Saturday, August 15, 2009

Molasses Cookies

When coming home from work one night,
I sauntered into to quite a sight.
The place a buzz from busy lads
With cookie sheets and oven pads.

Flour and sugar everywhere.
“Look at this place, it’s quite a scare!
What has all this mess come from?”
“Molasses cookies, say yum yum!”

“You must know, your daddy wishes,
That you also clean the dishes.”
“No fear dad. It’s in the plan.
And even help, the toddler can.”

Then walking past the pantry door,
I spied a blob down on the floor.
Suspicious size, and jaded hue,
“What is this? A piece of pooh!?”

“Don’t worry dad” said elder son,
“I’ll scrape it up here with my thumb.
Surely it is no great matter,
Just a touch of cookie batter.”

When off he went to wash his hand
I heard a scream that pierced the land.
For on his thumb, what had he got?
Molasses cookie, it was NOT!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Work

The work that God assigns to me
Is how I learn and come to be,
The one who freely does his part,
And thus becomes His work of art.

By trusting in the word of Him
Instead of just my foolish whim,
I come to see this work of mine
As part of mighty plan divine.

For happiness I’ve found is where
We labor hard and do our share
To bring His kingdom here on earth
And grant to many souls new birth.

Wherever You Wander

Wherever you wander along the dark road,
Whatever the burden, whatever the load,
There’s one who can help you, and brighten your way.
He’s there right beside you each hour of the day.

Though sadness may come, and your troubles abound,
He’ll shoulder your cross as you walk through the town.
The font of all wisdom, the source of all light,
Will grant peaceful rest, in the still of the night.

Wedding Bells

Those wedding bells of long ago
Still ring within my heart,
And send a tingle through my bones
That touches every part.

When love was kindled in my soul.
What treasure I had found!
Not just a girl of dreams was this,
But love pure and profound.

And now a quarter century past,
Our love still burning bright.
Eight glowing embers warming us,
Fruit of our wedding night.

My bride is aging gracefully.
I pray to do the same.
As hand in hand we walk with Him,
The One from whom we came.

This bond we have is more than two,
Our Lord provides the strength.
To persevere in troubled times
That stretch to any length.

I didn’t know back on that day
When we both said “I do”.
That marriage was a state in life
That needed more than two.

But through the years I’ve come to see
That feeble flesh is weak.
It’s only by the grace of God,
These wedding vows we keep.

When in the eyes of worldly ones
Our strength and beauty fade.
The Holy One reveals to us
The wonder He has made.

This Sacrament a sacred sign
For all the world to see.
The love of Christ for all his Church
Shines forth through you and me.

Vocation

A point in every life is reached
Where questions do abound.
Why am I here? What shall I do?
Some purpose must be found.

For every child of God there is
a plan unique in time,
Formed by Christ the author of
Each life on earth sublime.

Vocation is the term we use
Describing heaven’s call.
It’s not a job. It’s more than that.
Vocation is our all!

In priesthood or religious life
Or single for the Lord,
Our lives must be examples of
Submission to his word.

In marriage where the two are one
The fruit of life is given.
Reflecting for us here on earth
Christ and the Church in heaven.

A special purpose for each one
That no one else can fill,
Where happiness supreme is found
Submitting to his will.

To find this perfect will of God
Designed for only you,
Submit to Him in everything,
Increase your prayer life too.

Through sacrifices freely made
Detaching from our mind
The lure of wealth and chains of sin
To God we now incline.

And clearly hear his call to us
That beckons from within.
You hear his voice. Why wait? Act now!
New life will then begin.

Unity Tried

Written for my Godparents on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

For fifty years long
Their love has been strong
This Walsh/Bessler combo is golden.

We honor this bond
Of which we’re so fond
Their six fine children beholdin’.

For now half a century
Their love’s been a sentry
Guarding their family from strife.

Through storms and rough road
When heavy the load
These vows were their anchor for life.

Now Alice and Bill
You’re not over the hill
Just aged like fine mellow wine.

See now we all ponder
Your love it’s a wonder
A marriage blessed by the Divine.

God’s love you did show
You let everyone know
That your marriage would surely abide.

God’s blessings have flowed
And on you he bestowed
The great honor of unity tried!

Twenty Seven

Twenty Seven, almost heaven,
Me and Mary Dee.
For years of bliss, I have but this,
A gentle kiss for thee.

You surely know, a shoot did grow,
The day that we were wed.
Now strong of root, with lots of fruit,
Our branches start to spread.

With empty hand I come and stand,
Before my lovely bride.
And ask again if you will spend,
A lifetime by my side.

Not much to give, but you can live,
With me this humble part.
And this be sure, our love is pure,
Dear Mary has my heart.

Tubby Time

( To the tune of Silver Bells)

Sing to the tune of "Silver Bells"

Dirty elbows, stinky armpits
Muddy kneecaps you see
In the air there’s aromas of children.

Crusty faces, sticky fingers,
Lots of gummy toe jam,
and from the mother of boys you will hear…

“Tubby time, tubby time,
It’s tubby time for the little guys”

Hear the water going bloop bloop bloop
I smell poop.
Those bubbles are burning my eyes!

Mary My Sweetheart

To Mary my sweetheart
The mother of nine,
Eight here on earth
One with the divine.

My love does not wane
No it strengthens with time,
I’m thankful that God
Gave me you to call mine.

Our love has been great
Yes it surely did flower,
Two boys now look down
As if standing on towers.

Though some have grown up
And some are still small,
I’ve loved every minute
With one and with all.

My sweetheart still makes
My heart pitter pat,
But there’s more to our love
Yes much more than that.

A family was born
When we walked down the aisle
Some folks say we’re crazy
But I like this style.

I caught quite a gal
Yes, she is like no other,
Our children are blessed
To have you to call mother.

Throughout the Years

Throughout the years I’ve come to see
The blessings God has given me.
They came in ways I did not plan,
They taught me how to be a man.
To love the Lord in spite of pain,
In search of that eternal gain.

This Time of Year 2007

This time of year, the Holidays,
When all the world seems in a craze,
We rush about from here to there
And look for bargains everywhere.

Holly leaves and decorations
Spread across a greedy nation.
Rarely stopping to decide
The reason for this Christmastide.

So focus not on opulence,
But gold and myrrh and frankincense.
The tender little child king
Deserves the sacrifice we bring.

So few he finds among the crowd
To answer yes and lift the shroud.
To trust in Him and give their all
Responding to His special call.

The fiat of the virgin one
Her willingness to bear God’s son.
To face uncertainty with faith,
Becoming truly full of grace.

And Joseph too, betrothed to her
Quite troubled by the way things were.
Received the word from up above
And chose to give to Mary love.

In faith these truly humble ones
Agreed to raise God’s only son.
Their yes a gift to all mankind,
And hope from them the lowly find.

In your life too the Lord will speak,
If you will take the time to seek,
His precious words that guide you where
No earthly pleasure can compare.

So in this busy time of year,
Be sure to take the time to hear,
The call of angels soft and sweet
That beckon: “Jesus, come and meet!”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Tree

The actions of a father done
Can bless or curse a newborn son.
And mother’s words can sprout a flower
Or teach a child to shy and cower.

Afflictions passed along the tree
From grandpa, dad, and down to me.
A sharp rebuke, a biting tongue,
A poor example for the young.

My faults apparent, I can see,
I’ve passed along the family tree.
But blessings too I hope are found,
When all the children gather ‘round.

My father struggled as I do,
But this we children always knew:
He loved the Lord and did his part,
To love our mom with all his heart.

My branch along this tree of life
Began with love of man and wife.
Eight buds have sprung forth from that line.
And each in turn will have their time.

I shudder when I see my faults
Exhibited in young adults,
Or children modeling quite free,
A new bad habit learned from me.

Lord send your healing on this tree,
And blest these branches ever be.
Protect the buds from stain of sin,
And every heart thereon please win.

The Cost of a Woman

The cost of a woman, the price you must pay,
To live in accord with the Holy One’s way.
To have all the joy that the garden once knew,
One must follow the rules, from God given you.

The garden was perfect, that place of great fame.
Their bodies were naked, yet they felt no shame.
But sly cunning serpent crept up to their side,
And with wheedling words induced in them pride.

Then seeing each other in perverted gaze,
They covered themselves, and the angels ablaze,
Stood guard o’er the garden, the paradise lost,
When simple obedience was all that it cost.

Often man sees woman as paradise found,
But so often too, he keeps looking around.
In misguided ways he feels that he must,
Find some way for him just to satisfy lust.

Pornography, deviant sexual acts,
Now trying but failing to cover his tracks.
For seeking his pleasure, but finding no joy,
His loved one cast down like an old broken toy.

Oft repeated this scene though it needn’t be,
With Jesus as guide who gives light for to see.
The love of one woman is treasure aright.
Her gift to her husband is joy and delight.

But fidelity, purity, chastity now,
The way for the man to discover just how,
To kindle a flame for his love in her heart,
That will keep burning brightly, and never depart.

Each woman a beauty in God’s perfect plan.
A star of creation, created for man.
But only one woman for my eyes to see,
The star of creation created for me.

Solomon

I go the way of all the earth
King David told his son.
See Solomon that you are strong,
You are the chosen one.

At Gibeon the Lord appeared
And offered to the king,
A gift of anything he pleased
The Lord would surely bring.

Now Solomon acknowledging
His young and stupid state,
Chose wisdom and discernment as
The gifts to make him great.

The wisest man in all the earth
King Solomon was he.
The queen and her great caravan
From Sheba came to see.

On any thought he could expound
With knowledge and with grace.
He used his gold to build the Lord
A fancy dwelling place.

From precious gems and finest gold
And seven years to make,
The temple of the Lord was built,
Never to replicate.

But Solomon, though wise he be,
Fell into lustful sin.
By listening to foreign wives
His downfall did begin.

Like Solomon I ask of God
A wise discerning heart.
But also grant that my free will
From You will never part.

More precious than a life of fame
More valuable will be
Just following the will of God
He knows what’s best for me.

My will is something I must train
To follow and obey.
Of Solomon I read and learn
And this I take away.

Enticed by sin we soon discard
The gifts from God above
With avarice and greed we search
In vain for our true love.

My maker knows me through and through
He keeps me in His sight.
By sacrificing of my will
He brings joy and delight.

Soil

Pray what condition child of God,
Is earth within your soul?
A soft and fertile furrow deep,
Or dry and rocky hole?

The charge for all is bear much fruit,
A harvest for the Lord.
To feed the starving little ones,
A dying helpless hoard.

But how can grain begin to grow,
When trampled underfoot,
Along the path of sin you chose,
The easy way you took?

The birds sweep down and take away
The precious tiny seed,
And leave the soul now in a state
Of graven want and need.

The rocks provide a little soil.
The seed it quickly grows,
But heat of trial comes and then,
Destroys what master sows.

Among the thorns a seed takes root,
And flourishes a while.
With daily cares of hungry flesh,
It’s lost amid the mire.

Eventually the thorn wins out,
And chokes the tender grain.
The quest for happiness in things,
Brings nothing more than pain.

Where can the sower find the ground,
So fertile, soft, and sweet,
Where seed from heaven scattered round,
Is rooted firm and deep?

Are you the one amid the crowd
To show how much you care,
To hear the word of God come down
And fertile ground prepare?

If only you would labor so,
And be the one so bold,
The Lord would bless your labor, and
Return a hundredfold.

Silly Rhyme

To me it seems a silly day,
For I have nothing much to say.
No wisdom in these words of mine,
That just somehow are set to rhyme.

I wonder while in front of Him
If I should feel down deep akin,
To Peter, Andrew, James, and John,
Who walked with Him as He went on?

Through town and village far and near,
While people pushed and shoved to hear,
The teacher of a different kind,
Who read their hearts and stretched their minds.

A parable of chaff and wheat,
Or loving Father there to greet,
A wasteful son who spent his half,
And now whose Father kills the calf.

Did they just take for granted then,
His presence with them there and when
He spoke of suffering and pain,
Did they just think of earthly gain?

Were they like me when offered time
To sit with Him and sip the wine,
But chose the bustle busy beat,
Instead of sitting at His feet?

Amazing what we often find
When we but simply clear the mind.
And sit with Him a little time,
It’s so much more than silly rhyme.

Seasons

A crocus peeking through the white,
It signals soon the end of night.
When all around us life abounds
With budding flowers and chirping sounds..

Magnolia blossoms white and pink
He made especially, I think
To simply fill the springtime air.
With sweetness that I can’t compare.

With longer days and shorter nights,
The sunshine growing ever bright,
The author of this life of ours
Made summer with its longer hours

The heat grows stronger every week,
The children splashing in the creek.
His love for us He surely shows
Where wheat, and corn and barley grows.

In autumn tones of red and gold
The hand of God our eyes behold.
Each leaflet painted by His hand,
And set on its majestic stand.

Now in our world of fallen doubt
This time of year the trees cry out.
That God is great, He loves us so,
He colors trees and makes them glow.

Then soon arrives the winter chill
When Jack Frost dances on the sill.
Splashing rays from sun above
Kaleidoscoping us His love.

Though cold and dead things may appear,
A masterpiece He then brings here.
And quietly throughout the night,
He lays a blanket pure and white.

How can you ask Him for a sign?
Just look around you. Are you blind?
The love of God is everywhere.
So be not ever in despair.

Our God He loves the sparrows so
He feeds them everywhere they go.
The field He clothes in blossoms bright
Renewing love each morn and night.

Now you’re more precious. Can’t you see?
Than any sparrow, field, or tree.
His love to you He does impart,
You are His greatest work of art.

Science Defiance

I think that man may never get
The heavens in his head.
For Darwin tried, but don’t forget
That now he just is dead.

They think it through and then proclaim
They’ve got it figured out.
Those silly men of passing fame
Find nothing more than doubt.

For everywhere they look they see
New vistas open wide.
The wonder of a simple tree,
Or rise and fall of tide.

Their premise of no greater Lord
Puts limits on their search,
Without the light of mighty word,
They’re on a shaky perch.

Discovering an ordered plan
They think the cause they find.
But seeing still a deeper plan,
They simply lose their mind.

More prudent now it seems to me
To see the evidence
In bird and song and crashing sea,
And then with reason hence,

Decide more to my benefit
That I should simply try,
To with the Holy Spirit fit
My head up in the sky.

Sam's Good Bad Day

Sammy I’m sorry
You had a bad day,
It happens to all,
Or so they say.

The first inning or two
Your pitching was rough.
By three and two thirds
Coach said “That’s Enough!”

Eleven had crossed
The plate by that time.
Two batters were hit,
And four got free rides.

Eleven big runs
On only four hits
Sure, life is all cherries,
But this is the pits

Six errors one inning,
Oh what a blunder.
Then all we could do
Was hope for some thunder.

One out in relief
Jake got on the ground.
Then looking at Bruins
Their faces were down.

But Sammy showed spunk
When he got to the plate.
He smashed a hard single
Out to their number eight.

He took second and third
Like they were his own.
And with one wild throw
He headed for home.

But it wasn’t enough
To get back in the game.
Our Bruins had lost
Oh what a shame.

Now Sammy I’m proud
Because you’re a young man,
That works very hard
And does what he can.

We all like to win
But only one can.
Your reaction in losing
Reveals a true man!

Go get ‘em the next time
You’ve still got the stuff.
Throw hard and throw strikes
And make them cry ENOUGH!

Sadness

The sadness and the sound of grief
Is somehow far beyond belief,
Amidst the soldiers in the ranks
Of those who praise and give You thanks.

They get no pass for loving You,
Their troubles mount in all they do.
They stretch their faith and wear them thin,
Until they think that evil wins.

But then You somehow show Your face,
And fill their soul with holy grace.
Dispelling fear with love sublime,
It happens each and every time.

If we but simply trust in You,
And try our best Your will to do,
All things endure, we surely would,
Because You work them for our good.

Rosie Dear

The following was written for my goddaughter Rosie Kemper on the occasion of her First Communion. To have a keepsake for that day Rosie asked several people to write a description of their favorite part of the Mass. This is what I wrote for her.

My Rosie dear, I pray you hear
The voice of God this day.
When Jesus true is here for you
This very special way.

At Mass I love when from above
The Spirit comes to rest,
Upon these gifts, our eyes we lift,
This part I love the best!

What can eclipse this special gift
The Lord gives us to share?
When bread and wine become divine,
No better anywhere.

This gift He gives for you to live
Within His holy will.
When trial spreads it’s ugly head
Be sure to have your fill.

His body, blood divinity
This gift for Rosie be.
A prayer for thee from Hennessey’s
Remember always please.

That Rosie dear would ever hear
His loving, gentle call.
And seek from Him when times are dim
His body, blood and all!

Roots, Shoots, and Fruits

The prophecy for you today
Is listen and do what I say.
To you I give My special call
For you to give to me your all.

Think not of what the cost will be.
Think but of drawing close to Me.
And let your roots with Me entwine.
Then I will feed you from the Vine.

The sap of sweetness flows from Me,
To grow this shoot into a tree.
With branches reaching far and wide,
And sheltering a weary tide.

Be steadfast in your love for Me,
And watch what happens to this tree.
The harvest bounty I provide,
With fruits abundant worldwide.

Rome Sweet Home

Tony, in this land eternal,
What is written in your journal?
Are there stories written there,
Of sights you’ve seen beyond compare?

Recall Assissi, over there,
The land of Francis, and of Clare.
How love so simple was so blest,
It raised them high above the rest.

And in the church of old St. Paul,
The one, you know, outside the wall,
The portraits of the popes of time,
Unbroken apostolic line.

Mary Major was for me,
An awesome sight for eyes to see.
Before me there in deepest sway,
The manger where the baby lay.

Basilica of Lateran,
I’ve heard about time and again.
But never knew it held the skulls,
Of great St. Peter, and St. Paul.

Pieta, it was for me,
An overwhelming work of beauty.
And you can tell your friends back home,
How at St. Pete’s, you climbed the dome.

The labyrinth of catacombs,
The early martyr’s final homes.
Provide a somber resting place
To fill the pilgrim’s soul with grace.

How humble Pio loved the Lord,
And pointed many others toward,
A life of service filled with grace,
To win from Jesus sweet embrace.

Whatever you have written there
Will bring you memories to spare,
And if some day you’re feeling low,
You’ll have a lovely place to go.

Roger

To Roger the captain of our Bruin band
The finest of coaches in all of the land.

For him it is more than just coaching baseball.
For him it is teaching young men to walk tall.

To be strong in their faith, calling always on God
In whatever life’s road they have chosen to trod.

This game is a fun recreational sport,
But rarely we find such a coach of this sort.

Encouraging boys to be men strong and pure.
From coaching like this now a winner is sure.

With Mass and some donuts, O.J. and B.P.
Each Saturday morning he leads to vict’ry.

This band of young Bruins from St. Teresa town,
He teaches to work hard and never let down.

He gave us a season of 15 and 0.
These Bruins he taught to put on quite a show.

We all thank you Roger for this season’s run.
To go undefeated. Wow, that sure was fun!

Now Roger’s a humble and kind sort of man,
Freely giving to others whenever he can.

Far be it from him to seek honor and power,
But on him this day it’s our praises we shower.

We announce to ball players in all of this land,
Roger Glandorf is King of our Bruin band.

Psalm 127

Psalm one, two, seven was you see,
A verse that David penned for me.
To help the simple understand
That God is king throughout the land.

It matters not though labor hard
We sweat and toil and punch that card.
If God our labor does not bless
We simply earn another mess.

Where selfishness and greed abound,
The love of God is never found.
Senseless toil, a worthless prize,
No benefit from all those tries.

But if we listen to His voice,
And always make His truth our choice,
His providence it will abound,
And peaceful rest for us is found.

Unselfish love, a fruitful wife,
And children make a happy life.
They fill the quiver for our bow,
And then to others clearly show

Despite the work a family brings,
Including sacrifice of things,
No longer have we cause to weep.
The Lord provideth in our sleep!

Proverbs 30: 2&3

In Proverbs thirty: two and three
Are written words describing me.
A man of slight intelligence
Who strays from God at times and whence,

The error of my ways is known
I cry to God “Let me come home”
And rest within Your loving arm.
In safety, sheltered from all harm.

So many times I’ve turned from Him,
Because of fancy or of whim.
Like David with Bathsheba or,
Just simply always wanting more.

My soul is wretched, filled with shame,
Because of passions never tamed.
My foolish heart in selfish lust
Has strayed from God, betrayed His trust.

My guilt abounds at every turn.
Oh Lord, how will I ever learn,
To follow You in steadfast love,
Firm in your law sent from above?

Renew me now, my savior be,
That I may always follow Thee.
Oh keep my feet firm on Your path,
And save me from Your righteous wrath.

Your only son upon that tree,
He suffered and He died for me.
That mercy from His side should flow,
And all my sins You would not know.

For when confessing to the one
Who stands on earth here for Your Son,
My sins forgiven in Your sight
My soul again is pure and white.

Oh keep me Lord in Thy great care,
And never let me wander where,
My soul is threatened with the pain
Of never seeing You again.

Prophecy

Through prophecy we seek the Lord
We ask to hear his holy Word
To bind us all in one accord
And pierce us with his two-edged sword.

But do we truly want his will?
Bad habits here remaining still.
The word of God a bitter pill
So we remain amidst our swill.

Oh lift us Lord that we might be
A fitting instrument for thee.
And with your grace that we might see
The kind of love we have from thee.

Your Spirit flows just like a flood,
Your life poured out in precious blood.
But here we sit stuck in the mud.
We cannot shake this dreadful crud.

The flesh has bound our will to live,
Sometimes too stubborn to forgive.
Our lives be sifted by his sieve,
Until we learn to love to give.

Heal us Lord and make us hear
When you, to us are drawing near.
Your words are treasure to the ear,
Dispelling any glimpse of fear.

Give us the wisdom and the grace
To take our cross and keep the pace.
To follow you with steadfast face
Right to that crucifixion place.

So when our time on earth is done
You see the kind of race we’ve run
Just how we imitate your son
And say “well done my faithful one.”

Pachyderm Elegance

Once a great man of intelligence
Grew rich selling rides on his elephants.
Though you couldn’t go far
As you would in a car,
He was famous for pachyderm elegance.

In the town of New Delhi the drunk
Was filled with good cheer and some spunk.
He said to the man
Bet your elephants can
Play a tune with those bells on their trunks.

Now this elephant man from New Delhi
Was wealthy, but also quite smelly.
Although glamorous be
Pachydermian glee
My nostrils prefer a new chevy

Our Father

Oh holy One that’s from above
Whose hallowed name is filled with love,
I want to know without a doubt
I’m in your will and not without.

If in my heart the King should come,
And in my life His will be done.
As heav’n on earth my life would be
With blessings from the Trinity.

Oh grant me that Thy morsel sweet
Would daily pass between my teeth.
And mold my heart to be so kind,
That You and I would be one mind.

Dear Father teach me this I pray
To follow You in every way.
Forgiving all that I may see,
Your tender mercies there for me.

Protect me walking on this path,
And save me from Your awful wrath.
Keep evil far from me I pray,
I want to follow you this day.

One of Ninety Nine

I pray that I might always be
Just one of ninety nine,
That to the Lord are faithful sheep,
Not straying all the time.

The lure of sin entices all,
And many do succumb.
Then slaves unto the want of flesh
Their lives have thus become.

Through sexual impurity
We find a paltry thrill.
Oblivious to loss of grace,
We pay a costly bill.

Desire for riches springs a trap
That clamps upon the will.
No thought for those less fortunate,
Now Satan moves to kill.

Pride takes root and faith becomes
A petty little bother.
We’re lost again and far from him
Abandoning the Father.

Oh Shepherd please, this awful tease
Of pleasure, wealth, and fame,
Has taken me again from thee,
Pure Love, from whence I came.

Return me to Your fold again,
And grant me that this time,
Forever more that I would be
Just one of ninety nine.

Old Buddy Davey

Our old buddy Davey, joined up with the Navy,
To keep his homeland secure.
Now he’s taking a trip, on some big Navy ship,
To what destination’s unsure.
But on this you can bet, when the enemy’s met
Old Dave they’ll surrender for sure.

While he’s off far away, on some deck with a sway,
Planning some job in construction,
We’ll be praying for Dave and his buddies who gave
Preventing our country’s destruction.
Every day that goes by, we will say with a sigh.
Godspeed to our men of conscription.

My Father's Love

My father’s love I barely knew,
At nine he up and died.
Two sisters and two brothers too,
We all broke down and cried.

That fateful night near Christmas time,
December twenty two.
Emblazoned memory of mine,
I offer God to you.

How often Lord I’ve wished that I
Could listen to his voice,
And hear his words of wisdom try
To help me make a choice.

You blessed me with that loving man
For precious little time.
A dad not many others can
Claim “that one was like mine”.

A humble man of little means.
A printer was his trade.
A sparkle in his eye that gleamed
At what our Lord had made.

He loved the plain and simple things,
A walk amid the trees.
In them he saw the King of Kings,
Just gazing at their leaves.

He loved our Lord and sought him through,
The gift of daily bread.
He thought it quite important too,
That we a rosary said.

Though time was short, he did his best,
To raise his family.
Preparing them to take their test
And find eternity.

He wanted every one of them
To know the Lord above.
To follow in his footsteps when,
The Lord called them to love.

I hope he looks upon us now,
And comfort does receive.
To know his children all somehow
Can say that they believe.

For now with children of my own,
Grandchildren coming too.
The greatest joy in life be known,
Is children loving You.

May I a good example be,
That they might know the way.
Just like my father was for me,
Lord this is what I pray.

Mary My Bride

To Mary Dee my ever bride,
This ring I give on Christmastide.

Recalling years ago just how,
I took the leap and made that vow.

To have and hold from that day forth.
Your sweet embrace has now brought forth,

A family filled by children eight,
All surely bound for heaven’s gate.

So listen now again I’ll say,
I love you more and more each day!

My Brother Tom

Deprived of oxygen at birth
Or so the doctors say.
No telling now, to say just how,
My brother got this way.

Before his second trip around
The calendar had made,
My mom she knew, but hated to,
Admit what doctors bade.

He’s just a little slow she said.
Don’t tell me such bad news.
She shed a tear, and then did fear,
Just what her son would lose.

A loving wife, a family,
Her son would never know.
Where will he stay that fateful day,
When it’s my time to go?

No time to worry now you see,
Young Tommy how he grew.
Then daddy died and Tommy cried,
Mom had no troubles few.

By now he traveled far to school,
The bus he had to take.
His habit stare a frightful glare,
He often now would make.

No harm was meant by such a look,
But others didn’t know.
They took offense, and then did hence,
Give Tom a bloody nose.

Those times were hard for brother Tom,
Emotions flamed and flared.
Though loud he be, would hurt no flea,
But made my mother scared.

Those boys they poked their fun at Tom,
And called him ugly names.
For Tom a time of hateful crime,
For them, just fun and games.

Protecting Tom mom moved away,
Another side of town.
Here friends he found from all around,
To chase away his frown.

His quirky habits people there
Had fondly come to know.
His funny sounds and headlight round,
His swaying to and fro.

To clothing quite attached he grew,
His favorite pants and shirt.
He’d only change if in the range,
Of caked with sweat and dirt.

A shave and shower daily mom,
Would urge her son to take,
But every instance met resistance,
With shimmy and with shake.

When through with school, how mom would fret.
What can this young man do?
Will anyone with patience come,
With work dear Tom for you?

Her humble prayer was answered when
A fine French restaurant
Said sure, we’ll try this special guy,
Who now for work is want.

A blessed man he worked with there.
To Tom he was so kind.
With patient love from up above,
None better could you find.

But by and by, the man moved on.
No advocate had Tom.
Long suffering lost, Tom paid the cost.
To him they said: Move on.

No more a place in normalcy
For Tom could there be found.
And so from there he went to where,
Less fortunate are found.

Goodwill and then the JVC
Would occupy his time.
A simple way to spend his day,
But exercised his mind.

When on in years he needed care
More frequently than past,
He came to count on Eldermount,
Activity at last!

When looking at the life of Tom
How many scarce can find,
What good was he for you and me?
This man with half a mind?

I must confess that I at times
Would also wonder such.
Yes, blind I be , but now I see,
His life was worth quite much!

Unpleasant, sure it was for me,
To care for brother Tom.
This duty call to siblings all
Was answered for their mom.

He taught us that behind the shell
Cantankerous and terse
There lived a child, meek and mild,
The subject of this verse.

For when I looked beyond the veil
Of stubborn crankiness,
Somehow I found that all around
Was love and happiness.

How could I be so blind so long?
For years I did not see,
That my brother like no other,
Was really Christ to me!

Most Beautiful of All

The Virgin Guadalupe is most beautiful of all,
For she alone was full of grace when Gabriel did call.

Her soul proclaimed the greatness of the Lord that chose to dwell,
Within her womb for nine months so, the gospel stories tell.

Most beautiful a woman is when carrying within
The gift of life that God Most High did recently begin.

Her radiance, it fills the air, when she walks in the room.
The gift of life, an awesome sight, her body now in bloom.

Protect this life, embrace your child, that comes from God above.
Your body now becomes for him/her a capsule of love.

You share that grace that Mary had when answering her call,
For sure the Lord has made you now most beautiful of all!

More than Flesh

There’s something here much more than flesh
More than the eye can see.
There’s something of a mystery here,
One for eternity.

Look at your brother, sister, spouse.
Gaze deep into their eyes.
See what before you in their shape,
Has life, and then it dies.

If nothing more than flesh and blood,
Organic matter spent,
Why do in death we honor it,
And vow then to repent?

Because down deep in every soul,
Is planted firm and true,
The knowledge of the Holy One,
Who died for me and you.

A love not made for pleasure’s sake,
With selfishness and guile,
But one of patient sacrifice,
Enduring every trial.

Intelligence and reason are,
Two gifts beyond compare,
But useless if not used in faith,
To find the One who cares.

The One who breathed His life in you,
And placed you on this Earth.
Who loved you with a Father’s love,
Before you came to birth.

Now when I look at you my child
I see a work divine.
Far greater than the universe,
Much less, some work of mine.

You truly are a work of art
A masterpiece of love.
In you I see the face of God,
Sent down from up above.

Merry Christmas to Mary

Merry Christmas to Mary
My bride that did carry
Eight children for me through these years
Your love is so tender
That often it renders
My heart full, and eyes brought to tears

Through twenty three years
Filled with hope and with fears
Your love has always shown bright
The excitement’s still here
Though we’re no longer near
The bed of our wedding night

Now with children and all
Some grown and some small
Folks say we haven’t a prayer
Of getting ahead
When the children are wed
By that time we’ll both have gray hair

But regardless of youth
I know it’s the truth
God’s plan was quite clear. Don’t you see?
He gave us his son
Whose life was begun
In a stable, but ends on a tree

He didn’t deserve
The abuse he was served
The scourging and thorns all so gory
But he gained the prize
For yes! He did rise!
And now he reigns in great glory

Sometimes we may suffer
But he’ll always buffer
Our sorrow with joy and with glee
I thank God this night
For your love ever bright
I know that he made you for me.

Megan My Child

Megan my child
This ride has been wild
Through twenty four years it is true
If it wasn’t for you
This date I’d eschew
And eight kids would say Hennessey who?

But with your mother’s beauty
And you such a cutie
The hook was set firm in my heart
It was love from the start
For I knew in my heart
Of my family that you would be part

And so it goes
In life I suppose
God brought us together for reason
For loving and sharing
For giving and caring
Whether in or out of the season

It’s not just a dream
Life’s a continuous stream
Of changes that come everyday
Some good and some bad
Some happy, some sad
But all for God’s glory I pray

This love of my life
Is now known as Bob’s wife
The two bonded forever in bliss
For this sacrament takes
To account all mistakes
And rejoices in humble forgiveness

Now after some tears
To you I say cheers
Your mother her makeup is messing
Of this I assure
As you live one life pure
Now Megan and Bob have our blessing.

Maxy My Boy

Maxy my boy you bring great joy
To Daddy every day
Though some are told at four years old
Don’t bother me, go play.

You snuggle up and share my cup
My lap is all your own.
I hug my boy just like a toy,
How big he sure has grown.

Your brothers four have gone before
Each in this lap of mine.
And sisters two, preceded you,
But all grew up in time.

It’s your turn now, and oh just how
I cherish moments merry.
Soon you’ll be too big for me,
But then, there is Kateri.

What will I do when Sweet Pea too,
Becomes too big for Dad?
If Sugar Plum is not my chum,
I surely will be sad.

But growing up, it is the cup
God has for us to drink.
To cherish now, and then learn how,
To love him more I think.

When hearts are full they feel the pull,
To let this love abound.
Be sure to fill your inner till,
And let his love be found.

Little Sisters

November is here, Thanksgiving’s fine.
Gather canned goods, donate time.
The holiday spirit at its start
The time of year our love to impart.

This time of year our hearts aglow,
Regardless of December’s snow.
Visit old ones who lived before us
With voices loud in carol chorus.

The Little Sisters decorate
Their nursing home, our favorite.
With Christmas wreaths of pine and holly.
Their residents all look so jolly.

The elderly are frail and weak.
They love to touch a child’s cheek.
To rock a baby in their chair,
They hold him with such tender care.

Now January, wreaths come down.
Those jolly faces turn to frowns.
From those who are less fortunate
We turn away and soon forget.

But not the Little Sisters sure.
Those Little Sisters of the Poor.
At their home they take no rest
Like Christ they always give their best.

We, too, could learn from their example.
Christmas love’s not meant to sample.
Go see them now the whole year through
For one day you will grow old, too.

And then you’ll know that lonely days
Don’t just occur at holidays.
An empty rocker brings no joy
Like cuddling with a baby boy.

If Jesus truly is this time
Incarnate flesh, the One divine.
His boundless love it is the reason
We should love what ere the season.

Levi

Now little Levi, child of God
How rough this road to life you’ve trod.

But with your loving mom and dad,
You never need be down or sad.

They treasure you, God’s precious gift,
In spite of how the lord does sift.

Through trials and troubles of the day
To make them look and finally say,

Regardless of events distressing,
This child of God is our great blessing!

Leslie Aglow

I just heard a report
That our friend Leslie Bort
Has finished her last radiation.

With no hair to show
But her face all aglow
We think she deserves a vacation.

So pack up your things
Climb aboard silver wings
Let Thaddeus sweep you away.

With God on your side
And great family besides
You’re sure to get better each day.

So rest long and grow strong
Christ will bring you along
‘Till you’re healthy and fit as a fiddle

With a husband like yours
And six kids who do chores
You really are one lucky kiddle.

This suffering thing
Carries quite a big sting
It is truly our soul’s refinement

See to carry your cross
Counting all else as loss
Is God’s gift for eternal enhancement.

Just So You Know

Just so you know it, I thought I should say,
That I’m proud of my son, and his friends that would play,
In the band Friday Mourning, a wonderful crew.
We truly were blessed by these men that we knew.

Lucas, Jose, Ryan, Scuba, and Jim
For many the chance of success is quite slim.
But oh what a loss, for the whole music world,
The sad somber day Friday Mourning unfurled.

The plan of the Lord is a hard one to guess
Sometimes looking ‘round all we see is a mess.
You must know for fact that a purpose you served.
By music encouraging never to swerve.

In God’s holy plan He will use you quite well.
In how or what way, only He can you tell.
So be ready and waiting wherever you stride.
For grace to enfold you in rushing landslide.

No man is an island alone in the sea.
God’s calling you now to be all you can be.
In freedom He calls you to follow His plan.
Listen carefully now. I know that you can.

The bonds that you made, a lifetime will last.
When circling back to remember your past.
In time too, the sadness will go away,
But now is the time you must start a new day.

Help me out. Help me now, is the sound of a son,
That in spite of his troubles relies on the One,
Who through winding byways He comforts and keeps,
A place for His faithful, near where angels sleep.

You’re part of our lives that we’ll never forget.
This time in your lives you should never regret.
We’ll always remember that radio song,
As we’re driving around and singing along.

John Paul II

After twenty six years our pope has passed
Who sought millions of souls with the net he cast
Steadfast in spirit, proclaiming with love
The splendor of truth that comes from above.

The family established as society’s core
Upon this small block we are called to build more.
To train up our children the way they should go
This faith of our fathers the young ones must know.

In his letter to families the pope said we must
Instill in our children a posture of trust
For the love of our God is greater you see
Than trials we have, matter not what they be.

In this modern world the church now we see
As a beacon of light there to lead you and me
Standing firm in the face of evil that’s bent
On making us think we don’t need to repent

In the advent of this new millennium he
Gave us saints for examples of how we should be
Maximilian, Faustina, Jose Escriva
Edith Stein, Blessed Teresa, Gianna Molla.

Our Church and the Eucharist truly are one
The body of Christ taken flesh in the Son
Too few of us recognize, oh what great powers
He gives to disciples that make holy hours.

In his letter to children the pope did reveal
That faith comes from parents that do not conceal
Their love for the Lord, for what’s right and what’s true,
And the burden of praying for peace he gives you.


For teenagers too he composed words of wisdom
To show they could enter, with faith, to God’s kingdom
In spite of attractions of flesh that abound.
In loving God’s way is true happiness found.

Our faith comes with reason, the two are a pair
They work well together when we try to share
With impoverished souls in luxury’s lap
Who think they have all, but really it’s crap.

The Gospel of Life includes hardship and pain.
There is only one way for us to remain
With the lord of our life who carried the cross,
But to trust in the lord counting all else as loss.

The work of all humans is sure sanctified
By offering God all our toils beside.
If work is our prayer we pray constantly,
Reflecting to others how his glory be.

The role of the layman, no small task indeed,
Go into my vineyard was his fervent plead.
Why just stand here idle when work must be done?
There’s fruit to be picked, and you are the one.

A call to perfection in every heart ring,
For we too are called priest, prophet and king.
We all are accounted to act as the leaven,
That works upon others and leads them to heaven.

He accomplished great things as our Pope for a while,
Our papa touched millions with his ready smile.
To visit all people he just couldn’t wait.
We’ve now come to know him as John Paul the Great!

I Want

I want to want you most of all,
But time and time again I fall.

No rhyme or reason for disgrace.
I long to see your holy face.

But every day I try anew,
And every day I turn from you

This flesh must somehow be controlled,
Or I will never be consoled.

How did the saints of then and now,
In humble adoration bow?

Submitting to the will of God
In every path of life they trod.

They somehow learned to sacrifice,
And let your grace their needs suffice.

My will is weak in times of trial.
I fall away and then defile,

Whatever grace I had and then,
I start from scratch and try again.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Oh ye pooper in the potty
I must say I find it snotty,
When you leave in such a rush,
And the potty fail to flush.

So when you drop that stinky log
And put the bathroom in a fog,
You just leave for me to find
That smelly gem from your behind.

To you a wondrous thing of pride.
For me, it’s hard to see that side.
Have mercy on your dear old dad,
And flush away that brownie lad.

Happy Anniversary

After twenty three years
Filled with smiles, and some tears
My Mary is still quite a girl.
Now she cooks and she cleans
Although useless it seems
See these kids have our house in a twirl

Midst mountains of laundry
She’s in such a quandary
Clean clothes. Go to clinic. Mop floors.
Home school in a dither
While baby is with her
Just a few of her daily chores

Clean noses and heinies
I know now that mine is
A much easier job to do
But she keeps on chuggin’
She’s in there a scrubbin’
Up dirt. No. I think that it’s pooh!

Now did you really think,
I proposed full of drink,
Your life would be peaches and cream?
Surely you should have known
I’d get in your night gown
And these kids would be such a scream.

It’s a blessing you see
For our lives mustn’t be
Just indulgence and lust it is true
For our path to heaven
Is through one plus seven
Eight souls taught and trained by you

As I try to support
Your heroic effort
I do think it quite uncanny
The Corinthian word
Describes you to the Lord
Your zeal is a spur to many. (2 Cor 9:3)

My prayer it would be
That our love you and me
Would reflect Christ’s love for his bride.
Then the kids that we’ve taught
And with sacrifice bought
Would gather Him souls far and wide.

You see it’s not only
Because we were lonely
God brought us together to stay.
It’s because of His plan
To draw closer to man
He called us to love and to pray.

Nearly half of my life
I’ve had you as my wife
It’s hard to remember before
All the pitter and patter
For what does it matter
I know that I’ll still love you more.

Friday Mourning

On Friday morning long ago
The Savior walked this way
Through crowds of jeers and women’s tears
The people heard Him say.

Weep not for me, but for the ones
That close and harden hearts.
For they don’t care to lift their share
And learn what grace imparts.

My God! My God! Where have You gone?
No rescue for my soul.
When Love had passed the lots were cast
To win the precious stole.

Into your hands my soul commend,
It’s finished, now I thirst.
God’s only son, the Holy One,
By lance His heart was burst.

The sky grew dark, the earth it shook.
The curtain torn in two.
That Friday morning filled with mourning
Jesus died for you.

Found & Lost

Oh just how I sit and ponder
How you came from way back yonder,
Found the Church in all Her wonder,
Then returned to where you flounder?

Two Tim four, and in verse three,
It’s plain, the time is now, I see,
And in verse four there is for ye,
A warning where this path will lead.

Do you not know from where you’ve been?
Is it not plain from all you’ve seen?
The one to trust in everything,
Is found in one Tim three fifteen.

Oh tell me please, how can you son,
By splitting off can you become,
Fulfillment of the words in John,
In seventeen and twenty one?

Sure others call you to their sides
And tempt you with their changing tides,
But it’s to Peter He confides,
The keys to where pure truth abides.

In this dark, dank, and woeful place
A trail of sin we leave to trace,
But what a joyous happy face
That’s filled with absolution’s grace!

Such power of the Trinity
Was not bestowed on you and me,
But those engaged in ministry.
Now see John twenty: twenty three.

Where is your life without the bread,
His flesh to eat as Jesus said?
John chapter six has plainly said,
Without this food you’re good as dead!

I fear for you who turn away,
When once you saw quite clear the way,
And leave behind the Church, mainstay,
For tickled ears with what they say.

In Her no prefect one is found,
But sinners come from all around.
Through Her all graces do abound,
And only there full Truth is found.

Pray, tell me what do you protest?
I ask you now to take this test.
Do not just listen to the rest.
Our God demands from you the best!

There is no error in Her teaching.
Sometimes, yes, we lack in preaching.
When you find yourself still reaching,
Study up on Papal teaching.

Humility is what it takes
If you don’t want to make mistakes.
With Pride the Serpent calls for breaks.
The game is on, and high the stakes!

I ask you please, now to return.
From our transgressions, all can learn.
Through sacramental grace discern,
Our faith alive, and strong, and firm.

Understanding comes in time,
And through obedience we find,
The beauty of His work divine,
The holy apostolic line.

Listen what the scriptures say,
And hear the voice of Jesus pray:
I long dear Father for the day,
When all will find One Church, The Way.

Forgiveness, Healing & Hope

Most holy Lord and King of Kings
To You this lowly servant brings,
The chains of sin that weigh me down
That cling to me from all around.

From loving me instead of You
They keep me from the work You do.
That changes hearts, renews the mind,
With joyful pains of every kind.

I cower from this call of Thine,
Because these chains of sin are mine.
Forgiveness for this sinful soul,
Is what I need to make me whole.

Give healing from the wounds of sin,
And then this servant can begin,
To hope for days of endless light,
When through your servant love shines bright.

Teach me Lord now to forgive,
That I with You might always live.
Bring healing to this heart of mine,
That hope in You I’ll always find.

Fertile Ground

Dear Lord I pray, please break this clay,
And make this heart of mine,
A garden sweet where I can meet
The dresser of the vine.

Into my heart, the stony part,
Infuse your holy will.
And crush the sin down deep within
Subject me to your till.

Send water down to thirsty ground
And soften hardened clods.
All stiff and dried, because I tried
To worship other gods.

Oh fertilize the empty lives,
Of all those far from you.
Bring on the plow, that we might now
Be turned afresh and new.

Let harrow tine now make me fine
A soft and ready earth.
This place indeed, please sow your seed,
And bring me to new birth.

Eric and Elizabeth

To lasting love and tenderness
To hearts both firm and true
Dear Eric and Elizabeth
We toast this night for you.

This night begins a journey long,
The road less traveled take.
And thus you’ll learn to long endure
And sacrifices make.

Do not be fooled this joyous night
Your union in the Lord,
Is subject to the pains of sin
And trial in burning forge.

But if you cast your cares on Him
Committing all you have,
His arm is there to carry you
His love a healing salve.

Eventually when trials come
Be careful what you say.
Allow the Lord of patient love
To guide you on your way.

Give all you have to Him who died
That you may one day live,
And life-long unity to you
The Lord will surely give.

Dirge

In vision forward once I saw
A casket draped in linen pall
Inside the box, an empty shell
Of once a man of whom I tell.

A sinner of the common kind
In heart, and deed, and word, and mind.
A man God gave His very best,
But did this one now pass the test?

To listen to the stories told
You’d think he was some saint of old.
But I know better, I am he
I know that sin was close to me.

I struggled always to divest
My soul of greed and selfishness.
Though always holding back some piece
That sure enough disturbed my peace.

The standard that our Lord did set
Was perfect love and righteousness.
When juxtaposed to Christ the King
My life appears a paltry thing.

If in the land of heav’n above
All men are like the Lord of Love,
A long way yet I still must go,
A purging till I’m white as snow.

The fire of love does scorch and sear,
When Christ the Lord approaches near
No room for avarice and lust
This cleansing surely is a must.

Oh be not fooled by those who say
This purging need not come our way.
For all have sinned and thus become
Unfit for Him to say welcome`.

His mercy frees us from our sins
When life eternally begins.
His mercy is a blazing fire
That melts away our base desire.

Please pray that I would quickly give
My will, eternally to live
With Jesus, Mary, Joseph. Too
And someday, hopefully, with you.

For when I finally can see
The glory of the Trinity,
Where angels on their wings take flight
‘Mid brilliant rays of endless light,

I’ll offer prayers before the throne
For family and for friends I own.
In hopes that all would break from sin,
And come to endless life with Him.

But first I have this present day,
The Lord to listen and obey.
The hope of everlasting life,
Is won amid the daily strife.

By seeing Him in all mankind
The toughest love, we then soon find.
His kingdom here on Earth will come
By loving Him in everyone.

Dick, Dad, or Grandps

For Richard we’ve known throughout many years
We bid you farewell as we choke back the tears.
Your life was a common yet wonderful kind,
That touched many others in heart and in mind.

A hardworking man at Sohio/BP
Spending forty five years with one company.
Impeccable loyalty shown by this man
Who planned out his work, and worked out his plan.

His bookwork at night a point of contention
And so too Curnayn’s, or need not I mention.
But never a doubt of his love for his bride.
For fifty two years they stood side by side.

Four children he raised that call him their dad,
With memories fond, yet their faces are sad.
Recall family fishing trips up on the lake,
Or how on his birthday loved angel food cake.

The beer store on Christmas, a favorite of mine.
His ingenious way to make Santa incline,
Down the chimney with presents and all sorts of gifts.
Then through all the piles the children would sift.

Pictures were always a part of the plan.
Each year he recorded the merry old clan.
An Easy Bake Oven, and model airplanes,
Chatty Cathy, and Skipper, and Barbie their names.

Well his children grew up and grandkids arrived.
Keeping up with tradition he faithfully tried.
Then little white bags full of candles and sand
Became a new part of his Christmas eve plan.

The little ones playfully bounced on his knee
Loving time with their grandpa you plainly could see.
His silly talk duck speak they all loved to hear.
They’d rub on his whiskers and pull on his ear.

A lover of sports though in few he partook,
When the game got exciting he just couldn’t look.
Then he’d sneak on outside, away from the folk,
And greatly enjoy, on his own, a quick smoke.

A fastidious, punctual person was he.
He liked things his way, that’s the way they should be.
Five thirty for dinner and eight for the beer.
His peas touching carrots he just wouldn’t hear.

His lawn always tidy, his cars always clean,
Just that kind of person, you know what I mean.
A creature of habit, a faithful good friend.
On promise from him you could always depend.

A porch sitting sort, in his springy lawn chair,
Whenever ‘twas warm or the weather was fair.
He loved watching airplanes fly low and so straight.
Looks like Delta twelve sixty is four minutes late.

Fishing now more than his body could stand,
He purchased new clubs, some professional’s brand.
Most play for a lifetime and never do see,
That hole-in-one heaven, where he got to be.

Now looking back over a life such as this,
To omit the faith story would be quite remiss.
A man of strong faith, though boast not did he.
With ear bud and baseball, he’d pray the rosary.

Every weekend at Mass, never missing a beat,
Keeping time on the sermon from his favorite seat.
Singing softly, but sweetly, a reverent bow.
He received the Lord Jesus the way he knew how.

The words were not lost on his pondering mind.
He put them to use in hopes he would find,
His homeland forever where Jesus does reign,
In light everlasting, the land of no pain.

Now for Dick, Dad, or Grandpa the journey is done.
Once more fishing with Bernie, he caught the big one.
His prayer for you all from that cloud up above,
Trust in Jesus my friends and all learn to love.

Dave & Janet

But for the rosary in his pocket
He was just a common man,
Who looked about for one to wed,
According to God’s plan.

Among the many in the crowd
One shown above the rest.
With Christian faith and purity,
For him, she was the best.

The black-haired beauty caught his eye,
His heart was soon ensnared.
How could he court the one with whom
No other girl compared?

A movie! Sure! Gone With the Wind!
The perfect place to keep,
His girlfriend charmed and interested,
But oops, he fell asleep.

They prayed a rosary on their dates,
A quirky kind of whim.
Somehow they both were blessed by this.
She fell in love with him.

September fourth in eighty-one
The two of them were wed.
A quarter century now has passed,
And still they share one bed.

With trust in providence they built,
A home like Jesus willed.
Just take a peek on Friday nights,
You’ll see their quiver’s filled.

This bounty given by the Lord,
Like arrows in the hand,
Are warriors prepared in love,
For taking back our land.

Amazing what just two can do,
When living out God’s plan.
But for the rosaries in their pockets,
Just an ordinary clan.

Mark Hennessey

Christmas 2006

Merry Christmas to my Hennessey Clan,

Below is a little poem that I received while doing the spiritual exercises with Sam this year. In the early exercises there is a great emphasis on repentance as a prerequisite for being able to discern God’s will for your life. One of the exercises calls us to meditate on the sin of the angels as the very first sin, then the sin of Adam and Eve as the first sin in the world, the sin of Cain as the first murder, and then finally the first sin in our own lives. My first sin was most likely against my brother, but this is the first one that I can remember in any detail. I was probably about five or six at the time.

Why such a somber topic at Christmas? Because that’s the reason he came to earth…to save us from our sins. I ask each of you to take a little time during this busy season to reflect on the ways that sin has kept you from answering His call to the fullest this year. Then with the grace of confession and a firm resolve, you’ll be ready to take on the challenges of the new year.

Merry Christmas, and Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ…Now and forever. Amen!

The First Time


A life of sinfulness is mine,
Now looking back I see and pine.
The trailer in our humble clan
God placed in providential plan.

As early as my thoughts recall
I heard His gentle loving call.
That sound so sweet tugged at my heart
And beckoned give me every part.

I wanted to, I really did,
But selfishness within me hid.
I turned and tried to satisfy,
My greedy hand and then I lied.

A rush from deep within me rose.
My face grew hot and red my nose.
Then disappointment all around,
From Mom and Dad, and me I found.

A simple way to satisfy
My taste for sweets. Okay, I’ll try.
I took a nickel, then a dime.
What could it hurt? Was this a crime?

But that first time I turned away,
To follow my own selfish way,
I started on a path of sin.
A weakening did then begin.

So simple as it was before,
Is gone and now for evermore,
I struggle in a carnal world
Where evil constantly unfurls.

Concupiscence is what I’m told,
Comes from one sin that’s ages old.
Now all mankind is bound in chain,
That’s only broken by his pain.

My sins grew many in the day
That I was free to live my way.
But all I found was worthless junk,
No pleasure still could lift this funk.

Regardless of this life a mess,
He bid me “Come and please confess.
Receive great mercy from above,
And taste the sweetness of my love.”

With tears of sorrow on my face,
I stepped into that little place.
My sins were emptied like a drain,
And grace now filled my heart again.

Why did I stray so long from Him,
Succumbing to each urge or whim?
Why did I choose the darkness when,
The light of Christ was made for men?

I am a weak impatient man,
But with the help of God I can,
Now learn the way the saintly went,
And frequently, humbly repent.

Return to me that I may know,
That innocence of long ago,
And find that lofty dwelling place,
Of endless light and holy grace.

Christmas 2005

Eight children bounced upon my knee
I’m proud of my great progeny.
These children are my pride and joy,
Each pretty girl and handsome boy.

At Christmas time I stop to tell
Of why I love them all so well.
Each one a gift from God above,
An overflowing gift of love.

A soul so precious from the Lord
That follows closely to His word.
Created for His endless light
Their faith in God kept burning bright.

Their presence in my life can keep
My eyes from ever getting sleep.
But through all trials grace abounds,
And in our family love is found.

Now listen children to your Dad,
For what he says is not that bad.
Cut through the clatter of the day
And hearken to the words I say.

This time of year we gather near
With carols ringing in our ears,
And listen to the stories told
About that night so clear and cold.

How Joseph and his Mary bride
Began that holy Christmastide.
With but a manger for their son,
The infant righteous Holy One.

The family of the Holy Light
In just a stable pass the night.
If they so holy, humble be.
Then why not also you and me?

The purpose of this world you see
Is not just grabbing more for me.
The lord gives us a higher call,
To follow Him and give our all.

Stay strong in faith and fully fed
By frequent taking of the bread.
Confessing often so to thwart
The Devil’s foothold in your court.

And make a staple from the Lord
Your daily reading of His word.
While praying often in your house
With one another or your spouse.

Then one day we will surely get
The greatest gift of Christmas yet.
To spend eternity above
With all the ones we dearly love.

Bottom Breeze

This bottom breeze it makes me sneeze
A pungent gaseous blast.
Who woulda thunk this little punk
Could clear a room so fast.

Now mommy knows from twisted nose
Just what it really means.
To fill her boy, this little toy,
At lunchtime with baked beans.

This little fart tugs on my heart
While puttering in the fog.
If daddy had a gas this bad,
He’d surely blame the dog

Body Bends

So hard to make this body bend
Incline unto the Lord.
I want but always fail with Him
To live in one accord.

How can I ever ready be
To face the judgment seat?
I say I want to give Him all,
But always find defeat.

Bob the new King

Kudos I bring
To Bob the new king
Of three one oh three Crest Road.

A new husband and maybe
There’ll soon be a baby
This could be a big heavy load.

But you’re up to the task
Just let anyone ask
Will he not make a wonderful father?

Now it’s plain, can’t you see
That with Megan and he
A child would not be a bother.

Three children are plenty
And four are too many
You’ve heard many folks declare.

But I tell you it’s true
There are blessings for you
In big families from learning to share.

Now my blessing I give
For as long as you live
New challenges, many await.

Whether the stomach flu
Or leukemia too
We’ve loved every minute with eight!

Benjamin

To Benjamin we say goodbye,
Though never said hello.
Lamenting how this tiny lad
Before his time should go.

It’s hard to see the hand of God
Amidst such tragedy.
The loss of such a treasured one
For dad and mom to be.

On earth we here may never know
The reason for such pain.
But trust in God and rest assured
Young Ben will rise again.

Until that day when all will stand
Before the judgment seat,
Know that you have an advocate
With precious tiny feet.

One now with all the saints of God
His company does keep.
In land of endless light of day
The land where angels sleep.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Amazing Disgrace

Amazed I sit and sadly wonder
How two once one could put asunder
The holy gift from God above
Of chastity and married love.

Created by almighty God
To follow in the way He trod.
Unselfishness and sacrifice
To love the other would suffice.

If only you would follow Him,
Instead of selfish, greedy whim.
The riches of the marriage bond,
Instead of lost would then be found.

Two were joined upon the altar.
Yes, they both in some way falter.
But if repenting of their shame,
They could be joined as one again.

The fire of Hell is kindled by
The ones who say; “No more I’ll try.”
No more I’ll suffer for my spouse.
Split up the cars and then the house.

I’ve only got one life to live
No more for this one shall I give.
Such words are music to the ear
Of Satan beckoning; “Come here.”

Love unrequited still can bless,
But not a lack of tenderness.
A kindly word, a tender smile,
A hand to hold a little while.

The triune God, the Trinity,
Reflected by the family,
This was the plan from ages past
The marriage bond was meant to last.

How damaging, impurity,
Cares not for others, only me.
But even this the Lord could mend,
If your intransigence would bend.

If in your heart somewhere was found
The strength to simply turn around,
You’d see within their troubled face
A longing for that marriage grace.

No one but you can heal that scar
Of distant heart and gaze afar.
Begin by listening a while,
And somehow try to reconcile.

A man was made to love his wife.
And sacrifice his very life.
The woman made from flesh of man,
The helpmate in God’s holy plan.

Your happiness eternally
Is what is now concerning me.
Don’t throw away the love you shared,
When for each other once you cared.

Please turn around and make amends.
Decide to love your spouse again.
And you will see somehow, someplace,
A love restored. Amazing Grace!

Amanda My Friend

Amanda my friend I don’t mean to offend,
But this question has been on my mind.
After years of your pleading his love all exceeding
Your favor God did not decline.

With your brother John, of whom you’re so fond
The evidence speaks very clearly.
This spare tire guy who is up in the sky
Wants only to love you more dearly.

In favors for you, and on Calvary too
He gives all His love, but it’s odd…
How can He embrace if there isn’t a place
In the heart of Amanda for God?

This season of Lent it is time to repent
Come running with arms open wide
For your savior awaits, He has opened the gates
And invites you to sit at His side.

But He can’t come in, if we’re trapped in sin
And laden with chains of the night.
As Satan would say, you can do it your way,
But God’s yoke is easy and light.

Return to the church, and assume a new perch
Before His presence in bread.
Be reconciled, become a new child
And begin now the Gospel to spread.

The Act of Contrition

The Act of Contrition, a good thing to know,
And pray it quite often, wherever you go.
Confessing your sins before men here on earth,
Preparing to go to the land of new birth.

So often we think of ourselves as quite right.
Not so, if we look at our conscience each night.
And see that the Lord in our life is a need,
To free us from selfishness, envy, and greed.

It’s easy to find someone much worse than me.
And no one is perfect. It just cannot be.
So why should we fret over everyday sin?
The Lord doesn’t care. He will still let me in.

Presumption is wicked, abhorrent you see,
To one who on Calvary suffered for me.
The standard was set on that rocky old hill,
That Friday the savior of all we did kill.

Not one of us righteous, not one of us good.
All earning death, but in our place he stood.
So repent of your sins, be happy to know,
For all of our sins, precious mercy He shows.

A Shepherd's Heart

Now Jesus was a humble man,
The holy Lamb of God.
With miracles and words so wise
They flocked to where He trod.

He never took the highest place
When at a noble feast.
Instead, with tunic ‘round his waist
He washed disciples’ feet.

Obedient, this Lamb of God
Was scourged and bloody rent.
To Calvary for all our sins
The Lamb of God was sent.

Our Shepherd, now the sheep for us
That opened Heaven wide.
So all who call this Shepherd Lord,
Could someday come inside.

The Shepherd’s heart filled with desire
To give us sweet repose,
Near running streams and meadows green,
The cross He freely chose.

Oh, what great joy for us to be
In this Good Shepherd’s care,
Who teaches us to love, we must,
Now others’ burdens bear.

Oh grant dear Lord, that in my life,
My tiny little part,
That I would be a sheep for Thee,
One with a shepherd’s heart.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Toast for Ellie's Wedding

A Blessing From the Father

A blessing from the Father came
September twenty five.
That made a young man happier
Than any man alive.

A tiny little skinny one
So fragile and so frail.
A look of sweetness on her face,
But oh how she could wail.

I never thought this little one
That screamed most every night,
Would be so peaceful, calm, and kind,
With beaming smile bright.

But as she grew we came to see
A loving tender heart.
In her a gentle spirit did
The God of love impart.

The years have flown so quickly by.
This child of ours did grow,
Into the lovely woman that
You all have come to know.

This day her vow of faithfulness
Fidelity, and love,
Is given to her man of dreams,
Before our God above.

For Jonathan and Ellie now
This day you say “I do”
A blessing from the Lord above
And from your father too.

9191980

Romance has never been one of my strong points. Mary and I carried on a long range relationship while I lived in Nashville, and she lived in Cincinnati. When I was transferred to Birmingham I told her that we needed to break off the relationship because the distance was too far, and we needed to get on with our lives. She called me the next night and said that I could break up with her, but she wasn't going to break up with me. I was speechless, but I figured that time and distance would eventually change her mind. Instead, it was my mind that got changed. (a pattern that's been repeated many times over the years since) When I finally proposed to Mary I was drunk, and I called her collect from a phone booth in Birmingham Alabama at 2:30 in the morning. The date was September 19, 1980, thus the title. This is the story of that night:

On nine one nine one nine eight oh,
Seems like a long long time ago.

A young man searching for his mate
Took off with friends to find a date.

To markets where the meat is found,
He and his friends were traveling ‘round.

And in his drinking here and there
Saw pretty girls with shining hair.

Their shapely figures clad for lust
With necklines plunged revealing bust.

The stock is good his buddies said.
Who’ll be the first to get one bed?

They talked and mingled in the crowd
Of alcohol and music loud.

With smiling faces all around,
The one night stands were lost and found.

Amid the glitter blurred and bright,
The young man looked upon the sight.

Though dance and laughter did abound,
An emptiness was all around.

An emptiness as cold as stone,
And suddenly he’s all alone.

Despite his vision blurred by drink,
The Spirit prompted him to think

Of one he loved though far away,
Who held his heart in deepest sway.

Last call was heard, the crowd dispersed,
The fast lane life, it now seemed cursed.

While driving home he found a phone.
Out in a parking lot alone.

He stumbled in and fumbled for,
A dime or two and maybe more.

Just change enough to call collect,
He knew he’d have to be direct.

And ask the one who held his heart,
To see if married life she’d start.

With he as husband she as wife
The two would have a happy life.

“It’s two AM!” he heard her say,
Why are you up this time of day?

“I need to know before I sleep,
If home with me you’d like to keep?”

“Before this night I was unsure,
But now I know our love is pure.”

Far better than the market brand,
Of kiss and tell, and one night stands.

I may be drunk, but clear I see,
The Lord created you for me.

God rescued me that fateful night,
And showed me that our love was right.

Now life for eight is what it meant,
I thank you for your sweet consent.

How hard it is to see the light,
When blinded by our selfish might.

Where pleasure, lust, and greed abound,
No sacrificial love is found.

The glitter and the fast lane life,
Leads to divorce and endless strife.

When all the focus is on me,
Our eyes are blinded, we can’t see.

True love, desire of every heart,
Comes from respecting every part.

Our bodies are the temple of,
The One who made us for this love.

How fortunate for you and me,
The Lord, He gave us eyes to see.

To recognize through all the din,
The way to make this life begin.

Walk hand in hand and side by side,
With Jesus as our trusted guide.

Now many years have long since past,
Still loving her my heart beats fast.

Forty Hours Devotion 2004

In humble adoration
Before this holy bread,
Our sinful hearts are breaking
O’er things we’ve done and said.

Our blessings have been many
Our troubles have been few,
But have we given just return
For all that’s come from You?

Now we in Presentation say
Our founder was a saint,
He suffered much though never heard
From him was a complaint.

When Father Al was visited
By Collette, on his death bed,
The holy woman looked at him
And smiled as she said:

Your healing’s close, it’s coming soon
My friend you mustn’t falter,
You must be purified yet more
Then stand before his altar.

That altar wasn’t here on earth
But with the heavenly host,
Where saints and angels all adore
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

How can we say we follow him
When his teachings we ignore?
He always did encourage us
To give God even more.

Like Philip we must offer Him
All that we can find.
Two fish, five loaves, and trust in Him
Five thousand then could dine.

Our offerings though meager be
Are multiplied once more,
Not by our work, but by His grace
He opens up the door.

He offers all repentance
And forgiveness of their faults,
For short or tall, big or small
For children and adults.

Now strengthened by this sacrament
This holy living bread,
We go forth strong in faith
For now we have been fed.

To enter once again the world
And hearken to His call,
Remembering our founder said
With God that ALL MEANS ALL!

RU486 is 4U286

Are you for eighty-sixing
This child within the womb,
And giving it instead of life
A cold and lonely tomb?

It’s not a messy surgery.
It’s private and it’s clean.
It’s certainly more natural.
See don’t you, what I mean?

Sold as healthcare medicine?
Not so the way I reckon!
To me it still is nothing more
Than just a murder weapon.

The tiny movements of a child
That quicken from within
Slowly starved of nourishment
The dying now begins.

There is no way to justify
The taking of this life.
The arguments that call it choice
Bring nothing more than strife.

The secret story of the pain
And guilt that choice inflicts,
Abortion is sure one idea
For you to eighty-six.

Precious Pearl

Once in a young man’s life
He stumbles on a pearl
His life is changed forever
As he gazes on this girl.

His heart beats with a fury
As she takes his arm in stride,
They go forth to the altar
To be ever side by side.

Their love for one another
Explodes in such delight,
As they embrace each other
That virgin wedding night.

A child comes forth to test their love
So small and weak and frail,
With great demands upon their time
Their love now cannot fail.

They learn to sacrifice their will
In favor of this child,
When yet another comes along
Now life becomes so wild.

Chaos builds with every child
Their house it sounds like thunder.
With eight kids now they run on grace
While some folks watch in wonder.

Quickly though the time does pass
The kids grow up and find,
A precious gem to call their own
Then soon it’s grandchild time.

An old man now he looks around
To find his pretty girl,
His faithful and beloved bride
His shining precious pearl.

Nose Woes

What can I say? I have allergies and lots of sinus problems:

My nose I blows
Because it flows
Like water from the spigot

Some pills I try
To make it dry
But then I have to pick it.

John Paul (Living Saint)

John Paul Harbison suffered a tragic accident where he nearly drowned at age two. Since then he has been severely disabled, but the love shown for him by his family and the many who care for him is a shining pro-life witness. This poem was written primarily for his mom, but all those who care for him as well.

At two years old
I tripped and fell,
But no one near me
Heard my yell.

In a landscape pool
My face went down.
When they pulled me out
I was nearly drowned.

Now my brain won’t work
‘Cause it had no air.
So I lie in bed
And simply stare.

They say I’m like
A china toy
But mom says I’m
Her little boy.


Some folks say
This was a curse,
But I think others
Have it worse.

Their faithless talk
Is surely mean.
I have no sin
My soul is clean

In my picture
Some see dread.
But this is what
My mommy said.

”God stung my heart
But then did paint
My little boy
His living saint.”

Heinies

After getting upset with the first three of our eight children for not getting potty trained according to my schedule, I decided that I needed to start savoring that special experience of the diaper change. I came up with a number of jingles that I would sing or recite during the event, but this poem became the standard for the last two children.

This heinie is cute.
It’s a vertical smile.
The finest two cheeks
For many a mile.

There’s nothing on earth
That comes to my mind
So tempting to pat
As a baby’s behind.

No puppy or kitten
No, none anywhere
So soft and so sweet
As this small derriere.

Oh sure, it gets dirty.
Sometimes, it does stink.
But cleaning it’s not
Such a bad job, I think.

When you love a small child
By cleaning their crack,
Such love surely know
They will give you right back.

Now I’ve seen lots of heinies
In my day as pops.
But I’m here to tell ya
This bottom is tops!

Embryo 2

Just an embryo they say
A tiny human being
Value in its life is what
Some folks have trouble seeing.

Common good means nothing when
Our selfishness unbridled
Calls it “choice”, and then does say
“To life you’re not entitled.”

A holocaust we decry,
An outrageous crime of greed!
Callous, awful, wickedness,
It’s not medicine indeed!

‘Tis no splinter in the eye
For us to have extracted.
It’s a plank, a solid beam
That’s blinded and distracted.

When we make the center of
This world of time and space
Our hedonistic passions
Then we lose God’s gift of grace.

With conscience dimmed because of sin
Soon excuses multiply.
“Not that bad” I say to me
Now believing Satan’s lie.

To contracept and fornicate
It hurts no one but me.
Oh, how His body aches from sins
Of folks like you and me.

Embryo 1

I’m an embryo you know
A tiny human being.
A gift from God for mom and dad
That really is worth seeing.

But mom’s career would suffer much,
She doesn’t have the leisure,
To care for little children when
The workplace really needs her.

And dad’s new sports car cannot wait.
The payments soon will be here.
He ordered it from Germany.
A shiny brand new Beamer.

The doctor says: “It’s early still.
It’s nothing more than tissue”
For him, these easy words mean fee.
For me, my life’s the issue.

Consoling one another well
They say: “That didn’t take so long.”
But in their heart of hearts they know
They surely have done wrong.

They prosecute the poachers of
An egg that’s from an eagle.
How can they take my life from me
And somehow say it’s legal?

My voice discounted by the courts
It doesn’t count , or so they say.
But this tragic story happens
Now, four thousand times each day.

Elderly

The elderly are frail and weak
Now simple things are all they seek

Conversation, company
A little baby on their knee

Their healthful days gone with the Spring
Now autumn songs are all they sing

But beautiful those leaves of gold
Shine forth with love although they’re old

Though hearing dulls and eyes grow dim
They never take their mind off Him.

When health is gone it makes no matter
How far they climbed the corporate ladder

Now rusty hinges slow them down
Sometimes it makes their faces frown

The aches and pains can be so great
Sometimes it’s hard to tolerate

In unselfish love they chime
This pain I offer one more time

The cross of Christ they help to lift
While their faith the Lord does sift

Their giving now comes naturally
They offer pains for us you see

Their time draws near to meet the Lord
They listen for his every word

He bids them come now like a child
With no pretense` just meek and mild

And on that blessed day they pass
To enjoy that heavenly Mass

This greeting for His daughter and son
“Well done, My good and faithful one.”

Chubby Cheeks

With chubby cheeks and thunder thighs,
This baby grows before my eyes.

That mothers milk, beloved repast,
It has him growing full and fast.

Don’t blink now. You cannot replace,
Those early days filled with God’s grace.

With hair of silk and skin so fine,
I’m joyous in this choice of mine.

In choosing I did hesitate,
With God I did participate.

In looking back I wonder how,
This pregnancy God did allow.

I nearly spat into His face,
And visited that awful place.

Where death is somehow said to earn,
Equality, but I discern,

With termination comes regret,
And trying hard just to forget.

The gift of life He offered me,
When He was hanged upon the tree.

Bad Hair Day

These wild locks are everywhere.
What can a young girl do?
Unruly thatch, this messy mop,
What happened to my do?

Mommy combs this knotted mess,
In hopes of finally tressing,
This nap in to an ordered plait.
Bad hair is so distressing!

In spite of all this dreadful grief
Regardless of this strife,
I’m happy just because you see
My mommy gave me life.

Baby Feet

These baby feet are quite a treat,
Ten tiny little toes.
They pull them up behind their ears
And stick them in their nose.

The teeny one down on the end
A favorite for me,
That tender little cutsie one
That always cries wee wee.

But oh, I like the big one too,
That chubby little piglet
The one who shops for roasted beef,
When going to the market.

Not to forget the other three,
So slender, soft, and sweet.
I love them all because they’re on
This newborn baby’s feet.

Just getting started

This blog was started as a means for saving some of the poems or rhymes that I've written over the last several years. Many of them are personal in nature and may not make sense to those that do not know me, but several people have asked for copies of certain ones, and this also offers a convenient method for distribution.

As a Lenten discipline, in 2015, I started to write at least four lines each day as my reflection on the daily Mass readings.  I found it to be very profitable, and have continued the practice to this day.

Feel free to make copies or pass along anything that speaks to you, but please do not publish anything without specific permission. I don't profess to be a great poet, but reflecting and writing has been extremely beneficial to me personally, and every once in a while a little gem appears that others appreciate as well.

God Bless, and enjoy,

Mark Hennessey

Precious Feet

Ten toes I clasp within my grasp
The cutest square inch on earth
This spectacle, a miracle
A child has come to birth.


For forty weeks a mother keeps
Her child within her womb.
Although, not so for those who chose
To greet new life with doom.


Those precious feet will never greet
Their mommy or their dad.
The law says there’s a choice to voice.
It surely makes me sad.

The Guardian of Purity

The guardian of purity,

Is what a man is meant to be.

God set him in this special place

To guard his loved one’s sweet embrace.



No task is this for cowardly,

Who play at love for only me.

The ones who try to slip away,

From wholesome friends and have their play.



The secretive and sneaky kind

That get their prey alone and find

Some clever way to drop their guard,

And score another on their card.



It’s not a game. No not at all!

To love a woman is your call.

Not selfishness or greedy lust,

But holy friendship she can trust.



The man is called to show his strength,

Protecting her at any length.

From all occasion near to sin,

And so her fond affection win.



By this you plan a marriage strong,

The kind to last your whole life long.

If in God’s plan she is the one,

To you I give my blessing son.



But if somehow you part your way

She’ll think of you and fondly say,

That man was always good to me.

A guardian of purity.