Poetry

surprised by gratitude

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surprised by gratitudeit was like the birds waited in ambush
to wake me some from my walking slumber
breaking in on my morning
to startle me with beauty, and
surprise me with gratitude
for their song
for the creation happening all around me
and i had to give thanks
amen

 

AMDG, Todd

Paul Simon Day Nov. 21st

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paul simon day

November 21st, Paul Simon Day!

BEHOLD! I hereby declare November 21st to be Paul Simon Day! He has sung to me for like my whole freakin’ life, a blessing and a bardly companion through the years. I’m feeling super grateful this morning for all he has sung into my life over the years, from the melancholy strains of Sound of Silence to the dancing joy of Graceland. One of my earliest cassette tapes was Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, and it’s in my iTunes library today with others.

My all-time hands-down no-contest favorite song from Paul Simon? It harkens back to the good ole’ Simon and Garfunkel days… The Dangling Conversation. Simply some of the best lyricism on the planet.

I don’t know for sure that Paul needs a day, but now he has one. I’m holding out hope that we’ll still meet up one morning (with all the other hipster wildebeests) at Starbucks and lead everyone munching on their Cranberry Bliss Bars in a rousing chorus of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, because you know, I’ll just happen to have a ukulele with me. We all need a dream right?

Happy Paul Simon Day, beloved!
Happy Paul Simon Day, Paul!

AMDG, Todd

hipster wildebeest logo

a brief hymn of peace

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a brief hymn of peaceI offer you a brief hymn of peace from my morning prayers… be blessed, today!

“some days i simply stop
and sing the old hymns
songs well worn
bells long rung
history
faith
connection
stories
fate
reflection
and i sit
with God
sinners
saints
and we are not
undone.”

 

AMDG, Todd

The End of NaPoWriMo, #NaPoWriMo April 30, 2014

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Well, I probably only wrote a week’s worth of poems for the “month,” but I still value the time and am so appreciative of all the amazing poems I have seen from friends and strangers in April! You all rock, and  love ya! I tend to write only when I feel the Spirit move, as I paint, and so for me the month was a stretching and a challenge. As usual, I started with a shout and ended with a sigh. Still, it was good.

new human logo button blackbending, tending
rending, trending

pending, sending
lending, spending

no more pretending
no condescending

a month of contending
is now at its ending

’til next we’re intending
our words for appending

to share the ascending
our souls for befriending

rhymes over-extending
but hearts for commending

on our love
i’ll be depending

AMDG, Todd

 

I love Incense, thoughts for #NaPoWriMo April 29, 2014

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why i burn.pngI love burning incense
The movement, heat and smell
Sticks and wicks and smoke
The ashes lined where they fell

It calms me and soothes me
Aromatic curls in flight
I love the way it rises
Like prayers through the day and night

Up, up and reaching higher
The colors of stem and flame
Are little joys upon the path
To the dust from which we came

 

AMDG, Todd

trying to find some words #NaPoWriMo 04/15/2014

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hate

hate be gone
hate be done
for we renounce you
we deny you

and the death
in which you revel
will never be
victory

hate
you have no hope
you birth
no future

we will
withstand you
we will
outlast you

when you are
a sick memory
a stain
upon our past

we will sing
a new song
beyond
your prison

because walls
of hate
will not stand
for long

and the peace
for which
we pray
will come

sung
upon the strands
of the love
we share

neighbor
friend
human
beloved

dark hatred
will be scattered
weak and undone
before love’s flame

 

I always begin things like #NaPoWriMo with high expectations and lots of energy – but it’s never long before I run out of words. So I start to strain to make some poems and my frustration mounts. Usually I end up a bit indignant that I would so arbitrarily be asked to make a poem a day. But that’s just silliness. I volunteered to be part of the exercise, I just didn’t think I’d have so many days of dryness when no words come to me when called.

And then the news comes on, and I see things like the hateful shootings, the murder of our Jewish neighbors in Kansas, a hateful crime I suppose was meant to stain their holiday. I want to scream. I want to deny that this still happens. I want to deny that anyone can be so broken as to choose such hate and it’s bile, it’s loss, it’s theft, it’s shame.

Words came back to me, today, after a week or so of not answering my call. Today, I protest the hate. I deny the killing stupidity and waste. I renounce any and all of the ignorant paranoia and fear. I call out to the humanity that is buried under the weight of such darkness.

I pray for the families affected by that hateful touch. I mourn with them, though not as them. They have been broken apart and touched so forcefully by the killing hatred. May their peace be restored and love wrap them in the divine embrace.

AMDG, Todd

 

 

a prayer for #NaPoWriMo 04/08/2014

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I’d like to share a prayer that I composed for the opening of today’s session of the Montgomery County Council, delivered in Rockville, MD. It was an honor to open the session and wish everyone an amazing day.

 

imagefor the energy
to face our tasks
for the wisdom and knowledge
to make decisions
for the creativity and imagination
to overcome obstacles
for civility
in our discourse
for peace
in our communities
for joy
in the service we will
provide to our neighbors
for all these things
and every needful blessing
to accomplish the work of our day,
we pray. amen.

04/08/2014

 

I’m kinda geekin’ out here… I composed this blog in Chrome on my iPad. I haven’t had a ton of luck with such an exercise in the past, but it was fairly seamless, today. Woot!

AMDG, Todd