When I was a little girl, growing up in Ware Shoals, SC, I often heard my parents speak of “Fessor Camak”.  He was a well-respected gentleman in the community and a fine poet.  One of my dad’s favorites was Laurels.   Good lesson for all of us!

Laurels by Marion Boyd Camak

Somebody told me that I was good,

And I believed what they said,

And thought I would

Rest on the laurels I had won.

So I took a nice seat up in the sun,

That fellows not so lucky as I

Might be inspired as they staggered by.

And there I sat, with pride in myself

Like a brand new trinket on a brand new shelf,

And slept on the job, like I thought I could, –

For hadn’t they told me I was good?

But I awoke one day, and with surprise

I found no worshiping human eyes

Beholding me in my lofty space.

They all seemed turned to another place

And centered on to another chap,

With a workman’s apron on his lap,

And grime and sweat upon his face,

At work out there in my old place.

I swaggered down with a lordly air

And strutted to where they were, out there.

They looked at me, and then they said

It’s old Bill Hicks; we thought you were dead.


One response to “Laurels

  1. oh, joanie,
    this brings back the memories…….i, too, grew up in Ware Shoals and knew the author quite well. He was my school principal and a dandy with words.
    He wrote another that I love…….
    his epitaph

    someday my candle will burn low
    and flicker into night.
    will there then be an afterglow
    to guide someone aright?

    or shall i lie a lump of clay,
    cold, lifeless and forgot?

    you are exerting SO much good while you live…..thanks so much.

    your musings are not only AMUSING but inspirational.
    keep on, you hear?

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