Clyde’s Poetry


PUZZLED (Lois)  

HURTS (Lois)  


Clyde Arthur Russell

If you’ve cleansed your soul of doubt and fear
And cast away all bitterness:
If the thoughts you have are fine and clear -
You know the meaning of success.

And if you’ve learned how to laugh and smile
When your heart in it’s sorrow bleeds,
And can carry on another mile -
Who can say you did not succeed?

If you see your faults a little more;
Those of others a little less,
and see their trouble and help them more,
And think of yours a little less -
This indeed is true success.

When your will is stronger than desire,
And there’s no place left for greed
When you know you’ve climbed a little higher -
Then you have found success indeed.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

I’ve traveled around, from town to town
Throughout full many a state;
From the smiling mount to the desert’s frown
From Main to the Golden Gate

And I found as I went with my little old tent,
A Temple of God in the trees,
Or in the ravine all scarred and bent,
Or out on the peaks, where a man might freeze.

And the setting sun, when the day is done,
Seems to light the soul of man,
And lift it up to the brimming cup
Of life, and he cries: "I CAN!"

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Clyde Arthur Russell

What makes this life of ours worth while,
What makes it worth the living?
Is it wealth or power or the height of style
That’s the goal of all our striving?

Do we seek the wealth of abundant health?
For the power of a vigorous mind?
For a style of life that with all our strife
Grows a heart that is big and kind?

Is there any aim, or any direction,
Or just helpless, confusing strife:
Are we moved by greed, or love and affection,
Or just drift with the tide of life?

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Two thousand years have rolled away;
Two thousand golden years,
Since that great, eventful day
So full of joy and tears;
The day the Christ so quiet lay
Mid hate, and love, and jeers.

All these years have gone and still
The hate and jeers remain.
But ah! the love and joy will
Stay while Christ, our Lord shall reign.
And hope will light the days until the master comes again.

What of these years that lie behind;
Look back; what there dost see?
"Much of greed, hate and war unkind,
And ignorance" you cry.
"Intolerance is there, I find,
And death is standing nigh".

Don’t you see the glorious light
Born in this dark travail,
As it robs the terror from the night
Of superstition; rends the veil
Of doubt and fear? The might
Of truth and faith prevail!

Much of growth and progress here
Crowned the years that went before.
But why look behind? The years
Ahead are the open door
To progress. have done with tears
And look ahead a few years more.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

I’ve seen the graves of the ancient kings
And the graves of buried hope.
I’ve looked in the eyes of the great and wise,
And the eyes of the listless "dope."
I’ve seen in the heart of the drunken sot,
And the heart of a child that sings,
And that of the woman who’s easy bought
And a million other things.

And here's the lesson life has taught:
Top know the worst there is
And, without an adverse thought,
Choose the best life has to give.
How can we know what thing is good,
Unless we know what’s bad?
Or know the value of real joy,
Unless we’ve once been sad?

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Written to Bishop Serge J. Lauper, Christmas, 1936 – when Bishop Lauper was moving to San Francisco (From Dimond Ward, Oakland, California).

The builder does not long regret That he must leave the thing he built;
His skill he does not soon forget;
The fight is his and does not wilt.

He leaves, and yet the structure stands;
He wastes no time in wishes vain;
But girds his loins, spits on his hands.
Selects a place and builds again!

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Clyde Arthur Russell

How little we know
Of the men who go
Along the same trail as we;
How little we see
Of the joy or woe
Which in their lives may be!

Do we really care
How others may fare
Whom we meet along the way;
Do we stop to say
As we see them there;
"Can I help you out, today?"

Do we go so fast as we hurry past
That we never see them there;
Nor see them stare
As if they would ask
For help, if they only dare?

Perhaps just a word
By sympathy stirred
Would help them to bear the load,
And along the road
A hymn would be heard
To the man who lightened that load!

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Clyde Arthur Russell

A friend is such a glorious thing:
We could not live and be content
Nor have the joy that we were meant
To have, should unkind fate e’er bring
About or help contrive the end
Of dear companionship of friends.

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Clyde Arthur Russell
A soft white quilt lay on the ground;
The trees, like sheeted ghosts
Stretched their arms and stood around
In silent, chilly hosts.

And yet it has not been so long
Since through the trees we heart
The thrilling, trilling, gladsome song
Of flashing little birds.

In their silly, trilly chatter
It seemed we heart them say:
"Just cheer up, it doesn’t matter",
All the live-long day.

And now they’ve gone away, I’m told,
To far more sunny lands;
They cannot sing when it is cold –
The trees must silent stand.

And still we are not quite bereft
For, dressed in brown and gray,
The jolly little snow bird’s left
To cheer our winter day

You know, we find a lot of friends
Who love to sing and play;
As long as sunshine never ends
They always seem so gay.

They can’s stand, of course, to work
And soil the clothes or hands;
That’s for those who do not shirk –
Or fly to sunny lands.

Blessed by those who with us stay
Through storms or times of drought;
And when the skies are drear and gray
Bless those who don’t fly south.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

How many different kinds of love
May claim the heart’s devotion,
How many different ways to prove
The depth of this emotion?

O, countless are the kinds of love,
But each is still a part
Of the wondrous love of God above,
That prompts the human heart.

And countless are the ways to show
How deep this tender passion
Can send it’s roots within the soul,
Gods, from men to fashion.

There’s the kind of love that mothers know,
As the tiny babe they hold
And croon a song so soft and low;
A love so old, so old.

And there’s that old love of Dad’s;
Perhaps not heard in song,
But greater love we never had,
A love so strong, so strong.

There’s the fine love that a brother
Has for a lovely sister;
How he watches her and guards her
From all that might molest her.

Then - and then the crowning love of life
Comes creeping in the breast;
The love of one we know as wife;
The sweetest love, and best!

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Eureka, Utah
June 17, 1928
Dearest Mary,

Whether fortune may smile or frown on me
There always remain my jewels three.
They’re lovely and warm and deep, and yet
Have not of the hardness you always get
In the gems that are dug from the hills.
They are just as constant; their beauty fills
My heart, wherein they are set, with light
That will guide my thoughts and feet aright

None can ever take them away from me;
God Himself may but borrow the three
To form them into a diadem
And make the setting worthy of them.

Kiss Irene and Lois for me.


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Clyde Arthur Russell
I love to watch the waking of the babe from night'’ repose
As the fairies, softly shaking
Their beds of gray and rose,
Disturb her gentle dreaming
And tinted morn disclose.

Like the softly rustling trees
On the mountainside at dawn,
Gently stirred by morning breeze
Which comes, then passes on.
She stirs, soft arms stretches,
Then stirs again and sleep is gone.

A moment more a smile is born
Soft as an angel’s caress
And bright as the young sun at morn.
I capture a straying kiss
As ‘round my neck there steals an arm –
I’m a captive, nothing less.

How pink and softly warm she is,
Like a ball of eiderdown;
How like twin pools of light, her eyes,
Then she laughs, the little clown,
And begins to tantalize,
Then I’m sure that sleep has flown.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Do you remember the little lane
Where the leafy trees arched above us;
Where the sod was so cool after the rain,
And the air was so clean around us?

How swiftly the moments flew as we walked;
And how our steps lagged now and again
Lest, as we went silently (or we talked)
We come, too soon, to the end of the lane!

Sometimes the trees formed a curtain of lace
‘Gainst the light of the sun’s dying ray,
And over all was the stillness of peace
As evening reached for the hand of day.

Do you still feel the strange and lovely hush
That comes only at that magic hour
When the sun has gone and a last faint blush
Steals down the sky in a smoky blur?

And do you remember how, before us
Life seemed only a lane, unending
And delightful, where the feathered chorus
Their songs into the world were sending?

We have come a long way through the lane now,
And we have stumbled time and again;
But you’ve helped me often and I’ve helped you
When the sun failed to shine in the lane.

We have know disappointment in the lane,
And have been lost in it’s hidden turns;
But the joy has always out-weighed the pain,
And we’re finer for the things we’ve learned

We couldn’t see all these changes to be,
For we looked through youth’s bright eyes;
And youth sees only what it wants to see
And that is where it’s charm mostly lies.

But we still can see lacy trees and the sod,
And a glorious sunset at the end;
We still have faith in both man and our God,
And we’re ready to face the next bend.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Our oldest girl is only six
But they started to arrest her;
Now wasn’t that an awful fix –
To live on bread and water!

At least that’s what she dreamed last night
When she called and wakened me;
It must have been an awful fright,
So real it seemed to be!

"Dad,", she cried, "come here a minute,
Aw please do", and then I found
I recalled the night when I’d cried out,
Or tried but could make no sound.

You remember those days when you had read of Indians, bears, and such,
And had dreamed it all when you went to bed
And it scared you Oh so much!

Wolves were so close you felt their breath,
An Indian reached for your scalp!
It seemed that you were choked to death
And couldn’t yell for help.

And the night you were ‘charmed’ by a rattle-snake
That writhed upon the ground!
You knew you dreamed and tried to wake,
To shout, but could make no sound!

So I went to her when she called me
And soothed her fear away;
She snuggled close beside me
And slept till dawn of day.

Oh, I hope she will always call us
And that we will always hear,
When ever she may need us
To sooth away the fear,

And burst every tiny bubble
Of doubt that may arise,
And shoulder some of her trouble.
I hope we’re near when she cries.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

You seem so precious to us, dear,
As you stand poised on the threshold
Of womanhood, trying to peer
Into the future. We would hold
You close to us yet awhile. Here
You will be safe and we will fold
About you a mantle of love.

And you seem so young to us, Dear,
To be straining and tugging so
At the years of your youth. The years
Will pass all too soon as you go
On to meet the destiny here
Awaiting your fulfillment. So
Do not rush on with stumbling feet.

Then , dear, you seem so eager, too
For life, and love, and all the things
That time alone can bring to you.
And time moves swiftly, as on wings
Of light; there’s no need, in these few
Hours of youth, (envy e’en of kings),
To race with outstretched arms to meet.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

She’s such a funny little thing,
With eyes so big and bright;
They seem to mirror a hear that sings
And dance with a happy light;
With rose-bud mouth and comic grin,
A tilted nose and a dimpled chin
And arms that hug so tight.

She’s such a tender little thing;
When the heart is sore, skies gray,
She makes the heart within you sing
And trouble seems to fly away.
A touch of her lips in a fairy kiss,
A comic grin, a hug – just this,
And the bluest becomes a perfect day.

Perhaps you have an elf like this,
A tender life to keep;
Guard it well, for it is priceless,
The road it travels, rough and steep.
If you have never known this pleasure,
Never owned this wondrous treasure
Your life is only half complete.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Our littlest girl is almost three
And just as wise as wise can be,
But one thing seems to bother her:
It’s her relationship to me.

The subject has a serious trend
And it’s hard to understand,
As she hears her sister, who is six,
Talk of cousin, sister, friend.

So she came to me, this little tad,
(I has home that night, and glad)
And after thinking hard she asked:
"Are you my ‘tousin’, Dad?"

I had to say "Of course I’m not,
I think you’ve just forgot;
I couldn’t be your cousin too,
‘Tho I’d like to be the lot".

"Well you’re my ‘tister’, aren’t you Dad?"
And such a job I had
To make her see it couldn't be;
That I am only Dad.

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HURTS (Lois)
Clyde Arthur Russell

The door slammed on the finger
Of our littlest girl today;
It hurt and the hurt will linger
A long, long time – and a day.

"Never mind", her mother said,
But the tears would come so fast;
"It hoits and it B’eeds and it’s all wed!"
A cloth fixed it up at last.

"You know we have to learn, sweetheart,
Not to cry a tiny bit;
No matter how badly it may hurt
We must learn to just forget.

"Lots of times they’ll bruise your heart
But no one must ever see
Those tiny little tear drops start
Except your dad and me."

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Clyde Arthur Russell

At night when I come home from work
A cowboy meets me at the door;
It brings me up with quite a jerk,
(Though I have seen him there before).

Sometimes he’ll make a sudden change,
And right before my very eyes
Stands the sheriff. You may think it strange,
But just imagine my surprise!

Or maybe he’s an Indian brave.
Then, believe me, I have to run
And dodge, if I want to save
My scalp. Well, you may think it Fun!

At bed time, he’s just my Donnie,
With his dimples and curly hair,
Which fill his sisters with envy:
(They both say it isn’t fair).

It’s then I hear the nightly call:
"Will you tell me some stories, dad?"
So then I settle down with my pal
To tell stories to Donnie lad.

I’ll miss those evenings together,
In the years that lie ahead,
And I’m wond’ring if he’ll remember
When these years of his boyhood lie dead.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

He’s our roly-poly baby,
And he’s just about so high,
And I guess we love him, maybe,
‘Tho I’m sure I don’t know shy.

He has arms and legs so chubby,
And a twinkle in his eye;
And his tummy’s sort of tubby;
Now, he even says "Bye-bye".

His smile is kind of friendly-like,
And it’s awf’lly knowing, too,
As if he knew, the little tike,
Just all he’s s’posed to do.

He’s a sort of nuisance sometimes,
But he’s soft and cuddly, too;
I guess that’s why we love him,
But I don’t know, Do you?

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Clyde Arthur Russell

When Joan was born I could not write,
For night and morn, with all my might
I had to work, and dared not shirk
For fear the wolf would take a bite.

When she was one, the same was true,
But we had fun – then she was two.
When she was three, sweet and could be,
I swore I’d write, so all could see.

But time rushed on, and she was four,
Far more lovely than before
Then five and six came right along,
And seven stood before her door.

The time does seem to go so fast
We do not dream so much has past,
But we loon one day, at our lovely girl,
She’s eight years old, and all awhirl!

Well, now she’s nine, and I think it’s time
To sit right down and write a line
About her smile, and tender ways;
Her gay little laugh and busy days;
Her straight little body growing so strong;
Of the lightest of hearts singing all day long.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

I wonder if they forget
Very soon, or ever,
The harsh words we speak – and regret;
The quick flare of anger
For a thing that should beget
Only sympathy.

I wonder how long the heart
Is sore; and if in sleep
They find a balm for the hurt
Where we have cut so deep
With sharp reproof or the dart
Of unearned punishment.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

The following was written to Mary in 1946 when she was visiting in Salt Lake City.

Don’t fret, my dear, we’re very fine.
So stay and have yourself a time.
We sleep and eat, and do each chore,
Then when we’re hungry, eat some more.

We play and sing and have our fling
As fancy takes us on her wing;
We do our work nor shun or shirk
A single place where dirt may lurk

We live a life of fun and ease,
Peeling spuds and boiling peas.
And if we tire of this you know,
We could, I guess, attend a show.

Enjoy this chance while yet you may;
It may not ‘gain pass by your way.
Do not worry, or fuss, or stew
And wear your welcome (not quite) through.

Signed, The four Bachelors, and Joan

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Mother’s Day: Is it then enough – one day
In the year – to even slightly repay
The hours of all the days through all our years;
To ease past heartaches or restore the tears
You have shed in the hours of disappointment.

Can we bring sleep to the eyes grown weary
Through the nights that seemed endless and dreary
Or remove the scars our thoughtlessness made
In your soul, which stood these years unafraid?
Can we do all this on one "Mother’s Day"?

I know, mother, you don’t want any pay
For these things, for mothers are all that way
But with flowers and gifts we come to you,
Just as with our troubles we used to do;
And we want you to know that we love you.

We say that we have come to honor you
But how can this really be true.
Since God Himself has seen fit to grace
And honor you as mother of a race
You have far more honor than we can give.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

The following was written to Mary when she was in Detroit to bury her beloved mother.

Let there be no regrets
God never forgets
The pain and sorrow we know.

When it gets too intense
He always relents
And off to his presence we go.


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Clyde Arthur Russell
I left my home and went away
From out the Golden West
I stayed away for many a day
And how I missed the zest.
Of the glorious, changing symphony
As day sinks down to rest
Or as gray dawn begins to blush
And dons her veil of mist!

Have you ever stood on the mountain
Above the rolling clouds
That fill the deeps like an ocean
Shutting out the noisy crowds,
As the sun peeps through night’s curtain
Her new day to behold,
Then become a flaming fountain –
The clouds, a sea of gold?

And O, how it seems to grip you!
Almost it hurts, you say,
The miracle, somehow, gets you –
This birth of another day.
The beauty of life unfolding
Surely is mirrored here,
But it fades too soon, nor holding;
Just memory holds it dear.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Nature’s hall of sculptured art,
Carved with infinite skill
And endless patience in the heart
Of far flung Western hills!

Unspoiled beauty, majestic, grand,
Deep etched by wind and flood,
Within a barren waste of land
For ages thus had stood

Graven forms of matchless white
On pedestals of dun,
Seem transparent in the light
Of newly risen sun.

The brown and pink and dun, then
The forms in brilliant red
speak of the race of silent men
Who lived and fought and bled.

The land no longer barren lies;
Thy grace can’t hidden be;
Another race now turns it’s eyes
And eager steps to thee.

Peace and rest for the weary soul
And strength for the tired feet
Of those who pause at thy mighty bowl,
Sheer loveliness to meet.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

I left, one day, for the southland
When I’d rather stayed home instead
For nature wore a morning band
Of black across the sky; her head Was bowed in grief, for Summer,
Who had passed that way, was dead.

Her bosom heaved with heavy sighs
That shook the whispering trees;
A heavy pall of unshed tears
Obscured her lovely eyes.
Then a moment the sighing died,
Flood-gates of the soul flung wide.

She fairly drenched the earth beneath 

To water summer season’s grave
Then placed thereon a final wreath.
Soon the light of hope appeared
And nature raised her head and gave
A smile through a mist of tears.

All unhappy moments have
A way of passing on,
And nature’s smile become a laugh 
As, up and down the glades,
Her gayest clothes began to don –
A half a hundred shades.

Thus she welcomes autumn here,
For sighing is in vain,
And well she knows, despite her tears,
Summer’s sure to come again;
For there’s no death, but only change.
So all who pass must come again.

My journey and day came to an end
In the glory of a setting sun
Which sank, a vivid crimson disc to send
Fingers of fire to clutch the sky,
Then holding a moment, they seemed to die
And leave a message, "Day is done".

Then for a moment, pure silence,
In the glorious after-glow
Of departed day, that’s moving – whence;
A day that’s loath to go.
Then nature asked, with upward glance:
"Dost think this comes by chance?"

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Clyde Arthur Russell

There’s a mountain stream that chuckles to itself
As through the starry night and lazy day
It goes leaping from shelf to rocky shelf
And laughs at the stones that would bar its way.

It chuckles and chuckles so full of glee
As it rushes between its rocky banks,
As if there’s a joke we cannot see
Which it shares with the trees and willow ranks.

It laughs as if turning a mill were fun;
It quenches the thirst of field and tree
And then, when its work is cheerfully done,
It chuckles and chuckles on to the sea.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

A golden flood on the valley floor
And a silver haze on the lake;
A shroud of white on the valley walls;
The sharp, sweet scent of rain-wet sage;

Clouds afloat in an inverted sea
So blue and still and so very deep;
A patch of green in a yellow field,
And Spring comes again to the mountains.

Comes with a gay little laugh to start
The blood swiftly through sluggish veins.
And maybe that is what swells the heart
With a joy that’s akin to pain.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

I dream of a land where the mountains stand
In their mighty solitude;
Of the burning sand in the desert land,
Where silence comes to brood.
I dream of the lights on the mountain heights
As the sun sinks down to rest;
Of the purple nights filled with warm delights –
The nights that we have out west.

I have missed the spell of the snowcapped hill;
Of the rushing mountain stream;
I have missed the smell of the pine and, well,
Isn’t it great just to dream
Of skies that are blue and friends that are true
In the land of cedar and pine;
Of a land where you may be happy too –
Out West where living is fine.

So I’ll take a ride ‘cross the Great Divide,
Back to my home in the west;
To the mountain side and the canyon wide,
Where life if bound at it’s best;
Where for every mile is born a smile,
And the tired heart may rest
And a fellow feels that it’s all worth while –
This life that we live out West.

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Clyde Arthur Russell

They all are gone and I’m alone;
The hours drag by on leaden feet
Across my heart. My heart’s a stone
Yet ‘tis not long since life was sweet.

The busy marts of life are still,
Their halls, deserted where before 
The clangor of machines with shrill
And strident voices, echoed o’er.

It’s so long since you went away,
And they wonder why I wait:
You said you would return today.
I’m wond’ring if you’ll be – too late.

Somewhere there’s joy and certainty
While my noisy, heedless old clock
Ticks off drops of eternity,
And forever seems to mock.

And yet it seems that I must stay
(As always at your call and beck)
You see, dear boss, it’s Saturday;
Shall you be to sign my check?

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Clyde Arthur Russell

Just send me a dime and a box top
and I’ll send you a diamond ring.
It glistens and glitters, ‘till
you get the jitters;
A ring that is fit for a King.

Just send me a dime and a box top and I’ll send you a lively gal.
She’s thrifty, she’s nifty;
a little uplifty ---
still, a gal that is fit for a pal.

Just send me a dime and a box top
and with it send me your heart.
And I’ll hop the first train, to be
near you again.
To never again from you part.

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