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How much love Can be conveyed by a look? And how much hatred! How much joy Can be conveyed by a look? And how much grief! How much hope Can be conveyed by a look? And how much despair! How much happiness Can be conveyed by a look? And how much sadness! Good looks are better Than bad ones. Greet everyone you meet With a sparkle in your eye And a smile on your face, And make the world a better place By your good looks. E.B. Wakeham, cfc
High up on a mountain Overlooking mankind What is it they are thinking What are they going to try Will they try peace Will they try understanding Will they try togetherness Even with social standing God we know you love With all that is within you As we do down here Even though we are below you So let's keep up the fight Thank god for love above us But though he loves us pure We have to love us more So let's try hands Let's try hearts Let's try minds Reach out to the dark Don't let there be a stranger Everyone a world apart Let us come together One soul one mind one heart -Darren Samms
When I think of Harbour Breton Where can I start About the people That sure broke my heart. It had rained there Forty days and forty night, What happened then Wasn't a pretty sight. The hill up above Started to slide. And covered the town With people inside. Some were asleep And some were awake When will it end Or what does it take. Some homes were destroyed Washed down by the shore That took the lives of Hickey children There were number four. The people did come From all over the place When they saw it Tears came to their face. Then at the funeral The caskets number four These Hickey children Everyone did adore. When it was over And people went on their way Still shaking their head And wondered in dismay. The people started to get settled And the town started to grow But up in the Heavenly skies Four extra stars aglow. So here's to this place And Harbour Breton land May God watch over you This town in Newfoundland So God Bless you Jack Hickey And this is my say We'll hold you in our heart And then we start to pray.
Ode to Our Sun
Our sun is a star and we live in its rays, Which gives us our summers, winters and days, Without it our Earth that we call home Would be frigid and barren like a mountain of stone. The food that we eat and the water we drink, All come from our sun despite what we think, It's warm summer rays our vegetables grow, Where in springtime it melts the cold winter snow. The other eight planets that circle our sun, As far as we know have no life thereon, They are either too hot or either too cold To support living creatures so we have been told. But this planet Earth that we now live on, Is ninety-three million miles from our sun Yet is ideally located to receive from our sun That life-giving force that we all depend on. Our heat and our light and electricity too, All come from our sun, so what would we do If our sun were extinguished and gave us no light, Our Earth would be barren and black as the night. So here's to our sun may it forever shine, To provide planet Earth and all of man kind With that life-giving force that comes from its rays, That brings us new life and gives us our days.
Salute to the Frontline Workers
Here's to the frontline workers, Where can I start? These wonderful people We adore with all our heart. They all worked together in all they did do Being devoted to their profession Something they loved so true. They faced long hours Each and every day. But helping some people They wondered in dismay. When they started their shift Each long night And helping those people and trying to do things right. When the virus started some months ago Then as it did spread The numbers started to grow. Yes this terrible virus spread From summer, spring, winter and fall When this happened These workers answered the call. When they saw these people They tried to smile And for these people They'll go an extra mile They saw so many people Who were very sick And did every thing To get them better real quick. Some people got better And some passed away Because of this virus They wondered in dismay. Some come on you people Please stand your ground Stay home and be safe Until a cure can be found. So these wonderful workers are like angels above So God bless and keep them safe We all send them our love.
The Journey of An Iceberg
I wish I were an iceberg Floating in the sea Along the coast of Newfoundland Is where I'd like to be Slowly moving on my way As I glisten in the sun Heading many miles away From where I had begun The rugged rock surrounding me Would be a glorious view And even more delightful The fishing villages too Grates Cove, Red Head Cove To Bay de Verde Old Perlican, Caplin Cove Such names I never heard As I float along I now realize My journey soon will end I've been melting as I moved along I'll say goodbye, my friend There's one place just up ahead The last that I will see They call it Lower Island Cove The most beautiful to me
Below is my original poem, herewith submitted for possible publication in a future issue of Downhome. Thank you for your consideration. My roots run deep: Father - Bernard Keating - born Conception Harbor 1904 Mother - Margaret Whelan born Colliers 1901 Husband - John Cole - born Bell Island 1932 OPEN DOORS She never raised her arms in violence, But she taught us how to fight. She always did her deeds in silence Teaching her children wrong from right. Stand up, be proud, have courage Were words we oft times heard her say You must be good unto your neighbor, Helping him along his way. Your door should be always open For kin, friend and stranger too. Give whatever's on your table Share what God has given to you. We were raised with joy and singing. Our doors were always opened wide. And now, that she lays dying, My pain and tears I cannot hide. She was the rock that our home stood on, A shelter from the world outside. Her example always taught us Try harder, walk with pride. She kept our home and kin together, Love and caring was her glue. In the closing hours of her life, There's no more that I can do. She prayed not to be a burden When old and feeble she would be. O Lord, take our Mom to heaven Where once again she's free. Free to walk among the roses That in Springtime she so loved. Thru our lives I know she'll guide us We'll feel her help from heav'n above. Her loving deeds we'll e'er remember Feed the hungry, clothe the poor. A tribute always to our mother Will be our Open Door. So come in, sit down, be nourished Rest a while from daily cares. My mother said you'd need a friend So, my time with you I'll share. Today I teach my children lessons That I learned at Mother's knee And their doors will be forever open The same as she taught to me. Carol Cole
I look on Facebook to get all the news But all I get are the Newfie blues Friends on Facebook, pictures they post Of the place I love and miss the most Longing for the isle where I should be My home so far across the sea Ocean videos with waves and sound Make me want to be island bound I'll log off a while to stop the tears Reminiscing of past years Best to rest and get to bed But, oh my Downhome has not been read Guess no matter what I do There's no stopping the Newfie blues.
The Mighty Titanic
In nineteen twelve they built a ship And Titanic was her name Pure elegance and luxury for travelers was her claim Her maiden voyage it began On April tenth that year Those on the dock wished "Bon Voyage" To friends and loved ones dear. Chorus: They thought that they had made her Just as safe as she could be But the mighty ship Titanic Disappeared into the sea. They partied and they dined in style And danced the whole night long They thought this ship was built so well That nothing could go wrong They thought she was invincible And so they had no fear Although the giant icebergs now Were drifting very near. She hit the iceberg with such force A tremor shook the ship It took some time to realize This would be her only trip A hole came in the starboard side Steel plates were buckled in Against such odds the stalwart crew Knew they could never win. The Captain made decisions fast "To the lifeboats" came the call Kids and women will go first Not room enough for all As water filled the crippled ship They could not fight the flow And panic gripped the hearts of all For some were trapped below. An S.O.S. was quickly sent They prayed it would be heard And cries of anguish split the night Like some great screeching bird With wives and families in the boats The men just watched them leave For broken hearts and broken lives Survivors soon would grieve. There in the cruel Atlantic now To a grave of muddy brown In thirteen hundred feet of sea This mighty ship went down And fifteen hundred lives were lost With a store of wealth untold She lies there on the bottom Of the sea so dark and cold. A masterpiece was lost that night A work of art so rare She now weeps silent tears of rust For the lives that ended there Now April fifteenth, nineteen-twelve Will live in memory The mighty ship Titanic Wrote her name in history. By Faye Herridge & Michael T. Wall
Ode to a Farmer
Here's to the farmer, give him a hand For he is the backbone of our land. Without his trips from the house to the stable There'd be no food on your breakfast table Those tender hams, so juicy and sweet, It took a lot of sweat to grow that meat. And the texture of that delicious steak Will just make your belly quiver and quake. But remember, it took a lot of hay and grain For him to make any profitable gain. So city people, never boil When you see a farmer burning midnight oil. Those seeds he carefully puts in the field Next year may become a part of your meal. To ably provide for his city friends, His boundless energy knows no end. Tho he's been in the field for half of the night He'll be back at the barn at the very first light. Now the only time you'll ever see him frown Is when income tax time, next year, rolls around. As he figures his books with articulate care You will notice the gray creep into his hair. And he wonders how he's made ends meet As he looks at the soil around his feet. But all he's ever asked from the day of his birth Is to live and work in God's good earth. Now when his life on earth is oe'r He'll enter thru that great stable door. And there he'll be with the Lord, we know, Still farming as he did below. So parents when your children ask Whose name in history is sure to last, Don't say Armstrong, Sir John A. or Bower, Just mention any strong, yet lowly farmer.
For thirty-two months, I served in the US Navy at Argentia. During the winter of '64/'65, my new wife and I lived in a 28-foot house trailer. It was located in Thorne's Trailer Park in Dunville; our landlord was Lou Thorne himself. Our car was a brand new Volkswagen Beetle; from Import Motors in St. Johns. One night, it was snowing like crazy and we heard on the 10 o'clock news that the Salmonier Line was closed. That resulted in a most memorable trip to the city. Here is a poem that commemorates that trip. Snow covered the Avalon Any signs of the sun were six hours gone That's when I heard on the 10 o'clock news that the Salmonier Line was closed. I looked out the window to survey the storm It was something for sure that was out of the norm My Volkswagen called me ... "come on let's go! Let's take a ride in the Newfoundland snow I tuned off Bob Lewis and grabbed my jacket I know that I and the beetle could hack it. Just 81 miles each way to go Let's take a ride in the Newfoundland snow. We blew through the drifts and the snow went a flyin' The gasoline heater might just keep us from dyin' There were very few cars that we saw on the way Because the Salmonier line was closed that day! At the TCH we turned to the right Driving through snow and the darkest of night And then out ahead some lights in the swirl We began to see the streets of Mount Pearl. On into the downtown, nobody in sight No strollers on Duckworth ... not that snowy night. Then right back up Topsail, to Blackmarsh and on Once back on Kenmount, we'd soon be gone. Then the Holyrood junction sprang up in the lights Snow swirled round the sign like miniature kites A left to the Cataracts and then Colinet Follow the snowplow, yea, that's a good bet. It was nigh unto three, when Placentia was made I told you we could make that trip in the shade. Now I lie in my bed, much older somehow And remember the snow dust coming around that snowplow. It is now life' November and I'm headed downhill But that night's memory lingers on still Let's take a ride in the Newfoundland snow. Come on b'y! We can make it, I very well know! Perhaps you can use this in some future winter edition. And yes, for many Argentia sailors, Newfoundland represents a significant part of "home".
Wind-whipped Cape Spear Shores lashed by Atlantic Seas. Down the vista of my years, You've ever been a part of me. How I long to tread the path Winding to your lighthouse there! Memories live in my heart... Evoking smiles! Evoking tears! In endless splendor you still stand Goddess wreathed by Heavenly hills. May God guard thee, lovely land. Ring out! Ring out, cathedral bells. Cynthia Helen Gullage Formerly of St. John's, NL January 25, 2001
In the San
As you're lying here in your hospital cot, You think you're unlucky but really you're not, For though you are sick you are all getting well So forget your troubles and grin -that is swell! You really are fortunate being in bed, You get first class service and are quite well fed. You've got heat, light and comfort and plenty more (I've heard some complaining, but don't know what for.) Now just take a look at the world's sorry state- It is seething with hardship, disaster and hate, With grim highway accidents, shipwrecks at sea, Drownings and murders and bank robbery. There are wars going on, some cold and some hot, Bad riots in prison and spies being shot. There are strikes in the dockyards, on buses and trains, Men lost in mine cave-ins and crashed aeroplanes. There are epidemics of fever and flu, Great blizzards and rainstorms and fog thick as glue. There are fires in hotels and houses and shops, There are taxes to pay - no one knows where it stops. As yes, fellow patients, how lucky we are- Let's pity the others who must wander far. Why, our biggest worry if we've got one at all Is to crash in a wheelchair while out in the hall. But let's not be selfish with this pleasant state, Let's all take "the treatment" for it will be great To face the world's troubles and let someone new Take over our beds and our good fortune too! -Bob Herdman February 4, 1953
The S. S. Bar Haven
Friends if you will listen To what I have to say About the S. S. Bar Haven That went ashore in Fortune Bay. She left Argentia for the southwest coast To Port au Basques she was bound Making good time in spite of storms In command of Captain Brown. She covered all ports as far as Grand Bank That cold winters day, To try and leave before the storm to get up in Fortune Bay. She left Grand Bank on Saturday night For St. Bernard's, as you know With too much winds and high seas Bay L'Argent she had to go. He came in on his usual course That cold January night Through the snow storm and the high winds He could not see the light. The light was out upon the point To see land was a shock, Before he had a chance to go starboard, She hit the Ragged Rocks. Captain Brown, he did a marvelous job Saving passengers and crew until he got assistance from The S. S. Baccalieu. The Bonavista on her way to Sydney, When Mr. Healy heard the news, "We have to go to the Ragged Point To see what we can do". The Burin was soon dispatched to the scene With drums and water pumps To try and float the Bar Haven That was aground on Ragged Point. On Tuesday at 1 pm the Bar Haven Was afloat. And under her own power She tied up at Bay L'Argent port. When she came into Bay L'Argent She was well down by the head High praise should be given to Captain Brown For saving her the way he did. She will be repaired a St. John's I hope the time will soon come around To see her back on the southwest coast In command of Captain Brown. Now my Story is ending. So friends don't let me down Join with me and sing high praise For Captain Charlie Brown. -Don Banfield formerly of Bay L'Argent
The Light's Still On
The Light's Still On The lights are on but no one's home A phrase we often hear said This sad reality gripped my heart As I stopped by the old homestead. I stood for a while and looked inside And this scene came into view A table spread with a table cloth All pretty white and blue. Precious memories draw me back To those days of yesteryear When Mom and Dad sat around a meal And pretty maid was there. I pictured Mother by the stove Guarding her steaming pot Always checking, wondering still If there's something she may have forgot. I remember Dad with joy on his face As we walked through the kitchen door But never was he satisfied Till all were accounted for. Yes the old homestead was a meeting place Where we talked, we laughed, and shared Where the cares of life seemed so far away As if they disappeared. Sometimes we met in sadness When things were hard to bear And shared each other's burden And found a solace there. The home was blessed down through the years With children's shouts of glee As we all sang with joyful hearts Around the Christmas tree. But things have changed at the old homestead And will forever be And those precious times with family there Are now a memory. There's nothing to echo the old walls now Just the creaking of the wind The accordion's gone, no guitars strum No sound from the old violin. No mom's delicious meals there now No dad's dear smiling face Still precious memories linger on That time cannot erase. But there's a light burning brighter now Around that heavenly throne And some day by Grace we'll meet again In Heaven, our final home. -Roger Sheppard Corner Brook
Coronavirus - COVID-19
Coronavirus - COVID-19 The baby gasped to get her breath, The doctors said "she's close to death". The nurses knew she could survive, A ventilator would keep her alive. The old man gasped to get his breath, The doctors said "he's close to death". He shook his head, it was plain to see "Give my machine to the dying baby". First signs were seen in late twenty nineteen, When China reported first cases. No warning was said; as the virus spread, Crossing borders to far away places. Many days went by, many people did die. And the world paid little attention, Most countries soon knew, it wasn't a flu, But a virus with no cure or prevention. We are told to sneeze in bended arm sleeve, To keep two meters apart. No shaking of hands, no hugging of friends, And kids can't play in the park. Health scientists agreed, we all must take heed, Must share resources, knowledge and skill. There is one thing for sure, if we don't find a cure, We will all wind up on boot hill. COVD-19 has spread and thousands are dead, Scientists work all day and night. They all have one mind, a cure they will find, United, this battle they fight. The baby's now breathing, her temperature receding, Doctors and nurses still toil. The old man is long gone, but his soul carries on In the life of a dear baby girl. Four months have gone by, and we all wonder why? Neither cure nor prevention in sight. Scientists strive on, hope is not gone, Stay home and fight the good fight. Wilf Lynch June, 2020