All the Heaven and Hell by Christina Knowles

Lightly falling snowflakesFlowers in Hair

The loving eyes of my old dog

The smile of a baby

Red and gold leaves scattered on the ground

Glistening wet petals in the morning sun

This is all the heaven I will ever know

Holding the hand of my mother as she leaves me

Burning tears of loss, the indescribable pain in my chest

Holding my best friend as she takes her last breath

Angry words from a trusted mouth

Grave news from a doctor’s chart

This is all the hell I will ever know

The soft glow of a crackling fire

Holding hands with the best man I’ve ever known

The swell of love his gaze makes me feel

The time spent with my closest friends

Laughing until my stomach hurts

This is all the heaven I will ever know

The anxiety of deadlines

The crushing weight of responsibilities

Debts to pay and artificial worries

The helplessness of age

The loneliness of loss

This is all the hell I will ever know

Pain and depression

Joy and the sweetness of love

Anger and frustration

Comfort and peace

Gratitude for all of this life

This is all the heaven and hell I will ever know—Christina Knowles (2015)

Photo snagged from Pinterest

“Bareback in the Meadow” by Christina Knowles

My beautiful mother died last night, so here is a poem I wrote about her precious life. She always told me about a horse that she loved when she was a girl. She didn’t have a saddle, so she would ride bareback.

Scan 51“Bareback in the Meadow”

Softly in a meadow, brushing back his mane

Bareback rider, farm girl among the golden grain

Growing in her faith, overcome with dreams

A vision of a life, within her eye it gleams

She swears her vows one cold December day

Knowing there’ll be struggles that will come their way

With only hope and true love to keep her warm

With strength and poise, she faces every storm621463_4574897504609_1222784935_o

Raising up a family, five to call her own

Colorful blocks of fabric, lovingly she’s sewn

A close-knit mosaic, a family replete

Heirloom of a mother, a priceless quilt complete

Ever she is working, sacrificing to provide

Surrounded by her progeny, life is simplified

Always she is faithful and takes the time to pray

For cares to be forgotten and blessings for the day

920495_10200633337269994_1850806278_oWhen days are long, but time grows short

Together they support; they quietly exhort

A heritage of devotion she continues to convey

Her lasting legacy, a magnificent array

She says farewell to her love until they meet again

Until that day that she will go and meet her love and when

She’ll live forever with her Lord and pain will go its way

No worries to escape and all burdens fly away

She struggles through the seasons without him at her side

And when it’s time to join him, all before is justified

She leaves her clan with memories of her tender heart

Tears she shed in worry, prayers said when they’re apart

And many more of joyful days, her love they testify

Of birthday get-togethers and stories of days gone by,

Christmas mornings filled with love, baking just for fun

And homemade ice cream on the porch in the summer sun

So, she says farewell to her loves until they meet again

Waiting for the reunion, when she will be with them

She spends her days with her groom and her Lord by her side

And softly in the meadow, her dreams are realized

Among the golden grain, they ride side by side

Bareback in the meadow and across the countryside.—Christina Knowles (2014)

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