Farewell, Goodbye 2014

For 41 weeks I posted poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou, on Sunday’s. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

As we say farewell to 2014, I thought I’d repost her poem, Farewell, Goodbye.

Farewell, Goodbye

Farewell, goodbye

So long, see ya

‘Til we meet again.

So many ways to

Acknowledge that

One is leaving

Anxiety, emptiness

Pressure, excitement

Depression, uncertainty.

So many ways to deny

One’s inner feelings.

IMG_0308
Bettie Lou and Johnny, early 1980s.

Sunflower Smiles

I always thought sunflowers were summer flowers, but I guess I was wrong. A bucket full of sunflowers from Wet Hammock Nursery have brightened my house for the past week.

IMG_5172.JPG
How can you not smile when you walk into a room with fresh flowers?

IMG_4237.JPG

Make it a Shel Sunday

When I saw this picture earlier this week, it made me chuckle. Reading poetry from Shel Silverstein’s book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, always brought a smile to the face of my students as well as my daughters.

It’s been years since I’ve read any Shel Silverstein poetry, but seeing this image inspired me to re-read many of his poems.

mustntsI couldn’t help but smile as I read his humorous words.

treat

As the writer of Johnny Cash’s famous song, A Boy Named Sue,  Shel Silverstein’s unique sense of humor has been a source of joy for more than a half century.

remember

So make it a Shel Sunday and smile.

Wavy Hair or Trees

Wavy Hair

~Shel Silverstein

I thought I had wavy hair

Until I shaved. Instead,

I find that I have straight hair.

And a very wavy head.

I attended the Sanibel Writer’s Conference in 2012, not so much because I see myself as a writer, but because I wanted to learn about blogging. Workshops on topics such as character development, memoir, and writing for children filled my days at the conference. Tim O’Brien, the author of The Things They Carried and Susan Orlean, a journalist and author of the Orchid Thief entertained us during evening presentations. And the sessions on blogging provided just what I needed to get Mom’s Monday Memo up and running the week I returned from the conference.

However, the poetry session I attended remains the most memorable. Shortly after entering the room, I realized this was going to be embarrassing. As a way to introduce ourselves, the leader of the session suggested that each of us tell our name, where we’re from, and then share a poem we’ve written or recite a poem we love.

I was in trouble. I do not write poetry. In fact, as my mind raced trying to think of a poem I could recite, the only thing that came to mind was the poem Wavy Hair by Shel Silverstein.

Should I leave? Should I recite Wavy Hair? I did neither. Instead, I told the truth and explained that not only am I not a poet, I couldn’t even recite a poem, and in fact, found myself in a poetry session because I just felt like this was where I was supposed to be. Maybe to enjoy the poetry of others, maybe to be more open to a type of writing I find intimidating, maybe to challenge myself to try something new. The facilitator seemed a little surprised by my response, but welcomed me.

I haven’t memorized another poem, but think it’s time I did so. I’m leaning toward Trees, by Joyce Kilmer, a good, short classic poem and one that I memorized and recited in my seventh grade English class.

IMG_3388

Trees

~Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose lovely mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

So, if asked to recite a poem, which would you choose?

Poem-A-Day

On Sunday’s I’ve been posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou, for the past nine months. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

Since I’ve posted all of the poetry she’s written, I decided to share a site where poetry lovers can subscribe to receive a Poem-A-Day. Subscribers receive a poem by email daily. Unpublished works by contemporary poets, as well as classical and historic poems are included in the Poem-A-Day emails.

Rondeau, by Jessie Redmon Fauset, was the Poem-A-Day for April 19th, 2014.

Rondeau

by Jessie Redmon Fauset

When April’s here and meadows wide

Once more with spring’s sweet growths are pied

I close each book, drop each pursuit,

And past the brook, no longer mute,

I joyous roam the countryside.

Look, here the violets shy abide

And there the mating robins hide—

How keen my sense, how acute,

When April’s here!

And list! down where the shimmering tide

Hard by that farthest hill doth glide,

Rise faint strains from shepherd’s flute,

Pan’s pipes and Berecyntian lute.

Each sight, each sound fresh joys provide

When April’s here.

– Source: Poets.org; Poem-A-Day; April 19, 2014.

Rondeau

by Jessie Redmon Fauset

When April's here and meadows wide 
Once more with spring's sweet growths are pied 
    I close each book, drop each pursuit, 
    And past the brook, no longer mute, 
I joyous roam the countryside.

Look, here the violets shy abide 
And there the mating robins hide—
    How keen my sense, how acute, 
      When April's here!

And list! down where the shimmering tide 
Hard by that farthest hill doth glide, 
    Rise faint strains from shepherd's flute, 
    Pan's pipes and Berecyntian lute. 
Each sight, each sound fresh joys provide 
      When April's here.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23953#sthash.WsbJBQIP.dpuf

I Don’t Fear Death

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

I Don’t Fear Death

I don’t fear death.

I don’t fear hell.

If I go to sleep.

I will be well.

IMG_2981

All I See is Weeds

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

All I See is Weeds

All I see is weeds.

Why can’t I see the heron,

            The ducks in a row?

Is the sky blue? Are there

Diamonds in my lake?

            Not for me—

            Only weeds—

            Do I see.

IMG_0884

Last Night

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

Last Night

Last night out on the porch

I heard crickets

And frogs

Blue jays, cats and dogs

And then there was a siren.

IMG_1152

Reach Out in Love

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

Reach Out in Love

Perhaps we reached out in love—

            Instead of fear.

In giving love, we shared love—

No fear of hurt or rejection.

            An experience of love, joy, and hope.

I want that again.

IMG_0297

Birthdays are Sad Days

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

Birthdays are Sad Days

Birthdays are sad days after death days.

Why can’t the energy required to grieve be used to remember the happy moments:

            the birthday cake with the proper number of candles—

            the “Happy Birthday to You” song—

            the silent special wish before the candles are blown out—

            a request for a trip rather than a “store bought” gift—

reminder from a son that “Mother gave birth to us because she wanted children. She didn’t need them.”

a quarter horse that was the most special horse in the whole world—

boats – motor boats, sail boats, and more boats.

So many happy days.

So few sad days.

Why do the sad days possess me?

Image 14