PROMPT #361 – WE’RE THANKFUL

2021 is sprinting to the end and thank God it is! It’s been a struggle, but we’re surviving as best we can. Now, we stand on the cusp of our Thanksgiving holiday in the States. The precursor to Christmas is almost nigh. So we are asked to write our obligatory “Thankful” poem … anything with the word THANK in the title or in the body of your poem would be greatly accepted! So, for Marie and myself, we tell you that we are very thankful for each and every one of you who share this ‘familial’ garden with us. We appreciate you to no end and consider you all family as well as friends. Happy Thanksgiving to all who will be celebrating. And Happy you’re with us moving forward! Be thankful!

MARIE’S THANKFUL:

Late, but here!  🙂 

Rummaging Through Covid-19, and Finding Buts

It began with head pain that made previous headaches pale,
but it wasn’t the “alarming” head pain described by some.
I slept 21-22 hours per day for the first three days,
but I was able to sleep.
It brought an engulfing fatigue,
but energy is returning.
A low-grade fever made me feel sickly,
but it remained low-grade.  
I lost my ability to taste and smell,
but found the crunch of a toasted bagel spread with pretty white creamy cheese 
strangely satisfying.
Lockdown could have felt oppressively lonely,
but the love of my life was with me.
I was much sicker than he,
but I could enjoy watching him plant spring flower bulbs.
In isolation, depression could have decided to visit,
but unseasonable warmth and sun visited instead,
leaving depression no seat at the table.
My brain and eyes could not read,
but they are beginning to browse again.
Writing poems became impossible.
But here is one 
and, though it is not poetic,
I am thankful it came to call. 

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

WALT’S THANKFUL POEM:

WORDS OF THANKS

Friends gathered in celebration
a family in tradition, a condition
in which grateful hearts honor blessings
given. Thankful for a holiday
that can play up this function
of our human nature. Grand in stature,
a feast shared, prepared in love
to fete the historic past as the leaves
drift downward, parades move forward
and we eat ourselves into a long nap.

 © Walter J Wojtanik

91 thoughts on “PROMPT #361 – WE’RE THANKFUL

  1. THANKS FOR ANOTHER DAY

    Thanks be to God
    for another day….

    For another chance to inhale deeply,
    breath sweet mercies anew.

    For another chance to prance with new
    steps and trot along to new places.

    Another chance to witness the waking of the sun,
    wade in her warmth, salute her golden sunset.

    Another chance to feel the brilliance of a familiar
    hug, to sight the smiles of those we call family.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. Thanks for the Early Morning Clouds

    Birds sing in shadows
    as the maple next door
    raises its weary arms.
    Crimson leaves drift downward
    and dance with a breeze.
    The world outside lives
    and dies, but rings
    in the trunk remember the seasons.
    The laptop glows,
    while I look
    for emails from friends,
    and memories cast a spell.
    Fall cloaks itself in shadows
    for the fallen
    for a love
    I once knew.
    A poem I once wrote
    has two meanings
    as I read it once more.
    A quiet side street
    gives moments of solitude
    to reflect on the dreams
    no one else can see.
    Memories stir visions
    of the many lives seen.
    They’re mine, they’re mine,
    I say.
    I close my eyes
    and live them again.
    A house well-lived bears its age
    as a touch of red bleeds
    through a worn coat of paint.

  3. Great start Marie. And glad this piece came to visit. Your ordeal is one to take to heart. Hope you continue to progress. Even little bits are and improvement! I am so thankful for our friendship and connection!

  4. This prompt reminds me of Rainger and Robin’s great song from 1938. Many variations on the lyrics have been written over the years, but here’s the original, for those interested:

  5. Marie, I’ve long thought that there’s an essential optimism about you, and I think this offering today confirms that. Glad you’re mending.

  6. Appreciation

    Thank you for the friends I meet,
    also for the foods we eat,
    every liquid drop, each seed,
    and thank you for the love I need.
    Thank you for our lovely beach,
    the ocean so within our reach.
    Even though it’s not the norm,
    I appreciate the occasional storm.
    I’m thankful that it comes to mind 
    to smile a lot, and to be kind.
    It’s great to see, with honest clarity,
    I care enough for flawless charity,
    and I’m reminded every day
    I’m grateful that I’ve learned to pray,
    since it’s the perfect place to start,
    to ease my soul, to warm my heart.
    Thank you for my new found health,
    what I now know as my own true wealth.
    Thank you for the clean, fresh air,
    with sun and laughter, quite the pair.
    Thanks also for my art, my books,
    our old cat Max, his goofy looks,
    tee shirts, sweat pants, my faith too,
    and nothing’s better than our zoo.
    Thank you for my meditations,
    those middle of the day vacations.
    Thank you for our lovely home,
    and each and every published poem.
    Mostly, thanks for my awesome wife,
    the greatest part of a grateful life.

  7. Thank you is not enough for how genuinely grateful I am for all of my comrades in words, for the work done by the chief tillers and hoers, and last but not least, the most masterful and prolific reader and commentator, William.

  8. We Come Once More

    We come, once more, to this
    thankful
    season. A time of introspection – normal
    for poets
    whose cups spill over with syllables of love,
    with souls
    filled to the brim with joy and sadness, and hearts
    that beat
    out the rhythm of life and death
    with truth.

    #waltmarie

  9. Poetic Asides’ prompt is ekphrastic poetry so these are a combination of prompts.

    Divine Focus

    In Renoir’s painting “By the Seashore”
    the focus is on the young woman
    dressed in her dark blue bonnet and dress
    with cliffs and sea in the background.
    The woman, in her bamboo cane chair,
    has set her attention on the artist.
    I love gazing at the beauty and peace of the ocean,
    but help me remember to look at the Artist.
    Your focus is on Your passion, people.
    Thank You for creating ocean and people.
    Thank You for Your great love for me.

  10. Avocado Orchard

    Dan Schultz’s “Avocado Orchard”
    painted in oils, showing splashes of light
    off the green leaves with muted mountains
    in the background reflects the hike
    my sisters and I took yesterday
    as we went past a Carpinteria high school.

    The path weaved through
    many green houses, over bridges,
    by pomegranate trees, birds of paradise,
    various types of cactus and bushes
    and up and up the rocky, dirt path.
    We greeted fellow hikers as they passed.

    We took pictures of a wake of vultures
    relaxing in a shady wooded area,
    a spider climbing its nest with it’s
    cotton-like encased victim in tow,
    and us on a rustic bridge
    and at various points on the trail.

    A victory picture shows
    two of us making it to the top,
    while the third waited for us
    at the point where steepness began.
    Thank You, Lord, for avocados,
    warm November weather
    and love between sisters.

  11. Not Quite Uccello

    It didn’t look quite like the dragon
    of Saint George and the Dragon
    by Paolo Uccello—mean, green,
    agile and musclebound,
    rather the opposite, pale purple,
    cartoonish, clunky and ridiculous.
    The paddle boat my two sisters
    and I rode on in Ventura harbor
    contrasted significantly
    with the catamarans and yachts
    in the harbor. We had a blast
    pedaling away past all the boats
    and docks with barking seals
    and coyote statues standing guard.
    We joked about being lost
    in the open ocean and the headlines
    that would appear in the Ventura
    County Star–Coastguards Rescues
    Three Sisters in Purple Dragon.
    Thank You that no such thing happened,
    the only embarrassment being
    a boatload of college boys
    laughing and cheering.
    So fun!—Thank You, Lord!

  12. Thankful Even Though…

    Darkness surrounds
    but I’m awake again
    this time clear headed

    suddenly knowing a broken
    shard from the inside crack
    in the oven glass is lurking

    that the jagged seam found late evening
    is not sealed but gaping: its own hole
    that I confirm with finger, flashlight

    in the same moment know too
    that the double batch of chex mix
    filling two roasting pans plus

    a sheetpan of golden acorn squash
    have to go onto the compost
    for opossum and field mouse

    packrat and greedy raccoons
    who will lick buttery brown
    sugared paws and grinning, wash

    leaving me shattered
    by the implications of it all
    four days before Thanksgiving

    already turkey set to thaw
    ingredients staged, pies to bake
    vegetables to roast and the list

    five pages in my kitchen notebook
    and yet somehow after searching
    the bottom of the oven on hands

    and knees with magnifier and light
    I am simply left thankful for that
    unseen hand pushing me to awaken

    to re-check that crack discovered
    after a long day of baking when
    wiping the oven door, sad to see it,

    surely cosmetic, only to learn later
    of ‘spontaneous shattering’ often
    sending send razor sharp missiles

    into food: invisible, lethal
    my finger resting in the hole then
    as I begin in the predawn

    to empty out tins and containers
    already packaged for family and friends
    content to know that somehow

    some way there will be a new stove
    and everyone will be safe despite
    such horrific possibilities

    the menu a bit altered but as
    cold rises furred and feathered
    will have their own Thanksgiving feast.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Be well & thank-filled, as I am thankful for all of you. Such a supportive writing community with terrific hosts.

  13. this week my preacher asked if I had a poem on being grateful, and I told him I did, but I had to modify it a bit… He took it and used it as a responsive reading this morning in church… I am very grateful for that, and other things but my headache I have had most of the day I am not exactly happy for it… Here is that poem…

    Gratitude

    I am grateful
    For the day
    I have lived
    Though I am unwell
    For I have lived it.

    I am grateful
    For friends
    Who reach out
    When I don’t want
    To be reached.

    I am grateful
    For those
    I have lost
    For once
    They shared my life.

    I am grateful
    For being able
    To sing
    Though my cats
    Wish I wouldn’t.

    I am grateful
    For kindness
    That has been
    Given to me
    Though I don’t deserve it.

    I am grateful
    To be able to see,
    To hear, to touch,
    To taste and to smell
    This earth’s bounties.

    I am grateful
    For to read
    When there are those
    Who cannot read
    Or own a book.

    I am grateful
    For joy
    That makes
    My insides
    Sparkle and glow.

    I am grateful
    For this life’s
    Rough times
    For I have
    Learned difficult lessons.

    I am grateful
    For being forgiven
    When I did not deserve it,
    And loved
    When I was unlovely.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    July 29, 2018

  14. This is the edit

    Gratitude

    I am grateful
    For the day
    I have lived
    For each day
    Is a gift.

    I am grateful
    For friends
    Who reach out
    And share
    Their lives with me.

    I am grateful
    For those
    I have lost
    For once
    They shared my life.

    I am grateful
    For kindness
    That has been
    Given to me
    Though I don’t deserve it.

    I am grateful
    To be able to see,
    To hear, to touch,
    To taste and to smell
    This earth’s bounties.

    I am grateful
    For joy
    That makes
    My soul
    Sparkle and glow.

    I am grateful
    For this life’s
    Rough times
    For I have
    Learned difficult lessons.

    I am grateful
    For being forgiven
    When I did not deserve it,
    And loved
    When I was unlovely.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    July 29, 2018 Edited November 17, 2021

  15. Thanksgiving Day

    T his time of year always make me
    H appy because I am very thankful for
    A ll the blessings I have received.
    N o blessing, however, is better than
    K nowing that my eternal soul is
    S ecure in the hands of the one and only
    G od of the heavens and the earth.
    I will always be thankful for the
    V ictory Christ had on the cross that
    I nsured us a path to salvation through the
    N ew Covenant and a new way for us to
    G ain entry into Heaven to be with Him.

    D aily we should thank the Lord God
    A lmighty for all He has done for us
    Y esterday, today and forever

  16. Smaller, but Thankful

    Family is shrinking.
    I am thankful for everyone here,
    glad we are all in sync.
    Family is shrinking,
    but I am thinking
    how I hold you all dear.
    Family is shrinking.
    I am thankful for everyone here.

  17. THE TASTE OF THANKFULNESS

    I’m grateful that these lips can taste
    the deeds of thankfulness.

    To embrace the flavor of appreciation,
    share its manifold riches.

    Not to savor in the moment of indulgence,
    but rather give honor to whom honor is due.

    To grace the ears and hearts with the unrivaled
    weapon of thanksgiving.

    Benjamin Thomas

  18. THE TRUE FEAST

    Sometimes the word of thanks is indecisive—
    in our mouths like a hyper kinetic ping pong ball.

    Bouncing off the solid walls of an active mind.
    Offense, doubt, grudge, thoughts, fears we find.

    The word of thanksgiving can feed an entire
    village, slake one’s thirst, heal a famine.

    The word of thanksgiving can be the meat—
    to meet the need of the many.

    To defeat the woes of the weak and depressed,
    that they would possess the fatness of respect—

    and not be skinny.

    The word of thanksgiving is the true feast,
    the blessing, the word, the meat, that keeps on
    giving.

    Benjamin Thomas

  19. For the animals I loved…

    I am grateful
    For the blessing
    Of the animals
    Who shared my life….

    I am grateful
    For my cat Lucifer
    For he was lovely
    and loved my father.

    I am grateful for King,
    The dog that lived
    With my family
    Before I was born.

    I am grateful
    Cat, Lucy, Kris, Montana
    All cats I had briefly…

    I am grateful
    For Dezia
    The furball from hell
    Who ruled our house
    For twenty plus years.

    I am grateful for Ruby
    The possessed cat…
    Need I say more.
    I am grateful for Murphy,
    Lady B. Greta, Mollie,
    Oh how I loved Mollie,
    Sibby the sweet girl, Sooth,
    Tessa who ate my house,
    Her mother Gypsy,
    Clarabelle, and especially Dexter
    The white fluff dog
    That someone threw out,
    And how I missed them all when
    They were gone.

    The inheritance
    Ma left was a herd of cats..
    King Louis ruled,
    And was solid and wise,
    But there was Puff
    Who like to hang in trees,
    And Stripe, my gansta cat,
    Who when I got the boys fixed
    Went to find her some boys elsewhere…
    Ah Mira how I loved you and regretted
    Not keeping you inside but you
    Liked to wander,
    But came home to die…
    Zaney, Zelda, and Zeke
    All came from an abuse situation…
    And Zelda the last to go
    Liked to hear me read poetry
    As did Biddie…
    Thank you, girls.
    Butter was Louis’s brother,
    And a scrapper,
    Rattail BlackFace (the cat
    I named for her beautiful
    Onyx black shining face)
    Mother and son with
    BlackFace being the queen…
    Lord I loved that cat
    Who like me and greeted
    Me each time I got home.
    There were many more
    I said it was a herd…

    There were my guardians
    That lived within the house…
    Gus and June a gift from God,
    And how I cried when each of them died…
    Cassie, my bright shining girl,
    I can’t believe it is nearly four years
    Since I said goodbye…
    There was Pearl who died young,
    From a disease that in human form
    Took my brothers and my father…
    Now left is Tillie, my sassy girl,
    And Binkey my baby that I raised with a bottle,
    And outside and someday I hope
    He will be inside
    The kitten I call Zippy.

    I am thankful for their lives…
    I cried when they left me,
    But I wouldn’t have it any other way
    For not having them in my life
    Would have been my loss
    Of their gracing my life.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 22, 2021

  20. Pingback: To Thank God – eastelmhurst.a.go.go

  21. REMEMBERING THE LITTLE THINGS

    The big ticket items
    Like a spouse
    A family
    Children
    A home
    Safety
    Security
    Cars,
    Sunlight
    Stars
    Easy to be thankful for
    Yet going to the store
    Fresh water and more
    Simple things we adore
    So easily overlooked
    A meal well cooked
    The way we feel
    After a good night’s sleep
    When sleeping children
    Don’t make a peep
    Birds singing outside our window
    Green grass growing down below
    Strangers smiling
    Just because you’re there
    A moment to relax
    Comfy in your chair
    Morning coffee
    A perfect cup
    Nothing better
    To wake us up
    The warm slippers
    Across the cold floor
    Valuing that comfort
    Like ever before
    An attitude of gratitude
    Brings a light-hearted joy
    Like a day with that coffee
    So simple to enjoy

    PS Let’s not forget poets and each beautiful word, like magic written and living beauty heard! Thank you for all you create, just so you know, it’s really great!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. THANKS FOR THE POETRY
    (Apologies to Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin
    and their “Thanks for the Memory”)

    Thanks for the poetry:
    quaterns and villanelles;
    pantoums and paradelles
    and treochairs that carry airs
    that ring like tinkling bells.
    I thank you so much.

    Thanks for the poetry:
    verse structured and verse free
    commingled happily,
    and Candy’s form that sets a norm
    that she calls waltmarie.
    I thank you so much.

    Many’s the line that we pondered
    and many’s the word that we squandered.
    Oh, well, it’s been swell as we wandered.
    We’ve all had fun, and we’re not done.

    So thanks for the poetry,
    the scintillating verse,
    sometimes lengthy, sometimes terse
    that casts a light and bids me write
    for better or for worse.
    I thank you so much.

  23. For memories I am thankful…

    In the days when I was small,
    Our house was filled with people
    While the turkey was cooking,
    And dressing was made,
    With cranberries, sweet potatoes,
    And apples always apples…
    The children went out to play,
    And I would climb a tree,
    While my brothers laughed,
    And talked with each other.

    We would gather around the table
    Festive and bright
    With simple fare cooked
    By our parents’ hands.
    Da would be smiling and
    Ma watching us
    To make sure we minded our manners.

    We were thankful for our lives then,
    But looking back I am
    Thankful for the memories…
    For where the noise of laughter was,
    There is just the sound of me cooking
    A feast for me, and thinking back to the days
    When I was young,
    And a family that was us…
    Before I began school,
    My brothers began to fly,
    And my childhood became lonely
    Without them calling me skunk.

    They are all gone now,
    Da, Ma, my brothers three,
    My aunts, my uncles,
    And some of my cousins
    Gone from this life,
    But within the walls I hear
    Echoes of their voices
    Trapped within the wooded walls,
    And I whisper back to them…
    I haven’t forgot
    When we were young,
    And how brave and daring we were.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 25, 2021

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