Archive for Poems

Just A Man

Just a Man coverMy new book of encouragements is now available on Amazon in Paperback or Kindle e-reader format.

I’m not a preacher, teacher, or theologian. I am, quite simply, “Just a Man”—an ordinary man—who wants to love and encourage others.

Click on the links below to order your copy!

Just A Man ~ Kindle

Just A Man ~ Paperback

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Billy Staub

It was hotter’n blue blazes around this part of Texas this past summer; over a hundred degrees on a lot of days. It reminded me of this poem I wrote several years ago. It’s a true story–embellished a bit–and what happened on that long ago day had everything to do with the heat. Lord knows I wish I could say the whole thing happened in my imagination. If it hadn’t been so hot, and the logging crews hadn’t been shut down, Billy Staub might still be with us. But then again… probably not.

This Silence Was Not Golden

 

I was on the porch in the wood swing

It creaked and gently swayed

In a hot south wind

 

No workin’ in the woods on those kinda days

Fire danger and all

Didn’t matter to me

 

I was four beers in; two to go

And Hank Jr. was croonin

‘Bout bein’ whiskey bent

 

Billy Staub’s chainsaw was whinin’

Out back somewhere

An angry steady sound

 

Dale’s old hound dog came up and laid at my feet

I thought to shoo him

But let him be

 

My leg was itchin’ something fierce

No way to scratch it

Through the dang cast

 

Hank stopped singin’… a tree crashed

Then Billy’s chainsaw

Sputtered… and died

 

hound-dogThe old dog raised his head, listening

Somehow seeming to know

This silence was not golden

 

The breeze sighed then went still

And somehow I knew…

Billy was gone

 

Billy Staub was small in stature, but tough as nails, and had a heart as big as an old-growth fir tree. He had his faults, and one of them may have been partially responsible for his death, but he was a good man and a good friend.

I left the woods after a big tree fell on me, breaking my leg so badly it required two operations, and about two years in and out of casts. Billy was killed not long after my accident, when a big tree he was felling took an unexpected turn and landed on him. He was probably high when it happened, because he usually was. When the big tree hit my leg, I saw it coming and ran like crazy trying to get out of its way; I imagine when Billy saw the big tree coming at him, he probably just grinned and looked at it with those ever-droopy eyes of his and said, “Huh… would ya look at that…”

Copyright © C. Mashburn 2012

(Revised 11/07/2018)

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A Promise Comes

For some reason this poem came to mind this morning. I wrote it in 2006 but it seems appropriate I should share it again today, the day after Labor Day.

I was taught at a very young age: Never give up. Never quit.

~~~~~~~~~

A Promise Comes

 

The sunburnt harvest moon slowly rises

on the porch

Picture courtesy of Google Images

In the east on this late day in fall

A gentle breeze moves the porch swing

In the distance a whippoorwill calls

 

The neighbor’s dog down the way barks

While lightning bugs blink in the yard

Serenity wraps ‘round us like a shawl

‘tis forgotten that life is so hard

 

From the children’s room, soft giggles

As they play with their simple toys

Their lives are filled with struggles

And yet, they hang on to their joy

 

In evening dim we dream of olden times

The way it used to be

To go and come and just walk about

In a place called land of the free

 

We rise each day and do our work

As to the Lord, and not as to man

Doing as we are told to do

Singing hymns, we work the land

 

We know not if our wait be long

But know alone, we won’t carry this load

And soon we’ll rejoice and praise our Lord

A promise comes down the dusty road

 

Copyright © 2006 C. Mashburn

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Don’t Go There

the veil(2)It’s happened several times in the past, but it seems to be happening more frequently as I get on in years. I’ll be sound asleep in the early morning hours when a voice—clear and audible—awakens me with but one word; my name. “Charlie?” Yes, it comes in the form of a question; an almost searching but perhaps curious lilt to it. Sometimes I feel as though the voice is asking for my help, other times it seems to be reaching out to help me; as in, What are you doing, Charlie? Don’t go there.

I’m never quite sure who the voice belongs to, but after I’m fully awake for a few moments I discern the voice to be my mom’s. Always though, I’m never certain.

Afterward, I feel no fear or dread, but it does make me wonder. First, I wonder if there’s something wrong with mom—she lives 400 miles away—and then, sometimes, I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. This morning, for the first time since this began happening, I wondered if this happens when I come to close to “the veil”, as in dying.

I know, it’s a morbid thought, and maybe nonsensical too, but it came to me this morning, so I’m writing it down. What if—for reasons unexplainable—I approach death in my sleep and God uses Mom’s voice to call me back from the edge because, quite simply, it’s not my time to go.

I wonder.

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The Same Thing Only Different

Bubbles and Lies

Bubbles are much like lies 

They usually come in bunches

One leading to another

Obscuring the truth of who we are

 

But they soon drift away

Leaving the others to burst in time

And always sooner than we expect

We are exposed to the world

 

Some are big, some are small

Some reflect the light in beautiful ways

Fooling those who witness them

But only for a short while

 

Bubbles and lies cannot survive

Unless time can be stopped

Or the expelling of them does not

Or… they become our truth

 

What will we do

When the bubbles are all gone

When the world sees us clearly

As we stand naked and ashamed

 

Will we hang our heads

Or quickly dip into the jar

Wave our arms and like magic

Remain a figment of our delusion

bubble

 

Copyright © C. Mashburn 2011

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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Soup in My Fly

I thought y’all might could use a little Monday morning giggle!

A Fly In My Soup

 

There’s a fly in my soup, I shouted 

A hush fell over the room                       

The big cook with one lazy eye                  

Stared straight at me…. I assumed

 

Slowly, he walked to my table

A pin dropping could not have been heard

Said, say it again ‘bout the bug, my friend

And it may be your very last words

 

Well baloney, I thought and then I said, what

To me you’ll not speak to like that

He gave a big grin, looked right at me again (I think)

Then the soup hit my lap with a splat

fly in soup

Laughter uproarious filled the room

I blushed and then leapt from my seat

Looked up at my huge assailant

And then hastily beat my retreat

 

Arrived at the house much disheveled

The wife said, oh me and oh my

Dear I must ask you this question

Did you know you’ve got soup in your fly?

 

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

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A Fathers Day Tribute

My grandfather, Luther “Bunk” Stringer, was a man whose life, in my opinion, was of historic note, and his story deserves to be told and remembered. He was by far the best man I ever knew and he was my hero. If I’m one day considered to be even half the man Bunk Stringer was, I, too, will have had one hell of a ride.

One Hell of a Ride

 

Come over here and sit for a spell

Lend an ear, I’ll give it a bend

I’ve been known to tell a tale or two

Of things that were, or might have been

 

With words I’ll paint a picture of days

When I was young and I was lean

Of days I sat tall in the saddle

Long ago when just a teen

 

I’ll tell of the time I met a girl

Who made me blush and act the fool

The most beautiful girl in Texas

Was no mistake they called her Jewel

 

I’ll tell you about the sunlit days

                              Out on the north Texas plains

Where I chased the steers that wandered

                                 ‘cross the hot mesquite filled range

 

I’ll tell of how I sat atop my mount

         On a hill as I pondered and dreamed

             Dreams of what lay beyond the hills

                   Far places I’d never been

 

I’ll tell you ‘bout some of those places

For a bit of traveling I have done

                                Oh, I wandered from ocean to ocean

                              In pursuit of that brighter sun

 

     But all roads lead me back here

                         Now I’ve lost the lust to roam

And so you find me here on this porch

       In Texas, my home sweet home

 

No, I don’t have much to show

                               For the eighty some years I’ve lived

For I lived hard and I loved hard

                            I gave this world all I had to give

 

But cry not when you look upon

             The few things I leave behind

My life was full of love and laughter

            And I had one hell of a ride

Copyright © 1996 C. Mashburn

 

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