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The Poetry and Songs of

Bob Hurt

Ordeal at Sea

Bob Hurt


Painting by N. C. Wyeth

        Our tiny craft, built of finest oak and teak, 
        Sailed boldly forth to distant ports 
        Through seas infested with serpent and shark, 
        Risking pirates, brigands, mutiny, scurvy. 
        Thousands of miles from home the skies 
        Darkened with menace, erupted with bolts 
        Of lightning, torrents of hail and rain. 
        Force 4 gale battered sheet, mast, and sail. 
        Forty-foot waves towered aloft, 
        Crashing thunderously to our decks, 
        Straining every plank and timber, 
        Working to drown us, plunge us to the deep. 
        Our mighty captain stood stalwart to helm, 
        Driving us bravely against the deadly storm. 
        Now, to a greater danger he quaked in fear. 
        The gigantic and fearsome, poisonous serpent 
        Reared her horrid head above our sea. 
        Prodded by evil intent of malignant eyes, 
        He heeded her threatening, commanding

                    roar: 
        "Robert, it's time to get out of the tub."



BH


Hurricanicity

Bob Hurt


            A hurricane knocked down my door 
            And filled my house with blow. 
            A cryptic voice inside the whirl 
            Laughed and told me so: 
            "Follow my lead, you won't be bored; 
            My myst'ries you will know; 
            I'll shake your tree and rock your world, 
            You puny little toad." 
            "I'm sure," I said, "the way you go 
            Is not the path I'd take 
            To meanings, values, and truths I'd know, 
            For the trek a dervish makes, 
            In circles that endlessly curl, 
            Just drills himself a deep dark hole, 
            And wreaks havoc on the world." 
            Then I showed the wind the door.

BH


Footprints on the Soul

Bob Hurt


            Inspecting pipe, and checking well, 
            He always liked to stop and tell 
            Life's tales to lads of friendly face, 
            Its thrills to girls of frill and lace, 
            And leave them stunned with gladsome

                    heart, 
            To know there's one who would impart 
            The things he'd learned from fist and grind, 
            From heart so burned, from senior mind. 
            He thought and searched for how to start, 
            Then locked in verse what came to heart. 
            For years on end he fussed and fixed 
            His poems till they were rightly mixed. 
            And now are we all blessed with rhyme 
            To which he gave such love, such time. 
            His words paint pictures in the mind, 
            And shake us loose from fears that bind; 
            They nourish hearts and make them whole; 
            They leave his footprints on the soul. 
            For what he's done we thank him so, 

                      Oilman, poet, Brother Joe.

BH


On Starting a New Family

Bob Hurt


Oft we've reminisced 
To times not rich like these 
Rich, that is, 
In a golden heart 
Getting a family 
Off to a start 
Yes'ms and nopes, 
Thank you and please, 
And frogs-come-princes we've kissed. 
But we found those thoughts 
Less rewarding than this: 
That we look to our futures, 
Not what we've missed, 
And show through our living 
The boundless hopes, 
And joys of giving, 
That love, not ignorance, is bliss.

BH


Tribute to Don Miller

Bob Hurt



        Those are mighty kind words 
        to come from a Tiger Heart. 
        I have in the past wondered whether 
        you have any idea what treasures 
        you bestow on others with the simplest 
        of encouragements, jokes, and jest. 
        A heartening comment costs less 
        than a full breath of air, and yet 
        it has nuclear power in lifting folks 
        to hope, humanity, and no-regret. 
        From canopy to wash have you embraced 
        Strength, courage, and ability. 
        May your skies be blue and crystal clear, 
        Your horizons golden and rainbow-graced. 
        God bless you and whoever reared you to be 
        A mighty champion of goodness and cheer. 
        May your motives be greater than your goals, 
        Your goals more than you can have-do-be 
        Your inspiration the maker of worlds 
        Your Tiger heart king of all you can see.

BH


Stinkweed


Bob Hurt

            A lanky kid kinda nice inside 
            Lay low in the sweltering heat 
            Of the torrid Texas sun to hide, 
            Avoiding the certain encounter 
            With the one who called him 
            Stinkweed. 

            He kicked around during the day 
            And dreamt at night of way-off places, 
            Adventure, excitement, cars, high-seas, 
            Poker, danger, a gentle summer breeze - 
            Anything at all to keep from being called 
            Stinkweed. 

            And later, when his life had thoroughly run 
            Half its zaney zig-zag course and more 
            In big cities, forests, hovels broken down, 
            Ranches, ships, and pokey little towns, 
            He leaned back with an ironic smile and                                

                knew: 
            That steaming stogie between his teeth was 
            Stinkweed. 

BH


Dxtr,  Like Me

Bob Hurt

 

              Dxtr, like me,

              Loves the wind in his whiskers,

              Adventure ahead,

              And history at his back.


              Unlike me,

              He cares naught for  our future or history,

              Let alone those of our planet and universe.


              We both take joy

              In the journey,

              The ride up front,

              The pedal to the metal.

  
              The destination, meanwhile,

              For all its importance,

              Wallows in the back seat for its turn.


BH


A young lady in the family wrote and said she felt kinda sad.  I queried her privately as to why, and she said she needed a job and a guy, and suffered from the
pretty girl problem.  See her photo right.  Pretty, huh?  Those eyes would penetrate if they looked at the camera lens, wouldn't they?  I told her she should listen to Screamin' Jay Hawkins singing "I put a spell on you"  and then tell me if she really wants a guy.  Then I said I'd write her some blues lyrics and compose the music too.  Okay, here are the lyrics.  Singing it, you toss the title in between the stanzas.  And then you improvise the interludes with a pinky slide like this:

Gimme a Job and a Guy

Bob Hurt


Oh I need and want a man,
Need one this very day,
Before I creak and wrinkle up,
And become old and gray.

Chorus:
Gimme just the right job
and just the right guy
I'll wade the seven seas
And wing the starry sky.

Hey I could use a cushy job.
I'll work hard all the day.
I'll do whatever you tell me to,
Then come collect my pay.

I could beckon from the door.
Many would come and drool,
But in the flood I'd miss true love,
And feel like such a fool.

So I'll hold out for the very best,
Heed each tried and trusted rule.
I'll plot and plan for my perfect man,
And rightful work, a rewarding jewel.

Copyright (C) 2 March 2015 by Bob Hurt.  All rights reserved.

BH


Dreams

Bob Hurt



You're not alone tonight.


Your loving heart

And supple thighs,

Your givingness

And knowing eyes,

Your tender touch

And mind so wise,

What's more, your spirit high...


In way off worlds

cavort with mine

And thumb their nose

At space and time;

They deeply drink

The heady wine

Of missions come to life.


I joyous sing

For meeting you

To trek the stars

And seek for truth

And share the dreams

Where (as you knew)


You're not alone tonight.

Copyright (C) 1980- 2015 by Bob Hurt.  All rights reserved

BH


Learning What to Eat

Bob Hurt

When we were kids at Palton Beach,
We asked our Lord what we could eat
To bring us strength and make us tall
and make us wise and good and all.
He smiled and said what mattered most
Was showing love to needy folks,
And eating just good stuff that grows, 
And thinking good as down it goes.

BH


I wrote the verse below at Christmas time 2010 for this article for my webiste: http://bobhurt.com/articles/recipe%20-%20Habanero%20Heaven.pdfThe text on page 2086 of The Urantia Book inspired my writing of the poem:

The great hope of Urantia lies in the possibility of a new revelation of Jesus with a new and enlarged presentation of his saving message which would spiritually unite in loving service the numerous families of his present-day professed followers.

Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal.

The Purpose of Life

Bob Hurt


        The salty sage sat solemn, serene.

        We’d thought he’d tell what life could mean,

        Revealing its value for all to know,

        What we’d reap from the seeds we sow.

        Then he whispered in a voice soft but intent

        “I’ll tell you life’s purpose, that’s why I was sent--

        Take care to develop a personality

        Of balance sublime, and of majesty.”

        He gazed at us all and asked with a nod

        “What else can you do to become like God?”

        Then he hummed to himself, adjusted his cap

        And sauntered away with a bounce in his step.

BH


Farewell to an Earthen Path

Bob Hurt


New concrete, covered, lined with sod,

Replaced the earthen path I trod,

Transformed as though by hand of God.

It leaves us vet’rans glad and awed.


“Farewell to an Earthen Path” was inspired by my encounter with a wonderful lady, Suzanne Klinker, director of the Bay Pines VA Medical Cener near my Florida home.   Most of those in her hospital have not met her personally.  I have.  I invited her to my room during my stay in her facility early last year.  She had a new parking garage built to diminish the furtive hunt for close-by parking.  But it had a crazy sidewalk that few people ever used, so folks beat a path to the door most sought.  I wrote to Suzanne about it last April, proposing a covered walk.  And guess what greeted me as I left the parking garage to go into the hospital early this afternoon.  I felt overjoyed to see a covered walkway.  It inspired the meager quatrain.  This is a thing of romance.   Below you will find a copy of my email to Suzanne Klinker, a professional woman who engenders lots of love among those she serves. 

Dear Suzanne:
Thank you for the spiritual light you have brought to CW "Bill" Young VA Medical Center.  I am in your fan club.
FYI, People who use the new parking garage have created their own intuitively obviously convenient walking path between the parking garage and Building 100 and the eye clinic building.  You can see this in the photo I shot this morning looking west from the parking garage elevator area.  Of course when wet with dew, the path gets a little mucky.
I believe putting a sidewalk over that path would constitute a prudent investment.  What do you think?
FYI, patients often walk directly to the front door of building 100 through the trees and hedge bushes from the parking lot across the street.  Apparently they just don't want to walk a less straight path to the destination when they can take a straight path with fewer steps.  Maybe a sidewalk there would make sense too. 
I have shown the two paths people now take, bypassing actual, poorly-planned sidewalks.  I propose putting full walkways (including concrete sidewalks) where the thick yellow lines indicate in the google map photo below.
I realize that regulations probably prohibit these because a large metal object lies near the path from the parking garage, and you'll have to order workmen to paint a crosswalk in the passenger loading area at the front door of the main hospital building.  Oh well.  Unless you put up a fence or impenetrable hedges, you won't keep people from using the yellow paths.
In the future when designers present you with plans that make ambulants take an indirect route to the most popular destinations, just say "NO." ... Until, that is, the center offers full valet parking and curb service.  We know that will never happen.
God bless you, Suzanne.  I sincerely appreciate you and your goodness.


BH


   Journey from Tipperary

     Bob Hurt


We left in dark of night from Tipperary,

Three of the girls I could, but two I couldn’t, carry.

The wee ones I nestled warmly in a potato sack.

Faith, I heaved my bag of treasures o’er my back,

The bigger girls took bundles under arm.

We skittered from our loft at Widow’s farm.

I had tried to save my wife Oh Lord I tried,

But she worsened in that terrible winter and died.

I couldn’t pay the fees for inn or car,

So we stole out before dawn to go afar.

We slid down the rooftop, covered in soot,

And betook our torturous journey on foot.

The wind howled at our departure from the town.

We trekked the hills and woods; rain poured down. 

We warmed us beside fires of sticks and peat,

And sucked cows’ milk fresh from the teat.

The girls smiled with my tales of elf and fairy,

To forget their dead, cold mum in Tipperary.

Now and then we’d stop; I’d dry their tears;

Give hope for better lives; calm their fears.

In a week and more our travel finally ended;

The girls’ aching, broken hearts eventually mended.

I found stevedore work in Cleggan, by the sea

And a cottage on a farm for my girls and me.

Though they grew up happy, fine men did marry,

Sure, we miss her still who stayed in Tipperary.

Copyright © 28 September 2011 by Bob Hurt.  All rights reserved.

BH


A Tribute to Joseph F. Bauer

1/25/2002

 Bob Hurt

                            Inspecter of pipe,

                            Checker of wells,

                            He always liked

                            To stop and tell


                            Life's wonders to laddies

                            Of friendly face,

                            Its secrets to lassies

                            Of frill and lace,


                            And leave them stunned

                            With gladsome heart,

                            To know there's one

                            Who would impart


                            The things he'd learned

                            From fist and grind,

                            From heart so burned,

                            From senior mind.


                            "That book, that book!",

                            He wanted to say,

                            But just one look

                            Could drive 'em away.


                            He thought and searched

                            For a way to start,

                            Then committed to verse

                            What came to heart.


                            For years on end

                            He fussed and fixed

                            His poems till they

                            Were rightly mixed.


                            And mostly did it

                            In shower stalls,

                            Or on the john

                            Against the walls.


                            And now are we

                            All blessed with rhyme

                            To which he gave

                            Such love, such time.


                            His words give pictures

                            To the mind,

                            And shake us loose

                            From fears that bind;


                            They nourish hearts,

                            And make them whole;

                            They leave his footprints

                            On the soul.


                            We thank him so

                            For what he's done,

                            Oilman, poet, Brother Joe-

                            By him we all have won.


BH


She's the Only One for Me

       Bob Hurt

    

I've had big,

I've had little.

I've found that I prefer

someone in the middle.


I've had short,

I've had tall.

Sometimes I've ended up

With no one at all.


I've suffered famine,

I've enjoyed the flood.

I've had my heart broken,

And landed with a thud.


I'd been love's slave

Till she set me free,

And gave me all the loving

I'll ever, ever need.


Breakfast time romancing,

Salacious afternoons,

Keep my soul a-singing

These sentimental tunes.


So now I don't want a world

Of women hustling me.

My heart's on fire for  one -

She's the only one for me.

Lyrics Copyright © 1 August 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.

BH


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