Close to Home

I guess that title could also refer to our renewed search for a permanent dwelling place (prayers for that, please!)…

but this poem hit close to home, considering what we’ve been through during the last six months.  So I thought I’d share it.  Thanks to poets.org and their poem-a-day project for bringing it to my attention.

The Things That Count

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Now, dear, it isn’t the bold things,
Great deeds of valour and might,
That count the most in the summing up of life at the end of the day.
But it is the doing of old things,
Small acts that are just and right;
And doing them over and over again, no matter what others say;
In smiling at fate, when you want to cry, and in keeping at work when

          you want to play—
Dear, those are the things that count.

And, dear, it isn’t the new ways
Where the wonder-seekers crowd
That lead us into the land of content, or help us to find our own.
But it is keeping to true ways,
Though the music is not so loud,
And there may be many a shadowed spot where we journey along

          alone;
In flinging a prayer at the face of fear, and in changing into a song a

          groan—
Dear, these are the things that count.

My dear, it isn’t the loud part
Of creeds that are pleasing to God,
Not the chant of a prayer, or the hum of a hymn, or a jubilant shout or

          song.
But it is the beautiful proud part
Of walking with feet faith-shod;
And in loving, loving, loving through all, no matter how things go

          wrong;
In trusting ever, though dark the day, and in keeping your hope when

          the way seems long—

Dear, these are the things that count.

Poetry II

Well, I thought I needed more poetry in my life, so I wrote some.  (By some, I mean one short poem.)  And subscribed to the Writer’s Almanac RSS feed.  I’m not done being grumpy with NPR, but it’s hard for me to stay mad a Garrison Keillor for long.  In other news, the girls and I have all had a simultaneous cold, but the suffering should be over soon.  As should school – two more days and exams for me!  Despite how ready I was for the end, it has snuck up very quickly.  And without further adieu or any more sentences beginning with conjunctions (don’t tell my English teacher)…here is the poem, incomplete, perhaps, and titleless as yet, but my first in a very long time. 

On my hip
is where you belong,
little one.
 
Between these hips you rode
quietly
for nine long
(short) months;
 
Through these hips you passed
Turning that long
(short) night
into morning;

 

On this hip,
now right,
now left,
you sit watching, learning,
reaching with your short
(long) arms
for what catches your eye.

 

In my arms,
on my hip,
is where you belong,
little one.

 

 

Poetry…

…is something I think I need more of in my life.  Fortunately, Karen Edmisten puts a little something up every Friday.  I thought this one was worth passing on.  I’m going to have to look for more of Anne Porter’s work!