pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Category: Uncategorized

GIVING THANKS while sick for Thanksgiving


This photo is not a well-focused, balanced, artistic photo. It is just my snapshot
of homemade chicken noodle soup, made by my super caring husband.
It is one thing I have to be thankful for while I am sick on my favorite week of the year.
And there are so many others.
My cozy home, with the Christmas tree up, and a comfortable recliner from which to enjoy it.
My soft lavender robe, and just-as-soft tissues for my nose.
A family member who will be doing a Thanksgiving meal “porch drop” for Keith and me,
and other family members who offered the same
and friends and students who have offered food and help and loving words of encouragement
and who check in on me just because they are selfless souls who care deeply
and a doctor able to see me on the same day I called
and insurance to pay the doctor and the medicine
and a comfortable spare bedroom for Keith to sleep in so I don’t keep him awake with my cough
and WhatsApp to keep in touch for free with my daughter in India
and the amazing, gentle care she is receiving for a herniated disc, from grandmotherly women
and doctors making daily home visits to the room she is renting from these women
and the ease of heart it helps me feel while she is there alone and in pain and without my help
and the Father of All who is no less there than He is here
and the vast array of birds and fun critters outside my huge windows that let in all the light
and loving souls in my life who share their beautiful words and prayers and sentiments and lives
and parents who passed on, but left themselves in unspeakable ways right here in my heart
and children who struggle, but l.o.v.e. in all the ways afforded to them, and who I proudly call my own
and granddaughters who give joy in ways I never could have imagined
and their daddy who is not just an in-law to me
and music
and poetry
and books
and life
and Jesus in the nativity beneath my tree, and His saving cross at the top
and the Word of God
and the Lamb of God
and the love of God
and no period, because there is no end




Untitled Hygge

Photo by Dina Nasyrova on Pexels.com

Snuggle with a sleepy story
under a thick layer
of quiet.


(c) Marie Elena Good, 2022

In the Far Reaches

Deanna’s cutie camel, all tuckered out


WD November Chapbook Challenge, Day 4.  Write an “In the (blank )” poem

In the Far Reaches

There’s currently nine
and a half-hours’ time diff’rence
between her and me. 

I use what seems nine
checking the clock to reckon
what time it is, there.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

“Asking for a friend.”

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

WD November Chapbook Challenge. Day 1.  Write a beginning poem, or an ending poem

“Asking for a friend”

Dear fellow persons,
When did handwritten letters
become an art form?

Birthday greetings change
from carefully picked cards, to
instant facebook posts?

Did spelling our words
become an imposition
on us?  idk.

When did we mutate
from people people, to mere
convenience junkies?

Have we managed to
make effortlessness a god
of our own doing?

A god that will bring
us to our knees when we see
it filched our intents

made us its robots
robbed us of our humanness
made us drop our

love.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

PLEASE, NO MORE AFTERS

Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com

A Ukrainian student,
who speaks nearly no English,
brings a map and photos
to class. 

The map shows her home,
and its proximity to Russia.
Her quivering finger moves across it
showing us her escape route.
Border-to-border, across Ukraine.
Romania.
Germany.
The U.S.A.

She moves from photo to photo.
“Our central park.”
Before,
and after.

“Capitol building.”
Before,
and after. 

Her house,
out of photo’s view by centimeters,
“here,” her finger rests. 
The building in view,
demolished. 


Her house? 
Likely an “after.” 

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

#apictureisworthathousandwords
#prayforUkraine


GARDEN SONG (a waltmarie)

Photo by Marie Elena Good
A Buffalo poet and I have never met, yet
we tend
a common garden of unlocked gate, with
poets
we welcome as friends we’ve also never met
who plant
pretty poesies of love and life -- friends who share
themselves
with verses that enrich the song  
in us.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

#waltmarie

This is a little tribute to Walt Wojtanik of Buffalo and the poets who frequent the poetry site we share, called Poetic Bloomings.

The form used (waltmarie) was created by Candace Kubinec, and featured on the Writer's Digest. 

Here are the guidelines for writing the Waltmarie:

-10 lines

-Even lines are two syllables in length, odd lines are longer (no specific syllable count)

-Even lines make their own mini-poem if read separately

WHERE THERE ARE ANGELS

Ice-scarred trees at six-plus feet will testify for decades to come of the Maumee River’s unwelcome rush into the cemetery where Mom and Dad are interred. She knocked over gravestones, carried some away to heave elsewhere, cracked others, and deposited countless tons of ice plates and river-bottom mud well above a grown man’s head through the entire grounds.

After more than a month, the street leading to the cemetery finally opened, but the drive leading to the section where Mom and Dad are interred remains closed. Though receding, mud-packed ice plates are still stacked 2-3 feet high there, covering hundreds of feet of ground. A “No Pedestrians” sign is posted, lest we think it is only vehicles that are not allowed access. But the drive leading in has been cleared, and today I couldn’t resist ignoring the signs and barrier, to get as close to Mom and Dad’s site as possible.

I’ve told many friends and family how guilty I feel — how petty — for pre-mourning the loss of the endearing little ceramic angel I had placed at Mom and Dad’s stone. As I walked toward the site, I searched the mountains of ice with my eyes, just in case. Getting closer, I spotted a surprising sight. A bit beyond where I would place Mom and Dad’s stone to possibly be, a large gravestone stands upright. An approximately 6-8-foot clearing surrounds it. Clearing. As in grass. Ground. A curious thing, and I can’t figure out how it came to be. And in the middle of that little clearing was what looked like a chunk of not-yet-melted muddied ice.

But at that point, my eyes were welling, because all signs pointed to this being a loving and amazing God-gift.
And it was.
And it is.
And she was muddy, but otherwise completely intact.
Not a chip.
Not a scratch.
Still close to “home.”

I also soon realized there was a small path clear enough to get around the dangerous ice heaps, just enough to retrieve her. God amazes me. We endure difficulties, for certain. But He makes His love and presence and tenderness and sovereignty known in ways that speak to our own heart. Sometimes even when we are petty, and disobey the no pedestrians sign.

And He wasn’t done. As my husband Keith and I were walking back toward the truck, we spotted my daughter Deanna. She was on a quick break from her Yoga Teacher Training classes. She had her lunch with her, and had intended to eat it quickly where her classes are. But she felt drawn to drive to the cemetery, and felt a nudge that she would see Keith and me there.

There was no reason for her to believe that. There was no reason for her approximately 15 unplanned minutes to overlap with our approximately 30 unplanned minutes.

Just as there is no reason for a little ceramic angel to survive a cataclysmic ice-flow flood and freeze, and then make her little muddied white self known in a sea of muddied white.

But, God…

____________________________________

Today is the fourth anniversary of this event. Every detail in this that I wrote then is true. This may not be a poem, but it is a tribute to my downright poetic God, who leaves me in awe.

A DISTANT WAR

Photo by Kostiantyn Stupak on Pexels.com

Even their shadows hide
beneath dark sky
and grim state
as they make
their way of escape
from dark to dark –
or watchfully, vulnerably wait
to face night’s peril
as I write this poem
in my recliner
in stream of sun
while cheerful flowers
named for same
flourish on my screen.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

#prayforUkraine

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/

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