Life as a Poem

sunrise3

I awoke to a windy flood of dawn,
fall’s October beginning; I opened the shades,
found that last night’s rain
fall made flood puddle tunnels throughout
the gardens. Before I let the cat out,
I checked the tiny tunnel
beneath the chipmunk rock,
none were playing there this crisp morning.
I read a dharma about the frivolous nature
of playing with the idea of pursuing happiness.
I know happiness is impermanent,
it “disappears in a moment like a dewdrop
on a blade of grass”. While I might not pursue it, I did want
to savor flashes of joy. I spent the morning
organizing my recipes, threw many away, but kept some
that I’d never make again; kept because
they were written in my mother’s hand.
Her birthday was this week; she would have
turned 95. I pulled out a card, looked for
ingredients required and made a birthday meal
to celebrate her memory. Later I donned a hat,
gloved my hands and walked to the woods
by the lake. When night came home,
o
h, so early these days, I gazed one last time
at the dusky woods during the ritual of closing
the shades. Yellow leaves twirled to the ground
against the display of a mixed-paint sky
on this windy flood of sunset.

sunset by the lake

This poem was inspired by Barbara Crooker’s We Are All Writing God’s Poem as presented by Parker Palmer in an article titled Life Is a Found PoemHe notes that Crooker used a poetic form that is “a bit like piecing together a quilt”. A word from the first line morphs into something different in a subsequent line. Like Crooker’s poem, I started with a phrase that I ‘borrowed’ from another poem, Sara Teasdale’s Morning

The quote in the poem is a line in a verse from Tokme Zongpo’s Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva included in Tricycle’s Daily Dharma, Forget Happiness

Top photo is a sunrise taken from my front porch. The bottom photo is a sunset by the lake at Firefighter’s Park in Troy, MI.

 

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17 thoughts on “Life as a Poem

  1. Oh Luanne — this is beautiful on so many counts — the photos and the “stitching together”. I’m going to try that from. I love the opening line! xo P

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    1. It was a fun writing exercise. We could try it sometime on Monday night but it did take many edits to get it to this version. 🙂 If you do try it, please share! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Beautiful, Lu Anne! I love the flood of dawn, sunset – each a resetting of the overall slate, readying for transition. And flood puddle tunnels – marvelous alliteration sounds and a spectacular description of what my over-rained yard looks like right now!

    Special thanks for sharing your mother’s meal – that is an idea I think my sister and I might try next March to honor our mother. I have her recipe box, about time to open it and USE it.

    Thanks too for pointers to Sara Teasdale and Barbara Crooker poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you kind comment, Jazz. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this poem. It is a very different style from most of my work/play but reading Parker Palmer’s description of the Crooker poem inspired me to try my hand at it. I think a memorial meal with your sister would be a great idea for March.

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      1. I have a journal I did every Saturday morning for years and years. The Saturday Morning Kitchen Khronicles (misspelling intentional). It detailed everything from the past week. Not just about me, but about our kids and his nibs. I stopped writing it when I started blogging. Blogging seemed to take the edge off the need to write it. But I’m thinking of starting it again. LOTS more to write about now with four grandkids!

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      2. I tend to get most of my ideas from my journal that seems to ramble a lot. I just go back and pull out something I think could be polished into a poem. I don’t think I would be able to write anything ‘blogable’ without my ramblings in my journal. 🙂 Your “Khronicles” sound wonderful. It would be something to leave to your grandchildren. I loved reading my mom’s journal and my dad’s letters after they died.

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