These poems have risen from my own experience with tragedy following the Virginia Tech Tragedy.  They have primarily been written around particular Holidays: Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, July 4th and Thanksgiving. On the First Anniversary of the VT Tragedy, I was led to write Learn To Prevail–32 to 33. Two others came in June of 2009, while appealing to others for help in trying to work toward reconciliation and even thinking of how the LORD does this with all of us. The ninth poem came at the end of 2009, when I was reflecting on what might happen in 2010!

  1. The Cane
  2. Love Found Me
  3. On, Down and UP
  4. Learn To Prevail—32 to 33
  5. To Be FREE
  6. Think to Thank
  7. If I Were The Lord
  8. I.U.C.B!
  9. Would God Use You?




1) The Cane



When you LOOK at a Cane

What do you see when you look at a Cane?

If you see something new might they call you insane?

You may see just a stick that is red and is white,

just a hard piece of candy—with this limited sight.

You may see a plain hook for your nice Christmas tree,

dressed in lights, wrapped in garland, ‘long side symbols of memory.

You may see a shepherd’s staff used to care for his sheep,

bent on top to help rescue, give protection, help them sleep.

You may see the letter “j standing for Jesus of old,

that Great Shepherd of sheep, bringing life to His fold.

Some will take a fresh look at this cane in this year;

they recall 04/16 with deep sadness and fear.

I see red, I see white, I see candy to bite;

I see hook, I see staff helping sheep to the right.

I see “j,” I see JESUS guiding faithfully still;

all who trust their CREATOR with their life, with their WILL.

This Creator of all, the GREAT SHEPHERD of men,

came to earth as a man, died for men, Rose Again!

HE is soon coming back to be JUDGE, to be KING,

give your heart to THIS SHEPHERDgive HIM EVERYTHING!

Now you have set before you, not one cane, you have two,

one for Jesus, one for JOY filling me, what about you?


Charles Pugh

CHRISTmas 2007




*If you take these 2 canes and cross them at the hook and the bottom, you can see the VT ribbon symbol used to remember the 04/16 Tragedy.

*If you take these two canes and spread them out touching at the bottom, you will see a heart.

*What else can you see?



2) Love Found ME


LOVE Found Me

In a world full of loss, full of suffering and pain:

LOVE found me.

Through life’s trials and tragedies, what could I gain?

LOVE found me.

What is love…this great thing that we feel, but can’t see?

Is it family or friendship, sacrifice or sex?

What is this thing—love? What can it be?

LOVE is a Person—not your parent or spouse;

Not your friend, nor your sibling, nor another in your house.

LOVE is Patient, LOVE is Kind,

LOVE is Holy, LOVE is Just;

LOVE is Mercy, LOVE is Giving,

LOVE is ONE we can trust.

LOVE is GOD—the I AM, the CREATOR of all;

Come to earth as a man, born a baby in a stall.

I’m not Love; I’m a sinner who’s in need of HIS Grace;

JESUS died and was buried, ROSE AGAIN, took my place!

In this world of confusion, signs of LOVE you can see,

Through my faith in this JESUSLOVE FOUND ME!


Charles Pugh

February, 2008



3) On, Down and UP


On, Down and UP


After HE “Came Down” (John 3:13) and “Laid Down” (John 10:17),
HE “Rose UP” (Romans 14:9) and “Went UP” (Ephesians 4:10).
Therefore we must “Fall Down” (Revelation 4:10) and “Lay Down” (1 John 3:16),
so we can “Rise UP” (Ephesians 5:14) and “Wake UP” (1 Corinthians 15:34)!


Since HE “Sat Down” (Hebrews 1:3), we must “Look On” (Hebrews 12:2);
and we must “Stand UP” (Ephesians 6:13) and “Press On” (Philippians 3:14),
until HE “STANDS UP” (Zechariah 14:4)!

Charles Pugh
Easter, 2008


**Dedicated to my LORD; inspired by my brother, Timothy.




4) Learn To Prevail—32 to 33



Learn To Prevail32 to 33

What can we learn from that most tragic day?

The 32 who were slain would have something to say:

Would they want us to sorrow, be depressed, whine or wail?

No! They would want us to live to our fullest and prevail!

And these 32 slain would now want us to see:

The final number who died here that day—33.

For each life is a soul our CREATOR has made,

And our memories of them will not die, only fade.

We must seek to be honest with the facts of the past,

If we hope to prevail and learn lessons that last.

Seung-Hui Cho was a soul that was troubled for sure,

Thinking thoughts that were evil—selfish thoughts, thoughts not pure.

He could not find the peace that we all seek to find,

He instead found deep turmoil—thinking thoughts that did blind.

32 victims that day would now have us to know,

That we dare not forget that poor soul—Seung-Hui Cho.

They would have us prevail, find true peace, use our eyes;

They would have us see JESUS, who was killed, but did Rise!

Fix your eyes on this JESUS, find forgiveness from sin;

Learn to help troubled souls—love and serve ALL men.


Charles Pugh

April 16, 2008


**Dedicated to my LORD; Inspired by my VT Community and my day on campus—04/16/08.



5) To Be FREE


To Be FREE . . . the great goal of each heart, of each soul;

The aim of each life endeavor for the simple and the clever.

FREE from pain, FREE from sorrow, FREE from suffering, FREE from loss;

FREE from worry, FREE from conflict, FREE from work, FREE from the boss.

We desire To Be FREE to rule and order our life,

Yet we’re bound by life’s struggles oft’ accompanied with strife.

This world was once FREEFREE from sin and at rest.

Man enjoyed the CREATION and was put to the test.

In this test he did fail, so Paradiswas then lost.

From man’s FREEDOM to choose came his choice at great cost!

The entire CREATION was then cursed through this man.

GOD was just, yet showed mercy, then announced His GREAT plan!

Man would seek to be FREE, though enslaved by his sin;

Seeking ways of escape, finding contests to win.

When in fact the ONE FREE, Who Is Holy and Just,

Knew the only way man could be saved from his lust:

This FREE ONE in His Mercy, His Grace and His Love,

Came to earth as a man, left His Status above.

He was bound in His Love, gave His Life on that cross,

So that men could be FREE and recover from loss!

And That Man, Who was GOD, raised Himself from the dead,

Offering FREEDOto all who trust Him and are led;

They are bound—To Be FREEFREE to learn , FREE to live;

FREE to love, FREE to laugh, FREE to help, FREE to give.

Give yourself to this ONE Who is FREE—To Be FREE;

This is why I have JOY despite trials facing me!

Charles Pugh

**For my LORD; In honor of July 4th 2008, and in preparation for the legal trial of my life.



6) Think to Thank


If you think, you will thank,

Not for self or the bank;

If your thoughts are first pure,

You will learn to endure.

You will see that this life,

Filled with struggle and strife,

Is far more than just You

And the things that you do.

If you think, you will know

That to thank you must grow.

For to thank, you will see

Is your choice—what you’ll be!

When you pursue to be happy,

You may find that you’re snappy.

Though this goal is your right

It must come to The Light.

If you think, you will choose

To know God or else loose

What gives life its true meaning,

No matter which way you’re leaning.

You will thank, not just men,

Not just places—where you’ve been;

You will think as you should

Thanking the Source of your good.

Your CREATOR is your blessing,

More than turkey and dressing.

This True Word became man,

Fulfilling God’s Sovereign plan.

Through His death you can live

You can change, you can give;

Since this Jesus did rise

You can overcome lies.

So in this Holiday season

Trust in Truth—that is reason;

With your family and friends

Think to Thank, make amends.

Charles Pugh

November 2008

**Thankful to my LORD for His Blessings, despite struggle and through Tragedy



7) If I Were The Lord


If I were the LORD would I change this whole earth;

Would I fill people’s hearts with fun loving and mirth?

Would I grant every wish, only give what is best;

Would I let people choose, put their lives to the test?

If I were the LORD would I make wars to cease;

Would I use my Creation to bring about peace?

Would I rule with strict justice, give each person his due;

Would I bring grace to all or only favor a few?

If I were the LORD would I glorify man;

Would I let him decide and devise his own plan?

Would I place in him drives to do just as he’d please;

Would I defer to man’s will or bring each to his knees?

If I were the LORD Who is separate from sin,

I would do as He did and give choices to men.

I would love my Creation, only do what is best;

I would sacrifice self to keep harmony and rest.

The Great Creator of all did just this through the Son,

He created free will knowing His work was not done.

He knew man would rebel, choose to go his own way,

Yet He had already planned for sin’s price—He would pay!

JESUS CHRIST became man and a Servant of men,

HE gave up His Position to free Creation from sin.

HE healed broken lives, cured diseases, gave men sight;

HE dispelled all the darkness as True Love and Pure Light.

JESUS gave His Life’s blood offering salvation to all,

Who trust Him as their Savior and not man who did fall.

JESUS conquered death’s power and will soon end man’s strife;

HE is coming again as The Way, Truth and Life.

If you think you’d do better, then what plan would you make?

How might you rule Creation considering all that’s at stake?

Try your way, do your best, persuade others—teach them how;

But know this, my dear friend, that to JESUS all will bow! 

**For my LORD. Written June, 2009 as I HOPE in JESUS CHRIST and not mortal man


8) I.U.C.B!


If I were you,

what would I do?

If you were me,

what could you see?

If we had sight and only knew;

To walk by faith,

what we could be!
Charles Pugh



9) Would God Use You?


As I sit and reflect on this life that I live,

I think: “What have I gained?” “What have I to give?”

I look back on my past; I think: “What lies ahead?”

“Will this year turn out well?” “Are there things we should dread?”

No one knows all to come, though many see how we’re leaning;

“Will more end up just falling?” “Will more grasp life’s true meaning?”

I must be all I can be and do all I can do;

I know GOD will use me; I wonder: “Would GOD use you?”

Would GOD use you as one made from just dust?

Can HE count on your word? Are you one HE can trust?

Would GOD use you to speak Truth for HIS Name?

Will you pursue HIS best will? Will you seek your own fame?

Would GOD use you to help others succeed?

Do you love and serve them in both word and in deed?

Would GOD use you to bring others to HIM?

Do you let HIM shine forth or through self make HIM dim?

As CREATOR of all and of your life as well,

HE has the right to control how you live, what you’ll tell.

Yet, HE gives you a choice—how to live, what to say;

HE lets you choose your own path, knowing HE is the Way.

JESUS CHRIST is the Way and the Truth and the Life;

HE came down to this earth filled with sorrow and strife.

JESUS lived HIS life pure, free from sin, at great cost;

HE came to seek and to save HIS Creation—what was lost.


JESUS owns everything, longs to save, wants to mend:

Your broken heart, burdened mind, tattered life, troubled soul;

As The POTTER, HE’s The BOSS—HE wants your life to control.

You can craft your own life, go your way, choose your path;

Yet, if so you would soon come to know GOD’s just wrath.

To reject JESUS CHRIST is your choice, this is true;

It’s HIS choice—to be used; now HE wants to use you.

In your life, in this year, trust in HIM, give HIM all;

Let HIM mold and make you, learn to answer HIS call.

HE has a plan for your life—what HE wants you to do;

You are free; it’s your choice—now, “Would GOD use you?”