pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

FIRST, DO NO HARM

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
I’m itchin’ to upgrade, and pitchin’ a fit.
For now, I’m afraid, I have zilch to submit.
While someone is flippin’ through pages of verse,
I want my name there before I’m in a hearse.
It’s paltry and petty, this dream I’ve unfurled. 
But?
Improvin’ at versin’ can’t worsen the world.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

OPEN MINDED

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I am of the age
where knocks at the door did not
need to be scheduled.

This was a time when
hospitality welcomed
spontaneity.

A time when one was
made to feel valuable –
greeted with a smile

and a hand gesture
first ushering you in, then
offering a seat.

I wish I could say
that is a custom I still
embrace. But it’s not.

Feeling unprepared
makes me uneasy, and it
seeps right through my smile.

I hope to become
genuinely embracing
of a friendly knock –

to swing wide the door –
no thought of untidiness;
no eye on the time.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

CROSS OF CHRIST

My place atop the Christmas tree
may seem a lofty place for me,
but humbly, I point down below
through greenery and lights aglow
to manger scene that holds the Christ
who paid the price in sacrifice
for every woman, man, and child –
this perfect Lamb – this undefiled
Rescuer, Redeemer, God
I represent, and richly laud.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Written in response to Walt Wojtanik’s prompt at Poetic Bloomings to write about Christmas from the point of view of an inanimate object. If you look closely, you can see the cross that tops my Christmas tree.

A COMMON THIRST

They come to my city from distant lands –
Homelands. 
Their reasons, many and varied –
most, too heartrending to ponder. 

They arrive parched –
a desiccation born of dearth and death.
Thirst knows no race, class,
religion, or language.
It knows only burning need for
a well of hope from which to dip.

The ache of a woman,
isolated in a strange new residence
and unable to connect to life-giving resources,
drowns in unanswered questions.
She holds no words to pose them,
and no near ear to hear
her broken attempts. She thirsts
at the well of understanding.

The profound pain of parents
daily delivering their children into
the hands of strangers
who struggle to teach and to reach
these children who hear only indistinct sound,
and see the blank stare of confusion.
Parents, unable to engage, thirst
at the well of advocacy.

The fatigued fret of the soul weak with illness
who has no visible path to wellness.
The one whose world is silent,
limited, and invisible.  This soul thirsts
at the well of wellbeing.

The yearning of a man
to make known his skills,
let alone make use of them to provide
as he once did. To make known his intent
to be self-sufficient.  To be quickly found to be
hardworking and capable.  He thirsts
at the well of opportunity. 

The deep craving of the foreigner
to make known their honorable intentions.
To prove they are grateful and giving;
loving and fun-loving; brave and tender.  They thirst
at the well of accurate perception.

They arrive parched from a common thirst –
a thirst ready to be quenched
in a city flowing with Water for Ishmael.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

In Genesis 21:14-20, we read of Hagar and her son Ishmael, who were sent to the desert to die.  God heard the boy crying from thirst, and He provided a well from which to drink.  Water for Ishmael is named for this scripture passage.  WFI’s intent is to quench the thirst of the “strangers in the desert,” by following the instructions of Leviticus 19:34: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

If you would like to give to our mission: https://waterforishmael.kindful.com/

Remotely Interested in Travel

Travel host Rick Steves in Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region
With suitcase in hand as she leaves,
the thought of it drives her to heaves.
Oh what joy it might bring
but it isn’t her thing,
so she now leaves it up to Rick Steves.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021


(Would love to know who to credit for this image.)

FALL

Photo by Bianca Gasparoto on Pexels.com
There’s a chill in the air. Just enough to grab a sweater
and cute boots.
Enough to birth sweet, crisp apples.
The kind of perfect chill that calls my dad to mind -
the pride I felt watching him direct the Star-Spangled Banner
for the football pregame on a perfect autumn afternoon 
that smelled of popcorn and stadium dogs. 
The kind of chill that warms my heart and feeds my joy.

Fall:  The season of my heart.
Fall:  Collapse.

As I drink in the season, life collapses at the feet of a friend.
She writes of the woeful loss of her husband
with words that both singe and chill.

I know her only from afar, 
but I know her. 
How often have her stirring words
and soothing photos of the beauty surrounding her
touched my heart, and lifted my spirits?
How often has she bravely shared the slow slide of Alzheimer’s
as it stole her sweetheart far too soon?
When the news came to me,
I spent much time vainly stringing words
and counting syllables -
only to realize there’s a chill in the air,
and no words warm enough.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Dearest Janet:  May you feel the strength of our Father’s love, and the warmth of your Poetic Bloomings family.  Gentle hugs …

WOMAN, WHY DO YOU WEEP?


How do I respond
to such an oblivious
question of this man?

Why, sir, do I weep??
I have been weeping nonstop
for the last two days.

What I lived Friday
I can never un-live, nor
ever put to rights.

And then, yesterday,
the loss began to sink in.
I could not face it.

Now, today, even
His buried body is gone,
and my life, with it.

You ask why I weep?
What kind of question is that?
How can I not weep?

But I don’t say that.
All I can muster is, “Where,
sir, have you laid Him?”

Compassionately,
almost playfully, this Man
says only my name.

I nearly collapse.
Only one Man has kept my
name safe on His lips.

The tears continue,
but they are no longer the
tears of yesterday.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  ~ John 20:15

Still (sonnet)

Photo by Faik Akmd on Pexels.com
If time stood still, would I continue on?
Would forward movement cease then to exist?
Could sun and moon be viewed from dusk to dawn,
And deadlines not be met, yet not be missed?

Would falling stars suspend themselves in space,
Like frozen fireworks across night’s sky,
As lovers fused beneath in warm embrace
Would never need to say the word goodbye?

Would guarantees be suddenly fulfilled, 
Or would our contracts be for naught, and nixed?
Would all that’s overflowing go un-spilled?
Might what was once detaching be affixed?

If all that was foreshadowed was foregone
As time stood still, would we continue on?

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Truly I Say to You

They say that wisdom comes with age.
It has a name:  We call it, “sage.”
But Jesus set the record straight
when friends of His who, in debate,
approached Him, asking (well, demanding),  
“Who in heaven’s most outstanding?”
No pause needed, Jesus smiled
and placed before them one small child.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

NONNA REE’S PRIORITIES

The older I get, the older I feel
It’s hard to run. It’s hard to kneel.
Can’t cartwheel as in childhood.
(But, truth-be-told, I never could. 😉 )
Consistently can’t find my words –
Can access just perhaps two thirds.
Can’t run too fast. Can’t hear when asked.
My skates and skis were long-since trashed.
But I’ll still race you on my bike,
and take a walk or even hike
and talk and laugh and draw (kind of 😉 )
and listen well
and deeply love.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021