Monday, June 17, 2019

POEMS OF THE WEEK BY MYRNA, VIVIAN AND GRACE

Today we are featuring poems by Myrna Rosa, Vivian Zems and Grace Guevera that we think you will enjoy. Each one gives us such a lovely portrait of the poet who penned it. Let's top up our coffee and immerse ourselves in the beauty of their reflections.






In my room, 
Messy like the world,
My dogs sleep peacefully.
Their snores are music from their dreams.
I join my mountains in their devotions
To the sky, insects, coyotes, deer, all animals,
all people trampling on trails.

Awed, I stare at this rocky mass 
Jutting into air, so serene
It slows the rhythm of my worries.
But I cannot be still for long.
Blood rushes through soft flesh,
Limbs swerve, shift, shake.

My mountains shine green with tint of envy,
But speak what any good friend would,
"You can move, I cannot.
Become your own prayer."
Then, through the window in my messy room,
My mountains watch 
As I dance.


Myrna's mountains


Sherry: I love the idea of being the prayer. And the mountains watching you as you dance. Sunday mornings have a special feeling to me, too, because of my childhood. Thanks so much for this.

Myrna: Perhaps because of my early years of structured religion, Sunday mornings still seem special to me.  I hear the silence louder, I breathe the air more deeply, as if I am called to acknowledge something sacred.  Most Sunday mornings I sit in my quiet, messy room for a while waiting for thoughts to transform into poems.  Too often this doesn't happen.  Instead, I stare at my mountains.  While they stand still, I become aware there is commotion within them - much like in me and the world.


The morning I wrote this poem, no poetic thoughts arose.  I decided to give up trying.  "Alexa, play Beethoven", I ordered, as I prepared to doodle in a sketch pad.  Suddenly, I remembered an article by a spiritual writer who advised that we need not kneel or be in any particular place or pose in order to emit positive energy or, in effect, pray.  All we do can be prayer, we can be the prayer.  I paraphrase and I don't recall his name, but I believe his advice.  

I then wrote this poem inspired by the mountains I love and the fact that often, as I cook, do dishes or paint, I play loud, rhythmic, salsa music and take time out to dance. I pretend I move the way I did when young, as I shuffle to the music of my heritage (I'm Puerto Rican), expressing my joy, honoring my ancestors, emitting positive energy and, in effect, praying.  

Sherry: I can see you, dancing in your kitchen! Now and then, I do a lick or two across the room to John Lennon. Smiles. Thank you for this lovely glimpse of your Sunday morning, Myrna.

Vivian's poem  "Emergence" speaks beautifully about our passage through life, how we are honed by the difficult passages. Let's read, and be encouraged. 






If I had known
that a nest so beautiful
needed to be built
with broken branches
I would not have
……cried at the tearing
                     ……nor sobbed at the ripping
               ……or despaired at
                    the breaking
                                       of the branches
                                 of me
Sherry: Yes, had we known that pain was growing and stretching us, it might have been easier to bear. I love the nest imagery in this poem so much!

Vivian:  The poem was born out of the realisation that hard times can give birth to new and beautiful beginnings or realisations. Tough times may seek to break you, but perseverance sees you emerging from the tunnel stronger, wiser and full of gratitude - hence the title, ‘Emergence’.


Sherry: I love it, Vivian. Thank you for sharing it. 


Let's take a look at Grace's affirmative poem, "I Am, My Story", a beautiful story indeed.







I AM, MY STORY


I am, my story
i was at war with 
myself & the world

i am here,
not to provoke you
despite
that i am not you
that my skin is dark rose
that my hair is thick as forest
that my tongue is quick as snake

i am here, because you have given
me compassion
       & priceless gifts
that i can speak freely
that i can act and believe in my
       faith and decisions
that i don't need to cover my face
       nor hair if I choose not to
that i don't need to step back
       for someone else to go in
       first
       favored

i am here, because you made me
see that sky is blue
       not charcoal in dust or gunpowder
see that streets are clean
       not mired in holes or littered by dead
       bodies, whose faces i knew
       whose lives i knew
       whose nightmares I heard
see my reflection upon the emerald lake
       underneath this scarred face & body
       ...a fire in my eyes
       ...a sword my hands move
                                                 to grasp

i am here.
thank you for a new 
beginning


Sherry: We are so glad you were granted that new beginning, Grace. So many are denied it. I love that now the sky above you is blue, no longer grey.

Grace: We are lucky to live in a country, Canada, where we respect and afford human rights and freedom to all people. Sadly that is not the case in other countries - where women specially are not allowed to travel or move around without the consent of male guardianship, like in Saudi Arabia, or where women are not allowed to write, speak, dress without the conventional garb, and fight for their beliefs, like in Iran.   

I admire my country for taking in the victims of the ISIS war, specially the children and the women brutally raped, sold and victimized during the war in Syria.  There was also this case of the Saudi teen escaping Saudi Arabia because her family did not afford her the freedom she wanted.  With these events as a background, I wanted to feature my country as a place where you have the privileges of a free individual, who can determine their own future.

Sherry: We are very fortunate to live in this country. We have to be careful that these freedoms are safeguarded, against the rise of those who would curtail them. 

Thank you, Myrna, Vivian and Grace, for your insightful poems. Each one carries a wonderful message.

Poet friends, do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


21 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring my poem Sherry. I am honored to be placed next to Vivian and Grace. I felt Vivian's poem very deeply. It helps me realize that all my pains and losses have served to make me stronger.
    Grace's poem is also beautiful and awakens feelings of gratitude for a country espouses freedom. Sadly, it also made me realize how hard we must fight to protect these freedoms and how much they are being threatened.
    It's so nice to belong to this poetry community. Thank you Sherry for contributing so much to it.

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    Replies
    1. It is always my pleasure, Myrna. I absolutely love your poem - all three poems. Each expresses gratitude for what matters, the things that make us who we are. And we do need to protect those freedoms. They can so easily be lost.

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  2. Each one of these beautiful poets have poetry that speaks to my heart. I love each of these poems and poets featured today!!! Thank you Sherry for always sharing such wonderful lives, and poetry with us!

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  3. I do love these features. We come to know each other's hearts so well through our poems. I'm happy you heard these heart-songs today, Carrie, and that they spoke to you.

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  4. What beautiful poems. Thank you, Sherry and all three of you poets! Myrna, I always savor your poetry because I can generally identify with it and it is the stuff of real life. And you write of your mountains SO beautifully! And Vivian - yes, yes, yes - hard times can give birth to new beginnings! Your poem expresses it so well. And, Grace, yes - beautiful poem. You ARE lucky to live in Canada. Wonderful words!

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    Replies
    1. So much of real life and truth in these poems. I just love them.

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  5. What a pleasure to read these beautiful poems and what a great start to my day Thanks Myrna Vivian Grace and Sherry

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  6. All the poems have so much hope in them - becoming a prayer or building a new nest or finding a new beginning - thanks to these lovely poets for sharing them and Sherry, as always, for bringing them to us.

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  7. You are most welcome, my friends. Thanks for stopping by to read them.

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  8. Beautiful pieces of poetry that showcase so well together. All three of the poems are penned with eloquence, depth, insight and clarity. I found it particularly compelling, that all these poems have come out of the personal experiences of their writers … it buoys my belief that writing poetry confers a state of being very much akin to prayer or meditation or thoughtful contemplation, and can be immensely restorative to the human spirit.

    As always, I find the backstory to the 'birthing' of a poem, fascinating. This was an exceptional, uplifting share. Thanks for making this happen, Sherry. And thank you Myrna, Vivian and Grace for your contribution to what was, a lovely read.

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    Replies
    1. I think you've got something there, Wendy.....the poem as meditation or prayer. Well said.

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  9. How I loved reading these three very different life-affirming poems! Let me pick a line from each, though I cherish the whole of each!
    Myrna: "I join my mountains in their devotions" SWOON.
    Vivian: "a nest so beautiful / needed to be built ? with broken branches" To see the beauty, and then re-examine the pain--what a holy moment!
    And Grace: ". . . my reflection upon the emerald lake / underneath this scarred face & body /
    ...a fire in my eyes
    ...a sword my hands move / to grasp" How freedom lets us be whole--may we never forget! Thank you all!

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  10. Each of these poems is so beautiful and profound in its own way. I read them first thing this morning; then had to rush out and have not had time to come back and comment until now, just before bed. But they have enriched my whole day! Thank you all.

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  11. We are happy they enriched your day, Rosemary.

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  12. Beautiful! I'm chuffed!! Thanks Sherry. It's an honour to be featured beside Grace and Myrna :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for saying yes, Vivian! A nest made beautiful by broken branches is a very wonderful idea!

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  13. There is power and inspiration found in each poem. It is lovely to see their work showcased.

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  14. OMG the perspectives of mountains green with envy, the broken branches as builders, and presence as the reason for new beginnings are certsinly awesome. Sherry thank for the up close meeting of these 3 poets each of whom i read often. Bravo yo all three

    Much❤🕊❤love

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  15. Thank you very much Sherry and the Poets United to feature my poem along with Myrna and Vivian. Their poems speak to me, as women reflecting on our own unique journey.

    I am sorry to be so late in responding as I was at the historic parade at Toronto City, celebrating the 2019 NBA championship of the Toronto Raptors last Monday.

    My thanks again for the feature and always encouraging us poets to speak from our hearts.

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