let me be an open ear,
slow to speak and quick to hear
each rustle, whisper or stifled cry,
both joy and sorrow, celebration and sigh
and let me be an open hand,
for hands can in compassion touch,
a gentle hand to serve and heal,
a touch to confirm care's gentle seal
and if this tongue must needs speak
let words such truth and beauty seek
that they, in purest distillation, combine
balm for souls and salve for minds.
Sunday, 3 January 2016
1. Prayer for My Grandchild.
May you, dear child of the winter solstice,
Born on this clear blue winter’s day,
Have a heart so warm and loving
That it blows all the chills away.
May you, dear child of this shortest day
Grow to be so joyously bright
That in your dear sweet presence
All bask in warm, clear morning light.
May you, little babe of Tim and Prue
Bring them such deep sense of pleasure
That through all life’s frost and cold
They are filled and warmed beyond all measure.
And may you, little babe, little girl,
Precious gift from God above,
Forever dwell in the pure warmth of faith,
Snug in the arms of God’s great love
Because she was so bright and shining,
Theirs to love and to adore,
For her they just had to choose
The beautiful name of Eleanor.
3. Eleanor and the Shiny Piano.
There is a girl in the piano’s shine
And she looks exactly just like me.
Whenever I crawl to that same place
It’s the same little girl I see.
She has my doll and has my toys
She sits so quietly and makes no noise.
Whenever I want her she’s always there,
She wears my clothes and has my hair,
She has my smile and shares my stare,
And finally she even has my glare,
Especially when at last I see
That she does nothing but copy me.
4. Eleanor and the Little White Dog.
A little white dog sits on the bookcase
On top of the big red dictionary.
When my Pa’s hand goes behind his back
He nods his head and barks at me.
He has a little black nose and a pointy face
And his coat is snowy white,
A little red vest that says “Guide Dog Pups”
And eyes that are black and bright.
I think he’s funny and very cute;
He makes me smile and laugh,
But though he barks and nods his head
His voice does seem a lot like Pa’s.
5. Eleanor Looks at Books
Hush! Tread quietly and don’t disturb
For here is a moment to always treasure
For Eleanor Miette, though she’s less than one,
Is looking at books and chatting with pleasure.
Hush! Tread quietly and softly retreat,
Tiptoe gently away from this place,
For who for a moment would ever disturb
That look of pure joy all over her face.
Hush! Tread quietly and don’t disturb,
Yet linger a moment for one last little look,
For this little girl though she’s less than one
Is lost in the world of a wonderful book.
6. Eleanor and Lizzie.
Some people indeed have unusual pets-
A pig, a python, a fish or a frog-
But none of them can ever compare
To the commonplace, marvellous dog.
You think she's dozing by the hearth
But she’s always got one eye on you.
She knows exactly how you’re feeling;
She knows exactly what to do.
When Eleanor is upset then Lizzie
Places her muzzle on Eleanor's knee,
Looks at her with gentle soft eyes
And gives her wonderful sympathy.
One day Eleanor will come home from school
And Lizzie's greeting will make a dull day bright;
Her ears will go sleek, she'll bark with joy
And shake and wag in pure delight.
Can you take a python for a walk?
Is a frog a blind man’s guide?
Can a fish be taught to sit and stay?
Will a pig lie faithfully by your side?
For slithering snake the answer is no
And also so for fish, frog or hog,
But Eleanor knows the very best pet
Is the loving, loyal and wonderful dog.
7. Eleanor at Eleven Months.
Bend, little baby, and kiss
The picture of Teddy in your book;
Love and hug your soft toys;
Reach for them with adoring look.
A miracle is each day unfolding.
Eleanor's heart is rapidly changing.
Now with toys to fondle and play
She grows in loving and caring.
She laughs and sings as she turns the pages
And then her chatter turns sparklingly bright;
Look! The pages with pictures of children
Are filling her heart with special delight.
8. Eleanor Learns to Walk.
From the very moment its life has begun
The little antelope can walk and run.
The same thing is true, of course,
Of the very lovely baby horse.
The infant giraffe first kneels on its knees
Then stands and runs with incredible ease.
A little monkey from a high, high branch
Leaps out boldly without risk or chance.
A baby elephant weighs one tenth of a tonne
But soon walks beside its three tonne Mum.
The tiny elver, it would seem
Can very easily swim upstream.
These creatures can swim, stand or run
Well before they’ve reached the age of one.
For months Eleanor just waves legs and arms,
Giggles, gurgles and certainly charms.
Finally, at four months old she begins to roll.
Alas! without very much control.
Animals at eight months old can frolic without falling,
the very age when Eleanor is still crawling.
To stop her flopping to the ground
She holds onto cupboards as she walks around.
Finally, at twelve months, she steps and wobbles
She has joined the much loved group called toddlers.
Her Mum and Dad are, of course, excited
And Eleanor herself is truly delighted.
And Eleanor Miette knows she would certainly fall
If she had tried to walk before she could crawl.
9. Eleanor is Puzzled.
I’ve been practicing for quite some time
and now I feel quite delighted
Because today I took five unaided steps
Which made my Mummy very excited
Since then I’ve noticed that Mummy
Is putting everything up very high,
And although I’ve thought about this a lot
I just can’t seem to understand why.
10. Eleanor and the Plum Tree.
Look little Eleanor,
The leaves have turned yellow,
The sky is pure blue,
The day mild and mellow.
Look little Eleanor,
The trees have turned bare,
There’s frost in the morning
And cold everywhere.
Look little Eleanor,
There’s buds on the trees,
Flowers are blossoming
And buzzing with bees.
Look little Eleanor,
In this blossoming blooming
The cycle of life
Is forever renewing.
11. Eleanor and Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose is a friendly old bird
And when her Pa takes Eleanor for a walk
As they pass close by to the neighbour’s fence
Old Mother Goose comes over for a talk.
She’s white and waddles and is the only goose
In a scratchy, snatchy flock of hens.
She’s old and she’s lame and in a race for food
The speedy hens beat her time and again..
Eleanor gives her some bread in a special place
Where the greedy hens can’t grab it and run,
Where it’s safe and secure and she’s left in peace,
So that she can enjoy every crumb.
For this little act of kindness and care
She's Eleanor's very best friend
And when Eleanor's gone for a little while
She’s delighted to see her again.
So dear little ones with minds young and fresh,
The lesson is nothing so new,
For everyone knows that doing kind things
Brings that same kindness straight back to you.
12. Looking at Books and Practising Words.
Eleanor Miette, with sparkling eyes,
Is looking at books and practising words
And because she is just twelve months old
Some people may scoff and say “Absurd!”
Her mother says she’s got more than thirty
And even Grandpa can understand a few.
He smiles and he knows that on every day
Eleanor Miette is finding something new.
Whenever she comes into the lounge
Eleanor Miette gives a sweet little growl.
It is the leopard’s picture on the wall
That makes her whisper her gentle “Miaow”.
But when it’s dark and time for bed
Though she can chatter, wave and say “Bye bye”,
Eleanor Miette, like so many babes
Can crumple her face and start to cry.
13. Goodnight, Eleanor.
Eleanor can now walk very well.
Soon she will begin to run.
She’ll play outdoors and go to parks.
A great big adventure has now begun.
But now it’s dark and she’s so tired.
She’s had her bath and she’s been fed.
She’s had a story and closed her eyes
And Eleanor Miette sleeps sweetly in bed.
14. Haiku on Mother and Child at Piano.
Light spills through the room
Where Prue sits at piano,
Eleanor on lap.
As the fingers touch
In light skilful patterns
Chords fluidly flow.
The sweet sound is as
Liquid, clear and delicate
As running water.
The baby gurgles
Her new, innocent delight
And waves her small arms.
What greater beauty
Than mother, baby, music
In this harmony.