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friday feast: what are you for?

"Here's to the soul-expanding power of the simply beautiful." ~ Taylor Mali

"Blooms" by Majlee.

I'm for flowers in the pink, greens and robin's egg blue.

Try: baby foxes,

photo by hapyday.

the other-worldly colors of Haleakala, 

photo of Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii by itexas.

well-loved volumes of Alcott. 

photo by Majlee.

My morning smoothie,

photo by yoshiko314.

tea and cookies,

photo by fruitcakey.

a friend seeing fireflies for the first time.

 by whimsy studios.

Okay, dogs with moustaches!

photo by ginnerobot.

Confession: I belong to the glass half-empty club. Poetry and blogging are forms of therapy when I need it, means to find the silver lining, a flip to the bright side.

That's why I am so for Taylor Mali. See if this poem doesn't lift you right up.

by Taylor Mali

I’m for reckless abandon
and spontaneous celebrations of nothing at all,
like the twin flutes I kept in the trunk of my car
in a box labeled Emergency Champagne Glasses!

Raise an unexpected glass to long, cold winters
and sweet hot summers and the beautiful confusion of the times in between.
To the unexpected drenching rain that leaves you soaking
wet and smiling breathless;
“We danced in the garden in torn sheets in the rain,”
we were christened in the sanctity of the sprinkler,
can’t you hear it singing out its Hallelujah?

Here’s to the soul-expanding power
of the simply beautiful.

See, things you hate, things you despise,
multinational corporations and lies that politicians tell,
injustices that make you mad as hell,
that’s all well and good.
And as far as writing poems goes,
I guess you should.
It just might be a poem that gets Mumia released,
brings an end to terrorism or peace in the middle east.

But as far as what soothes me, what inspires and moves me,
honesty behooves me to tell you your rage doesn’t move me.
See, like the darkest of clouds my heart has a silver lining,
which does not harken to the loudest whining,
but beats and stirs and grows ever more
when I learn of the things you’re actually for.

That’s why I’m for best friends, long drives, and smiles,
nothing but the sound of thinking for miles.
For the unconditional love of dogs:
may we learn the lessons of their love by heart.
For therapy when you need it,
and poetry when you need it.
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The solution to every problem usually involves some kind of liquid,
even if it’s only Emergency Champagne
or running through the sprinkler.
Can’t you hear it calling you?

I’m for crushes not acted upon, for admiration from afar,
for the delicate and the resilient and the fragile human heart,
may it always heal stronger than it was before.
For walks in the woods, and for the woods themselves,
by which I mean the trees. Definitely for the trees.
Window seats, and locally brewed beer,
and love letters written by hand with fountain pens:
I’m for all of these.

I’m for evolution more than revolution
unless you’re offering some kind of solution.

I’m for the courage it takes to volunteer, to say “yes,” “I believe,” and “I will.”
For the bright side, the glass half full, the silver lining,
and the optimists who consider darkness just a different kind of shining.

So don’t waste my time and your curses on verses
about what you are against, despise, and abhor.
Tell me what inspires you, what fulfills and fires you,
put your precious pen to paper and tell me what you’re for!

source: afiori.com.

Today's Roundup is at Carol's Corner. Cruise the blogs, drink up the poetry, practice a little reckless abandon this weekend. ☺

Barnaby Britches by JIGGS IMAGES.

**This post was brought to you by some of the things I am for. Do you like any of them too? Tell me what YOU are for. I'm listening.

♥ See my other Taylor Mali post featuring "The the Impotence of Proofreading" here.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan's alphabet soup. All rights reserved.


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I absolutely love today's post! You are so right, the poem is incredibly uplifting!

I picked up a copy of 'Kira-Kira' by Cynthia Kadohata today... it reminded me of you and I have this feeling you've mentioned her before but I couldn't see it in the tags.

I absolutely loved Mockingbird, by the way! Your blog always finds wonderful books and brilliant positivity! :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
So glad you loved Mockingbird! And yes, I've probably mentioned Kira Kira before -- when I was thisclose to giving up writing entirely, it inspired me to keep going. I think you will enjoy the spare beauty of Kadohata's prose.

And -- happy to hear you like Taylor Mali's poem!! Thanks for *your* uplifting comment :).
Jul. 9th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
I'm for Jama! And coffee with chocolate milk, sexy productions of Shakespeare, and Sherman Alexie poems. I'm for bananas dipped in dulce de leche, and clean sheets, and neighbors who have beautiful gardens so I don't have to. I'm for old episodes of Star Trek, bacon, and dancing in a twirly dress. I'm for ruby rings, and kisses in the kitchen, and old dogs. I'm also, quite obviously, a sucker for questions like these.
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Squee! I'm for Sara's cool comment! Wondering if *you* put the sexy in Shakespeare -- huzzah for clean sheets, Alexie, and twirly dresses! Oh, those kitchen kisses sound especially good. Mr. Clooney, are you listening?
Jul. 9th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jama! That's just what the doctor ordered. I'm for Taylor Mali, Poetry Friday, hugging my children, cool breezes, songs that pop into your head at just the right moment, beautiful French horn solos, delicious fricot, warm apple strudel...I think I'm starting to sound like Julie Andrews. I do like whiskers on kittens. :-)
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
What a great list, Tabatha -- *drooling over apple strudel*. Fricot? Something I am missing thus far but will have to remedy. Now I've got Julie singing in my head :) . . .
Jul. 9th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
I'm for you and all the things you are for, except for smoothies: I prefer my yogurt gloppy and fruit with a bit of crunch. I'm for mornings when I can sit on the porch and eat local blueberries and enter a day's work very slowly. Thanks for the pictures and poem!
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Gloppy yogurt is good . . . *nods*.

Love picturing you on your porch with those blueberries. :) My mouth is open, toss one my way!
Jul. 9th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm for blogs from friends across the country with pictures of tea and books and bears.

I'm for the green leaves against the gray, foggy sky outside my window. And, today, I'm for 8 hours until my son comes home from camp! :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
I'm for Becky, a devoted mother waiting for her boy to come home. I'm for good blog friends and loyal readers who help spread the love ♥!
Jul. 9th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
tanita says :)
I'm for yogurt parfaits and Farmer's Markets and round, fat blueberries. I'm for electric trains and petticoats and big, ugly combat boots embroidered with roses. I'm for cool reptiles, and parquet floors, and salsa dancing, barefoot, which I'm horrible at, but I'm for dancing even badly.

I'm for acts of impulsive kindness which make my whole body flush with shyness, but I'm for doing it anyway.

I'm for swashbuckling, and for unbuckling that swash; I'm for early morning silence, magic... in liquid or solid form, and poetry which makes my heart both hurt and sing.

And for friendships with strangers who remain strange, but become very dear friends.
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says :)
I'm for strange bloggers with eclectic "I'm for" lists! Combat boots with roses, unbuckling swashes -- never cliché.

What makes me giggle: Magic! Magic T, D, and P! :D

Gotta get me some fat blueberries pronto.
Jul. 9th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Elaine M.

I'm for cool, dry weather on my daughter's wedding day--July 10th. Unfortunately, I don't think Mother Nature is going to grant my weather wish. We'll still have a grand day...without doubt!
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
I hope you get the cool, dry weather you want, despite the reports. The big day is almost here!

I'm for blushing brides, handsome grooms, and their beautiful families and friends. I'm for summer weddings, dancing in the moonlight, guests talking late into the night. ♥ ♥
Jul. 9th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I'm for YOU!
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU! I'm for YOU and cupcake baking and handcrafted ANTS :). I'm for outdoor living rooms, writers gathering, mothers and daughters working in the kitchen together. :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Great post! The day we took a helicopter ride over Haleakala, it was foggy. We flew through a cloud and saw soft corals instead of those otherworldly hues. Still spectacular.

I'm for laughter; tulips; owls; poetry; oceans; 60s rock; real books with covers and pages (ha!); Shakespeare at Stratford or at High Park where we're sitting on hard ground but forget that our Bottoms hurt because the play's the thing; smart funny dogs; smart funny bloggy friends who brighten my day; chocolate for breakfast...

Heh. A lot of what I like is in a poem. (What a coincidence!)


Jul. 9th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm for Barb's poem! I'm for spelling "favorite" with that extra "u". FAVOURITE.

Dogs who speak French? Monsieur Echo? I'm beyond impressed.

Saw Harry Potter last night, and thought of you when I saw the owls. :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Linda K. (Write Time)
Love the pictures, especially the baby foxes! You're right, the simple things in life bring the most joy!
Jul. 9th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Linda K. (Write Time)
Thanks for visiting, Linda! I'm for you having a great weekend :)!
Jul. 9th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday Taylor Mali's poem
I'm for Taylor Mali's wonderful poem, engrossing books, long walks, good friends, libraries, education, families, love, and a moment of peace to ponder what is really most important to me. Thanks for inspiring my Friday afternoon, Jama.

Jacqueline Jules
Jul. 9th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Poetry Friday Taylor Mali's poem
Thanks for stopping by, Jacqui! I'm for all the things on your list, and for girls' names beginning with "J!" :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I would NEVER have put you in the glass is half-empty camp. That's where I sit. I love this poem and am putting it in my poetry to ponder folder to study more later.

I'm for words, words that I write and words written to me, words that make me believe anything is possible and it's not too late if you only start now. I'm for dogs who let you love on them even when they'd prefer you not. I'm for husbands who pamper me by doing so much of what used to be traditionally woman's work. I'm for native plants that grow in this dense clay soil with so little water. I'm for all the birds who flit to and fro in my yard. I'm for possibilities in discarded and forgotten people and children.
Jul. 9th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love your list, Susan. And it's nice to have company in the glass is half-empty camp. Hard to say if we're just born that way, or if life's circumstances make us so. I'm for words that help you find kindred spirits, words that shine. And if your husband runs out of traditional woman's work in your home, please send him over :).

Jul. 9th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm For...
I'm for the sun coming out, the hummingbird that sits on my across-the-street neighbor's tree, the bumblebee almost too fat to fit into the California poppy, my husband gaining weight after he'd lost a bunch, and my doggie LOVING her walkie.
Jul. 9th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm For...
I'm for hummingbirds, too! And the fat bumblebee that lives by our mailbox and scares me every time I check the mail. I'm for the sun coming, too, but only if the temps remain below 100 degrees!
Jul. 10th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC)
I'm for Poetry Friday and great photos and watering the garden on summer evenings and new bookshelves and reading lights by the bed and fresh strawberries, blueberries & raspberries... and blog comments!
Jul. 10th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm for delicious blog comments bursting with berries! And new bookshelves. Thank you so much :).
Jul. 10th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
I'm for skipping sessions at a conference to read Poetry Friday posts.
I'm for finding a new favorite poem!
I'm for poetry and photographs and comments and Fridays.
I'm for glasses that are half full or half empty -- as long as there's one sip left, thank the heavens above for the glass and whatever it holds (and I'm SO for Emergency Champagne!!!)

Jul. 10th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
LOL. LOVE the way your mind works, Mary Lee. That last sip, and of course, we worry about half-full, half-empty, and don't give thanks for the glass!
Jul. 12th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Interesting poem - I like how she jumps in and out of slam-style rhymes there. And that she quotes the B-52s.

And funny that you showcased worn volumes of Alcott . . .
Jul. 12th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
I'm for the feeling that it might not matter how late I am with my reply for once;
I'm for an afternoon that can hold World Cup soccer, a hunk of Manchego, kids hootin and hollerin in the pool, a bottle of "planned champagne" and a toast to "amor en todas sus formas," local corn and tomatoes, and an 8-player game of badminton that lasts until the score is 90-40 and we're swatting the fireflies along with the birdie.
I'm for a community that knows how important it is to be FOR something,
and I'm for the B-52's.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's quite a list! And all in one afternoon/evening? I'm for the community that loves Poetry Friday!!
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
I looked for a video reading of this poem to no avail. Slam poets are such great performance artists, and Taylor is one of the best. So Alcott is next on your docket? :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
At this point, I can only say that I'd be interested in doing a verse bio of Alcott. That said, I guess I have to wait to see what my agent says (once I have an agent, that is).
Jul. 13th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, exciting! Can't get enough of Alcott or Austen. I've always wanted to do something on the Bronte sisters.
Jul. 13th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Jama, I'm for your whole sweet post and the Taylor Mali poem for which I'd give anything to hear aloud, and might have to read it aloud myself, and I'm for all the comment lists here, and most everything in everybody's comments.

I'm for skywriting, and small round pebbles, and raisins by the handful. I'm for just the right music at just the right moment as I'm driving down the highway, and I'm for highways, for green exit signs that spell out unfamiliar towns. I'm for lit windows in houses I pass, and porches, and split rail fences, and horses. I'm for maps. I'm for herbs in pots and lots and lots of tomatoes in bunches, and picnic lunches.
Jul. 13th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a fabulous list! Until you mentioned some of them, I didn't realize how much I loved them, too -- e.g., "just the right music at just the right moment as I'm driving down the highway," and "lit windows in houses I pass." I always wonder about the people in those houses, seemingly so cozy. Thanks, Toby!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all of these, Laura. Love all of them, well, maybe not the "freezing waters of Lake Superior" :D. "Touch at the small of my back" is especially nice. Never thought about it, but yes, I know what you mean . . .
( 39 comments — Leave a comment )

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