Monday, January 7, 2019

POEMS OF GRATITUDE AND PEACE : by SARAH, MARGARET AND SUSAN

For this first Monday of a brand new year, we are bringing you poems of gratitude and peace, written by Sarah Russell
Margaret Bednar and Susan Chast. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, however you chose to spend it, and we look forward to sharing another year of poetry with you. Yay! Let's dive right in!







Late afternoon in the valley, the trees
wear halos. Then twilight steals the sun,
kitchen lights blink on like stars,
and coming home is a sigh
and the smile of someone waiting.
Your day is told in half sentences
and nods and questions answered —
nothing new, but new enough to tell again.
After supper, after gin rummy and pages
turning and the rhythmic click of a sweater
growing row by row, bed greets you
like a childhood friend, and sleep
keeps company with the blue black sky
and the owl’s whispered flight.


Sherry: This is so lovely, Sarah. It exudes contentment.

Sarah: Thanks so much for wanting to include my poem.  Here’s the backstory:

After an unsuccessful marriage and some frogs who weren’t princes, I met my soulmate. We’ve been together 30 years. My heart still skips a beat when I hear his car in the driveway. “Home” is a testament to a quiet life with someone you love.

Sherry: Well, you are a lucky girl. And, having something to compare it to, you know just how fortunate you are. Smiles. I relish love stories like yours.

Margaret penned a poem around the same time with a similar realization. Let's take a peek:



      


It’s the lull between the flame and the last ember,
the quiet of the buttercream sky before the blazing sun 
sinks low.
the spark in your eye before the laughter.

As a child we’d slip on our coats not bothering to button,
slip into Dad’s boots, trudge quickly toward woodshed
through shovel-wide snow path, 
collect tinder we’d gathered since spring,
rosy cheeked, return, feed wood-burning stove,
jockey for position beside cats and dogs.
Mesmerized we’d watch the flames take off, 
roar and snap as Dad loaded the logs, 
added paper for our oohs and awes.
We felt safe, happiness being together,
warm, popcorn and cider a treat, 
tossing a kernel or two to dislodge the dogs.

When I parade myself along the shore, 
watch the luminous sky combust and spread its glow 
along the horizon devouring sky’s blues and whites,
I feel a warmth akin to my fireside idles; my heart swells, 
feels twice as large, seemingly the cause for the tears 
that balance precariously but rarely spill.  
Happy tears, not sad, they fill me up
and, like the fireside embers,
kindle a well-being 

that rivals only the flicker of laughter
I spy in your eyes as you respond
to something I say, something I do,
an all consuming love that leaves me rosy cheeked,
grateful for the fire that still burns.


Sherry: How wonderful, that fire that still burns! I know that feeling of happy tears. Sheer gratitude. Beautiful, Margaret.

Margaret: I’ve lately been reflecting upon life, my blessings, thinking I need to appreciate the small, lovely things that occur everyday that we take for granted, a sunset, memories of childhood, and of course, my husband of almost 29 years.  The “fire” poetic prompt from dVerse Poetics somehow melted these three together… 

Sherry: And so perfectly! Thank you for sharing it.

Susan wrote a spectacular poem before Christmas, on the topic of peace. I thought it a fitting topic to start the new year off with. Heaven knows the earth is crying out for it on every side.






Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.

~ Maya Angelou, from “On the Pulse of the Morning”
(The Rock Cries Out To Us Today)

Sing with me.  Someone said to sing, and I cannot sing alone.
Sing, said the voice, “It’s now time to sing Peace on Earth.”

I’ve seen peace hide in my cook pot and in your bed. 
Good Morning.  
Sing Peace out into the open where it belongs.

No time to discover where the voice originates.  It is—
or it isn’t. Let’s sing, not knowing.  Let’s sing Peace.

Drones will drop from the sky in the instant.  Border guards will put down their guns and lend a hand to those who need help.

Apples, cheese and sunflower seeds will erase hunger.  Water
will stream clear and potable in roadside ditches.

Sing, sing.  See how safely welcome opens doors.  See how ceilings hold when bombs stop flying.  See children stop crying.

Sing ourselves into hope.  Believe it is now time to sing Peace
on Earth.   Sing in tune or out of key.  Both will do.

We’ve waited for our cue, and here it is. Now.  Peace on Earth.  Now.
Lift on the song, spondee or anapest. Peace On.

Earth Peace. On Earth. Peace On. Earth Peace. On Earth.
Peace on Earth.  
Is it rising like sun at dawn?  Like moon and tides?

Is it rising invisible like ghosts or winds, that movement
reveals?  Let’s sing into movements, sing unto life.

It’s a good morning, indeed, when we wake ready and willing   
to bring peace out of hiding and make it flourish.

***

The Voice was Sumana's Prompt--I quote it exactly without crediting her.  (Forgive me, Sumana.)  The title is the last line of  Maya Angelou's poem, also part of Sumana's prompt.  Between those two leading me on and the part of Angelou's poem above my words, what else could I write?  I was simply following directions!  What does the poem mean to you?

Sherry: As I read it, I began to feel hopeful and inspired. In just this way, peace IS possible, doable……….when we can't solve the big things, we can practice and extend peace and kindness in the small daily routines of our lives. You have given us a blueprint in this poem. I love it.

Thank you, Sarah, Margaret and Susan, for starting us off on another year of sharing poetry with such fine poems. You inspire us!

Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



23 comments:

  1. Ladies, thank you so much for giving me such a lovely evening read! I thoroughly enjoyed your poems, which gave me a wonderfully warm and fuzzy feeling.

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  2. It's a nice way to begin another year of poetry....with gratitude for all there is, and positive steps towards peace. Thank you, Sarah, Margaret and Susan for your warm and wonderful words.

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  3. Wonderful poems indeed, and in my case a fine start to a new morning. I am one who loves to appreciate and celebrate the so-called small things which are actually the most important of all. The first two poems create in me that very feeling of peace they describe. Susan's poem is like a stirring anthem, to carry that peace triumphantly onwards, spreading it further and further.

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  4. These poems are like medicine, poetic tonics for our sense of hope and peace. I like the serenity within a simple day of being, of having companionship. And with Susan's poem I felt something ignite within me. I want to sing Peace. May we all.
    Thank you ladies for this welcome treat.

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  5. Oh, i love the idea of poems as medicine! Let's apply them liberally, to all that is ailing.

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  6. These are splendiferous pieces to start the year off with … all them resonated so impactfully with me and are wonderfully rendered. Thank you so much for this lovely share, Sarah, Margaret, Susan and, of course, Sherry.

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  7. Wonderfully inspiring poems to begin the new year with!! Thanks to each of you.

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  8. Grateful, content and hopeful... Thank you lovely poets for these fine meditations! What a fine collection, Sherry, to begin the year! Thank you!

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  9. Dear All at Poets United Wish you a Happy New Year. Wonderful beginning with amazing Peace Poems, beautiful expressions images emotions and hopes 'Peace is possible' Thank you. May the year bring glad tidings and good cheer' amen

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  10. Wow, Sherry! I am honored to have my poem in such beautiful company! Sarah's reminds me that I have HOME and know its peace. To notice the details of it will extend its reach. The first three lines of Margaret's gives me the time between times, each expanded in the next stanzas. Gratitude for such happiness, for putting it into words and sharing it. Now I am happy. The whole tone of this post, Sherry, lifts me into song. (But not literally, as my throat is still so very sore.)

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    Replies
    1. Maybe these poems are the medicine I've needed.

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  11. Your poem kindled hope for activism for peace for me, Susan, a welcome feeling when the political scene feels so overwhelming. Thank you for the inspiration. These three poems actually demonstrate that poems DO have impact. They reach hearts.

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  12. O dear, dear...why am I so late?.... This is a beautiful feature Sherry, Sara, Margaret and Susan. Love the positive vibe in all the poems; sending love, peace, hope and light so needed these days. Thank you.

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  13. Thanks so much for including me for this uplifting feature, Sherry. I’m honored!

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    1. Thank you for saying yes, Sarah! Loved your poem!

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  14. This was like the sun coming up on the new year--cozy and hopeful and powerful. Thanks for sharing these. :)

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  15. The clicking of the needles, the soft turning of pages, an owl's flight & the singing through everything - it really does help lift spirits, bolster one forward. Thank you for featuring me with these lovely ladies and the fine comments above!

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  16. It is always good to begin the new year with hope in our hearts. Thank you for your poem and for taking part, Margaret.

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  17. Thank you for these beautiful poems to start the new Year

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  18. Sarah, Margaret, and Susan - such beautiful hopeful poems to begin a new year.
    Thanks, Sherry, for sharing these treasures.

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  19. Enjoyed each poem thoroughly! Thanks for sharing... Poems of peace and hope for New year!

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