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Ozark Breezes: Poems

A few selections of my poetry


 

SOMETIMES IN THE EVENING

 

Sometimes in the evening 
when the sun is sinking low,

And the pines are silhouetted 
And I’ve nowhere else to go,

I remember good ol’ Placerville 
In the distant days of yore,

And I’d very nearly sell my soul 
To walk its streets once more.

When its avenues were dusty 
And its storefronts weathered wood,

When the girls were thin and lusty 
And the Ivy House still stood;

When Main Street ran a rutted course 
And blooms were yet a bud,

The only ride to town, a horse, 
And gold was in our blood;

When the Hangman’s Tree served nickel beer, 
The Cary House was new;

Lamp-lit saloons exuded cheer 
And frosty mugs of brew,

The three mile house was always full, 
Lake Tahoe days away,

And folks who stopped at Hangtown 
Almost always came to stay.

Father in Heaven, hear my prayer. 
Dear God, please grant my plea.

If I could just awaken there. 
If time could set me free.

If once more I could stroll its streets 
And once more breathe its air,

I know there’s souls aplenty Lord 
Who could benefit from prayer.

  

SORROW SLIPS AWAY

 

Soft through the pines the summer breeze is blowing,

Sweet, solemn music to me.

Lightly through my mind old memories are flowing,

Tender thoughts of what life used to be.

Souls called away, golden days amid the tall grass;

Laughter lingers deep in my heart.

Pleasant moments shared, vibrant dreams of youth are ageless.

Hope unites though time may bid us part.

Shadows of time when the hours passed in moments,

Tender moments priceless to recall;

Futures to share, happy destinies awaiting,

Summer slipping gently into fall.

Seasons quickly pass. Our memories turn to treasure,

God’s gift to those who remain.

Sorrow slips away while our hearts preserve life’s pleasure.

Grief fades, but joy we retain.

 

GROWING UP IN GOOD, OL’ PLACERVILLE

 

Long ago when I was young

I lived on Reservoir Hill,

On the family’s forty acres,

Outside of Placerville;

 

I’ve traveled far and traveled wide,

But few things match the joy,

Of memories of Placerville,

When I was a little boy.

 

Recollections of the neighborhood,

Of cherished childhood friends,

Youthful adventures long ago,

What joy they bring revisited again.

 

Innocent romance, holding hands,

Days of carefree bliss,

Palms caressing as we walked,

The naïve delight of a chewing gum scented kiss.

                                                                            

Sweet eternal summers,

Crowding in a car,

For picnics on the riverbank,

Sprawled in the pleasant sands at Chili Bar.

 

Splendid weekend outings,

What happy times we had,

Tenting, campfires, sleeping out,

Horseback rides and fishing trips with Dad.

 

Weekend excursions to the lake,

Highway 50s passing cars,

Windshield wipers slapping time

To the radio in that ol’ Ford of ours.

 

Invigorating winters

The old town all aglow,

The bell tower bedight in strings of light,

And familiar storefronts glistening in the snow.

 

I’ve traveled on the Yucatan,

Seen sunsets from Tulum,

Admired the beach at Xela,

And enjoyed a moonlit swim in the lagoon.

 

I’ve strolled the streets of Edinburgh,

Of Dublin and Quebec.

Climbed Dunn’s Falls in Jamaica,

And gotten mighty wet.

 

I’ve traveled Canada by rail,

Seen San Francisco’s sights,

Sipped tea at Ghirardelli Square,

And marveled at a sky alive with kites.

 

Still, no other place enthralls,

No memory more excites,           

Than memories of Placerville,

And Placerville’s delights.

 

I have no memory fonder,

And probably never will,

Than those cherished childhood memories

Of growing up in good, ol’ Placerville.

 

 UP ON THE HILL

 

Up on the hill where the pines grow dense;

Where the fields are green and the sky immense,

Scatter one day my last remains,

To be drawn in the earth by the gentle rains.

Gladly did I tread this place

With the gentle breeze upon my face,

A faithful dog for company,

And benevolent sun beaming down on me.

Thank the Lord for the time we had,

When rest was blessed and toil was glad,

When joyous hearts rejoiced in truth,

And we shared our hopes and dreams and youth.

Look to the heavens bright and blessed.

See me satisfied, caressed.

Know at last I’m free from care.

My dust is here, but my spirit there.

 

 NEATH CALIFORNIA SKIES

 

Asa Camp was a pioneer,

And a relative of mine.

My great great grandpa headed west,

Back in ’49.

 

The trail west was rugged,

And the wild Sierra’s high.

The golden prey illusive,

But Asa was determined he would try.

 

The plains were fraught with peril,

And the road west took a toll.

But at last they reached the summit

Of a steep and piney knoll.

 

Down below was Hangtown;

The end of a weary road,  

The mythical El Dorado,

Heart of the Mother Lode.

 

There Asa Camp would spend his youth.

There he’d wed a wife,

There he’d father children

Through a long, industrious life.

 

But first he made a second trip,

In 1854.

He knew the long, rut riddled route.

He’d made the trek before.

 

This time he brought the Oldfield’s west,

In this saga that I’m tellin’.

And when their daughter came of age,

He married Laura Ellen.

 

They raised three daughters and a son,

In Hangtown through the years.

They buried Ella on the hill,

And persevered through tears.

 

His hands were hard and callused,

His smile warm as toast.

He didn’t treasure company,

But he was a gracious host.

 

He mined the rugged south fork,

And lived on Reservoir Hill,

Panning gold, hauling freight,

And ruling home and hearth with an iron will.

 

There his children married.

Each lived their life with zest.

And great great grandpa loved them all,

But Asa loved the wild Sierras best.

 

He cherished every blessing,

Neath the California skies.

His life was spent in gratitude,

And he died with the wild Sierra’s in his eyes.

 

 

FAITH AND LOVE

 

Faith alone won’t keep us warm,

Or shelter us from rain.

Through faith we see beyond the storm.

We glimpse blue skies again.

 

Faith doesn’t keep the storms away.

The clouds aren’t really gone.

Through faith we smile anyway.

Through faith we carry on.

 

Faith doesn’t promise fairness,

Or excuse how others live,

But faith can bolster empathy.

Through faith we can forgive.

 

Like love, faith hopes, faith can preserve.

The Book says God is love.

Through faith we’re spared what we deserve.

Through faith we rise above.

 

Love, like God, is infinite,

Rejoicing in the Truth,

Inherent in each one of us.

We know love from our youth.

 

Love dispels all questions.

Compassion trumps all doubt.

Love can’t dismiss all sorrows,

But love helps ease them out.

 

Some question Faith and Deity,

Denying God above,

Disdaining forces they can’t see,

But no one questions love.

 

 


HANGTOWN TOUGH!

 

We headed for Hangtown in ‘49,

But never showed till ‘50.

Between us we had nary a dime.

Suffice it to say, we was thrifty!

The Sierra Nevada’s are god-awful high!

And the dang trail rugged at best.

Ma took one look and groaned, “Oh my!

We should have stayed home with the rest!”

The creek ain’t iced up all the time.

August heat is quick to thaw it.

It’s just for wading. That's the crime.

If there’s gold, I never saw it.

The housing in Hangtown leaves much to desire.

That’s the case ever’where we went.

But Ma and me’s tough. There ain’t much we require,

And we had a luxurious tent!

The tent’s mighty cozy though lacking for room.

With a dirt floor infested with mice;

Damp as the dickens and cold as a tomb.

The first year I froze to death twice!

The wood stove was nice if ya sat on the lid.

A bonfire would be better I’m thinkin’.

When it dropped below thirty as often it did,

It froze finials right off of the Franklin!

Flatlanders are welcome despite what you hear.

You won’t hang. I can’t even conceive it!

We’ve oodles of room and we’re known for our beer.

Bring plenty of cash and please leave it.

If you’ve got a hankerin’ for livin’ on beans,

Out west where it’s generally sunny,

Then check out the gold camps and by all means,

Visit Hangtown and bring lots of money!

 

 LITTLE FORDS AND WEATHERED WOOD

 

If I could turn the clock back,

And live my life once more,

I believe I’d take a slower pace,

Not hurry like before.

 

I’d spend my life in Placerville,

When the Ivy House still stood,

When the whole town smelled of doughnuts

And storefronts of weathered wood.

 

When school was taught with chalk on slate,

Each hour marked by a bell,

Luncheon served from paper bags,

And a pint of milk was swell!

 

When horse and buggy still raised dust,

And little Fords were few,

When little girls weren’t exempt from lust,

But little boys had no clue.

 

When belts were worn with shirts tucked in,

And Pomade clogged our comb,

When we took our best girl to the dance,

And our palms caressed as we walked our sweetheart home.

 

I know it’s just a silly dream.

I know it can’t come true.

I know it just sounds foolish now

To share it here with you.

 

But my wish for every one of us

Is that we’ll live each minute,

Treasure every hour of life,

And every loved one in it.

 

Hold tight to your memories

Of those days when life was good,

When Main Street smelled of doughnuts,

Little Fords and weathered wood.

 

 GLAD DAYS LONG AGO

 

I remember sitting on Reservoir Hill,

While watching storm clouds grow,

And listening to the windswept pines

As their branches filled with snow;

 

The sense of silence building

Till it muffled every sound,

But the gentle rush of snowflakes

As they blanketed the ground;

 

The American River canyon

In the fogbank down below,

And off in the distance, Placerville

With street lights all aglow.

 

Just down the hill was granddad’s home

And the warmth inherent in it.

If only time were malleable

I’d be there in a minute.

 

I see my grandma at the stove,

With all the family there,

My granddad’s sweet mischievous grin,

His white and wispy hair;

 

The glimmer of the window panes,

And the old dog at the gate,

Shaking the snow from his wiry coat

And wondering why I’m late.

 

Dear God, preserve our memories

Of glad days long ago,

Of happy lamp lit gathering

And Hangtown in the snow;

 

Of all the precious loved ones

Who lived and loved but brief,

May blessings grace our days, dear Lord,

And hope dispel old grief.

 

May faith assure tomorrows joys

Despite the winds that chill,

And each night bring us dreams of youth,

Old friends and Placerville.

 

 

REMINISCENCE

 

When our hopes and dreams grow faded,

And we miss the friends, who cared,

And old times are consecrated 
By the golden hours we’ve shared;

When the streets we tread so long ago 
Come back to haunt our dreams,

And we treasure those we used to know 
And conjure up old schemes;

When old associates fill our heart 
And refresh our weary mind,

And we feel as one though miles apart 
And old woes wax sublime,

When our flesh at best contains us 
And we’re far from hearth and friend,

May fond memories then sustain us 
Till we meet at last again.

 

 

FLEETING & FINITE

 

Long ago when my heart was light,

When my hopes were high and my future bright,

The summer sun cast a glorious light

And the moonlight was kind and forgiving.

 

There my life was a joy to me.

I envisioned time as an endless sea,

Flowing on to eternity

And love came as easily as living.

 

Now each hour is a precious prize,

Lost to time as each minute flies,

Fleeting away now before my eyes,

Like the petals of last season’s flowers.

 

Gone today is the joy sublime;

Gone the sweet and melodious rhyme,

Fleeting and finite the dregs of time,

And the decades have dwindled to hours.

 

Shannon Thomas Casebeer

“Greensleeves”

February 12, 2015

 

 

FREEDOM IN HIS EYES

 

Deep in his heart, Great Grandpa was a gentle soul.

Still Calvin left to fight the Civil War.

The cause was just he felt to keep the Union whole.

He only fought to live in peace once more.

 

His granddads served the nations cause of liberty.

He understood just causes must prevail.

He reconciled his conscience to his destiny.

Compared to freedom, other passions pale.

 

He felt that freedom surely was each heart’s desire.

He’d strive to pass the torch of liberty.

Within his heart he fanned the flames of freedom’s fire.

He’d risk his life that every soul be free.

 

The land he loved was forged by bonds of unity.

He’d raise its flag and answer duty’s call.

Within his heart he knew each soul sought dignity.

He’d serve the cause of liberty for all.

 

He felt regardless of their creed or heart’s desire,

Each soul should share and honor freedoms prize.

He lifted high the truth, to which great men aspire,

And Calvin died with freedom in his eyes.

 

Shannon Thomas Casebeer

“Londonderry Air”

February 13, 2015

 

 

GRANDDAD’S TENT


We did lots of camping when I was a kid.

We camped in an old canvas tent.

I remember the sound as it flapped in the wind.

I remember its feel and its scent.

 

I remember the sound of warm rain on its roof,

The comfort it offered each night.

I recall how I felt looking out at the stars

By the campfires flickering light;

 

The feel of my pillow at the end of the day,

When my shoulders were pink from the sun,

My grandmothers kiss as she tucked us in bed,

After our prayers were done.

 

First thing in the morning the fire was lit.

Great Grandma brought graniteware dishes.

Golden brown hotcakes for breakfast of course,

And for supper fried tatters and fishes.

 

Each day we’d go swimming and play in the sand.

My granddad would take us all hiking.

Sis and I watched as he whittled a cane,

And the stick horses more to our liking.

 

We’d sit by the fire in the late afternoon.

I’d sit in my grandmothers’ lap.

Dad would go fishing, my momma would read,

And Granddad enjoyed a good nap.

 

Later on in the evening, when supper was done,

There was coffee from a graniteware pot,

Delicious marshmallows we roasted on sticks,

And dried figs that my great grandma brought.

 

I remember the feel of hot sand on bare feet,

And melon seeds stuck to my chin,

The stories of camping trips long, long ago,

And the way that my granddad would grin.

 

How the decades fast have flown.

How quickly reached, September.

How bitter sweet the joys we’ve known.

How precious to remember.

 

How bright the wide and starry skies,

How fleeting, lives long spent.

How like the stars, my granddad’s eyes,

And life ephemeral, much like Granddads’ tent.

 

OL’ CALVIN


Ol’ Calvin was a preacher

Though he never had a church,

And he seldom ever faced a crowd to preach. 

Great Grandpa combed the Ozarks

On a big old dappled horse,

In search of every soul that he could reach.

 

Ol’ Calvin kept a bible

And he read it every day.

He searched for words of comfort he could give.

He seldom spoke of judgment

And he seldom spoke of death.

He preached that folks might know the Lord and live.

 

The folks could hear him coming

When he traveled down their lane.

Great Grandpa always whistled as he rode.

Folks always came out smiling

And that made him mighty proud.

They were always glad to see him and it showed.

 

He’d share his tales of Grandma,

All the kids and folks at home,

Of what he’d done that week to serve the Lord,

But mostly Calvin listened

Because Calvin really cared.

He would listen by the hour and not be bored.

 

Sometimes they’d kill a chicken

When they heard ol’ Calvin come.

He shared a bunch of suppers on the road.

He carried little with him

But his Bible and the Lord.

He reaped the seeds of kindness that he sewed.

 

Ol’ Calvin raised a big, ol’ beard,

To shade him from the sun.

As he grew old, his beard grew long and gray.

He’d part it in the middle

When he sat down to a meal,

And it framed his weathered face when he would pray:

 

“Thank you Lord for these good folks,

And for each gift we share.

Thank you for your son and for his touch.

Thank you for your promise,

And for your tender care.

Thank you that you love us each so much.”

 

Calvin loved the Ozarks,

All its people and his Lord.

He never looked for faults; he looked for grace.

His sermon was the life he lived.

His church, the Ozark hills.

The love of God beamed brightly from his face.

 

 'NEATH SKIES OF CHINA BLUE

 

I spent the best years of my life

Up on Reservoir Hill,

On Great Grandpas’ 40 acres,

Outside of Placerville.

 

My days were unfailingly happy,

My disappointments few,

Amid fields of golden poppies,

‘Neath skies of china blue.

 

I’ve hiked Manzanita covered hills

And orchards lush with pears,

With pear juice dripping from my chin,

Till it washed away all cares.

 

Jackrabbits hid in ambush

Along each dusty trail,

The only other sound, the call

Of California quail.

 

Blackberries were my quarry

Beneath the summer skies,

Drenched with homemade ice cream,

And wrapped in the golden crust of Grandma’s pies.

 

Adventures with the neighbor kids

Were led by our pet raccoon,

With summer nights spent beneath the stars,

Lit by a flickering campfire and the moon.

 

Holidays meant Granddad’s house,

With kinfolk by the dozens,

And Great Grandma sharing memories

To entertained the cousins.

 

She’d share her tales of days gone by,

With eyes welled up with joy,

Recalling memories from her youth,

Back when even Grandpa was a boy.

 

And I soaked up each and every word.

And treasured every minute,

Memorizing every face,

And each expression in it.

 

Praying that my loved ones lives

Would stand the test of years,

And facing disillusionment

As reality tempered innocence with tears.

 

Now I too am a granddad

With memories of my own,

Sharing tales from long ago

Of precious souls I’ve known.

 

I’ve cherished each and every day

Through every joy and tear,

And I wouldn’t change a single thing.

I relish every year.

 

But oh to be a child once more,

And live on Reservoir Hill,

And face each day with childlike faith,

And walk once more the streets of Placerville.

 

GONE FISHIN’

 

I enjoyed many fishing trips in bygone days with Dad.

And I treasure every memory of the happy times we had.

We fished the Crystal Basin, Ice House Dam and Union Valley,

We’d fish till we were tuckered out, and then old Dad would rally!

 

We fished all day at Girlie Creek, from Wentworth Springs to Loon,

Lost track of time and stumbled back assisted by the moon,

High in the Sierra’s where the peaks rise up forever,

As though the fleecy clouds above, their summits would dissever.

 

We only had one motor bike back when we was thrifty!

So both of us rode double on my Dad’s old Honda 50.

We fished above the timberline, amid grey granite boulders,

Way Back before we had a bike, and I rode on Daddy’s shoulders,

 

We spent cold nights at Wright’s Lake too, sheltered by the trees,

And marveling at the antics of the Jeepers’ Jamboree’s,

Fly fished in Desolation among its pristine lakes,

With blistered toes and sunburned nose, smiling despite the aches.

 

We outsmarted fish at upper Blue, with snowdrifts all around,

And mosquitoes buzzing in our ears till they made a roaring sound,

Trudged through Mountain Misery till our shoes were black as tar,

Trolled all day with the Evinrude and smeared Zemacol by the jar!

 

We’ve Luncheoned on the running board of Dad’s old Chevy truck,

Shared cold coffee and some crackers, and counted it as luck,

Returned to camp with limits filled and feasted on the trout,

And returned with creels empty and for supper went without.

 

I cherish every memory, but when all is said and done,

It’s not about the fishing, but my father and his son.

It’s about an inconceivable bond, an indestructible tie.

That will be my greatest joy in life, until the day I die.

 

Thank you God for memories of the happy times we’ve known.

Thanks for all my blessing and the kindness that you’ve shown.

Thanks for the very best childhood that a fellow ever had.

But thank you most of all dear Lord, for memories of my dad.

 

MORE STUFF I MISS


There’s no sense denying it.

There’s lots of stuff I miss:

Like dancing till I’m soaking wet,

And parting,with a cola scented kiss;

 

Seemingly endless summers,

Exploring the creek with my coon,

Snipe hunts with the neighbor kids,

Beneath a harvest moon;

 

Sending away for plastic toys

With cereal box tops I’d saved,

Weekend trips to Tahoe

Before the roads were paved;

 

Knowing that my momma’s hug

Cured problems great and small,

Be it new math or little girls,

Who didn’t return my call;

 

Picnics up to Wentworth,

Aunt Macie’s chili beans,

Climbing granite boulders

Till I wore out all my jeans;

 

Our very first horse, old Patches,

Her canter in a race,

Her powerful strides beneath me,

With the wind upon my face;

 

Dear friends in the neighborhood,

Hot Jello from a cup,

Our dandy dog, ol’ Rebel,

When he was just a pup;

 

Marshmallows on graham crackers,

And chocolate galore,

Roasting on a campfire,

While watering mouths anticipated more.

 

Swimming high Sierra streams

In snowmelt, bright and blue,

Palms caressing while professing

Love forever true;

 

Holding great grandmother’s hands,

Her blue, pulsating veins,

Marveling at her heritage,

Her youthful joys and unimaginable pains;

 

The firmness of Dad’s handshake,

The belief he’d live forever.

Thank God for eternal bonds,

Not even death can sever;

 

Gazing in my dear wife’s eyes,

When she still thought me grand,

When our whole lives lay before us,

And we faced each day together hand in hand;

 

Those days when both our kids were home,

And each new day brought joy,

The moment that the Doc announced,

Your wife is fine. Your baby is a boy;

 

Holding our precious daughter,

Swaddled all in pink,

Showing her off to Mom and Dad,

And relishing my father’s blissful wink;

 

The day my little girl was wed,

Walking her down the aisle,

That first Christmas with our son-in-law,

And my daughter’s blushing smile;

 

Youthful romance,

Carefree years,  

First embraces,

Kissing away my bride’s elated tears.

 

Thank you, God for memories,

And the innocence of youth.

Thanks for hope and faith and love,

And incontestable Truth.

 

Thank you for your Blessings, Lord,

Through everything I’ve done.

May my life reflect Thy mercy, Lord,

And each day find me following Your Son.

SC

 

 

 

I’m always hesitant to post anything to our group that does not pertain directly to Placerville, especially if it’s the least bit partisan or provocative. In this instance, I don’t believe it to be either. On the contrary, It’s my intention that it provide a small stitch in the remarkable fabric of which we are each a part; the fabric of our beloved hometown and the extraordinary nation of which we’re each a citizen, the fabric for which our forefathers fought and died. SC

 

 

PATRIOTISM

 

Passionate opponent’s shaking hands,

Bipartisan agreement,

Civility and Compromise,

With Handshake’s every bit as firm as cement;

 

Men of every faith and creed,

Embracing just as brother’s,

Minister’s preaching from The Word,

With partisan politics strictly left to others;

 

Politician’s serving Country,

Never swayed by greed or money,

But pursuing their forefather’s dream,

Of a peaceful land overflowing with milk and honey;

 

The perishable torch of liberty,

Impervious and strong,

Tended, celebrated and

Passed faithfully along;

 

Ignited by founding fathers,

As the goal for which we strive,

Worthy of all sacrifice;

It falls to us to keep that flame alive;

 

A government of, by and for the people

Bound by freedom’s call;

Unified by our mutual pursuit

Of Truth, Justice and Liberty for all.

SC

 

 

Many of my most precious childhood memories are of camping. I've written about it in my novel, 

Obie's Quest, in my short story, Mischief And Machinations, and in the following poem, which is one of my favorites.  

CAMPING

We did lots of camping when I was a kid.
We camped in an old canvas tent.
I remember the sound as it flapped in the wind.
I remember its feel and its scent.

 I remember the sound of warm rain on its roof,
And the comfort it offered each night.
I recall how I felt looking out at the stars
By the campfires flickering light; 

The feel of my pillow at the end of the day,
When my shoulders were pink from the sun,
My grandmothers’ kiss as she tucked us in bed,
After our prayers were done.

First thing in the morning the fire was lit.
Great Grandma brought graniteware dishes,
Golden brown hotcakes for breakfast of course,
And for supper, fried tatters and fishes. 

Each day we’d go swimming and play in the sand.
My granddad would take us out hiking.
Sis and I watched as he whittled a cane.
And Stick horses were just to our liking. 

We’d sit by the fire in the late afternoon.
I’d sit in my grandmothers’ lap.
Dad would go fishing, Mother would read,
And Granddad enjoyed a good nap.

 Later on in the evening, when dinner was done,
There was coffee from a graniteware pot,
Delicious marshmallows we roasted on sticks,
And dried figs that my great grandma brought. 

I remember the feel of hot sand on bare feet,
And melon seeds stuck to my chin,
The stories of camping trips long, long ago,
And the way that my granddad would grin.

Now we take our kids camping whenever we can.
That’s how all our best weekends are spent.
We retell all the stories that made Granddad grin,
When we camped in that old canvas tent.



Author's Note: Our kids are grown and out on their own now.  Piles of wet boots and snow pants drying by the fire are only a memory.  Lord willing, we'll have grandchildren one day, and do it all again.  For now though, the following poem always makes me smile.  STC

Broccoli A La Mode

Twelve inches of snow may sound real plain
If ya live in Alaska or up in Maine,

But here where the Ozark Breezes blow

When we get twelve inches, that’s a lot of snow!

 

Our ponds freeze up ‘till our duck, ol’ Ferd,

Must envy the migrating geese we’ve heard,

And even ol’ Hooter ain’t stirrin’ about.

He hides in his bed and don’t even look out!

 

I don’t go to work cause there ain’t no use

Twelve inches of snow is a fine excuse.

I sit in my rocker by the fires glow,

And sip my coffee and watch it snow.

 

Our short leafed pines each bare their lode

Like stalks of broccoli, A La Mode,

And our ol’ house looks mighty nice

With every eave all trimmed with ice.

 

The roof and the deck sport a mantle of white,

And the windows glimmer with the oil lamps light.

They cancel school so the kids sleep late,

And me and the misses just think that’s great!

 

When they do get up they’re quickly fed,

They bundle up and grab their sled,

Then both head out through the Ozark hills,

For a fun filled day of slips and spills.

 

If there’s one thing makes the misses sore

It’s trackin’ snow on the kitchen floor,

And hour after hour them piles git higher,

Of wet clothes dryin’ by the crackling fire.

 

Eventually both the kids are done.

They’ve had their fill of snow and fun.

Their haggard hineys hit the ground

By the fireside, where wet boots abound!

 

Then me and the kids will warm our feet,

While the misses pauses to bake a treat.

By the time we’ve found dry underwear,

The smell of hot goodies fills the air.

 

We’re sittin’ by the window, gazin’ out,

And wonderin’, what’s the fuss about?

The misses is prayin’ for the sun to show,

But me and the kids sure love the snow!

 



 

Author's Note: The following poem contains some nudity, and some might consider it a tad risqué.  And you'll not be surprised to hear that I've stretched the truth just a little, but this one makes my kids laugh right out loud!  STC 

 
FREEZER BURN

One summer it was might hot!
It got up to a hundred and four!

The kids was in the cattle tank.

They couldn’t take no more!

 

When finally them kids had enough,

At last I saw MY chance.

Them kids swarmed down the hill to play,

And I stripped my shirt and pants.

 

I sprawled out in that water tank,

And things was lookin’ better,

Till them darn kids came screamin’ back,

In hopes of gettin’ wetter.

 

“We’re gonna git some ice-cream Dad.”

I heard them yahoos yellin’.

“You kids track up your mom’s clean floors,

And you better believe, I’m tellin’!”

 

I made them yahoos wait outside,

While I went to git their treat.

My birthday suit was ringin’ wet,

But at least I had clean feet.

 

I opened wide the freezer door,

And leaned in for the rocky road.

You’ve probably guessed what happened next.

If only I had knowed!

 

I blush to tell what happened next.

I feel so darned inferior!

That freezer door came slammin’ shut,

And froze tight to my bare posterior!

 

Them kids got tickled, but they thawed me loose.

I’m tickled that’s all they done.

It would have been just like them two

To dial up nine-one-one!

 

 



Author's Note: To really appreciate the following poem, you have to check out the photos of Calvin, in the Casebeer photo section. Great grandpa Calvin served during the Civil War, before bringing the family to the Ozarks in 1885, and becoming a circuit rider. I tell Calvin's story in the form of an interview in the short story section.  The interview, of course, didn't actually occur, but I've made it as historically accurate as possible.  STC


OL’ CALVIN

Ol' Calvin was a preacher

Though he never had a church,

And he seldom ever faced a crowd to preach.

Great Grandpa combed the Ozarks

On a big old dappled horse,

In search of every soul that he could reach.

 

Ol’ Calvin kept a bible

And he read it every day.

He searched for words of comfort he could give.

He seldom spoke of judgment

And he seldom spoke of death.

He preached that folks might know the Lord and live.

 

The folks could hear him coming

When he traveled down their lane.

Great Grandpa always whistled as he rode.

Folks always came out smiling

And that made him mighty proud!

They were always glad to see him, and it showed.

 

He’d share his tales of Grandma,

All the kids and folks at home,

Of what he’d done that week to serve the Lord,

But mostly Calvin listened,

Because Calvin really cared.

He would listen by the hour and not be bored.

 

Sometimes they’d kill a chicken

When they heard ol’ Calvin come.

He shared a bunch of suppers on the road.

He carried little with him

But his Bible and the Lord.

He reaped the seeds of kindness that he sewed.

 

Ol’ Calvin raised a big, ol’ beard,

To shade him from the sun.

As he grew old, his beard grew long and gray.

He’d part it in the middle

When he sat down to a meal,

And it framed his weathered face when he would pray.

 

“Thank you Lord for these good folks,

And for each gift we share,

Thank you for your son, and for his touch.

Thank you for your promise

And for your tender care.

Thank you that you love us each so much.”

 

Calvin loved the Ozarks,

All its people and his Lord.

He never looked for faults; he looked for grace.

His sermon was the life he lived,

His church, the Ozark hills.

The love of God beamed brightly from his face.






Author's Note: As you may have already noticed, I have a thing about mountains.  I've lived in the Ozark Mountains ever since moving to Missouri in 1978.  I've spent a good deal of time hiking mesmerized through the serenity of the Ozarks all by myself, but never quite alone.  STC   

 
OZARK MOUNTAINS

The Ozark Mountains aren’t so grand,
As other mountains in the land.
They don’t attain a lofty height,
Like some adorn in granite white.

They cannot boast the awesome view
The Rockies or Grand Tetons do,
Nor beam with pride in caps of snow,
Like other mountains that we know.

 They don’t enjoy a timberline,
That point where even stately pine
Must stop in wonder and admire
The heights to which some peaks aspire.

 But still the Ozarks have a grace
Not found in any other place.
Their slopes convey a gratitude
Not found in mounts with an attitude. 

The Ozark Mountains seem to be
A monument to humility.
Their stature can’t but emphasize
Their humble place beneath God’s skies.

 In this the Ozarks best express
The humble heart that God can bless.
It’s only in humility
That we reflect God’s majesty.



Author's Note: Dad's gone now.  He's read the following poem, and that makes me glad.  
He knows that I love him, but he couldn't possibly have a clue how much. 

MY OL' DAD

We built a house in '82
Of pine and fir and Elmer's glue,
And a finer crew I never had;
We built it all, just me and Dad.

I drew the plans the best I could,
Of a country home all made of wood.
I planned it grand as it could be
And still be built by Dad and me.

Footings and all we dug by hand.
We laid it out just like I planned.
All the foundation, the floor and the rest,
We'd hammer and figure, and hammer and rest.

We did all the plumbing and wiring and such;
My blisters had blisters from working so much!
We built all the trusses, till my fingers were numb.
Dad never once cussed when he hammered his thumb.

We both worked together and when there was doubt,
We got out the books and we figured it out.
We never once fought, disagreed or got mad.
There's no better crew than my old dad.

We worked as a team from fall until fall.
We stained all the siding and sheet rocked each wall.
We shingled the roof and we hung every door.
We worked all we could and a little bit more!

We worked in the rain and the cold and the heat.
When Mom brought our lunches we'd stop and we'd eat;
She'd brag on our job, and we'd brag a bit too.
We were both pretty proud and I'm sure Mom knew.

Now I live in that house with two kids and a wife.
We have a nice home and a real good life!
And a mighty fine house that we built out of pine,
just me and my dad and we did just fine.

I remember that year that I worked with my dad.
I remember the work and the fun that we had.
I remember the heat and the rainy weather.
I remember the time that we shared together.

I thank the Lord God for His help from above,
For all of my blessings, a home full of love,
And the very best crew that a guy ever had.
Thanks a lot lord for my ol' dad.


BY MY SIDE

In nineteen hundred and eighty-two
The misses and I were wed.
I remember the youthful smiles we wore.
I recall what the preacher said.

I recall how Mom and Dad looked on,
And how they beamed with pride,
My dad's handshake and my mamma's hug
As I left with my new bride.

Our whole lives lay before us
As God merged we two as one.
He blessed us with our Cassie
And with Jared our precious son.

We've had our peaks where spirit soared,
And valleys where hopes would fall,
But we've held on tight to Jesus,
And each other through it all.

Through joy beyond description,
Through loss no heart could bear,
When no other soul can lift me up
My Robin is always there.

Whatever fate befalls me
In my heart will faith abide,
For I know I have the Lord above,
And my Robbie by my side.

Love,

Shannon 



 Let me know if you enjoy these, and I'll post some more for ya.

Shannon

STCasebeer@gmail.com


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