Friday, November 27, 2009

Friends: The Wind Beneath My Wings

Hi, Connie here. Please, come walk with me, come talk with me. . .

When poetry day and my name collided, the screeching and wailing could be heard throughout Inktropolis and beyond. A poet I’m not, and I know it.

But before the sounds faded into the distant hills and died, my fellow Inkies and other friends lifted me above the muddle of my fear and bathed me with encouragement. Even the Lord seemed to be on their side, urging me to spread my wings and soar to new heights.

Friends began the Christmas season of giving early, lending me poems and haikus to share with you. Stewart, from Alaska, sent an entire poem in French – Paul Verlaine’s L’automne. The first verse goes:

Les sanglots longs
Des violins
De l’automne
Blessent mon Coeur
D’une langeur

Doesn’t that sound beautiful? It does, if you don’t speak French. My romantic mood fled when I looked up the English translation:

The sobbing calls
From the fall’s
Fiddles’ moan
Through my breast

Stewart characterized it as “mostly long, sad vowels of a suffering soul; the drawn out sobs of the violins of autumn wound his heart with a monotonous lassitude.”

While poetry like this certainly has its place, this was not the uplifting message I wanted to impart today. But I included it because Stewart, in his beautiful spiritual wisdom, also passed on an inspirational message, one we should all hold close to our hearts for those moments we feel so undeserving:

In thinking of the reality of Verlaine’s sadness, Stewart wrote, “He knew that his disgusting life with his Decadents had earned his way to hell, and he knew it was too late to earn his way to heaven. Did he know about Jesus’ words in Mark 10:27? ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’ Would Verlaine know that when he received the last rites he had only to accept God’s grace? Would his life of deep sin prevent him from accepting it? Would the church in 1896 emphasize his decadence and blasphemy? Would the priest withhold a death-bed blessing?”

Thank you, Stewart, for reminding us that with God, all things are possible, including forgiveness. We are ever only as far from our Father as we travel ourselves.

The haikus I received from my fellow Inkies were far less maudlin. In fact, they caught the spirit of the thanksgiving holiday better than I could have myself.

First, from Dina:

Cranberries of red
Yellow squash and beans of green
Colors sing their praise

And a second from Dina:

Corn and turkey grace
The table full of wonders
A portrait of thanks

And then from Deb:

Cold and crispy day
Eat too much and play some games
Gather loved ones near

And a second one from Deb:

Fragrant kitchen warmth
Filling with family noise
Blessed holiday

Portraits of my yesterday.

Are those not beautiful in and probably because of their simplicity? Did they sing of the colors of your table yesterday? Of your home and the autumn weather outside? Did they bring back memories of family and friends and call to mind just a fraction of the blessings we have to give thanks for? I hope so.

Thank you, my friends, for your unselfishness. I sing your praises each day.

I was blessed to be offered these beautiful poems to share with you, but God wasn’t about to let me (or perhaps that should be 'let YOU') off the hook so easily. So, below is my first and probably my last poem. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be to write. I pray it’s not too painful to read.

An Ode to Black Friday
By Connie Marquise

Now, poetry’s just not my style
I read it just once in a while
For, as you can see,
At it, I’m lousy.
No, poetry’s just not my style.

Neither is shopping my style
Please, save me from that over-crowded aisle
All the pushin’ and shovin’
Maulin’ and muggin’
In my face, a fist shakin’
“Let go, or you’re bacon!”
No, shopping’s just not my style.

Now, football. Ah, THAT’S my style
Those taut, honed bodies all in one pile
The cheers and the moans,
The tears and the groans,
Hut one and hut two,
Will he make it through?
Oh, yeah, football. THAT’S my style.

So, while you, beat to the bone,
Drag your half-priced treasures home,
On the couch, there I’ll be, turkey sandwich in hand
Watching my team make their goal-line stand
No. No Black Friday for me
Just football and turkey
Oh, yeah, that’s my style.

Okay, so I’ve probably revealed a little more about myself than I should have. Maybe that’s what composing poems does to you. Regardless, I wish you all a blessed weekend.

Thinking of shopping and advertising, I wonder how many of you can complete these sayings and/or tell me what they’re advertising. Answers below. No cheatin', now.

1. Rice-a-Roni, the _____ _________ treat.
2. Sometimes you feel like a ____, sometimes you don’t.
3 . Drivers Wanted.
4. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, __________________________
5. Don’t leave home without it.
6. The Few, The Proud, The __________________
7. You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with __________
8. Just do it
9. Tastes as good as it smells
10. Our repairmen are the loneliest guys in town.
11. Melts in your mouth, not in your hand
12. Diamonds are forever

1. San Francisco
2. Nut – Planters Peanuts
3. Volkswagen
4. Oh, what a relief it is – Alka Seltzer
5. American Express
6. Marines
7. Pepsodent
8. Nike
9. Maxwell House Coffee
10. Maytag
11. M & Ms
12. De Beer Consolidated Diamond Mines

Thanks for checking in with us today. I’d love to hear about your favorite poems and lyrics. What was your all time favorite ad? Mine has to be the Budweiser Clydesdales kicking the extra point in the snowy field as those two hunky cowboys observe and one says, "Nah, they usually go for two."

But then, Football, now that’s my style!

I think I've soared high enough for one day. After all, I am afraid of heigh. . . Oops, half-time's over. Gotta run!


  1. Connie, I liked the humor and rhthym of your poem. Two fine qualities in poetry. A lot of poets forget the rhythm, and of course humor is always appreciated.

    And...speaking of the Budweiser Clydesdales, Busch Gardens Williamburg is opening for "Christmas Town" this year for the first time. That's where I'll be this evening.

    Oh, and I really loved the French poem too. Lovely imagery.


  2. Yay, Connie!!!

    You did awesome, girl. I loved the haikus, the poetry, and the ode to Black Friday. After shopping from 5am to 8:30, I'm all shopped out. And I didn't over spend, so yay, me!

  3. Gina, I would have never pegged you for a black friday shopper, so it must have been a can't miss price!

    Connnie, I really enjoyed your post. I admit I was here at the crack of dawn and got a good laugh.
    thanks for giving it a shot. You dun good!

    Happy Day everyone!

  4. Dina, thanks for the kudus. It was like pulling teeth at first, but then it did get fun. And thanks mostly for sharing your haikus. I envy you going to the Busch Gardens tonight. Have a wonderful time. Now Williamsburg has a double-check of reasons to go on my bucket list.

    Gina, with five kids and an entire flock to think of, I did imagine you out there in the craziness. I'm real proud you didn't overspend. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your company and family.

    Deb, thanks again for the help. Glad I started our day off with a giggle. Have a grand rest-of-the-weekend.

  5. Connie,
    You rock woman! Love the post and I think we should have you do this at least every other week. I know you'd love it.:)

    As far as ads go I love those Clydesdales. I remember one about the little colt that wanted to grow up to be one of the Budweiser Clydesdales. So cute!

    As far as shopping on Black Friday goes: I'll stick to Amazon's deals.:)

  6. And I thought we were friends, Jill! I love that one about the Clydesdales, too. They way they helped him fit in that huge harness and then pushed from behind. They have very meaningful ads.

    I'll see ya on line at Amazon or My kinda shopping, too.

  7. Connie,

    Loved this post...and your poem...especially the part about 'football' I'm w/ ya girlfriend.

    Do you remember the commerial for Coke a few years back w/ (mean) Joe Greene and the little boy...That's one of my all time favourite commercials.

    Have a great day, everyone.


  8. Hey Connie, good poetry!

    Sunday is the Grey Cup game up here in Canada and our very own Saskatchewan Roughriders are in it again. Yay! Go Riders Go!!!

    And you can be sure I'll be watching the game on TV (played in Calgary, Alberta).

    And you can also be sure I'll keep thinking of your apt description of 'Those taut, honed bodies all in one pile' while the game's going on. LOL

    Loved the post, Connie. Thank you.

  9. Hi, Karen: It's so nice to have company here on the couch as I watch my football! Ah, that Mean Joe Greene commercial. That was fabulous. Coke has done some good ones throughout the year. The newer one with Palomalo (sp?) tearing a shirt off someone else to give the kid just doesn't do it for me, but I hear that's the kind of player he is. So glad you had a moment to share with us.

    Anita, I'll be rooting alongside ya for the 'Riders. Hope they do better than my Raiders did yesterday! Sigh. It's been a long few years since I've had a winning team but I'm a diehard! There are lots of other teams I root for, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Great poem, Connie. It made me laugh. And I think the purpose of poetry is to evoke emotion, so YOU'RE A POET!!!

  11. Your poem was fabulous, Connie! I loved it. (And great haikus from Deb and Dina.)

    The Clydesdale commercials are always my favorites. I love what they do with them. So cute! And sometimes serious. Remember after 9/11, Budwiser did a commercial with a Clydesdale kneeling in honor of those who lost their lives? That one tore me up. Very touching.

  12. Thanks, Suzie! I'll use you as a reference! :-)))

    And thanks, Jen. The commercial with the Clydesdales kneeling in front of the Twin Towers reduced me to tears, too. They deliver some very spiritual commercials.

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