A few years back when I traveled to China, I decided to get a tattoo to commemorate my trip. I knew exactly what I wanted. This is my tattoo.
Traditionally, Chinese characters were read from top to bottom and right to left. However, in modern times the western approach to reading from left to right and top to bottom is often used. Read in this fashion, the characters represent faith, hope, and love. Some days it's particularly hard to keep the faith and have hope. Whenever I forget this I need only look in the mirror, my tattoo a gentle reminder to press on.
This seems like the moment to write about faith, hope, or both. I do hope you will join me this week. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.
I wrote this for a cancer-themed poetry contest sponsored by my local library (wish me luck!), but it fits this week's theme so well, I had to share it here. It is inspired by my work with visiting artists and families at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI:ReplyDelete
By Steven Withrow
The PICU’s troubadour,
a hippie volunteer
three times a week or more,
resists the urge
to whisper a dirge
for the girl from the surgical suite.
She hasn’t yet succumbed.
And won’t, says her doctor’s smile,
if the trial
succeeds. Her parents, numbed
by months of fear,
straining to hear
hopeful notes in the monitor’s bleat.
*PICU (pick-you): pediatric intensive care unit
©2014 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved
Oh, I like that Steve! Here's mine.ReplyDelete
I believe in the toes on my feet—
pale, knobbly, and touched
with small hairs like blessings.
I believe in sprinklers
trying to be rain
when they grow up but for now
making small kingdoms
I believe in the joke
that is told mostly wrong,
but laughing together
is very very good.
I believe in the curl
of an octopus tentacle
like the curl of a leaf
or of a baby’s hand.
I believe in the words
in this poem, of their black scatter
on the page and the next word
someone will write, shriek,
sing, hiss, offer up
like a sacrifice or a gift.
—Kate Coombs, 2014
all rights reserved
These are both so lovely and affecting.ReplyDelete
Clouds crowd out the sun.
Winds sweep up,
like tissue paper pom-poms.
Rain pours from buckets in the sky
then ripples like a curtain
in breathless gusts.
Close to the trunk
her toes closed effortlessly around a branch,
waiting for the storm
© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved
These are all so differently, affectingly faithful and hopeful! Steven's rhymes are so easy, so fitting, and I love Kate's sprinkler wanting to be rain when it grows up, and Liz's effortless sparrow.ReplyDelete
Despite my great age and annual efforts, I remain a novice gardener. My yard is full of perennials planted by the previous owners...and two new little boxes of food plants.
I bend to peer at a pealike
These are lovely.Delete
At last he’s arrived
I sprint home from school and leap
Into grandpa’s arms.
(c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.