Wednesday, April 23, 2014

National Poetry Month #15: From Triumph to Grief

When a student overcomes obstacles we celebrate! We cheered J.S. on as she was escorted to graduation last spring by her beautiful child.  Today we cried for her. Today our school was filled with sadness. Yesterday she lost that beautiful child in a tragic car accident.  We pray for strength for her family, our school family, and especially for  J.S. 
"Though her smile is gone forever
And her hand we cannot touch
Still we had so many memories,
Of the one we loved so much,
Her memory is our keepsake,
With which we’ll never part;
God has her in His keeping,
We have her in our heart."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Poetry Month #14 : Caroline Kennedy and Joy Harjo

During National Poetry Month I like to give shout-outs to poetry anthologies I enjoy and recommend. Caroline Kennedy's most recent anthology is entitled "She Walks in Beauty, A Woman's Journey Through Poems." I love the selections that honor the life of women. As we celebrate Earth Day this poem by Joy Harjo was a perfect selection for today. I wish i had a spectacular eagle photo to accompany it.

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Monday, April 21, 2014

National Poetry Month #13: Mary Oliver at her Best

It is hard to single out favorite poems by poets you admire. There are so many poems, so many messages. Often the meaning of the poem hits me at a time that I can relate to a strong message.  That is the case today. Enjoy one my favorites by Mary Oliver. Once we understand our natural timeline in life, we move on.

“The Journey,” by Mary Oliver, from Dreamwork (Atlantic Monthly Press).
The Journey One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

National Poetry Month #12: Easter Hymn

memorial on Bow highway, Skagit Valley

There are so many hymns that speak to my heart at Easter. This is a favorite.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives
By: Samuel Medley
I know that my Redeemer lives!
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living head!
He lives triumphant from the grave;
He lives eternally to save;
He lives exalted, throned above;
He lives to rule his Church in love.
He lives to grant me rich supply;
He lives to guide me with his eye;
He lives to comfort me when faint;
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart.
He lives to bless me with his love;
He lives to plead for me above;
He lives my hungry soul to feed;
He lives to help in time of need.
He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly friend;
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King!
He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death;
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.
He lives, all glory to his name!
He lives, my savior, still the same;
What joy this blest assurance gives:
I know that my Redeemer lives!