Friday, November 30, 2012

Birthday poetry you won’t find on a Hallmark card

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. 

 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

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.

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

Anything weird,

But the God who only knows four words

And keeps repeating them, saying:

“Come dance with Me.”



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.

Belated poem

for Nancy

As often as you are thought of

and have given

in music





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

and laughter

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.

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.





1 comment:

Sally said...

Beautiful tributes to a life well lived!