Gratitudes, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Singing Them Safe

clover
Today’s prompt is to write a story poem.

There once was a girl
who could sing such a web
of fractured light
that the ones who came
to devour her children
fell to the ground
blinded.

There once was a girl
who could sing such a veil
of soft gentle darkness
that the ones who came
to harm her beloveds
lost their way
and forgot their names.

There once was a girl
who could sing such a bridge
of delicate stories
that all those she loved
could cross to safety
and live free of fear.


Gratitude List:
1. “You will be found.” My favorite line from the school’s current show.
2. Deadnettle and dandelions: purple and yellow
3. Making connections, webs, bridges
4. Poem in Your Pocket Day in Wrightsville. Always a delight.
5. Weekend

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

So Many Fragile Things

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ―J.R.R. Tolkien
*
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire” ―Teilhard de Chardin
*
“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.”
―Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
*
“Grace met us right there. It meets you right where it finds you, but it does not leave you where it found you. It moves you toward breath; moves you towards things being a little bit better: wow. Grace WD-40. Grace is water wings. Grace makes you shake your head with wonder, and laugh and cry.” ―Anne Lamott
*
To Be Of Use
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
*
“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” ―Oscar Wilde
*
“No single voice will be able to take control if everyone in the circle has a voice.” ―Kay Pranis
*
” I look up at God every day, and I say, “You are SUCH a show-off.” I have to shake my head and laugh. Maybe God does, too. If He or She does not have a sense of humor, I am doomed.” ―Anne Lamott


Gratitude List:
1. The protesters, showing us how to make courageous choices
2. In the new day, the crisis of the previous night pales
3. Today’s songs, especially this line: “. . .unseen wings, protecting, hide you.”
4. Catching up
5. Living with cats

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

Daily Feather

  
In the lower right, the original photo, of a feather in the clouds. The others are filtered through Dreamscope app. 

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
―William Carlos Williams
*
“All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.” ―Edward Abbey
*
“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.” ―Kahlil Gibran
*
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ―Pablo Picasso
*
“Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelops the earth.” ―David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
*
“Memory is an invitation to the source of our life, to a fuller participation in the now, to a future about to happen, but ultimately to a frontier identity that holds them all at once.” ―David Whyte
*
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
―not actually Benjamin Franklin, as the internet claims
*
Lines
by Martha Collins

Draw a line. Write a line. There.
Stay in line, hold the line, a glance
between the lines is fine but don’t
turn corners, cross, cut in, go over
or out, between two points of no
return’s a line of flight, between
two points of view’s a line of vision.
But a line of thought is rarely
straight, an open line’s no party
line, however fine your point.
A line of fire communicates, but drop
your weapons and drop your line,
consider the shortest distance from x
to y, let x be me, let y be you.


Gratitude List:
1. Not feeling wretched. Sometimes it’s good to have a day of pathetic wretchedness in order to remember how wonderful normal feels. Is that weird? It just feels so incredibly good not to feel awful.
2. Driving Pippi Prius again. In the same vein as #1, I was incredibly grateful that my father let us borrow his car while Pippi was getting her battery cells fixed, and his car is wonderful, but it just feels so good to drive my car again. As a smallish person, I feel most comfortable and safest driving a little car.
3. Following #2, I am grateful that we did not have to replace the whole hybrid battery just yet. The local garage thought that would be necessary, but Sam the Prius guy was able to change the cells instead, and they were still under warranty. We’ll save the big expenses for another time.
4. Long weekend ahead. I have a lovely day of in-service ahead with my colleagues, and then three days of break.
5. The puppycat. Joss and Thorby are playing fetch all over the house.

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems

October Says

2013 November 210

October says,
Look!
How the light will
enter

you

will bathe you in shimmer.
See how light
caresses each molecule–
each metaphor–

how it holds you
in its shine?

Gratitude List:
1. Rivers of song.  Webs of song.  Bridges of song.  How singing together holds us all.  Friday Faculty Hymn Sing.
2. Last night’s Unicef Trick-or-Treat party at school.  They planned it, prepared it, and pulled it off admirably.  AND they cleaned up.  Thoroughly.  If I had a dime for every time some shining teenager came up to me yesterday and asked what they could do to help, I’d be able to take myself out to dinner.  (I accidentally typed “teeneager” there, and that would have been appropriate, too.)
3. Last night’s dream: a warm, well-lit coffeehouse by the River, and me with plenty of time to go and sit and be there with Jon.
4. Baby cheetah asleep last night when I got home, all stretched out on his napping dad.  Little panther up and in costume first thing in the morning.  This yearly opportunity for the kids to think about their alter egos, to explore these deeper  bits of themselves.  Sometimes they are robots or boxes.  It is nice to have wildcats in the house this year.
5. How we are all in this together, you and me and the rest of us.  How you teach me, give me ideas, help me to let go of my stereotypes and old-worn ideas in order to grasp newer, more helpful ways of encountering the world.  Keep me accountable.  Remind me always to keep becoming my better self.

May we walk in Beauty!

Musings

River of Song

hymnal

On Friday mornings, we have a faculty and staff hymn sing for fifteen minutes before the school day begins.  It’s usually about fifteen of us–all four parts represented.  Someone suggests a song, the pages rustle, the pitch pipe hums, and we’re off into a river of harmonies, notes and words tumbling together.

During the past couple weeks, I have been struck by how the harmonies pull against each other and support each other, forming a thing that is greater than the sum of the parts, how we make a landscape of sound, a basket, a tapestry, a bridge.  Singing together with attentiveness makes use of a subliminal sense that goes beyond hearing and sight and touch.  We share breath and heartbeat.  

Perhaps the sixth sense is the sense of connection to others, the awareness of the web of human interbeing.  Singing together acknowledges this web in powerful ways, as we rest and flow and build the song with each other.  What a gift it is to sing with the gathered community of these people who are all focused on the one task of teaching and supporting our students.  It strengthens and supports our work, builds us together.  The bridge of music that we build between us is at once the symbol of the support we create for our students, and the support itself.

Gratitudes

Many Words for Together

Gratitude List:

1. We do not walk alone.
2. These circles are wide and many and overlapping.
3. International community.  Singing with international community.
4. How I can sense you here when you are so far away.
5. Words from a friend about belonging together even if we do not agree on everything.

I think I may have just said the same thing five times.

May we walk in Beauty!  May we walk singing.

Gratitudes

Healing Song and Story

Gratitude List:
1.  The way that sharing stories opens the heart to healing.
2.  Songs that hold stories.
3.  Vulnerability and strength together.
4.  Clearing the yard of dead branches in the cool evening as the sun set below the rim of the hollow.
5.  Eggs.  For all the potential they hold, all the mystery, the warmth, the way they settle into your palm.  I once had a postcard of an icon of Mary Magdalene holding an egg.

May we walk in Beauty!