“Trip to Grandmother’s II – Fall, 1942” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Canandaigua Lake, between Canandaigua and Naples,  Ontario County, New York

TRIP TO GRANDMOTHER’S  II

Fall 1942

 All day long those wipers swing,

All day long the rain drops cling,

And then slip down and disappear,

Here wind can toss them to the rear.

All day long in the road side gutter,

The rain strikes sown with tossing sputter.

All day long the rain gray sky,

Seems pressing down to the hill tops nigh.

All day long the trucks come zooming,

Out of the rain made mist glooming:

All day long the cars come gliding,

And to our rear so quickly sliding.

My life is like this rainy trip,

Where every thing’s with wet adrip.

The days frown by with sorrow and pain:

My heart fights back ‘gainst storm and rain.

But I keep the road to the home of God,

I hold my feet to the part Christ trod.

No storm of earth can my faith subdue,

Nor ever close out the heavenly view.

Though storm crushed now, I’ll not complain,

I know what lies beyond the rain:

A goal’s placed there by the God above,

That will make plain  He’s a God of love.

It may be now that joys draw near,

Exceeding those to my heart so dear;

But if grief still my heart must test,

I know full well it’s for the best.

I bathe myself in the gospel light,

My heart find strength in His word’s might:

And I have joy in promised peace;

And I can wait till troubles cease.

And I press on this blood marked way,

And I wait the perfect day,

And I’ll sing now my hymn of praise,

And I’ll thank God for the rainy days.
Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Canandaigua Lake I” by Darius M. Ratcliff


Canandaigua Lake, Ontario County, New York

CANANDAIGUA LAKE I

As I ride along on the road on the hill

I catch a sight gladly that gives me a thrill,

Tis the lake, my own lake, that I love for the beauty

That for years she has shed on the path of my duty.

Today you are gray, like the gray ashen sky,

But I’ve seen your face lovely in the days that are by:

I have seen your face mottles with bright pastel shades,

Your rich colors scarce equaled by gay flower parades.

I have seen changing greens and such beautiful blues,

That I’m sure no artist could capture such hues;

I have seen your dull grays and such Stygian black,

That it seemed primal night was come back again.

On cold winter mornings I have seen your low mist

Ranging close to your bosom by the frost king kissed:

On warm summer eves I’ve seen your haze curtain

So envelope your face that form was uncertain.

On warm summer eves I have seen your light haze

Be dimming your surface and losing your bays:

On long winter nights I have felt your strong chill,

Till I thought your cold breath my heartbeat would still.

I have heard your strong waves on Black Point a-pounding,

Till it seemed the whole lake from its depths was resounding:

When the winters were long I have seen your ice abound

And of all your sweet voices there was never a sound.

In the trout fishing season, I have seen scores of lights,

On your dim surface riding, like stars in the heights:

I have seen your fair face so brightly a-trembling,

That is seems to me gazing like heaven resembling.

On wan heights I have gazed at the long shining track,

When the moon rested low over old Whale Back:

And I’ve seen your small waves all glisten and glimmer,

And in moon light gay they did sparkle and shimmer.

When in summer I’ve invaded your deep watery home,

I have felt your cool bosom caressing my own:

And I’ve felt your soft kiss on the light riding boat,

As o’ver your night waters it did joyously float.

I have felt the strong lift of your waves when they tower,

And I’ve been afraid of their death dealing power:

I have seen your white caps tossed high in the air,

And I’ve looked to the shore, and wished I were there.

Photo above: Source – From the personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

 

 

“June Evening” by Darius M. Ratcliff, June 6,1944

South end of Canandaigua Lake, Bare Hill and Vine Valley, looking toward Canandaigua, New York

JUNE EVENING

Its evening on the farm,

The sounds of day are still;

Down by the woodland pasture

There calls a ship-poor-will.

(Actually beyond Sennett’s at Bristol Springs)

The trees beyond the gate,

Back giants of the night; (The Park)

With dense and inky mass

Shut all the north from sight.

A little mother owl

Must have a home nearby;

Her fuzzy furry brood

Wake up with dismal cry.

There’s one upon our house

(He also came down on the porch later.)

Exploring with big eyes;

A silent little ball

Outlined against the skies.

In darkened fields around

Are tiny flashing lights;

Wee firefly decorations

Of calm sweet summer nights.

The low melodious music

Of gentle evening’s breeze

Is whispered softly downward

From tops of rustling trees.

The daylight world’s asleep;

The farmers are in bed.

My thoughts to God I turn

By evening’s magic led.

Tonight God seems so near

I almost touch His hand.

There’s mystery in God,

More than I understand.

Photo above: Source – From the personal postcard collection of B. J. Johanningmeier