Selected Photos, Art, and Poetry: Your Creations

by Robert M. Thompson

On these pages, you will find some unique ways of looking at things. Each poem uses words to paint a picture. Each picture uses color and line to tell a story. Each photo orchestrates the play of light and shadow to sound a different note. Each work of art has been touched by talent and formed by a creative mind and heart.


When I close my eyes,
I can still see
The old land-worker
Caked with dirt and dust,
Kneeling in the thin layer of mud.
And he stares up into the clouded sky
With eyes as moist as the air
And prays in thanks
Of the end
Of a dry spell.

One Tree

One lone tree has changed
My view, my life forever,
Just by being there.

The Return

They’re coming, Mother said
and she got out her best decorations.
She put out her brightly colored
flowers and plants.
And she watered everything carefully
just so they could grow.
She did everything that she could,
just to let them know that they
were welcome back.
And then her birds came home.

[photo] Klondike by Tanya Schlup

[illustration] Lizzy Brooks by Jonathan Linton

A Friend Is like a Rose

My heart is continually
Being planted with
Curtains of roses that
Fall upon the barren
Stage of my mind,
To battle the counterpart—
A single thistle thought.


The road is well traveled
Beauty lining its path.
Old and new combine to
Show a new view.
The path is not always
Long for some, but is
Still the path we take.
Though old and new will
Someday be parted, the
Remembrance of our travels
Along the path will keep
Us always friends.

To a Good Friend

The red setting sun
Meets its rippled twin at last
At the ocean’s edge.

[illustration] President David O. McKay Home by Jonathan Linton

[illustration] Valldemosa by Jonathan Linton

Grandma’s Butterfly

I was small enough to curl up like a caterpillar
on the arm of the sofa chair where my grandmother sat
while my mother undid her curlers and rattled on
about cousins and neighbors and PTA duties.
She almost never left the house after her fall—
she was too frail for Utah’s stinging winter air
and the raging summer sun beat down too hard.
And visitors were just me and Mom and uncles and aunts.
But she insisted every week that her hair be set and styled
whether for pretense, vanity, or simple dignity.
Or all three wrapped and twisted in Grandma’s trademark fashion
that removed the nastiness of all three words and left only honor.
My mother finished playing hairdresser and discreetly checked
the undiscussed bedpan without bumping grandma’s tender hip.
When she left, my grandma gazed down at my fuzzy little body
and I snuggled in closer on her healthy side while she began to sing:
“One little, two little, three little Indians. Four little, five little …”
and long, opaque fingers danced youthfully in front of me.
When I dozed off, she awkwardly wrapped me in a cocoon-like ball
with part of her rag quilt, but I was content to remain warm and wingless.

[photo] Stone Cold Face by Tanya Schlup

An Evening Stroll

The door swung slowly shut behind her
as she began maneuvering down the walk
with its daily coating of
ice and snow.
A cane (thicker than her wrist)
tested every step and let her proceed.
At a snowbank her right hand
knotted and cupped
dipped down.
And she smiled.
She moved faster now
though her back curved forward and
her knees never quite straightened.
In ten minutes’ time she reached a meadow
—a group of trees clinging
to a handful of leaves
marked the edge.
And below them was a bundle
of pristine houses which
creeped closer every year—
She stopped.
She turned toward the trees and
saw a troop of children
hurling snowballs and
shrieking in
protestation and pure fun,
and the field was dotted with
makeshift forts and makeshift flags
(mittens on sticks)
marking territory.
Every nose burned and every face flushed
and every eye spoke.
From across the street
a man looked out and saw his neighbor,
knee-deep in snow with
a clump of it in her hand,
and she was laughing.
“Huh,” he said, “imagine that.”
Which is exactly what she was doing.

Answered Prayers

Sunbeams spray upon
dusty crimson cliffs,
climbing towards the Master.
At the humble feet of nature,
beneath the sparse shade
of penitent oaks,
a young boy skins knees
bent against rugged stone.
Though not a forest grove
of the youthful Joseph,
a question cuts his heart.
Peace strikes his mind,
without visionary glories,
but with the faith of
a youth’s earnest prayer.

[illustration] Africa, Land of Rain and Fire by Jennie Doezie

[photo] Lane in the Trees by Kelly Gerber

So Where Is Heaven?

Suspended by a string of faith,
The moon reclines lazily,
Sleepily guarding our world with one eye
And envying the stars with the other.
For there is nothing the stars cannot see:
They are holes in the universal blackness,
Punctured by One
Giving light to our side of the black, and
Giving a hint of His side,
Of what He is,
Of what we can become.

Life Sculptures

Dawn breaks
Across the land’s expanse.
The song of a bird
Rises to the air.
Dew drips from trees
And chills my feet.
As I cross the grass
A worm sticks its
Head out of the dirt.
The scent of lilacs
Tickles my nose …
The day begins.

[photo] Dual Reflection by Audrey Morrison

[illustration] The Number Eight by Jennie Doezie


His fear,
once uncertain,
now contagious,
is mine.
And it is with him
that I stand,
with my back against the window,
cursing the heat upon my neck,
and fearing the darkness of
my shadow-figure
stretched long
across the wooden planks of
the floor.

[illustration] Rose Cabbage by Lauriann Henriksen

[illustration] In the Drawer by Lauriann Henriksen


Looking forward
into the mirror,
I see the calendar—
days behind me.
I turn and lift its pages,
Pictures of
all places to which I’ve never been.
My eye in wonderment drawn to
the black lines
which frame
the white rows,
as if they
contain my life,
holding the past, and waiting
ahead for me to fill.

Children’s Summer Field

Childhood is summertime
Or summer was made for children.
They take a weed-infested field
And see a sea of protective amusement.
One-by-one, they pluck up a translusive lollipop
And set the seeds violently in the wind
By breathing laughter into the delicate globe,
Then they watch the currents carry Mary
Poppins and her umbrella on missions of
creation, up, up, and into invisibility.

[photo] Garden Entrance by Audrey Morrison

[photo] Snake Grass by Kelly Gerber