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Poet's Platform Column | 17 Aug 06

by Janet Nesler | The Scioto Voice | Wheelersburg, Ohio

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After he crossed the river while on his knee,
Thanking GOD for his help for a chance to be free.
In just an instant he felt so much fear and alarm.
He felt someone lay their hand upon his arm.
He thought all that he had been through
had been for naught.
He thought the slave trackers had found him
and he was caught.
Then a gentle voice said “ Hurry, come with me,
I am part of the Underground Railroad
trying to set you free.”
The man helped him to the First Presbyterian Church
and in dim light,
A group of people greeted and welcomed him there
they were mostly white.
The group worked together by a stairway
moving a loaded bookcase,
When it was moved it revealed a door
concealing a hiding place.
When the door was opened some sense of fear left him,
He suddenly saw other escaped slaves were protected
and hiding within.
He ate, bathed, was shaved and to change his looks
they cut his hair.
He also for the first time in his life was given
decent clothes to wear.
Suddenly they heard a hard knock upon the outer door.
Quickly as they could they hid the hiding place as before.
He heard slave trackers in loud threatening voices
calling them names,
All the language the slave trackers used so rough and profane.
He was feeling so much fear from past experience,
it became a habit.
He felt he was captured by the slave trackers,
helpless as a rabbit.
He heard a gentle voice say 
“Be comforted and no fear, be quiet as a mouse.
I have never forsaken you in this struggle,
I am here, you will stay safe in

Walter C. Stout Sr.


Dear Lord I Thank Thee

Dear Lord. I thank Thee for many things --
A happy heart, a home that’s happy --
The sunshine each new morning brings.

I thank Thee for each flower and tree.
I thank Thee, too, for loving me.
Because I know you are always near to
ease my troubles and erase each fear.

I thank Thee for forgiving my mistakes
along the way.

I thank Thee, too, for good true friends

and contentment at the close of day.

Lord, teach me forgiveness with a heart
That’s contrite.
Help me each day to do what’s right.
Give me compassion for my fellow man,
Help me lend a helping hand.
For all these things, Dear Lord,
I humbly thank thee.

Dorothy Ackerman



Around the next curve,
Over the distant ridge,
Beyond the blue-haze horizon--
Wanderlust beckons.

I will go there--
Because I must!

The spirits summon,’

I must heed the call.

Along the way
I will talk with the trees,
Be kissed by the breeze,
Sing with the brook.

I will spread my wings
And soar with the hawk.
My spirit will commune
With nature--
And hold hands with God.

Charles Clevenger
New Boston






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