Charles Napier Hemy, Waiting (1895)
Waiting to See, Robert A Sieczkiewicz
Stretching the eye as far as it could watch,
Where the sea and the sky meld into none,
And all to be seen is a mere gray blotch,
Then comes the end of the earth; it is gone.
Waiting, impossible for heart to task,
Still there is demanding work to be done.
Smile to be worn is but a flimsy mask,
Fearful of the solemn bell to beckon.
The shadows run long, time to be ready.
Six days a week this is the constant drill.
Shortly to learn, the nerves must be steady,
For it is now we are told of God’s will.
Stress has left my chest with the boat in sight,
Though the sun will soon set my heart is bright.
Wheat Fields, Jacob van Ruisdael (c. 1670)
More Friend than Foe, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Looking out to the sky you caught my eye,
Ominous for sure, you’re not at all shy.
Not the least caring if I live or die,
A very dangerous craft you do ply.
Be it your desire you can start a fire,
At the moment next cause it to expire.
Or in a single flash devour any spire,
And I for one will not provoke your ire.
All rather feel the gentler side of you.
You helping with our gardens to renew,
Not much caring if it be impromptu,
And pray your help will always continue.
Angering clouds can be distasteful pain,
But to wish departure would be insane.
Romantic Landscape, Robert Duncanson (c. 1860)
Romantic Landscape, Robert A Sieczkiewicz
Walking slowly in a familiar place,
The softness of green was nary a trace.
All around me flew at a hurried pace.
Unable to find a familiar face.
The hazy sky above was but a slice.
Gray tall buildings on each side made a vise.
Windows all brimming trying to entice.
Be assured this is not my paradise.
My soul hungers for a place more pleasing,
A land where clear water brooks are babbling,
Hills of lush green grass forever rolling,
And the big blue sky is never hiding.
In this tarred world is more than meets the eye,
Soon without sadness be saying goodbye.
Theodore Robinson, By the River (1887)
By the River, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
When I am fully grown what will I be?
Am I destined to be strong as this tree?
Of a mind in knowing that I am free?
And to hold strong passionate faith in Thee?
To be free as the river flowing by,
As the many birds that travel the sky.
This very request Thou should not deny,
For through baptism Thy support I rely.
Need to be free to follow in Thy name,
To let my heart be Thy eternal flame.
The young heart that Thou so early did claim,
Make me ready Thy holy words to proclaim.
To make me pure of heart and strong of mind,
So in my heart Thy name will be enshrined.
Hovhannes Aivazasky, The Ninth Wave (1850)
The Ninth Wave, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
What’s the reason we made it through the night?
We’re but a few of many on the crew,
Surviving grasp of the waves awesome might.
Was it simply fate, our time was not due?
Casting eyes about at each man’s station,
There be many levels from rich to poor.
Wondering if a common faith bastion,
Had a strange feeling but could not be sure.
In distant sky did appear a white light,
Thought it the sun but did not see its eye.
Whatev’r it be lifted hearts at its sight,
Giving a feeling we would not soon die.
It was His cross that provided support,
While His spirit guided us into port.
Edwin Lord Weeks, A Game of Chess (c. 1900)
A Game of Chess, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Life, as Chess, is a game of strategy,
And chance, with the outcome known early on,
Determined by players’ ability.
Here for sure, the loser will be the Kahn.
It appears, she has made, all the right moves.
He’s vulnerable with no defenses.
In turn, important pieces she removes.
Game but over, he’s lost all his senses.
She has done more, than just capture his king.
It’s she who decides, the kind of action.
Now the game, will be all of her making.
To be done, to her full satisfaction.
Unlike chess, life can produce two winners.
Being in love makes them co-prisoners.
Asher Brown Durand, Scene from “Thanatopsis” (1850)
Come with Me, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Come with me, we shall extol His goodness.
Look at the world He has placed before us,
A plenty before us in this vastness.
Let’s sing our song of thanks so boisterous.
We shall take to our knees to give Him praise,
First be of His gift of our many days,
Then in how He provides in many ways,
And how He has stripped us from our malaise.
This land given with His heavenly grace,
Never be thought to be a just reward,
For we are just His tenants in this place,
As it is heaven we’re working toward.
Let eternal faith in Him be our guide,
Until the day we cross the great divide.