You Never Can Tell

You never can tell when you send a word
Like an arrow shot from a bow
By an archer blind, be it cruel or kind,
Just where it may chance to go.

It may pierce the breast of your dearest friend,
Tipped with its poison or balm,
To a stranger’s heart in life’s great mart
It may carry its pain or its calm.

You never can tell when you do an act
Just what the result will be,
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
Though the harvest you may not see.

Each kindly act is an acorn dropped
In God’s productive soil;
You may not know, but the tree shall grow
With shelter for those who toil.

You never can tell what your thoughts will do
In bringing you hate or love,
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swifter than a carrier dove.

They follow the law of the universe –
Each thing must create its kind.
And they speed o’er the tract to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind.

–Gospel Digest, February, 1960


When I was a girl at home, we had a nice little newspaper called The Donley County Leader that often featured news from several towns in Donley County Texas. The part I liked was that it also featured poetry.

One column was called “Plowin’ Out the CORNERS” by Uncle Zeb. I never really knew who Zeb was, but we corresponded several times. Once I submitted a poem written by my mother and he thought it was great. Another time or two, I wrote him about what was going on in our “neck of the woods,” and he always answered me. Here is a copy of one article he wrote along with the poem I submitted.

Continue reading JUST BLOWING SAND



The morning sun shone warm upon the place

Where first I spied your blushing countenance.

Your presence devoided my steps of grace.

You shone pink with innocent radiance.


With passing days the bond between us grew,

Feelings deepened as higher the flame leapt.

It was such a deep-felt thing, then I knew

Such a strong tie could not always be kept.


With saddened steps and a languoring gait

I trudged through the long sanatory halls.

We clung together on the brink of fate.

The time grew ever short; destiny called.


With slice of surgeon’s knife, I winced, and paled,

And mourned for thee, my dear ingrown toenail.


-Matthew Johnson

© Matthew P.D. Johnson


by Isharah Johnson  (age 9)

There was a woman long ago;
Her name was Deborah as you know.

A prophetess who judged Israel
Beneath a tree; she did quite well.

She called Barak to go to war.
Ten thousand men would go before.

“Alas, I will not go alone,
Go with me, please, or I won’t go.”

Then Deborah said, “I’ll surely go,
But man the victory won’t know.”

They went to battle that good day,
But look!  The king has run away!

And then to Jael he ran to rest,
He got the worst but sought the best.

She gave him milk to make him sleep,
Then through his head a nail went deep.

The war was won by Israel then,
But the glory went to a woman.

Taken from Judges chapter four.

© Isharah (Johnson) Macon


by Isharah Johnson (age 10)

There was a place in Jesus’ time
A place they called the temple,
And all the ones who passed through it
Were asked to give a little.

Some were rich and blew their horns
To show their gifts in light,
But then there came a righteous one
Who gave her only mites.

Jesus saw them all you know,
And judged them one by one.
“Giving should not be seen,” he said,
“But in secret should be done.”

© Isharah (Johnson) Macon