I’M THINKING

I’m sorry for me.
    My daddy owns no aeroplanes; I can’t fly through the sky.
He doesn’t have a limousine, with a chauffeur standing by.
    To drive me lo my school each day, and make my schoolmates sigh
Because they have lo walk to school, like common folks, while I
    Speed by in luxury, and perhaps, pass the scornful eye
Of those who plod along .

We leave no mansion grand
    With many rooms, and many servants under our command.
We do not have a butler, and we do not have a chef
    To cook up strange, expensive food for my folks and myself.
I do not have a maid to bring my breakfast to my bed,
    To clean my room, or help me dress, to comb my curly head.

My mother has no jewels, fur coats, or diamond rings.
    She doesn’t own a ball team, race track – or anything .
It seems that we have nothing, and that we’re very poor.
    And some folks just have all the luck . Of that I’m sure.
Well, Now, let’s see.

My mother says I’m foolish to be envying folks with wealth.
    ‘Cause I am richer far than they, for I have perfect health.
I do not need a limousine; I have strong legs and feet.
    And I can hop and skip and jump, and run fast down the street.
I have two bright and shining eyes which serve me day and night.
     And millions could not buy for me that gift of priceless sight.

Some folks rich as Croesus (who was he, anyway?)
    Are limited in their diet, and must live on toast and tea.
Well, I can eat just anything, and Mom has always said
     We do not need a butler, or a chef, to be well-fed.
Breakfast in bed is lazybones, and that is a disgrace.
     And I can surely dress myself, and wash my own tanned face .

Mom doesn’t want a fine fur coat, for some animals must give
    Their lives for it unwillingly, to please her vanity.
And diamonds are gaudy; she prefers bare hands instead,
     And she would feel quite foolish with a tie-ara on her head.

Some rich folks send their children off to school and far away,
    So that the parents can be free to laugh and dance and play .
But she and daddy think their children are really treasures rare;
    They want to keep us safe at home, and give us loving care .
‘Til we grow up and go away to start homes of our own,
    And they hope we will remember our good times when we’re grown.

I’m glad I’m me.
    Aeroplanes are dangerous, and they clutter up the sky.
I don’t want an old limousine; let them all go speeding by.
    I’d rather walk to school with friends, than ride there all alone.
And have no friend that I could really call my own.

We are not poor, we’re just not rich, and rich folks live in fear,
    For well they know that kidnappers may be lurking near.
Us Children have a lot of fun and wouldn’t want to be
    Shoved off to school because our parents wanted to be free.
Rich kids must be unhappy, and I do not want their pelf.
    I’d not change place with one of them. I’d rather be myself.
Yes, I’m glad I’m me

Adventure

My friend and I had wandered
    Down a long and lovely lane,
Between two rows of stately trees
    And fields of growing grain.
The lane led off into a wood,
    Then off, and far away,
But when we reached the woodland’s edge,
    We decided there to stay.

There was a rock beside the road,
    Shaped like an easy chair.
We placed ourselves upon it,
    Then looked at what was there.
Across from us there was a hill
    Clothed in emerald green.
Behind us was the cool, green wood;
    All made a lovely scene.

Long we sat in restful silence,
    And then, suddenly, a door
Stood open in the hillside;
    It had not been there before.
We stared at it in dazed amaze
    ‘Ti! I said I’d explore.
“I want to see what lies behind
    That strange, wide-open door.”

My friend protested, “Do not go’
    There might be danger there.
It will be dark, and wild beasts
    May have made that cave their lair.”
I had my flashlight with me,
    And I said, “This torch is new.
The batteries are fresh
    And I’m sure they’ll see me through.”

I stood within the doorway,
    Beaming torchlight all around.
    A long Hallway stretched before me;
    There was white sand on the ground.
    The roof was high, the walls were smooth,
    No nook or alcove there.
    No danger, then, of ambush
    By a lurking gnome or bear.

So I walked along quite briskly
    Since there seemed naught to fear.
I was looking for adventure,
    But I would not find it here.
I low far I walked I know not;
    Perhaps a mile or more.
I was minded to turn back,
    For there was nothing to explore.
But I was curious, and walked on
    Until I thought I saw a gleam
Of daylight in the distance,
    Then I cut my flashlight’s beam.

I walked on, then, more slowly,
    And suddenly stood still.
For now I had discovered the back entrance
    To the hill.

The sunlight blinded me,
    So I waited for my sight
To adjust from darkened hall to brilliant light.
    At last my vision cleared,
And I looked with great surprise,
    For only endless space was spread before my startled eyes.
Had I come to the world’s edge?
    I was standing near a precipice;
A few steps more, and I’d have plunged into a deep abyss.
    I stood transfixed a moment,
Then stepped backward in a fright
    And heard the merry laughter
Of someone on my right.

I turned, and saw a young man, who was smiling there al me.
    I asked, “Why did you laugh, for there was danger you could see.”
    He said, “You were so frightened. But I wouldn’t let you fall.”
He gestured, and I looked and saw that now there was a wall.
    “It wasn’t there before,” I stammered
He said, “You couldn’t see, until I gave permission.
    Now you’re safe with me.”
 “But this is magic,” I exclaimed.
    He shrugged. “White magic, if you will.”

“It was magic, yes, that opened for you
    The doorway in the hill.”
“But who arc you?” I asked,
    “Who can do these wondrous things?
Are you the wizard Merlin, of whom great poets sing?”
    I looked at him more closely; He was tall, young, debonair.
His eyes were black and sparkling, and he had black, curly hair.

The robe he wore could not conceal
    His form of lissome grace.
He was tall and strong and slender,
    And very fair of face.
Fair of Face? thought I, Nay, he is beautiful
    I stood in awe of his majestic presence,
Scarce believing what I saw.
    His classic beauty must derive
From some patrician line.
    Perfect in form, in feature,
He must be some God divine.

“Who are you, then?: I asked again.
    Then glanced down at his feet.
Yes, there were wings.
    “Perhaps you’re young Hermes, the fleet?
Apollo, or Adonis, or the Great God, Jove, perhaps?”
    He gave a gesture of disdain.
“Don’t class me with those chaps.
    For they are myths, as you well know,
Invented by some brain
    Who, unbelieving, used those idols
For great worldly gain.”

“But you,” I said, “I’m sure have earned
    Renown and lasting fame.
I would like to be among those who
    Do honor to your name.”
He smiled. “If everyone in every language,
    And in every land
Speaks constantly of me, and does whatever I demand –
    As they do — then I’ll admit

That I am in command
    Of this whole universe,
Appointed by the One who planned
    The structure of the heaven and earth.”

But I persisted, “Who are you, who have so vast a realm?”
    “And what is it you do?”
“My name is Time,” he said. I gasped.
    “Why, man, how can this be?
For Time is old and weak and worn
    So he’s been described to me.
He’s weary, grey and infirm,
    And bowed down by weight of years.
They say he’s revengeful, bringing sorrow, pain, and tears.”
    “Yes,” he nodded, “I have been described by all in words like those.

I am gaunt, gray, and decrepit
    With beard down to my knees.”
At this vision of himself his laughter filled the air.
    And I laughed with him, watching him,
So strong and youthful there.
    “They have weighed me down with burdens;
A great scythe is in my hand.
    The other holds an hour glass, weighed down with heavy sand.
With such a handicap,” he said, “how could I put my projects through?
    I must be strong, for I have much to do.
Those orbs you call the sun and moon
    Are under my control.
I must keep them in their orbits;
    See that they fulfill their roles.
I must keep watch on the planets; keep them to their destined line.
    On the heavenly highway, each part of the Great Design.
There are countless stars out yonder,
    Which you call the Milky Way.
I must train each little starlet.
    See that all of them obey.

On the earth I guide the seasons,
Bring the snowstorms and the flowers.
    I must measure all the seasons,
All the minutes, all the hours.”

I could see his fingers working,
    Perhaps holding unseen wires;
Making some precise adjustment,
    Sending orders to the stars.

“An hour from now,” he said abruptly
    The hillside door will disappear.
You must go, for you’d not want
    To be locked in forever here.” “
Wait a little while,” I begged.
    “One question more, then I’ll be gone.”

“Time and tide,” he laughed, “wait for no man,
    But I’ll grant you this. Say on.”
“One day the world will be destroyed,
    And time, then shall have to end.
When this occurs, what will become
    Of you my esteemed friend?”
He was solemn now. “I know not,
    Only God Almighty knows.
I have served him long and faithfully,
    And I know He will dispose
Of me in some way wise and just.
    If I could choose, I’d surely be one of His angels,
And serve Him through eternity.”
    “Now,” his voice became commanding,
I can tell you nothing more
    For I cannot let you linger.
Haste ye to the hillside door.”

So I turned into the hallway,
    Stopping not to say farewell.
How he who made the laws could be
    Bound by them, I could not tell.
l was frightened, I must reach
    The hillside door without delay.
The fine white sand, so soft and springy
    Seemed to speed me on my way.
“Footprints on the sands of time,” I chuckled,
    But these footprints none will see.”
For there’ll be none to follow
    Down this hallway after me.

I was sitting on the rock-bench.
    My friend was there, with down-bowed head.
“Wake up, man,” I cried, “you should have
    Gone along with me instead
Of silting here and dozing.
    He said, “Gone with you where?
You’ve been sitting here beside me
    All the while on this rock-chair.”
“I’ve had a great adventure,” I said,
    Let me tell you all.”
“‘Tell your tale,” he said, “I’ll listen,
    But don’t let it grow too tall.”
So I told him all that happened,
    All I’d seen, and all I’d heard.

He listened quite intently,
    And he never said a word.
When I’d finished, though, he said,
    “I’ve enjoyed your story — every bit,
But I’ll tell you now, my friend,
    I don’t believe a word of it.
You were lucky to have had
    So strange and wonderful a dream,
But it never could have happened,
    Vivid though it still must seem.
Your hillside lies intact out yonder;
    There has never been a door.
Magic only can be found
    Within the books of fairy lore.
Now, come on,” he said, uprising,
    For the sun is getting low.
We will have a long walk homeward;
    It is time for us to go.”

But I wondered as I wandered
    Back along that lovely lane
Could it all have been just dreaming?
    Just a figment of the brain?
For it all had been so real;
    Time the workman; Time the King.

A True Story

A homeless vagrant lay upon the pier.
His face obscured by an old and battered hat.
Un-noticed by the people who walked near.
Or those who engaged in idle chat.
A sudden silence came when on the wind
The chime of distant church bells filled the air.
He stirred at that, and then again lay still.
He may have slept, or said a silent prayer.
Perhaps the sound brought memories of home.
Perhaps he felt ashamed of his will to roam.
That caused his mother grief and bitter tears.

A splash! A shout! Then came an anguished cry.
“My boy! He’s drowning! Hurry! Save my child!”
Quick as a flash the tramp sprang up and ran
And plunged into the water fierce adn wild.
Go right! He’s over there!” The watchers called.
He swam in desperate hast the child to reach,
Before the boy sank a final time;
Then turned and started swimming for the beach.
The sea was rough. The undertow was strong.
The form, though small, was a heavy weight for him.
His Strength was going, but struggled on.
The shore seemed distant, for his eyes were dim.

At last he reached the breakers, where the crowd
Who’d watched his valiant fight stretched out their hands
To take his burden from him and to help
Him through the waves and to the sunlight sands.
He felt exhausted, but from far away
He heard “The boy will live. The man is dead.”
But e’er he went, those nearby saw him smile.
“I did it in His name,” he softly said.



Dedication

By Edith Hamilton Moore
To my Mother, Bettie Dixon Hamilton (1853-1942)

God gave you talents which you used most wisely.
A badge of courage, which you wore with pride.
A shield of honor, which you never tarnished.
A star of hope, which was your constant guide.
God gave you faith, in which you never faltered.
Though steep your path, and thorny all the way.
God gave you love.
God gave you all your children.
And gave them strength to wage life’s fight each day.

God gave you peace; you had, here, many heartaches.
God gave you light; your life was dark and grey.
God gave you rest; you had, here, many burdens,
And were so tired when you went away.
God gave you beauty; you, who loved the lovely,
Endured, while here, life’s mediocrity.
God gave you the golden crown you earned here,
And heaven’s joys through all eternity.

Edith Hamilton Moore- Verses

My Great Grandmother(Edith Hamilton Moore) was an amazing person; blind from 1964 due to a botched glaucoma surgery to when I knew her she suffered, but rose above it – It goes without saying that I didn’t know her in her youth. As a young child I helped her in many ways when I visited. I also once stole $20 from her to buy candy – I still feel bad about that. This blog is for her, she was a poet; I am not. I hope to add as much context to her writings as I can, but my perspective is limited because of the way time works – we’ll see some of that in her writings.

I remember guiding my Great Grandmother (Maw) around the house in the summers when I’d visit my Grandmother and Uncle in Memphis, Tennessee. In particular, I remember her at about 87 years old; holding her hand and walking her beyond her usual trips to the bathroom – out to the backyard in Memphis to pick Okra that my grandmother had grown – even blind she could tell the ones to pick. I don’t think anyone ever knew but us about our trips outside of the house. Imagine a 10 year old boy walking a blind, frail 87 year old out to the sun (out of the AC) in the summer in Memphis, Tennessee. I can still smell the humid air, the cool of the in-window AC unit; the drip, drip drip of the condensed water and the feel of her frail, bony hand in mine as we walked out into a place she didn’t usually go. In hindsight – it must have been fun for her – we met without a preconceived notion of what is possible.

I think this is a story of family – what it means to connect and remain connected. Imagine your mother going blind, and you reading the news to her EVERY DAY – the whole front page. Taking care of her – my Grandmother did this for her mother from 1963 to 1990 when she died. I caught a glimpse of it, I did it – we picked Okra in the back yard.

My Great Grandmother’s thoughts mean a great deal to me – I read them and know she was blind – I can see her clouded eyes. I hope the verses help others see – not in any religious sense; she had a great wisdom of balance.  

So here we go… my Grandmother collected these, wrote them down and published them.

Biography

The author of these verses was born on December 7, 1889, and until she was in her early ‘teens, lived in North Alabama and in Pratt City, a suburb of Birmingham.

Her father was a Methodist Minister in the north Alabama Conference, and was at one time President of Hiwassee College, then a four year graduate institution.

After his health failed the family moved back to the family farm in the Hiawassee community (about a mile from the college campus) and she attended Hiwassee College, graduating in 1909 with a B.A. Degree.

In 1964 she became totally blind due to an unsuccessful operation for glaucoma, and she turned to writing verses to occupy her time when no one was available to read aloud to her or when she was tired of listening to the radio.

She dictated these verses to whomever was available to write them down, but never considered trying to get them published.

She died in September of 1990 =, leaving instructions for cover design and title page of a book she hoped to have printed someday as a keepsake for her family.

This is the book…

B. Covey (My Grandmother)