Thursday, May 16, 2024

Celebrating Picture Perfect Poetry

 Greetings everyone! It is Poetry Friday and I have some poems to share.

Today I'm sharing my delight with Carol Labuzzetta's anthology: Picture Perfect Poetry.  I have three poems in this beautiful book, and I'm proud to share two of them today.  Carol's anthology is such a beauty! It is an anthology of Ekphrastic Nature Poetry for Students. (Ekphrastic refers to writing that describes a visual art, in this case nature photography.) So, this is a thanks to Carol for including my poems, and a sharing of both poems and photographs.

Autumn's Hold

Pumpkins squat and bright and round
Gathered now in autumn's hold
Your droll expressions so renowned
Pumpkins squat and bright and round.
What lessons in this fall playground?
Leave a seed! Shine your light! Be BOLD!
Pumpkins squat and bright and round
Gathered now in autumn's hold.

© Karen Eastlund

A note about this one:  I just now had the idea to BOLD the bold!  Also, this is a form called triolet: the first line is repeated three times.  I love that Carol made the entire page orange for this one.

The next poem was inspired not only by the sunset, but by a prompt from an online workshop I took with Georgia Heard. She suggested we write a poem beginning with "Things to do if you are a ..."

Things to Do if You are a Sunset

Sneak in
Put on neon
Delight in feathered flight
Hopscotch from cloud to cloud
Inspect your reflection on water
Flash on last surprise

© Karen Eastlund

Thanks ever so much for reading and thanks to Patricia Franz for hosting today. Be sure to check in on her blog to read a wonderful poem about planting sugar pines in a national forest. Also, she has a great quote about being part of something larger. Poetry Friday is that kind of gathering, and you can be part of it also.  Find Patricia and learn more HERE.  

Thursday, May 2, 2024

In Praise of all Growing Things


Greetings! My garden has called me and I've already planted lettuce, salad turnips and sugar snap pea pods. All have germinated, but not at well as I would like, so yesterday I put in a few more seeds.

Growing a garden is a new experience every year. Some plants flourish, some are eaten by rabbits. Some perennials thrive, some are flooded out. It's always a challenge, and always carries some reward.

Two plants I'm pleased with just now are below.  The pulmonaria at top, also called lungwort, pleases me every spring with its beautiful spotted leaves and purple flowers. This year I wrote a praise poem about it.

A Song of Praise

I praise all nature for purple lung-

wort, I love its wealth of leaves

pushing up from spring's cool dark earth,

deep green and pointed, mottled with silver

spots, lovely in vision all year long.

I give praise for its purple flowers

royally nestled in their soft leafy bed.

© Karen Eastlund

This poem is a form called kwansaba. It is a praise poem with 7 lines, 7 words per line, and 7 or fewer letters per word. The 7 letters per word was tricky and I had to adopt new words, or split words, as I did the word "lungwort."

The photo below is of my peperomia, which originally was given to me by my future husband a few months before we were married. It has had ups and downs over these 52 years, but this year it is glorious and I love it!

Gardening teaches patience and perseverance. It reminds me that life can be messy, and it forces me to get down on my knees. As I pull weeds and water my plants, I witness many blessings of the earth, and I marvel at the power of nature and the webs of interconnection. Gardening promotes respect for the earth, the importance of work and gratitude for each edible morsel. It helps me to appreciate beauty and accept its ephemerality. Each plant has its own family, habit of growth, weaknesses, and needs for flourishing. Keeping track of the names of plants both challenges and fascinates me. Gardens are full of surprises. Two years ago a tiny deep blue liatris showed up under my peony! I have put liatris in pots in the past, but hadn't seen one in some years. What a joy! Gardens and growing things are continual blessings, and upon consideration, I believe lessons from the garden are endless.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
  The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden,
  Than anywhere else on earth.

These words are from the poem "God's Garden" by Dorothy Frances Gurney, born in 1858

I can't leave without a song or two, since SONG is my OLW for 2024. Here's a cute one I just found, perfect for a little one.

And here's one I learned years ago. There are many videos of this song, but I chose Pete Seeger's because his words are a little different, like a personal prayer. 

Thanks to Jone Rush MacCulloch for the prompt this month, and for hosting the Spiritual Journey Thursday group. Find Jone and links to others in the group HERE.