Thursday, October 11, 2018

Just a Few More Days

Just a Few Days

Just a few days, that’s all there is left.
A few days of clear golden skies,

Of naked children in cool water,
Of sun-tanned skin and sun-kissed hair.

Just a few days linger before woolens replace sandals and bare feet,
Before leaves begin to fall,

Before the warm sun on the backs of our necks is a memory,
As we harvest summer’s bounteous pleasures,

Then bid them goodbye until next year.

-14 September, 2000

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Where Did You Come From, September?"

Here's a free-verse poem I wrote at the beginning of the month, when I was struck with the prospect of summer's closing~
"Where Did You Come From, September?"

Where did you come from, September?
Summer was a blur of watering and weeding, fighting bugs and weather, 
Then harvesting and putting by.
And animals making due in rude shelters on the ground.

The suddenly you arrived, September,
Bringing a change to light and leaves and sounds of airplanes reverberating in the air.
And insects who know their songs will soon be silenced, singing all the livelong night and day.

Though you yourself are mild, September,
You breathe the words, "Prepare for winter!" into my very soul.
And I know I must make tight the shelters of both beast and man,
And must work hard as I can before you take wing,
Taking with you the last of summer's bounty and barefoot days.
And the flowers' blossoms that I love.

9 September 2018

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Letter from Hettie | № 5

See the other letters from Hettie here: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4


Dearest, Darling Caroline,

Please forgive me for not writing sooner, but we have had a very harrowing time. We were exploring the ruins of an old castle, when Uncle Jasper fell through some old brickwork and broke his collarbone and left shoulder. Oh, it was horrible Caroline! We thought he was dead, it was that serious. A very nice family took us in and has helped nurse him back to health. He had a very high fever on Nov. 1 and 2, and we did nothing but pray and pray.

 It seemed that the presence of Death itself was in the room, but the fever broke during the night of the 2nd. Thank the Lord! Uncle is still in a lot of pain, but he is being a real trooper and tells us to go see the sights and not worry about him. It is so beautiful and green here, and the family has a very kind son who has offered to escort us to the local attractions, but I feel tremendously, quietly leaving my dear uncle’s side!

So we shall be here in Ireland till Uncle Jasper is not in so much pain, and then we will miss seeing Scotland, but will flee to sunny Italy and Greece, and perhaps the South of France, so Uncle can be sure to be warm while fully recovering.

It will be strange to celebrate Thanksgiving in a country where it is unheard of, but we shall indeed be thankful just to be together and to have been spared what could have been an awful occurrence.  Much love and blessings to you and your little brood this Thanksgiving, I hope you are starting to feel a little better now.


Cousin Hettie

Liberty’s Tears

Liberty’s Tears

I saw fair Lady Liberty a-bowing of her head.
As silent tears fell to the ground, I listened while she said,
“I fear my life is fading for I feel so very frail.
My cheeks, which once bloomed pink with hope,
Now sullied are, and pale.

Men have trampled down poor Virtue, and Vice reigns in her stead.
And Justice, weak from her long fight, ere long shall too be dead.
“Weep not, Fair Lady!” I cried out, “And bow thy head no more!
For still God-fearing men there be upon this hallowed shore.”

“God-fearing men!  Where have you been, when you were needed so?”
The lady’s vehement retort struck me a mighty blow.
“Where were you when the vilest men abused my sacred name
To give themselves a “right” to kill their own sweet unborn kin?

Why did you let them take our Lord from children’s daily fare
That they might rise up in the world with spirits stripped and bare?
Oh, where have you been, blind Godly men?” and once more she did weep.
Now weeping, too, I answered her, “Lady, we’ve been asleep.

And blind indeed we have been too, to Evil’s ugly face.
We looked the other way while war was waged upon our race.”

— Marqueta Graham


Monday, March 23, 2015

Poem for a New Musician

Poem for a New Musician

Make your music, my child!
Try the old piano out and see
What magic it can do.
See how each key, whether black or white
Has its own perfect place.
Feel the coolness of ebony and ivory.
Hear the notes; soft when you lightly touch,
Loud when you pound.
Now go and play the tune that has been hidden
Away in the heart of you. 

M. J. Graham
~19 February, 2015

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hettie Visits the Lake District

20 October, 1911
Dearest Caroline,

Oh, I have ever so much to tell you about the Lake District! It is so green and so beautiful, I could stay here forever.

I sketched William Wordsworth's home for you. We drove past the spot where he wrote "Daffodils," and I wished we could have come in the spring, for our guide told us they still bloom there (the daffodils).

John Ruskin's home was amazing, too, and we even had a peek inside. There are many ruins and old villages with cobbled streets, and of course the lakes are simply Heaven on Earth. The colours are just starting to change to reds, oranges, and yellows. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I wish I could bottle the scent and sent it to you. This leaf will have to do.

I hope that you have had a wonderful week. Send everyone my love.

Your cousin,


Monday, October 8, 2012

Hettie's Autumn Letter

8 October, 1911

Dearest Caroline,

We are still in the Lake District, enjoying it very much. London was cold and foggy, but we braved the weather and watched the changing of the guards on Tuesday; it was quite a sight!

Uncle Jasper has developed the photographs from our sea voyage, and I am including one of Cousin Paul and me (this was right after I lost my camera in the brink). There are so many photos of everyone but Uncle Jasper, that we'll have to tie him down to get some of him, as well.

I hope that you are enjoying beautiful autumn in the mountains there. I imagine that most of your colours are gone by now? We are enjoying lovely weather today, sunny and balmy.