Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Friday Poetry

The other day I was listening to NPR in the kitchen while cooking. I love doing that. Krista Tippet was on with her show "Being". She was talking about Rumi and discussing his poetry. Rumi was a 13th poet and mystic born in present day Afghanistan who lived most of his life in Turkey. He is known for his Sufi brand of Islam and the poetry made known in the West by Coleman Barks. (Hear Barks read Rumi on YouTube.) Rumi is one of my favorite poets. You can read all about him and his view of the world at Krista's site. She has a really wonderful show complete with music, poetry, background history and commentary.

A segment from a poem Krista quoted on the show with lines that really grabbed me:

There is one
righteousness: Water the fruit trees,
and don't water the thorns. Be generous 

And another line that resounds with meaning this Christmas, a famous saying of Rumi's:

"all humanity is pregnant with God."

I am contemplating that today, thinking of the birth of Jesus and Mary and Joseph's first night in Bethlehem. What do you think about being pregnant with God? Does that fill you with hope? The Quakers say there is "that of God" in every person. Think about that when you are scurrying around the mall in the next week or so. Look for God's spirit and be surprised.

I am also going to be concentrating on watering the fruit trees. It's a good season in my life to focus on that.

bittersweet berries

To start with, this weekend read poetry from all around the kidlitopshere over at A Year of Reading.

Peace & Joy is ours this day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift Books for Black Boys

My boys are five and eight, in kindergarten and second grade. I searched around for newer early chapter books with Black boys as main characters. We have read most of the old favorites and I always want to find something new for them for Christmas gifts. It wouldn't be a perfect holiday without some new reads under the tree! Here is what I found after reading posts at The Brown Bookshelf. Do you have any other suggestions? Have you read any of these with kids? What do you think?

The Low-Down, Bad-Day Blues, by Derrick Barnes

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It by Sundee Frazier

Kick Off! by Tiki & Ronde Barber

Kwanzaa Activities, Crafts, Recipes & More!

Seven Spools of Thread by Anglea Shelf Medearis

Wood Hoopoe Willie by Virginia Kroll

Friday, December 10, 2010

for Friday Poetry in Advent: Mary's Song

by Luci Shaw

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest…
you who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before. the rest here at Google books. This poem is in the book Accompanied by Angels: Poems of the Incarnation (Eerdman's 2006), which is a collection of her Advent poems that she has included in Christmas cards over the years. This poem has been put to music by Knut Nystedt and is sung by the Electra Choir of Vancover on the CD Child of Grace. What I love about this poem is that it brings me right into the room with Mary, and makes the miracle of Christmas real in the gut.

Enjoy more poetry this weekend at the round up at jama rattigan's alphabet soup.

Friday, December 03, 2010

haiku for hard times

It's been a rough week here at A Wrung Sponge. I've gotten a lot of bad news lately and we are reeling. I heard I will be laid off from my school library job, along with six of my teaching colleagues, due to dropping enrollment. I am job hunting again, and BTW if you hear of any Librarian job openings, please pass on the news!

Then my furnace developed some serious problems and we were without heat for several chilly days & nights, until we could get a new one put it. Do you have any idea how expensive a new furnace is? Right before Christmas when you are unsure of your employment future? sheesh.

The third shoe dropped: Yesterday my oldest son, who is in the Air Force, and for whom we have been counting the days until he got leave and could come home to see us, emailed me that he would not be home for Christmas. We are devastated at the news. Suddenly things are looking a lot less cheery around here.

THEN my car check engine light came on. The service dept. at the dealer recommended bringing it in this morning because they are unsure of what is happening in that hybrid complexity that seemed like such a good idea last summer. So that's where I will be, with two kids entertaining themselves, instead of my morning's work.

Alrighty then. Let's look around for some light and dig a little deeper for reason to rejoice. I have to remember the classical haiku poets who did not have central heat, or retirement plans, or any kind of vehicle. I am standing on my faith that God has good plans for us. And I am seeking rest in simple beauty.


Just weeds
beside the road glowing
cricket song

  -Andromeda Jazmon


Light catches
along the ribs of harvest
seeds humming

  -Andromeda Jazmon


ETA: Saturday morning I thought of another haiku for the third picture:

Bare trees
reflected in the creek
colors deepen

  -Andromeda Jazmon

Check out the Friday Poetry roundup at Miss Rumphius for more poetry therapy.