Poetry

Woody Guthrie, as he liked to be called, was born June 30, 1918 in Olney, Texas and died July 23, 1993 in Abilene, Texas. He was the son of Alvin L. Guthrie and Julia Lou Ella McCoy and had 4 sisters and 1 brother.

My parents divorced when I was just a small infant and as a result of a bitter ending, I never met my father face to face until I was 39 years old. Dad and I had one year of telephone conversations before we finally got together when I moved to Arizona. In all, we had face to face time of less than 3 weeks but 8 years of many long telephone conversations, which I now cherish!

Dad was married numerous times and had 3 daughters of which 2 still survive. He served in the Army during World War II from 1941-1945. He was many things to many different people. Some claimed he was a scoundrel and others said he was wonderful. He was a jack of all trades and could do just about anything he set his mind too. He delivered telegrams for Western Union as a kid, was a chef, woodworker, photographer, a poet (none published that I know of) and a musician, just to name a few.

As dad got older, he changed his ways, made amends and became a God-fearing man. He came from a long line of preacher’s so his change of attitude was not a surprise to me!

I was so very thankful that he had given me a lot of his family history before his death but I still know so little about his side of the family. There are so many unanswered questions about relatives that I can find nothing more on and to my knowledge there are no more “older” relatives to ask which is so sad. Dad’s wife has given me all of his papers, notes, etc. and I am so very grateful for them. They have filled a void that I had for many, many years. I’m still learning about this man I never knew as a child and had so little time with as an adult and I’m sure I may never know all there is.

Please understand that I have a wonderful loving step-father that has been a part of my life for over 50 years and I love him with all my heart and consider him my dad. But, finding my natural father finally put to rest the doubts and unknowns that I had for years and was well worth the effort to pursue him, at least for me.

What follows is the poems that he wrote and I hope that you will find them interesting.

He always hoped to publish them one day and now they are!

_______________

The Sweetest Word of All

Golden as the sunshine

Lighting up a room.

Fragrant as a rosebud

Bursting into bloom.

Playing on our heart strings

with music like no other.

Sweetest word in all the world

the precious name of Mother.

written by Woodrow C. Guthrie,

Mother’s Day, May, 1940

and given to his mother.
_________________________

Hazy Dreams

by Pfc. Woodrow C. Guthrie
while at Anzio Beachhead Italy.

Hazy dreams surround me.
As thoughts go fleeting by.

Like flimsy ghost of yesteryear
Eludes my mind and eyes.

While grasping for those fleeting ghost.
Of memories, old and dear.

I find they’er growing day by day.
More unreal-unclear.

Time and space has dimmed it all.
Memories of the home I knew.

Was there ever peace and love.
Was there ever-even a you.

I try to picture within my mind.
In dreams I try to see.

But I can within me, find no dream.
This, then is reality.
_________________________

Never Look Back

composed by W. C. Guthrie,

Brownwood, Texas, Sept. 18, 1939

Don’t ever look back
always a head
the future is waiting, the past is dead.

The future is opening, page by page like a book
Forget the past, always ahead you must look.

Remember, that with the coming of dawn
Anew world is born, an old world is gone.

So bury your sorrows, your heartaches and tears
In a grave alongside that of all the past years.

And face the future happy, smiling and brave
and on the tomb of the past
these words engrave

DON’T EVER LOOK BACK, ALWAYS AHEAD,
THE FUTURE IS WAITING, THE PAST IS DEAD!

_________________________

I Found the Last Rose

composed by W. C. Guthrie
1939 in June
Stamford, Texas

While strolling through the garden
this morn, so sweet and rare,
I found a lone Rose, the last of the summer
lingering there

Hanging on the bush, so wilted, so all Alone,
To the naked eye, its beauty was gone.

But to me it was sweeter than all the others
—that were there.

As I plucked that last Rose—with infinite care,
I thought, how like the last Rose our

journey through life;
Bloom out fresh and young, only to wither
in sorrow and strife.

The last Rose in the garden, I found wilted there
will be my reminder of happiness, joy, sorrow and care.

_________________________

Flower Is Faded

June 1943 on board ship for No. Africa
(W.C. Guthrie collection)

The flower is faded, all crushed and torn

the tablet is water stained and worn.

It cost at most a five cent piece

But its value to me shall never cease.

The dog-eared corners, dirty pages and all

From their place in my heart shall never fall.

To you who look its only a book.

A small tablet of paper so cheap

But its a token to me-from a loved one to keep.

A keepsake of love to compare with no other

It came to me with Love from Mother.

_________________________

Thoughts of An Army Recruit

by W.C. Guthrie
enroute to Lubbock to be sworn in, Oct. 7, 1940

NOW I am gone from old friends and loved ones
Like a young bird, my weak wings to try,
With new scenes and new faces around me
We’ve parted with tears in our eyes.

As the old train rolls on its puffing way
I hear its whistle screaming through the night
Taking me to a new life to-morrow
after this things will never seem right.

Mother, it hurt me so to leave you
it broke your dear heart I know,
But forever in my heart I’ll keep your image
As to a new life to-morrow I go.

May the Father see fit, That’s in Heaven
For a new lease on life to me give.

Now dear God, Father of all please protect them
Give Dear Mother the strength to be brave
Give her knowledge that I always will love her
E’er till this old body rots in the grave.

_________________________

Will you love me when I’m Old?

by W. C. Guthrie, April 5, 1944
Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Will you love me when I’m Old?

And my hair has turned to grey,

And my joints are slow and creaking

And my manhoods past away?

When my pep and passions left me

And I’m just a shrunken frame

Creeping, moaning, grouching, groaning

Will you love me just the same?

When my rheumatism gets me

and my second childhood’s here

And I drink my rot-gut freely

With my bare feet on a chair

If, with patience you can stand it

And a love for me retain

When you’ve grown so fat and sloppy
As a Queen to me you’ll reign.

_________________________

Loneliness

by W. C. Guthrie, March 15, 1944
Anzio, Italy

My pen runs on—in mad wild thoughts

Fate is having her bitter jest,

Mocking—and laughing–and grasping–

Lest—

I should break my bonds and be

Alone again–Calm and free

As the Birds above me–winging high

Up—Up—to the quiet and peaceful sky.

My boon companion—-monotony!

Endless days and nights for me.

Time stands still—and—yet goes on

A new days here—and then it’s gone!

Going on and on—IS there no end?

Gnawing Loneliness my only friend.

2 responses to “Poetry

  1. Linda Montgomery Berger

    I believe that your father knew my family , my Grandmother was Thelma L Guthrie Montgomery who was your fathers sister. You may or may not know my father Kenneth Dale Montgomery / Mildred Curtis Montgomery, I can remeber meeting your Father as a small child .

    • Ancestral Paths and My Photo Journal

      I’m sure my dad knew your family. Dad and I met face to face in 1986 and that was for the first time. Thanks to dad and now to his widow I have been able to piece together the family history and have added alot of photo’s to the site too. Now I can put faces to the names with the photos they have sent. I’m still in the dark with any of the family that is still living. It was great that you found the site! Thanks for stopping by and please stay in touch!

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