My Mother used to love to write poetry. I never thought much about it, nor tried it my self until just recently. I was thinking of my life on the small Ohio farm where I grew up. It occurred to me that some of my "escapades" might lend themselves to poetry in the telling.
If I have any talent in that direction, it was passed down to me by my Mother and a by a double first cousin, once removed, named Ira Paulus Ison. He was a teacher, genealogist, historian and poet. One of his poems can be found on one of my other web sites, http://Ison-Creech.net
The poem below is my first attempt. This poem tells of an actual event in my youth. I hope you enjoy it.
A Night in the Woods
By: Harold E. Sparks
When I was young I used to roam
Through the hills and woods behind my home
I and a friend, who lived not far away
Began building a log cabin one fine day
On the top of the hill we cut our logs
Just me and my friend and two old dogs
In midday mostly, we labored long
No sound but the ax and the Robin’s song
Until one night we decided to stay
In the unfinished cabin on a bed of hay
No roof o’er our heads upon that night
No thought of anything to give us fright
My sleep was disturbed, I didn’t know why
It could have been by an animal’s cry
I awoke with a start and looked all around
Alas, my friend was nowhere to be found!
This time I heard the animal’s cry
Since my friend was gone, I now knew why
He had heard the cries and took off in flight
Down the hill he had run on this moonlit night.
In his frenzied flight there was never a thought
To awake me, his friend, he was so overwrought,
He had made a path where none was before
Through underbrush so thick it was hard to ignore.
The next day I saw him, he looked a sight
There were cuts and bruises, and try as I might
He wouldn’t admit he was afraid, and he said
He just couldn’t sleep and went home to his bed.
In High School We Had a little Pep Band, the first of it's kind in our area. This next poem is the story of it's formation.
The Hungry Five
By: Harold E. Sparks
I met him in the seventh grade
a lifetime friendship was made
in the band a bass horn he played
With gusto and poise.
He convinced me to learn to play
an instrument in the band one day
I tried out, but I really could say
it sounded like noise.
Ralph Schisler was always kinda small,
and never did grow to be very tall
that big Sousaphone seemed about all
That he could carry,
No one could say he was not the best
In state competition he beat all the rest
and over the years he has stood the test
without being contrary.
If you do not agree, that's fine
The opinion expressed is simply mine
And I had to have something in that last line
To rhyme with carry!
Eventually, the slide trombone I learned
To play well enough that I then earned
a seat in the band, for which I had yearned
I managed to survive.
Along came Sue Collins, to direct the band
She gave us the idea, and gave us a hand
and gave us a name that we thought was grand
The Hungry Five!
Yes, one and one makes only two
But Gene Eckhart was in the band and he blew
a mean trumpet, so now we grew
to make it three
With Russ Sparks on the Baritone and John Siedel the drum
We practiced and practiced and had lots of fun
And before we knew it we all had become
Five, you'll agree.
When Johnny graduated we were now four
We needed to find a drummer once more
Dick Lewis was the choice and you know the score
We were five again
Lou Shoemaker's truck became our bus
to carry our horns and also us
to basketball games without any fuss
In sunshine or rain
We ran on the floor at quarter or half-time
and played all the music that now was our pastime
I can't remember when was the last time
but we kept the pace
The music we played was peppy and fast
World war two music was really a blast
we played all kinds to make a contrast
from place to place
At the Jackson Apple festival we played
A drunk asked our name and if we were paid
Then twenty five hotdogs on the band stand he laid
which he had bought
We really were hungry, but not quite that much
But Ralph ate his five, he hadn't lost his touch
and then one of mine he had in his clutch
before he was caught.
You ask why "The Hungry Five" was our name
You might think we were hungry for fame
but that wasn't necessarily the game
For Ralph was always hungry!
But even that wasn't from whence it came
Our "Susie" I'll have to say is to blame
Our music led us to local fame
We were'nt really hungry!
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