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Best Isaiah Zerbst Poems

Below are the all-time best Isaiah Zerbst poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

An Ancient Oak

An oak tree stood beside a narrow stream
All bent and twisted like an agéd man
So gently flowed the stream through ancient roots
While laughing with the innocence of youth

In summertime the children came to play
Within the cooling water of the stream
Or rest beneath the gnarled oak tree's limbs
Spread, father-like, to shade them from the sun

In autumntime, when gusts and breezes blow
The leaves would float like dancers through the air
First here, then there, they softly tripped, until
They lit at last to grace the frozen ground

In wintertime, the sprightly youths would skate
Along the crystal surface of the stream
Above, the windswept branches firmly stood
Like blacksmiths' limbs are hardened from the forge 

In springtime burst the oak leaves forth anew
As kingly robes they grace the ancient tree
Inside its keep the squirrels and thrushes chirp
Secure from danger's threat and free from care

Time sped, its unrelenting chimes yet tolled
The youths that loved its shade have passed away
Yet still he laughs and seems to mock at time
He stands as stout and tall as ages past

But time, its current flows at even pace
And now the oak is bent with cruel decay
Though doubled at the back like aging man
He stands there yet, a monument of strength


~ Written for "Personification" Contest. Second Place.


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Kiss the Rain

I'm leaving now, but here is a reminder
'Twill bring to you the days we walked through rain
So when you wish to feel my hand in yours
Or stroke your dripping hair-- Then kiss the rain

Though leaving now, I wish I could be with you
So when you feel o'erwhelmed with grief or pain
And long for my caress upon your face,
The rain will touch instead-- So kiss the rain

Whenever you have tho'ts of this sad parting
And salty tears your lovely cheeks do stain
To feel the tears for you I'll surely have
Do this, and I will too-- Go kiss the rain

Whenever you are longing for my presence
And times that we went strolling down the lane
I'll whisper soft endearments on the breeze
So heed the sighing wind-- And kiss the rain

If ever you should pine to hear me speaking
The thunder might burst forth with glorious main*
While drops that fall are sure to be my tears,
To feel them wet your skin-- Just kiss the rain



* Power or Force


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Jogger and Logger

For "Show Me the Funny (part two)"

There once was a fellow a woggin'*
Who bumped into one who was loggin'
They had quite a spat
The ax was a bat
And the first had a lump on his noggin


* Woggers are those who get all dressed for jogging, but only go at walking speed, while vigorously pumping their arms to delude themselves that they are jogging.


Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

Una and the Lion

This world of trouble soon will pass
For there beyond the crystal glass
A lamb and lion tread the grass
Beside a lass, beside a lass

This cord of present time shall break
And hate and fear shall flee and quake
Oh, may all vice this earth forsake!
And love awake! And love awake!

Oh, see him walk 'neath mighty trees!
The king of beasts; what strength and ease!
Yet now content this lass to please
Her hand to tease, her hand to tease

Behold! A pleasant form and face!
The child of beauty crowned with grace!
Fair Una treads at even pace
A better place, a better place


~ The form is Monotetra~
~Based on the painting 'Una and the Lion' by Briton Riviere. Here is a copy and paste link.
http://19thcenturybritpaint.blogspot.com/2012/12/briton-riviere-ctd.html


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A Pink Rose

My best friend and I
Ran barefoot through the garden
Stirring the petals
Her hair tied back in two braids
Her skirt trailed out behind her

We sat by the stream
With our feet in the water
Talking and laughing
Until a pink rose I plucked
And wove it into her dark braids


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Apple Pickin' Time

Come an' pick yerself an apple,

Come an' pick a heapin' load;

Come an' pick a bloomin' bushel

An' a couple fer the road.


There's a dozen different sizes,

Pink an' yella, red 'r lime,

Shades that match the pale sunrises

Of the apple pickin' time.


Go an' make an apple pie,

Make it thirty miles high,

Then you'll be in apple heaven

Till the day you up an' die.


Come an' pick yerself an apple,

Come an' pick a heapin' load;

Come an' pick a bloomin' bushel

An' a couple fer the road;


Some for Gran and Uncle Pete,

An' a few fer fighting crime;

'Cause the fella down the street

Knows it's apple pickin' time.


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A Poem of Ruth

The tears well up, and scarce could she not moan
When father, brother, husband, all have died.
She now has no possessions, neither home,
But travels to a distant, unknown land:
Once so secure, yet now compelled to roam;
Once rich in love, she treads through foreign sands.
Her weary feet move forward but by faith;
For all left to her name is mere belief:
Mind, heart so far away she seems a wraith-
Love, happiness- all taken by a thief.

When, sometime since, her heart had broke in two,
The path of life, once single, parted way;
Forsake she could, but this she would not do-
All else was gone- with mother she would stay:
"Intreat me not to leave thee," was her plea,
"For whither thou wilt go, there will I; pray
Forbid me not to follow after thee,
For where thou lodgest I would also stay:
"Thy people shall be mine, thy God my God;
And where thou liest, I will gladly lie
Beside thee, overhead the selfsame sod;
That even then thou mightest be closeby.

"And so they twain walk on, hand clasped in hand;
Both hold the only thing they yet possess:
The younger but a stranger in the land,
An enemy, a widow in distress.

She rose before the sun to find a place
Where she might gather barley ears and wheat;
A field where she might find some needed grace
To gather for their winter store of meat:
Then Boaz comes from Bethlehem, and see,
He tarries with the reapers of the wheat:
He comes to Ruth and says, "Hear'st not thou me?
Remain until the harvest is complete:
"Go not from hence, but in my fields abide,
And let thine eyes be on the field they reap;
Behold, these maidens thou may'st work beside,
And near the reapers thou may'st ever keep."
Then to her face she fell, and wond'ringly
Asked why to her, a stranger, was so kind;
And he replied that she unfailingly
Had cleaved unto her mother with one mind,
And left her father, mother, and the soil
Of her nativity, and kissed the dust
Of some strange land wherein she meant to toil;
Forsaking gods of Moab God to trust:
"The Lord," said he, "reward thee for thy deeds,
 And recompense thy labour and thy love:
The God of Israel answer all thy needs,
And make his wings a shelter from above."
 Then said the maid, "My lord, please let me find
Some grace and favour in thy blessed sight,
For that thou hast been friendly, spoken kind,
And I am but a stranger in the night."
Then Boaz said, "At mealtime here abide;
Rest in the shade, come, sit with us and dine:
So down she sat, a reaper on each side;
She ate her wheat and dipped her bread in wine.
Then Ruth arose, and to her work she leaves:
The master thus commands his servant men,
"Let this young maid glean e'en among the sheaves;
Rebuke her not, for she shall come again;
And let some handfuls fall onto the ground,
There let them lie for my sake and for hers
That she may glean and plenty may be found;
For reasons she has need of it are pure."
And as she worked, Ruth knew not what a sight
Of beauty and of diligence she made,
As in the golden field in sunset's light
She bowed her head and knelt as if she prayed.

It came to pass that in his fields she stayed
Until the end of barley harvest came,
When mother told the lovely little maid
To seek for his provision and his name.
She washed and dripped an oil filled with sweet
Perfumes of wild roses on her face:
She had not much; her beauty was complete
With but her finest clothes to seek his grace.
Her braided hair shone brighter than the gem
That never graced her soft and shapely form;
Her eyes, they sparkled brighter than the hem
Of gold and pearls that she had never worn:
Thus Ruth went down unto the threshing floor
Where Boaz winnowed barley till the night,
And peeked at him so shyly 'round the door;
She never let him leave her searching sight.
His workday done, the master ate and drank;
With happiness his heart was full when fed:
Then by a heap of wheat he went and sank
Into the furry robes that made his bed;
And Ruth, a while watching till he sleep
Kept vigil from a stone used as a seat,
Till when his eyes had closed and sleep was deep
She lifted up the cover from his feet
And softly laid her down and dreamed of brides
Until the watchman struck a dozen beats,
And being startled, Boaz woke and spied
A woman sleeping at his very feet:
"Who art thou?" queried he in sleepy voice;
"Thine handmaid, Ruth," was her unsure reply;
Then blessed he her for wise and kindly choice,
For passing poor and rich young fellows by.
"And now, my daughter, gladly shall I do
According to thy wishes, for all here
Consider thee as virtuous and true;
Howbeit, there is one to thee more near,
A kinsman who must duly have his say:
If he decline, then rest assured I will
Perform the part of kinsman." So she lay
Down at his feet, and both were quiet, still.

In grey of early morning she arose,
Before a face could be discernéd there;
To keep from what some people might suppose
And who might stand along the road to stare:
Then Boaz said, "Bring here the vail thou hast
Upon thy head and hold it in thy hand:
Six times the barley measure filled and passed
From heap to vail as much as she could stand.
Then Boaz went up to the city gate
To find the nearer kinsman, whom he sought,
To see if he would purchase the estate
Of Ruth, and she herself, but he could not;
So Boaz purchased all the widows' land;
The houses, barns, and fields, though overgrown;
And bought what pleased him most, Ruth's comely hand
To cherish and to make his very own:
Then Boaz went to find the handmaid, Ruth
And lift her from a servant to a wife;
To love her in all tenderness and truth
In every day God blessed them both with life.



[By Isaiah Zerbst. Published 9/7/14. Parts of poem have been removed due to soup's limitations.]





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The Signal

The castle tower stands there tall and proud, 
Awaiting for your safely coming home, 
Just as I do, with tears that freely flow; 
Salt water tears that pool are not my own, 
The salty ocean droplets sting the eyes. 
I am alone, in sorrows well nigh drowned,
And you alone, amongst the raging tides.
This white cloth waves to you amid the winds 
That blow your ship to my own sandy shore -- 
My heart a wind-tossed stormy cloud no more. 

Up here beside the stately castle wall,
Enfolded safely home within your arms,
The tears that from my eyes unbidden fall 
Reflect your face alight with joys and charms; 
There lie forgotten all my dread alarms. 
I am with you, by jubilation drowned, 
And you with me, the waves a distant sound. 

By Kelly Deschler, September 7, 2013  Form: Iambic Pentameter
And Isaiah Zerbst, September 14, 2013  Form: Rhyme Royal

Based on the painting of the same title by William Powell Frith, 1858


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The Cowboy Life I Love

I squint my eyes from the glaring sun
As I drive cattle across the open range.
I am the youngest hand, so I ride drag
Covered by the dust stirred into the wind.

This is the life I have chosen
To hear the steady creaking of my saddle
The songs of the cowboys as they lead the herd
The lowing cattle as they smell water.

This is the life I live
To see the endless stretches of prairie
The hens and rabbits scuttling away
The ponderous beasts flowing in a living stream.

This is the life I love
Watching the horses graze peacefully at night
The cattle milling about during my night ride
My horse's gentle breathing as I circle them.

May this be my lot while here I remain
May I drink from the freely flowing streams
And breathe the pairie air until I die.

Whether life be short or long
May I ever onward toil, and be content
With the satisfaction of honest work
With the steady pounding of hooves
Biscuits and chili by a wavering fire
And sleeping under the sky on the open range.


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The Tiger In His Glory

 
A stealthy tiger stalks his prey
His eyes alight with cunning gleam;
And tho' the world may peaceful seem
The lissome springboks graze and play --
The danger lurks, not far away

He crouches low, his muscles taught
While calculations fill his mind
The perfect arc of force to find;
His quarry, still without a thought
Of what design the tiger sought

The tiger springs, the creatures flee
His mighty limbs with awesome force 
Perform their planned and deadly course;
Now lies the springbok piteously
Forever torn from things that be

And o'er his corpse presides the prince
His solid jowls bespecked with blood
His razor claws in crimson flood;
He glories in these trickling glints
That show his skill in ruby tints

And when the prince has et his fill
The birds descend to eat the rest
To feed the young ones in the nest;
But on the tiger roams at will
He's free to wander, hunt, and kill


Written on the twenty-eighth of July, 2013


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