Royce Shook

1 year ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Poems for unsettled times

Poetry can help calm the soul in troubled times, here are some poems I like

The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world and am free.

Mighty Oak by Kathy J Parenteau

Stand tall, oh mighty oak, for all the world to see.
Your strength and undying beauty forever amazes me.
Though storm clouds hover above you,
Your branches span the sky
In search of the radiant sunlight you
Count on to survive.
When the winds are high and restless and
You lose a limb or two,
It only makes you stronger.
We could learn so much from you.
Though generations have come and gone
And brought about such change,
Quietly you've watched them all,
Yet still remained the same.
I only pray God gives to me
The strength he's given you
To face each day with hope,
Whether skies are black or blue.
Life on earth is truly a gift.
Every moment we must treasure.
It's the simple things we take for granted
That become our ultimate pleasures.

If By Rudyard Kipling 

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Have You Earned Your Tomorrow By Edgar Guest

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
     Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
     Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
Or a churlish sort of "Howdy" and then vanish in the throng?
Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,
Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today?

Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that's slipping fast,
     That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
     Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent?
     Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say,
     You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?

Poems for unsettled times

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Comments

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #6

#7
Hmm ... never tried To Kiple a cake either, John Rylance.

John Rylance

1 year ago #5

#4
Ken nowadays in the UK, mention Kipling and most think of Mr Kipling Cakes, which the adverts tell us are "exceedingly good"

John Rylance

1 year ago #4

#3
I enjoyed reading this post. I think as I continue in self-isolation I shall start asking myself each evening. "Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent.

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #3

#3
I was asked at school if I liked Kipling, Royce. Don’t think my English teacher was impressed when I told him that I’d never Kipled. 🤣😂🤣

Royce Shook

1 year ago #2

#2
Kipling lived in much simpler times today no one takes responsibility because it is easier to blame

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #1

“If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you” ... then you just don’t understand the goddam problem!!!! 😠

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