pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Category: Uncategorized

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

The Heart of It All (fibonacci)

Home
Is
The state
Of my heart:
Heart-shaped Ohio.
“Ohio, The Heart of It All,”
Is more than its slogan, to me. It’s a certainty
Born of dappled sunlight, porch swing swishes, marching bands, sure love, and lingering laughter.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

(Bummer. My final line, written in 21 syllables, breaks up on site.)

Resumé of a Ten-Year-Old Who Wants to Volunteer at a School for Refugee Women and Children

Photo and hair by Nina Bass Blatnik

She spent the entire afternoon asking me relevant, insightful questions about the school’s students, staff, and mission. How do you teach babies and preschoolers a second language? What countries do they come from?  What languages are spoken? Which is the most common?  (She made note of Arabic, and couldn’t wait to ask her mom if she can begin studying it via Rosetta Stone or Duolingo).  Would I please contact the volunteer coordinator to see if it is acceptable for a ten-year-old to volunteer to help the adults care for the children? Are masks required? Is there a dress code?  Is there a form her parents could complete and sign, giving her permission to volunteer there?  Even if they can’t let her volunteer yet, can she take a tour of the school, and meet the staff?  Oh, and would I please tell them she is mature for her age?

Eager native sprout
seeks to share energy to
root and bloom transplants
.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

THIS IS MY KEITH

I love, “I love you,”
daily coming from your voice –
confirmed in your eyes.

I love, “I love you,”
emitting from hand-drawn hearts
on scraps of paper.

I love, “I love you,”
proved in daily selfless acts,
both little and vast.

I love, “I love you.”
But I treasure the daily
non-verbal “I do.”

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Happy Anniversary, Keith.  30 years of daily thankfulness for the gift of you.


In response to Robert Lee Brewer’s 2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 20 – Writer’s Digest (Day 20: Write a love and/or anti-love poem.)

A Walk in Mid-April

Photo by Keith R. Good

We walk around the park’s pond,
eyeing mallards and geese,
clear blue skies.
Tree blossoms of white, pink, and purple
dapple sunlight on the greening grass
and manmade path at our feet.

Lilacs scent the breeze,
as does the pleasing sound of
improving English
from my brave and delightful friend.
She speaks of her sweet/smart girls,
(the youngest of which, with her large dark eyes and
dark golden curls, holds tight her momma’s hand,
and her little bag of chips),
Syrian war,
and lost and scattered family.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

In response to Robert Lee Brewer’s 2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 14 – Writer’s Digest (Day 14: Write a “from where you’re sitting” poem.)

HE IS RISEN!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Pondering the blood-drenched tree
There but for His mercy, me
Tear-stained face, I bow the knee
Hallelujah! He is risen!

Low, for me His blood was drained
Love entombed, yet not contained
Absolution, as ordained
Hallelujah! He is risen!

(c) Marie Elena Good, 2013