Friday, December 14, 2012

Light Winter's Darkness this Poetry Friday!

Howdy, Campers ~ Happy Poetry Friday!

Jama's hosting Poetry Friday today at Alphabet Soup 
(which is in case this link doesn't work)
...and if it's at Jama's it's sure to be tasty!

Update: be sure to hop over to Heidi Mordhorst's
when she hosted Poetry Friday
...Heidi's email about offering poems about light in darkness
for the solstice inspired this post.

For my last post of 2012, I'm going to break from our series on publishing opportunities (see Esther's last two posts and Carmela's post, with more to come!)...

I've been thinking about my family and our, well, interesting year (especially the part about my husband dying of a heart attack and being brought back and now being completely and miraculously fine); about hard times and hope, about sunrises, candles, glowing kitchen windows at night, and about the dark of winter and the glint of winter sunlight.

 by April Halprin Wayland

On a hard day's chill,
when my heart stands still,
Sun, oh, Sun, where do you disappear?

Then Sun answers me,
answers quietly,
Look around, little girl, I am here, I am here.

© 2012 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

I am Jewish; I just recently learned that the fifth night of Hanukkah (which can be spelled many ways) is the first night in which there are more flames than darkness, more candles lit than unlit, and represents the triumph of light over darkness. 

I love that.

Okay...ready for today's writing workout, Campers?

WRITING WORKOUT: A Light in the Darkness

1) Take a cozy moment to scribble ten ideas triggered by the phrase, "a light in the darkness" or by the 1:06 minute video above.  Jot down memories, images, or the name of someone in particular who helped light your way in a dark time.

2) Consider imitating the rhyme scheme of the poem above:

3) Or write a 100-word story.  

3) Or write forget #2 and #3 and write the poem or story you were meant to write today.

4) Write like a little kid who is so jumpy-excited to get a piece of paper and a pencil she can barely sit still.  Give that little kid a chance; let's see what gift she creates for you this holiday season!

And speaking of gifts, don't forget to enter to win a gift for yourself or for some lucky teacher in your life: an autographed copy of JoAnn Early Macken's, Write a Poem Step by Step. I have her book and it's terrific!  See JoAnn's guest post for details.

Not actually in Southern California where I live, 
but in Phoenix, several years ago.
Still, a pretty note of light and hope 
with which to end the year...

Happy Holidays One and All!


Carmela Martino said...

Knowing what your family's been through recently makes this lovely poem especially poignant. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, April.

jama said...

What a wonderful post -- surely you must realize YOU are a light to so many of us. Shine on, dear April and Happy Hanukkah. So happy you and your family overcame the obstacles, met the challenges, and are doing okay. The light of hope still burning bright!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I love the comforting thought of "I am here, I am here." The "triumph of light over darkness" helps me remember that these short, dark December days will start growing longer and brighter soon. In spite of the cold, light heralds the start of a brand-new year.

Happy, happy holidays to you, your family, and all the Teaching Authors!

iza said...

How beautiful and comforting! And so happy your husband, best friend made it through. What a scare! Happy holidays!

Margaret Simon said...

Such a simple poem with such a powerful message, I am here. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family. Much to celebrate! I did the poetry exercise. Thanks! It was a refreshing workout.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carmela, Jama, JoAnn and Iza,
Thanks for your support and loving words! I can feel those good vibes all the way on the West coast!

Margaret, I'm so glad you did the poetry exercise. I love that you called it refreshing.

Tabatha said...

My father also had a heart attack this year and is doing well. It's amazing, isn't it? Your poem is very reassuring. All best in 2013, April!

Author Amok said...

Happy holidays, April. I've been thinking about how the Sun is always there, whether or not it is visible to us. Loved your little light poem.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, April--I'm back to say once again how much I like this little, basic reassurance for young ones--though we can't always see it, the light is there, with evidence all around. Loved that video, too. Thank you for joining in the Solstice edition of PF!

laurasalas said...

Yes! The light is always there, even though sometimes we are blinded by grief and can't see it. Thank you for this loveliness, April. Short poems that pack a major punch are my favorites--and yours is one!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

A lovely poem of hope and reassurance...just a perfect accompaniment to the video of Shami lighting the candles. All the best to you, April!

Mary Lee said...

Love that tidbit about the 5th night of Hanukkah!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Howdy, Readers, far and wide!

Be sure to hop over to Heidi Mordhorst's Juicy Little Universe post on the Solstice. Heidi's heads-up about her coming post inspired mine:

Tabatha--we probably share that feeling of fragility and of the preciousness of life...thank goodness your dad is thriving!

Author Amok (aka Laura): yes, the sun is there, whether we can see her or not...

Laura...short poems with zest are my favorites, too...I often write longer ones that I wish I could cook down...

Tara and Mary Lee, so nice to see you here again!