Latest Poems

The Three Trees - Barnabas Thomas

Apr 27,2015

The story began in a dense green grove
Where birds and flowers a beauty wove.
And deep at its heart, the three trees grew.
Between the woods and the sky so blue.
Two of the trees were stout and strong.
The third was slender, its trunk was long.
Now each of these trees had a wish unique.
These alone did the three trees seek.
The first of the trees wished to be a chest
In which the King would set his wealth to rest.
The second, to make a stately bed,
On which the King would lay his head.
The third was lowly, slender, and thin:
Unfit to serve a king.
Yet this young sapling one thing desired:
To be a ladder it aspired.
And yet the days came, passed, and went:
The time in the grove expectantly spent.
Till one day there came a lumberjack,
His mighty arm wielded saw and axe,
Till all three trees, with a mighty rush,
Fell prone to the ground among the bush.
"The time has come," they thought, "for me,
To be now what I wanted to be."
And saying goodbye to bird and bee,
They went to meet their destiny.
They were bundled up to be sawn to planks
And sent to a carpenter's wooden banks.
The first two yielded planks right broad,
But the third was but a wooden rod.
The sawyer grumbled, "This is good for nought."
Yet of it sawed poles, one long, one short.
The first of the trees was sent to a farm,
And there a farmer stretched out his arm
To nail the tree into a box to hold,
The feed for his cattle in the evenings cold.
The tree was disappointed sore:
The stink of the dung and straw it bore.
So much for its dream of holding wealth:
A severe stroke to it was dealt.
The second tree - well, it was bought
By a fisherman, to make a boat.
"Oh, no!" exclaimed the furious tree.
"This just can't be meant for me!
"The salty sea is not my place,
But an ornate bed of silk and lace!"
And so passed the weary years,
With their worries, hopes, and fears
Till a man and his humble wife
Came to lay their Child one day,
In that stable rested Life,
Dreaming sweetly as He lay.

But when that Baby to manhood grew,
He taught some men, and children too
And when the lovely day was old,
He laid him down in the fish-boat's hold.
Proud was the boat as it crossed the lake.
A treasure chest it had hoped to make,
But nought as great had the world at best,
Than the Life that lay down in that boat to rest.
But the third of the trees was left in the dark,
Shuddering lest termites gnaw its bark.
To find a use for it no one could:
No craftsman chose its slender wood.
Long, oh long, it had to wait
Lying in the storehouse, cursing its fate.
But then one day a soldier strode
Into the woodman's humble abode,
He barked, "Some wood, as fast as you can,
"I execute today a man. "
The woodman said, "Oh, soldier great,
"What woe that you should come so late!
"I have but a log or two with me,
"The worst that came from hardwood tree."
The soldier roared, "Well, bring it out!
"I don't care what you blabber about,
"I'll make do with rotten lumps,
"But I want them quick, so stir your stumps!"
The poor tree trembled at the soldier's wrath,
"I won't be made a tool of death!"
But it was seized, and with nails combined,
"Oh no, oh no!" the tree now whined.
But when the tortured Man then died,
That humble tree was satisfied.
"I wished to be a ladder for men,
"But I've been used as a ladder to Heaven!
"Though weak and useless I would seem,
"My end is far beyond my dream!"
Now comes the end to this noble tale,
As we look on Him they did impale
The moral herewith comes to light:
That Child and Man was Jesus Christ.
The Lord their wishes did not fufill,
But He granted them their heart's true will.
If dreams and fancies you fain would keep
Seem unfulfilled and buried deep,
God will use you in His way,
Your dreams will come to life one day.

The Prodigal Son - Barnabas Thomas

Apr 27,2015

It was a beautiful evening, in a city fine.
A man and his sons sat down to dine,
He had two sons, just so you know,
An oldest, a youngest, - there you go!
"Father," said the youngest, loud and strong,
"I've never liked this life all along!"
"I want my half-share, to leave the farm!"
"Son," said his father, "please stay calm."
But he argued, and protested, all the day:
Finally, his father let him have his way.
And so he set out, with great fanfare.
His father didn't plead and pray: he stood right there.
Often when we want to be really bad,
God will let us go, though He's very sad.
So the son reached the city, had a lot of fun,
He made lots of friends, one by one.
He feasted, and treated, and recklessly lent:
Soon he found his money was spent.
Then a famine struck the land:
The food ran out: there was nought at hand.
When God will send us pain within:
He means to convict us of our sin.
He looked to his friends for shelter and stay,
But they showed their true colors and walked away.
He tried to earn some honest pay,
But he found nothing, all the day.
One man he found: he owned some hogs.
He was to clean their dirty bogs.
All he ever had to munch
Were the rotten pea-pods - the pig's lunch.
If you ever lose all hope,
The best way out is not the rope.
Then he thought of his father's dwelling fair,
Where servants had food, and much to spare.
He came to his senses, and felt in his heart,
The love of his father, who had loved him from the start.
He knew then where he wanted to be:
He would return to his home and see
If his father would take him on
As his servant, and not his son.
He thought to himself what he would do:
"Father, I have sinned against God and you.
How many the sinful things I've done:
I am not worthy to be called your son:"
"To the things of the world myself I gave:
Treat me just as a hired slave."
This to his father he would say:
Be his father's servant from that day.
Thus he set out for his father's home,
And from far away the father saw him come.
The son, he walked: but the father ran.
God’s love is greater than the repentance of man.
He joyfully embraced him: our Father doesn't care
However filthy the clothes that we wear.
"Father," the broken son choked out,
"I am a wretched being, no doubt.”
"I have sinned both against you and heaven:"
"Take me as one of your hired men."
His father didn't let him finish his speech:
He called for a ring, and sandals for his feet.
He called for the calf that was fat and round:
His son had been lost, but now was found.
So the feast began; the house was filled with light:
The elder brother came home; surely this wasn't right?
He asked his father's steward, "Hey, what's going on?"
The steward smiled, "Master, lo, your brother came this morn."
The brother grew livid with his jealous wrath:
He turned aside in fury from his wonted path:
The servants begged him to join the feast:
He wouldn't - he was sullen as a caged wild beast.
Lo, then the father himself came out,
And asked, "My son, what's all this about?"
The elder son said, "I've slaved for you!
I've done everything that I could do!"
"Did you ever grant me one little calf
So that I could feast with my friends, and laugh?"
"And now, this worthless boy is returned,
Who squandered your money: your wealth is burned."
"And you give him a feast that very night!
Well, is this fair? and is this right?"
The father mildly said, "Son, you know
That all I have is fully yours:
But now we should rightly celebrate,
For he is found, who once was lost."
"So do not commit the sin of Cain:
He who was dead now lives again.
"If you are ever in a prodigal state,
There is a Father who love is great.
There are some, who with the Father stay,
So close, and yet so far away.
Separation from the Father is death indeed:
Let us always cleave to him, He will lead.

Telemachus - Barnabas Thomas

Apr 22,2015

Telemachus, monk of  the Continent
Ever praying to his Lord,
He left behind his homeland fair
When he heard the Call of God.

To the City of Rome did he travel then,
Knowing not what he would do there
As he walked, the One who gave him strength
The monk heard through the air.

"Telemachus, oh, dear son of Mine,
Fear not the tides of Rome.
For there I have a deed for you
And then I will bring you Home."

He approached the looming city gates
As the words churned in his heart
He entered then and looked around
With the calm that was his art.

He heard the cries of many men,
As with a wild and uncouth song,
The crowd surged to a building great
And Telemachus was borne along.

The faithful man prayed in his heart
As he was swept along the hall,
Then emerged upon a balcony
And there stood still, appalled.

For this was the sight that met his eyes
An arena, with two men
They clashed swords in mortal combat
Withdrew, then stabbed again.

Telemachus turned to the man which stood
At his left, drinking in the sight.
"Why does no one go," he cried,
"And stop this terrible fight?"

"Keep still, you fool." replied the man.
"Good sport we came to see."
"If you have no stomach for it, then"
"Spoil it not for me!"

"Is it so?" cried the monk, now passion-filled.
"For 'sport', the life of a man!"
"If ye will not forbear, by the Power of God,"
"I will do what I can!" 

He rose and ran through the roaring crowd,
Till he sprung out upon
The ground on which, with vigour renewed,
The gladiators battled on.

"In the Name of Christ, forbear!" he cried
As emerging from the door.
The gladiators, paying no heed at all,
Lunged at each other once more.

He called again, "In the Name of Christ,"
"Forbear, my friends, I plead!"
He put himself between the men
It was a worthy deed.

The monk had obscured the fighters' view
One received a cut, and so
His anger roused, he swung his sword
On Telemachus fell the blow.

His chest was gashed: his life ebbed out
In sight of all that were there.
But only the fighters heard his last words:
"In the Name of Christ, forbear!"

A hush then spread over all
As they realized what had been done
And rising from their seats, they left
The Coliseum one by one.

And when this reached the emperor's ears
Homerius drew his breath
And commanded that never more should be
This terrible sport of death.

So hear me for a moment, friend.
This tale, it was of old
But think not that it holds but then
Nay, we need it sevenfold.

Safest for an infant
A mother's womb proved to be
But men in this age betrayed them
To basest treachery.

The pleasure of the Emperor was high indeed:
The gladiators fought for him
But babes are slaughtered for nothing more
Than another's convenient whim.

Like the gladiators in this tale,
Injustice on babes is wreaked.
"Speak for those," says the Word of God,
"Who for themselves cannot speak."

Evil rampant through the world
Malice, sin, and sloth.
We need him yet: the time is set,
Telemachus, come thou forth!

A Pencil's Story - Barnabas Thomas

Mar 06,2015

A puny limb of a tall pine tree,
But happy the life thus given to me. 
Yet a woodsman came to chop me down,
And thus he spoke of me with a frown, 
"This branch is good for naught; all the same
I'll take it home to feed the flame." 
But then I heard a voice, full of cheer.
"A slender twig! Just what I sought."
And so the craftsman took chisel wide
And sudden pain shot down my side!
He put inside me a graphite core 
For this light wood to clasp evermore.
"Little your worth for aught else, I know, 
"But an artist's jewel with this writing core.
"An eraser at your back I fix,
"Though perhaps you think it a curious mix. 
"For you may err, and you must dare
"To correct the flaw in writing fair."
"To let your point shine keen and true,
"An edge of steel must sharpen you.
"Your lead will leave its mark upon
"Every surface that you pass on.
"For good or ill, the line is drawn."
"Varied hues of dark and light
"Lend their shades to a picture bright;
"Beware lest you should wisdom miss,
"These I'll draw, but I shan't draw this!" 
"O pencil, resist not in your pride,
"It will but be that you're cast aside.
"While on your own, you helpless are:
"Unfit for carving or load to bear.
"But in my hands, how wondrous a tool
"To reveal my thoughts, obedience your rule."
The End.

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