Writer’s poem: loneliness

Writer’s poem: loneliness

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It wasn’t my intention to post two Nikki Giovanni poems in a row, but what can I say, I saw the poem whilst scrolling through my poetry album and couldn’t wait till next week, I mean, who knows if we’ll see next week right? 

That being said, I have to agree with Nikki Giovanni when she said, this decade would be known for loneliness. I look around me and despite such a large number of people, billions of us on this earth, yet a staggering number of us are lonely. Not alone, but lonely. Below is the poem:

Cotton on a rainy day by Nikki Giovanni
Don’t look now
I’m fading away
Into the gray of my mornings
Or the blues of every night

Is it that my nails
keep breaking
Or maybe the corn
on my secind little piggy
Things keep popping out
on my face or of my life

It seems no matter how
I try I become more difficult
to hold
I am not an easy woman
to want
They have asked
the psychiatrists . . . psychologists . . .
politicians and social workers
What this decade will be
known for
There is no doubt . . . it is
loneliness.

Today’s question is from Ingrid. She asks, “What’s your secret to keeping the blog up all these years?”.

To be honest, I am surprised that I kept this blog up for all these years. It has a bit to do with the fact that I write the most, when I have a blog. I realized that when ever I take my blogging break (which lasts for months), I write very little. So being aware of that fact, helped to keep this blog going. Also, the response I’ve gotten from the community. Another thing, is the WordPress family in my niche. I have been blessed to have such an awesome community, filled with people who check up on me in my absence , people who welcome me with open arms upon my return and those who encourage me to never put the pen down. 

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Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

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Writer’s poem Wednesday is back. The past few months I was away, I came across some great poems which were previously unfamiliar to me. I love striking a chord with new poetry. Today’s poem talks about a woman whose son resembles her deceased brother, both in mannerism and physically. Its a beautiful reflection of the aftermath of the death of a loved one. I hope you like it.

A drink of water by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.

Writer’s Poem: Loneliness

Writer’s Poem: Loneliness

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Have you ever wished you could leave your loneliness behind and it would never catch up to you? I do understand, sometimes, it is one of those experiences which is part and parcel of life. But at times, loneliness stays for a longer time than it is wanted.

Loneliness is not spending the day all alone in your room. It creeps up on us and wraps it cold arms around us, regardless, if we are alone or in a crowd. No wonder, we sometimes wish we could leave it behind. Today’s poem by the phenomenal writer, Naomi Shihab Nye, touches on this same topic in a few lines. I hope you enjoy it.

The Rider by Naomi Shihab Nye
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Writer’s Poem: The past

Writer’s Poem: The past

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I came across a phenomenal African Poet today. Her poem was shared by “global citizen”. It fuelled my love of poetry, reminding me of the power poetry has to revolutionise the world. It reassure me that poets are here to make a statement, an impact and as a reminder. Especially, in places where oppression is rampant whether in visible or hidden forms.

I stalked the author and found that she has a blog here. Thank you very much Zuhuru Seng’enge for your poetry.

Do not fear the past by Zuhuru Seng’enge
Do not fear the past.
It is ugly
but it is ours,
Do not hold on to lies
That you were fed when you were young.
Learn the history of your people
Find the truth
to free your soul from evil
Learn the Qur-an
Learn the bible
Find the meaning of life and religion.
Do not fear the past.
It is painful
but it is real
Blood was spilt and people died
but love and unity had survived.
Learn the tongue of your ancestors
Reconnect with the roots of your blood
Find the knowledge
That was stolen
Find the life that was robbed from us.
Do not fear the past.
Embrace it
Let it teach you the wisdom of your race
Take its lessons and live by them
Own the identity that was erased.
Do not fear the past,
Do not hate it.
Do not fear the past,
Learn about it.
Let it teach you
Let it nurture you
Let it remind you, of who you are

Writer’s Poem: The dash

Writer’s Poem: The dash

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One minute we are hale and hearty and the next, we are downing pills trying to make it through the night in one piece. And amidst this is “life”. Today’s writer’s poem wednesday, is a fairly popular one by Linda Ellis, she causes us to reflect upon the life we’ve lived through our journey from birth towards death.

The dash by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend,
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash,
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Linda Ellis; Copyright Inspire Kindness, LLC 1996; http://www.thedashpoem.com

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading the words of a fellow blogger, Kailee Venzin. It struck a chord with me. And today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with all of you, for my writer’s poem Wednesday.

Yes, I know, I should have posted a contemporary poem but this really, is a great one. I hope you enjoy. Do check out her blog for more poems at: https://innervoicewriting.wordpress.com/

I have seen the world gone mad by Kailee Venzin

I have seen the world gone mad,
seen women bolstered by deep aches
and sly “handshakes”, burning
flags and setting the world on fire.

But I feel lost,
swallowed by a fever.
I drift as if someone took a bite out of me
and spit me out into the world.
I want to stop living in fear of losing another part of myself.

I want to be a lighthouse in the city,
call all my sisters home.
I want to pull the lost ones in,
be the blanket around their trembling bodies.
I want to feel the rebound of heat
of my breath on their necks, whisper-
It’s okay to be broken.
We’re beautiful broken.

I want to be a pussy willow,
that furry young catkin
whispering on her skin.
Soothe her like
that softness did for me as a child.
I want to shout-
You don’t have to wear hard soled shoes
to walk over the rocks.
You can wait til your feet have calloused.
You can wait til your shoulders are strong enough
to hold your body upside down.
I want to take every broken child,
their butter skin between my sidewalk hands
and say-
Don’t you dare lose that
wild wonder in your eyes.
Don’t you dare forget
that strength in your pelvis,
the fervor that carried you home.
You can be broken,
Oh, so broken,
And still be strong.

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

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Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness,
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

The above quote is one I have seen roaming on the internet for years now, always the words, never the author. I only just found our today, It was written by the Pulitzer winner and incredible poet- Mary Oliver.

I have read a lot of Mary Oliver’s poems but connected with a only few- The poem I am sharing below is one of them. But then again, my choice of Poetry is something else. Either way, reading Mary Oliver’s poems gives one the sense that she is a woman in tune with nature. She writes a lot about nature and in soothing words.

Below is the poem I chose for this week’s writer’s Poem Wednesday. I hope you like it:

What can I say by Mary Oliver

What can I say that I have not said before?
So I’ll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.

Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

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Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed…

Do the above lines sound familiar? Most of us grew up reciting them. I cant remember exactly who taught me the poem, or where I was taught. Was it in school? At home? By my classmates? All I can remember is knowing the poem.

This famous poem was actually written by Ann Taylor in the 18/19th century. It was written at a time when maternal and child care was poor, and a lot of mothers would watch their children get ill and die from illnesses.

This poem reminds me of Love. I hope it takes you down memory lane…

My mother by Ann Taylor

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother.

The beautiful image above is gotten from: http://www.bestsayingsquotes.com/quote/who-ran-to-help-me-when-i-fell-and-would-some-pretty-story-2003.html

Writer’s Poem: After a while…

Writer’s Poem: After a while…

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I don’t think enough credit is given to translators. I’m saying this because, there are some incredibly amazing poetry I have come across, which I wouldn’t have been able to read if not for the translators who transformed the various original languages in which the poems were written into English.

Today’s Writer’s poem Wednesday is a poem by the Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borge. “After A while” is a poem which resonates with a reader, it tugs on one’ emotional strings while at the same time, leaving a resounding message. It is the of understanding and advice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

After A while by Jorge Luis Borge

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes ahead,
with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today,
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to leave you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure;
You really are strong,
you really have worth.
And you learn,
and you learn,
With every goodbye, you learn.

Translated by Veronica A.  Shoffstall

p.s I would love to hear your thoughts on this poem. It really is a favorite of mine. (And yes, I have far too many favorites 😄)

 

Writer’s Poem: The way it sometimes is

Writer’s Poem: The way it sometimes is

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Have you ever seen a face in a crowd which reminds you of someone. Someone, a phantom whom you can’t put a name to but yet, you strongly believe you must have seen someone who looks like that before.

Today’s poem for Writer’s poem Wednesday tackles the same issue. It really is an interesting read (if I do say so myself). I first came across it being recited on Poetry Out Loud, and well, the reciter won the nationwide contest for that year. Hope you enjoy the poem.

The Way It Sometimes is by HENRY TAYLOR
At times it is like watching a face you have just met,
trying to decide who it reminds you of—
no one, surely, whom you ever hated or loved,
but yes, somebody, somebody. You watch the face

as it turns and nods, showing you, at certain angles,
a curve of the lips or a lift of the eyebrow
that is exactly right, and still the lost face
eludes you. Now this face is talking, and you hear

a sound in the voice, the accent on certain words—
yes! a phrase . . . you barely recall sitting outside,
by a pool or a campfire, remarking
a peculiar, recurring expression. Two syllables,

wasn’t it? Doorknob? Bathroom? Shawcross? What the hell
kind of word is shawcross? A name; not the right one.
A couple of syllables that could possibly be
a little like something you may once have heard.

So the talk drifts, and you drift, sneaking glances,
pounding your brain. Days later a face occurs to you,
and yes, there is a resemblance. That odd word, though,
or phrase, is gone. It must have been somebody else.

Yes, it’s like that, at times; something is, maybe;
and there are days when you can almost say what it is.