Amen

Here is a memory
I shall keep for you
all of my days:

when we ask
Where is your turkey?
you pat the colorful creature
adorning your shirt
while attempting to say
gobble gobble

and when our family
gathers round the table
to pray

amid the reverent cadence
of your Grampa’s words
I hear you say

nen

nen

nen

—I shall keep it for you,
this memory:
Thanksgiving gold
your one-year-old
baby voice
blessing us all

Amen

Personality color poem

with thanks to Tammi Belko, host of today’s Ethical ELA Open Write. Tammi invited participants to take a personality color test and to write an “I am” poem based on the color results and their traits.

I took the test. I began to write a series of “I am” stanzas when the poem went running off in its own direction…

True Color 

I am
the three bands
on the ring finger
of my left hand:

one worn by
my grandmother
engraved with
her initials
and my grandfather’s
alongside
their wedding date:
December 12, 1936
(the day after
Edward abdicated
for Wallis)

one worn by
my mother-in-law
a 1953 engagement
between a widow
and a widower
with two children each
with the long reach
of duty in Korea
calling

one given
to me
on the day
I married
thirty-seven years
two sons
and two granddaughters
ago…

a poet
named after
fleeting morning ice
may say
nothing gold
can stay

but I endure
because

that is what love does

like many before me

I am gold

*******

Interesting…

Ekphrastic poem: Ripe Tomatoes

with thanks to Katrina Morrison, host of Ethical ELA’s Tuesday Open Write. Katrina writes: “The worlds of art and poetry meet in the ekphrastic poem. Whether you are viewing an original work in a museum or viewing it virtually, describing it through poetry is the definition of ekphrastic poetry.” Poet Ada Limón shares this reflection in The Slowdown podcast 780: “One of the things I love about art is how we bring ourselves to whatever it is we are experiencing. Whether we want to or not, we see ourselves in the film, the poem, the painting, the song.”

I write of the artwork that came to mind first; I was not the first to see myself in it…

Ripe Tomatoes

Long ago
your father
gave me a card
with a painting
of a woman
in a long white chemise
holding a basket
of ripe tomatoes
in her thin arms

her body is curved
toward the child
at her feet

an overall-clad boy
with a mass
of sunlit curls
atop his head
bent in eating
a tomato
straight from the vine

your father said
the painting
so reminded him
of you
and me

your curls
were black
of course
instead of gold
and I was never 
a gardener

yet I can smell
the tangy greenness
of tomato plants
as the summer sun
beats down
over the rolling hills
and old barns
and tall yellowing grasses
rippling in the wind

could be a scene
from around
the bend

even now

I feel the 
warm tomato skins
under my hand

as I think
of the abundance
I have been given

—take, eat,
my summer child
of the bounty 
of the vine
so deeply rooted
so long ago

and know

love never ceases
to preserve
transcend

and grow

“Ripe Tomatoes.” Robert Duncan.

Monostitch poem

with thanks to Kim Johnson for the inspiration on Ethical ELA’s Open Write today. Kim offers the monostitch form: “a strong sense of connection between a title and a poem of one line inspires the writer to consider the relationship between the title and the word.”

And so I share an observation from today…

Heaven’s So Near

Little girl sings The cattle are lowing…preacher-Grandpa’s face is streaked with tears.

Here’s a two-line version, for good measure:

Heaven is Near
Little girl plays in the floor, singing so pure, so clear: The cattle are lowing
Preacher-man Grandpa rests in his recliner, listening, face streaked with tears.

Autumn wings haiku

Familiar cheeping
at dusk, out on the front porch
-can it really be?

Opening the door
a fluttering of feathered wings
-the finches remain?

Should I be so blessed?
I shall need to buy some seed
for the frost has come.

House Finch with Goldfinch. beaucon. CC BY-NC 2.0.

House finches are regular nesters in my front door wreath from Eastertime through the summer; I have not been aware of their remaining so close by in the autumn months. They aren’t nesting now and as yet I haven’t ascertained where exactly they’re living, only that it’s somewhere near the porch. I see them fly when we pull up in the driveway, and when we open the front door. I can’t even get a good look at them; they’re being evasive.

Their presence lifts my spirit immeasurably: Take heart, be of good cheer, we are still here… the fluttering of wings was so near my face when I opened the door in the dark after hearing the familiar bird voice. It wasn’t alarming. Out in the yawning chasm of night flew the little bird, with my soul tethered to it by inexplicable hope.

The duality of slow

In my recent reading
I have encountered
the duality
of slow…

educators know
DEVOLSON:

Dark
Evil
Vortex
Of
Late
September
October
November

a mysterious force
an epicenter
impacting
gravity,
functionality

(=dark matter:
a nonluminous material
causing several effects
in space)

yet in my reading
I also stumble
across the word
Slowvember:

an admonishment
an acknowledgement
that one cannot possibly
do all the things
well

so one might as well
choose to act
vs. being acted upon

a recognition
a submission
a slowing of the pace
even at the edge
of holidays
brimming
glimmering

they are,
after all,
celebrations
of light
(=holy-days)

allow me
an antidote
in an anagram
or two:

DEVOLSON…
Solved? No.
Do novels.

Carve the time
vs. letting it
carve you

nourish
your inner light

it is only flickering
not snuffed
enough is enough

-evil? No.
A divine pull
to the gift
of slow.

slow down, slow down, slow… Victor BezrukovCC BY-NC 2.0.

with thanks to Chris Margocs for the DEVOLSON inspiration