of then, of now, of forever

Stjohnsshadows2

it seems there’s so little time left
which means i must be selective
not must
but want
i want to be selective about how i spend the time i have left.

i want to do big little things that 
will change not the world
but my world.

near the top of The List:
to spend some time reconciling with
prayer
and poetry.

Stjohnsshadows1

it seems to me that prayer is usually a petition
made on behalf of self or someone else.
it’s a turning over (something i’m not very good at).

poetry is more of a turning out.
turning inside out.

maybe prayer is a turning inside out when there’s nowhere else to turn.

i’ve been mad at both for too long
poetry because of
that english teacher who
focused too much on the rules
(which sounded a lot like history class
with its unending string of dates)
and was too generous with her red ink.
with prayer
because i was taught
that not everybody could do it.
everybody should do it
everybody must do it
but not everybody could do it.
only men
were to speak to god.
my contribution was to be part of the
every-head-bowed-every-eye-closed gang.
i was first puzzled then angry
that i couldn’t pray by my own self.
not in front of anybody anyway.
it was okay if i prayed without moving my lips.

but now i pray throughout the day.
i pray to trees, asking for strength and wisdom.
and to the falls asking for relief and clearing.
i pray to the sky asking for a bigger vision
and to the clouds for nap time.
to the blooms i pray delight and gratitude
and to the boulders, i pray a sigh.
to the afternoon i pray a dance.
sometimes i lay out my ponderments and uncertainties
and ask for clarity and maybe a sign.
i pray to daddy asking for help with this or that.
i pray in a host of ways to a host of recipients
and i still don’t move my lips all that much.

one thing prayer and poetry have in common:
no words are necessarily required.
walking can be a prayer or a poem.
same goes for
singing 
laughing 
crying 
cooking 
and even cleaning.

with the right attitude and choices,
days can be prayers and poems.
entire lives can be prayers and poems.

Thefalls05apr15

the engineer planted flowers yesterday.
my son called.
my daughter smiled.
the sky thundered.
the trees danced.
the cats napped.
i stitched.

i rest my case.

4 Comments

  1. moonchild

    Your smile is the most beautiful prayer, your words are poetry to my heart, you are sacred and salvation, and I love what you have laid here for my beggars soul…

    • whollyjeanne

      and your words – as always – are the honey of poetry. thank you.

  2. judy martin

    this post is a poem and a prayer and we are so lucky that you are sharing your insides here so that we can see how. thank you

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, dear judy. in the scope of the internet, it seems a mere half blip. but for me, living slap dab in the middle of the bible belt, to question prayer – to question anything even remotely related to religion (and there is more. oh my goodness is there ever more.) is heresy of the first order. i did, however, post this yesterday and wake up this morning, so . . . xo

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