Editor's note: Because of the overwhelming number of submissions to Poets' Corner, this week we are featuring the work of two poets, Fred Leimkuhler and Mike Vestal.
The Story of John and Clara
How sad, how sad the story
That I'm about to tell.
The story of two young lovers
That, then we all knew well
They're now all but forgotten,
It was seventy years ago.
Let me now remind you
Of this sad tale of woe.
They'd be married on the morrow,
How happy they would be.
No prettier girl than Clara
And handsome, too, was he
For many long months they counted
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And planned for the special day.
But cruel fate would befall them
Before their wedding day.
They parted in the evening,
No happier than they.
"I must leave you now, my darling,
No longer can I stay.
In just a few more hours
Then I will make you mine.
And how happy then we'll be
Until the end of time."
John drove his horse and buggy
Through the autumn night.
His thoughts were on the morrow
When she would be his bride.
All was still and peaceful
Until he reached the bridge
And then a silent figure rose
And fired a fatal shot.
They found the horse next morning
Beside the pasture gate.
John was found along the road
But it was all too late.
The wedding plans were shattered
By the shotgun blast
And they were ever parted
'Till in heaven, joined at last
John's murderer was not captured.
The truth was never known
Clara lived broken-hearted
And faithful to the end.
But true love is the victor,
Or so we do allow,
And somewhere up in heaven
I hear those wedding vows.
Author's note: John's murder occurred in September 1919, in High Prairie Township, Leavenworth County, Kan. Clara stayed on the farm and took care of her mother and father. It finally became necessary to move to Leavenworth so she could be better able to care for them. Clara's mother had a favorite rose. Clara called it Mom's Old Velvet Rose. Before they left the farm, Clara dug some of this rose and shared it with her neighbors. After almost 90 years, Mom's Old Velvet Rose still blooms in gardens around the area, and each spring we are reminded of this tragic story as Mom's Old Velvet Rose blooms again in our garden, and Clara's love lingers in our hearts.
-- Fred Leimkuhler
If I were to die tomorrow,
I would die a very happy man.
Just knowing how much I love you,
Darling; only you can understand...
I appreciate all the things you do,
You've made all my dreams come true.
You give me your all, when you can,
Darling; I will always be your man...
Whether you are far or near,
I'll always be here for you.
I will stand by you forever,
No matter what you do...
When ever I have a few minutes with you,
I cherish each moment, as if it were my last.
Just knowing that you're in love with me,
Lets me forget everything in my past...
If I were to do it all over again,
I would still fall in love with you.
You are my only love and very best friend,
Whom I will respect, until my life ends...
-- Mike Vestal
(Mike Vestal wrote this for the September 2006 wedding of his nephew.)
What can I promise someone like you?
I can promise a love that will always be true
I can promise to always make you smile
I can promise I will love you all the while ...
I can promise to hold you so close and so tight
I can promise to keep you warm at night
I can promise to miss you anytime you're not here
I can promise to love you more every day, every year ...
I can promise to love you when you are sick or blue
I can promise to always take care of you
I can promise to always smile when you're around
I can promise in 50 years our hearts will still pound ...
I can promise I want for no one but you
I can promise there is no end to my love for you
I can promise to think of you in every endeavor
I can promise you this: our love is forever ...
-- Mike Vestal
God Sent Me You
God must have had you in mind,
When He spread stars in the sky;
For I can see them twinkling,
Every time I look into your eyes...
He must have been thinking of you,
When He made the moon and the sun;
He knew they would shine down on you,
like you were the only one...
I know when He made the mountains,
the beautiful flowers and morning dew;
When He looked at the masterpiece of what He'd done,
He had to be thinking of you...
When He created all humanity,
you had to be on His mind;
looking across all the generations,
He made you one of a kind...
I know when the very first laughter,
Spilled over from Heaven's place;
God knew one day He would hear your laughter,
And a smile spread across His face...
I'm so glad God had you in mind,
Looking down from the heavens above;
When it was my time to get that special someone,
He sent you, for me to love...
-- Mike Vestal
I'm Always Here for You
To love and be loved is the greatest gift on earth.
Sharing your hopes and dreams for the future.
Feeling nothing else matters but your love for each other
Wanting nothing else but to spend your lives together...
Life's handed us many challenges along our way,
With the Lords help, we'll be in each others arms one day.
Darling, you are the one I truly love & adore
I am always here for you in whatever life has in store...
It seems like we've known each other for years,
I want to take away all of your fears.
I truly believe we were meant to be,
I am always here for you, for as long as you need...
I love, honor, respect and admire you so,
Your love for me has helped me grow.
I'm a much better man because of you,
I'm always here for you, no matter what you do...
So for now, we'll take our love a day at a time,
Just hoping one day you will finally be mine.
I promise my love will always be true,
Darling, just remember, I'm always here for you....
-- Mike Vestal
I'll Take Your Pain Away
I know you've had some troubled times,
You were hurt in many ways.
I'll help take away all the pain you feel,
Because my love for you is very real...
I know you have your good days,
But sometimes bad ones come your way.
Just know I'll always be here, I'll help take your pain away...
I'll help you get through those days,
The best way I know how.
I'll always be here to calm your fears,
And help wipe away those tears...
You know how much I love you,
I'll do anything for you.
I'll be your rock to rely on,
I'll do anything you asked me to...
I'll always be your shoulder to lean on,
When those bad days come their way.
Darling you can always count on me,
To help take your pain away...
-- Mike Vestal
Forever in Your Eyes
My heart grows ever fonder
My love is warmer than the sun
I've been saving all my love
For I'm certain you're the one...
The star in my constellation
you're the one who I adore
my feelings run so deep
and simply cannot be ignored...
With you I am in heaven
I feel so alive and free
your love flows through my veins
into the heart and soul of me...
My love can only be measured
by the highest mountain peak
my life has found new meaning
Each and every day of the week...
I have found my perfect love
such a love I've never known
you became a welcome resident
when you called my heart your home...
-- Mike Vestal