pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

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

MILK DELIVERY

Uncle Ray delivering milk for Warren Sanitary Dairy 1954

Back in the days of house-to-house milk delivery, Uncle Ray had the greatest technology:  a horse-driven, refrigerated milk cart. The horse knew what she was doing.  She would take Uncle Ray to the first home on the route.  He would grab enough ice-cold milk from the cart for the next several homes.  She would walk the cart to the spot where he would need to grab more milk, and wait there for him. Then along came even newer and greater technology:  refrigerated delivery trucks.  Unfortunately, Uncle Ray was not permitted to turn down the newer technology.  Not only did it make his job harder, but he lost a dear friend and coworker. 

Often new knowhow’s
know how is negligible
or nearly inept.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

THE HEART OF AN OLYMPIAN

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

Dreams held within resist all hindrances,
As though an iron breastplate shelters it.
Equating fear and doubt as hidden sins,
It will not recognize them, nor admit

Susceptibility may lie inside.  
It soundly strikes a metronome-like beat  
That pulses toward the goal that it has eyed,
Where grueling pain and utter joy may meet.

But when a running water hose crimps tight,
The urgent fix outweighs the aim at hand.
The crimp must be relaxed … And this despite
Whatever lofty plan was in demand.

Olympic hearts are human, in the end.
They’ve earned soft hands to hold them as they mend.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Aesop’s Barbershop

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

We know much of a fairytale
Of Tortoise and the Hare,
But I can tell you details that
Got lost somewhere out there.

See, Aesop had a barbershop
Where he would share folklore
While snippets of each patron’s hair
Would float from head to floor.

While gleaning nest material
From under Aesop’s chair,
A little bird learned more about
the Tortoise and the Hare.

Not only did Hare take a nap
While racing such a slowpoke,
He also caught a matinee,
And shot the breeze with townsfolk.

He stopped in to the barbershop
To get the latest chinwag.
He wrote it all into his pad,
And stuck it in his bookbag.

That steadfast Tortoise won the race,
Which Hare did not foresee.
How do I know these new-found facts?
A little bird told me.  

© Marie Elena Good, 2021