7

A topical poem

My social life at present is enhanced by the online groups I have joined. One of these is a poetry group, which meets once a month. There is an optional challenge to write a poem on a theme. The poems are read aloud at the next meeting.

The theme for our March meeting, which falls in the Christian season of Lent, is wilderness. Earlier this week I wrote a poem, which I am sharing with you here. My prayer is that the prophecy in Isaiah 2:4 would soon be fulfilled.

The War in Ukraine

Making a wilderness,
Burning and destroying,
Polluting, disrupting,
Soldiers deploying.

Some people are fleeing,
Their settled lives over.
Women and children – how
Will they recover?

Men and youths (all ages)
Bear unfamiliar arms.
An unprovoked foe can
Cause such alarms.

Homes deserted, folk
Shelter beneath the ground.
Noise, dust, black smoke and fumes –
Where can peace be found?

Around the world people pray
In bewilderedness
For a quick, peaceful end
To war-caused wilderness.

The post linked to on the word Lent mentions wilderness as well as Lent. It is one of my posts for the Blogging from A to in April Challenge 2020. I have found that taking part in The Blogging from A to Z Challenge has helped me connect with bloggers in other countries (and continents). Information about the dates for the 2022 Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge may be found here. The theme reveal is later this month.

Another blogger who has written about Lent and Wilderness is Malcolm Guite, an accomplished poet.

6

Octave 5

Linda Kruschke’s Paint chip prompt today brings the October octaves to an end. Do visit her blog for news about the challenge.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with today are iris, Grand Canyon, mist, midnight, and half-and-half. I would like you to use at least two of these in today’s octave. Ideally, you’ll be building on the four octave stanzas you’ve already written. But if you haven’t started yet, feel free to write a stand-alone octave today.

Linda Kruschke

Octave 5

Even if the rift was as wide as the Grand
Canyon, love and forgiveness should
Remedy what has caused the strife, and
Without reconciliation no good would
Be done by offering a gift of flowers,
Though irises of white, yellow and midnight blue
Might remind us of the Creator’s powers;
His great love includes both me and you.

To save you, my valued readers from searching for the previous verses, which were posted earlier this month (Octave 1, Octave 2, Octave 3 and Octave 4) my poem is in this post in its entirety. I noticed that I had become lazy about the rhymes as the month went on, so I have tweaked the fourth octave!

Ups and downs of life

Sometimes life feels like Sisyphus’ boulder.
No-one rolls out the red carpet for us;
Sometimes they give us the cold shoulder
And don’t even drink coffee with us.
We needn’t keep feeling hard done by.
Although some tasks are repetitive,
Thinking of others and how we can try
To help is better than being competitive.

Like damaged nature we can recover
From setbacks and disappointments
Like being separated from a lover.
Some hurts aren’t soothed by ointments.
After the fire cliff-top gorse was black.
I noticed that bracken, bramble and grass
Were the first plants to grow back.
I look for changes each time I pass.

When there are disagreements in life
Between friends or family members
An olive branch should end the strife
And revive the warmth of love’s embers.
If the rift seems impossible to mend
Don’t give up hope! A ghost of a chance
Is better than nothing. Prayers we send
Heavenward won’t be looked upon askance.

Reconciliation may need a radical change
Of attitude from all those involved.
There may be faults on both sides. Strange
Misunderstandings need to be resolved.
We are building on a sure foundation
Even when it seems all we have left
Is like smoke and ash’s desolation.
Surely we won’t be completely bereft.

Even if the rift was as wide as the Grand
Canyon, love and forgiveness should
Remedy what has caused the strife, and
Without reconciliation no good would
Be done by offering a gift of flowers,
Though irises of white, yellow and midnight blue
Might remind us of the Creator’s powers;
His great love includes both me and you.

Greyish sea with white-topped waves at top, straw-coloured grass with blackened branches of gorse and new green shots of gorse, some green grass and brambles.
Clifftop recovering from fire
7

Paint chip Octave 4


Linda Kruschke’s challenge this week is for the next eight line stanza.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with this week are rolling hills, smoke and ash, radical, smoke signal, and dragon. I’d like you to use at least two of these in your octave for this week. Your octave should be a continuation of what you started on the first Friday of October. If you haven’t started your poem yet, you can always just write a stand-alone octave for this week.

Linda Kruschke

Octave 4

Reconciliation may need a radical change
Of attitude from all those involved.
There may be faults on both sides.
Misunderstandings need to be resolved.
We are building on a sure foundation
Even when it seems all we have left
Is desolate as smoke and ash.
Surely we won’t be completely bereft.

The earlier verses of this poem may be found on this blog. Octave 1, Octave 2 and Octave 3. Perhaps you’d prefer to scroll to find them using the << to find earlier posts.