I’ve been writing poems again, and this week I thought I would share a few, in keeping with my earlier post on the importance of poetry in our lives. I’m also pleased to report that another friend has just published a book of poetry. I haven’t read it yet—just ordered it!—but I’ve read some of her work in the past. Barbara Gray’s poems speak forthrightly to our times and invite us to examine carefully and prayerfully our response to social and spiritual life events. I encourage you to check it out.

This first of my poems was inspired by the memory of flowers seen on a walk in Italy almost ten years ago.

Red poppies crouch

along the fenceline’s lowest rung,

evincing no desire

to climb higher.

Weathered walls wait

along the ridgeline’s svelte façade,

revealing no unease

in stiff spring breeze.

Sated soul breathes

along the pathway’s splendid view,

displaying no burning

for new yearning.

This second poem shares a family story. I think it’s self-explanatory.

In one twin’s hand was

half a worm.

His mom never said which half—

perhaps she didn’t think to look?

Instead, she looked for the

missing half,

which remained missing,

but sparked much laughter

in later years. Perhaps

in later years

he loved to take me fishing because

he knew the taste of worms.

Perhaps you might find opportunity to share wisdom from this final poem with the younger folks in your lives.

To my younger self:

Reasonable risk is rewarded.

Love is both all

and nothing you can imagine.

When you support others

in your work,

your work will thrive.

Spirit is the cantus firmus to your days.

Balance is the key to your thriving.

Open curiosity invites grace in all things.

What wisdom would you add to such a list?

All poems © 2021 by Shirin McArthur

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