Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zinnia

Grampy loved to grow flowers
in his carefully tended garden.
His favourites were the Zinnia,
saying they were like Gram,
colourful and bold,
dancing in the sunshine,
attracting others with 
an unrivaled beauty.
Gram spoke of this memory,
long after she left him.
Grampy remembered, too,
as he sat in his easy-chair, 
silent tears on his face.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Contemplating the letter Z, this poem wrote itself from my childhood memories. Some memories don’t fade but remain suspended in the darkest corners of the heart until we shine a light on them again. Grampy, this one is for you. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.



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Friday, April 29, 2016

You Say

You say I am mysterious.
Let me explain myself:
In a land of oranges
I am faithful to apples.

~Elsa Gidlow

Succinct and to the point, I see myself here. I have always followed my own heart and soul. My conscience leads the way, even when the journey is not an easy or popular one. As the old saying goes, “What matters most is how you see Yourself.” 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 


Thursday, April 28, 2016

X

marks the spot…
where I buried the excised detritus
of a relationship that explored
the very depths of exalted love.

I never considered exceeding expectations,
though I exhausted all extenuating possibilities.
After careful examination of your exhibition,
I am exonerated. No explanation is needed.

I will not further excavate my heart and soul;
I will not exhume extraneous vestige.
Extinguished, heart in exodus, it leaves
only a final example of abdication.

Yet, I know that love exists.  

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Poems that have the letter X in the title are difficult to find. I had no favourite “X” poems. So, I wrote this poem especially for this challenge. With that being said, this poem is extremely meaningful to me because of the content that I have expressed. It is my hope that it speaks to others who may read it and connect with these heartfelt feelings. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hey, there...


Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

~Jenny Joseph

I first read this poem when I was a young wife. I thought it was amusing because I also have always tried to be responsible and proper. However, also being a bit feisty, I fancied that I might be like that, eventually. This may be my very favourite poem. 

Now, many years later, “eventually” is fast approaching. I continue to be very responsible, though. I have always given life all of myself, at any given time. I still have some of myself in reserve, though, for my golden years. It is waiting in my closet with purple outfits and a red hat that doesn’t really suit me. And, I think it is time to start practicing, now. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not in Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

~Emily Dickinson

This poem has been a favourite since I first read it at age thirteen. It gave me purpose then, and I have tried to live my life with this in mind.  

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 



Monday, April 25, 2016

Unfolding Bud

One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
Unfolding
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions.

One is not amazed,
At first glance,
By a poem,
Which is tight-closed
As a tiny bud.

Yet one is surprised
To see the poem
Gradually unfolding,
Revealing its rich inner self
As one reads it
Again
And over again.

~Naoshi Koriyama

I love that poetry is intimate and personal, yet so universal. Poetry speaks across languages and cultures. It speaks to the very human experience. I speak back, and I also listen. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Elections

Everywhere I go, people are discussing the upcoming American elections. Rarely will I partake in the discussions. These are heated, even nasty, outpourings of words meant to bait and often anger others.

Each person has their own pointed opinion. They are ready to hook you and convert you to their way of thinking. They are convinced not only that they are correct, but that you are woefully, even sinfully wrong.  They will show you articles and posts that your candidate of choice is a sinner, an unfit human being. They want to convince you that not only is he going to hell but that you will, too, if you vote for him.

To be sure, I know someone who lost a “friend” to the elections. When she could not be converted to the self-righteous way of thinking, she was “unfriended” not only in social media, also but in the real world. Granted, this was after years of effort to convert her, albeit unsuccessfully, by the other woman. Obviously, this woman was never truly her friend. I elect to not have "friends" like that.

Indeed, political parties have become another form of corrupt cults. I will vote my way, for the one that I believe is the right choice for me and my country. I won't be bullied or chastised. I know my heart and I know my conscience. I do not need someone else to tell me what is right. I will respect the rights of others to choose, but I expect others to respect mine. I will not debate. I will leave that unpleasant task to the candidates; then I will vote. 

May God bless America.


Shared with:
Quote Prompt:
“We have a presidential election coming up.  
And I think the big problem, of course, 
is someone will win.” ~Barry Crimmins 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold 

~William Carlos Williams

This is classic poem has been analyzed many times, by a wide variety of literary masters. However, as a young teen, this spoke to me succinctly and beautifully. Quite simply, I think it speaks of life and living. Be thankful for the even the little things in life; there is joy there.

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Respect


your mother.


Every day is Earth Day!

Scrap Box

A baby book, a first pair of shoes—
a set of keys? —don’t know whose.
A ribbon, and a lock of hair,
an old worn out teddy bear.
A dog tag, and a school I.D.,
an elastic bandage for a sore knee.
A Math test, and good report card
(that Math class was really hard!).
A photograph, a Valentine,
both from friends, old loves of mine.
A ticket stub, a broken pin,
an empty, dented candy tin.
A map and journals from vacations and trips,
a chain of coloured paperclips.
An announcement and an invitation,
a letter explaining a situation.
A box of moments, a patent dateline.
My heart remembers these moments are mine.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

As we go through life, we tend to collect souvenirs of our journey. It usually begins with our parents marking our early milestones. As we experience life, we add our own mementos as tangible reminders that this is our personal journey. While these items may have no monetary value, they represent moments that are priceless.

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.



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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Resumé

Razors pain you; 
Rivers are damp; 
Acids stain you; 
And drugs cause cramp. 
Guns aren’t lawful; 
Nooses give; 
Gas smells awful; 
You might as well live. 

~Dorothy Parker 

I was an angst-filled teen when I first read this poem. Even then, I saw the truth and wisdom in this simple poem. It is never good to choose a permanent solution for a temporary situation. When overwhelmed by any situation in life, it is good to remind oneself, “This, too, shall pass.” Because it does; life is like that.

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quizzical




Also brought to you by the letter Q.

Quilt

It’s not an unsolved mystery,
what happened to my years.
I journeyed through them, not alone,
with laughter, love, and tears.
I left bits and pieces
of myself along the way;
the seeds of memories have grown
and comfort me today.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

As we get older, our memories often comfort us. Special moments are wonderful to make, and they can be priceless later. Capturing these memories with words (and in photos) are tangible ways to create a timeless quilt of comfort. They can become heirlooms to share with future generations, too. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In Praise

I like the sound
of old women
marching to church,
or crackling grocery bags,
or eating stewed prunes,
and sugar on tomatoes.

I like the sound
of old women
talking
loudly to old men,
softly to newborns,
gently to young marrieds,
planning lives and death.

I like the sound
of old women
snoring,
old women
clicking teeth,
old women
praying.

I like the sound
of old women
raucously in love.
I like the sound
of old women
roistering in helpless
rollicking fun. 

~Mary Sue Koeppel

I have always loved the elderly. As a teen, I worked with the elderly in nursing homes. I was able to get to know and understand the honesty of their wisdom. This poem reflects some of their contentment. Old women have been through life’s trials. They know themselves and have become comfortable in their own skin. They are genuine; their joy is earned. This is the kind of old woman that I want to be. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Ozark

They moved to a mountain to be closer to God,
leaving behind the world with a nod;
no luggage or baggage, no worldly possession,
virtue their only goal of obsession.
Back to basics, souls purified;
their vision of heaven sanctified.
Seeking perfection through self-sacrifice,
surrender their key to paradise.
They welcome others into the fold,
who eagerly believe whatever they’re told.
A preacher, a teacher, a prophet, a sage;
the blending of spirits he hopes to engage.
He calls to all, a message to preach,
their trusting souls in evil’s reach.
He preys upon what they hold dear,
and in their hearts he strikes pure fear.
 “One for all, and all for me;
only my truth will set you free.
 Do what I do, do as I say;
the rewards you seek you’ll receive today.”
They didn’t find God in the man on the hill,
they didn’t gain heaven by doing man’s will.
He laid them down in one final control;
his kingdom bought with their mortal soul.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

We all seek purpose and meaning, especially as we enter adulthood. In my late teens, I had friends who left family and home behind to join communes or cooperative communities. A friend of my family tried to found one of these communes. Some of these communities were of a spiritual or religious nature. While I was intrigued by the idea, I was very cautious and concerned. It was about this time that the Jonestown tragedy hit the news. There have been other cult situations that came to similar catastrophic ends, such as the Waco massacre and Heaven's Gate. I never heard from my friends, again. I hope and pray that they found real answers, and that they are safe in both body and spirit. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


&

Shared with:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A-Z Half-Time


We interrupt this A-Z Challenge to visit RoryBore of Ink Interrupted. Ms RoryBore hosts a weekly Coffee Chat. I usually join in, as it one of my "favourite hang-outs". However, I have been busy. The A-Z Blogging Challenge has kept me very focused on posts that coordinate with the letter of the day. 

This week, the Coffee Chats topic is "favourite hang-outs". So, here I am. Two weeks ago, the Coffee Chat topic was "Sticks and Stones". We were invited to share how words affect us. 


I tend to think things through before giving an opinion. I keep journals filled with my thoughts. I don't like rants and believe it is not the same as venting, though both can be hurtful. 
My Grampy used to say, "Make sure your words are sweet. You may have to eat them." I love words and the power of words. With this in mind, I do try to choose my words carefully. I have posted thoughts on words in the past.  I feel this is worth sharing again. I hope you do, too. 

"Words bring us together, a fundamental human connection that we rely upon throughout our lives. Words are tangible links to feelings, reflecting what cannot be seen.
Words explain us, defining us to ourselves, as well as to others. Words describe who we are and who we want to become.
Words document our journey, telling where we have been and where we are going. Our road is paved with words unspoken and landscaped with words screamed in vain.
Words can claim us, chain us, even decimate us. 
Yet words mark our paths, showing us the way, encouraging us, moving us forward, lifting us up, taking us to where we have never been, even setting us free.
Words announce our arrival into this world and words commemorate us when we leave it, left to forever echo in the hearts of those who cared.

Words remain."

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Shared with:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~Robert Frost

This classic poem is one of the very first poems that I read for eighth-grade English class. I was impressed with how profound and succinct this poem is. It spoke to me immediately, and is still a favourite. Beautiful in its simplicity and wisdom, we are reminded how fragile and fleeting the innocence of youth really is. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

Median

Who am I if not a reflection
of the past--- an image
created by the choices
of those before me,
an illusion of what others
perceive me to be.
Knowledge comes with
the wisdom of age.
Reflections fade into shadows.
What I once was has faded;
what I am yet to be becomes clear.
I did not choose to be here,
to be a part of this.
Forever now will I be both 
reflection and shadow. 

~McGuffy Ann Morris, Weeds

I think many people can identify with this poem and its observations. In youth, though you set out to change the world, it is the world that changes you.  Yet, you always remain yourself.

 "Median" won a competition in a literary magazine several years ago. This poem was also a special request as today's offering for the letter M. (Thank you, my friend.)

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 

           

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions 
may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden. 

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, 
let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook 
that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart 
and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved 
in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

~by Kahlil Gibran, this is an excerpt of the poem, "On Love", from his book The Prophet 

I was fifteen when I first read the book The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. The depth of emotion and the beauty of his writing touched me then and still touches me today. This book of prose poetry discusses many aspects of life, each in its own chapter. The Prophet is timeless.


Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.