My Daughter, the 13-year-old poet . . .

Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Watching the Olympics from the other side of 60 years old I can’t help but be impressed by the commitment and talent of the young Olympians from every country.  When I was their age I knew nothing about commitment or stress or goals.  It was live for today, have fun, go fishing and, ugh! do homework.  These kids are fantastic in their abilities and dedication and it makes me hopeful for the future of the planet to see such talent and dedication.  And this is just sport.  What about the young talent out there in science, music, the arts, business, technology, environmental awareness?  We definitely, as adults, must encourage and nurture those young people with talent and dedication.

My daughter, whom many of you know as a hard-working young violinist, is also a poet.  Much to dad’s surprise, and excitement.  My mother was an English teacher and a direct descendant of the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Maybe that’s where she gets her talent!

Anyway, she has graciously allowed me to put one of her poems up on my blog.  Enjoy.

When twilight goes and the moon rises,
The shadows leap into the clouds,
The stars wonder what their prize is,
Not a sound is heard aloud.

A lonesome breath of wind arrives,
And passes throughout the silent land
This is the time where spirits arise ,
At the brink of midnight they grasp your hand.

Do not take it for they are bad,
They shall swallow you into the shadows,
Run, hide, take your lad,
Go away, beyond the meadows.

Hark! Here it comes, it’s here,
With its dark cloak of bodies arise
It carries the dead’s hearts and tears
You can’t escape from its surprise.

It swallows the moon, the stars and the sky,
It is evil, mischief, horror and plagues
Beware, beware, beware of its eye,
You shall succumb to your dreadful fate.

It lands silently in the middle of a town,
The mask of death walks into  place,
People may sleep safe and sound
But not tonight, for he has a case.

The curse is set, he flies away,
Taking a poor innocent soul by fright,
This is life, but death has its way,
Somebody has died tonight.

Stephanie E. Childress

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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8 Responses to My Daughter, the 13-year-old poet . . .

  1. Wow, you must be so proud John. Your young lady has an incredible talent…I’d be drafting on her coattails!


    • David: Thanks for the kind words. Fact is, she reads your blog all the time and makes comments to me about how you come up with great ideas. As the old African saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”.


  2. Raunak says:

    what a beautiful poem.I love the transition from a serene beginning to a sombre end…”a lonesome breath of wind arrives” sets the stage for what is to follow..kudos to Stephanie! Thanks for sharing the poem John!


  3. mimijk says:

    What a remarkably talented young lady!! Like parent, like child. This poem is truly beautiful – I hope she keeps writing!!


  4. Count me in as part of the village!


  5. Michael McNally says:

    John: Musical talent is one thing, I believe lyrical talent is quite another … and Stephanie has both. I look forward to seeing what other wondrous talents reveal themselves over the years. She’s a marvel … but then, you and Christiane have nurtured this unfolding and coming out from the beginning. Thanks for sharing. Bravo Stephanie!


  6. Cella says:

    Coincidences…I’m a thirteen-year-old-poet with a blog, Here’s one of my poems.

    A Cloudy Noon Hour

    Just beneath that layer of clouds,
    Just where my eyes can’t strain to see,
    What is there?

    The sky is swirling with hidden
    Roiling with ages of coy

    What is under that misty, sublime
    What is almost, but not quite

    I don’t want
    The sun to reach out its shining hand
    And draw the pearly veil away.

    For I am sure the angels
    Frolicking hidden
    Will surely flee from the brightened day.


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