The Village of Krasnodosch

Sent home from my mission, Oct 08, 2018

I thought of this poem this week while listening to a conference talk describing the Jewish seder. Jewish families not only set a place for Elijah, but fill his cup to the brim and send a child to the door to see if Elijah is there. (Hosanna and Hallelujah—The Living Jesus Christ: The Heart of Restoration and Easter, by Elder Gerrit W. Gong) I think this tradition is a great example of living with faith. 

My poem this week, tentatively titled “The village of Krasnodosch” (crass- no- doesh, roughly translated as “red rain”), is a story I heard in sacrament meeting once in Ivano-Frankivsk. I put the story to verse, because I think it fits really well. The speaker used it to point out the difference between mere hope and faith. It reminds me of a quote I heard once, that “faith is what we choose to act on every day”. I liked the story and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

The Village of Krasnodosch

There once was a small village
With the name of Krasnodosch.
The people there loved God, and they
All followed him with hope.

One spring, the people planted fields,
But then, no rain did fall.
One week turned to two, then three,
The fields weren’t looking well. 

The people all decided they would gather
Together on the next day
And pray that God would send them rain,
So the drought would go away.

The day was hot and cloudless
As the crowd started to form,
But one young girl walked up with an
Umbrella on her arm.

They asked her why, she said, “Well,
Aren’t we here to pray for rain?”
They shrugged, and all together,
They prayed, and then they prayed again.

They prayed for several hours,
But the rain still didn’t fall.
The crowd started to go back home,
But with hope, hearts were full.

“Look!” Said the umbrella girl,
“A cloud!” The crowd all turned
And saw far off a tiny thing,
The name “cloud” barely earned

They watched as it grew closer, and
They watched as it grew big.
They wondered if this answered prayers,
And each sure hoped it did.

The cloud stood right on top of them,
But not a drop fell down
“Schwoop!” the girl’s umbrella went,
But some began to frown

Then, after a while, a drop,
Then one more, two, and then,
Someone opened heaven’s floodgates-
It began to pour down rain.

The town ran home, glad but wet-
Their hope was not in vain.
The umbrella girl, she walked home dry,
For she had prayed in faith.

The Economics of Happiness

Originally published 03-21-19

This week, I feel like I have received some personal revelation that I need to put forth more effort to coming to know my Savior. One of the things I decided to do is update this blog with a new, spiritual poem every day for a week. I hope this will help me to focus on Christ more this week, as well as to get some more poems on my blog for others to read and enjoy as well.

This poem is based off a comment my dad made once, and an experience I had in Ukraine with a sweet old lady.

The Economics of Happiness

I walked through her bare cement hallway
into her one furnished room.

Breathing through my mouth,
I saw the mostly-intact bookshelves
that held clothes
and a small framed picture of Jesus.

Bent almost square,
she shuffled
deliberately
to the couch
(that was also her bed)
and lowered herself down.

We sat on small stools,
ignoring cockroaches,
and we just listened to her.

I looked at her failing eyes.
she smiled
a smile I’ve rarely seen
in real houses.

Sometimes He Calms the Storm

Originally published 03-10-19

In high school, someone I knew made a clay model of an empty, mostly sunk boat. The title of this art piece, and the inspiration for this poem, is “Sometimes He calms the storm, sometimes He calms the sailor.” I thought this especially fit the Come Follow Me for this week, where Christ calmed the tempest.

Sometimes He Calms the Storm

One bright spring day, a fisherman
left home to ply his trade.
With a prayer to God to return him safe,
he sailed into the waves.

He cast his net, and gathered in fish
to feed his family poor.
Then, with a prayer of thanks to God,
he started home once more.

Then, suddenly, swift winds arose
and a storm was all around him.
He fought to steer and stay aboard
as waves began to pound him.

The sea attacked and stole away
his fish, his nets, his oars,
and the lonely seaman, struggling, desperate,
fought the storm for hours.

And as he strove to stay alive
his hour of death seemed near,
and, in hope and desperation,
he lifted up a prayer:

“I ask this not for me, alone,
but for my family, too.
Please help me live through this fierce storm
to give them house and food.”

And as his boat was bashed by waves
the sailor saw a single ray of light
pierce the clouds and strike his boat,
and he felt all would be right.

The sailor then felt peace so deep
it seemed to calm the storm.
He felt that God was next to him,
and his soul felt still and warmth.

Though pounding waves still crashed and raged,
though the water felt like ice,
though the sailor’s fate was still in doubt,
He felt serene inside.

I don’t know this story ends,
perhaps he lived, perhaps he died.
I don’t know if God wanted him
to die, or to survive.

But I know this: in seas of live
were each faced with storms of trial and danger
and though sometimes God will calm the storm,
sometimes He just calms the sailor.