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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual poetry’

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

My dog lies heavy as the storm moves through.
Worry keeps him close.
Rain streaks the window with tears.
We are safe inside.

Infinite line of tangled roots and vines,
God’s garden grows wild.
Endless labyrinth of life to life.
We are safe inside.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

Commentary: In this poem, I began with what was happening in the moment.  A storm was pounding, and my dog was afraid.  I held him on my lap.  As he relaxed, much like an infant, he became heavier on my lap.  I then moved to the drawing for interpretation.  I saw the white lines as the lines of connection of humanity.  When I looked for a synonym for connection, I found labyrinth which alliterated with life to life.

From PoemCrazy #25: “there may be a measurable field of energy for the buzz of life around moments and things.  Poems are alive this way. When a poem comes to me I have to tend to it like a small fish, a possum, a snake or a puppy, depending on the poem.  It’s often kicking and unruly.”

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

National Poetry Month 2017

For the month of April, I have committed to writing a poem each day. I am not following any stricter rule than that one. Others in the poetry blogging community are doing themed poems. You can see everything that’s going on at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

On Monday, my young student Jacob wrote an acrostic poem on the word faith. He was surprised by his own wisdom. I told him that I think there is a whirl of ideas in the universe and he was open for it.

Finding
An
Invitation
to
Hope

 

Thinking about Jacob’s inspiring poem and the ideas from the universe, I felt a pull to write a found poem from Bishop Jake’s blog post from Sunday. Jake Owensby is the Bishop of the Western Louisiana Episcopal Diocese. He writes beautifully at Looking for God in Messy Places about how to live a life of love and hope.  His post this week “Dry Bones and Living Flesh” inspired this poem.

Dry Bones

uprooted
nothing familiar
fleeing home
to stay alive
they leave behind
bones

Ezekiel had a vision
of those very dry bones.
The victors leave
the dead in an open grave,
a goldmine
of artifacts.

This was personal.
The baker’s daughter
he knew by her fragrance of yeast,
the grandmother rocking her grandchild,
the old stooped mason.

War is always the same.
Death, senseless, helpless
“collateral damage” No, this was personal-
husbands, wives, siblings, grandchildren.

Homes left in ruins,
People without community,
Dry bones
watered with survivor’s tears.

God takes these bones
clothes them
gives them breath.
God promises
through us
to be a new home
for the exiled.
Hear the call.

–Margaret Simon

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NPM2016

Day 5 is with Liz today. Click here.

Day 5 is with Liz today. Click here.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

For Spiritual Thursday, we are reflecting on the word “Merciful” today, Bobbie Ann Taylor’s One Little Word.

foggy sunrise

A Merciful Cinquain

Failure
clouds my vision
like fog in the morning
drapes the coming sunshine in
mercy

Every morning I drive to my school in the country while the sun rises.  I am often in awe of the way the light plays in the sky.  This image of fog covering the sun made me think about my feelings of failure.  These are natural, I suppose, as a teacher who cares deeply for her work with children and as a writer putting her words out to the world every day.

Liz Steinglass inspired me to use a cinquain form (2, 4, 6, 8, then 2 syllable lines.)

One tenet of faith that I have trouble grasping is mercy.  We are already forgiven even before we ask it.  When I fail, I tend to wallow in self-doubt.  I need to repeat the mantra I am worthy until I believe it.

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow all of my days.  I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

 

sometimes-i-need-only-to-stand-where-im-to-be-blessed

 

Wait!

He said, “Wait here!”

Then he took a walk

just a short walk

into the garden

to talk

with the one who sent him,

the one with him always.

They didn’t wait.

They slept.

They couldn’t even stay awake for a moment.

 

When has he asked you to wait?

When did you need time to sort things out?

When did you sleep?  Forget?

And yet, every time, he comes back to you,

holds out his hand to you,

Forgives,

Loves,

Waits

for you.

–Margaret Simon

Reflection: This Spiritual Thursday post is reflecting on Holly Mueller’s One Little Word, Wait. I didn’t want to write about wait.  I’ve recently had to wait through an injury, wait for healing to come.  The healing has come but slowly.  In the meantime, I had to be patient and understand that I could not be who I wanted to be while I was healing.  Some days, many days, I had to stop and rest.  I needed to wait.  But I was frustrated; I didn’t want to stay here.  In the moment I wrote the word wait, I imagined Jesus’s request of his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane to wait while he prayed.  I realize that I can wait.  And, like Mary Oliver, I will be blessed even if all I do is stand right here.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

For Spiritual Thursday, we are writing about each other’s One Little Word for 2016. Today we are exploring Violet Nesdoly’s word, Mindfulness.

Mindfulness

My mind is full
like the bayou after a long rain
that today blows wild
waves, cold and moving.

My mind wants to rest
like the dog at my side
snoring softly,
warm and content.

My mind seeks to understand
like that student who questions
and questions, driving me
to stop and think.

My mind is aware
of light coming through the window,
a spotlight on my hands,
open and close.

My mind turns to you
like the wind chimes chanting
Om mani padme hum
carries me across the rough water
to a place of peace.

Mindfulness, much like my own One Little Word present, means to “be still and know that I am God.” I sing this mantra over and over, making my mind clear to notice the spirit within me, to notice that I am not alone, to notice my love is enough. Stillness leads me to understanding. Presence to mindfulness.

Morning birdbath by Margaret Simon

Morning birdbath by Margaret Simon

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

For Spiritual Thursday, we are writing about our little words.  Today is dedicated to Justin’s word for 2016, Faith. This winter I’ve had a few physical trials that have been frustrating to say the least, but not life threatening. I know I will heal. Sometimes faith is hard. Sometimes faith forsakes. Faith challenges.

Bayou reflection, January.  by Margaret Simon

Bayou reflection, January.
by Margaret Simon

Only in winter
with a certain slant of light
a forest reflection
mirrors a standing of trees.

My eye draws a straight line
up from earth
down to water, this perfect line
dissolves as the sun rises higher.

Yet, I am still standing.
I plant my feet into the earth,
walk a muddy path
holding bare arms out
to catch the wind.

I want to feel your breath
on my skin, Lord. Know you are
with me in all things.
Take hold of my hand.
Whisper all will be well.
All will be well.

–Margaret Simon

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

We cannot  attain the presence of God because we’ re  already in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God ‘s love is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another, it means that God is choosing us now and now and now. —Richard Rohr

 

An elderly couple came to the door and handed my father a pamphlet.

“Are you seeking the kingdom?”

My father replies, “You don’t have to seek it.  I know where it is.  Right here. Right now.”

“We are talking about the kingdom of GOD?” pressing the pamphlet forward into his hands.

“Yes, you don’t have to seek the kingdom.  It’s here. You just need to pay attention.”

At those words, the evangelists turned and left.

 

Moments before this visit, Dad was reading W.H. Auden’s poem, For the Time Being. “And because of His visitation, we may no longer desire God as if he were lacking.  Our redemption is no longer a question of pursuit, but of surrender to Him who is always and everywhere present.”

 

What makes the paper whites bloom
on this cold morning? Opening
up like lace droplets
on the dormant garden?

Who tells the white pelicans
to go to convention on the lake?
A gathering of pruning, splashing,
fishing. Awkward grace
in a cloud of white.

A poem will come if you let it.
Sit with His presence for a while.
Moment by moment, we are here
to praise.

–Margaret Gibson Simon

 

Photo by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

Photo by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

 

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