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"Leaves from the Acorn Tree"
(Preview)
by Bill Childers

Webmaster's Note:  Bill was working on a new book of poetry, tentatively titled Leaves from the Acorn Tree.  This will be Bill's sophomore effort.  His first book, Integrity of The Spirit, Escaping The Mind-Game! was published in 2004.  We hope you enjoy the following samplings taken from the collection.

Update:  Due to health issues, Bill's project is currently on hold, but he graciously gave us the manuscripts that have been completed from the book.  They have now been coded and uploaded throughout our poetry section.

 

 Table of Contents


Foreword
If I Thought I Could
Against All Odds
My Grandmother
Lord, You Said...
For My Troubled Ways
 

 Foreword


Some noted writers and critics of poetry have said that there are many who write rhyme, but few who write poetry.  I certainly have to agree, especially regarding my own attempts.  There is much to be said, however, about the laying of one's kindred thoughts gently, yet firmly on paper.

I never once thought of myself as a poet.  Longfellow, Keats, Browning are poets, no doubt.  Yet, since the days of World War II, when I was about twelve years old, I have spent many warm, invigorating hours allowing my deepest needs, wishes and dreams to fall upon the pages before me.

Since we had no television in those days, my knowledge of the war was limited to what I read in the newspaper, and saw on the newsreels at the local theater on Saturday afternoons.  The things I saw and read were both amazing and fearful in the same breath.  I can't explain why I began putting my thoughts about the war and other things on paper in the form of rhyme, but I did.

I will spare you who are so kind as to read my writings more than a small sample of those early years.  As you read the following pages, I hope to be able to share with you some of the vision of my life, my living it, and the development of my thinking in those... and the ensuing years.  This book contains writings from my reflections upon WWII, as well as on my participation in the Korean and Vietnam wars.  The bulk of these writings have been produced since my retirement from the military, after more than twenty nine years of service.  Those years, which were certainly some of the most dynamic years of my life,  influenced many of the things I have written, even those poems that may not be directly about the military life and war experiences.

Regardless of where I have spent my life, and what I have done during those years, the greatest influence has been my relationship with God, and my faith in Christ.  It has been almost impossible to write poetry, or poetry which later became a song, without this overlying nurturing holding me close... and for that, I am most thankful.   BC

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 If I Thought I Could


I would touch every being with warmth,
And assure them of everlasting success-
I would ease every pain,
Never let it come again...
And calm every moment of stress.

I would take every hand, enclose it in mine,
Quite the tremors and fears-
I'd build unyielding courage,
Halt the struggling rage...
And smooth away emerging tears.

I would free every pain from hunger,
Put a shelter over every head-
I'd get shoes for everyone,
Let children walk and run...
And promise better days ahead.

I would cure eyes that could not see,
Heal ears that could not hear-
I'd open troubled minds,
Show peace they could find...
And walk with them through the years.

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 Against All Odds


I dare not hope to fly so high,
Nor go where fierce eagles soar;
And, yet, my fearful soul says, "Why?"...
But, I'm not sure I want to know more.

My spirit seeks to be strong and brave,
My mind wants rest from tattered days-
My thoughts tell me I am a verbose slave,
Failing the test of shattered ways!

When my eyes see Him fly above the mire,
And I say, rhetorically, "Why can't I?"
I know...I know...my father did not sire
A bird of prey to scavenge the sky!

I do not seek to rise above it all,
To evade that which all mortals 'know'.
I do not seek to conquer with a 'fall'...
The 'sour fruit' of the seeds I sow!

Yet, as the hands of Life's clock
Wind slowly to write the hour's finish,
I cannot but hear some jeer and mock
As I struggle...lest my faith diminish!

Ah...but my faith cannot be so brittle,
Nor my Spirit so docile and worn-
And, Father, I cannot care so little
For the hour eternity was 'born'!

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 My Grandmother


She was a tiny woman, I doubt an inch over five feet,
But, you'd never know it from her strength.
She was my daddy's mother, a really nice lady to meet,
She could 'hold her own' at about any length!

I guess I learned more about 'knowing how to hum'
From that little lady than most anybody I knew.
My grandmother, the only one I ever knew, my chum,
The first six years of life, she held me 'till I grew.

Oh, she didn't give me lessons, my daddy did that well.
She had me stay over night with her...we talked much.
She took me to church, we sang songs...a story, she'd tell
'Till I fell asleep...tuck me in, a love in her touch.

I remember the night she took me to a revival in town,
In a big tent filled with neighbors and friends.
I think I was the only six-year old that 'went down'
To the front, to the altar-call made at Service End.

When I looked up at her with tears, she didn't ask, "why?"
She "knew how to hum"...just held my hand, walked with me.
She knelt beside me, gently enfolded me with a 'sigh'...
And, I knew she understood all...and more, than I could see.

She would teach me many things I never could , would forget.
A 'friend' as well as a grandson who never stopped growing...
As I struggled with and against time...I could have found regret,
Yet, her love surrounded me with so much...I would never stop knowing.

In those many things and ways since as I've passed almost countless years,
I've grown, learned, forgotten...longed for her wisdom time and again...
Longed for her patience, her 'knowing' so many things, times and tears
That others' patience, their sense and wisdom simply...could not...understand.

And, so, though I've yearned for knowing many things that fit into living,
Even when I seem able to stumble o'er the long path and way...
I find no being who has her ability to sense gentility, her way in giving,
Her need to simply walk hand-in-hand with God and others, day by day.

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 Lord, You Said...


Lord, you said, "Come to my table."
I said, "Lord, I'm not sure I can."
And, you said, "My son, are you lost?"
"No, Lord...if you'll just give me a hand."

Then you said, "I've given you so much,
How can you ask for more than that?"
I said, "Lord, I know...but, I promise...
A little more...you won't regret!"

You said, "My son, I won't ever regret
The love I've given, or will ever give.
How could I, when the first gift was 'my' Life?
I gave my Only Son...that you might live!"

You went on to say, "I will give always,
But, my concern is for you to stand...
Firm in your life, and begin to be one
Enabling others to meet life's demands.

You see, my son, I need you to be my feet...
Treading the scorched pavement and way;
My mouth...spreading the Truth of love...
My hands...leading the weak that stray."

"I guess I never thought of it that way...
That I could be that much for you...
But, if you'll stand by my side, Lord,
I'll do the very best that I can do!

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 For My Troubled Ways


The days that seem not worth much
When I see so little clear and bright-
When I worry about tangles and such,
When I have struggles with wrong and right!

When 'perfection' is just a word,
And 'justice' a thing I want not!
When "being good" seems so absurd,
And understanding...a thing I need a lot...

When a 'friend's shoulder' is absent,
And no one seems to really care-
When my spirit is 'badly-bent',
And I'm content to just 'sit and stare...

When I search for 'other things'
With which to bide my time-
And, my "sense of responsibility" brings
A feeling I've committed no crime...

When I allow my better judgment
To take a 'back-seat' in my mind,
And, take the message that is sent,
And fit it to "druthers" I find...

O Lord, there seem to be so many times
When my life tears, ravels and frays-
It's then Your love brings reason ands rhyme...
And...Peace for my troubled ways.

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