A Special Joy

A Special Joy

I felt joy when I looked at my firstborn son,
who arrived during a deep Kansas snow.
I called him “Little Precious”
when a nurse brought him to me. He was
my first and three other children came after him,
each bringing its own beaming joy to my young
heart; their first smiles were reasons to be glad;
their first blowing of spit bubbles from tiny
puckered lips made me laugh; they could sound
like cars or airplane engines accelerating for missions
like those that took their daddy halfway around the
world from us. I felt joy when he returned safely to us;
happiness beyond explanation when he winked his
way back into the graces of the wee ones who had
forgotten him in those long months.
Love is joy and joy is love.
God is love and He is in all the joy I have known,
causing my heart to refresh because of past joyful times.
Complete joy comes from weaving threads of laughter
onto a background of love-patched fabric in such a way
that only the brightest colors show.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Red Geranium

LOVE REMAINS

Turquoise waters,
the color of my eyes, you said,
that day when tardy winter came
filling the trees with snowflakes.
My bare arms were cold against
your warm hands as you wrapped denim-clad
arms about me, your Hemingway Cap pulled
over your ears.  “I love you,” you said. “Me,
too,” I replied.  You laughed, but I cried,
releasing a tear that cracked the
moment it touched my cheek and shattered into crystal
pieces. I awoke and hugging me were green muslin sheets;
caressing my cheek was a goose-down pillow, soaked cold
with tears.  Your plane, the uniformed men had said,
went down . . . in the . . . Atlantic . . . nose-dived into the
deep, turquoise waters.

© 2000 Freeda Baker Nichols
Third Place, Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni Award, Poetry Day 2000
Published in Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas 2002

LOOK AT THE STARS

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Look at the Stars
See them, my son,
high above your head,
embedded in dark, like diamonds
against black velvet?
Look closely, my son, for this
may be the only chance
I’ll have to show you the Milky Way
which I watched often
when I was your age.I’m so busy, my child.
I hurry so — not knowing
for certain why
I must rush headlong
through life but realizing,
there is no other avenue.
Do you see the big and little dippers?
They’re there, aren’t they?
Just as always? Oh, child!
Take time somewhere between cartoons,
football and music to look for them.
They were beautiful,
once . . . .
I’m sorry.
What shall you tell your son?
© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

Summer

I like summer
when days are long,
when easy winds whisper
a sweet and tender song,
when cool rains fall gently
and soft dust becomes damp,
when lightning bugs flicker
like an out-going lamp,
when the whippoorwill’s call
echoes through the night
and my heart knows
that everything is all right.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

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End of 2K14 National Poetry Month

This poem was written in January for the Month of Poetry 2014 and shared on Kathryn Apel’s blog at katswhiskers.wordpress.com. I dedicate it now to poets everywhere.

Flaming Candles

So Long, farewell,
goodbye, my friends.
Remember!
Keep the
candles of poetry
flaming.
If by chance, they
smolder
do not be discouraged.
Bring them back
to brilliance
with words
only you can create.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

APRIL EVENING

Image

A cool breeze touched softly
upon my face. Much earlier,
the sun had tumbled out-of-sight
leaving pink-red clouds
which promised the silhouetted
trees a warmer tomorrow—
a day without wind.
Quietness settled comfortably
about the mountains.
Newly awakened flowers
perfumed the evening
with their presence.
Their colors, tomorrow,
in the sunlight
would become
the artist’s pastel paints.
I chose to be content
with this fair evening
in April, if only
the moment would
last long enough
for me to savor
its sublimity.

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

A Special Joy

Footprints in snow 009A Special Joy

I felt joy when I looked at my firstborn son.
We wrapped him in a blue blanket and took him home
through the Kansas snow.
I called him “Little Precious”
when a nurse brought him to me.  Greg was
the first but three other children came after him,
each bringing its own beaming joy to my young heart;
their first smiles were reasons to be glad; their first blowing of spit bubbles
from tiny puckered lips made me laugh; they could sound like cars or airplane
engines accelerating for missions like those that took their daddy half way around
the world from us. I felt joy when he returned safely to us; exhilaration beyond
explanation when he winked his way back into the graces of the wee ones who had
forgotten him in those long months.
Love is joy and joy is love.
God is love and He is in all the joy I have known, causing my heart to refresh because
of past joyful times. Complete joy comes from weaving threads of laughter onto a
background of love-patched fabric in such a way that only the brightest colors show.

© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

I wish the whole wide world a Merry Christmas as I post this poem on Christmas Eve,

here in the USA. I’m happily looking forward to all my children being home this Christmas.

Christmas 2012 002

NaBloPoMo#28 Runs in the Family

granddaughter

granddaughter (Photo credit: anothernamedrose)

Runs in the Family

An appliqued red apple in the corner
of the scarf caught my eye.
The scarf covered the scratched
walnut finish of the pie-cooler that
was Grandma Lizzie’s hand-me-down
from her mother. The apple looked
good enough to eat.

“How do you write poetry?” Grandma
asked, the spring I visited her in the Ozarks
when dogwood blossoms appeared
like snow across the hillside.

“Oh,” I began, wondering how
serious she was.  “I start with a word,
or phrase maybe–” I stammered.
“Then I persist until something                                                                                                                                                                                                         
clicks and sentences tumble out, as
though they’ve broken free from a
locked cell.  They land on the page–”

“As gently as the baby quail
you found?” she asked.

The baby quail! Orphaned, it had
come running to me, hungry and thirsty.
I gave it too much water, and it died.

“Yes, Grandma. Like the baby quail.”

itty bitty baby quail

itty bitty baby quail (Photo credit: cskk)

Poems, too, need the right amount of words,
or they die.

“But tell me, Grandma, how did you make
the apple look so real?”

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

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