If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty. Maria Ranier Rilke
I’ve always loved poetry. As an undergraduate at Old Dominion University, I tried my hand at writing a few poems, but the results were pretty embarrassing. Eventually I gave up trying to write in stanzas and focused instead on courses in journalism and technical writing. Such training served me well, but I can’t seem to shake that longing to write in the vein of Emily Dickinson or Mary Oliver. Over the years I have read poetry that caused the hair on my neck to stand on end and my ears to tingle. If it’s a particularly good read, my whole body goes completely cold! For me, good poetry taps something deep and inexpressible and I am grateful to have encountered such moving works.
A friend I have admired over the years is about to complete her second collection of poetry. Her name is Linda Franklin and it has been such a pleasure to read her work regularly via Facebook. It’s a gift, actually. I feel fortunate to have friends who lovingly share and support each other’s passions, whether it’s music, photography or writing.
Linda contacted me recently after I had posted photographs following a walk with Beth and Rusty at First Landing State Park. Out of 300 or so shots I took that day, I only published eight images of a single leaf floating in crystal clear water at the shoreline. There was just something about watching that leaf float so effortlessly that held my interest. The sunlight dappled over the water creating sparkles and light that changed with each passing second. The clarity of the water enabled me to see distinct sand ripples beneath the floating leaf. I posted the shots as I normally do following our walks, thinking they were probably the most boring pictures I had ever taken! They meant something to me though.
It seems I wasn’t alone in my thinking about the floating leaf because Linda’s message included a special request: “I wanted to thank you so much again for sharing your passions and love… After looking at your leaf/water therapy photos I was inspired to write a short poem…I was wondering if it would be ok to share this with others and give credit to your photo.” Of course I said yes!
Here is Linda’s latest poem, inspired by my amateur photographic efforts. Not everyone has the gift of poetry, but this experience has brought home the beauty of ripples, waves and the exponential gifts a simple morning walk can yield.
I sat upon the river’s green edge
And gazed upon reflections
Flowing above their lives.
Colored leaves floating
Without their branches
Swirling with rhyme and reason;
I leaned towards them
And one by one,
I gracefully held them
In the palm of my hand.
Glistening light filled my eyes
Touching every part of my essence
Like no other I have known.
I shall cherish this gift bestowed upon me
For which they came
For new life has come to me.
Photos of my visit to First Landing State Park can be viewed here and here. Hope you have a lovely week filled with much poetry, photographs and music.
Photo credit for photos in this post: Sherry Friel