Horizon

On one of the poem-a-day prompts lists one of my students dug up at the beginning of April, the prompt for the 25th is to write a poem about the word Horizon. The events of my April have meant I have fallen a few days behind on my poeming. (Well, that’s my excuse anyway!)

Horizon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The horizon
lies on
the edge of
the world

and you never
can reach it
though you seek
with your whole heart.

It is always
a day’s journey
away from the place
where you start.


Gratitude List:
1. The way the horizon always leads onward
2. Guests. Guests require a little housecleaning, and a clean house is nice. Plus, guests are nice.
3. The hostas are coming up!
4. I think I saw my friend the oriole this morning. It could have been something else with the sun hitting it just so. But he should be here any day now. I am listening for you, Friend!
5. How poetry holds feelings.
May we walk in Beauty!


“To love, my brothers and sisters, does not mean we have to agree. But maybe agreeing to love is the greatest agreement. And the only one that ultimately matters, because it makes a future possible.” —Michael B. Curry


“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” —Barry H. Gillespie


“Immature people crave and demand moral certainty: This is bad, this is good. Kids and adolescents struggle to find a sure moral foothold in this bewildering world; they long to feel they’re on the winning side, or at least a member of the team. To them, heroic fantasy may offer a vision of moral clarity. Unfortunately, the pretended Battle Between (unquestioned) Good and (unexamined) Evil obscures instead of clarifying, serving as a mere excuse for violence — as brainless, useless, and base as aggressive war in the real world.” —Ursula K Le Guin


“There is room for you at our table, if you choose to join us.” —Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing


“For beautiful to happen, the beautiful has got to be seen.” —from the musical “Ordinary Days”


“You will be found.” —from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”
****”
“How do you become the person you’ve forgotten you ever were?” —from the musical “Anastasia”


“The universe is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of tiny stories.” ―Joseph Gordon-Levitt


To all the children
by Thomas Berry

To the children who swim beneath
The waves of the sea, to those who live in
The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers
In the meadows and the trees of the forest,
To all those children who roam over the land
And the winged ones who fly with the winds,
To the human children too, that all the children
May go together into the future in the full
Diversity of their regional communities.


Carl Jung: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi (Barks)


“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” ―Isabel Allende


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ―Bréne Brown, Wholehearted

I Am Only Here to Love

Kite-flying as a metaphor for parenting.

Today, I gave my self the task of writing an Eavesdrop poem. Like many found poems, it can become more about the word play and the intellectual game than about the artfulness. Occasionally, I find I’m creating one that really rings. I’m not sure today’s quite meets the artful edge, but I have grading to finish, and I think I’ll call it done here. I’ll post my prompt page and the “harvest page” where I wrote the random eaves drops, and then the poem.

Gratitude List:
1. Leading singing with the Children. As I was leading the first song this morning, I noticed that three or four of the young children were actually waving their arms around along with me, so when I led “I See a New World Coming,” I asked the young song leaders to come up on stage and lead with me, and about ten kids joined me, and it might have been the most fun I have ever had leading singing.
2. Kite-flying with the whole family. Henry asked my dad to pull out the kites after lunch, and it was a blast (though I ended up going inside because I was cold).
3. Lunch and the afternoon with a lot of the family. It’s such a relief to spend time together again.
4. There are lights at ends of tunnels. Though I don’t see mine yet in the work of the rest of the day, I know it too will come.
5. Communities of people committed to the work of loving, of healing, of growing and evolving human compassion and empathy, of listening, of learning together. My friends, my family, my colleagues, my church, my online circles. You, Beloveds, you!
May we walk, always, in Beauty!


“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to Awakening.” —Yogananda


“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” —Hermes Trismegistus


“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” —Jane Goodall


“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” —Henri Nouwen


“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” —Margaret Atwood


“Privilege is when you think something’s not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” —attributed to many authors


Dea Ex Machina
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

What we speak
we create.
Writing,
we make meaning
into existence.

These words, cogs
and gears, shift
meaning to matter:

“Let there be. . .”
And there is.

And it is good.


Make space in this house
for all of the people you are.
Make room for the schemer,
the doubter, the cynic,
but open some space
for the credulous child
and the mystic, the dreamer,
the wild one, the quiet one.

Open a space within
for the glass-half-full to dance
with the glass-half-empty,
for the monk to sing songs
of revolution with the fury.

There in those rooms,
the One may enter
and speak your many names,
saying, Peace be yours.
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Blathering

Here are today’s pages from my Poem-a-Day for April:

Gratitude List:
1. Faces. Full faces with smiles. I love seeing smiles, smiling back. I’ve missed this. And now I can read lips again, too. I didn’t realize how much I relied on reading lips and expressions to help with understanding before we lost that part of our faces.
2. Feral Flaming Forsythia Hedges–not the tidily trimmed ones, but the ones that look like they’re on fire.
3. Horses. I love horses in fields.
4. The BeeGees. How Deep Is Your Love?
5. Young people. Spending my days with young people. Tonight was the Youth Group Auction at church, and a whole church-full of people investing in our young people while having fun.
May we walk in Beauty!


“What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.” —Alain de Botton


“We are capable of suffering with our world, and that is the true meaning of compassion. It enables us to recognize our profound interconnectedness with all beings. Don’t ever apologize for crying for the trees burning in the Amazon or over the waters polluted from mines in the Rockies. Don’t apologize for the sorrow, grief, and rage you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.” —Joanna Macy


“We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.” —Jane Goodall


“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you love.
It will not lead you astray.” —Rumi


“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” —Harriet Tubman


“The little grassroots people can change this world.” —Wangari Maathai


“Some form of the prayer of quiet is necessary to touch me at the unconscious level, the level where deep and lasting transformation occurs. From my place of prayer, I am able to understand more clearly what is mine to do and have the courage to do it. Unitive consciousness—the awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice.” —Richard Rohr


“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” —Anonymous

NPM Day 2: Acrostic

I made this bulletin Board this week. As people write poems on leaves, I will staple them on, and we’ll watch the tree leaf out. I might have to make some apples to add.

(NPM=National Poetry Month)
Write an Acrostic Poem
Choose a word—your name, your favorite word, your password (just kidding!), the name of your town, April—and begin each line of your poem with the letters of the word.

For example:
Please understand:
Once upon a time,
Everything hurt
My feelings.

Write one word per line, or make long and rambling prosy lines. Make it rhyme or eschew rhyme.
Acrostics can be addictive. You probably can’t stop with just one.

This one’s more prosey, perhaps, than poetic, but it’s part of my ongoing chronicle:

Obviously, you can
Live without this one,
Fairly easily. When they
Ask, “Which sense
Could you not bear
To lose?” no one speaks
Of smell. But every day, I
Rest my face in roses, hoping.
Yes, today, the tiniest whiff.


Gratitude List:
1. Succulents. It’s not true that you can’t kill them–I have–but they make such pleasant companions
2. The red leaf-buds on the trees against that blue true dream of sky (eec)
3. My sense of smell is beginning–slowly–to return
4. For all its flaws, The Lord of the Rings. We watched The Fellowship again last night, and it is such a marvelous story to drop into.
5. A long weekend. I’ll say it again: A long weekend!

May we walk in Beauty!


“What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.” —Alain de Botton


“We are capable of suffering with our world, and that is the true meaning of compassion. It enables us to recognize our profound interconnectedness with all beings. Don’t ever apologize for crying for the trees burning in the Amazon or over the waters polluted from mines in the Rockies. Don’t apologize for the sorrow, grief, and rage you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.” —Joanna Macy


“We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.” —Jane Goodall


“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you love.
It will not lead you astray.” —Rumi


“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” —Harriet Tubman


“The little grassroots people can change this world.” —Wangari Maathai


“Some form of the prayer of quiet is necessary to touch me at the unconscious level, the level where deep and lasting transformation occurs. From my place of prayer, I am able to understand more clearly what is mine to do and have the courage to do it. Unitive consciousness—the awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice.” —Richard Rohr


“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” —Anonymous

Poem a Day: 30

The prompts today were Praise and Fruit. I included some new words I have learned in the last couple of days, defined at the end of the poem. Today is the last day of Poem-a-Day. Now for editing, now for reading.

I Have Two Daughters: A Beltane Song
(with gratitude to Eavan Boland for the first line)
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I have two daughters:
Their names are Memory and Loss.
Their names are Fearless and Anna.
Their names are Wisdom and Fate.

I have two daughters:
Their eyes are deep brown wells.
Their faces are carved from jade and quartz.
Their hands flutter like swallows when they dance.

Their names are Ylem and Horaios,
seed under soil and the moment of bloom,
potential and fruition, hope and beauty.

(My first living child arrived by the knife
a year to the day after I began to bleed
a lost land into nothingness.
We named him for his grandfathers.
The lost one lives in a garden with a name
too complicated for written word.)

Their names are Nile and Susquehanna.
Their eyes are the roots of continents.
Their faces are made of water and song.
Their hands sound like the wings of moths
whispering against the screen door.

The fruit carries within it the singing potential
of seed, of blossom, repetition of genes,
like we all carry within us the child we have been,
the daughters we are to ourselves, past and future.
The seed is the death of the flower,
and also the source of the tree.
That which was will be again.

I have two daughters:
Their names are Elizabeth and Praise.
Their eyes are mystery and vortex.
Their faces are the moon and Pleiades
Their hands are wings of mist and cobweb.

(ylem: the primordial matter, the essence of beginning
horaios: the beauty of rightness, the satisfying click
when everything falls into place)

Poem a Day: 29

The Prompts today just didn’t seem to be mashable. Here’s the one for the Poetic Asides blog. We were supposed to write a poem titled “Total _____” I guess I took that blank too literally.

Total Blank
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I’ve drawn a total
loss of words a total
what’s the thing a total
you know I can’t a total
quite remember total
like in Scrabble
this brain fog
words just
dissipate
and I’m
left with
a total
blank

The other prompt, from my friend Linda, was Swallow:

Return
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

We’re no Capistrano,
but every year, just the same,
some day in early May,
we wait to see them
winging low over the fields,
swooping so close
they could be trying
peer into our faces.
Every spring,
we watch,
hands shielding
our eyes,
for their return.

Poem a Day: 28

Today’s Prompts were Angel and Looking Forward/Looking Backward. All I could think of was Look Homeward Angel, which I haven’t read. I looked up some quotes and made a glosa.

Pillar of Salt
a glosa
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

“. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. . . . Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? . . .
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”
―Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

How can we help it, but to turn our faces homeward,
like the nameless wife who shifted her shoulders sidewards,
silent salty tears on her cheeks, for one last longing
homeward glance, one final chance to see—but salt
was all she saw, punished for wanting a parting glimpse
of all she was losing, all the remembered places
of childhood and family home. None of it her choosing, she
was swept along in the vortex of fearsome husband
and fiercer god, to completely lose her past, all traces:
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. And of all the forgotten faces,

every stone upon the future path, each leaf, each door—
reminders of the life she’d lost. Perhaps better to be salt
than live a life of regret, pooling always in her eyes.
But we, who live onward into the stream of time,
how shall we turn our gazes forward while we carry
lost childhood on our backs like sacks, growing heavier with age?
If the angel is intended to look homeward, which direction shall we tell her?
Behind this salted pillar of me are childhood homes, and the home
of this moment, and ahead of me, home rests upon an unturned page.
Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,

of loss, of memory, of the spiraling nature of time, where all
turns inward. Look inward, Angel. Look into the pools
where no-time swirls and tense no longer makes sense,
where past inhabits future, and now is all we can know,
Our gazes seeking lost whens turn our spines to spirals,
and salt explodes into flocks of singing birds, then
mirrors back onto itself, and the child running in the meadow
is suddenly an ancient tree silently observing time’s curl—
grief the cord that binds all times together, the weight of memory again,
the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?

There, upon the windowsill, a small white stone,
a branch of dogwood, pink with bloom, your eye
caught by the yellow green of a single leaf. Beyond,
a green stone, an oak leaf burnished brown, then
a wide flat stone upon the crest of a hillside enwrapped
by vines, and triplet red leaves of ivy, one plane
of many layers, grief and rage and joy entwined.
One gaze encompassing all, the map home: a stone
of salt, leaves of cinder, ash scattered in the doorway, then:
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

Poem a Day: 27

Today’s prompts were massive and road. I was watching the clouds on the way to do one final clean-up task in my classroom at school, and this poem spilled out.

Thunder and Her Children
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

When Thunder’s Children
walked the cloud-road
over the rim of the world,
massive mountains
arched their backs
to touch the children’s feet.

When the children
raced each other
back up the ribbons of sky
into the arms of their mother,
the earth sighed into hollows
and water pooled in the valleys.

WhenThunder sang
her sleepy brood to sleep,
trees sprang from the hillsides,
raising their joyful branches,
shaking their leafy crowns
and humming with her song.

And while the children slept,
Thunder curled herself around them,
and dreamed meadows into being,
and birds flying, and small animals
burrowing into the earth,
and all that is Became
while Thunder rested.

Poem a Day: 25

Today’s prompts were to write a poem that includes cloud words, and to do a re-mix of a poem from the month. I realized I have sort of been writing one long poem all month. Oy. I did a bit of a mash-up, and it holds together rather startlingly.

Re-Mix, With Clouds
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

It seems that
there is nothing now
that is not this:
the spiral unravels
the lions of jazz are dying
the World Snake sheds her skin
the tides turn
In the burning rooms of time,
we wait for the new world to appear.

Our feet take the rocky trail away from the village
to follow where blossoms may lead.
All we have seen before is somehow
new now, more verdant.
Fronds unfurl where dragonflies
hover above, large as dragons.
But I know of two who nearly lost the trail,
wandering far into the shadows.

Coyote is a fixture in the myth
of this lonely landscape. A howl
echoes within the embrace
of wildness and winsome, where we bump
against our own internal resolve

Plague Doctor! Plague Doctor!
Whither shall we wander?
Only to the garden gate—no further.
The egg and the seed are the medicine.
Grief is the egg of the moment,
just before you hear your name.

We’re trapped in the strata,
the cumulus, the haloed nimbus,
hallowed cumulostratus,
beneath the blue robes of the Beloved,
draped over us like a veil,
beneath Fortune’s shifting skirts:
like winter, she will come again,
trailing a net behind her
to rescue the words she has lost.
Could she have stayed within the boundaries?
She has folded her heart
into an origami bird, ready for flying.

We must relinquish our control.
This now is a narrowing funnel,
thinning the potent possibilities
to this stretched limbo of waiting.
I listen for your trilling whistle, clear and bright.

In the ending was Spider:
What has once been will be again.
Close the door on your way out.

Poem a Day: 24

I had to rush around today to do some sudden work that came up, so I rushed the poem. The prompts are Anchor and Nature.

Anchored
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

feet bare on bare earth
breath in sync with breeze
heartbeat rhymes with
the beating heart of sycamore

on a breath send roots
down and down through
soil through loam around
stone around bone

anchor to the core
of the mother