Posts Tagged ‘Seven Day Gratitude Challenge’

Sixth Day of the “Gratitude Challenge”

I am grateful for the love of my family: my parents and siblings (biological, as well as the “brothers and sisters,” travelers and “strays” my parents — especially my mother — were known to “take in”). Because of their constant example, I learned that people come first, things second. I am grateful for parents who let me make my own (often imprudent) decisions and live with the consequences of my actions. From this, I learned to make better choices for myself. I am also grateful for my husband (a good choice), my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, assorted cousins, uncles, and aunts. There are two things that run in this family: a keen sense of humor, and a love of food, both of which make life a joyous celebration.

Memories of childhood and adolescence come flooding back at the most peculiar times, it seems, bringing with them a jumble of emotional associations. I am grateful for memories of my parents and siblings (biological and “adopted”) because they allow me to re-experience the love they’ve always shown all over again. Today’s poem was evoked by one such memory:

Thirteen

Gripping the edges of the cafeteria tray
Dad had given us in lieu of a sled,
my brother, light as froth, blew
past the first curb
at the bottom of the hill,
flew low over the frozen road,
smacked the opposite curb and caught air

before sliding down the second,
while I, styling like an aerialist atop the pedestal
of my first pair of high-heeled boots,
the black suede-and-leather calf-highs I just had
to have, despite all Mom’s admonitions

they’re not practical,
you’ll want to play in the snow,
and getting them wet will just ruin them

just stood and glistened like the snow-clad trees,
motionless,
craving last year’s red galoshes.

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Astronomical Phenomenon on Day Three

Hi ho, hi ho! I’m starting a new job today (another of the things I am supremely grateful for) so I hope you don’t think it’s “cheating,” but for time’s sake, I thought I might share a poem with you that I had already written, if you don’t mind. Writing well, though a labor of love, is hard work, a work that I am also very grateful for. The poem I’d like to share with you today literally took months to write from rough draft through to finished product. The scene it sets, however, came to me as I drove to work each morning. I do a lot of writing in my head while I’m driving to and from work, it seems. In any case, this poem also delineates a few more of the things I’m grateful for:

Astronomical Phenomena―6:39 Antemeridian

Moon faints against the sturdier light
reflected in my rear-view mirror:
Eastern sky ablaze with rising.

Hills clad in creosote, sagebrush,
Joshua trees coax her―dropping
behind the Western horizon,
she sheds her robes.

Had I mountain-moving faith
to remove these blocks of clay,
I’d part these knolls, watch wordless
Moon subside, sink into willing Sky’s
embrace―uncontained,
subsumed in greater light.

 

Two Out of Seven Days of Gratitude

For Day Two, I wanted to try to come up with something along the lines of what might be considered “Love Letters to the Cosmos,” but as is often the case when you’re writing, (especially B.C. — Before Coffee!) the poem decided to go in another direction all on its own! I’m not too sure about the “literary” quality of this piece, but I think it speaks for itself. So, here’s another set of things for which I really am grateful:

To Whom It May Concern

Thank you for traffic
that comes to a dead stop
and refuses to move for hours―
it gives me time to sync my mind
and meditate on my options.

Thank you for the calls that drop
smack in the middle of conversation,
especially when I was just about to learn
the facts, or get those vital directions―
because I get another opening for contact.

And for all the things that make me wait,
slow me down,
hesitate,
I’m grateful―
because trying my patience
is what lets me know
it’s working.

The Seven Day Gratitude Challenge – Day One

A high school friend, Shelia Reid Dent, issued me the “Seven Day Gratitude Challenge” and I thought it might be kind of a cool project to see if I could come up with seven poems that fit the bill. For seven consecutive days, you’re supposed to list three (different) things that you’re grateful for. The point, I suppose, besides counting your blessings, is to re-focus your mental energy on the sunny sides of life, rather than hanging out in those dark corners where a lot of poetry seems to dwell. I’ve often complained that a lot of really dark and confessional poems seem to have made it onto the publication “top hits” list recently, and blathered on to anyone polite enough to listen about nothing really celebratory making it in the world of print, but as the sign I used to keep taped up over my desk points out, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. So, taking up the “I’m grateful for” gauntlet, here goes —

Day One:

Concealed Carry

A neighbor’s rooster
scores the pre-dawn grey―
What day is it? I think,
stumbling awake.

It’s a day I will spend with my grandsons!

We walk to the park after breakfast,
slaying ninjas and stopping to admire
pennies, snails, and rocks.
The younger holds my hand,
sure of my footing. “I missed you,
Grandma, I missed you,” crows the older,
which knocks me from my feet.

Under a melon slice
of moon, we gather ourselves
to tell of our adventures,
no day ever more perfect than this.

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