Poetry by Sheila Howard

If at first you don't succeed
To get the things you think you need,
Just say a prayer to God above
He'll steer you straight
With wisdom and love.

(Written by me this morning)

My house may never be clean again
For this I have decided

I'm going to visit with the people I love
Before those people have dieded

July 1980

There once was a gal named Nellie
Who day in and day out watched the telly
Eyes glued to the set
Her destiny was met
She quietly turned to jelly.


There was a man in a boat
He wanted to learn how to float
But he was so stout
He couldn't get out
So he had to stay in the boat


The dishes always wait while I watch
A dramatic show
But as soon as football comes on the screen
I'm up and raring to go.


I am brillian
I'm adored
I am pampered
Not ignored.


I miss you honey
I wish you were here
Although this is nice
It lacks something dear.
Like the sound of your voice
The touch of your hand
Your laugh
Your look
Even the way that you stand.


The rain falls and I stare out the window at the
Idleness of the small puddles it makes.
At the thin rivlets of water as it slides in uneven
Patterns across the lawn
Ah, I am blessed with the Glory of a moment in
The patchwork of life and one of its many stitches.

Sheila Goodwin Howard


From the moment that
I held you
And smiled down on your face

It was evident my darling
No one could ever
Take your place

For you're very special
You have been from
The start

Curled up so warm and cozy
In a corner of my heart.

Thirteen Years With You

I remember the night we were married Dave
The night we said "I do"
I cherish each word we spoke that night
"To Honor ………. To love only you"

I've heard those words again and again in the years
We've shared together,
And they say how much I love you Dave….



And Forever……….

Sheila Goodwin Howard

For David

I give you for Christmas my love and my life.
And, twicefold, all the joys of just being your wife.

I wrap it in tenderness and seal with this prayer…
That our children be blessed with a love just as rare.

Sheila Goodwin Howard
December 1972

I cannot walk with you down your narrow road
Neither looking to right or left
Nor pausing to shut my eyes and give way to memories of what
I have passed,

Now can I cling to your hand,
Holding you down to my pace
For your eyes to not see what is really in mine,
Nor your heart eager to accept the love of life itself.

Your world is too sure, too realistic and void of dream and hope.


I planted a garden in my backyard.
I shoveled and hoed and worked so hard.
I watered and weeded row after row.
Anticipating the joys my labor would sow.
Well, the days went by,
And green sprang from the earth.
But, the plants that were growing,
Would widen no girth.
For covering that well tended two-acre plot
Was a beautiful lush field of Columbian Pot.

Sheila Goodwin Howard

Ah, daydreams
Come to me in wind
And in the sound of waves surging shorward.

Come to me in the smell of grass
And in the feel of rain upon my face.

Close not your door of childlike wonder
But entreat me from the boredom of this day,
Lest my mind and soul do wither and my youth
Be cast away.


There once was a Frog and his name was Schwartz
He was green and slimy with a back full of warts
He lived by the Creek at the head of the branch
And he loved a girl frog by the name of Blanche

Now he courted her one Sunday
Riding on a lily Pad
Brought a bottle of Fly Cider
To her Rheumatismed Dad

Told her Mother she was pretty
Told her sister she was Sweet
Though they both were kind of ugle
With their warts and webby feet.

When they sat him down to supper
The menue was sublime
There were beetle backs, mosquito legs and a
Bottle of Port Rock Slime.

He hicupped when it was over
Hung his head and Blushed with shame
Then giggled quite hysterically
When her Mother did the same.

Schwartz took Blanche a walking slowly
Down on Moccasin Slipper Bay.
He croacked her love songs and Whistled
And did a quick Sa-shay.
He hopped on one leg and then on two
To show he was a sport
Blanche, grinned then giggled and winked an eye
Then said "Hic, let's have some more Port.”

He took her home and kissed her hand
And hopped on home to Bed.
When he called the next day all
Poor Blanche could say was
"Oh, my aching head."

Now I come to this conclusion while singing this refrain
That the person who wrote this song must sure be insane.

"If I should die before I wake"
Funny how a childrens' prayer
Can make you smile, yet…
Think with care.

To be human is easy
To be humane requires character

There is a young boy named Jace
Who has a mischievous face
He is never quite bad
This red-headed lad
But he leads you a merry ole chase.

There she stands in grace and beauty
Innocent of her expressions and smiling eyes.

For Lindy


Just a clerk you say…..

I don't quite see it that way
Without a clerk to type and file
And grumble and fuss and laugh and smile
Where would the workers and Supervisors be…
Without all the advice we give them for free.


If, with expectation and joy I am born;
And with love, laughter, humility and understanding
I am raised;
I can extend most graciously into a life of meaningful

To accept man,
Not as a race, but as one individual at a time,
In charge of himself.

Come with me and be what you will,
Only never do what is said in guise.

A tear falls and hope becomes a dream
Without expression

A child sheds a tear of lost hope and
Becomes an old man, hopeless

Being human I have erred and with humility I will
Boastfully admit it,
My conscience will perhaps pinch a bit
But I'll compute myself to forget it

I'm feeling very sad today for love
Just silently passed away.

I sit and contemplate what I should have said or done…
Ah, wasted supposition.

They grow so fast and leave you with nights of wishful
Moments for all the lovely hours given to platitudes
And all the wishful longing to have just one more
Day to watch them as they were;
Chubby, laughing
Calling out for you,
Their world,
Their delight,
Their need and warmth
Memories, tearful and happy clinging vividly to a
Sunshine day when you accepted a small grubby hand
And walked for a few stolen minutes
Through their joyous world of just loving

For Steve……My son

My son is sixteen and to him the world is a mass of
Confusion where people pull and push at him;
Where his own thoughts

I wrap myself in the winds of March and watch
A cold world washed in April rain my eyes aglow
With the birth of spring.

I shed a silent tear for man
For the glory of his pride and wisdom and
The damnation of his prejudices and ignorance.

Let Me

Let me wander in my childhood
Let me yell and play and run
Let me kiss you though I'm dirty
Let me tell some fibs for fun
Let me roll down hills and gather dust
Let me climb a tree to dream
Let me talk to people you can't see
Let me wade through winter streams
Let me ride a horse that's made of wood
Let me keep a dog I've found
Let me wear no shoes to the doctor
Let me draw with a stick in the ground
Let me be myself and glean from youth
All the freedom that I can
For the roots of a child raised with freedom and dreams
Expand the scope of man.

Bad Things?

I lay back on the warm earth and stick out my tongue at the
Clouds floating marshmellowy above me.
It is such a silly feeling that I giggle
Delighted with my wickedness and I do it again.

I roll on the rough grass laughing
My mind wondering what other terrible things I can do
While no grownups are around to scold.

Missing You

Where has she gone that scrubby child
With dirty face and straggly hair.
Always falling and skinning her knee.
Always climbing to the top of the tree…

Where has she gone in her dress of plaid
With pockets torn and belt untied?
Always loving the wind in her hair
Always laughing without a care…

I loved the child with innocent grace
With hope in her eyes and dirt on her face
Who loved without question and smiled without pain
And ran to meet daddy through the summer rain.
Who kissed her mommie at the end of the day
And longed to be like her in every way.

Her mommie is old now, Her daddy is dead

How I long for her in the changing of life
As I struggle with being a mother and wife.

I woke with the feeling of having been somewhere deep and soft,
Flowing with a touch of hands and lips.
And I was lifted upward into the bubble of completeness.

If we could drive our cars on all the wasted words of man
There would never be a gas shortage.

If gas flowed as easily as a fool's words
We would never be without.

A world of frustration and anger
Washed with tears of joy, humility and kindness;
Would bring about all the happiness and contentment of
loving and being loved.


If I should die
For goodness sake
Give me a good old Irish Wake.
Invite all my friends
To sit down and dine,
And lavish them all
With good foods and wine.
Remember the good times,
With a laugh and a smile
And maybe a tear just
Once in a while.
Grieve at my passing,
Rejoice I was here,
For I loved every minute of
Each precious year.

For Jace and Marc – Christmas 1972

Two little boys on Christmas Eve night
Lay in the bed all snuggled and tight
Both had red hair, a freckly or two;
One had green eyes, the other had blue.

Santa was coming, tonight, very soon
To scatter presents in the living room.
Both boys were excited and sleep seemed in vain
As they both watched the sky through the glass window pane.

The whispered of the presents under the tree
And in unison they thought "I hope the big one's for me"
"or the small one that rattles if you shake it just right"
"or the round one that daddy sneaked home late last night"

How big was the sack that held all the toys
That Santa's small elves made for good girls and boys
Oh, how many trains and how many bears
And how many dolls and how many chairs
And how many teasets and how many dreams
Could they stuff in the sack
Without ripping the seams.
Oh, but Santa was careful, he'd know when to stop
And he wouldn't let even one small present drop.

For presents are special on this night of the year
And people are laughing and filled with good cheer
And the Christmas trees sparkle at each house you go by
And there seems to be echoes of bells in the sky.

They talked of the cookies that mommie would bake
And all of the pictures that daddy would take
What hugging and kissing and shouting there'd be
On Christmas morning neath the Christmas tree.

And kneeling they sent a small prayer up above
That they'd always have those around them to love
Their little heads nodded and they drifted away
In a soft cloud of dreams toward the new day.

Like this envelope
That's empty
So's my life when
You're not there.

Like the card that
Goes inside it
I need your love
And care.

Like the two of them
We care complete
Through life

Belonging to each
Sharing, man and wife.

So remember darling
That love may be tucked away
But because it's precious
And special
It's more valuable every day.

A dusty old shop
A corner store
Sign out front
"Used Books and More"

Counters in side all filled with things
From toy pandas to wedding rings
All discarded, reasons unknown
Perhaps uncaring, perhaps a loan

Books in boxes stacked on the floor
Lining the walls a thousand or more
Curiously brought me in the door
And I bent to delve in a box on the floor

A scarf, still tied in a knot at the end
A birthday card someone forgot to send
A tiny black purse with a thimble inside
A phial of perfume no one could abide
A cup with no handle, a doorknob of brass
A compact, a hairbrush, a blue crystal glass

A story from life thought I
As I rose from the floor
I smile, a romantic, as I walked through the door.

For a black worker at HRS, 1972, killed by police in a shootout outside Lake City.

Brothers All – Gerald

I did not know your son well.
I saw him silently smile in his quiet way and
Heard from others of his concern for man.

How sad, that in my own world of seemingly heavy loads
And anxiety
I could not mourn with him then with the minutes and hours
Of self-battles;
Nor feel, the torture of being one yet crucified even before
The final act.

I am angry with myself that I did not reach out and touch
Him with genuine feeling so that he would know I was really
Trying to be aware.

Could I have touched him?
Could we have gotten beneath the color and prejudices
To cling to each other in mourning for all men who have
Known suffering and injustice?
Could we have shed tears for the children of this world
Who have known brutality and hunger, hopelessness and dispair?

These days are filled with shock, remorse, anger and astonishment
Of the tragedy of his death.
I am selfish with my hurt, not understanding, questioning
Trying to find some way to preserve my rose colored glasses
And yet, as the days go by they slip further and further
Down my nose of aristocracy and now in this hour of sorrow,
I hang my head,
Crying out to a world that I thought existed and seeing
More each day of the world I really live in.

Time asked me…

Why do you sit while I run on and on leaving you far behind?


I was
I am,
And someday, I'll hope to be

I am filled with a deep longing
A hunger for the knowing of life

We suffer in the darkness of our self existence
When no one can hear our tears

Maybe youth seems so sweet and alive because
It is a memory and we don't have to worry
About returning

A dream unrealized is like the brilliance of the sun
Blanketed by the clouds.

Time was I thought and knew exactly what I was thinking
How young I was

Now I think my thoughts are questioned
At last I am reaching maturity

He sat and pondered and lived with dreams
A life of tortured moments…

Julie's running down the road.
Julie's in a tree.
Julie's looking everywhere.
But Julie can't find me.

She's looking in the hayloft.
She's looking at the sea.
She's looking in the houseboat.
But Julie can't find me.

She's looking for me everywhere.
She's calling on the wind.
She's heading for the lighthouse.
Ah, her searching there will end.

Crazy Apples
Running round
Juicing up the frozen ground.

Bananas Crazy
Singing flat
Never knowing where they're at.

Cherries Red
Berries Blue
Oranges Orange?
Can this be true –

Then why not
Cherry Cherry
Berry Berry
Even if only temporary…


Where did they go the years of youth
Seasons of breathing and living
And days that passed so fast that now
I cannot remember and I am awed.

You could come with me
If you would, but
I do not think you will…

You could see me as I was once long ago;
Young, eager, my eyes alight with wonder
And my heart alive with excitement and laughter…

I could be all you want again
Would you but return from your world of self
And come with me
I do not think you will…


You lay in sleep.
A hand upon your chest that rises and falls
In rhythm of contented slumber.

A tiny foot, lightly covered with the warm earth
Gathered in the adventures of the hours past,
Peeps from beneath the cover.

Your soft red hair that shines in the sun as you
Play, now lies in shaded disorder upon your pillow.


I asked you to be quiet
I asked you to go to sleep
You disobeyed me
I had to spank you
And now you're left to weep.

We are as Ice and fire
So far apart and yet…
I cannot help but love you.

Little babies come alone
Into a world, strange and unknown
A quiet voice
A loving hand
Ease their beginning in this land.

If I could wander through your mind…
Good Lord! Now that would take some time.

All the things I surely know
Watch my eyes and you will know.

A Memory of You
For Lindy

A little girl took her doll one day,
Out in the yard in the sunshine to play.

She washed it and dressed it
Then took it to tea
And rocked it to sleep 'neath a shady tree.

Sheila Goodwin Howard
May 1973

The hallway always goes by so fast
That I am never sure just what I've passed
The living room is upside down
My kitchen is always spinning round
The dining room I never see
Cause I always play with my food, you see.

Handmade dresses, soft and sweet
Tiny little shoes for tiny precious feet
Bonnet of lace
Frame a delicate face

(While living on New Orleans in Tampa, watching Lindy and Steve sleeping)

All the years of baby tears
Nights of sickness filled with fear
Cuddle and rock you,
Worry and pray,
Nothing will ever take you away.

Shadow, Shadow on the wall
Dark and ominous, six feet tall
Follow me across the room
Disappear within the gloom
Always there on sunny days
When it rains you stay away.

Come to me, little one
With hands outstretched and feet unsure

Eyes bright with mirth
Diaper pinned around your girth

Trusting, hopeful and filled with life
What a lovely memory in moments of strife.

(Thinking of all my babies)
Sheila Goodwin Howard

I'm not perfect; that's for sure!
Mistakes, I've made my share.
Life's got to have some little bumps,
Just to make us more aware.

Sheila Goodwin Howard

There will be no more tomorrows.
For tomorrows never last.
They only turn into today
Then fade into the past.

Sheila Goodwin Howard

It is a quiet time; a gentle time
A morning rare and fine.
So come to me
Stay with me
And blend your love with mine.

It is a sunny day
A time to play
A day of promise bright.
So speak to me
Laugh with me
Tell me all is right.

It started out a lovely day…
But ordinary in every way.

I brushed my teeth
And combed my hair
Sat at the table
In my own little chair.

I ate my breakfast of grits and eggs
Then ran outside on my strong little legs.

(Memories of Lindy)

I asked the question
But never knew…
What is a Sheila supposed to do!?!

Or say, or be, or want, or act?

I still don't know, and that's a fact.


I've a thousand stories inside my head.
But… they must be on paper in order to be read.


You run with abandonment
In the joy of being alive.
Unafraid of expression
Oblivious to life's depression.


There is nothing more frustrating than having something to say and no one to say it to…

Unless, of course, it's not knowing where to start or what gripe to choose, if by chance you do get an audience.


Each year we gather
To frolic and play
With the Davis' and Crews'
On reunion day.

On the second Sunday
Of August, Ya hear!
You folks gather 'round
For good eating and cheer.

They'll be folks at the table
To greet ya with smiles
And some will have come
A whole heap of miles.

Just to see you and hug you
And be happy you're here
Though they aren't with you often
They remember and care.

And we ants will watch you
As we scamper around
Getting fat and sassy
From crumbs on the ground.

That fall from the table
Of bounty you share
So God Bless You and Keep You
Till we see you there.

SEE YA!!!!!!!

Walker Memorial Park
Waycross, Georgia
August 14, 1977

There is a scream inside me
And I am choking.
I need someone
But I am alone.

Where is this place I hang from
Suspended without touch
Without care..
The world is deaf.

How long can I clutch at dreams
Sucking faith to breath.
When will I turn loose home and become peacefully still.


For Christmas,
I really don't know what to give
A kangaroo or a flea.

Oh, but I do know what to give Jace or Marc.
Everything on T.V.

December, 1972

I am me!
Dare you stand there with your sober side
And think you can change that which cannot be changed.

For I am me!
And I am self!

And who might you be, wallowing in contented
Egotism while you work so hard to cut away my originality
And distort self.

I am ego!

So in my own inadequacies I ask for pity
Indulgence and understanding.
Extend your hand, do not hammer my ego, but
Gentle me with a softness of humility.
Widen my knowledge even as you strive to lengthen my
Patience toward prejudice and pride.

Let me know the true cut of your self.

Then, together, we can join the strengths of ego,
Tear away the selfishness of self and
Just be a me.

A better cut
A stronger fiber
And expanded receiver,
But me.


A June Remembered

When I think of you
I see hot summers
Palmetto bushes
Running and playing hide and seek.

I see salt water, sun and sandy beaches
And quiet confessions as we watched the streams of
Phosphorus run through our fingers.

When I think of you
I see winters
Drizzly and cold
Vibrant with excitement as we lift a tree high in the air
And joyfully dress it in lights and tinsel
For a time we covered our anxieties and tears
In bright papers and ribbons
Clinging to the laughter that seemed to promise a
Forever of happiness and love.

And with Spring and its blossom of a new season
I remember you
Long drives and talks
Strange dirt roads curving through fields of flocks
A creek
Roasted weiners on a sandbar
And learning to drive.

Loving and being loved.

Time heals all wounds, so they say,
But it's so very hard to believe today.

Give me the strengths of the sun and moon,
The glowing brightness and color of the stars
And all my days to glory in the beauty of it all.

Give me life, not just breathing
The strength of suns and moon
And stars to guide me.

Live is funny, don't you agree?
For there are no slaves and no one is free…

We are all slaves to our self, and only we
Can bring about freedom.

What little I ask of you, think before you turn me down
For the day might come, oh friend of mine
When the tables may turn around.

Sit with me and hold my hand, as I ponder and
Try to understand.

I shed silent tears for man
For the Glory of his pride and Wisdom
And the damnation of his prejudice and ignorance.


I Must Have Time To Dream

I cannot walk with you down your narrow road,
Neither looking to right or left, nor pausing
To shut my eyes and give way to memories of
What I have passed.

Nor can I cling to your hand, holding you down to my pace.

For your eyes do not see what is really in mine,
Nor your heart as eager to accept the pure love of
Life itself.

Your world is too sure
Too realistic and
Void of dreams and hope.

I lost my baby sister
She got very sick and died.
I don't really understand it all,
But I miss her and I cry.

My tears have been the silent ones
That question "Where did she go,
When we know Melissa loved us and
We all loved Melissa so?"

Grandma says she went to live with God.
In a place we've yet to see.
A place where we all will go someday;
Daddy, Mama and me.

We'll travel on Spring winds over the sun,
Slide down a rainbow bright.
Step from star to star and
Over the moon and through a velvet night.

And when we reach the highest spot
A valley of peace we'll see
And there will be little Melissa waiting,
For Daddy, Mama and me.

By Melissa's grandma 11/15/84

When I was five
I was just this tall
My decorative handprints lined the wall
From playing in mud
And climbing trees'
Jelly sandwiches and ju ju bees.

Time again for that special day
When we all get together in a wonderful way
Crews' and Davis' from miles around
Share their food and let love abound.

Hugs and kisses and smiles by the dozens,
Uncles and Aunts and hundreds of cousins.
All talking at once and laughing out loud
How blessed we are to be part of this crowd.

So, see you soon under Georgia's blue sky,
God bless you and keep you,
I love you,

Walker Memorial Park
August 13th – Sunday 1978

A dream unrealized is like the brilliance of the sun
Blanketed by the clouds.

Time was I thought and knew exactly what I was thinking
How young I was.

Now, I think and my thoughts are questioned
At last I am reaching maturity.

He sat and pondered and lived with dreams
A life of tortured moments.

Time asked me…

Why do you sit while I run on and on,
Leaving you far behind?

I was,
I am,
And someday, I hope to be.

I am filled with a deep longing
A hunger for the knowing of life.

We suffer in the darkness of our self existence
When no one can hear our tears.

Maybe youth seems so sweet and alive because
It is a memory and we don't have to worry about returning.

Thirteen Years With You

I remember the night we were married, Dave.
The night we said "I Do."
I cherish each word we spoke that night
"To Honor………..To love only you"

I've heard those words again and again in the years
We've shared together,
And they say how much I love you Dave…

And Forever.

For Don

Remember back through the years a way…
When we played together on a summer day.

A day that was hot, in a world made for two;
In a fennel weed house
We dreamed, me and you.

We ran down the road or through fields that were dusty;
Or climbed over fences all sagging and rusty;
In search of the robbers we sheriffs were after
On horses of tobacco sticks we took from the rafter.

They were firey and proud and took a strong hand
But ever loyal they stayed till we caught the villainous band
And after we'd caught the nasty ol' crooks
We'd sing as we rode through the rain filled brooks.

That were really big rivers that led through the pass
And into the valley of pine trees and grass
How cool was the water that looked like Ice Tea
On that hot summer day, for a little you and me.

Through these portals
Pass a man
No one else can understand.

Neither song, nor smiling face
Can lead this man
Another place.

If it should rain
And frogs swell up,
Should dogs be down to fee their pups.

Kiss me sweet
Hug me tight
Tell me you love me
And tell me goodnight.

I dream
Of flowers and dew;
Of soft winds boldly parting the white curtains of my window;
Of you.

Oh yes, I dream of years; those past; those which
Hold me possessively to the now;
Of him…

I sleep;
So quietly, smiling, dreaming not the dreams real or maybe..
Wake me…


If you should come to me some evening and stand before me
And we should smile with tenderness and joy…
And all the words we never spoke should come running forth
Without our being coy..
If we could touch with finger tips of love and understanding
Never once demanding promises or lies…
Who knows what infinite depths we may discover
Or to just what heights this union might then rise…

October 17, 1976

Tis the season of love for you and me
Smile and be happy I say
For spring comes but once to a love like ours
Don't tarry and waste the days.

Tis the season of learning for you and me
Use tenderness and strength I say,
For summer is touchy to a love like ours
Don't give up and walk away.

Tis the season for joy for you and me
Love is reborn this day
Rejoice in the worth of a second chance
That God has led us this way.

Tis the season for love for you and me
Where each precious moment is spent
Counting our seasons together
So much wiser in life…. Content.

Don and Sheila went to play
Down the dusty road of clay
Through palmettos pointed high
Under Georgia's summer sky.

Sagging fences felt them pass
The redhaired boy and the fair haired lass.
Warm wind whistled through the pines
Legs got scratched on tangled vines.
They waited not for anyone
But, ran and dreamed 'neath the Georgia Sun.

Corn stood high in even rows
And the earth felt good between their toes
Their joyous laughter filled the wood
And all their thoughts were warm and good.

In thinking of summers long gone by
I remember those children and the blue Georgia sky
As they ran and played in a world of joy,
The fair haired lass and the redhaired boy.

(To my favorite cousin and bestest friend, Donald Crews)

Life's story has long been written…
It lingers now only for the ink to dry.

June 1977

I ain't got no beauty
I ain't got much brain
I always do my ironing
Outside when it rains

My basketball's toasted
And spread thick with jam
I drink Florida orange juice
Simmered slowly with ham

Time is a porch swing
Clocks are the power
My hands are the same length
So which is minute, which is hour?

January, 1977

For all that I am
Or will be…
Or could be.

The past is forsaken

The present is frozen

The future whatever
Will be…
Or could be.

I saw her on the railroad tracks
Long black hair curling down her back.
Her dress was ragged; her feet were bare
Her smile a secret no one could share.

August 1977

With each year that passes
I learn a little more.
About the love we have today,
And the love we had before.

I never knew that special day,
How much this love would grow.
The many heights and depths we'd share
Was something we couldn't know.

But sitting here alone tonight
With you so far away,
I loved you David so much then
And even more today.

June 1977

Toast To A Youthful Mind

When you swing on a gate, you forget about hate
And, you make up songs to sing.

You watch blue skies with hope in your eyes;
The flight of a bird on a wing.

The wind comes to play and fennel weeds sway
On delicate lacy stems.

The warmth of the earth seems to bring new birth
To a young one's imaginary whims.

So, here's to the one who swings on a gate
And takes the time to forget his hate
And makes up songs to sing.

Who watches with hope in their eyes;
The flight of a bird on a wing.

(Memories of years of

You Must Remember

Think of me as a person.
Think of me as a friend.
Think of me as a lover, a mother,
A woman, a rebel,
Your wife.

But darling, don't ever forget that eager
Young girl who wanted to share your life.


A dress of brown,
White dots.
Frying bacon on a wood stove
Amid steam from cast iron pots.

Hair, soft and curling, red
Surrounds a glowing face.
Eyes, laughing, bright and knowing
Movements show a simple grace.

A time green, a pleasantry long past
Stirred within the soul of memory
A loving, joyous taste to last.

I can not hide from what I know
And all my feelings must surely show.
The joy of living, the tears of pain.
The moments lost; the ones I gain.

The things I feel when you're away.
The loving together, the words you say.

I feel the fall wind against my face
And the air is clean from the night's rain.

I am so content to stay within this place
But I must go holding hands again.

Tis peaceful to wrap oneself in a cocoon
To think I can exist like this is vain
But I know without a doubt, that all too soon
I must go holding hands again…

This silence is a part of me, you know
To ignore it or lose it quite insane
But just as fall must go and winter bring the snow
I must go holding hands again.

I am lonely with my family
I am lonely by myself
How I wish that we could gather
And leave differences on the shelf.

As the earth thrives upon the rain, so shall we be to each other…
Reveling in the spring of love.


Walk with me
Knowing always the need to
Touch you…

Turn to me with patient understanding,
Let me see you as you are beneath the
And smile

Open your heart to me and
Share your truth awhile

May 1977

I watch you from my window
Kissing your husband as he leaves for work;
Puttering here and there with flowers in your yard.

I watch the way you wash your windows
Then stand back, hands on hips, to approve your labor.

Your broom has a red handle
Your hair is in curlers
Your kids are brown from the sun
You kiss them, hugging each one with a love that shows within.
There is a smile on your face..
You seem content, without a care, and yet…
Do you watch me too, as I
Kiss my husband as he leaves for work…
Puttering here and there…



Mama, what's for dinner
Mama, where's my books
Mama, I got a new dress today
Tell me, how does it look?

Mama, why is the sky blue?
Mama, I stubbed my toe,
Mama, I'm so bored today,
Isn't there somewhere we can go?

Mama, my hand hurts so bad.
Mama, are you still there?
Mama, did you get any sleep
While sitting all night in that chair?

Mama, I've got to go to camp,
Mama, please take me home.
Mama, I have so many fears,
Please don't leave me alone.

How do you thank a Mother,
For all the years gone by
And all the things she's done for your
I can't, I won't even try.

Forgive me Mama, for all the pain
That I have put you through
For there isn't a Mama anywhere
Who's loved as much as I love you.

Sheila Dianne Goodwin Howard

I am tired of waiting
Of worry and pain;
Of suffering and guilt
And hoping in vain.

Time has gone by;
Days into years
Smiles seam so vulnerable
Against all the tears.

I want you.
I need you.
What more can I say…
It now lies with you to show me the way.


I will remember:

Her laugh, her pout, her joy, her tears
Her anger, her manners, her teasing, her fears.

Her voice, her eyes, her chin, her smile
Her hopes, her dreams, her pretences, her guile.

Memory is God's way of letting us know
Life is just a short feature before the main show.



A little girl
Her whole life long.
Confused and shattered
When things went wrong.

Like Sparrows, she wanted only to sing
Now gone to God
To do her thing.

(Written about Aunt Terrell) 1980's

The words are unimportant
It's what I see inside
The warmth, the love, the
Oneness and the pride.

I will remember the little boy smile and hugs
The growing boy's promise of manhood
I will cry for the loss of you
But smile for the years you were ours
Missing you is but a
Part of our pain
For there are no words to describe life without you.

June 29, 1987

For All Children

Did you ever cry alone
In the night
Staring into the darkness
Of your shabby room
Unable to stop
Your small hands
From clutching the
Corner of your sheet?

Oh darling, so did I!

A little baby small and sweet;
Belongs to me from head to feet
My tummy sticks out where he nestles warm
My body the vessel to keep him from harm

A seed from his father is how he began
And we'll love and protect him from
Baby to main.
We'll give him love, laughter,
Tears and reproach;
We'll be parents and confidant,
Friend and coach.

We'll guide, direct, but steer toward
His own character and dreams
And to see things as they are…
Not just as they seem

We will instill loving and caring and
Positive force;
Encouraging always to follow his own course

But while he is ours
Through the days of his growing
God love and protect
This seed we are sowing.


I dreamed last night…
You appeared silently.
Your hand lovingly brushed my hair from my forehead and
You leaned down to kiss my cheek.

You were with me..
Your body curled into mine
Sharing love and warmth.

So deep the feeling, that I could not breathe enough of you.
My hand stroked your bareness and joy closed around me.
So much was in our union that one word was not enough.

I woke and you were not there…
But you had been
For your warmth still lingered on the sheet beside me.

Some will not believe, but
Others will know its possibility.

April 1981

I've been thinking of you my darlings
And the wonderful love you share
And there isn't a thing I can give you
To show how much I care.

Except my love and concern for you both
And a daily prayer for you
That God will always reach out his hand
Whenever you ask him to.

(Written for Steve and Susie)