Archive for December, 2016

So that I can share posts about my life in general, though not  in private, the chronology of every poem I’ve written and published in one of my books and beyond is now being shared at my new blog Word Man’s Ramble. If you’re curious and if you dig poetry and lyrics, please visit mine new  blog — Word Man’s Ramble

My midnight  confessions that I don’t write at midnight , really, but just might, re-zoom here at Honey & Quinine starting  in the late AM, Wednesday  December 28, 2016.  Please come back if your curious about me, Job Clifton Conger, IV, whose life,  at my decrepitating age of 69, going on 17, has impacted the world with the weight of a bag of horsefeathers.

Live long  . . . . . . . and proper.

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Poems on the Move

Over the last week, I decided that Honey  & Quinine, my “personal life” blog was not a good fit for the many MANY poems and song lyrics I intended to share with you here. I really needed to  create a new blog, expressly for the purpose of  sharing what I promised to share with friends and strangers, especially any of either who would be inclined to invite me to share my craft at their special events or performance venues. Updates not connected to my aviation and aviation history blogs will continue here.  If you’re curious about what I’m doing with my AeroKnow Museum in Springfield, Illinois, please visit AeroKnow Day to Day      the AeroKnow Museum occasional essays  and AeroKnow Museum’s Gallery of Flight    mostly  closeups and extended photo coverage of special aircraft blogs.

Today I created the new blog to continue posting, in chronological order, my poems and song lyrics. It’s called Wordman’s Rambles, and it’s located at http://jobcongerpoems.wordpress.com

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THIS is a surprise. If I hadn’t been rearranging a smaller bedroom today, I would not have re-discovered this unpublished Christmas poem/song lyric I wrote just two years ago and forgot. Here is my bonus best wishes gift to me and perhaps to you, on this auspicious day.

by Job Conger

Hear the voices caroling so sweetly
Through the crispy cold December night.
Candy canes and tinsel now completely
Decorate the tree to our delight.
How the days of yester-years return as
Tintinabulating chimes ring distant, clear.
I will spend this special day with memories:
Memories of Christmas this year.

Sister’s family here from West Virginia
Gee how fast Bob, Steve and Julie grow!
Paul and Linda, sweethearts since September
Kissing coyly under mistletoe!
Catalogs from Sears and Roebuck thrilled me.
Most of Santa’s toys all came from here.
I unwrap the presence of sweet memories:
Memories of Christmas this year.

See the blazing Yule log flames before us
Halls are decked with boughs of fa-la-las
Names of relatives almost forgotten
Especially dear grandmas and  grandpas
Lovers too, so sad I never married
Still I  had my share, shed many a tear.
So today I’ll hug and kiss my memories.
Memories of Christmas this year.

Second helpings, Sharon’s mashed potatoes
Home-made apple pie served a la mode.
Leftovers sent home with guests departing.
Golly, how the wine and laughter flowed!
Days of wonder didn’t last forever.
Neither did the friendships held so dear.
I will share my ham and Swiss with memories,
Memories of Christmas this year.

— 2:10 pm, December 23, 2014

In 2014 I dined on ham and Swiss on rye bread. In 2015 I switched to sliced deli turkey on Swiss. The peoples’ names in the song, which I’ve  practiced but never sung in public, belong to real kin and real friends. And that’s okay because they will never see their names, and they will never know how much I miss them.

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What Star in the Sky
by Job Conger

There’s a tale, often told, of a star in the sky
guiding wise men and shepherds so giving of self, so certain of self
that they followed that star to the birth of salvation,
not knowing the where-fore, the who-for or why.
They altered their lives for an uncertain calling,
and in grand recompense for their faith in a star
came the gift of a better forever.

There’s a tale, yet untold of a star in the sky
which good folks in the wilderness see day and night.
It shines — not for Christ or Muhammad or king,
yet that star marks the path to salvation.
It calls the seeing but unknowing to follow in faith,
trusting the mover of heaven and earth
to guide them out of the darkness.

Now could be just the moment for a star in the sky:
illuminating truths shared by a bitter sister,
your shadow on the sand as you’ve never seen it before,
a sign from on high to change for the better.
Not a hand on the shouldere or advice from a preacher,
though they are stars in some lives, too,
but Divinity calling, a light that’s meant just for you.

Though borne of this earth, you’re a star in the sky
whose light leads to hope in the wilderness.
The generous gesture, the smile to a stranger,
ears that listen to songs in the darkness.
Though many  won’t hear you, there are many who will.
Radiant with goodness, your life may show the way,
and a soul you won’t see will follow to a better forever.

— 2:15 pm, December 25, 2001
It had been too long since I had written a Christmas song or poem, and I knew it. I thought about it often in the week or so before the big day and nothing had come to me. Finally it did about noon on Christmas 2001. I don’t remember anything about  the day except that I wrote the poem. I might have been invited for an afternoon meal on Christmas eve with friends across the street who share their hospitality and superb kitchen skills with me more often than most people who know me might think. I shared this poem with those friends later in the week, and about a week after that I was at the house across the street, talking with those friends when I saw the copy of my poem What Star in the Sky refrigerator magneted to the Kelvinator.  I shared my delight and said “Thanks. ”
Said he, “I thought it was a fine poem.”
. . . . .   Thanks to all readers of this post or any other post here at Honey & Quinine. To you I send best wishes for a warm, reverent and rewarding Christmas.

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Passion Flower
by Job Conger

To a virgin in the night
In a land almost forgot
And a time when faith grew dimmer by the hour,
From a manger’s meager light
Came  the dawn of a new day
With the birth of God’s own son, his passion flower.

Passion flower, planted simply to atone
For the sin and the hate not of his own
And to show, show the way beyond the pain
To eternity and sweet salvation.

Joyous news by angels came
To the shepherds with their flocks.
And the wise men with their majesty and power
Hear the word shared in God’s name
Journeyed far to find the town
And the manger with the mighty passion flower.


Many saints have come to  be
Since the seed of God’s desire
To restore his covenant with souls grown sour
Bloomed for  all humanity,
Yet, so many still don’t share
The joy and hope of the  desert passion flower.


May the love — that heaven scent —
Reach the hearts of everyone
And then lead wayfaring strangers grim and dour
To the heavens’ firmament
Promised to the ones who  seek
To know  God’s son, His redeeming  passion flower.


December 12, 1993

CORRECTION:  when I posted the lyrics to my Christmas song Season of Love yesterday, I was relying on my memory for the date and story behind it. The date shared here is the date that I wrote this song lyric and song.  I hope that if you want to share the  story, you click on “Poem 33” to read the lyric and the story.
———– When I was regularly attending First United Methodist Church in lyrical downtown Springfield, Illinois, I opened my heart and mind as I sat down in a pew, like unfolding a blanket onto grass in the park before a picnic,  sometimes solo, sometimes with friends. The hope  was that if there was any thought shared by Reverend Roger Rominger and his excellent associates during the service, they would become evident to me on that blanket, and that I would reach for pen and paper (usually the back of an unused donation  envelope, write the thoughts down and take them home to develop them into a poem or song.  Roger didn’t say the words “passion flower” but the concept came to me like a bolt from the blue during his sermon. After returning home, the song — usually a melody first (strangely, perhaps) — then the lyric framed for the melody  and rhythm. And sometimes the lyric came first. The first line of  the last verse is an intentional double entendre, a  “gift” from an unseen “ghost writer” that I truly believe helped me write  this song.

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Season of Love
by Job Conger

It’s a time and a season
People go into hock
Buying presents for others
And enduring the schlock —
The retail over-selling —
As we push and we shove.
It’s a shame we forget that
It’s a season of love.

From a brother to sister,
From a mom to a dad,
Like a breath to revive us
In a time that’s gone bad.
Let’s remember the  reason
For the way that it’s done,
That our God up in heaven
Gave us his only son.

Though the shiny, wrapped present
Isn’t myrrh or fine gold,
We rejoice in the reason
That the scriptures have told,
Why we give unto others
As He gave from above.
I will follow the wise men
In the season of love.

Though Emmanuel’s coming
Seems so far from today,
We rejoice in remembering
For He showed us the way.

It’s the way to forgiveness
Through the gifts that we bring,
And the heaven’s assurance
In the songs that we sing,
All to say that “I love you”
Like our Father above,
And I follow the follow the Father
In a season of love.

— December 12, 1993

I was still going strong with the church downtown. That Christmas I offered to play behind a pillar in the basement all-purpose room where many of the congregation would be enjoying Christmas dinner together a few days before the 25th. The offer was accepted because they knew how well I played guitar, and that I had learned (taught myself) several new instrumental arrangements of Christmas songs and hymns of the season. I played about an hour, and did well. I believe I didn’t repeat a song, all instrumental . . . . background music . . . . no I contact with anyone. I believe (if memory serves) that I also didn’t eat dinner there that night.  I was okay with that. Elsewhere that season I played Season of Love, and people who heard me liked the song. Most of the years since 1993 I have sung that song and others for friends and strangers  during the Christmas season. On December 12, 1994, my dad died.

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The following four days’ posts are Christmas-related poems/song lyrics I’ve written over the years. I’m departing with the established chronology to share the one most likely to receive “mixed reviews.” I’m sharing it from memory as I often share three of them, hence I’m not looking at the date in whatever book I published it, but I believe the year was 1998.

Oh Well
(to most of the melody  of Christmas carol The First Noel)
by Job Conger

Every year is a marathon  race from the start
As we seek satisfaction for head, hearth and heart,
And the point of this challenging game that we play
Is a red and green bottom line called Christmas Day.

Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well
Surely next year will make up for this one.

As we strive toward the dreams that may never come true
We endure slings and arrows as good folks must do.
It’s amazing the things people swallow that hurt
As we pray  Christmas day will bring our just dessert

Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well
We’ve been luckier than some sorry bastards

May we all join together this season of hope
And resolve not to hang ourselves with our own rope.
May the people we care about find joy sublime.
We’ve a mighty long haul until spring time.

Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well
May the mirth of good friends and fun linger.
Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well
May the mirth of good friends and fun linger!

— circa 1998
“some sorry bastards” are the words as I published them and as I sing the song. I don’t intentionally write profane or obscene words,   and I know that phrase comes close. I mean the line in an “Irish sense of the language,” and I sing it smiling.  I  do not believe unlucky people are necessarily all bastards. I have enjoyed many smiling faces as I sing this song. MANY join in singing “oh  well,” especially  when I invite them to before playing it. Sometimes we rehearse that line a few times, so the  capping of the phrase with my solo on the second line is even more fun and more surprising.

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