January 24, 2021

Light and Shade


One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never ending shade?

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

But seek no honor in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here.

Lift up your eyes upon this day breaking for you.


A Cento Poem created from lines of past Inaugural addresses. After listening and watching Amanda Gorman’s poem recitation at the recent Inauguration I became curious about past Inauguration poems. I found them and started looking for common themes between them.

The lines above are from the following poems:

Angelou, M. (1993). On the pulse of morning (Bill Clinton’s Inauguration 1993)

Alexander, E. (2009). Praise song for the day (Barak Obama’s Inauguration 2009)

Blanco, R. (2013) One Today. (President Barak Obama’s Inauguration 2013)

Gorman, A. (2021), The Hill We Climb. (President Joe Biden’s Inauguration 2021)

May 1, 2019

Because I Sat

____________________________________

Because I sat for a moment

On a stone bench

Feet on pebbled concrete

I noticed more bird song

With each breath

In

Then

Out

I saw a crow fly above me

With long bits of the garden

In beak

Back

And

Forth

Creating home in a tall white pine

Life was happening

Around me

Not

To

Me

Because I rested

Breathing

In

Then

Out

____________________________________

A Free Verse Poem

January 21, 2019

I Am Calmer Than You

_____________________________________

I am immersed in panic buzzing

Am overwhelmed by to-dos not done

Calmer days ahead they assure me

Than(ks) but I’m making calm today’s goal

You remain waiting for peace to come.

_____________________________________

A Bumper Sticker Poem

Bumper Sticker Poems – a form I created, inspired by cento and golden shovel poetry, with the following guidelines:

  • Using a bumper sticker as inspiration use the words in the bumper sticker as the first word in each line of the poem
  • The theme of the poem may or may not have anything to do with the message of the sticker
  • Title should be the words of the bumper sticker
  • May or may not be rhymed
  • 9 syllable lines
  • Number of lines depends on number of words on the bumper sticker

December 1

In the Beginning Man Created God

_____________________________________

In life it’s important to question

The assumptions we bring to our worlds

Beginning and ending within us

Man may bristle at the suggestion

Created when opinions are hurled

God, let’s reduce this uncivil fuss.

_____________________________________

(A Bumper Sticker Poem)

Bumper Sticker Poems – a form I created, inspired by cento and golden shovel poetry, with the following guidelines:

  • Using a bumper sticker as inspiration use the words in the bumper sticker as the first word in each line of the poem
  • The theme of the poem may or may not have anything to do with the message of the sticker
  • Title should be the words of the bumper sticker
  • Should be rhymed
  • 9 syllable lines
  • Number of lines depends on number of words on the bumper sticker

November 30

No, Thank You

_____________________________________

Doesn’t matter how you describe them

Barrels, odors, flowers, fruits

There’s no way I’ll drink that IPA

My precious tastebuds I won’t pollute

*

Doesn’t matter if life’s in mayhem

Made with spicy ginger root

I’ll drink your IPA? There’s no way

In this decision I’m absolute

*

Doesn’t matter what’s this week’s problem

Or the day’s familial dispute

There’s no way I’ll drink your IPA

My precious palette they just don’t suit

*

Doesn’t matter the carpe diem

Or if the label is so darn cute

I’ll drink your IPA? There’s no way

About this choice, I am resolute

_____________________________________

(A ZaniLa Poem)

November 28

Contumelious

_____________________________________

An archaic term

Old-fashioned, antiquated

Yet we witness living examples daily

On television, on radio

In big white houses and small suburban homes

Perhaps not obsolete but modern

Perhaps not irrelevant but relevant

Perhaps not anachronistic but timely

We need a new way to describe daily horror

Why not use an outmoded term

Describing modern behavior perfectly?

_____________________________________

(A Free Verse Poem)

November 24

Practice Makes Permanent

_____________________________________

Visualize letting go

Egolessness is there

Sending, taking daily

Samsara evasion

Everything’s workable

Loving kindness to all

*

Om – open mind relax

Future is the presence

Yielding to compassion

Om – relinquish control

Understand discomfort

Reflection is the way

*

Meditation practice

Ahimsa is the goal

Invite self-awareness

Testing, acting, healing

Resisting judgement

It is always practice

_____________________________________

(A Spirit’s Vessel Poem)