pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

FINAL ACT OF FATHERHOOD (a sonnet filled with love for my dad)


James F. Fagnano
January 7, 1932 – March 15, 2018

As you declined in health, we traded roles.
You, once a leader, now deferred to me.
Our switched positions jolted and left holes.
An altered beat, but how it had to be.

Your mind became confused, and body, frail.
I know you mourned your slipping stance as dad.
But in the end, your core was what prevailed –
Your father-teacher heart was ironclad.

I wanted terribly to be with you
When your heart halted beat, and breathed its last.
I told you I’d be back in “just a few.”
That short time I was gone, was when you passed.

It wasn’t happenstance. I think in fact,
It was a father’s final loving act.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018



Patricia A. Fagnano:  March 16, 1931 – February 9, 2018


You walk into a room full of people and you ask

who has the best mother

and you can’t see faces in the crowd

for all the raised hands

but mine isn’t raised


it is grasping for Mom’s.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018




At three years old,
She loves.
She loves her family.
She loves the children who come to her home
To be cared for.
She loves dolls,
And coloring
And tea parties
And chocolate kisses.
She loves Jesus …

But the nativity drawing
On a card from Cameroon
Gave her pause.
“Is Jesus’ daddy mean?”
‘No, honey.  Does he look mean?”

“Kinda” slips out from under her wrinkled nose.

“He has a black face.”

At three years old,
She loves.
She loves her white family.
She loves the little white children, who come
To her home to be cared for.
She loves her white dolls,
And sister’s brown doll.
She loves her little brown neighbor.
She sees few black people in her world.

“Honey, Jesus had very dark skin.
So did his mommy and step daddy.
It’s just a color.  It doesn’t make us mean,
Or nice.
It’s just a color.
Some people who are black are nice,
And some are not.
Some people who are white,
Like you,
Are nice,
Like you,
And some are not.”

With an incredulous look,
She declares,

“I am not white!”

She plays pretend a while,
Then comes to me.


“I like black people.”


© Marie Elena Good, 2018

A WOMAN, CALLED (Second Sonnet to Mary, Mother of God)


And who would take my word, this pregnant teen,
Who claimed an angel visited my room,
To tell me God Himself had set the scene
To place His Very Son inside my womb?

And how could I say anything but “Yes,
Be done to me according to Your word.”
And how could I be anything but blessed,
When first The Living Word within me stirred.

And how was I to know that God’s own Son
Would start His life inside a feeding trough,
And end on crucifix  (would anyone?),
Exploited, battered, bartered, “crowned,” and scoffed.

And when I think my womb shared blood with God,
Who gave me life? I’m humbled, blessed, and awed.


© Marie Elena Good, 2017

OF HUMBLE MEANS (Sonnet to the Newborn King)




Public domain photo

Expectant couple travels far and fierce.|
She, full with child, atop a gentle ass.
He, worried as her sighs begin to pierce,
And finding there’s no room in inns they pass.

He, with no proper room to birth her child,
Secures a proffered stable to take rest.
The Babe comes quickly, there amidst the wild.
He frees her Son, and lays Him at her breast.

The Newborn listens to the bleating sheep.
The feeding trough He lies in smells of hay.
His weary mother tries to get some sleep,
Through rolling sounds of cry and bleat and bray.

Great throngs of angels revel in this day –
In lowly trough, there lies The Truth.  The Way.


© Marie Elena Good, 2017

Untitled response to Poetic Asides Prompt 418: THAW


I thought I thaw a thnowball
Up on a thnowy wall.
How fun to throw,
but I’m too thlow,
and what I thaw had thawed.

BE THE CONDUIT (Response to Twiglet #54: Water, Water)


Photo from Pexels.com

We thirst for even a sprinkling of peace,
as we reach the boiling point.


Extravagance of the season


Photo by Deanna Marie Metts

The extravagance 
of the season, embodied:
God, wrapped in infant.



My Favorite Christmas Things (to the tune of My Favorite Things)


Banister greenery, tied with red ribbon.
Moonlit iced tree branches sparkle and glisten.
Carolers harmonize laughter with song.
Uplifting lyrics ring all season long.

Silver-belled streetlamps are charmingly pretty,
Casting their glow on the streets of the city.
Life-sized nativity graces a lawn.
Warmth from a hay bale entices a fawn.

Crystal-like snowflakes that shimmer and twinkle.
Enchanted children, with noses that crinkle.
Scents of warm sugar that waft through the air.
Sense of the kindness of folks everywhere.

Children’s wonder
Peaceful slumber
‘neath a silent snow

The best of the season
all point to the reason –
the birth of a Babe I know.


© Marie Elena Good, 2017



Photo by Keith R. Good

The very word is musical, to me.
Her soft iambic pentameter, calm.
Her rise and fall, a wave of soothing sea.
A therapy. A troubled spirit’s balm.

The sonnet seems to whisper, not to shriek.
No heart has she for bias or outrage.
Her soul is surely humble, yielding, meek.
A lady, moving gracefully through age.

When strolling wood, I hear her hollowed call.
While contemplating God, she sometimes sighs.
Perceptible in mid-west farmland’s sprawl.
She’s many means to draw and mesmerize.

Each time she calls, I gladly sit with her.
I stroke each word, and listen for her purr.


© Marie Elena Good, 2017