Reflection Pond

Like tourists,

we park the car at the side of the road

and hop out for a quick photo.

Before us,

A palisade of pines frame the pond,

and like an impressionist painting,

blurry images shimmer across the water’s surface.

Behind the blades

scattered amid wide green lilly-pads,

pink buds wait for the morning sun to wake them,

commencing the grand opening

when they share their glory

with a wandering soul.

Above the drone of hidden arthropods.

a bob-white announces, “I’m here.”

During the next several minutes,

each flower changes from pink to white

and I rejoice

to be here, too.

Author Notes

We visited Reflection Pond on a camping trip at Ochlockonee River State Park located near Sopchoppy, Florida. A quick photo stop turned into a half-hour visit as Herb and I a watched a water lily open. Reflection pond is aptly named. Time seemed to stand still as we pondered the beauty of the scene. I felt like we had witnessed something special.

More about water lilies:

  • The blooms open in the morning and close in the afternoon. Each plant blooms for three to four days.
  • The flowers grow from underground stems. These stems can stretch which helps the lily adjust to rising water levels.
  • Water lilies are beneficial to ponds because they help control algae and stabilize the water temperature.
  • If your birthday is in July, the water lily is your flower!

Thank you for reading my post. An earlier post entitled Being expresses a similar theme of living in the moment in the Florida Keys. Nature has much to offer if we slow down and take notice of our surroundings. May your summer be blessed with special moments outdoors.

Think About Why You Started, and Keep Going

Everyone has dreams. How many of your dreams have become reality?

Five years ago I started writing this blog. Initially, I wanted to encourage people to pursue their creativity. I started as the Poet on Blueberry Street on April 1, 2016. My first post was very short. I really didn’t know what I was doing or where this blog would take me.

So it goes with creativity. One step leads to another and before you know it five years have passed. I have published one hundred sixty-two entries since 2016. Some of you may have followed me since the beginning. We have shared the ups and downs of camping in Florida, adventures in gardening, and of course who could forget the pandemic?

Throughout it all I’ve weaved my love for poetry, reading, and writing. Today I looked back at some of my favorite poetry posts. In case you missed them, or would like to revisit, click on these links.

If Trees Could Talk and Other Poems (2017)

Poetry a Message in a Bottle (2018)

Fallen Leaves (2019)

Ode to the Spotted Bananas (2020)

I realize I am not a blogger who keeps a specific schedule. I tend to hit the keys when I feel inspired. Creativity cannot be forced, but it can be furthered by allowing ourselves to “be in the zone.” I am thankful for this opportunity to express myself without an editor looking over my shoulder.

In the process of writing this post I discovered a website called DayZero. I was surprised to learn the world’s most popular goals include writing a blog, losing weight, and writing a book. Interesting. How blessed I am to accomplish two of those goals. (Remember, I like to eat bread.)

Whatever your goals, I leave you with this quote from Darren Hardy.

“Starting is not most people’s problem. Staying, continuing, and finishing is.”

In the words of Buddy the Beagle…. never give up.

At home, reading Return to Blueberry Street to my favorite beagle.

Small Beginnings

Arise my barren cypress

Lift your branches high

winter days of darkness

Are now in short supply.

You endured the many trials

Which robbed you of your cheer

Stripped of all your beauty,

you’ve aged another year.

Time will soon restore

the lushness of your leaves

to dance above the riverbank

with every summer breeze.

Arise my barren cypress

Your future is not grim

For countless tiny buds

slumber on each limb.

Dear Readers, A quiet walk in nature often brings encouragement and inspiration to my heart. I have taken many photos of cypress trees, but I did not see the beauty of a barren tree until today. I was reminded that faith is being certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

The Captive

Wet flurries drift downward

commanded by the pull

of unyielding earth

intercepted

the lacy flakes can go no farther.

In quiet submission

snowfall blankets each backyard

painting the world a wintry white.

Giggles break the silence.

The spotless snow…

trampled and squeezed,

rolled into a boulder—commissioned to support a body

pierced with two sticks

each limb raised skyward to flag down help.

Nearing completion, the frozen man

tries to ‘keep his head’ in this desperate situation.

There, above the false smile and carrot nose,

two pleading eyes

look for the sun’s redemption

and the day when all things become new.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for reading my blog this year. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021. A new year when we finally escape the captivity of the Coronavirus pandemic. In many ways, I am like the snowman in this poem. Held captive by forces beyond my control. I look to Jesus for redemption and the day when we will all be free.

In Praise of the Lone Lantana

Behold the primeval forest

enduring the tests of time

sheltered under towering oaks

Life survives.

Defended by vast armies

of raised palmetto swords

shielded by a green stockade

Life grows.

A confident lantana

performs a solo act

arrayed in pink and yellow

Life creates.

As if on cue, a butterfly

flutters across the scene

to sip the sweet fresh nectar

Life thrives.

Lacy ferns sing anthems

in time with steady rain

in praise of the lone lantana,

Life rejoices.

Ode to the Spotted Bananas

A picture of patience

two long-suffering friends

perched upon a pseudo-branch or might it be a stem?

A rash of brownish age spots

proliferate their skin

the green of youth has vanished with their next of kin.

What is to become of them?

What will be their fate?

Crown a bowl of cereal before they’re out-of-date?

They hope to draw the eye

of a casual passerby

if left to age another day they’ll be banana pie.

Perfect Peace

Is perfect peace found…

In a cloudless sky?

Or could it exist in a hurricane’s eye?

Can it be perceived in the dark of night?

Or better displayed by candlelight?

Is peace our reward, when all work is done?

A prize for the victor, when conflict is won?

A mother feels peace as her child drifts to sleep.

A sailor knows peace where the waters are deep.

The teacher can’t wait ’till the final bell rings.

The hiker knows peace when the morning birds sing.

The judge proclaims peace when the last word is said.

The waitress will say it’s when everyone’s fed.

The busy store clerk awaits Christmas Eve.

A harried host smiles after everyone leaves.

Perfect peace

Strivings cease

Kept by those

whose trust grows

in the Rock of Ages.

A Tiffany Window

Poetry inspired by art.

Earth fused with fire

minerals blend

amethyst stained

atoms suspend

colorful glass

fruit of the flame

carved into pieces

placed in a frame

blended together

images rise

fruit of the harvest

feast for the eyes

light opalescent

dispels the night

spirit awakens

dullness takes flight.

* My featured image is part of the Louis Comfort Tiffany collection at the Morse Museum of Winter Park, Florida. The museum is hosting an open house Thanksgiving weekend with free admission. Click here to read more about the history of stained glass.

Dear readers, this week is a time to count our blessings instead of calories. Thank you for following my blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fallen Leaves

When I bend low in autumn

to gather fallen leaves

Each one holds a memory

I’m longing to retrieve.

My childhood home before me,

the window up above,

where I beheld each season

the maple tree I loved.

Mother was a gardner

raising corn for harvest.

Father was a builder

with wood and brick an artist.

We children ruled a kingdom

in summer we would seek

to exercise our power

over crawdads in the creek.

The golden leaves speak clearly

of fireflies in jars.

Dreaming by the campfire

and watching shooting stars.

Then the leaves fall silent.

Their voices disappear

Now rise as word on paper

to speak in later years.

Signs and Wonders

A poem about following God.

If I were a Hebrew

enslaved by Pharoah’s reign,

would I follow Moses

or labor just the same?

Oh, the great achievements,

our works of brick and stone,

traded for a lowly tent

in landscape so unknown.

Would I trade the coolness

of shade along the Nile,

for the sizzling desert

extending out for miles?

Would I question Moses

as I packed unleavened bread,

take along my animals

unless they could be fed?

Would I flee from Egypt

in the dark of night,

awaken all my children

before the morning light?

Would the signs and wonders,

the sacrificial lamb,

ease my hesitation

to trust the great I AM?

Have you ever felt like you were on a journey through new territory?

I imagine that’s the way the Hebrews felt when they decided to follow Moses out of Egypt. Passover marked their exodus from slavery.

But what if the Hebrews felt comfortable as slaves? After all the book of Exodus states that they lived in Egypt for 430 years. (Exodus 12:40) Slavery was familiar, freedom was not. What if God didn’t provide for them in the wilderness?

Following God usually leads us out of our comfort zones into new territory. I’m fascinated by the miraculous way God protected and provided for his people. He divided the water of the Red Sea so they could cross on dry ground and escape the Egyptians. He sent a cloud by day and fire by night to lead his people through the desert. He gave them manna and quail to eat. The wilderness tested their faith in God. Those who continued to trust and obey him were admitted to the promised land.

Are you afraid to follow God’s leading? Do you desire familiarity and comfort instead of the unknown? Following God is not always easy or popular. This week marks three special holidays, Passover, Good Friday, and Easter. I hope my poem inspires you to reflect upon your faith and relationship with God. Let go of the past and trust him to lead you out of doubt and fear. He will never leave you or forsake you. You may not witness miraculous signs and wonders, but you can know the peace of his presence.

My poem Signs and Wonders first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Time of Singing.

To read another of my favorite poems click here The Secret of the Cereus.