With Tongue In Cheek

Book Two: And Heart On Sleeve

Kathryn Kay

©Copyright 1938, 1997
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form
whatsoever without written permission of the author.

Circle Publishing Company - Hollywood
Printed by Bruce McCallister
Format Designed by Grant Dahlstrom


Without Fanfare
Little Ladders
Sun and Moon
Whistle in the Dark
God's In a Thimble
Constructive Criticism
Mouse Adjustment
Difficult Creed
Mother's Day
Preface to Parting
First Love
Brave Thoughts
Prophecy Fulfilled
First Valentine
To Me
To Jo

Without Fanfare

I always knew
that some day you'd appear
and waited patiently,
but, I hardly knew that you were here,
you came so quietly!

Little Ladders

I know, now
that I have you near,
the love affairs that I once knew,
were simply little ladders, dear,
that I was climbing up to you!

Sun and Moon

I'd like to think
that for me you
can make the day and night—
while the most that I can ever do
is to reflect your light.


God, try to make me big
and wise and strong enough
to love him in the way that suits Your plan;
and make these quickly passing moments long enough
to last us each a lifetime, if You can.
Don't make me weak after You once have made me brave
and taught me courage. Help me to take pride
that it was to my tiny singing heart You gave
his glorious love; that I was at his side
for one clear shining instant. Let me be content
to know his truest heart is mine, altho
his life must, of necessity, always be spent
away from me; and when You've made him go
give me the strength to keep his mem'ry ever fresh,
in spite of all the agony it brings
because You framed this soul of mine in silly flesh
that aches and writhes and longs for all the things
it is denied. I'm not the kind that moans and hunts
for some excuse to pester You with prayer,
but please, take time out from Your sparrows just this once
for me—You'll not be sorry, God, I swear.

Whistle in the Dark

How will I fill my time
away from you
who fill my pulsing body, heart and mind?
What can I ever find for me to do?
What is there that is left for me to find?
Such was my frightened cry when first you left,
for then I could not think of anything
except that with you gone I'd be bereft
of all the things I knew our love could bring.
Together we had found so very much
of loveliness, I knew none could remain,
and every single memory I'd clutch
I thought would ultimately bring me pain
for that it could not be renewed.
That is not true. So fully did we live
each moment of our fleeting interlude
that we know life has nothing more to give;
no joy more poignant than joy we have known,
no star more brilliant than stars we have seen,
too close we've been to ever be alone
again. We've learned all life can mean.
That knowledge is a white torch shining clear
to light the way I go, triumphantly.
How fill my time away from you? My dear,
there isn't any such—nor can there be!


We're really equals,
don't you see,
in everything we do;
you say such lovely things to me,
but I think them of you!


made it thus—
I knew it had to be—
and since it came to one of us
I'm glad it came to me!


Now, there'll be
no other love for me
except the love you make—
I was satisfied with bread, you see,
until I tasted cake!

God's In a Thimble

God's in a thimble
as small as a dot
or ten times as large as the sea.
He's mostly in heaven, but sometimes He's not,
'cause sometimes He's right here in me!

Constructive Criticism

Of course, it's not for me
to criticize
the way that You have planned it—
You're the Boss and what You say must go.
Sure! Break my heart, but why not make me wise
enough to understand it?
It's this awful wond'ring that hurts me so!

Mouse Adjustment

Dear God, I do not worry
any more,
Your laws are fundamental and organic,
I know I am completely in Your power;
so now it's rather fun to just keep score
and see how many times mad, senseless panic
can down my reasoned calm within an hour.

Difficult Creed

If only I could live
from day to day,
nor think of what is past, nor what's to be,
that is my only prayer, my only plea;
I do not beg to be forever gay,
for flowers to be strewn along my way,
but only for the courage to be free
of small regrets, of hope's stupidity,
and to accept the present. This I pray:
Give me this day my daily bread, no more.
Just let me live each moment 'til it dies,
and should life offer love, let me adore
for one brief instant, asking for no ties
to join the future to what's gone before,
and tho I seem a fool, I shall be wise.

Mother's Day

Five days God worked
to make this world
the very best that He'd created—
and then He sat with brow all furled,
the whole thing seemed so complicated.
"I'll have to have some help, somehow,
in passing on this life to others"—
The answer came. He smoothed His brow
and on the sixth day He made mothers,
and babies were. And life went on—
maternity was deep invested
in woman's heart—God's cares were gone—
and on the seventh day He rested.

Preface to Parting

In just a little while
I shall be leaving,
and all these things I've learned to love will stay,
but I shall spend no time in useless grieving
when I at last find strength to break away.
I'll not look back upon this life regretting
that it remains the while I have to go,
I shall not even waste time in forgetting;
this present sorrow's all that I shall know.
But now my eyes ache, hiding tears, pretending
these hours will just continue on and on,
while in my heart I know it all is ending,
and in a little while I shall be gone.


So many things
we two have done
in gallant moments fleet and full,
we've thought and seen and felt as one,
so now how can I ever pull
myself away and live apart
from you who are my very breath?
Divide the beating from the heart,
what else can there result but death?
And yet, unfortunately, I
am living life, not simple verse,
so I shall go, nor shall I die—
a lonely ache requires no hearse.

First Love

There's no more loveliness
for me,
but I don't give a whoop,
'cause I took all there'll ever be
in one fell swoop!
There's no more happiness in store,
the thought does not appall,
'cause I do not want any more—
I've got it all!


You made my life
one breathless thrill
then left me on this lonely bed,
with no instructions how to fill
the chiliads of hours ahead.
And so I do the things I must
from habit, things I've always done,
and no one knows but me I'm just
a silly old automaton.

Brave Thoughts

And there shall be
no lingering farewell
when we at last are come to say goodby,
but simply and unfalteringly I
will place my faith with yours and break the spell
that will return us to the world of men
to do and say the ordinary things
And there shall be no tears because we part,
no pain for that I shall see you no more
but rather I shall seal what's gone before
hermetically within my grateful heart
to keep me glad. There shall be no regret,
no struggle either to remember or
We two have stooped to touch the stars and thus
altho we part, there shall be no goodby
for us.


I stumble through the age-drenched corridors of time,
and grope my way along its tear-wet walls.
The banisters I cling to crumble 'neath me as I climb
the endless stairs which join the darkened halls.
With hands outstretched and eyes which stare and peer into the gloom,
I wearily plod on from floor to floor,
but ev'ry door is locked to me, I cannot find my room,
I don't remember being here before,
I'm frightened of the cold and dark, I know not where to go,
I must lean on You, God, I have to pray,
I am not brave and strong, I'm weak and cowardly, I know,
but it's so difficult for me to find the way.


So sudden was the way
you came to me,
so starved was I for what you had to give
I could not, dared not grasp the truth. I live
once more and I am strong and free!
So brilliant was the light you held for me,
so used to darkness were my eyes, I fear
I was half blind at first, but now, my dear,
my eyes are opened wide and I can see!
So lovely were the things you said to me,
so long had I been waiting for your words ,
I scarce could trust my ears, but what I heard
still echoes in my heart incessantly!

Prophecy Fulfilled

I knew that we
would have to end like this—
with suddenness and violence and pain,
not knowing which would be our farewell kiss
'til after weeks of absence made it plain.
I knew it had to be some circumstance
beyond our power to alter or control.
We would not acquiesce were there a chance
to cling to the brief happiness we stole.
I knew, so long I'd lived in constant dread
of the impending moment when we'd part,
that when it came, there'd be a sort of dead
serenity in my long fevered heart.
I knew that there would not be any grief—
no crying wall to beat for you and me—
instead, we'd feel a rather fierce relief
at being forced to face finality.


God, I've done everything
that I could do
to keep our love from going on the rocks,
and tho I hate to have to bother You,
I cannot help myself. This fairly knocks
me off my feet, altho I should have known
I was expecting too much. As a rule
I have more sense but I guess I have grown
so used to loving him that, like a fool,
I didn't stop to think it might not last.
I thought, "This time Love's really on the square
with me," but now I realize the vast
mistake I made, and so I send this prayer
in hopes it's not too late to ask Your aid.
If You'll just help me now, I'll not forget—
this seems to me, of all the times I've prayed
the most important thing I've asked, as yet.
So couldn't You, this once, see Your way clear
to save our love and make things as they were—
I've done my best and failed, that's why I'm here—
the miracles are Your department, Sir.

First Valentine

I wonder,
little baby boy,
what valentines life has in store
to drop beside your waiting door—
will they bring grief or joy?
And if it's grief, will you be strong
and keep that little head on high,
nor ever let those wide eyes cry,
for that life's jumbled up and wrong?
Oh, little boy, so fresh and fine
with all your days so shiny new,
what valentines are there for you?
Please God, send them from love like mine!

To Me

And there shall be no need
to comfort thee
who understood her most and loved her best.
You know her heart, tho' stilled within her breast
will pulse and throb throughout eternity
in lovely things. 'Tis God's consistency.
There is no death, there's only constant change.
When night turns into day—'tis not so strange,
and night, for her, has dawned to brilliancy.
One does not mourn to see a butterfly
emerge with splendor from an old cocoon,
nor weep when spring ends wintertime nor sigh
at ever-varying stages of the moon.
In ev'ry gentle breeze you'll feel her breath
and you'll look up and smile . . . There is no death!

To Jo

You cannot tell
what happiness or sorrow lies in wait
behind the screen of hours yet to be.
Nobody knows. We can't anticipate
tomorrow's sun, nor its apostrophe.
There was no way for us to look ahead
and see that you so quickly were to go;
there are so many things you would have said,
so many things you'd like to have me know.
How could we guess that you'd so soon be gone,
without a chance to even say goodby,
that all the lovely things we had planned on
so confidently were so soon to die.
And you who love to help so very much
would never leave me thus. I know you long
to give to me some reassuring touch
to show the way; to teach me to be strong.
I ache to understand the why and how,
so, knowing, as I do, your thoughts so well,
the hardest part for you must be that now
you know the answers for me and
you cannot tell.


I smile at the sweet things
you say to me
but don't you realize,
the reason I smile is so you won't see
the tears behind my eyes?


Now that it's through
I can laugh at my fears,
my aches and my bruises and scars—
what if my eyes are all snarled up with tears—
my thoughts are a tangle of stars!