Warrior’s Death

valkyries-death-1880-oil-on-canvas-arbo-peter-nicolai-1831-92

Paintings from Norse mythology Peter Nicolai Arbo, Valkyrie’s Death Oil on canvas 1880

Hero’s tears tumble
on lips pursed in dying breath
-life’s struggle over

noble effort undertook
cost of honor bravely paid

                                        -cj holm

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #103 – 10/1/2018 Fall & Try – Synonyms Only

Per Colleen’s Tanka Challenge, I chose tumble and struggle as my synonyms for fall & try

(Tanka Form 5-7-5 7-7)

join-us-every-tuesday

https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/10/01/colleens-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-recap-no-103-fall-try-synonymsonly/

Ring Out!

A neighbor died this week. He was a fixture at St. Olaf Church, a small country church with a congregation of less than a hundred. Every Sunday, for many years, John would ring the church bells for the beginning and end of services. It was something small he did that not everyone noticed, but was part of the worship.

Next week someone will take up his role, but no one will do it better.

Ring Out

John’s hands gripped St. Olaf’s bell tower rope,
Sounding God’s message of forgiveness and hope.
A practiced cadence and years of measured strokes,
His special gift; a heartfelt call he shared with prairie folks.

Ring out the sound of salvation; Ring out God’s loving call
St. Olaf’s tower won’t be silent; John’s soul rings for us all.

                                                  -Clarence Holm

A Final Goodbye

Last week I lost my sister to the ravages of diabetes. Jo’s battle was courageous, she was a fighter to the end.

We gathered Saturday morning
Too late to say good-byes.
We grieved for an unexpected casualty,
For my sister who had closed her eyes

In church, I sat in silence
Not wanting to say farewell
But a piece of my existence
Was carried off by a distant bell.

I shuffled down a center aisle,
Following my sister’s spouse.
Her son and daughter cried openly,
Suffering in God’s stain glass house.

The church circle provided service,
A lunch to soothe the souls.
Hot coffee for our spirits
And shoulders to console.

While eating we talk of other things,
Cheerful words to fill the air.
Distant memories of a childhood,
Of the sister who was not there.

I’m thankful for the memories,
Of a life that was lived so well.
In time I know I’ll be seeing her,
When it’s time for my farewell.

         ©2017 Clarence Holm

Unforgettable

sunset-b

Words and Image ©2017 – Clarence Holm

I read the notice that an old friend died.
And recalled precious moments,
Of a high school romance, so long ago.
Remembering shoulders touching
And a smile shared between friends.

We sang along to the Carpenters.
And taught each other about love.
Sweet first ever kisses, holding hands,
And longing to be close to her.

Frozen sweetheart moments,
Lost for decades, still alive in me.

      -Clarence Holm

Going Home

Words and Image ©2016 - Clarence Holm

Words and Image ©2016 – Clarence Holm

I miss walking along green prairie shores
Miss gazing into deep azure skies.
I yearn for the sun’s healing touch
And witnessing the killdeer’s cry

Just above the skyline, where soft clouds ride
Where wind tracked memories reside.
These harvested acres are missing small farms;
Honeysuckle and rock piles, buried and gone

Pastures and barnyards, good things now past,
Friend now just memories, under a cross.
Shackled recollections now frozen in time
Stamped in my memory, shadows on my mind

Dust on the horizon has clouded the view
My tears cleanse the vista, though heartbreaks remain.
Life is a journey, a stroll down a lane
Good things are coming, that is heaven’s refrain.

-Clarence Holm