August 28, 2014

A Garden Scrapbook

I have the most delightful and charming garden out behind my house.  It is smaller than some, and larger than others, but I have great pride in claiming that "bit of earth".  We grow all sorts of vegetables and flowers out in our garden.

Our vegetable garden is divided into six raised boxes in a lovely symmetrical rectangle.  The Carrots are renting a plot from us and they manage quite comfortably in a box of their own.  Not every vegetable is as well off as the pompous Carrot, however.  The whimsical Kohlrabi and the vibrant Chard must room together, too poor to live alone.  Tomatoes are my mother's special favorite, so they live lavishly in a covered box to be protected from heavy rain and destructive hail...
...My mother's special favorite...

...The pompous Carrot...
Our flower garden is a pleasant bed of roses, almost literally.  Pink, white, yellow, orange, and red Roses bask in the warm sunshine, allowing us to appreciate their sweet perfume and delicate verdure.  Snapdragons are also a well-established family, spreading rapidly throughout our flowers, making themselves well acquainted with every esteemed member of our garden society.

But it isn't only plants that live in our backyard.  We get visits from strutting Doves, frisky Squirrels, graceful Butterflies, and delicate Hummingbirds.  The Doves gather in flocks and sit upon our dark fence nodding in approval at what we plant.  The Squirrels appreciate our ornamental pear tree; so many times I have seen our friendly caretakers examining our garden beds with the most capricious  of attitudes up in the boughs of our tree.  The lovely Butterflies enjoy our garden with a special interest.  They come frequently to catch up on the latest blossom of gossip, leaning close to the pretty heads, soaking in the murmur of words and nectar.
...Roses bask in the warm sunshine...
And the Hummingbirds, they come and they go without a care.  They zip through the haughty Snapdragons, race among the passionate Roses, angering the flowers and insulting their pride. For the flowers know that my attention belongs to the gentle flowers, but it is quickly stolen by the tiny green birds that appear as if out of nowhere.
...The haughty Snapdragons...

I love my little garden, with all its merry, little plants and happy, pretty flowers. I love the strawberries that grow on it's pyramid box, I love the lilies that govern over the rest of the flowers, and I love the fluttering moths that come to visit with quiet strokes of their powdered wings.

My garden makes me happy and I long to bless others with its fruitful vegetation. So with that said, whoever, wherever you are, I hope that this Scrapbook can share a piece of my joy with you.  May it make you as happy as it makes me.

....I love the strawberries....

August 26, 2014

What Is Green?

What is Green?
Written by Janelle Spiers
Inspired by Mary O'Neill

Green is a pinwheel 
Spinning light in the breeze,
A child’s bright plaything
Dancing with ease. 
Green is a forest of trees. 
Green is sprouts, 
Coming up in the dirt. 
Green is a lime 
Green is a fly, 
A gem, a lush lawn, 
A blinking eye. 
The sound of green is 
“Swish! Swish! Swish!” 
Wind blown through leaves; 
A secret wish. 

Green is greed –  
A spreading blight, 
It wants a prize 
With terrible might. 

Green is lettuce 
And old moldy cheese, 
A sock, a book, and grass-stained knees.
Green is a romance 
Blissful and fair; 
A gardener’s pride
In the open air. 
Green is a basket 
And a bumpy toad 
Green is a race, 
Down the road. 
Green is joy: 
A patch of rich soil, 
Unfurling leaf, 
Repaid for hard toil. 
Think of landscapes 
And sights you have seen… 
Hard jade, lucky clover,  
If they couldn’t immerse in 


August 21, 2014

The Taste of the Moon

From our slow-rotating position here on the earth, we only get the smallest glimpse of the lovely satellite orbiting our world.  The luminescent moon reflects the sun's light onto the earth, and as it makes its circuit around us it shines on us in mysterious glory.  There is something about the moon that catches my attention, tugs at my heart strings, and sets me to wondering, and writing about it...

The moon makes no sound, she is silent as can be...  Not a word, not a noise, even when she is in her fullest phase.  Maybe the moon is mute, and her wistful face is sad, because she cannot speak to us.  I wish she could talk; I bet she would have the most beautiful stories to tell.

Does she smell as pleasant as she looks?  It is an odd question, but how does she smell?  Is it a dusty, dry smell, full of stale space-air?  Or, could it be a sweet, gentle perfume, like the kind a lady wears for a special occasion?  Does she even have a smell at all?

How does she moon feel?  I imagine that she is wearing a gold cloak of velvet.  If you were to run your hand over her garment, clouds of moon dust would splash into the air, radiant specks of light.  And underneath her cloak, is flesh of silver, smooth as glass, and twice as pretty...

I wonder if there could be a taste associated with the lady of the sky.  Is there a sweet taste, like honey, to fill your mouth, when you gaze up at her from your window?  Can you taste her from there?  Suppose she has a bitter taste, full of envy and frustration.  From time's first moments, she has been stuck in the same route every day.  Does she have a bitter heart, watching the comets dance their merry, backwards route?

The moon is pale and sickly, on some nights, hollow and worn in early morning, and full and blooming on other nights.  She, like us, has emotions, feelings, and something like a body, and she too can not hide it any better than we can.  Her joy is clearly visible when she dances at celestial parties, her sorrow is evident when she must go home, worn and muddled from her frolicking.  And when there are no balls, no gatherings, she must be lonely, for she has a wistful, sad air.

Does the shiny lady have a name?  Of course, she is called the Moon, by us, but is that her name?  Is it a simple, short name, like what we know her by, or is it an extravagant name that takes hours to learn to pronounce.  Does she even remember her name? Alone in the sky, with no one to call her by name, has she forgotten, or does she keep it secret?

What do you think of the moon and her doings?  What do you think she smells like?  Can you imagine the world from her eyes.  I can -- when I gaze from my window -- see her, and almost know she can see me.  She reflects the light of the sun, and I wish with all my heart I could be like her.  I wish to reflect the light of the Son, the one who made the moon, himself.  And then, maybe I could be as beautiful as she.

"Beauty is a form of genius -- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon."
~ Oscar Wilde

August 19, 2014

The Power of Song

What is reading and writing without music?  Music has always inspired my writing, empowered my imagination, and influenced my reading.  I think that music deserves a special place in each of our hearts, because I have never met a human being who doesn't like music of any kind.  If you are that person, I am terribly sorry for you, because there is amazing art floating around in those music notes...

One of my most inspiring artists in the music and writing realm is Andrew Peterson.  He is a man after God's own heart, clearly from his music alone.  Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs of his, Let Me Sing from his album Clear to Venus.  This song is talking about how we should open the gifts God has given us and use them to the fullest extent through art and beauty.  I love this song because of its potent reminder to praise God for all that he has done for us.

If this song inspires you to write your own tunes, buy the whole album, or merely jump up and down because of God's goodness, let me know. :)

Let Me Sing ~ Clear to Venus
Andrew Peterson

I wanna open up my eyes 
And see a more beautiful world
Let the hand of God Almighty
Sweep his colors through my life
I wanna hold tight to the laughter
And ride it like a child 
On the winds that billow joyful 
Through the sky

I wanna open up my heart
But you know, sometimes it's hard to find
Because I've buried it beneath the selfishness
That I've hidden behind
I wanna stand my ground unshaken
But I wanna tremble when I kneel
And let my song remain unbroken 
Through the tears

So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
Let me lose all I have 
For what I found on the cross
Let me trust you with my life
Let me live to give you praise
Lord, let me praise you 
For the grace by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing

I wanna open up Your word
And let the thirsty enter in
So they can drink deep of the water 
You have given to them
I want to run the race with vigor
I want to fight the fight with strength
And let my song rise from a whisper
To a scream

I wanna open up my arms 
And embrace that old rugged cross
I wanna take pride in the reason
And be humbled by the cause
And when this lisping, stamm'ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave 
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I'll sing your praise
I'll sing your praise

So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
Let me lose all I have 
For what I found on the cross
Let me trust you with my life
Let me live to give you praise
Lord, let me praise you 
For the grace by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing

August 14, 2014

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 3

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 3
Janelle Spiers

And now introducing, Part 3 of To Love and Be Loved... A free verse story about the Roaring Twenties...

Evelyn O’Hara

John holds tight, close to my heart.
I rub his skinny back, comb his dark
hair.  His breathing slows with sleep.

I do not cough on this perfect night.
I listen to the slow rhythm of my child,
wrapped tight in my arms, growing too thin.

Marjorie J. Riley

Indifference Is Cold
I glide down the long stairs, my guests
turn and gawk.  Music plays and drinks are
served. My hand touches the rail. I search for
Will, but                      he does not care.
Danny                         does.  I do not like
Danny, he                   is a fool.  A fool
who wants my money.  I take one last look
at Will, before Danny takes my hand.  I do
not want to dance with Danny, I want Will.

Evelyn O’Hara

“Mamma, see what I’ve made you!”
John places a tangled wad of yarn in my hand.
“Itsa scarf, to keep you warm,” he smiles.


Worry steals my child’s smile. He frowns.
“Whas wrong, Mamma?” “Nothing, Johnny,
Mamma’s fine.”  I wish I could tell the truth.

Marjorie J. Riley

A Sad Smile
I smooth down the rich fabric on my dress.
I stroke the feathers in my hair, preening like a
bird.  I twist my dark locks in my fingers,
preparing for another dance.  I look
at Papa’s                                 picture on my
shelf.  His                                smile is sad.
Is father                                   disappointed
with me?                                 I know that
this is a foolish idea, that picture was taken
before I was born.  But I still wonder when I
come home early in the morning, was this
what he wanted his little girl to look like?

The Music Plays Louder
I hold Will’s hand as we step in time. 
His mind is somewhere else, anywhere but
here, with me.                         “Will, why
don’t you talk?                       You are so
dull.”  His eyes                       meet mine.
“The music is too loud for talking,” he says. 
Brown eyes are gone once more.

Evelyn O’Hara

I see a young child begging for food
on the street corner.  How can I pass him
by?  If it were my own son, I would feed him.


It is not my own cough that echoes in the streets, 
but the boy’s.  I hand him my bread. 
His smile fills my soul and hunger is gone.

Marjorie J. Riley

The Less Fortunate
Papa always said to help those less fortunate.
I disagree, but do it anyway.  As my car rolls
past the grubby faces, the crippled legs, I give
them                                        a coin or two,
but is                                       this really what
Papa                                        had in mind? 
How                                        will this fill the
hole I am feeling in my heart.  Something is
wrong. I have everything I have ever wanted,
so why do I feel like I have nothing but want?

August 12, 2014

Take Me Back

I came across these precious poems today, and thought I should share them with you, dear reader.  These are the poems I grew up learning and memorizing, through copy work and hand motions.  May you laugh and enjoy these happy little poems as much as I did.  They take me back to childhood days that seemed so far away until I read them.  May they bring out the child in us all again.

Mr. Nobody


I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.

’Tis he who always tears out books, 
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts, 
And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak, 
For prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done 
By Mr. Nobody.

The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed, 
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots 
That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong 
To Mr. Nobody.

The Goops

Gelett Burgess

The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the goops they lick their knives, 
They spill their broth on the tablecloth – 
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

The Goops they talk while eating, 
And loud and fast they chew, 
And that is why I’m glad that I 
Am not a Goop – are you? 

The Caterpillar

Christina G Rossetti

Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry;
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk.
May no toad spy you,
May the little birds pass by you, 
Spin and die,
To live again a butterfly.

The Purple Cow

Gelett Burgess

I never saw a Purple Cow, 
I never hope to see one, 
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!