Monday, April 27, 2015

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ DAILY SPIRIT

Recently, my friends, our poet-friend Myrna Rosa, of Daily Spirit, Musings to Nourish the Soul,  posted a poem so beautiful - so perfect - I had to make sure nobody missed it. In the face of all that we are inundated with in the media, Myrna's poem is a response that resonates at a cellular level. In its wisdom, it reminds me of Rumi's poetry. One reads it and feels a resounding "yes!" within their being. So here it is. From a poet with such a beautiful heart.







Outside, quail chirp happily.
They sing a boisterous disturbance
to my silent home where I sip coffee
as thoughts bead a circle of mantras in my mind.

Am I praying? 
when I think of nature shriveling,
of viruses thriving while survivors
survive but aren't exactly living,
when people are losing their heads,
because others see only one shape 
to the diamond they call god?
I breathe my desire for peace
in all these things.

Then I listen to the sermon of the birds,
proclaiming their faith.
"You are a song," they say.
"Chirp loud, your best hymn."

***

Sherry: How I love this! "You are a song. Chirp loud, your best hymn." Tell us about this poem, Myrna. How did it come to you?

Myrna: Thank you so much Sherry, for selecting this poem as Poem of the Week.  It’s such an honor.



Actually, Sherry, you’re partially responsible for the poem “Sunday Morning.”   I was sitting in my family room struggling with the blank page on my computer.  I wanted to submit something to Poetry Pantry, but after considerable time the only words I had written were, “My house so silent.  My thoughts so loud.”  After abandoning my goal of writing a poem, I decided to read blogposts instead.  I read yours regarding Loving Water Day.  I sat for a while connecting with your sadness over the world’s suffering.  Then I became aware of chirping.  I went to my front window, saw quail and took a picture.  I listened to the birds for a while.  When I sat again to write, the poem wrote itself. 

Sherry: How very cool! I love the connections we all make through our words online. Might we see the quail photo? Since they are the ones who brought us here? LOL.




Wow! Look how close you are to your beloved mountains. How beautiful they are! Myrna, in our earlier interview in 2012, you said something that really struck me as true. You said, "The major ingredient of a good poem is the poet's heart." 


"The major ingredient of a good poem 
is the poet's heart."

I think the reason I love and respond to your poetry so much is because you have such a good heart, and it is in everything you write. Let's look at another poem. This one just knocked my socks off when you posted it recently. It is a perfect follow-up to your quail poem.



My mail is replete with requests
for money
to save the whales, the penguins,
the birds, the forests, the turtles, the elephants
the dogs and all the animals, oceans, habitats,
of this world.

Then there are the people.
Starvation, poverty, abuse, war, disease, suffering
waiting for money to stop the pain.

Then the guilt: 
I wasted water, used plastic,
didn't recycle enough, drove my car too much,
had no cash for the homeless man.

Then I feel the weight of it all.
My attempts to help, minuscule.
Living in a monumental crisis, grieving
depletes energy for hope.
But I know we must be aware,
responsible, stay grounded.


So I've decided to save the planet.
Not in a grandiose, messianic sense.
But by living my best life
on this precious earth, giving
to myself/OF myself each day,
trusting earth knows how to die, 
transform, then live again.
I learned this from a caterpillar.


Sherry: How I love this poem! This is probably the only way the planet will be saved, from the ground up, at the grassroots level. By living our best lives. And trusting the earth knows how to transform herself. This is very deep, Myrna! 

Myrna: For a week I thought about what to write for Susan's Earth Day prompt, which was on Wednesday, April 22.  On Tuesday I sat in front of my computer for at least 4 hours total.  I had so many thoughts about what to say.  Then I began about four separate poems.  None of them seemed right.  They did not express what I wanted, something was missing.  On Wednesday, again I wrote and wrote.  Nothing I came up with satisfied me.  So I decided not to respond to the prompt.  Thursday morning my writing flowed as if dictated from an alter ego, and Metamorphosis was written.    

Sherry: This is the way the best poems arrive. And for our third selection, let us refresh our cups of coffee!

Myrna: I really like coffee.  I tend to mention it a lot in my poetry.  I love sitting in a bookstore café with my husband as we drink and read their books.  Once, after reading several of Pablo Neruda’s poems, I was most impressed by a poem about animals.  It wasn’t one of his famous love poems.  It was rather harsh, whimsical and satirical. Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name, but it inspired me to write the following poem.  I learned that day that Pablo Neruda liked to write in green ink to symbolize his hope for the world.  I liked that, so I refer to it in this poem.


DRINKING COFFEE WITH PABLO

Tuesday afternoon I sit in bookstore
as Pablo stares with his soul
made of words and all
there is in mindful observations
about life, death, class struggles,
love and the in between
space we fill.
He doesn't approve
of my mocha frappe’ so different
from the cafés of his times
where he dreamed everyone's coffee
would someday be equally sweetened.
"So what," he says.
"Drink 'til the birds peck
your chocolate eyes,
'til the pigs snort delighted
eating fragments of your heart,
'til the snakes smoothly curl
around the nothing that's left
of you, your imitation living
through pages written by poets
like me who don't care
yet care immensely
when no one sees through
curtains, sheer but thick
enough to hide the truths
I see."
That's how he talked to me -
poetic paradoxical riddles, little explosions,
electric vibrations causing intermittent flashes
in my mind.
"Sorry," he says. "My coffee is bitter.
Sometimes that's all you taste when you're dead.
So be alive while you can,
even if your world’s not the best."
Once we parted, I decided
to lace my poetic words
in green of hope, like him.
What better way to show sincere admiration
than through imitation?

Sherry: WOW! This is a spectacular poem, my friend. I love "the green of hope" very very much. I will remember that from now on. I love how clearly you evoked him in this conversation. You brought him alive for me. I especially love "be alive while you can." Yes. Now, let's catch up!




Myrna's beautiful back patio

Myrna, I know you still live in New Mexico, with your husband and two dogs. Bring us up to date with your life since 2012.




Myrna's husband, Jose


the adorable Leroy and Daisy,
attentive, as Myrna was holding a treat!

Myrna: Since the last interview, life has been what life is: a series of roads with lots of hills.  I wanted and tried to move closer to my daughter, but our house didn’t sell and after moving out for a year, we returned to our home.  Though I am not close to family, at least I’m back near my beloved mountains.   



Myrna's moonlit mountains

The most significant change in my life is that I now have a new beautiful granddaughter - more beauty to love.  She’s already 16 months old. We are all thrilled, and my grandson is as crazy about his little sister as I am about them both.  I think I am their parents' nightmare because I can’t help but spoil them.  I try to visit them as often as possible.  They remind me how to play.

Sherry: Congratulations on your little granddaughter, Myrna. So much joy.


Myrna's beautiful grandchildren

Myrna: My days are mellow.   I read, write, take walks with my husband and my dogs.   I often enjoy the company of friends though I must confess, I love my solitude.  Most recently, I’ve started to learn how to draw.  I love it.  It enriches my days and complements my introspective manner. 

Sherry: Oh, goodie! Now we must see some of your art work!


Myrna: I don't have any "art work".  I'm at a very basic, elementary level of learning how to draw.  But I gathered some of my practice work and took a picture on my messy desk. 




Also, I have one I posted recently of Ian.  I used a grid and drew it from a photo.  I think that qualifies as cheating a little.  But I was proud of it.


Sherry: I love the look of your desk - so creative. And you did a wonderful sketch of your grandson. He has the eyes of an Old Soul.

Myrna: To a bystander, my life may seem boring.  Yet the other day a blogger asked, “What is your idea of paradise?”  My response: To love, to be loved, sheltered and nurtured by nature, to have food in abundance, lots of books, a laptop, writing and drawing materials, music, and a bed for rest.  After thinking for a while, I realized I have all this and so much more than any paradise I could design.  I am immensely grateful.    
  
Sherry: One can ask no more from life. Myrna, thank you for so many things: your wonderful poetry, for allowing us this update, and mostly for being the loving, humble, compassionate  spirit that you are. You are such a positive voice in our community, and we appreciate you so much. We have been lucky to have you at Poets United for so many years.

Isn't Myrna lovely, kids? Such a beautiful heart. It has been wonderful sitting on her patio, looking out at her beautiful mountains. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

43 comments:

  1. Thank you Sherry and Myrna,,,,listening to this chat was like breathing peace & being enriched..."trusting earth knows how to die, / transform, then live again. / I learned this from a caterpillar."...the lines will stay with me...

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    1. Thank you Sumana. Glad you liked the poem.

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  2. What a wonderful feature today, Sherry. Myrna, I agree with you that the major ingredient of a good poem is the poet's heart; and that is one reason I always enjoy your poetry so much -- I can always feel your heart in your words. Such as in your poem "Drinking Coffee with Pablo." I like the idea of the green of hope very much. I am glad you are back in your beloved mountains, have a new granddaughter, and continue to pursue your poetry and your drawing. I share your enjoyment of coffee & wish I could sit around and drink coffee with you. Guess we will have to settle for the blogosphere, right? Smiles.

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    1. Wish we could share a copy of coffee in person too. Who knows? Maybe some day. Thank you for having such a giving heart.

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  3. This article made me cry. I am so proud and lucky that Myrna is my mom :-)

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    1. I am sure she IS a wonderful mom! So nice to see your comment here.

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    2. Thank you daughter. But I'm the lucky one. Love you.

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    3. Oh Darci, how lovely to hear from you! Yes, you are a lucky girl to have Myrna for your mom. She is very special! You have such a lovely family!

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  4. Myrna, I hope you know how much I appreciate your poetry and its down-to-earth quality. I too am a coffee drinker and I also mention coffee in my poetry and draw cups when I am sketching! Thank you ladies for this wonderful conversation.

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    1. I appreciate you too Gabriella and I know you like to draw. I'm getting a tiny bit better with practice. Thanks for reading this today.

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  5. Hi Sherry and Myrna,

    I left this interview for the very last piece of writing I will read tonight. It's exactly 12:40 am, here on this Tuesday April 28th, and after devouring all the wonderful and inspiring words and photos, I felt a peaceful presence float over me, allowing me to wind down and wonder about all the meaningful messages that Myrna has passed on to us today.

    Lovely poems, my favourite being 'Metamorphosis'.

    Your life is rich with the love of your husband and children, the beauty of nature that surrounds you, and your passion for the arts, all the finest luxuries of a happy existence!

    Thanks for a most entertaining and intriguing night cap, ladies!

    Bidding you a good night.

    Poppy

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    1. Sleep well always Poppy. Thank you.

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  6. Spectacular mountains and poems to match. Sunday Morning spoke loudly to me, as I am sure it did for others. Love the dogs! Your grandchildren are cute, and I found your drawing wonderful. You trust captured those eyes. Glad to learn about your life, Myrna. Sounds quite peaceful.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading this today. My life is pretty peaceful. Wish everyone's were.

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  7. I have always enjoyed Myrna's poetry ~ Her voice is authentic and speaks to me ~ Your grandchildren are precious ~

    Thank you for the feature Sherry ~

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    1. Thank you Grace. I so much appreciate your support.

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  8. I have read many of Myrna's poems. They are always thought provoking and touch on real life issues. Thank you Myrna for your support in the blogsphere. A great interview so glad I came over to read. May that pen bring more delights.

    Sherry, that for featuring another wonderful poet.

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  9. I'm actually experiencing a little dry spell right now. But the poems will come again. Thanks so much Truedessa.

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  10. I admire the simplicity of your requirements for a rich interior life. Indeed you are blessed. Boredom is the affliction of the unimaginative. Your life is enviable. Also anyone who can learn from a caterpillar is someone I can identify with:) Enjoyed your interview..

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    1. I think we can learn so much from nature. Thanks for your comment and for being a regular visitor on my blog.

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  11. Hi kids, I am back from my days away and am very tired. But first thing, had to come in and read everyone's wonderful comments. Thank you all for being so wonderful. You make my job very meaningful and satisfying. Smiles. Myrna, I love that your daughter read it and left a lovely comment. Yay! I will try to catch up with you all tomorrow, kids. I am really exhausted tonight.

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    1. Sherry, I'm so glad you're back safely. A trip for a funeral is extremely tiring and stressful. Hope you can take it easy today.

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  12. How beautiful were the examples of your poetry in your interview. In each one there was that hope for the world despite the foolishness of mankind. The earth will with the sensible creatures left will surely make a better job of it than we have. How wonderful that you are aware of what really makes you happy in life.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. I always enjoy visiting your blog.

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  13. Thank you Sherry for sharing this wonderful interview..! Good to see that you're back.. was worried about you. Hope you are alright..

    Myrna you're just about as beautiful as your poems..! :D
    So nice to read all this about you!

    Lots of love
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sanaa. We'll keep getting to know each other better through our poetry.

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  14. Sherry and Myrna,

    A delight to find Myrna's interview here this week. Such a delightful lady, with whom I have interacted for many years now. A superb poet and writer, who is a joy to know. Her words have always expressed the truths about life, love, pain and joys; observations on everyday living.
    I too adore the works of Pablo Neruda, especially Love Poems...
    Thank you Sherry, for sharing this great catch-up with Myrna.
    Eileen

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    1. Thank you Eileen. It's so nice to have known you all these years. You've been a sincere and important support to me.

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  15. "The major ingredient of a good poem
    is the poet's heart.".. most def.. and yours for sure can be felt in your poetry - and also in your comments myrna... cool to see pics of you and your fam... and also to get a little glimpse into your life.. what a lovely interview - thank you

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    1. I thank you Claudia. Your poetry has been inspirational to me. An ideal to strive for. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

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    1. Thank you Jae and Alice. I love reading your adventures and your thoughts.

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  17. What a treat to learn so much about Myrna as I adore her poems...you chose 3 incredible pieces Sherry. And your words Myrna...

    "The major ingredient of a good poem
    is the poet's heart."

    So much truth in that isn't there.....love NM and your paradise!

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    1. Oh thank you Donna. Your words truly warm my heart.

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  18. "Sunday Morning" brought a tear to my eye... i feel so helpless and hopeless about the world my grandchildren will be facing. i too hear birds singing, their voices filled with the song of life, but had not taken it to heart.

    a wonderful interview, Sherry, Myrna. thank you.

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  19. I am so happy everyone enjoyed getting to know Myrna better. Myrna always chirps, "her best hymn".....it's why we love her!

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    1. Sherry, it's a talent to bring out the best in others. This you do effortlessly. Thank you for your kindness and your generous spirit.

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  20. This was an absolute treat to read — and yes, the poems are wonderful!

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    1. PS I think you draw incredibly well - would never have guessed you are a beginner.

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  21. Thank you Rosemary. Glad you enjoyed. Oh, I appreciate support for my drawing. I lack confidence because stubbornly, I insist on learning on my own with on-line courses. Thank you so much.

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  22. Beautiful interview Sherry and Myrna. I love "sermon of the birds"---what a glorious word picture. I always enjoy your poetry, Myrna, and to hear more of your story is so wonderful. You have such gratitude in your soul. It's a real joy to see!

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  23. Wonderful interview... so often I admire how much of your heart is poured in your words.. wonderful

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  24. I am late to join this fantastic visit with you and Sherry and your blog, Myrna. I do believe you have found paradise--the more so by not taking it for granted but seeing it anew each day. I enjoyed all three of these poems. I should say I related intimately with them. You know how I feel about "Metamorphosis." The Sunday morning discovery of praying as breathing as singing as being--perfect. And Having coffee with Pablo!?? Gosh. Love how you feel his intensity and even his insults as affirmation. It is a blessing that you share through poetry the deepening you have experienced over the last three years. I sense you have let go of a lot that no longer matters, and have surrounded yourself with love.

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