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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

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Whirligig
A basket of scraps
That is what I am
A piece of me here
A piece of me there
Like flying geese scattered
Everyone pulling pieces from
This basket of scraps

Beggar’s Block
Like vines at the window
Crayon and Pencil Children want a piece of me
The Laundry Room wants a piece of me
My man wants a piece of me
The checkbook, too, reaches and grabs
My Mother’s Dream wants a piece of me
The Devil at the Window wants a piece of me
Grabbing pieces,
From this basket of scraps

Broken Dishes
All pulling pieces
To fit their design
Disregarding color schemes
pattern lines
quantity
risking crazy quilt and broken path randomness
from leftovers
in this basket of scraps

Star of Hope
God’s Eyes see me
Not like mis-matched cups and saucers
Or un-coordinated color swatches
Not as a basket of scraps
Or Party Star Pieces
The Master Designer quilts me whole
into
A Peace Quilt
To wrap around
His children
Quilting me whole
Out of a Basket of Scraps

My very first quilt - a blue cotton quilt

My very first quilt – a blue cotton quilt


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butterfly62_edited-2Monarch butterflies
On Beggar’s Ticks seeds
Yellow seeds with barbed awns
Sticky, burring yellow awns
Designed to be carried
to Other places and other soils
By unsuspecting flutterbys
carrying unsuspected messages
tarry here
tarry there
living breeze to breeze
dropping Beggar’s Tick
futures
an inheritance
for other seasons

Carrierflys
Work to wait
wait for just the right
breeze-stirred air
designed for
para-sailing flutterby
missions
Across sand and shells
Past orange and raspberry sherbet
Beach towels
Past old and young
little and big
arms, legs and noise
playing wave games

Clapping and flinging
summer-colored wings
in spiraling airflow
Across ocean expanse
Across salty, slippery
grey, blue and green
stickier, deadlier than burrs
from a Beggar’s Tick

one wing beat
at time
To reach a home
risking to gain
all
against ultimate loss
to reach a home
never seen
a home always
calling
Something deep inside
something that says
butterflies Are born
To
Fly
Home

oceanfly“There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night” (Isaiah 35: 8-10)

Come by Wednesday to see the Story behind the Poem

996) Walking a mile in a warm moment between winter and spring moods
997) Snow flakes in a Pear Blossom season
998) Time for children to recuperate. My boys ended their Spring Break with a re-peat case of Chicken Pox.
999) Toscano Soup on the stove top, leftovers warming at the end of a tired day
1000) brothers reaching out to brothers
1001) a husband that prays with me, from the top of the house to the bottom, inside and out
1002) Red cardinals fluttering in trees, calling to each other
1003) for friends – both mine and my sons – who pray, interceding
1004) Sunday morning church where hearts and hands reached out in love – not knowing our need – but loving
1005) Coffee after church with my son and a couple who have known him, who listened to him, who shared heart words with him
1006) seeing walked out, good friends of my sons who say care enough to say, “Don’t” – and lay open their wounds to show why.
1007) God moving more gracefully, with perfect timing in ways me with my mom mojo cannot
1008) wise laws that still exist
1009) A gift of 9 weeks in exchange for 9 months
1010) my teen revealing a heart to minister to athiests
1011) an answered prayer returning home after being sent out 15 years ago
1012) a repentant heart revealed, eyes suddenly selfless seeing and in the seeing grieving. Self-centered emerging selfless
1013) Watching my 2 little guys come off a soccer field, toes stiff with cold, cheeks red – smiling
1014) Friends on the sidelines
1015) Blue skies on a cold Saturday’s soccer tournament
1016) a cafe mocha warming
1017) people who know your name when you order to go
1018) 2 soccer games worth of photos resulting in smiles and laughter, doing a job good enough for profile pictures and banners – being able to bless others with something I can do
1019) Catching up with faraway friends
1020) Experiencing that while some prayers are a 15 year journey – some are 96 hour journeys – with much evidence of a mighty Father working on our behalf IN that 96 hours.

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When my littlest came home with his poetry prose in paragraph formation, we had to edit the content into standard, complete-sentence prose. The poetry was edited out. It saddened me because so many penny words were added, fading the imagery, leaching the strength of action – and, well, just diminishing the over-all effect.

A kind of “you-had-to-be-there” resulted in the retelling.

Poetry evokes – sometimes more can be said with incomplete sentences. Not in a court of law, not when contractual things need to be established – but sometimes with pulling something valuable out of a day, a moment – that something trumps the other 23 hours, the other 1,429 minutes in a day.

I remember reading e.e. cummins in the 8th grade. He threw language rules out the window and made art. The entire class chimed in, “So we don’t have to use correct grammar rules. Here’s a grown-up who didn’t and made good.”

Our teacher loosened our grasp on that hope: “When you know grammar like e.e. cummins, you can write like e.e. cummins.”

e.e. cummins manipulated language – and its rules to re-create moments, like “riding through the woods on a snowy evening” – so you could feel it from the inside of your soul out – no “you-had-to-be-there” excuses because he took you there.

My son’s unintentional poetry lost something in the translation to intentional prose. Sometimes, to capture the essence of a moment, a weekend, a blessing – it comes out better in poetry, without penny articles, verbs and nouns.

Yet, also like e.e. cummins had to become skilled in the knowledge of  language arts in order to write poetry that reveals a moment from the inside of your soul out, you and I – we need to become skilled in the knowledge of God’s true, hands-on love for us  in order to recognize blessing that has the power to change our lives from the inside of our souls out.

Are you ready to live like poetry? Allowing a moment of blessing, regardless of size and importance, – a squirrel running across your window pane, a fleeting hug, a genuine smile, a cup of cider – are you willing to let that moment, that gift from the Father, define your day, your week, a year, a lifetime?

The coolness on your cheek from a breeze rustling out of the trees as the hand of God touching your cheek? And, in a second, the recognition of it changes everything – from the inside of your soul out.

Have I lived a life of blessing? Every minute counted from beginning to end, –  refreshing moments, just-right moments, forgiving moments, revelation moments, soul-inside-out moments would seem miniscule in comparison to all the penny-word moments.

However, those fragmented moments like poetry, whittling the prose of it all into poetry,  if I were to just pull them out, those moments would say I am richly blessed. Maybe they would say my life filled with blessing, reads like poetry.

747) Lumina white, Jack-Be-Little Orange, Jarrahdale green and Rouge vif D’Etampes – “Red Life of the Times” pumpkins, pulled from the flat-bed of a truck to my door steps, heralding a new season
748) ladling out homemade chicken noodle soup with bow-tie pasta to woodland stories of Blue Stones and Acorns for currency, brotherhood and neighborhood friendships creating a world of their own in the woods. Practicing democracy in leadership elections under God’s canopy and choosing blue stone and acorns for currency. Blue Stone turned memory stone in a friendship has lived lifting up when hearts are down – a living poetry experience

749) Nests emptied of backyard baby birds. No more cat birds screeching and squawking at my cat on the steps, on the porch, under the car, under the tree staring up. Chirping, solo songs and choruses, merry autumn sounds of troubles left behind.
750) Squirrel cheeks filled with winter nuts, filling the storehouses in tree nests, repetitive forays onto the grounds, storing security for e.e. cummins-kind-of-snowy evening
751) A to-do list reminding me of the things I want to do – and each one checked off, one-by-one.
752) Determination to complete actions and tasks that change the hue of everyday living – when making myself light a candle, knit one row, read one chapter of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – one small action at a time is a brush stroke that paints my life. I can either choose through inaction how my life will look – an empty canvas – or I can choose through action. I chose to act – even though the brush strokes and colors don’t always turn out how I intend.

753) A friend blessing me with kind, un-looked for words
754) The energy to make Saturday what I wanted it to be: filled with homemade chicken-noodle soup, tortilini soup, cheesy bread, store-bought orange-icing cupcakes, pop-eye bread, simmering apple cider – boys saying, “Who’s coming for dinner” – and I just say, “You! All for you!”
755) A kitchen filled with chard, peppers and tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market
756) A squirrel running outside my window at work, through my shabby-chic picture frame
757) 15 minutes with God in a mid-morning break; 15 minutes with God in a mid-afternoon break. We two sitting together on a bench
758) Energy at the end of a workday to live fully through the most valuable parts.
759) Demands for bed-time tuck-ins
760) The Bed-Time Chronicles
761) An orange carrot juice, red beet and mango smoothie – that I stuck to the determination to include it in my day, making it at 6:45 a.m.
762) Frogs hopping on the road side during an evening walk
763) All the boys’ work turned in at the end of a quarter – punctuated by a Friday beginning a 2 week Holiday for the boys.
764) Open windows, cool morning air, the sound of the air-conditioning shutting down, yielding to Autumn’s superior coolness

765) Post-it-Notes reminding me to pray
766) That joyful euphoric feeling like flying when a problem’s potential solution makes itself known in the loudness of the problem, in an un-looked for area.
767) I heard that there are 21 million people who cannot read in America – and am so blessed that my mom secured the best possible education for my brother and me.
768) That I have the desire to read – the bible, fun literature, books to my children, legal documents – and historical documents like Common Sense by Thomas Paine – so that it will not be through ignorance that my freedoms are taken away.
769) The anticipation of good things –  like next week’s beach Holiday.
770) Pulling close the poetry moments out of the day that say more about my day than what the whole of the day says.
771) Hot Apple Cider on a lazy afternoon on my porch
772) Seeing the sun-rise in pink and yellow streaks Sunday morning
773) Watching my boys enjoy a bottomless bowl of pasta after church Sunday while I enjoyed a bottomless cup of steamy coffee
774) Sitting beside my husband on the porch, watching the moon, pulling the blanket close.

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7-24-2007-060My illustrator came home from school boasting of how neat he had rewritten a piece of prose for school. Usually, we go round and round about writing, handwriting, that is. “The h’s have to be as tall as the L’s – which need to reach to the top of the line – if not, the h’s will look like n’s, the d’s like a’s and the L’s might just look like an i missing the dot.”

He isn’t bothered by h’s that look like n’s or d’s that look like a’s.

When we got home, he pulled out his prose – and the handwriting was nicely done, though he doesn’t want the L’s, H’s, backs of the d’s and b’s, f’s and L’s (plus all capitals) to reach to the top of the line. It can’t be psycho-symbolic about him being the smallest of the blue cotton brotherhood – because too many of his tall brothers truncate letter size. The letters were neat, even, in-control, filled with pride about the words they made – words my illustrator put together to paint a word picture.

It was written in 5 paragraphs – covering much of the front and back of the blue-lined paper. When he typed it onto the computer screen, he was dismayed that it didn’t fill the page. He also had to turn paragraph poetry into standard prose with complete sentences. Lots of verbs were added and galloping away sentences were reigned in with periods. His ideas were dressed up with suit-and-tie proper capitalization with wing-tip endings.

Thank you size 14 fonts for allowing him to make his ideas be as big as he imagined. He searched the styles, settling happily for Brush Script. He printed one for him and a New Times Roman for his teacher – and turned all of them in – the paragraph poetry, the well-dressed prose – and the well-dressed prose jazzed up with a funky font.

My favorite draft was the original, the paragraph poetry. Poor little poetry in a paragraph – nobody wants to leave it alone. I wanted you to read it as I read it, pause where I paused, tumble along with the cadence he created and I so loved from someone I so love – who turned 12 on the first day of Autumn.

Original “Day in the Woods”

by the little illustrator

“Crackle, Crackle –as I walk into the old, lively forest
I see different types of trees.
I see dead leafs everywhere
Green, orange, red,
Even some orange and red
Some were high up
In the sky
Some were down low
Leafs that are falling Down
Go down slowly like an
Air balloon running out
Of hot air.
I feel the leafs
Like a brick wall
Big leafs
Small leafs
And even torn leafs

Buzz
As I swat the flies
One by one I see twigs and broken twigs
Everywhere
Like crabs on the floor.
Small trees and tall trees everywhere
I look
I smell the trees
They smelled like dirt.
As I go to sit on the log a lot of lively things
I see
Plants everywhere but the little spot
I see

“Sniff”
As I breathe the free air
Chirp Chirp
I hear birds chirping like they are scared
By a beast
I sniff again
I smell dirt like the dirt was rising up
I see
Roots overlapping roots
As if they were fighting
I feel
The log I’m sitting on
It feels like wrinkly clothes

As I walk to another log
I see
Two ants fighting to live.
The black ant trying
To defend
the littler ant tries
To have food to live
By eating the big black ant.
They fight on until
Someone
Steps on them.
I see
The ants squashed
Like a pancake
But still I look around

I see
Spiders floating away on its web
I see
Big plants covering seeds
On the ground
I hope
We come back soon
It’s peaceful
Relaxing
I can’t wait till next time

Come back Monday for the Story Behind the Poem: Reading Blessing like Poetry

To read A Birthday Prayer, click here

 

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For a bit of time during the last few weeks, I felt much like a tin water bucket left out in the rain, where each soft drip eventually wears away the outward coating, rusting and thinning the inner foundation, until it finally the soft drip has worn a hole. I don’t know why, but there is something about poetry, how it captures the groanings of the soul so much better than prose. As the challenges drip, wearing the thin skin covering my soul, I wrote poetry.

fuscias, oranges yellows and purples
flowering for me,
Blessings from the Father
But I have no heart for flowers today
No heart for the downpour of the rain
Greening my grass
No taste for the Worchestshire and lemon
Mixing with the pork
No taste for the chocolate hidden in the drawer
No heart to hear
The cricket choir, or the turtle dove
calling

My mother’s heart it grieves
For struggling sons
struggling independence training
struggling to find their place
in the race

How do you have the heart for
God’s love letters
Or blessings left along the path
Except to know He sits beside me
And if I believe hard enough
He holds me hand, catches the tears
That flow inside, letting me fall apart
For a few minutes
Until He puts me back together
Dries my eyes
And tells me not to give up
On His children
He loves so much.

Do you ever have days like that, where you just fall apart, just cannot fathom how you will handle tomorrow’s schedule? When you really want those answered prayers now because the challenges are growing, grOWing and GROWING? Those moments where it takes effort to just stop, where you just want to go crawl into bed and sleep the stress away but what you really need to do sit on the porch with the Father? No bird song blessings – just you, the Father – and a bunch of quiet? I have those moments. . . .

When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up” (Psalm 94:19)

725) Well, the Father, He sent me to the dr for an abscess – the results were increased energy level, no pain.
726) Making myself knit a few rows, even though I had to back lots of stitches out – because I just couldn’t get it right. Making myself find the sweet moments in just the knitting – I needed that.
727) Sitting on the porch, wrapped with a quilt, watching the stars, listening to the katydids, letting the stress evaporate.
728) The baby turning 12 in the midst of a few good friends, ice cream pizza, gummy worms and lots of noise – from after school until 10 p.m.
729) A red beet, yellow pineapple and honey fruit smoothie for a 7 a.m. ride to a soccer game.
730) That I made myself make that smoothie even though it would have been easier to have given up and let the chaos steal something delightful.
731) Trees swaying under a blue sky in a 6:30 a.m. autumn breeze on a Sunday soccer tournament morning.
732) 3 white geese, mouths wide open, reaching for bread crumbs
733) an impossible schedule, parceled out into a manageable size
734) not the moment of my son scoring the first goal at our tournament, when he usually plays defense. Not that his coordination and foundational strength have kicked in from years with a stomach problem – and now he can literally out-run any other teams offense – from behind. But that after half time, after he had scored, he took his usual second-string bench seat – and the coach said, “What are you doing?”  He answered, “Sitting on the bench.” The coach said, ‘Get out there; we need you.” There’s a whole post in there about never giving up, no matter how bad the challenge – never give up the hope or the dream. Don’t we all feel like sometimes we’re bench sitters, not first-string players – and serving God, well, we want to do a first-string job. My son, he needed a moment like that, a moment of over-coming.
735) the other son, being the youngest and littlest, the first time being a bench-sitter – shoulders set, mind set – to take up the challenge to get off that bench and not letting the challenge make him feel it is a permanent place.
736) Somehow in the chaos of this weekend, of all the schedules – there were moments of comfortable peace just hanging out with the boys.
737) The birds are quieter now. I guess their chicks have left the nest. They keep their voices down now. Today, though, when I took a break for sit with the Father, to find Him – I heard the birds singing a sweet autumn song – and I heard it right after I read this:
738) “You hear those little goldfinches chatting in the undertones without ever stopping? –Bird voices. –Talk to Me like that, ceaselessly, sotto voice. –Soul Voices” (Evelyn Brown, He and I)
739) A student-worker wearing a t-shirt, ‘Ask Me My Story” – and someone did. He gave hist testimony – how awesome is that!
740) That happened right after I read this: “Look at the stained glass windows. Some are in the shadow and have kept all their colors to themselves. Others have surrendered to the sun and are completely lost in its light” (Evelyn Brown, He and I).
741) An answer to a prayer unfolding, relief from a son – trying to wait with grace in the unfolding of it.
742) A soldier reservist son, finishing up a job – and finding a civilian one to get him set-up for taking college classes.
743) A candle lit – a message to the chaos that I will not let it control the atmosphere and mood of where I am


744) Windows, in my office, in my kitchen, outside my bedroom window – letting me see the blessings of God all around me, constantly moving, constantly there – even when the challenges bring me low, He stops in the midst with me – and we sit together, the Father and I.

745) “Our day. . . when I shall work in you more than you work” (Brown, Evelyn, He and I)

746) The soft drip of the challenge . . .and I can no longer hold it all together in this rusted mess – so He holds it together for me.

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Blessings like Zinnias

pomegranate red zinnias
shaped like dahlias
thrive in Full Sun living
no shades necessary
to protect
from living its design
where planted

always reaching,
for heat and glare
cactus-shaped heliotrope purple petals
grow better
in weathering challenges

gangly,stalky stems
overlooked by whole package beauty shoppers
seeing too much imperfection to appreciate
button-shaped tangerine orange
dazzling in God’s appointed bloom time
those willing to love an imperfect creation

God-designed to withstand
a world of drought
beehive-shaped lemon yellow
blooms hope and joy
to be carried to other places
in clear mason jars, pink pottery vases,
thumb print glasses, cutglass rose bowls
set on harvest tables, welcome tables
bedside tables, porch-side tables, work tables

never blue,
zinnias bloom to seed
seeds for you and me
for tomorrow seasons
needing caring hands to harvest
and slide hope seed stories
into white envelopes
sealed and stored until
Time
To grow
Some more

 

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The mighty rush of the wind
whipping tree seedling
severing from
the mighty pin oak protection
tromped,
hoof pressed,
storm weathered pressed
leaf pressed
water pressed
gravity pressed,
into soil blackness
seemingly world lost
until the core of itself
remembers light
and
flimsy roots push upward
emerging fragile
thinly
waveringly
faith and hope fragile
vulnerable
growing gentle
slow
reaching ever light upward
strengthening
widening
deepening
stretching heavenward
sunward
into a mighty pin oak
sprouting fragile seeds
harsh weather regardless
this born again journey
of a life given over
to our Savior

526) 10 squirrels running past my window at work, as though a tri-cera-cat was chasing them – God showing me He was there and there was fun to be had
527) friends letting us use a field for a son’s air-soft birthday party
528) dinner with friends, laughter, and a faith story of forgiveness in the bible that I hadn’t realized before
529) Grandbaby girl dedicated to the Lord
530) Holding grandbaby girl during church,
531) Her falling asleep without a peep in my arms, that I can do that
532) All my sons sitting in service together
533) Celebrating Father’s Day with my husband. When God answers prayers, He answers abundantly. He gave me an amazing husband!
534) Zinnia seeds grown to bloom
535) Conversations with my sons
536) Cardinals chirping at 6 a.m.
537) Dove calls in the evenings
538) Evening walks with my husband reviewing the progress of our carrots, tomatoes, zinnias, butterfly bushes, peppers, shasta daisies and so many other growing things
539) The hope of prayers answered. I might not know how they are to be answered but God sends clues just when I need them!
540) Things stored in my heart, messages from the Father, that prepared me – the remembrance of those messages
541) pumpkin seeds volunteering
542) my sons’ humor – either in solo or in a chorus.
543) homegrown eggs from a friend – because that’s what friends do
544) my husband helping me because he wants to, not because he has to
545) friends in the blogahood who pray – that they are friends like that.
546) peaches at the Farmer’s market
547) the difference one year can make

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