Minstrel's Tales

Stories From a Guitar Case

Poem for the Day - Midstairs by Virginia Hamilton Adair

Posted: 26 March 2018

Poem for the Day
A very powerful, personal poem, full of intimacy and a real outpouring of grief written shortly after her husband committed suicide. 

Praying, thy will be done,
How will I know, I also pray,
What is this will for me, for mine?
Shall I find windows full of sun
Or walls of darkness all the way?

And here on this turning of the stair
Between passion and doubt,
I pause and say a double prayer,
One for you, and one for you;
And so they cancel out.

And now I come to the creaking tread,
Not my way, Lord, but thine.
The steps of grief have bowed my head,
Though it is not a long climb
To the lonely bed.

Virginia Hamilton Adair

Easter Haiku #1 Palm Sunday

Posted: 25 March 2018

Easter Haiku #1 – Palm Sunday

A tethered colt stands
Alone, unobserved, and then,

Shouts and cheers ring out,
Fickle songs heralding death.
Each palm frond a thorn.

Bill Adair

Poem for the Day - A Prayer in the Prospect of Death by Robert Burns

Posted: 25 March 2018

Poem for the Day

O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause
Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour, ...
Perhaps I must appear!

If I have wander'd in those paths
Of life I ought to shun,
As something, loudly, in my breast,
Remonstrates I have done;

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;
And list'ning to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,
Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-Good -for such Thou art-
In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err'd,
No other plea I have,
But, Thou art good; and Goodness still
Delighteth to forgive.

A Prayer in the Prospect of Death
Robert Burns

Poem for the Day - For My Sister, Emigrating by Wendy Cope

Posted: 24 March 2018

Poem for the Day

You’ve left with me
the things you couldn’t take
or bear to give away – ...
books, records and a biscuit-tin
that Nanna gave you.

It’s old and dirty
and the lid won’t fit.
Standing in the corner of my room,
quite useless, it’s as touching
as a once loved toy

Yes, sentimental now –
but if you’d stayed,
we woulkd have quarrelled
just the same as ever,
found excuses not to phone.

We never learn. We’ve grown up
struggling, frightened
that the family would drown us,
only giving in to love
when someone’s dead or gone.

For My Sister, Emigrating
Wendy Cope

Poem for the Day - A Primer for the Daily Round by Howard Nemerov

Posted: 23 March 2018

Poem for the Day

A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,
C telephones to D, who has a hand
On E’s knee, F coughs, G turns up the sod...
For H’s grave, I do not understand
But J is bringing one clay pigeon down
While K brings down a nightstick on L’s head,
And M takes mustard, N drives to town,
O goes to bed with P, and Q drops dead,
R lies to S, but happens to be heard
By T, who tells U not to fire V
For having to give W the word
That X is now deceiving Y with Z,
Who happens, just now to remember A
Peeling an apple somewhere far away.

A Primer of the Daily Round
Howard Nemerov

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