an angel and a dog: an interim blessing

angel-and-dog

I’ve been in a creative cocoon, a lot going on inside, but not much to see from the outside. While hoping for a poem to emerge, I got this spontaneous sketch instead. It came from nowhere, like a blessing, and it made me smile.  I started with an arc which became the angel’s face, and I finished with a dog. It’s a simple drawing, but I hope you like it. And maybe you’ll be inspired to set your own pen down on a piece of spare paper and without thought or plan, follow the ink until the lines create a message and blessing just for yourself.

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Monday Morning Mary: Remembrance

Picnic Bench on a Perfect Day

Remembrance

Today I would rather not make art
My brain feels like a deflated soccer ball
The trees are perfect
The sunlight is also perfect
as are the crickets, the white butterfly that rises
in a zippity pattern like a kite string,
and the dog sleeping under the picnic table.
The breeze, when it decides to stir,
is perfect.
The deer, the groundhog,
and all the silent creatures in the brush,
perfect, perfect, perfect.

Nothing I could write
could improve the scene
one iota.

Better to take a nap
and wake later
to a clap of thunder,
to an acorn falling,
or to the remembrance
of a book I forgot I was reading,
or perhaps a book I was supposed to write

Mary at Dusk Remembrance

Monday Morning Mary: Resurrection

Resurrection Moon vertical

Resurrection

Take a chance.
Pull off the woolen hat
that muffles your ears.
Listen to the birds.

Set aside how cold you feel
and sense the deeper
thing, the secret
moon that rises
in you, pulling
the waters of your
soul to new shores
where something wild and
unexpected, awaits
your creative embrace.

 
 
Mary
 
 
 
Moon photo courtesy of Jay Racanelli

Monday Morning Mary: Our Lady of Dollar Store Daffodils

dollar store daffodils

 

Dollar Store Daffodils

Winter has not yet relented.
The earth has not softened.
Bulbs have not awakened.
Being tired of winter
does not change the weather.
You cannot rush the daffodils.

But you can ask:
Where might I find beauty right now?
What can I create in this gray space?
And most importantly,
What version of the truth
will I tell myself today?

Do not be afraid of dollar store daffodils.
Imitation by a pure heart
flatters God.
Mary Gray March

Prayer to Saint Brigid of Ireland

emerald bead shamrock

Saint Brigid of Ireland, a fifth century nun who is one of Ireland’s patron saints, is also considered a patron saint of poets. She performed many miracles in her lifetime, including converting a king on his deathbed by weaving a cross out of local reeds (St. Brigid’s cross). My prayer below refers to two other miracles as well. In her youth, St. Brigid’s beauty mysteriously vanished so as to discourage suitors, and returned once she was safely committed to God. The third miracle is the story of St. Brigid approaching the king for land for a convent. He laughed and said she could have whatever land her cloak could cover. Four of her nuns took the corners of her cloak, and running outward in the directions of the compass, stretched the cloak for acres. The astonished king conceded the land.

Prayer to St. Brigid for Creativity

Just as you led the Celtic mind
out to the meadow of transfiguring light,
lead also my hopeful imagination
out into a new meadow this day

Just as you shed physical beauty for the gifts of spirit,
quell also my accumulating nature
so that the gifts of the grassy fields
may come gently into focus

Just as you wove reeds into a tale of conversion
May I also weave available stalks into an artful message

May I be in your vein brave and creative.

Monday Morning Mary: This Too Shall Bless

Tiny Steeple Big Sky

Tiny Steeple, Big Sky

This Too Shall Bless

What is in your dominant hand?
A keyboard, an apple,
A set of prayer beads?

Travel up your arm, your neck,
into the wiry treetop that is your brain.
Is there a hyper monkey hopping
branch to branch, upset
and upsetting?

Whatever the monkey says,
you can say,
This too shall bless.

This too shall bless
you or someone else
or both of you.
It is not for you to decide who gets blessed
by your suffering or how.
It is not for you to see the blessing
or know it has taken place.

If you can say in adversity,
This too shall bless
you open the window of possibility
through which you may recognize
that in this, this terrible thing,
there just might be a purpose.

Gaze out that window.
As surely as the sun is gilding the earth,
someone is healing.

William Adolph Bourguereaux

painting by William Adolph Bouguereaux

Prayer to St. Brigid of Ireland

 

St Brigid

St. Brigid

A patron saint of Ireland, Saint Brigid is also a patron saint of poets. Although today is the feast of St. Patrick, I’m posting this prayer to St. Brigid in honor of all things Irish in me and around me. Wishing you many blessings.

 

Prayer to St. Brigid for Creativity

Just as you led the Celtic mind
out to the meadow of transfiguring light,
lead also my hopeful imagination
out into a new meadow this day

Just as you shed physical beauty for the gifts of spirit,
quell also my accumulating nature
so that the gifts of the grassy fields
may come gently into focus

Just as you wove reeds into a tale of conversion
May I also weave available stalks into an artful message

May I be in your vein brave and creative.

ideation

Today marks the end of National Poetry Writing Month. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my work! I also really appreciated hearing from you through comments, “likes,” or email. Thank you!

I also want to acknowledge my son for pushing me to write this month, especially early in the month. He’d check in every evening and ask where my poem was. If I said, “I got nothin’.” He’d say, “No. You gotta write something.”  “I can’t.” “You can.” You get the idea. His persistence and behind-the-scenes support inspired me, and somehow things flowered.

I’ve written this poem for him, in celebration of his creativity.

 

ideation

you drew this card
from your mother’s deck
then you were born.
you ate its message, your first food.

wild vines sprung from your mind.
ideas the size of watermelons grew
until you cracked each one open.

seeds spilled and more vines grew
and still grow.

this is the way of watermelons.
you are destined to feed the vines
and be fed by them,
extracting for the outer world
the harvest of your inner wildness.

 

 

napo2013button1

A poem a day for April

Where I Went Right

I’ve always dedicated a chunk of time the last few days of December to deliberate ways to improve myself.

Not this year.

Instead of focusing on what might need fixing, I’m spending these next few days recollecting some of the things I did right. Forget all the missteps and wrong turns. I’m going to retrace the routes, and remember the junctions where I made the right turn.

I’ve started a list. It includes some major decisions, as well as some of the small, beautiful turns of daily life. Turning to face someone I love. Turning away from situations that were no longer serving my good. Turning my gaze toward the trees and the sunshine.

Barrie Davenport’s list of ways to Prepare for the New Year sparks in my mind even more ways I went right this past year. After exploring her 12 categories (my faves: Nutritionally, Intellectually, Financially, and Spiritually), I’m adding one of my own: Creatively. It gives me permission to write down all the things I crocheted, beaded, wrote, cut, folded, and sang, and helps me remember some of my bigger creative ideas and solutions. All places where I went right.

Come the New Year, I may not remember any of the specifics on my list. But what I will remember is that on many days, in many ways, I went right.