On a Friend’s 70th Birthday

January 26, 1988. Celo (N.C.) Meeting 

His feet walk daily paths, as duties call;
The grass and soil embrace a step that’s kin;
His hands encourage harvest, and to all
His heart sings out, God’s music from within.

 Big‐boned, he’s made an older‐fashioned way than we,
All hands and feet and heart. The child in him
Thrives at the river’s edge, with bush and tree,
Lifewater flowing Light through trunk and limb.

Clouds and hills, spaces between stars that be,
Have taught him shadow’s interplay with light;
His hands are shaped to hold a Mystery
That gives us day but as a bride to night.

Bob Barrus—
Kind student of the moment stolen from work or thought;
That moment of quiet when we’re most deeply taught.



Bob Welsh lives in Black Mountain, N.C.

The obituary of the subject of Welsh's poem, Bob Barrus, also appears in the May 2017 issue.

Posted in: Poetry, Quaker Summers

, , ,

One thought on “On a Friend’s 70th Birthday

  1. Bob McGahey says:

    City & State
    Burnsville NC
    Bob, truly a fine poem that captures the Bob I knew and deepens my sense of him. Thank you, Bob Welsh! Thank you, Bob Barrus!

Leave a Reply

Sign up for Friends Journal's weekly e-newsletter. Quaker stories, inspiration, and news emailed every Monday. Web comments may be used in the Forum column of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.