When the Song of the Angels is Stilled

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

~~ Howard Thurman ~~

I am a frayed and nibbled survivor…

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them.” ~~ Annie Dillard

Darling, I should have reminded you of what you are…

“Darling, I should have reminded you of what you are. I should have told you be kind, but remember, kindness does not mean being covered in soot, and used, and laughed at, and forgotten. I should have taught you courage means standing up for yourself, and what self-worth truly means.

You do not need to wait for permission; no one will think less of you when you decide to take back what has always been rightfully yours. No one deserves the right to steal from the garden of your heart that you so lovingly grew, and swallowing your own pride should not be one of your chores. Let no one tell you that kindness and courage can only wear the skin of giving up your self-worth, that you cannot wear your self-respect like it is armour. Stand up for your own human dignity and roar.”

~~ From ‘Cinderella’s Mother Sends Her a Message from Heaven’ ~ a re-imagining of the Cinderella story, included in the book ‘Fierce Fairy Tales — Poems & Stories to Stir Your Soul’ by Nikita Gill

God, the hummingbird is waiting…

God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,

and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is,
impatient or irritated,

or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait
during these uncertain times…

This morning
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.

I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,

for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night car door bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.

I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,

that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.

amen

~~ Maren C. Tirabassi ~~

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

~~ Maya Angelou ~~