Poetry

The Poetry of Gray Infused

photo 2-2 copy 2Some days lean toward solitude and slowness. Quiet settles in like dust in every crack and crevice.

photo 4 copy 4Color appears as the exception, with gray predominating. Even the green leaves shows variations of gray.

photo 2-1 copy 8Gray in all its hues and tones permeates the sky, the mood, my heart. Even the hopeful nest of a bird feels emptied out and uninviting.

And yet.

photo 3-2 copy 2Color insinuates itself into a scene, here and there. Flamboyant, amid the pale winter green of leaf and stem.

photo 1-1 copy 2Out of sleeping branches,  unexpected bursts of life demand notice and appreciation.

photo 1 copy 8Against my need to wallow, the gray begins to dissipate around each slow corner I turn.

photo-20 copy 18And at its close, the day again asserts its hold on me with waves of color singing me to sleep.

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Categories: Nature, Outdoors, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Brief Pause in the Dawn’s Early Light

Every school morning there’s a bit of extra traffic in front of my house. Foot traffic, bicycle traffic, car traffic. It’s spread out over forty-five minutes of drop-off time, so it doesn’t seem like that much. When that traffic clears and school starts what follows has made living so close to the school a sweet daily reminder of how charmed a life I lead.

English: Flag of the United States of America....

The American National Anthem plays on the loudspeaker system every school morning. It’s broadcast outdoors apparently, not just indoors. It’s loud enough that I can hear it inside my house.

I remember hurrying across campus at college to get inside a building before the National Anthem and flag raising started so I wouldn’t have to stop and stand with my hand over my heart, freezing, for those interminable minutes while it played. What a dweeb! I was young and shallow and clearly didn’t appreciate what that really meant. Decades later I get it and will stop and listen and pay respect with my hand over my heart.

One of the parents in the neighborhood walks his kid to school and brings the family dog along. When the anthem plays the dog “sings” along. I kid you not. The dog barks and yowls in this high-pitched singalong dog falsetto that is something crazy to behold. I like to think the dog gets it. I know that’s stretching it a bit, but it makes me smile to imagine that a dog knows what a charmed life it lives, too.

US Navy 041217-N-3236B-022 A World War II U.S....

A World War II U.S. Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, salutes the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem.

It surely makes me pause every single time I hear it. It’s not the words and it’s not the music. It’s what it represents; a daily memoir of thousands and thousands of lives shared, lived, changed and lost. Today, September 20, the third Friday in September, is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Is there an appropriate way to remember and honor people like this? Gratitude for  their sacrifice, mindful of the price of the freedom I enjoy. I can start there.

The National Anthem is also a daily question: “Can you see?”

And so I ask myself. Can I see? Can I see what abundance lies before me? Can I share that somehow today?

I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant. That’s the last message I’d want to convey here. I guess I just want to acknowledge that I feel lucky, grateful, humbled. I don’t want to take any of this for granted.

I’ve included all four stanzas of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. Read it with the tune in your head, or read it as a poem.

But please, read mindfully and see what it says to you today.

Can you see?

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Categories: Gratitude, Poetry, The World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

If Only

I often say

”if only”

and

“I wish”

Although

I lack

Regret

For the

What was

because

the “if only”

would make me

what I’m not

and the

“Oh well”

that I am

I like.

    -Kami Tilby
Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crawling Between the Seasons

Here’s another selection culled from my personal book of poetry. Look here to see a previous entry.

The editor in me wants to change it, correct bits, rewrite or hide it. The blogger in me thinks this is simply who I was when I wrote it and it shouldn’t be changed. I’ll let you decide.

So, here it is, a poem about a sunset. It was written a long, long time ago, another lifetime ago.  I can still remember the sunset, feel the cool air, feel the me I was.

Wish I’d taken a photo. Maybe this poem serves as a replacement for a photograph. A snapshot of my much younger self, daring, confident, certain of my view of the world and ready to share it.

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“There’s Rain in My Head”

It’s another delightfully gray, wet day in the desert. To celebrate I thought I’d share this lovely poem by Shel Silverstein. He’s always been one of my favorite writers for his unmatched, quirky perspective on everyday things.
I also found these unusual photos of rain that seem to match the poem quite nicely. I hope you find joy in unexpected places today!
Rain days

Rain days (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Rain

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999)

Rain camera

Rain camera (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Categories: Outdoors, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A View from Younger Eyes

I once fancied myself a poet of sorts. I let go of that idea for a long time. Then, I recently came across a book of collected poems by my younger self. Each poem was typed, then cut out and carefully pasted into a blank book.  The gold lettering, hand-pressed to the outside cover and spine, still looks pretty good. It’s the most professional look I could manage given the technology of the time.

Now I could key in an address, get out my credit card and order up a professionally printed, bound, self-authored, illustrated book. Maybe someday.

There’s an honest quality to the typewritten page. The corrected type speaks volumes. The indentations that punctuation make into the paper  give the poem a tangible finality.

The temptation to edit and polish the poem before sharing it was strong. But, I like the unjaded, unedited perspective of youth. To quell the editor in me I simply photographed the poem from the page in my book to share right here.

- Kami M Tilby

– Kami M Tilby

I’m not sure I have it in me anymore to write poetry. It’s a stark, open-bellied, sense of exposure  to write a poem. There isn’t any excess verbiage to hide behind, no explanatory prefacing. It’s like a literary photograph. The writer must say, “This is my perspective, this is what I saw, nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it.”

Categories: Outdoors, Poetry, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Life in Three Parts

A diagram showing layers within the Earth's ma...

A diagram showing layers within the Earth’s mantle and core (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peel back the layers.

A crust of clothing disguises.

A mantle of skin, muscle, and bone

Houses and protects.

A core of Spirit,

Essence,

Soul,

Refined matter,

The Life-giving center,

Lasts somewhere,

Forever.

**************************************

This post was written as a Trifecta challenge response.  Please check out their site and see what great stuff they’re generating from writers.

Categories: Poetry, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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