THE FAMILY OF BESSIE EDNA BROWN & THOMAS MONNIE WOODS
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One year ago one of my daughter’s friends, Emily, was killed in a traffic accident.
She was a beautiful and delightful child and a fine young lady. She had just graduated from Sam Houston State College. It was a tragic loss.
In Memory of Emily
Just for an instant, the world stood still,
A moment in time, to do God’s will.
He sent us an angel, from heaven to earth,
A beautiful child, on the day of her birth.
Wherever she went, whoever she knew,
Were blessed by His angel, just passing
Our wonderful memories, will never part,
Our treasures of Emily, we’ll keep
in our heart.
She’s with You now Lord, at peace
in Your arms,
Please rock her gently, protect her from
Welcome her joyfully, into her new home,
Smile as her heart, is full of Your song.
Dear Lord hold her hand, while the angels
Wrap her in love, while she spreads her
Tell her we love her, at the end of each
Kiss her face sweetly, these things we do
Just for an instant, the world stood still,
a moment in time, to do God’s will.
He called home his angel, to heaven from
She’s with Jesus now, on her day of
I was at work last
night thinking about the baby blanket Mother made for me many years ago. Many of our clothes and all of our quilts were homemade.
Women in those days had a huge domestic responsibility, sewing was just one of them. Mother always had her sewing machine
set up and was constantly at work on a shirt, blouse or other garment.
frame many times was hung from the ceiling and her or sometimes a whole group of ladies were busy sewing and stitching quilts.
By the time the quilt got this far along it was in the final stages. A quilt was the culmination of many hours work like collecting
pieces of fabric suitable and large enough to be made into quilting squares and sewing them together. These were attained
mostly from bits left over from larger projects like I mentioned, shirts, dresses and blouses. Much of the backing for these
quilts came from flour sacks that were by design in those days, colorful and intended just for this use. Most of the time
I could look at one of the many quilts Mother and my sisters made and see a piece of some long forgotten shirt Mother had
made for me. I know this is true for my sisters and brothers and most folks that grew up in the country. In this way a quilt
of this sort is like a historical document.
My baby blanket
has special memories for me. After I got to the age I no longer needed a baby blanket it became the centerpiece for a regular
full sized quilt. It was used for many years and became worn and threadbare. Mother in her wisdom and loving fashion cut away
the outer piece that was coming apart and saved the baby blanket part for me. I fortunately work with a lady, Naomi Diaz that
does quilting. She put a new edge around the blanket for me and made it better than new because it has so much sentimental
As I was pondering
over my blanket and all the quilts Mother made and the special memories and history they hold, this poem came to be.
Patchwork of Life
Pieces of cloth lay all around,
each with a story, lost then found.
Quilting squares, both worn and torn,
precious treasures, memories reborn.
Patches of cloth from here and there,
a shirt, a blouse, a bonnet to wear.
Each square had a tale, a piece of us all,
a brand new outfit, that we could recall.
Crafted with love from Mother’s hands,
Such beauty from scraps and little strands.
A flour sack of green and blue,
pretty pieces made anew.
Our lives with love and Mother’s care,
were sewn as one, just like each square.
The fabric of family held us together,
safe and warm no matter the weather.
The patchwork of life winds all around,
like those squares, lost then found.
Our lives and paths at times will cross,
connections made then oft’ times
Innocence, wonder, and youth pass on,
by wisdom’s elegant song.
Let’s remember these patches, left in the end,
and like Mother’s warm quilt,
my love I send.
December 31st 2006
always liked the term ‘gallant sailor’ John Edward Dove used in his poem “Ask If She’s Still True
and Kind”. I used it in a different way. I see the parallel of a person drifting at sea to a lost soul searching for
something that seems intangible and I tried to show that relationship.
Stormy Sea of Life
cries out in the stormy night,
voice inside my brain,
out a plaintive cry,
the pounding of the rain.
long have I drifted,
for the Light?
resides my soul,
this swirling sea called life?
in the distance,
step ahead of me,
the faint horizon,
sullen eyes cast downward,
in the deep,
a sign of liberation,
wake me from this sleep.
from the dark of night,
angels lead the way,
point the path to simple truth,
feel the need to pray.
look up toward the heavens,
ask for His forgiveness,
wrap me in His Love.
by a flash,
heaven’s thunderous Hand
Gallant Sailor takes me up,
leads me to the land.
as I reached the shore,
cloaks me in His grace,
soothes me with forgiveness
the warmth of His embrace.
bewildered, at the helm,
knowing where to steer.
only had to look within,
‘God’, was always near.
| Essay and poem on Andrew Woods and family |
Jerry Jones - Dec 24, 2005
Life in the Early 1700's Around the Time of the Immigration of Andrew Woods
and Family from Ireland to Philadelphia
by Jerry Jones
early 18th century was a brutal world. This was the world our ancestor Andrew Woods, his wife and children lived in. What
would inspire a man like Andrew Woods to pack up his family, all his worldly belongings and travel around the world to an
unknown land? Why did him and eight of his children perish during the voyage? What happened? Not much more is known other
than what is written below, however some things can be postulated.
If you haven’t done so please read the
next two paragraphs, excerpts taken from John Woods’ document located in the file cabinet on our family page under “Joseph
Woods of South Carolina written by Clinton McMillin Woods Foxworth. Andrew Woods in relation to me would be my 10th Generation
"About the beginning of the 18th century the emigration to the American
colonies began. My great, great grandfather emigrated from Scotland to the north of Ireland. He married Isabel
Frame, whose father had emigrated from Scotland. She was born and died in Tryonne County, Ireland. Their son
was Andrew Woods (my great-grandfather). His eldest son, Samuel Woods, came over to Pennsylvania and wrote back such
glowing accounts of this land and urged so strongly for his father to come, that Andrew Woods, with his wife and nine children,
sailed from Ireland about 1727 or 1728. They had a stormy passage and a very brutal captain. I suppose he knew little
of navigation and became more and more furious as he got farther and farther out of his course. That he got widely out of
the way is proven by the fact that they were driven upon the Island of Antigua, north of South America. From bad weather
and insufficient and bad provisions and a crowded vessel, the ship fever broke out and many of the passengers died.
Andrew Woods and three of his children died and were buried on the Island of Antigua. They stayed there several weeks
and at last sailed for Philadelphia".
"Water became scarce and the captain finally declared it was almost all
gone, and put them on so short an allowance that many died of thirst. One of Great grandfather's daughters, Rebecca,
a young woman, died in sight of land, calling for water. She was buried in the ocean. Finally, after being forty-two
weeks on the voyage the poor mother landed at Philadelphia with one child, my grandfather, Joseph Woods. He was then
about four years old. All the others, her husband and children had died during the voyage. After landing at
Philadelphia it was discovered that there were several hogsheads of water which the captain, in his brutality, had denied
to his passengers".
Life in the early 1700’s was nothing like we can imagine. Here
are a few things to think about when we consider our ancestors, Andrew Woods, his wife and nine children that left Ireland
and traveled to Philadelphia in the year 1728.
Medicine was archaic at best. There was no concept of germs
and where disease came from was a mystery. A physician of the day was formally trained, however, a surgeon required no medical
certification or education. Surgeons learned their trade as they went along, usually by apprenticeship. Surgeons were a last
resort. Amputations were common and could be performed in less than three minutes. A physician performed blood letting as
a cure for most diseases. Most of the time the cure caused more deaths than the disease.
was almost non-existent. Many had few teeth or were toothless. Deformities and open sores were common. Most had smallpox at
one time and had pock-marked faces. Even the rich didn’t take baths, lice that carried typhus infested all. Children
in the winter were stitched into their clothes. People in the country were better off than those in the cities because most
diseases were contagious and country folks weren’t exposed as much as city dwellers. The cities had a ditch down the
middle of the horse manure laden road that carried sewage, offal and whatever else the people threw into it.
Many fled because of religious persecution and taxes that were so high the poor lost the only possessions and property they
had. Our ancestors left by ship (name unknown) from Londonderry, a port city in Ireland.
few words about the ships that carried passengers from Europe to America. In the early 1700’s there were no passenger
ships. There were cargo ships and military ships. I agree with John Woods that our ancestors made their fateful trip on a
cargo ship. Some of the cargo ships were converted to passenger ships by putting another deck underneath the main deck. One
had to stoop over at the waist to navigate around this cramped berthing area. Most ships were extremely over-crowded. In the
berthing area there was very little light or air. During storms water would pour through the cracks and soak the passengers
and all their possessions. Meals were salted meat and hardtack (a hard, dry biscuit). There were dried peas and beans, cheese
and butter. Food could be cooked over charcoal fires in metal boxes called braziers but this was very hazardous on a wooden
ship. It was mostly eaten cold. Eventually the food became infested with bugs, the biscuits grew harder, the cheese got moldy
and the butter turned bad. The water after after standing in barrels for so long became stagnant and unsafe to drink.
Illness, other than seasickness, was a major problem, typhus, also called ship’s fever, spread by lice, killed
many passengers. Death was a common occurance. People that died at sea were thrown overboard. There were no bathrooms, you
can use your imagination the problems this caused. Seawater was the only means of cleaning one’s self. Most wore the
same clothes for the duration of the voyage.
The gulf stream was known by some captains but not fully
understood. The first published chart was in 1678 and was published for scientists not mariners. The gulf stream comes up
the eastern seaboard of the U.S. towards Nova Scotia and across the Atlantic to England. From there the current moves south
toward the Canary Islands and Africa before turning west toward the Leeward Islands and Antigua. Savvy captains knew of this
stream and used it for navigation. Maybe this is why our ancestors ended up in Antigua. Why it took so long I don’t
know, maybe like John Woods postulated, this was a cargo ship and stopped at various ports along the way to trade goods. If
this is true I asked myself, why there were still so many deaths?
I discovered in my research that many ships
had ruthless captains that intentionally gave their passengers bad food and water to make them ill. There were many deaths
on Atlantic crossings due to typhus, dysentery and other maladies. Throw into the mix a murderous captain and the ingredients
are there for mass murder. It could have been that the captain was in no hurry to get to Philadelphia. Why should he be? Until
the year 1820 the captains of ships weren’t required to have passenger lists, therefore, the captain didn’t have
to account for the passengers on his vessel. Most ports along the route to Antigua weren’t ports like we think about
today. The ships didn’t pull up to docks and load and unload cargo. The passengers weren’t free to disembark and
get fresh food and water. No, these ships anchored far from land and used smaller boats to get to shore. The captain and crew
had the passengers where they wanted them, quarantined on board the ship, often sick, malnourished and without fresh water.
Mutinies occurred but were rare given the condition of the passengers. The captain and crew were able to come and go as they
pleased waiting for death to take its toll. At times these murderous captains would sail in circles sometimes waiting for
death to take as many passengers as possible. Then the captain and crew could confiscate all their belongings. Given the length
of the voyage Andrew Woods and family were on, this could have been the case. Only about half the passengers survived the
crossing. Of course this is only speculation, there is no proof, but captains like this did exist and events like this did
occur during this time period.
We’ll never know what really happened. In my mind I can’t imagine
the heartbreak, horror and suffering these poor folks endured. That family circle has been unbroken for a long time now. I
wonder how they felt to be reunited.
This is a poem I wrote from Andrew Woods’ wife’s point of
view about this passage, it’s not pleasant, however, it portrays how I think she may have felt about this deadly voyage.
Voyage of Doom
We started out with dreams and hope,
on the docks of Londonderry.
As we boarded
on our sailing ship,
cold and wet and weary.
Two long months, maybe three,
it seemed more like a year,
we left the dreary, dismal, docks,
our hearts were filled with fear.
A glimpse of land, a ray of hope,
each day to see,
But our hopes were crushed and bodies bruised,
by the violent, seething, sea,
raged for days
as cold as a dead man’s hand,
And carried swift the chill of death,
never warmed by a kiss from
Vile and fetid in the ship’s deep bowels,
with disease and death replete.
Lived the stench of rot,
mold and sweat,
Our companions were all three.
The berths with planks to use as beds,
were filled with cries
Black as night in this sea bound tomb,
and as foul as the Devil’s breath.
The other’s eyes
with stares so grim and sad.
Reflected mine right back at me,
slowly going mad.
A tiny sniffle,
a plaintive cry,
from my child so weak and frail.
Turned into a burning fever,
as the typhus raged full-scale.
little hands as if in prayer,
were pointed heavenly
She perished from the plague that day,
and was swallowed by the
Wave by wave and day by day,
despair and deep heartache.
Now four months on this hellish ride,
each month did take.
It seemed the captain lost his way,
in circles on we pressed.
He cycled round the compass
killing time to wait for death.
The hopelessness took its awful toll,
until one sunny day,
last we saw a spot of land,
and hope sprung from dismay.
We cheered, we wept, and kissed the land,
from course we roamed.
We still had many miles to go,
to get to our new home.
Like cattle, us, the crew and all,
put in quarantine.
The sickness, rampant, took its toll,
more deaths were now foreseen.
Here upon this heartless
the people called Antigua.
I lost my husband to the fever,
then three more of my children.
and spirit low,
I struggled to go on.
With two young children by my side,
we boarded at the dawn.
I hope he
meets a brutal death,
the Captain of our ship.
He kept the water for himself,
and my Rebecca forever slept.
the wharf in Philadelphia,
Facing toward the east,
I pray for all my children,
Put there by that beast.
their souls rest now in comfort,
With our Savior up above.
May they live with Him forever,
In the bosom of His Love.
The warmest feeling dwelled
in my heart today as I wrote this poem....Jerry
As we travel down the path of life,
and find our way along.
The Lord is right there by our side,
we never go alone.
Sometimes we let Him walk with us,
At times He’s left behind.
Sometimes His Word is like a map,
we never travel blind.
Sometimes His path leads far from home,
or right back to the hearth.
Sometimes His path is winding,
and we end up where we start.
Sometimes His path is beaten,
traveled and well worn.
Sometimes His path is fraught with pain,
just like His crown of thorns.
Sometimes when we think we’re lost,
and His path is overgrown.
Just look where Jesus dragged His cross,
and cleared a path for all.
I was thinking about Hurricane Rita and the turmoil it caused my family, not from damage but from the horrible
experience of the evacuation fiasco. I told Patsy that I would probably write a poem about it someday. I’ve thought
about it, but the experience was so negative I haven’t really wanted to dwell on it very much. Sure, I learned a lot
from that experience but the inspiration department was pretty dry. That is until today. I don’t know why the thought
came to me but it was interesting after we got home to see just what all each of us took, Cheryl, Clayton and myself.
We were all very busy the day we left and took it upon ourselves to pack what individual keepsakes we wanted, makes sense,
because what means a great deal to one person might mean little to the next. Had the forecasts been correct, all we left behind
would have been destroyed, washed away or blown away, whatever came first. In terms of monetary value the things we took were
not worth much, but the sentimental value was priceless.
Pieces of Time
Sifting through the trinkets,
from loved ones we have stored,
Each one has a story,
or a moment we adored.
So many thoughts come to mind,
as we touch and reminesce,
Mementos of the love we hold,
from the ones we often miss.
Each keepsake holds the life they lived,
the ones that we loved most.
Each one has its own tale,
that lovingly pulls us close.
All the other worldly goods,
Can always be replaced.
But the poignant path these trinkets took,
Can never be retraced.
It wasn’t her face that made me so warm,
Though she made me feel safe and far from harm.
No it wasn’t her eyes or her hair,
Or her loving looks that showed she cared.
It wasn’t her smile that lit the way,
Yes it could make night, turn into day.
It wasn’t her laughter, that made me glow,
She made me feel happy even when I was low.
No it wasn’t her heart, so loving and true,
“I love you Mother”, “I love you too”.
Yes cupped like a flower, her motherly hands,
Overflowed with love, though working and tanned.
They could help you get dressed, or wipe a tear,
Pull you in close, erase your fears.
They could change a diaper or sew a dress,
Cook a fine dinner or clean up a mess.
They could scratch your back or caress your face,
Peel a sweet apple or tie your shoelace.
Yes a million things her hands could do,
Yet this gift of her hands was so blessed and true.
She bowed her head, in her beautiful way,
Then put them together, and taught me to pray.
I Love You,
We knew we’d stand the test of time,
All those years ago.
As we looked into each other’s
We knew our love would grow.
You’re beauty now as it did then,
Lit your face aglow.
births and joy and pain,
And all life’s ebb and flow.
Then the sickness took its toll,
I saw you waste
Bit by bit and inch by inch,
We came to your last days.
The hours flew on, you couldn’t see,
I was by your side.
I felt your pain as days passed by,
And all the fears inside.
Now teardrops fall like wet,
As I watch your life slip away.
“Goodbye my love, you’re in my heart”,
The last words
I heard you say.
Now past the end of earthly days,
Always I’ll remember dear.
Your gentle, kind and loving
All the joys and tears.
passed on, it marched along,
time to join you dear.
heart is tired and lonely now,
let me hold you near.
Like a vision, wrapped in love,
Our spirits now
I thought you were gone forever,
Now forever you’ll be mine.
Above the winding roads,
above the land.
Where we left a million barefoot prints,
Erased by blowing sand.
Gazing at the clear, blue ponds,
lazy hours were spent.
We soar upon the fragrant wind,
Laced with flowered scent.
I am here to hold you dear,
two are now as one.
And with the Lord in heaven now,
Our song has just begun.
Jerry Jones, Oct 20th, 2005
Seasons of Passion
Love afresh, under a canopy of color,
nourished by an April shower,
And consummated by a bold first kiss.
Wet and hot, the valley pulsed,
With passionate desire, on a bed of crimson clover.
thunder, masked the moans of ecstasy.
Harvests wither, golden grains dry,
While dying tendrils seek refuge.
Love so replete,
has chilled the slanting rays.
North winds spin snowflakes,
Like tiny buzz saws, cutting heart strings.
slowly into the abyss.
A frozen crystal is warmed to life.
Rains arouse the buried heirs of fall.
of life starts anew.
Evolution of Love
It had no beginning, it had no end,
Just a point in the cosmos, all matter
Like an artist’s brush He raised his Hand,
With a starburst of plasma it all began.
At the speed
of light, from its central core,
An embryonic universe, was born with a roar.
Photons, electrons, neutrinos and quarks,
and reacted, like ethereal sparks.
With His Love, He unleashed primordial souls,
A colossal swarm, with trails of
A celestial oven, the throng did traverse,
Nursing on Love, in God’s universe.
A newborn soul on
a photon trail,
With infant wings, began to sail,
Over eons and eons, light years long,
He was picking up atoms,
making him strong.
In a comet tail he chanced to meet,
A form like himself, yet very unique.
was formed like a song,
A certain inflection, a tone of her own..
On the beam of a moon, or streak of a quark
roamed together, the cosmos their park.
They danced for eons, ‘cross the Milky Way,
Imbibing on atoms, from star
The infant earth baked, for millions of years,
It bubbled and boiled, a gaseous sphere.
was hot, it heaved and flowed,
And was finally cooled, with comet kissed snow.
Comets were plenty, and water-logged
Seas were formed, into oceans they grew.
Frothed and mixed and mineral gorged,
The mixture of life was finally
Amino acids, d-n-a goo, salts and vitamins, enzymes too.
Plants and animals, bacteria too, were born and
bred from primeval stew.
With the touch of His palette, and stroke of His brush,
The colors of Nature burst forth in
God in his Glory with the gift He bore,
Looked over His canvas and painted some more.
The time was coming,
it would be so grand,
To join the souls, with the mortal man.
In primitive time, man was impure,
He lived in
caves, and dressed in fur.
He hunted mammoths with flint-tipped spears,
He lived, and yet, no souls were there.
patiently waited in brutish bliss,
For the gift of life, the Master’s kiss.
So life by life he evolved and grew,
biblical man, his form anew.
While our two souls that roamed the heavens,
Joined in spirit, with eternal affection.
were formed, then suffered death,
From their collapse, we caught our breath.
Thus, step by step, and breath by breath,
spirits grew and passed His test.
We patiently waited to merge on earth,
Our spiritual souls with physical birth.
the paths began to swirl,
The spiritual beings, the physical world.
In His own time, in His own way,
The two would
meet on a beautiful day.
God forged His Fire in the genesis of man,
When soul joined body, where the Tigress ran.
bountiful place, where He gave us life,
A place where Eve, was Adam’s wife.
That was thousands of years ago,
a place where His Love would flower and grow.
In Eden where want was nothing at all,
Ironically, where man,
met his fall.
Adam and Eve, their spirit and seed,
Spawned generations, many souls have they freed.
afar to heaven and earth,
From searching, beseeching, to each have their birth..
Since then generations have come
Yet you my sweet, still have your song.
The one you played on that comet tail,
That certain inflection,
that filled up my sail.
You gave your love, and the moon still shows,
A beautiful face with a radiant glow.
here at home, I see the light
And still the moon smiles tonight.
Your eyes of green still have that spark,
a Neptune crystal that glows in the dark.
Our lover’s tether, is held in sync,
pulls us together when we reach the brink.
Yet here this eve at our favorite place,
I still see stardust on your
Those days are gone, but still in sight,
So let’s have a toast to our love tonight.
to you my maiden fair,
Beautiful one, with golden hair,
Remember the eons, remember our trails,
When we first tasted
love, on the comet’s tail.
A Soldier’s Loom of Prayers
Lord, As I lay here almost asleep,
final prayer I softly speak,
Please watch my boy, keep him from harm,
And return him safely to our farm.
he’s a soldier, but not to me,
Mama’s little boy, he’ll always be.
Mama, remember when you held
And kissed away bad dreams at night.
I wish you were here, to ease my fear,
And whisper “I love you”
in my ear.
Yes, I’m a soldier this very day,
But your little boy, I’ll always stay.
proud, you’re quite a man,
And I pray for you in that hostile land.
I smile at all the fish and game,
we enjoyed before this came.
I thank the Lord for the times we’ve had,
And am eternally honored to be your Dad.
You mean the world to me,
You were always there in times of need.
You took me fishin', and to baseball games,
told me stories round the campfire flames.
I thank Him daily for the things we’ve done,
And boast to all that
I’m your son!
Lord, tears are fallin’ like pouring rain,
Please watch over my husband, ease my pain.
him once again take me in his arms,
And make me blush with his southern charm.
Yes he’s a soldier, but he’s
still my man,
Please shield him daily, with Your lovin’ hands.
Darlin’, I love you with all my heart,
pray your pain will swiftly part.
I dream of all the joy we’ve had,
It makes me happy, when my heart is sad.
I’m a soldier and you’re my wife,
And I’ll return soon, to our happy life.
Daddy, why did
you go away?
Remember all the games we play?
Would you hurry home, and bring me a toy?
I love you so, your bundle
P.S. Last night I said a special prayer,
For Jesus to watch you over there.
Sweetie, I miss you and love
I’m hurrying fast, but the going's slow.
Take care of your Mom and be a good girl,
My love to you,
from around the world.
P.S. Thank you for that special prayer,
Jesus is watching me, over here.
are and always will be,
A tender soul in My family.
A soldier, father, husband and son,
I sent you to earth to see
what you would become.
I know you are loved, I can tell by the prayers,
They make a sweet glow in this heavenly air.
Lord it’s hard being a soldier,
Each day I grow another year older.
But I know that if the bugle calls,
and You take me home from my final fall.
You’ll be there to comfort me,
And take blessed care of my family.
As my final breath leaves my lips,
my soul reborn takes a trip.
Peace and comfort ride along,
my spirit sings a joyous song.
More radiant than a beautiful dream,
I soar to Jesus
on a golden beam.
He wraps me in His loving arms,
and all the earthly pains are gone.
Like a child in His lap and He holds me now,
softly puts His lips to my brow.
His breath of Life is soft on my face,
He comforts me in His loving grace.
I slowly sway in the bough of His arms,
my humble heart He gently warms.
He rocks me tenderly like a father would,
He loves me so, He’s all things good.
Forgiveness through His crimson stains,
in Jesus Christ, salvation reigns.
He forgives my sins from earthly miles,
and heals my soul with radiant smiles.
only Son, born of man
died for me, Salvation’s plan.
Just ask and God will heed your call,
with the greatest Christmas gift of all.
A Very Special Mother
Our home was a warm and loving place,
Because of Mother and her loving grace.
She had other things
to do, four kids back then,
But she always had time, to be my best friend.
The school bus came, the others were gone,
Daddy’s at work, Mom and I are alone.
and Indians, rockets and cars,
She played with me then, from the earth to the stars.
A quilting frame hanging from the living room ceiling,
Was really a tent, she gave me that feeling.
We’d camp and fish and kill big game,
And she’d cook our fish on a make believe flame.
Or she packed us lunch and to the river we’d roam,
As we ate in the woods, right there at
A pop corn ball with red poly pop,
I ate with glee, it was hard to stop.
At the farm she told me a wonderful secret,
About a special rock with finger paint in it.
I searched and looked and once in a while,
I’d take one to her, my whole face a smile.
When I was tired and needed a nap,
In my quilt she made, I warmly wrapped.
She’d read and take me to places afar,
I saw Little Black Sambo and shiny race cars.
When I lost my dog, or other things bad,
She made me smile and forget I was sad.
Or when I made A’s or other things nice,
She’s kiss me and hug me at least once or twice.
Or if I was sick and lying in bed,
She gave me aspirin and a cool cloth on my head.
Or if I cut my finger or fell on my wrist,
There was no better cure than Mother’s kiss.
Everywhere at once, she was never too far,
She was there in our home and close to my heart.
Lucky were we, sisters, brothers, and me,
To have a guardian angel in our family!
Daddy’s gone, Mama prays,
Still eight kids
Along dirt road, from east to west,
Her path is chosen,
she’ll do her best.
Wood walls, a
tin roof, well worn feather beds,
A simple place
to lay their heads.
Crops to plant, a
field to plow,
to have her sons’ know how.
A chicken yard,
with hens and chicks,
A garden, tomatoes,
tied up on sticks.
water, a bubbling spring,
From deep in it’s
heart, life it brings.
Love is here,
it’s all about,
Like a two inch
rain, in a drought.
Living in the country near a sparkling spring fed pond,
Was a beauty
like no other, with hair of golden blond.
Her lips were sweet as cherry pie, with eyes of summer blue,
Her face was
like an angel, full of life, fresh and new.
We fell in love the day we met, in the Texas countryside,
what nature had to give, and how it felt inside.
Like rosebuds set to flower, made by God‘s design,
The wind sang
us a love song, as it whispered through the vines.
We climbed up trees as children, to see what we could see,
tag your it and May I, `neath the spreading maple trees.
Our childhood seemed to pass on, like a river‘s steady flow,
our lives stretched out before us like a long, red Texas road.
Our lives were laced together, the years took wing and
We walked those miles together, as our love took root and grew.
Soon we were in high school, those days were total
Underneath the milky way, the moon saw our first kiss.
Her Daddy didn’t like me much, her Mama tried
The love we shared together, was always meant to be.
Her family had no money, their daughter was their gold,
sure loved that treasure, only seventeen years old.
Her Dad told me to keep away, and leave his girl alone,
him “Just wait and see, I’ll have her for my own.”
At night I’d sneak away to her family’s
run down shack,
She would steal away to me as I would wait out back.
In the hayloft of the barn, on a moonlit summer
We sipped on homemade wine, and tasted love’s delight.
We inhaled that newborn love, as fresh as country
I had on my loving smile, and she, her long blond hair.
Lying on a blanket, in the fragrant flaxen straw,
love was warm and welcome, like an early winter’s thaw.
We knew it was forbidden, but we couldn’t stop the
What they tried to keep away, only made it sweet.
Youth can’t last forever, but our new love never died,
married after high school, with our families at our side.
Now we have our own kids and our love is still aglow,
long, red road is shorter, but there’s still a ways to go.
Suddenly the tugging, on my toes brings me around,
look up from my easy chair and my wife is smiling down.
“I don’t know what you dreamed my dear, tell me what
I said “Let me show you dear, it has to do with straw.”
Jerry Jones, March 31, 2005
This is a small part of an offshore trip with me and Randy...
A yellow ray from an unborn day penetrates the night,
One by one, the stars are gone, giving up the
A silver moon is falling on, toward it’s final doom,
The jetties end, the Gulf begins, it’s waves
awash with foam.
Sharp salt air, and fishermen prayers, pierce the weather fair,
Two old men, brothers, friends,
ride without a care.
Seagull cries, cat hull glides, slicing through the ocean,
Rods are rigged with diamond jigs, dancing
with the motion.
They stop about, twenty miles out, for silver hardtail bait,
The current pulls, the livewell’s
full, the two men just can’t wait.
Motors silent, autopilot, set to south of east,
Hit the gas, engines fast,
a growling pair of beasts.
Drifting ‘cross a man made reef, hidden by the sea,
The rod is bent, the hook
is set, the battle to be free.
Drag’s a screamin`, reel’s a steamin`, the tuna’s diving deep,
the rail, the gaff impales, the yellowfin they will keep.
Like that they stay, throughout the day, battles lost and
They’ve had their fun, the day is done, on toward the setting sun.
They reminisce, but never miss, what they’re
really fishing for,
They act like boys, as they enjoy, God's beauty from offshore.
Jerry Jones, April
"In 1981 my daughter Jaime made her handprint in
some wet cement where I was making a repair to our driveway. We moved from there in 1991. I was in that area just before Christmas
and it was still there. The owners were kind enough to let me retrieve that piece of rock and I made a new repair for them.
I mounted her tiny little handprint along with this poem and two pictures from that time and gave it to her for Christmas.
That was the inspiration for this poem, as odd as it may sound to write a poem about a chunk of old concrete."
To my daughter
It stood there like a sentinel, a stone that knew no time,
Guarding what, it didn’t know, no
reason and no rhyme.
It was 1980, Jaime was barely three years old,
Her eyes were blue as the sea, her hair like
fine spun gold.
She followed me everywhere I went, I remember that spring day,
“Daddy what are you doing?”
“Daddy come on let’s play.”
“Can’t play right now, got work to do, come on now, don’t
“Let’s mix a little concrete, you can help me out.”
Her little hands clapped together
and sparks lit up her eyes,
“I can do that Daddy, I make good mud pies.”
We worked like that together,
she would say we played,
Looking back so long ago, I’m thankful that she stayed.
We formed that stone of wet
cement to patch our old driveway,
She used her little hands as tools, she molded it like clay.
She worked, she frowned,
her tongue stuck out, she twirled it round and round,
She shaped that stone to perfect shape, like the old one, pound for
She looked at me and smiled that smile, that always touched my heart,
“How’s that Daddy?”
She implored, and smoothed the final part.
“Just one more touch my little girl, my innocent sweetheart,”
your hand and push it down and sign your work of art.”
With her little paw she made a print that lasted through
Through hurricanes and many storms, and yes, there were some tears.
A Daddy’s love, a daughters
love, once born, they’re never gone,
She left her mark in my heart, and also etched in stone.
And so my daughter
here’s that stone, you signed so long ago,
Guarding what, it wants to know, through wind and rain and snow.
tell you stone just what it is, it’s simple you will find,
A twinkle from a day foregone, a cherished tick in time.
there’s nothing on this big blue earth, or in this whole wide world,
That can ever be as precious, as the love of
Love You, Then, Now, and Always,
Beyond the Veil
It was oh so dim when the vision began,
My limbs were
weary, I was just a man.
My body was sick, tired and old,
Must be a mirage, those streets of gold.
the haze I saw a Light,
An angelic glow, silvery white.
I heard my daughters, then my wife,
I saw a flash about
All the joys of life were mine,
Fleetingly fast, they were a sign.
But they were gone in the wink of
Life goes slowly, as it rushes by.
I felt pulled forward, toward the Light,
I felt pulled backward,
toward my wife.
Entwined also, it broke my heart,
To feel the hurt, I did impart.
The twisted, mean, and sinful
That others felt because of me.
I wept, I cried, from deep inside,
I’ll take them back, I tried and
This is dying, I can tell,
So far from Grace, am I in hell?
I rattled out my final breath,
the chill of earthly death.
Where do I go, where does it lead?
Am I born again? I am indeed!
Slowly the aguish
left my soul,
Again I see the streets of gold.
The Light rains down from up above,
He gives me comfort, I bask
He soothes the tempest of earthly seas,
He lights the flame Salvation brings.
With my spirit bright and my soul anew,
I caress the faces that
I once knew.
I meet the kin I’ve heard about,
They gather round, I want to shout.
No longer sick or tired
Reborn again, on the streets of gold.
I rustle my wings in heavenly air,
Rejoice and sing a jubilant prayer.
was such a wretch when I was living,
By the Blood of the Lamb, I am forgiven.
And He with all His heavenly might,
Gave me love and eternal life.
And oh, my earthly family,
With God will spend eternity.
With love and hope
and wings to sail,
We patiently wait, beyond the veil.
If all the things that all the kings
have ever held so dear,
And all the songs a robin sings
were ever gathered here…
If all the leaves from golden trees
that carpet nature’s floor,
And all the joys and things that please
were found behind one door…
If all God’s flowers and April showers
that breed eternal beauty,
And all the skies with all their powers,
that change as does one’s duty…
And all the love from those above
could fit inside one heart…
Then dear I know it’s you I love,
since you’re woven from these parts.
all the brave soldiers past and present. Thank you!
hid behind a fallen oak, shivering in the snow,
A Revolutionary soldier,
just six and ten years old.
Ducking from the British with lead shot in the air,
He thought about his mother, the gray
streaks in her hair.
“Hold me Mom!” cried the boy, from deep within his soul,
let me die here, freezing in this cold.”
Filled with dread, Johnny Reb was hot, but cold with sweat,
hard to swallow, his mouth would not get wet.
The dreams of home were on his mind, his lips were tight and grim,
heart was young and aching, to see his gal again.
“Hold me now my darling”, went the vision in his head,
my tears of horror, I’ve seen so many dead.”
a Long Way to Tipperary”, echoed in his brain,
As he slogged across a corn field, soaking
from the rain.
“Can we stop the Kaiser, can this war be won?”
reverie was broken, by the blasting of a gun,
Longing for a taste of home, and dodging deadly harm,
He imagined cool
well water, and hay stacks on the farm.
Brown and badly tattered,
he couldn’t even read,
The letter that he carried, his tears had made it bleed.
The Nazis shot his body, her words
cut him like a knife,
I have found another, I no longer am your wife.
So far from home and lonesome, the bullets made
He wondered if she’d be around, to hear the bugle call.
‘cross a river, in the steamy jungle night,
A boy no longer was a man, his heart no longer light.
it ever get much better? shaking as he spoke,
He took a round to the chest, his blood made him choke.”
my Mother that I loved her”, he took his final fall,
He would be among the names, carved into the “Wall.”
He slumped down in a foxhole, with sand upon his lips,
Praying to the
Father, with a rifle in his grip.
He knew the terrors of the day, the gutless evil foe,
He knew he had a job to do,
and miles and miles to go.
That didn’t make it easy and it didn’t make it right,
The generals win the battle,
the soldier wins the fight.
Here's to all those valiant men, their
They carry war forever, in their hearts and to their graves.
Gallant on the battlefield, in air
or on the sea,
They gave their all for freedom, they gave for you and me.
Let’s keep that candle burning, and
never let it cease
Let’s pass the flame forever, let it light the way for peace.
and Gray and Blue
All alone on the
farm, in it’s dismal winter gloom,
She stood there
like a statue, and gray as both the tombs.
is broken husband, son, ” she said her last goodbyes,
Her tears there
were frozen, on the cross, where she had cried.
Her husband died
from hardship , her sons had different views,
Of the Civil war
they went to fight, her family split in two.
Jeb the second
of her sons, wore the Union blue,
Zach, her last
born baby boy, into a Rebel grew.
Paul her oldest,
fairest boy had joined the Union side,
he was shot at
Gettysburg, that was where he died
She said a fervent
prayer to Him, “Please God, no more graves,”
She wiped her falling
tears again and turned and walked away.
Zach was marching
toward the rear, through the cold, relentless rain,
Like the Johnny
Rebs all around , he marched with constant pain.
The food was bad,
he shivered so, his heart was sad and low,
They trudged across
a muddy field, with many miles to go.
Blue his dog tagged
along, he wouldn’t stay behind,
Zach had raised
him from a pup, he could read his mind.
He caught a squirrel
a rabbit too, his bark was oddly strained,
He was just a huntin’
dog, Zach and Jeb had trained.
unique, a sorry, starving lot,
They loved ol”
Blue like their own, his rabbits helped their pot.
He earned his keep,
caught some game, and gladly tagged along,
He even had a cadence
to those lively, Dixie songs.
men, close the ranks!” “Keep up men, let’s go!”
They entered into
the woods, then left, the yanks aren’t far they know.
Emerging from the
woods that morn, into an open field,
To another row
of trees not far, the enemy was concealed.
There they stood
on the crest, the woods in sharp relief,
They charged and
fired toward the Yanks, who woke in disbelief.
The battle raged,
the cannons fired, through blood, and smoke and screams,
Blue, his musket true, were like a fighting team.
His hair was long,
his face was black, the powder burned his eyes,
He saw a Yank to
his right, they were both surprised,
Down he went, to
his knee, the battle raged around,
The Yank then knew
and took aim too, as he heard a baying sound.
took off as they both kneeled, to see his old friend Jeb,
He was in between
when they both fired, he never turned his head.
He leapt with glee,
his spirit free, their shots were straight and true,
Then a woeful bark,
as they found their mark, they both hit ol’ Blue.
Blue was happy
from a pup, his heart was never dark,
the cannon fire, Blue gave his final bark.
Zach clutched Jeb
halfway then, by their fallen dog ol’ Blue,
They knew right
then the war was done, and what they had to do.
the blackened battlefield, they buried their old friend,
And burned their
clothes of blue and gray, and watched the colors blend.
They walked for
miles through the snow, heading for their farm,
They could see
its gentle glow, they knew the fire was warm.
Standing by the
crosses, where Dad and Paul did rest,
Zach and Jeb were
finally home, and passed the final test.
Mom, your sons
are home at last, may your heartaches swiftly mend,
And they added
one more cross that day, for Blue their gallant friend.
February 6th, 2005
This is a tribute to my Dad, he passed away in December 2000.,
An old outboard, some trotline cord,
a paddle worn with age.
A big op
hook, his old Good Book,
worn on every page.
A pocket knife, some fishin’ hooks,
a faded Astros hat.
An old jon boat
and corks that float,
he left me all of that.
Catfish skinners, bait cast net,
a piece of worn whet rock.
Trotline jugs, a shaving
a plank from the launching dock.
Some smooth driftwood, a pipe well chewed,
a sack of garden seeds.
shells, gathered to sell,
he left me all of these.
A walking cane, it took the pain,
that brought him to his knees.
Formed from the
grip of a honeysuckle tip,
curled around a tree.
Huntin’ boots, slippers too,
a water stained pair of fishin’ shoes.
well thumbed card from Father’s Day,
signed from me to you.
The “Fisherman’s Prayer”, on a board somewhere,
lock of curly hair.
A moustache kit, an Old Spice set,
fragrant in the air.
Camo gloves, wild game vest,
assorted hunting clothes.
Shotgun shells, the Daddy
he left me all of those.
He told me all those stories,
about when he was young.
He laughed so in the telling,
they rolled right off his tongue.
The timber of his voice, in my head,
still echos ‘round.
He fell upon his
to pick him up, when he was down.
He’s always in my memory,
his purpose pure and true.
right beside me,
in my heart he lives there too.
Most would place no value,
on the trinkets left behind.
But priceless are the
now stored inside my mind.
This poem would makes sense if you
knew him, he was the best!!!!!!!!! The word "op" is Texas slang for an opelousas catfish, a species my Dad fished for and
get as large as 100 lbs if not bigger. That's why he had a big hook made out of rebar to drag the big ops over into the boat.
Jerry Jones, January 2005
For My Precious Mother
A special time, a special place,
a special Mother, full of grace.
Crossword puzzle, Scrabble
a crocheted doily’s looping lace.
Daddy at work, kids in school,
no rest for her, work to do.
to cook, laundry to do,
catfish gravy, biscuits too.
Mashed potatoes, peas and ham,
fig preserves, strawberry
Blackberry cobbler, pecan pie,
homemade ice cream, my oh my.
An old salt cellar Barbara has,
tea pitcher, flowered glass.
Cornbread hot, sweet tea cold,
take down laundry, need to fold.
Worn out Bible,
bought on time,
tickle tongue, nursery rhyme.
Quilting frame, whippin’ switch,
coffee grinder, clothes to
Old cloth diaper, baby comb,
safety pin, won’t take long.
Art Linkletter, Godfrey show,
she loved the Walton’s though.
Planting her garden, shelling peas,
shucking corn, pecan trees.
cooker, glass quart jars,
hot dill pickles, peas and corn.
Zinnias, Althea, Dogwood too,
Butter churn, watermelon patch,
chocolate pie she made from scratch.
Linda, Randy, first of six,
Jerry followed next.
Barbara then, David in tow,
the last to come, the first to go.
Our childhoods seemed to
to each she was a special friend.
She kissed our tears, returned our smiles,
and loved us dearly, all
A cotton apron, as she went,
we all thought, she’s heaven sent.
Now inside her special place,
a silver halo lights her face.
Love and hope, forever strong,
a guardian angel, blessed our home.
inside her angel wings,
were all those magical Mother things.
Jerry Jones, January 2005
In my ship I
take a trip,
And soar up toward the stars.
You are there my maiden fair,
I love you from afar.
The moon upon
your face it shows,
A smile of radiant light.
And those at home can see the glow,
The moon is full tonight.
we roamed, so far from home,
In to the depths of space.
I filled with fear to lose you dear,
But still I kissed your
We enjoyed the icy void,
And landed next on Mars.
Your hair so fair, much redder there,
Our love anew, exponentially grew,
As gas giants crossed our path.
Jupiter and Saturn, with clouds
Were fueled by nature’s wrath.
Uranus, Neptune, Pluto too,
Had sights we had never seen.
a glint, like a spark from flint,
That lit your eyes of green.
The Milky Way light years away,
Our lover’s link, stretched to the brink,
Is our eternal tether.
We can’t reverse
Our timeless paths must end.
Let’s gather in this stardust hearse,
And forever ride as friends.
mortal souls found huge black holes,
And light speed set us free.
It stopped the time, right in our prime,
On the other side, with ebbing tide,
No longer do we roam.
With our mission complete, forever
Wrapped in our Father’s arms.
Jerry Jones, January 2005
As Valentine’s Day was approaching I read about a couple that had been married
for fifty years. They had been very close and devoted to one another all through those years. The lady died on Valentine’s
day the year before. I thought it was sad and it touched me deeply. I put myself in the man’s place and tried to feel
what it must have been like for him and what he would do on the anniversary of her death, Valentine’s Day. I thought
about this throughout the day as Cheryl and I had quite a bit of running around to do. My back was bothering me that night
so Cheryl got her laptop as I lay on the bed and typed this poem and added her own thoughts as we progressed. This is what
we wrote that night.
While going through some trinkets,
aged and worn with time,
I came across
a faded heart, that said
you be mine?”
I opened up our
And then a tear fell not from me,
but came from
take the sadness,
I knew was in your heart,
I felt the same
as you my dear,
Since death set
I took a spray
favorite color red,
Put them in your
and placed it
by the bed.
I found your
and sprayed it in the air,
I played our
and felt your
I took our finest
And chilled our best champagne,
touched the flutes
A toast to us
I held your picture
to my heart,
And danced around the room,
You were still
my blushing bride,
and I your handsome
The lights dimmed
all around us,
your veil spun round and round,
I felt your breath
upon my neck,
that sweet I
love you sound.
It lasted precious
in my heart they’ll always stay,
It took away
and renewed our
love that day.
We spent some
special time my dear,
the day our spirits flew,
I touched your
soul a loving way,
I pray you felt
Cheryl and Jerry
Feb 8th 2005
© all rights reserved
Looking ‘cross the classroom, on a sunny
I caught you looking back at me, your smile was in full bloom.
We were in the first grade then, we had hardly
Then one day you moved away, and left me all heart broke.
Destiny, come back to me, you’re my Destiny,
back to my lovin’ arms, we were meant to be.
I didn’t really know it then, but through eternity,
written in the stars, you’re my Destiny.
She walked into my homeroom class, in my senior year,
Pretty as that
little girl, I wiped away a tear.
Her lips were red as roses, and as sweet as they could be,
This time she won’t
get away, she’s my Destiny.
We were married in the spring and I left in the fall,
I wrapped you in my soldier’s
arms, I was standing tall.
I was headed for the war, to keep our country free,
Then we shared our final hug, I kissed
Trudging through the city, with insurgents all around,
A bullet passed right through my heart, before
I heard the sound.
Everything was growing dark, it was hard for me to see,
When like a star before my eyes, I saw my
Destiny, come back to me, you’re my Destiny,
Come back to my lovin’ arms, we were meant to
I’m waiting in our Father’s home, and it’s heavenly,
In time your star will join with me, it’s
Jerry Jones, February
To those that have lost their
I see your spirit in the night,
flowing, a beautiful sight.
And as you speak from the astral sea,
You say these words, to comfort me.
didn’t mean to leave you dear,
Or make you shed a million tears.”
“I loved you so, and our sweet kids,
I thank you now, for all you did.”
“I know you didn’t, I replied,
For in my heart you never died.”
remember that day, so very clear,
When I heard the words, I lost you dear.”
The world stood still, as I closed
And the first big teardrop splashed the floor.
I took our kids and with eyes so bright,
And held them close,
through that first night.
Then I missed those little things,
Like those shower songs, you would sing.
Or on your
pillow, the scent of you,
Was slowly gone, I missed that too.
And in the night when I twitch,
there to scratch that itch.
Or if a nightmare gave me fright,
In your loving arms you held me tight.
of when we slept as one,
Wrapped together, snuggled and warm.
And right on cue we would spin,
And change whose arms,
we were in.
I missed your breath upon my neck,
That midnight kiss, how your fingers trek .
Or when we woke with
And quenched our tender, burning fire.
I missed your eyes, as green as spring,
And all the different
looks they bring.
Sometimes happy, sometimes sad,
Sometimes frisky, sometimes mad.
I felt your essence all around,
missed your tender, happy sounds.
I missed your hair and your touch,
I loved you so, so very much.
I know you
died that fateful day,
But you never really went away.
In our kids I saw your face,
And remembered you, so full of
Now take my hand with the golden ring,
Let me hear you laugh and sing.
Do those little things, that I
We’re together now, our love’s aglow.
Never more will we be apart,
I no longer have a
Let’s love once more and never roam,
Our two hearts are one, in our new home.
February 26th 2005
wife loves this holiday,
Of Valentines to my dismay.
It comes around so fast each year,
It’s hard to find Cupid’s
It doesn’t matter that all year long,
I do those things that seem so wrong.
Like when I take her
to the mall,
And tote her bags one and all.
And also through the cold and the rain,
When she gets her monthly
I rush right out to the store,
And do a task that I abhor.
Through rows and rows of cotton things,
ones have strings, which ones have wings.
There’s the gal with the knowing smile,
She helps me on the lady’s
Or when I take her to the show,
And suffer through those flicks of woe.
I fix the car for her brother,
to the doctor take her Mother.
I make her happy when I say,
I think it’s perfect what you weigh.
always yes when I confess,
You still look pretty in that dress.
So why is it, that once a year,
In the Walmart
store I must appear?
And roam among those crowded lanes,
With all those other men in pain.
Fifty feet of roses
Down both sides are zombie faces.
I look and sniff for the perfect dozen,
A death mask on my face is frozen.
look at all the other men,
And they all have that stupid grin,
That makes us bond and relate,
Oh what a bogus holiday!
think for what these roses cost,
Of all the beer and Slim Jims lost.
Or fishin line and rod and reel,
And how those
fresh mown fairways feel.
I got the roses, card and candy,
I’m feeling good, kinda randy
And I threw in
for extra measure.
A bright red teddy, what a treasure!
I’m thinking maybe after while,
When all these
gifts give her a smile,
I might get lucky, if I don’t whine,
And make love to my Valentine!