic detail
So that I could forever recall them at will
I would have carefully sketched your smile
The first time that you saw my face
I would have listened intently to your heart
As its cadence still plays for me today
Had I realized you were never coming back again
I would have paid more attention to your sighs
I would not so casually have swept aside
That parting look from weary tear-filled eyes
I should have asked so many things
That now I need to know
Did you have a girl with a raven curl
Were you taught the Golden Rule
I'd have asked about trains and flying things
Had I known I'd never have that chance again
For you were such a wonderous gift to me
That I can't visualize you are truly gone
For what I actually know of you
Is just simply not enough
To sustain me through the balance of my life
Without the magic of your touch
That final, over the shoulder, sad sad look
As you stepped upon the plane
Is all that I have left of you
That picture is burned into my brain
I should have grabbed you and held you safe
So that nothing could carry you away
That regret will haunt me for the remainder of my days
Had I only known that was to be our last embrace.
Written by: Kay Cheshire Cirlot
30 Sept 2001
One Nation Indivisible
By Mickey Lawler
Tuesday September the 11th was just another workday,
Little did I know such disaster was headed our way?
I heard Katie's voice and viewed the plane,
As around the back of the South Tower it came.
There was confusion on the air as what to do.
When all of a sudden the tower explosion came into view.
Our first thoughts were an accident, a horrible mistake.
A tragedy of such impact, that the whole world shakes.
As news coverage scrambles to the scene,
Americans fell to bent knees praying it wasn't as it seemed.
As sirens wailed and headed to the Manhattan town,
Employees in the towers headed for the ground.
Some trapped and unable to escape,
Picked up their phones called their love ones and accepted their fate.
Others departed the towers on a dead run,
Knowing that the terrible devastation was not yet done.
Reports from news services were starting to arrive,
That this was an act of terrorism with no regard for lives.
The towers had been hit and things were still awry,
When it was reported that hijacked planes were still in the sky.
When all of a sudden we are informed of something happening in DC.
First it was reported as the White House, then we are not sure, if only we could see.
Then to our amazement it's reported that it's the Pentagon,
Oh my goodness, how on Earth could this have been done.
A decision was made without hesitation to ground all private and commercial aviation.
Reports surfaced that one airborne plane remained.
Facts were scrambled at this time and hard to ascertain.
Then a call from a cell phone got through.
It was Barbara Olson asking her husband what to do.
Several others called and reached their loved ones too
Telling them goodbye before they brought down the plane in which they flew.
The plane was crashed in the Pennsylvania woods,
Far from terrorist targets identified as the goods.
Meanwhile back in Manhattan the towers fell,
America is confused and wants to know who could cause this hell?
President Bush is advised of the situation post haste,
He is to board Air Force One with no time to waste.
His possibility of being a target is of concern,
Much to our dismay, we were right, we later learned.
The President moved from one location to another,
Without talking to his wife or even his own mother.
Once all threats were removed and we could plainly see,
Our President quickly returned to Washington D.C.
As damages were assessed and casualties claimed,
We were starting to focus on who was to blame.
As the death toll continued to rise,
So did the volunteers in all shapes and size.
At ground zero the operation had begun,
Police, Firefighters, National Guardsmen and Volunteers had a job to get done.
Nurses and physicians worked hand in hand,
To nurse and administer to this tragedy of man.
The clergy met with the bereaved families and prayed,
Requesting they go home and get rest, but most stayed.
They kept praying that among the rubble survivors may be found,
But most knew there was little hope when they saw the towers come down.
It's now late on that first day,
Americans are starting to understand and seek our way.
The President called a news conference to face the nation,
And try to explain the terrible devastation.
It was an address of much emotion,
Leaving little doubt of the United States' notion.
That we would seek out the cowards that caused this heartbreak today,
That we would pursue them and they would have hell to pay.
Run and hide as they may, it's with their hides that they will pay.
Befriend the cowards and an enemy of the US you become,
We are seeking justice, which may offend some.
Bleeding hearts get out of our way,
America is mad and seeking revenge for this day.
We've tried your way, we have begged and pleaded,
But this time we're delivering a payload that is much needed.
Our Military stands alert and ready,
Our targets are the terrorists and our aim is steady.
Our armed forces await our President's command,
Willing and ready to serve down to each and every man.
We know with the implementation of this plan,
That the US will have to make a long and bold stand.
We know it may take decades to reach a resolution,
But to enjoy the freedoms of Liberty and Justice for all, this is the solution.
The decision has been made and the line has been drawn,
It's time to rid the world of terrorism beginning with the next dawn.
God Bless America
A HILLBILLY'S SAGA OF WATER
OR THE LACK OF WATER
By Naomi Hughes
Once upon a time, there was a family of hillbillies
who moved to town to live on a hill.
The only water was IN an old dug well
and a small stream way down the hill.
The well went dry
and then water had to be fetched up the hill
in a bucket, by hand.
Oh, what a chore!
When it came time to wash clothes
they had to be carried down the hill to the stream
and scrubbed by hand, an all day job.
Many years passed.
Then one of the hillbillies managed to get
enough money together to drill a well.
Alas, when the water was found,
it was full of iron.
Ugh! It tasted awful!
But....there was plenty of water,
although it tasted of iron and the clothes turned yellow.
City water finally came to the hillbillies.
It too had to be brought up the hill, in pipes.
Behold, when it got to the hillbillies
there was no water pressure.
To bathe, wash dishes, wash clothes,
had to be done one chore at a time.
For heaven's sake don't flush!
Ain't progress great!
Bathe in a trickle, like standing in a light rain shower.
The washer takes forever to fill.
The dish washer is another story.
The repair man worked and worked.
Then he threw up his hands and said,
"The problem is lack of water pressure.
You can add water, by hand."
Water, water, plenty of water but
no water pressure for the hillbillies.
Woe is me, why do hillbillies live on hills?
(a song for everyone)
By Lathan Hudson
The Dreamer dreamed that he could make this world a better place
He'd take the magic that he'd found - And he just knew that he'd erase
All the pain and all the sadness that surrounds us everyday
And once-upon-a-time I heard him say...
"MY MAGIC RAINBOW'S UP THERE SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND IT GIVEN TIME
AND WHEN I DO A POET WILL FIND THE PERFECT RHYME
TO MAKE EACH LOVER SAY SOME MAGIC WORDS TO MAKE HIS MAIDEN SWOON
AND HE'LL SAY TO HER THOSE MAGIC WORDS BENEATH MY MAGIC MOON
THERE'LL BE NO END AND NO BEGINNING IT WILL RISE ABOVE THE TREES
GLISTEN OFF THE MOUNTAINTOPS AND PURIFY THE STREAMS
THEN I'LL SHARE MY MAGIC RAINBOW WITH THE YOUNG AND WITH THE OLD
AND THERE'LL BE A HAPPY ENDING TO EVERY STORY EVER TOLD"
AND THE DREAMER SAID HIS RAINBOW WOULD SHINE ACROSS THE SEAS
GIVING HOPE TO EVERYONE WHO EVER DARED TO DREAM A DREAM
THEN HE SAID HIS MAGIC RAINBOW WOULD BE THERE FOR ALL TO SEE
FOR YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU...AND ME
"ON THAT DAY THERE'LL BE NO SORROW TO MAKE A MOTHER CRY
SHE'LL SEE HER CHILDREN DANCE BENEATH MY MAGIC RAINBOW IN THE SKY
THE TIME WILL COME WHEN EVERYONE WILL LEARN THERE'S BEAUTY IN THE TRUTH
'WHEN YOU'RE PART OF SOMEONE'S DREAM YOU BECOME A DREAMER TOO' "
AND THE DREAMER SAID HIS RAINBOW WOULD SHINE ON YOU AND ME
AND THE DREAMER SAID THAT SOMEDAY THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD WOULD SEE
THAT THE TIME WOULD COME WHEN WE WOULD LEARN THERE'S BEAUTY IN THE TRUTH
'WHEN YOU'RE PART OF SOMEONE'S DREAM YOU BECOME A DREAMER TOO'
MY MAGIC RAINBOW'S UP THERE SOMEWHERE...SOMEWHERE
By: Kay Pomeroy
I have a friend named Venice I really didn’t know she was there.
Until I read her poems and I found out the same Savior we share
I hope she will give me a second chance, for I can feel her sorrow
I will find the time to visit her and be friends for all our tomorrows.
She writes about happy children but the one she lost too soon, still lives in her heart forever, she can see his face in the moon.
She carries her burdens well Dear God, so many don’t know she has,
But her love for You helps her bear these well, because she finds You there.
Through her I can see that mansion she has waiting there
and all her friends are waiting to welcome her to that fair land,
they wait with God, and will take her hand and say rest we all love and care.
The people of Plantersville have missed a lot by not setting by her side
Just to be near the peace in her heart when she shares her love for God.
We should all be ashamed we were not there for the hard times she has trod.
She truly knows the love of God you can read it in her writings, lets share this peace she feels with Him it sounds so wonderful and exciting.
I have never put a poem on paper I didn’t know it was in my head.
What a blessing I’ve had by reading her words its made my day and made me glad.
They Never See ME Anymore
By: Polly Bell Banks
It doesn't matter if they are young or old,
They never see ME anymore, nor what lies beneath.
They just see an older woman with graying hair
And an aging body - a body spreading, no longer
Young and firm, but now defined as "girth".
I've become matronly.
They cannot, or will not see, the young
Heart within, the sleeping passions, that
Only need awakening from the sleep
That they have condemned us to.
I have character. I have dignity. I have desire.
But they, in their own aging maturity, only see
The outer hull - no longer young,
No longer pretty. Yet I am durable.
I would be there beside them until the end,
Care for them when they are unable
To do so for themselves.
And love them totally,
But they do not want
The calm, the sure, the dependable, but
Rather someone young, who will not remind
Them of their own mortality.
We have become the silent, graying beacons
That herald the end, not a young siren
Promising life and passion
That will never be reclaimed.
The Home Front
By C.N. Norman
This Poem was written By
Mable Jacobs Skeen, who died
Last year, to her sister
Ruth Helen Jacobs Deese.
I open the door and a smile comes to my face
It's easy to see why this is my favorite place
I see Teddy bears, rabbits, dolls and such.....
some on the bed...... some on the hutch
They make me feel childlike and gay
and I think.... This is the way
The way my childhood should have been
When I think back now and then
Instead I remember a room almost bare
an iron bed, a dresser and an old chair
The curtains weren't made of ruffles and lace
Flour sack curtains hung in their place
God called our Daddy to heaven on high
and left Momma and us kids to barely got by.
Oh relatives were only too glad to try to break up
the only family we had.. One by one they cast their lots
for the child of their choice.. the whys and the why nots..
I would gladly take this child they would say
But no one chose me.. Why would they?
I tried to pretend that I did not care.
I shed no tears.... I did not dare
But Momma refused their offers, however, grand
and kept us together and made her stand
Though times were lean and she had to work hard
she brought us through, never dropping her guard.
Now I stop and think again of the way it really was back then
My Sister and I (my best friend) shared a room
and secrets to no end. We'd snuggle under that big old quilt at night
trying to warm our icy feet and we'd hold each other tight
We shared a love and a special bond, I'd say
And we carry that with us even today
Who needs the fancy toys and curtains on the wall
I had my Sister! I had it all!
By: Mable Jacobs Skeen
Avast, Ye Swabbies!
(The story of a fishing trip on Elephant Butte Lake, NM)
by Jimmy Holmes
Awaken, O ye Sleeping Ones!
Awake to face the sun!
To hear of derring-do and stuff
And shitpots full of fun!
With visage grim,
Our Captain Slim,
His tubby crew aboard,
Set out across an angry sea
To hunt the striper hoard!
Our captain stood,
As captains would,
Like Ahab at his helm,
His third mate comfily at rest
In the only seat in town!
The Tubby Crew,
Assigned to do
The trip on ice chests two,
Sat aft in spray and roar,
While Blondie had a Lazy-Boy
And thought it all a bore.
She rested easy, did her nails,
And looked up to the sky
As if to say, "Lord, what a bore,
This trip from side to side!"
Meanwhile, the Tubby Crew,
With bouncing butts aslide,
Held on to naught but thinnest air,
A'fearing for their hides!
"ROOOOAAAAARRR! WHAM! WHAM!
ROOOOAAAAARRRRRR! WHAM! WHAM!
The ship did part the sea,
While in the back,
On perch made slick with pee,
The Tubby Crew began to pray,
Unheard above the sea!
"SHIT!" cried one.
The Second Son
"You're too late, Pop ---
I DID that job
A wave or two behind!"
As if the sea
Had heard the Tubbies' cries,
The good ship slid into the lee,
And havoc did subside!
"Oh, God is great! And Allah, too!
And Buddha's a pretty nice guy!
Oh Captain! Captain! Our Captain, Sir!
Can we WALK back to the other side?"
"You're here to fight the striper horde,"
Came the gruff reply.
"And fight ye will,
And quickly, too,
Or Neptune have your hide!"
"We ain't sure he'd want it, Sir,
All soaked with pee and doo,
But your command we'll carry out.
As loyal seamen two!"
With two-pound Perch the bait of choice,
The Tubbies probed the flood,
Coffee can in hand,
Drained off a little Bud!
Then, "WHANG!" The first rod pointed down,
And worried side to side,
As if Godzilla'd left his lair
And took the perch full-stride!
Around the ship,
Around the ship again,
One Tubby pulled and pried,
Until the monster of the deep
Was hoisted o'er the side!
"And that's my Pop!"
Smiled Tubby Two,
His face aglow with pride.
And yet again,
The rod tips jerked below,
As Tubbies struggled back and forth,
O'er pee cans on the floor!
The Captain cried,
"Now all that's left to do
Is get the monsters to the dock,
There on the other side!
"Oh, God is REALLY great! (The Tubbies prayed aside)
"And Allah's SUPER, too!"
"And Buddha'll SURELY see us through the fray
Of sea and pee and doo!"
"RRRRROOOOOOAAAAAARRRR! WHAM! WHAM!
"RRRRROOOOOOAAAAAARRRR! WHAM! WHAM!"
For hours, days and weeks it seemed,
The good ship fought and won,
Until the dock appeared at last,
At setting of the sun!
Tired and wet and sore,
Set foot on Earth once more!
"Oh, God is REALLY, REALLY great!"
Cried one who kissed the dock.
"And Allah's a MARVELOUS dude!"
"And Buddha's THE MAN when it comes to the span of a maelstrom in the
"Come back any time, you two!"
Our Captain said in parting.
While we, The Tubbies,
And silently replied,
"No doubt, we'll rush right back again --- Juvember Thirty-five!