New Territory

Bride and groom, their quarrel
resolved, the mending begun
with softer words, moderate tones,
kisses hugs love promises.
Sensitive issues aired
bring deeper understanding.
The aftermath
a new territory.

— C. Goodnough

I offer this reply to the WordPress daily prompt and trust this little verse will strike a chord with readers. Relationships are a fascinating—and sometimes frustrating—learning ground. As they flourish, they take us a lot farther than we ever thought we’d be able to go. 🙂

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Lesson From the Robins

Service

You never hear the robins brag about the sweetness of their song,
nor do they stop their music gay whene’er a poor man comes along.
God taught them how to sing and when they’d learned the art,
He sent them here
to use their talents day by day, the dreary lives of men to cheer.
And rich or poor and sad or gay, the ugly and the fair to see,
can stop most anytime in June and hear the robins’ melody.

I stand and watch them in the sun using their gifts from day to day,
swelling their little throats with song, regardless of man’s praise or pay.
Just being robins, nothing else, nor claiming greatness for their deeds
but just content to gratify one of the big world’s many needs,
singing a lesson to us all to be ourselves and scatter cheer
by using every day the gifts God gave us when He sent us here.

Why should we keep our talents hid, or think we favor men because
we use the gifts that God has given? The robins never ask applause,
nor count themselves remarkable, nor strut in a superior way,
because their music sweeter is than that God gave unto the jay.
Only a man conceited grows as he makes use of talents fine,
forgetting that he merely does the working of the Will Divine.

Lord, as the robins, let me serve! Teach me to do the best I can
to make this world a better place, and happier for my fellow man.
If gift of mine can cheer his soul and hearten him along his way,
let me not keep that talent hid; I would make use of it today.
And since the robins ask no praise, nor pay for all their songs of cheer,
let me in humbleness rejoice to do my bit of service here.

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

robin

Wondering about something to post for today’s Word Press daily prompt: heard, I opened up my volume of Edgar Guest poems and found this one. Not only does it suit the prompt, I thought, but it was a verse I needed to hear myself this morning.

Invitation to Chip In

“She has the money,” Fred argued. “Her husband left her swimming in the stuff. She can’t spend it all, so why not give some to her daughter if she needs it?”

George clunked his empty mug on the table, scowling. “So you think it’s okay for May’s son-in-law to blackmail her like this? To forbid the grandkids to see her unless she forks over the dough for their mortgage payments?”

Fred waved a hand in protest. “I didn’t say that exactly.”

“The poor boys have to sneak out if they want to see their grandma. I think their dad’s a deadbeat if he’s expecting May to pay for their home. He needs to get out and find a job.”

“But people hit rough spots sometimes. Maybe he’s tried and there just isn’t anything right now? Besides, Nadine’s her only child. She’ll inherit everything when May’s gone. Why not give her some now? May’d never miss it.”

George stubbornly shook his head. No way were they ever going to agree on this issue.

Suddenly he sat back and looked Fred in the eye. “If you’re feeling so charitable why don’t you help them out? You sold your farm. You’re sitting on a pile of money yourself. You could pay off their mortgage and never miss it.”

Fred snorted. “Are you kidding? Why should I shell out to support that shiftless son-in-law of May’s? He’s not my problem.”

George recalled that old cliché. “The worm has turned! It’s always easier to solve a problem when the answer doesn’t come out of your pocket.”

Fred turned red, then glanced at the clock. “Gotta be going.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I recalled a conversation I was part of years ago. A dear friend of my dad was in this situation: emotional blackmail, you could say. Her nine-year-old grandson, being forbidden contact, would sneak away from home to see her. I listened as one party in the conversation presented Fred’s argument, which had some validity. My dad thought like George.

What about you? How would you advise May?

I gave the tale this ending twist to fit today’s Word Press prompt: invitation.

This Bird Blabs!

Lately I have been inspired by the “Friday Fictioneers” group. The bloggers who sign up are given a photo every week and each one writes a 100-word story about it. Links to stories posted here.

So I decided to try my hand at writing a short fiction piece, too. Here’s my attempt; all comments are welcome. Just to make it interesting, the body of this story contains 104  words. Which four should I have left out?

parrot~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE PARROT REVEALS

First the thunderclap, then a spine-chilling scream shredded the tenseness in the darkened room.

Natalie, peering fretfully into the storm, gasped and whirled around. “I wish you’d left that wretched bird in the rainforest where it belongs.”

“But I like my parrot,” her cousin replied. “He’s great company when I’m alone. Besides, he reveals secrets.”

“Oh, really?” Natalie glanced at Regina but in the dim lamplight she missed the malevolence in the other young woman’s eyes.

Regina watched the shadows flickering against the walls. “For example, he’s told me why you’re waiting so anxiously for MY fiancé to arrive.”

“That’s ridiculous!”

“Is it, Nat?”

Discover Author Dan Walsh

The Discovery

Published by Revell,
a Division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI.

The first novel I read by author Dan Walsh was The Deepest Waters and I thought it was terrific. Well written historical fiction about a young couple separated by a disaster. This story incorporates a true, rather bizarre incident at sea.

Then I read The Discovery, a historical romance incorporating a little-known fact of World War II:
After his grandfather passes away, writer Michael Warner inherits his grandfather’s Charleston home. So he brings his laptop along and settles down to write his first novel at Grandpa’s old desk, but soon finds his grandfather has left him a few clues about an unpublished story. Michael searches the house and discovers a manuscript — which turns out to be a fantastic account of the old man’s life. He’s shocked to discover that Grandpa, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, wasn’t at all who he claimed to be. In fact he’d arrived on America’s shore one dark night during the World War II — from a German submarine. Assignment: sabotage.

I’ve read several more of Dan Walsh’s books since and am currently enjoying Rescuing Finley (A Forever Home Novel Book 1), the story of a young shoplifter hoping for a second chance at life, a marine battling PTSD after losing a leg to a mine in Afghanistan, and an abandoned dog needing a forever home with someone who loves him.

No matter what type of story Walsh turns his hand to, it’s a compelling, emotion-packed read. He’s a skillful story-teller and his books so far have been clean reading — lots of realistic, well developed characters but no gruesome violent details or steamy erotic scenes.

Post #2 in my Word Press “Discover” series.

The Bumps & Bruises Doctor

by Edgar Guest

I’m the bumps and bruises doctor;
I’m the expert that they seek
when their rough and tumble playing
leaves a scar on leg or cheek.
I’m the rapid, certain curer
for the wounds of every fall;
I’m the pain eradicator;
I can always heal them all.

Bumps on little people’s foreheads
I can quickly smooth away;
I take splinters out of fingers
without very much delay.
Little sorrows I can banish
with the magic of my touch’
I can fix a bruise that’s dreadful
so it isn’t hurting much.

I’m the bumps and bruises doctor
and I answer every call,
and my fee is very simple,
just a kiss and that is all.
And I’m sitting here and wishing:
in the years that are to be,
when they face life’s real troubles,
that they’ll bring them all to me.

Taken from the book
A HEAP O’ LIVIN’ ALONG LIFE’S HIGHWAY
© 1916 by The Reilly & Britton Co.