No Wise Words to Say–NaPoWriMo Day 9

Jackson Pollock, Convergence, 1952

I have no wise words to say
on this most usual Thursday.

So far this morning I’ve read
countless poems
by brilliant poets participating
in NaPoWriMo just as I am this month.

I’ve watched a video of a nun
visiting great art of the 20th century
and heard her describe the significance
of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning,
Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol.

I’ve read new messages about
my sponsored Compassion children
in Peru and Rwanda and in my heart
compared my life of relative wealth
to their lives of hardship and loss.

All these things are what I love.
Walter de la Mare was the first poet
I learned about and loved.
Then came Robert Frost, Mary Oliver,
William Carlos William, and Billy Collins.
Somewhere along the way,
I decided I wanted to write poetry
that would be read and inspire
others like they inspire me.

I’ve seen Jackson Pollock, Rothko,
and Warhol’s art live and in person
at the Chicago Institute of Art.
Pollock’s painting was so large and
had such depth of expression,
that when I saw it, I sat down in stunned
silence, tears sliding down my face as
the full experience and meaning
touched my soul.

My Compassion children,
Dayana and Niyonkuru,
have my heart even though
I’ve never met them, seen them,
or touched their little faces.
They’re so grateful and loving,
and the letters and pictures
we exchange have connected
us across thousands of miles,
different cultures and experiences.

The common theme this morning,
for me,
is the beauty to be found in life,
in poetry, art, people, and God.

I have no wise words to say
about these things.

You have to open your own eyes,
your own mind, heart, and soul,
to see beauty in everything yourself.

God made so much beauty in
the world for us to appreciate.
Try to find some today, enjoy it,
relish it, breathe it into your soul,
and say, “Thank you,” for the beauty.

Peace and love,

©Elaine Wood-Lane

A Palinode for Wednesday–NaPoWriMo Day 8

The prompt for Day Eight: Today I challenge you to write a palinode. And what’s that? It’s a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem. You could take that route or, if you don’t have an actual poetically-expressed statement you want to retract, maybe you could write a poem in which you explain your reasons for changing your mind about something.

This is my humorous take on a palinode for Wednesday.

Once upon a time,
in a land far, far away,
lived a princess who
hated cottage cheese.

She hated cottage cheese
so much that one day
at school she lied and
told her teacher she was
allergic to cottage cheese,
so could not eat the cottage cheese
under the peach half on the
salad that day.

Mrs. Keaster was skeptical.
She said the princess
should try the cottage cheese,
just to make sure.

The princess took a tiny bite
and promptly ran to the restroom
to throw it all up!

Mrs. Keaster believed the princess
then and no teacher ever made
her eat cottage cheese again,
because now it was on her
permanent record.

The little princess grew up,
had babies, raised them to
adulthood, and grew older.

One day she was eating
fruit and wondered how it
would taste with…cottage cheese.
The princess, who was now a queen,
took a tiny bite of the cottage cheese
and loved it!

Why did she not like it before?
Did only princesses not like
cottage cheese?

When she became a queen,
did she suddenly like
cottage cheese?

The queen decided it
did not matter why she liked
cottage cheese now when
before she hated it.

She was just sorry
she lied to Mrs. Keaster
all those years ago
and that it still said
on her permanent record,
“Allergic to cottage cheese.”

©Elaine Wood-Lane