Monday, June 30, 2014

When I Am Old

When I am old, Dear Lord I pray,
Let me be patient as now I am.
And from my crippled chair, please help
Me with my memories.
Past years span
Grant that I be
Staunch and true, yet may I ever
Be gentle.
Help me weave now, for golden years,
A brighter, wiser tapestry.
Help me to love my fellow men.
Give me grace all pain to bear.
And any gifts Thou givest me
Help me to share, Lord.  Help me to share.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Poor Eyesight

Some folks think writin' poetry's
A silly thing tuh do.
They don't have the time fur sech as that
Is what they say tuh you.

But, they take in all club affairs,
They join the bingo craze,
Or playin' cards and cocktailin'
Is takin' up their days.

They don't care 'bout the violets
Or songs the birdies sing.
The reason is--they look, but never
Really see the spring.

By Treva E. Stokes  (1912-1980)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

March on for the Children

March on for the children who don’t have a father,
And for the ones who wish they didn’t have theirs.

March on for the children who are entirely poor,
And for the ones programmed to think they are.
March on for the children who aren’t developing,
And for the ones growing in the wrong direction.

March on for the children who don’t know God’s love,
And for the ones who have forgotten Him already.

March on for the children in need of The Salvation Army,
And for the ones being looked-for to lead it tomorrow. 

March on for the children with years to lead and live,
And for the ones who will pass to eternity young. 

March on for the children you only touch for a week,
And for the ones who live in your own household.  

March on for the children because Jesus modeled it,
And when you serve a child you are doing it for Him. 

Because to the only one whose opinion really matters,
You will always be just a child with more experiences.

By Alan T. Stokes

October 30, 2002

Note:  This poem is dedicated to Major Robert Mueller. It was written when he was a Captain and Divisional Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army Northern Division. He currently serves as an administrator at the Kroc Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


If you see someone a-lookin' mighty lonely,
An' if you see someone a-lookin' mighty blue,
Then take a little while,
Just to doff your hat and smile,
You'll find that a smile for someone's
Cheerin' for you too.

If you see someone whose heart seems full o' sadness,
Then wrap your love around them for a while,
Then do your level best,
To bring them happiness,
And don't forget to give out
With a smile.

By Treva E. Stokes  (1912-1980)

The Rose

Thru my flower bed, every day
My feet just cannot help but stray,
I love each wondrous flower sweet
Yet it takes the rose, for joy complete.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tiny Stuff

Walking in the woods after sunset
I noticed company on the secret path.
Above and around were mosquitoes,
Poised to take a peace of me. 

Safer it could be to face a snake
Then carriers of the West Nile Virus. 
How is it that such tiny things
Dare to challenge a giant's stance. 

When we look only at something’s size,
It's true significance is missed.
Like the mosquitoes bringing disease,
Sinful habits can drain a person’s spirit. 

If one seeks the true value of life,
Then watch out for the tiny stuff
Because those are the matters that
Determine the real value of the walk. 

By Alan T. Stokes

August 22, 2002
Note: This was written during the Summer of 2002 when the West Nile Virus disease was the health matter that was the center of attention. This disease is blamed on the deaths of more than 12 people to date this year.

The Slow Goodbye


My mind decided to say goodbye to you,
Before my body was ready to leave you.
My mind conversed with those of another world,
Before my body was ready to say goodbye to you.

There were times you had to say goodbye to me,
Because my careless words hurt you.
Please forgive me for injuring you,
For a part of me had already left you.

I desired to live in the past and do the impossible,
And you didn't know how to satisfy me,
But you visited me and kept loving me,
As we said our good-byes slowly.

While once upon a time I held you as a child,
Recently you had to uphold me and make my decisions.
I want you to know how much I love you
And understand the depth of your constant love for me.

Although this day was unhurried in coming,
Now my body is ready to say goodbye to you.
I'm going to receive a new, immortal body and 
I shall recover the mind that Alzheimer's stole from me.

It seems that everybody wants a new body in heaven,
But when I, and 4 million Americans like me,
Think of Heaven, it will best be that joyous occasion
When our old memories and mind come back to us.

Although my gradual departure was difficult,
Always remember to hold on to the way I was
Before we started this slow, painful goodbye,
For that is how I shall be for all eternity.

I shall be waiting to embrace you on the other side,
So say a peaceful and swift goodbye to me today.
Gladly receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life,
And one day we shall worship together in the Lord's house.

By Alan T. Stokes  

December 13, 1997

For Hazel Bates (1918-1997) at her funeral.  She had Alzheimer's and said her goodbye slowly.

Saginaw Fair Time 1949

What's the excitement all about?
Why does everyone laugh and shout?
What's that feelin' hangin' in the air?
Hitch up there podner, it's the Saginaw fair.

It's a regular once a year, you see.
And it's come tuh mean a lot tuh me:
Why people come from miles around here go
Tuh the Saginaw fair.  Some fer the show
Some fer the exhibits, some fer the rides
And some fer the side shows where wonders abide.

The bally hooin' thrills us thru and thru
There's burgers an' dogs an' cold drinks, too.
Popcorn, peanuts an' fer a chew
There's fresh made taffy jest waitin' fer you.

Yipee.  When it's time fer the Saginaw fair
I can't stay away, somethin' draws me there.
Jest bein' on the grounds, makes me feel so glad
It's jest the swellest feelin' I've ever had.
Starts near my heart
    An' goes tuh my toes
          Git your bonnet, Maw, an' pocket book
                 Come on.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)
Circa, 1949