The Three Friends

“Shall We Receive Only Good And Not Evil?”
Job Replied, He Questioned God But Never Cursed Him”

There are many stories of faith and trust in God’s

Word, but one well known story of Job has been

A comfort and help down through the ages, for in

Spite of great loss and affliction he was ever faithful

To God.

There is a man called Job in

The land of Uz, beyond where

The Euphrates River flows,

Dividing into streams of blue



Flocks of peacocks with their

Flirtatious cries strut about,

Sporting pink and orange plumes

Among white lily and Star of

Bethlehem blooms.

Wild donkeys and mountain

Goats rest in the shade of the

Broom tree plant.


As far as the eye can see, all of

This land belongs to the

Patriarch Job, a wealthy man

With many herds and families,

And seven sons and three



Now it seems that this is a story

That existed from the very

Beginning of time,

When it was written we are not

Sure, but it is inspired by God’s


It is a sad story but has a happy



The villain of this story is jealous

And accuses the God of this man

Of unfairness,

Speaking one day “You have

Favored Job and if you remove

His children and land he will

Curse you.”

God replying “Alright take these

Things away but do not harm



One early morning after his sons

And daughters feasted the night

Before, Job arose to offer prayers.

His servant entered with the news

“Your children and herds have been

Slain and I am the only one that


Job is astonished but does not find

Fault, trusting the God he exalts.


Then the foe of Job says “Surely,

If you afflict this man’s body he will

Curse you to his face.”

Job was afflicted with boils

Covering his body, shaving his head,

He sat in ashes.


Yet he does not charge God with

Wrong, replying “Shall we receive

Only good and not evil?”

Job questioned God but never

Cursed him.

He is a victim of a wager between

God and the devil!


When Job’s three friends heard

Of his dilemma they rushed to his

Side, deploring the sight of his

Sufferings, sitting down with him

For seven days and nights.

After seven days Job broke the

Silence cursing the day he was



“Why did not the earth swallow

Me before I was put to the

Breast, why did I not die,

Coming from my mother’s womb?”


Then Job’s friends drew near

With reproaches,

“Job you are at fault, if you had

Not sinned, these sufferings would

Not be received with


He replied, “Lord they accuse me

Of sinning day and night.”…


And in spite of this man’s anguish

And pain he still never cursed God,

And he was blessed with much

More than he had possessed, and

With seven more sons and three



The Book of Job spanning over

Centuries, gives words of comfort

To those who question since time

Began, “Why the suffering of all


Excerpts from the book ‘The Three Friends’

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The Story Of Ruth

“A Name Is Chosen, Ruth The Moabites, For She
is Born In Moab”

Part One

Among a mountainous area of an

Ancient land lies the country of

Moab. The hillsides are

Dotted with the green of myrtle and

Olive and flowers of the ‘Star Of


There is a river called the Jordan

River that flows south through

This land into the Dead Sea. Now

The reason the sea is called dead

Is because water flows in but does

Not flow out and it is full of salt…

Not much grows here but a few

Strange plants, cacti and succulent

Growing on arid land…

Children have fun even though they

Cannot swim, but float in the water.


Small, sunbaked homes in this town

Are made of stucco and yellow straw

And have flat roofs opening into a

Courtyard and cobblestone streets.

Bright pink and red bougainvillea

Climb along the walls and yellow

Forsythia welcome spring.

Spring is a happy time in nearby

Fields, seed is sown of barley and rye.

It seems it always rains when the seed

Is planted and there is plenty of water…


The evening is sultry, too warm to

Sleep, quietly she stirs as she labors to

Walk stone stairs to the roof, to escape

The heat, to lay in the coolness and

Look at the stars…she rolls to her side

As she lays in wait, to give birth to her

Child…a cry is heard as pain begins,

A child is about to be born…

“Her Mother Quickly Gathers Sticks That She May
Bake Bread”

Part Two

Dawn is nearing, the stars

Are withdrawing, soon the

Sun will shine on a child she

Is carrying…

It is a difficult birth, the mother

Languishes in pain…a midwife

Is called, running quickly to

Get a stick to place in the

Mother’s mouth.

Clenching down between cries,

With beads of sweat, the midwife

Wipes her forehead with

Cool cloths propping her feet,

Lifting her to the birthing stool…

Beginning to faint, the midwife

Holds her in her arms, then she

Stands that the baby will be in


Olive oil, a basin of water, warm

Wool and a pillow to lay the baby

On are ready. As family and friends

Gather about this home, prayers

Are lifted for this mother and

Child, then one more

Clench of pain, and one last cry,

The baby has arrived.

It has been a difficult birth, but

All the forces of evil cannot stop

This child, for she will be the

Mother of a Son, in a great lineage

Of a King…

The midwife softly

Washes the baby with water and oil.

Wrapping her in swaddling clothes,

The baby stops crying and is placed

By the mother’s side.

A name is chosen!

Ruth the Moabites,

For she is born in Moab…

As the custom in those days, the

Mother ties the baby to her hip as

She goes to work in the barley field.

The feeling of closeness to her

Mother is soothing, the swishing of

The scythe and the soft songs sung

By the mothers…

The heat is thick, sun setting high in

The sky, her baby whimpers, then

Begins to cry. Stopping to nurse her,

She hurries to glean more barley

And rye…

At time of harvest, as

The sun begins to set, her mother

Quickly gathers sticks,

Kneading dough and baking bread….

Excerpts from the book “The Story Of Ruth”

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The Scarlet Cord

“Peering Out Her Window, Where A Red Rose Hung The Night Before”

Her house is small, sitting

High on the side of the city wall.

It has been a long night as

Soldiers sit about campfires,

Glancing at the house,

Snickering and laughing.

Rahab the harlot lives here!

Dawn begins to break, as the

Last red glow of fire embers

Die to the earth.

She has had a hard time

Sleeping, and rising early,

She veils her face. For no one

Must see this woman of disgrace,

As she runs along the city wall

And down the stairs, into the

Cities’ streets….

Peering out her window,

A red rose hung the night before,

She is anxious, for she has a

special errand to run, to replace

This rose with a scarlet cord.

Dropping her few meager coins

Along the way, she leans down,

Clutching them as she runs over

Cobblestone streets, into the very

Heart of this city still asleep.

The blue glow of the horizon gently

Fades in the distance, as light

Softly appears. She is heading for

the market place just before dawn…

There had been men in her city

Just the night before,

They came from another land, a

Large nation, who had been led

By God’s own hand…

The noise is loud, people selling

Their goods, people praying,

Children crying, animals brawling.

This day she quietly slips through

The crowds, going to market, to

Secure a cord of scarlet.

Tables laden with fruits, pomegranates

In rich red hues, spices from the

East, dates and raisin cakes, amongst

Onions and leeks. Lentils and beans

And loaves of bread, colorful skirts,

Sandals and shoes, young girls

Dancing to fiddles and flutes.

But these things are not what she is

Looking for. Among all of these wares,

A simple ribbon of colorful threads

Is her desire and prayer…

“But As Rahab Had Turned To God From Her Life Of Sin, She And Her Family Were Saved,
And A New Life Had Begun”

…Tighter yet, holding her veil

Against her head, she slowly

Drifts from table to table,

Quietly bearing the shame of

Her reputation.

…Even as a little girl,

Watching her mother do her

Trade, she had wanted

Something better.

When she had become older

She had continued what had

Been handed down from

Mother to daughter…

Looking down, one table

Catches her eye, there lies a

Cord, just the right one, coins

Tightly held are released and

She hurries back home…

The sun is rising, the sleeping

City awakens, as she passes

Worshipers climbing steps to

Strange altars, bringing food to

Appease their gods.

Garlands of flowers to hang on

These idols, breads and fruits

To place by their sides…

She has never felt at ease, even

As a little girl, kneeling before

These gods with closed eyes,

Who cannot see, trying to please

Them with words and prayers

They don’t hear or believe…

Arriving home, the cord is placed

In her window for all to see, for

The very next day, as the soldiers

Entered her city, because of Rahab’s

faith, she and her family were

Spared and taken to live with God’s


Excerpts from the book ‘The Scarlet Cord’

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The Runaway

“Jonah Is Scared And Dares Not Go”

A far away land is where he was

Headed, going in the opposite

Direction of where God led him.

He was told to go to Ninevah,

But he ran to Tarshish instead.

Jonah is scared and dares not go,

Running to the City of Joppa.

Many people from faraway lands,

Have entered this cities’ gates,

Through these gates now Jonah

Goes, hoping no one will know

Who this man is who has disobeyed.

He had been a faithful prophet of

God, pleading with his people to

Turn from their rebellious ways.

They laughed at him, scorning his

Word they had heard many times


Among drunken men, he searches

For a bed.

As Jonah sleeps he is full of

Dreams of his lies and deceit.

The wharf is wet and slippery as

Dawn slips it’s way through the evening


Fisherman pull anchors, slowly

Guiding boats from the wooden

Piers, casting nets into the darkened


After a restless night Jonah boards

A ship going to the city,

Sitting on an island, surrounded by

Sparkling waters.

We don’t know for sure, and some

Disagree, that it actually dwelt on

An island, or perhaps on the cliffs

Overlooking the sea, surrounded

By shores of sand and palm trees.

Of children building sand castles

And laughing at the dolphins,

While mothers wait on the shores

For their husbands.

Now Tarshish is noted for its metals

Of gold, silver, iron and lead.

A great king lives here, ruling over

All. On his table are many delicacies,

Bread and wine, and the finest

Goblets and plates, made of this’d was

Lead, causing royalty and wealthy

To die at an early age.

But the poor who could not afford

Such luxury, were saved from an

Early grave.

The fleet of ships sailing to this city,

Bear exotic animals and birds,

Monkeys and apes, lepers and tigers,

Peacocks with plumage of

Iridescent colors, strutting in their

Elegant style, crying strange calls

They learned in the wild….

Dressed in silver lace, harems of

Maidens with garlands of flowers

And ribbons at the waist, are

Called to dance before the king.

Spicy condiments and sweet

Pressed wines tantalize the tastes

Of his concubines….

Excerpts from the book ‘The Runaway’

For continued reading

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A Child ‘s Journey Through Darkness

“Bringing Me Home, My Tapered Head Covered With
A Cap, Dressed In Pink, Holding Me In Her Lap”

It is said that a child’s body and mind

Are impressed in the womb and at birth

But even at conception it may begin,

Preparing the child for their journey

On earth –

Father is holding her with his arms,

She is sobbing in pain, the white

Clad doctor in alarm, rushes through

The hospital door, water is running

Down mother’s legs

I begin seeping out, when suddenly

I stop, they quickly pull over a bed,

In anguish she lies, a resistant

Birth, in suffering mother cries

With metal pincers they squeeze my

Head, with scissors cutting the

Umbilical cord, I have arrived!

I am set aside, as they mop up

Afterbirth and water, nurses running

To beds of screaming mothers

A darkness follows me, from an

Infant it encloses me

My eyes are squeezed in blackness

I am accompanied by sadness

Bringing me home my tapered head

Is covered with a cap, dressed in pink

She holds me in her lap as I sink into

A sleep

Waking to the sound of people having

Drinks, friends and family come to see


The day comes when I open my

Eyes, looking around at strange objects

My mind trying to grasp the colors, smells

And words of curse with adverse sounds

The very first words I hear

Even as I begin to creep there is something

That is wrong, weeping in my sleep, waking

To solemn thoughts, not knowing what

They are about…

The whisperers, the shadows from the womb

Have followed my birth…

With one fist in my mouth, trying not to cry

Clutching my doll, tears fall on my cheeks

She comes in my room and speaks

I awake with a jerk, crawling out of bed

Two years old, a group

Of men are acting strange and laughing

One comes and picks me up, throwing

Me in the air like a ball,

One time they miss, dropping me to the

Floor, people gaze, father rushes

Over holding me in his arms, in alarm

They take me home…

Oh, the strange pictures on the wall

Animals stare and terrify me, dogs

With cigarettes hanging from their

Mouth, sitting at a crap table playing

Poker with cards and chips*

I am in these people’s grip, I am being

Wagered, I am being put to the test

The stage has been set, could this be

The start of an oncoming illness

Of a child’s journey through darkness?

*’Bold Bluff’ popular pictures in their

Day, of dogs playing poker, hung on

Our walls

Excerpts from the book

‘A Child’s Journey Through Darkness’

To be continued with

‘And The Child Grew Up’

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The Curtain

“Reaching For The Wall With Trembling Hands,
Trying To Pull The Curtain To My Side”

I have dealt with depression all of my life,

A component of OCD that seems to accompany

This illness. I have been resistant to antidepressants,

Experiencing many medications with adverse effects.

One particular one was so severe I could not get out

Of bed. Here is one experience I had when unable

To focus, grasping for one positive thing in all of

The room –

Is it a dream, it seems like

A dream? Waking with a start

I know it is not.

Opening my eyes, I am ashamed,

No one would I claim to share

This illness with, how it came

About, I could not explain.

Searching for an answer to a

Troubled mind, no peace do I


A place where no one would

Venture, no one could help, if

So they would be like friends

Of Job.

Reaching for my robe, with throbbing

Pain and rapid pulse, trying to stand,

A brittle soul about to break,

Falling back as slumber I once more


There is a stirring as I awake, I say a

Prayer, “my soul to take.”

Crispness of sheets brush against

My skin, a fever begins and my body

Seems to melt, sheets now wet with

The trickle of sweat.

Beginning to thirst and bereft of water,

I become hotter, beginning to falter.

The hopeful anecdote to my illness

Has provoked it instead. Another

Potion has created more mental


The walls seem empty as I stare in

Space, searching for anything to

Break the dreariness of this place.

On the left hangs a picture dismal

And grey, to the right a window,

Dressed in lavender and lace,

Hanging from a silver rod. Could

This be a gift from God?

I must see it better, slowly lifting

My head, moving my legs to the

Floor, reaching for the wall with

Trembling hands,

I pull the curtain to my side, as I cry,

“This piece of cloth I wish to hang

Above my bed.”

As I try, my arms are not high enough,

My hammer and nails strong enough,

My measure true enough.

I sit in the midst of failure and quit.

In my brokenness, something greater

Than I draws the curtain aside, and with

His rod accurate and right, drapes His

Banner of love over me in peace and


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“And As She Reached Down To Kiss Me Goodbye,
I Wondered If She Would Come Back Again”

It is interesting the things that make an impression

On us as children, I remember when my mother was

Getting ready to go to a party, and after she reached

Down to kiss me goodbye, the scent of her perfume

Made an impression on me, but it also left a memory

Of abandonment, for she quite often left me and I

Wasn’t sure if she would come back –

As she dressed for the party

I watched intently, my eyes

Following her every move.

Sitting on the blue quilted

Chair in my nightie, with my

Elbows resting on the table,

I was mesmerized,

As she slowly drew her dark

Stockings, then pulling a slip

Over her head, she gracefully

Stepped into a black dress,

Clinging to her thin little body.

Her dark hair combed with care,

Pulled back with a shiny barrette, and

With a finishing touch, a necklace

of pearls and matching earrings.

She stood before the mirror

Admiring herself, and as the light from

The window fell upon her, she was


Like a lustrous pearl in emerald green

Grass. And I loved her so much, even

Though she was out of touch with her

Little girl.

Reaching for a small lavender bottle

Of perfume, she applied

Sweet scents behind each ear, and

Then smiling at me, dabbing a drop

On each of my cheeks, with a teasing grin.

It melted into my memory, my skin was

Perfused with the scent of my mother.

I asked her if I could put on a dress

And play outside. Sitting on my tricycle,

She bent down low and kissed me goodbye.

I remember the sense of abandonment

I felt.

Would she come back?

Would I be left alone while she partied

All night?

Well she might!

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Hitchhike To Heaven

“My Load Is Heavy And I Am Forsaken”

It seemed like most all of my relationships in life were based on

An unrealistic image of my father. When I was converted to

Christianity, I looked to God as I did to him, not able to see the

Acceptance and love freely offered me, thinking I had to do

Something to earn His favor, my experience had become too

Heavy to bear, looking to others to get me to heaven

Here are a few poems I have written to convey these

Experiences –

The Road

It is a difficult road I have taken,

My load is heavy and I am

Forsaken, along this road to


Preachers, teachers, friends,

I look to all to get me in.

Holding my thumb up high,

Hoping for a ride, they wish me

Well and pass me by.

I don’t know how long I can do

This, I cry, I weep, all the rules I

Keep. I run and run, busy, busy,

Barely taking a breath, lest I

Falter and be left.

Everyday I confess, what more

Can I do? Throwing up my hands,

I quit, there is nothing I can do,

It is a gift!

“My Bucket Is Too Heavy, My Shovel Full Of Holes“

Canopy Of Heaven

She had a silly quarrel the other

Day, running home with her

Shovel and bucket, she no

Longer plays.

They had had such a good time

Together, playing and laughing.

Then something happened,

She doesn’t remember what,

She blamed it on Him, He was


She ran and ran, she was so mad,

It was His fault, she was sure of


They had played in the sandbox

Of time, as He molded and formed

Her, planting where she should be


Now she has no playmate and is

All alone, her bucket is too heavy,

Shovel full of holes, everything she

Does sifts through her hands.

Suddenly aware, it is just too hot,

The spot where His canopy had

Covered her is gone.

The poles have dropped, the cloth

Has fallen, there is no protection

To cover her from the evil one.

At least this is what she thinks,

Little does she know, He is waiting

For her to return to the sandbox,

And be playmates again!

“I Take Out My Crayons And Color Book”

Hide And Seek God

If only I knew how to find Him

When I go forward, He is not there

Backward I cannot see Him

When I turn to the left I do not

Behold Him, I face right but

He is not in sight, I take out my

Crayons and color book drawing

A picture in my mind but it doesn’t look

Like Him, the one I can’t find,

The one I imagine, cause it reminds me

Of the unkind one that I must leave


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The Twisted Train

“I pled with the engineer to let me off, I could not take one more thought in my head”

At a young age I developed the symptoms

Of OCD, but I did not know what it was, not

Being diagnosed until many years later

The illness was very frightening with twisted

Thoughts that would not go away, like a ride

I could not get off

I wrote this poem –

The train whistle blew calling

All aboard, my mind

Said no a ticket I could not


Not listening to what I knew

I boarded anyway

The train was red with big

Shiny teeth

Grey puffs of smoke rose

From the chimney stack

I wondered if this train would

Ever come back

As we pulled from the depot I

Noticed a sign –

OCD ‘Twisted Train’ was its name

That should have given me a clue

As over the miles we flew

The conductor came around

I asked him where we were


When he said the destination

I quickly jumped up, that was

Not the destination I had in


I walked through the twisted

Cars, each one had a name




And shame

If I stayed on this train I would

Become distraught

My thoughts would set up a loop

And I could not get off

I besought the engineer “I must

Get off”

Slamming on the brakes as I

Pulled on the cord he asked me

Where I wanted to go and what

I was looking for

“Please sir, I have checked all

The cars and they are twisted

“Please let me off”

He asked me if I had checked

The caboose, maybe there I would

Find what I was looking for

Walking through the cars again

I opened the door at the very


It was full of thoughts and I quickly

Shut the door and fled

There was no more room for

One more thought in my head

Again I pulled the cord and pled

With the engineer to let me off

Finally at the end of the route

He stopped

I sat on the bench waiting for the

Next train to take me to a peaceful

Destination, one I could afford.

(c)2014 by Donna Nieri

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Two Little Brothers

“A Story Of Two Little Boys”

In our home addictions raged, my father an alcoholic, my
Mother a compulsive gambler. Needless to say there was
Chaos and confusion, trauma and fear. I had stepfathers who
Were also abusive. We never knew from one minute to
the next what would happen. My father had a brother who was
not afflicted with this disease. I have written a poem on this
mystery illness.

There comes a part in the
closure of day, when the
evening brings repose to
the weary and mirth to
the gay.
A story is told of two little
boys, of the same kin, no
one knows what happened
to them, or where to begin.
So allow this be told and
the reader know, this story
of the children could be
tenfold told.
A local tavern in the village
square, brings vintage wine
among other fare.
Beer flows, laughter sings
bringing about joy to father
and boys.
Becoming drunk, he is angry
and mean. They don’t understand
and become sullen and sad.
They are grown now, father is
gone, they still go to the bar,
not knowing it is wrong.
One has a drink, that is enough.
The other boy sits on the stool,
long into the night.
I often wonder, why was one
lost to alcohol and one was not?

In memory of my Father and Uncle

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