Poetry

Roy Davenport
PROFILE About me Poetry (5) Prose (3)


Roy Davenport

Roy Davenport, 20 march 2019



The Watch

He wore it faithfully for over sixty years,
A gift from his first small flock…tick tock,
To show their love for this man of God
Who had shared the Good News, tick tock.

But he shared more than just Good News.
He shared their joys and grief…tick tock
When words failed but love and friendship didn’t
The times when just being there was enough…..tick tock

From flock to flock, place to place he went where called
And always on his wrist, the watch kept him on time….tick tock
For weddings, funerals, joys and sorrows,just different faces
of the greater flock needing a gentle shepherd…tick tock

Oh what a price to be paid being a simple shepherd
.Each flock left its’ scars from bearing so many burdens….tick tock
But through it all a sense of calling kept him moving forward
While the watch ticked off, seconds, minutes, hours… tick tock

Without conscious thought he would wind the stem,
Note the time and go on serving, uninterrupted…. tick tock
Closer day by day to his promised reward for faithfulness
But always questioning his worthiness….. tick tock

That day came too soon, unexpected, but not unprepared for.
To the end his concern was for others despite the news…. tick tock
His great heart, his gentle soul made ready by years of service Came to rest just like the watch, faithful to the end, tick tock tick tock t…
RDavenport ©2010


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Roy Davenport

Roy Davenport, 20 march 2019



Interrupted

Life was interrupted in March by a call that no one ever wants.
Despite countless brushes with eternity, we couldn't believe he was gone,
or perhaps it was just that you can never prepare for that kind of loss.
So now we count days since he left us and shred the occasional tear,
reminded daily by memories stirred by familiar faces or songs penned by
his God-given gift of music he lovingly shared with all.

But life goes on and we accept the loss and let time soothe our hearts.
The pain never leaves completely but becomes like an old friend,
silent, always in the background, looking for ways to remind us.
But just as surely as evening follows day, life follows death
and the circle, never ending, completes another rotation.
New life is breathed into existence, filling our hearts again with joy.

So it goes, on and on, life and death, God's plan being fulfilled.
Souls passing in the coming and going accompanied both ways
by Angelic presence watching and sharing in the grief and joy.
So we wait in anticipation of new life, foretold by a soothsayer to
a fostering family who waited with open arms the little angel
who had innocently joined this circle of life.

So without understanding but leaning solely on faith
we welcome every new day filled with grief, pain, joy
and resolve to move forward if only just a step or two. 
For each step is a link in that never-ending circle of life that binds us to yesterday and tomorrow and forever.
There’s no circumventing that circle of life
that binds us to each other, to eternity,
to all that is humanity.
For Scott and Livia
RDavenport 2015 ©


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Roy Davenport

Roy Davenport, 20 march 2019



In A Little While

In a little while
Today will be tonight
There will be darkness
Where before there was light.
 
In a little while
It will be tomorrow
Bringing us unexpected things
Perhaps of joy, maybe sorrow.
 
In a little while
This year will be last
As weeks becomes months
 years become centuries so fast
 
In a little while
The weather will turn hot
Global warming they tell us
that’s the weather we’ve got.
 
In a little while
a job became a career
Not what I had planned
But better than I feared
 
In a little while
My children will be grown
Growing up way too fast
having children of their own.
 
In a little while
My old joints will get stiff
And raising my tired old head
Is all I’ll be able to lift
 
In a little while
My brown hair will turn gray
Maybe distinguished salt and pepper
or it might just fall away.
 
In a little while
My parents will be gone
Both my Mother and Father
facing life on my own.
 
In a little while
My mind will start to fail
And memories will vanish
Fading like fog on the dale.
 
In a little while
As time marches on
On a day only God knows
I will be gone………………..in a little while.
RDavenport 2019 ©
 
 


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Roy Davenport

Roy Davenport, 20 march 2019



Five String Eddie

I met Eddie on a cold, wet December morning in 2005.
He was sitting on a bench in a public park quietly humming
Lying beside him was an old beat up Martin guitar
that he slowly picked up, smiled and started strumming.

He was tall and lanky and wore dirty, shabby clothes
that looked a size too big for his bent slender frame.
His face was leathered and told a story of a hard life.
His boots were well beyond keeping out cold or rain.

When he saw me sitting nearby he held up his guitar
and asked me if I had a request or favorite song
That’s when I noticed the guitar only had five strings
He was missing the little E string…it was completely gone

I asked him how he could play with only five strings.
He said he had gotten use to just five and asked if I was ready
“don’t know what I’d do with that sixth string….he laughed.
Besides he said, I’m partial to my nickname….”Five String Eddie”.

I told him I had no particular request and told him to pick
so he began to play the hymn “ Amazing Grace”.
Five String Eddie would never win on “America’s Got Talent”
But I had never seen so much joy on such a tired old face.

When he was through I tipped him a couple of dollars and left.
Over the next couple of weeks I looked forward to his playing
Each time he asked if I had a request, each time I let him choose.
and when he played old gospel tunes it was like almost like praying.

Out of curiosity one day I asked if he was a religious man.
He pulled out a small New Testament, and held up two fingers
“Me and the Lord’s just like this,” he said with a twinkle in his eye
I’m his favorite guitar player he laughed but not his favorite singer.”

It was hard to tell Eddie’s age, his hard life showed on his face.
On one occasion he told me that he left home when he was 14.
His address was a cardboard box in a grove of trees in the park.
He had lived on the street for years where life could be mean.

He survived by the kindness of strangers, moved by his music
or who tipped him out of annoyance. Either way they got a song.                       
He never begged or asked anyone for money, he had his pride                         
His audience was always just a few and never a throng.
 In early January I came to the park hoping for an uplifting song
always feeling better after listening to him. But no Eddie played.
In fact he didn’t show all of that week or even the next two
It had been brutally cold and I wondered where he had stayed  

I checked with some friends who worked in the courthouse
which stood directly across the street from his daily venue  
but no one knew anything except he was called Five String Eddie.
The next day was a cold and rainy but I knew what I had to do

I checked with a friend of mine who worked in the Police Department.
“Yes”, He knew about Five String Eddie he said, then deeply sighed,
“They found his frozen body last week in some trees over by the park.”
Five String Eddie, my lunchtime companion and friend had died.

No family claimed his body so he was buried in a pauper’s plot
on the outskirts of town with no headstone to mark his simple grave. 
The cemetery led me to believe that nobody visited there much anyway.
and my mood matched the weather that no one else had braved.


In an old Andy Griffith show Opie kills a mother bird with his slingshot
and Andy makes him raise the baby birds until they’re old enough to fly
When the day comes when he has to release the birds from the cage and as the baby birds, now grown, flap their wings and take to the sky.
Opie sadly states that the cage sure does look empty now
       
but Andy in his downhome wisdom points out how full the trees are                
There’s no Five String Eddie playing and singing in the park anymore
but I imagine music in Heaven sounds fuller accompanied by a five string guitar.
RDavenport   2008 (C)
Poems by Roy Davenport : 5 / 18


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Roy Davenport

Roy Davenport, 20 march 2019



The Stranger With The Devil's Eyes

Late upon one stormy night when no heavenly stars could be seen,
A lonely rider on a broken mare crossed over a border stream.
His back was bowed, and fatigue it showed, on every part of his frame.
But he struggled fast, through a howling blast, not even God could tame.
For he meant to make the town of Keepsake, despite the warring skies.
He was hunting the men, who murdered his kin, this stranger with the devil’s eyes.

For two long years he bit bitter tears, but he was always a step too slow
That hound from hell, that no lawman could fell, the outlaw named Cactus Joe.
The town folks tell how many men fell, when they faced his lightning draw.
His guns would blaze and then out of the haze, a look of shock and awe.
But there was one man, with a leathery tan, from years under cloudless skies
Who was hunting for Joe and ready for show, the stranger with the devil’s eyes.

On his hip he wore a Colt Forty-Four with ten notches carved in its’ grip.
Each one for a man from Cactus Joe’s band, though Joe always gave him the slip.
Now everyone knows how the face of death shows on those who pay its’ dues.
With a worn-thin look, from ten lives he took, there was one thing left he must do.
Word came down that Joe was in town and he promised that someone would die.
So to Keepsake he came, the man with no name, the stranger with the devil’s eyes

Word spread through the town, where Joe was found, with two aces and a pair of fours.
He played his hand and began to stand, saying “Boys, I got to settle this score.”
They faced on the street, dust swirled at their feet, bullets ready to find their mark.
The streets quickly cleared and town folks peered from windows and doors gone dark.
None dared to breathe, the hatred seethed, as they glared into each other’s eyes.
“Its’ time to pay, it’s your judgment day, ” said the stranger with the devil’s eyes.

Then all who were there, later would swear, that Joe fired three times first.
How he missed that day, from five feet away, and with such a deadly burst
Is anyone’s guess, but I will confess, I don’t think Joe’s skill was to blame.
Then the stranger drew, quite calmly too, and carefully took deadly aim.
He shot Cactus Joe, and the fatal blow, caught Joe with a look of surprise.
another round fired, before Joe expired, that struck him right between the eyes.

If you were there, as smoke filled the air, and saw how the bullets seemed to pass through
Then you’ll understand, that no mortal man, could have done what we say is true.
For when hate fills your soul, no matter how bold, the evil that someone has done
Evil moves in, with its’ hideous grin, and deals vengeance out with a gun.
So beware your fate, if your heart’s full of hate, for there’s nothing under God’s blue skies
That will save your soul from an evil so cold as the stranger with the devil’s eyes.
RDavenport 2001 (C)


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