" I love poetry ~ Come join me as we read."
Betty Halstead Moss


WELCOME
A SOUL GROWING OLDER

A soul growing older with the passing
Of days, months, and many years
Dwells in the midst of memories
With pleasure or often with tears

Memories of parents and loved ones
In eternity they now are at rest
The soul growing older remembers
And forgets everything but the best

The gentle hands of one’s Mother
Whose touch is ever so light
The voice of Dad saying “I love you”
As he tucks in the cover at night

The bonding of brothers and sisters
Stronger with the passing of time
The soul growing older remembers
How the family ties intertwine

All those days of just living
Special events mark the years
Sharing joy and sorrow together
The memories bring smiles and tears

The soul growing older remembers
The spouse who passed on before
The children loved without condition
The memories in the heart to store

The soul growing older remembers
With the December of life to behold
Memories are life’s wondrous treasures
For the soul growing older to unfold











​THE TULIP  #0115
 
Familiar and loved are tulips
By the shape of the colorful bloom
Radiating coziness and comfort
They bring joy to any room

The tulip isn’t elegant or romantic
Not too large, too small, or silky bright 
Like a favorite pair of blue jeans
The tulip is always just right

Originally from Persia and Turkey
Where the tulip played a major role
In the art and culture of ancient time
To signify honor was the goal

“Perfect love” is a general meaning
Purple symbolizes royalty of all time
 Red signifies romantic true love
Yellow brings cheer and sunshine

White sends a message of worthiness
Or to express forgiveness sincere
Variegated in colorful patterns
They express passion laced with a tear

With the sentiments tied to the tulip
Their esteem continues to grow
Is it any wonder we love tulips?
Tied in a bow they make a great show

www.amazon.com/books/bettyhalsteadmos

#0105    HE LIGHTS UP MY LIFE

God rules from Heaven, great light He shares
His Word sounds forth warnings to be aware
Of rocky shoals and shallows along the shore
That will destroy your soul forevermore

As a lighthouse leads the sailor at sea
God’s Word guides His creation like me
My hope and faith assures me I’m right
Because His Word lights up my life

He steers me through oceans of doubt
Reveals my fears from the inside out
Guides my spirit through rocky places
And leads my soul from perilous spaces

He teaches me how to love and care
He fills me with wisdom often so rare
To look for that soul lost in the night
He lifts my spirit, He lights up my life

He gives me strength to row my own boat
Then reaches His hand to keep me afloat
He allows me freedom to make a choice
And trusts me to speak in my own voice

He touches with words, content and warm
As a lighthouse comforts the sailor in a storm
He listens to my pleas as I beckon in prayer
He lights up my life, I know He is there

Open His Word and search each day
For that lighthouse He set in your way
To guide as the sailor who watches in the night
He lights up your life if you keep Him in sight





LISTEN TO ME CHILDREN   #0122

Listen to me children
Let me tell you what ‘tis true
Know you bin ‘round awhile
At least a year or two

It don’t make no never mind
What kinda folks you had
Cuz you done your very best
Learnt to tie your shoe and add

When you got to high school
And things git awful rough
You remembered what Ma said
‘Bout bein’ strong and tough

Don’t fool round with neckin’
Porch sittin’ or the such
That can git you in big trouble
Remember Ma said, “don’t touch”

After school is over
And you learnt the best you cud
You went out and got your own life
Start nestin’ in your woods

You found a mate and married
And birthed a passel of kids
Keepin’ things in order
Jest like Ma and Pa did

There ain’t much after
Jest rockin’ your porch chair
Spoilin’ all the grandkids
That keep acomin’ in pairs

Now you listen to me children
Let me tell you what ‘tis true
If you spent your life in Christian livin’
Stayin’ close to God in all you do

Your reward will be decided
On if your works were great or few
And surely you stacked up treasures
Cuz you bin ‘round a year or two

CHOICES, CHANCES, AND CHANGE

Humans differ from other animals
A fact that is awesome and true
Most evident is man’s Godlike nature
He reasons and makes choices too

A soul and a sense of right and wrong
A man makes the choice to takes a chance
He decides about where his life will be
His career, his life style, his romance

His character and molding of his soul
Is his choice and plans he must arrange
If he decides to give God the glory
He chooses, takes the chance and makes a change




STILLNESS 

Six o’clock on a dog-day morning 
The stillness is deafening to my ears 
Only one sound – that of a rooster crowing 
A familiar signal that the dawn is near 

A slight breath of air about my face 
But the trees stand still and strong 
A bird in the distance joins in the race 
To challenge the rooster’s song 

A trace of sunlight feels warm and good 
As it slips across the smooth lake 
It chases shadows deeper into the woods 
The rooster crows loudly to awake 

A snake slithers through the grass with ease 
He stops, motionless, then moves away 
A dog barks in the distance, an echo to tease 
That invades the stillness of this dog-day

Nature awakens; the deer and her fawn 
Step into the new day and begin to graze 
Squirrels scamper about in the still dawn 
And the rooster is silent in the haze 

The tall trees reflect the growing light 
Warmth of the sun scatters the fog 
That blankets this August summer night 
Stillness is deafening on this day of the dog

WORRY   #0118

Worry o’r what comes today
Or what may come tomorrow
Worry o’r the yesterdays
And fret o’r coming sorrow

Worry o’r fortunes lost
And what you can recover
Worry o’r how much the cost
Or whatever you discover

Worry o’r what people say
Or what may be the weather
Worry o’r the time of day
Or why those clouds may gather

Worry o’r what be your fate
Until your nerves are shattered
Worry ‘till it is too late
To see how little it mattered





Don’t worry, after five days of this
A weekend at home and two days of bliss
Alas, what a joke that is, my friend
Quite another scene for my weekend

Laundry, cleaning, and family meals
I’m a slave to a perfect ideal
Mending, marketing, and a dozen chores
Ironing shirts and there’s always more

We work, a good home to keep
Hoping someday both ends will meet
Mother by nature finds time for kids
After a time, I close weary eyelids

Sleep comes, as I think, for this concern
Every two weeks, a few dollars I earn
For sitters and clothes to keep me in shape
 For the job I return to Monday at eight

CAREER MOTHER    #0104

Weary day, please come to an end!
My whole life I’m going to spend
Day after day from fall unto fall
Bent over this desk behind this wall

Like a prisoner without a reprieve
Eight hours I work and can’t leave
Buried in paper two feet high
I’ll never finish, no use to try

Telephones ringing, messages galore
When completed, there’s always more
Letters to transcribe, files piled high
Budget to figure, supplies to buy

Panic, confusion, will it never be better
Then the boss says, “Come, take a letter.”
Urge to scream, a hundred times a day
Staying ahead, that’s what they say















ALWAYS THERE 

Where is that peace and comfort 
Promised to help me understand 
The pain in my heart overwhelming 
In sorrow I reach out my hand 

The circle of grief spreads outward 
Chilled winds of despair are blowing 
Tears dim my eyes without ceasing 
My heart is filled to overflowing 

Give me the courage to look upward 
Guide me from the edge of defeat 
Steady my feet to move onward 
With trust, God’s comfort to seek 

Calm me and help me remember 
To lift up my eyes and to share 
My fears and my grief with the Father 
For He promised He is always there

“Pray without ceasing” 
I Thessalonians 5:17

IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE

I love the world of make believe
It’s a magical place to be
Everything is grand and beautiful
Everyone is happy and free

No illness or death surrounds me
I can bring back those I’ve lost
I can once again frolic and play 
  No thought for future or cost

I can relive my young days again
Chic and pretty in a size eight dress
I can reach out and touch them 
My loved ones gone to final rest

I can shop in an exclusive store
Where everything I want is free
I can surround myself with pleasure
In possessions dreamed up by me

I can be a princess or a doctor
Fly at the controls of a big plane
Have a dozen children or be a queen
Take a trip on a ship or a train














I can climb the highest mountain
Lie on the beach or frolic in the sea
There are no limits or boundaries
In that make believe world for me

An escape from reality always there
Just waiting is that magic place
Soft silvery nights in the moonlight
No storms or heat waves in my space

Time doesn’t count in make believe
I can go there for a moment or a day
People are perfect in a magic world
Everything always goes my way

Though I love my world of make believe
I don’t wish for eternal residence there
My roller coaster ride in the real world
 An awesome adventure to share

For ‘tis true I love my real world
When troubled and there is no relieve
I can take a break from reality
Find solace where it’s only make believe









FREEDOM

I see freedom in the eyes of a child at play
As he blissfully passes the day away
I hear freedom in a songbird’s song
Joyfully, invading the silence of dawn

I sense freedom in the dancer’s glide
As he swings and sways with rhythmic stride
I feel freedom in the touch of a gentle hand
To sooth, comfort, and understand

I taste freedom as the spice of life
It flavors the spirit and fortifies the might
I hope for freedom to dare to dream
No matter how tough the task may seem

I champion freedom and liberty’s call
For it is the treasured birthright of all
Our God-given destiny is for all to be free
For you to be you and me to be me

SUM OF LIFE 

Came into this world with a passion 
To leave a footprint is my quest 
Gave life to children who follow 
For them I strive for the best 

As others who traveled before me 
I found the journey rugged and wild 
I struggle to gain the wisdom 
To make the road safe for my child 

The truth of the matter is candid 
My footprints are on the road 
The sum of my life is measured 
By how well I carry my load 

My children who follow after 
Will judge me in differing ways 
Only God’s judgement will matter 
And I have served Him all my days 

“Choose whom you will serve” 
JOSHUA 24:15

THE ROLLER COASTER

One day in my youth and prime
I heard an actor, a grandmother she played
Her words rang true across the screen
And my life they richly swayed

A host of writers use this adage
To describe an austere scene
But these words speak to me
Of my journey and life’s exciting theme

The actor said she loved living
A roller coaster, exciting ride
With ups and downs, twists and turns
Emotions stretched far and wide

Adventure, action with each dawn
Grab the bar and hang on tight
Surprise, sadness, all come my way
A dark tunnel on a lonely night

















A thrill of rising to the peaks
Sunshine, beauty, up to the top
A painful event, the heartbreak
Down to the pit, will it never stop?

Be patient, the road will shift
And a renewing event appears
God is near, His hand will stretch
In His control, He changes gears

Be grateful for the roller coaster ride
The actor said with smiling face
The alternative is a Merry-Go-Round
Circling at a boring, boring pace

I wouldn’t trade my roller coaster ride
For any other journey in life
It serves me well and keeps me poised
For the next bump in my day or night

DUST IN THE PARLOR

Sally says a woman knows 
She must be very chic 
No curlers in her hair 
And some rouge on her cheek 

She should speak so softly 
She is barely heard 
She holds her head high 
Pronouncing every word 

She rises early with the sun 
And dresses in high heels 
She puts her best foot forward 
And prepares perfect meals 

No dishes in her kitchen sink 
Or wrinkled clothes on the board 
She flies through her day 
And brags she’s never bored 

Now I admire Sally in her prime 
But I have a different thought 
Sally will burn out in time 
And this lesson she has taught

Take a moment from your day 
Be still, relax, and meditate 
Think of all the beauty here 
And of what you may create 

Let your vacuum cleaner rest 
Grab a book and curl up in a seat 
For a little dust in your parlor 
Just gives it a bit of mystique

THE ROCKS  #0111

He hung the earth upon nothing
And molded the mountains and peaks
He formed the plains and valleys
And the oceans with waters deep

He spread the canopy of stars
Across the universe by night
He filled the day with sunshine
The earth with life-giving light

He carved the caverns and caves
In the folds of the innermost earth
And wove awesome beauty
Into gems and rocks, He gave birth

With splendor beyond understanding
The earth’s inner beauty is revealed
Behold polished rocks and gems
Our planet’s magnificent yield

Man with his God-given talent
Harvests the breathtaking gems
A rock hewn from a cavern
To a stone of rare beauty it ends



WISHING A BLESSED JOURNEY

We launch you into your future
A place you have longed to go
It’s filled with mystery and adventure
And so much you will need to know

One thing you must remember
Your plans, your dreams may be best
But fate has a way of interfering
In our carefully designed quest

When challenged beyond your limits
Take heart and shout it out loud
“I’ll wait for the silver lining
That lives within every dark cloud!”

Patience is a guiding quality
That we all want today
But one day at a time taken slowly
Brings joy and pleasure along the way

I wish for you, my precious granddaughter
A life filled with magic and blessed dreams
I’ll be in the shadows praying
That your life’s journey leads to great things

So many memories of you I treasure
And I will miss you when you are away
Be happy and know that I love you
In my heart you will forever stay





THE GRAND ARTIST   #0112

Observe the color of a flower
Painted by God’s magic touch
He brings beauty to our world 
He decorates our lives with His brush

He brings forth the mighty oak tree
And opens the fountains of the deep
He stretches His hand across the heavens
And the universe awakes from sleep

How awesome is the grand artist
With His wondrous and infinite power
Can bring forth the great volcano
  With the same hand the delicate flower


HEAVENLY ARTWORK

When God paints a picture
A single stroke it takes
His glory fills the canvas
The universe awakes

He makes the darkness
Burst into hallowed light
Moonlight disappears
The rapture of the night

His painting loudly speaks
In hushed, silent words
So awesome His artwork
His silence can be heard

GOD’S WORLD  #0109

God fashioned the world from nothing
In a flash it appeared as He said
He carpeted our path with green beauty
And a canopy of blue overhead

He sculpted the earth with tall mountains
Covered some with beautiful white snow
He dotted the land with sand dunes
Planted trees and flowers that grow

He filled the deep roaring oceans
Trimmed them with wild rocky shores
He buried the erupting volcanoes
Set the tempo of nature and more

He created the animal kingdom
To balance His awesome plan
Breathed life into His greatest artwork
The creation of woman and man

He left perfected instructions
With gardens of food and the good book
He set the universe in motion
And gave man the choice to overlook

Amazing the world shaped by God’s hand
More beautiful as it grows old
It hangs in the universe to His Glory
His majestic earth awesome to behold 

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THE NATCHEZ

The air is warm and the month is June
In the distance the sound of a Calliope tune
The river is clear and sparkles in the light
The jolly waves of music rise in the night

She sits at the pier and pumps out her song
Calling all the folks to come on along
Her paddle will be turning in a short time
Her crew is aboard and her engine is primed

She made her trip down the river today
Now she is ready, her Calliope will say
To begin her cruise on the river tonight
Her moonlight cruise a river ride delight

Along come the folks who love paddleboat rides
They fill up her decks and lean over her sides
And the Calliope music softens into a love tune
As the lovers cuddle gazing at the moon

Her steam is up and the whistle shouts
Last call aboard, folks, we’re moving out
She shivers and shakes as the engines engage
The big paddle wheel thrashes in a rage

She slips away from the New Orleans dock
Her glistening white hull is solid as a rock
Her scroll trim and decks reflect bright red
Her name etched in gold, The Natchez, it said

She steams into the night, her whistle blast
Other boats and ships respond as they pass
The Calliope is silent, soft music barely heard
Her deck lights are low and dinner is served

She disappears from view around the bend
Her dark silhouette in the moonlight is dim
Her precious cargo of river loving friends
Enjoy dinner, jazz music, fun to the end

Most any morning at along about ten
The Natchez and her Calliope will steam up again
To call the folks who love the river in the sun
For another day cruise, she’s ready to run




OLD MAN RIVER

What do you know as you roll along
How many happy-go-lucky songs
Could you repeat in your silent state
From the lips of men as you bore their weight

From Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico
Twenty-three hundred miles southward you go
Like a snake you stretch through the land
Twisting and turning, shaping the sand

How many eons have you crept on
How many sunsets; how many dawns
How many times have you overflowed
How many folks are with you below

Have you counted the boats within your sides
How many barges slipped to the Gulf’s tides
As you silently carry them with little wake
Your muddy deep channels keep them safe

How many pounds of freight have you felt
As you move barges in the winter snow melt
How many boats and bridges have you claimed
      As men struggle and fight your waters to tame

How much land have you flooded in mass
Old Man River there are few in your class
They build levees and dams doing their best
You show them your power with record crest

At the same time your soft hearted river soul
Settles in the season and in moonlight of gold
You bathe the night in romantic style
And cuddle the lovers on your banks awhile

If you could tell the story of how you were born
How did God shape you and give you great form
If you could relate all you see on your bank
Tell where man in your view might rank

Yet Old Man River you just roll right along
Remembering all the happy time songs
From the lips of men who love the ride
You never fail to give from the lake to the tide

IMAGINE

A world where we live in harmony
No matter what the culture may be
As the butterfly and wasp work
Imagine, if that were you and me

Would there be room for sharing
Or would we dispute the space
Could we differ and be tolerant
Or would we think gender and race

Imagine a world where we learn
To observe the plight of a man
And overlook how we differ
But think how united we stand


  ALL THINGS CHANGE

Beauty in our world is a blessing
Especially with things we hold dear
A flower, a child, a place of resting
Pray to keep these things near

Change is a God-given blessing
A child cannot stay the same
One moves ahead without stressing
 Change will forever remain

A flower withers and fades knowing
It drops from the stem into dust
The plant continues growing
A new blossom appears as it must

The caterpillar crawls on his belly
He knows a better day is ahead
He soon will become a butterfly
With wings of silver and red

Change is the nature of living
In flowers, children, and all things
  Change is a part of life’s giving
  Accept and rejoice in what it brings

MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY

Once he was strong
With a stubborn will
A tower of manhood
My Daddy Bill

Gentle and young
A wit of fun and pleasure
Savoring life
Each moment to treasure

As the years passed
And youth would wane
His eyes grew dim
And his body knew pain

He delighted the young ones
In lighthearted play
With his teasing little tune
“Make the World Go Away”

Unsteady hands
Unsure steps to make
A restless night
A blue morning to awake

But always a cheerful joke
With the young ones to tease
He sang his tune
“Make the World Go Away, Please.”

Now the strength is gone
Gentle love remains
Blue mornings, bad nights
There’ll be no more pain

Now he sings a new tune
With the angels to play
For one winter evening
God, “Made the World Go Away.”

YOU WANNABEE A WRITER

So you wannabee a writer
Listen to my advice
Stay in school and study
Let me say it twice

Literature you must appreciate
Even Shakespeare is a must
Hear every word that’s said
But choose the ones you trust.

Use simple language when you write
Be sure that you can spell
Develop good grammar skills
Your critics know them well

Read other author’s work.
Research and read some more
Read every genre on the shelf
Science, history, and folklore

When you think you’ve read enough
You have just begun
Listen to your dreams
Let them lead you into fun.

Write something every day
Finish what you start
Observe and hear what people say
Don’t be a quitter or lose heart

Keep a notepad by your side
The bed stand where you sleep
Jot down every thought you have
Because to a story it may leap

Learn patience with yourself
And take criticism in stride
Hope for winning every time
But accept rejection and don’t hide

Strive for perfection
But give yourself some room
To make your share of errors
Just edit, edit, and soon

You’ll have a manuscript in hand
It’s an awesome sight
Keep your day job and smile
Because it may come back, REWRITE.