Friday, March 24, 2017

A Bucket of Popcorn Poems

After the "ode to an object" challenge from Helen Frost over at Today's Little Ditty this month, I've had popcorn on my mind. 

This was the challenge:

Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.

Ode to My Mother's Popcorn Pan

As you warm to the flame,
she holds your tented lid against your heavy frame
and scrapes your weight back and forth
until tender, sweet corn bursts inside.
The scent of butter calls us to the kitchen.
Do you remember the salty pleasure
of popcorn on Saturday night?

©2017 Doraine Bennett

Enjoy these as you make yourself a batch of popcorn!

Popcorn kernels
In the pot
Jump and dance
When they get hot.

And when they've
Carried on enough,
They do a flip
And turn to fluff!

© Cathy Drinkwater Better


When Walker and I bought our movie tickets
And went into the lobby,
There were brown boxes
Stacked seven feet high
And ten feet wide
And twenty feet deep.
You could hardly get by.
What was this cardboard castle?
We took a closer look.
On every box was printed one word.
In small letters:
"Could you eat that much popcorn?"
Said Walker.
"I already have," I said.

©James Stevenson

Catherine hosts the Roundup today at Reading to the Core.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pondering: Connecting Threads

Photo by Orin Zebest

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
       ― Herman Melville

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Paddy's Day

Last night I held my sweet, little grandson in the crook of my arm. Together we watched the green stars shining on the ceiling of his darkened room. I began singing, and he watched me instead of the stars. I felt like the center of the universe.

I've been trying to call back to mind the songs I sang to my own babies just before bedtime and find that I've lost a lot of words. They will come back, but there are stretches of hums in most of my lullabies these days.

As I wondered what to post for St. Patrick's Day, I remembered the Irish lullaby, "Too-Ra, Loo-Ra, Loo-Ral." It was a song I sang way back when. Written in 1913 for the Tin Pan Alley musical, the song was a hit from the start. When Bing Crosby sang it in 1944 in Going My Way, the record single sold over a million copies, according to Wikipedia.

With a Bing Crosby fan in the house (hubs), my Pandora account is often tuned the Bing Crosby channel. And yes, I've seen Going My Way more than once.

I hope you enjoyed you day celebrating the saint.
I hope you wore green and didn't get pinched. 

Enjoy this version of the lullaby, and then read an excerpt from St. Patrick's most famous poem, called "St. Patrick's Breastplate."

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,

And one last thing before I go. Balloons Literary Journal, Volume five is live and I have two poems in it! I'm delighted to be in this lovely book. More on this next week.

Robyn hosts Poetry Friday roundup at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pondering: Silence

God's silences are His answers. If we only take as answers those that are visible to our senses we are in a very elemental condition of grace. ...You say, "But He has not answered." He has, He is so near to you that His silence is the answer. [It] is big with meaning that you cannot understand yet, but presently you will. Time is nothing to God...[He] will give us the blessings we want if we won't go any further, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing us into this marvelous understanding of Himself.
     --Oswald Chambers,  If Ye Shall Ask

Friday, March 10, 2017

Poetry Friday: Pools of Peace

Photo by Richard Blake Verdoorn

The Waterfall 
for May Swenson
by Mary Oliver

For all they said,
   I could not see the waterfall
      until I came and saw the water falling,
         its lace legs and its womanly arms sheeting down,

while something howled like thunder,
   over the rocks,
      all day and all night –

like ribbons made of snow,
   or god’s white hair.
      At any distance
         it fell without a break or seam, and slowly, a simple

preponderance –
   a fall of flowers – and truly it seemed
      surprised by the unexpected kindness of the air and
         light-hearted to be

flying at last.
   Gravity is a fact everybody
      knows about.
         It is always underfoot,

like a summons,
   gravel-backed and mossy,
      in every beetled basin –
         and imagination –

that striver,
   that third eye –
      can do a lot but
         hardly everything. The white, scrolled

wings of the tumbling water
   I never could have
      imagined. And maybe there will be,
         after all,

some slack and perfectly balanced
   blind and rough peace, finally,
      in the deep and green and utterly motionless pools after all that

Michelle hosts the Poetry Friday Round up at Today's Little Ditty

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pondering: Deep Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.
               --Gaelic Blessing

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Connection

“The past,' he thought, 'is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.' And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.”

― Anton Chekhov, The Witch and Other Stories

I'm not a fan of ghost stories, so I haven't read this piece from Chekhov, but it feels like the perfect quote to go with my thoughts today. It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, the first Thursday of the month, and we are reflecting on my OLW for the year--connection. If you'd like to read more thoughts on this word, follow the links below when you have a few minutes to absorb and reflect.

Yes, I know it's Tuesday! But I am headed to the mountains with my daughters and grandson for some delicious family connections and I'm not exactly sure what kind of internet connection will be available. I figured it might be wise to get this posted before I leave.

One of the things I am exploring on this topic of connection is the link (or lack thereof) between my mind and my body. It goes without saying in my vocabulary that mind is more than just the mental faculties, but also includes the deeper connection to the heart. And we're also crossing another connection with this thought--my yoga practice and my writing. I'm shaking the ends of a bunch of chains here.

First let me explain a little pain science to you. We tend to think pain is a message a muscle (or other body tissue) sends to the brain. Research shows, however, that pain is a signal the brain sends to a tissue in the body, telling that muscle or tissue to protect itself. So we stub our toe, it hurts, we walk crooked for a few days, it heals, and the pain stops. However when we're talking about chronic pain, something that has been there for more than three months, there may or may not be a corresponding injury in the tissues. The brain considers many other factors when it is deciding to send the body that pain signal--things like memories, emotions, expectations, beliefs, and environment. See Jenni Rawlings blog for a fuller explanation and links to other websites on pain science. My PT son has been trying to explain this to me for years, but I hadn't managed to wrap my brain around it until recently.

I began yoga because of chronic pain in my back. It has always been a spiritual practice for me, as well as physical. As I begin to examine those places of chronic pain in my body, I am asking the Holy Spirit to show me what is causing that pain signal. And often it's not structural damage in my body, but some unhealed, unacknowledged, unrealized memory, emotion, or belief about myself that must be brought to the light of God's presence and held there for His healing word.

So, I'm re-educating my body through conscious slow movement that integrates what I know in my spirit is true and what I feel in my tissues.

Paul's letter to the Colossians says this: that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ,

I do realize I am taking this slightly out of context. But the truth is I want this connection of heart, mind, and body. I want to know the mystery of God in my physical tissues, this earthly temple of His spirit, and I don't think God has a problem with that. 

So today, I'm wishing you amazing connections! 

Leave your link below if you have connecting thoughts on your blog.