pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

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

LIFE, COMPOSED IN THREE PARTS

Photo by Keith R. Good
Part 1. LEGATO

Since love and laughter
sang the notes to her childhood,
she tuned in to life.

She felt melodic,
harmonious, and ready
to embrace her song.

Part 2. ARPEGGIO

A child bride’s ballad,
meant to mirror her childhood,
ends in broken chords.

A sharp turn taken,
her imposed solo becomes
a balanced duet

as her new partner
discards the shards, and the two
play in consonance. 

Her children (her heart),
born improvisers, still long
to dance their own dance.

Part 3. CODA 

Moons rose and set. Her
parents grew sickly; her song
became elegy.

Still, her partner hums
his strength, and her Composer 
breathes psalms in her lungs.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

My Years of Teaching

Water for Ishmael American Schools wall banner, painted by Andrea Price

There are the teachers
equipped with knowledge, and the
skills to impart it

There are the teachers
with a passion for learning
that is contagious.

There are the teachers
who delight in (and well-wield)
books, maps, and whiteboards.

I am gifted with
none of that. But I love, and
love assists learning.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

FIRST, DO NO HARM

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
I’m itchin’ to upgrade, and pitchin’ a fit.
For now, I’m afraid, I have zilch to submit.
While someone is flippin’ through pages of verse,
I want my name there before I’m in a hearse.
It’s paltry and petty, this dream I’ve unfurled. 
But?
Improvin’ at versin’ can’t worsen the world.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

OPEN MINDED

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I am of the age
where knocks at the door did not
need to be scheduled.

This was a time when
hospitality welcomed
spontaneity.

A time when one was
made to feel valuable –
greeted with a smile

and a hand gesture
first ushering you in, then
offering a seat.

I wish I could say
that is a custom I still
embrace. But it’s not.

Feeling unprepared
makes me uneasy, and it
seeps right through my smile.

I hope to become
genuinely embracing
of a friendly knock –

to swing wide the door –
no thought of untidiness;
no eye on the time.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

CROSS OF CHRIST

My place atop the Christmas tree
may seem a lofty place for me,
but humbly, I point down below
through greenery and lights aglow
to manger scene that holds the Christ
who paid the price in sacrifice
for every woman, man, and child –
this perfect Lamb – this undefiled
Rescuer, Redeemer, God
I represent, and richly laud.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Written in response to Walt Wojtanik’s prompt at Poetic Bloomings to write about Christmas from the point of view of an inanimate object. If you look closely, you can see the cross that tops my Christmas tree.

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/

Remotely Interested in Travel

Travel host Rick Steves in Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region
With suitcase in hand as she leaves,
the thought of it drives her to heaves.
Oh what joy it might bring
but it isn’t her thing,
so she now leaves it up to Rick Steves.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021


(Would love to know who to credit for this image.)

FALL

Photo by Bianca Gasparoto on Pexels.com
There’s a chill in the air. Just enough to grab a sweater
and cute boots.
Enough to birth sweet, crisp apples.
The kind of perfect chill that calls my dad to mind -
the pride I felt watching him direct the Star-Spangled Banner
for the football pregame on a perfect autumn afternoon 
that smelled of popcorn and stadium dogs. 
The kind of chill that warms my heart and feeds my joy.

Fall:  The season of my heart.
Fall:  Collapse.

As I drink in the season, life collapses at the feet of a friend.
She writes of the woeful loss of her husband
with words that both singe and chill.

I know her only from afar, 
but I know her. 
How often have her stirring words
and soothing photos of the beauty surrounding her
touched my heart, and lifted my spirits?
How often has she bravely shared the slow slide of Alzheimer’s
as it stole her sweetheart far too soon?
When the news came to me,
I spent much time vainly stringing words
and counting syllables -
only to realize there’s a chill in the air,
and no words warm enough.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

Dearest Janet:  May you feel the strength of our Father’s love, and the warmth of your Poetic Bloomings family.  Gentle hugs …

WOMAN, WHY DO YOU WEEP?


How do I respond
to such an oblivious
question of this man?

Why, sir, do I weep??
I have been weeping nonstop
for the last two days.

What I lived Friday
I can never un-live, nor
ever put to rights.

And then, yesterday,
the loss began to sink in.
I could not face it.

Now, today, even
His buried body is gone,
and my life, with it.

You ask why I weep?
What kind of question is that?
How can I not weep?

But I don’t say that.
All I can muster is, “Where,
sir, have you laid Him?”

Compassionately,
almost playfully, this Man
says only my name.

I nearly collapse.
Only one Man has kept my
name safe on His lips.

The tears continue,
but they are no longer the
tears of yesterday.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  ~ John 20:15