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Pansies in August

by Rev Dr Elmer Hohle

Sunday 20 November 2011 at 10:13 pm.

On August 9, 1967 at 816 East 18th St. in Odessa, Texas, I was sitting at the kitchen table of the parsonage with a heavy-laden heart, for some antagonistic members were attempting to subvert our pastoral ministry.  As I looked out the window, I saw some pansies blooming under three sapling live oaks - all of which I had planted that spring in that arid soil.  It was my first ever attempt at composing "poetry" of sorts:

Lo, a pansy blooms in August

                Amidst the broiling sun.

I look from my kitchen window

                And count the fragile blossoms

                                One by one.


"We've been well watered

                The whole summer through!" ...

I hear them chant.

                "The tender branches

Of three young oaks

                Have given us shameless shade

Against August's noon-day sun,"

                Exalt the pansies.


"But why, you purple-faced gnomes,

                Have you not withered

As did your brothers?

                For it is August

And the broiling sun

                Should have driven you

The way of all flesh ...

                Long ago!"


The Spring is gone,

                The summer's hot.

And lo, a pansy blooms in August!

The fragile faces

                Smile up at me and cry:

"Thanks for the water!"

                And I reply:

"Only God can make you grow

                And only He can sustain you."


Lo, a pansy blooms in August ...

How much more shall God not grant

                Me His forgiveness

Won by His Son

                Who withered in the broiling

Sun long ago

                So that I might live,

Miraculously, freely!


Lo, a pansy blooms in August.

                So, God, sustain me too,

And guide me!

Copyright by Rev Dr Elmer M. Hohle.

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