“Friendship”

I’m happy to say that my visit to the Cancer Clinic yesterday was really encouraging. My white count is about the same as it was back in November, no sign of the leukemia becoming active.

I’m going to take a break from the internet for awhile to catch up with other projects. I’ll schedule some poems to fill in the gap. I trust you’ll find them as inspiring as I do.

Friendship

by Edgar Guest

You do not need a score of men to laugh and sing with you;
you can be rich in comradeship with just a friend or two.
You do not need a monarch’s smile to light your way along;
through weal or woe a friend or two will fill your days with song.

So let the many go their way and let the throng pass by;
the crowd is but a fickle thing which hears not when you sigh.
The multitudes are quick to run in search of favorites new,
and all that man can hold for grief is just a friend or two.

When winds of failure start to blow, you’ll find the throng has gone —
the splendor of a brighter flame will always lure them on;
but with the ashes of your dreams and all you hoped to do
you’ll find that all you really need is just a friend or two.

You cannot know the multitude, however hard you try:
it cannot sit about your hearth; it cannot hear you sigh;
it cannot read the heart of you, or know the hurts you bear;
its cheers are all for happy men and not for those in care.

So let the throng go on its way and let the crowd depart;
but one or two will keep the faith when you are sick at heart;
and rich you’ll be, and comforted, when gray skies hide the blue,
if you can turn and share your grief with just a friend or two.

From the Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

Do You Know Your Neighbor

by H Howard Biggar

Do you know the neighbor who lives on your block;
do you ever take time for a bit of talk?
Do you know his troubles, his heartaches, his cares;
the battle he’s fighting, the burdens he bears?

Do you greet him with joy, or pass him right by
with a questioning look and a quizzical eye?
Do you bid him “Good Morning” and “How do you do,”
or shrug as if  he were nothing to you?

He may be a chap with a mighty big heart;
and a welcome that grips, if you’d just do your part,
and I know you will coax out his sunniest smile
if you’ll stop with this neighbor and visit awhile.

We rush on so fast in these strenuous days,
we’re apt to find fault when it’s better to praise.
We judge a man’s worth by the make of his car;
we’re anxious to learn what his politics are.

But somehow it seldom gets under the hide,
the fact that the fellow we’re living beside
Is a fellow like us, with a hankering too,
for a grip of the hand and a “How do you do!”

Note about the author:
Harvey Howard Biggar (1886 – 1965),  was born in SD and died in Chicago, IL. He was an agronomist, an instructor in agriculture, and a poet.

Books: Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine

I downloaded an e-book from the local lending library a couple of days ago and read it yesterday evening. Now I want to tell you about it because I thought it was a really neat novella and well worth reading.

The title: Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine
Book #13 in the Isabel Dalhousie series

© 2016 by Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Penguin Random House

This is a unique story about ethics.

Isabel Dalhousie, a young wife in Edinburgh, owner and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics meets a friend at an art previewing prior next week’s auction. As they visit and look around at the upcoming sale items, Roz draws Isabel’s attention to one picture. She shares a bit of vital information about its value — and extracts from Isabel the promise that she’ll not tell a soul. Since the auctioneer obviously doesn’t realize the painting’s true worth, Roz plans to get it for a song, resell it, and make a small fortune.

The story’s maybe a bit wordy in places as Isabel muses over the ethics of this and other sticky situations she encounters during the week. She tries to sort out what she should do, if anything, with the help — or dissuasion — of her husband. He calls her his “sweet, thoughtful valentine” and wishes she would stay out of other people’s problems.

The art drama intensifies when she meets another friend by chance one day. Ruth’s in a financial bind, having to sell her home, also her mother’s belongs, to pay for her mother’s stay in a nursing home where she’s getting really good care. Ruth has sent a few of her mother’s paintings to an upcoming art sale. They likely won’t bring much, but…

The awful truth dawns — and Isabel is really in the treacle.

The writer has done a great job of squeezing poor Isabel between a rock and a hard place, between one friend and another, between promise and conscience. Will she practice the ethics she preaches or mind her own business? I found the solution intriguing  and unexpected.

This author has also written the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series, the 44 Scotland Street Series and the Portuguese Irregular Verbs Series and others.

As We Grow Older

Not knowing who wrote the poem I posted yesterday, I meant to put “Author Unknown” at the bottom. This morning I’ve corrected that little omission, also searched for the first line to see if Mr Google could help me out again.

I discovered another version — I’m thinking this is probably the original. And a sobering thought for a Sunday morning.

As We Grow Older

A little more tired at the close of the day;
a little less anxious to have our own way;
a little less ready to scold and blame;
a little more care of a brother’s name;
and so we are nearing the journey’s end,
where time and eternity meet and blend.
And so we are faring a-down the way
that leads to the gates of a better way
A little more laughter, a few more tears,
and we shall have told our increasing years.
The book is closed and the prayers are said,
and we are part of the countless dead.
and so we are going where all must go,
to the place the living may never know.
Thrice happy if then some soul can say,
I’m better because he passed my way.

Rollin J Wells

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ROLLIN J. WELLS, of the Wells & Blackman law firm,
Sioux Falls, SD, was born 1848 in IL; died 1923 in Sioux Falls.

Touching Shoulders With You

Author Unknown

There’s a comforting thought at the close of the day
when I’m weary, lonely and sad
that sort of grips my crusty old heart
and bids it be merry and glad.
It gets in my soul and drives out the blues
and finally thrills me through and through;
it’s just a sweet memory that chants the refrain
“I’m glad I touched shoulders with you.”

Did you know you were brave, did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know I waited and listened and prayed
and was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know I longed for the smile on your face
and the sound of your voice singing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely touched shoulders with you

I am glad that I live, that I battle and strive
for I place I know I must fill.
I’m thankful for sorrows I’ll meet with a grin;
fortune may send me good or ill.
I may not have wealth, I may not be great
but I know I shall always be true,
for I have in my life that courage you gave
when I once touched shoulders with you.

My Friend

My friend, blessing rare,
jewel of my memories,
depth of wisdom probed

Monday morning and the laundry is a-washing. I’ve been sorting through some older posts on another blog and found this haiku. Hope you enjoy it.

I’m thankful for precious friends like this. Friends with insight and heart. Friends with whom I can share any thoughts or regrets and know they won’t rebuke me for my errors or ridicule me for my ideas. I hope you have a friend like this, too. 🙂