pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Humanity

ROCKS, STREAMS, AND STORYTELLERS

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Photo by Keith R. Good

End-of-life
for those with whom we are particularly close,
seems to bring out who we are at our core.

Some of us are rocks.
Unbreakable.
Pillars.
Feeling the need to hold up all around us.
Or,
perhaps,
we just can’t let our surface crack,
lest we fall to pieces.

Some of us are streams.
We go with the flow,
while staying our course.
Occasionally we pick up others in need,
and carry them along.
But sometimes a stream’s flow
is fashioned from tears
that even a dam can’t contain.

Then some of us are storytellers.
We talk.
We laugh.
We reminisce.
We play familiarity like a piano concerto –
every part by heart.
We connect to those who are listening,
and telling stories of their own.
But can it be that we need to get lost in a story,
because the reality at hand
is too painful to fully embrace?

Let the rocks be strong.
But if they crack,
help them pick up the pieces.

Let the streams flow.
And if the tears run,
let them –
even as God collects
and records each one.

Let the storytellers recount,
and their experiences, count.
And if the present moment breaks them,
hold their pain
as a book in your embrace,
and help them tenderly
turn another page.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

HER VOTE

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HER VOTE

She used to share me.
But no more.  Now, silently,
She clutches me close.

(c) Marie Elena Good, 2018

UNMASK

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There’s only one way
To know ourselves and others:
Eliminate masks.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

FOR POETIC BLOOMINGS AUTUMNAL POEM-A-DAY CHAPBOOK CHALLENGE, 2018,  DAY 12:  COSTUME

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

I Am An Aging, Living Being

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No longer vibrant
smooth
-skinned strength, framed
on the nightstand

No longer quick
-witted or
-stepped
fluid in mind
agile in stride

No longer resourceful
proficient
a step ahead
with a head in the game

At times still life,
I am life, still

I am aging

living

being.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2017

A Mile is Nothing

do not judge

Don’t judge anyone
Until you’ve walked in their shoes
As long as they have.

 

 

UNITED

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I wish all had disembarked.
Teach United
the meaning of its name.

 

#seventeensyllablesfortwentyseventeen
#aprilpad

SYRIA (Sonnet for the Severed Souls)

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The images.  The videos. The news.
The view from here is simply that – a view.
For I can just ignore it if I choose –
Not take in what I’ll wish I never knew.

But you?  You watch your babies breathe their last
while hospitals are bombed before your eyes,
and lifeless neighbors’ bodies are amassed.
You plead for help to long-obscure allies.

I want to send for you, and beg you come –
To sing soft lullabies to sooth your sleep.
But see, you are a fearsome threat to some.
That takes me to my knees to heave and weep.

While dead and dying lie within your reach,
Your wails are hushed by those whom you beseech.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2017