Posts Tagged 'Writing'



At the Grocery Store

At the Grocery Store

 

She’s not very tall and

She’s probably nine,

She looks up at me

And I see the first sign

Of a smile on her face.

It starts as a grin,

Then it moves to her eyes,

As wrinkles form thin

Little lines in the corners

And across her small nose.

I wink and she laughs,

Thinks I’m strange I suppose.

She and her mommy

Go on down the aisle

And then round the corner,

So I shop for a while

Through the cereal boxes,

Then, from a yellow-box cave

I see two smiling eyes

And a small, timid wave.

Hal C. Clark

May, 2010

Being a retired elementary teacher, I enjoy the interaction with kids wherever I am, and this is often at the grocery store. I get different reactions to a smile or a funny face. Mom is usually comparing prices or engaged in other serious endeavors and the child is looking for any kind of distraction. This poem is a playful treatment of such an encounter.

We are on the road and have had a busy ten or so days – In Newport, PA for an autoharp gathering and workshop; in Gettysburg Pa for July first and second (the date of the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg), and then to Washington DC for Independence Day. I have missed my writing time and blogging time and I apologize for the long time between posts. I will try to do better. I am currently working on two poems, one of them concerning Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which I also plan to post on this blog. As always, thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you will post a response.

Squirrel

Squirrel

 

Furry grayish red-brown streak,

Please try not to look so sweet

As you dash into the street,

Should’ve moved with faster feet!

Why’d you run out in the street?

Just to get a bite to eat?

Lying mangled in defeat,

Lying broken in the street.

Such a tragedy to meet,

With an end that’s not so neat,

Must you be so indiscreet

As lying shattered in the street?

Hal C Clark

‘May 2010

In the spring and early summer, we see a number of young squirrels who never learned to cross the street (they didn’t look both ways and wait for traffic). One day as I was driving, a squirrel ran out into the street ahead of me, then changed his mind and came back across. I guess I didn’t hit him, because I didn’t see him in my mirror. A couple of weeks later I was driving to the supermarket when all these lines started forming in my mind and I struggled to remember them until I could pull into the parking lot and write them down. After some editing and rearranging, this is the result.

For me, the rhyming pattern and length of lines give a sense of urgency and frustration to the poem. This matches the frantic activity of these small animals. By the way, the ones that live to be experienced learn about the high road: the cable wires that go from pole to pole over the street. They cross these non-electric lines with the skill and grace of a tight rope walker and don’t have to contend with traffic – unless they slip.

Triolet on Love’s Blessing

Triolet on Love’s Blessing

 

The more I give away, the more I gain,

Like bread loaves in a basket, without end,

Love flows to me and cannot be contained.

The more I give away, the more I gain.

My heart so fills with peace from love’s refrain

That souls around me can but comprehend.

The more I give away, the more I gain,

Like bread loaves in a basket, without end.

Hal C Clark

May 2010

A triolet is an eight line poem in which the first line repeats as the fourth and seventh lines and the second line repeats as the eighth. The rhyming pattern is abaaabab. It looked like an interesting form and I had an idea for a short poem, so I tried it.

The “bread loaves” of course refers to the feeding of the 5000. I find in my life I find myself so filled with God’s love that I overflow to others. If you are filled with love, you can’t contain it all and it will find a way out.

Enough preaching, I suppose. I do enjoy exploring new ideas and would appreciate your comments any time. I appreciate those who read my poems and comments.

One final note: We went to see “Letters to Juliet” today and it was refreshing to see, in our world of violent and senseless movies, a warm fuzzy movie. I really liked it.

Compassion

Compassion

 

Her ling’ring smile calls out to say

“My hope is running wan and thin.”

His eyes show pain in pleading tears

For someone’s arms to shelter in.


Their houses sit as rubble piles,

Their water in roadside pools,

But what can I, one person, do

With resources minuscule?


So, what if life would now be changed,

If I should be there, not here?

What tiny act of humankind

Would help calm my daily fear?


If I can manage one small part,

To do whatever I can,

I’ll build a bridge from me to them.

For all of us, hope is God’s plan.


I’ll save some pennies, cull my clothes,

Serve meals to those without homes,

Read books to those who cannot see,

Tend aged with brush and comb.


Oh, I am known by many names

In my harried, hurried day,

But my real name is compassion,

And I cannot turn away!

Hal C Clark – March, 2010

This poem started as an exercise from the book “Poemcrazy” by Susan G. Wooldridge, and I decided to develop the idea. If you are not familiar with this book, I highly recommend you check it out. It tells the story of how she developed as a poet.

Anyway, I wrote this because I believe each of us should do his or her part in helping others. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it benefits both the receiver and the giver.

My wife and I sponsor (through World Vision) three 10-11 year old girls, all from areas where HIV/AIDS is a major problem. One is from Mauritania, Africa; one is from Rwanda, Africa; and one is from the Dominican Republic, near the area of the earthquake. The money each month helps improve conditions for the girl and her family, and makes it more likely that she can continue her education. The other part I like is writing letters to the girls, encouraging them and asking questions about their families, country, etc. It’s great to get their replies and watch their progress.

Greg Mortensen started a program years ago of building schools for the children in Afghanistan and he gets money for his foundation partially from the “Pennies for Peace” program in which school kids in the US bring spare change from home and drop it in a container. This program has raised a lot of money and helped to build 31 schools in the sparsely populated areas of Afghanistan. The people of these communities supplied the labor and the good will, and Greg has done more to bring peace to these people that all the politicians in Washington.

In our own United States, many children get only one or two meals a day during the summer (School programs help during the school year) a problem improved by local food banks. The purchase of one or two extra canned items on each trip to the grocery, and donated to the local food bank could make a big difference over a year.

We have all kinds of government programs to solve all kinds of problems, but I believe what really makes the world work is the compassionate acts of individual citizens working quietly behind the scenes. God bless all the givers!

Springtime – Sonnet 1

Springtime – Sonnet 1

 

When bright new earth begins to warm and brown,

Frost’s exit can no longer he forestall.

The tender leaf seeks sun and roots reach down,

And whispered breath of spring gives life to all.


Then comes a flight of robins, as a sign

That surely earth’s renewal is at hand.

Begin the celebration, so divine,

Of rainbow colors spilled o’er all the land.


But why display a splendid show like this

When bird and flower, nothing they will gain?

Humans alone can recognize the bliss

Which our creator, for us, doth ordain.


     Spring holds a promise for all of the earth

     Of life and beauty, and ne’er ending birth.

Hal C Clark – April, 2010

I’ve wanted to try a sonnet and I finally made the leap. As you probably know, the sonnet has a definite structure of 14 lines, 10 syllables per line, with a set rhyming pattern. I found it’s tough to fit it all in, but here it is.

I’m always amazed at all the drama in the early spring when all the flowers explode in color so wondrous to the eye. I know the color is supposed to be to attract pollinators, but in truth, insects are the only significant pollinators, and their sight is primarily in the ultraviolet spectrum, so they don’t truly see the color in the visible spectrum. Birds are brightly colored for the purpose of mating, but sound plays an equal role in the process. Less brilliant colors might be as effective.

So, what is the purpose for our colorful renewal in springtime? I think it is God’s reminder to us of His promise of everlasting rebirth and life. Just like the rainbow, He provides us with a visual reminder of His promises to us. I hope this poem reflects that presence. Have a glorious springtime!

Storm

Storm

White Flash and Rumble play at tag

While Wind gives chase to both of them.

Tormented trees contend the fray

By swinging with their long-armed limbs.

Like a great percussive symphony,

Their roughhouse play shakes earth and sky,

And many of God’s creatures here

Can find no place to keep them dry.

Drops like liquid bullets dash

Against the crystal window pane,

And tiny rivulets retreat

To find their way back home again.

Flash and Rumble play their game;

Down the road they shake the air.

Wind transforms to gentle breeze

To tease at Willow’s long green hair.

Quiet tears of raindrops stay,

Sad from being shunned by Wind.

A faint moon shines to comfort them

‘Till all is quiet once again.

Hal C Clark – March, 2010

This is a playful poem that came to me after a stormy day. They seemed to me to be rowdy characters engaged in active play, wreaking chaos, then going someplace else. I guess this could be a poem for children. Anyway, enjoy and tell me what you think.

Silver Angel

Silver Angel

Her frame bent like the cane she trusts,

The weight of years then bows her head,

In shuffling shoes she creeps along,

The squinted eyes cast toward her bed.


No daughter’s touch guides shaky steps,

No children’s laughter cheers her face,

The silent roar of nothingness

Dwells with her in this dark place.


But count the keen lost memories,

The golden grace her soul must hide,

And never share the tales of loving

Life when she was once a bride.


No diamond crown or noble court

Reserved for woman such as this,

’till God’s bright welcoming embrace

Shall bring her home to glorious bliss.

Hal C Clark – March, 2010

I was in a grocery store one day when I noticed an elderly lady pushing a shopping cart who seemed to be alone. She was using the cart for support and moving slowly. The lines of this poem began forming in my mind.

When I got home I wrote down my ideas and began putting them together. I have no idea of this lady’s circumstances, but this is the image my mind produced. In our fast-paced society, we are not always aware of the needs of our seniors, who try to maintain some dignity in spite of their handicaps.

It isn’t pleasant to be forced to ask for favors from others. I try to remain aware of the people around me (as, I am sure, all writers do) and make myself available whenever it is called for. But I must remind myself to allow them their space so they can feel that sense of independence. It is an important balance.


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