Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Kind of Prayer



This Sunday's writing prompt: in light of the current climate - political, economic, social - make a list of synonyms for worry. Then make a list of antonyms. From that let a poem arise. The results are below.

synonyms for worry

fret
agonize
dwelling on the negative
stew
brood
distress
anxiety
unease
concern
tension
stress
perplexity
misgiving
thoughts of impending trouble
presentiment


synonyms for the opposite of that –

contentment
certainty
confidence
trust
peace
comfort


A Kind of Prayer

In the dead of night,
encompassed, enfolded
in lightless dark,
I can switch on a lamp,
set a match to a candle,
illuminate the shadows,
send them scurrying into corners,
ease my anxious mind
with the familiar –
See? All is recognizable, all is well.

In the daylight,
when dark shadows crowd
the light into corners,
I must find another means of comfort,
Another way to tame the dark,
and so I name things -
there’s a tree, a wall, a sink, a pen,
on and on, until I begin to notice
the leaves are green,
the wall is brick,
the sink is clean,
the pen is blue;

and further still,
the leaves rustle, whisper, dance
the bricks are sun-warmed,
the wall is meant to protect,
the sink is lustrous, gleaming, useful,
the pen, in hand, can set thoughts down,
free them up,

and so the world rights itself
and becomes comfortable again.

Photo by Jean





9 comments:

Barb said...

Pauline, thank you for this poem, these thoughts. I want to read it again and again as a reminder of how to move through life, lighting the darkness.

Molly Bon said...


We can see these as dark times or we can choose optimism. I have always thought that optimism, in the face of daunting odds has always been one of the best characteristics of Americans.
The comfort of familiar things and not letting the worst case scenarios drag us down will see us through.....I hope.
That picture alone is enough to warm us!

Out on the prairie said...

Always comfort found in familiarity in life.

Friko said...

and so the world rights itself
and becomes comfortable again

We have some small influence on our personal world but none at all on the big world all around us.
Perhaps if we do as your poem says, we can make our own space comfortable ad therefore add a little that is good to the big world.

Your poem is lovely, you come true every time.

Pauline said...

Barb - moving through the world, lighting the darkness - love that thought. If enough of us do it...

Molly - there is great comfort in familiar things, and even more in knowing we can face changes and win out even in the face of losing that comfort. I am rereading The Yearling, thanks to you!

OOTP - I so agree!

Friko - thank you for your kind words. I am beginning, more and more, to feel that the only way we can influence the wider world is to be the best we can be in our own small sphere.

Wisewebwoman said...

I'm more and more in alignment with your thoughts and beautiful poems. I feel my interest in the big picture declining substantially and focussing on the small and beautiful in the little time we have left.

XO
WWW

Pauline said...

WWW - we often have thoughts that run parallel. It's one of blogging's greatest strengths - this connecting of minds.

Barbara Shallue said...

More and more I'm learning how powerful the right words can be to evoke the right emotions. I'm trying hard to focus more on those positive words! Beautiful post!

Pauline said...

Thanks, Barbara - and I agree, words have power.