I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection,
How did you get there?”
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.
The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel.
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.
Too many needles spoil the cloth. Too many parrots spoil the talk. Too many chapped lips spoil the gloss. Too many teasel burs spoil the paw. Too many bubbles spoil the froth. Too many doorbells spoil the knock. Too many … Continue reading →
I will praise my failures. I will praise What I have not accomplished and do not possess Because it has led to this moment At ten in the morning on a smoky October day, Sitting on the bedroom floor in my bathrobe, Treated to a rectangle … Continue reading →
Go on, young Alfie, son of Albion, Fearless fighter in a soulless age, With every shallow breath, while judges rage, To the very end, beyond all hope. Go on, young Alfie, son of Tom, Lion-hearted soul, without a trace Of … Continue reading →
A new hour, a new day, a new Sunday. I happened to be standing beside him As he completed the canvass for me Praying “Draw me, draw me, Spirit of God That I may think what is Holy.” I … Continue reading →
Here lies ashes of Art Morgan buried at the foot of Sakura Tree at Forest Law Cemetery close to Mother’s gravesite.
Father and Son
wearing the same outfit
black turtle neck, black jacket, black coat.
Can I tell the difference?
young and older,
It was Remembrance Day.
Father was in town for the legion
to commemorate Remembrance Day.
Where have you been hiding this young lady?
asked Father to Son.
Where have you been hiding your father?
a thought I kept to myself for the Son.
He was an army pilot during World War II.
Father survived the war,
got married, raised a
family of four.
I was happy to meet Father but
death came to soon.
in his own
Have you seen a
grown man cry?
Son was inconsolable.
In Father’s bedroom
there I sat on his bed and lit
a candle to say a little prayer
and left the candle burning
by the bedside table.
WHO LIT A CANDLE!
Scream came out of Son’s mouth
hush, it was me, hush
wishing I could take away his
time to scatter the ashes on top
of the mountain
overlooking the lake.
One by one
the family took handful of ashes
blown to smithereens
carried by the wind.
Mine placed in a small container
for Father’s ashes to bury him
at the cemetery.
At the foot of the Sakura tree
is where I buried his ashes
near Mother’s resting place.
Father’s bible was given to me
in memory of Son’s Father.
There is no answer to Why.
will always remind
me of Father and Son.
The earth expanding right hand and left hand, The picture alive, every part in its best light, The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted, The cheerful voice of the public road, the … Continue reading →
When I feel bumbed out instead of being self-absorbed, I focus on gratitude. So, I will share this poetry and I wish you goodnight. Every night before I go to sleep I say out loud Three things that I’m … Continue reading →
THE JOURNEY Above the mountains the geese turn into the light again Painting their black silhouettes on an open sky. Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. … Continue reading →
When it comes to color, I prefer not to see it. So I say to others, I am color blind. This works for me, especially when at work. We have color coded paper and employees used to tell me they … Continue reading →
Because we are girls Father wants us to stay home Because we are girls Mother wants us to be free Because we are girls Father does not want us to go to school Because we are girls Mother wants us to … Continue reading →
When your back is broke and your eyes are blurred. And your shin-bones knock and your tongue is furred, And your tonsils squeak and your hair gets dry, And you’re doggone sure that you’re going to die, But you’re skeered … Continue reading →
“The Hummingbirds” In this book there are many hummingbirds— the blue-throated, the bumblebee, the calliope, the cinnamon, the Lucifer, and of course the ruby-throated. Imagine! Well, that’s all you can do. For they’re swift as the wind and they fly, … Continue reading →
I’m but a human,
a leaf, a bee, a fish,
a ripple in the surface of still waters,
I’m mainly water,
crushed by risk acceptance,
new science of fakes,
deciding that life’s unique beings,
are just percentiles…
the political – scientist can do without,
leaves, bees, fish,
Me and You alike,
And I would like to add that deep inside of us, we have a heart and the colour of our blood is the same.
I stumbled on this poem due to a slip of a finger using iPad at Sound Cloud by George-B. George has a wide selections of classical music that I go to his site to listen while I do housekeeping or while I write. Thank you George for allowing me to share your poetic thought.
I recently talked with a friend who’s spent time in the same deep darkness that I’ve known from time to time. In the course of our conversation, she shared a beautiful poem with me — a poem she wrote about an experience that helped her come through that darkness back into the light.
As the poem itself says, this may not be for you. But I wanted to share it here, with her permission, knowing that if the poem brings light to only one other person, I’ll be glad I passed it along. I know it brought light to me.
Untitled by Willow Harth
This poem is not meant for you
unless you too have been underground
choking on your life’s debris, and
playing peek-a-boo with death seriously
then the surprise of ten thousand buttercups
out of nowhere on every side where they’d
never been before on my daily walk
might have had the effect on you it did on me
I wanted to understand how these particular
flowers came to be—the whole evolutionary
history of mosses, ferns and angiosperms,
the miracle of photosynthesis and DNA, not
to mention the longings of the Milky Way
to reflect itself in the form called flowers and
in these buttercups, which seemed like a
visitation from the sun, urging me to tell you, in
case like me you had forgotten
“At last you’ve left and gone to the invisible: How marvellous the way you Quit this world. You ruffled your feathers and, Breaking free of your cage, You took to the air, bound for Your soul’s world… A love-sick nightingale … Continue reading →
An allegory between the stars and the fireflies:
We may want to shoot for the stars and be like fireflies to shine like the stars but I say just be yourself, you will shine with your inner light.
Image credit to: Ionut Burloiu of Italy for having chosen as one of the best contributors of “After Midnight” Your Shot assignment at National Geographic. Thank you Ionut for allowing me to share your photo of my memorable childhood.
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey –
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Click on the photo to take you to the original post.
This Memorial Day, I offer a tribute to the hundreds and thousands of Filipino Guerrillas who fought in World War II alongside the Americans. In a moving poem, General Romulo penned these words:
To the men who fought
In defense of the Philippines
In the 1941-1942 campaign
The ill-trained, ill-armed recruits
In straw helmets and rubbers shoes
The pilots without planes
The sailors without ships
The men on horseback
Fighting tanks with sabers
The gunners short of shells
The soldiers with obsolete rifles
Hungry in the foxholes of Bataan
And the batteries of Corregidor
Racked by dysentery, malaria, beriberi
Surviving on false hopes
Defeated at long last by their bodies
Sent to die in their faceless thousands
In the long cruel march to Capas
And in the concentration camps
This memorial is dedicated
By their grateful countrymen
Who will not forget
That their defeat was weakness of the flesh
But victory of faith loyalty and love.
~ Carlos P. Romulo
Half-American and half-Filipino, Panlilio wrote: Filipinos will die for love, and Americans will die for principle. I am half-and-half. I die the same way.”
Boiled eggs harden
Hard they may, they still crack
We painted some, we played more
We insisted that we do it our way
If not take the highway
Highway is not really high
It is the low road of life
For we are fragile as eggs
We can’t stand on our own feet
Since we do not have any feet nor limbs
Otherwise we rolled around
With no direction
So I say to you
There is nothing wrong with…
With a little help from anyone
For no man is an island
We are here for one another
Thank you for being there for the past 40 days. Silence is now broken.
I must have listened to this video a hundred times. Watching the video distracts me from listening so I converted it to voice only. When I listen, I also like to jot down the words and I ended up transcribing the spoken words. The key words compassion, acceptance and tolerance are words that I will keep in my heart and put into practice.
Listen and prepare ourselves in educating our mind and hearts.
(click to listen)
When a child is born,
we do everything we can
to protect them, nurture them, love them.
A child’s heart and mind are fragile.
As they grow, we want to teach them everything we know.
We send them to school
to fill their minds with wonderful knowledge
to give them the tools they need for life.
At school they get a taste what things are like in a world outside. There’s friendship, romance, disappointment,
embarrassment, discrimination and bullying.
They are the tools we give them enough to prepare them for this world.
We have an enormous responsible and an amazing opportunity.
If we truly want to prepare them for the world outside,
we must also educate the heart.
Because to navigate the world outside
with compassion, acceptance and tolerance
we need to teach them
compassion, acceptance and tolerance.
This can begin in our schools and it can start today.
It can happen at hockey practice, dance class
and day camps and music lessons
and it’s already happening around the world
with astonishing results.
If we want our children to grow
into socially and emotionally capable young people,
we must ask for a balanced education
and put importance on educating both the mind and the heart.
It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
(click to listen)
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Today is new day.
I am creature of habit
Bird watching weather permitting
Standing at the entrance of the park
With a handful of bird seeds
The seeds will feed the birds
The joy of birds feeding
Will feed my heart.
I walked with giants
And talked with ancestors
As I looked down the millennia
At the branching and twisting of the Tree of life
Immersed in Deep Time
My relatives, now extinct for aeons
And those who teeter on the edge today
I stand humbled
Heart heavy with grief
And ponder my place in the cosmos.
– Andrew Jones
(written after a visit to the Mammoths exhibition at Edinburgh museum 13/2/14)
One night when the lawn was a golden green and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered what I would become—and where I would find myself— and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard my name as if for the first time, heard it the way one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off as though it belonged not to me but to the silence from which it had come and to which it would go.
Mark Strand, “My Name,” The New Yorker, April 11, 2005
I went up the hill to visit the old man who lives there. “It’s been a long time,” he said, “Since I’ve seen you.” “Yes,” I said, “I know. But I’d not forgot you.” Then, in welcome, he sang to me. But what I had remembered as a youthful voice full of vigor and fit for forever was turned now into a croak, a rasp, a sad affair of the heart. When he dies, I thought, a little of me will die with him. “These bones go deep,” he said with an effort as he stood there proud yet, “How can you forgive yourself?” I thought about that as I kissed him goodnight and laid him down to rest, up there on that hill. “In nomine Patris,” I said gently, “In nomine Patris.”
If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in.
And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.
The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there are always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself
Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.
You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.
Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head then solitude is blessed and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting life is magic things in reach.
And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that communities’ not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.
(Note: the italics and bold are emphasis that I want to remember and meaningful to me)
Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
you fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.
~~ Spiritual Canticle of St. John the Cross ~ Stanza 1
St. John the Cross was born in 1542 as John (Juan de Yepes Alvarez) in a small community near Avila, Spain. He joined the Carmelite Order in 1563 and took the name Juan de Sato Matia (John of St. Mathias). In 1577, the unreformed Carmelites imprisoned him in Toledo, Spain.
In a dark, cold and desolate six by 10 feet prison cell, he wrote his famous poem: Spiritual Canticle.
In 1578 after nine months of imprisonment, he escaped taking with him his poetry. He stayed in a convent to get better, read his poetry and shared his experience of God’s love to the sisters.
He is similar to Rumi, a poet and a mystic. He also wrote the Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mount Carmel. He is one of the leading poets in Spanish literature.
Toad I was walking by. He was sitting there. It was full morning, so the heat was heavy on his sand-colored head and his webbed feet. I squatted beside him, at the edge of the path. He didn’t move. I … Continue reading →
I am thrilled to present to you a poem written and spoken by K. A. Braceof The Mirror Obscura. KB as I call him writes powerful poem. He is kind enough to send me a copy of his poem even though I did not win on the guessing game. Thank you, KB.
Click on the arrow button, LISTEN and Tell Everyone!
“Tell No One”
Ever since the sun went down
I have been watching
The trees drink up all the night.
Constellations are collapsing, stars
Die of thirst without crying
As the earth is filled with darkness seeping
Through the roots of forests but cannot protest.
When the sun attempts to rise again
There will be nothing left for it to hang on.
The sky will be a ghost of dreams
Made mute and imageless by this theft.
I am unsure to wake you for fear
You will not believe what I see.
Without you only stones are witnesses
But will not speak.
They are ambivalent weights of destiny
That care only for themselves.
I am frozen where I stand
Afraid to sleep, knowing when I wake
The world will have changed again.
What are you willing to sacrifice
For nothing, letting sacrifice
Be enough of its own?
Are you willing to leave
All lingering doubts behind you
In a trail of sloughed off skins?
Those who follow
Will use them as parchment
To write the unknown stories
Of other lives.
What it is you really want
Beyond the atmosphere of being?
The regiments of days
Will march past the spot
You stand on now.
Unable to decide
To mark your place or leave
Nothing to be remembered by
Freezes you in indecision.
You already know what comes after
Can only come
If you give way and leave nothing.
You were nothing and will return to it.
To expect more
Is to wait in an eternity
Of unanswered questions,
You are left with
What is it you fear the most?
It is the thing you love.
It is an unresolvable situation
If we try to resolve it.
Sooner or later fear
Turns into displeasure and love
We murder the thing within us
Love to be a part of us
And all the times thereafter
We know our guilt.
It cannot be expunged,
Forgotten, or covered over.
Every thought we have becomes
One of never having had the faith
To love as we could have loved
Something outside ourselves.
The truth is
We could not find it in our heart
To love ourselves enough
To think ourselves worth loving.
That is the mark of Cain,
The shadow cast by shame.
Will never be that sweet.
Bitterness is what we seek
Even unaware as we are
Of how tempting the taste is
On the tongue, the ease
With which some words
Are palatable when said.
There is more vehemence
In the unbridled side
Of life’s ugliness.
When let loose to wander freely
In what is voiced it frees
What hides beneath the skin;
Has been waiting
To be asked
To join in and boast
Of all it has been holding back.
Love cannot wait.
It cannot hide
And so stretches itself out
Underneath every sun and star
Of every moment it shows itself
As what it is
Until it feels unloved,
Then grows its scars
Counts them one by one every day
And calls each one by name,
The cause that made the wound.
I am caught in the wandering hours,
Pillars carved by a plague
Of halts with their aromas,
Sweet scents of decay, lingering
In tropes no tongue can speak of.
Fountains of drought spew sand
In all directions making a wasteland of the day,
A hollowness of a frigid night.
Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the planets
Can move in their orbits obstructed
By dead songs of an astrology gone mad.
There is no going back. The past
Has been erased to hide itself
From what lies ahead, bitterness
And the orphaned waiting of the old.
Reluctance has become the watchword
In what wisdom still flourishes
Like an ocean tide that once receded
Refuses to wash once more to shore.
All I can do is watch
As the world shrinks beneath the weight
Of its own shadow on the sky.
If you ever pass this way when time
Has become a voice again
Remember what you have seen here
And tell no one or they will think
You have lost all sense of what is real.
But in remembering it will thrive,
Take on the true life of its own,
As though you had birthed it
With its own freedom.
Two people that are faithful to each other’s writing. And they are both worthy of one another. I find them beautiful.
… and silent; and silence is not always a bad thing. And silence is not always a good thing. I’m late, and I’m silent, and my brilliant and beautiful wife has stumbled into slumber, which is a rational thing to do. There was some kind of get-to-gether last night all over the continent, and their focus was to turn their clocks back one hour. I was convinced to jump in on the madness, and that might be why I’m really tired and it is only 11:02 pm. Seems later. Apparently we were all supposed to “fall back” …
My (currently silent) partner, just broke her silence from her slumber and told me respectfully, “Its time to stop your computing, Dear. Its time to go to bed. So, I guess I will end with … Find your voice; rejoice; pray and listen. This week grab wisdom, and don’t be stupid. Peace, you guys,
Silence is neither always good nor bad,
but it is what clings to you late into the night.
My settled wife has stumbled into settled slumber,
a rational thing to do I’d agree, but still,
here I am, bone weary, too drained to get up and join her.
The continent this night got together to turn their clocks
upside down and backside front, and—convinced as I was
to connive in on the madness—I think that explains me
somehow: I was supposed to fall back and apparently I did,
because whatever time it is, it’s too late for me now.
“Dear, come to bed.”
Find your voice. Rejoice. Pray and listen. This week grab wisdom and don’t be stupid.
I went to bed.
I have this note posted on my computer at work that is sort of a queue card for me that helps me on a daily basis when it comes to communication, analysis and problem solving.
“I have six honest serving men, they taught me all I know. I call them What, Where, When, Who, Why and How.”
However, I have a problem with Why. For me, it’s a childish question. It’s alright when a child ask me why but when an adult asks, I felt like saying: “Are you a dolt?” in my mind. So I facetiously answer: “Why is the sky blue?” Evading this word is easier for me than responding to it. The person will never be satisfied with my response. It is akin to being put on the grill. Having worked in a law firm, I know better.
As I found out, the whole poem is part of a children’s book written by Kipling:
I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me, I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
The Elephant’s Child
On my way to work, something fell from the sky. As I walked closer to it, it appeared to be a small piece of paper iridescent green colour. I bend down to pick it up and it was paper light.
Good Lord. A hummingbird. I don’t know what to do. I was so scared that it might have died from the impact of hitting the pavement. It was breathing so fast. Stroking it as gently as possible and praying to it “Please do not die” was all I can do,
I turned around and went to the nearest bush. I laid it gently, left and hope it will come back to its senses.
On my coffee break around 10 am, I went to check the bush. The hummingbird was gone. I hope it flew away.
This was the first time I encountered a hummingbird.
Fast forward a year later. Spring, a beautiful sunny day, however, the dark night of the soul is trying to invade me.
I was gardening on my balcony at the same time talking to God.
God, where are you. I don’t particularly like how I am feeling, please take this away from me. Where are you?
Suddenly I heard this whooshing sound. It was high pitched buzzing more like it. Am I hearing things now? Or the tension is affecting my eardrums again?
I look up and right in front of me was this beautiful golden hummingbird.
Oh my God. I repeated this so many times in my mind. Transfixed to this small creature, I did not breathe nor move for fear of scaring it away.
Time stood still.
Zoom, it was gone. So was the dark night of the soul.
From here on, the hummingbird is my constant companion especially when I tend to garden. One hummer brought others and they stay around all year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stand still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.
A Robert Frost Hummingbird Poem
I sit beneath the cliff, quiet and alone.
Round moon in the middle of the sky’s a bird ablaze:
all things are seen mere shadows in its brilliance,
that single wheel of perfect light…
Alone, its spirit naturally comes clear.
Swallowed in emptiness in this cave of darkest mystery,
because of the finger pointing, I saw the moon.
That moon became the pivot of my heart.
On my dear grandmother I will love her my whole life,
She always taught me
To be a good Christian
To be strong and wise, To know how to fight this life,
And during hard times
To know how to get over them.
Good advice she always gave me: You be good
Hold your head straight up.
Show dignity and respect So that’s how you will treated
By others in your life.
Respect them to be respected Don’t let your soul be filled with reproach With good thoughts surround yourself
For he comes back tenfold.
He returns in your life
And that you will enjoy
And again do not forget
To be a good person my girl.
Always think positive This is the unwritten secret
The secret of great achievements
And of a life full of wonders.
This is what she taught me Grandmother, my grandmother,
A simple country woman
Good-hearted, warm look.
Just not in vain they are called Great wise elders,
Even without much education
They know too well the secrets of this world.
And not in vain they say
Buy yourself an old people if you don’t already have one.
They will give you good advice
Sure you will not regret it.
Written in Romanian language by Adeena’s Bunica (Grandmother). Thank you Adeena for sharing your Grandmother with us. Translated by my Romanian friend.
Please visit and direct your comments to Adeena’s Bunica (Grandmother).
I’ve had my share of necessary losses, Of dreams I know no longer can come true. I’m done now with the whys and the becauses. It’s time to make things good, not just make do. It’s time to stop complaining and pursue The pleasures of an ordinary life.I used to rail against my compromises. I yearned for the wild music, the swift race. But happiness arrived in new disguises: Sun lighting a child’s hair. A friend’s embrace. Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place. The pleasures of an ordinary life.I’ll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory. It seems the woman I’ve turned out to be Is not the heroine of some grand story. But I have learned to find the poetry In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see. The pleasures of an ordinary life.Young fantasies of magic and of mystery Are over. But they really can’t compete With all we’ve built together: A long history. Connections that help render us complete. Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet, Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.Judith Viorst
The vines are starting To look very wiry
Choking the other plants.
The blossoms are going to seeds
Bees are sucking the very
Last drop of nectar.
Assessing the garden
Spring and summer plants
Are looking tired.
The shrubs are overgrown
Leaves are falling
Sign of fall coming.
What choice do I have
On this matter
But to do garden work
I rolled over under the bush
To trim the under brush
It wasn’t a good idea.
I forgot to harvest the strawberries
Therefore, I cannot bring
The sweet wine I promised.
I know I have other things to do
With mind focused on gardening
Nothing else mattered
Working hard made me hungry
I feasted on Chinese food
No time to cook supper.
I am sure the this body
Will be feeling today
The aches and pain.
I had the joy
That is mine
Yesterday of “Today”
Related link: “Today”
Once in a Blue Moon…
The color of a river,
A sway of life, With the glow of a knife,
Blue is a wonderful hue,
Unlike gloomy glue,
It’s the little body of a fly,
The color of the sky,
The color of the summer,
Showing a wonderful time,
The color of a peacock,
And our oceans too,
Blue is rain,
But never snow,
Who might ever know?
Blue is the Earth,
The stability of all life,
Once in a Blue Moon…
Earth is dying,
Its blue is going,
Once in a Blue Moon…
It is up to you and I,
Save the Earth,
Or only it will survive,
Once in a Blue Moon…
Once in a Blue Moon
Author’s Note: We had to make this poem about our favorite color last year in school, and express it. Blue is very important for many reasons to this world, and I wanted to express it. As you all know, water is being wasted and it’s up to mankind himself to stop it. When I say Once in a Blue Moon, I mean if we don’t help Earth now, it will be once in a blue moon that it might be saved. (Meaning a long time.) This is my first partially “serious” poem as so to speak, so I hope you like it. June 14, 2008 KidPub.com
Photo taken by seeker on August 21, 2013 at 4:49 am
It is essential to experience all the times and moods of one good place
I studied and it taught me nothing. I learned it and soon forgot everything else.Having forgotten, I was burdened with knowledge.The insupportable knowledge of nothing.How sweet my life would be if I were wise!Wisdom is well known when it is no longer seen or thought of.Only then is understanding bearable.
Do you ever read Ann Landers? She is gone now and I miss reading her newspaper column. I must say I enjoy reading the Dear Ann Lander section. Some of her articles I cut and pasted them on the inside door of my dresser so that when I open the door, the first thing I see are the articles not the clothes.This poem was published in one of her articles.
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… That you really are strong, And you really do have worth. And you learn and learn… With every goodbye you learn.Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall
I am always curious about post written in different languages and I came across with “SpicchieRicordi” written by In Sense of You. I asked the writer to translate it for me and she was happy to do it. I am even happier to read in English. In doing so, I am sharing with you the English translation.
In Sense of You
If fruits don’t exist we don’t belong at the circle of Collect Looking for symmetric balance of perfumes and trolley line Taking care to exalt cloves that a cut and a push don’t break their turgor.Is the aesthetics note from Genesis’ time and otherwise or likewise dignified of an usual aestheticism too Alarming is the need of understand if keep it together or disjoin it and this is not like to tell or to do for bitter Bud A scaffolding of tough choices.For the original version, please visit In Sense of You. Thank you for the English translation.
Have you been told to get a life? And how do you respond to that?It’s an asinine statement! How do you get a life? My response is:I AM LIFE.I breathe life and I exhale life. What I breathe out is food for the plants. I take care of two unwanted cats and looked for the owners of cats I found. I provided bird houses for Finches and Chickadees to raise their family. I grew vegetables for others’ nourishment. I planted flowering plants for birds, bees, butterflies and other winged insects.I AM LIFE.I cared for children with AIDs I volunteered at the hospice. I thought students with learning disabilities to read. I raised funds for non-profit organizations. I fostered children.I AM LIFE.I make an honest living. I help people who are in dire need. I support the education system. I became a Big Sister. I bowled for Big Brothers.I AM LIFE.I help strangers that sustained an injury. I cleaned up old folks apartments. I entertained the lonely dwellers in our building. I urge people to grow anything on their balcony. I saved life of a hummingbird, lady bug, baby turtles.And, then some….Now, ask me again to get a life. With all due respect, let me ask you, what kind of life do you live?
The world of dew is only a world of dew and yet… and yet…
a drop of dew on a branch
in the hostile world of the desert land a single plant grows not a mist gathers in the morning sun a dew gently falls on the sand. if you truly look beyond your naked eyes – a microscopic bug
emerges from the sand to great the day – to drink the dew.as it drinks the fountain of elixir it lifts its tiny body towards heaven a toast of thanksgiving.a mere speck of dew is life enhancing – is life sustaining – Thanks be to dew.The world of dew is only a world of dew and yet… and yet…
For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent. It is a period of reflection living Lent. It is a time of prayer. It’s about dying to our self, all that negative attitude and thoughts.In one of my retreats, Lent was defined as: L – Lets E – Eliminate N – Negative T – ThoughtsHaving said that, I learned to use soft words, less on exclamation point to make a point, bite my tongue. For those who are familiar with cognitive behaviour, this is what they teaches in the course. It all makes sense to me.This period is not all about me; it’s all about God whoever you conceive him to be, from Abba to Zen. They said God lives in us. Can you see the reflection of God in another person? Or let’s not even mention God. Can you see the goodness of a person?You see, I believe that we are all inherently good.Since you told me in my post Tell me and I will tell you mine, I will tell you the title of this list: Fasting and Feasting. I choose Feasting. Instead of giving up, I will give in and listen to the prompting of God.I will leave you with something to think about, a poem:“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. “ Etienne de Grellet (1773-1855); Quaker missionarySomething to read: We can make a difference right now A Genie in a bottle or 12 steps program Kindness of a stranger
Funny (not funny ha-ha) asking me that question. I just finished watching the DVD of Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven. It’s a modern adaptation of John Bunyan’s beloved classic tale.Pilgrim’s song is a song that is constantly humming in my head. I grew up with this song and I love the lyrics. Pilgrim Progress is a required reading at school, a literally tale written by John Bunyan when he was imprisoned. Perpetua is my second name.I found the lyrics after coming from a pilgrimage at All Roads Lead Home.
Man is lonely by birth. Man is only a pilgrim on earth. Born to be king, time is but a temporary thing, only on loan while on earth.
Like the wind in the tree, man has been rather reckless and free. Thrown far and wide, we long to settle down beside the stream flowing through eternity.
Like the grass on the lawn, we will pass by the way and be gone. A lesson to learn, we walk but once there’s no return. Time is always moving on.
Man is longing for One, for a song and a place in the sun, a home up above where ev’ry day is lived in love, for rest when the journey is done.
A reminder that I am pushing the Pause Button in Daily Prompt as mentioned in my post Forty Days andForty Nights. Until then, care take of your sweet self.
I know I am just passing through in this life, a pilgrim. This is not my home. I should have not been born as I mentioned in my post My hero.A lot of people had a surreal experience. It just a matter of being aware or in tuned to what is happening in your body and out of your body.To cite an example, when I was just a little girl, I was having an afternoon siesta. It’s a requirement that children must have a good afternoon rest. My older siblings will ensure that we take a nap.As I lay asleep, I was looking down at my body sleeping like a baby and my other self is up on the ceiling attached by a golden thread. It was scary for a mere child and I said to myself, bring me back to my body, Now! Whump! I’m back, opened my eyes, felt a tremendous headache. That was my first awareness.It happens all the time, I just have to keep myself grounded otherwise, I will be floating in air. People call me crazy, who cares. It’s a gift. It’s nothing new. Look at all those great people such as Carl Jung, William Blake, Gopi Krishna, Padre Pio, Dag Hammarskjold, etc. who have such gift.Let me share with you what Dag wrote titled Markings:I don’t know who or what put the question I don’t know when it was put I don’t even remember answering But at that moment I did answer Yes To Someone or something And from that hour I was certain That existence is meaningful And that, therefore my life, Is self-surrender Had a goal.Think about this.This is in response to Daily Prompt: Surreal. Come and join us, you’ll discover who you are.
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Teachable Moment.You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else does it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself?From time to time, at work, we are cross trained and switch duties. At the beginning of this year, I switched duties with someone in our team. As for teachable moments, all of the above is how I learn. Just reading the “how to manual of procedures” doesn’t cut it, because the manual is written after the fact that it has been tried.Even people in higher level, when I explain a certain process to them, I’m asked “show me”. If nobody shows me the proper process, I am bound to make mistakes at work. And I could easily say “not my fault, I wasn’t trained or nobody told me”. I dislike saying this statement; therefore, all of the above. Show and tell; then read the manual.I just remembered a beautiful poem about when children learn and here it is:Children Learn What They Live If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilt BUT If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to liveWITH WHAT IS YOUR CHILD LIVING
DP Jan 24, 2013 Ready, Set GoSet a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish
Good Morning, God, thank you for another day.
I wake up way before the birds start singing, the day is still dark. This is my precious time being one and one with my God. It’s about me and my God. Not much time when there is 24 hours in a day. From 5 am to 7 am, then I head off to work.
This is also the time I do the daily prompt, not much time to think but everything is Impromptu. The more I think, the more my brain gets muddled up. Don’t think too much.
The minute I step out of this sanctuary, I will be a whole different world. It will be all about them. I am out there to be of service especially at work, put in 7 hours, an honest work for an honest pay. Then I say a prayer, Lord, Let every step I do begins and ends with you.
Back to waking up; I fill my thoughts with goodness, a moment of Gratitude, this is the time where the very best of my thoughts come from my God:
The very best of all my thoughts Are those that think of you The very best of all my words Are those that speak of you My fondest hopes, my cherished dreams, My prayers to the Lord above The very best of all these I offer you my love.
Faith, Hope and Charity is the basis of my being.
Thoughts, Emotion and Behaviour are the basis of cognitive thinking.
This is a triangle I follow in order to be at-one-ment.
And here’s a song for everyone. Have a safe day everyone. God Bless.
“Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?”
It’s now day three that I am under the weather.
I am so sick and tired of being sick with coughing, sneezing and dull achy feeling. Living alone does not help. I feel so alone in this world. I want my mommy.
The weather is uncooperative. It has been raining for a week now, cold miserable winter day. I am so bored all cooped up at home. It’s so depressing looking at the weather. I want the Sun.
Be patient. This too shall pass. It’s hard to be patient being sick with colds. I know I’m not the only one suffering with this blooming cold. I caught this from commuting, from work, from who knows. No point of blaming. I just have to have a lot of patience. Where can I buy patience?
What am I going to do about? I will cook more chicken noodle soup, cuddle up with my cats and a dose of hope from the Lost Generation.
When I look outside my balcony towards north, facing the horizon, I could see Grouse Mountain of North Vancouver. When it’s covered with snow on a beautiful sunny winter day like today, it’s spectacular. I feel like making a trip and climb the Grouse grind. Not.
I cannot due to just being plain lazy. Then I look down below. Sigh. My beautiful tree is no longer there. I gave that tree a hug all the time. I love watching the squirrels going round and round the branches. The racoon checking out the tree at night for food. My winged friends make it their home to nest.
When it starts to flower and seeds, so much pollen floating in the air. Much too much pinecones and don’t mind if I have to rake them out. The beetles in summer months come out at night. Lucy and Maurice the cats exercised their hunting skills.
One year, Father Winter came with a vengeance, covered the tree with snowy splendor. And then… sad, the branches cannot carry the load of white powdery stuff. Needless to say, I bid goodbye to the tree and all I have left is this memory.
Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.
Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by.
Who Has Seen the Wind? By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894
Have you seen the Wind? Felt It? Taste it? Heard It? Smelt it?Do you believed in the Wind? This is what faith means to me. I believe, I hope. Faith is a grace, a blessing.“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God” A quote from St. Paul to the Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8.
“Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?“Yeah, no school. It’s Professional Development Day. What can I do to take advantage of this day? Teachers have so many options offered by their association. Staffs have two courses course offered by their union: Dealing with Difficult People and Assertive vs. Aggressive. The venue is located at one of the schools. Since I am a staff member, I registered for both.The school was empty when I arrived. It’s strange to be at a school with no children running, playing, laughing. The hallway was so eerily quiet. The office was manned by administrative support staff. The classroom where the seminar was held has a bulletin board with different articles posted. Having an inquisitive mind, when there’s a bulletin posted, I read what is posted be at school or lamp-post. Two articles caught my attention: “Stop workplace drama” and “Myself and the world around me.” One of my peers wanted a copy of “Myself…” I offered to take a copy for him since I know where the photocopy machine is located. I also wanted a copy, and I used my camera to take a picture of “Myself…” The picture didn’t turn out properly. Thank goodness my peer has a copy.Should I want to be immortalized, I want a plaque written according to “Me and My World” placed at school ground and head office. This poem speaks volumes about my second life in another part of the world. The flags which she drew happened to be the same country were I came from, Philippines, and we both now belong to Canada. I am proud of this child and for the teacher who helped her shape her mind and for the parents as well. I contacted the teacher at the school if she could ask the student to allow me to share her poem. Request granted. Sharing is the best way to learn, and I am sharing with you a brilliant child’s mind about Know, Belief, Wonder, Fear, and Dream. Janzen Camara is the Author of Myself and the world around me. She is a Grade 10 student of Tupper Secondary School, one of 108 schools of Vancouver School Board. Thank you, Ms. Janzen Camara.
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” – Albert Einstein