THE RAGGEDY MAN
They call me the Raggedy Man;
filled with straw,
I have no place to call my own,
just what they give
to a RaggedyMan.
But I remember how it used to be,
when my smile was new
and my heart was free!
In the beautiful days
of you and me;
long before the time of the Raggedy Man.
Now I live like a Raggedy Man;
filled with mem’ries
of how it began.
‘Til you told me your life was too grand
to throw away on a Raggedy Man.
Yes, the clown must put away his hurt and his broken heart; the way he lays aside his coat and tie. He puts on laughter and a painted smile, and runs onstage to dance the Piper’s tune. The child within him plays the game of “Let’s Pretend” and his eyes sparkle with tears unshed.
No one knows the broken man inside. No one sees the little boy who still hurts but cannot cry. So, dance, funny Raggedy Man! Keep our hearts light and bring us joy! We love you, Raggedy Man!
Clowns don’t cry while the lights are bright.
And no one knows when things don’t go right.
But the spotlight fades
while they clap their hands,
and they soon forget a lonelyRaggedyMan.
But he remembers how it used to be!
When his smile was new
and his heart was free;
In the beautiful days that used to be.
Long before the time
of the Raggedy Man!
IF I GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD
(by a son of the Father)
When I was a young man,
just barely seventeen,
I thought someday
that I might rule the world.
With everything I wished for
my life would be a song;
and everything would be just as I planned!
Oh, the dreams of a man of seventeen!
The day that I turned twenty-one
I thought the stage was set.
The road of life stretched wide
and I was free.
I saw the shine of amber eyes
and knew I’d found my queen!
The fabric of my life was nearly done!
Oh, the joy of a man of twenty-one!
The year that I turned forty
my world had come undone.
Alone I faced the winter’s discontent.
I’d gained the world of wealth
but I could not buy a friend.
Despair was all I ever hoped to see.
Oh to be a boy of seventeen!
Now, my years are eighty-three,
my eyes are growing dim.
But my memory is clear and I can see
that life does not consist
of what we see and touch.
But, rather, what we’ve given, Lord, to thee!
Oh, to be your man of eighty-three!
HE STOPPEDJUSTSHORT OF GLORY
just short of glory,
and laid his burden down.
Then stepped upon the golden shore
and won the victor’s crown.
I do not ask
to bring him back;
though heartache touch us here.
But just remember where he’s gone
and what is waiting there.
He waits today
within a land
we’ve only read about;
And looking back, he calls us on,
erases fear and doubt.
c.2011, by Donna Swanson, from SPLINTERS OF LIGHT