My Grandmother’s Christmas Poem

Last Fall I wrote my first poem after 20 years or so.  It felt great and they have kept coming.  During that time I also picked up my grandmother’s journals.  They had been sitting in her old, dark wood, drop front desk that I now have sitting in the entryway of my house.  It is the nicest piece of furniture that we own.  My grandmother’s journals are filled with poetry written by other people.  Some she copied out in long hand and some she clipped from newspapers and magazines.  They are a diverse group of poems and when I hold the books in my hands I feel like she and I are reading together.

One day last winter I made a special find.  In one of the journals there appear to be 6 poems that may have been penned originally by my Grandmother.  As you can imagine the week I found these poems I spent my time thinking about not alot else.  I even began to wonder if maybe, because of her age and where she had been living, maybe she had even met my favorite poet, May Sarton.  I also began to think that writing poetry is something that comes from our blood like everything else that makes us who we are.  Two of the poems I found were quite personal.  What fun!  One other was a poem I imagine she may have sent out for Christmas in 1933:

May you have light this Christmas tide

Holy light from the child’s halo,

Magic spilled in the Star-beam’s glow,

The humble gleam from the tree’s window.

May you have music this Christmas-tide

Praise of Angels from the sky,

The love-filled spell of the Lullaby,

The sad little song of the Baby’s cry.

Music and light for your Christmas-tide.

 

The Story Behind the Title of this Blog

The title of this blog is taken from the title of a poem my Grandmother used to recite to me as a child.  She would say it from memory but here is how I just recently found the poem sited on the internet:

Jenny Kissed Me    by Leigh Hunt

Jenny kissed me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in.

Time, you thief!  who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in.

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad;

Say that health and wealth have missed me;

Say I’m growing old, but add—

Jenny kissed me!

My Grandmother would recite this poem in special moments during visits I would have with her at her home in Brunswick, Maine.  She would look at me with her beautiful smile and speak with a light, glistening, lilting tone.  I always knew that my Grandmother, my hero of a woman, loved, appreciated and was so very happy to be spending time with me.  The feeling I had while listening to her recite this poem to me was a feeling of total acceptance of all that I was as a little girl.  She saw the beauty in me, and I saw the beauty in her.  And boy, were we excited by each other!

 I wish I could say that as an adult all of my relationships with others have carried the tone of this kind of unconditional love and acceptance.  That has not been entirely the case, but happily, for the most part, my Grandmather’s gift of love to me, the gift of her unwavering smile and lilting voice in my presence, set me up for a lifetime of knowing what the best kind of nurturing, loving relationships feel like.

In this holiday season I am so thankful for relationship!  So thankful for my family, my beautiful old friends and wonderful new ones who always put joy in my  heart when I am in their presence.  Just recently I have been rediscovering and exploring my love of poetry.  In this journey I have been well supported by the love of those surrounding me.  Thank you for letting me see the smiles on your faces and hear the happiness in your voices when I am in your presence!  And very special thanks to my writing friends in the Write Stuff Writer’s group.

Urge to Write

She came out of the box.

Did you see her?

Pans flew across the kitchen,

Arms flailing,

(The last pen had slipped behind the drawer).

Bacon burnt,

She sat at the dining room table gashing her teeth and gripping the prodigal pen.

It spewed black ink onto a crumpled piece of coupon paper.

Did you see her squint, brow furrowed, mouthing the words?

Now watch her slump back into the chair as it slowly forms–

The radiant, curving beam of her saticefied smile.

Check.

Poem written.

Being a Woman

It is a scream in the night

“I am taking it back!”

No situation ever again

Will tell me that I lack

The power of being a woman.

It will not be my plight

To ever shrivel and close

I remain open and giving

And I nourish all of those

With the gifts of being a woman.

My eyes fill with light

My arms hold and caress

My mind searches, discovers

And I do not forget–I possess

The beauty of being a woman.

You Will Always Be Warm, Soothed and Safe

The mermaid inside me has a son, and he lies warm nestled beside her

His cheeks turn pink, held so close to the glow of her heart fire

And as they cuddle, she sings sweet to him,

Her love notes, open, pure and whole, flow smooth like water across her son’s open ears

The perfect lullaby both stimulates and calms all of the baby’s tiny breaths

From her days spent swimming in the swift, salted sea

The mermaid’s hands are butter soft,

Her arms’ grasp is as strong as steel

Curled up against his mother’s body, the boy is kissed by gentleness

And he is hugged with the strength of giants

In her perfect care, no severe ocean and all the danger that it holds will ever touch this baby

The mermaid inside me will always keep her son warm, soothed and safe.

Born to Love

 

You were born to love.

 

From the moment she held you,

You turned toward her breast,

And looked up into her eyes.

“Rooting” they call it–

I call it ready and waiting to love.

Our first instinct is to turn toward another,

Engulfing with our mouths

While melting with our eyes.

 

You were born to love.

 

Resting in her arms you were so quiet,

Waking alone at night you called out as if in pain,

You were meant to rest with your mother.

 

You were born to love.

 

We grow up to be comfortable in our solitude,

We grow up to be productive on our own,

But oh the bliss that only comes from loving another,

Engulfing with our mouths and melting with our eyes.

 

Dear One,

Never be ashamed of looking for another

To share in the beauty that you came here to see.

There is never anything wrong with looking for another

To help you be everything you were born to be.

 

Dear One,

You were born to be a lover–

A lover of all that life will bring your way.

Never second guess your quest to find another

To kiss, look at and lie beside at the end of the day.