Thursday, August 31, 2023

The lucky koi

We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.
~Paul Tillich

Hi folks, happy Poetry Friday! September 1st is also Elena's birthday! The picture above is one she made of her great-grandmother, who passed away in 2013 when Elena was 11.

Today's poem is by Marjorie Saiser:

For My Daughter
by Marjorie Saiser

When they laid you on my belly
and cut the cord
and wrapped you and gave you
to my arms, I looked into the face
I already loved. The cheekbones,
the nose, the deep place
the eyes opened to. I thought
then this is the one I must teach,
must shape and nurture.
I was sure I should. How was I
to know you would become
the one to show me
how kindness walks in the world?
Some days the daughter
is the mother,
is the hand that reaches
out over the pond, sprinkling
nourishment on the water.
Some days I am the lucky koi,
rising from below, opening
the circle of my mouth to take it in.


Addendum: Elena made the portrait using ink and rubbing alcohol on Yupo heavyweight paper.

Bonus: Elyse Myers talking about loving yourself.

Pleasures from the Page has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Ramona!


KatApel - said...

Thank-you for this beautiful memory. I remember that juxtaposition of wonder and knowing... and overwhelming feeling. And my goodness, haven't they taught me lots! (Lovely artwork, too! Is it by hand? Or digitally rendered?)

Tabatha said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem, Kat! Thanks for asking about Elena's artwork-- I went back and put info about her materials. She used Yupo paper, ink, and rubbing alcohol. The paper is non-porous, which makes it good for alcohol ink art. It seems hard to do!

jan godown annino said...

Elena's loving portrait is evocative. Appreciations for sharing.
Today my one & only child, my daughter, left after a week with us. She works on the other side of the Atlantic, so her visits are all the more precious. I love the gentle poem's reminder that some Daughters can lead the Mother. Maybe all Daughters do, but some Mothers notice, listen & follow. I have a sense the poem fits you & Elena.
more gratitude

Denise Krebs said...

Tabatha, what a beautiful multi-generational post. "I am the lucky koi" is precious. The artwork is beautiful.

Linda said...

Such a beautiful poem, Tabatha. Thank you for sharing it with us. The artwork is amazing!

Anonymous said...

From CarolVarsalona - Tabatha, Happy Birthday to your daughter. She shares the same date with my son. Elena’s artwork is amazing for an 11-yr-old. Thanks for sharing this and the poem about a daughter.

Tabatha said...

Thank you, all! Carol, happy birthday to your son! Elena made the artwork when she was 21, not 11. I was just saying that she had a chance to get to know her great-grandmother Helen before she passed.

Linda B said...

Happy Birthday to Elena! Daughters hold a special place in our hearts, we are all lucky koi. Beautiful to ponder, Tabatha, thank you, and for sharing the gorgeous art by Elena, too.

Joyce Ray said...

Elena's ink portrait is just lovely!Such talent! I love the poem you're sharing and am still learning from our three daughters. The koi with the circle mouth says it all!

Linda Mitchell said...

Wow. I love reading your posts early on Saturday mornings when I'm still sipping coffee and I can also drink in the quote...and today this beautiful portrait and poem. My goodness, the mother-daughter connection to creativity is strong. The truth of this poem is sharp...just beautiful. This is a poem for my notebook. Thank you.

Linda Mitchell said...

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elena! My son's birthday is TODAY! My youngest is now 20. Ack!

Carol J. Labuzzetta said...

What wonderful art to share! Thank you. Both the poem and the artwork are beautiful. Anyone who has experienced the birth of a child feels the power of this poem. We are celebrating birthdays in our family this week, too. (9/5 and 9/6). Enjoy the holiday weekend and birthday celebrations.

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

I'm the lucky koi. What a great image!

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I love the idea of "Some days the daughter is the mother."

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I love the idea of "Some days the daughter is the mother."

Margaret Simon said...

As I am now the mother of adult daughters, this poem means so much to me. I am the koi with open mouth. I learn from my daughters every day about patience, love, and kindness. They are my reason for being, and they've given me the best gift of all, grandchildren. Happy Birthday, Elena. Her talent is a beautiful gift. My father was an artist and now I look at every drawing and find his presence. He touched each dot and line with his loving hands.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful portrait by Elena, I love the watery, transparency affect she got from the alcohol and ink—and for the Saiser poem too!

mbhmaine said...

Wow! What a gorgeous poem and the perfect way to honor your daughter and her birthday. These lines really popped for me "How was I
to know you would become
the one to show me
how kindness walks in the world?" Elena's artwork is just beautiful and sharing it here is a lovely way to tie in more generations.

Pop said...

Happy Birthday to Elena...and she did a marvelous job with my Mom's portrait. (Yes, that was my mother. :-)