"I want to thank all those from around the world who come and read the poetry that God inspires me with. This site shall always be totally free for everyone with no tracking, pop-ups or other distractions." ~louis gander

March 6, 2016

For Our Youth 3-6-16


Death's grip holds a lost generation here.
They harbor no love or respect.
We've failed to teach them what Jesus did -
so really, what did we expect?

We see them behave in an immature way.
We hear all the four-letter slang.
We all get a taste of their pure, evil deeds
and wonder why they're in a gang.

America's lost to a new way of life.
Sins pull on our youth is so strong.
We go to a fun'ral of good child shot -
then wonder still, "What has gone wrong?"

You think that this poem's too negative.
You think that there's more to the truth -
but just take a look at the news of the day.
Why do we not care for our youth?

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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February 21, 2016

Come To Their Rescue 2-21-16


Still streaking down their lonely cheeks,
so many tears are shed.
With cries throughout the longest nights,
those nightmares are widespread.
---
I've maybe heard them once or twice,
but please bear this in mind -
there's so much shopping I must do
and outfits I must find.
The birthday parties I attend,
the weddings, funerals too -
and holidays are coming soon.
Oh, what am I to do?

Or maybe I am all wrapped up
inside my fav'rite teams -
the one that's in the playoffs now
fulfilling this fan's dreams.
For those who live outside my world,
how can I really care?
What can I do while I am here -
and they are over there?

To rescue someone?  Tell me how.
They don't live next to me.
How can I hear their cries for help
when they, I cannot see?
Once unaware of torture, my
snug ignorance was bliss.
But why should I now waste any time
here telling you all this?

Please don't think I am ignorant
of other people's pain -
and all wrapped up inside myself.
I'm not self-centered, vain.
Tomorrow they'll be hurting too
as they were yesterday.
I can't go wasting all my time
on folks so far away.

The raping, loss of self-respect
and murdering of girls,
can't push important things aside
like shopping now for pearls.
Do I hurt anybody?  No!
It's Jesus I exalt.
So do not tug at my heart strings.
Their pain is not my fault!

And don't think I'm not thankful here
in warm and toasty bed -
between my clean, soft cotton sheets
as pillow hugs my head.
 But muffled screams - I hear them now.
They, in my mem-ries, stay.
They linger through the cold, dark nights
and pester me all day.

Oh, who can hear those victims scream
through distant, starry nights?
And who can hear survivors cries
from cruel and futile fights?
Though innocent, survivors moved.
They had no other choice.
They lost their homes and furniture
and with it all, their voice.

I cannot see those makeshift tents
or taste what they call food.
I cannot stop those terrorists
or change my attitude.
I'm done with sports and shopping now
and buying myself stuff.
Their screams have fin'lly reach my ears.
I've failed them long enough.

I do not buy new outfits now.
And football's not my game.
I'm focused on the "least of these".
My life is not the same.
I once thought it important here.
I now no longer do.
I'll start by giving all I can
to come to their rescue.

It's serious, the plight they're in.
Please understand their worth.
As sin runs rampant over weak
around this evil earth.
Our Congressmen must focus too
while evil men connive.
Please vote to stop the terrorists
to save those still alive.
---
Still streaking down their lonely cheeks,
so many tears are shed,
With cries throughout the longest nights,
those nightmares are widespread.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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The results of disrespect, hate, sin:


The year 2014 saw more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history, and can only be compared to the first centuries when Christians were hunted down as criminals in the Roman Empire. The policy of the Emperor Diocletian, in fact, who reigned from 284-305AD, was remarkably similar to that taken by the Islamic State and Boko Haram: “Convert or die.”

A look around the globe reveals an unprecedented pattern of persecution that has shifted from isolated incidents of hostility to a systematic campaign to exterminate Christians in places where they have lived peacefully for centuries.

From the kidnapped school girls and massacres in Nigeria and the displacement of thousands in the Central African Republic, to the believers arrested for having a Bible study in Central Asia, to Meriam Ibrahim being sentenced to death in Sudan, to the ISIS slaughters, to the couple burned alive for blasphemy and hundreds of girls kidnapped in Pakistan, Christians throughout the world saw a major escalation in persecution in 2014.

The Jerusalem Post has spoken of “the religious cleansing of Middle East Christians” and noted that “anti-Christian violence in 2014 saw a transformation from under-told news coverage, to routine reports of radical Islamists seeking to obliterate Christianity’s presence.”

Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said that “persecution” no longer adequately describes the treatment of Christians in a growing number of Muslim areas. “Religious cleansing, a type of cultural genocide, which is a crime against humanity, is the more accurate description,” she said. “This is now occurring in Iraq, Syria, parts of Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Pakistan.”

As noted in World Affairs, in Iraq the Islamic State is undertaking a religious cleansing intended to eradicate the entire presence of the country’s non-Muslim citizens. This war on Christians is not restricted to Iraq, but is also underway in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Extermination campaigns are being carried out by a multitude of extremist groups and “are directed most commonly and with special zeal against Christian communities that in some cases have coexisted with Muslims for more than a thousand years.”

Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox church in Iraq describes the systematic persecution of Christians in the Middle East as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” He has further said: “They are killing our people in the name of Allah and telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to heaven: that is their message.”

Dawod catalogs their activities in a grim list of offenses: “They have burned churches; they have burned very old books. They have damaged our crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary. They are occupying our churches and converting them into mosques.”

Things are no better in Syria, where Christians, both clerical and lay, have been the target of continual aggression. Last April 7, assassins broke into the monastery of Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt in Homs, Syria, and shot him twice in the head. Although the priest had been doing humanitarian work nearly fifty years, suddenly in 2014 he was considered a symbol of the “infidel,” as one of a handful of Christians remaining in Homs of the population of eighty thousand Christians that lived there until recently.

With the rise of ISIS, “targeted violence against Christians has escalated.” Syria is undergoing a period of intense “Islamization” and Christians are becoming more exposed in all spheres of life. Many Christians have been abducted, physically abused or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21, jihadists invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and harming many more.

In northern Nigeria, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has undertaken a ruthless program of forced conversions in its attempt to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Boko Haram soldiers storm Christian areas going from home to home demanding that every man convert to Islam. Those who refuse are shot dead on the spot. The radical group, which has proved more than a match for the Nigerian military, has killed as many as 350 Christians in a single week.

Boko Haram has repeatedly beheaded male opponents and forced Christian women to marry them and convert to Islam, and has been responsible for the deaths of at least 4,000 Nigerians in this year alone.

In 2014, China saw some of the most aggressive anti-Christian persecution since the times of Mao, which involved incarceration, the demolition of churches, and the systematic removal of crosses. An elderly woman in Sanjiang, in Zhejiang province, saw her church demolished. “During the Cultural Revolution they burned Bibles, but they didn’t remove the crosses,” she said.

A pastor in Beijing noted that “by making a clean sweep of Sanjiang, the government wants to set an example and show that nothing will stop it.” In May, six other churches were earmarked for demolition in Wenzhou, and one church was converted into a “cultural auditorium.” In the following weeks, the crosses on 15 churches in the Wenzhou region were smashed or removed by crane. Another local pastor said simply: “They want to remove every trace.”

Paradoxically, it is in some of these very areas where Christians are suffering most that are seeing the greatest growth in conversions to Christianity.

A second-century Church Father named Tertullian famously said that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians,” meaning that Christianity thrives under persecution. This certainly appears to be the case now, as Christianity is flourishing, for example, in China and Africa, while growth is markedly slower in Europe and much of the first world. If current trends continue, China will have the largest Christian population of any nation in the world in just 15 years.

So as Islamic extremists try to eradicate Christianity in its birthplace, and still others attempt to stamp it out in where it is growing fastest—Africa and China—the west seems somewhat complacent, and rests on the sacrifices of prior generations. Moreover, the western response seems often what has been called the “embarrassed silence of Christians in face of anti-Christian persecution.”

The true tragedy would be for those who take their religious freedom for granted to become numb to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters who are shedding their blood in faithfulness to their beliefs.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/03/2014-the-year-of-the-christian-genocide/

---

Genocide Emergency
Syria - Since the first uprisings began in the Syrian Arab Republic in early March 2011, President Bashar al-Assad’s government has violently repressed civilian protests and launched attacks on both rebel forces and Sunni Arab civilians. Data collected by the UN Human Rights office estimates the death toll to be greater than 60,000 people. According to the UN Refugee Agency, over 700,000 registered Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, with thousands more leaving daily. President Assad continues to label the armed rebel forces as “terrorists” and has rejected the offer of peace talks made by Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, the main opposition leader. Nations should call for a cease-fire, convince Assad to step down, and bring in more humanitarian assistance. If Assad will not stop bombing his own nation into rubble, NATO forces led by Turkey should destroy his air force.
Sudan - Since the Bush Administration first recognized the genocide in Darfur, at least 250,000 more men, women, and children have died. Using its own military and the Janjaweed militia, Sudan's regime has conducted a systematic campaign to kill and drive out Darfur's ethnic Fur, Massalit, and Zhagawa peoples. Supported by aircraft and helicopter gunships, the Janjaweed attack towns, villages, and refugee camps, kill the men and boys, rape the women and girls, and poison the wells. Their goal is to replace these African peoples with Arab herders.
Democratic Republic of the Congo - The DRC is plagued by enduring conflict in its eastern provinces. Formally the second Congolese war came to an end in 2002. However, in practice the conflict drags on and is the most deadliest since the second World War. Estimates of the dead range from three to five million persons. The victims are civilians, in particular women and girls, and ethnic groups such as the Banyamulenge, the Hutu Banyarwanda, the Hema and the Lendu. Many of the killers and rapists are former genocidists who escaped into the DRC from the Rwandan genocide.
Ethiopia - In September 2008, Genocide Watch declared a Genocide Warning regarding the war that was being waged against small ethnic minority called Burji in a town of Hagre Mariam by an ethnic Oromo group called Guji. Since then the Guji Oromo have continued to wage protracted war against Burji in various localities, especially in towns and villages surrounding the city of Soyama, which is 60 Km west of the city of Hagremariam. Over the course of the last several months there have been heavy loss of lives and damage to Guji properties including destruction of crops and farm equipment. In January 2009, there were reports of heavy fighting on three different fronts, namely Nadale/ Chuluse front and Gara and Tisho vicinities. News from Hagremariam stated that Guji Oromo warriers were advancing towards Soyama in great numbers. According to Genocide Watch sources, Guji/Oromo attacks on Buji began on January 22, 2009. The situation is continues to be dire, and urgent action must be taken to avert further attacks.
Burma/Myanmar - Burma, Southeast Asia's most oppressed nation, remains under the forty-three year tyranny of a military junta and should be a grave concern to the international community. Abuse of ethnic minorities, mass rape of women, mandatory relocations, extrajudicial state executions, military recruitment of children, and forced labor are only a few of the many violations of human rights currently practiced in the resource rich but economically impoverished nation.1 The regime change of 2004 which deposed General Khin Nyunt in favor of Lieutenant General Soe Win continues to suppress the strong movement for democracy, keeping Burma in a cyclical state of tyranny.

Genocide Warning

Nigeria - The insurgency of the radical Islamist movement Boko Haram in the north of Nigeria poses a great threat of genocidal massacres. Since the summer of 2011 Boko Haram has struck different targets in Nigeria ranging from government buildings, especially the security sector, to churches. The latter category of attacks is alarming as they might radicalize relations between the Muslim north and the Christian south of the country.
Chad - Chad is largely influenced by the situation in neighboring country Sudan. The Sudanese government has supported rebels who have made three attempts to overthrow the Chadian government by force. These situations made Genocide Watch declare Genocide Warnings for Chad in 2005, renewed in April 2006 and January 2008. Today Chad remains at Stage 6, the Preparation stage preceding genocide. Since 2010, ties between the Sudanese president al-Bashir and the Chadian president have improved, but this has not ended the hopeless situation of hundreds of thousands refugees in Chad. In February 2011, a report of the International Crisis group raised an Alert about Chad’s Northwest, as the next high-risk area where violence and famine could endanger human lives.
Equatorial Guinea - There is deep ethnic division in Equatorial Guinea, and also clan division within ethnicities. The majority of the population belong to the Fang group. Within this group there are clans. President Obiang Nguema favors his own clan, the Esangui. The Bubi people represent the minority ethnicity and are indigenous to Bioko Island. They are subject to systematic discrimination and persecution by the government, and were the main victims of the genocide carried out by president MacĂ­as Nguema from 1978 - 1979. Genocide Watch considers Equatorial Guinea to be at early warning stage 6: Preparation for potential massacres.
Yemen - Genocide Watch has downgraded the risk of genocide and politicide in Yemen from stage 7 (active massacres) to stage 6: potential massacres. Genocide Watch welcomes the recent transfer of power in Yemen and the large participation in elections by Yemeni citizens. However, the following risk factors are evidence that the security situation in Yemen is still of great concern. The roots of national identity and democracy are shallow. Yemen could again degenerate quickly into violence.
Kenya - Genocide Watch has called a Genocide Alert because of genocidal massacres that are increasing daily in Kenya in the wake of a disputed election between President Mwai Kibaki, who is a member of the Kikuyu ethnic group, and Mr. Raila Odinga, who is ethnically a Luo. Ethnic riots have broken out in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, and numerous other places in Kenya. People have been pulled from their cars and their identification cards checked for their names, which symbolize their ethnic identity, and then killed if they belong to groups being targeted. Hundreds of people have already been murdered. Today a church in Eldoret was locked and the people inside were burned to death by a mob.Ethnic massacres are an indicator that the risk of genocide in Kenya has risen to Stage 6, the Preparation stage.Kenya has not yet descended into actual genocide. However, the next stage in the process is actual genocide, and Kenya is close to that stage.
Central African Republic - Since its independence from France in 1960, the political situation in CAR has always been unstable. Last years, the CAR has also become a refuge for the Lord’s Resistance Army, led since 1987 by the mass murderer, Joseph Kony of Uganda. Kony is notorious for abducting child soldiers and girl sex slaves and was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, but still not arrested. Another pressing security threat in the CAR is the Front Populaire Pour le Redressement (FPR), a Chadian armed rebel group backed by Sudan that has carried out sporadic attacks in northern CAR since 2008. Because crimes against humanity by the LRA and FPR have led to widespread terror and forced displacement, Genocide Watch considers CAR at stage 6: potential massacres.

http://www.genocidewatch.org/alerts/newsalerts.html

February 10, 2016

Near, Yet Far 2-10-16


Oh, where has that young child gone?
Where now is that young boy -
the one with cute and chubby cheeks,
the one with eyes of joy?

His eyes were blue and innocent.
His skin was pure and smooth.
Obeyed, he did, his parent's rules.
His heartaches, mom would soothe.

He listened with attentive ears
and he obeyed advice.
Some thought he was a bit naive,
but he was simply nice.

His peers would laugh, make fun of him,
his pants short, second-hand.
His shoes had worn up through the soles
inviting stones and sand.

He often sat in deepest thoughts -
just God and him alone -
discussing unknown future times
that only God had known.

So work, he did, through day and night
with utmost sacrifice.
But forty years was all for naught
and it would not suffice.

His father died, then mother too,
on sad and lonely days.
Her words of comfort vaporized
in many tear-filled ways.

A glimpse of him, I thought I had
inside my soul of gloom -
and moisture filled, again my eyes,
inside my life of doom.

He lived in distant era, so
removed from current time -
I can't go back.  Corruption is
a crass and dirty crime.

If, for a moment, I could fill
his worn-out humble shoes,
I'd long to stay again right there.
I know that's what I'd choose.

I'd seize upon his innocence
before those truths that are -
but I stare into mirror now,
for boy that's near, yet far.

The one with cute and chubby cheeks,
the one with eyes of joy -
oh, where has that young child gone?
Where now, is that young boy?

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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February 6, 2016

Givers & Takers 2-5-16


Inside this world of hate and love
of sour and dessert,
so many 'take' while others 'give'.
with sacrificial hurt.

Some lie to get just what they want.
Some steal and get their way.
And they don't care what we endure
or what we think or say.

Some, out of spiteful, angry hate,
think they are tough with gun.
Some reach the bottom very fast
and murder just for fun.

I see myself and know I'm not
a 'taker' like the rest.
I know that I'm a 'giver' and
I live among the best.

I once had climbed on pedestal
and stood up straight and tall -
but then I saw what Jesus paid
and that He gave His all.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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January 28, 2016

Penned With Love 1-28-16


Back in a corner, where she hid,
I met a little child, I did.

She was a quiet, fragile child
who never laughed and seldom smiled.

Her eyes were blue, her hair light brown,
but she was hurt and feeling down.

Her clothes were tattered, filled with holes.
like many people and their souls.

I spied her tears when she had cried.
I had not known her mother died.

Her age was eight, or maybe nine.
Her troubles were much more than mine.

I knelt down close to her and said,
"Have you a home?  Have you been fed?"

Despite the crowd that gathered 'round,
our space was quiet - without sound.

I reached deep down in pocket and
I held your poem in my hand.

I opened scrap of paper proud,
then read your poem right out loud.

My eyes became a fuzzy blur.
I know you wrote it just for her.

She reached for me with all her hurt.
I hugged her back, ignoring dirt.

Words can't replace a bed and food
but fills with joy, the attitude.

I haven't seen her for awhile,
but know your poem made her smile.

Though some write many, some write few.
We've penned with love our words to view.
So write your rhymes unselfishly
with kindness, care and empathy.
And don't be hurt when I'm away
out sharing poems day to day.
Much better than some silly toy,
your words, for some, give real joy.

Back in a corner, where she hid,
I met a little child, I did...

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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January 16, 2016

My Old Hometown Church 1-16-16


There's something that perplexes me
as I, my mem'ries, search,
right here among familiar pews
in my old hometown church.

It's been so many decades now
since I have been around.
Those many years have faded fast
with oh, so little sound.

I sit a-spell and reminisce
in silence that remains,
from walnut pulpit up in front
to stained glass window panes.

The cross behind the pulpit hints
a show of halo's glow.
It seems to be inviting me.
There's much I still don't know.

My eyes drop down in front of me
upon a hymnal book.
I hesitate and ponder some
before I take a look.

Those tunes and words come quickly as
my sorry psyche swims
to words of His "Amazing Grace"
and more familiar hymns.

Familiar are both floor and walls.
Familiar are the lights.
Reflecting back to faces though,
my deepened grief ignites.

So many friends I cannot see.
They've moved or passed away.
No, time and change are not my friends!
How did I go astray?

How many times can God convict
me of my wicked ways?
How many times did I pretend
and did not give God praise?

I crave and plead that time turns back.
It rips my insides out!
It makes me blame somebody else.
It makes me want to shout.

There's something deep down in my gut
that I can't sanitize.
Confession comes, repentance looms
with something in my eyes...

As I stare squarely at myself -
and you know how it goes -
the lightning strikes and thunder roars
as levee overflows.,,

But lonely tears are wiped away,
for love will always be,
as grace holds all of Heaven up
throughout eternity.

My long, sad tears dry from my cheeks
as I, my mem'ries, search,
right here among familiar pews
in my old hometown church.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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January 10, 2016

From One Hundred Word 1-10-16


The picture, envisioned from one hundred word
was written with rhymes in a poem then heard,
by one lonely soul who was starving for love
from having no knowledge of God up above.

And then came another, another one too,
until it was heard by much more than a few.
When multitudes heard it, they had ne'er a choice
but hear His soft whisper, His Heavenly voice.

Unknown was the one who had written that poem
so others could hear of our Father and know Him.
And all because one little poem was heard -
and picture, envisioned from one hundred word.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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(note:  there are one hundred words in the poem above)

January 1, 2016

Of Rocks & Truths 1-1-16


The rolling seas will rise and fall.
They call to one and all.
The waves will splash, forevermore,
those giant rocks on shore.

Emotions thoughts will come and go.
They ever tempt us so.
But lies still fail to even prod
those solid truths of God.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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December 26, 2015

The Old and Lonely Poet 12-26-15


On edge of arid desert set
a trailer aged in rust
with tires flattened long ago
and covered thick with dust.
A friend I'd known for many years
had lived alone inside -
and if his lamp was burning, then
I knew he hadn't died.

The lamp seemed always to be lit
but never did complain.
Then sure enough, I saw him there
through dirty window pane.
The Great Depression hurt him so.
I saw it in that place.
I saw it in his lonely words.
I saw it in his face.

The mental stress that he went through
was far too much to bear -
and would have been for anyone
if they were sitting there.
But they were not.  Just he alone
survived his great ordeal.
And his reward?  An empty can,
a cold and meager meal.

The old man couldn't hear too good.
The years had quickly passed -
so catching his attention, I
tapped loudly on the glass.
It seemed to take forever, but
he made it to the door.
Black cobwebs hung from corners and -
newspapers hid the floor.

He greeted me with friendly eyes,
skin wrinkled deep from sun.
He made me feel welcome, though
his work was never done.
I visited for quite awhile
as he kept at his rhymes.
He changed his thoughts, his lines, his words
at least a thousand times.

I said, "It must be good enough."
Replied he, "Not at all.
It doesn't capture God's great love.
This needs an overhaul.
For God is love and God is grace
in absolute perfection -
so how can I write something less
to add to this collection?

"This poetry I write for God
must always be perfected -
or basket, full of waste, is filled
with poems I've rejected."
I fell asleep while sitting there.
I woke at 3 AM
and heard him mumble something like,
"...to change the hearts of them."

Observed, I did, his wise old ways.
I'd learned all that I could -
but never measured up to him -
my writing, not as good.
I saw his great intensity.
I stayed with him for days.
I watched his sacrificial work
I saw his humble ways.

He strove to write in perfect words,
expressing his rare love
for all of those who'd done him harm
from politics above.
Forgiving them of evil deeds
had given him such peace -
that each and ev'ry word he wrote
became a masterpiece.

Though sometimes folks still speak of him,
he never set his goals -
to elevate his unknown name -
but rather save the souls -
through writings that should touch the hearts
of other eager men -
who draw attention to themselves
through selfish, prideful sin.

I once decided to return -
to visit one last time.
The old and lonely poet, though,
had written his last rhyme.
The years have passed.  Such great respect
I had for that old man.
Could I improve my poetry
for God?  He proved I can!

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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December 20, 2015

Christmas Snow 12-20-15


When I was just a little lad
I heard my mother say,
"There's nothing like a Christmas snow
that falls on Christmas day."

And so one Christmas morning I
was curious to know -
if lawn would still be grassy green
or covered up with snow.

My room was dark.  My bed was warm.
Some sleep was in my eyes.
But hurried, I, to fin'lly see
my Christmas snow surprise!

I threw my blanket off my bed
and slid off to the floor.
It still was dark - so ran into
my dresser's open drawer.

I didn't cuss, but threw a fit -
and then I hurt my shin.
My attitude was sinking as
I slammed the drawer back in.

I raced up to my window where
I'd peek outside to see -
if God had sent a Christmas snow
especially for me.

I threw the curtains to the sides -
I guess a bit too hard -
because the falling curtain rod
had caught me there off-guard.

My arm still hurt from dresser drawer,
my head from curtain rod.
And when I saw no Christmas snow
I blamed both mom and God.

It seemed I didn't matter and -
God had no longer cared.
So feeling sorry for myself -
I, out the window, stared.

All morning long, I trudged along
and dragged my little feet.
It seemed that Christmas, once again,
would turn out incomplete.

My sentiment and attitude
was not a gentleman's.
The tantrums I had Christmas day
had dwarfed all other ones.

I wasted more than half that day
before mom called to me -
and said, "Come quickly.  Look at this.
There's something you should see."

To my surprise, from up above
and falling from the sky -
a Christmas snow proved God loves me,
...but now I'm not sure why.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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December 12, 2015

From Across the Lake 12-12-15


The cabin built with sturdy logs
(that firmly stood awake)
was nestled snugly in the trees
beside this quiet lake.

A dim and amber light shone out
to greet the lonely eye -
reflecting off this tiny lake
here under cloudy sky.

Through window pane, that sorry lamp -
far off on other side -
had shone from on a tabletop
with unseen chair beside.

And faithful chair supported all
the poet's ev'ry task.
Yet that old chair is empty now,
"but why?" you maybe ask.

You wonder who that poet is
or why he is away.
You wonder if he writes at night
or all throughout the day.

But when he comes, the chair again
will groan under his weight.
And over many months and years,
his work will rhymes create.

Now you might think and may conclude
of him, you didn't hear -
but I know this, you've read his work,
at least this poem here.

A glow begins to pour across
the sky in loving fun..
It reaches out so wide and far
with nearing of the sun.

And that light now reflects off of
a paper holding rhyme -
and calls me from across the lake.
I guess it's about time...

©2015 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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December 5, 2015

A Snowflake 12-05-15


Born high inside a winter cloud,
a snowflake I became.
A snowflake small, defenseless and
too poor to have a name.
I opened up my naive eyes.
I had so much to learn,
but did not know the truth of life
or which way I should turn.

I was content with floating free -
as free as any bird,
until some other flakes whizzed by
and shocked me as I heard;
"Get out of here you stupid flake!
You're in our treasured world.
We're here to make a winter storm."
With that, they whipped and swirled.

Impeding them, they elbowed me.
My world turned up-side-down.
The wind was stiff and tossed me too
above a country town.
My glimpse at Christmas lights was brief
and couldn't be expressed -
as more flakes shoved me to the side
and wouldn't let me rest.

I wanted calm serenity,
but this is what they'd say;
"You bother us!  Get out of here!"
You're always in our way!"
They pushed and shoved and shoved and pushed.
I found it most appalling.
...And none of them had realized
that all of us were falling...

I saw a 'V' formation of
some southern flying geese.
If only I could hitch a ride -
then maybe I'd have peace...
I'd cherish, under tall palm trees,
the warming breezes felt.
But, if indeed, they're flying south,
I wondered, would I melt?

This life can be so burdensome,
this world so turbulent.
I prayed, "God, give me peace and rest"
as I made my descent.
I hovered over roadway where
I thought I'd safely land.
But then came two huge semi-trucks
that didn't understand.

The world had thrown me yet again.
My life became a blur!
But then I slowed and settled on
a Colorado fir.
And where were those insulting me?
It really was profound.
They melted under tire tracks
from traffic eastward bound.

High status, they had fought for but -
their efforts now have ended.
They said that I offended them.
I wished that they had listened.
They elbowed all their way through life -
for more space in the air.
But tell me, was it worth it all?
What did it matter there?

Retired now, I think of things
for which I am not proud -
and all the selfish thoughts I had
since falling from that cloud.
I think of times I prayed to God
and thought He didn't listen.
But Christmas lights around the town,
across the snow, now glisten...

©2015 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 29, 2015

Your Love 11-29-15


Frosted needles on the pine
in this, the greatest nation.
Oh, why God, did you bless us with
Your good and great creation?

Rainbow smiles on every race,
between their dimples, bends.
Oh, why God, did you bless us with
such good and priceless friends?

A cross on steeple's pinnacle,
now draws us from our search.
Oh, why God, did you bless us with
Your Son's eternal church?
---
So why, God, do you bless me so
when I'm so blindly swerving -
on and off your 'narrow road',
when I'm so undeserving?

I fall down on arthritic knees.
I bow my weary head.
I used to focus on my wants,
but now I'm Yours instead.

From frosted needles, rainbow smiles
to cross that stands above,
I know now why You've blessed me so.
May others find Your love.

©2015 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 24, 2015

When Fighting Hate 11-24-15

Picture from: https://chazzw.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/the-missing-of-the-somme-geoff-dyer/

It matters much
when two hearts touch,
yet war has its demand.
When fighting hate,
my flag is great,
but some don't understand.

Now it's a shame
some played their games
while we were undermanned.
Through heat and cold,
we all were bold,
but some don't understand.

While taking flak,
I watched his back.
We fought them man to man.
It happened fast,
that deadly blast,
but some don't understand.

With comrade dead,
sad tears I shed.
It's not what we had planned.
It makes no sense,
my guilt's immense,
but some don't understand.

Arriving home
with war syndrome,
experienced firsthand.
It all seems wrong
with heroes gone,
but some don't understand.

I'll make it though,
disfigured so.
This is my wonderland.
It's God I need,
I do indeed,
but some don't understand.

It matters much
when two hearts touch,
but war has its demand.
When fighting hate,
our cause is great.
Still, some don't understand.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 22, 2015

On Winds Of Time 11-22-15


The beauty of that place was such
that I just hadn't mattered much.
Except for me, the trees were bright
with vibrant leaves.  Oh, what a sight!
The crowds would mingle and would rest
among the brightest and the best
where thoughts and dreams together meld
in beauty so unparalleled.

Those autumn trees would grin and shout,
"Hey, look at us.  Come check us out.
We've colored leaves for you to see."
And so it was for ev'ry tree -
except for me with branches bare.
I didn't brag.  I didn't dare -
for people laughed - and newlyweds
just rolled their eyes and shook their heads.

A boy yanked off my one last leaf,
then ran away - that little thief!
So there I stood, ignored, alone.
I was a poet tree, unknown.
Exposing all my worthless whims,
the breezes weaved around my limbs.
The days were long and getting cold.
I knew that I was growing old.

A gentleman came strolling by
who paused a bit.  I don't know why.
He was a man, quite elderly
who found an old leaf under me.
He picked it up and for a while,
I thought I saw a little smile.
He contemplated for a time
and then reread my dead leaf rhyme.

I'm not a poet tree, they say
so yes, my poems blow away.
But high in humble love they sail -
across the plains and over vale,
over seas and over shores,
before they rest near Heaven's doors.
They're found by men of humble heart
whose souls are touched and set apart.

Let colored leaves not camouflage
those covered trees that sabotage
the perfect rhymes of poet's love
which blow as snow from God above.
God's love is oftentimes disguised
from people who are mesmerized
by pretty leaves that promise bliss
and worlds of joy and happiness.

But seasons come and seasons go
as brooks and streams and rivers flow.
They never stop.  They never end.
If only man could comprehend.
For sailing from the empty trees
are tears of love inside the leaves.
So leaves as these are worth the rhyme
and fly along on winds of time.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 15, 2015

Cuckoo Clock 11-15-15


The time is almost 3 AM.
but I don't really care -
except the ticking of the clock
is more than I can bear.

The pendulum swings back and forth.
It doesn't ever sleep.
And neither have I had a wink,
(though I have counted sheep).

The tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick
is all it ever does.
A cuckoo clock is all it is
and all it ever was.

It can't jump off the wall and run.
That little bird can't fly.
She hasn't helped a single soul.
She's not as good as I.

So should I take her insults too?
She makes my stomach sour.
She says that I am cuckoo ev'ry
hour on the hour...

A burst of great emotions come
whenever she pops out -
and tells me I am cuckoo 'till
it makes me want to shout.

But then she quickly sneaks back in
and shuts her little door.
If only she could stay in there,
and not pop out at 4.

Her strong opinion does not change
and I know it won't end -
but I'll forgive that little bird.
She really is my friend.

And so I pull the weights back up
to give her one more day
to tell me I am cuckoo, 'cause -
that's all that she can say.

The time is almost 4 AM.
but I don't really care -
except the ticking of the clock
is more than I can bear.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 8, 2015

Doug, the Bug 11-8-15


"If I could elevate myself
and look down from the sky,
then I could see the facts of life
and learn of truth and lie."

Now that's what Doug, the Bug had thought.
He therefore went afoot -
t'ward great gigantic tree atop
its long and bulging root.

Then finally he started up.
That trunk had massive girth.
It seemed to be as solid as
the ground upon the earth.

He climbed the largest limb he found
and then the highest branch.
It all seemed very sturdy there.
It overlooked a ranch.

Back up, Doug glanced - and then he spied
the highest leaf of all!
And so he climbed some tiny twigs
which seemed quite weak and small.

"I'm almost there," he told himself,
"I'll rest on highest leaf."
At last that bug stood right on top
his firmly held belief.

Now Doug gripped tight, that little leaf
that he, himself, had earned.
And though he thought he knew it all,
one lesson hadn't learned.

You know, the truth is not always
the things that we can see.
Invisible, those autumn winds
had yanked that leaf from tree.

So Doug, the Bug was on his own.
He feared for his own soul -
and he was at the mercy of
that wicked wind's control.

He soared there on that wayward leaf
to places yet unknown -
then settled on a foreign ground
where he was all alone.

All winter he, in circles walked
and aimlessly did roam.
He shed such long repentant tears
but couldn't find his home.

He ran and cried and cried and ran -
then fell flat on his face.
Then God reached down and picked him up.
And that's what we call grace.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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November 1, 2015

Seven Words 11-1-15

(based on a true story)

Her son stepped to the pulpit with
some papers in his hand.
He cleared his throat and thought a bit,
but would they understand?

Would they know who mom really was?
Would they know they had fun?
Would they know mom loved God and prayed?
Would they know all she'd done?

Would they know she was always poor,
her pain and all her crying?
Would they know she helped little ones
with smiles and hugs while dying?

He laid, then, all the papers down
and peered up into Heaven.
Inside his mind he edited
his words right down to seven.

Would seven words explain it all
and would those words prevail -
there in each heart describing mom
in intimate detail?

Now friends and fam'ly waited for
her son with eager ears -
as he concluded all his thoughts
while holding back his tears.

He took a breath and slowly spoke
until his talk was done.
"Ev'ryone loved mom, because,
[my] mom loved ev'ryone."

He noticed many sparkles flash,
in each and ev'ry eye.
He gazed down at the casket then -
and said his last goodbye.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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God knows all corners of our minds.
He knows our subtle ways.
He knows the number of our hairs,
deceptions of our days.
But love connects both God and man -
the greatest and the last -
and son knew he would see her soon,
for time on earth flies fast.
©2015 louis gander

October 26, 2015

Meet My Friend, 'Love' 10-26-15


Hello there!  Meet my friend, 'Love'.
Inside my heart, He lives.
My other friends reside there too,
but my friend 'Love' forgives.

I have not done much for my 'Love' -
as my life was a mess.
And I remember my mistakes.
He loves me nonetheless.

'Love' does not tally up mistakes
that I have made before -
but 'Love' pours grace on all the more
and does not keep a score.

Ashamed, I am, when I think back
and wish I could divert
my thoughts and acts of selfishness
and all who I have hurt.

I often cry when I remember
all of my mistakes,
but 'Love' absorbs my pain and guilt
and does whate'er it takes.

'Love' can't reside in angry hearts
that it finds hard and cold,
but rather in the humble heart,
now whether young or old.

Atrocities of sinful man
just guts my inner soul -
but 'Love' is great and 'Love' is good
and 'Love' is in control.

Though 'Love' allows imperfect man
to make a sinful choice,
He cleared a path of perfect peace
so we can all rejoice.

Words can't express the joy I feel
and all I'm thinking of -
for God's the great creator and
He is the God of 'Love'.

I'm pleased that you have met my 'Love'.
Does 'Love' reside in you?
If you love others as yourself
then 'Love' is your friend too.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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1 John 4:8 (NASB)
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Mark 12:30-31 (NASB)
30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”

October 20, 2015

To Gardens Yet Unknown 10-20-15


Beneath the calm and quiet sky
two butterflies go drifting by -
as yellow as the sun.
A wild flower bends a bit
as one has temporarily lit.
The other joins in fun.

Then off again they wing with task
but yet, so playfully I ask,
Are they that much in love?
They look to be, or so it seems,
alive inside their unique dreams
which float so high above.

It's if they taunt, it's if they tease
my little world of memories,
of our lives long ago.
Those treasured thoughts of yesteryear
still seem so recent, seem so near,
I'll never let them go.

Their presence here is so worthwhile
I find myself with pleasant smile,
though I sit all alone.
Then finally, they both take flight
to other places out of sight,
to gardens yet unknown.

©2015 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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