Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

Favorite Poems

I’ve always loved poetry. It’s an excellent way to express oneself if you like working with words. Poetry helps me turn joy, pain, or sorrow (or any other feelings that linger within) from thoughts into hardcopy. It’s cathartic. For me I think it goes back to my Mother and seeing how poetry and reading was her great escape from the monotony of the daily grind, and how it just lifted her spirits, it took her to another place. To me poetry is like music; something about it draws me in and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s not necessary to find out why it affects you and there’s no need to analyze it. Just enjoy it. Here are a few of my favorite poems and some that I wrote.

Myself by Edgar A. Guest
Fairies and Elves by William Blake
I Will Not Die An Unlived Life by Dawna Markova
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy
Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson
A Father’s Guiding Light by Carol Densmore
Big Sister by Carol Densmore
Silence by Carol Densmore
House on the Lake by Carol Densmore
Freedom by Carol Densmore
Farm Livin' by Carol Densmore

by Edgar Albert Guest

I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.

(My Dad kept this poem among his things and I’m sure it was a source of inspiration and reflection for him.)

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Fairies and Elves
by William Blake

The Good are attracted by Men’s perceptions,
And think not for themselves;
Till experience teaches them to catch
And to cage the Fairies and Elves.

And then the Knave begins to snarl
And the Hypocrite to howl;
And all his good Friends shew their private ends,
And the Eagle is know from the Owl.

(Blake believes that the natural good in people is deceived and corrupted by others then they cease to think for themselves and are restricted from creative forces which he calls “fairies and elves.” When this happens, knavery, hypocrisy, and self-seeking enter into the soul, and the state of innocence is lost; but for those who have eyes to see the free, soaring spirit of the eagle is visible in all its difference from the sleepy, night-ridden owl.)

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I Will Not Die An Unlived Life
by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,
More accessible,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
To live so that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom,
And that which came to me as blossom,
Goes on a fruit.

(Dawna Markova, Ph.D, is internationally known for her ground-breaking work in helping people learn with passion and live on purpose. She is the CEO of Professional Thinking Partners, Inc., cofounder of the Worldwide Women's Web, a former senior research affiliate of the Organizational Learning Center at MIT, and has established learning communities around the world.)

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To Be of Use
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

(Marge Piercy is an amazing woman. This poem goes to the heart of what we all seek…to be around others who have the courage, fortitude and guts to "get the job done" no matter what, and even though work is often dirty and thankless, people ought to do it properly anyway. Sort of a “don’t give me any guff, just do it” attitude.)

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Crossing the Bar
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

(This poem describes how there is a scheduled time for each of us to go. It states with calm assurance that God will guide us through death, as He has in life. With the great Pilot beside us, death is just one more milestone on our journey toward life.)

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A Father’s Guiding Light
by Carol Densmore

As time amplifies your absence
Your presence grows stronger.
Your voice resonates in me
Reminding me to do what’s right
When the day’s hurdles seem too high
And I want to take the easy route,
Your hard-work ethic revives my spirit.

Now only your memory remains
A source of knowledge and wisdom
Like the reflection tree at the First Lake
When it comes alive at sunset,
Illuminating your presence and
Filling the dark water with glistening hope.

(Written in 2002 for my Dad, 1925 – 2001)

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Big Sister
by Carol Densmore

You must have asked
a million times
why me, why this
why now.
You probably think,
“I’m not finished with the boys,
There’s so much they must know.”
Why you dear sister,
how is the choice made?
You followed the rules,
ate organic, took long walks,
swam every week,
did things big sisters do best.

Like teaching us independence
and strength by just being yourself.
Telling stories of your experiences
(the kind we wouldn’t learn from Mom) and
instilling the importance of women’s health,
like the time you took us to Detroit
to learn about breast exams or
the times you stopped us
from making irrevocable mistakes.

Now we’re helpless
as you sit in that chair.
We can’t stop this mistake,
“God can’t you hear us,
You’ve made a mistake.”
As loud as we shout,
as hard as we pray,
the tumors keep
taking you more every day.
It’s out of control,
so fucking unfair.
Why you big sister,
why you my dear friend.

(Written in 2002 for Jane, 1954 – 2002)

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by Carol Densmore

Silence is the dripping faucet,
Dripping, dripping all day long.

Silence is the rustling trees,
Moving, blowing stretched in mid air.

Silence is the creaking floor,
Squeaking, popping as I move about.

Silence is the call of things,
Whispering, hinting to their song.

(Inspired by my desire for peace and quiet. It’s amazing what you hear when you tune the world out.)

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House on the Lake
by Carol Densmore

(Published in 2001 in Enlightened Shadows)

The house on the lake stands ready
Secluded by trees brushing the shoreline
Gently touching the water
Making soft ripples that go on forever
The wall of pines around the lake
Reaching to the sky as if to rejoice.

The house on the lake anxiously waits
Built high on stilts in the middle of the lake
Where no one can disrupt things
Lily pads cover the glimmering surface
Gently pulsating with the water’s breath.
Seclusions doorway hidden in the wall
By briars and branches tightly entwined.

The house on the lake is unwavering
Lush with the essence of books and music
Creating designs that sway from the rafters
Keeping the water fresh, vibrant, and blue
Symbolizing a journey through winding rivers
And back to the house on the lake.

(Going to an internal place of solitude. Inspired by a special place where I grew up.)

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by Carol Denmsore

I’m freer than you because I keep all my
shoes in the middle of my bedroom floor.
I can eat apples for supper, tofu for
breakfast and popcorn for lunch.

I’m freer than you because I can roll over on
Saturday morning and read my book ‘il ten.
Or go for a walk that takes the whole morning,
then nap all afternoon.

I’m freer than you because I can spit
watermelon seeds with my kids,
practicing an art that I mastered at their age.

I’m freer than you because I can surf the Net anytime
and check my email ten time a day if I like.
I can buy clothes for Thursday or Friday
instead of doing laundry.

I’m freer than you because I can
hang half a dozen bird feeders
from the deck instead of further out in the yard,
so the birds are closer and part of my day.

I’m freer than you because I can smash old ugly
furniture with a sledge hammer or take out a wall
with a few good swings.

I’m freer than you because I can make choices
like letting my kids be expressive, obnoxious teenagers,
instead of marching to the beat of an unnatural drum.

I’m freer than you because I can choose loneliness
instead of pushing it deeper and further out of sight
until it becomes a resentful bad habit.

I’m freer than you.

(Inspired by finally feeling good.)

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Farm Livin’
by Carol Densmore

Farm boys, farm girls
Thirteen mouths kept Mom awhirl
Riding pigs, chasing squirrels
Rotten tomatoes in our curls
Wild berries, strawberry swirls
Ghost stories when night unfurls
Raking leaves, jumping twirls
Summer nights, happy skirls
That ole farm, mother of pearl.

(Inspired by the ole farm where I grew up.)

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