We were in the city today, so I’m very late posting this. Bob and I attended our monthly Christian writers get-together and one of the subjects we touched on was book reviews. How some reviewers go the extra mile to really slam a book. Which fits in with today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt: WORDS

Writers – especially poets – will deliberate for hours on which is the best word to describe what they want to convey. Thus was the thesaurus born.

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the prompt was that old BeeGees’ song, “It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.” Words can win a heart, and words can break a heart.

words enlighten – and confuse
words conceal – and reveal
words compliment – and censure
words can inspire – and shatter

Concerned, you ask a family member or friend, “How are you doing?”
“I’m okay.”

“I’m getting by.”

Evasive words. Avoiding the elephant in the room – because the elephant, if examined closely, may jab you with a painful tusk.

The Bible talks about words and speech. In Proverbs 31 Solomon describes a virtuous woman, one of her qualities being “in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
The same would be true of a good man: kindness is their guiding light. Even when repeating the truth, careful not to censure, ready to give the benefit of the doubt. Discreetly silent about things that need not be revealed. Not blind but not blabbing.

Some people rather make honesty their rule of life. “I don’t mince words. I tell it just like I see it. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.” However, honesty tends to come mixed with the grit of opinion and feeling. Sorting the golden truth from all the sand is almost impossible for us mortals.

Jesus warns his hearers about name-calling. In Matthew 5:22 He tells the crowd, “…whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” A serious thought!
The Apostle Peter comes in on the up-side. “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
To me that means, “Show respect to all people — even when critiquing their attitudes or behaviour.”

A Sermon of Sparrows

I peek out my door
on Sunday morning
and a choir of sparrows
revs up their song.

Spying an open door,
the little preachers begin.
A sermon of sparrows:
“Remember the needy!”

I reprove them at times
for the sin of gluttony–
all those uneaten seeds!
Beggars mustn’t waste.

But they never repent –
always picking the best
and leaving the rest
for lesser creatures.

I Saw A Hawk

I’m trying another TREOCHAIR this morning. Don’t know why I like this form of poetry, as it’s so hard to work out. Or maybe that’s why? Anyway, this will be my response to today’s RAGTAG Daily Prompt: YEARN

Pixabay image-Public Domain
I Saw A Hawk

Saw a hawk
resting calmly in a tree
I paused to gawk

but that hawk
chanced to get a glimpse of me.
He let out a squawk,

not happy he,
observed by the likes of me,
forsook his aerie.

Mighty wings
carried him across the lea.
What amazing things!

Spirit stirred,
I yearn for another glimpse
of that noble bird.

Intimate With Light

Here’s today’s prompt for National Poetry Month. However, this morning I’m going back to the third prompt and do another OPPOSITES verse. I’ll publish the poem that’s inspired me, then my opposite, which is quite whimsical. I’ve made it rhyme and had fun working it out. 🙂

Acquainted with the Night

by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Intimate with Light

I enjoy being intimate with light!
I gaze up at rainbows and soak in the sun;
I amble my way down the bright city streets
where cars and pedestrians frown and run.
I wander aimless down candescent country lanes
Or stop to chat with some guy sweeping street,
Lift my eyes to each person, bold to share
joy and lightness with folks I might meet.
I may waltz through some suburb sanguinely
even should passers-by stop to gawk,
warnings issue from stores near at hand,
or some schoolmarm-type gives me a talk.
Shady folks tell me off or shout “Hey, you!”
Or the clang of twelve bells from a steeple,
tones mingling with the cooing of pigeons
and migrations of lunch-going people
may warn, “It’s high time!” I’m indifferent,
for I enjoy being intimate with light.

Lemon Trees Love Sunshine

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is RADIATE

One day last week I observed an unusual phenomenon: a complete halo around the sun. We were driving into the city and it was on my side of the car, so I got a good look at the glow radiating from the circle. Here on the prairies when the weather turns colder it’s not unusual to see sun dogs, but rarely a full circle, and such a large one as this was.

When I hear “RADIATE” the first image that comes to mind is sunshine. What a blessing the sun is to our world! Vital to life and a restorative to mind and soul. Yes, it’s dry here in SK, but I’m so glad to live in a land that gets so much sunshine.

Here’s a poem I wrote long ago that I hope you’ll enjoy while I (hopefully!) finish off my WIP today.

Lemon Trees Love Sunshine

They lift their branches in praise of its light;
leaves imbibe its goodness through every pore
trunks rise to toast themselves in its glow
roots extend their toes in its ground-warmth.
When storms unfurl cloudbanks between,
it shoots them through with silver mercies
infuses each droplet with benevolence,
brimful cup of blessing for beloved trees.
Roots with grateful thanks absorb ambrosia
trunks convey nutrition to every stem
leaves dance to pitter-patters of praise
branches flexed by wind grow stronger.
The trees confer among their members
and in due season they bring forth
love-offerings to their celestial benefactor,
miniature reflections of its golden self.

Christine Goodnough Feb 2011

Agatha Christie: Plot Pro

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is QUEST.

I’ve read several of Agatha Christie’s novels in the past few weeks, including One Two, Buckle My Shoe and Five Little Pigs. Even though her tales involve crimes, I enjoy the old-fashioned flavor. Characters are relatively polite; the language is clean; usually immorality is alluded to discreetly. Her two famous detectives are rarely in any danger themselves so suspense is at a level I can tolerate. And the reveal is usually a surprise.

Her two famous sleuths, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, are presented with a mystery and begin their quest for the truth. In my latest read, The Peril at End House, Poirot has declared himself retired; he will no longer use his little gray cells in chasing down evildoers. But lo and behold! A crime lands in his lap in the seaside vacation town where he and Captain Hastings are spending some R&R time.

I have to hand it to Mrs Christie: she has an amazing talent for building her plot into a pyramid, adding clues and suspects here and there as she goes. Then when you think you’ve reached the pinnacle and have a fairly good idea whodunit, her detective flips the whole thing upside down! In this story I had very little idea who the culprit would be – maybe because there were several culprits revealed. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s well worth reading!

I’ve also read two stories involving her Scotland Yard Superintendent Battle: The Secret of Chimneys and The Seven Dials Mystery. These involve espionage & subversion type crimes. In both books the flip is barely believable. In both, when I got to the final reveal I was saying , “Wait a minute! If this is true then why did that person do such and such? If he’s who he claims to be, why didn’t he recognize her, when they surely would have known each other?”

I’m quite a stickler for all these things adding up and behavior making sense. However, I found these books just as interesting as her other tales, even if I did have to suspend my disbelief to accept some of the facts as revealed.