poetry Archives - saxtonstudio blog
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A Month of Poetry

“I say, ‘Get me some poets as managers.’ Poets are our original systems thinkers. They contemplate the world in which we live and feel obligated to interpret, and give expression to it in a way that makes the reader understand how that world runs. Poets, those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst that I believe we will draw tomorrow’s new business leaders.”

– Sidney Harman, CEO Multimillionaire of a stereo components company
from Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

……………………….

Be still my heart. April is National Poetry Month, and all the world is celebrating poetry’s glories. Well, maybe not the whole world, but surely as it runs in my blood, I can revel in the fact that poems and poets get a broader spotlight.

So I hope you’ll read some. Write some. Sing some. Because the world needs poetry – if only to remember to savor things like words and feelings and moments; if only to soften the rough edges or roughen the soft ones. Because, whether beautiful or raw, simple or complex, poetry has the power to reveal and re-shape our emotions; to know expression differently; to connect with the human experience.

I’ll leave you with this gem for now. Expect more poetic sharings to come.

 

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Honoring Mom

Carolyn Naught Saxton / 1920 - 1980

Carolyn Naught Saxton / 1920 – 1980

[Yes, two Mother’s Day posts today! Because it’s become a bit of tradition, I share this one as I have in years past.]

When I was a little girl, my mother was “my world”. She did all the things you’d expect a mother might do, like hold your hand, read you a story, fix meals, teach manners, dry tears, cheer you up and on. She also loved to laugh. She loved to give. She loved life, and tried to worry only on Tuesdays.

And while she left this world too soon, she left gifts. Cherished, timeless words; gifts from the heart, mind and spirit.

So on this day reserved for mothers, I’d like to share some of those words, from one of her books of poetry, The Pine and The Power. I share them with love, in honor and life-giving celebration of mothers near and far, here or remembered.

…………………………..

God help our children to transcend the dark

And walk the earth with dignity and cheer;

God help them seek the mountains, persevere

The road that twists through thorn and tanglebark,

Ascending finally where eagles mark

Their point of vision. Help our children find

Two masters ~ one the spirit, one the mind ~

And rediscover constancy of heart.

Help us to find cathedrals in the skies,

A will to walk the long uncharted mile;

(The will to find in winter’s legacy

The ochre sands from which the lime trees rise!)

Help us to know the measure of the child ~

To live in time and in eternity.

© Carolyn Naught Saxton

…………………………..

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To Know Leona

leona.carolyn1

I loved her first because she loved my little girl. She loved her like her own. She sometimes spoke to her in French, and she called her Littlefoot, like the character in “The Land Before Time”. They were a good team, Nanna and Littlefoot.

I loved her next because her heart was real and true; her spirit as big as the sky.

We drank tea with herbs from the garden. We laughed from our bellies. We lit candles and watched the moon. We spoke of dreams. I helped heal her ankle. She helped heal my heart. I loved her language. She loved my paintings and my rice casserole. And she loved my little girl, who loved her back.

She was the mother of mothers to all in her care. Loving. Fearless. Brave. Blessings flowed from her lips like divine poetry. (Receiving a birthday wish from Leona was pretty much a religious experience.) She loved to dance. She carried too much on her shoulders. This world will miss her dearly.

She was magic. And fire.
Caribbean eyes.
Voodoo in her blood.
Gold in her heart.

She walked with angels –
Now she flies among them.

Thank you Leona, for your beautiful love and care. It was an honor to walk some of this earth with you.

 

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Celebrating Mom

mom.1940s_sm

When I was a little girl, my mother was “my world”. She did all the things you’d expect a Mom might do, like hold your hand, read you a story, fix meals, teach manners, dry tears, cheer you up and on. She loved to laugh. She loved to give. She loved life, and tried to worry only on Tuesdays.

She left this world much too soon – but she left gifts. Cherished, timeless words; gifts from the heart, mind and spirit. Her poetry was first published while still in her teens, later works appeared in several anthologies. Perhaps her greatest work was the collection of sonnets published in her book The Pine and The Power.

So on this day reserved for mothers, I’d like to share some of those words as I have in year’s past, in honor and life-giving celebration of mothers near and far, here or remembered. Happy Mother’s Day!

…………………………………………………………….

God help our children to transcend the dark

And walk the earth with dignity and cheer;

God help them seek the mountains, persevere

The road that twists through thorn and tanglebark,

Ascending finally where eagles mark

Their point of vision. Help our children find

Two masters ~ one the spirit, one the mind ~

And rediscover constancy of heart.

Help us to find cathedrals in the skies,

A will to walk the long uncharted mile;

(The will to find in winter’s legacy

The ochre sands from which the lime trees rise!)

Help us to know the measure of the child ~

To live in time and in eternity.

© Carolyn Naught Saxton

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Some Love & Literary Candy

saxton_2tulips

Two Tulips / © Patricia Saxton

 

Ah, Cupid, Roman God of Love ~ fickle, passionate, whose darting arrows don’t always hit the target ~ every year on February 14th we celebrate you nonetheless. And we celebrate love: the language of poets, songs of the heart, threads that bind us throughout time, the essence of life itself.

While I can count a few especially thoughtful, and even romantic, Valentine’s Day experiences, yea, well, those went all wrong in the end (beware the man who writes you poetry, a friend once told me…), so instead I turn to the unscathed memories of shared Valentines from grammar school, or the hand-made kindergarten cards we gave to our parents, with big red construction paper hearts and white lace around the edges, filled with unabashed adoration. And those we give our own children, marked with a thousand x’s and o’s.

And yet, despite what might seem a dose of romantic cynicism, I am a true believer. In love. Love is everything. Every task we do, everyone word we utter, every hand we shake, is made better if there’s love in it. Love is the root. Love is the cause. Love is the purpose. Love is all.

So I welcome any reason to honor love. Let sweethearts swoon. Let the day be thick with roses and chocolates for all who’ve ever felt the exultation ~ or the sting ~ from Cupids’ arrows, all who’ve felt their heart swell, their color blush, their energy soar and their selfishness cease.

And with or without a “Valentine”, fill your hearts with love. Love for self, love for others, love for your pets, for your garden, for your books, for your bicycle, for your favorite chair. Even for the guy trying to make a left turn on a busy street. Raise up the heart quotient all around, and feel the peace that settles in when tension is replaced by unbridled love.

Celebrate love. Read some poetic literary candy. Smell a rose. Give someone a cupcake. Smile because love still exists in this mad world.

Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX), Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

 

18th Sonnet, William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

 

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43), Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 

Love’s Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another’s being mingle–
Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;–
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Week #24, 52 Weeks of Peace

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The Last Leaf

I’d meant to post something fun today, but then this happened, impressing itself with some odd sense of urgency on my over-scheduled brain of late, and so, I’m going as the spirit moves. (The fun one will come later ~ promise!)

“Falling Leaf” photo by Eirik Adan

Soon the last leaf will fall ~
I may see it from my window,
I might watch its descent,
Its elegant tumble,
Its demure, soundless slip
From a crisp gray sky.
Its color dim,
Its softness
now a crunch underfoot ~
A piece of dust, a memory,
An unceremonious gesture of time
In the waltz of life giving life,
and giving life again,
on and ever on.
– P. Saxton
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Grateful

saxton_gratitude1

They say the only two things you can count on in life are death and taxes. And I suppose there’s some truth to that. But there are other things; things that cost nothing, take nothing, and give much; things deserving of steady gratitude. They’re simple, and yet somehow grand in how they make life more bearable; they make life sweeter. Here are some of those things for me:

The sunrise
that never fails,
And evening skies
with orange trails,
Moss beneath a tree, and
Cathedrals made of leaves.

Children laughing,
Lovers dancing,
Birds announcing dawn.

Poetry and paint,
Seasons and songs, and
Boundless African skies.

Breezes made of lilac,
And honeysuckle,
And great rolling seas,
And angels’ whispers,
And dragons’ wings
That flap against the clouds.

Kind familiar friends,
And hands that hold,
Bodies that heal,
Minds that imagine,
Spirits that soar,
And the grace
Of hearts that love.

– P.Saxton

saxton_bowloffruit

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

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Things That Go Bump in the Night (… boo!)

I’ll be missing the trick-or-treaters this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get into the “spirit” of things. So I present you with some art and prose to keep the spirit alive. (oh, yea, I said that)  Just remember to keep the little ones safe, stir your cauldrons slowly and never take candy from a goblin you don’t know.

eatdrinkbescary3

eatdrinkbescary

Print small_pencils.boo peace_halloween_72
1394452_530175837068113_90376699_n

……………………………..

All Hallows

By Louise Gluck

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:
This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling

Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

 ……………………………..
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

Three witches, casting a spell …
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 ……………………………..

And a song to sing:
to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it,
and you really wanna show it,
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.

……………………………..
FB.spellsBrannan
havebroom.pic_viva2.willfly

……………………………..

And off I go then.
But first I will leave you with this link to some really cool, very spooky art created by artist Don Kenn. Happy Halloween…. !
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