A Poem for Sunday: "Testament" by Carolyn M. Rodgers

Image credit: imagex / 123RF Stock Photo

child,
in the august of your life
you come barefoot to me
the blisters of events
having worn through to the
soles of your shoes.

it is not the time
this is not the time

there is no such time
to tell you
that some pains ease away
on the ebb & toll of
themselves.
there is no such dream that
can not fail, nor is hope our
only conquest.
we can stand boldly in burdening places (like earth here)
in our blunderings, our bloomings
our palms, flattened upward or pressed,
an unyielding down.

A Poem for Sunday: This is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos image

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

A Poem for Sunday: I Continue to Dream by Langston Hughes

I had another poem scheduled to share with you today but my heart broke last night with the news of the Trayvon verdict and that poem no longer worked for how I was feeling so I thought I would share this Langston Hughes one with you instead. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"]Abstract oriental backgrounds with bamboo foliage 123RF Stock Photos / Dmytro Tolokonov[/caption]
I Continue to Dream
I take my dreams and make of them a bronze vase
and a round fountain with a beautiful statue in its center. And a song with a broken heart and I ask you: Do you understand my dreams? Sometimes you say you do, And sometimes you say you don’t. Either way it doesn’t matter. I continue to dream.

A Poem for Sunday: "If" by Rudyard Kipling

"If" is probably the quintessential British poem by the most quintessential of English poets and so on the day Andy Murray wins the Wimbledon Championship, I thought it would be nice to share. image If by Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

A Memorial Poem for Sunday: "Not to Keep" by Robert Frost

They sent him back to her. The letter came Saying… And she could have him. And before She could be sure there was no hidden ill Under the formal writing, he was in her sight, Living. They gave him back to her alive— How else? They are not known to send the dead— And not disfigured visibly. His face? His hands? She had to look, and ask, “What was it, dear?” And she had given all And still she had all—they had—they the lucky! Wasn’t she glad now? Everything seemed won, And all the rest for them permissible ease. She had to ask, “What was it, dear?” “Enough, Yet not enough. A bullet through and through, High in the breast. Nothing but what good care And medicine and rest, and you a week, Can cure me of to go again.” The same Grim giving to do over for them both. She dared no more than ask him with her eyes How was it with him for a second trial. And with his eyes he asked her not to ask. They had given him back to her, but not to keep.

A Poem for Sunday: A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

image Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow— You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand— How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep—while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? Image: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos 

A Poem for Mother's Day: "Child and Mother" by Eugene Field

O mother-my-love, if you'll give me your hand,
And go where I ask you to wander,
I will lead you away to a beautiful land,—
The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder.
We'll walk in a sweet posie-garden out there,
Where moonlight and starlight are streaming,
And the flowers and the birds are filling the air
With the fragrance and music of dreaming.

There'll be no little tired-out boy to undress,
No questions or cares to perplex you,
There'll be no little bruises or bumps to caress,
Nor patching of stockings to vex you;
For I'll rock you away on a silver-dew stream
And sing you asleep when you're weary,
And no one shall know of our beautiful dream
But you and your own little dearie.

And when I am tired I'll nestle my head
In the bosom that's soothed me so often,
And the wide-awake stars shall sing, in my stead,
A song which our dreaming shall soften.
So, Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear hand,
And away through the starlight we'll wander,—
Away through the mist to the beautiful land,—
The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder.

A Poem for Sunday: I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood

Mom says that now she is up there in years (83-years young), she is remembering things from her childhood that she had long forgotten. It is so enjoyable and uplifting to hear stories of her youth during a totally different era…especially since so many in her age range have the opposite problem and can’t remember much. We are truly blessed! This morning she started reciting “I Remember, I Remember,” which she learned in school when she was a girl at school and I thought I would share it with you today. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]A kitchen in an abandoned home in Bodie, California A kitchen in an abandoned home in Bodie, California - Smithsonian Magazine[/caption] I remember, I remember The house where I was born, The little window where the sun Came peeping in at morn; He never came a wink too soon Nor brought too long a day; But now, I often wish the night Had borne my breath away. I remember, I remember The roses red and white, The violets and the lily cups— Those flowers made of light! The lilacs where the robin built, And where my brother set The laburnum on his birthday,— The tree is living yet! I remember, I remember Where I was used to swing, And thought the air must rush as fresh To swallows on the wing; My spirit flew in feathers then That is so heavy now, The summer pools could hardly cool The fever on my brow. I remember, I remember The fir-trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops Were close against the sky: It was a childish ignorance, But now ‘tis little joy To know I’m farther off from Heaven Than when I was a boy.

A Poem for Sunday: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

[caption id="attachment_1312" align="alignleft" width="500"]The Greenwood Plantation's Oak Alley on a Misty Morning The Greenwood Plantation's Oak Alley on a Misty Morning - Smithsonian Magazine[/caption] Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.  

A Poem for Sunday: "Death Be Not Proud" by John Donne

A very close family friend passed overnight.  That along with what happened in Boston and Texas this week has had me thinking about death this morning.  It’s very painful for the family and friends left behind—especially when it comes unexpectedly but as Donne says in his famous poem, I don’t think that those moving on should fear it. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"]image "Waking up with the sun" Smithsonian Magazine Photo of the Day: July 16, 2012
Reni Bitting (Medina, Ohio); Photographed August 2011, Okaloosa Island, Destin, FL[/caption] DEATH BE NOT PROUD Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.