Thursday, September 7, 2023

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Grace Abides

Patricia Franz  is hosting this month's Spiritual Journey Thursday 
 with her post, Life at the Speed of Grace. Feel free to join us
 in responding to Patricia's invitation.

I was touched by Patricia's post that spoke of Grace as her shorthand for God. She shared these encouraging words and spoke of "learning to live life at the speed of Grace, letting God catch me surprise me, love me, right where I am."

In a world that is filled with frenzy and frenetic action, we can sense grace (God) by slowing down. I literally felt the slowing down, the surrender to peace in Patricia's poem "Receiving Grace."  Her final words, "grace abides" remind me of a favorite poem, "Everyday Grace" by Stella Nesanovich,

 "It can happen . . . 

anywhere we share stories,

and grace flows between us."

These lines make me think of our everyday actions and contemplate how we can be conduits for grace in the world.

"Suddenly an ordinary day

becomes holy ground."

You can read  "Everyday Grace." at The Poetry Foundation.

I can sum up my thoughts with these three lines borrowed from the two poems:

Grace abides

Grace flows

The ordinary becomes holy.

Thank you, Patricia, for this peek at surrendering and letting go so that Grace can find us.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Poetry Friday: Oops!

Thanks to Mary Lee and Jone, two dear Poetry Friday friends, who jiggled my memory about today being my day to host Poetry Friday.

Two of the grand boys are here this morning, so between creating apple O's and C's for morning snack, I grabbed this favorite anthology from the bookshelf to share with you on this first day of September!

This one was a favorite in my classroom, so I finally purchased my own copy. This delightful anthology compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins is filled with favorites. Check it out, you'll love it too!

It opens with "School Bus" by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Grandson Jack is keeping his fingers crossed that he makes it on the transportation list soon so he can ride the school bus. 

The book is a delightful celebration of all things school from paper clips, pencils, pens, crayons, glue, popsicle sticks, lunch bags, the spinning globe, and ending with "Homework." 

I'm including Brod Bagert's "My Writer's Notebook." The opening line amuses me since I never let my students use spiral notebooks, but insisted on composition notebooks that were easier for me to stack and transport and read.

I absolutely adore the final three lines:

"My words on an empty page

In an ordinary notebook

The silver setting for the jewels of my life."

I apologize for my tardiness and look forward to your contributions to this week's Poetry Friday. Join us for poetic goodness by leaving your link below. I'll round up later today.

Patricia Franz salutes the pollinators for Labor Day and includes a nod to James Crews' anthology, The Path to Kindness (which I adore) and Ted Kooser's poem "It Doesn't Take Much." 

Lou Piccolo shares an original poem "Rainmaking" from What is Hope?,  Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell's newest anthology.

Anastasia Suen shares her Labor Day #smallpoem, a robust finish for her August collection of small poems.  

Tabatha shares Majorie Saiser's poem, "For My Daughter" to celebrate daughter Elena's birthday.

Robyn Hood Black puts the spotlight on Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong's newest anthology What Is Hope? which includes Robyn's lovely poem, "Metamorphosis."

Linda continues the celebration for What is Hope? with her poem,"Mail." I agree that handwritten letters bring a special joy. Check out this delightful anthology by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for a daily dose of hope.

Denise creates a twist on Bananagrams - Solitaire Bananagrams and  Bananagram Poetry. I bet you'll dig out your banana for some poetry play soon! Then she shares the last of the poetry she enjoyed during the Sealy Challenge.

Margaret shares the model poem that she shared with the Inklings for their enjambment challenge and the challenges she's faced recently. Be sure to check out her "Is It" poem. It will  encourage you to take some deep breaths and bask in her beautiful photo of Bayou Teche Sunset.

Linda creates "Something Delightful" in reponse to Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's prompt to students and the enjambment challenge from the Inklings. And be sure to check out her padlet with a word poem created against the background of an image captured Wednesday by NASA's Aqua satellite of Typhoon Hagupit in the western Pacific Ocean.

Laura Purdie Salas shares a poetryaction (short, quick poems written in response to a book) to Joyce Sidman's new book, We Are Branches. And she shares the poems from her final week of poetry reading for #theSealyChallenge.

Rose Cappelli completes her first year of #the SealeyChallenge and pens a lovely pantoum inspired by John Frank's book,  A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter.

Mary Lee sneaks in-jam-meant into her "Caught.Not Kept." creation for the enjambment challenge with the Inklings. She also shares the books she read as part of #theSealeyChallenge.

Carol Labuzzetta shares mushroom and fungus finds, haiku paired with photos (ekphrastic poems) and provides guidelines for how to submit poems for inclusion in her upcoming Picture Perfect Poetry Nature Anthology.

Marcie rounds up her month of reading for #theSealeyChallenge and shares a haiku about the "octoped hiker" paired with an exquisite photo. 

Carol Varsalona introduces us to Irene Latham's newest book (her 19th children's book, set to be released on September 19, 2023), The Museum On The Moon-The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface. It's a lovely review for an out-of-this-world exciting children's book. Be sure to read Irene's responses to Carol's two burning questions.

Linda Baie finds that gifts in her mailbox lift her spirits. Her sharing of poetry gifts almost entices me to join a future Poetry Swap.

Janice Scully received "Vistors from Other Worlds" by Tabbatha Yeats as one of her Poetry Swap gifts. It was written in response to Janice's golden shovel poem about Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Janice's haiku about floating may make you want to head to the water to experience that kind of silence

Michelle Kogan closes the month with "Blue Mystery," an original poem celebrating the wonderful second moon we enjoyed in August, She also links to "Tonight I've Watched," another moon poem written a very long time ago by Sappho.

Jan Godown Annino shares a food poetry collection, a nonfiction book, The Paper Garden, that reads like poetry, and an upcoming September workshop offered by Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Jone Rush McCulloch bids goodbye to August and hails autumn with a haiku and photo taken at The Portland Japanese Garden. She also shares her reading for #theSealeyChallenge.

Heidi responds to the Inkling Challenge with her poem, "opening." She also shares a forthcoming collection, Dear Human at the Edge of Time: Poems on Climate Change in the United States (which includes a poem by her). 

Molly Hogan explores all things enjambment in her post and shares her play with the Inklings Challenge in  "Straddling the Lines."

Kathryn Appel is on the road and busy, busy, busy as an author, poet, and educator. Yet she still finds time to pen a poem or two.  Check out "On Tour" with its delicious rhyme and gorgeous photos  and "What Do You Do When Google Gives Directions That Locals Contradict?" with its two word terse verse response.

Joyce Ray continues the moon fascination experienced by many of you this past week. She received Moonstruck: Poems about Our Moon from author Irene Latham. She attended an art exhibit where she found a moon scene, August Moon, by Dan Namingha. Inspired by the painting she created  an ekphrastic nonet, "Three Sisters."

Diane Anderson's poem "Military" in in the new anthology, What Is Hope? by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. She shares a beautiful Labor Day picture book and Glory in the Margins by Nikki Grimes that she is reading after being inspired by #theSealeyChallenge.

Irene Latham explores forever in this week's Artspeak:Light project with her poem, "The Shape of Forever." She also writes about her visit to The Africantown Heritage Museum in Mobile. (If you haven't read African Town, a powerful novel-in-verse by her and Charles Waters, add it to your list.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater invites us to think about preparations for fall both by animals and humans. She also asks us to listen for the sounds of this season of preparation.

Tracey Kiff-Judson uses a moment after rain to make an observation and pen a disgusting poem, all while reminding us that decomposers make the world go 'round.

Joanne Emery's poem is selected for the new anthology, What is Hope? She shares her belief and hope for young people.