Tag Archives: grandparent

Under her Piano

“Music” by Anne Porter from Living Things: Collected Poems. © Steerforth Press, 2006.
 
When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold
 
And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying
 
Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country
 
I’ve never understood
Why this is so
 
But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
 
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest
 
And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country
 
We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams
 
And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows
 
Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.
 
(Photo is my grandmother at the piano, with my mother and grandfather singing a duet.)Winifred, Percy, Maxine singing

Before Jesus

Madonna

This Christmas is so very new and different. We have our own gift of the boy child. Our first grandson. So this poem is particularly poignant as I ruminate over my daughter’s home birth.

A Poem for the Season: Before Jesus by Alla Renée Bozarth
Before Jesus
was his mother.

Before supper
in the upper room,
breakfast in the barn.

Before the Passover Feast,
a feeding trough.
And here, the altar
of Earth, fair linens
of hay and seed.

Before his cry,
her cry.
Before his sweat
of blood,
her bleeding
and tears.
Before his offering,
hers.

Before the breaking
of bread and death,
the breaking of her
body in birth.

Before the offering
of the cup,
the offering of her
breast.
Before his blood,
her blood.

And by her body and blood
alone, his body and blood
and whole human being.

The wise ones knelt
to hear the woman’s word
in wonder.

Holding up her sacred child,
her spark of God in the form of a babe,
she said:

“Receive and let
your hearts be healed
and your lives be filled
with love, for
This is my body,
This is my blood.”

Birth Announcement