Arnold, Katherine

KATHERINE H. (KATE) ARNOLD

by Irene Magnusson

My mother, Kate Arnold, often made rhymes for us around home; if she was in a gay mood she could rattle off a mile of it. But she never wrote any down until we coaxed her into it when she was in her late sixties. Since then she has filled many pages with her observations and reactions to nature, and comments on humankind.

Deeply religious, in later years her thoughts go often to the wonders of God's gifts and the Bible passages she loves. She writes of these. But I like best the humorous touches and have included one in my selections. She recalls her mother as a sweet but somehow sad, gentle lady in a rough harsh land.

Mother has never quit doing. At age of 74 she bought and taught herself to play a chord organ. She still plays the odd tune on Dad's old violin. She visited the haunts of her childhood in Ottawa at 78, and flew to England at 81, finding her grandfather's tombstone in the churchyard of her birthplace. Of jetting she says, "It's the only way to go!

I SEE DIAMONDS, By Kate H. Arnold

Diamonds on blue velvet
Seem to hang so nigh -
Sparkling in their millions
'Cross the wintry sky.
Stars of heavenly brightness -
Through the midnight hours -
Outshining all the street-lights,
They speak of Greater powers.
Diamonds set by Divine hand,
Hanging safe in space,
Out of reach of grasping man
To magnify God's grace.

MY MOTHER 'S LAMP, By K.H. Arnold
I remember the lamp which stood on a shelf;
I longed for the day I could reach it myself
I wanted to start the little glow
And put it out with one big blow!
When sickness came, as it does you know,
Mother carefully shaded her lamp's bright glow
From our flushed faces, and tip-toed slow
Around our bedside, with lamp turned low.
Her cool soft hand placed on my brow
Was like an angel-touch, I vow;
She'd hear my whisper however low;
Her mothering love comes back to me now.
Many years have passed and gone,
Her love but a mem'ry; yet, anon,
I hope to meet her face to face -
In her hand the lamp of redeeming grace.

MERCURY LIGHTS, By K.H. Arnold - Dec.1965

I often wonder of what next I will write;
Well, now I know - it's the Mercury Lights!
Something new for our back street
And how ghostly we appear when we chance to meet!
It's quite a change to meet a fellow
Who's hair looks green and visage yellow;
But we'll get used to the uncanny sight
Of midnight blue snow under Mercury Light.
No longer the trees' dark shadows freeze
And chill our nerves, or seem to seize
With outfiung limbs as we pass near by -
Or give us an icy swish in the eye!
For the Mercury Lights gleam far and wide,
No corners dark where dangers hide;
The beams are bright to the next-corner-light.
We welcome most gladly the Mercury Light!
'Though the moon hangs low 'till late at night
And stars above like diamonds bright
Cannot compare with that lamp up there -
That Mercury Light, so bright and fair!

HUMPTY DUMPTY - A MODERN MIX?, By K.H. Arnold

Humpty Dumpty was a big fat egg,
He fell off a wall and broke his leg;
'Twas said that he couldn't be mended again
So an omelet was mixed to feed the King's men.
Now what was an egg doing up on the wall?
'Cause the price of eggs was high - that's all!
How can an egg "sit", I'd like to know?
For an egg has no bottom to sit on, below.
Now were the King's men just riding by?
Used the egg as a target and let arrows fly?
No wonder then, it fell off the wall -
In the first place, it shouldn't have been there at all!

TRAINS IN THE NIGHT, By K.H. Arnold

Tickets are bought for you and me,
Our baggage buckled tight -
We climb aboard and off go we
On a train which runs in the night.
Thro ugh canyons wide, the echo loud,
Trees seem to hold on tight -
Past lighted stations - and the crowd,
We flash on through the night.
Dark hills slip by, then mountains appear,
Moon-splash on rugged height;
They never move to get out of the way
Of our train as we pass in the night!

HOPE --IS GREEN, By K.H. Arnold

After the long months of winter
With snow lying deep and white -
Can you guess what most I wish for?
What would be a heavenly sight?
Would it be the geese flying northward
In noisy V-shaped flight?
Would it be to see the robins
Arriving overnight?
Would it be to see the river
Freed from its icy bed,
Or to find a modest violet
Among the leaves long dead?
O all of these are lovely
But the sweetest thing I've seen
Are the willows and the poplers
With their first fresh burst of green!
Appearing on the hilltops
Where nought but snow has been
Through long grey weeks of winter.

O Welcome, lovely green?