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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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123
Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

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

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

A Well-Known Stranger

'Twas a sound I thought alarming, most assuredly disarming;
Up I rose from peaceful slumber to discern what it might be.
While my candle flickered, wavered; whilst my heartbeat halted, quavered,
At my window I was favoured by it sounding, dreadfully-
In the darkness loudly pounding- drawing nearer, dreadfully
As if calling out to me.

When the window I unshuttered, as my heart so wildly fluttered
Sounded forth the sound, and nearer, sounded forth so dismally:
And I heard the tempest sighing, through the trees and chimneys crying,
As if left alone and dying by some God-forsaken sea-
Quite forsaken, quite abandoned by the inky, lifeless sea,
Just as black as black can be.

There I stood a moment longer as the wailing winds grew stronger.
'Tis, I thought, but silly fancies dreamed imaginatively;
For there's nothing coming, leaving, and the night can be deceiving;
Yes, the wind was only breathing on the ancient maple tree,
Which was rapping on the shutters in the night, incessantly-
This was all that it could be.

Then a furious arctic guster gathered might and main and muster
And with hands so cold and clammy put my candle out while he
Wrapped his chilling hands around me, in his frozen grip he bound me;
I, his presence all around me groaned and grumbled in the dark;
As I groped and griped and stumbled, groaned and grumbled in the dark-
While he laughed so wickedly.

To the window, pitter-patter, I rehasped it with a clatter
Then relit and watched my candle as it flamed assuredly,
While it lit the old surroundings; but then how my heart was pounding!
As I gazed at the astounding standing on my posted bed,
Perched above the feathered pillows where I rest my weary head,
Perched there unashamedly.

"Ah," said I, "this nameless flutter sounding, pounding on the shutter
It was only this dear fellow trying so determinedly
To gain entrance to my dwelling, all to bring this piece of spelling,
And there really is no telling who has sent him here to me
'Till I read the little letter fastened on below his knee,
That he bears so cheerfully.

I undid the purple ribbon tied about the charming pigeon,
Quite forgetful of his presence as I read absorbedly.
I spent little time deciding who had sent this piece of writing,
For it bore me happy tidings in a hand I knew so well;
In a cheerful, laughing manner, so it was not hard to tell
That it was from my Melody.

"My favourite ribbon, I've untied it from my hair and wrapped inside it
All the words I wish to say, but am too far to tell to thee."
From this point and on hereafter I omit her words of laughter,
Words that make my heart beat faster; words that stop it suddenly:
Words that make me melancholy; words that make me shout with glee-
Words sent by my Melody.

When I'd traced each perfect letter, I was thinking clearer, better;
I set out some feed and water for my friend, repentantly.
"Pigeon," said I, "rest beside me; walls and roof shall safely hide thee
From the tempest roaring blindly o'er the inky, lifeless sea."
And I squinted through the shadows where he perched there silently;
Resting, sleeping peacefully.

Drawing near, I kissed him gently, thinking all the while intently
That the very place I kissed him once was cradled tenderly
By the hand I wish was holding onto mine, and deftly molding
Into mine, and mine enfolding, that of her who wrote to me;
That of her so far away across the inky, lifeless sea-
That of dearest Melody.

Entered In Kelly Deschler's Contest, "The Raven"

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2014

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

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.]




Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2014

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. 

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

The Maid of Orleans

Reflecting in her garden sits a winsome little maid;
She holds a purple flower like the circlet that she made
And wrapped about her braids to grace her forehead like a crown;
Her thick and shining braids that are the shade of chestnut brown.
A soft and dreamy smile lifts her lips of cherry rose
As she so elegantly lifts the flower to her nose
To smell the rich and heady fragrance rising from its soul-
Upon this day in early May, her heart with joy is full.
But look! The heavens open wide, and joy is changed to fear,
For Michael the Archangel in the garden does appear,
And with him stand Saint Margaret and Saint Catharine, sent to seek
This girl of twelve, and in her frightened youthful ears to speak
Words form the Lord, of how someday, somehow, she'll have to save
Her native land, her land of France, from lying in the grave.
When in their bright angelic garb these saints to heav'n returned,
She knew they had been sent from God, her heart within her burned
With strong desire, with heaven's fire, to do her Father's will;
Her heart beats hard, while all around is silent, calm and still.

The years pass by, now seventeen, her hour is fully come,
And what is now but distant fancy, dull and throbbing hum
Will be her life, her joy, her pain; her darkness or her light:
For God and country, king and freedom, must, she must needs fight.
The chains of England must be broken, young prince Charles crowned:
A source of hope, of inspiration must for France be found;
For civil war rakes raging claws through weary, hopeless men,
Who fight and die, and sacrifice, and lose their homes again;
Their gardens, flocks and herds, and treasures, all are swept away:
With nothing left but life itself, and naught to do but pray.

God heard their prayer and sent her there for their deliverance,
To lead them on to victory through every circumstance
Of treachery or deviltry that loomed on every side.
Urged on by all the saints above and martyrs who had died,
She bound her armor to her body, helmet to her head;
A troop of eager soldiers to the Orleans siege she led.
Without a fear she faced the battle, banner held up high;
It filled each fainting heart with spirit, waving in the sky:
Unfailing, never falling, always standing at the fore,
And filling every weary soul with courage to the core.
Though wounded by an arrow striking close beside her heart,
She still pressed on to victory, she played her vital part.
The Maid of Orleans did her best, she held back not at all,
But risked her life at every turn to heed her heav'nly call;
She fought and bled and braved the beast until her king was crowned,
And even then she carried on, she traveled all around:
Each city gained broke off the chains of power-hungry kings,
Who killed to gain another's land, his citizens and things.

Alas! She met her fate at hands that should have helped her cause;
The countrymen she battled sold her to be judged by laws
And men that all disfavored her, yet still she firmly stood,
Proud head held high, two gleaming eyes; she answered best she could
Each twisted question meant to trap her clear but simple mind:
With wit and art she answered each; they really could not find
A cause for death, but death must be for such an enemy
The fate; who sees such visions full of vile heresy,
Of saints and angels revelating mortals with God's plan.
They also charged her with the sin of dressing like a man,
But it was of necessity she donned a soldier's guise;
For all throughout the war-torn realm roamed pairs of hateful eyes
Who did not heed a woman's cries, but did what pleased them best:
They killed or maimed or stained for life from eastern France to west.

So thus it is, not twenty years, they chain her to a stake-
The final chain that no amount of bravery can break.
Within her dress, hugged to her chest, she tucks a wooden cross;
The symbol of the Son of God, who faced such early loss
Of life, and like her was betrayed and mocked and led to die
Without a cause, without a crime, without a reason why.
Ten thousand people press around; she feels the burning heat,
As flames grow hotter, ever hotter- licking at her feet:
But on one thing and one thing only both her eyes are fixed;
Upon the figure held before her- on the crucifix.
And she is thinking of a time that seems so long ago,
When as a girl she used to sit and watch her garden grow;
She'd pick the purple petaled flowers, braid them in her hair;
Her life was simple, pure, and sweet, she hadn't any care
Until Saint Michael gave her calling to her way back then.
But if she had another life, she'd do it all again,
For God and country, king and freedom she could die this death;
And so it was that thus she died, and with her final breath
Her soul and body parted ways, and while her body burned,
Her soul went on to realms unknown, her soul to heav'n returned
Into the hands of He who made her, to the arms of Christ the Lord;
Who made for her a better body, more than just restored.
Here ends the troubles of this maiden, gone are jail cells dark:
Forever live the Maid of Orleans, known as Joan of Arc.



{Written by Isaiah Zerbst. For the first time published on October the 13th, 2014.}

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2014

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

A Bedtime Story

Once, a long ways away, and a long time ago
Lived a wee little man with his silly pet crow;
And once every day, as the sun went to bed
The wee little man and the crow he called Ted
Would go through the woods on a nice little walk;
And while they walked through the woods, his pet crow would talk.
Now, if saying, “Pet crow Ted could talk” twists your tongue,
Just wait till I’m through, and the story is done,
Because Ted tied the twigs of two tall apple trees
To the tips of his toes, and his knobby old knees,
And these twigs made him bounce as he walked ‘round and ‘round,
And he talked really loud while he walked on the ground,
Saying, “Twiddle my fiddles, and tie me a pie,
‘Cause a silly old crow couldn’t fly high as I.”
Then the wee little man said, “You silly old bird,
Just the way that you talk takes the sense from a word;
For if fiddles could twiddle, and pies had a string,
Then ants would walk backwards, and old crows would sing.”
Replied Ted the crow to the wee wizened man,
“Perhaps ants can’t do it, but old crows sure can.”
Then he puffed out his chest, and he cawed cockaroo,
And he sang an old song titled, “How Do You Do?”
“How do you do, little maid, Liddy Lee
When the crows come by twos, and they perch on the tree?
What do you see, little maid, Liddy Lee
When the crows throw the cockleshells out on the sea?
Where do you go, little maid, Liddy Lee
When the snow drives the crows from the mulberry tree?
And what do you hear, little maid, Liddy Lee
When the crows throw the snow on the cockleshell sea?”
But the old man just laughed and said, “Such silly songs
Never croaked such a crow as he hopped right along,
Because ants can’t walk backwards, and crows cannot sing,
Just like horses can’t fly, nor do turtles have wings.”
Now the crow wasn’t happy with what had been said
So he said, “I will sing you another instead,”
Then he puffed out his chest, and he cawed cockaree,
And he sang him a song called, “When Two Turned to Three.”
“When two turned to three, and when five turned to four
Things got much stranger than ever before.
There were two little pigs, and but two blinded mice,
And the two musketeers played with three little dice.
There were five and twenty blackbirds flying in the sky;
And four the little famous boy who never told a lie.
When six turned to seven, and eight turned to ten,
Snow White had six little dwarves with her then.
All the town clocks struck first ten, nine, then eight;
And people were always too early or late,
So they turned it all back to six, seven, eight, nine,
That way we could always keep track of the time.
Now the three pigs are three, and there’s three blinded mice,
And the three musketeers play with two little dice,
And the wee little dwarves number seven in all,
And the clock strikes from one up to twelve down the hall.”
But the old man just laughed and said, “Such silly songs
Never croaked such a crow as he hopped right along,
Because ants can’t walk backwards, and crows cannot sing,
Just like snakes don’t have legs, nor do bunnies have wings.
And with that, the old man put his pet crow to bed;
And till early next morning not a sentence was said.

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2015

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

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.

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

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.

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

Stand By Me

Stand by me when your dreams might fail,
And the burning light of your plans grows pale.
Stand by me when the world is cruel,
When they shake their heads, calling you a fool.
Come stand close, rest your head on my shoulder;
My feelings haven't changed, I simply grow older.
Cry your tears, I'll just be understanding;
I realize how life can be too demanding.

Stand by me when your heart is torn,
And your red eyes burn in the light of morn.
Stand by me; why go on alone,
When you knew I'd be here, just like this stone?
Come stand close, hide your face in my sweater.
For me right now, life couldn't get better.
I'll be here, like I've been for a while;
So stand by me that together we can smile.

Stand by me. Please don't leave again.
Never break my heart like you did back then.
Stand by me, and I'll stand by you;
Then I'll hold you the way I've always wanted to.
Stand real close, let the world be forgotten;
Breathe in the scent I wear, the smell of cotton.
Stand by me, I'll bear your weight of sorrow;
Hold on to me, I'll help you face tomorrow.

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2015

Details | Isaiah Zerbst Poem

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

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013

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