Spiritual Journey Thursday – Gratitude

To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer

~Maya Angelou’s in “Continue” Read the rest here.

Continue gratitude.

Is it cliché to focus on gratitude in the month of November in the U.S.? Perhaps. But here I am doing it again, with no regrets. This Spiritual Journey Thursday group’s theme last November was gratitude, too. I wasn’t part of the group then, but I did join others in writing daily haikus of gratitude, #gratiku. That experience led me to choose “gratitude” as my one little word for all of 2021, and I have tried to practice being more grateful always for the little things as well as the big things. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll read Maureen Ingram’s touching poem about being grateful for a small big thing.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

When I signed up to host the Spiritual Journey Thursday group, the theme of Gratitude was on my mind. I decided to celebrate November again this year by writing a small poem of gratitude each day, focusing on one of the gifts of that day. I’m choosing to write small poems of any kind, but with three lines, like haiku (modern or traditional), blackjack / septercet (scroll down to Jane Yolen’s description of the septercet at this link), sijo, and hay(na)ku (as well as free-from-form poems where we don’t count syllables or words of gratitude!)

Here are my first days of thank you poems for this month of gratitude. I will keep adding to this post daily throughout the month. Please consider joining me by sharing your #gratitudepoem and #gratiku on social media.


days of
staycation with Keith


And Blueberry
Yogurt for dessert


Clear-eyed observing
No longer seeing the world
through sepia lenses


181 students completed
with DIBELS screenings
Sixty-eight to go


It’s all, all a gift
Our spiritual journey’s
glow of gratitude

(Thanks to Ruth Hersey and Chris Margocs for inspiring this found poem.)


Old friends smiling at
the airport–John and Barbie–
Here again, once more


A breakfast with felafels Always a bright wonder, one of my choice Bahrain delights


at the
seaside at sunset


gave us
our daily bread


cupboards while
audio book listening


One unknown soldier
100 years ago rests
in peace. Thank you, sir.

and curries
conversation even better

outside, breezy
shady coffee spot

with friends
delicious and healthy

Helping with a Zoom workshop
Three to seven, before dawn
Just the birds and I awake

for dinner
Delicious vegan koshari

finished with
your yo-yo gift

comprehensive health
care and insurance

Jesus-full Gospel of Mark
Filled my morning, as children
had fun and showed their learning

party surprise
full of laughter

Teacher friends over
I’ll miss these cherished colleagues
Laughter, food, flowers

party: teachers
over after school

Gifts to
Lina and Hanan
Reactions brought joy

cooking for
ten for Thanksgiving

time with
friends like family

For the beauty of
the verdict that helps Dixie
forge a new future

party with
Church School teachers

time with
Thomas and Katie

chapter finishing
today. Then more.

Angela has gone
to heaven. Jesus and she
are sipping good tea.


“We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.”
Audre Lourde

How will you share gratitude today?



20 thoughts on “Spiritual Journey Thursday – Gratitude

    1. Thanks, Linda, so glad you received those gifts. The gift of time is invaluable. Yes, we had lots of nice time to relax, go out for coffee and meals, and takes lots of long walks. (I added your link to your comment. 🙂 )

  1. Denise, your poems are powerful in their brevity. “No longer seeing the world through sepia lenses” makes me think about looking through lenses of gratitude – how it colors everything so much brighter and deeper. Gratitude is a transformative force and every day of the year is a good time to express it! And – that mango blueberry yogurt looks OH SO good! Thank you for hosting and for these poetry forms. Most of all thanks for the Scriptures calling on us to return thanks.

    SJT Friends, y’all know I am celebrating the birth of my granddaughter Micah, whose name means “Who is like God?” Absolutely no one! I am overflowing with gratitude for His grace – here’s my post: https://litbitsandpieces.com/2021/11/02/reflections-of-gratitude-spiritual-journey/

    1. Thanks, Fran! I love this: “Gratitude is a transformative force.” Yes, let’s keep being thankful. So happy for that new little grand girl!

    1. Thank you for sharing your post, Karen. I was really blessed by it. I hope you do write some short poems of gratitude too. 🙂

  2. Thanks for hosting. I’ve taken inspiration from you and am not only writing a gratitude poem each day, but I’m also having my students do it. I didn’t know about hay(na)ku and now I love them. My students, too.

    1. I’m so glad I could share something new with you, Margaret! I think hay(na)ku is a fun form, especially for kids because words are easier to count than syllables. I love your school Poet Tree for this month.

  3. I am filled with your gratitude spirit today, Denise, and will finish my post when I come back from our monthly charitable endeavor. Thank you for the gratitude scripture. I shall carry that with me as I create small floral bouquets for hospice patients hoping that the flowers brighten their rooms. I am so pleased that the ladies in my new community are thoughtful, caring individuals who brighten others’s lives.

    1. Carol, thanks for the comment. What a lovely outing you had making and delivering the flowers to hospice patients. I enjoyed reading your post with all the beauty of the photos, digital art, and poetry. Thanks!

    1. Chris, oh yes, I did find the glow of gratitude at your post today. I love the idea of gratitude being “the most powerful soul-saver during these pandemic times.” I’m going to sit and think about that for a bit. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for hosting, Denise. I tried being grateful through a couple of hay(na)ku, a form I’ve never used before. Appreciative of the glow of gratitude you’ve sprinkled into our month. It will be a bit before I can get around to commenting, but I will eventually.

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