Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #347, Theme: Preparation

fire-1159157_960_720

The Changing of the Color Guard

Flip-flops and tank tops,
falling apart from use,
are thrown out,
and piles of scarves and sweaters,
fuzzy soft and in need of a freshening,
are brought out.
Thick, flannel sheets are substituted for thin cotton,
and Grandma’s denim and lace quilt is shaken,
stirring the dust of time.

She reclines on the white deck chair,
soaking up the last of the summer sun,
her iced tea glass below the slats
sweating on the grass.

The crepe myrtles will fall from branches
like colorful, spring snowflakes,
as the town approaches the threshold of autumn.
Like a woman’s body,
the Earth goes through phases.
Fall is the time for exfoliating.

The changing leaves are the
last moment of clarity,
before everything dies,
or is covered with white—
a sort of lacy shroud—
shielding the bones and
the rotting flesh beneath.

She closes her eyes, sighs,
dreaming of dancing barefoot
to the bands on the beach,
of garden parties in the gazebo,
of a lightness of being
in the heavy humidity.

She sees,
as if in a hypnotic state,
the froth of the ocean,
like the top of her daycap—
her daily coffee with the steamed milk on top.

She will be trading in her
hot, gingerbread latte for iced chai,
truffles for popsicles,
vine-ripened tomatoes for winter squash.
The house will be infused with the aromas
of nutmeg and sage,
rather than cilantro and dill.

Her smile is wistful,
for every day is a holiday in the summertime’
but Christmas and all its fancy trappings,
pierces the blues of winter,
and she turns over once more
to soak up the healthy yellow,
the wind at her back.

Fall is coming soon.

 

Great Sources for Children’s Songs

sheet_music_picture

Singing has always been one of my favorite things to do in the car (when I’m not listening to talk radio) and in church; so naturally, when I had a child, I wanted to sing to her, but not always old country tunes or church hymns (though we do the latter on Sunday night after I read to her from the children’s Bible).  I loved “Wee Sing” as a kid, because kids sang the songs, and the lyrics and melodies were easy to remember.  Whenever my family watched the Olympics, I loved listening to the different anthems, and chorus was one of my favorite classes in high school (even though the teacher asked me to please lip sync during performances).  When I was a little girl, “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” were two of my favorite movies, and part of that was because of the music.  Some movies like “Pocahontas” and “Rent” were only good for their singles.  Music in movies is like poetry in motion (pardon the cliché), and I’ve found many greats in the motion pictures.  How different would “The Graduate” have been without that awesome soundtrack?

There is just something about music that stirs the soul, and though I am hardly musically inclined (a sheet of music is like an unreadable map to me), I love it, and I wanted to instill in my daughter a love for it, too (it might even help her in math later, so I’ve heard).

  1. “The Wee Cooper of Fife” (the song the children in the schoolhouse are singing in “The Birds”).
  2. “Tammy” (from “Tammy and the Bachelor”, with Debbie Reynolds; though I would say this song is more appropriate for a little girl).
  3. “Early One Morning” (the first couple of lines of this song were sung by Pollyanna and Nancy when they were delivering calves foot jelly to the poor, but those two lines stuck with me and I googled the song), finding this wonderful link so I could hear the entire melody (I had to go to a separate site to find the lyrics):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OAyS8OK9J4
  4. “Que Sera Sera” (the classic Doris Day song, from “The Man Who Knew Too Much”).  This is a very sweet song.  The refrain of “Skedaddle Skidoo” (also sung by Doris Day in “The Tunnel of Love”) is cute, too.
  5. “Popcorn Popping” was a song I learned when I served a calling in the nursery when I was LDS.  It’s great because it has fingerplays to accompany the words.
  6. In the 1944 WWII film, “Since You Went Away”, two young lovebirds are walking through a farm, singing, “Oh, my darling Clementine”.  When I looked up the actual “campfire” song, I was surprised at some of the lyrics, but from Mother Goose (like the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” who whipped her children, which is considered child abuse today) to Stephen Foster (whose songs are just all in fun and were written in a very different time), you’re going to run into some objectionable words and phrases.
  7. HooplaKidz on YouTube is great (and free).
  8. The soundtrack from “The Sound of Music”.  My parents bought my daughter a xylophone, and it’s great for demonstrating “Do Re Mi”.  I often love to incorporate many of Hannah’s “favorite things” (Oprah and Maria von Trapp aren’t the only ones!) into the song.
  9. Christmas songs!  “Away in a Manger” is like a lullaby.  I like both the secular and the religious, though I only sing the secular at Christmastime.  (Christmas is in December; Jesus is for all seasons.)
  10. http://www.theteachersguide.com/ChildrensSongs.htm.  Great site for lyrics, but I have to go to YouTube to get the melody.  Who ever knew there were so many verses to “London Bridge”?  I made up sign language for every verse, which has been terribly fun.  My daughter bounces and claps whenever I start a song with a dance of the arms and hands.

Waxing Poetic

A Time for Everything

With Fall, comes the harvest—
an inspired ministry,
a reaping of souls.
The Lion will not rest till Winter.

With Winter, comes the wither
of the Rose of Sharon—
a crucifixion of the Lamb,
for the Lion and the Lamb are One.
Petals fall like sparrows;
the Shepherd is shorn,
and placed upon His head
a crown of thorns.

Then it is Spring—
a time for new life,
for resurrection—
a time for singing.
The sting of death
has been swallowed whole,
and put in its place,
an everlasting hope.

This Root of Jesse
springs up into the Branch of Righteousness and
into the Tree of Life.
This Vine, this Rose,
is known by many Names,
is sweet as yesterday’s tomorrows,
though He be a Man of Sorrows.

Then comes Summer—
the season of the Ascension—
the return of the King of Kings,
the Prince of Princes,
to His heavenly reign.

Holiday Hangover

To the people who think it’s cool to hate the holidays, it’s not.  I don’t even hate the commercialism (who doesn’t love a fancy department store all donned in holiday décor?),  just the gladiator-like materialism.  I have never shopped on Black Friday, and never will (except online), as there is nothing in this world I want badly enough to need full body armor.  The kind of items people shop on Bloody Friday for are those they buy for themselves anyway.  I’ll stick to smaller and more thoughtful, predominately handmade/homemade gifts.

My brother, who is as cynical as Greg Gutfeld (and just as unsentimental), was visibly touched when I gave him a framed picture of him and his girlfriend (that I’d lifted off his Facebook profile) and I’d had printed at Walgreens.  With the exception of my husband (who got three pairs of Levi jeans), everyone else got homemade or more personalized gifts.

My mom and dad got framed family pictures of my little family; my grandmother also, on a smaller scale, and, I must admit, a regift of a wedding gift my husband and I received–a box of stationery in a country design.  I don’t consider a regift a bad gift as long as it’s new and it’s something you believe the other person would use or enjoy.  Even the bag was a bag I had received at my husband’s family’s Dirty Santa.  It was the only one I had that was big enough.

My friends all received homemade goodies (a tin of handmade truffles or a Cherry Coca Cola cake–the best cake I ever made (http://www.coca-colacompany.com/food/coca-cola-cake-recipe), only I baked it in a Bundt and used this ganache recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Ganache/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=chocolate%20ganache&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page), substituting the rum for cherry brandy I had on hand, garnishing it with crushed almonds.  I also gave away some personal care products I had couponed.

I also sent a couple of books directly to my cousin in Missouri from amazon.com (one cent plus $3.99 shipping).

I now wish I had pictures to add, because I read somewhere that photos and video add interest to a blog, but I’ll get to that later.  I guess to be a successful blogger, one not only needs to be a writer, but a photographer as well.

One thing at a time.