As a lover of poetry, I was delighted when several friends gifted me with poems on the occasion of my 60th birthday. My friend Sandy gave me a poem by Elioda Capuno. I keep coming back to it. Although it was not written for me in particular, it feels like it could have been. I’m blessed to have a friend who could see that.
Then there was this Hafiz poem, given to me by Sandy’s husband, Philip. It’s very cool and is the best description of my relationship with God that I have ever read. Interestingly, it also uses the dancing metaphor for life.
A couple weeks after my birthday I found these verses in my mailbox at church. Written by our resident poet at Holy Trinity, Dobbs, it is such a treasure to me.
It’s odd how Dobbs’ most vivid memory of me seems to be about something that I don’t recall. It doesn’t surprise me that I might do such a thing, so whether it happened or not, it’s true.
A Poem for her 60th Birthday
she danced through life like a pro
undeterred by the thorns
neath her soles
she welcomed the pain
let it pierce and torment her
her steps are not perfect
she fumbled along the way
made mistakes and fell
but through each twist and turn
she gave her all
for a life that is not perfect
but worth it all
The God Who Knows Only Four Words
Has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with Me.”
As often as you are thought of
and have given
and in silent attentiveness
or hot under the clerical collar righteous anger
but more than our shared portion of life
dipped in a poured confession
is your countering a profane mistake
by the five second rule
Poetry may be the best way to express the truth of our lives. Not the sort of thing that they’ll print in the local newspaper about you when you die, poetry runs deeper than the surface history of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. When I’m saying my final farewell to this earth, I think I might like to have a poem sum up the essence of my life instead of an obituary. Any one of these three would do nicely.