Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Changes

Autumn in Lodhi Garden, New Delhi
I am crooning a Tagore song as I write this prompt ‘Changes’ together with Susan: 

“Fallen leaves, I’m one of you dear.
With much laughter and many a tear
Phagun* chanted the farewell song into my core.”

(*Phagun / Phalgun is one of the last months
of the Bengali calendar.)

This year now rolls into its last month. There is an aroma of change everywhere; in every sphere of life. So it is in our dearest home Poets United. Mary and Sherry left in October, and both Susan and I are taking leave of Midweek Motif this December:

“The poetry of earth is ceasing never:   
On a lone winter evening, when the frost    
    Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills   
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,   
  And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,   
    The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.”

Our last prompt will be 18 December 2019, though we will continue to write and blog our poetry.   We will write more about this change in Rosemary's feature this Friday.  So stay tuned, and stay in tune, too, for your new Wednesday prompt hosts in January 2020.
Much love, Sumana and Susan        

Midweek Motif  ~ Changes
We try to learn to appreciate change, as it cannot be avoided.  We would have to set life in bronze or stone or amber to preserve it.  Would it then be alive?  Can we then celebrate change, or at least find the words to recognize its power?   Adrienne Rich wrote in "Images for Godard":
 the mind of the poet is changing
the moment of change is the only poem.
 What do you think?

Here are more poems to inspire you as you find the poetry in change:  

Want the change
by Rainer Maria Rilke
English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – – determined to save
the only life you could save.

Roselva says the only thing that doesn’t change
is train tracks. She’s sure of it.
The train changes, or the weeds that grow up spidery
by the side, but not the tracks.
I’ve watched one for three years, she says,
and it doesn’t curve, doesn’t break, doesn’t grow.

Peter isn’t sure. He saw an abandoned track
near Sabinas, Mexico, and says a track without a train
is a changed track. The metal wasn’t shiny anymore.
The wood was split and some of the ties were gone.

Every Tuesday on Morales Street
butchers crack the necks of a hundred hens.
The widow in the tilted house
spices her soup with cinnamon.
Ask her what doesn’t change.

Stars explode.
The rose curls up as if there is fire in the petals.
The cat who knew me is buried under the bush.

The train whistle still wails its ancient sound
but when it goes away, shrinking back
from the walls of the brain,
it takes something different with it every time.

Image result for change quotes

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~  A / The Moment.)


  1. So many changes! All the best to you, Sumana and Susan, as you explore new pathways.

  2. Welcome to Midweek Motif, everyone!❤️ Heading over to read you!🍹

  3. I'm heading out to read and then getting on the train and traveling home for a beautiful 5 hour train ride. I'll see everyone later . . . . Happy Wednesday, Poets United!

  4. Sumana and Susan,

    Another superb and deep thinking prompt, Changes.
    Enjoy your five hours of train reflection Susan!
    Thank you both for hosting this prompt.
    Have a lovely week, Eileen

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I take the same trip over and over as it's the road to my family's home--but on the train it is wonderful and restful--including the change in NYC where I always have an eye open to see Magaly (and it hasn't happened yet).

    2. Susan,
      I guesss train travel might be a little easier than driving at this time of the year. It also allows for observation and finding new poetry topics, while not having to concentrate on road observation! Enjoy your visit:)

  5. Hello everyone! Have a wonderful & poetic Wednesday :)

    1. Yay, Sumana. Have a marvelous week, partner.

  6. Best Wishes to Susan and Sumana; we will miss your awesome prompts

    Happy Wednesday to all linked in today

    much love...

  7. This is a rather melancholy prompt but a good one. Thanks for sharing the poems and also the picture of the lavender-colored flower.

    1. Yes, thank you. I am particularly fond of that flower.

  8. Ah, change is inevitable! It is a fact of life. Sumana and Susan, you both have been such inspirations here in Midweek Motif! Such diverse and intricate prompts you have provided over the years. I want to express my deep appreciation for all that you have done! And I will continue to follow your poetic journeys.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Today I am feeling both the dark and the light of change. I enjoyed building the collage of these prompts, and very much enjoyed the changes Sumana brought.

  9. "The moment of change is the only poem." Wow, that strikes me. This prompt is so beautiful. I think I must read much more of Tagore, Sumana. Susan and Sumana, I, too, wish to say how deeply I appreciate all you have so graciously given through the years to everyone at Poets United, with your wonderful prompts and, more so, your beautiful beings. It was a joy working with you. I will also continue to follow your poetic journeys. Blessings to you both.

    1. And blessings to you as well, Sherry. Working with you has been pretty wonderful as I got to see/feel you moving to a home where you fit right in to the poetic and activist community, wild woman!

  10. Thank you for your inspiration Sumana and Susan.

    1. Thank you, Susie. I'm so glad you are here!

  11. Everyone is more than welcome! I just arrived at home sweet home. After I make a cup of tea, I'm feasting on your poems.

  12. It's first thing in the morning for me, and as usual I have woken up to all this activity here already! A very beautiful post, Sumana and Susan. It has been a joy working with you, and I'm very glad we're still going to be seeing you both at Poets United.

    1. PS I don't know at this point if I'll manage to write to this prompt; busy preparing for an extended trip away.

    2. Ah well, change affects everyone ... so I did mange to write about it after all.

  13. I am going to share a poem I wrote about the most brutal moment of change ever in my life — one I was wholly unprepared to deal with.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Rob. Your poem moved me greatly.

  14. I'm a little late today but now have a chance to review everyone's words. Thank you, Susan and Sumana. I appreciate the visits that our fellow travelers have given me and your kind words most of all.

  15. Hello friends! Every word of yours motivate me to carry on the poetry journey. I don't know what I would do without Mary, Sherry, Susan and Rosemary. Later on it was so lovely and encouraging to have Magaly and Sanaa in our home Poets United. Such rich experience of life through online poetry! Feeling blessed. Thank you dear friends.

    1. Sumana, it was a joy working with you!! Blessed by your friendship.

    2. I second Mary. Thank you, Sumana, it has been a joy. I never want to miss a single poem of yours, so you are safely on my blogroll. Smiles.

  16. Sorry I'm late to the prompt - and the news that you are both leaving. I'll miss your Midweek Motifs. Thank you for being wonderful hosts.

    1. Thank you, Kim. There will still be prompts midweek, and of course there will be changes. I'm looking forward to them and will likely see you right here!

  17. So sad that Sumana and Susan are leaving. Thank you for all the
    great prompts and visits to my blog over the years. Will miss you.

    1. Hey, they'll still be visiting your blog!

    2. Rosemary is right, I'll be by for the midweek prompts and your insightful and occasionally irreverent poems. Thank you for your kind words, Rall.

  18. Originally written for today's dVerse prompt, but it is appropriate for this one as well!

  19. And I'm so sorry to hear you two are leaving.

  20. I am sorry to hear this~ So, many changes... Best wishes to you sweet ladies who have made the world a better place!!


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