Poem for the Day: My Credo

Kindness is a daisy I thank heaven for.
Art is an act of generosity parting the darkness and letting the light in.
Music is a gift of love from one to another.
May the songs forever be sung.
Poetry is a never ending conversation between friends.
Dance is an act of grace from the heart, compassion an open palm.
Love is an oak, its roots sunk deep into the earth.
If each human being be a masterpiece made in the image of the Creator,
when the song of another is violently shortened by a fellow traveller,
blasphemy is done.
The world is blue and green, brown and red with a sun in the sky.
With a moon to share and rainbows after the rain,
we are all so blessed.
There’s an oak in my back yard and a cat on my porch.
The birds are chirping and butterflies dancing.
Isn’t it all so grand?

Mary Chapin Carpenter, “The Age of Miracles”.

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Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Seamus Heaney

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, this week’s Spotlight Creator is the great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney:

Upon his death

Making Sense of a Life

Seamus Heaney was our Irish poet. Just as Derek Walcott was our Caribbean poet. He sang songs so dug into the Irish soil that they were universal. He sang with a poet’s voice that was as beautiful as Everest is tall. He threw out the net of his words in such a way that they caught the attention of all us fishes.

We thought we would have him forever. Too often we fool ourselves into believing an artist, a poet, will continue among us. They will continue to give more and more of the poetry pouring out of him. It’s such an illusion.

Our bubble has burst. Seamus Heaney’s voice has been lifted from among us and risen to join his brothers and sisters in the heavens: Homer, Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats, Frost, Eliot, Bishop, Hughes and the Others. And I am sure he is finding new ways to sing Hallelujah.

But we can be thankful for the time we had with him and the glorious poetry he gave us. One of his lines can best sum up the motto for any artist. I know it does for me. “Walk on air against your better judgement”, from one of his poems, “The Gravel Walks”. It’s the epitaph on his gravestone.

Thank you, Seamus.

Faster than the speed of light

Words, especially the lovables,
adjectives such as humble, kind, gentle, meek,
each a personality, each a timid thing.
The hint of a harsh noise, they go fleeing
faster than the speed of light.
Hardier stuff, a replacement,
shooting stars spewing from a warp drive of a mouth.
The prodigals make for home, begging forgiveness—
though they should be the asked, their nature the asker—
Turned away and out into the cold,
broken hearts lost in space.
Astronomers, their giant telescopes
scanning the cosmic ocean of sky, they spot
a blue dot, a wanderer named Planet 17.

 Could it be?

Probably not.

micropoem for the day: butterflies

Yesterday morning I was out on the back porch, watching out for my Russian Blue, Little Bear. The back yard seemed so empty. No birds. Well, maybe a few crows making their noise. They’ve been especially noisy this year. The flowers weren’t showing their peeps yet either. As I sat there, I came upon a Derek Walcott poem, “A Lesson for This Sunday”. A wonderful poem. There was a particular line in it that inspired this micropoem. Of a butterfly, Walcott writes, “She is herself a thing of summery light.” I looked around me. I missed the butterflies that I had not missed before I read the poem. A poem can do that, you know.

butterflies bobbing
flower to flower
can you hear them sing?

poem for the day: the house

This is not one of my micropoems. What can I say. It came to me whole like this. Sure, I could have broken the lines up. Three lines today and three tomorrow and that would have fit my criteria for a micropoem. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was one poem and not two. Anyway, the thought came to me that houses, haunted or otherwise, are like people. They have their own personalities.

I throw the bed covers
off my sleepy body,
feed the cat her morning grub,
setting the house in motion.
The house resists. Like me,
it wants one last doze.