Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT March 31st 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem Perennials by Maggie Smith, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write about something you praise.

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday April 5th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Perennials by Maggie Smith

Let us praise the ghost gardens
of Gary, Detroit, Toledo—abandoned

lots where perennials wake
in competent dirt and frame the absence

of a house. You can hear
the sound of wind, which isn’t

wind at all, but leaves touching.
Wind itself can’t speak. It needs another

to chime against, knock around.
Again and again the wind finds its tongue,

but its tongue lives outside
of its rusted mouth. Forget the wind.

Let us instead praise meadow and ruin,
weeds and wildflowers seeding

years later. Let us praise the girl
who lives in what they call

a transitional neighborhood—
another way of saying not dead?

Or risen from it? Before running
full speed through the sprinkler’s arc,

she tells her mother, who kneels
in the garden: Pretend I’m racing

someone else. Pretend I’m winning.

Copyright © 2018 Maggie Smith. 
This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.

4 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT March 31st 2021

  1. About something I praise~~~

    I praise the day.
    The day that begins in the darkness, in the stillness.
    A golden orb that rises above the horizon,
    waking up the creatures of the earth,
    summoning them to begin again.

    I praise the warmth of this orb that warms also my spirit,
    leading me to persevere throughout the day.
    I praise the subtleties of nature that abound around me,
    the springtime perennials that endured the winter cold to say hello to the world and its warming rays.

    I praise existence, my existence.
    The presence I have to stand witness to all the Creator has given to me.
    Let me never take each day for granted.
    It is a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • al3793

      Your speaker acknowledges the mystery of the great and obvious in noting the golden orb and the warmth it brings to life. But it also embraces the subtly of nature and I trust human nature and the substrate and essence of existence. All gift!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. al3793

    Prompt: Write about something you praise

    I praise the God
    who is present among us, who walked among us.

    Risen up, He descends into our humanity and
    Joins us in our suffering.

    He plumbs the depths of our existence the Pontiff tweets.
    He walked this earth and fell down prostrate in a garden

    fighting off temptation, He prayed, “Father take this cup.”
    “No human could bear the weight of all that sin”, the tempter says.

    Witnessed by olive trees now twenty-five hundred years old,
    their leaves shuddering, and

    He resists and surrenders,
    “Thy will be done.”

    Our patients say this same prayer and so do I, “Take this cup…”
    And I praise Him, the tongue bearer

    Bearing the fiery grace that brings the gaze of contemplation
    and the touch of the hands of mercy and healing

    and I am nurtured and become wrapped up His Divine compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

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