Poetry Friday – Thankful

Thankful today for the verdict of this week, but there is work to be done.

Racialized violence–
Time to end this grip on hate
True justice can come
When people like Ahmaud can
Move through the world peacefully

~A found tanka by ACLU’s Instagram post


Today’s round up is by Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town.  What a treasure chest of poetry goodness she has given us today. Do stop by!

Poetry Friday – Justice

“Blah, blah, blah,”
he spoke incessantly,
arms expressive.
As I sat in the doctor’s waiting room,
I wasn’t hearing the audio as
I watched the recorded “highlights”
of the testimony.
I thought tears
would flow anytime as
I began thinking of that
other trial last week,
with those infamous tears.
The chyron below gave me
some of his words:
“Defendant testifies
‘This was a life-or-death situation.'”

I remembered the video evidence,
submitted by one of the murderers–
Three men against one,
three aggressors against one victim,
two vehicles against two shoes,
two guns against none,
three against one,
white against black.

Ahmaud Arbery was an unarmed jogger
just hoping for a country
he could
exercise
his right to live.


I wrote about Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers in September 2020 here in “Say His Name–Ahmaud Arbery,” the third poem on that post.

Today is Poetry Friday. Thank you to Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink. Her post today is filled with beautiful autumn verses and photos: “Unveiling of Bedecked in Autumn Gallery“.

Poetry Friday – 2 Percent

Days numbering 2,873
Days of worry and those carefree
Days of full health and sickness
Days of glad joy and sadness
Days of work and fun vacation
Days of overwork and relaxation
Days of dullness and shining jewels
Days of burden and then renewal
Days of dining in and often out
Days of rain (1.5%) and drought
Days of relationships so compelling
Days in our Bahrain dwelling.

While I was here,
I met people from 67% of earth’s countries,
100% of my daughters became married to
100% extraordinary partners.
I lost 25% of my sisters and
8% of my body mass,
I spent 21% of my married life
and 12% of my full life so far.

On 16% of the days I wrote on this blog,
26% of the days refilled water bottles,
18% of my Thursdays edited church
service videos during the pandemic,
44% of my days at Al Raja School,
and 36% of my days at church.

Now there are 56 days to go.
Inshallah,
just 2%
of our time remains
How will I make the most of it?

I know this:
100% of my days
are forever a gift of Grace

Do you want to join some of us in writing daily poems of gratitude this month? Post your short poems with #gratitude, #gratiku, #gratitudepoem.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading. The Inklings wrote poems using percent today, so I had fun thinking of some of the things I had done during the last eight years in Bahrain.

Poetry Friday – Inktober / Poemtober, Small Poems Week 3

16 October, Saturday

Jesus napped in the windstorm
No compass needed for his route
to invite friends’ faith to transform.

17 October, Sunday

I love when languages
collide and I hear cognates
in Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic–
kashyu, teléfono and limun

18 October, Monday

Fickle moon,
what shape
will you take
today?

19 October, Tuesday
(“My Mother’s Eyes” prompt by Andy Schoenborn at Ethical ELA)

After Marjorie Agosin

I

My husband’s eyes
Are pools of hope
Where falls
Sing, dreaming of a tomorrow
Where kindness
Comes to rest
Where raindrops are friends
Of his nourishing stories

II

My husband’s eyes
Are pools of hope,
Of waves simply
Trying to find their way
In a new chapter.
I approach them
And on the threshold of his eyes
She is looking
For herself in the green streams
That forever flow

In my husband’s eyes
I also encounter myself
Because into them
I loop, basking
Again and again
As I have found my own
pools of hope.

20 October 2021, Wednesday
Sevenling (Somebody’s Daughter)

Somebody’s daughter–a sprout
of hope–vulnerable, bountiful,
and strong.

Relationships of imperfect perfection,
being loved in her truth telling,
an introspective and worthy storyteller.

Ashley C. Ford writes a memoir.

21 October, Thursday
A Lazy Sonnet about Addie LaRue

starkness
fuzzy
Darkness
was he?

Addie LaRue
strife
breakthrough
life

bookshop
remembered
backdrop
dismembered

coping.
hoping.

22 October, Friday
A Wedding Memory

Gift of words to each other.
Your hearts open between you.
Thankful to witness the adoration.

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is over at Jama Rattigan’s blog, Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Enjoy an October cup of hot chocolate and a beautiful pumpkin cookie with her and other Poetry Friday friends.

Poetry Friday – Inktober / Poemtober Small Poems, Week 2

I’m writing a small poem each day using a word from the Inktober prompts (a word, I’m finding, that is great for sketching but doesn’t always inspire poetry).

However, I was inspired last week by this Poetry Friday community. Thank you, Heidi (Saturday), Karen (Tuesday), and Alan (Wednesday)! And thanks to the inspiration of Birdtober friends, Ruth, Michelle, and #writeout announcer, Margaret, I sat outside at the medical clinic and enjoyed listening to the birds for Sunday’s poem.

9 October
A Definito

This is applied
to urge
or compel
one to do what you wish–
to push, insist, drive, impel
another.
Pushed into a corner,
With arm twisted–
Pressure

10 October
Healing

Dear finches,
Take your pick
in this safe garden.
Do you want your nest in
bamboo, cedar, olive, or plumeria?
There are aloe vera
and snake plants, too.
Here you can be fruitful and multiply.
Thank you for your sweet psalms.
They help patients heal.

 

11 October
Sweet and Sour

acids sharp and zesty–
lemon, cranberry,
rhubarb, gooseberry,
tamarind, tart cherry.
add sugar to taste
for the tang to marry.

12 October
After Jane Hershfield
Inspired by Karen Edmisten

I would like my living
to be full and free–
not stuck in regret,
but ready for today’s
unexpected word.

13 October
A Leaving Clogyrnach
Inspired by Alan J. Wright

Our goodbyes will arrive too soon
We’ll fly into the waning moon
Our farewell’s the proof
But still seems aloof
A new roof
A new tune

14 October
Tick Tock

Tick tock, tick tock
Jack and the Beanstalk
Tick tock, tick tock
Neil and the moonwalk
Tick tock, tick tock
Patriarchy bedrock
Men’s suits round-the-clock
Time to stop and take stock
For women’s rights to unlock
Tick tick tick tick tick

15 October
Helmet

As the sun rises,
put on your
faith and love
breastplate,
and your
hope of salvation
helmet.
……………~I Thessalonians 5:8

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup can be found at wee words for wee ones. Thank you, Bridget Magee, and big congratulations to you for the two birthdays in this TENth month!

I’m conTENt after reading Bridget’s inTENse message. In a senTENce, she inTENds to exTENd a TENder-hearted opporTENity you will want to atTENd to.

Poetry Friday – Tree Love and a Mad Lib Poem

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily…
~Mary Oliver

I read this lovely poem by Mary Oliver for the first time today at Sharing Our Stories Magic blog, and it reminded me of the book I’m reading, The Overstory, which is a magnificent 500-page love letter to trees. Have you read it?

Read Oliver’s full poem “When I am Among the Trees” here.

On another note…

Who I Am

I was born in the year of the red security sweater.
My mother was an elegant upright piano
And my father, an unfiltered Camel cigarette.
Is it any wonder I grew up to be a kind of amusing
cross between a shy Daffy Duck and a stoic puffin bird?
Take a fluttering look at me—
I’m aloofly friendly, hope-filled, and wearing out.
Is it any wonder that at night
I have nightmares about
my sweet retirement life crumbling before it begins?

I wrote the poem above from a prompt shared by Taylor Mali–It is a fun foldable called Slam Poem Mad Lib. Did you see Taylor Mali’s Metaphor Dice are on sale right now for teachers for $8 instead of $20? (Thanks, Karen E.)

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is with Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core. Today she has written and shared a beautiful poetry primer with A to Z loveliness!

Poetry Friday – In Memory

Jeff, gentle giant
Your heart was big, but failed
Today you are gone

It was the summer Scotty died.
I flew back a month after I moved to Iowa.
After the funeral
we went on a road trip.
Your aunt, Scotty’s grieving mom,
your broken Grandma,
and your stunned Aunt Denise
(who was being driven back to Iowa
to start a new school year
in a new school and new state)
and you, his cousin —
teenage laugher and listener,
so bright-eyed and fun-loving,
with a sly shyness.
You, who made the trip fun,
instead of a drudge.
We drove in the camper,
saw some sights,
took funny photos,
and told stories of Scotty.
It was the year of the Blizzard–
a new ice cream treat.
We stopped
in every small-town DQ
for a new flavor.

Today, thirty-five
years later, you have left us.
Another nephew
gone too soon–death’s order in
this broken world, false again.

It is Poetry Friday, and Laura Purdie Salas has the roundup here, with tankas and a new picture book coming out: If You Want to Knit Some Mittens.

Poetry Friday – When Faith is Tough

Today, I’ve had a friend on my mind today. Her daughter died in January of cancer, now she has the same kind of cancer. I wrote two poems today about faith in the dark times. I tried a Lai, inspired by Tricia, our host, who wrote one in celebration of Mary Lee last May. She shared the form details in her post, but I chose to write the b lines with three syllables in each.

The Light in the Dark
When the hoping ends
and our God-faith bends
What is right?

Will the Shepherd tend?
Will the breaks God mend?
Yes, all night

As our pathway wends
Dark our way attends
God is Light

And one based on Mark 4:35-41:

W.W.J.D.
What would Jesus do? the bracelet asks.
There were two things Jesus did that night 
two thousand years ago in a storm.
He slept peacefully on a pillow, and
after napping, he rebuked the wind.

Unlike his disciples,
who had just one thing to say:
“Teacher, don’t you care…?”

Lord, I want to grab my pillow and join you,
join you in resting and then rebuking.
Help me in my unbelief.

Tricia, at The Miss Rumphius Effect blog is rounding up Poetry Friday posts today. She has shared a beautiful poem about grief by Barbara Crooker, as she is grieving the loss of her own mother. Please visit her post here.