Friday, April 19, 2024

Gladness (in spite of sadness)

For today's prompt, pick an emotion, 
make it the title of your poem, 
and write your poem.

I have received so many kind words, 
messages, hug and heart emojis,
and prayers and I thank you all!
there is gladness!

Grief keens awareness
 and renewed gladness for life's simple blessings, doesn't it?

In the midst of so much taken, always still so much remains 
Kindness and compassion waken where trouble and sorrow pains 
Time is ever but a Lender; have-and-hold, a sacred lease  
Gratitude, Time's humble Spender; Gladness is its masterpiece 

Gladness finds a tender foothold in hugs, kind words, tears and prayers
Where, in grief would be hope's threshold without these and God who cares?  
How could we survive joy's sorrow? Hark, sweet words of old proclaim,
'Yesterday, today, tomorrow, Jesus Christ remains the same'

Goodness and mercy still follow; Gladness grips the Shepherd's staff 
Without Him hope would ring hollow; love would forget how to laugh
Death's shadow would not release us; but God changes everything 
Gladness shouts the name of Jesus; through Him, Death has lost its sting  

© Janet Martin

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not [a]want.
2 He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures;
He leads me beside the [c]still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord


For today's prompt, pick an emotion, 
make it the title of your poem, 
and write your poem.

 It bleeds from my eyes
How it aches in my soul
It authors heart-cries
Where death leaves a large hole 

It bids me to fly
To the hills of God's Word
And like David, cry
'My help comes from the Lord'

© Janet Martin

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

It Would Be Easy To Despair...or Hope's Great Counterclaim

For today's prompt, write a pessimistic poem.
I shared the verse below on yesterday's post HERE
I am sharing it again today because it felt
like a divine reminder when I needed it most!

Psalm 116:13
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
(read the whole glorious chapter HERE)

Sometimes I forget...
The cup of salvation and the name of the Lord
supply every need!
Hallelujah and thank-you, dear Savior!

Sometimes I forget, happiness in this world
is not the end goal!
(But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
 and all these things shall be added unto you-Matt.6:33)

(dear readers, not from this community.
I am mourning the loss of a neighbour and friend,
a mother to three children, very dear to my heart
and who still visit on a let's-go-for-a-walk-to-Janet-whimπŸ’“
bearing gifts of farm fresh eggs, cheese, fresh cookies, etc.
and always so much love.)

but through Christ, we have Hope's great counterclaim to despair!

Sharing a few recent YouTube uploads to cheer us on

It would be easy to despair
To be crushed beneath weight of care
Where the world at large has gone mad
Testing the quests that make us glad

It would be easy to lose sight
Of faith's position of delight
If we fixate on what we see
Of suffering's great misery

It would be easy to fall prey
To gloom and doom's cheerless dismay
It seems like Satan's bag of tricks
Has left a world no one can fix 

It would be easy to believe
The one whose hate aims to deceive
To plant a seed of doubt, to lure
Us from God's promises secure 

It would be easy to lose heart
As we watch the world fall apart
Because of the rejection of
God's Cornerstone of Truth and Love

It would be easy to give in
Crushed by consequences of sin
Without salvation's brimming cup
It would be easy to give up

...ah, here we find Hope's Deathless Rose
Salvation's cup still overflows
Redemption's flood still runs between
The part we see and the Unseen 

For this is not the Destiny
This is The Joy that Waits To Be
Lift up your eyes, behold the Yet
That we are so prone to forget

Remember, God is good and kind
He opens eyes, otherwise blind
Do not lose heart, do not despair
Time, but the path we pave/brave with prayer

© Janet Martin

2 Pet. 1:3-4
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness 
through the knowledge of Him who called us by His owna glory and excellence.
  4Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, 
so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
 now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
 and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, 
for great is your reward in heaven, 
for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”

John 15:9-11
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. 
Remain in My love.
10If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, 
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
  11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you 
and your joy may be complete.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Sometimes the Past Feels Like a Dream...

Psalm 116:13
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
(read the whole glorious chapter HERE)

The pink-bud blaze
before first-leaf green haze...

Sometimes the past feels like a dream or scenes an artist drew
Its measure of moments like mist of seasons spilled and spent
Like Aprils, marbled into blurs of green, gold, gray and blue
Or like a book we read but could not keep, a volume lent

The joys of life teach us to sing, its griefs teach us to pray
To lift salvation’s cup and call upon the name of God
The older that I get the more I attend to Today
Before its dust settles in Past’s impenetrable sod

Sometimes the panoramas of What Once Was steals my breath
Like fragments of a melody, I have not heard in years
Rekindling awed awareness of time’s daily birth and death
Of eulogies composed of words and deeds, laughter and tears

Sometimes the past feels like a dream of flowers smelled and felled
Or snowflakes hardly held before they melt into thin air
Today is like a ballad borne on notes that play then meld
To mosaics of sound and sight that slipped from here to there

© Janet Martin

Sometimes the past feels like a dream of flowers smelled and felled...

Monday, April 15, 2024

(Because) We Never Know From Day to Day...

Job 14:1-2
Man, who is born of woman,
is short of days and full of trouble.
Like a flower, he comes forth, then withers away;
like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.

We are a community in mourning
after a tragic traffic accident

Death has a way of re-reminding us 
to look our beloved families, neighbors and friends in the eye
and love them like we were on borrowed time!

We never know from day to day what will unfold of joy or grief
Life grants no guarantees but one; death an ineludible Chief
'Man born of woman’s, days are few and full of trouble', we are told
We never know who will be next to slip beyond our feeble hold
The best that we can do is live and love as if today could be
The day of lasts before we step from time into eternity

We never know when joys we often take for granted will conclude
How kinder we would be, how gentler, humbler our attitude/gratitude
The best that we can do is trust the Giver as the Taker too
And not demand an explanation when a numbered day comes due
The best that we can do is make the most of Opportunity
Because we never know from day to day, what waits to be

© Janet Martin

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Today Would Be Your Birthday...(or, Treasured Legacy)

For today's prompt, write a living poem.

Today and every day  is our
lifelong legacy in the making!
Let's make it treasure-ableπŸ’

This poem is about a Treasured Legacy I inherited
simply by being her granddaughter!!

Both of my gramma's birthdays were in April,
one on the 3rd, and one on the 13th!
(I hope a kind cousin or sibling corrects me if I got the dates confused...)

Today would be your birthday...

Caught by surprise...

I think if we would line up the stitches she sewed in her lifetime
they would reach to heaven and back
So many quilts and comforters for family and charity.
After her family was grown, so much mending
for her daughters and daughter-in-laws!
Her hands, when she was feeling well, were never idle!

My last 'family picture' of my grandparents.

She cared for our 'special Aunt' until she was no longer able
Then Special Aunt was welcomed into the homes of her siblings.

Today, would be your birthday
Dear Gramma, your legacy
Is the most treasured hand-me-down
That you have left for me
Life wasn’t always easy
Yet, your faithful un-complaint
Often made me wonder if you
Were a gram-disguised saint
Humble, frugal and generous
You treasured each grandchild (all forty-something of us!!)
And always made each one of us
Feel special when you smiled

Your sparkling eyes and helping hands
And wisdom-seasoned speech
Instilled within your precious ‘grands’
Sound truths for us to teach
Where now by time’s fleet sleight of hand
I am a gramma too
Trying to emulate the love-
-liness I learned from you
Trying to hand down memories
That, by God’s grace will be
In the heart of every grandchild
A treasured legacy

© Janet Martin

A few more Gramma mementos...

Waste not, want not
She said
as she shook the crumbs
from the bottom of a bread bag
for the birds
or her next casserole
placing the bag in a drawer for re-use
as she brought someone a freshly baked treat

Waste not, want not
She said
as she saved the yarn ends
to hang in trees
so the birds can have some color
in their nests too

Waste not, want not…
and rags were cut into strips
sewn together
and braided for mats (see picture above)
fabric scraps became comforters and quilts
for the needy
…or here and there perhaps a stuffed toy
Pie dough left-overs were scraped
from the counter-top and
put in a dish in the fridge
for next time
and seeds were collected from her garden
for next year
and empty spools were saved
for crafts and creations (see pictures above)
and she would tell me of their wedding
during the depression years
and how they had to choose
between either turnips or potatoes
for their meal
and how her aunt took a cherished vase
out of her china cupboard
and gave it to her
as a wedding gift
because there was no money
and then she would often repeat
‘He who does not value a penny
does not deserve a dollar’
She never heard
Reduce, reuse, and recycle
But she reminded me constantly
That no generation is immune
To hard times or want
As the root cellar was filled with
Preserves from her garden

I am glad to have known
This part of her
As I attempt to pass some of Grandma on
To the next generation
In waste not, want not

© Janet Martin

I am privileged to be living  in the house 
that belonged to one of the most beautiful people I ever knew;
 my Grandma.

And then, a new song uploaded today by two artists I LOVE,
fitting perfectly with today's prompt

Best of the Blessed or Ignorant Bliss

For today's prompt, write a living poem.

The lap of luxury, I think
Is a bottomless well of ink
A wildness in the untamed grace
Of what to some, seems commonplace
A keen awareness of The One
Whose Sovereignty can't be outdone 
As, from each breath that He so wills
A sense of unplumbed wonder spills

Surely, best-of-the-blessed are we
who see through eyes of poetry
who find in the grind of life's grit
a kind of awe, in spite of it
to kindle, through its thick and thin
a mighty ocean 'neath our skin
where teeming tempests tug and roll
and rush the regions of the soul 
evoking in its sweep and surge
a sense of living on the verge
of  breath-stealing discovery
where almost-poems wait to be
set free, beneath the poet's pen
by we, Best of the Blessed, Amen 

p.s. (and if this is not how it is
rob us not of ignorant bliss
Indulge our erring theory
For the fine sake of poetry
Leave us to mine the deepest sigh 
for joy that money cannot buy
where quests to tame and wrest the roar 
of waves before they meet the shore
requires more than meets the eyes
of all who have not heard the cries
of a poem adrift, at sea
doomed to endless obscurity 
without whispered lifelines, ink-spun
to draw them from oblivion)

© Janet Martin

The best poems have no words!
God's love language is a universal dialect!

Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!

Friday, April 12, 2024

A Funny Business, This

 Today's Poem-a-day challenge from Robert Lee Brewer @ Writer' Digest

'For today's prompt, write a funny poem.
Keep in mind that funny isn't always "ha-ha" funny.
For instance, your poem could include a funny smell
or talk about a funny (or weird) person or situation.
And if you've ever hit your funny bone,
that pain is not making anyone laugh.
So write a funny poem, whether it's for a laugh or not.'

The other evening it was man (woman) against nature
as the lawn rollers showed up before I was quite finished raking
up pine cones etc.! Nature won and woman got drenched
but lawn is raked and rolled! Happy dance!

There is something exhilarating about racing against a storm!
Akin to the exhilaration of being surprised by a kind of joy
we can only discover as we grow older!
The kind of joy only humble gratitude grants!
Gratitude for life's simple things.
Sunsets...(an hour after the storm)


and so much more!

A funny business this;
The older that we get
The more we find joy in what is;
This, not forgotten yet πŸ˜‚

A funny business this;
The sense that humour grants
Like nicknaming Father Time's kiss
Reliable Romance

Let's laugh; be young at heart
Let's refuse to bemoan
The canvas that showcases art
That rankles/wrinkles skin and bone

Let's not waste happiness
In worry or regret
For every day leaves one day less
Of reasons to forget  😢

Yes, there are pains and aches
Social life turns into 
Gatherings at funerals and wakes
As death collects its due

Honing humble surprise
A funny business this;
The best of life cut down to size
Is Gratitude's sweet bliss

© Janet Martin

Teach us to number our days, 
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Before Sentimental Surprise Took Me In Its Embrace...

My husband wants to get rid of
what he sees as a gnarly eye sore...

and I see as a work of art...
both Season-art and Memory-art.
maybe because another old apple tree 
from my childhood made me see this one
through wizened eyes...
This tree my Grandpa planted,
long before we bought it when we bought their house...
this tree my children climbed,
and now my grandchildren,
along with many others that passed through my care

Here's a bit of season-memory art...

I didn't know the apple tree 
of long ago would bend
With summer fruit, 
long after the pursuits
Of youth would end 

I didn't know the tree that taught
Us how to work and play
where apples fell 
like yellow snow
would never go away

...where mother's apron bulged as we
Helped fill its cotton cart
With pungent gold,
That we could hold
Forever in the heart  

Before I was blindsided by
Moment's momentous haste
 I thought that Time 
was on my side
With quite enough to waste

Before sentimental surprise
Took me in its embrace
And showed to me 
An apple tree
Is never commonplace

© Janet Martin

This photo and memory tidbit from a previous post HERE

The Harvest-apple tree on the old home place.
How well I remember its petal-snow,
before the dirt floor was covered in golden fruit, 
gathered up in our cotton-dress 'baskets'
 carried to the house for apple goodies, 
but mostly canned apple sauce.

Sometimes The Past Revisits Us

 poem-a-day challenge from Robert Lee Brewer @ Writer's Digest

The Past is not always done with
just because it was ages ago-

 Let's make the kind of memory that is second to none...
Jim couldn't resist the 'purple throne'πŸ˜‚πŸ’–

Sometimes, when I am feeling brave and strong, I gently trace
The outline of mementos that compile, year after year 
But, then I put them back where they belong; content to place
Them in Bygone's embrace, and concentrate on Now and Here 

Because time has a way of stealing seasons, still in hand
(How subtly they become part of what nothing can erase)
I want to feel the full force of Time's little tricks of sand
Composing the mementos that I sometimes gently trace 

Darling, the days that yet remain are dwindling one by one
Let's look each other in the eye, laugh more, indulge in love 
And make the kind of memory that is second to none
To gently trace, sometimes, when we feel brave and strong enough

Sometimes the Past revisits us, for better or for worse
Today is always new, rife with fresh opportunities
To bear in mind that which becomes a guest we bless or curse
Let's do our best to turn each day into fond memories

 © Janet Martin

A few sudden deaths recently,
 have reminded me of what I
 (not always, but sometimes)  
lose sight of;
 Us πŸ’“

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

On Thinking Better

For today's prompt, take the phrase "(blank) Better," 
replace the blank with a new word or phrase, 
make the new phrase the title of your poem, a
nd then, write your poem.

This poem was influenced by Impending Planting Season!!😊

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:...

Then, we should watch well, Thought's Seed Jar...

Because thought turns to word or deed
And these become the scattered seed
That bears the fruit that will affect
More than personal intellect
Before we speak or act, we ought
To mind the things that fuel thought
Before our words and deeds comprise
Either benefit or demise

Before the telling ways of choice
For better or for worse, give voice
To what was hid, but not for long
Before it turns to right or wrong
And helps or hinders you and me
From being who we ought to be
Perhaps we should pay better heed
To Thought, the sire of word and deed 

The Fount from which attention drinks
Rouses and nurtures how one thinks 
Where Influence and Want run rife
Through The Control Tower of  Life
Forging the font of word and deed
Soon deftly strewn like potent seed
Then, we should watch well, Thought's Seed Jar
For, how we think is how we are

 Janet Martin

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent 
or praiseworthy—
think about such things.