Have I done any good? By Austin Jepson May 5, 2019 When the sun starts to set, There is time to reflect. Have I done any good This day? I ask Father God, Have I held to the rod? Have I lifted a cross By the way? I tried to do right, But was it too light? Did I pass by the man As he lie? Broken body and mind, Was it I who was kind? Or was I like the priest Who walked by? Wilt thou teach me, dear Lord, To follow the word, And to love those around me In need? That when Thou shalt come Or my life is done, My faith will reflect In my deeds.
Electricity By Austin Jepson Sept 27, 2018 At the end of the day, Darkness settles in. Rustic cabins are dimly lit By small flames. Tales are told, Meals are had, Beds are made And the people crawl in. Power surges over lines, And one by one, The circuits connect. TVs come on, Sound systems blare, People get ready To go out on the town. Workers start shifts, Products are built, Factories hum. No lost time. Houses across the land Turn on switches And in an instant, The day continues on. When did that become Part of God’s design? In the beginning, God created The day and the night. Maybe our bodies were built For darkness As much as light, For rest, As much as work, For quiet, As much as noise. Maybe we need to just Turn off the day. Maybe we need to Embrace more the night.
It has been a while since I wrote anything new on my blog. I have been kind of not willing to let go of my obsessions long enough to sit and write. Because of those choices, I feel pretty stagnant in life right now. I am ready to change that though so you can expect to start hearing more from me. I am ready to try harder because I don’t want to waste my life away not being a contributor to society. My creativity is the only way that I know how to contribute so I need to start working again. So, back to work I go! Austin
Hi everyone, I am announcing that my first book of poetry and short stories is now available on Amazon. I am really proud of it and love how it turned out. It is pretty awesome to see my name on the cover and to know that my words will now be immortalized. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for helping me to achieve this goal. I hope that lots of people will buy it and that they will understand that just because someone can’t speak out loud, it doesn’t keep them from saying important things. Austin p.s. If you like it, will you please write a review for me on Amazon? Thanks
Yearning. Some days, we wish on first stars, Or seek answers In karmic deserts. What are the questions We should be asking For life to make sense And peace to enter? Not the questions of the universe. The simple ones. Like where does laughter come from And what about tears?
This month, one of my poems, Silence is Silenced, was published in a literary magazine called The Louisville Review. We got two copies in the mail. It was really cool to see my name in print. As soon as we opened the package, we saw the books and immediately found my poem in the section for children authors. There was a blurb about me in the back of that section. When I saw that, it felt awesome. I hope that this is just the beginning. Maybe I’ll actually sell some books some day. http://www.louisvillereview.org/product/tlr-81/
Risen by Austin Jepson April 16, 2017 Stone rolled from the tomb. Where have you taken Him? Mary pleaded and wept. The Gardner unknown softly replied, He is not here. He is risen. Show me His body That I may prepare it With linen and spices. He is not here. He is risen. Please sir, have mercy. He was my king, And my Lord. He is not here. He is risen. Why won’t you tell me? Is it not enough that you hung Him On a cross made of wood With nails in His hands and feet, His side pierced and bleeding, A crown of thorns on His head? Is it not enough that you unjustly accused, You spat and you mocked, And freed Barabbas, a sinner, instead? He is not here. He is risen. Do you even know that He suffered so much That He bled from every pore, So that you and I can be clean? Do you not feel the loss and the sorrow That even caused the earth to mourn These last three days? Please, sir, take me to Him. Let me bathe His feet in my tears And anoint His head with sacred oil. Mary, Mary. Mary, can’t you see? It is I. My Lord and my God. Can it be? Look at the prints In my hands and my feet. Feel of my love. But touch me not, Not yet. I am with you always. Keep my commandments And always remember To come, follow me. And we will embrace At the right hand of God For the rest of eternity.
Waves of Change by Austin Jepson March 11, 2017 A woven tapestry of color and shape, Of each part, a scene emerges. Tangible memories from past realities, Still fresh and vivid. Never as we once were, Always like the sands on the shore, Shifting and creating new patterns, And then wiped clean. Be wary of the crashing waves That erode beaches, Not the gentle ones That inspire change.
Was this the child? by Austin Jepson December 21, 2016 A winter night, Quiet and calm; A stable warmed By animals. A baby born And wrapped in love, And shepherds knelt To worship. Was this the child Prophesied of old, A Messiah and Savior For the people? Was this the child Who would become The King of Kings, The Lord of Hosts? Was this the child Who would be nailed To a cross And die for us? Was this the child Who would atone for sin And rise from the grave So that all could live? This is God’s son, God’s gift to man. How will we honor And show our respect? Kindness and love, Worth more than myrrh, Friendship more than frankincense, Goodness more than gold. What will we bring To lay at his feet? Now we all must ask, Was this the child?
Old Paint By Austin Jepson November 16, 2016 Peeling off the wall, Old paint always looks So sad. No longer bright or bold, No longer vibrant or rich. Just old. Where did all the years go, When life felt clean and paint Was fresh? Hues of decades past, Stylish then, but now they look Out-dated. Think of ways to open up rooms, Knock down the walls, New paint. Are you remodeling because Someone needs a change Of color? Could life’s problems all be solved With a paintbrush and a color wheel? Not so. But, fresh paint covers life’s stains And chips and marks and Old blemishes. Calling for painters. Bring me your brushes and scaffolding. I’m ready. As I am sanded and stripped And my walls are prepped, Clean deeply. Choose me a color that is happy and bright, That won’t fade in the sun, Like blue. Look to the sky or the ocean Or find me a color of The rainbow. In my new house, or new life, I want to love to stare At walls.
Passing by the Moon by Austin Jepson Every night I dream Of travelling, Making a trip through space Alone. How would I know And could I decide A path that took me far From life on Earth? Aren’t we supposed To be grounded and safe, Covered and protected By an atmosphere? Small as I am And so inconsequential, Would I simply disappear Like a shooting star? Which planet would become A suitable new home, Where life makes sense For people like me? All we would need And all we would want And all we would ask for Is a tiny piece of the universe. For a language and a purpose, And a common understanding, And a chance to create Something new. Somewhere out there, A few light years away, An autism world Is waiting for me.
Zion by Austin Jepson Arising from the desert floor Are sandstone giants Watching over virgin valleys. Colors of red and white and green Most shimmer in the light Of sweltering heat. At daybreak, the shadows are long But sun’s rays kiss the rising guards And their faces blush red. Their wind-carved skin is lined With evidence of storms. And still they stand. No sword or gun will deter the sentinels Of sand and brush and sacred ground To those that toil at their feet. Though man blasts tunnels through their bowels, None will ever surrender The posts assigned to them by God.
Grandpa’s Nuts by Austin Jepson My grandpa must have been plumb crazy To plant a grove of trees out there. ‘Twas truly in the middle of nothing No shade or water anywhere. The rattlers all were surely laughing. “Are you serious?” all the rabbits said. “This old man has truly lost it. What’s going on inside that head?” The lizards thought, “It can’t be happening– Not in this desert, there is no way! The sun is too hot, the soil too sandy. The plan is nuts and won’t see the day.” “The plan is nuts!” my grandpa told them. “Great and tall the trees will grow. Just you wait, the ground will blossom And loads of pecans I’ll have to show.” So Grandpa dug and planted and watered And weeded and pruned and fertilized. The trees began to grow and flourish. The sandy ground was realized. Years came and went and the trees got bigger, Reached to the sky and offered shade. The nutty farmer said, “There, you see them! It’s time to harvest, time to get paid.” The pecans were bountiful and delicious The people came from far and wide. To buy their nuts from Grandpa Jepson They loved them for their bread and pies. “So, now who’s laughing?” asked Grandpa Jepson. “My plan has worked just perfectly. The harvest has brought my family money– All because I planted a tree.” Editor’s note: Our family just returned from a vacation/family reunion in Southern Utah, an area our ancestors helped to settle. One of the sites that we visited was Grandpa Max Jepson’s pecan farm. Max is Austin’s great grandfather. In the picture is Max’s son Don, who is Austin’s grandfather, telling us the story of Max’s venture into pecan farming. It is taken at the pecan farm where the trees are mature and the nuts are plentiful. Grandpa Max sold the farm shortly before his death and the proceeds helped to take care of Grandma Elda during her extended illness. This is a clever poem that is sure to become a family classic. Thanks Austin!
I graduated to high school today from middle school. It is kind of hard to believe. People often assume that I am incapable of learning at a high school level but I know what I can do. Maybe I will prove all those people wrong. I am really excited to try. My parents know what I can do too, so I know that I’ll have a chance. Can the school just let me write? That is how I show my intelligence. Am I going to be some great mathematician? No. Am I going to be a famous physicist? No. Am I going to be a world renowned musician? No. But I can write and maybe that will change the world. Austin.
Mothers by Austin Jepson May 6, 2016 Made from God’s most precious matter, Like angels sent to bless the earth. Mothers give us life and nurture, Longed for us before our birth. Mothers plead and beg and bargain, To God above to hear their prayer. Protect my children, Lord and Savior, Keep them safe and always near. We owe a debt to our dear mothers. The price is not so very steep. The best we can is all she asks for, As Christ has said, Come follow me. Soon our mothers are no more with us. In paradise, they have their rest. Mothers are as guardian angels, Guiding, watching, loving best. And a note to my own mother, You’re the one I hold most dear. I love you most and hold you sacred. To you, I give my soul sincere. Editor’s note (mom): http://jepsonfiles.com/2016/05/mothers-day/
Silence was silenced by Austin Jepson Silence, an unwanted companion, Ape-like utterances, my only option, The muzzle called autism. When would I be freed? Pencil through a letterboard, Are you really in there? An angel wore a HALO. Words on a wall, A story from the pencil, And autism speaks. Words on a keyboard, The people can’t believe it. Can it be true? A silent boy has spoken, A spell has been broken, The words are like pearls. Come read with such wonder, And marvel and plunder. So what is the worth of a word? A word can change minds, And minds can change nations, And nations can change the world. My words are invaluable. My words are my mission. My words mean everything to me. Editor’s note: This is a pretty cool poem, especially if you understand some of the symbols that he uses. Austin is completely non-verbal and really can only make grunts and similar vocalizations, which are not apparently purposeful (at least we don’t understand them). He learned how to communicate first at a facility called HALO (which stands for Help Autism through Learning and Outreach) in Austin, Texas using Soma® Mukhopadhyay’s Rapid Prompting Method. This involves the kids using a pencil and putting the tip of it through a hand-held stencil board with the alphabet cut out of it. She then writes their letter choices down on a piece of paper that she hangs on the wall nearby until they have constructed words and sentences. Later, we started using a keyboard to help him generalize these skills at home and now that is how he types. It is also interesting how he references Autism Speaks which is a familiar national advocacy organization.
The Mask by Austin Jepson Over time, Autism wears lots of costumes. Some are scary, Some are funny, Lots are really sad. But, all are only masks, Covering the faces of the people Trapped within. Autism can steal and plunder, Can wrestle and pin, Can laugh and can scorn, But it will never win. Many days will come, Many hours will pass, Many battles will wage, Many wars will be won. Many places I’ll go, Many things I can see, All this will I do, Autism won’t define me.
I am curious about lots of stuff but especially about history. I love to hear what happened in other lands and other times. I wonder if other people will ever be curious about me and my life. Maybe I will become a famous professor and people will want to read my blog posts to see what I was like as a child. I better keep writing because you never know. Austin
Yes, I want to be a manatee. My day would be filled with floating in the ocean lazily hoping that some food will make its way nearby. I don’t want to work or go to school. I am like a slow-moving creature of the sea, living on dry ground. Can I help myself? I plan on speeding up someday but not today. Today, I’m going to be a manatee! Austin [Editor’s note (dad): So now you see our family dynamic. Aaron is a jack rabbit! There is no happy medium.]
Let me start by saying good morning. You are probably wondering how a non-verbal kid with autism says hello. But, I say it with my smile. My smile gives me a voice. It doesn’t need words. My smile says hello and goodbye. It says how are you and I’m happy to see you. Oh, it says that I like you. Long ago [before I was adopted], I didn’t have any teeth. They were mostly rotted out because all I ever drank was fruit punch. And my mom never brushed them. But now my teeth are strong and white. So, I have a good smile and I like to use it. That is all for today. Austin