• POETRY CORNER

      – 9/18/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      Now, when I’m feeling especially grateful to the editors and hosts that welcome our travels, poems and readings, this theme of Gratitude is especially timely. I give you these words by poet-naturalist Jeff Hoagland, who performed with us at Wild Graces, in Deerfield, New Hampshire, last weekend. His message brings home the essence of gratitude as a way of living our lives. Jeff Hoagland writes ‘I think gratitude is a key element of inhabiting our planet. It is easy to be grateful when one receives what they want good food, a gift of a book, a beautiful day. But gratitude is much larger than this. It is a way of living in recognition of the countless gifts we receive, feeling it deeply within our soul, and sharing it outwardly to show appreciation and infect/affect others.’

      ~ Kathabela

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      Gratitude (Photo - Robert Johnston).

      Gratitude (Photo – Robert Johnston).

      Dennis Gobou

      gratitude!
      is best served
      warm

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      White Pines (Photo - Susan Clark).

      White Pines (Photo – Susan Clark).

      Margo Williams

      Autumn rain
      the white pines
      give thanks

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      Star magnolia (Photo - Robert Johnston).

      Star magnolia (Photo – Robert Johnston).

      Robert Johnston

      more than enough
      star magnolias bloom
      falling apart

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      Cedar Tree (Photo - Pat Geyer).

      Cedar Tree (Photo – Pat Geyer).

      Pat Geyer

      in gratitude
      spirits stand in the cedar…
      a-tsi-na tlu-gv

      in gratitude
      the roots of trees
      yet to grow…
      our ancestors
      these tree spirits

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      Garden sanctuary (Photo - Robert Johnston).

      Garden sanctuary (Photo – Robert Johnston).

      Christina Sng

      garden sanctuary
      the parched trees
      rejuvenated by rain
      weeping
      when you listened to me

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      Jane Kelly, rehabilitator, educator and falconer from "On the Wing" in New Hampshire introduces her Barred Owl friend.

      Jane Kelly, rehabilitator, educator and falconer from “On the Wing” in New Hampshire introduces her Barred Owl friend.

      Jeff Hoagland

      in the company
      of humans
      a quiet gratitude

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      Gratitude: Quotes and Credits

      Dennis Gobou says his “gratitude” phrase/poem is modeled as a parody of the saying, “revenge is best served cold. Every breath is a gift for which we should be grateful.” He lives on Saint Simon’s Island, Georgia.

      Margo Williams, of Stayton, Oregon, says her friend Susan Clark took a walk in the woods at Illinois State Park. Susan snapped a white pine photo. Her photo inspired my ku, “I saw white pines share gratitude!”

      Robert Johnston is a poet, artist, and philosopher who explores the natural world around him. His subtle artistic insights inspire a deep sense openness. His small poem is indeed “more than enough” to inspire a “falling apart” of the ordinary, to expose the extraordinary. He says: “Springtime in New Zealand, where I live, far to the south, in Dunedin: Uncountable magnolias bloom in the public gardens, burst from downy buds, petals flopping open voluptuously, each a beautiful woman already scarred in some degree by marks of death.”

      Pat Geyer shares this story: “The Cherokee people wanted day with no night. In the heat they decided there should be night all the time! The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv, cedar tree.” Pat lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

      Christina Sng, of Singapore, says: “Gratitude—such a simple antidote to the unhappiness that grips us daily, yet it is so difficult in practice. It takes deliberate action to sit down and remember all the good there still is in this world and how we have so much to be thankful for.”

      Jeff Hoagland has worked in wildlife rehabilitation – caring for injured or orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing it back into the wild. He says: “I was so awestruck by the animals I cared for and very grateful for these encounters on so many levels. Likewise, these birds and mammals, out of their element and filled with fear, most often settled into the cycle of care I delivered and demonstrated their own sense of gratitude. Very rewarding!”

      *I’m especially grateful to Jeff Hoagland for graciously giving permission to use his haiku above, which was the final haiku in “Crow Talk Owl Speak” a renku written with Robin White, our poet host. They performed it together at Wild Graces, Deerfield, New Hampshire, Sept. 8, 2018.

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      We welcome and encourage your response, especially in the form of a short poem, by leaving a comment below.


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      Contributor

        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      Comments

      1. Robert Johnston says:

        Lovely, but this poem is NOT mine! 🙂

      2. Terri French says:

        lovely poems and images everyone. _/|\_

      3. Alex Nodopaka says:

        I’m grateful

        for all the trees
        God put on Earth
        for me to hug
        or pee on
        or take a dump
        behind

        I’m grateful
        for all the faces
        I see into their bark

        I’ve seen them
        smile
        I’ve seen them
        cry
        I’ve seen them
        angry
        I’ve seen them
        happy
        I don’t even mind
        being put
        in a box
        made of them
        but I draw the line
        at when
        they speak to me

      4. Margo Williams says:

        What wonderful visuals, ku and tanka! Thankful to be posted among them all. Beautiful!

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