Monday, November 21, 2016

POEMS OF THE WEEK ~ BLESSINGS AND GIFTS, WITH SANAA, SUSAN AND ROSEMARY

This week we have, for your enjoyment, three very beautiful poems, about the gifts and blessings, heartlifts and heartaches, of being alive on this glorious planet, written by Sanaa Rizvi at A Dash of Sunny, Susan Chast at Susan's Poetry,  and Rosemary Nissen-Wade, our very own Passionate Crone,   We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.







BENISON


Here I write
Throw poetical wings to the breeze
Each day that passeth, offer thanks
For buoyant soul, and heart at ease
What strange narrowness of mind
is that ― to believe the things not
known better than which we know.
Let stronger muscle be that of will,
picture barren boughs without the
leaves ― Possess a heart that never
hardens. Go break blue crystals of
the sea. To sensible men, each day
is of reckoning ― blow wishes unto
hollow of trees.

Here I write
Throw poetical wings to the breeze
Each day that passeth, offer thanks
For buoyant soul, and heart at ease
Sanaa Rizvi, August 25, 2016


Sherry: This is a very beautiful poem, imbued with a note of deep thankfulness. I love the throwing of poetical wings to the breeze! How did this poem come about? 

Sanaa: Thank you so much, Sherry for featuring my poem. I am highly honored to be a part of this discussion. I remember being at a complete loss when first attempting to write the poem "Benison", as I felt like there were so many things to be thankful about.

I closed my eyes and let my mind wander just a little and pictured glorious Mother Nature and the numerous amount of blessings which we are offered. I feel that it is my greatest source of inspiration ever since I moved to Kuala Lumpur. It's literally a tropical heaven with its greenery, climate and population of millions who embrace you with their kindness and culture. Who wouldn't feel inspired in this place!


Kuala Lumpur - source

And so the poem wrote itself as I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. I imagined myself floating peacefully while leaving behind my worries and woes. I feel blessed to be residing here in K.L. as it has brought about a huge change in my writing skills. 

Sherry: You are indeed living in a tropical Paradise. Sigh. You must be in a constant state of awe. Thank you for this lovely offering.

When Susan wrote the following poem, I knew I had to feature it. Beauty, love, romance, loss, nostalgia - it has it all. Sigh. We might need a lavender hanky by the end of it. Just saying.






Couldn’t keep him alive and with me. 
They tried, I think.

Everyday, buckets of lavender roses—
sirens of scent, soft-hued petals of gentleness—
lined the path home.  And I bought at least one a day,
panicking at their rare and ominous absence.

Lavender roses were not native to Berkeley, California—
neither was I—but he was native enough to
accept a daily bloom without wonder at
reversed gender roles or the need for flowers.

No wonder that days when I was penniless,
vendors would hand me the precious rose as I passed.
No wonder that since he died, lavender roses
disappeared—or was it I who left their magic behind?

I moved to the busy East Coast of America,
toured Canada and Mexico as much as New England
where I was most at home.  Restless, I roamed sea shores
and mountains until too tired to move anymore.

In love’s bouquet gathered throughout my life, he was
the lavender roses, the color of calm wealth
amid the baby’s breath, chrysanthemum and stock,
the carnations, daisies, tulips and snapdragons.

The dry petals—scentless and brown—that lie in glass
and cardboard peace, the dead contents of my china
cabinet—trigger lively memories in which
I still carry lavender roses to my love. 

Susan Chast,  September 5, 2016





Sherry: Susan, this poem is so beautiful, and sad, and loving. "In love's bouquet....he was the lavender roses.............I still carry lavender roses to my love." Oh, my. This is just so moving.

Susan: My Midweek Motif prompt for the week was the noun "bloom". I was writing a couple of days early, trying to think of a flower which was memory and real and only in my heart and alive though dead - in other words, a flower that answered all the suggestions from the prompt. That's when Doug and Berkeley and lavender roses and the remaining box of dried buds came to me. The ironic thing is that I couldn't find the glass box! I think I dropped it in my last move and had to toss out all the brokenness. The poem replaces the actual memorial, and may be a better memento after all.

Sherry: Thank you, Susan, for writing and sharing this beauty. Of course, we would love the whole love story, but we'll leave that to you , for your memoirs. So sad, the breaking of the glass box. I hope, on occasion, that you still treat yourself to a lavender rose, in memory.

For a feeling of utter peace and contentment, this next poem by Rosemary will tuck us all snugly into bed. Cuddle up. (And doesn't Rosemary look extra-beautiful, dressed in a rainbow?)









BEFORE DARK

It's as if the clouds that stipple the sky have been flicked across it by a giant paintbrush, spattering them in rows that gradually merge into a splash of light. The sun still hovers just above the horizon, burning white, surrounded by a haze of gold. That will become more definite, and flare up just before dark. The houses are dark already, black outlines of roofs. The tall palms rising over the roofs are black too. This scene could almost be night in the desert. Instead it is my familiar street, made strange by the last burst of light before the dark is complete. Does it matter that only I stand here seeing this? (Seeing it alone, unshared.) No, not any more. I tell it to myself. I show it to myself. Yes, I take a photo; I write about it. But I am the one standing and looking, here and now, in the solid street – before the writing, before the photo. I am the one in my brain, aware of beauty. I am the one behind these gazing eyes. It is good that someone sees. This consciousness is pleased that I, here, now, see.

before dark
a last bird chorus
the sun drops

Rosemary Nissen-Wade August 24, 2016


Sherry: I love that stippled sky, and the last bird chorus before the dark. Sigh. Utterly peaceful, and so lovely.

Rosemary: I like accompanying the poems that I post to my blog with photos when possible, preferably my own. Usually I write the poem and then look for an illustration. But in this case I found the photo and then wrote the poem.

I love taking photos of the skies where I live; they are always wonderful. So, for a prompt to write a haibun about the sky, on a rare day when it was overcast here, I looked amongst my photos for inspiration. 

The one I decided on was taken in June of this year. I picked it because I thought it was a dramatic image. It is of my street, just a little way from my house. The climate here is sub-tropical, and palms – although not indigenous – grow well. I love that time of day, when things look different in wonderful ways.

I enjoy writing haibun, even very short ones such as this. The haibun prompts at dVerse always specify one tight paragraph only, and only one closing haiku (perhaps to save participants from having to get through huge amounts of reading in a short space of time!) but there are many variations today in the way haibun are written. Brevity is not necessarily a requirement. However it is an interesting challenge – as with all short forms of poetry – to fit much into few words. I seldom pass up the opportunity to try.

Many authorities say the prose section should be a prose poem; but this too varies in practice, and between practitioners. Myself, I do like to try for prose poetry. I also like the haiku section to be related to the prose but not simply restate it. I think the haibun form can take us very deep, even whilst focusing on the surface of things.

Sherry: It is a challenge to whittle those words down and you have succeeded admirably, my friend. Thank you for this beautiful note of reflective serenity.

Thank you, Sanaa, Susan and Rosemary, for sharing such deeply beautiful poems with us today. Sigh. I feel I have just dined at a fine banquet!

Do come back next week, my friends, and see who we talk to next? Who knows? It might be you!

15 comments:

  1. As I have been away healing my shoulder, I have missed much so thank you Sherry for featuring these wonderful poems.....and thank you to these incredible poets for their amazing words!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, I hope you mend well. The body is amazing in its ability to heal.......rest up! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. I had forgotten this feature was coming, so entered it just now unsuspecting. You make things much more beautiful, Sherry by framing them the way you do. I actually cried in my poem, but then came back to re-read the the other two I am honored to be with. Sanaa's "Benison" is perfection! To write from self and will, it turns out, is to write from the spirit. The poem's images are pure spirit, and so I leave it in wonder at "the buoyant soul and heart at ease." It is a sonnet with a necessary additional refrain. And Rosemary's haibun is also of spirit! How delightful to see and be seen by the consciousness that creates/paints the skies! Her details draw me in, I have shared this experience in my own setting. Thank you, thank you. I am grateful for all three of you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are most welcome, my friend, and thank you for your very beautiful poem.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for these, all of you! I am so ready to contemplate & read about blessings and gifts! Wonderful poems - all. And thank you, Sherry, for bringing it all together!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A most beautiful feature today Sherry. Thank you dear poets for reminding us of the gifts we are blessed with.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm honoured and excited to be included here, with the extraordinary poems from Sanaa and Susan, both with such depth and beauty. Thank you, Sherry, for seeing the common thread in these three very different poems, and drawing us all out on how they came to be written.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Sherry you're such a sweetheart! You always make the best features!❤️ I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for featuring me along with Susan and Rosemary, both of whose poems leave me enthralled!❤️ I am truly honoured to be a part of this!

    Susan, I love how tender and poignant your poem is as you lead us straight into the heart of it. It's never easy to lose a loved one and moreover I find that you offer us hope and strength at the end when you write; "The dry petals—scentless and brown—that lie in glass and cardboard peace, the dead contents of my china cabinet—trigger lively memories in which I still carry lavender roses to my love." A poem which will forever remain in the depths of my heart ❤️


    Rosemary, your awesome flair for imagery never ceases to amaze me! I remember while I read your gorgeous haibun, being transported to the scene itself with "The tall palms rising over the roofs are black too. This scene could almost be night in the desert. Instead it is my familiar street, made strange by the last burst of light before the dark is complete" sigh.. I just want to add that I think the thought behind the closing lines was beautiful.. it's truly beauty in the eye of the beholder, our soul invites us to sense the good that is present in the universe. An unforgettable poem❤️


    Thank you once again Sherry for everything that you do ❤️ wishing us all peace, love and happiness in the years to come. May we always keep on writing with our hearts and soul. Amen❤️


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, it is a pleasure, bringing beautiful poems and poets to this space. We have a lot of talent in this community!

      Delete
  8. What enjoyable reading...Thank you Sherry and the three lovely poets featured here. Susan I remember reading your poem earlier, and how much I loved it. Sanaa, your unique style always comes through and Rosemary, I so love haibun too, the images here are terrific.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eac of these poems touched my heart in a different way. They are all filled with beauty and inspirational sentiment. I am so glad I stopped by. Am awed by the level of talent you so nicely highlight Sherry. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a talented bunch, isn't it, Myrna? Thanks for your presence in our community.

      Delete
  10. Wonderful feature, Sherry of the most talented poets here!Thanks a bunch!
    Love all the poems — narratives and forms...the sentiments, the gentleness, the spirituality!!

    I am so happy for you, Sanaa, Susan and Rosemary. You girls totally rock! It's such a joy to be in your poeming presence! :))))

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great feature that includes three poets that it always a pleasure to visit from different countries in the world. Each poem is filled with varying emotions and touches the reader in a reflective about life. Thank you Sanaa, Susan, Rosemary and Sherry for presenting this delightful triptych.

    ReplyDelete
  12. thank you for the post! I enjoyed each one. Rosemary's poem reminded me that, "we are looking, and who is looking back." We are the eyes of the Universe. Thank you to each of you! A very special read!

    ReplyDelete