The Benton Courier

By Dennis Patton


I remember the first Christmas I heard Autry sing about that deer, and I have locked in my head that memorable Christmas year. I’ve known other Christmas seasons, but not one of them more fine than the one I had in nineteenforty-nine.

I recall that year’s Christmas Eve when I was seven years old,

For I could not sleep and the floor was barefoot cold. As I peeked into the living room as quietly as could be, and saw Santa Claus standing by our tree.

I know I was not dreaming for I stubbed and hurt my toe just before I saw him there bathed in streetlight glow.

After all these years, it is real to me –

I know that I saw Santa by the Christmas tree.

Some say Christmas is just more capitalism that is manifested by commercialism.

But I will always think it honors a gift true that is given to us all, to me and to you.

So please mock not the season by pointing out its flaws,

And never try to tell me there is no Santa Claus.

— Howard Nobles



Holidays may come and go

But there’s nothing like the one on Christmas Day

Celebration of His birth

Shining star that lights the earth

His Father was well pleased to see the birth of His dear son

The story is told our Savior has come. — Kathy Easter Traskwood


Yesterday I saw a double rainbow arching over

the school house and I marveled at the way color

did not drain to each end. I instantly felt

drawn to our old front porch filled with family,

laughter, HIS children struck by a double rainbow.

First Christmas I remember was filled with laughter:

no tree, no gifts, no tinsel, just lots of people…

relatives with fun pranks, games, stories and love.

Our house fairly shook with good cheer. Each

person received an orange, a Brazil nut, two pecans

and a piece of hard-rock candy. Cousins were wild

with excitement. Older men stood around the fireplace

discussing the war, each proud of the strong young sons

they had sent to, “Kick Hitler’s butt!”

We rushed to the front porch to see a double rainbow

arching over the school house on the hill and watched

the color fade, drain away at both ends.

Silence was broken with gasps of wonder as people

smiled, touched each other and some remembered

HIS promise in living color of water and light.

Later two army officers brought a black-edged

telegram from the War Department to my Mom.

— Dewell H. Byrd



Bright evening star we give our deepest thanks

for glow that lit the path to guide wise men

who followed you afar. And, for our sakes,

you pointed those many years ago when

God’s word came true. Your torch of love—a crown

above the town—gave light for those it led.

And those who saw the child of God sent down

found love revealed in what His word had said.

The curtains of the sky drew back as you

revealed for earth what it had lost somewhere

because of sin. You gave a gift that night

along with them in Bethlehem. They knew

because the holy writ had led them there;

and you—the evening star—their guiding light.

— Dennis Patton


To submit poems for publication, please send poems of 16 or fewer lines to Dennis Patton, 2512 Springhill Circle, Alexander, AR 72002, or The Saline County Branch of PRA is scheduled to meet December 16, 1:00 pm, at the Parkview United Methodist Church, 514 North Border Street, Benton.





Alberta Newspaper Group