The "Button Box" poems of Helen Cary Keyt

(transcribed from the originals by Carol Ann Wolf Marshall)

Button Box

Am I old-fashioned?
Well, I think perhaps I am
For right near by
Where my mending's piled high,
I have a little box.
Its contents are a jumble
Of nothing of much value,
Beads and buttons, hooks and eyes,
Various sizes, colors gay
All together, quite an array
Is this odd assortment of little things
A tumbling out of my button box?


Teddy Bear Astray

Teddy Bear slept on the floor all alone.
We couldn't find him last night,
But there he was by the table
Lying there, in plain sight.
Now, don't you suppose he was lonesome,
And cold and wondering too
Why he was neglected
And not tucked in with you?
"Me thinks" will put a bell on him
To jingle when he's lost
You so missed having him
Snuggle close to you.


Winding Roads

Oh, I love roads that twist and turn
That lead o'er hill and dale.
With something of beauty at every turn
Unseen a little way back.
My life too, has been like that.
Never before me a straight road lay,
Uphill and down, I've traveled along.
But at the turn of the road
I've always found something of joy.
Surprises unseen, 'til I'm there.
Oh, a winding road's an alluring road
And one you're eager to follow
For you never know, the mile before
What lies in the mile ahead!


Scout Mother

This was Scout week,
Today Scout Sunday
The boys all went to church
So I dressed up in my "Sunday best"
And went to see them there.
They marched in together and first in line
Were those who bore the colors
And, oh how very proud I was
Seeing there a lad of mine
Fine and straight and tall.
On they came, eyes straight ahead,
Looking neither right nor left,
A splendid sight, 'kerchiefs bright -
Uniforms and badges.
Boys large and small and middle size
And three grown very tall--
One of whom was my young man
A fine big wholesome lad.
Tears of thankfulness blinded my eyes,
Grateful I am to know
God keeps watch o'er these boys,
Some mothers' boys and mine.


My Young Son

I'm the mother of a future aviator
Or so it seems to me
Or one who'll design or build
The newest things in flying boats.
From dawn or shortly after
Until way late at night,
He sits alone and builds his planes
Perfecting them in detail.
He doesn't want to eat or sleep
Or waste his time in pleasures.
His room and the house at large
Holds little planes and big,
Some which fly and some do not.
He understands them all,
And patiently explains to me.
Why this is this and that is that.
It's wonderful to see him
For he's lost there in his work.
His fingers move so cleverly
Those minute particles -
That glued together form the wing
Or fuselage or tailpiece.
I wonder where he travels
In each plane that he builds?
I wonder where he'll travel
When his grown-up days are here?
But if I am the mother of an aviator son
I must have courage to match his own
And make him proud of me.

[inspired by Helen's son, Walter; undated]

Absent Minded

I started to make a pudding
But knew I made a mistake
And put in "raising" powder
In place of plain old starch
When it "fizzed" up over the pan
Instead of staying inside.
Then when I made a dress
I cut two backs for one
And ripped out stitches one or two
For every one put in.
Some would say that I'm in love
And why don't I marry the man?
Well - I did, long years ago
But I'm in love again
For now I've lost my heart thrice o'er
To his young sons and mine!


My Shopping List

What would I do if I had
A dollar or two today?
For son number one,
I'd buy a new shirt.
For son number two, new shoes.
For son number three, a pair of pants
And a bonnet for baby.
For my young miss
I'd get some cloth
For her to make a new dress.
Then perhaps some curtains I'd buy
For windows in our sunroom.
Some new pots and pans
Some tea glasses, too -
Oh, I have lots of plans.
But since I haven't that dollar
I'll put a patch on a shirt,
About shoes, well, I can't do much
But give them an extra shine.
I'll lengthen and press a pair of pants
And make a bonnet for baby
And look through the chest
Perhaps I can find
Something to make a "new dress".
The windows? Well, I'll just leave plain
For it would be a pity to
Shut out the view
Of roses and bushes and vines.
The pans will have to do for now.
We can use cups for glasses.
Oh, it's not hard to substitute
If one goes singing about it.


What matters?

What matters if a moment or a day or so ago
My small world crumbled, fell about me?
God still is Love.
What matters if one who should unto the end
Remain my friend, has failed in courtesy?
God still is love.
What matters only is that I
Keep with me peace and know
God still is love,
And keep within my soul
For others, all the way
An understanding heart
For God is always love.



Clouds were leaden
Sky was gray.
It was drizzling, too.
When a brilliant bird of blue
To my kitchen window flew
On the honeysuckle perched
While he greeted me.
In a second's flash of time
Changed my day from rain to shine.
Maybe too, your sky is gray
Maybe tears you brush away
Maybe though this is the day
Birdlings blue will call on you.
In a moment's flash to time
Change your life as he has mine.
Joy and courage bringing.



A baby's kiss
A warm hand-clasp
An arm about your shoulders
A face that beams when you appear
A smile that love's created
A singing heart when lips are mute
The will to make life's joy ours
Are God's own gifts
To make men rich.
Accept - receive - believe!



Our car is hibernating
Our radio's "passed-out"
My pocket book's "gone limp" on me -
But I'm not goin' to cry,
Or sigh, or frown,
Or be cast down.
The air still with song is filled
A chorus of ecstacy
Greeting each dawn anew.
Beauty too lies close at hand,
Hills rising in majesty
Blue sky, fleece clouds, dawn painted.
And it doesn't take a pocketbook
To speak a word of cheer.
That lies within the heart


To My Friend

"Thinking of me as standing by"
Could anything finer be said
When one's in need of a friend?
In need of a friend,
How many times in our upward climb
Do we need an outstretched hand
To carry us on and upward?
When the way seems too hard and long
A hand outstretched, a word of cheer
Words of encouragement
Priceless gifts from hearts of god
Friends staunch and true "standing by".


The Path Irresistible

When out for a walk, just the other day, I chanced down a sunlit road, so friendly it was as I sauntered along, it urged me on and one. To the right of me, to the left of me, were sturdy and staunch sycamores and massive live oaks with their great thick trunks and shiny, tiny green leaves. And the hills ahead at the end of the road were tiptoeing to touch the blue sky.

But suddenly, before me, lay an ivy-lined winding path and seeing no sign that said "Keep Out", intrigued, I ventured upon it. Sheltered, secluded, it wound in and out, with a shady nook here or there. Such a joyous path must lead somewhere so I kept on, 'til I found --- almost hidden there , a tiny "cot" tucked away in the woods. Then I knew, my path had "coaxed" me on, 'til I found this house of my dreams. There it lay, such a dear little house, singing its happy love song. Oh, I must explore, and try to learn more. Who was the architect? Who the builder? And to whom does the house belong?

The foundation stones were large and strong, built of strength and courage, the walls held proudly high the roof spreading gladness o'er all. And a chimney of stone seemed to try in vain to be as tall as the trees. The door was large and open wide. "You're welcome, come in" it called, so I stepped inside and then felt the warmth of a friendly old-fashioned hearth. The walls themselves seemed to radiate cheer and all was shining and bright. There were windows large and windows small that light might always shine in, and everywhere were mirrors hung to reflect to all, good cheer.

There was room for love and room for faith and room for loyalty and a room that was to be built someday for children to romp and play, for a house is being constantly built, you know, enlarged and added upon. There was a room too for quiet study, built entirely of peace, and room for hospitality, "have a cup of tea with me!"

This then, was the precious and quaint little house I found by the side of the road, and I knew two hearts had built this home with Love as the architect.

And who is the owner of this little home? Well it may be just you two, when you go down, hand-in-hand, Lovers Lane together!


A Remedy

Did you ever have that "sat upon feeling"
And not know what to do?
Well, what would you do, if someone "fat"
Expected you to hold them?
You'd jump right up, from where you were
And let them have that very chair.
Why not do that, for that wretched feeling,
"Your loads too heavy for you"?
Jump right up, walk out in the garden
Busy yourself with a gladsome task.
But stand erect! Don't sit down -
Don't make it possible to be sat on.


Night Song

Clouded and dreary had been the day,
The night was troubled and long,
I tossed and turned, I slept, I awoke
But the night was as dark as before.
Peace I sought, light, understanding
"Father, which way should I turn?"
Then through the stillness a song rang out
A song from a little bird's throat.
It was night, yet he sang.
In the dark could he sing
Giving to life, his expression.
"Oh, heart, sing out, it may now be dark
But ere long will come day's dawning.
Give of your life as gladly as he
For this, were you both created".
Still then I lay and quietly listened
And thought of the joy he was bringing
To me and to countless others
To whom the night was too long.
He sings - rest - peace -
I listen as he sings on.
"Rest now, then sing too and hasten
Dawn's coming for you"!


Dawn Came

Rose checked, vibrant, awakening
Dawn came, and slipped away
Into the full glory of a radiant day.
Bright eyed, vibrant awakening
Love came into full radiance, life bloomed.
Rose cheeked, mysterious, divine life came
And slipped into our heart's shrine.
And when, what men call death, shall come
So shall we say again,
Dawn came, to slip away to
The full glory of a radiant day.

H.K.W. '34

Baby's Voice

Is there any music sweeter
Than a little baby's voice
Whose just grown up enough
To group his words together?
"Morning, daddy", "Mommie here".
To sister "Baby wants you".
Oh, had I the power to write those words
With their sweet inflection
As they're written on my heart.
'Tis melody such as this
Holds the world together.
Perfect harmony of life
Giving full expression.


I Wonder Why

I wonder why the dreams I dreamed
The hopes I held so dear
For you and I through all the years
Were not attainable.
I wonder why such faith I had
In each new undertaking I felt "at last"
We'd found the path to travel on together.
I wonder why I thought the path
Would lead us to our home site,
Where we would build a home of love
To shelter those God gave us.
I wonder why, when you and I,
Were trusted with such blessing,
Could not have grown as they have grown
And made them proud of us.
I wonder why or rather when
We missed the path and turned aside
Or did we try to "forge" ahead
Before we learned the right way?
I wonder why I'm here today
With all our gifts God gave us
While you've gone back, where first we met
There to make your fortune.
I wonder why you wondered why,
I was not joyous as before
And could not see how you had hurt and wounded me.
I wonder why our paths here part
And if they meet again
Perhaps - if you can see
While traveling on,
Just why I wonder why!


Carol Ann

I thank God for my baby small
With eyes of clearest blue.
A touch of gold on lashes long
A trace in ringlets too.
She's not yet two, but in this short while,
She's captivated me
And her brothers three and sister
Who are quite grown up, you see.
She's a lively little lady, waking mother just past dawn
When with a happy "chuckle"
She crawls in bed with me
And tucks her head right next to mine,
Pats my check with her warm hand.
Little hands that are all dimples,
dimples in her shoulders, too.
In a moment she's all astir
"Bye-bye", away she runs
To greet the others, one by one
Just as she greeted me.
And she's a little beggar girl, for when the family's dining
She'll beg a bite from everyone before she's satisfied.
There's just one moment of her day,
Which she does not enjoy.
That is, when her "playmates" leave her
As off to school they go.
Then mother calls her to come outside, to find the birds and flowers
Puts on her blue sunbonnet
And she's happy once again.
She gathers up rose petals, as many as she can carry
To bring them in to scatter round on floor or bed or table.
She has the dearest little voice,
But we don't know her language
Except every person small's "babe"
While all grownups are "ma-mee".
When we ask her "where is daddy?" she points right to the doorway when we said goodbye to him.
It is such fun, when bath time comes, for we wash baby and dollies three.
But that slippery bar of soap is what interest baby most.
When she wakens from her nap and is dressed all sweet and neat
She waits to meet those coming home
Until they turn the corner.
When they call out "hoo-hoo" to her
She quickly runs to meet them.
Fast as pattering little feet and swinging arms will take her
Up she's bounced on a shoulder high,
To ride right to the doorway.
Oh what joy for one and all, she's so sweet and precious.
At eventide when her day is done
She's most the lovingest and if you ask her for a kiss
With head held high, she'll run to you
For you to kiss her head
Then with TeddyBear and Scottie
And her dolly (most in rags)
Which makes quite an armful,
She is carried off to bed.
As I tuck the covers in
With sleepy eyes she watches me,
Holds up both her little hands
For me to hug and love her.
"Rock-a-bye baby" she sings in her own little way
'til I start singing too.
Then in a moment, she's fast asleep
And as off to dreamland she goes.
I tip-toe out with a prayer in my heart.
Thanking god for my baby.

[inspired by Helen's youngest daughter, Carol Ann] 4/13/34

A Letter - Going East

The weather's fine and where I am
How is it there with you?
There's been a drop in temperature
It's cold and foggy too.
But the roses still are blooming
And the birds are singing too.
The weather's fine out where I am
How is there with you?
I don't know why my thoughts come in "rime",
Why the words come swinging
Except to rhythm, I'm making time
In keeping my heart a-singing.


Upon the Line

I wonder if every mother
Gets the pleasure that I do
Just hanging out the family wash
Upon the line to dry?
There are garments very tiny of pink and white or blue
And with the sun a'shining
They make a rainbow hue.
There are manly garments middle size
Some shirts and shorts and socks
And all of these must sturdy be
For our young athlete.
Then there are clothes feminine
For our young junior miss.
Some are gay and colorful,
others small and dainty, made of softest silk.
And next to hers upon the line
Are garments a bit larger
That might have been the same as hers.
But that her twin's a brother!
And some there are, that are quite grown up
For the young man of the house.
They're even larger than his dad's
Which makes him mighty proud.
It's fun to graduate them as I hand them out to dry.
For large and small
I love them all
This family of mine.


To Baxter

Do you know the joy we've having
With a young man in the home,
Who is straight and fine and tall
Who though as yet, not old in years
Towers way above us all?
He's quite an artist and hopes to be
And has his plans all made
To study a year or two near-by
Then go East and abroad.
Dream on, plan on, oh, lad of mine
Make each dream a reality.
For to have you, when you hope to be
Will be happiness enough for me.
Although that means I must let you go
Away from the shelter of home,
But a mother's part is to build her bird strong
Before he flies out from the nest.
So I'll dream for you and plan with you
While you're looking ahead
Know all the joy of having you now
And then, with a prayer in my heart
I'll speed you on your way.

[inspired by Helen's oldest son, Baxter] 4/19/34

Look Not Back

Look not into the past you say,
Think not of the yesteryear,
Look not back, you say to me,
Things that were, were meant to be.
But can you live just in the present,
When I belong to your past?
Why, just having me
And our fine boys three
Our big and our little miss
Is evidence of days that were
When we were all together.
Now you being there
And I being here
Will have to keep with us the past
To build on it for a future day
Known only as happiness!



Today is such a little while,
Tomorrow will soon be here.
Don't sigh if today doesn't bring joy
Tomorrow is very close by.
If today brings disappointment,
Wait 'til tomorrow comes.
Today is such a little while.
Wait 'til tomorrow comes.



My baby runs to me "heah-heah"
Pulls my skirt and pushes me
Says with eyes, bright as can be,
"Come and see my treasures".
Takes me in the other room
Or out into the garden.
Shows me a flower she's found
Or a chair she's draped with ribbon
Or pencil marks upon the wall
But bless her heart, to her it is a letter.
She sees me write, why shouldn't she
Express herself in writing?
Precious babe, she shares with me
All her little pleasures.
Will she know, ever know
She's my precious treasure?


Our Boy Robert

Our boy Robert wants to be
A football player of renown
One who will win the game
For himself and others.
Over the goal the ball must go
Not just up to the line.
So Robert boy, what e'er you do
In school life or years after
Play fair. Fight for victory.
And take the ball over the line.

[inspired by Helen's youngest son, Bob] 5/12/34

To Mima

On Mother's Day, I'm thinking of you,
And wanting you to know I do.
I'm sending in this little "rime"
Love enough to last all time.
And sending too, my wishes true
For happy years, your whole life through.

[inspired by Helen's mother, Gertrude "Mima" Grubbs Keyt] 5/13/34


In the long ago, in our land o' dreams
We built our little nest
And fashioned it from plans we made
When first we thought of home.
We planned and worked together
And put in love with nails
And faith and hope was mixed with paint
As we realized our dreams.
And happily our birdlings four
With us were sheltered there
'Til others claimed our nest.
Through all these years
We've pictured it, as we left it there.
But when I chanced to travel back
I found it not the nest that was
Or as we since had "seen" it.
Now it shelters another flock
Perhaps fulfills their dreams
And I don't know, but 'tis better so
To have it only in memory
As our love did built it.


June 13th

This thirteenth of June
In memory's book
Is a day to be remembered.
My thoughts travel back
Across the years.
Back to a faraway town
When once in evening's twilight
Two separate pathways met.
We did not know that in Life's great scheme
That meeting was scheduled and planned.
For a while we two walked side by side
Happy, joyous and carefree.
Soon though 'twas hand in hand
As on and upward we climbed.
If a year is a mile
We've walked full many together you and I.
Since that long ago evening under a twilight sky
And now, from this summit
On which we stand,
Before the road lies far outstretched.
Shall we not travel on?



I have two neighbors across the street
(I know them not at all)
But one smilingly waves to me
Whenever I step outside.
The other one - well, she scrowls and frowns
And causes us much trouble.
Lives in a pretentious house all alone
While the other has simply a little home.
One's tall and gaunt and sparse and lean
The other's fat and jolly.
Now as I've said, I know neither one
But would it take long to guess
Which one is happy, which one "glum"
Which one, is joyously living?
Where ever I live, I hope, I'll be
To those who pass my way
Like the little lady who smiles on me
From over across the street.

[A recollection by Helen's daughter Carol about the above poem: "The story Mother told about this one is that she had to sell furniture out of our home on Milford Street the first year after we moved from Hermosa Beach to Glendale, to pay the rent and buy groceries, that being the first time our father left to return to the safety net of his sisters in Denver. One of the neighbors caused a lot of trouble claiming she was running a business out of our home."] 6/13/34

Vacation's Here!

A circus has come to town today
A circus right here in our home
For school is out, vacation's here
With its hours of freedom and joy.
And here am I a spectator
Having a grandstand seat,
Seeing and hearing it all,
Three or four acts at a time.
My head's in a whirl
My brain is too, trying to devise a plan
To immunize myself to noise
After days and months of quiet.
But turn-about is fair play
It's time to give others a chance
To sit back, rest and relax.
And oh, what fun it is to be
A wide awake boy or girl
And truly too, it's joy to be
In the center of their activity.
But still I wouldn't be surprised
When their vacation days are o'er,
That I will welcome mine.


Button Box

Am I old-fashioned?
Well, I think perhaps I am
For right near by
Where my mending's piled high,
I have a little box.
Its contents are a jumble
Of nothing of much value,
Beads and buttons, hooks and eyes,
Various sizes, colors gay
All together, quite an array
Is this odd assortment of little things
A tumbling out of my button box?


A Letter Past Due

I've been looking for a letter
That has failed to come to me.
The day I knew it should arrive
Was "teeming" with expectancy,
Waiting for the bell to ring,
Thinking that it would.
Waiting thus, the whole day passed.
"Twill come tomorrow, surely."
Then I watched the carrier pass right by my door!
Each mail that came
Breathlessly to the box I rushed
And then again - my heart stood still
For it was not the one.
And so, day after day has gone
Since the letter I should have had
Was due and here am I
Still waiting!


The Rainbow of The Soul

Oh, how the soul must have a rainbow
Stretching across the years.
Making a thing of beauty
Out of heartaches and our tears.
And though our every dream
May at times illusive seem
With faith, we still will trace on high
God's promised rainbow in the sky!


From Out My Window

Today I saw in my neighbor's garden
A very lovely guest.
And as I watched another came,
Fluttering from branch to branch
Paused on a thread-like stem
Which neither bent nor swayed
'Twas but a tiny elf
To it the other must a giant seem,
Yet together there they rest
Unconcerned, knowing each holds his own place
In this great universe.



Strange, this feeling,
Strange how very far away you are
When I don't hear from you at all.
Days are days but that is all
Nothing for tomorrow or all the days that follow
Then comes a message full of hope and cheer
"With love" - and you are near.


Soaring Wings

My little bird left his cage last night
To fly to heights unknown
And yet I know all's well with him
For he has left behind
Wings unused to soaring.
Now, no harm can come to him
For he is full protected.
I'm glad he left us all prepared
Thus to journey far.
For he was such a tiny bird
To face an unknown world
And might easily have lost his way
Had he tried to soar on wings
All unused to flying.


Dawn Came
Rose cheeked, vibrant, awakening
Dawn came and slipped away
Into the full glory of a radiant day.
Bright eyed, vibrant, awakening
Love came, into full radiance, Life bloomed.
Rose cheeked, mysterious, divine Life came
And slipped into out heart's shrine.
And when what men call death shall come
So shall we say again, Dawn came to slip away
To the full glory of a radiant day.



Did you ever waken in the night
To find it all so hushed and still
It seemed that time itself had stopped
Traveling to eternity?
No man-made sound,
No song of bird or stir of breeze
Just silence, unfamiliar, strange,
A pause, before the day
That rushes stillness far away.


A Traveler

The whistle of a train at night
Set my soul a'dreaming
I travel on to lands afar
To rhythm of wheels singing
Another mile, another mile
Another and another.
Through tree canyons, heavy fragrant
With orange blossom dew.
Across a desert, moonlight frosted,
Past beams alight on high
To make a pathway in the sky
For other nightly rovers.
Through mountain passes, upward climbing
Panting, chugging, puffing a slower measured tread.
Then like a swiftly gliding river
To the plains again that stretch to the horizon,
Faintly gleaming with dawn's glow.
Dawn, another day is bringing
But my heart was set a-dreaming
By a whistle in the night.


To a Graduate

My boy, I would not wish for you only happiness,
For that can be a passing thing
No stronger than a bubble.
But I would wish for you
The strength of courage
To meet each day wish head held high
And peace within your heart
And pray your great accomplishment will be
Just to be an inspiration always.


Keep With Thee Faith

If you must "travel light"
Through these years,
Keep with thee faith.
Hold on to Love and friends
And all the little joys you still possess.
Like pain, that though unbearable
In after time soon is forgot,
So too, this ache of emptiness
Will be forgot, if you keep Love.
But let Love go and Faith
Then all is lost and numb with hurt.
Your soul will cry aloud,
"Take all, if needs must be,
But leave me Faith
To fill this aching void".


Up and Down

Up and down, we travel along.
Over hill and dale.
And if we puff as we go up,
It's easy sliding down.
But oh, the thrill of accomplishment
When we've reached the summit
And view from there the work we've done
And know our effort climbing up
Has brought us to the splendid heights
We'd never reach if always sliding down.


Keep Step

Keep step with life
With head held high
And shoulders back
A song within your heart.
A smile for all who pass you by
A helping hand out-stretched
Perhaps another marching on
Has found the way too rough and long.
Keep step with life.
Your comrades then, with head held high
Will walk along with you.


The Blessing of a Friend
To M.B.M.
July 21, 1935

You and I walked many a mile
Before our pathways met,
Then at a crossroad you smiled on me
And tucked my arm in yours.
Our kindred spirits met
And I was blessed.
Soon though for me, my path led home
Beneath far western skies
And yours, West, North,
East and South has gone.
But still, across the miles between
Our spirits meet again.
And through the years a friendship lives
You took my hand in yours.


Two Worlds

The early riser wakens to a world God-made.
The song of bird welcoming day.
The faintest stir of murmuring breeze
A mysterious newness over all.
The stay-in-bed wakens to a world man-made,
The shriek of swiftly moving trains
The sound of honking horns, newsboys call
The roar of speeding motors over all.
How well we know the latter world.
How little acquainted with the dawn.


In Memoriam

How pitiful it is to hear men say,
God called those we love away.
God who Himself is Life and Love.
Only men could be so cruel.
̉Tis not those dear remembered eyes that see no more,
But ours that sightless are with false belief.
Too blind to see that here or there
Life was and is and ever-more shall be.
That all there is of living,
Is with God,
Now and through Eternity.

[undated; composed after hearing of the death of Will Rogers (August 15, 1935)]

Now I'm Three

What's just a puzzlin' me
What I can't figure out,
Is why, yesterday I was two
And now, today I'm three!
All nice, polite, I've learned to say
When anybody asked "I'm two"
But now, they just correct me.
It's funny but I guess they know
And maybe, too, it's just because
Today I had a birthday!


Life's Highway

Oh, travel the highway of life with me
Be my companion always
Pleasant will our journey be
Joy will be always with us.
Love will be our guard and guide
Happiness will bless our days
As together we travel on
This highway of great adventure!



No more to hurt, no more to pain,
Today I found what I have gained
Through these past hurting hours.
Peace, poise and calm -
The storm has gone,
The clouds break through
And soon I'll know a life anew.
My pity only, goes with you.

[inspired by the demise of Helen's marriage to Walter Wolf] 6/27/43

Winds that blow

Here is a thought on which to ponder.
Yesterday mountains yonder
Stood dark and cold and thickly clouded,
Drear and gray in mystery shrouded.
But from their shoulders, as I slept
That enveloping veil was boldly swept
To leave them standing calm and clear
Courageous sentinels who knew no fear.
And when from us our unbelief is rent
We too, at peace, shall know
Winds that blow are heaven sent.

Righteous Indignation

I will not have it.
This cannot be.
This weakness that's depleting me.
It is not good.
It is not real.
Ill and sick, I will not feel.
Strong and secure
I shall arise.
To see God only, lift my eyes!



The Road Ahead

Dear One, put your hand in mine.
Let my heart rest close to Thine.
Let me feel your Presence near.
Quiet my longing and my fear
Of lonely hours and empty days.
Bring love to me in other ways
Than I have known.
And may I newly learn to give
In deeper fuller richness live!
And look ahead with brave new heart
Knowing if I but do my part
Blessing that I now can't see
Are in Your planning meant for me.



Never close an empty purse.
Never shut out God's supply.
Keep it open, wide and free
He will fill it, trust and see!

Stand staunch and true
God's close to you.

This need, I do not meet myself
God supplies me from His wealth.

God walks with me
God talks with me
And holds me by the hand.
I walk with God.
I walk with god.
And try to understand.
Thine is the kingdom,
The glory and the power.
Know it, feel it, believe it,
Each and every hour.

I shall live victoriously
God reveals His Love to me.

I am not alone, my needs are all supplied.
God is my companion
Always at my side.

Let god shine forth from you today
In all you do, in all you say.

Blessings 'round about me,
Blessings at every hand
Just waiting my recognition
My ability to understand.
God show me the way, I pray
To live, my life for Thee this day.


Return Engagement

It's like a puzzle you want to solve
You want to make the pieces fit together.
No, it's not wholly like that either.
It's like standing outside a lighted window,
And watching there within,
A large family group,
Some at work and some at play.
As you watch you long to step inside.
You long to be a part of them,
Even for a little while.
Suddenly you realize it's perfectly possible to do so.
The door is ajar.
You enter all unnoticed.
Oh, one or two may look up at you or glance your way,
Or even speak to you.
But you have, in no way disturbed them nor displaced them.
There are so preoccupied as before you entered
The immensity of this place they call home.
They are busy people, some only with their leisure
But others have work to do, tasks to perform.
You are aware of all those about you, but they seem not to be aware of you.
And you continue to have this feeling of wanting to belong.
It clings to you. It is something you feel,
It cannot be defined.
Perhaps it's like being seated in an audience,
Witnessing a play of many characters on a vast stage
Of huge proportion with unbelievable scenic backdrops.
Rivers and shps, bridges, buildings tall and broad,
Cars, taxis, trains and tunnels.
And people, people everywhere daring here and there
To the background music of city noises, sometimes muted,
Often harsh, strident, strong.
You wonder what the pattern is, what the theme?
But they know.
They calmly rush here and yon, for experience has directed them.
They know well, their exists and their entrances.
As you watch, your eyes grow bit with wonder.
You are the audience.
New York is the setting.
Its people of every race and creed,
The cast in parts both great and small.
You are entranced. You applaud.
You ask for curtain calls. You applaud again and again.
Even as you leave you hope for a repeat performance.
You know you'll come again.
Perhaps you'll stay!


My Constructive Alphabet

Almighty Beloved Christ
Divine Everlasting Father,
Great Healing Inspiration,
Joyous, Kind,
Man's Never-ending Omnipotent Power,
Quickens, Restores, Sustains,
Teaches Unity, Voices Wholeness,
"X"press Your God!


Where God Is

Across the country far and wide
I see God on every side.
In mountain tops and cloudless skies
Or in another traveler's eyes
In deserts vast and lovely place
Or cities' myriads of faces.
I see God and feel Him near,
While winging high upon the land
Or on the beaches clean, white sand.
In deep blue lakes of mammoth size
And in a laughing baby's eyes,
In forest green and peaks snow bound
Where e'er I look, he can be found.


A Treatment

If, as to a practitioners
I should come to me
To ask for healing,
I would see myself
As Perfect Being
With deep desire and feeling
I would know God's presence near
And realize His Peace is here.
I'd close my mind and eyes
To false thought patterns that arise.
And gratefully thank God again
That His "I AM" can know no pain.
[inspired by Helen's bout with cancer] 8/21/53

For You

The only thing that I can do for you
Is pray that you'll awaken you
To live a life full, rich and free.
Pray you'll open your eyes to see
God dwells within and all about.
Pray you'll never ever doubt
His will for you, is only one of growth for you.
Attainment you will surely find
And love and joy and peace of mind.
When you know God's not far apart
But feel His Love within your heart.



Odd little things, indelible to last,
Strange looking stations, trains whizzing past.
Ice or boats on the river tide,
People or gulls, on for the ride.
Great rocky cliffs on yonder shore.
Palisade carved in days of yore.
Commuters waiting in rain or sun,
Or downstairs dashing on the run,
Elbowed standing or sitting down.
Expressionless - no smile - no frown.
Behind newspapers always hiding.
Edging off, continuous riding.
A flash of name, quickly passed by.
Caught in the twinkling of an eye,
Yonkers, Spuyten Devil,
Odd sounding places.
Soon as well known as daily-seen faces.
High bride, High Tower on the hill,
You can live there, if you will.
A subway elevated for a while,
Noisily grinding out each mile.
Columbia Field, Polo Ground,
Yankee Stadium, big and round.
Syncopated rowing by muscles strong
On racing shells, narrow and long.
A necklace bridge, linking state to state,
Business men's specials, that dare not be late.
City-bound on another line.
A clock, to check, on a huge sign.
A thermometer, too, (when reading low
Bears tiding of another snow).
Houses, brownstone, that once were grand
Sidewalk vendors on every hand.
Apartments, built too close for light
Become, just rubble, overnight,
But something bit, soon will stand
On this valuable piece of land.
Buildings built o'er each to tower
Climbing higher, hour by hour.
Before your hearings, you have found
Darkness proves, you're underground.
To stay for many a mile and turn
Until the wheels no longer churn.
Grand Center, your destination reached
A swarm of humanity, unleashed.
Quickly follow, up and yon
To hesitate is to be stepped on.
This "fog" you are in, is just a daze,
The Concourse lights are all ablaze.
Up, up, up, the ramp you go
To see the city you want to know.
To feel its hustle, hear its voice,
And still keep your inner poise.
Is to newcomers, quite a feat
But one to time again, repeat,
For New York City beckons you
Once you've glimpsed it, as I hope you'll do!

[inspired by Helen's time back east, working for the Masters School at Dobb's Ferry, NY] 7/1960

[The following poems, typed out, were titled "Two Writings of Helen Keyt Wolf". It is not known who typed them.]


This morning I witnessed the world's rebirth,
A new heaven and a new earth,
Before my very eyes were born -
Perchance I wakened with the dawn!
Quickly I turned off man-made light
So very welcome in the night.
Pulled open my eye-drawn shade,
Reveled in brilliance that soon will fade
Into a day, that can't compare
With sky-cloud beauty over there!
Thus with joy I witness the world's rebirth,
A new heaven and a bright new earth.



Love brought a bunch of violets
Purple in hue.
Filled with "breath of spring" fragrance, too.
Each flower and every bud
Brings forth healing
Life expressed in fulfilled being.

[Upon receiving a gift of violets from her son Walt and his wife Betty (7/23/63), two days before Helen's passing]

[Helen Cary Keyt died on July 25, 1963. May she rest in peace!]