Stephen Godfrey has been writing Poetry and some short stories since 1977. He has a broad experience in life, which is reflected in writing. Stephen is a multi-faceted Poet, writing in different Poetic styles. His nick-name, “The Serious Poet,” is attributed to his “writing from the heart.” He has been published in books: Who Took the Flowers and Appalachia’s Last Stand. Stephen has also been published in Poetry Harbor, Silver Wings, Bluestone Review and in Anthologies in the United States and England. Stephen currently resides in the beautiful majestic pine country of southern Georgia.
Middle Island Press chapbooks by Stephen Godfrey:
Stephen Godfrey, known as “The Serious Poet,” continues his poetic endeavors with his sixth chapbook with Middle Island Press titled Windows of the World, a collection of thirty of Godfrey’s older and newer poems which are viewed through his unique perspectives on life and his timeless experiences. 41 pages.
(A browse upon page 24…)
“Pride Has ‘I’ in the Middle”
We think we know so very much
When we know so little.
We talk of worldly things and such
And think we’re fit as a fiddle.
Our pride runs so very deep and long;
We hold it to our breasts,
Display it in our poems and songs
And give it all our best.
We get so easily offended by someone
Who chinks our shallow armor;
It could be mother, father, daughter or son,
Or the lovely Savior!
Let’s not let our pride determine
Which road we shall travel.
If we do, it is clear to me
That our lives will unravel.
So don’t let that wily old pride
Get the very best of you.
Lay down the armor and put it aside
Is the best thing you can do.
Humbly yet passionately penned, Love Casts a Long Shadow is a collection of twenty-four religious verses in prayer to and in praise of the Son of God, suitable as hymns of devotion, of anticipation of His imminent coming, and of spiritual surrender to what will be.
(A browse upon Page 23…)
“Trials I See”
Following me like a mad dog
From sea to shining sea
Chasing, hounding all day long
The trials that I see
Yes, I am grateful for these trials
That draw me close to You
For the things that knock me down
I know You’ll see me through
Thank You, Lord, for taking me
Through the Valley of Trial
Everyone will experience these
So don’t you be in denial
The trials, the trials will not prevail
This is a sure promise
Oh God, Thank You so much
For the trials that fall upon us
Most suitably titled, Stephen Godfrey’s fourth Middle Island Press chapbook addresses in his straightforward style subjects such as social, environmental and spiritual decay while honoring memories and upholding significant people and events in history–“serious stuff” for serious readers and supporters of Appalachian poets. 43 pages.
(A browse upon Pages 31 and 33…)
Dotting the landscape across our land,
On a highway, specks of orange
Fly out of car windows, hitting
The pavement and bursting into cinders.
Non-biodegradable filters make
Their homes in crack and crevice.
It’s against the law to litter,
But tossing cigarettes is a cultural norm.
America, America, where have your
“The Six O’ Clock News” (Lines 49-61)
Weep, America, weep over our lost sons;
Never to view their smiles anymore,
Or laugh with them in the noonday sun
Shining down upon their heads.
Oh, that deadly news report
That brought a nation to its knees
Year after mind-blowing year
Of misery, sorrow and heartache.
Thousands upon thousands
Of flag-draped coffins came back
To be mourned over by loved ones
And were planted in Arlington Cemetery.
Taps, lights out forevermore.
In Heaven’s Doorsteps, Stephen Godfrey (aka “The Serious Poet” of West Virginia) opens wide his heart as his Christian spirit sweeps and sails on a current of love and devotion, hope and humility. Included are twenty-four verses, hymns and hosannas that invite readers to join him as he follows a path of light that leads, ultimately, to the doorsteps of Heaven.
(A browse upon Page 9…)
Savor every moment
That comes your way today.
Life is but a fleeting second,
It’s never here to stay.
Cherish the memories that you have,
And follow the one that is true.
Sometimes it’s all there is in life
That will be given to you.
Run the course and waste no time,
Be true to what you believe.
Trust in Jesus and you will find
His spirit you will receive.
This thing we call life
Could come to an end at any time.
So, be on your guard,
And from life do not resign.
Just follow the master
And all will be well.
You will be secure
And only time will tell
If you have walked the line.
This 25-poem collection is a nostalgic medley of sepia memories made vivid through Godfrey’s warm and enthusiastic recollections of “Gramma and Grampa,” out-houses in winter, battles with wasps, “Red Man” and all things country and true to the spirit. Thirty-eight pages.
(A browse upon Pages 32 and 34):
From “Noonday Chiggers”
on the return trip, dined
on my arms. the aroma of
a young sapling stirred their
carnivorous instincts to further
ravage me; torture me; itch
me plum near death.
the price has been paid for
sunshine and fresh air; chigger
the audacity of it all!
“I Remember the Old Ways”
I remember long ago in my childhood, in West Virginia,
Simple ways; the old ways of the mountain people.
A vivid impression of taking a bath in a rain-tub
With hot water heated on a Wood Cooking Stove.
I remember ventures to the Out-House in mid-winter,
With the infamous Sears Catalog.
You could read it and use it at the same time,
While contemplating the deeper things of life.
I remember my Grampa and Uncles
Sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs with “Red Man,”
Rocking and spitting with pin-point accuracy
For hours; talking about whatever pleased.
I remember the family around the Piano
For hours singing beloved Hymns.
The faces were all aglow and beaming.
It was a time of happiness and completeness.
Those days are gone, except in the mind’s eye.
The memories linger of a different time and place.
Homespun Truths is a mirror of sobering elements that stir the emotions and remind readers how very fleeting life is, and that fate isn’t always benevolent. This 24-poem collection (a true testament of the serious nature of “The Serious Poet”) is one of remembrance, of gloomy coal-mining realities, of social issues, of dread that history repeats itself, and of spiritual faith and humility.
“I’m Not Cool, I’m Like Popeye” (Lines 1-16)
My wife and I were talking the other day,
Contemplating the deeper things of life.
I told her, I’m so glad that
I have come to the place in
Life where I don’t have to
Prove anything to anybody.
I don’t have to wear baggy
Pants falling to my knees,
Or my New York Yankees ball cap
Cocked to the side. I don’t have to
Walk a certain way or listen to a
Certain type of music.
I don’t have to have a Blue Tooth
Puking venom out of my ear.
I don’t have to be an Avant Garde
Poet, or the essence of cool.
“Trains of My Heart”
I remember trains
soothing my late night dreams.
Childhood lingers, whistles,
and the methodic cadence:
the box cars lulled
me to sleep night after night.
I remember the spit-shined
Fords, Chevys, Dodges on
flat beds to selling destinations.
I would climb up and examine
the factory-crafted beauties.
I remember boot camp blues,
then the whistle blew and
the tracks hummed and
Sang me to sleep once again.
In the twilight of my life,
I hear the distant whistle
across the far mountain,
and I know I am home.
(Stephen Godfrey’s chapbooks are available for purchase via Amazon.com or by contacting Christina at Middle Island Press – firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider sharing kind book reviews.)