Tag Archives: poetry

Let Us Give Thanks (A Poem for Thanksgiving)

The Fall puts me in the mood, always, to both rejoice in abundance and also vulnerably declare the deaths and failures of my and our collective Life.  This poem made smile in wonder at the glorious diversity of friends along the way, and remember our humanity as we stumble along the journey together.  

 

For children who are our second planting, and, though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.

Let us give thanks:

For generous friends…with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;

For feisty friends as tart as apples;

For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;

For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;

For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn — and the others — as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.

For funny friends, who are as silly as brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;

For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who — like parsnips — can be counted on to see you through the long winter;

For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;

For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;

And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested — but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;

For all these we give thanks.

Source: the late Rev. Max Coots, who was Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton, New York. His passion for gardening yielded this beloved and much used meditation.

I AM SO GRATEFUL for friend Margaret Shaklee’s reading of the poem at last night’s interfaith Harvest Fest event here in Chicago.   I found it today at this blog: http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/let-us-give-thanks-a-poem-for-thanksgiving/.  This poem reminded me of the delicious diversity of people in my life. As I serve my clients through spiritual life coaching, spiritual practices like gratitude exercises are extremely important, as is the carving out of TIME to spend with our friends and time to forge new friendships.  When we place our attention on possibility, we never lack for what we need.

 

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Behold the Sun at Midnight

WINTER SOLSTICE

Behold the Sun

at midnight.

Build with stones

On lifeless ground.

Find in decline,

In death’s night,

Creation’s new beginning,

Morning’s youthful night.

The heights reveal

The gods’ eternal word.

The depths guard

 The peaceful treasure.

Living in darkness,

Create a Sun.

Weaving in matter,

Know Spirit’s delight.

— Rudolf Steiner

A tattered poem on Winter Solstice tumbles out of my wallet this morning. It is a few weeks away, but I am in the mood nevertheless. 

This Word has spoken to me often from its secure little nest, on the days I pull it out for mantra and on the days it just travels alongside of me.  I have carried it for seven years, this Word. On days and nights that seemed long, that seemed without light or path for others, it steadied me with an ancient, creation imperative. The Sun was present and I knew it. It brought delight and rebirth.

I wonder now if I am done with it.

The wondering passes. I am not.  I need this Word. People and places I love need this Word. 

This brings the resolve of Rest. It is not a resolve of tirelessly plodding on, like a sturdy oak, mindless of fatigue or surroundings. It’s Presence Possible only in the bearings of that Sun. It’s a body-mind-spirit delight found when I sense the right place, the right time, the right work.

 It’s faith.

I am grateful,

and not alone.

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A Prayer for Vessels

You are Potter… we are clay.

                You are Spirit… we are temple.

                You are wine… we are wineskins.

                We hold this treasure – Gospel Light – in earthen vessels.

 Elegant.

Well-shaped.

Sturdy.

Resilient.

Broken.

Shattered.

Leaking.

Frayed.

Scarred.

Weak.

Graced.

Open.

Devoted.

Distrusting.

Working.

Waiting.

                You are Presence… we are present.

                Thank you.        

Copyright, Jacki Belile 2011.  This prayer-poem was written with love for the women clergy colleagues who are members of the Together in Ministry group I lead each quarter.  We used it as the invitation to worship on Friday, September 23.

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