Category Archives: Poetry
Have you ever noticed that when a sports team celebrates a spectacular play or a big win they gather in a group and jump up and down in a rhythm that matches that of every other sports team celebrating a spectacular play or big win, no matter where or when it happens in the world?
Baseball players jumping around the walk-off home run hitter, soccer teams jumping around the penalty shot goal kicker, football linebackers jumping around the winning touchdown receiver—they all jump up and down in the same rhythm.
It’s the Big Win Beat.
April is National Poetry Month so my mind turned to rhythms, and thinking about rhythm led me to ponder baseball/soccer/football team jumpers, and sports teams made me ponder the music of the universe.
Rhythmic vibrations, like chirping crickets, cars travelling on a gravel road, cicadas piping in, cardinals calling to each other, car doors slamming, winds howling . . .
Discordant sounds we want to write out of our daily life symphony—a Sea-Doo on a quiet lake, a frantic child’s cry, bombs . . .
Do we all subconsciously live by this rhythm? Do we all adjust our actions to it? Are we picking up music from the atmosphere like the child in August Rush?
Is that what leads us to poetry?
I don’t know the answer, I’m musing so you can muse along with me—rhythmically, not discordantly.
April 27 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. People are encouraged to pick a poem, carry it with them through the day and share it with others.
Find out more here: http://poets.ca/pocketpoem/
My poem will be one written by my much-missed friend Bruce Henderson, who had to learn how important it is to receive gifts from other graciously.
GRACE OF THE GOOD GIVEE
Bring me your gifts,
I will be strong,
strong enough to take them.
Yes, I have room for your gifts,
in my hands, in my home, in my heart,
I welcome you in—to my infinite yin.
There is a time to give
and a time to get,
and every Giver needs a Good Givee.
I am ready to accept,
to receive your loving kindness;
the warm message of your gifts.
In joy we will celebrate
the power of your act.
When you reach out
I will not try to run away.
grant me the grace of the Good Givee.
©Bruce Henderson 2010
You might wonder, “Of all the people she knows, how could she be thinking about me?”
The generic specificity of Bishop Charleston’s short piece takes me to that “All is One” place. There, I am thinking about you because we are one and the same, all seeking to discover our next miracle.
I am thinking about you, thinking about all the good that you have done in this life, all the people you have helped, all the kindness you have shown to others.
No, don’t shake your head.
I know you will want to argue that you are far from saintly and have much to regret, but counting your mistakes is not my job.
My calling is to celebrate the goodness within you, to honor you for who you are, to encourage you to keep going so you will discover the next miracle waiting for you around the corner of hope.
You go do what you do now. I will be thinking about you, thinking how wonderful you are.
I am at the Canadian Authors Association CanWrite! conference in Orillia, ON, surrounded by writers from every genre. We talk about the joys and trials of writerhood and our varied creative processes. Most of us share guardedly, wary of how others might judge the quirky things we do to get to the heart of our writing. This morning, a poet friend bravely shared the sketch book she uses every morning.
First thing in the morning, before she eats or showers or does anything else, she sits down with her sketch book. She writes the date at the top of the left-hand page and then on the top of the right-side page, she writes, “I am . . .” and completes the phrase with how she’s feeling. From a box of coloured crayons, she randomly selects three colours and draws a picture, a symbol, a pattern, or anything that flows from the colours and the phrase. And then (this is the part that boggles) she returns to the left-hand page and writes a poem, from start to finish. Boom, just like that. No stroke-outs or re-considerations. No pondering or hovering of the hand. Just a poem on the page.
She never knows what’s going to happen when she picks up the sketch pad or the colours. She never knows what the poem is going to be when she starts to print the words. She just “tunes in,” lets go and writes.
She receives daily emails from inspirational sources, and in this poetry sample, she writes about how often the topic of her poem and the topic of the emails coincide. (She reads the emails after she writes the poems.)
She calls it “collective consciousness.”
©2015 Jean Kay poetrytoinspire.com
After writing my morning poem
I read ‘Daily Word’ & ‘Science of Mind’
And very often the messages
Are of a similar kind
I call that collective consciousness
Some will say it’s coincidence
But whatever power is at work here
The messages are intense
Those articles were written months ago
But thousands are reading today
And I’m on a similar wavelength
To receive what is coming my way
I don’t preconceive morning poetry
I just write what comes into my mind
And yet often a word I seldom use
Will be in ‘Daily Word’ and/or ‘Science of Mind’
It makes me feel the path I’m on
Is the right one for me
I’m on track & tuned in
And living my eternity.
I prescheduled my post today. I am out of town watching my son ski in an alpine racing event. I thought it a good opportunity to share with you another Dennis Manning poem. This one appeals to my appreciation for science and story, the material and the divine.
Two sides of One
© 2015 Dennis Manning
Sun and moon,
When we’re with one,
The other’s soon.
Light and dark,
Come and go,
Decay and grow.
Life and death
Light and dark.
Moon and sun.
Life and death,
Two sides of One
I have a bit of a headache this morning—a rare event for me. But I’m not complaining.
My house is overdue for a good scrub, and I really don’t like cleaning. But I’m not complaining.
Yesterday I had to pick my son up early from his school alpine ski team practice. The timing of the pick-up put us in rush-hour traffic. We snailed from one end of the city of Ottawa to the other at the paint-drying-watching speed of 20 kilometers per hour. But I’m not complaining.
Rudy Francisco set me straight. His poetry slam performance gives all of us first-world, privileged, spoiled folks a timely tongue lashing. I won’t complain because my inconveniences are not even tragedies. I don’t even need the tip of my tongue to accommodate them.
He fired me up for my day. I hope he does the same for you. Few, if any, of us will crumble at the corner of tragedy and silence today.
At this time of year, many people for many different reasons contemplate God or the God-ness in our world. These two poems by Hafiz, as translated by Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, reminded my that, more than anything, for whatever reason, this time of year is good for dancing. And better dancing than fussing about details or interpretations.
The God Who Only Knows Four Words
Has known God.
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with Me.”
What Should We Do About That Moon?
A wine bottle fell from a wagon
And broke open in a field.
That night one hundred beetles and all their cousins
And did some serious binge drinking.
They even found some seed husks nearby
And began to play them like drums and whirl.
This made God very happy.
Then the “night candle” rose into the sky
And one drunk creature, laying down his instrument,
Said to his friend—for no apparent
“What should we do about that moon?”
Seems to Hafiz
Most everyone has laid aside the music
Tackling such profoundly useless