Sunday Morning

The Ekphrastic Review: writing and art on art and writing, has published my poem, “Sunday Morning.”

Let me give you a brief “back story” on this poem. Many years ago, I stopped writing completely for around twenty-five years. Total silence in my life. I don’t know why it happened, but it did. After what can only be be termed a spiritual experience on a trip to the Fijordland in New Zealand, poetry somehow magically entered my life again. I can’t explain this. It just happened, and I know it happened for a reason. This poem was the first complete poem I wrote when my poetic “voice” returned, and it’s only been read by one other person until today. It’s taken me about fifteen years to gather courage to submit it anywhere. My deepest thanks to editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing this piece.

Here is the link to the journal: http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/april-21st-2016

 

Rijksmuseum out the window

Rijksmuseum, Out the Window (c) 2013 Mary Kendall

 

Sunday Morning

 

Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I sat by the window and prayed
for forgiveness one more time;
one more time I begged.

 

Holding the cup of coffee in my hand,
I hoped the warmth would fill me
where your words had left me cold,
but I knew nothing could do that—
fire can burn for hours and be unfelt.

 

Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I lay down on the empty bed, pulling
the blanket across my cheek, turning
from the window, from the sky
and the sun, praying for some rest.

 

 

 

Note: The window in the photo is not, of course, the window of the poem. I love taking pictures of windows when I travel, especially indside looking out. This photo was taken in June 2013 when my husband and I were in Amsterdam, visiting the beautiful Rijksmuseum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migraine (haiga)

Published in cattails, January 2016:

Kendall migraine haiga 1

haiku and photography by Mary Kendall (c) 2016

The Gleaners

The Gleaners

This beautiful photo was taken by a friend, Patti Hardee Donnelly. Patti is a Middle School Language Arts Teacher at the same school I retired from. Each grade level does regular community service, and the activities are varied. Last month, Patti took her Middle School Advisory to spend an afternoon of gleaning sweet potato fields. As they were working through the fields, Patti took this photograph. She very kindly let me ‘borrow’ it for this haiga.

The concept of gleaning is an ancient one. So long as people have planted fields of crops, others have followed in their wake to glean whatever food might be left behind. It doesn’t matter if the vegetables are picture perfect, so much as they provide food for those who are without. Taking a group of middle class students who are in no danger of starving is a very purposeful way of both doing community service and providing a life lesson to the students. The gleaned sweet potatoes do end up on dinner tables of people who are happy to have healthy, fresh produce. The students who do the gleaning, perhaps for the first and last time of their lives, surely learn a lot about the facts of poverty and hunger. They learn a lesson in simple compassion. How often do most of us come face to face with the pain of hunger? The answer for the majority of Americans is ‘rarely.’

Here in the United States, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving, a time in which we feast and share our meal with those we love. Soon our thoughts will move on to Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, winter solstice, New Year’s and a whole period of seasonal gift giving, sharing food and good spirit. Let’s stop for just a minute and think about all we are fortunate to have–we who go to bed in a comfortable place after having had adequate meals. For December, I’m going to spend some time thinking about the concept of gleaning, both the physical and metaphorical. Having borrowed Patti’s beautiful photo and ‘gleaned’ it for my haiga, I hope I can find other ways to give back to the world.

Thank you, Patti Hardee Donnelly, for allowing me to use this picture, but thank you also for teaching your students about the importance of compassion and service to others. I will always celebrate and salute teachers like you who make a real difference in so many lives.

 

the gleaners

Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)
Gleaners, also called, The Gleaners
1857
Oil on canvas
H. 83.5; W. 110 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Jean Schormans

 

 

One Snow Haiku

Snowfall by Debbie Suggs

Snowfall by Debbie Nemer Suggs

 

Swiftly falling snow

Our footprints disappear ~

Were we ever there?

 

snow symbol

I would like to thank my dear friend, Debbie Suggs, for the use of her beautiful snowfall photograph (c) 2015.  Debbie and I wrote and published a book, A Giving Garden, in 2009. Her beautiful photographs have always inspired me.