Time is gentle;                                                       
and when we need compression
for our gaping wounds,
we cry for it to push harder,
and we fear that it will let us bleed out;

But time is gentle,

and it meets our cries
with the caress of soft hushing,
until finally we fall asleep,
and it abandons us to our dreams,

where we toss and turn,
confined to burn inside a mind
that just might never learn,
no matter how many times it awakens.

Time is patient;
and when we need answers
for our urgent questions,
we beg for it to rush forward,
and we fear that we will never know;

But time is patient,
and it meets our pleas
with the promise that tomorrow will come,
but not before we fall asleep,
and it abandons us to our dreams,

where we scream and tear,
consigned to bear a mind
that just might never learn,
mistaken by the desire to awaken.

Time is gentle;
it would not hold us to its stream,
nor would it tell us how to dream;

Those who do not want to learn

can only yearn to find;
they'll curse the time that binds 

them to the minds they spurn,
'til all their twine unwinds,
and all that's left resigns, in dream,
to trace misguided lines they left behind;

But those who seek to understand
the comfort of time's gentle hand
need only recognize, in dream,
that time has closed its eyes,
and while we sleep it lets us keep
the smiles we thought we'd never see again;

Time is patient;
it outlasts all our restless schemes,
and waits, with grace, through all our dreams;

And if it ever whispers,
to soothe a crying mind that seeks,
it surely tells the mind to find
a smile before it sleeps,
for every light that sparks a smile
can brighten up the darkest dreams,
and the smiles a mind holds through the night
are the only light it keeps.

                                          Seth Richard Olsen

* * * * * * *


God give us grace. . .
to see
beyond the gleam and glitter
of our tinseled trees
a dim lit stable
not at all like these,
to hear
above the clash and clamor
of the market throng
an angel's call for peace
in silent song,
to feel
in all the merry madness
of our festive cheer
the Savior's presence
in our hearts this year.

(from Now, That's a Miracle!)

 * * * * * * *


When the sky is bright blue with clear sailing ahead.                    
when your worries are few and your troubles have fled,
you can bet that you'll find you're surrounded with friends,
 as if on your favor their future depends.

When your pockets are full and the world's at your feet,
you will get invitations to join the elite,
for it's not too hard then for some folks to be nice.
They will wine you and dine you and seek your advice.

But the question to ask yourself once in a while,
when you're getting a slap on the back with a smile,
is, What will become of your fair weather friends,
when the going gets rough and your influence ends?

Can you count on them then, when you need their support,
when your luck has run out and your efforts fall short?
That's the test!  And the best are the foul weather friends
who are still by your side when the fair weather ends!

(from If I Do Say So Myself)

* * * * * * *
by Hugo Walter, Special Contributor

Glistening in russet-saffron dawns 
Of emerald-gray stones
Hovers over me gently
In a fine mist of jade-lavender whispers
Wondering if his stones are as old
As the stones of Monte Cassino, Chorin Cloister,
Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame, the Alhambra,
Or the bridge over the Delaware;
The Spirit of Stony Brook bridge
Flowing in amber-lambent reflections
And twilight arpeggios of crescent-ochre spells
Flowing in perpetual silences of ancient evenings
Flowing in autumnal tremors of odyssey-divine tears
And purple-ancestral waves of cherry-trancing blossoms,
Wondering if his stones are as old
As the sun, wondering if his stream is
As old as time.

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