July 31, 2012

Good morning, and happy Tuesday!  I was up early this morning to check out the damage in our yard from last night's unexpected thunderstorm.  From our bedroom window at midnight we could see our patio umbrella sailing through the air and a tremendous thump let us know that our patio table had also taken flight.  But this morning I was delighted to see that both umbrella and table had survived the storm, although the table, now upside down, cushioned its fall and saved the glass top by landing on a now defunct pot of geraniums.  What a strange summer this has been!

With July slipping into August, my thoughts turn to happy memories of county and state fairs.  I always loved visiting my cousins in Indiana and admiring all their 4-H ribbons at the county fair, and our family's trip to the State Fair in South Dakota each year was always a highlight!  How I loved the beautiful Swiss cows and their soulful eyes, the intricate needlework displays and the rows of gleaming jellies and jams.  In honor of my agricultural roots, here's a poem by Walt Whitman to greet the day:

A Farm Picture
Walt Whitman

Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sunlit pasture filled with cattle and horses feeding,
And haze and vista, and the far horizon fading away.

Field of hay, Cades Cove, Tennessee

July 30, 2012

Happy Monday morning!  To start the work week off on a peaceful and serene note,
here is a lovely haiku from one of Japan's leading haiku poets, Kobayashi Issa (whose name,
aptly enough, means a cup of tea!):

From the bough
floating down the river,
insect song.

River at the Living History Museum, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Have a peaceful and serene day, and I'll see you tomorrow!

July 29, 2012

Welcome to my blog!  I am so happy you chose to spend a few minutes of your day with me.  This is a brand new blog and I am sure there will be many changes as I work my way through this new (to me) world of blogging but I am excited to share this adventure with you!  Hopefully the title gave you a hint as to what I hope to accomplish with my daily posts--my goal is to share a little of my life each day through poems and photography that I hope will move you, inspire you or just make you think about something in a different way.  Not all the poems will be well known, and I'm sure many won't be considered a 'classic' but I'm not going to pretend to be a poetry expert--I'm just going to have fun sharing the poems that have meant something to me through the years. 

My love of poetry began with my maternal grandmother, who taught school in a one room schoolhouse in Indiana during WWI.  She had the amazing ability to roll out a poem by memory each day--be it sunshine, rain, a flower, a hummingbird at the kitchen window--she could find the perfect words for the occasion.  My mother and aunts treasured poetry as well and I feel blessed to have learned early about the power of words to inspire and uplift the heart.  

So here is my first poem (edited for length...if you enjoy these verses you can find the entire poem online at http://www.eliteskills.com/c/375 ).  I hope you enjoy it, and please pour a cup of tea and join me tomorrow! Until then, have a beautiful day.

The Day Is Done 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

...Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

My grandmother with my cousin Brenda (on the right) and me