The Day the World Ends

I have been on a bit of a digital break over the holidays, but here we are with the first Sunday Weekly poem of a new year and a new decade. I fully intended to do a 2019 reflection on 30th December, but as it happens I became fully engaged in baking for an alcohol-free New Year’s gathering with friends instead. The days slipped by and then Sunday morning rolled around and I needed to write the weekly poem. This is not to say that I did not write over that week, because I did, but that is material that has been submitted to an anthology of women’s writing with the working title Bloody Amazing!

No sooner than the New Year’s decorations were taken down, I looked onto social media and I find words like Armageddon and apocolypse being bandied about. Immediately, (I am not lying) Archbald MacLeish’s sonnet The End of the World came to mind. Macleish lived through World War I, served with the precursor of the CIA in World War II, saw the Cold War and atomic bomb threat, and wound up his days in the Library of Congress. According to the text book anthology I used in college, The End of the World was published in 1926.

While perusing some the the decade reflections in print media I noticed that 2016 is considered the worst year in the 2010-2019 decade. Yet, it was the happiest for me as I married my long-time love that year. (Though at the time some friends did say it was the anticipated happy moment that was keeping them going and reason to get out of bed in the morning.) Anne Lamott echoes this observation in a book I got for Christmas, Almost Everything. (Canongate, 2019). This quotation in the Prelude inspired today’s Sunday Weekly poem. As did Dickens in Tale of Two Cities when he observes that it was both the best and worst of times.

Love is why we have hope.

Anne Lamott, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

 
 The Day the World Ends
 
 Love is what opens eyes to a new day
 even by lunchtime you will metaphorically and
 literally be standing in a pile of poop and
 are cursing the thoughtless owner
 of some beloved dog who eyes that human
 with unconditional regard.
  
 Who is pawing and cajoling the beloved
 to just get up one more day. Even if 
 it may be the End of the World today.
 Have you seen that internet meme
 of the rescued kangaroo hugging and clinging
 to its human saviour? Love, it seems,
  
 will always be there in the fray.
 Remember that couple leaping from 
 the inferno tower, hand in hand, on 9/11?
 Or all those last phone messages left , every one
 saying I love you and Hug the kids.
  
 Hold each other on days when you are not
 beloved. When the one you loved is lost forever,
 has turned its back or gone on without you.
 On that bleakest of death knell days,
 go! Reach past the fire and flood threatening
 to engulf and obliterate, because
  
 even on the day that is the day that is
 the End of the World, you will open your eyes,
 stretch your hands and  arms and arise
 the miracle of yourself who loves and
 can be loved in return and today may be that day.
  
 And that shall never be obliterated by
 false moves, mistakes, flood or wildfire burn.
  
 Copyright © Bee Smith 2020. All rights reserved. 

Featured image Photo by Dan DeAlmeida on Unsplash

Summer of Love

Today’s prompt on #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge is all about summer loving, or a summer of love, holiday romance. Summer does seem to make us turn to thoughts of … And it’s not all sun and sand in the mix. It’s true I did fall in love with the one I (still) love in summertime. So memory lane is coming to my rescue in the Poetry Daily again. But then, the Celts thought that poetry was all memory.

First Summer of Love

He set out on a Magic Bus
bound for his best mate's first wedding
in Nice. In London, I got sick.
Feverish. Lost my voice. Languished.
Thought he might be lost forever.

He came back on a Magic Bus
brandishing a bunch of sunflowers
(artificial) bought in the Med
where all the bodies beautiful
lay out, topless, on their sun beds.

But he thought of me
and I had missed him
equally. We both
got on a Magic Bus
we drove together
for all seasons, and
every weather.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured Photo by David Preston on Unsplash

One Place of Belonging

Keeping the poetry practice visual today. Partly because my sinus cavities are stuffed with what feels like wire wool. Partly because I want to play with creating words with images. I am torn between wanting to go back to sleep to recoup the lost hours spent feeling not particularly wonderful and wanting to get on with the tasks that have been left undone while I have been feeling frail, pale and uninteresting this past week. Or I could just stay in bed and read. There are options to be weighed for the day.

So here it is! A micropoem in an infographic format.

May you know your one place that is the every place of belonging.

NaPoWriMo2019 Day 7- Gift

A week down on NaPoWriMo2019. “Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?

You could spin this theme a hundred ways. I was reading a blog post over on http://www.traciyork.com about a PowerHouseCreatives challenge on Five Things That Make you Smile.. That could have been the way I went with today’s poems (the fuzzy notebook with a llama on it that made me smile in Tescos, so I bought it and sent it to my brother in Brooklyn where he did the literal LOL on receipt.) There may still be a poem in it for another day.

But this is where the morning writing practice decided to go. It’s later than usual. With a busy schedule of workshops I need to have sleeping in days to recoup and re-centre.

Gift

For Us

I see you. You see me.
That time we woke and beauty
was in our eye. There was a rose
in a glass on the mantel.
We were in the initial throes
of our love.

I see you. You see me.
We woke. We saw the beauty.
From which we sipped and still drink.
It is a glass forever full
of our love.

I see you. You see me.
Changed in that blaze of beauty,
it doesn't disappear in a blink.
It stays. That scent which arose
from our love.

I see you. You see me.
Now we look around. Beauty
surrounds. Because when you saw me,
I saw you, we saw the world.
The grain of sand became the pearl
of our love.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved




GloPoWriMo2019
Bee Smith is participating in GloPoWriMo2019

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Advent Wreath Weekly Poem

advent wreath

Two weeks ago I began lighting a Sunwheel wreath, which is a pagan version of the Advent Wreath where we light the final candle on Winter Solstice (this year 21st/22nd depending on your location on the planet) instead of Christmas Day. Beth Owl Daughter popularised this custom. This is the season of darkness no matter what your spiritual persuasion or religious affiliation. Jews will be coming to the end of the eight day celebration of Hanukkah, lighting the final candle on the menorah tomorrow, 10th December. It is a human impulse to light a match to a candle wick or an oil lamp in the dark time of year.

Christians will light the second candle  for Love this week. You can find that poem in last week’s post (https://sojourningsmith.blog/2018/12/01/advent/) Meanwhile, pagans will be lighting the solitary pink candle for joy at sundown tonight. When these Sunwheel/Advent wreath poems came to me I heard them with a wee tune in my ‘inner ear.’ Last week I posted a video just in case you feel like singing the poem as you light your wreath. You can find the video and tune  at this link. on my YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/Df3J08djsYg.

So here’s to you…some Joy.

Joy

I light a candle for joy
to celebrate with glee.
I light a candle for joy
for all the states of ecstasy.

I light a candle for joy
praying that all shall be happy.
I light a candle for joy
so elation may shine brightly.

I light a candle for joy
though the world can make you weary.
I light a candle for joy
that we may be less proud and haughty.

Light a candle for joy!
Light a candle for joy!
Light a candle for joy
to bless the dark.
Light a candle for joy
to bless its spark.
Light a candle for joy
so we all may hark.

Let the candle flames blaze with our good intentions this sundown.



Advent

advent wreath

Last Sunday I wrote about the tradition of the Advent or Sunwheel wreath in my blog.https://sojourningsmith.blog/2018/11/25/long-nights-short-days. Advent translates as arrival, or a coming.  Tonight at sunset our Jewish friends will light the first candle on the Hanukkah menorah. Christians will light the first candle of their Advent wreath. We are all celebrating light in a dark season. We are blessing the light, rather than curse the dark.

Traditional Christian Advent wreaths are three purple and one pink candle, with a central white one with the arrival on Christmas Day. Each candle has a symbolic meaning. The first week is lit for hope, or prophecy. The second week is for love, the third for joy and the last week is peace. Although some churches may celebrate peace in week two and love in week four.

Pagans lit their Sunwheel candles last Sunday at sunset.  I observe the traditional Christian symbolism each week.  So I lit a candle for hope last Sunday and will light one for love and hope at sunset tonight. So today’s Poetry Daily offers Christians a little poem/song for Hope and Pagans a poem for Love. It came to me like a humming along to a traditional English folk tune. See if you can find your own melody.

I am deliberately not putting a copyright notice on these poem/chants. They are public. Please use them wherever you feel they are appropriate.

Light a Candle for Hope

I light a candle for hope
for faith and prophecy.
I light a candle for hope,
for it to set us free.

I light a candle for hope
when I feel angry.
I light a candle for hope,
when we all can agree.

I light a candle for hope,
for life can be blowy.
I light a candle for hope
as I sip my cup of tea.

Light a candle for hope!
Light a candle for hope!
Light a candle for hope
to bless the dark.
Light a candle for hope
to bless its spark.
Light a candle for hope
that we all might hark.



Light a Candle for Love

I light a candle for love
to cast out fear.
I light a candle for love
to warm our hearts, my dear.

I light a candle for love
in days austere.
I light a candle for love
of the whole unisphere.

I light a candle for love
though you might think it queer.
I light a candle for love
to clear the atmosphere.

Light a candle for love!
Light a candle for love!
Light a candle for love
to  bless the dark.
Light a candle for love
to bless its spark.
Light a candle for hope
that we all might hark.

Here is a wee video of the tune that was playing in my head as I composed the poems.

https://youtu.be/Df3J08djsYg

We Learn To Love

Day 24 NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo and the prompt/assignment is to write an elegy, but with a hopeful note. . I am writing in haste as I have a plane to catch and LabelLit to offer to people at Knock airport. Still, I am dedicated to this self-assigned write a poem a day task.So, in brief:

We Learn to Love

 

From bud to blossom to fruit,

a tree will not give us apples

if not regularly pruned.

 

We learn to love what we love

even though it shall pass away

beyond our sight.

 

The cuckoo comes. And then it goes,

journeying back to Africa

until it comes the following year.

 

What shall pass away

will come again

if we have enough keen sight.

 

Even as standing stones eventually

fall back into the barrow of ground,

a monument to we know not what.

 

We learn to love what we love

despite leaves falling from the trees

and winter’s astringent bite.

 

We learn to love what we love,

what is beyond our sight.

 

Copyright © 2018 Bee Smith