Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spiritual First Thursday

Carol Varsalona is hosting today, and has asked us to speak to "Poetry as a Spiritual Practice of the Heart" in our small group of bloggers who take turns hosting the First Spiritual Thursday of each month.  Visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLInk where she has posted links what others have said about this topic today.

I am also involved in the Blogging AtoZ Challenge, and just happen to have this first poem posted earlier for today, and the second poem is for tomorrow.   Coincidentally, they both speak to my need to write poetry that refreshes, renews and reminds my heart and soul that there is more to this life than meets the eye - that there is more to love about the world than hate; that when you are down, you are only on your way up.  I cannot be a poet who dwells in the depths of despair; nor can I pick out the grays and browns of life unless I also note their potential for growing flowers, for creating works of clay or sculpture, or leading to better days of vibrant color. 

I have things in my life, as we all do, that I could dwell on and get mired in if I so choose.  But I choose to write with a happy heart, a hopeful spirit, and uncompromising words.  Some poets would say then I am not being "real", that my work lacks heart because it doesn't use strong language, is not bordering on offensive or intrusive, does not make statements about social or political agendas, has little to do with the finality or brutality of death, or have any gruesome bent.  Well, I would beg to differ.  My heart has always looked for the good,  been willing to give the benefit of the doubt, wanted to sing, wanted to spin in a swirly dress, loved the warm nuzzles of a horse, and been waiting to see what the next good thing will be that God has in store for me.  

Poetry helps keep me singing, thinking, appreciating, loving and doing!  I thank God for every frosting drizzled day he has given me, and I thank Him for every rain drizzled day, too.  For only then can I know how delicious that frosting is!

I only realize how much is on my plate and how heavy it is when I stop and think about it.  There really is too much to handle alone.  Thinking about it does NOT help.  Poetry immediately turns my head and heart away from the worry about the things I cannot control to the miracles around me, and the comfort that I am NOT doing it alone.

  • John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
  • Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

I need to keep writing.  I need to listen to that quiet voice.  Sometimes it rhymes.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Ever Young

Your
secret
for staying
forever young
is to forever
love the moments given,
to hold each new encounter
wrapped in the tissues of your heart,
releasing them again for others
as words vibrant with new color and depth.

by Donna JT Smith, 2018
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Fix 'Em

A broken voice
quavers
as a soul's cry
shimmers the
sidewalks
with shards of 
the lost whole
silica again
it is not
dust to dust
time
the weatherman calls for
cleansing showers
to revoke stains
and restore
mirrors
press through
all is right as
healing rain.

by Donna JT Smith, 2018
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  

13 comments:

  1. Donna, your soul speaks of the positive in words such as cleansing showers, restore, press through, healing rain. All is right in the poet's soul when her practice is strong and rooted in love. Your words, "to hold each new encounter wrapped in the tissues of your heart," speaks of your journey to find the beauty of the world and sings its praises.

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    1. The more I write and the more I think, the more I realize how important my mother was to my journey.

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  2. Ah, I am loving you nonet! Your poem and my poem are sisters for sure. Thank you, Donna, esp. for this line: Poetry helps keep me singing, thinking, appreciating, loving and doing! xo

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    1. Oh, my, Irene! I read your poem today and it is amazing! I love it to death...so to speak...so tickled to have it be a "relative" of your poem!

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    2. The first poem is really an etheree because it has 10 lines. Nonets have 9...you made me go back and count to make sure. Otherwise it would have made my AtoZ topple!! Maybe N should be a nonet! I love syllable counts in poems.

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  3. "I choose to write with a happy heart, a hopeful spirit, and uncompromising words."
    This is what I LOVE about your work. Please don't ever change a thing. Just keep 'em coming!

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    1. Ha! Thanks! (Grinning like a fool in Starbucks.)

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  4. Oh my poetry friends, you continually teach me. And now I have a new form to try - a nonet.
    " . . . forever
    love the moments given,"
    is such a beautiful secret to staying forever young. I praise God for folks like you in our world, "waiting to see what the next good thing will be that God has in store for me."

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    1. This first poem is an Etheree because it has 10 lines of increasing syllables. A Nonet starts with 9 syllables and decreases to 1, so has 9 lines.
      But anyway...don't you just love first Thursdays!

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  5. I love your nonet. It's such a fun form to write in. Keep singing, my friend.

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  6. I love your poems and your positive outlook! Thank you!

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  7. Ooh, Donna, that poem "Ever Young" - I need to print and display it somewhere, especially the last four lines. I've had similar feelings to yours--that what I write is too lightweight. What I believe is that every poet creates an atmosphere with their writing which attracts its own following. I love the positive, look-on-the-bright-side fragrance your poems leave behind. So do many many others.

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  8. Oh, oh, Donna! I love your "Ever Young." And such powerful words of encouragement and promise in John 16:33. I shared the Ephesians verse at the end of my post today, too. Take away: "Poetry immediately turns my head and heart away from the worry about the things I cannot control to the miracles around me, and the comfort that I am NOT doing it alone."

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