Falling Apart

shadow

Today’s poetry Prompt is to write a Falling Apart poem.

Falling Apart
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

First: Everything begins to work in sync. From within the random chaos,
a pattern emerges, a rhythm, a mutual response between working parts.
Cooperation and tunefulness abound. Order prevails.

Second: Before long, the sameness of the patterns and the rhythms
begins to grate on the inner ear. A background whine hovers
just within earshot. Orderliness begins to thump and thud.

Third: Some of the ordered bits begin to stumble, miss a step,
misfire. Still, the march plods on, and the bumbling is only a hiccup
in the ordered scheme of things. Weariness sets in.

Fourth: A counter-rhythm develops. Syncopation sets in. Suddenly,
a wild dance whirls through the march. Chaos returns with a will.
The order has been subverted, the structure shredded.

Fifth: All sense of order has fallen apart. Randomness reigns.
The beauty of the wild begins to appear–itself–as a sameness.
Colors and sounds and sensations begin to sort themselves.

Sixth: Everything begins to work in sync.

Gratitude List:
1. More wonderful family time together. Nate riffing on the piano. What a musician!  Jon’s delicious lasagna. Uno has to be one of the best family games.
2. Shadows. Secret scenes and messages in the shadows.
3. Watching the boys take on creative projects and take pride in their work.
4. Thanksgiving Break. It wasn’t long enough, but it was wonderful while it lasted.
5. Dark Chocolate: Lemon Pepper Ginger.

May we walk in Beauty!

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To Those Who Wander

imag2389

Today’s prompt is to write a Visitor Poem.

Blessing for the Visitor
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

May you who wander, who sojourn, who travel,
may you who make your way to our door
find rest for your tired feet and weary heart,
food to fill your bellies and to nourish your minds,
and company to bring you cheer and inspiration.

May you find comfort for your sorrows,
belonging to ease your loneliness,
and laughter to bring you alive.

And when your feet find themselves again upon the road,
may they remember the way back to our door.

Gratitude List:
1. Coming through a conversation feeling more like myself. I wish everyone could have someone like that, who can ask questions and build upon ideas with you, help you sort things out. I am grateful for the people of my family, who do this for me.
2. Nieces and Nephews, good cousins to my children. The in-laws–my siblings chose their partners so perfectly. My parents.
3. My mother’s question: “How shall we pray for each other?” Reminds me of the sacred question to ask the Fisher King–the one that leads to the finding of the Holy Grail.
4. The art on the walls of the houses I visited today. Such beauty, such rich depth of meaning.
5. Gathering around a table with people I love. As Joy Harjo says, “Perhaps the world ends here.”

May we walk in Beauty!

Tiny Wonders

portrait
This is the family portrait that my friend Kris Miller (Art of the Brogue) took of our little family of hummingbirds. I love this photograph so much. It’s still hard to believe that such a miracle exists in the tree outside. It is such an honor that she chose our spot for her family.

Gratitude List:
1. Family
2. Community networks of prayer
3. Tiny wonders
4. Stories
5. The way the day always branches outward with so many possibilities

May we walk in Beauty.

I Worried

worry

Like Mary Oliver, I can worry a lot.
Will the hummingbird eggs be viable?
Will the bats return every summer?
Will the children be safe?
Will the people like me?
Will I be sufficient to the tasks before me?

Have I given birth to children in the era before the end?
Will their adult lives be spent in a constant effort to survive the heat?
Will elephants become extinct in my lifetime?

Will courteous discourse die out?
Will fascism rise again?

Sometimes I can make my way to her last stanza, to see that it all comes to nothing. Simply giving it up is harder. But some days it helps to write it out. I go back to that Little Red Riding Hood image I posted a few days ago. As long as those worries are lurking out in the dark woods behind me somewhere, they could be anything. They become monsters beyond all proportion. Even if they’re big and scary like the wolf in that image, or like the looming monsters of terrorism and climate change, it’s somehow a comfort to finally look them in the eye. “You might be big, you scary old thing, but you have no power over me as long I can see you.”

Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s Reiki class. My cohort of co-students. Sarah, who teaches with such love and grace. Love and Life Force and the prayerful laying on of hands.
2. One more family hurrah before the end of summer. My marvelous siblings and their spouses. Their kids. My parents. I think that is probably a blessing not to be taken for granted. It’s not just that I love my parents, and my brother and sister and their spouses, but that I really like them. I like to spend time with them and converse with them. And the same goes for the nieces and nephews.
3. New stretches. I am adding some new stretches to my daily yoga movements. They’re harder than they were 20 years ago, even when I was thirty-five pounds heavier than I am now, but in just a week, I am feeling more and more comfort in the new stretches. I may be talking about yoga here, but I think this applies to quite a lot of the middle-aging process. I hate to sound slogan-y, but I think Use It Or Lose It might apply here. So yoga stretches and geography quizzes will be part of my regular established routine now.
4. Racing down the home stretch. Getting the papers and the space and the ideas all in order. Opening the heart to receive the new people and ideas who come my way. Developing and organizing the plans.
5. Sorting tomatoes. The tomatoes were late this year, but when they came in, they exploded off the vines. I haven’t done a lot of the sorting this summer–it used to be one of the tasks I owned, but now others often do it. Today might be the last time I sort them for the summer. I love lining up the colors, putting the paste tomatoes into their own bin, setting the ones with a little disease or damage in their own beautiful rows over on the extras table.

May we walk in Beauty!

Bananas

banaba
(This is me at the age of six, in someone’s banana plantation.)

Cold rain has fallen.
Clouds part, sun floods the hollow.
And where have you gone?

Gratitude List:
1.  All the reminders yesterday to keep open to surprises.
2. Nieces and nephews.  Cousins to my children.
3. All the green.  Somehow green means more this spring than usual.
4. Making things.  Creating.  Seeing something inside my head, and then putting it into the physical world. Isn’t that an amazing process?
5. Rain and sun.

May we walk in Beauty!

There Needs to Be a Poem

There needs to be a poem here
something to fill the space
to inspire
to bless.

There needs to be a word
that fills the small green hollows
between the first shy greeting
and the questions
that draw out the hearts
like small burrowing animals
from their safe nests.

There needs to be a song here.
At least a whispered line
with a hint of a melody
and a rhythm
like the chirping of the tree frogs
high in the oak grove.

Let us stand in the moment
shoulder to shoulder
like the deer on the verge
we caught in our headlights,
and listen for the distant unrolling of words.

 

Gratitude List:
1.  That wonderful woman at OfficeMax yesterday who said that since the Lancaster store was selling notebooks for a penny a piece, she could give me the same price, and then only gulped a little when I said, “That’s so great!  I’d like a hundred for my English classes!”  I quickly realized that I was taking overenthusiastic advantage of a kindness and cut my number back just a little.
2.  Waters of Transformation.  Yes, indeed.
3.  I have a job where people sometimes start the day with a collegial hymn-sing.  Have I landed in a perfect place for me, or what?
4.  Inspiration struck when I needed it and before I was a complete wreck of exhaustion: I have been a little anxious this weekend about preparation for the coming week.  I came away from last week sort of feeling like I had drained my wells of inspiration for lesson plans.  Just like poetry writing, however: When you let go, sometimes the streams begin to trickle back in again, and sometimes they come in as a flood. I hope the students are a tenth as eager for the work I present tomorrow as I am to present it.
5.  Family time.  Meeting Kim’s dear children.  Basking in Craig’s delightful smile.  Listening to the harmonica trio play in harmony.  Discussing recipes for fish.

May we walk in Beauty!

Leap

Deep breath.
Straighten the spine.
Scan the wide vista before you.

Feel the morning breeze
as the sun rises
over the far horizon.

Another deep breath.
Spread your wings.
Leap.

 

Gratitude List:
1.  Beads, stones, stories, and a little bottle of water from Lake Victoria.
2.  This family.  The growing kids.  The cousins who take time and heart with the little ones.
3.  People who sing.  I love being around Winnie the Pooh and Bilbo the Hobbit types, who are always transforming the moment into a song.
4.  The color blue, from the peace of turquoise, to the love and nurture of Mary’s Robe, to deep visionary indigo, to crisp and intellectual cobalt.
5.  Leaping into the blue.

May we walk in Beauty!

Ducklings

Here are the links to my books:
Song of the Toad   Book Cover

Yesterday’s prompt was to write a poem about family.

Down in the wetland
where the creeks divide
and reunite,

a pair of mallards dabbles
in the shallows
of the swiftest bubbling waterway.

Among the grasses
of a little pool nearby
twelve ducklings

dip and bob,
muddying the water.
Up on the grassy bank,

wide-eyed and watchful
a young snapping turtle
bides its time.

 

Gratitude List:
1. All the fragile, tender life of springtime.  How tenacious it so often is, against the odds.
2. Stories of holy surprise
3. Rebirth.  Every day.  Every leaf unfurling, every flower opening, every bee in a flower.
4. Reminders, no matter how painful, to strive, to become more compassionate, to open, to open, to open.
5. How a little of of practice, every day, begins to develop muscles: yoga, piano, memory, compassion, letting go. . .

May we walk in Beauty!

 

Rocks and Light

Gratitude List:
1.  Necessary Conversations: Heavy, beautiful, powerful, sad, life-giving
2.  Music with the Family: Val’s fiddle, “Helpless and Hungry” behind “What Child is This?”, Isaiah’s clear voice singing “No Wind at the Window,” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
3.  Maklubbi.  However it is spelled, it was a delicious Christmas dinner.  And wonderful wine.   And the figgy pudding.  Always the figgy pudding.
4.  Dutch Blitz.  I am getting so slow.  I need to practice, if I am to keep up with these young people.
5.  You.  You.  You.

May we walk in Beauty.  And Light.  So much Light.

Oh, and rocks.  #6 is Rocks.  Susquehanna’s rocks.  Hezza’s rocks.  Goldfinch’s rocks.  The Apache Tear that I wear at my heart.

Tea Party and Prodigality

Gratitude List:
1.  Prodigality: lavish, profuse, wanton
2.  Bees humming in the crocus flowers
3.  The wild conversations that were happening all over the hollow this morning when I walked out to feed the chickens: wild geese calling, woodpecker thrumming, wren, bluebird, chickadee, somebody asking, “Sweet?”
4.  Pot luck lunches!
5.  Family Tea Party: We usually have a Family Movie Night every week or two.  Lately the boys declare many evenings “Family (Something) Night.”  Before we settled in to watch Family Circus Specials for Family Movie Night this evening, Ellis declared that it was also Family Tea Party Night.  What fun.  There were three rules (“I have another rooooo-lah!” Joss declared imperiously): 1.  You must lick the sugar out of the bottom of the tea cup.  2.  No one may throw your tea on the floor.  3.  No one may bring a cannon to the tea party.  (Rooooo-lah-making was suspended when the rules became too silly.)  And Auntie Valerie makes my gratitude list yet again–it was her old tea set.

2013 March 027