Prayers, Lost & Found {a #poem}

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This is the day I found my purple gardening gloves.

Not all purple, mind you, but leather on the business side,

lost in the melee of home projects, outdoor-type,

stashed behind the paint cans and spackle,

under the eaves, out of the weather.

Irreplaceable, thank you.

“No honey, I can’t just wear your gloves, they’re extra large.

I want mine….they fit. Like a glove.”

This is also the day I found the black

peppercorns–16 ounce plastic container

from the Big Box store. (and why do we need all those

peppercorns? And how did such a vast sum go missing?)

Eyes alert for something else, I wasn’t even

looking for my gloves. Imagine the silent leap inside

as I laid eyes on what had been lost after all those days.

I leave my prayers in odd places, too.

Gathering dust in hidey-hole corners,

out of sight and out of mind.

Forget to remember where I’ve laid down

my heavy-laden heart, living with the loss

of unanswered thoughts until I go searching

for something else.

Then the Light strikes and the Spirit

tugs. I reach back in the cobwebs, out of the way

underneath all the noise. And I’m found instead by

Him, stretching out his hands with answers I

need to questions I never knew were there,

where He’s been waiting all along.

Any-a-gram {a #poem}

I hate it that I am so sporadic

inconsistent, not persistent,
         no straight-ahead-in-a-line-to-the-finish.
I’m distracted, side-tracked
stops and starts, mis-matched piles,
can’t remember the whats and whens.
No perfect files, labeled loudly
      I  A M  I N  C O N T R O L.
I feign at neatness, completeness escaping me
ever in process, a mess in the making.
Oh, why can’t I be like those orderly others,
those finishers perfectly packing their lives in a box,
the rank and file, who smile
     at me, “Oh poor thing, she’s so erratic.” 
Well—
I am resigned to the wholeof me,
my hits and misses
marking a difference,
scattering joy, seeds abound.
I cannot (do not) go in a straight line—
Random A to B then on to Z.
(Sequences only happen on a test.)
And life is an actual emergency
(not a test).
I like this formula better:
A cubed to D once plus E squared
then back to A and jump to N, then
who-knows-what?
I’m the only one
who can spell my life.
——-
from my files, circa 2008. still true

January Bird {a #poem}

Where have you been?
Out of town like those who flee
our chilled clime and metallic skies?
Elsewhere, warming up your voice to
herald today’s sunrise with your song?
I welcome your morning melody
making its way to my ears,
stirring memories of other songs on
sullen, silver days when
your music was my only companion,
a balm for the emptiness at the edge
of my days.

 

I am From {a #poem}

20170501_133356I am from doughboy pools and homemade Barbie houses

from Huffy bikes and Helms Bakery donuts.

I am from three sisters to a room and broad green bermuda lawns.

I am from bright sandy beaches and weeping willows

whose drooping green sheltered me from California’s sun.

I am from Coppertone and Sun-In

from Helen and Wes and John.

I am from belting out a tune and scribbling in the dark

from roller skating and tree-fort-building

from fighting at the top of my lungs and finding quiet at any cost.

I am from Bible stories with Mrs. Cluck and anywhere-you-can-take-5-kids-on-a-Sunday.

I am from the Hebjums and Lindseys, a Best at heart with an adopted name

from porkchops and sauerkraut, applesauce and meatloaf

from a father two generations back that made a grown girl flee

and a mother who lived chasing beauty wherever she could find it, rich or poor.

But mostly poor.

I am from luaus and carnivals, beach trips and berry-picking

babysitting and in charge at age 12 and hiding with a book to make it all go away.

I am from those moments of running, singing, writing, hiding, lying in the sun

but never far from the watchful eye of an invisible Father

held in arms more real than scratchy lawns and doughboy pools and donuts and

roller skates.

A Father more present than my own skin, closer than the sunshine on my bright brown hair.

Lover of my soul who was there every meandering minute, keeping time until I came home. 

~~~~~~~

In November of 2017 I had the privilege of participating in a gathering called “What’s Your Story? Discovering the Gift of Hearing and Telling our Stories.” Guest speakers were Cornelia Seigneur, founder and director of the Faith and Culture Writer’s Conference, and Velynn Brown, mentor and speaker. They are both from the Portland area.

I’m grateful to Velynn for sharing her “I Am From” poem with us and modeling how to write our own. The original form and idea comes from George Ella Lyon, writer and teacher.  If you’d like to write an “I Am From,” there are resources and examples on Georgia’s website. Mr. Google can also oblige.

65 is Just a Number {a #poem}

P_20180222_085138-1068896429-1545607297305.jpgThere is no statute of limitations on vision.

My old eyes register a darting messenger of
God’s blatant, creative joy. Watch the winged
creation hover in a web of air.
Spy a sleuthing intruder
snap-tapping its way
across the wood, tunneling
away and down the outside stairs.

No expiration (yet) for hearing,
cataloguing birdvoice and the
chipclacking of breakfast
at the feeder, the squeaking
insistence at the fountain.

Teach me to number my days, Lord,
to register the ways your wind
ruffles the tablecloth in the morning’s
gentle breeze, how cool, shortened
shadows signal this sea change
of a season rippling towards
quieter times.

May I live this calendar daily,
not ticking days toward the end
but aware and alive and about your
business, not counting lost hours, but
living into your addition, subtraction
multiplication, division, the only
math that matters.
c. Jody Lee Collins 2017