pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

RETURN TO THE HILLS (Sonnet for My Keith, and Our Little Blue Cabin in Ohio’s Hocking Hills)

 

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How many years have you and I come here
To seek a respite from demands of time?
We listen long as birdsongs echo clear,
From porch swing’s nest, to hills we dare to climb.

We had to leave behind our getaway,
As pressures of life’s urgencies took charge.
This season rendered cabin dreams “someday,”
But pressing needs no longer loom so large.

We’re homebodies (both you and I), and this,
Our quiet cabin nestled in the pines,
Feels so like coming home, it’s simply bliss –
This space where life and harmony align.

I’ve seen these hills with no one else but you.
There’s none with whom I’d rather share this view.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

St. Thomas Island’s Caret Bay (“Someday” Comes – a Roundelay)

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Exploring life on new frontiers,
Today my luvs move far away.
Our seasons come in waves and tiers
As drizzle falls from sky of gray
I hug them tight, yet curb my tears.
I have to hold my heart at Bay.

Our seasons come in waves and tiers.
As drizzle falls from sky of gray.
Attentive to the fleeting years,
I want for them sun’s ray. Son’s ray.
I hug them tight, yet curb my tears.
I have to hold my heart at Bay.

Acquainted with life’s fleeting years,
I want for them sun’s ray. Son’s ray.
May God’s vast grasp be crystal clear,
And richly sensed on Caret Bay.
I hug them tight, yet curb my tears.
I have to hold my heart at Bay.

May God’s vast grasp be crystal clear,
And richly sensed on Caret Bay.
Goodbyes are said, and it appears
The time is now, and not “someday.”
I hug them tight, yet curb my tears.
I have to hold my heart at Bay.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

 

Term-inally Lovesick (A Sonnet, Besotted)

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Etymologically express my love?!
I can’t speak love with consonant and vowel!
I’m verbally decrepit! (Well, sort of.)
I’m giving in! I’m throwing in the towel!

Emphatically pronoun-cing love seems daft.
Yet hypotheticals won’t mean a thing.
While rubbish bin spills over with my drafts,
I’m left with participles dang-l-ing.

To write of love? I cannot comprehend.
I’m tense and stressed and non-affirmative.
These split infinitives are hard to mend.
There has to be a fast alternative.

I need to let my gerundings gestate.
My present perfect love will have to wait.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

PUNK

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I sat at the left end of a long
cafeteria-like table.
No food before me,
no scent of food.
My eyes focused on something
in my hands, which
I cannot now recall.

Forward and to my right,
old fashioned, quilt-look, diner-style
double swinging doors
open.
I glance up
smile
glance back down,
before my heart quickens in my chest
and I look back up.

“Punk!” barely escapes my lips –
more air than voice
as our eyes engage –
His,
smiling, crinkling at the sides.
Mine,
misting as my lips quiver.

He comes to me,
his cadence the same as my heart
remembers.

“Punk!” barely escapes again
as we hug.
His scent and chuckle,
unchanged.
His breath moves my hair.

His familiar voice in my ear speaks only a few words:

“What do you want to know?”

An unexpected question.
My heart quickens again.
What do I need to know?

“Punk, I just want one more hug.”

He backs up
just enough for me to feel his warm hands
on my cheeks.
I can see only his smiling eyes.
I look into them, and see
everything.

It can’t be explained any other way.

Everything.

In less than a moment.
Everything that ever was
seen
felt
heard
known
unknown,
is now
ever will be.

The beauty of it all filled me full.
Left me no words.

He gave me one last hug,
walked to the double doors,
glanced back with those smiling eyes,
and walked back through.

And the living live the here and now,
but those who have passed
and are alive in Christ,
know.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

The Bloodstained Cross (Sonnet for Simon of Cyrene)

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Image credit:  http://catholicinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2013/03/meditation-on-fifth-station-of-cross.html

God’s word says little of this man:  A Jew,
Pulled from the crowd to carry Jesus’ cross.
I wonder what he felt, and what he knew.
What ‘Jesus stories’ had he come across?

The Passover perhaps had drawn him there –
A dispersed Jew, returned to celebrate,
Who suddenly now had a cross to bear?
So little known.  So much to speculate.

But he was there, as God had preordained,
And I can’t help but think that he was stirred,
To look into the eyes of one so maimed,
Still full of grace. God’s only Son. God’s Word.

Oh Simon, what an awe-inspiring role …
You touched the very blood that saved your soul.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

FAVORITES OF THE HEART (for Uncle Ray)

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Years ago, Dad called me.  “Did you get the news from Niles?”  Those seven words made my breath quicken. No, I hadn’t. “You didn’t hear from Judy?”  I gasped.  I heard my choking voice say, “Oh no!  Not Uncle Ray! Not Uncle Ray!”

No.  Not Uncle Ray.  Someone completely unexpected. Someone else I cared about.

God, forgive me.  What was I feeling, in the wake of an unexpected family death?  Relief?  To my embarrassment and dismay, yes.  Relief.  I actually sighed long and hard with that relief, and immediately confessed to Dad what I was feeling.  I don’t remember his response.  I remember not feeling judged for my human heart.  I remember believing this would remain between Dad and me and my God.  But it didn’t.  I’ve confessed it to a few others I love and trust.  To this day, I still feel the guilt well up on remembrance.  But, God …

Oh, the human heart
Which beat in Jesus, himself
For John, whom He loved.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

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

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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

MOM

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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

IS JESUS’ DADDY MEAN?

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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.

“Nonna?”
“Yes?”

“I like black people.”

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

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

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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