The Harvest of Love; "Friends." My first publication.
This poem, originally entitled “Friends” was my first poem to ever be “officially” published. The National Library of Poetry, included my selected work as a contribution to a compilation of many different poets they judged appropriate to include in their 1996 hardcover edition, entitled The Path Not Taken.
I entered poetry contest in the previous year (1995), when The National Library of Poetry advertised their contest. They gave each contestant a topic to write about, which they then judged against other entries. The topic given to many others and me was, obviously, “Friends, and what they meant in your life.”
After consideration by the National Library of which compositions to include in their publication, I ended up recognized by the Library to be “among the best 3% of all entries judged”. As a result, an “Editor’s Choice Award,” and a certificate for “Outstanding Achievement in Poetry” were awarded to me.
After chosen for publication, many authors, including myself, had the opportunity to include a short “Biography” for inclusion in the book. The publisher also asked these select few if we would include a statement or sentiment of our personal philosophy. The statement I composed for my biography was:
“Heritage do not forsake but friends always strive to make, when abysmal strife is to transcend the fruits of good will follow pen.”
(Looking back, it seems like rather amateur English, but I think the meaning is clear enough.) I still today try to live by this innate (although sometimes difficult to follow) philosophy. I suggest that its premise is universally available and healthy to consider, for everyone’s personal paradigm and outlook on life.
Indeed, writers who adopt a similar philosophy, I believe, especially if they want to promote and publish peace, may experience a profound and beneficial “Spiritual” influence in their lives; for truly, “the pen is mightier than the sword” (Edward George Bulwer Lytton, 1803-1873) and, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5: 9).
The anthology was copyright and published in 1996, and I, or my poem, can be found on p 26, with my biography recorded on p 650.
In addition, because of entering this contest, and earning a modest “published writer” status, The International Society of Poets, inducted me as one ofg their members, and awarded me a certificate in recognition for my support of the Society’s principles, specifically:
Peace - Education - Accomplishment - Charity - Equality.
Finally, to be complete, I must note that most of the published poets wound up buying their own copies of the book, and the only people who made money were the folks who ran the show. Nevertheless, the whole deal was satisfying and uplifting to me, in that it did garner some accolade, but mostly, it was a great encouragement for me to continue writing …
Oh, all is vanity
Each Harvest is Made with Love
“It is no small thing to be on terms of friendship with God.”
L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, Zondervan Publishing, 2006, p147.
The Harvest of Love
Friends are valuable, yes indeed
And surely gold in a time of need
A friend can calm your soul's currents
With only their rightward stirring presence
Spreading warmth to your heart's abyss
Restoring your conscience, and self‑awareness
As the soft banks of a meandering stream
Or the contoured rocks in a river of steam
A friend will accept, and direct a great force —
And leave but a token of beauty in course
Friends are a must in the lives we construe
The best being natural, and balanced, and true
But remember to share when times seem backward —
For the harvest of love will be the reward
So, be always aware of your inherent niche
For that friend who will someday make you rich!
© Copyright 1996 Timothy Alexander Donnelly
Published by The National Library of Poetry, in The Path Not Taken