Nothing shakes the smiling heart

Nothing shakes the smiling heart.—Santosh Kalwar

a pantoum

Nothing shakes the smiling heart
not loss, not fear, not pain
the heart-smile shines ever bright
even in the rain

Not loss, not fear, not pain
despite tales of gloom and doom
even in the rain
the smiling heart does not consume

Despite tales of gloom and doom
it needs no teeth, for
the smiling heart does not consume
while beating its joyful tune

It needs no teeth, for
the heart-smile shines ever bright
while beating its joyful tune
—nothing shakes the smiling heart.

with thanks to Ruth at SOS-Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog for the Kalwar quote along with the invitation to consider a smile and write about it. Note that in addition to the usual definitions of ingesting, buying, using, etc., “consume” can also mean “perish.”

15 thoughts on “Nothing shakes the smiling heart

  1. Beautiful, Fran! I paused before scrolling down to see the picture, guessing that it would be one of your granddaughters. And I was right. I’ve never tried a pantoum, but your poem is a solid enticement.

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    • Many thanks, Ramona – I was a bit intimidated by pantoums at first but now I like the unique challenge they offer and the musicality of the repeating lines – pantoum-tunes! My son just sent me that photo, so I knew exactly what smile I needed to write to ❤

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    • She is losing so many teeth that I tell her she will soon have as many as Micah – none! She’s the happiest child – brightens my days immeasurably. And oh yes – her happy heart is so full of love.

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  2. Oh my, I love her big, beautiful smile! I smiled at her smile. I can tell she is precious joy and awe for you. What a lovely pantoum! You make it look so easy to write, but I know it’s not easy to write. My favorite lines are all in the last stanza “It needs no teeth, for/the heart-smile shines ever bright/while beating its joyful tune/—nothing shakes the smiling heart.” Fran, can I use your brilliant pantoum as a mentor poem for my binder? I will put a copyright sign next to your name. I love seeing your granddaughter’s happiness showing off her missing teeth. Thank you for sharing your joy and inspiration.

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    • I am delighted for you to use the pantoum as a mentor text. I never quite know how it’s going to come together when I am working on one – here’s my “secret”: Deciding on the first/last line. That’s the punch of the pantoum. The rest is an adventure. 🙂

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