April has arrived ~ it’s poetry time!

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April is here, and spring is in the air. The season of growth and life around us doesn’t only bring leaves and blooms, but it also inspires the poetry in each of us. Yes, April is National Poetry Month!

To encourage any who wish to craft verse in honor of this special month, I thought I’d share again a piece I penned a few years ago. The first seeds in our garden were just planted last week, and it was when I planted lettuce seven years ago that I wrote this piece. (It also hails back to my science teacher days in the mid-90s, when we planted seeds and charted their growth, measuring and marveling at the miracle of “tropisms.”

So, happy poem-ing to the poets among us!

 

Tropisms

By Angela Knight

 

Diminutive as a speck of dust, the black seed glistens on my palm.This onyx-tinged grain holds promise; it encapsulates life.

They say that if I bury this bit into the soil, a stem will soon point upward as roots burrow into the dirt.

“Magic?” I ask.
“No – science,” they say. “Tropisms: stems go up, roots come down. That’s just how it is.”
“But why? How do they know? Where do tropisms come from?”

As I ponder, I hear a silent reply:
“It is I who created the constellations, the oceans, the peaks, the valleys, the beating hearts, the seeds.
And I AM.”

So with awe more expansive than the waters of the world, I unite this tiny beacon of hope with the earth. Rains come: geotropisms tug down, phototropisms pull up, and the Creator smiles.
It is good.


Published in Parnassus, Feb. 2012


 

If you are in the Upland area this weekend, check out the Barton Rees Pogue Poetry and Arts Festival!

 

…I will share other poetry related to life’s “invisible issues” later in the month.

Everybody —

As National Poetry Month came to a close on Tuesday, I openly admit that I didn’t write a new poem every day. (That is a goal for next April!) I did spend a bit of time every day, though, doing SOMETHING poetry-related, and I have more than twenty new poems. Several will certainly remain in a digital folder to collect “digital dust.” A few made me laugh, some led me to deeper contemplation, and after my writing group encouraged me a couple of weeks ago, I even mailed one to The Saturday Evening Post to consider for publication in the humorous “post scripts” section. (It was a verse in a Shel Silverstein type of style about how to avoid falling, and if it is published anywhere, I’ll share it on my blog, but not before, as it needs to remain “previously unpublished. 🙂 )

Each day of National Poetry Month, the “poetic asides” blog offered a prompt to get me started. Often, this was very helpful in directing me. Sometimes, though, it made my mind travel in so many directions that it wouldn’t settle. (Think “hummingbird.”) One such prompt was the “everybody” one. Everybody ____ (fill in the blank.) It sounded to me like the title of a picture book, so I tried a rhyming type of verse… about eight lines into it, I was not sold. So I went thematic, but there were so many possible directions… this was a day we were traveling, so my writing was with pen and paper, and I decided to be simple and positive.

Made my list of verbs that “everybody” does. Everybody sleeps, eats, laughs, cries, plays, hurts… and everybody dreams. (I know that everybody isn’t monosyllabic, but one that day, they apparently were.) So my “everybody” poem was one of my simplest, and I’ll share here my “Everybody Haiku.”

Everybody dreams,
but everyone doesn’t hope…
maybe they can learn.

(And this haiku is dedicated to our 24 mentors, students and prayer partners in the Eastbrook South/UCC Kids Hope USA partnership!)

My P.a.D. Day 13 – entry

I will have to admit – today’s poem isn’t actually one I wrote today. This was the day of the Barton Rees Pogue Poetry & Arts festival. The story behind my entry is that I worked for more than a month to refine my poem, finally picked up an entry form at the library, and prepared it to mail in. Right as I was filling out the new form, I saw that there was a theme… and poems didn’t have to follow this theme. Mine didn’t, but I decided to enter it anyhow – and the three winners did. But I was glad I had the chance to read mine, as that’s where my thoughts had been. (Many other people read great poems also!. What was really fun was that my husband also read a poem that he had written – it was great!) Now that we know they have a theme each year, we’ll find this out in March so that we have time to prepare.

My favorite thing about today was actually from the “arts” part of the competition. Our daughter Emily entered four of her clay dragons (and a turtle for good measure) in the “youth” part of the competition. Not only were her dragons phenomenal in design, with many compliments, but she won “best in show” in her division! This was in competition with high school AP art students.

Okay, enough about Em’s wonderful dragons… as promised, I’ll share my poem here.

Scars

M.S.
Multiple Sclerosis.
Many Scars.
a Misbehaving System is what I call it.
You can call it what you wish.

Cells that should kill germs harm others instead, and what do they leave behind?
Scars.
What do they take away?
Energy. Control. Ability. Freedom.
“It’s all in your head,” you say.
And I agree.

With scars in my head,
I sometimes wonder what’s left.
Besides scars.
But then I hear an inner voice, one of assurance:

“Scars are not alone. When you look, you’ll find unexpected gifts:
The gift of empathy to offer an ear to hear of invisible pain, filled with frustration and hard to see with the outer eye.
The gift of peace beyond understanding, easier to feel when busy-ness is forced aside and stillness found.
The gift of love you’ll feel as dear ones see through and beyond your scars, and the truest love, shown through one whose scars bring new life.”

M.S.
More than Scars.
That’s what I call it.
You can call it what you wish.

P.a.D. – Day 12 – remembering Annette

I have been writing my daily poems, but there is also another post I’ve wanted to share here on “invisible issues.” Annette Funicello was known as an original Mouseketeer, but also for her diagnisis of MS, which she made public 21 years ago. (She had privately faced the diagnosis for almost five years, but she had chosen not to share this information.) So below is the tribute to Annette that I finally wrote. Today’s poetry theme was “broke,” and I thought the topic fit.

NPM 2013 – Day 12 – a “broke” poem

Anette

She was the leader of the club
that’s made for you and me –
in his younger years, Dad’s wall held her poster.
She played bingo with beach blankets,
and her innocent smile melted hearts.

Her smile never broke.
Her youthful marriage, three children, and almost 16 years…
then the marriage did.
But the smile did not, the children either.
Then the glue of time repaired life and brought in Glenn.

He offered a ring and a promise
to the smile that warmed America’s heart.
“Until death do us part” sealed the vow.
He didn’t know what would come,
a thief that would break into the one he loved.

“The crippler of the young,” some call it.
She saw MS enter her life the day she tried to play bingo,
with Frankie and the blankets at the beach.
Why couldn’t she walk straight? Why the numb hands?
How could she explain this? Was she crazy?

Glenn kept his promise. He loved his sweetheart, her smile, her spirit.
Twenty-five years, he walked the journey with her.
A cane, a chair, dark glasses – he loved her.
Then another chair, a bed, a hospital – he loved her still.
MS broke her health, but not her heart. And not his promise.

’Til death do us part… that’s what it took.
We’ll all miss you, Annette.

Annette Funicello 1952-2013

P.A.D. Day 1

April is “National Poetry Month,” so I have taken the PAD (Poem a Day) challenge. The blog “Poetry Asides,” published through Writers’ Digest, offers ideas for prompts each day. And the writer, Robert Lee Brewer, is quick to state that the purpose of this challenge is to get people to write poetry, not to create perfect works. So without additional fanfare, I’ll share today’s poem. I may or may not post future days’ poetry, but I’ll share at least a few times a week this month.

P.A.D. – Day 1: arrival poem

Spring 2013

Sometimes it is announced,
sometimes unplanned,
sometimes it tarries –
it arrives as it likes.

The calendar says, “Spring,”
so I plan accordingly.
Wardrobe change, garden planting,
things that push Winter to the past.

But then I see it.
A single snowflake flutters down.
No! This can’t be!
Easter came, sunrise crept forward, Spring is here.

The calendar names the season,
but the grass remains brown.
Is Winter this determined?
Can it not let its frosty tendrils loosen?

I listen, though, and I hear an answer.
I am not alone, as the songbirds announce their opinion
and the spring peepers voice their awakening.
Goodbye, Winter – off you go.