PAD 2018: Love

clipart panda

by clipart-panda

I’ve been writing a poem a day for PAD this year, except for day 6 (the prompt was food and I haven’t come up with that one yet). I’ve been doing this almost every year since 2009. Some years have been better than others. This year has been a struggle. But, today I will share two: one from 2013 (forgot the topic) and one from today (topic was a love or an anti-love poem).

Words

They swarm from every side
They crawl in and out of my head,
Crowding out sensibilities
The weight of these words presses me down

Empty cracks fill up with snippets
As accusations harass me, overwhelm me
They climb up on one another like a pyramid
Pestering, pestering, “Give us a poem!”

They appear when my eyes are closed,
Besiege me in bed,
Stay with me in slumber,
Assail me when I awake

Then proceed to disquiet my day
Oh how the words worry me
They infringe on my free time,
Vex my best intentions

And I surrender, surrender

4-17-13

 

What is Love?

It’s love that takes the verbal abuse
Knowing Alzheimer’s has taken the mind
—love suffers long and is kind
It’s love that drives the clunker
And gets the best car for another
—love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
It’s love that mucks out the barn
To give a few minutes of sleep
To the one who labors all day
— love does not seek its own
It’s love that ties the shoes
And goes up the stairs for the one who can’t
—love bears all things
It’s love that seeks the best for others,
Even when it hurts
—love endures all things
It’s love that opens the heart and home
To those who’ve lost their way
—love hopes all things

Based on I Corinthian 13
4-17-18

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On the Surface

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I’m really glad she felt like writing.

“I have a family, loving aunts, and a good home. No, on the surface I seem to have everything except my one true friend. All I think about when I’m with friends is having a good time. I can’t bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things. We don’t seem to be able to get any closer, and that’s the problem.” – Anne Frank

I stumbled on these words from Anne Frank and I was overwhelmed with an affinity for what she was feeling. When I’m with most people, this is me. We don’t seem to be able to get any closer. And that’s the problem.

And that’s all for today., except for this picture I found of Anne that I love.

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Pulses

 

ew (1)“Childhood’s learning is made of moments. It isn’t steady. It’s a pulse.”

~ Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

 

 

 

I can remember random moments from childhood and now wonder, were they learning moments?

I remember when I was five being frightened of the man next door, the father of an older girl I played with, who pushed his wife down as she was ironing. She already had a cast on her leg. He knelt down to try to comfort me, to tell me it was okay. I knew not to trust him.

When my older brother and I got in trouble and were banished to our separate bedrooms, we got our little brother to be a messenger, passing notes between us. These notes consisted of stick figures doing silly things. I learned my brothers would be my friends for life, though not without a few rough patches.

Fast forward to fourth grade and the learning didn’t feel like a pulse. Long division felt like a long, slow drip-drip-drip in a bucket. A bucket with a hole in it; for just when I thought I was finished with a problem, I’d discover my numbers weren’t lined up properly and I would have to start all over again. Recently I think some of my students have fely this as they have become friends with the seam-ripper in thier efforts to make pillowcases and aprons.

Many of my learning moments came through books. The horrors of the Holocaust came through the eyes and words of Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom; the horrors of child abuse from A Child Called It and Sybil. But before these books, there was Little Women, where I first got the idea that I’d like to write. I wanted to be Jo. That desire has waxed and waned over the years, as motherhood and making ends meet took precedence. I know many have been able to work, mother, and write concurrently, and I did to some extent, in pulses like my childhood learning.

But now the writing flame has been fanned and I need it more than ever. I don’t want it to go out.

Netflix/Amazon Summer

 

 

The summer is gone and along with it a lot of my free time for movie watching.  But, I did get some viewing in and here are some of my brief reviews.

 
A Girl Like Her ( PG-13)       

I’m not sure why I picked this one, but I think it is one that  could and should be shown in  middle schools. It is a much more realistic portrayal of bullying, girl style, than movies such as Mean Girls. You may actually end up with some sympathy for the bully, like I did.     

 

 

Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)    

 I just enjoyed this romance, as much for the the lovely clothing as the sweet story line. It also gives a beautiful view of Rome.     

 

The Great Gilly Hopkins (PG)    

In view of becoming  a foster parent, I wanted to watch this movie. (We are now offically approved foster parents.) I also have great respect for Katherine Paterson, who wrote the book and has a bit part in the movie. There were a few plot points that needed to be fleshed out, but overall it was good and it did move me to a few tears.  

 

 

That Sugar Film

This documentary will make you really rethink how you look at sugar, unless you already have given it up.

 

 

Paper Man

My husband stumbled on this and it was a hit with me! “A washed-up writer forms an unlikely friendship with a teenager from Long Island.” It stars Jeff Daniels and Emma Stone.

 

 

Almost Famous 

Another movie  dealing with a writer, but oh so much more. And I sit here wondering, how did a kid in 1973 gets offered $35 for his first article and here in Alabama in 2015, it was all I could do to wheedle $25 out of the editor of a local magazine for my articles, pictures included?

 

 

Mothers and Daughters

Watched this at an emotional time. I cried .

 

Now, between teaching, fostering, and hurricanes, I haven’t had as much time for movies. I did, however, see May It Last, the Avett Brothers’ documentary, at the local theatre. That’s deserves another post all on its own.

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Merge Ahead

After more than three years of keeping up with two blogs, I feel it’s time to combine them. My other blog, Carry Me Home, was originated to help with our transition to Birmingham. I later tweaked it, still keeping the focus local when possible. I think it has run it’s usefulness, so over the next month I will attempt to combine them. This will include reposting some entries from the the other site to this one.

Thanks to all who read and encourage me!

 

Why I Write Poetry

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“Prose: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in the best order.” ― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Like Robert Brower, the editor of Poetic Asides at Writer’s Digest, I began writing poetry in high school. Some sappy love poems, some nature oriented, some expressing my love to God. Years went by and I wrote on occasion. But, then I began more serious dabbling in poetry when I became involved in the PAD (Poem a Day) challenge that occurs in April via Brower’s column online. I also taught poetry to 6th graders and saw many of them blossom into poets by the end of our time together.

I find poetry fun and freeing; comforting and challenging. I enjoy word play, so rhyming and formulaic poetry serves a purpose for me there. I also find I need the outlet that poetry provides. I can express myself when no other way will do. Poetry also challenges me to find and arrange “the best words in the best order.”

 

And Repeat

 

clocks hands so slowly move

on across the minutes

twenty-four and repeat

 

quiet dawn to soft dusk

and moments in between

at last the lovers meet

 

that raven evermore

returns time and again

dark and quiet to mind

 

until death do us part

in faded lace and white

oft times love is so blind

 

5-9-17

Enthusiasm

throwback 76

Since it was 41 years ago today that I graduated from high school, I’ve been walking down memory lane all afternoon. It’s the only exercise I’ve had all day.

I found the newspaper clipping with a few quotes from our commencement speech, given by a Dr. Paul Mori. One thing he said was,

“Enthusiasm is more important than professional skill.”

grad

I think he must have both, because when I googled him, this is what I found:

Dr. Paul Mori Jr, MD is a radiology doctor who practices in Jacksonville, FL. He is 92 years old and has been practicing for 69 years.

That is just amazing to me! To find your calling and passion and stick with it for 69 years must take a whole lot of enthusiasm and commitment.

He also said:

 

“The single most important tool you have is the knowledge of the English language and the ability to communicate.”

 

I feel like I left high school with this tool dull and rusty. Over the years I have tried to sharpen it and use it so it would not stay rusty. I don’t think it was just me from my school, but many students in many schools in the seventies graduated without a lot of fundamentals. Today I can skillfully use verbs like google and tweet, but I wish that I’d been more like Napoleon Dynamite back then. I wish I’d followed my heart into journalism.

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Instead, I headed off to college to major in marketing. Eventually, after four kids, I graduated with a degree in education and had the joy of sharing my knowledge of English with children. Now, however, I’ve come full circle, back to where my heart was my junior year. I write. I don’t do it for a living, but I do feel enlivened and purposeful when I’m writing.

 

I don’t remember Dr. Mori’s speech. But, I think we all went out into the the world that afternoon enthusiastically. Oh, to go back 41 years and grab some of that now!