by Daniel W. Shegrud


My lawn lies short in serried row, its edges neat and trim

The desperate weed denied its head, the shrub its errant stem

Across the green my garden strains to kiss the morning sky

With fruit-filled branch and dew-specked leaf it seeks the sun's reply

Then, satisfied, I view my yard

Recalling what had been

And yet my work remains undone

For all will grow again


My kitchen sink is empty now, the counters bare and clean

The trail of tile between the rooms is boastful of its sheen

The carpet, with its Berber wings that stretch from wall to wall

Is gleaned of crumb and dirt and thread and ready for my sprawl

Then, satisfied, I view my home,

Delighting in the peace

And yet my work remains undone

For chaos cannot cease


My carriage sports a crystal coat of rich carnauba wax

The elbow grease that placed it there restores the pride it lacks

And such a fine conveyance needs a fitting place to dwell

And so I set to cleaning out my carriage house as well

Then, satisfied, I view my car,

Approving the display

And yet my work remains undone

For polish fades away

It seems, at times, a pointless task to weed and rake and mow

To sweep and vacuum, wash and dry to make the carriage glow

It seems that once a chore is done then done it ought to stay!

...and yet... how dull my life would be if all I did was play


Then, pondering, I catch a glint of providential plan

How empty every day would be were I an idle man

If once a job was done and done and never came again

Then what would keep my idle hands from tinkering with sin?


If every job stayed done and done,if no task needed me

Then what would be the point of life?  What purpose would there be?

The task that makes demands of me in repetitious rhyme

Is meant to mold my character and not to waste my time

Then, satisfied, I view my life,

Surprising me because

As yet my work remains undone

And I thank God it does


Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2013, All Rights Reserved


By Daniel W. Shegrud


“Hello, my friend.  Why look so glum?  What troubles are you running from?

Your face is pinched, your lips are blue.  You must be cold, and hungry too.

Come lay your burdens on my floor, and find some peace inside my door,

Then join me for a bite to eat, my table teems with bread and meat


I’ll never enter through your door.  My kind ain’t welcome on your floor.

I’ve heard your speech a time or…ten.  I’m staying out, ain’t coming jn.

You got no cause to hassle me and I don’t need no charity,

So I refuse to buy your line.  I ain’t your friend, and you ain’t mine.


Hold on there, please, don’t run away, don’t close your ears to what I say.

I’ve watched you struggle down the road and know the nature of your load. 

The pain you feel? It’s nothing new.   I’ve been there, pal – I’ve felt it too.

Come in, come in, and rest your feet.  Come in, my friend, let’s sit and eat.  


Just sit and eat, and that’s your plan?  You’re off the wall.  You’re dreaming, man.

This fantasy you throw at me – it fixes nothing.  Wait and see.

Your sympathy makes you a fool.  I won’t be tricked ‘cause I’m no tool.

You want to help? Then come with me.  Feel what I feel, see what I see.


Like I said I’ve been there, felt that, walked where you walked, sat where you sat

I know how hard your life can seem, but peace is more than some mere dream.

I’ve overcome adversity, and offer you a chance to see

That life and peace can co-exist.  Come in, come in, please don’t resist.


So say I do, I walk right in, I sit and eat - what happens then?

I might get robbed, you might get rough, I might get hurt, lose all my stuff.

I might become a prisoner, with you my executioner,

Or worst of all you’ll preach at me, which means your meal will not be free.


Come in or don’t, the choice is yours.  It’s cold outside, it’s warm indoors,

But maybe you’re not ready yet to share with me the feast I’ve set,

So let me send with you this lunch, and someday soon, I have a hunch

That life will lead you here again, and maybe then you’ll come on in.


I won’t say yes, I won’t say no.  Just passing through.  I gotta go.

As for that lunch, I won’t think twice.  Some food right now would sure be nice.

Just don’t wait up, ‘cause odds are thin I’ll ever come this way again.

But…I don’t know...I might come back…depends on what is in that sack.

Then take it, friend – my gift to you.  Enjoy it as you’re passing through,

And when you stop to eat and rest, remember me and my request.

Though trouble overwhelms your day, and refuge feels so far away,

Inside my home you need not fear.  I call you friend – you’re welcome here.]

Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2014, All Rights Reserved

The Joy of Angela

by Daniel W. Shegrud


I saw a baby today, replete with folds of lace and satin,

Lying in a solid cradle, cushioned on all sides with soft, white pillows

And rocked gently forever by His hand.


Her little eyes were sweetly shut, her mouth was quiet and set.

Her hands no longer moved in earthly ways.

Her mind was silent, her heart was still,

Her tabernacle prepared for lasting rest.


But her spirit, oh her spirit, how it soars.

Like a flower that blooms in the glow of a brighter light,

Hers is the sky, the oceans, the fields, but more, so very much more.


In joyful existence she will prosper,

In perfect light she will grow.

In patient expectation she will prepare the

Mansions reserved for future arrivals of love.

And then how wonderful will be her childhood,

How great will be the joy of Angela.


I saw a baby today, so patient in her peace,

And in that child I saw my own eternity.


In memory of Angela Hess, November 3 – December 1, 1986

Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 1986, All Rights Reserved


By Daniel W. Shegrud


Ding dong

The doorbell

A parcel on the porch

A package, a packet, a box

Retrieved, transported, it sits on the table

Unwrapped, exposed, the bare box makes its claim

“Beautiful”, it says, “Beautiful in a Box”

Beautiful? In a box?Is it possible?

Can it be so?

Can beautiful be boxed?Contained? Constrained?

Conformed to the crate that holds it,

Tthe six sides that surround it?

A curious conundrum

Seal broken, box opened, four flaps folded back

User guide on top, demanding to be read

“Beautiful simplified, defined, refined,

All excess trimmed away

No fuzz, no dross, no padding,

Only beautiful,


Packing peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam hit the floor

Beautiful, beneath it all, awaits

Hefted, hoisted, lifted, free, exposed to light, it challenges,

“Examine me!”

Looking, peering, gazing, searching

Top to bottom, back to front, side to side



No color, no hue, no tint, no shade,

Nothing to distract the eye

No angle, no curve, no bulge, no wrinkle,

Nothing to offset the balance

Neither heavy nor light, neither large nor small

Nothing to over-awe or underwhelm

No experience, no relationship, no confusion, no pain

Neither joy nor sorrow nor heartbreak nor triumph

Is there truth to be found?

Is there substance within?

Can form be allowed to trump meaning?

Can it possibly serve a purpose?

Can it calm a troubled mind or soothe a broken heart?

Can it speak, soul to soul?

Where is the aching, the longing, the pining?

What gives it a narrative?

Who tells of the testing, the struggle, the victory?

What hope can be given,

What courage bestowed,

What knowledge conveyed

From a beautiful void of all reality?

No dross, no fluff, no baggage,

No bulge, no wrinkle, no curve,

No color, no tint, no hue,

Nothing that speaks of character or brags of sacrifice,

That cries for empathy or pleads for mercy

Nothing that gives it a point

Or justifies the labor of creation

It evokes no amazement or wonder,

No scrutiny or caricature

It is worthy of nothing more sacred than pity,

Supplanted by apathy,

On its way to obscurity

Beautiful simplified, defined and refined

Is no beautiful at all

Replaced, repacked, four flaps folded and sealed

Beautiful in a Box is laid to rest with the other trash

And I turn my eyes to life, to love, to family, to friends

To seek beautiful where beautiful exists

Without boundaries, without restrictions, without limits

I seek true beautiful

I seek beautiful...


Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2013, All Rights Reserved

My Lord, My God, My Father, My Friend

By Daniel W. Shegrud


My Lord, my God, my father, my friend.

Unequaled are you among men. 

Immeasurable are you by man.


Infinitely greater than I and yet you see me.

Infinitely wiser than I and yet you love me.


The universe is your play toy, a minor bauble,

an insignificant expanse,

And yet I am counted as your treasure,

Embraced as your lover, adopted as your heir.


I am the least of the least, the lowest of the low,

unworthy of even your smallest notice,

And yet through Christ, My brother, my Redeemer,

I am spotless in your sight

And seated with the highest of the high.


Search me oh Lord. 

Tear down the strongholds in my soul

That stand against you. 

Make me a useful tool to build your kingdom,

A beautiful instrument for your praise and glory.

Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2014, All Rights Reserved


by Daniel W. Shegrud


7:27 ticked into place. 

“Awake!  Arise!  Embrace!  Enthuse!”

it seemed to shout at me.

Ever the obedient servant of time, I accepted the summon with a minimum of grumbling and arose.

On the other side of the window the sun was shining,

the air was clear, the sky was vast.

“Amazing,” I gasped.

“Yes?” Amazing replied.

“Oh, excuse me, I didn’t see you standing there.”

“Perspective,” Amazing said. 

“It’s tricky that way.”


Sneaky a last, lingering look outside,

I turned to the pile in the corner.

“I need to do some laundry,” I said.

Amazing cocked an eyebrow. 

“May I join you?”


Together we sorted

colors, whites,

towels and such.

“What should we wash first,” I asked.

“Whites,” Amazing replied,

and we stuffed them in.

“They all fit – amazing!”

“Yes,” Amazing said.  


“Love to.”

Together we labored, until the sink was empty,

clean and dry.

“Amazing!” I said.

“Right here,” Amazing replied.

Moments later, my bicycle called to me. 

“Ride me! Ride me now!” it said.

“Bike ride?” I asked.

“Indeed,” said Amazing.

Together we rode, passing people connected to dogs,

to music and to each other, and all were reveling

in the cool morning brightness.

“Amazing!” I cried.

“Yes, I see.”

We rode past patchworks of manicured lawns,

slopes of windswept grass, hills of jumbled

granite snuggled between the greens of spring.


“I think so too.”

We rode until my legs were tired and my heart

was full, then we parked the bike and

stood together in my garage, taking it all in.

“How do you feel?” Amazing asked.

“Amazing!” I said. 

“Thanks for showing it to me.”

“Happy to be of service,” said Amazing.

“And the funny thing is,” I said,

“I didn’t even see it coming.”

“Perspective,” Amazing nodded. 

“It’s tricky that way.”


A seedling pushed its way up to the

surface of my fertile mind and blossomed

into something with the pleasing

fragrance of wisdom.

“Perspective is amazing!” I declared.

“Yes, it is, and it’s yours to keep.”

Then placing his gift in my hands

to use as I see fit,

Amazing moved on.  

Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2014, All Rights Reserved