Opal about 1920, age 22

The Flower of Stars

Poems by Opal Whiteley


The following selections from Opal Whiteley’s The Flower of Stars have been slightly edited by Pacific Northwest author Jennefer Jane Harper.  Currently, she is working on a book about Opal Whiteley which features Whiteley’s original poems accompanied by annotation and analysis. Opal was about 24 when she published them.


Ms. Harper has a master's degree and is a certified Language Arts educator in Eugene, Oregon. She has two sons. When she is not facilitating incredible learning experiences for children of all ages, she is busy researching the many mysteries of Opal Whiteley.  Contact information: JenneferHarper@yahoo.com




The Flower of Stars

 

There be Stars in the sky

And Stars in the heart of man

And Stars in the soul of a child

And Stars in the eyes of woman

 

This be a little booke

 

Of a flowering of these Stars

That are lamps to man’s way


 


 

Night And The Little Failures


Night took up the web of life

And wove a star thereon

Of amethyst and silver glimmering.

 

From her rosary she drew a pearl

And gave its holding to this star

Lest coldness come to her heart

With forgetting of sorrow’s old tears

In the midst of unfolding years.

 

Also, Night took from her girdle, a rose

And caught in its petals the hour glimmering

That this star might be a flower

To shed its fragrance on earth fields.

 

So wove she into beauty

The little failures of man,

But his successes

She cast to earth again.

 


 

 

The Little Room

 

In Man’s heart is a little room.

He has named it

Oblivion

 

And things are arranged along its wall

That he does not wish

To think about.

Every time he pushes something in there

He closes the door very tightly.

 

But in hours when he is weary,

In the hours that walk around some midnights

When high fires have burned

To a low flicker

Then the little door swings on its hinges.

And no thing

Will make it stay closed

All of the time.

 

When he is near death

All the Velvet-footed Wanderers in there

Join the throng around his bed,

“We will not die,” they whisper

To one another.

 

While Beauty waits with drawn lips,

And dry eyes.

But, there is heard

The patter of a little sad rain

In her heart’s garden

Where some little flower buds

That were once thinking of the sun

Will never open

Because man keeps a little room

Of oblivion in his soul.

 



The Little Comet: A Tale for Children and Taller Ones

 

There is a little comet

That whirls around the world.

Sometimes,

He is seen nearing earth

At the graylight hour of seven.

But, mostly, he is seen

Dancing and prancing up and down

The high hall of heaven.

 

He goeth quickly,

Yet may be always with us.

 

He sparkles a song

That is like a ribbon

With a jingle ball on it.

 

Have you heard him sing?

 

“I’m tired of being just a comet-

I’d like to find a home.

I can be in a lot of places

At one time,

Only people don’t know it.

 

“My tail can be very big with light

And I’d like to go to bed at night.”

 

“I’m so weary and lonely.

Most people think me

A comet only,

 

I do not want to roam

I wish I had a home

Where

I could spread my tail our right

And make all the house light

And the children’s eyes bright.

 

I have had no home for many years,

I had to go out

From the Garden of Eden

When Adam and Eve went.

 

 

If you want me, call me,

I am called ‘Content’.

 

I’ll come with patter light

At latter light,

Spreading my name

On my tail behind me

CONTENT WITH LITTLE THINGS.

  


Cover  of the Flower of Stars, 1923


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