A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

As a person who finds a great deal of silliness with Valentine’s Day and the whole idea that surrounds it… love poems are not my favorite.

That is until I read José A. Alcántara’s poem in Poetry of Presence II. (I mean a former construction worker, baker, commercial fisherman, math teacher, and studio photographer turned poet… seems brilliant, no?)

And really… who does not have a love affair with silence?

Love Note to Silence

by José A. Alcántara

It’s impossible to stay in bed when you’re around.
I love our morning tea, our walks in the woods,
listening to all your crazy stories.

I’m sorry that I don’t contribute much,
that I mostly just nod and smile,
and sometimes scratch the back of my head.

But listening to you is like the shore listening to the ocean.
I’m swept clean of my detritus, my rotting organic matter,
everything tossed there by the rude and the ugly.

Here, let me grab my pen and notebook, my binoculars. Let me slip
on my coat and shoes. The handheld cranes are passing overhead.
Let’s go to the fields at the edge of town and make some noise.

“Love Note to Silence.” Copyright © José A. Alacántara

A huge thanks to Bonny for hosting all us poetry lovers… Stop by and see what other poems you can gather today!

See you all back here next week Monday!

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.18.24

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.18.24

One of the best things in my week are the moments that I allow a poem to set the tone for my day. This year, I am reading through Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson’s Poetry of Presence II as my morning devotion.

And last week, a poem really jumped out to me… bits of it have been percolating up in my thoughts so many times since I first read it. I hope that this poem will be one that moves you as well.

It Could Be

by Julia M. Fehrenbacher

a smile or a poem. Or new day light
that finds you through and open
window. Or, perhaps, remembering
that tomorrow was never promised.

It could be the scent
of baking bread, the first chill
of autumn that has you reaching
for your favorite wool sweater. Or maybe
it’s the noticing of how easily
red maple becomes and lets go.

It could be taking today off
to be still, to un-know,
to notice. To practice loosening
your troubled grip
because grace can never
be gripped or grabbed.

It could be choosing
softness in a world grown hard
because you’re tired of hurting
and being hurt and mercy
is the best kind of medicine.

It could be an invitation to gather
around the listening table
where every color is beautiful, where
there is no blame,
no shame, no them—no other.

It could be any of these things
or no thing at all, that remind
you that, really, only a few
things matter—

Food. Trees. Words. Love. Mostly love.

It Could Be by Julia Fehrenbacher from She Will Not Be Quiet © 2017


Be sure to check in with Bonny and read a bit more poetry!

See you all back here next week!

A Gathering of Poetry | December 2023

A Gathering of Poetry | December 2023

I have really been focused on “finding the joy” this month… some things have been bogging me down recently that have seemed determined to squeeze any bit of joy I might have out of me… so when I saw this poem on IG and then Kym posted something so perfect from the same poet last week…well, I don’t believe in coincidences. It was just the universe letting me know that it understood and was putting some joy in my path to pick up and hold on to when I needed it!

The poet is Donna Ashworth and the poem is Joy from Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper Reflection. I hope it brings to you more than what you need today.

Joy

by Donna Ashworth

Joy does not arrive with a fanfare,
on a red carpet strewn with the flowers of a perfect life.
Joy sneaks in, as you pour a cup of coffee,
watching the sun hit your favorite tree, just right.
And you usher joy away,
because you are not ready for it.
Your house is not as it must be,
for such a distinguished guest.
But joy cares nothing for your messy home,
or your bank-balance,
or your waistline, you see.
Joy is supposed to slither through the cracks of your
imperfect life,
that’s how joy works.
You cannot invite yer, you can only be ready when she
appears.
And hug her with meaning,
because in this very moment,
joy chose you.


My hope is that you find joy today… because she absolutely is choosing you!

A huge thanks to Bonny for making a space for us to share poetry! (if you want to join us, you can!)

 

A Gathering of Poetry | November 2023

A Gathering of Poetry | November 2023

I read poetry every day… often by random authors as I page through a poetry anthology. But lately, I have been focused on one spectacular poet, Naomi Shihab Nye. I am fortunate that my library has LOTS of her books!

Today, with no explanation… one amazing poem by Ms. Nye.

I Feel Sorry for Jesus

by Naomi Shihab Nye

People won’t leave Him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name…
but I’ll bet some days He regrets it.

Cozily they tell you what He wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an email.
Remember “Telephone,” that pass-it-on game

where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
Well.
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.

They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.

He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers.

and say, the truth tastes better here.
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.

I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.

And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again.

I Feel Sorry for Jesus from You & Yours, Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye © 2005 BOA Editions, Ltd. 


Thanks to Bonny for linking us all together! Stop and see what poetry is being shared today!

See you all here on Monday!

A Gathering of Poetry | October 2023

A Gathering of Poetry | October 2023

The poem I selected this month seems apropos since I am not home right now.  I heard this poem read by Pádraig Ó Tuama some time ago and I think of it often (and I highly recommend listening to Pádraig read it… you won’t regret it!) I did not need to worry about anyone answering the door, we have the code to our Airbnb. But this poem evokes such imagery of being welcome, welcoming the stranger, and so much more.

I give you The Listeners by Walter de la Mare.

The Listeners

by Walter de la Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

This poem is in the public domain.


Bonny is gathering the poems today, so be sure you stop by and read some poetry… and better yet, share some! We’d love for you to join us!

See you all back here next week!

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