Day 4's prompt was to write a thankful and/or tribute poem. While I've been digging reading all these poems each night, this prompt was surprisingly heartwarming. There's a lot of love and thankfulness spilling out of y'all. For real.
Thankful poems were written for mothers, fathers, teachers, wives, husbands, pets, home, and so much more. Among the unique topics were TiVo, Nolo.com and Wartooth (which I'm guessing is a motorcycle?). Now, here's the thing: No matter who (or what) you wrote that thankful poem for, I hope you will take the time to share it with him or her (or it). Even the people writing thankful poems for corporations or celebrities, send them to corporate HQ or the fan club--you would not believe what a difference it makes to someone's life to hear they're appreciated. That said, so many of you have really made my 2008 something special through your kind and appreciative words about this challenge. Thank you so much!
And with that, let's roll out the thankful poems that especially caught my eye.
Right now, most of all,
I am happy to look
at the black of my TV screen---
its shadow of inactivity
in sharp contrast to the world at large.
No Pokemon, no Yo Gabba Gabba,
no Oprah and all her asphyxiated
sister-girlfriends screaming over free gifts.
No Whitehouse press releases
or news from Iraq. Just quiet.
Somewhere a great tragedy or crime
is happening,or some kids show
is trying to teach my child to read.
Without a doubt, someone is talking
about American idol or Top Model.
But here there is silence. The light
of mid-morning warms my room,
and the noise of the world outside
goes unanswered from within these walls
and I can at last sit and think for myself.
Justin Evans |evjustinAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com
For Julie: A woman of the stage
You are the thunder clap
in a shushed theatre
hot pink lip stick
in the grey of winter
bending and pulling
b o u n d a r i e s
until they snap back
to let other voices in.
Shannon Rayne |shanpidAT NOSPAMshaw dot ca
A Lighter Look at Friendship
You were my friend, even when you stole a fork.
You've been my friend – though we've never been to New York.
We've called in sick – played hooky from work,
Even made friends with a 7-11 clerk.
Stayed up late – our minds corrupt,
Drank cocktails from giant paper cups.
Saw some bands, stayed out much too late,
Drank in bars that weren't so great.
You slept on the floor instead of your bed.
Sorry I ate your pizza bread.
Melanie |melanie0971AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com
The Collective Pulse of This Blog
These posts, each one of them
All of you in your
Yearning and earnestness
It’s like mainlining your dreams
Such rawness and vulnerability.
Graced I am, and awestruck
To have stumbled upon this crowd,
Thank you for beating within earshot
So valiantly, so true.
Corinne |c dot dixonAT NOSPAMtelus dot net
LOST AND FOUND (WHEN POETRY PAYS)
I found $150
tucked between pages
846 & 7 of the
Norton Anthology of
Poetry. I’m a
satisfied customer of
the First Bank of Eavan Boland.
Matthew Falk |mdfalkAT NOSPAMsvsu dot edu
Seven ways to be grateful for chocolate chips
Among the cooling cookies
the chocolate chips sit liquid hot.
semi-sweet bombs ready to explode
on your tongue.
After the dentist's drill,
A chocolate chip sits melting
Alone in the corner of my mouth.
The mouse nibbles at the corner
of a yellow plastic bag
of chocolate chips
shoved in the back of the cupboard.
She rode past the suburbs
in the back seat of a minivan
Once, fear pierced her
as her mother glanced in the rearview mirror
and saw the shadow of chocolate chips
smeared across her lips.
I was of three minds
Like three kids
Fighting over a chocolate chip cookie
The chocolate chip rolled across the floor
A small part of the mess.
It was evening all afternoon
It was foggy.
And the fog would never lift.
A chocolate chip cookie sat waiting
in the tupperware.
Despite the gifts I was given--
a diary covered in mocha and gold,
and a set of stationery from Japan
I set my face in the crook of my arm
Summer and its promise of freedom
lay outside the door.
I could not rejoice, for
at eight years old, I knew
no one would ever
or the love
for my poems
like Mrs. Pine.
Carla Cherry |cmcmagiconeAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
It was by chance that we met.
If I hadn’t been so tired
I wouldn’t have stopped
on my way home,
but the bar was quaint
and the night was rainy
and only a cat was lonely for me.
If there had been a table
I wouldn’t have sat at the bar,
but every table was taken,
and I was taken with the cute smile
of the fellow sitting on the end stool
so I went and sat down beside him.
If I hadn’t been tired of chardonnay
I wouldn’t have ordered a Chevis and soda
and if the new bartender hadn’t run out
of Chevis he wouldn’t have motioned
for the regular bartender.
If the regular bartender
hadn’t asked me where I was from
we never would have found out
that we both hailed from Virginia.
If he hadn’t thought I was cute
he would never have asked me
for my phone number
and if we hadn’t gone
to the same college I never
would have given it to him.
But he had and I did and
that was how it started.
Thank Heavens for chance.
Linda Brown |llbrownAT NOSPAMembarqmail dot com
Cardinals (For Mom)
You loved cardinals.
They stood out for you,
not in huge flocks like the grey birds
that swarmed your backyard feeder,
but one or two.
The male, easy to spot
the female, with subdued color a little more elusive.
You loved cardinals.
They predicted the snow;
at least that's what you noticed every year.
Announcing a storm bringing white
that made them easier to see
venturing out of the holly tree.
Leaving the nest you know was there but never saw.
You loved cardinals.
You surrounded yourself with them.
My son counted 136 in your house;
photos, models, light-catchers, plush.
We all knew you loved them
and buying a gift was easy
as you found a new place to display number 137.
You loved cardinals.
Every spotting was mentally noted,
shared with me on the phone.
Now, we see them occasionally and think of you.
We watch our feeder now,
hoping to spot one before the snow
and catch that red reward of memory.
John Mucha |je dot muchaAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
Lori Jackson |ljacksonAT NOSPAMtcsdk12 dot org
My car started
The eggs didn't break
on the way home
from the market.
When I called,
on the first ring.
I found my
Jon Dee Graham CDs
under the couch.
The neighbor's dog
did his business
in someone else's yard.
I got a letter
in the mail
from my mom.
The moon rose early
in a clear-blue sky
and I noticed.
Mike Barzacchini |mjbarzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com
You spend your hours
tucked away in a space
no one will call by name—
the john, the powder room,
the water closet—there you sit,
about the lot given to you.
Sparkling white outside holds
swirling blue water,
covered by a wood-grain lid.
Always there when nature calls.
I think of your counterparts
around the world—holes
in the ground, the backside
of bushes. No porcelain thrones
in the African desert,
only imitations at the ruins
I’m so very glad you are here—
I flush you just to hear the sound.
Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
Her eyes stare straight ahead
focused on the red light
at the crosswalk,
And I wonder if she notices
the people around her?
twisted with curiosity,
crippled by shock.
Or has she crossed this road
enough times before
that she makes them
like paper in fire?
Is it any easier today
Or does it make her see red,
like the burnt skin of her face?
The light changes,
and as we pass
I think of my own scars,
deep and dark,
but hidden inside.
Linda Hofke |LNSHOFKEAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com
We pulled the car in-the baby clapping in the backseat
Like a mad cymbal-crashing monkey, creepy
As hell from a one-week road trip. Really
All of us were giddy with whizzing miles
Smearing Winter to Spring and back again-
Dripping luggage, pillows, half-eaten muckamuck
Into the kitchen where the cat was singing.
It was definitely a song, though not a flattering one-
Today at least, meow is a four letter word-but
It made the baby giggle and run up and down
After her, saying “home” “home” home”-
A word I’ve never heard from him before.
Hope Greene |hopeAT NOSPAMhopegreene dot com