For my response I’ll give you the first two verses of this four-verse epic by Edgar Guest.
NOTHING TO LAUGH AT
‘Taint nothin’ to laugh at as I can see!
If you’d been stung by a bumble bee
an’ your nose was swelled an’ it smarted, too,
you wouldn’t want people to laugh at you.
If you had a lump that was full of fire,
like you’d been touched by a red hot wire
an’ your nose spread out like a load of hay,
you wouldn’t want strangers who come your way
to ask you to let the see the place
an’ laugh at you right before your face.
What’s funny about it, I’d like to know?
It isn’t a joke to be hurted so!
An’ how was I ever on earth to tell
that the pretty flower which I stooped to smell
in our backyard was the very one
which a bee was busily working on?
An’ just as I got my nose down there
he lifted his foot an’ kicked for fair,
an’ he planted his stinger right into me
But it’s nothin’ to laugh at as I can see.
Still as children asking why
adults gaze upon the sky.
Still as children, grownups seek
reason for the comet's streak.
Still to sages, baffling are
sun and planet, moon and star.
On a garden's tiny space
miracles are taking place.
And as children, age explores
God's bewildering out-of-doors.
Questioning, till the day they die,
Life's great mystery -- how and why?
This poem by Edgar Guest takes me back to a time soon after the Stock Market Crash in Oct 1929, when the world was plunged into the Great Depression. The winter of 1930 saw a double whammy happening: in the East the economy was sinking fast as jobs were being lost; in the West the drought had begun and was to last, generally, until Aug 1937. All this while Hitler’s armies were moving into various countries and war clouds were gathering over Europe. Yes, this old world has seen some pretty tough times. As Mr Guest points out, the flowers know nothing of financial woes.
Hello, tulips, don’t you know
stocks today are very low?
You appear so bright and glad;
don’t you know that trade is bad?
You are just as fair to see
as you were in times when we
rolled in money. Tell me how
you can look so happy now?
Hello, tulips, white and red,
gleaming in the garden bed.
Can it be you haven’t heard
all the grief which has occurred?
Don’t you see the saddened eye
of the human passer-by?
By his frowning, can’t you tell
things have not been going well?
Hello, tulips, in the sun
You are lovely, every one.
But I wonder, why don’t you
wear a sad, expression, too?
Can it be you fail to see
things aren’t what they used to be?
This old world is all upset;
why don’t you begin to fret?
And they answered me, “Hello.
Nothing’s altered that we know,
warm the sun and sweet the rain,
summer skies are blue again.
Birds are singing and we nod
grateful tulip prayers to God.
Only mortals fret and strive.
We are glad to be alive.”
Today’s prompt at Jibber Jabber with Sue is HAPPY, which brings to mind this verse by Edgar Guest — and I think it’s suitable for Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there, to all of you who’ve borne and raised children, also to those of you who have been a home-maker and/or mother-mentor to someone in need of help.
The Joy of Getting Home
by Edgar A. Guest
The joy of getting home again
is the sweetest thrill I know.
Though travelers by ship or train
are smiling when they go,
the eye is never quite so bright,
the smile so wide and true,
as when they pass the last home light
and all their wandering’s through.
Oh, I have journeyed down to sea
and traveled far by rail,
but naught was quite so fair to me
as that last homeward trail.
Oh, nothing was in London town,
or Paris gay, or Rome
with all its splendor and renown
so good to see as home.
‘Tis good to take these lovely trips,
‘tis good to get away,
there’s pleasure found on sailing ships,
but travel as you may
you’ll learn as most of us have learned,
wherever you may roam,
you’re happiest when your face is turned
toward the lights of home.
I was wandering around the yard yesterday and thinking it’s time to get the bird houses cleaned up and hung in the trees again. As most bird-lovers know, birds can be very particular about their nests when it comes to size and location. Three years ago I downloaded plans for a “proper” tree swallow nest box and had a friend build two. I don’t know why, but our tree swallows have shunned them all this time. They check the place out, but they won’t nest there. Sigh.
Birds are fussy about neighbours, too. The feisty little wren chases off all its neighbours. They pick their own place, then fill all other potential nests around them with sticks so no other birds can use them.
In this poem Edgar Guest tells us what sticklers the martins are.
The Martins are peculiar and whimsical at best:
they’re very charming tenants if with you they choose to nest,
but though the house you build for them may perfect seem to be,
you cannot coax them into it if something wrong they see.
I do not know precisely what the Martins ask from men;
I only know they like a house with rooms for eight or ten
and it must stand above the ground full fourteen feet or more
with unimpeded space about for them to wheel and soar.
The neighborhood must suit their choice; the gardens must be neat,
nor will they stay to raise their young along a noisy street.
And many a man has built a house their fellowship to win,
which, for some cause to him unknown, they would not enter in.
The scouts come on in early spring to look the houses o’er
and if they do not like the place you’ll see their charms no more,
but should your home their fancies suit, within a day or two
the Martins will arrive to spend the summertime with you.
My response will be this verse by Edgar Guest; I find it quite inspiring.
If I could have my wish it
would not be for wealth or fame at all,
but a firmer grip on fellowship
and all joys great and small
and I’d like to know as I come and go
much more of this world we share;
with a wiser mind I could always find
some joy in the task I bear.
If I could have my wish it
would not be for a strong man’s power
but a mind so filled with love ’twere thrilled
by the sight of a bird or flower,
and a heart so deep it could safely keep
all the good things warm within
so that I could turn, with delight, to learn
what each new day ushered in.
If I could have my wish it
would not be for some glittering prize,
but a faith so strong it could walk along
wherever my pathway lies.
My best I’d give to each hour I live,
and whether in peace or strife
I should like to stay to my final day
aglow with the joy of life.