The Healing Fragrance of Thanks

Dear Friends,

I picked the smallest trio of gardenia blossoms from my bush, placed them in a silver vase and sat them on my desk.

Beauty permeated my home. Fragrant beauty.

If you know this flower you know the potency of its fragrance, the unmistakeable trademark of its sweet, sweet smell. They say that our memory of smells stays with us the longest. Perhaps while others fade, slowly for some, quickly for others, the memory of Noxzema, fresh cut grass and Confederate Jasmine linger the longest. Find a place to embed or root deep down in our souls.

But I say, the memory of a generous act may rival the glorious fragrance of my beloved gardenia.

And so it is was when I  planted the seed of a dream. And  the winds of friendship picked it up, carried it off and watered it gingerly. Carefully. Diligently.

Friends who are strangers. Making the sweetness even more delectable.

Thank you. Saying it feels right and proper yes, but healing. In a come-full-circle way, the sending back of gratitude when a kind and generous gift has been received feels like closure. Gathering up the seeds of generosity and sending them back out to land on fertile soil, elsewhere. Out there. In the world.

Thank you friends at Tweetspeak Poetry and TSPoetry Press. Thank you L.L. Barkat and Tania Runyan. Thank you friends, known and unknown. Thank you for gathering the momentum, funds, and steam behind the gift of 180 copies of  “How To Read A Poem,” published by TSPoetry Press and written by Tania Runyan.

When I think of my gardenia which bloom every summer I will always remember your friendship and generosity.

I know we have given a gift which has and will touch the hearts and souls and minds of the class of 2014 of one school in one little zip code town.

There is mystery in the giving. There is trust in the release.

Poetry has a job to do, perhaps. Poetry has an opportunity to release its fragrant offering into the lives of one graduating class.

The gift of poetry and the gift of faith, joined together in this one beautiful act of friendship and generosity.

May you smell the sweet fragrance of my thanks. May my gratitude be known and remembered by each participant in this act of generosity.

Imagine with me the possibilities. Dream with me of the places poetry will go.

wishing you poetry, always,

elizabeth

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The Neighbor

The Neighbor

In cryptic cursive he penned
words of gratitude
my cold heart
wondered at the knock
hid behind
unknowing
shameful
that
on a cold and wintry day

I should wonder what he wants
when all he brought
was his  small note
an offering
and laid it by the door

words of thankfulness
I sit
with guilted
pain
ashamed
that I  would rest in vain
repose
frozen
slow to do the same
pen a note of telling
how it is I feel
black pen on gilded cards
left staring at a
hand that cannot write
a few short lines of humble
thanks
I learned from him
the neighbor sent to me
with a shaky cursive hand
still fresh from loss and grief
who poured
into a 2×3
sincerity
this kind response sat at my door
one day when I was covered up in grief

who taught him how to love the sky
at night, I found him staring
at it ablaze, in oranges and reds
I’ve seen him smile and stare
gazing heavenward
awash in grief
I weep at my
ingratitude
oh January finds me
in desperate need
to write a letter
release it from my cold and thankless heart
and had he used the mailbox
rather than my door
I might have missed the chance to
be shaken
by a simple act

I heard the screen open
then
slam and hit the door
awakened by my
neighbor
the neighbor
in cryptic cursive, he penned
words of gratitude.

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Catching Up With Gratitude and Thanksgiving

So there is a place. This space, a canvas, a carved out place. Where there is a gathering of souls. My blog. A gift.  And things have been quieter, a little quieter, recently. Here.

And sometimes when I write in this place it feels like prayer, or speaking to an empty room, or a  crowd of no one, or a gathering of kindreds. Very often it feels like releasing words on wings not knowing where they will fly. But God knows. He always has and He always will. Good and gracious.  Everlasting to everlasting. Eternally. World without end.

So this feels like an accounting and a catching up. And in this season of Gratitude and Giving Thanks, I am called and lead to do both. This week that is ending, is the week before Thanksgiving Week, though I want to live in a place of Thanksgiving  always. And everyday.

And so in a spirit of Gratitude and Thanksgiving I say thank you. For reading my art, my offerings, my poetry, my prose. Thank you for hearing and seeing the words that fly from this place.

You may want to know that for the last 12 weeks I have been working, though it has felt more like playing some days,  in a workshop entitled “The Writing Life” offered by Tweetspeak Poetry. So for 12 weeks much of my writing has been in the form of writing assignments. Some of it will appear here. It has kept me busy, away from here more than usual. But I hope that you will see a new passion in my writing, new focus perhaps, or just more of the same with a little more prose.

You heard more prose, yes you did.

Poetry is driving my writing. It will influence my prose. But I am pushing myself into other genres. Or flinging open doors, taking my metaphors, my lyricism and compression, an economy of words, into my prose.

And I have been scheming and dreaming about my art and where it might go. And how it might look. And what changes I may make and what projects I may undertake. I have some projects up my sleeve. You will likely be some of the first to know. They really just involve more writing. Which is what this place is about.

In addition to being grateful for you, I realize I have been enormously blessed to have had my work appear at Burnside Writer’s Collective. I have a poem running this weekend. I believe it is my fourth there. But who is counting. When it is up I will link to it.

And I have a by-line/bio appearing under the tab “Meet Our Team” at Tweetspeak Poetry. This has been a wonderful community for me. A place where I have developed friendships, learned about the craft of writing and had some of my work published on-line. I am submitting a new piece soon. I may have the privilege of having it appear there. I will share it when it runs over there.

So thank you for reading and commenting. For encouraging me and supporting my art.

I have added some new tabs to my blog header and have made a few changes. Did you notice? I am still working on all of it. So thanks for grace and patience.

I hope it is a peaceful place, a quiet place. And a rich and soulful place to come.

Gratefully and thankfully yours,

Elizabeth

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Quiet Is The New Loud

Quiet is the new loud, a reconstitution
of noise, watered down background
Sound, sounds hushed
like peace
and quiet. If it were a color it would be
White
Noise is the new normal.
Transformation is everywhere.
Orange is black.
And simple is complicated.
And renaming is everywhere.
Just calling is so doesn’t make it
but somehow quiet seems to want
to take over and rule me.
And I concede, give up the reigns
Loose the bit and bridle
As let it take control, run away with me.

Because quiet is queen.
And she wears a crown of humility.
A simple garment.
And whispers all I need to hear.

For if I thought I had much or any
Control,
I, thankfully, do not.

Everything I have ever needed to hear,
I have heard in the quiet,
still, small voice,
of a whisperer.
The new reigning queen
Of a quiet and peaceful world.

Hush, you might hear her pin drop,
Her scepter
Light as a feather
makes
no sound.

And quietly she takes her place
Upon a humble
Muted throne.

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Living Under The Fullness

Blue Moon HMM

Living Under The Fullness

Chin up
Sharp as  shadows
Cast on sundial’s round stone timepiece
Watch me tilt my face
I gaze
Moonward, toward the
Pregnant planet, round and white
God knows it will wane
On the other side
Of fullness
In time
And just when it splits
Open
Bursting with
Effervescent  beams
It seems
Ready to drip
Drops of moon light bright
Down, down down
Past the Mily Way
Dropping into the sea
I will prepare my heart for the weight of waning
But for now
I am living under the fullness of glory
Be
I am
Guided by a lone moon’s light
Comforted by the reflection suspended by still
Mirroring my life
Under the countenance of its gaze
I caress the captain of my ship
Amazed by a sleepy
One-eyed sky
All is still
I am
Held captive by a knowing
That for today
And for tonight
We are
Living drenched in moony playfulness
Held by the heavens that
Hold one
Moon and I
Under a perfectly pitched tent of ebony sky
We sing a song
Of far flung gladness
Leaves our lips
A duet of moon-soaked bliss
The notes, dance
Beneath the summer sky
My love, the moon and I.

Joining Laura Boggess for her Playdates At The Wellspring