My father’s father passed away several years ago of leukemia.  He was a teacher and, like me, enjoyed dabbling in a variety of pursuits.  One of these was poetry, and one of my cousins recently composed a song cycle for piano and baritone featuring the words of a poem he wrote (my cousin, Erin, is a gifted pianist and is studying piano performance and composition in West Chester).  My grandfather’s love of nature and bird-watching is evident in it:

Summer’s near, I know,
when fields are drifted white with
dandelion ’snow.’

High on the cedar,
challenging breeze and sunburst,
a mockingbird sings.

Southland breeze!  O whence
your power?  Twigs burst forth in
peach blooms by my fence.

From each cloud, a tear;
humid breath of sun, half hid;
summer’s heat is here.

Morning clear and bright!
Behind the mountain, a storm is
gathering his might!

Sunlit, sparkly dew,
reflects a million skies of
blue freshness, all new.

Sparkling dew is born,
on every blade and flower,
this September morn.

One lonely snowflake,
two, then more, from leaden sky.
A storm is on the make.

Winter’s own full glow,
blinds the eye, warms the heart with
brightness, after snow.

Early Spring! The sun,
most welcome persuasion, now
ends the winter’s fun.

A twitter, a call;
and green blade where snow’s just gone;
Spring’s come, after all.

Sunshine, a warm breeze,
and after a flower, or two; what
delights more than these?

Thrills this soul of mine,
when petals fall, pinky-white, at
apple blossom time.

Fragrant breath of spring,
the hyacinth’s lavish scent
puts my heart to wing.

Listen!  How neatly
a song sparrow tells of spring,
singing so sweetly.

(by Caleb Frantz)

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