Tag Archives: alive

Hope

come

 

                                                                                      down

 

wash

                                                                                                                             away

 

             thirsty                                  dirty

 

                                           dry                                                                  gray

 

              leave                                               green

                                                                                                                                                hope

gleaming

                                           while                                                              each                                                 drop

 

              sprinkles                                                        drips

                                                                                                                                 washes           splashes

 

                                                                        lift

 

                                parched                                                        hearts

heavenward                                   dreaming

               hoping

                                                                                                                                                              dancing

                                                                         hope         spills              on

       cracked lips

drink   in             liquid joy

                                                                                             scent of                                            hope

comes                singing          on                              the                       night breeze

           while           hearts             soak       in          streams        of

                                                                                anointing       life is     hope      and      rain gently       sighs in   every inch                    of my            cracked heart and           every breath    is    joy and           every step of          this       dance       in        the              rain      is a grateful thirsty heart’s praise and tears  mingle in  this rain and I can believe againinhopeandYouaremyhopemyhopeisinYouandYouaretheMakeroftherainandhope

 

photo credit: pixabay.com

A Year Later: My Baanies Part 2

Just recently I have been reminded of the importance of community. I am by nature not someone who gravitates toward community, but I have learned and am learning how important it is to surround yourself with trustworthy people. These ladies, the Baanies, have taught me so much. Where I fail, they make up for it. My weaknesses are their strengths, my strengths are their weaknesses. Alone we could never do what we do now. They have taught me about friendship, about sharing, about beauty, about strength, about trust. Close to a year ago I blogged a poem about my “baanies.” Click here to read it. Now it’s close to a year later and with several of them leaving, I find myself a bit nostalgic. I don’t post these poems because I think they are masterpieces in the realm of poetry– they’re not. But even if the rhythm and rhyming is stilted and simple, it embodies some of what these ladies bring to life here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

 

Oh, we live in house that leaks when it rains

And spiders have tea in the cracks

But we are the Baanies so we don’t mind

Cause we’ve got each other’s backs

Kats wedding_180411_0026
Judi on the left.

Judi went home, she said, “just because”

But we all really know why

There’s a guy named Mike she thinks she likes

Even though she’s back in Chiang Mai;

This Mike, we think, may be ok

But we’re keeping our eyes trained tight:

He’d better be good, and do as he should

Or we will all put him to flight.

DSC00947
Kim and a Thai friend making cookies

Kim is well and busy as ever

And next week she is saying goodbye

To the tropics of Thailand for the snows of the North

For the handshake instead of the wai;

We’ll miss her heaps and all of her songs

And her passion and kindness as well,

But she’ll shine her light wherever she is

That we can surely foretell.

Retreat 2018_180813_0016
Crystal on the left.

Crystal keeps life in this house refreshing

When naps in the bathroom she takes,

She likes to push others into the pool

And finds in her bike long skinny snakes;

She’s got a heart that is made of gold

(So her students would gladly say)

Coffee makes her happy (and of course us too)

She is just fun to be with all day.

DSC00527
When snakes are around

DSC00551

9399
Ask Crystal if she enjoys chicken now… :/

Oh, we live in house that leaks when it rains

And spiders have tea in the cracks,

But we are the Baanies so we don’t mind

Cause we’ve got each other’s backs.

Waterfall trip_190302_0025.jpg
Melissa on the left

Melissa is as sweet and understanding as ever

And just in the weeks that passed

She bravely called a man to come kill our rats

(Even though her heart beat fast)

Her Thai is better than ever before

But she is going home in May

This makes us wonder who will clean the kitchen

And makes us sadder than we can say.

Waterfall trip_190302_0046
Nancy: second to right

Nancy has learned how to speak Thai

And she’s really good at latte art

We all like to listen when she laughs

And hers is a kind, sensitive heart

She drives a funny, yellow Fino

A lot like a bumblebee, I’d say

She zips around corners and weaves through traffic

While we hold on tight and— pray.

 

38681
A Lawa friend’s wedding

Oh, we live in house that leaks when it rains

And spiders have tea in the cracks

But we are the Baanies so we don’t mind

Cause we’ve got each other’s backs.

Waterfall trip_190302_0055
Brit on the left

Brit will be an aunt before too long

We’re all happy for her sake

She doesn’t lose her phone as much anymore

And you should see the fires she makes

She’s smart and selfless and loves little kids

And really, she’s almost Thai,

And when we think of her leaving for home

The only thing we want to do — is cry.

DSC01536
Lori in her happy place

Lori’s still here and her hair is even grayer

And she’s slipped down her stairs a few times

She’s got itchy feet and she dreams of the mountains

And she still makes weird little rhymes

She’ll still be in school for another two years

And then watch out, she’ll be free

To travel away, to teach or to train,

Or be whatever God calls her to be.

ขึ้นบ้านใหม่ศักดิ์อร_180401_0006
With Thai friends from church

Oh, we live in house that leaks when it rains

And spiders have tea in the cracks

But we are the Baanies so we don’t mind

Cause we’ve got each other’s backs

20180416_180416_0052.jpg
giant waterfights
DSC00916
And of course, we couldn’t forget Diego

Voice

Today, I walked down the trail, looking up at the pines, unable to express what was happening inside of me. “Give me a poem, God,” I pleaded.

 

Pines, amber and green, slanting upward

Light spilling into gleaming bars

Silence steals from heart to mind, silence whispering;

Hush—for even the forest has a voice.

 

And across the blue and golden ranges

Forests lie unrobed in light’s un-aging glory

Rolling, far-flung, and rolling, further and rolling

Hush—for even the mountains have a voice.

 

Twilight lies low on the mountain’s edges

Pinks and blues, outlined on the ridges

Gray and blue; and gray fog rolls, sealing the night

Hush— for even the dusk has a voice.

 

The forest and the mountains cry out day after day

The dusk and the night shout of glory

The mind grows silent, the silent heart alive;

Hush—hush! Even your Maker has a voice.

 

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Voiceless

Words burn within me

To tell all the others

The beauty I saw today.

The mountain’s high crest

The forest’s red haze

The foam of the river’s spray

 

A piercing of light

A wind tossed swallow

The mist of a mountain’s shroud

The boldness of color

The caress of a breeze

The wisps of a wind scattered cloud

 

But the deepest things

That are caught in my soul

In muted aching cry

Are the flash of a smile

The gleam of teeth

The light in a villager’s eye

 

A faint shy smile

A word exchanged

And laughter quick and keen

These are the treasures

That I long to share

From all that today I have seen.

 

Originally written in February of 2017, this poem came to mind after my day today.

Of Revival, Poetry and Fridge Cleaning

IMG_4520I feel like I’m becoming alive again.

How can I tell? Because the poetry is alive in my brain again. There’s more color in the sky, in the grass, in the mountains. And not just because of the rain.

After the brain fog and brutal heat of March, April and May and the ridiculous intensity of our work schedule, there was no longer any poetry bubbling in my brain. There was only dragging myself out of bed in the morning, forcing myself to eat something so I would have energy for the day, and then at the end of an exhausting day weighing myself and discovering I had lost yet another 2 pounds.  If there had been poetry, it would have gone like this:

It’s so so hot/ I feel like meat/ Left out of the fridge/ In all this heat/ Like boiled cabbage/ And leftover peas/ That’s what I feel like/ (groaaaannn…. more water, please)

And that’s actually not poetry. It rhymes. But its not real poetry.

But now there’s poetry bubbling again and not just my own. One of these days I would love to sit down and trace back through all the poems that have shaped my life. Poetry that opened doors and windows to a new way of seeing the world through the beauty of words that capture life in crystal clear images. Poetry that thrilled me and inspired me. Poetry that made me laugh. Poetry that captured that feeling inside of you that you yourself didn’t even know existed until that aha moment when it was put into words. And then you think to yourself, “That’s exactly how I feel about it, but I never knew I felt that way.”

Late last night as I defrosted our poor neglected fridge, threw away rotten fried rice and tomatoes and eggs, and debated whether to keep last year’s chocolate or throw it away, I thought poetry and listened to it. And tried to ignore the smell that reeked from the fridge. I listened to Robert Frost and dreamed of someday stopping by woods again on a snowy evening. Oh the pure delight of doing that again! I listened about his road diverging into a wood and said, “I know exactly how you felt.” I listened to Rudyard Kipling’s “East is East and West is West and Never the Twain Shall Meet.”  I was curious and felt a little disturbed. Then I listened to Carl Sandburg’s “Fog” and remembered a dear  little first grader with honey -blonde hair in front of an audience reciting “Fog” on the last day of school. And I felt pangs of homesickness and pastsickness.( pastsickness: a longing for the past,  to relive memories that are sweet after time has washed away all the pain.)

But the poem I like the most of all the evening was this one. After washing out of the fridge thoroughly of all its putrid odors and feeling like it was on its way back to recovery like I was, it was raining once again and I listened to Longfellow’s “The Day is Done.” However much poetry might be bubbling in my brain, my soul is still tinged with tiredness, and this poem echoed the thoughts of my spirit. Sometimes we long for the simple words of some normal human being to soothe our restless spirits, instead of weighty words of theology and religion.

The day is done, and the darkness
      Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
      From an eagle in his flight.
________________________
I see the lights of the village
      Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
      That my soul cannot resist:
_________________________
A feeling of sadness and longing,
      That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
      As the mist resembles the rain.
______________________
Come, read to me some poem,
      Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
      And banish the thoughts of day.
_______________________
Not from the grand old masters,
      Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
      Through the corridors of Time.
_________________________
For, like strains of martial music,
      Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
      And to-night I long for rest.
________________________
Read from some humbler poet,
      Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
      Or tears from the eyelids start;
__________________________
Who, through long days of labor,
      And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
      Of wonderful melodies.
_________________________
Such songs have power to quiet
      The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
      That follows after prayer.
________________________
Then read from the treasured volume
      The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
      The beauty of thy voice.
_________________________
And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

 

And now, because it is almost midnight, I must fold up my tent and steal away on the road less traveled that leads to bed since I have gone many miles since I  have slept and my bed is oh so lovely and dark, yet, I fear not very deep, because East has not yet met West in the making of mattresses. And we will pray that the neighbor’s cats do not come on their little cat feet and fight on my roof.

Goodnight.