Category Archives: poetry

Mojo Monday ~ Mary Anne Radmacher On Setting One’s Own Sail

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HONEY ALARM! 
by Mary Anne Radmacher
I amused clients today at a trade show.  While engaged in conversation, suddenly an alarm sounding like a motorcycle engine, birds chirping,  or chimes would  sound from my iPhone.  I had preset  alarms to sound throughout the day to remind me to SET MY OWN SAIL.  It’s a process I use when I know I am going to be very busy and really externally focused.  I use systems that remind me to see the joys, to act from my core impulses regardless of my setting. In a trade show there is a lot of pressure to fulfill the “role” of a creative person.  And yet, I wanted to remind myself, beyond expectations and roles…
No one is better at being me than me.  I had many opportunities to choose and embrace my own unique way.  And I did.  Today I remembered that clients do not choose my work because of an image or an expectation, but because it is created, uniquely, by me.   Throughout the day I would remind myself of this and say, “I set my own sails,” under my breath.  It was an odd invitation to patience, to empowerment and acceptance.  Yes! it was an invitation to see and savor the “honey in my heart.”
So those little reminder alarms helped set my own sail in stalled traffic as a commute that takes 20 minutes in off-time took over two hours. I set my own sail as calls from a toxic former associate came in.  Just because the phone rings does not mean I have to answer it.  That’s what voice mail is for.   That’s a “message” itself. In choosing to see the joys in my day, I get to determine the systems I will use, and what things will get a  “yes,” or a “no.”
I set my own sail.  I choose.  I govern.  I see through a lens of my choosing.  I make no one else’s decisions for them but I set my own sails. And perhaps tomorrow I will set a few less alarms for myself!



Writer and artist Mary Anne Radmacher shares that people have asked her over the years how she maintains a cheerful outlook in the face of clear and occasionally discouraging circumstances.  Her response is that her book called Honey In Your Heart: Ways to See and Savor the Simple Good Things is her visual, concise, inspiring answer to that question.

Here is an excerpt of the introduction: “My days are fully occupied.  The many commitments and tasks in each day would happily fill my minutes from dawn to dusk – if I let them.  I get to set aside time for the sweetest things in life.  I make room in my heart for ‘honey,’ those things which are sweet, healing, and restorative.  At the end of the day, these small sweetnesses make up the taste that lingers.  These become the real treasures that bring richness to life.”


Mary Anne Radmacher has touched the hearts of tens and thousands with her popular cards, books, posters, journals, and gift books.  She conducts workshops and writing seminars on living a full, creative, and balanced life. 

She is the author of the following books:
Lean Forward into Your Life
Us: Celebrating the Power of Friendship
May You Walls Know Joy
Courage Doesn’t Always Roar
Live with Intention
Live Boldly

Please visit her website: http://www.maryanneradmacher.net/

Mojo Monday ~ Honey In Your Heart

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Writer and artist Mary Anne Radmacher shares that people have asked her over the years how she maintains a cheerful outlook in the face of clear and occasionally discouraging circumstances.  Her response is that her latest book, only just released on January 24, 2012, called Honey In Your Heart: Ways to See and Savor the Simple Good Things is her visual, concise, inspiring answer to that question.
Here is an excerpt of the introduction: “My days are fully occupied.  The many commitments and tasks in each day would happily fill my minutes from dawn to dusk – if I let them.  I get to set aside time for the sweetest things in life.  I make room in my heart for ‘honey,’ those things which are sweet, healing, and restorative.  At the end of the day, these small sweetnesses make up the taste that lingers.  These become the real treasures that bring richness to life.”

The book has three sections.  The first is called Ways to See.  This is where Mary Anne explores “some practical actions that create space in her heart and life for the more gracious activities, the small celebrations.”  

The second is called Savor.  Here is where you “will find many invitations to celebrate and savor the sweetness, that festive firework of a ‘Yay!’ that explodes in your soul when something seems a bit like a holiday.”  Here she “shares phrases, poems and thoughts that might inspire you to see the honey in your day that you’ve yet to notice.”  

The third section is called Simple, Good Things and this is where Mary Anne shares things that drew an audible “yay” in her experience.  She shares that she wants her list “to be the inspiration for you to begin your own list.”


Honey In the Heart is a beautiful book filled with the inspirational writing and colorful art of Mary Anne Radmacher.  Here is an example of beautiful word art that appears in the book.


She poses thoughtful questions ~ “What is the first things you set your sights upon in the morning?  And how do you invite yourself in to a day that you intend to savor?”




She shares some of her poetry.  Here is a poem about releasing pain from the book:

My pain stays in my wardrobe.
To wear it is always a choice…
The painful lyrics line my shelves.
Each page gives pain its voice…

My pain is in my history,
Giving impulse to my present view
It’s brought me where I’m standing and now
I’ll tell a bit to you –

For in the telling of the tale, pain feeds its weary soul.
In the space it takes in telling are my hours and
minutes – stole

From the freshness of this moment, from the truth of
this day’s dawn, pain steals and rakes and rolls upon the
soiled beauty I garden on.

My pain’s been ever with me.
But I tell you this time, clear,
It may have some this far with me,
but today – I’ll leave it here.


The book closes beautifully with these words in the Afterword from Mary Anne.


Mary Anne Radmacher has touched the hearts of tens and thousands with her popular cards, books, posters, journals, and gift books.  She conducts workshops and writing seminars on living a full, creative, and balanced life. 
She is the author of the following books:
Lean Forward into Your Life
Us: Celebrating the Power of Friendship
May You Walls Know Joy
Courage Doesn’t Always Roar
Live with Intention
Live Boldly
Please visit her website: http://www.maryanneradmacher.net/

Mojo Monday ~ Phenomenal Woman

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Fairly recently I was thinking that someone needed to take Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman and put it into song.  Well a friend of mine posted this video of Candaian artist Amy Sky performing this poem as a song.  So fabulous and inspirational. 

Here is a little story about how Amy Sky got permission to turn the poem into a song:

“I carried this incredible poem around in my purse for months, while trying to contact Dr. Maya Angelou to get her permission to put it to music. One day she showed up — serendipitously – at a taping of the Dini Petty show that I was also on. When I told her I wanted to set the poem to music, she said she had always wanted it to be a song, and gave me permission on the spot. Not only was I thrilled to be able to sing out her inspiring words of self- affirmation night after night, I learned a very valuable lesson about intention. I passionately believed the poem should be a song, and the universe heard me and responded. I encourage anyone who has a dream, no matter how out of reach it seems, to keep it in your purse – keep it close to your heart. Travellers who undertake a journey for the right reasons, are always helped by invisible hands.”

Enjoy!

Phenomenal Women

by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Mojo Monday ~ Poetry for Mother Earth

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Image Digitally Created by Michelle Fairchild in 2008
It seemed fitting to bring together poetry and thoughts about our Mother Earth seeing as how April is National Poetry Month and the 41st Anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd.  

Our planet absolutely astounds me.  There are so many descriptive words that come to mind while contemplating our shared globe: wondrous, remarkable, amazing, incredible…and yet none of them can really do it justice.  How do you describe something so sacred and miraculous?  

What I know is that we do the best we can using our sacred earthly tools such as words, both prose and poetry, paintings, songs, dances, culinary arts, rituals and activism.  

In honor of our big blue planet here is a compilation of prose, poetry and song to honor her.

My Dearest Mother Earth, 

Your beauty is astounding
so much so that it brings tears

to the eyes of those who really see you

the greens and blues, the red, browns and yellows

the rainbows that you sometimes wear like magical jewels

and underneath your stunning appearance

you are humble
 

You are a provider
a giver of life

if it were not for you

and the water that covers

two thirds of your surface

there would be no life

and yet you are humble
 

There are those
in certain circles

who are concerned

about worshipping you

as a deity

and yet it seems

that since our very

lives and survival

depends on you

that there needs to be

greater Reverence in how we view you
 

There needs to be more
love and respect

in our actions and thoughts

towards you

and while we can celebrate

that forty-one years ago

inspired individuals celebrated

the first Earth Day on

April 22, 1970

we must also honor that

every day is Earth Day.


~ By Michelle Fairchild
In the Midst of Pain

By Gregg Krech 

Once, not long ago, it was a hearty tree
providing shade, food, and oxygen—

a world of its own.
 

For a hundred years,
perhaps more,

it flourished with breath and life.
 

Then it was cut, sawed, ground, and pressed
until it found itself resting softly

between two friends.
 

Peacefully and patiently
it waited for the moment

it would burst forth into the world

and exercise the meaning of its life.
 

And now that moment has come.
It gracefully caresses my cheek,

wiping the tears from my eyes

and taking on my pain as its own
 

All those years
as seed, tree, wood

and tissue

in preparation for the fleeting moment

it would console my sadness.
 

As it gives its life to comfort me
I almost failed to see the kindness in its deed.
 

Wrapped up in self-centered pain, tear-blinded,
I nearly missed its selfless service.

Who will give witness to such compassion if not me?
 

 Shriveled and soaked, it died while serving a fool
who discarded thousands of its brothers and sisters

without a thanks –not one tear shed in gratitude.
 

Teach me to see through the teardrop, that in the midst of pain
I may understand the true source

of the softness against my face.
 

Teach me to cry with my eyes wide open.

“With My Own Two Hands”

I can change the world
With my own two hands
Make it a better place
With my own two hands
Make it a kinder place
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands
I can make peace on earth
With my own two hands
I can clean up the earth
With my own two hands
I can reach out to you
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands
I’m going to make it a brighter place
With my own two hands
I’m going to make it a safer place
With my own two hands
I’m going to help the human race
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands
I can hold you
With my own two hands
I can comfort you
With my own two hands
But you’ve got to use
Use your own two hands
Use your own
Use your own two hands
With our own
With our own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands

~ by Jack Johnson featuring Ben Harper

Share your thoughts about Mother Earth.  
If you feel inspired write her a letter, a poem, a song and share it with us here.

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

Mojo Monday ~ Poetry

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po·et·ry  [poh-i-tree] 
–noun

1.  the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
2.  literary work in metrical form; verse.
3.  prose with poetic qualities.
4.  poetice qualities however manifested: the poetry of simple acts and things.
5.  poetic spirit or feeling: The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
6.  something suggestive of or likened to poetry: the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.

The Academy of American Poets, which was founded in 1934,  led the initiative to designate April as National Poetry Month. Their goal was to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. The first National Poetry Month was held in April of 1996.  The Acadeny of American Poets has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.

 




































































































































































































































































Magnetic Fridge Poetry

























































































The goals of National Poetry Month are to:
  • Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
  • Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
  • Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
  • Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
  • Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
  • Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
  • Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry
They also created a list called 30 Ways to Celebrate.
Here are some of examples from the list:

Poetry as an art form
Additional Resources:

National Poetry Month


What are your thoughts about poetry?
Were you exposed to poetry as a child?  
Do you have a favorite poem?  

Do you write poetry?  Would you share one with us?
Poet Katie Makkai performing Pretty

Finding Freedom

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Finding Freedom
by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

What if we woke up today

And the old stories didn’t have their sting?

What if we didn’t resist what there is to do?

And set about our tasks, whether grand or mundane

As if we were serving the world through our tending.

What if we gave ourselves permission to love,

really love,

those who previously, we framed with our thoughts

as if we always know how they will be,

What if we treated them differently? Made ourselves.

What if we did a simultaneous cleansing,

a right of forgiveness…

If we took responsibility for what has gone before

and then choose to move forward powerfully

Instead of guiltily.

We know, how guilt does not inspire

but condemns us to hidden silences.

Let us be honest with ourselves

If things have not turned out as we hoped for.

If our dreams feel dashed or doomed.

Just say it.

Are there ties that need cutting?

Are there others that need re-tieing? Mending?

Heal it, Mourn it.

But only for less than a day or two

Then it is time to move forward.

Slowly, surely we move toward hope again.

So – it is foolish to love again, try again, risk again.

But what else is there to do?

Really. Really?

We are living in a broken hearted world.

Because some of us are hungry.

Some of us are hurting.

Some damage is too far done.

To admit what is, is not to enforce a negative reality.

We have what we have and words and thoughts

do not change what we have.

But we can change our futures.

We can love beyond reason.

We can choose to move ahead with as much joy as we can find.

Some of us are happy – some of us have enough.

We can rejoice in what we have,

Guilt is not the bedfellow of true joy.

Let us be truly truly thankful for what we have.

And when we are, what we no longer need

Comes into clear view. And we can make changes.

We see how we can give, and serve.

Finding freedom comes from telling ourselves the truth

About us.

Finding freedom comes from admitting and releasing.

Finding freedom comes after a lifetime of pain or pleasure.

When we allow ourselves to see what is truly here.

In our lives in the world.

A space is opened up in us when we are no longer

hiding from our conscience, our soul, our heart.

Finding freedom comes after grieving.

Freedom is not free, or easy, or even likely.