Happy Take a Chance Day!

In celebration of Take a Chance Day and Poetry Month, I am sharing one of my favorite poems about risk-taking.

To Risk

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward


This Year is Yours

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God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It’s your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.

Just what the twelve months’ trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.

Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?

The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.

For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life’s sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever it shall be;

So now in starting on your trip,
Ask God to help you sail your ship.

By Alfred Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year!

Happy Haiku Poetry Day

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Haiku is a classical form of Japanese poetry containing a total of 17 syllables shared between three lines, arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5.

First Line – 5 syllables
Second Line – 7 syllables
Third Lines – 5 syllables

Using the theme of transformation, I’ve composed the following Haiku:

haikume

Do you have any Haiku poetry to share?


In a Tree House by Hafiz

16831650_sLight
will someday split you open
even if your life is now a cage,

For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
that you hold the title to.

Love will surely bust you wide open
into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy
A life-giving radiance will come,

O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.

From a sacred crevice in your body,
a bow rises each night
and shoots your soul into God.

Behold the Beautiful One
from the vantage point of Love.

He is conducting the affairs
of the whole universe
in a tree house – on a limb
in your heart.

The Optimist Creed

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Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can
disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to
every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel like there is
something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your
optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best,
and expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on the
greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give
every living person you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, and too
strong for fear, and too happy to permit the
presence of trouble.

 
Christian D. Larson wrote The Optimist Creed in 1912.

The Swan by Mary Oliver

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Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?

Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air

An armful of white blossoms,

A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned

into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,

Biting the air with its black beak?

Did you hear it, fluting and whistling

A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall

Knifing down the black ledges?

And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –

A white cross streaming across the sky, its feet

Like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light of the river?

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?

And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

And have you changed your life?

I’d Pick More Daisies

daisy1If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax.
I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier.
I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances,
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again,
I would go places and do things.
I’d travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more.
I wouldn’t make such good grades except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.

I’d pick more daisies.

Written by Nadine Stair (Age 85)