Elegy for the World, Opus 19

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.

Kahlil Gibran

Our world has come to an awkward cadence.
Poco a poco an invisible virtuoso has taken hold.

We are sheltering a-cappella – one or two or a family
without our daily accompaniments.

We long for a melody in this new atonal reality
with its ostinato of rising cases and death tolls.

The daily recitative of politicians and medical professionals
has become an eerie refrain to a mournful dirge.

We lament in unison for those whose requiems are postponed
and hope for an accelerando in recoveries of the stricken.

This poem was inspired by a prompt by Stacey L. Joy on ethicalela.com. They are posting a prompt each day for the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month. The challenge was to use musical terms in a poem.

Not Opening Today

#SOL20
Day 26/31

Baseball was, is, and always will be to me the best game in the world.

Babe Ruth

It usually one of my favorite days of the year, but today I am lamenting the postponement of Opening Day of Major League Baseball. My slice is an homage to “Casey at the Bat” with one little “borrowed” line.

The outlook isn’t brilliant for the Phllies nine today.
The players had to all stay home; no baseball could they play.
First basketball, then hockey stopped, now baseball’s done the same.
A sickly silence fell upon the lovers of the game.

No Joe Girardi, Bryce, or Rhys, no “Jetpack” Kingery
No cracking bats, no slapping gloves, no baseball game to see.
Citizen’s Bank Park is shuttered and now a testing site
For the nasty coronavirus that’s changing everything in its sight.

Opening Day will have to wait till later on this year.
A few more weeks or maybe months before we get to cheer.
But oh the cheers will be so loud on that terrific day
Cause that’s the day that we will know corona’s gone away.

So missing baseball is just a minor inconvenience in the scope of what is going on in the US and around the world right now, but it is definitely one of my favorite outlets. It always reminds me of when I was young and the Phillies home games were not televised (yes I know I am old). We would listen to the play-by-play on the radio and cheer as if we were at Connie Mack Stadium or early on at Veterans’ Stadium. Those were idyllic days.

I long for those days even more as we make our way through these uncharted waters, but I am hopeful that it won’ be long before I am hearing those two simple words – “Play ball.”

Stay well.

Perenial Hope

#SOL20
Day 21/31

Where flowers bloom so does hope.

Lady Bird Johnson

Today I worked from my second purchase of the week, How to Draw Almost Everything by Chika Miyata. I choose to try my hand at drawing some flowers. Some turned out looking like the examples in the book – some not so much.

I choose to start with flowers in honor of Spring. Seeing people post pictures of the flowers popping up in their gardens was my inspiration. Spring is a time of new life; the trees budding and flowers blooming bring splashes of color to the brown canvas of winter. My sketches inspired this poem.

Perenial Hope

Flowers push their way up 

from under the once hard winter ground

stretching towards the sun.

No matter how cruel the winter weather,

even if some snow remains,

flowers make their appearance.

Signs of new life cyclically bloom

to remind us to reach up 

and search for the light.

When life casts shade on your plans

look to the flourishing flowers

as a guide to enduring hope.

I wish you enduring hope. Stay well.

Headache

#SOL20
Day 16/31

Today’s post is inspired by the five day poetry writing challenge on ethicalela.com. It is based on the the poem, “A Palestine Might Say” by Naomi Shihab Nye. (If you haven’t read it, you should.)

A Headache Might Say

What?
You know I like to arrive
just before a rainstorm,
so you know to bring
your umbrella.

What?
I am the not so gentle reminder
that you really shouldn’t clench
your teeth so much.

What?
You know if you just turn off
the continuous newscasts,
I may just go away for awhile.

What?
Can’t you get the hint?
When you worry, you scrunch up
your forehead. That’s your fault,
Not mine!

Yes.
You know what I like –
A cup of tea,
A warm compress,
A tip back in the recliner.

If you treat yourself right,
I may just disappear.

New Year Reflection

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and
anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

On New Year’s Day I joined a group #100daysofnotebooking. It is a group of writers who have agreed to take on the challenge set forth by Middle School teacher, Michelle Haseltine (@Mhaseltine – michellehaseltine.com) – to write in our notebooks for 100 days straight. It is a daunting task, but I am giving it a try. The poem below grew out of my first day of “notebooking.” Then today the quote by Emerson appeared in my Facebook feed, so I decided it was a sign I need to share my poem in progress.

New Year’s Day

Today, I make no resolution,
No intention, no pledge no plan.
When looking back what I have learned is
I can only do the best I can.

No “one little word” will define me;
Petty games I choose not to play.
Can’t promise that I will eat better,
or vow to exercise every day.

When I need to rest I will do so.
I won’t be afraid to say, “No.”
People who know me will understand.
People who don’t – well they can go.

I will listen to my body more –
from head to heart down to my soul.
No expectations will shackle me
Being my best self my only goal.

I have found that I cannot be resolute for an entire year. In the past, making resolutions has only served to set me up for failure. I would choose my “one little word” and realize that I needed to change it periodically through the year. I may not be able to be resolute for an entire year, but I can be resolute for a day. Hopefully, one day will become two, then three, then a week, then a month. I can only do the best I can, and that is enough!

Kindness

I am participating in the November: 5/5-Day Monthly Writing Challenge. The challenge is to write a poem every day for five days. This is my first poem on the what is the last day, but never too late to write! The poem below is a Nonet. It has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables with each subsequent line decreasing by one syllable. How will were you kind today? What about tomorrow?

World Kindness Day should be ev’ryday,

not something we have to be told.

We are made of the same flesh

whether we’re young or old.

A small gesture can

go a long way.

Costs nothing

to be

kind.

Harvest Moon

Photo – Joanne Campbell

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.

Carl Sandburg

Harvest Moon –
hidden behind layers of clouds
and trees
illuminates the
unobserved of the night…

Autumn trees,
leaves obscured by darkness,
delicate appendages exposed –
soon to be barren

Branches –
Like veins in the body,
the unnoticed lifelines,
become more visible
as the winter of life approaches.

Tiger Lilies

Life is like a flower. It can die and wilt at any time, but with a little tender love and care, it will bloom for what seems like forever.

Elizabeth Sanders

Be more like the tiger lilies –

who open wide to the bright new day,

who bend and sway under the weight of gusty winds,

but do not break,

who gently close each evening to rest,

preparing for the next new day.

Surprise

sol
#SOL19

If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.  ~ Frank Lane

The thunderstorm came rolling in, and swept across our town.                                            The winds were blowing through the trees; the rain was falling down.

I sat relaxing on the couch till it was time for bed.                                                                        The rain and wind lulled me to sleep as I lay down my head.

Woke up early to go to the gym, swiftly horrified                                                                      During the entire storm my sunroof was opened wide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crab Traps

sol
#SOL19

Memory… is the diary we all carry about with us. ~ Oscar Wilde

The car was packed and ready to go.  All the essentials were in place: crab traps, bait, weighted lines, net, lunch, four sleepy kids, and two tired parents. We set off before the rising sun was even beginning to think about peeking through the night sky.  By dawn we exchanged our station wagon for a weather-worn rowboat and carefully set out on the Chesapeake Bay.

It seemed like an eternity before Dad had the wire basket crab traps set – each one carefully tied to a bobbing gallon milk jug. Then he’d rev the engine, and we’d glide over the water like an airboat in the Florida Everglades.  He would find the perfect spot and quiet the motor.

Each of us had our own space at the side of the boat.  In turn we would cast our lines overboard hoping for a bite.  The whole family sat quiet and still (which was VERY unusual for us) and waited and waited and waited – baking under the noonday sun.  At last someone had a nibbler on their line.  Slowly, very, very slowly they’d pull up the line.  Mom or Dad would stand poised with the net ready to capture the prize.  Everyone stopped, holding their breath until the crab was safe inside the bushel basket.

On occasion the net keeper would have poor aim and miss the basket sending the crab scampering around the boat’s bottom.  This caused some of us to scream and rock the boat. We’d eventually fall into giggles when the catch finally reach its intended destination.

All too soon it was time to collect our loot and return to dry land. Once on terra firma the car was pack with the essentials: crab traps, weighted lines, net, and dinner.  Four sleepy kids and two tired parents headed home with another memory traced on their hearts.