Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dreams, First and Last

Dreams, First and Last
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Martin Luther King
had quite a dream,
and so did I.
Sadly, it peaked,
then sprang a leak
and failed to satisfy.

It looked so rosy,
felt so cozy,
when the thing was new.
But in the end
(let's not pretend)
the shiny bits fell through.

I don't like grieving
when believing
can't get something done.
When wishes fail
and hopes derail,
my face turns toward the sun.

But rain will fall
in spite of all;
blue skies still turn to gray.
My dream went wrong,
though I held strong
until it slipped away.

The line runs thin
from "hanging in" 
to empty hands and loss.
It's like a death;
you lose your breath
and marvel at the cost.

Two ways to go:
above, below.
Sink down or choose to rise.
My brand new dream
has open seams
and room for compromise.

This one looks bright,
but held less tightly,
it finds room to breathe.
As wisdom frees,
perfection flees
and once more, I believe.

Though first dreams go,
last(ing) dreams know
that life is not ideal.
Today I find
the world more kind…
my hope less blind, more real.

Some of you may wonder how this poem landed on my mental doorstep. It refers to what my sister and I like to call "the death of the dream," that critical moment when the weight of life experience and its accompanying adversity teach you that living on this earth is not exactly what you thought it would be when you were a small child dreaming of a perfect world. It comes as a real shock to the system, or at least it shocked my optimistic young soul when it happened my way. The odd thing is that it seems to come around again every so often, as if to strip off another layer of my naiveté and expose in all its glory the difficult, soul-stretching challenge life really is. As the admitted owner of a tendency to sport some rose-colored glasses, this is a good exercise for me. Having said that, it is not always a pleasurable one.

Recently, I've walked through another enlightening round of dream dampening, and this poem was my way of making peace with it. I'd be interested to know if any of it resonated with you.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy 4th of July: Patriot Dreams

Patriot Dreams
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

I grew up in the golden years
when WWII was finally past.

A grateful country shed her fears
as fighting men came home at last.

We stood united, bold and brave,
inspired by freedoms we could name,

allied with nations we helped save,
and fair to those we overcame.

We worked together for one goal
Americans held fervently:

a union that was strong and whole,
a nation that was proud and free.

The means were often in dispute,
but one great end was crystal clear:

to crown with good and brotherhood
a land we all chose to revere.

We took a little, gave a little,
compromised to get things done.

Sometimes we met right in the middle
to ensure the country won.

Hard work was valued and rewarded;
independence was the prize.

Industry was praised, not thwarted.
All our hopes were on the rise.

Flags were flown and pledges spoken.
Songs of freedom filled the air.

Patriot dreams were still unbroken.
Faith waxed stronger than despair.

Values laid a sure foundation.
Cynicism held its tongue.

Firm resolve, not resignation,
was the gift we gave our young.

A land of dreamers? Yes, indeed.
Idealists? Sure, we aimed high.

Believing that we could succeed,
the limit was our starry sky.

But hope gave way to animus.
When did our vision lose its reach?

The answer lies in each of us.
Our children practice what we preach.

The love of country starts at home.
It’s learned upon a parent’s knee.

No patriot is born alone.
Beginnings frame our destiny.

Who trades belief for bitterness?
This nation thrives when men are true.

Commitment is not hit or miss.
The dream is ours. We'll see it through.

Walk tall on Independence Day.
Our liberty was bravely earned.

The path is clear. Let no one say
too many bridges have been burned.

Our land remains our land, and free.
Problems abound, but we are strong.

In order to claim victory,
we must believe. We must belong.

Respect and honor differences,
then focus on the things we share.

Negotiation is the key.
We get it right when we fight fair.

Fairness requires an open mind,
a listening ear, a lack of guile.

Why not leave enmity behind
 to serve our nation with a smile?

And as the fireworks light the stars,
give thanks to those who went before.

Their legacy, uniquely ours,
demands the best in us…and more.

Be brave; be loyal, and be true.
Ring bells; sing anthems; blow a horn.

Embrace this land of ours and prove
that patriot dreams can still be born.

Long may she wave.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Crybaby

The Crybaby
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Oh how loudly, oh how clearly
we can hear you blow your top.
Baby boy, we love you dearly,
but the screaming has to stop!

If you're going to wake up grouchy,
maybe you should stay asleep.
Your shrieks make our ears feel ouchy.
Can't you pitch them low and deep?

Must you be so doggone noisy?
Please oh please give it a rest.
Try to be a bit more joysy
when we pluck you from your nest.

You depend on us completely,
so you'd better treat us right.
If you must cry, do it sweetly,
or we may go out on strike!


Can you believe I'm writing about the happy little guy on the right?
I think it's safe to say that he wears his emotions on his sleeve, glad or sad.
(Of course, he and his little sister also happen to be the cutest babies ever!)

I'm sure you agree. =)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Faith Lost

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Faith lost is like a promise broken
somewhere in the night.
Unanswered pleas in words unspoken
push away the light.

Soft shadows fall into the soul,
then deepen as they take control
of golden rays and hopeful dreams
till nothing shines and little gleams.

Resist the seeping of the dawn;
believe the moon, the star.
Look up until all doubts are gone.
Remember whose you are.

Friday, May 15, 2015

On Grace and Gravity: A Message from Mary

On Grace and Gravity: A Message from Mary
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

believe me, I adapt
carry me with you
then and now I bring
some substance
to the ins and outs
of living

this throwing-me-away
no longer needing
is a ruse
won't stop the bleeding
(je m'excuse)
is self defeating

the air is getting thin
all up in here
count down, lift off
fly free
but do remember
space can leave a void

and gravity is grounding
woos the oxygen
beware out there
the molecules are few
and far between
the grace unseen

so wear your helmet
like a rosary
breathe in, reach out
and keep me
keep The Baby, maybe
even keep the bath

it's holy water

for more magpies, click below

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life Train-ing

The tone may seem a bit pessimistic, but this poem is mostly a reflection upon our inability to control circumstances in life. Of course, we still need to participate fully, learning and growing as we adjust to situations not of our choosing. As Rick Warren said, "Life…is a journey of discovery. There are moments on mountain tops and moments in deep valleys of despair. Transformation is a process." (Still, those train rides can be a bit scary when you don't exactly know where they're going!)

Life Train-ing
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

A new train chugging round the bend.
I wish I knew where it would end.
So much momentum, smoke and steel,
unstoppable from stack to wheel.
High in the air, it hugs the rail,
accompanied by high-pitched wail
to destination still unknown.
The captive pilgrim rides alone.

When I was young, I could pretend
that every train would count as friend.
But now I parse each sway and clack.
I've been on trains that jump the track
or stay the course disaster chooses.
Either way, the rider loses.

All aboard! It's time to ride.
The trains keep coming. Step inside.

for more magpies, click below

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wonderful Women

My cute mom with one of my sisters 

When it comes right down to it, a lot of us would say our moms are pretty great. Mine, however, is in a class by herself. (I may be a bit prejudiced on this point.) Tomorrow she will be 88 years old, and my siblings (including the one pictured above) and I will be spending the weekend with her to celebrate. Needless to say, we are all looking forward to the occasion!

As you can see, Mom looks terrific. I wish she felt equally terrific physically, but as you can see, she chooses to go through life with a smile on her face….enjoying her family and friends and living in the moment. She has had a year of great struggles and great blessings, but I'm sure she would say the blessings have won the battle for her heart. You see, in the past year she has become the proud great grandmother of three sets of twins. That's right, THREE sets! Can you imagine?? I don't think she ever did, not in her wildest dreams, but that doesn't stop her from being the proudest "GG" ever…and certainly the best!

The darling two-month-old twins contributed by my daughter are pictured below:



I'd show you the other two sets of twins as well, but their grandma (another of my sisters) doesn't like having family photos on the internet, so you will just have to imagine how cute they are (two boys, and a boy and a girl). Our family has been richly blessed this year.

Sure do love you.


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