The Door

Doors with cut out crosses

The Door

How lovely that you walked across the street
Knocked, so politely at my door
As I went
Walking ’round the block
My dogs and

I
Wasn’t even there
To greet you
But I returned
To knock
I almost skipped
To the front door of your white house
Joyously
I find you there
A little cat and mouse
We played.

How lovely that you live across from me
Poet
Lady Wisdom, friend,
Inspiration
Passion for poetry goes between your house
And mine
Giving  gifts of boxes and origami
Laying them gently into my hand
Your words like honey drop, drip, drop
I lap up every syllable I hear, I understand
You

Don’t stop living two doors down
Life is richer when you come to town

My friend I pray that it will be

A good long while
Before we see
Grief
Come knocking at our

Door.
Swing wide the gates of freedom
Between you and me
And sweet poetry.

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Joining Tweetspeak Poetry today for their poetry writing prompt “Doors and Passageways.”

Vulnerability Looks Like Grace

Vulnerability

I checked the pot
Truly
Over and over again
And they weren’t ready
The nouns, the verbs, the words
They needed salt and light
Heat
And time, grace to grow
Space to separate then blend
Oh friend,
Patiently I stirred with an old wooden spoon
Swirling clockwise and counter
Checking
Re-checking
You know in the folds of your soul, when they are ready
To share
And
Release

These took longer,they required
Time, it stood still
The hallmark of the moment
Generosity of minutes moved, yet frozen
The gentle branding of the transaction
Between two
Women sharing sips of soul-filled words
Vulnerable, the two

I asked if I could spill over
About the woman with the spirit of generosity
Of heart
Of honesty and humility and second chances
And when we are our most human
Our most vulnerable
You with me and I with you
A sacred thread runs through
The space and time
We are dusted by the holy
Threaded artists we

I tell you my ache, my pain
And question deep the need to rest

You tell me of your winsome brave wild and wonderful
Dream
You know we can do better than we have
I tell you I want to write a song
You tell me that I can
And we are in a ping pong match of words
Vulnerability fuels that flame

And you re-tell
A second chance
For me, the first
A chance meeting, one on one
Eyeball to eyeball, soul to soul
We speak encouragement

And I am marked forever
By the chance
Or was it God-ordained

I hope I stirred it long enough
And let it simmer, taste and see that
He is good

You are a joy
And I,  a grateful saint

Who learned what
Generosity, sensitivity
And brave can taste like
Poured out from the lips of one kindred
Spirit, Flesh, and Bone

Vulnerability looks like grace
With a soulful artist’s heart

Doors with cut out crosses

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This poem is dedicated to Joy Thigpen at Joy Thigpen dot com who taught me much about the making of art– and rivers and margins and more at Allume 2013.

A Letter To A Friend – The Art of Noticing “Real” Friends

Today is Day 22

Dear You,

I want to proclaim you, rejoice you, celebrate you and delight in you. Have you seen this series, here, this 31 Days, The Art of Noticing? Well my dear today is Day 22 and today is your birthday. Here ,this tribute is for you, to you, your heart, your soul but above all, your amazing ability to draw on the gifts and life around you. To ingest them, invest  them by serving and loving. Here is your bursday present. You know how much I adore the you I have grown to know and love.

harriett stoney and elizabeth happy

You know we could discuss the title. For hours. What is a real friend anyway. And we could debate the meaning of true and real. Afterall what is a unreal friend. You know maybe you are an unreal friend.

Do you remember last year on October 22, your birthday, I wrote a little letter to you, here, it was called Encouragement, A Letter To A Friend.  A few people read that letter, 2,028 to be exact from around the interweb. And you and I would scratch our heads and wonder how they found this place and the letter I wrote to you. And we’d probably agree how happy we are a few more people discovered when your birthday is. That is good. Or maybe we’d celebrate the fact they they get to hear my testimony to what you are and who you are to this world, and especially me.

That was a year ago. People forget. And we hate it when people repeat themselves. It is so boring. So gauche. And so not charming. So I won’t say it exactly like I did last year. They can go back and read that post. H, do you know the reason this blog is here. Because you are an encourager. And you serve up straight talk without a side of sugar coating. You are a giver, not a taker, an inexhaustible source of encouraging words and actions. You told me I had to write. Your words were stronger than that. Gentle and bold. Sure and certain.

So it is only appropriate for this to be the place to weave words, string them along and along, like the strand of pearls you so faithfully wear. And that you would have a day. Day 22. Do you like that.
You would goad me and tease me and remind me to always point to Him. So I will, He has saved our backsides and frontsides and insides so many times. And loved us. Always loved us with mercy and grace. And you, his hands and feet, have saved me from despair and sadness. Confusion and the “I’m about to have a nervous breakdown but it is just so damn inconvenient right now” times.

So is that a real friend? One who loves through the dark and delights in the times of light and laughter. Bridges the bleak times and weak times, the  times of want, crossing over to the times of plenty.

There are no shortages of those. By his grace. And we like those better don’t we. The times on the porch, at the farm, in the creek, at Secret Beach, where we can have olive shell contests and laugh and dream and scheme and relish the in between. We prefer the days of poetry and praise, of watching our children grow, fall in love, accomplish a task, overcome a set back, bring home a friend who gives life and knows Truth. Become a woman or a man, of God.

We’d prefer to float in our boats with our men. To leave behind the worry of work and the pressures of life. To see them exhale and breathe in salt air. To open a beer and slip in a lime and wiggle our toes and let go of time. To see the very last streak of orange and pink. To  stay off shore until we have to come in. To turn up the music and dance crazy silly in our hearts.

And we  go without days, though painful and dry, without talking or saying a word. But running on fumes of love that is stored. Deep in the places where friendship is placed. Though trials have come, some that are too awful to name, we know in our knowers that if we face them again, we can and we will. Because we are real friends.

And you know I would say it again, like I did before. If you go first, save me a seat. And warm a Charleston Green rocker with a wonderful view of the sea. Because we know our God well and we know our God deep. And there is no way  in this world that His heaven won’t have a wonderful view of the porpoise and shrimp boats on Jeremy Creek.

I love you. You bless me every single day of my life. I can’t remember before I knew you but I know there were years. You make life exciting and beautiful, glamorous and fantabulous.

Happy birthday, H. If you go first I will never forgive you. But then you would insist that I do. So okay I will. But I’d rather you not leave me a day on this earth, to live and to breathe and to celebrate living.

Take care of yourself.
Happy Day of Your Birth

I love you, I do. Happy Day 22.

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(Today is Day 22. Thank you as always for being here, for following along on this journey. If you wish to leave a birthday wish to my precious friend H, I will pass it on to her. She is my confidant, my accountability partner, my sister in Christ, and my closest friend. We raise children and husbands together and walk out our faith together with love and friendship and lots and lots of words between us.)

Harriett and I and the cross