pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Category: Uncategorized

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

WITH HIGH LEVEL OF ACCURACY, I PREDICT:

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

WITH HIGH LEVEL OF ACCURACY, I PREDICT:


As soon as hands are wash-me wet,
my phone will start to ring.

When I am snoozing, you can bet
my phone will start to ring.

The moment we sit down to eat,
my phone will start to ring.

Before my urgent task’s complete,
my phone will start to ring.

The final seconds of the game,
my phone will start to ring.

Car warranty’s good, but all the same,
my phone will start to ring.

About to step in to the bath,
my phone will start to ring.

When I have moved from rile to wrath,
my phone will start to ring.

When I’m with someone, it is known
my phone will start to ring.

The second I put down my phone?
My phone will start to ring.

While pulling up my drive at home,
my phone will start to ring.

When nearly finished with my poem,
my … Sorry.  I need to get this …

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

In response to Robert Lee Brewer’s 2021 April Poem-a-Day Challenge at Poetic Asides (Day 2: Write a What does the future hold poem).

NO STRANGER, THIS

Image by Jan Steiner from Pixabay

He asked for water.
We’d never seen each other,
and we were alone:

He (a Jewish man)
and Samaritan-woman-
me, knowing my place.

Finding it a bit
amusing, I asked Him why
He asked this of me. 

He spoke in riddle,
“If you knew who was asking,
you’d have asked of Him,

and He’d have given
the gift of living water.”
Then He spoke again

and everything
there is to know about me,
He already knew.

I wasn’t disturbed.
There was nothing unsettling
in His countenance.

There was not a doubt
the gift He offered me was
His for the giving.

I drew His water.
But He? He quenched a thirst I
never knew I had.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

In response to Robert Lee Brewer’s 2021 April Poem-a-Day Challenge at Poetic Asides (Day 1: Write an introduction poem).

PALM SUNDAY

Image by CKSherrod from Pixabay

She carried her King –
Prince of Peace, and Lord of all,
while suckling her foal.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” ~ Matthew 21:1-5