My husband and I spent our Labor Day weekend visiting with his parents. My adorable in-laws live in Missouri just north of Kansas City on a large piece of land filled with mighty timbers, glorious wildflowers scattered hither and yon along the roadside, a rustic pond that shimmers like the facets of a diamond in the sunlight, field grasses that sometimes tower over me, and all manner of wildlife, large and small, coming right up to the back door.
It is a place I have known and explored for over sixteen years. There is a peace here and the surrounding scenery always keenly heightens my senses.
Over this long holiday weekend, the entire family had the pleasure of taking a side trip over to a very small rural town just west of their home. Every year there is a large flea market that happens and if you go on the last day, which we did, there are MANY bargains that abound.
One of the treasures I discovered in my adventure was a book of poetry, Old Missouri, by John F. Lee. I was immediately drawn to this of course because it was poetry, but found that the author had signed the book.
Mr. Lee had also left a note inside for the gentle reader, which made his works more endearing.
I am sure the original owner was very proud to receive such a book with Mr. Lee's personal message, and so am I.
I have been quite delighted reading these poems every night before bed. His descriptive words and eloquent phrases remind me of all the flora and fauna, subtle rolling hils and lush little valleys of the landscape surrounding my in-law's home.
One particular verse captured my attention that I thought I might share...
Read not my verse to merely pass your time,
Nor yet for the liquidity in rhyme.
If precious gems of thought you seek to find,
Look well into your heart and soul and mind.
All beauty, love and art you'll ever see
Come from your inmost self, not folks like me.
The messages I bring are very old;
They have through many ages been retold.
I bring no message new, no thoughts divine;
I seek to voice the feelings of mankind.
The yearnings of your heart and soul are real;
No words of poet can measure what you feel.
Why dream of future worlds when you depart
When blessing is in your living heart.
- John F. Lee