Sweet Speech

If a friend will not take up your cause
Or risk their own comfort for your survival
If they leave you alone in distress
Only take from you what is easy and gainful
Won’t walk even the first mile in less than perfect weather
Best you know soon and walk on alone
Keep up acquaintance
But hold your heart and your secrets
For the true blue
Who love you in the good
Stand by when darkness threatens overhead
Friends to be trusted with the heart are so rare
When found
Lock arms and shelter
Give your best in their worst
Be all you desire in a friend
Even if someone you do right
Does wrong along the way
If you’ve given love’s treasures
They are sure to find the path back
Sow with reaping in view


We live in a day
No matter what you say
Someone is gonna jump down your throat
Tell you your wrong
Dissect your words
Read in between lines that aren’t even drawn
If you stand up for what is right
Or share your heart
There will be a hater nearby
Or someone writing to you from afar
It may be a friend
Or a friend of an acquaintance
Having a bad day or just looking to vent anger
They may not know your story
Those who do, may not care
As long as they get to have some time on the air
So speak your piece in peace
Stand for what you believe
Be kind to those who oppose
Yet, don’t be afraid to call foul or be a referee
If the dissenter is foolish, or off the mark,
If they just want an argument to hear the sound of their own voice.
Or to see their words in print, opposing yours
Flee away, don’t waste your breath or the stroke of the key
Let your words of graciousness
Be what you are remembered for in the age of too much speech.

“When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

Life is a mix of happy and sad

Sometimes just walking through the market you meet

Them both and they seem to slap your face

While grasping each other’s hands

Recovering from the dumps and keeping a joyful


Is the mysterious formula we must find to succeed to

Avoid lingering too long in lament

To manage the stressors and true hard breaks

Return our souls to the center of joy

In the face of difficulty and pain and toil

Sorrow cannot always be avoided

Nor trouble eliminated

No matter how many management techniques we use to

Try to escape it

Finding the way to be content and at peace

Amidst the struggle and heartbreak

Daily grinding us towards defeat

Keeping eyes fixed on the promise

When the aches are real

When the little foxes in the vineyard

Nip away and seek to steal

Hope spring eternal

Love overcome

Yet be true to express the sadness

So healing’s arms can warm us up

Honesty is a step on the staircase to wholeness

Sharing the burden is the design meant to enfold

Truths that you wish were not
Or if only they were known and understood
Before they stand in the way of good things
Learning the hard way hurts more than the one who learned
Lessons from all sides, deep fires burning
Walking out on the cliff
Swimming out in the deep
Taking the risks of loves leaps
Cuts that come even when you think its safe
Its all in the way of things
Sighs and redeeming
Wondering, waiting
Losing and gaining
Can’t stop life from living
Can’t stop death from grieving
Can’t stop love from beating
No way out but to stay in
Put it on the line
While keeping it together once again
Only have a chance to win
If you play the game wholehearted
Hold ‘em or fold ‘em
Shoot for the bulls eye
Aim for the fence
Hail Mary at the end
Chips on the table
Rack up the pins
Roll the dice
Give it the college try
Losers never win if they won’t keep playing
Hearts meant to be on fire
Smolder, flame or blaze
Truth is, it’s the only way

– Sherry Carlstrom –  October, 2013

The sting of the tongue of a critic

Drains life and cuts you with it

Sharp and fast the knife of words

Come forth and with them

Pain and doubt and fear can enter

A wondering if all you are is in question

As the thoughts of another’s mind

Find place to roost in your own

When before you were doing fine

It takes more time and much more grace

To correct someone in love with restraint

To think before you spit it out

Saying all you think without

Considering how your words may affect

The hearer of your blasting mess

So consider wisely both word and tone

Will what you say truly help

Or are you just venting your own pain

Hurting others with your rage

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Be careful what your words reveal

Sherry Carlstrom July 18th, 2011