Bill Grace

Bill Grace Poems

Keep it simple
So the past can find you
The love you lacked the courage to love
The one who was kind

1. He wants death.
2. He wants death.
3. He wants death.
4. He wants death.

Small your light
It takes the glow of many
To mark the night.

My red neck friends disdain her
Or hold her in open contempt
But she has given us a truth in a land of cities
It takes a village to raise a child.

In Texas God once turned a street to gold
and as an after thought - stretched soft textured air across a continent -
so subtle was the miracle that no one noticed.

I love:
The tides that ebb and flow
And marbled lights on broken roads
The warmth of poetry within

If 1912 is the date he burned his boats
Then three poem dates I find of interest
1915 - The Road Not Taken
1920 - Fire and Ice

Friendships costs are many but the greatest pain is
discovery of friend as counterfeit: lover, wife, acquaintance,
class mate, colleague - it matters not
made of convenience, self, organizational need, usury:

Reading the poet Sandra Fowler
The phone is quiet
Daughter and wife sleep
Clack of the keyboard

I encourage all I meet
who tell me of their poems
that if they want to publish
in that terrible ring called poetry

T-day paper,
Little color bits fuel
A hunger never filled
Something precious dies.

Dear Poet Laureate when you quietly state:
'Poetry's purpose is to reach other people and to touch their hearts.'
You give good market guidance but
Rilke has also told us that we 'must go into the depths in

My daughter's taught me
A lot about humanity,
This mortal coil that holds us all,
Her small hand that touches mine

It is nice to watch them
Much as one might observe
Deer feeding undisturbed.
Just the every day significance of little things

The world must have the right to vote
A reader's exclamation taught me this with his note
So vote as default I will now allow
Or change back to correct the error of my ways.

At 'Sans Souci' I witnessed
A fresh rose upon Frederick's grave
That made tremendous impression
It seeming not to be an act of official care,

Four years from death plus a little
I miss our frequent chats
And counsel so wise and full of gift
That death has broken the seal

My life consists of things mundane
As that which holds the more:
Evening's obligatory walk of dog
Cat laying siege for treat

The neighbor's lawn's whirligig's
caught the lamplight's reflection
and I thought I saw for a half minute past hallucination
the gleam of two eyes

Bill Grace Biography

'The poets have become the pastors of our time.' Helmut Thielicke AUTOBIOGRAPHY; In 1976 an extremely modest staplebook of poetry was published titled 'The Halcyon Poems.' In 1996, 'Snippets of His Glory While I Wait' a second staplebook was produced. A chapbook is planned which will be influenced by reader feed back and also a writers critique group that meets at Gemini Ink, a writer's cooperative in San Antonio, Texas. I am almost settled on the title: A Celebration of Ashes. But Keith Jenkin's who is my paper publisher favors: 'A Thistle's Beauty.' The projected subtitle is: 'Curated Poems of W.A. Grace from the corpus; The energy to do this simply has not been present. Keith Jenkins, a local publisher and friend, wants to help me get out the book of poetry out in 2023. This has moved many times. I like the lack of pretension to 'Dirt Road Poet' and its acknowledgement of poetry's hierarchies. If you are a member of the Poem Hunter community I hope you will tell me what you think. In seminary Bob Leslie was the professor I studied with more than any other. Robert C. Leslie published 'Jesus and Logotherapy.' This work came out of his year of study with Victor Frankl. The word 'noetic' has come to me out of these influences. Frankl understood the word 'noetic' to mean the spiritual but a spirituality that is not religiously based. I come to believe in a deeper and deeper truth as my own time of planet departure (death) comes. Professor Leslie was the father figure I feel everyone should have and there is a great lack of his wonderful spirit in the world. I hope that some of the poetry contained in this blog is spiritual but only a very small fraction is orthodox. I am a poet of the noetic. In those moments of pure religion that I dip into I turn to my own great tradition that is Christianity whose central core, that I sometimes struggle to live, is SACRIFICIAL love. Sacrificial love is far easier said than done. I need to add a note about the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. What follows are my faculty appreciation-thank you notes. To Ron Cook of Thomas Starr King School for the Ministry I owe an enormous debt. The Unitarians have something called " The Ministerial Fellowship Committee." It is a big deal if you want to be a Unitarian-Universalist minister or chaplain beyond your home congregation. To put it bluntly divinity students get chewed up in this area of UU polity. When you are a candidate you preach a ten minute sermon to this committee. If favorably impressed you are given a green light by them. It is the most important sermon a U-U minister can give as it determines if the professional gate will open. Also previous glories do not count. Ron held my feet to the fire and over six months a sermon was at last accept- able to him. We started with " The Virgin and the Dynamo" and ended with " Encounter at Silo 23, " six drafts later. Autobiography represents a wonderful opportunity to say 'thank you' to the teachers, professors, counselors, mentors and therapists to whom I owe a legion of thanks. The places and the institutions that are found here are also part of that process that ultimately have emanated into a vision and a voice that is expressed here. I have been a chaplain for thirty years at this writing. This means I have cared for the needs of individuals with out regard to their faith or denominational persuasion or their ethnicity or social class. My job has been to care. This remains a central passion for me. Recently the novel " Once an Eagle" has become important to me. I grew up on the farm/campus of - the historic George Junior Republic outside Freeville, New York. Theodore Roosevelt once described it as: 'a manufactory of citizens both men and women.' Don Urquhart, one of my great influences, wisely determined that the children of staff would not attend school on the institution's grounds. Upstate New York schools were the basis of my elementary and secondary education but Cornell University was close to our home and was an influence in my development in a subtle but profound way. All of my papers, except two, were generated out of the Cornell libraries for my undergraduate degree from S.U.N.Y. Geneseo. Consequently my first three elementary teachers of most note were Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Healy and Mrs. Smith. They were all very different in their instructional styles but each was quite committed to the development of the children in their care. At the secondary level there were four teachers of special note. Judy Greene helped me to understand that television was a 'cultural wasteland' and empowered books over the temptations of my own hunting preserve and an addiction to television. Elizabeth Keogh opened the world of critical thought and examination and sheltered a formative apetite for reading. She was not pleased with my substitution of Lamb's Tales for the primary reading of Shakespeare. Alfred Evans and Edgar Steele helped me to discover the study of history as an enduring passion. The only 'A' I ever received as an undergraduate is a tribute to the quality of the Evans-Steele excellence. With out any question my greatest influence at the State University of New York at Geneseo was Dr. David A. Martin, chairman of its economics department and a Kazian Award winner. He was a mentor of the first order long before that word was used. A memorable lunch with the historian Henry Steele Commanger is just one of my many debts to him. Almost all of my professors at Geneseo were Ph. Ds. A few must receive special acknowledgement. Virgina Kemp introduced me to the thinking of Bernard Fall and probably is the one person most responsible for keeping me out of Viet Nam. Cathryn Beck was the first great scholar of Thomas More to touch my life. Dan Thomas made literature live as did Rose Bacham-Alent. Leo Rockas introduced me to Socratic thought and process. Nick Kardos got me over any glamour ideas of war and Joe Linero helped to open the world of sociology. There were others for sure who deserve mention but these names permeate a fog that is approaching fifty five years. Early adult years were informed by teaching in rural and urban school settings, brokerage first line with the Connecticut Mutual and a predecessor experience with Prudential, work with street children in an institutional setting, hospital ministry with cancer victims, good and in quite a few cases great: teachers, professors, mentors and instructors. The high ideals and growing up on the farm/campus of the George Junior Republic outside Freeville, New York, in its pre-1975 history had an enormous impact. Berkeley, CA; Geneseo, NY; and tangentially Ithaca, NY and Washington, DC culminated in undergraduate and graduate degrees. I was resident at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Study Center outside Wallingford, Pennsylvania for two years. This experience with the Quakers was a veritable spiritual switching station. Eventually two of my greatest influences in seminary would be Bob Leslie and Bob Kimball. The ordination ceremony at the First Unitarian Church of Ithaca, New York probably represents the most celebrative collective experience of my life. The military chaplaincy was a great constant from 1978 to 2006 when I was retired. The first chapbook of poetry was published in 1976 and the second in 1996, both were privatley distributed. Today, the impetus to write poetry is an almost daily imperative. I married late to a very tolerant woman. We have a daughter whose early years were formed of the soil of Russia. One Corgy and one inside cat and an inside/outside cat complete the Grace household zoo. Domestic life is the frequent subject of much of what is published here. I have been fascinated with time management for well over fifty years. At age 75 this all seems so strange. I have been reading Sylvia Plath and am struck by the terrible cost of the creative.)

The Best Poem Of Bill Grace

Keep It Simple

Keep it simple
So the past can find you
The love you lacked the courage to love
The one who was kind
The one who told truth
The one you want to thank
The one whose feet you would kiss
as contrition and in sorrow
Keep it simple
If you want the past to find you.

Bill Grace Comments

Bob Whelan 20 July 2020

The next shining star to wax eloquently about is a grandson to be born. Do your thing!

0 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 26 April 2020

Bill Grace is wonderful, talented and famous poet who writes beautiful poems basing upon his perception. I know him and I like to read his poems. I have reviewed his poems and found that his poems are rich in social values. Everything he observes keenly. Bill Grace gives wonderful essence to his readers. I am wishing him all the best for his literary perseverance. May God bring happiness for him.

0 0 Reply
Bill Grace 02 October 2016

Marriage Blessing for the Wedding Couple

0 0 Reply
Lare Austin 19 February 2005

Hi your poem 'Poetry As Prayer'...your words tell this so are so many ways writing poetry is so very solitude...but...rewarding... Lare Austin

1 2 Reply

Bill Grace Quotes

'You know you are getting old when you pack a second pair of under wear rather than your gun.' Bill Grace copyright retained

Frank Thon was correct - if you aim for the stars - and I would add - work towards your goal - you very well may crash but you will still find a better earth. Bill Grace copyright retained

Spiritual vision emerges through the fog of personal experience and culture and is both dependent upon and transcendent of these things. Bill Grace

For the poet the writing of poetry - not even its publication - is the effervescence of his or her life.

What the process theologian calls 'suasiveness' is the idea that God will go where we want him to go. This helps us understand blue and grey praying to the same God in the AMERICAN Civil War. The questions that can follow are not so easily answered.

'... we cannot fight what we do not measure, Death is not the only thing that counts. We must also count lives.

REV'S RETIREMENT I push the ministries the ministry does not push me.

Donald Trump's political sins are no greater than his exemplar- Nelson Rockefeller, a Vice President of the United States. Rockefeller made a lateral entry into New York State politics. Trump a successful lateral entry into national politics. The true significance of Trump is the signaling of the death of the importance of words. Economics, always powerful, is the new God on the block. The rest is rhetoric and propaganda.

Donald Trump's political sins are no greater than his exemplar Nelson Rockefeller, a Vice President of the United States. Rockefeller made a lateral entry into New York State politics. Trump a successful lateral entry into national politics. The true significance of Trump is the signaling of the death of the importance of words. Economics, always powerful, is the new God on the block. The rest is rhetoric and propaganda.

It is I believe Stimson Bullet who gives us the line... ''to do good we must often tread the brink of hell.''

'He that hath children hath given hostages to fortune.'. Francis. Bacon

'He that hath children hath given hostages to fortune.'. Francis. Bacon

'... His peaceful down ward hanging hand sought nothing, imitated nothing, bespoke an invulnerable peace.'' Herman Hesse describing the Buddha's hand in Siddhartha.

'Marine Corps Wisdom' 'An R.P.G. has no conscience! ' Juan

'Marine Corps Wisdom'

'An R.P.G. has no conscience.' Juan - USMC

Marine Corps Wisdom An R.P.G. has no conscience. Juan - U.S.M.C.

Billy Graham's Wisdom 'There are three of you. There is the person you think you are. There is the person others think you are. There is the person God knows you are and can be through Christ.'

Precise on the American literature classic 'Moby Dick' by Kenyon Ray Simpson 'The whale wins.'

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