Tag Archives: poem

Thoughts for Thursday

firefliesFireflies
by Cecilia Woloch

And these are my vices:
impatience, bad temper, wine,
the more than occasional cigarette,
an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,
a hunger that isn’t hunger
but something like fear, a staunching of dread
and a taste for bitter gossip
of those who’ve wronged me—for bitterness—
and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart
to children whose names I don’t even know
and driving too fast and not being Buddhist
enough to let insects live in my house
or those cute little toylike mice
whose soft grey bodies in sticky traps
I carry, lifeless, out to the trash
and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book
to a human being, and humming
and living inside my head
and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt
at twilight across the lawn
and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,
to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering
onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.
—–

I love this poem. Good poetry, I think, is honest, and it’s a peek inside someone else’s soul–a peek that also reveals something about the reader, maybe that they didn’t even know about themselves. Her vices are also my vices–some of them anyway. And it makes me think about myself, and what mine are, and how there’s something beautiful in sharing them with others.

Impatience is something I have struggled with my whole life. I have learned that for the most part patience pays off, like when you decide to re-heat pizza in the oven instead of the microwave. But when it comes to being patient with other people–waiting on someone else to do something or complete something–I struggle. It’s hard to slow my pace down to match someone else’s.

It has taken several not-awesome learning experiences to slow down, breathe, and let go of the thought that I’m in control. I am most certainly not and that is for the best for everyone. It’s hard for me to sit in that tension, that anxiety.

Recently my boyfriend went on an 8 day mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I missed him a lot, and the communication black out was hard for me. So impatient was I (and, also I just love surprises) for his return that I drove to the Atlanta airport (both of them.. ugh, Atlanta, why you so crazy?!) to meet him there. I stood in the arrivals area with my little sign positively WRIGGLING with impatience. His flight came in early so I was dancing around for 30 minutes, searching faces coming off the escalator. There were two little boys waiting for their father who exhibited more patience than me.

When their group finally did come of the escalator I didn’t see him. I went up to someone else that I recognized and I was like “Welcome back! Where’s James?!” I ended up completely missing him in the crowd because I was so impatient. He saw me before I saw him and I totally missed that fun little moment of surprised recognition. A small thing, but something I had been looking forward to.

I wish I had been able to calm myself down enough to patiently wait there. I wish I had talked myself down, breathed, and let things happen as they would. Hindsight’s 20/20, right? I can see why they say patience is a virtue.

As I continue my journey through (formal) discernment I’m learning more and more that I definitely need to cultivate patience in my heart, and to let God handle things. It’s really freaking hard, y’all. It’s not like I can just up and decide to go to seminary–other people, the church, are part of this. And I’m sure I will have many, many more opportunities to practice patience in my life, not just waiting at airports or for correspondence from committees.

All those Psalms about “wait for the Lord” make so much sense…

Thoughts for Thursday

Just this, today. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a rough week! I love Mary Oliver’s poetry and the peace it brings my soul.
Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver

While He’s Away: A Poem About Being Gone – 11/11/13

By Jason B. Ladd

 –

While I’m away

The mission’s first

We’ll put our best against their worst

But victory will fail to quench my thirst

While I’m away

 –

While I’m away

The silence settles in

The mood is calm, the air is thin

My kingdom for one morn’ of childrens’ din

While I’m away

 –

While I’m away

Diminished dawns

The flock is far, the shepherd gone

The sheep will grow and graze and carry on

While I’m away

While I’m away

Fools worship golden cows

With laps aflame and loins aroused

Let God protect our covenant of sacred vows

While I’m away

While you’re away

I start a new routine

The laundry’s neat, the house is clean

But soon I miss the manly mess unseen

While you’re away

While you’re away

Our things break down

With no one to repair around

In projects left undone our lair abounds

While you’re away

While you’re away

The evil freaks

Through sudden cricks and eerie creaks

Our settling house at nighttime speaks, I’m scared

While you’re away

While you’re away

It’s not the same

I’m thankful for the few who came

To help me play this sacrificial game

While you’re away

While he’s away

I’m turning ten

This milestone never comes again

I understand, but struggle now and then

While he’s away

While he’s away

I run the bases

Looking in the stands for faces

Sad to see the empty spaces left

While he’s away

While he’s away

I lose my teeth

And sleep with them at night beneath

The pillow where I cry myself to sleep

While he’s away

While he’s away

It makes me sad

Sometimes I’m a little mad

How come others get to have my dad

While he’s away?

While  he’s away

I’ll start to walk

And look up for my daddy’s gawk

But nowhere will I find his eyes to lock

While he’s away

While I’m away

Their father’s not around

I’ve taught them though, one comfort sound

Another Father always keeps them found

While I’m away

 –

This poem was shared with me by one of our readers.  I think it is beautiful and very touching.  Please go read this poem on Jason’s blog.  He has some lovely photography that increases the power of his words.

While He’s Away: A Poem About Being Gone

By Jason B. Ladd

 –

While I’m away

The mission’s first

We’ll put our best against their worst

But victory will fail to quench my thirst

While I’m away

 –

While I’m away

The silence settles in

The mood is calm, the air is thin

My kingdom for one morn’ of childrens’ din

While I’m away

 –

While I’m away

Diminished dawns

The flock is far, the shepherd gone

The sheep will grow and graze and carry on

While I’m away

While I’m away

Fools worship golden cows

With laps aflame and loins aroused

Let God protect our covenant of sacred vows

While I’m away

While you’re away

I start a new routine

The laundry’s neat, the house is clean

But soon I miss the manly mess unseen

While you’re away

While you’re away

Our things break down

With no one to repair around

In projects left undone our lair abounds

While you’re away

While you’re away

The evil freaks

Through sudden cricks and eerie creaks

Our settling house at nighttime speaks, I’m scared

While you’re away

While you’re away

It’s not the same

I’m thankful for the few who came

To help me play this sacrificial game

While you’re away

While he’s away

I’m turning ten

This milestone never comes again

I understand, but struggle now and then

While he’s away

While he’s away

I run the bases

Looking in the stands for faces

Sad to see the empty spaces left

While he’s away

While he’s away

I lose my teeth

And sleep with them at night beneath

The pillow where I cry myself to sleep

While he’s away

While he’s away

It makes me sad

Sometimes I’m a little mad

How come others get to have my dad

While he’s away?

While  he’s away

I’ll start to walk

And look up for my daddy’s gawk

But nowhere will I find his eyes to lock

While he’s away

While I’m away

Their father’s not around

I’ve taught them though, one comfort sound

Another Father always keeps them found

While I’m away

 –

This poem was shared with me by one of our readers.  I think it is beautiful and very touching.  Please go read this poem on Jason’s blog.  He has some lovely photography that increases the power of his words.

A Sadness

The pool’s edges glitter with turquoise and sky

at the touch of my light,

the only warmth in this throne room of unknown gods

hundreds of feet beneath the sun-beaten Texas hills.

Cradled in white calcite drippings and strivings

falling and rising like porcelain fingers

cupping a precious mouthful

stolen from some unseen stream in the blackness,

the water is all the more precious to be drunk.

The depths call to me from the shallows

with a memory of some long rejected touch

the cold ringing familiar through my bones

inciting an impulse to sleep beneath its blanket,

and there, in the quenching blackness of its center

to be cradled by the weight of waters gathered

to feel my rib cage contract around an emptiness

my soul curl in upon its own weightlessness

to find itself hollowed by the cold

and the impregnable darkness.

But here in the shallows, there is a comfort,

the warmth of my faint light

revealing the coppered rust of the pool floor

my toes searching like so many bottom feeders

my soles planted upon a porcelain palm

and my heart, though longing,

turning to ascend

to reclaim a place

beneath the relentless summer sun.