Snapshots in Time: The Poetry of Kenneth R. Stephens

Snapshots in Time: The Poetry of Kenneth R. Stephens

by Kenneth R. Stephens

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456732301
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 01/27/2012
Pages: 72
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.17(d)

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Snapshots in Time

The Poetry of Kenneth R. Stephens
By Kenneth R. Stephens

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Kenneth R. Stephens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4567-3230-1


Chapter One

    RACHEL, to my mother


    A mother's love is stronger than iron.
    A mother's love is worth more than fine gold.

    The sacrifices of a mother can never be
    repaid unless one sacrifices himself the same way.

    A mother's love is the highest honor
    one can receive.
    No other honor is worthy to compare,
    no other honor can one conceive.

    A mother is a gift from God, you see,
    a precious gift to unlock,
    and love is the key!
      —Kenneth R. Stephens


    IN MEMORY OF
    RACHEL M. STEPHENS PEARCY

    DATE OF BIRTH DATE OF DEATH

    January 3,
    1928 July 3,
    2008
    Stuart, Oklahoma McAlester, Oklahoma

    SERVICES FROM
    Bishop Chapel of Memories
    2:00 p.m. Monday July 7,
    2008

    MUSIC
    "Beulah Land" "Stand On Holy Ground"
    Jennifer Nolan Tammy Durbin
    "City Limits"
    Orval & Martha Dunn

    PALLBEARERS
    Jennifer Stephens Mendez Al Hayes Jimmy Wright Jerry Wayne Lands
    Ernie Halliburton, Jr. Jody Halliburton

    CLERGY OFFICIATING
    Rev. A.L. Mullins
    Rev. J.B. Tanner

    FINAL RESTING PLACE
    Pryor Cemetery
    Stuart, Oklahoma

    CONDUCTED BY
    Bishop Funeral Service



         Roy's Poem
        Dedicated to my father

    A father's love is stronger than steel.
    A father's love is worth more than silver or gold.
    A father's love is something a child can feel.
    A father's love is something a child can hold.
    A son cannot repay his father's love.
    A son cannot repay it enough,
    because a father is a gift from God above.
    Only a son can receive this gift
    and pass it on with love.

    ©Kenneth R. Stephens, 1993


      The Young Cowboy from Oklahoma
       Dedicated to Roy L. Stephens

    There was a young cowboy from Oklahoma,
    a poor and humble man, yet rich and great.

    His feats of courage have gone unsung,
    a hero to none, except for one.

    Great feats were done by the young one;
      forest fires stopped,
      raging floods contained,
    timber into lumber he did transform
    and much courage he did obtain.

    His feats of courage have gone unsung,
    a hero to none, except for one.

    When a baby needed a father, he stepped forward.
    A young cowboy from Oklahoma stepped up to the task,
    to raise a child, and what more could one ask?

      His feats of courage have gone unsung,
      a hero to none, except for one.

    So when the young cowboy was old
    and his task was done,
    God called him home and home he did come!

      His feats of courage have gone unsung,
      a hero to none, except to his son.


    Koppers Company Crew
    Oroville, California

    Timber into lumber and telephone poles
    this crew transformed on a regular day.

    Logging trucks they unloaded as they drove in from the mountains.
    Mill operators turned logs into telephone poles and railroad crossties,
    poles and crossties loaded onto train cars for final destination—
    a regular day's work for this crew.

    During spring rains, the Feather River would flood.
    The crew went to sandbag duty, fighting the flood.
    Sandbag duty and heavy equipment cable rescues were the norm.

    In summertime, the mountains would be ablaze with forest fires,
    the crew called to duty again fighting fire alongside the professionals.
    All of this was the job of this crew.

    I have had this photograph of the crew for years.
    One day an acquaintance viewed the photograph.
    "A bunch of ignorant sodbusters!" he commented.
    "It may look that way,' I replied.
    "But I know what they did and they are all heroes in my book," said I.

Ode to a Mexican Flood Crew Lost

In 1955, during the Feather River spring floods a Mexican sandbag crew in Yuba City, California, was washed away when the levee broke.

The same day my father's flood crew received the news.

"Did you hear the report?" one man said. "Fifty-five Mexicans washed away in Yuba City!"

"That is a shame," my father replied.

"Just a bunch of Mexicans," the man said.

"Could of been us," my father replied. "What about their families, how do you think, they feel?" my father asked.

"I don't know." the man said.

"People are people," my father replied.

        The Poem

    They did their job to the end.
    but who cares about their loss?
    You ask, "Why do you defend?"
    Because their families know the cost.

The Crown Fire

The "Crown Fire" was a 1950s forest firefighter's term.

It described a fast moving treetop to treetop fire that had the speed, force, and sound of a tornado. Fire crews could be overrun by the fire in seconds.

The old crews had a saying: "When you see the crown fire coming, you better run.

When you hear the sound, you better get down. The fire will be all around."

        Forgotten History


    Generations of American workers march into the future.

    The middle class grows or shrinks in each generation.
    In each generation, the labor unions lead the way!

    The labor unions, contract in hand, take a stand.
    In victory or defeat, the unions do not sleep.

    In 1806, the courts said: "The unions are dead!"
    Later the juries disagreed and the unions were freed.

    In 1880, the robber barons said: "The workers are fed!"
    The unions replied: "Allow a contract instead!"

    In 1924, the corporations said: "No labor contracts are needed!"
    During the great depression of 1929, only labor contracts were
    heeded.

    Generations of American workers march into the future.
    The middle class grows and the unions lead the way.
    The middle class shrinks and the unions anchor the day.

    The labor unions, contract in hand, take a stand.
    In victory or defeat, the unions do not sleep.


       The Union Steward

    In the workplace where the boss is God and work practices can be
    shod,
    where who you know is more important than what you know,
    where get it done replaces do it right,
    where pay is arbitrary instead of contractual,
    when the workers call out, the union will be about.
    Contract in hand, the union steward will stand.


       Letter to my Birth Mother

    Dear Mother,

    I do not know why you left me,
    but I am sure you had a good reason.
    The people you left me with were good people.

    I want you to know
    I always did my best in life.
    I did not always succeed
    but I always tried.

    For every success that I did have,
    you had a part.

    I have nothing else to say
    except I love you.

    To: Helen Elizabeth Bob

    From: John Doe Bob,
          also known as
         Kenneth Ray Stephens


        The Lost Indian
         An unfinished work

    A Native American Indian child is adopted away from his tribe.
    Will this child be lost to his tribe forever?

    The adopted one with no beginning is a mystery to be revealed.
    The child's origin is a secret locked up behind paper, ever concealed.

    The child with two birth certificates is a mystery indeed.

    Can the child forget the first birth certificate and his true self,
    and be the person the second birth certificate says that he is?

        The adopted one with no beginning—
        his true self cannot be hidden.
        The adopted one with no beginning—
        his DNA cannot be forbidden.

    American Indian Hunters learn to track their prey.
    So this child has hunted the tracks.

    Yes, evidence was left behind,
    tracks for the hunter to find.

    So the hunter has come to trail's end.
    The hunter has found his tribe.
    But has the tribe found him?

        The adopted one with no beginning—
        his true self cannot be hidden.
        The adopted one with no beginning—
        his DNA cannot be forbidden.


        Flags and Body Bags

    In a free nation, the call to war goes out.
    Free men must ask what the call is about.
    Young men will die; many know not why.
    The reason to kill must be clear inside.

    Yes, wars must be fought
    but not before thought.

    When the killing starts, many will die.
    When the killing stops, many will cry.

        Each soldier who dies is wrapped in a flag.
        Each soldier pays for the flag with a body bag.

    The responsibility of killing each man must decide.
    When answering to God, the reason must be clear inside.


       Forever the Proud Flag

    The red flag of the United States Marine Corps flies proudly.

        The flag symbolizing blood and honor,
        it flies proudly in the breeze.

    Only the Stars and Stripes overshadow the proud flag,
    the proud flag of the United States Marine Corps.

        Both flags shine with honor
        because both flags are stained with blood.

    The honor was won by the blood of the few,
    and the blood of the few paid for the honor of many.

        Each marine must be proud for having served.
        Each marine must know the pride of the few.

    The ones who tried and the ones who died all have a flag,
    the proud flag of the United States Marine Corps.


         Sixteen Years
       Dedicated to my daughter, Jennifer Renee

    I have known you all your life
    and now you are sixteen.

    You were a sweet baby,
    a darling little girl,
    and now a lovely young lady.

    You will never really know
    how proud your father is of you
    until you have a child of your own.

    For now, enjoy being sixteen.
    Do not rush your life away.
    You are sixteen only once.
    You are sixteen only today.


         The Halls of Old McAlester High School

    The halls of the old high school on the hill are silent now;
    except for the low sounds of visitors, all is quiet now.

        Gone are the days when the halls were noisy.
        Gone are the days when the halls were crowded.

    Yes, there is a new high school building in town,
    but it cannot compare to the old school on the hill.

        Many students passed through these halls over the years.
        Many students graduated with laughter and tears.

    Each student will remember his or her time on the hill
    and the halls will be haunted by memories still.


       The Red Rose of Regret

    Take this red rose, my dear.
    Your face I see before me
    and inside, there has been pain.

    Pain is banished by distance and time.
    So distant you are, my dear, so distant.

    So across the distance, my dear, take this red rose.
    Take it and remember, my dear.

    When the fragile flame of our love is drowned
    by a flood of pain and anger,
    the ashes will remain.

    Yes, the ashes of the flame of our love will remain,
    and the ashes will be covered by the petals of a red rose—
    the red rose of regret.


        The Very Last Day

    As she closed the door behind me,
    I knew this was good-bye.
    She got what she wanted,
    but so did I.
    The good old days will never return.
    The attitudes are far too stern.
    Grief is but for a moment
    but freedom is forever.


        Sweet Spanish Eyes

    Eyes and skies are blue,
    but I am never blue,
    when I see your eyes.

    Your eyes are brown;
    gazing into your eyes,
    I never frown.

    Because your eyes are sweet,
    sweet like brown sugar.


          My Little Filipina Girl

    My little Filipina girl,
      turn your head towards me.
      It is your face I want to see.

    My little Filipina girl,
      show me your smile.
      To see it, I would walk a mile.

    My little Filipina girl,
      pull back your hair
      for you are so fair.

    My little Filipina girl
      in the pretty dress,
      what you are thinking?
      I cannot guess.

    My little Filipina girl
      with the beautiful eyes,
      you bind my heart with steel ties.


        A Beautiful Day

    As I walked in, I saw you sitting behind the table.
    Your hair was hanging down softly upon your shoulders,
    and on your face was a beautiful smile.
    "Is that smile for me?" I asked.
    "Yes," you replied.
    "Well," I said,
    "It certainly is a beautiful day!"


        The Valentine

    Once I left a valentine card upon your desk.
    It was signed "Anonymous," so you could not guess.
    To my surprise, you knew it was me.
    It must have been the smile on my face that you could see.


        Latania's Poem

    Latania,
      Thanks for making the call.
      You encouraged me to succeed.
      You said it all.

    Latania,
      Thanks for making the call.
      You recognized my need.
      You said it all.

    Latania,
      Thanks for making the call.
      Your encouraging words were not a few.
      You said it all.

    Latania,
      Thanks for making the call.
      This poem was written by you.
      You said it all.


         Nancy's Poem
        Dedicated to Nancy Hall

    Smart and tough, gentle and kind,
    all of these in Nancy's heart you will find.
    Yes, I know Nancy is the message I send.
    Yes, I know Nancy, for she is my friend.


         Shelby's Poem

    Shelby, you are one of a kind.
    No one else you could ever find
    can compare to Shelby at any time.

    Kind but tough, Shelby is strong.
    Never try to do her wrong.

    Shelby does care.
    She is always fair.

    Shelby is loved by all.
    Shelby is there to take your call.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Snapshots in Time by Kenneth R. Stephens Copyright © 2012 by Kenneth R. Stephens. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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