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Poems of Childhood

The poems in this section were written from 1959 to 1965, back when I was Marilyn Sanders. It seems I gave up (or mastered) drawing horses and went on to more literary ways of "wasting time and material." The first poem, In the Morning, was written in Mrs. White's 6th grade class at Walnut Hill Elementary School in Dallas Texas. I'm sure it still exists there somewhere, in my permanent record.

In the Morning (1959)
Go West (1960)
Spring Thoughts (1962)
A Boy (1962)
The City (1962)
The Cat (1962)
Fall (1962)
Six Strings (1963)
Death to a Child ((1963)
To Sally Reid (1963)
Defeat (1964)
The Deaf Mute (1965)

In the Morning (1959)     back to top ^

I see the flowers nod their heads
As the sun comes up,
And now a bird is singing sweetly
To wake each buttercup.
The stars have all turned out their lights
The moon has gone away,
And as the world begins to wake
We know that it is day.

The pool was still a while ago,
It looked just like a mirror,
But now the ducks are swimming there
And the ripples are coming nearer.
Silently a swan glides by,
You cannot hear a thing
His neck arched proudly to the sky
Your heart now wants to sing.

The sun is getting higher now
And soon the earth will warm.
And soon the farmers will come out
To see their land is farmed.
As we wander through the woods
We think of many things.
We think of flowers and of elves
And of mountains topped with cream.

Now we come upon a streamlet
All the fish within it play.
Now a bird is calling brightly
To his neighbor, far away.
Someday from now we'll fondly remember
All these things we see and hear.
Then one thought our minds will render,
Everything we need is here.

Go West     back to top ^

The mighty call in all men's hearts
A century ago,
For all young men, and young at heart
A'west afore to go.
To seek the dangers at their best
To fight bravely at every quest
Go west, young man, go west.

A mighty call to challenge all
To draw the brave hearts near,
Though only a few did pass the test,
The call came at its best,
Go west, young man, go west.

The mighty call across the plain
That seemed to start the wagon trains,
And whip the breeze o're tails and manes
Of horses on the plains,
And still the call passed out the quest,
Go west, young man, go west.

Then with a rumble and a roar,
That seemed to come form a distant shore,
The wooden wheels turned round and round
To raise the dust up form the ground,
And still the call did quest,
Go west, young man, go west.

Bitter toil through the days,
Sleepless nights for one to pray.
And the answer from above
Came down with and angel's love
To give them courage to pass the tests
And still the cry would call,
Go west, young man, go west.

And then the next day to go on,
To say your prayers and sing a song
To wish and want and toil and heave
And still the call cane with the breeze
For all the longing hearts to bless,
Go west, young man, go west.

With the next days sullen pace
They looked ahead for a resting place,
But look as they would there was none to find
In this land of grass and twine
With nothing there to care and love,
And yet their courage would have no rest
And the wind, the wind still brought the quest,
Go west, young man, go west.

And the days ahead held nothing more
Than hard work and saddlesores,
And nothing seemed to go quite right,
And nothing but the birds in flight
Would mar the beauty of the sky,
And send the hope of rest near by
And the brave hearts nearly cried
For the answers to their prayers
Had changed not for the best
But still rang on into their ears,
Go west, young man, go west.

And when the evening of the next day
Drew into a close
Upon the vast horizon it was visible to see
The small peak of a mountain,
The first sight of the Rockies.
And now the people shout for joy,
For it would surely be, that within a week,
They'd find the thing they seek.

And now all men will bless
The fact that they went west,
And now the cry for all is heard
You can take rest,
For you've gone west, young man, gone west.

Spring Thoughts     back to top ^

I've a place of my own, up in a tree,
Where I see things that only I can see.
In the earliest spring
When the trees wear veils
Of green and pink
With small details
And the landscape looks like a water color
Done by a Japanese artist's brother.

I wish that forever it would stay that way
With scant clouds flying across the sky
And I'd be there the whole long day,
Myself, the tree and the sky.

A Boy     back to top ^

If you've ever seen one walk your way,
On either a sunny or rainy day
You have a feeling that it'd be grand
To join up with that certain band
Of lank and lithe and merry joys
Who are indiscriminately called boys.

With rowdy hair and twinkling eyes
He'll work until he nearly dies
At anything that comes his way
That's different from another days
Work that will hold his interest true,
But other work he'll never do.

I bet you've
Never seen him cry
Under a teacher's hard stern eye
Or weep a single salty tear
Over a thing the girls call fear
He's lank and lithe and full of joy,
And indiscriminately called a boy.

The City     back to top ^

There's a relative beauty about a large city.
An off key singing of all the everyday sounds at one time.
It calls you early in the morning,
With the quick footsteps of people hurrying to work.
Or in the evening, when the quiet serenity of small chaos has settled.
The streetlights are bright, and it is a world of fantasy.
The stars in the sky can't be seen
But the neon signs take their place with brilliance
I love the large city
No matter which one it may be.
What in your youth appears to you dirty and ugly
Somehow becomes beautifully curious.
I'll go to one someday,
Someday, I'll live there.

The Cat     back to top ^

She's sleeping in the window,
She'll sleep like that all day.
You wonder if she's dreaming
Of places far away.

You are not her master,
You're barely just a friend,
She can twist you round her finger
And for her your heart will bend.

She's sleek and lean in summer months,
When chasing birds she goes,
And sleek and fat in winter months
When all she does is purr.

You wonder when you see her,
On a mystic summer night,
If that's the same cat which daily,
Drops in for a bite.

She's beautiful and homely,
Happy and sad,
Deft and awkward
And that you have her, you are glad.

Fall     back to top ^

Did you ever venture out on a late summer evening
To find that the atmosphere had changed from blue to turquoise?
Did you find it a shock to see a silver moon rather than gold,
Or feel the restless breeze that brings tales untold.

Autumn is on its way
The tree feels it,
The flowers feel it,
The earth is preparing to hide itself
In its winter cloak of gray,
And we can do nothing to keep it from its way.

Autumn mists fall often, on misty Autunm days
What is normally green gives the appearance of gray
And the animal life is far from gay.
Notice the sky,
Which is no color at all at the top
And is darker no color at the bottom.

The landscape gives the appearance of an eighteenth century novel.
Which generally, as you know, is anything but jovial.
I love the rain pattering on my face
And running through my hair,
What do I care if the curl comes out,
I'd rather have it straight and be free to run about.

My Guitar     back to top ^

I've six strings on which I play,
My many moods within the day.
In melody and chords express
What words on paper could never say.
What sounds ensuing from my mouth,
Could never near the meaning pay.

Death to a Child     back to top ^

To die in youth can never be thought a lucky thing to do.
Optimists will say the sorrow wrought
Will later fill its due.
The realist thinks of the joy he'll miss,
And the interest of experience true.
While the friend mourns the loss of life,
And the reality that death is true.

To Sally Reid     back to top ^

I'm thinking about you now.
It's been almost a year
Since God took you away
From your friends and family.

I'm thinking about our early friendship,
How we played together as girls,
You always worked hard,
Did anything for a friend.

I'm thinking about the time
When you had been away a long while.
I ran and embraced you,
We found a new friendship.

You never told me that there was pain.
It was your secret from me, from everyone.
You were freed from life early,
But I wish you were here.

Defeat     back to top ^

You can feel yourself slipping,
Spiraling down, down, down,
Soft gray is all around you dripping,
Its nothing light all around.

Your mind is trying,
Trying to make your hand grasp,
But your strength is dying,
And your spirit dies at last.

The people around you weep,
They weep for your laziness,
Your subconscious is asleep,
It would be better if you were dead.

The Deaf Mute     back to top ^

He came to our door selling needles,
Called from my room by the bell,
I greeted him, "Yes?"
A card he handed me,
"I am a deaf mute," it said for him,
"I am selling pins,
Pay what you wish."

Slightly shocked,
Not knowing what to say,
I called into the house.
My mother came.
She took the card and read,
Then quickly went
To search the house for coins.

With the door half open,
There I stood,
I began that money was coming,
But remembering that he could not hear,
My voice faded.
He noded in assurance though,
And smiled
And I returned his smile,
And waited.

A parler in silence,
A silence familiar to him,
Strange to me.
Why did God make him one way,
And me another?
A question asked so many times,
And always left unanswered.

I stood there and thought,
Was this meeting meant to test my faith,
Was this the Christ come to my door?
Mother returned with coin in hand,
He silently thanked us with a smile,
We smiled and watched,
He walked away.

back to top ^