Well, hello autumn.
Hello, election season.
Hello, dark mornings and short days.
My sisters-in-verse and I have met another month with a poem. We chose gratitude as a theme because, well, tis the season. And lord knows we need to counter the dour daily energies and news stories and Twitter wars in the world right now.
And our form? The terza rima — a funny little slip of a thing that reminds me of knitting (ok, so I don’t knit but I’ve learned the basics several times) in that you pull a stitch from the middle of each stanza into the next one and build the rhyme scheme off of that. Throw a little iambic pentameter in and you’ve got yourself a poem.
I tried a couple. They weren’t easy. I felt constrained — more than I often do by form — but puzzles are supposed to keep us fresh, so what’s the harm? Here goes….
Gratitude in Rhyme
by Liz Garton Scanlon
Times like these, true gratitude’s a stretch –
days hammer on, the pitch of life insists.
Amazing grace that visits every wretch
(and finds and saves and otherwise persists)
seems strangely quiet, absent in the din,
as we reveal ourselves – we can’t resist.
Our darkest thoughts are matched by deed akin –
are we not better in our hearts than this?
What if we all start fresh, just now, begin:
Hot tea, good dog, obligatory kiss.
From there, go bigger – promise, listen, vote –
before you know it, moments of real bliss.
Because we have each other, we’re afloat.
We try, we love, we write this thank you note.
Half Empty or Half Full?
By Liz Garton Scanlon
My neck bends upwards, gazing at the moon.
I ask: is it half empty or half full?
It’s all in how you see this silver spoon,
this tree, its leaves; this sheep its autumn wool.
Is every thing just resting on the verge,
the push that feeds into tomorrow’s pull?
Even optimists raise up a dirge
into the void, the middle of the night –
the owl cries, all aching hearts converge.
But then it’s dawn: the breeze, the birds, the light.
Have faith, the moon will wax again to right.
And, in celebrating the end of another year writing with my favorite gals, why not run off and read their terza rimas, too?
Sara Lewis Holmes
Laura Purdie Salas
Plus, while you’re at Laura’s, you can hook into all the Poetry Friday poems because she’s hosting today! Hurrah! Enjoy. Be well.