April is National Poetry Month. I have selected three poems to celebrate this wonderful form of writing. All the poems have a Spring and Resurrection theme. I hope you enjoy them.
The first poem is by one of our readers (and frequent responder) John Hopkins, a high-school English teacher who lives in Massachusetts. In this poem he captures some of the simple delights of our earthly life.
I’ll Admit, Lord,
there will be some things I’ll miss:
the slow drip of coffee in the morning
with a pinch of cinnamon in the grounds;
the salt on my over-easy eggs, sourdough toast lightly buttered,
the gentle push and separation of that day’s paper.
I will miss walking on humid days, the sweat gradually emerging
under my ball cap as I stride along,
the sudden cool when I doff the cap upon entering a canopy of shade,
a sudden breeze passing through the numbered hairs I have left.
I will miss sitting on the couch in the evening,
my wife’s foot in my hand, watching our latest obsession
before clicking to see how the Red Sox are doing, staying if they’re ahead.
I will miss the lattice of gold inside the bloom of a rhododendron,
the cooling declaration of an August thunderstorm,
the smell of a neighbor’s wood stove in November,
the sight of our backyard Mary statue up to her neck in snowdrifts,
the sight of her amid the irises.
I will miss the resurrection of things
and hope— please, please, Lord?— for the one to come.
This second poem is by Sister Doreen Strahler, SND, whose poetry I have featured before. Sister is a retired educator and lives at our provincial center in Chardon, OH.
I Saw Spring Today
I saw spring today, snow piles were almost gone.
I saw spring today in a robin on the lawn.
I saw spring today, crocuses popped their heads.
I saw spring today in sprouts in daffodil beds.
I saw spring today. I heard the children laugh.
I saw spring today, bikers crowding the path.
I saw spring today, warm winds stirred the air.
I saw spring today in weather fresh and fair.
I saw spring today, but I’m wise enough to know,
as I saw spring today, tomorrow I may see snow.
The final poem is one of my unpublished poems. It’s based on a story a man shared with me a few years back about the death of his mother.
His 88-year-old mother died suddenly.
She was found at noon, still in her nightgown and robe,
slumped over in her favorite living room chair.
A half a cup of cold tea sat on the small table beside her.
The day’s crossword puzzle rested on her lap,
and a pen was on the floor next to her tiny slippered feet.
Evidently she had been trying to come up with
a six letter word (second letter T) meaning “ideal place,”
when the Angel of Death sneaked in,
gently tapped her on the shoulder,
and whisked her home.
Do any of these poems speak to you? If so, why?
What are some of the simple delights of our earthly life that you enjoy?
Do you ever pray with poetry? If so, do you have any favorite poems, poets, or books that you would recommend for us?
PS: I’m recommending a free 95 min. youtube movie for you which I really liked. It’s called “Life in a Day,” and I put it after our song for today. You might want to view it at your leisure this week some time.
For me, COVID-19 has underscored the oneness of our entire earth community. This song by Peter Mayer celebrates this great truth. It’s entitled “Blue Boat Home.” During this critical time, the pictures of our beautiful blue planet sailing in space bring tears to my eyes…
Please feel encouraged to respond below to anything in this reflection–the words, the pictures, the song… I want to thank you again for your responses to my blog each week. I really look forward to your insights and additions!
The movie I suggest for you is called “Life in a Day,” a 95-min. documentary filmed by thousands of people all over the world on a single ordinary day, July 24, 2010. For me, it celebrates humanity’s connectedness as well as our diversity. Let me know what you think of it.