Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poem: Magical Mark and a Moose Named McGee

 Magical Mark and a Moose Named McGee
Magical Mark went to Maine on a lark,
He met a large moose named McGee,
McGee liked to tromp through the words after dark,
And play hide and seek ‘neath the trees,

They met in a meadow last Monday at noon,
Both strangely bemused by their view,
Mark had a bunny and shiny black hat,
McGee had a funny left shoe,

Mark put the bunny inside of the hat,
Then waved his wand high with a flair,
With a presto and loud Bingle Bang Boom,
The bunny was lost in thin air,

McGee was confused by the magic of Mark,
He looked high and low for the hare,
He then felt a twitch on the hair of his back,
And turned with an innocent stare,

There on his back sat the bunny so fine,
Sipping a cup of hot tea,
McGee trotted off with the bunny in tow,
To eat some fine lobster and brie,

Mark had a lark on his first trip to Maine,
He knew that his magic went well,
But then he looked down and stared at his feet -
Here’s the funniest part of this tale,

On his left foot was a funny moose shoe,
Too big for a magical guy,
McGee so it seems was magical too
Mark pondered the where and the why -
Oh My!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Enjoy some old posts

Dear Readers,
I will be away from my computer for a few days, so I encourage you to read some older posts.  I began my blog on January 6, 2010.  Take a look and let me know if you find any you particularly like.  I will probably post something new on Wednesday, August 31st.   'Til then........

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poem: Free Verse

 Free Verse
I wrote a free verse
About this thing and that,
It flitted along
On a free versy track,

The words seemed to flow
With effortless ease,
Like clouds floating by
On a late summer breeze,

No pattern, no plan,
The words pattered on,
I wrote like the wind
From midnight ‘til dawn,

And when I was done
I read what I’d writ,
And laughed to myself;
It gave me a fit,

My free verse was not
A free verse you see,
It rhymed up and down;
All written by me,

So, tomorrow I’ll try
To do it again,
I promised free verse
To a poetry friend,

Alas and Egad
I guess he’ll be mad,
Check back next week
And see what I have.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poem: Wedding Words

 Wedding Words

Take my hand
I thee wed,
Beautiful words
A couple once said,
I promise to love you
And honor you too,
I promise to listen
And always be true,
I promise to be there
In good times and bad,
Even the times
 That are sadder than sad,
But today there is only
Sunshine and grace,
Today we take vows
Knowing we’ll face
The joys of a life
That are better times two,

I know that I’ll cherish
Each new day with you.

These beautiful words
A couple once said,
So lovingly spoken
The day they were wed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lessons Learned from To Kill a Mockingbird

Lessons Learned from To Kill a Mockingbird

“I don't know if it will help saying this to you... some men in this world are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us... your father is one of them.”   
– Miss Maudie Atkinson (neighbor to Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird)

I had the pleasure of watching the 1962 movie To Kill a Mockingbird last night.  It had been many years since I had seen this fine film.  Based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning book by Harper Lee, the movie captures the deep racial divide that raged in the south.  In the story, Atticus Finch, the widower father of Jem and Scout, defends a black man who is wrongly accused of rape.  Atticus, played by Gregory Peck, is the only lawyer in town who has the courage to defend Tom Robinson against the charges.  In doing so, he becomes a heroic figure in the black community.  They understand the risk he takes both professionally and personally.  His young children learn to appreciate their father’s integrity and courage as they witness the events that transpire.

I started thinking about who does the unpleasant work for us today?

It is all of us on our best day and none of us on our worst day.  We are capable of seeking justice, truth, equality and peace or promoting hatred, violence, intolerance and lies.  We can all be the Atticus Finch of our community.  We have a chance to be a hero in big and small ways - it all counts in the big picture of life.  When I watch To Kill a Mockingbird, I want to be the very best version of myself. 

We are so fortunate that Harper Lee put such lofty ideals into this compellingly honest book.  There is a reason why 50 years later it is still so beloved.  We recognize the timeless lessons and want to relearn them over and over again.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Poem: Majestic Monarchs

 Majestic Monarchs

Stained glass beauties
On paper thin wings,
Fragile yet strong,
Migrating across land and sea,
2000 miles
To Mexico’s highlands,

So much stands in their way,

Heat, predators,
Heavy rainstorms, shifting winds;
They fly when conditions are good,
Seeking shelter when threatened,
Never deterred from their goal,
Booking a one way ticket to
Their personal paradise,
Where majestic tall trees
Call their names,

Some believe butterflies
Are the spirits
Of Mexican ancestors;
Souls of departed loved ones
Returning home,

I believe they are a
A vivid reminder of the
Fragility of life,
The resilience of the spirit,
And the mysteries that abound in the universe,

There is much to learn from the majestic monarchs:
Stained glass beauties
On paper thin wings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poem: The Smallest of Things

The Smallest of Things

It was the smallest of things,

A child walking alongside her father,
 Holding fast to his hand,
Taking two strides to his every one,
Trying to keep up,
Him unaware of the pace he set,

We prepare children
For our fast paced world.
By walking fast, talking fast,
Hurriedly shopping, cooking, eating,
As we move, move, move,
They watch, watch, watch,

If a child led the way
They would slow down,
Taking time to
The smallest of things,

A crack in the walk,
A leaf on a tree,
Roses in bloom,
Clouds floating free,

Grass in their toes,
Dew in the morn,
A bunny’s pink nose,
A prickly thorn,

The smallest of things
Not seen anymore
By those who are grown,
But surely we’ve known
The joys of those
Things in the past.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Poem: How are We to Save the Children?

 How are We to Save the Children?

How are we to save the children?
unloved, crying,
denied human kindness, tender touch,
no way to defend against
the injustice,
the unlucky
timing and place of their birth,
into homes where abuse, anger,
foul language, foul everything becomes
all they know,

no choice does a child have
about family,

strange really,
how something so precious
can be tossed into such dismay,

How are we to save the children?

it’s simple but not so simple
as many things are,

desperation creates anger,
anger brings abuse,
abuse brings dismay,

but we are all accountable,

If we are to save ourselves
we must first save the weakest among us,

Save the children
and we will all be saved.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Comforting Rays of Sun

Comforting Rays of Sun

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine,
You make me happy
When skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear
How much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

When my three sons were little I would read to them every night and sing this song once they were tucked into bed.  I’m not sure why I chose this particular song, but it seemed to encompass all the good feelings I had about the boys. 

There are many truths in the song.  Children do indeed share sunshine, from their innocent and honest observations of the world to their excitement over a butterfly or balloon.  The enthusiasm radiates forth like the warm, comforting rays of the sun, brightening the grayest days. 

It’s also true that children can’t possibly know how much they are loved.  I think the first time I fully understood the magnitude and depth of my love for my children, I felt a physical ache in my heart.  It’s a love that lies deep in the structure of my being and will never be dislodged. 

The sunshine softens a bit as children age, to a warm, satisfying glow of remembered innocence.  As their mother, I send forth a prayerful hope that gray skies are few and sunshine true as they follow the path of their days. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Poem: Floating Free

Floating Free

Floating down the river,
Far from city sounds,
Crickets, frogs and owls,
The only noise around,

Dip your oar, then once again,
Move with practiced ease,
Slide along with gliding strokes,
Coast beneath the bending trees,

Linger in a shadowed cove,
See the moon rise high,
Breathe in stars and crisp night air,
See trout and bass swim by,

Peaceful place, peaceful thoughts,
Far from stress and strife,
Forget tonight that woes exist,
That worries come with life,

Floating down the river,
Far from city sounds,
Hope can rise so far from shore,
So far from your front door,

Hold that forevermore.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fountain Pen Wisdom

Fountain Pen Wisdom

If we both talk at once
Then what do we hear?

I know we aren’t friends,
But will you still share your crayons?

If we’re in the same canoe with one oar,
Is it better to take turns rowing or let one person do all the work?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fable: A Tale of Two Cats

 A Tale of Two Cats

Once upon a time there was a house where two people lived, but they are inconsequential to this story.  This story is about two cats, Hubert and Henry, who resided there and established the tone and tenor of the abode.  Hubert and Henry didn’t want to live together, had not chosen to share the space and found no common ground to forge a friendship.  Sharing anything was unthinkable.  Hubert slept on the green couch in the living room.  Henry curled up on the blue leather couch in the den.  Hubert ate in the morning, Henry at night.  Hubert liked to sit with the lady of the house and Henry kept to himself.  If the two cats passed in the hallway it generally included some hissing and growling before they separated.  There was no room for compromise, concession or cooperation.  

When a mouse found his way in through a small opening in the crawl space, Henry dispatched with it in short order.  Hubert feigned indifference and boredom.  As the days wore on, the mice invasion increased and Henry was unable to catch them all.  Unwilling to ask for help, the problem grew.  Hubert looked the other way.  

But then the problem started to affect them both.  The mice began to eat the cats’ food right out of their bowls.  Their very sustenance was being taken out from under their noses by the pesky intruders.  But the cats refused to join forces.  The growling and hissing increased, the hunger set in, but still no concession.  

Toward the end, the cats had grown quite thin and spent most of their days languishing on their separate couches dreaming in fits about tuna and chicken flavored cat food. Would they ever join together to work for the common good?

Extend a paw in friendship today 
and tomorrow your burdens will lighten.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Just an Old Vase

I have a vase that belonged to my mother.  There is nothing particularly special about the vase, except that it belonged to her.  It's kind of a nondescript green color with 1950's styling. 

After my mother’s death in 1997, my siblings and I sorted through her belongings and each took a few small mementos.  I ended up with the vase.  I remember mom cutting flowers from her garden and filling the vase with tulips or roses or lilies of the valley.  She loved flowers and spent a lot of time out in the garden.  It offered her a brief respite from raising five children and running a busy household.  

Now I have the vase and use it quite often, filling it with hydrangeas or fresh cut flowers from the market.  I think of her every time I pull it off the shelf like I did yesterday.  

Yesterday was my birthday.  My mother gave birth to me in 1953.  I received flowers as a gift so it gave me the perfect opportunity to use the vase. 

It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?  The things that connect the past to the present, that keep us rooted to the ground - the things that keep memories alive and allow us to create new memories using old objects – objects like an old vase that will be cherished always. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Harmonic Moment

I went to Staples Office Supply Store today to do some copying.  As I walked across the parking lot, I heard the distinct sound of a harmonica.  Turning,  I saw a little girl happily playing a tune while walking beside her mother.  It made me smile.

Once inside, I went to the copy center and discussed my order with an employee.  Suddenly, the simple harmonic strains filled the open space of the store.  People turned and smiled as they walked about looking for toner, paper, envelopes, etc.  The employee at the copy center looked at me and said, "It's unusual to hear music in here. It's an unexpected sound."

I thought to myself that an 'unexpected sound' was probably a really good thing.  I hope the little girl keeps playing.  We need more unexpected music in the world.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Poem: Light Spirit

  Light Spirit

Spinnin' ‘round,
Holdin' tight,
Peals of laughter,
Sheer delight,

Happy vibes
In the air,
Spirits light,
No worldly cares,

Childhood frozen
For a day,
Treasured time,
Time for play,

Simple fun,
Simply the best,
So much time
For all the rest,

Growing up can wait a day,
Or even longer some might say,
Enjoying this
Is just
Enough for now.

Photo and Poetry by Rita Bourland © 2011

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