pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Reflections

Voice from 1972

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Had I the chance to sit silently alone in this no-longer new auditorium, might I have heard the echo of your voice?  The music you conducted? My younger hands applauding?

It seemed so.

**************

Being back in the PSHS auditorium this week for the first time since the mid-1970’s seemed a bit surreal.  Pride welled in me as they honored Dad, and a very large part of me would have given anything to return to that time in my life.  Not permanently, but for another round.  Or two.

PIGLET, ESPECIALLY

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Photo credit:  Eric Mavis

It was said that Rabbit is made
of important things.
Piglet said, “Rabbit has brain,”
and, “Yes, Rabbit is clever.”
And that may be.
Yes, that may be.
But our smidgen-y Piglet is made
of weighty things –
nearly all of him being empathy
and oh-such-friendness
and how-can-I-helpness.
As Eeyore said
on that blustery day,
“Mind you don’t get blown away,
little Piglet. You’d be missed.”
And when you are missed,
you are weighty, indeed.

Christopher Robin’s friends
show us how to be ourselves
among others.
Being ourselves among others is
an important thing.

A weighty thing.

A Piglet-and-Pooh-and-Rabbit-and-Roo,
and Kanga-and-Eeyore-and-Tigger-and-Owl,
and love-me-for-me-and-I’ll-love-you-for-you,
significant, super-salubrious thing.

And so, little girl with your Piglet in tow,
be yourself as you grow,
and let others be so.
And when you’ve outgrown
your sweet childhood ways,
please hold Piglet at heart
for the rest of your days.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

All About the Love

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Dad was a teacher, a band director, and a professional musician.  In all of these professions, he was my father.  I was always learning in his presence.  He gave everything one hundred percent.  I hear, in his voice: “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.”  “Take it with you.  If you need it, you’ll have it.”  “Do your best.” “Practice right.”  “Never look back.  Just move forward.”  “No regrets.” “Love is the most important thing.”

All of it, important.  All of it, useful.  All of it, wise.

There were times I was privileged to witness him at his core.  Times that planted pride and love in my heart that I can hardly express. One of the things that made my knees weak came very late in life.  I was sitting with a now extremely fragile man who was watching the love of his life slip slowly away, due to Alzheimer’s.  “I’m not sure how to handle the coming day when I go to her room to kiss her goodnight, and she doesn’t know who I am.”  My heart.  The conversation was one of the hardest of my life.  But also one that showed me he was still, in his elderly and fragile state, my father.  As we talked about dark days ahead that could begin any moment, he gave me advice that encompassed all he was:  “No matter what happens, remember her love.”

Love enthusiastically.
Love takes practice.  Practice daily.
Take love with you.  If you need it, you’ll have it.
(You’ll need it.)

Thank you, Dad.  Thank you.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

UNTITLED HAIBUN

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Incredible image courtesy of  Lars_Nissen_Photoart, on Pixabay

He asks what my hardest moments have been, pressing me to purposely reflect on a life that has been primarily appreciation-inducing.  I had parents who loved me well and modeled life; relatives who enveloped and affirmed me; friends who have laughed with me, and accepted my limitations; a sister with whom I can celebrate differences and honor common blood; children and grandchildren of limitless love; a husband who gives selflessly and fills my gaps; a Savior who has walked beside me since my earliest days.  These thoughts of great blessing bring easy breath and grateful tear.  Not that I have not experienced occasional pain.  Loss of loved ones.  Moves I did not want to make.  Divorce.  I have not been exempt from affliction.  But searing misery has come from a single source:  The suffering of those I love.

There is no torment
more incapacitating
than wanton worry.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

ALL IN THE SAME BOAT (Or, “Idyllic,” a Sonnet for Political Sanity)

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Photo by Keith R. Good

When I consider all, from left to right,
I find myself smack dab in center’s eye.
But I am now okay with that, despite
The pressures of a partisan outcry.

Those right of me say I should think as they,
And fault me for the way I lean more left.
While to my left are those who stand dismayed
That I am not (in their minds) more “progressed.”

Yet are we not one vessel, stern to bow?
We need to row as one, or we will sink!
And so let’s work together to learn how
Our center, left, and right can interlink.

Let’s turn off the contemptuous hate speech,
And focus on the positives of each.

 
© Marie Elena Good, 2019

MAJORLY SIMPLE

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Photo by Keith R. Good

I discovered the simple life I lead
does not lend itself to major discoveries. 

Or so I thought.

Then I discovered something major
in leading a simple life: 

Contentment.

Not as in settling.  As in
being settled.
No big dreams, met or unmet.

Then I discovered contentment
does not breed motivation.

Or so I thought.

But lo and behold,
contentment inspires thankfulness.
Then thankfulness – praise,
and praise – a relationship with my God,
and relationship with my God – contentment,
and contentment – thankfulness …

And I am content
with this

simple,

major,

inspiring discovery. 

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

And It Makes Me Wonder

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There’s a man who is sure
That he glitters like gold
And he’s building a wall for safekeeping.
In the office he sought
When he got there he thought
With a word, he could get what he came for.
Oh oh oh oh, and will he build the wall he had promised?

When he speaks, is there truth?
See, I want to be sure,
‘cause I sense that his words have no meanings.
And these memes that we share,
They don’t mean that we care.
Sometimes ALL of our thoughts are misgiving.

Oooh, it makes me wonder.
Oooh, it makes me wonder.

There’s a feeling I get
That’s too much like a threat
That’s expressed as “kind” words are escaping.
Through his acts have I seen
Rings of smoke through the mirrors,
And pained faces of those who are seeking.

Oooh, it makes me wonder.
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it’s whispered that soon there will come a new moon,
And the piper will be charged with treason.
Then a new day will dawn
Talk of walls will be gone,
But will we have the peace we’ve sought after?

Could be a hustler in our Whitehouse,
But how do I know?
It’s just an inkling from what I’ve seen.
Yes, I have seen our politics spun
And in the long run
It’s all talk to spin the road we’re on,
And it makes me wonder.

My head is aching, and I can’t stand
This hate in my land.
The piper’s calling us to join him.
Dear Lady, do I hear you weeping,
And do I see
Indignant tears on the whispering wind?

And as we contemplate our walls,
Do we not stand to lose our soul?
Is our safekeeping worth it all?
Oh Lady shine through harbor’s fog!
Let dialogue be kind and true.
And let us listen very hard,
And tune our heart-song from our past,
When liberty was welcoming
When we were hailed as brave and free,
And we hadn’t closed our stairway to heaven.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

Please note:  Some phrases from the original Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin were intentionally used in this poem. 

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

A Creator’s Palette (Sonnet to The Artist)

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Reflections of autumn’s trees on Rose Lake in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region.  Photo credit:  Keith R. Good

Describing “yellow” leaves in fall, for me,
Does not at all depict their cheerful gleam
As sunlight spills as liquid through the trees,
And they themselves could light the day, it seems.

So also “orange” can’t describe the bliss
That autumn’s gorgeous vista just compels.
And though I can’t rename it, I know this:
Fall’s celebrated color casts its spells.

My favored autumn shades though are the reds:
From rosy blush to crimson, fire-and-iced.
They fairly flaunt and flame as they turn heads.
There’s no way common “red” would have sufficed.

How can we label paints and pens of God
That leave us reverential, praise-filled, awed ?

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

FOR POETIC BLOOMINGS AUTUMNAL POEM-A-DAY CHAPBOOK CHALLENGE, 2018,  DAY 11:  CRIMSON