Tag Archives: Poetry Friday

Scarlet Red Cardinal in the snow, tell me, what do you know?

Poetry Friday Tag

Keri is this week’s hostess at Keri Recommends


Our daughter’s students are are reading “The Crucible,” which reminds me of  “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It’s the Jubilee Year of Mercy, I’m reminded of “The Scarlet Letter,”  the sight and sound of  ruby-red cardinals (which for this creative effort become scarlet red, don’t you know!) spark an audible inhaled “ahh!,” especially when the cardinals are framed against the snow, and putting all those juxtaposed things together, voila! Redemption poem. (With absolutely no apologies to Mr. Hawthorne!)

Redemption Jpeg



Scarlet Red Card’nal,
How apropos!
In this Great Year of Mercy,
You sit, gracefully branched, ‘gainst
fresh-fallen snow.

Scarlet Red Card’nal,
What do you know of scarlet red sins, scarlet red letter A, blood-stained Cross, and
pure white snow?
In this Great Year of Mercy,
Speak to me, please, of Isaiah 1:18 & John 3:16.
Sweet mercy hymn you sing! (Away with Hawthorne!)


FYC (for your convenience):

Isaiah 1:18: “…Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow…”

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

Cold Moon on Christmas Morn

Poetry Friday Tag

Tabatha is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday at The Opposite of Indifference


moon screen grab (2)


This past Wednesday, January 6th, was the Feast of Epiphany, aka “Little Christmas.” …You likely know the story. Three Wise Men from the East followed the new star to Bethlehem to worship the newborn King. …Thinking about their trek in search of the Child, led as they were by a heavenly sign, got me thinking about a heavenly sight I nearly missed on Christmas Day.

True, this December 25th, this Christmas Day, there was no Bethlehem star in the heavens, but there was a special sight, nonetheless.

Inspired by Donna Smith’s pictorial Christmas Eve post, which I read early Christmas morn, I overcame laziness and indifference concerning the day’s historical Christmas Moon.

Thanks to earlier-in-the-week televised newscasts, I knew that the last full Christmas Day Moon had occurred in 1977 (likely when some of you had not yet been born; though I was more than alive then, I have no remembrance of such a heavenly event). Thanks to the news, I also knew that the next occurrence would be in  2034 (no assurance I would be alive to see that one.)

Originally thinking I would be content to see an image of the Christmas Moon on the news, Donna’s enthusiasm and photo intervened.

Now or never. Not Christmas past. Nor Christmas future. This Christmas, Christmas present, held the best chance of witnessing such a phenomenon: the first full moon of winter, called a “Cold Moon,” occurring on Christmas morning.

Not sure if it were already too late, if I had already missed my chance, nonetheless, outside I raced to see the night light sight for myself. Then, not content with the sight of the Moon from my house–from between the trees–I quickly dressed, grabbed my car keys, and drove to our parish church, which sits upon a hill and sure enough, I got a much better look at the Moon.

In retrospect, I’m grateful to Donna for photographing and posting the inspirational piece Christmas Eve–not only because it led to my witnessing the full Moon in person, which was a moving experience. But, perhaps even more importantly, because this Christmas Moon “caper,” I’m sorry to say reveals a tendency in me to underplay through laziness or malaise the value of firsthand experiences.

This time, I was blessed to get a second chance! As we enter into 2016, I hope to learn from this near-miss to be more appreciative and enthusiastic when the Creator gifts us with a special sight, such as teh one just given on the day that commemorates the Birth of His Son.

Shame on me!  Thank God that the Wise Men did not share my malaise.

Thank God (literally) for Donna S. from Maine! This is not the first time her posts have made a difference to me. Main(e)ly, she keeps me eyes-open, humble–and moving!



bring on the new year!

Poetry Friday Tag

Mary Lee is heralding a new year of poetry, hosting today at A Year of Reading!


…bring on the new year…


bottled bubbly cheer.

bottled up longing and fear.

pop the cork on both!


New Year Postcard from early1900s

Public domain New Year greeting postcard circa early 1900’s via Wikimedia Commons


Dear Poetry Friday Community of Writers and Readers,

To you and your families: 2016 wishes (and more!) for a new year filled with every goodness! God bless you!

Happy New Year!

Christmas Angels


Christmas Angels

Gather near in sacred anthem.

Light the night ‘neath His star.


Photo credit: Flickr/Jacinta Iluch Valero

Linger. Silent. Near His manger.

Calm men’s heart aches.




To all the Christmas angels, messengers of song, light, hope–thank you!

…Who are those angel-messengers?..Our Poetry Friday community of poets, for sure–all year round!  God bless you for your ministry of life-bolstering, as well as life-altering, vivifying words.


Back story, not necessary to read on Christmas Day:

Throughout Advent, I couldn’t resist “squeezing” a myriad of traditional  Christmas images and symbols  into individually Squeezed Poems.

Unfortunately, the only one that actually worked–of sorts–was the “Christmas Angels,” which I am actually quite pleased with–even if I’ve “poetically licensed,” in part, the “Squeezed Poem” format:)

First, here’s how I was twice true to the format. Every word in the “Christmas Angels” poem consists solely of letters found in the title/target-words. And, as far as I know or consciously intended, no word in the poem consists of more instances of each letter than are found in the target-words. …”Squeezed poem”…Yes! ..So far, so good.

Here’s where conformity ends and poetic license begins….Rather than having the words “fall” vertically on to discrete lines so that no letter is used more times on one line than matches the number of times the letter appears in the target word being squeezed, I distributed the squeezed words horizontally, creating more conventional verses.

If what I have done precludes positioning the “finished” product as a “Squeezed Poem,” albeit “Modified,” then I am happy to think of some new format name, and welcome your suggestions.

(I definitely do not want to indulge in false advertising–even in poetic form name calling, especially not in connection with Christmas:))



(Whether you celebrate or not, Love became Flesh for YOU today!)


Wee Ones’ Christmas Eve Wishes

In the Christmas world of wee children, some things never change….(Thankfully!) …Children still believe in the limitless possibilities of love, personified by Jolly Old St. Nick, a.k.a. Santa Claus, who shares presents in celebration of the birthday of the Christ Child Who loves us all, at every age and stage of our lives…no matter what!

santa Adventsbeleuchtung3

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Eve Wishes




in the night



many presents


Santa, too, safely by sleigh, for an unseen shimmy down the chimney.


Hope Santa will be good to the grownups, too!

p.s. If you are awaiting the Christ Child’s Birth, or if you are open to receiving greetings in honor of His Birthday celebration next Friday when the Poetry Friday community again shares poetry, please accept this Christmas “card” I found in Wikimedia Commons for you and your family:

chrISTMAS 800px-Blessed_are_the_peacemakers

By ary29 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons                                                                                                                                                             Note. There are variations of this greeting in Italian, French, Spanish, and German: Scroll to the bottom of the page; Christmas Greetings

Christmas Presence


During hospice volunteer training many years ago, each member of the full-time professional county-based hospice team presented one of the training sessions.

Something the chaplain said about the role of the hospice volunteer has stuck with me down through the years:

“When you arrive at the door of a terminally ill client as a hospice volunteer, you don’t just bring the good news, you are the good news.”

At Christmas time, in particular, but all through the rest of year, as well, it seems to me,  as fellow humans beings, the chaplain’s pronouncement is a worthy call to each one of us–hospice volunteer or not.

And so a Haiga challenge for me, each and every day (and for you, too, perchance?) ...


Christmas Presence

Cards. Gifts. Reaching out.

Calls. Visits. Listening ear.

…Attending to needs…

Best present ever? Presence.

Be (the) present.


 Whatever holiday or season you’re celebrating, here’s to giving and being gifted with the blessing of heartfelt presence.

Threefold Advent Preparation

Advent, a nearly four-week season of watchful preparation this liturgical year, began this past Sunday. Without fail, every Advent I think back to one particular reflection I heard more than a dozen years ago. The homilist focused on the word “come,” as it applies to Advent.

That word-focus, in itself, was not surprising or unusual, since among the etymological explanations, the one that rings truest to me, having survived three years of Latin, is this one. The English word Advent comes (no pun intended) from the Latin prefix “ad” (toward) and the Latin verb “venire” (to go or to come), meaning “to go toward” or “to come.”

What was unusual, at least for me, was that the homilist acknowledged and explored the threefold-paradoxical meaning of the word “come” as it applies to the Church’s Liturgical season of Advent.

Come.  During Advent, we prepare for Christ’s birth, for His first coming. We sing and pray “Come, Emmanuel.” For as many years are we are alive on December 25th when the Church celebrates His Birth, He comes to us as a newborn Babe in Bethlehem.

Come. Historically, Christ has already come into the world, and because of that coming, He is constantly available to come into our lives in Word and Sacrament. He stands at the door of our hearts, waiting for us to invite Him, and so in response to His knocking, we offer and request, “Please, Lord, come in.”

This continual present opportunity to experience Christ’s coming into our lives is poignantly depicted in paintings showing the door with no outside knob, the door that can be opened only from the inside. Here is one of those images: Christ knocking at the door via Wikimedia/Sul Art

Come. Lastly, during Advent, as we prepare for Christ’s first coming into this world at Christmas, the Church reminds us that this world is passing away, and that Christ is coming back at a future time, heralding the end of this world and the beginning of a new, fully redeemed world. In that respect, we pray “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus,” looking ahead to “then” when He comes again for us–both at the end of the world, and at the end of our lives.

At all three “comings,” the one in the past that we relive in the present, the present coming anew each moment of each day, as well as the one that we anticipate in the future, we are called to prepare for Him. That is what the liturgical season of Advent is all about: to “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Mark 1:3) Who is already come, Who is always coming to and for us, and Who is coming again.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve done the homilist justice in my rendition of his explication of Advent as a season of paradoxical comings in three simultaneous, overlapping time periods. We prepare for the birth that has already happened, for a coming that is always new in our lives, and for a coming again that is a second historical coming in the future that draws nearer, and may, in fact, be present.

When I learned about a “reverso poem” last week thanks to Donna Smith’s Poetry Friday offering, I thought that “finally” I might have a format for giving voice to the Advent “coming” paradox.

While I don’t know if I’ve succeeded with either the poetic format or the theological content, here for your consideration is my first reverso poem.

As the homilist admitted, three complementary, but discrete comings are hard to wrap one’s head around. I hope my poetic attempt hasn’t made it harder….


Advent Wreath (2)

Photo Credit: Flickr/Alex Harden


coming screengrb (2)


If you have just under two minutes to spare, you might enjoy this contemporary theatrical interpretation of the Advent preparation theme via this YouTube video: Godspell Revival- Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Happy preparation and many blessings for whatever holy days you will be celebrating in the coming days of December.