Poetry of Leland Gamson

An Introduction

I am a Messianic Jew who accepted Jesus as my Messiah at age 18. I retired from the United States Army and worked as a VA social worker and therapist. I have written children's books, devotionals, poetry and wrote children's Sunday School curriculum for the Wesleyan Church, My writings have also been published in THE UPPER ROOM and HOPE IS NOW evangelical magazine, and in the PROCEEDINGS ON SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH. I am a member of the Academy of American Poets, and a Certified Methodist Lay Minister.  I enjoy teaching Sunday School, performing Bible characters and working out at the Y, walking my dogs and traveling.


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Poetry

 

 

WAS HE AN ANGEL OR A TRUCK DRIVER?

 

When driving in a blizzard

With fifty miles to go

I feared I’d never make it

Because of the ice and snow

So, I prayed to our Good Shepard

To safely home, arrive

For it is His perfect will

To Keep His sheep alive

Then a slow-moving truck

Appeared in front of me

Now its lights and shielding

Allowed me to finally see

 

I followed behind him

Gratefully wondering why

The piece of road I drove on

Was never slick, but dry

 

We drove to my exit

Where the roads were dry and clear

Then he honked when I left him

And he did disappear

 

Was the truck driven by an angel

God put for me, onboard

Or was the driver, a trucker

In service of our Lord?

 

Leland P. Gamson

Copyrighted 2020

 

 

 

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRIST’S BIRTH

 

‘Twas the night before Christ’s birth and nearing the town

Rode three wise men all wearing a crown

They each bore a gift chosen with care

For Mary’s baby when they arrived there

They followed a star when they heard the good news

Of the One to be born to be King of the Jews

Gaspar, traveled from where we know as Iran

With a gift of gold for the Son of Man

Melchior came from much farther east

Bearing incense for the new born High Priest

Balthasar brought myrrh for God’s Passover Lamb

He knew he better not bring bacon or ham

 

Christ would die for us all as an atonement for sin

Meanwhile, Mary and Joseph found no room at the inn

For the innkeeper told Joseph his inn was all full

The only place for his family had cows, lambs, and a bull

The manger was not quiet, all was not still

In fact, it was noisy, but this was God’s will

The room had no windows because it was a cave

But God’s Holy Spirit had all creatures behave

Joseph’s tired donkey, on which Mary road

Found a place in the stable, a livestock abode

Outside, the shepherds guarded their flock

 

From any predator hiding behind crevice or rock

The next day they heard singing from on high

A celestial choir sang from up in the sky

“Glory to God in the highest, peace, good will to men”

And the shepherds repeated “Halleluiah, Amen”

When they peaked in the stable, what did they see

Mary with child, Joseph bowed down on one knee

For the Savior was born, to show us His Way

To the world He was sent, for our sins He would pay

He would not lead an army to free Jacob from Rome

But came as a Shepard to lead His sheep to His home

He came not to conquer, He came not to kill

But He came to spread love, kindness, goodwill

He would die on a cross as our Passover Lamb

For God came down to earth, the Holy I AM

 

Now 2000 years later when Christmas Eve comes

 We can still have our trees and our sugar plums

But let’s remember Christ’s birth in old Bethlehem

And angels singing, “Glory to God, peace, good will to all men”

Written by Leland P. Gamson

                                                                                                                 @2020

 

 

POEM TO MY FALLEN SON’S DOG

 

Jake, what does an old dog dream about?

Do you dream about when you and Nate

Would play soldier in the nearby woods,

Him wearing parts of my old Nam uniform

Telling me you two were in the K-9 Corps

And when he became 18 you would both

Join up for real?

 

I could not explain to him that when he turned 18

You would be too old for the K-9 Corps

Just like I could not explain to a six year old

What war is really like.

 

When his guard unit was called up

I think he knew what to expect

When he gave you to me for safe keeping

But that didn’t stop him from being as eager

To go kick butt

As I was when going off to Nam.

 

Jake, you still get up when you think you hear Nate’s truck

Returning him from the Iraq War

While in the closet, his dress uniform, not aging like you

Stands ready for him to put on again.

Just like you’re ready to go trot off with him again into the woods.

 

Maybe if enough of Nate’s body remained

After the IED blew up his hummer

We could have had an open casket funeral

And you would have been able to sniff his remains

And in your dog way of understanding

Know that he was as dead as the squirrels

That fell from your chase.

 

 

Jake, do you know that you are old

And you are only going to grow older

And it is only going to get harder for you

To get up, and harder for you to smell

What is left of Nate’s odor on his uniforms?

 

Do you know that you are going to die?

And that I am going to die soon too

Because the Agent Orange is aging me fast

So we are the same age now?

 

Heaven is easy to describe to a dog.

It is a land where you and Nate can run

And explore together deep in lush woods

Swim and climb and leap without pain.

 

Heaven is a place where you don’t need a collar

Or a leash and young men and women don’t need dog tags,

Because nothing is going to run you over or hurt you.

In Heaven no one gets separated from their unit.

Dogs don’t lose their masters

And parents don’t lose their children.

 

LTC Leland Gamson (USAR Ret., IGR)

 

 

NATURALISM

 

Here is the universe explained

Without our Lord and King,

Nothing times nothing

Equals everything.

 

Concepts of right and wrong

Can be explained this way,

All life is but a struggle

Between predator and prey.

 

A real conscious self

In science has no room.

Spirit’s but an illusion

Just don’t ask to whom.

 

By Leland P. Gamson

 

 

I AM SURROUNDED BY SAINTS

 

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the Saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:  Ephesians 1:1 (NIV)

 

To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as Saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7 (NASB)

 

I ask God to Speak to me

As He did to Moses and Abraham

I ask God, for me to be visited by an angel

Like the Centurion, Cornelius was in Caesura.

So far, neither has happened.

 

What has happened is that

I am always running into Christ’s Saints.

Saints in Walmart working as checkers

Greeting each customer, as Christ’s ambassador

With love whether they be kind or grumpy.

 

Saints visiting those in prison

As Christ commanded us.

Saints incarcerated in prison

Striving to stay on the straight and narrow

Living with hardened fellow inmates,

While trying to show them a better way.

 

Saints extending their hands in love

To drug addicts, now under the Saints’ care.

 

Saints driving cars lined up

In front of middle schools

To pick up the grandchildren

While their children work.

 

Nursing assistant Saints

Gently changing the attends

Of the frail, elderly who are hardly aware of their caregiver.

 

 

Saints staffing Christians missions

Who take Jesus at His word

To feed the hungry

And give water to the thirsty.

 

Saints driving ambulances

And without judgment

Reviving those who O.D.

 

Saints in church, the Body of Christ

Singing, praying, sharing each other’s burdens

Studying His word

Inviting others to join

Their fellowship of Saints.

 

By Leland P. Gamson

 

                @ 2020

 

 

GUARDIAN BEAR

 

I, guardian bear, sit by the grave

Of a child whose stay here was brief

His day of birth, was not one of joy

Instead, it brought sorrow and grief

 

But were I, more than a stuffed bear

I ’de show you the Kingdom above

You’d see that our child is under God’s care

Embraced by His angels and love.

 

 

By Leland P. Gamson

@2020

 

 

 

GIVE HIM YOUR HAND

Sung to the tune of  “I Can’t Help Falling in Love”

 

Wise men came to a lonely inn

To see the One who was free of sin

For all who knock

Are let in

For Jesus has shed His blood for you

 

Give Him your hand

Give Him your whole life too

For Jesus has shed His blood for you

 

 

REFRAME:

If it was just you

In this world today

He’d still shed His blood

On Good Friday

 

 

He loves the poor, He loves the meek

He loves the strong, He loves the weak

For Jesus has shed His blood for you

 

Give Him your hand

Give Him your whole life too

For Jesus has shed His blood for you

 

By Leland P. Gamson

 

The four line reframe can be inserted between any of the verses. 
As in the original, the whole lyrics can be repeated.

 

 

A GIFT TO A GENTILE LADY

 

“Don’t bury your dog Liddy’s remains in the back yard.”

Ruth was warned by her mother,

“Because if you do, whenever you see her grave, you will feel sad.”

But Ruth did bury Liddy in their back yard

Not wanting her pals remains cremated then forgotten.

And Ruth buried other treasurers

Where she would keep running into them.

 

On her library shelf

She buried her high school yearbook

With photos of boys

Who didn’t requite her crushes.

In her closet

She buried her ballet slippers

She can still fit into.

 

She buried in her trunk

Rejection letters from two

Seven Sister colleges

With letters from her boyfriend

Who wouldn’t marry her

After she became pregnant.

And she buried on the shelf

A book of possible names

For their baby

She aborted.

 

Now thirty years later

She listens to the King of the Jews saying,

“My precious child take ballet lessons again.

Attend your high school reunion and meet

 A redeemed brother I have prepared

To be your Boaz.

And if you can see through the glass darkly

You will see

In my Father’s Kingdom

Your now named child

Plays with Liddy.”

 

Leland P. Gamson

607 W. Spencer Ave.

Marion, IN 46952

 

 

EMANUEL

(To the tune of “the Lion Sleeps Tonight”)

(Inspired from the words in Joel 3:16-18)

 

Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel

Emanuel, Emanuel, our Lord and Savior.

 

In a manger, a lonely manger

The Savior ‘s born tonight.

 

In a manger, a lonely manger

The Savior’s born tonight.

 

Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel

Emanuel, Emanuel, our Lord and Savior.

 

From the tribe, from the tribe of Judah

The Savior’s born tonight

From the tribe, from the tribe of Judah

Our Savior’s born tonight.

 

Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel

Emanuel, Emanuel our Lord and Savior

 

On the mount, on the Mt. of Zion

Our Savior will alight

On the mount, on the Mt. of Zion

Our Savior will alight.

 

Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel

Emanuel, Emanuel, our Lord and Savior

 

By Leland P. Gamson

 

 

COME SEE GOD’S SON SHINE

(sung to the tune of “You Are My Sun Shine”)

 

Last night as I was praying

I heard the Holy Spirit say,

“Come see the Son shine

Come see the Son shine

For then you ‘ll know dear

How much He loves us

He washed our sins away.

 

Come see God’s Son shine

Come see God’s Son shine

He makes us joyful when skies are grey

He’s made it known dear how much He loves us

He has washed our sins away.”

 

Some day when we are dying

And on this earth, we cannot stay

We’ll see God’s Son shine

And reign in Heaven

He has washed our sins away.

 

 

 

Come see God’s Son shine

Come see God’s Son shine

He makes us joyful

When skies are grey

He’s made it known dear

How much He loves us

He has washed our sins away.

 

One day He’ll return in glory

And come back here to stay.

He’ll bring with Him

The Saints in Heaven.

He has washed all our sins away.

 

Come see God’s Son shine

Come see God’s Son shine

He makes us joyful

When skies are grey

He’s made it known dear

How much He loves us

He has washed our sins away.

 

By Leland P. Gamson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Christian Children's Books By Leland Gamson  

   
  

 


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