Thursday, June 8, 2017

Poetry Friday - Avoiding Joy


It's Poetry Friday!  I love this day!  And I love visiting Mary Lee's site, so it is doubly fun today as she is hosting all our poetry links.  Go visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.  Check out all the other offerings!
Is this not joy?

Last week on Thursday, the Spiritual Thursday post was to talk about "finding joy". Margaret Simon had the prompt and was our hostess that day.

Well, I had started this poem about finding joy and then lost it - or forgot about it.  Then on Friday morning, I was looking for something and in my purse I found this folded up North Country Harley Davidson invoice with scribbles on it.  It was the poem I'd started while we were riding in the car, when I started thinking about the topic of Finding Joy, its original title. As I began writing, though, it was clear that it was more about how we can refuse to find joy, preferring instead to wallow in self-pity, depression, unhappiness...
Have you ever avoided joy?

I've seen people do this... ME?  Of course, it is more understandable when I do it!!  LOL!  The poem was spurred by my own actions at times when I just wanted to wallow or be difficult, and thinking about how hard it was to snap out of it and "succumb to" good thoughts and a smile!

I remind myself that it is easier sometimes to find the bad in things than the good when you are on a roll!  However, it is just as easy to find the good and get on that roll!  It might involve putting the brakes on hard and almost upsetting yourself to do it, but it is worth it and always do-able.

I want to stop the Pollyanna-eze here, though.  I admit there will be times when it isn't as easy as one would like, and I can't say I am always successful at it.
(Yeah, like this week when I wasn't too happy with some of the details of our kitchen cabinet  installation...  but I digress... back to joy so I can avoid going down that path again...)

Avoiding Joy

Did you ever avoid finding joy?
I know it can be done:
Refuse to muse on trees,
Deny the warming sun,
Turn from a dewy bloom,
Rebuke the glinting sea,
Look through disdaining eyes,
Hold on to jealousy,
Drain color from a sunset,
Remain in shadowed vale,
Still a robin's echoing trill,
Pursue a lonesome trail,
Trade the sweetest laughter
For hot and bitter tears,
Decline the tiniest hint
Of any smile that nears;
Turn away a touch,
Slough off all advice:
You haven't need of such,
Embrace your heart of ice.
I've seen it being done;
It seems a sorry goal
To uninvite a joyfulness
For sorrow in your soul
When it could very easily
Be welcomed in your heart.
It's hard at first, but when you do
A hum will likely start,
And slowly seeping past the doubts
It starts to overflow;
It's scary when the singing starts
With words you do not know.
Just go with it, look through new eyes,
The ones without defeat,
And you might find the world out there
Is bountiful and sweet.
It's more than we deserve in life;
Be watchful for each stone -
For turning them we'll likely find
Some blessing yet unshown.
Embrace the joy of blessings

Melt your ice with flame;

If you refuse the joy in life

You’ve only you to blame.




by Donna JT Smith, 2017

Have you ever avoided joy???

29 comments:

  1. I love when your poem turns the corner. Hooray for the tenacity of JOY!

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  2. Ouch! I'm feeling a bit convicted. That's a pointy topic. But, I don't want to detract from the beautiful cadence of the sound of it. Your rhymes are spot on. I especially like:
    Rebuke the glinting sea,
    Look through disdaining eyes,
    Hold on to jealousy,

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    1. LOL! I was, too! Yesterday, I actually got myself out of the spin downward as I reflected on this. I may have to post it somewhere in our house!

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  3. Such a wonderful wonderful poem. I used to be one of those. I avoided joy. I felt scared approaching it and this just spoke and touched me. It took me a long long time to sort of approach joy, to see it, want it and live it. Thank you so much for this poem...beautiful poem. -iphigene

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    1. So happy to hear that you have learned about joyful living! It can be elusive sometimes, but so worth the pursuit!

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  4. I have been there for sure. I love how your poem really brings this to our attention. I will spend my day looking for joy!

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    1. I'll bet you've found some just clicking on all the Poetry Friday offerings today!

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  5. Beautiful, Donna, a mantra for us all. The rhythm is perfect! Love the reference to stones. One of my grandfathers always said to leave no stone unturned, be sure to look at everything: "Be watchful for each stone".

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    1. Wise grandfather!
      As a child, I remember turning over stones and wondering how the earthworms and insects could live with something so heavy on top of them!

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  6. I wish I was better at finding joy - being a bit of a worrier I find myself more often finding reasons to worry than celebrate. But finding joy can be a choice!

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    1. Definitely a choice. As my brother says, "Your attitude affects your attitude."

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  7. Donna, the rhythm of the poem makes me think of the waves crashing on the jetty as you offered in your photo. While you moved gracefully through the levels of avoidance, your poem took me to the place I need to be each day to find the joy.
    Be watchful for each stone -
    For turning them we'll likely find
    Some blessing yet unshown.
    Thank you for the prayers you graciously offer as I wait for the news of soon-to-be baby girl.

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    1. So excited for you! Won't this little miss be in for a treat with YOU as a grandma! What will she call you?

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  8. Unfortunately, I have gotten sucked into that downward cycle, but somehow joy finds me anyway just as joy in your poem persists until it bursts forth once more.

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    1. So glad you can find that joy still and stop a downward spiral! It's a deep joy that allows us to do that!

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  9. I love it and Pollyanna's "Glad Game!" There really is so much to appreciate all around us. -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/

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    1. I have to be careful that I don't
      sound too much like Pollyanna. I wonder who else remembers that book/movie??

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  10. This is a great poem, Donna, all the more so because it rings true--at least for me.

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    1. I think it is what everyone does to some extent. Some are better able to get out of it - and stay out longer. But it's a rare person who doesn't at some point refuse to "be happy"!

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  11. I like when your poem turns the corner, too, after draining the color from the sunset, ouch! Then you turn over a rock, and all I could picture were worms, pillbugs, grubs and other beasties, small and squirmy! I felt like the one at the table who gets the downer fortune cookie. LOL But I like your reminder to find the joy. It's everywhere!

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    1. I can almost visualize draining that sunset but then restoring its colors as the joy comes flooding back.
      Hah! I wonder if worms ever get a little bit joyful??
      Your "downer" fortune cookie comment is so funny! I guess you'd have to find joy in the cookie then!

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  12. Donna, I love the way your poem takes us on the twists and turns in your mind! I have certainly drained the color from a sunset a time or two -- not so much these days, I'm happy to say... Long Live BEAUTY & JOY and all the ways we can be present and nurture ourselves and the world. xo

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    1. I think we can improve our ability to remain on a state of joy. As we age I t's easier to realize you don't want to waste time making an effort to be miserable when you could just as easily put the effort into joyfulness.;)

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  13. I confess: I'm a master at avoiding joy, though I'm striving to change. That's why I now end all my blog posts with the phrase: "Remember to Write with JOY!" It's a reminder meant more for me than for my readers.
    I was especially struck by these lines:
    "To uninvite a joyfulness
    For sorrow in your soul"
    Thanks so much for this terrific poem, Donna.

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    1. What a great way to "sign off" on your posts! I need a few gentle reminders at times to look around at what is good. It's a choice we make. Thanks for dropping by today!

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  14. I'm sure we can all related to a few lines that you mentioned. I like the quick and short movement of the lines, and I'm glad the poem turned that corner, thanks Donna!

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Drop some breadcrumbs! Let me know you were here!