You Just Never Know…

by Edgar Guest

None knows the day that friends must part.
None knows how near is sorrow.
If there be laughter in your heart,
don’t hold it for tomorrow.
Smile all the smiles you can today;
grief waits for all along with way.

Today is ours for joy and mirth;
we may be sad tomorrow;
then let us sing for all we’re worth,
nor give a thought to sorrow.
None knows what lies along the way;
let’s smile what smiles we can today.

From his book A Heap O’ Livin’
published 1916 by the Reilly & Britton Co


Reblogged from my former poetry blog,
Swallow in the Wind — Sept 2013

Personal Note:
Our new internet server is in place, but I’ve decided to go with my gmail address for awhile and see how that works. A slightly different e-mail address may show up in my replies to WordPress bloggers, but folks can contact me at christinevanceg @

Hope you’re smiling, singing a song, and having a good day in spite of the woes common to us mortals.


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.


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

Another Poem From My Stash


by Margaret Penner Toews

Wee little hummingbird, caught in a wire,
Halt, little bird, or your wings will tire:
In your little-bird-world your plight is dire!
Hold still, wee bird, hold still!

Wee little hummer, don’t flail, don’t fight!
If you’d stop your frenzy you’d be all right.
It’s the flailing that causes your awful plight.
Hold still, little bird, hold still.

Is your wee little scream a little bird-prayer?
How can I tell you, wee bird, I care?
You pause at last and numbly stare.
Don’t be afraid! Hold still.

Spent, despairing, you rest your wing.
I reach. I touch. What a fragile thing,
The delicate body quivering,
A hummingbird, holding still!

In my palm you tarry a little bit,
Then shake, and away like a breath you flit.
I stand astonied at thought of it…
A hummingbird, holding still!

How tiny the feather you left behind!
…And then of a sudden there comes to mind
The truth God wanted for me to find:
“Hold still, my child, hold still.

“Stop your frenzy and rest in Me.
It’s the flailing that hurts you, don’t you see?
Whate’er your predicament, trust in Me.
Hold still, my child, hold still.”

© Margaret Penner Toews
From her book FIRST A FIRE

Margaret’s poetry is delightful reading and she has published several books of poems as well as several books of devotional thoughts. These are available from PrairieView Press and Gospel Publishers.

From My Poem Stash

What Says The Most About You?

………….Author Unknown………….

It isn’t the money you’re making;
it isn’t the clothes you wear;
it isn’t the skill of your good right hand
that makes folks really care.
It’s the smile on your face and the burdens you bear;
it’s how do you live, and neighbour,
it’s how do you work and play.
It’s how do you say “Good morning”
to the people along the way
and it’s how do you face your troubles
whenever the skies are grey.

Winnie and the Optimist

It’s been awhile since I posted any stories about Winnie and Raylene. You can read about their travels here:
Winnie on Tour

Nature Makes Cats Too Smart

In today’s story they are dealing with an overly optimistic great-nephew. 🙂

Winnie and the Optimist

“Looks like your gas tank is a little low, Willie.” Raylene commented from the back seat.

Willie waved his hand in a dismissive way. “Don’t worry about that gauge. It’s broken. I been meaning to get it fixed, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

Winnie, sitting beside her great nephew, leaned sideways and eyed the gas gauge. “The needle shows almost empty. So how do you know when you’re really low on gas?”

“By the odometer. I just keep track in my head. Only a few times I’ve actually run out.”

“A few times? But not today, I hope? We want to make it to the airport in good time, Willmont.”

Willie gave her a reassuring glance. “Chill, Aunt Winnie. I’ve got this.”

“Um… Here’s a service station coming up,” Raylene said. “Maybe you could fill your tank before we hit the freeway. Always be on the safe side, you know.”

“I’m sure I have enough gas to get you to the plane. You ladies just relax and leave it to me. No point worrying about things before they happen.”

The ladies exchanged glances and Raylene shrugged as if to say, After all, we can’t force him to stop for gas. She sat back and tried to forget the gas gauge, focussing rather on the scenery. Soon they were on the freeway headed for the big city and their holiday cruise.

The gas station was several kilometers behind them and the sign coming up read: Airport Exit 8 km when they felt the car give a slight jerk. Then another. The motor gave a few little coughs, ran rough for a moment, then stalled.

“What gives?” Willie guided his car to the shoulder. “We can’t be out of…” He peered at the odometer. “Oh, spaz! I thought that was a three. It’s an eight.”

“Sometimes it’s better to…” Raylene timidly began.

Winnie drowned her out. “We’re going to miss our plane, Willmont! Your dad was in the Boy Scouts when he was a youngster, wasn’t he. Didn’t he ever teach you the Boy Scout motto: ‘Always Be Prepared’?”

Willie rolled his eyes. “No sweat. We’ve still got lots of time. I’ll hitchhike back to the service station and get a can of gas. Won’t take long at all.” He got out of the car.

Winnie and Raylene joined him and all three stared at the car.

“Be back in a jiff.” Willie crossed the highway and held up his thumb. A few minutes later a car stopped. The driver nodded sympathetically at the ladies as Willie got into his car and they were off.

“Optimism can go along way,” Raylene commented, trying to inject an upbeat note.

Winnie snorted. “Just not all the way to the airport.”

Winnie and Raylene were still pacing around on the shoulder five minutes later when a car slowed and pulled up behind Willie’s. They recognized the driver as one of the fellows from the Senior Apartments in their town. He stuck his head out the window. “Damsels in distress?”

Winnie hurried over, exclaiming, “Howard Downing! You are a sight for sore eyes! My nephew Willmont was driving us to the airport and he ran out of gas. He got a lift to the garage back up the road.”

“But we’re scared we’re going to miss our plane,” Raylene added. Never hurts to stir up a little sympathy.

“What a coincidence. I’m headed to the airport myself. My brother and his wife are coming in at 12:15 from Vancouver. Would you like a ride?”

Raylene and Winnie both exclaimed. “Would we!”

Howard helped them transfer their baggage to his car. Winnie beamed at him. “You’re a lifesaver!”

Raylene stashed her tote in the back seat. “We should leave Willie a note to say what we’ve done, don’t you think, Winnie?”

“Nope. We can call him when we get to Toronto. He should be home chilling by then.”

“Don’t you think he’ll be worried if we just disappear?”

Winnie gave a dismissive wave with her hand. “He can just relax and leave it to us.” She sat on the passenger side and firmly shut the door.

Howard held the door open for Raylene and winked at her as she sat in the back seat. “The young gotta learn sometime.”

Art’s Eternal Truth

Thanks to Rochelle and her commendable efforts as moderator of the Friday Fictioneers, another prompt has tumbled into my In-box. Many thanks also to Douglas MacIlroy for contributing the photo. Join this week’s Friday Fiction effort HERE.

It’s been awhile since I’ve contributed…and it may be awhile again… I’ve been in a general muddle lately! However, when I saw this prompt photo first thing this morning my muse nudged me and called to mind our clever sculptor friend, Marcel. Art Must be Flexible. She suggested this might be his concept of a bird-feeder. I chuckled, then decided to let the tale spin out and see how far it went. What do you think?

Photo © Douglas M. MacIlroy


“I’m calling this ‘Birdfeeder’,” Marcel told his friends.

“Birdfeeder!” Crombie exclaimed.

“My interpretation of man’s efforts to positively impact his environment.”

“How about ‘Gone With the Wind’?” Percy suggested, examining the creation skeptically. “It’s getting rusty.”

“That’s it! I’ll call it ‘Eternal Truth’. Like ‘Dust to dust; ashes to ashes; iron to rust’…”

His friends groaned.

A woman rushed over. “It’s brilliant,” she exclaimed. “I must have it. How much?”

“Three thousand,” Marcel quoted.

As she signed the cheque Crombie nudged Percy. “There’s gotta be an eternal truth in here somewhere.”

Percy winked. “Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder.”