Friday, December 19, 2014

Time to Ponder and Listen

This time of the year is spent in good cheer,
And neighbors together do meet
To sit by the fire, with friendly desire,
Each other in love to greet;
Old grudges forgot are put in the pot,
All sorrows aside they lay;
The old and the young doth carol this song
To drive the cold winter away.
~Traditional



My friend Joyce Ray made my day with the thoughtful parcel she sent for the Winter Poetry Swap. Here's her elegant pantoum:


The Language of Trees
by Joyce Ray

Twigs, sap stilled by cold,
etch brush-stroked Kanji
over gray skies and hold
a promise of spring through winter’s story.

Brush-stroked Kanji etch
tree poems in stick season.
Limbs promise spring and stretch
toward orbs of light to illume and open

the tree poems of stick season
because now is the time to ponder and listen
as light orbs illume and open
Kilmer’s analogy of trees to poems.

Let poets listen. Let poets ponder.
Do trees beckon to hear poems,
stripped of Kilmer’s summer wear,
in winter’s language, plain-spoken?

Perhaps they beckon to hear our prayer
and like twigs, sap stilled by cold,
we’ll pray in the stripped language of winter
against gray skies we must hold.


Joyce also sent chocolates, candles, and a custom ornament
(not pictured because it is already on the tree)

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Buffy's Blog.

9 comments:

LInda Baie said...

I love the early carol, Tabatha, and the gifts from Joyce, especially those "tree poems in stick season" are wonderful. Happiest of holidays to you and your family!

Buffy Silverman said...

Love the tree as art and tree as poetry in this poem!

jama said...

What a lovely poem! Second stanza is my favorite -- "brush stroked kanji" :).

And what cool gifts. Pass the chocolate, please. . .

Robyn Hood Black said...

(And I love the paws in the picture!)
What lovely gifts from Joyce, and a challenging form to take on. I especially love this phrase, "sap stilled by cold" - lots of gorgeous imagery with those tree branches!

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for organizing the swap, Tabatha. We are all so lucky to have you to give us this way of connecting.

As Joyce has said, "because now is the time to ponder and listen." If only we could sit still long enough!

Joyce Ray said...

Yes, Tabatha, thank you, thank you for organizing the poem swap. It's a wonderful incentive to create. I'll be sharing Diane Mayr's winter poem to me soon. I appreciate the kind comments here!

Karen Edmisten said...

"brush stroked kanji" -- that is marvelous. What a gift you organized for others, and what joy that came back to you.

Keri said...

That early, traditional poem is one to treasure. I think someone needs to send it in a letter from Scotland. :-) I haven't forgotten you, promise!

My swap buddy sent chocolate too -- I need to make a mental note for next year!

Mary Lee said...

I love the comparison of the bare trees to Kanji strokes.