Treasure Island

Sandra Fowler

(February,4,1937 / W. Columbia, WV, USA)

A Hymn To Frost


Old leaves have no defence against the wind.
A gray hawk is October's inner cry.
The bells of Salem church play elegies.
Distance becomes a single snowflake's fall.

The mood is blue as autumn's last frost flowers,
Small bits of heaven hidden in the grass.
Tom Roach who called them by their favored name,
Went home across the green fields long ago.

Yet sometimes when the light moves slowly west,
And bells summon a faithful few for prayers,
I see his shadow picking a bouquet.
To live in memory is to be alive.

For my grandfather who started to work in the coal mines of West Virginia when he was twelve years old.

Submitted: Saturday, September 01, 2007
Edited: Monday, April 04, 2011

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  • Walterrean Salley (11/24/2009 11:41:00 PM)

    A beautiful and moving tribute.

    Stanza 1: The older one gets, the harder it is to defend oneself from the inevitable circumstances of life. Like 'old leaves, ' we become so fragile.
    Stanza 2: “Small bits of heaven hidden in the grass.” Trying to keep winter at bay.
    Stanza 3: “To live in memory is to be alive.” Such comfort this verse gives.

    And may you ever find comfort in your grandfather’s precious memories. (Report) Reply

  • Raj Nandy (6/5/2009 11:25:00 PM)

    A wonderful tribute to your grandfather! Beautiful poetic imagery! You coul be a
    good landscape painter as well! 10++++
    -Raj Nandy (Report) Reply

  • Dr Hitesh Sheth (4/27/2009 12:55:00 AM)

    I see his shadow picking a bouquet.
    To live in memory is to be alive.....Who can describe the nature's glory, better than this poet in PH.....Good Write........ (Report) Reply

  • Fay Slimm (9/27/2008 11:59:00 AM)

    Came upon this piece jsut now Sandra and it touches the heartstrings, it is a lovely tribute to your grandfather/ thank you for writing and sharing. from Fay. (Report) Reply

  • Kesav Easwaran (9/6/2008 7:26:00 AM)

    Going home across the green fields- impressive poem phrase, Sandra...a good poem...wonderful way of remembering your grandpa...10/10 (Report) Reply

  • James Foulk (5/21/2008 1:51:00 PM)

    a very beautiful poem Sandra. one can close their eyes and see the beauty of those fall leaves. i like the line a gray hawk is October inner city. take care (Report) Reply

  • Chris Mendros (2/19/2008 11:36:00 AM)

    Touching tribute to a man who was probably a great one. Good job immortalizing his spirit. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Howard (9/26/2007 10:38:00 PM)

    The spirit of your grandfather lives on within you. Your hymn externalizes that inner reality so that we are able to enjoy his presence as well. Then we gratefully recall our own grandparents. (Report) Reply

  • Meggie Gultiano (9/13/2007 5:31:00 AM)

    This is really a very touching poem, Sandra..I almost cried..i read and read this..Your grandpa really deserve a tribute from a very caring and loving grandaughter..If he lives today, he will always be proud of you..not only for the talents that you have but for your sweetnes, gentle and a very kind person..You also deserve a great hug from..love you, dear Sandra..
    hugs,
    Meggie (Report) Reply

  • Bill Grace (9/7/2007 4:33:00 PM)

    Sandra, I blundered into this work being a fan of Robert Frost. I am so glad you shared the connection with your grandfather. The thing that struck so hard was that he wen to work in a coal mine at twelve. My grandmother was a fish monger for Gorton's of Gloucester. I was her pension check once and realized she would have been destitute in old age if it were not for my father's success. Thank you for your gracious reading of 'Home As A Silent Cathedral.' Bill Grace (Report) Reply

  • Alison Cassidy (9/5/2007 11:30:00 PM)

    A poem filled with grace - graceful rhythm, graceful images and a graceful subject. You capture the sweetness of melancholy in this touching tribute. A memorable poem. love, Alison xxxx (Report) Reply

  • Goldy Locks (9/5/2007 1:26:00 PM)

    Cohesion was choppy, for me, Sandra. Poignant and honorable verse. best care, sjg (Report) Reply

Read all 31 comments »

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