Lament and celebration poem

with thanks to Andrew Moore, host of Sunday’s Open Write on Ethical ELA. Andrew challenged teacher-poets to compose around lament plus celebration (these don’t have to be related; this is meant to be exercise in writing freely, in any form). He writes: “My inspiration comes from a distinct lack of good sadness, grief, and lament beside a healthy laugh and looking forward to the changes the future may bring.” The poem can be as light-hearted, silly, or serious as the poet desires.

Here’s where I am today:


Today, I mourn 
the destruction of trees along my rural byways
the displacement of wildlife
the destruction of Ukraine
the displacement of her people
the systemic demoralization of teachers
the systemic misplacement of trust

Today, I celebrate
the remnants
of trees
her people

Today, I hope
for restoration
in revelation 
and reverence

before all
become revenants

“The Elephant – great destruction.” Public domain. Note the trees, the cities, the elephant all in stages of disappearing … elephants, by the way, symbolize wisdom, memory, prosperity


with thanks also to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March.

16 thoughts on “Lament and celebration poem

  1. Fran, the picture perfectly illustrates your poem! The repetition of remnants, restoration, revelation,
    reverence and revenants rings truth like wake up bells – an alarm of awareness about what is happening all around us. We are consuming too much and not replenishing. We took off down to Macon for a dinner date last night and were admiring the rural countryside coming home last night – rolling hills, pastures, cows, trees, ponds, fences, the beauty of it greening up. I asked my husband what he thought it would look like 50 years from now and would our grandkids even be able to see cows like we do right now. Nope. He shook his head. Probably not.
    It’s so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is hard to think of what will remain for our grandchildren, Kim. That pastoral scene and “the beauty of it greening up” – I have noticed that the green IS the greenest ever this year (as articulated by my Backseat Prophet!). We must be mindful of what exactly we are destroying…


  2. Wow – found myself rereading it several times to notice which words you chose to repeat, to think about why, to find the connections between lamenting and celebrating. They do often go hand in hand – when I think about life – celebrations often have a piece of lamenting. I will think about this poem for some time. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, I walk away with so much after reading your words that often seem prophetic. Love the juxtaposition of sorrow and celebration reverberating off the same theme posts. Lamenting what is, while celebrating at the same time is a reminder that hope and goodness often are entwined in the fabric of suffering. Beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

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