Friday, February 12, 2016

Birthday Blessings

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Jenny Matlock's Warm Heart Wednesday is here again, and these two little rascals are always good for inspiring that warm and fuzzy feeling in Grandma's heart. They are a year old today, and what immeasurable joy they have brought to our lives!

I hope you'll agree that these munchkins are just about as cute as they come! (In the event you don't agree, feel free to fake it.)


Monday, February 8, 2016

Away and Away

photo by Caroline Knopf

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Away and away to the black-bottomed sea
sailed her man on a whim and a wave.
"No creature above or below escapes me!"
was the promise his blushing bride gave.

Harpoon in hand, she stood vigil by day
and by night cast a net in her dreams.
Her veil was the mist, trimmed in fine ocean spray,
and her tears ran in saltwater streams.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thine Arm Is Ample

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I am really enjoying Jenny Matlock's new Warm Heart Wednesday meme. Last week I shared the poem I wrote for my mom when she and my stepfather were having a rough time with their health. Today, I am sharing the words I wrote for him. The poor guy has been having some atrial fibrillation ablation complications, along with an autoimmune anemia that has been pretty resistant to treatment. Thankfully, he is improving at last, but I was happy to find this image to warm his heart and mine, reminding us that the Lord really is there for His children when we need Him most.

image credited to LDS Church

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

When I am weakened by the pain,
the sorrow every life must bear,
I reach out for thy steadfast hand
and feel a sacred presence there.

Thine arm is ample for the load;
my burden does not weigh thee down.
Thy loving kindness lifts me up
and carries me through rocky ground.

My strength is ever in thee, Lord,
and I shall offer up my part:
a humble mind, a seeking soul,
a constant and believing heart.


"And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of the earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."  D&C 78:18

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In Weather

Adolphe Valette

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

I went to England once.
London, not Manchester.
Rained cold, a bit sideways.
Dark, dreadful, dingy.
Under the weather.
I ran watered streets.
Unbooted, blithely undone.
Up, down, willy nilly.
Slowed through Piccadilly.

Steve Lavelle 2015

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Encircled in Thine Arms

I wrote this poem for my mom as an early Christmas gift, because her husband and she had been going through an especially difficult time. Happily, things are much better for them now, which warms my heart and prompts me to choose this offering for Warm Heart Wednesday.

I feel grateful when I can put together the right words and bring a measure of peace to the people I love. This is a gift I treasure, one that brings me joy because it allows me to give of myself in a unique way. The image below (Christ holding an elderly woman) was especially meaningful to me, as it made me think of my own dear mom and His ability and willingness to bring comfort and hope to her heart. 

I do love the notion of being encircled in our Savior's loving arms. There is simply no better place for healing, and I'm sure my mom agrees. After all, she's the one who taught me! =)

image from LDS Church

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

O Savior, thou art good to me.
Encircled in thine arms, I find
the salve for every weeping wound,
the balm to ease my troubled mind.

Thou lovest me through every trial
with grace sufficient for my needs.
Thou hast the power to heal the soul,
to soothe the aching heart that pleads.

Stay with me, Lord; embrace my woes.
I would not wander far from thee.
Thou art the Master of my soul,
my Shepherd for eternity.


"Therefore, treasure up these words in thy heart. 
Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God,
and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love" (D&C 6:20).

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Be Still and Grow

photo by Francesca Woodman

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Sometimes, life's colors spin away and set us spinning, too.
The air about us thickens, and we lose our point of view.

Each breath a gasp, we cling to light, unwont to disappear;
but still we feel our edges fading, blurred by swirling fear.

We call for help in urgent tones, but none can penetrate.
We spin. We spin. Inertia has become an active state.

When balance fails, we land once more in stark reality.
The truth awaits us all. Be still, and grow. Let go. Walk free.


"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

To Love a Child

my daughter with her little ones, 11 months old

©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

To love a child is bliss complete…

her feisty ways, his squishy feet,

his face alight, her brown eyes dancing,

a wave goodbye while backward glancing.

All these and more combine to feed

this grandma's heart with joy indeed.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Mother to Son

I am the mother of three adult sons, who have warmed my heart on a regular basis since the day they were born. Of course, sometimes their antics and exploits have sped it up a bit, too. Happily, increased maturity (theirs and mine) has done much to convince me that they can handle whatever life throws their way, which doesn't keep me from offering a word of counsel now and again. (I'm glad to say they don't seem to mind too much…)

Mother to Son
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Face the future squarely, son.
Grace it with the past.
Learn and grow, but don't let go
of things that last.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

La Luchadora

image by Ed Ross

La Luchadora
©2016 Susan Noyes Anderson

Her hair is dressed in roses:
a waved trellis,
verdant and visceral,
rooted in animus

She likes the irony,
invokes contrast.
Her eyes speak thorns
quite fluently,
scalp blooming.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Where Is the Pavilion?

Last week I wrote a New Year's poem filled with cheer and optimism, but that doesn't mean I'm not aware of the turmoil surrounding us today. In fact, I am all too aware of it…and I sometimes find myself worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren, who (collectively and individually) secure my warm, fuzzy place in this world. With that in mind, my contribution to Warm Heart Wednesday is this poem, reminding me and anyone else who is looking for hope that it can and does exist, always. 

May we teach our children well that this is true.

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Where grows the tree so firm and strong
that no foul wind can bring it down,
the tree so straight and true and tall
no hunter's axe can make it fall?

Which branch, nourished by rain and sun,
still puts forth buds when spring is done
and when the earth runs dry, digs deep
to sip each drop its roots can keep?

What lily blooms beyond the frost,
once ice assails and hope lies lost?
Whose trembling hand will reach to save
such fragile beauty from the grave?

How can a forest loom so still?
The air feels empty, and the trill
of birdsong goes to silent plea,
a ghost inside a memory.

The beauty fades too fast, too fast.
Peace moves in slowly, rushes past.
Where lies the power to brave the squall,
to seek the blossom under all?

I must believe and always will––
the tree, the branch, the bloom, the trill,
and all the beauty of each soul
reside in Christ, who makes us whole.

The power is in His loving hands
to fit us for this world's demands,
sustain us by His selfless grace,
and ease us in His warm embrace.

What is my part? To plant in me
the branch, the bloom, the stalwart tree.


"O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that
covereth thy hiding place?" –D&C 121:1

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