Pansies in August

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.


Posted in The Hohle Grail.

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