A Warm Fire: Poems of Faith, Family, and Friends to Warm the Heart

A Warm Fire: Poems of Faith, Family, and Friends to Warm the Heart

by Paul Jason Bartholomew

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Overview

According to poet Paul Jason Bartholomew, a poet is a conductor who arouses and awakens the dormant inner sanctum of self-awareness. In his poetry collection, A Warm Fire: Poems of Faith, Family, and Friends to Warm the Heart, he uses passion and pathos as powerful motivating instruments in conducting a personal symphony to which we alone can harmonize. From picking berries and apples to tapping sap for maple syrup, pouring wax for fragrant candles, and from warm fires on snowy nights to sledding and autumn walks, the subjects of his poetry evoke a warm and happy life.

Grab a mug of steaming coffee and come absorb the crackle and aroma of a cozy fire in the old stone fireplace as you dive into this new poetry collection, A Warm Fire.

Curved and crooked is this leaf-strewn path originally made by a cow and her calf.
still overlaced with leafy arms,
like most local lanes to local farms.

The road is special to my wife and me treelined sentinels for my family.
Tread through mud, snow autumn leaves alone,
we built a place at its end called Home!

-from "The Lane"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475944075
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/26/2012
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Warm Fire

Poems of Faith, Family, and Friends to Warm the Heart
By Paul Jason Bartholomew

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Paul Jason Bartholomew
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4407-5


Chapter One

    A Warm Fire

    It's always been my heart's desire
      to sit beside a warm fire
    and listen to tales told
      of another day,
    another way,
    of men who in their prime
      lost track of time
    but now too soon are old!

    Through the flickering, dancing flame,
      wars are fought and tigers tamed.
    Young faces cemented like glue
      on knowing sighs
      and wild cries.
    From leather-tanned faces
      with wrinkled traces,
    the story he swore was true!

    How many times in the firelight
      I've hugged my kids so very tight
    and shared our stories, great and small,
      about skinned knees
      from shinnied trees,
    accusations—"It was he!"—
    could be he or she.
    "Yes, someday you'll be tall!"

    A fire beside a rushing stream
      boiled coffee without cream.
    Breezes through leafless branches sing
      of harvest moon
      and love last June,
    a rhapsody of night
      that needs no light,
    so let the music ring!
    Hot cider, just in from the cold,
      makes a person rather bold
    when safe and warm as the embers glow!
      The cold's forgot,
      but maybe not—
    Eyes glint like spears,
    reveal hidden fears:
    "How deep were the mountain snows!"

    Smoke from a valley chimney curls;
      a falling autumn leaf that twirls.
    The deer's view's crisp and pure!
      Wood stacked tall by the stone wall
    will scent the evening air
      when burned with care,
    for romanticitis has no cure!

    It's not the coals and flames alone
      that warm me to the inner bone,
    but she who shares the hearth with me,
      her tender touch
      that means so much.
    She warms my night
      to my delight;
    it's more than flames you see!

    It's autumn, and the leaves are bright.
      The fire draws us to its light.
    Thanksgiving brings a touch of grace
      with turkey dressing
      and much confessing
    of gifts we love
      from him above.
    We're home beside the old fireplace!

    Pine boughs laid 'cross the mantle,
      goodies baked we all can sample.
    Friend, come sit beside my fire;
      your tongue may loose
      or silence choose.
    You're still my friend
      despite the end
    or the time; we may retire!


    The Bent Twig

    God of might and sovereign power,
    We plead your mercy for this hour!
    Please heal our land and set us free;
    Make us what we ought to be!
    Come heal our families, moms, and dads;
    Restore our children to what we had
    Before the world robbed us of joy!
    We lie now like a broken toy.
    Renew your vow with us again
    That you will come and heal our land!

    Our children now in our filth lie;
    We've become immune to their cry!
    Heal my eyes that I may see
    The truth of Him who died for me!
    Heal my mind that I might know
    You and in your world grow!
    Heal my heart that I will love
    Like you, Lord, and from above
    Break my spirit that I will be
    Your servant to my family!
    Break and reshape this twig again!

    Like autumn leaves of yesterday,
    Never again we'll pass this way!
    The tender buds of emerald green
    Are unfolding flowers of early spring!
    The twig grows toward a ray of light
    Or twisted in the dark of night!
    The eve of anger, hate, and guns
    Holds hostage daughters and our sons.
    We can do nothing without your hand!

    Please, God almighty, heal our land—begin with me!
    Break and reshape this twig again!

    Lord, heal the family; women, children, and men;
    Heal our land and let this tree live again!
    "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!"


    A Silent Reign

    The lilacs bloom impatiently,
    waiting for someone to notice.
    The fragrance goes unscented
    through misty morning air.
    They give their beauty to no one,
    for no one is there to receive them;
    The silent night covers them.
    It is Silent who greets their evening,
    as he did their morning.
    The laughter and song of those who enjoy
    are not present to be enthralled
    by wafts of fragrance
    Produced by angels as presents to those
    who live and reign upon the threshold
    of eternal spring.

    Apple blossoms mingle where the lilacs' bloom
    makes an essence not yet bottled
    By those who, for pecuniary reasons, sell the odors
    for purposes of catching the attention
    of others who may not otherwise care.
    They turn their rosy petals
    before the early morning rays
    And reflect in Silent's pond,
    leaving ripples of a wading mallard
    That also paddles alone
    and wonders, "Where are they?"

    Empty stares through the windowpane
    and watches Silent and Quiet
    walk arm in arm the lane again.
    All is well, for no one remains to disturb
    the blossoms of destined apples
    And fragrant purple lilacs
    float placidly to the ground,
    to be enjoyed by only Quiet and Silent.
    No one knows they reigned for a moment,
    except the partners of Quiet and Silent.


    Autumn Rhythm

    Rustling leaves beneath our feet.
    The sky is clear
    as Grandma Moses's paintings.
    Fields turned golden ripe with grain;
    hills and mountains reflect
    as burnished brass
    their colorful hairdos for the season:
    orange and red,
    yellow and gold.
    The air is filled with mystery.
    How can the delicate
    green of spring
    turn to such a kaleidoscopic canopy?

    Wisps of smoke curl heavenward
    from valley chimneys
    as nights grow crisp and cool.
    Frosted pumpkins,
    corn shocks gold,
    pay homage to the harvest moon
    as it creeps o'er mountain crests.
    Football cheers and burning leaves
    excite the hometown gang,
    while chipmunks,
    squirrels,
    rabbits, and friends
    prepare for survival again.

    Honking geese in wedges fly,
    which like a magnet attracts the heart
    and touches them in flight
    to recall again and again,
    in strains of ages past,
    the wild instinct in Man.

    Like the timber wolf,
    who cries for the wilderness again,
    grouse and pheasant,
    deer and bear,
    become fair game for poised rifle and bow.

    The hearth becomes the focal point
    of family conversation,
    with men who muse and silently sit;
    they share the moon with the embers' glow.
    One who feels the autumn mystique
    will never be the same.
    It warms your heart,
    evokes love
    and the longing for the unknown.

    Here, take my hand;
    let me lead you.
    The old dirt road is covered with leaves,
    only to soften the pathway
    that we might tread more easily
    and feel the rhythm of autumn!


    Anticipation

    The anticipation in excitement
    And the wonder of the unknown
    Is like living your entire life in a single dream,
    Only to awaken to the refreshing reality:
    "Only the night has passed!"


    Broken Limbs

    How come these trees are so straight and tall
      while others are dwarfed and bent?
    It's a strange story if you will hear
      the tree's tale of broken limbs!
    For many years these stalwart giants
      were battered by sleet and snow.
    As saplings, they looked at the great trees
      and cried, "Like them, we want to grow!"

    The smiling summer sun, spring rains,
      brought new life and budding leaves.
    Little arms, these fragile twigs bore life,
      happily flapped in autumn's breeze.

    Cool nights came, but in daylight's sun
      they found life's sap flowed again.
    Short days, brisk light hours no longer
      brought food to the new limb!

    Deeper into winter snow came—first light,
      then heavier along with slashing sleet!
    The tenacious little limbs held fast until
      freezing rain began to beat!
    While gloating o'er their icy cloak like
      dazzling diamonds; a beauty prize—
    each young tree looked at each other's coat
      and found comparing wasn't wise!

    "Why me?" The pain so hard to bear as through
      the woods there rose a cry!
    Snapping, popping, cracking as little limbs on
      the forest floor would finally lie!
    "What strong trees we would become—if
      not for the great storm's cost!"
    The glittering, icy coats began to thaw,
      like weeping trees over limbs lost!

    Seasons came and seasons passed; the trees
      matured and grew so strong.
    Yet each year's storms trimmed the limbs
      that on the trees did not belong.
    Finally, no longer sapling but handsome and mature,
      they discovered the hard storm's worth.
    The little limbs, twigs, suckers nature pruned
      allowed more growth in height and girth!

    Young trees passed by gale winds, ice and snow,
      not threatened by freezing rain.
    Could boast over longer limbs, more leaves;
      they'd escaped that bitter pain
    until, untested, faced the storm that wouldn't
      pass and iced her lithe branches long.
    Slowly, bending, yielding to the storm—crack
      broken and bowing to the ground!

    We may have dodged a storm or two, but
      what a risk—not tested—are we taking?
    The storms of life prune weaker limbs and
      strengthens life instead of breaking!
    A man's measure is not in what he owns—
      not ledgers, looks, or land!
    But faithfulness when things are tough,
      the extended helping hand!

    Small things, tests, may often hurt, but
      maturing to hold what's really dear
    is the way we grow and understand.
      Don't give in to pain and fear!
    The dwarfed and broken trees of life
      thought they'd escaped what life's storm trims!
    Too late they learned the blessings of
      the growing pains of broken limbs!

    Not broken spirits, nor broken hearts—
    only broken limbs!


    The Lane
    (To Fox Hollow)


    A kaleidoscopic tunnel shaft
      from stem to stern, forward to aft.
    Gravel bed from start to end
      gently leaf-laid by summer's end!

    Behind we leave a town sublime
      and head toward where so still stands time.
    Cloaked in a hollow time forgot,
      where kids and memories still mean a lot!

    Curved and crooked is this leaf-strewn path,
      originally made by a cow and her calf;
    still overlaced with leafy arms,
      like most local lanes to local farms.

    This road is special to my wife and me,
      treelined sentinels for my family.
    Tread through mud, snow, autumn leaves alone,
      we built a place at its end called Home!

    Seasons come and seasons go;
      each has its story: sun, rain, or snow.
    Someday this old road won't seem so long,
      but I do believe it's helped to make us strong.

    At the end of the road life but begins—
      the world's shut out, and we're shut in.
    Have you reversed your road, my friend?
      Turn around to find life's but begun!

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Warm Fire by Paul Jason Bartholomew Copyright © 2012 by Paul Jason Bartholomew. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Unique Endorsements....................v
About the Author....................xi
Foreword....................xvii
Preface: The Poet....................xix
I. Inspiration....................xxi
A Warm Fire....................1
The Bent Twig....................4
A Silent Reign....................6
Autumn Rhythm....................8
Anticipation....................10
Broken Limbs....................11
The Lane (To Fox Hollow)....................14
To Touch a Mountain....................15
The White Stag....................16
Alone....................17
Mount Marcy....................18
The Living Light....................20
Music....................22
A Simple Thought?....................24
Maturing....................25
A Still, Small Voice....................26
A Weaker Moment....................28
The Strong Man....................30
A New Breeze....................32
Sea and Life....................33
Pick a Bouquet....................34
Balance....................36
Betrothed....................37
Run with the Horses....................39
II. Family....................41
If Drums Could Talk....................43
Warm Friends....................47
Call It Home....................49
The Candle....................50
After....................52
Christmas Eve....................54
Apple-Picking Time....................57
A Vermont Inn....................60
Thanksgiving....................62
The Statue....................65
Where Are You Going, Son?....................66
The CEO....................71
Esau....................72
What Did He Say?....................74
The Actor....................76
The Runner....................78
The Stump....................79
From Our House....................81
A Child's Home....................82
Friends....................84
A Child's Shadow....................85
Hunting Camp Arrival....................86
One Step....................88
Dad's Place....................91
Gift Wrapping....................92
I Saw the Sun....................93
Will You Remember....................95
Separation....................96
III. Love....................99
Love Is a Fire....................101
Love Is a Symphony....................102
The Lilacs of Life....................103
Sunset Love....................104
Invitation to Love....................105
That's When....................107
Love Is the Key....................110
It's Real....................111
Love Me....................112
Forgive Me....................113
Serenade of Love....................115
Reaching....................117
Alone Again....................118
A Cup of Coffee....................120
Eternal Love....................121
IV. Spiritual....................123
My Friend's House....................125
The Four Horsemen....................126
The Melody of Man....................129
The Lion and the Lamb....................130
The Shekinah....................133
TGIF....................135
His Majesty, the Rose....................136
No Contest....................137
Peace Prayer....................138
A Star Is Born....................139
The Gift....................140
A Gift of Peace....................141
Like Father, Like Son....................142
Cleanse Me....................143
Could It Be....................144
The Deceit of the Ages....................145
Disguise....................146
My Bread of Life....................148
Come, Lord Jesus....................150
V. Philosophical....................151
The Optimist....................153
Frustration....................154
A Moment in Time....................155
Heat and Cold....................156
IRONY....................157
Is Anybody Out There....................158
Peace....................159
Expectation....................160
I've Searched....................161
Who's Who....................164
Where Have They Gone....................165
Just Thinking....................166
Among the Giants....................168
Sharing....................171
The Bank....................172
Decisions....................173
Diffused....................174
Empathy....................176
Eternal Hope....................178
The Unwritten Verse....................180
Who Cares....................182
Who Slew God....................183
Touch....................185

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A Warm Fire: Poems of Faith, Family, and Friends to Warm the Heart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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