Tall Grass, Growing

I see the tall grass swaying in the breeze,
The slender stems supporting nature’s store of life,
Not useless stalks nor tares but headed grass
Which stands so firmly rooted in the soil.
A day comes to my mind (now of the past)
We stood together. You had faith and stood so tall
And I was doubting. “Weeds,” I said, “Just weeds.
Or like this place,” I scruffed the earth, “Just dirt.”
“Our home” you answered. “There will be tall grass,
And we can build together. We can plant the seeds.
The Universe is His and He gives life,
And we can truly give a servant’s care.”
I looked at you, “To work, and work and fail.”
Your hand made motion up, “Then plan and work again.
See the warm sun” (Your tones so promising).
Then reaching down, I pulled a clump of weeds.
You smiled, “Already you have marked
A place to start. Right here can be our cornerstone.”
You placed a smooth-shaped rock, as if ‘homebase,’
To outline substance that was yet to be.
I looked into your eyes. “Perhaps, some day,”
But I could see no home …
And now, I stand and see—
No time from then ‘till now, but there was time
For storms, for drouth, for strength-consuming hours.
The plans and efforts seemed so giant-high,
Yet now, so vapor thin that they are far out-shown
By window lights of home, and well-worn paths,
The firm clasp of your hand, your smile, your love.
The harvest-ready field,
I see it now.
You saw this field, the day you spoke those words:
“Tall grass-growing.”

Prayers of a Mother in Fall: In Praise of the Gift Outright

You remind me, my child—sometimes the best
is to take things as they are, unperplexed.
Not looking for an echo
behind the mountain.
Only hearing the drip of leaves
and the stream roaming
where just the birds breathe
in the fragrance of wet pines.
Delighting in His evident gifts to this world.
Whether the butterfly can hear grass parting with wind
or the trout rejoice in the smell of rain
or eternity be sorted now
is sometimes exciting to consider.
But fluttering and swimming are so clearly live.
And I am so wordlessly happy.

Reprinted from A Woman’s Place by Emma Lou Thayne, C. Nishan Grey, Inc., Salt Lake City, 1977. Used by permission.


The thrush that sings to praise the light,
The bird that sings at dead of night,
The river rushing to the sea
In silver jocularity—
All sing or chime because they must;
And Man, too, fashioned from the dust,
Seeing the bird, song-shaken leaf,
Knowing his interval is brief,
Like river and bird lifts high his voice,
However faintly, to rejoice.