Spring 2008, Volume 4

Poetry by Conlye Waggoner


Pilgrimage

Psalms 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff
they comfort me.

I'm eighty-six, my feet are insecure.
I'm busy with my doctor calls. At night
I say my Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep's.
"Ask God's forgiveness 'fore you die,"
my Grandma says, "you'll run right in
to outstretched arms of Jesus Christ."

When I awake I'm thankful for another day.
On crippled knees I walk my dog around
the block. We sit atop a cinder-block fence,
say hi to neighbors passing by and breathe
cool morning air. Waves break against the shore,
we see the clear blue sky, an airplane overhead.

I think tomorrow, if I may; not death.
The time will come but only God knows when.


BIO:  I have lived in Long Beach, California for forty-five years, studying under Frank Gaspar and Bill Johnson. I won the prized Drury award for poetry in 2005. Eleven poems were published in Spring Harvest, California Polytechnic University, years 1989 through 1994 and I studied painting at Long Beach City College for twenty years. I was born in Zenoria, Louisiana in 1921, graduated from Trout Goodpine High School in 1941, attended Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University, spent three years in US Army in 1942 - 1945. I lived on Funny Louis Creek in Searcy, six miles from Trout, Louisiana. Most of my writings have traced my memorable years from boy to man on Funny Louis Creek. Those were memorable times, out of sync with living of today, a simpler, more thoughtful time. I worked as a procurement agent for the Department of Defense, Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Hollywood, California and retired in 1986.