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EndNotes

Posts tagged: Poetry

Summer night - a poem

Back Yard

Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967

Shine on, O moon of summer. 

Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak, 

All silver under your rain to-night. 

An Italian boy is sending songs to you to-night from an accordion. 

A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next month;

     to-night they are throwing you kisses.

An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits in a

     cherry tree in his back yard. 

The clocks say I must go—I stay here sitting on the back porch drinking

     white thoughts you rain down. 

     Shine on, O moon, 

Shake out more and more silver changes.

(S-R photo: The July 12, 2014, full moon over Spokane was a “super moon.”)

A summer’s day

A friend hosted a wedding shower the other night. She asked guests to bring their favorite love poem. Do you have one? With all the twittering about, I wonder if lovers still share poetry or even poetic thoughts. Here is a classic:

Shall I Compare Thee, (Sonnet XVIII)
by William  Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Thou are more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:

But thy eternal Summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

(S-R photo: Summer sunset at North Idaho’s Priest Lake)

 

Holy week continues

Holy Week…Passion and Grace: we enter Palm Sunday with triumph and joy, a journey into Jerusalem; our own lives seek the journey to return home, to enjoy friends and wonder about our future.  Jesus was deceived by false claims of devotion. We travel our lives with similar steps.

Holy Thursday invites us to share food, drink wine, speak holy words, share our thoughts amid laughter, memories and gentle friendship. Ritual and celebration define us. But soon darkness, betrayal, and anguish overcome us and life offers no real control – even when you are Jesus.

Good Friday crashes down with tragedy and skewed loyalties among friends; a frenzy of courage and grief and loss and confusion and hopelessness; a spiritual wandering; emptiness and death. Primal-scream loneliness. Darkness extinguishes one’s spirit. Where is that God who promises so much?

We seek quiet stirrings and reflection and desperately demand meaning out of endings. How can one live with deep anguish? How can one survive the death of all that is good, close, holy, loving? Chaos reigns.

And then…when hope no longer lingers in one’s bones…that stone which has sealed us into death, suddenly quakes loose in ways we could never imagine, understand or even ask for.  The thunderous movement liberates creation and the stone moves farther and farther away, smashing darkness. Light reaches into our own hiding places and warms what has been broken, offering healing and hope.

While our brains cannot explain, measure or understand, we are healed as we eagerly race from that sealed tomb into God’s grace of light and love; we arrive crashing into our God who will not abandon, our God who dances with joy at our own goodness.

The passion of Christ is the passion we claim for our own lives.

When we listen, we know the cosmic message: we are made in God’s image and deserve to be liberated from all that shackles us. In thunderous revelations or in quiet wandering, we arrive in the Light, we are made whole.

We deserve to dance in the Light of God’s Grace. Joyous Easter, promised resurrection ~ life.   

(S-R archive photo: Sunrise from the slopes of Mount Spokane)

Soul Food

I went to a “praying with poetry” gathering at my Catholic parish last night. Well over 60 people attended with most of us close to either side of 60 years old. Our priest read poems by William Stafford, Sherman Alexie and others. I was reminded that at this time of Advent – the four weeks before Christmas – we are called by the Church season to wait and be still and watchful – and reflective.  I stepped over Black Friday and  ignored Cyber Monday to get to my place in church where words filled the pockets of my heart, packages of faith – never neatly tied – I carried all the way home. Here is one for you:

Security

Tomorrow will have an island. Before night
I always find it. Then on to the next island.
These places hidden in the day separate
and come forward if you beckon.
But you have to know they are there before they exist.

Some time there will be a tomorrow without any island.
So far, I haven't let that happen, but after
I'm gone others may become faithless and careless.
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
you find, and after a while you decide
what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
you turn to the open sea and let go.

William Stafford

(S-R Archives photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at endnotescolumn@gmail.com.

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