A Thanksgiving Blessing

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.
~ T.S. Elliot

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Late Fragment

I just love this poem.

BTW, I wrote about this poem here, if you’re interested. And sorry about the silence around here. Our internet company has this ridiculous, oppressive policy of expecting their bill to be paid on time every month. Which normally we manage. But it’s been a long, crazy couple of weeks. If you’ve been following along for a while, you are already aware of the fact that this sort of thing happens from time to time. Like the one time I got 5 flat tires in a month. On the same car.

Anyhow. I am beloved on the earth. Even if life is ridiculous and dumb.

Self-Dependence

When I was a senior in high school, I came across a poem which became my moral compass in a way, for my life ever since. It’s called Self Dependence by Matthew Arnold (you probably had to read his poem “Dover Beach” in high school):

Self Dependence

WEARY of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At the vessel’s prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o’er the starlit sea.

And a look of passionate desire
O’er the sea and to the stars I send:
‘Ye who from my childhood up have calm’d me,
Calm me, ah, compose me to the end.

‘Ah, once more,’ I cried, ‘ye Stars, ye Waters.
On my heart your mighty charm renew:
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
Feel my soul becoming vast like you.’

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,
Over the lit sea’s unquiet way,
In the rustling night-air came the answer—
‘Wouldst thou
be as these are? Live as they.

‘Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
Undistracted by the sights they see,
These demand not that the things without them
Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.

‘And with joy the stars perform their shining,
And the sea its long moon-silver’d roll.
For alone they live, nor pine with noting
All the fever of some differing soul.

‘Bounded by themselves, and unobservant
In what state God’s other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
These attain the mighty life you see.’ Continue reading

Bloggy Linky Goodness

OK, OK, you got me – I skipped Bloggy Linky Goodness last week. I’m sure there was a perfectly good reason. Which I’d tell you if it was actually important. Or if I had enough brain power left to try to remember what it was. But it’s back! Hooray!

Before I get started, allow me to share one of the weird things I’ve been thinking about. First, the number 40. Remember how it rained for 40 days and 40 nights for Noah? And how the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. And Jesus retreated to the desert for 40 days before starting his ministry. And it takes 40 days to gestate a human baby. Coincidence? I think not.

Now on to Bloggy Linky Goodness: Continue reading

The Will of God – A Poem

The Will of God

“I always think of a story I heard
on Christian radio,” she says
crossing her large arms
washboard hands
“About a woman
abused for years
by her husband.
He became a Christian.
It’s all worthwhile then.”

ThewillofGodThewillofGodThewillofGod

Abundant life
beat your wife
or girl Continue reading

Writing my first traditional, non-sucky Haiku

 

I wish I could show

 the beauty I see in you

when love looks through me

Many poets say that their poems just come to them, often fully formed.  This is both how I usually write poems and why I haven’t written a lot more poetry. Usually it starts with some phrase that floats around my head for a while.  Sometimes that’s all there is.   I’ve had some phrases floating around my head for years that I’ve never figured out what to do with. (“A sense of the color of things” is my favorite.)  But sometimes, I can get a couple more lines worked out, and I’ll sit down to write.  When I’m really lucky, all the rest is just there.  There’s always fiddling to be done, but the body of the poem has been provided. 

 For the last several days, the lines above have been floating around my head, but every time I sat down to write anything with them, I couldn’t go a single word further.  This afternoon, I typed them out and once again couldn’t go any further.  So I sat with it a minute and it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t supposed to go any further.  I counted up the syllables and sure enough, I had a serviceable haiku

It had been there all along. I just needed to stop trying to make it into something it wasn’t and look at it a little differently. Much like  life sometimes we’re so busy trying to get things to me the way we think they are supposed to be that we miss what is.  Maybe if we thought to stop and look a little differently more often, we would discover that everything has been alright the whole time.   

Now Its Time For A Love Poem

A Tweet to the first person to guess correctly how old I was when I wrote this!

*Ahem*

A Love Story

A turn of fate

A twist of the eye

The misalignment of moonlight

The glow of stars

And you are in love

Suddenly the world is blind

And you are beautiful

You’ve found someone to share your lunch with.

You cry at his jokes

And laugh at your wedding

Then you buy a frog

and the kids live happily ever after.

So you sell the washer and dryer

To buy a garden

Where you plant ladybugs until 3 pm

When it’s time to go, dear

And you ride away on your tandem bike.

I Am The Willow In Winter

Picture Cribbed From "From the Lilypad"

I wrote this poem ages and ages ago but never thought it was very good.  But lines from it keep popping into my head lately.  So I thought I’d share. 

I am the willow in winter

Long swaying branches

like tenticles

dance on frigid air

tinkling an icy fugue

the leafless branches

are all beauty, no life.

I will be the willow in spring

reaching down to choke the deep

and pull out life.

And I will dance

in warm, moist air

full of life

green leaves

making shushing noises

as they rub together

these leaves will die again

in fall

the next time

the coldness of the world

overcomes the willow

and me.