Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today is Ash Wednesday

"An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it."
~ William Bernbach

"Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man: yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hair’s breadth of time assigned to thee live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it. " ~Marcus Aurelius

"The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset." ~ Geoffrey Madan

If you live in New Orleans, Rio, or any of the other cities that have the big celebrations, it's been a week of party time ~ Mardi Gras~ but today the party is over. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Christians around the world will gather, including many who partied so heartily yesterday, to observe the change of the season. The many faithful will approach their priest or pastor who will say "Remember that you are Dust, and to dust you shall return" while making the sign of the cross in black Ashes on each person's forehead. Or in some cases just placing a smudge of dust on the forehead. The first time I remember seeing the smudge was years ago when I was taking a square dance class and a lot of the members there were Catholic, I tried to wipe the dirt off one members head and boy did she get mad with me.. She snatched my wet paper towel right out of my hand and tossed it across the dance hall. She said I was trying to mess up her Lent.. I was just confused. I got even more confused when she wouldn't eat any pie because she was giving up Pie for Lent. I was young and figured something weird must be wrong with her. Needless to say I wasn't about to give up pie for something I didn't understand so I ate mine and hers. I was excited about a holiday that made her give me her pie, so I made it a point to find out a little more about it. I knew there had to be more to it than wearing ashes on your forehead.

In the Roman Catholic Church the first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday. Today begins a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares one for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we, who are all sinners, attain redemption. Even though the Bible doesn't mention the day of Ash Wednesday, all Roman Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on this day in order to mark the beginning of the Lenten season. During this Mass, the ashes which give Ash Wednesday its name are distributed. The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday; many churches ask their parishioners to return any palms that they took home so that they can be burned and the ashes saved for the following year. The priest blesses the ashes and then the people come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the blessed ashes and making the Sign of the Cross on each person's forehead says " Remember man that thou art dust and to dust thou shall return". Some may not say those words exactly but something close to that. Many people wear the ashes then for the entire day upon their forehead as a sign of humility and obedience to God. While the ashes represent penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance. Many people, even those who are not Catholic, will give up something for the season of Lent. Some will refrain from watching Television or doing other activities. I have known people who have tried to give up smoking and in the case of my friend from long ago, give up certain foods such as chocolate or even pie. The season of Lent will last 40 days, excluding Sundays, and ends on Easter Sunday. It falls on a different date each year, because it is dependent on the date of Easter; it can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.

I myself can never think of ashes or Fire without recalling a man I once rented a house from. He was a wonderful man and a Preacher but he loved fire better than any person I ever knew. He would tell us he was first fireman to the devil. Mr. Huggins left this world June 18, 2008, and is missed by all who knew him. My poem tonight is dedicated to him and our memories of him and his fires. Though it has little to do with the season of Lent, it does have to do with Fire and with the ashes left after the fire is long gone. Mr Huggins would have been one of those few who can give up something for Lent and actually stick it out for the entire season. If you are giving up something for Lent I wish you luck with sticking to it. I think all of us should reflect on our wrongs and also on the wonderful Mercy shown to us by God. Not just today and through the season of Lent but every day! I hope you enjoy today's Poem about a wonderful Man and his Love of fire. I also hope you have a great day!


"First Fireman to the devil I am"
he told us rather proud.
"But BUSTER is what they call me"
he shouted right out loud.

"I'm tired of this old tree" he said
while pulling out a saw
" But a fire is not a game " he said.
"I learned that from my Maw."

"Run Now and grab that Kerosene:
It's at the house next door,
I'll get an inferno going
This old tree will be no more!"

"Evening time Is gonna find us" he claimed
as Limbs he was a throwing
"with the devil's work already done,
and just some coals left here a glowing."

Written By: Patricia Sawyer
This poem Dedicated to Mr. Buster Huggins. Who loves fire almost as much as I do! Anthony especially should remember the day he and I helped Mr. Buster with his fire.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thinking about the Past!

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”~ Marcel Pagnol

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”


"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. " ~Elizabeth Lawrence

"The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give." ~Ellen Glasgow

It seems to come around this time of year for me. A pining and wishing for the simple life we knew as children. I well remember us running around the yard in front of the the little white house as dusk settled over the yard. The tall pines Mama had wanted planted around the yards edge standing as sentry's guarding over our home. The azalea's Daddy had planted on a Sunday afternoon scenting the evening air. Someone was hiding scrunched down in those flowers. We knew they were there somewhere. But in the faint darkness they were invisible to us. I can feel the tremors of excitement as we skipped along holding tight to each others hands. Singing out loud ~ " Ain't no boogers out tonight; out tonight~ out tonight! Ain't no boogers out tonight! Granddaddy killed them all last night!" And then with a screech the hider would leap up from the flower bed and away we would all run screaming back to the step where Mama and Daddy sat talking quietly together. Sometimes Aunt Lucy or Grandma Black might be sitting with them talking about grown-up things. They might even be shelling peas or butter
beans in the evening shadows. The porch light casting a golden pool around them. I can see them even now as if I am standing out near the pines looking back through years of time.Tingles of fear racing along my spine. Jimmy is hiding and he loves to scare us as much as he can. He will make us walk and sing forever; building the fear in all of us until he will leap from the shadows with a blood curdling yell as we race to the safety of the golden light around Mama and Daddy. He will cause us to scatter in fear, each running for their own life, afraid to hang on to each other. Afraid to look back.

Closing my eyes I can remember the smell of Daddy's cigar and can almost hear the whisper of Mama's laugh at something he said just loud enough for her to hear. We children would run and play until darkness was full upon the yard, then settle on the steps to watch in wonder as the fireflies flashed around over the same flower beds that had only moments before held boogers. Children don't play like that now. Dusk finds them on-line or playing video games or maybe just watching television. They miss so many wonderful things that happen in those moments between daylight and darkness. Nothing in life is simple now. Even small children have cell phones and I-pods and hand held games. I am so thankful for my childhood. I have tried very hard to give my own children a sense of the goodness of living simply. I know that they and their friends have laughed at my fondness for the simple life. I hope that one day, as they stand and look back through time, They too will remember the good times~ the fun~ the sew it up game~ the fireflies over the field~ the railroad hills~ me and my chickens~ The simple life.

Tonight I am going to share with you a story from the past. A story that tells of my love for some more of our childhood things. If there are children in your life, try to see that they enjoy some of the simple things. Maybe share with them a sunrise or a sunset. They may not appear to enjoy it but the time you spend on them will matter. I hope you enjoy the story and I hope you have a wonderful day.

A Poor Man's Vacation

Mountain Climbing, river rafting, flying and exploring...we did it all when we were kids! We were sure our plane could fly higher and faster than any other plane ever invented. Made from an old hog chute at an uncle's hog farm and fueled by imagination, that old flying machine could take it's passengers almost anywhere. We would fly over Paris one minute and land in the Australian outback in the next. Sometimes we would fly over to Tibet and climb our own version of Mt. Everest.
Mountain climbing could take us all day once we got started because somehow it was always just as much fun to slide down the clay hills on flattened boxes as it was to climb to the top. Of course we also had to take time out to discuss where the passing trains were going and who might be on board.
After several hours of climbing we would wander along the river bank to the clearing where the Indians lived in their snowy white tepees. These Indians were very friendly. They showed us how to make chicken feather headbands and how to climb the tall scaly pine trees. Sometimes our friends would invite us to share their supper of buffalo dogs. When we cooked them over a small fire and added some ketchup or mustard they were almost like the franks mom would fix. The river was a great place for rafting and exploring. The currents would swirl our craft around and around as we dizzily hung on and rode the rapids. After a while David's arms would tire and we'd drift into the still waters. After a tiring ride down river we'd wander around in the great forest searching the well trodden paths for bits of glass or colored stones that we called treasure.
We really looked forward to going on an adventure with the Big Chief. We would load up in his red windblower and go deep into the forest. behind the river, where we would track down and capture such dreaded enemies as the sworded wild rose and the dangerous dogwoods. The chief would chop around their feet until they couldn't move. He'd hoist them up on his broad shoulders and we'd tie a burlap bag around their long trailing toes so they couldn't crawl away. We would load them into our windblower and haul them back to camp. The Chief would bury their feet and tie them to poles so they couldn't sneak away after dark!
I guess with every day being an adventure I was pretty near half grown before I realized that most people took some sort of vacation each year. I thought they were luxuries reserved only for the rich. I'll never forget the day I sat in class and stared with open-mouthed disbelief as Mrs. Davenport gave her best English teacher smile and the command to write an essay on our summer vacations. I couldn't tell my friends about our family outings. Even our camping trips and trips to the seashore didn't seem good enough. It was hard for me to understand why my parents couldn't take their eight kids on vacations like my friends went on. It took a lot of travel brochures and a lot of imagination to get me through those years.
Now that those Years are passed away and I have children of my own I often feel a longing to visit the places of my youth. The railroad bank mountains aren't nearly so high or hard to climb anymore and the creek river doesn't seem quite as deep. The old flying machine is only a rotting hog chute and the red windblower has long since been traded in on a Ford Escort. The dreaded enemies captured in the forest have become beautiful plants in my parents yard and the bed sheet tepees are long gone.
Now as I stand back and watch my children and the children of my brothers and sisters scramble to the top of the mountain only to come sliding down on red seated britches or cross the river on fallen tree bridges to claim as treasures the pretty colored stones, I feel a sudden urge to join them in the priceless pleasures of a poor man's vacation.

Written By: Patricia Sawyer
Published: Southern Sensations Magazine
October-November 1989!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Be Humble Day!

"True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes. " ~Edward Frederick Halifax

"It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help."
~Author Unknown

"It is always the secure who are humble." ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"If every fool wore a crown, we should all be kings." ~Welsh Proverb

1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.

–verb (used with object)
6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
8. to make meek: to humble one's heart.

Today is be Humble day. I am not about to lie and say I am Humble. I am not!! I can't help it if I think fast and am able to figure out the best way to approach a situation while others are still looking things over. I can't help it if I read fast and have already finished the book before others are half through the first chapter. I can't help it if I am one who thinks of every problem ahead of time so that when I come across a problem I have already figured out a pretty good way of solving it. I am rarely wrong. I voice my opinion: sometimes too loudly. I talk a lot ; and there are those who have told me that I talk too much. There are even those who say they hate it that I am almost always right.. I can't help that. It is just the truth. So I will never call myself Humble. I am honest, but I am not Humble.

I have heard it said many times " I wish I could buy them for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth." I believe I heard Grandma Morris say it first about her neighbor across the street. The Lady walked around like she was worth a million dollars. I think it is safe to say that she was not Humble either! I know she irked My Grandma something terrible. She annoyed Grandma every time she sashayed down the street in her pink shorts. She was always sashaying according to Grandma..I have to say in all fairness though that Grandma wasn't humble either. Grandma could sew a fine seam and crochet a beautiful stitch or knit a lovely sweater. She knew she was talented. She didn't deny her talent. I guess it all boils down to what My brother Jimmy would say! ~ " NO brag! Just Fact!" ~ No Jimmy is not Humble either. If I have an Humble sibling it would be Frank. He is quiet and easy going. Never bringing himself into the limelight if he can help it. Daddy was like that too.

I have been "Humbled" many times in my life. When each of my children was born. When they all graduated from High school. Also I have felt humbled many times by the blessings that have come to me at surprising times. I am often Humbled by my life. I have been told that a sense of it comes through in my poems and stories. I hope that it does. My heart is often Humbled just by the enormity of the great things God does for each of us. I feel that we don't count our blessings enough. I know I don't.

Today is not a day to boast or brag on oneself. Today is a day when we are supposed to practice being Humble. I have been Humble today because I haven't seen anyone today except Dave. He knows all my faults. The good ones and the bad ones. I don't have to be humble with him. He knows everything about me already. We accept us exactly as we are. He is Humble. I am not. I am what I am. I am talented to in my own ways. I tell a good story.. I write a good poem. I too can crochet and sew a fine seam. I see no reason to lie about those things. I try not to brag on myself. (much) I try to just allow my good points to shine on their own. But I know I am not Humble. Maybe I will try harder to be a quiet and refined person. Maybe one day I too will be humble. I doubt it, but Daddy always said "as long as their is life there is hope."

I have shared with everyone today My own poem. It is one from a while ago. I wrote this one about my own self. Maybe one day I will be humble but today is not that day! I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Don't brag on yourself today. But feel free to brag on others. You can even brag on me! Have a wonderful day!

I Am Me!

I am Crazy but caring
I wonder If the stars see me
I hear Memories from long ago
I see streaks of fire
I want to fly away
I am crazy but caring
I pretend To paint the moon
I feel that someone will come
I touch a winds whistle
I worry about my children
I cry but not so anyone can see
I am crazy but caring
I understand why some animals eat their young
I say the truth will make you free
I dream about climbing mountains
I try to believe in others
I hope To live a long long time
I am crazy but caring

I am all these things
you see; for all
these things
are ME!

written By ;Patricia Sawyer

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sometimes I don't Explain.

"Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower." ~ Charles Schwab

"We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardor of its passion, but by its strength and constancy."~ Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 - 43 BC

a word list of ~ Hope; Happy; Hungry; Home; Health; Hand; Harmony; Heart; Holy; Honey; Hymn ~from sunshine

When people send me a word list and I read it over. I normally read it over a few times. Sometimes I get an image immediately like with this list. Other times I get more than one image and other times I have to think on the list a day or two for a poem or story to begin to take shape in my mind.

Sometimes I explain where the images come from. Sometimes I just write about the feelings or in this case the memory. I should actually say Memories. Sometimes if the Poem is very personal or the memories are not necessarily good ones I just write and don't explain. This is one of those times. I am sure that if you read it over and ponder on the words for a while you will be able to peek into my past and maybe even feel some of what I felt way back then.. Thankfully it was way back then! Most of my poems are of a personal nature. Most come from actual happenings in my life or from happenings I observed in the lives of family and friends.

The first Poem today was wrote from a word list sent to me by Sunshine. Thanks again Sunshine for all the lists you have sent and for being a faithful reader. The second poem I am posting today is about the same time period in my life. Just not wrote from a word list..

And finally, I have been chosen to read my Poem about Rosa Parks this Saturday~ February 21st at 5pm at the Black History celebration in Barnwell SC. The celebration will be held at the Barnwell County Library. It has no cover charge and we will be having some wonderful refreshments. I was thrilled to be chosen and surprised as well. The poem is titled Get to the Back of the Bus! and can be found here on this blog by looking back in the list in the side bar to Rosa Parks day. Of course we would love to have you attend the celebration as well!

Please enjoy the poems Posted here today! And I hope each and everyone who reads this blog has a great day!

Fallen Sand Castles

Hope built upon the sand
as castles before the waves.
Heart filled with Puppy love
and hymns sung beneath
Daddy's watchful eye.

Nothing Holy remains
Happy a forgotten word.
Love drowned in Jack and coke
before he was thee years old.
No harmony in that house
that house not a home.

Her health a poor excuse to stay
a good excuse to leave him home.
Praying no one would see.
My hand on fire as it closed
on the frozen food.

Filling my pack ~ without looking
Hungry doesn't care
as long as it's fed.
A starving beast~ wild
Anything a feast
after three days.

Afraid of getting caught.
Pride a terrible thing.
It always grows before the fall.
Tonight we eat like a king
in a land of milk and honey.
Pigtails and peas with rice.

Never knowing he knew
till the end. ~ Grateful
that he understood.
wishing I could change things.
Ashamed of my actions.
Sometimes sand castles fall.

Holding a feverish hand I
laughed until I cried.
I should have thrown down
that foolish pride. I could have had
steaks and chops too.

I still have the old key
He passed to me.
I hold it in my hand sometimes.
The old freezers long gone.
I Hold on to it remind me.
Sometimes Sand castles fall.

There isn't much a parent
misses. Hidden in our eyes.
Remember that and remember too
that The good stuff is locked away
But that Daddy shares with all!

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Losing Faith
Angels fly by on ruby wings
Pale dragons Blowing pearls of fire.
Dream of hearts Unspoken secrets
Hopeless truth hiding in my eyes.
The first wind is lifting in wonder
Singing our sweet promise words
Loving souls settle at twilight
sweetest Hope springs pure
Silver Threads of moonlight
enter this darkened Place
as I kneel, always Hopeful,
Always in Prayer
I am trapped here
Always waiting
Waiting with-in the lies
Angelic forms Born of lost hope
swirl as the dust dances in the air
forcing an image in my mind
sparing not my secret soul.
Tears on my child's face
his joy devoured, His devotion ignored!
his love important no More!
I raise my head! I rise to a Stand!
I defy this Callous reality!
Written By: Patricia Sawyer

(it seems I might have to make one tiny explanation here after all.. NO I did not loose faith in God! I have never done that even in my darkest hour. I lost faith in a person. Maybe I should say I lost ALL faith in a person. That is something that can not be recovered.!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Few Haiku for You!

"A haiku is the expression of a temporary enlightenment, in which we see into the life of things."
~ R. H. Blyth

"Haiku are short, unrhymed poems that describe a special moment in nature as it has been perceived by the poet and which pertain in some way to the human experience." ~Jeanne Emrich

"Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them. "~ Charles Simic

Today I offer for your enjoyment a few of my Haiku poems. I am still struggling with the Haiku class that I am taking on-line. Some of you may remember the class that I thought I'd whip out in a couple of weeks. I have finished a bunch of other classes and still I am trying to whip out this class. Who would have ever known a poem that appears so simple would have so many rules. Just about the time I think I have one of the rules figured out they throw another one at me. Then I break that one and a few more. I have finally finished with 12 of the 17 classes. I have learned how to set up a haiku using several different techniques. I have learned about the difference between traditional and contemporary haiku. I did finally finish the class on sudden awareness. I thought I'd never get that right. I think it was the hardest class so far.

I have learned so much. I have broken all of the rules. I have to write and re-write a dozen times for some of these three line poems. I have tried to forget about all the rules I learned in school since none of those apply any more. I have wanted to slap my own hands because my mind says use capitals and the new rules say ~ Not in Haiku! I guess you could say that I was wrong about whipping this class out in a couple of weeks. But at least I am proud that It hasn't whipped me YET! I have wanted to quit. I have threatened my computer that I was going to quit. I told Dave that the teacher hated me and I was going to quit. I even told the teacher I might have to quit~ He completely ignored that remark as if I hadn't even said it. He even told me that I was close but not close enough ~ please re-write!

I love Haiku. I love the "ah ha" Moment that makes my little three lined poem a haiku! I love the idea of sharing an image in less than seventeen words. My next class deals with the shape of Haiku. I guess this will be another new rule. Or maybe another technique that I haven't tried yet. I haven't looked the assignment over completely. I was so thrilled that I only had to do one re-write on the last class that I am still celebrating. I was even more thrilled when the teacher told me I had come a long way! He even said he like the Haiku about the fiddler sleeping. ~ Finally I made him say "ah ha!" ~ I am glad I haven't quit the class. I promised myself today that I was a stubborn proud woman and that I will finish this class. Shoot; I might even whip out what's left of it in a couple of weeks now.... But I will finish it even if it takes me till next year this time or longer.

Please enjoy my Haiku today! Try to see something beautiful or ironic in Nature today! Try to find an "Ah Ha" Moment of your own! Have a wonderful day!



tattered cattail tufts
sway in a chilly breeze~
we fish for supper

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Lazy Musician

Easter Sunday
in a tide pool conch~
a fiddler sleeps

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

After the Storm

afternoon storm~
at the bottom of the falls
a basket of single flip flops

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Falling Flight

three black crows
sip from a wild cherry tree~
a drunken fall

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One Promise Down!

"Oaths are but words, and words but wind." ~Samuel Butler

"But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost

"Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver." ~Author Unknown

Everyone has been wondering where I have been. I have been very busy. I have been making Beef Jerky and drying fruit for Trail mix. I do that every year around this time. I have been getting buckets and barrels ready for planting and have even planted Cabbages and onions this week. But beyond all of that, I have been very busy helping My Beloved Dave fulfill a promise he made to me while we were dating. I think everyone knows how that works. We promise each other the moon and then the moon moves further and further away.

I have always wanted my own little farm. With chickens and a pig; Maybe some goats and of course a horse or even two. I wanted plants of all kinds and grape vines and fruit trees. I still have the drawings we made one night just sitting under the car port together watching the fire burn itself out. The Children were long asleep and we were just dreaming. Or maybe even hoping. Dave drew the whole farm out on Notebook paper stolen from Anthony's book bag. Chicken pens and a pig pen behind the house. A Kitchen Garden back there with Vegetables and herbs and a Horse and cow in the field. He folded the paper up tiny and promised me in a whisper.. "Someday Baby, if you will just give me a chance!"

It took me a while but I married Dave. I have never regretted one second of it. But I have been thinking about that folded up paper more and more..We are getting older. I still carry my dream paper around in my Purse. It has it's own special place there. Last year I wrote Dave a poem. Just a reminder of that night we sat and planned. This week he and I decided to carry out a small part of our dream. The pictures are of what we have been doing this week. Notice the one pen that is an "A" frame. Can you guess what it is built from? It is an old swing set that the children have long ago outgrown. I am Happy to hear the roosters crowing early in the morning. I am Happy that Dave is "One Promise down~ a few more to go!"
Please enjoy our chickens today as we have all week. Have a great day!

Broken Promises!

You promised me some chickens
You promised me a goat
You promised me a castle,
But I don't see a moat!

You Promised me a horse to ride;
upon a steed so fine.
You promised me a vineyard
But I don't taste the wine!

You promised me a yard so fare
They'd come from miles around
"Well, let them come!" Is what I say!
we have lots and lots of ground!

You promised also Peace to me
and love for me and you.
And for all the ones you broke my Love
At least you kept these two!

Written By : Patricia Sawyer