The Open Window

by Edward R. Sill 

My tower was grimly builded, 
         With many a bolt and bar, 
“And here,” I thought, “I will keep my life 
         From the bitter world afar.” 

Dark and chill was the stony floor, 
        Where never a sunbeam lay, 
And the mould crept up on the dreary wall, 
        With its ghost touch, day by day. 

One morn, in my sullen musings, 
        A flutter and cry I heard; 
And close at the rusty casement 
        There clung a frightened bird. 

Then back I flung the shutter 
        That was never before undone, 
And I kept till its wings were rested 
        The little weary one. 

But in through the open window, 
        Which I had forgot to close, 
There had burst a gush of sunshine 
        And a summer scent of rose. 

For all the while I had burrowed 
        There in my dingy tower, 
Lo! the birds had sung and the leaves had danced 
        From hour to sunny hour. 

And such balm and warmth and beauty 
        Came drifting in since then, 
That window still stands open 
        And shall never be shut again.

“Let Every Day Be Christmas”
by Norman Wesley Brooks

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Peace on Earth, good will to men,
kind thoughts and words of cheer,
are things we should use often
and not just once a year.

Remember too the Christ-child, grew up to be a man;
to hide him in a cradle, is not our dear Lord’s plan.
So keep the Christmas spirit, share it with others far and near,
from week to week and month to month, throughout the entire year!

On This Day

December 9, 1854 – The Examiner prints Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” which commemorates the courage of 600 British soldiers charging a heavily defended position during the Battle of Balaklava, in the Crimea, just six weeks earlier.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

I
Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
   Rode the six hundred. 
“Forward, the Light Brigade! 
Charge for the guns!” he said. 
Into the valley of Death 
   Rode the six hundred. 

II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” 
Was there a man dismayed? 
Not though the soldier knew 
   Someone had blundered. 
   Theirs not to make reply, 
   Theirs not to reason why, 
   Theirs but to do and die. 
   Into the valley of Death 
   Rode the six hundred. 

III
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 
   Volleyed and thundered; 
Stormed at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of hell 
   Rode the six hundred. 

IV
Flashed all their sabres bare, 
Flashed as they turned in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 
   All the world wondered. 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right through the line they broke; 
Cossack and Russian 
Reeled from the sabre stroke 
   Shattered and sundered. 
Then they rode back, but not 
   Not the six hundred. 

V
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 
   Volleyed and thundered; 
Stormed at with shot and shell, 
While horse and hero fell. 
They that had fought so well 
Came through the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of hell, 
All that was left of them, 
   Left of six hundred. 

VI
When can their glory fade? 
O the wild charge they made! 
   All the world wondered. 
Honour the charge they made! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 
   Noble six hundred!

Waiting At The Window

by A.A. Milne

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane. 

I am waiting here to see
Which the winning one will be. 

Both of them have different names.
One is John and one is James.

All the best and all the worst
Comes from which of them is first.

James has just begun to ooze.
He’s the one I want to lose.

John is waiting to begin.
He’s the one I want to win.

James is going slowly on.
Something sort of sticks to John.

John is moving off at last.
James is going pretty fast.

John is rushing down the pane.
James is going slow again.

James has met a sort of smear.
John is getting very near.

Is he going fast enough?
(James has found a piece of fluff.)

John has quickly hurried by.
(James was talking to a fly.)

John is there, and John has won! 
Look! I told you! Here’s the sun!

Music

Let me go where’er I will
I hear a skyborn music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that’s fair, from all that’s foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There alway, alway something sings.

‘Tis not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the red-breast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers.
But in the mud and scum of things
There alway, alway something sings.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coffee Shop

by Sandie Sherosirc

Why do poets sit in coffee shops?
Do we drown in caffeine
Like some kind of drug
Getting our fix through sleepless nights
And seven dollar paper cups
Hoping our muse
Will just come dancing in
With bloody knuckles
And ink stained skin
Why do poets sit in coffee shops?
Alcohol can be just as inspirational
But they lack the ability to watch people
To study human nature
Human emotion
To see yourself in the face of strangers
Wondering and regretting 
Loving and missing
Removing yourself for a moment
To see the world in all hours
Why do poets sit in coffee shops?
Because sometimes we have no where else to go  
Because we can’t be alone with our thoughts
And feelings
We can destroy others with out leaving a mark
We can destroy ourselves without turning pages
And we can rebuild and reshape
With a pen stroke
White noise of coffee machines and customers clear our thoughts
Leaving us with just our papers and ink smudges