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Poet's Platform Column | 22 June 06

by Janet Nesler | The Scioto Voice | Wheelersburg, Ohio


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On June 6, 2006 the world lost a great poet and I lost a dear friend.  John Engle of Xenia, OH, one of the regular poets of this column, passed from this life after a long fight with cancer.  During this fight he never stopped writing poems, hugging trees and enjoying nature.  The words of a poet linger on forever and John will never be forgotten.  I would like to dedicate the column this week to John and include the poem he wrote for his tombstones.   One of which will be in his Kentucky woods.


This much I know, if nothing more:
I am, and I have been before.
I am; I was, and I shall be
a star in the sky of eternity.
And if I cease, or if I fall
I shall not lose myself at all.
Though changed in form, my being still
must find its niche of space to fill.
And whether here, or whether there--
on earth or in the unseen air--
I shall exist, I and my reason
for being me.  The change of season
death may bring can hurt me never,
for being once is being ever.

John Engle
Xenia, OH


The sun, supported by the tree-fringed hill,
at first appears incapable of rising.
He looks as though he, too, has had his fill
of sleep; and what is more surprising,
it seems that I can see night traces
still clinging to his over-sluggish lid.
The sun exhales a breeze.  The mist clears. 
He faces his bright creation and then begins to rid
the silent world of any form of dark.
Unseen pulleys in the guiding hands of God
draw him up the slanted sky till a spark
of energy, expanding into a rod
of light, makes contact with the waking earth.
The warm womb of eternity expands;
A new day knows the miracle of birth,
And the old world takes new life from Heaven’s hands.

As I observe this miracle, I feel
a dawning in me that is just as real,
the sun of faith dissolves my doubting night
and fills my sky of mind with love and light.

John Engle
Xenia, OH






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