Our Readers Write
First developed by the Japanese in the thirteenth-century, the traditional haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written with a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often centering on images from nature or a season, the haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. No one has mastered Haiku better than our long-time contributor, Jane Lippy, from Hampstead, Maryland. Along with many poems of a more common, open form, she has focused on this very structured form and calls it her own! Here are some terrific examples of her work that reflect on the 2017 hurricane wrath and a sign of hope:
SHADES OF NOAH
Like the Biblical epic
Deluged man and beast
Lashed and thrashed o’re land and sea
Not to be outdone
Well, here comes Jose
With Maria to follow
No doubt, our most prolific contributor is Ruby Braithwaite from Hagerstown, Maryland. She always sends us the most beautiful poetry, often reflecting fond memories of seasons past in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here is a great example of her work:
THE BEAUTY OF SPRINGTIME
When the purple lilac blooms by my cabin,
And the perfume of honeysuckle filled the air,
God has then touched the earth with His glory,
its beauty is seen everywhere.
The trailing arbutus by a fast rushing stream,
The white May apple so graceful and tall.
pink larkspur, purple violets, and shy yellow buttercups,
Little Dutchman breeches, the prize of them all.
Under the flowering branch of the spicewood,
As children through the fiddler-head ferns we would run,
Our toes printing in the mud by the mill stream,
Laughing in the joy of childhood fun.
These scenes live now only in memory,
The streaked pages of time has now turned,
My life as a child in the Blue Ridge Mountain
Now in old age, I so often yean.
Ruby's sister, Gwendolyn Ridenour from Sabillasville, Maryland sent us this plea for all of us to be more compassionate, more appreciative, and less wasteful in our live:
In heaven, God waits patiently
For the people of the world
To end their wickedness and strife
And lead a much better life
To help the poor and needy people
Who need food and clothing each day
Some too ill to get a job
And then no money to pay.
They go from home to home
Borrowing what they really need
Knowing they have no way to repay
At the close of each and every day
Others have food they throw away
What a terrible waste
When the hungry and sick cold use the food
They then do without with Grace.