National Poetry Month 2013

This is the third year of my self-appointed challenge to write one poem a day for each day of April. This is the first year in which I've actually started on day 1. Not every poem is a winner (or a keeper), but the challenge is more about developing a writing discipline and going public with it.  If any of this year's poems appeal to you and you wish to share, by all means, help yourself.  All I ask is that you credit me as the author and link back to my blog.

What is poetry? To me, it is one method of creative expression, which takes a spark and weaves it into a connect-the-dots tapestry of words.  Some people connect with a tapestry and see the picture that we've woven, some see a pleasing abstract expression which transports them to a happy (or sad) place; some see nothing.  That's okay.  As I share my creative expressions with you, I hope that you see something to connect to.  That would please me.

Inventory of Red

Red is the color of apples,
red is the color of love.

I remember, that
red is the color of
seeds of sweetness
ready to pop
on the tongue.

Red is the color of
large, ripe, juicy
strawberries bursting
with fragrant flavor
and gentle to the touch,
both soft and firm
and elegant.

Red is the color of
lips made luscious
by a glossy pot of polish
raised up like a chalice
of aged red wine,
middle finger dipped
into the glory of
the brightness
dabbed gently and
with great care,
the finishing touch
of a  woman's
for an evening out.

Red is the color of
a hot pepper
ready to bite
the biter who
to eat such a bright
color, fiery in its
shiny perfection.
Red is the color.

This poem came to me as one of my (almost daily) 50-Word Doodles, which I worked on a bit and developed into this poem.

The End Of Goodbye

Endings open the way
to beginnings. You
close a door, pause,
look around and
take in the familiar;
breathe in deeply
of the fragrance
that you no longer recognize,
head down, shoulders rounded and
one foot in front of the other.
Along comes
a new fragrance.
Breathe. Take it in,
absorb, question, wonder
and ponder.
New adventure.
Engage caution;
engage joy.

Your Arms

Your arms around me
offer more
than I ask for and
all that I need.
A nest of
a sweater of lambswool
worn for too many years, softer
in places and rubbed thin
in others, often by
the repeating of gentle
words and warm
a shawl, fraying
at the ends where
the knitting of needles and yarn made
such a soothing
fabric filled
with love that
only a pure heart can
a trusted shelter
for a weary soul.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr, Memphis, April 4, 1968.

Building History

Every action, every
move we make becomes
history. It isn't
always pretty or
politically correct, but it is
a true recording of
whatever it is (or was,
as we say in the history biz).

Truth isn't
always pretty, but
it is sometimes beautiful. Today
a few years back, a brave man was
shot and died for
the things that he valued and
believed in.
Many years before
him, many men and women before
him dared to be brave, too. Some
witches, some slaves, some fools
and all people with
and courage.

Truth isn't
always pretty, but
it can sometimes be
a flower spending
its seeds to grow
--to build--history again.
Truth can be
beautiful, even in the midst of pain.

Making Love

Dewey loves me.
Dewey loves me with
crispy bacon and
goose down-fluffy
scrambled eggs.
I am hemming his
new trousers
by hand.
It doesn't have to be

Bread and Wine

Baking bread, making
wine, planting
a garden, they all take
time. I build
the sponge of yeasty water and
sugar, the way my mother did
and the way her mother did. I measure
carefully and combine
all of the dry ingredients and wonder
how much flour I should
reserve, to be sure
that the dough is not too dry. You see
the recipe says, use this much, but
experience say, wait and see how much, for
when the air is moist or when the air is dry
(or when the sky is purple and red or
the nasturtiums are blooming...or anything
for that matter) you often need
much less flour than the recipe calls
for, and what do you do then?

Baking bread takes
all day.  I wonder
how long a carrot takes
to grow and
how do you know
to add this much or wait
and see how much
fertilizer or
compost to add and
when to harvest?

Baking bread takes
all day, but longer if
you consider how long
it takes to grow
the wheat.

Sunday Worship

to a quiet landscape
and a sun barely present
offers time
for contemplation. Walking

on wet grass, barefoot
and wondering
which of the Spring plants
have broken through
the weight of clay soil and
nourishment of tiny oak leaf mulch.

the spirit of the day, the
wet and the dark, the cloudy, the new green and
the sunshiny of it;

every tiny pebble, every broken
stick and blade of new grass,
meditating on how
any of it came to be
for years too many
to imagine, I am

with awe and a kind of
quiet and personal appreciation
for the life which
allows me to
take time
for worship.

Take Me Away: Pain

In the dark early morning,
in the crowning glory
of my sleepless night,

the hollow howling
of a distant
to who-knows-where,
than the here
of my troubled

I lie in this
troubled darkness and
I think,
Take me with you;
take me away,


You've swept it
under the rug, into
the closet and
out of your life.  Really?

It can't hurt me, if
I can't see it or
if it's not
in my way. It doesn't
exist, when 
it's hidden under
cobwebs in
the deepest, darkest
corner of the basement.  Really?

The roots of it
can't grab me, whip me and
toss me about
in a sea of tumult,
when there's only
dark and damp concrete
to feed on.  Really?

Spring. Seems as if
it's time
for Spring-cleaning. Go
through it all with a fine-toothed
comb, with
a brush and a mop and
a lot of hot water; find
every corner
of your house, grab it, hold it,
untangle it, and
toss it out. Deal with it
no more.  Really!

Wandering Spirit: Rambling Mind

Emotion is a lotion,
thoughts can be weeds;
left to their own devices 
they will wander and ramble past
the point of no
until they are back again, poised
and properly attired for the next
big Walkabout
of the spirit and mind.

Spiritual Lessons

Love is greater
than the sum of all people
who wish they had it and
those who think
that they have it.

You never have it,
you can only give it and
hope that others
will give it to you.

You have to be
to receive it. Love
and you will
be loved.

Gathering Clouds

gather, move, grow
and filter the orange-ish warmth
of a brilliant sun. They

hover over
my flowers and
give them rest
from the mid-day heat.

A community of cumulus
clouds generate images of
fluffy-feathery beauty in
the early afternoon sky. My,
what a grand and loosely-woven
magical pillow
that you imagine you can
your head on!

Lightly curling
Cirrus clouds with
tendrils of wispy gasses
moving as sensually
through the air as
the arm of
The Lady of Shallot
barely touching the water
of the stream she travels
to Camelot.

Puffs and wisps and ripples
of gasses and magic and
vapors, all
majesty and drama
and sometimes
a gentle rain
on the pain
of humankind. Marvels
of nature
blessing us

Sticks and Stones

A violet grows
under and over and
the sticks and stones and gives
no power
to these things which
break your bones.

Persistent beauty
does battle with such as these
and always wins, bringing
an electric grace to early mornings, where
dew can dazzle
the senses
as it hangs
from the leaves of
an insignificant little flower.

My Love, He Is

My love is
next to me
but far enough
to give me time; close
enough for me
to reach and lay
my head on his shoulder.

My love
is a reminder
that I am good enough
just as I am and
just as I am becoming,
me and not a flavor
which belongs
on another fruit--another

My love
is a companion, near
as the air I breathe, strong
as the mountainside
I climb and
as the water of a cold river
that washes the heat and
the tired out
of my knotted and grumbling feet.

My love
raises up my ideas, cheers on
my creations,
offers kindness and gives
always. He
beside me
always. He is.

Love Surrounds

Where hearts break,
love surrounds. Where
loss abounds, love
scoops up lost souls
and heals
the emptiness, the pain;
the prickly path of Finding Our Way.

On the street where mad
meets bad and
people fall, where
anger yields to a questioning
sorrow and life
goes on, where
people pray and hope
for bodies lost and souls
offering their last
love and God
and the kindness
of strangers
guide us
through each

I yield
to the good
yet again.  Amen.

For They Comfort Me

I go
to the trees and
listen, quietly sit
in their circle, watching,
observing, really
paying attention
to all that surrounds us
in this wooded landscape
of love
near my home. My
shelter, they are,
and my friends of gentle
support and
patient listening
to my telling of woes
and troubles; my stumbling and stories
of all of my wounds and hurting. They know
and they heal. I go
to the trees
for they comfort me.

Inspiration for this poem is attributed with gratitude to Silas House, author of Eli the Good. Read the book and you'll see where the inspiration came from. I draw most of my inspiration from nature, and, so it seems, do Silas and some of his characters.  Tree huggers!  You've got to love us.

Our Fears

They disable, constrict
and wear down
the good in us, the power,
the energy and all
the life in us. Give in
and you give
all that you've fought for,
all that you believe in
and the love that you
have for nature, for
the innocence of children
at play--for all
humankind. What
can our fears
do for us, but slowly
and painfully
distract us to
self-destruction.  Hold on!


Oh, Valerie,
where is my year,
gone now to me
mostly forgotten,
a few pieces saved—
collected and protected
in my pockets?

Is this all
there is for me
that I’m close
to life’s ambitions,
to the place
I’ve longed to see
and accomplishments
I’ve yearned
to pass and remember?

Oh, Thomas,
where is my sleep
from those few months,
those minutes, seconds,
days and weeks multiplied
of dreams I had
no chance
to dream,
and rest
that I’m still running after?

were my last opus,
blue ribbons
and awards
in the winner’s circle;
my joy
to relish
and keep warm by.
Where did you

Oh, Faith,
so quickly
did you leave?

Why so weak,
when I needed you
to keep my will
my heart’s foundation,
did you fail?

Hope, oh,
you small miracle,
you one glimmering dot
in a darkened sky,
keeping fear
at bay,

So small
at times you seemed,
so faint,
but never,
never gone.

Oh, it’s no wonder
that you
through all
the pain.
Oh, you,
and my constant

there for me
even when I tried
in my most strangling
anger to be
all alone,
you lit a fire,
endured and kept
me alive,
oh, Love!

There Is A Miracle

The magic of Spring
defies the logic
of a mind
trained to make sense
of everything--to understand
and to see the dots
connected like numbers
in order. In Spring

there is an order,
but you must look
within, to your emotions, to
the relaxed beating
of your heart and
to the feel of dew on grass
that you step on silently with
your naked feet. There is

a miracle in pulling
back the mulch of Winter's
leaves and pine tree needles to see
the vibrant green and yellow
of a Hosta planted in last
year's lingering Summer, now
only hope manifest in
the oval Hosta leaves
bound tightly
to each other, birthing 
a new pathway to life. Who
can imagine 
what beauty and
majestic flowering lives in
such a tightly wound packet of leaves!

There is
a miracle, indeed, in
wishing for rebirth, for 
renewal of the hibernating
spirit and seeing it
in the opening flower
of an aging
cherry tree. There is

a miracle in life,
as a cycle continues
the endless path
of death, then hope,
of time, of renewal, and
of birth once again as
in the order of things that cannot
be explained. The river,
the trees, new plants among
the ashes of old
and life after
death.  There...
is a miracle.

©2013 Despina Panagakos Yeargin.  All rights reserved.

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