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Sunday

Midwinter Miracles



Throughout the holiday season, Christmas carols echo through halls and malls and even our own heads. Perhaps we find ourselves humming or singing a traditional tune, while hardly paying attention.

With the celebrated birthday of Christ approaching quickly, I have begun pondering a few of those songs we often repeat from rote. Can you figure out which familiar carol this poem echoes?


Midwinter Miracles



In the austere interval of iciness,

Bitter blasts moaned.

The planet froze like iron,

All hydration was solid as a rock.

Flurries piled, higher and higher,

Higher and higher still.

In the austere interval of iciness,

Past our most distant of memories.



Almighty One, the eternal Kingdom

Is unable to contain the King,

And Creation may not last.

All that is may vanish

At His appearing.

In the austere interval of iciness,

A dirty animal stall fit the bill

For the coming of the Holy One,

Immanuel, Prince of Peace.



Heavenly agents, high and low,

Assembled in His presence.

Winged wonders, waiting for Him,

Filled the firmament.

Still, His sweet young parent

Yet unmarred by cynicism or sin’s scornfulness,

Adored her holy Infant,

In motherly tenderness.



How can I present a worthy gift

For such a wonder?

I have nothing to offer.

Would that I kept flocks,

That I might present a spotless animal.

Or, may I be a respected sage,

So I could offer gems of wisdom?

Instead, I have little to share

With the miracle Child,

Except my dearest devotion.
c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson

This adaptation is inspired by a poem, penned by one of my all-time favorite poetesses, Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). Composer Gustav Holst  (1874-1934) set Rossetti’s words to music, and “In the Bleak Midwinter” became a treasured Christmas hymn.

Take a listen.

Many musicians have performed or recorded “In The Bleak Midwinter.” Here’s a version I like – from The Moody Blues. Somehow that feels fitting, as days darken and winter begins. And yet, the Child of Christmas brings us bright hope.

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And here are Rossetti’s own lines:

1.         In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
            earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
            snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
            in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

2.         Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
            heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
            In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
            the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3.         Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
            cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
            but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
            worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

4.         What can I give him, poor as I am?
            If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
            if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
            yet what I can I give him:  give my heart.



Vintage Advent Calendar
Public Domain/Copyright Expired

NOTE: Thanks to Mike Miller, whose ongoing series of Christmas Carol Conundrums set me to thinking, which led to this poetic post. Check out his carol series, and see how many twisted titles you can recognize.

Don't miss:

20 Holiday Music Video Favorites: Merry Christmas Carol Countdown



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Wednesday

A Quirky Turkey



Happy Thanksgiving, all around.

A Quirky Turkey

A turkey, not scared in the least,
Stepped into the sun, silly beast.
He had not a clue
A foul wind blew,
Or he might his speed have increased.

Perhaps the prized fellow was schnooked.
He certainly ought to have looked.
One flip of his wing,
And farmer did swing.
One might say his goose had been cooked.

Old Tom waddled west and then east.
The fine feathered fowl was fleeced.
An axe flipped the bird,
Without a mere word,
And sent him inside for the feast.
c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson


 As we celebrate Thanksgiving, remember: “bird is the word.”

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Image/s:Thanksgiving Turkey
Public Domain/Copyright Expired


 
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Saturday

Ode to Bad Poetry Day


August 18th is Bad Poetry Day. The muses are on break. Are you reading, writing, and rhyming?


Bad Poetry Day on Display

Today is Bad Poetry Day.
May wanna-be writers shout, "Hey!"
Go wrestle and rhyme
And have a great time,
As readers cry out, "Foul play!"

Today, rhyme and meter have fled.
Real literature waits, now unread.
Two-dozen clock spins
Forgive verbal sins.
Just write off the top of your head.

Tomorrow, the rules will return.
The blood of books’ teachers will burn.
Reviewers may chide
With comments most snide,
Bad poetry raises concern.

Still, cast off restraint for a while.
This holiday summons a smile.
Go play with a phrase
On this day of days.
Perhaps you may find your own style.
c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson

Image/s:
Funny Faces by Louis-Leopold Boilly
1824
Public Domain/Copyright Expired

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Friday

Going Green and Back


It’s the American Dream, isn’t it? Making one’s own fortune in the Promised Land?

Going Green and Back

A fellow was proud of his skill,
Inventing his own money mill.
There, greenbacks he’d print
To make his own mint,
And now he’s on Capitol Hill.

c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson

NOTE: This post incorporates blogging prompts from the following meme/s: Mad Kane’s Humor Blog (“A fellow was proud of his skill…”)

 Image/s:
$100 bill
WP ClipArt
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Monday

Up for Air ... or Up for Grabs?


Did you hear something?

Shout and Spout

A man who was never in doubt
Opinions and orders did flout.
As parent, he’d prate,
But never would wait.
And soon, he’d abandoned his clout.

As each generation arose,
They shed him like yesterday’s clothes.
He still would inflate
To pontificate,
Although no one pondered his prose.

Perhaps he had wisdom to share,
But others remained unaware,
Ignoring his bait
And tossed-around weight.
If only he’d come up for air.

c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson


Image/s:
Shouting by Crosa
Creative Commons Licensing
Wikipedia Commons Photos

NOTE: This post incorporates blogging prompts from the following memes:
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The Woes of Just-So's


Attention, shoppers! Sometimes simply settling can be unsettling indeed.

The Woes of Just-So’s

Why do we settle for things that are cheap –
For mystery burgers and panties that creep,
For cars that don’t last and for colors that weep?
We purchase the worst, buying junk that won’t keep.

The trouble has nothing to do with the tag.
The price, ever dear, give us no room to brag.
 To pay, we must all be halfway in the bag,
As quality flees, making shopping a drag.

The whiz-bang computer has gone on the fritz.
A hot, spiffy gadget is giving us fits.
But let’s hit those sales with a fresh buyers’ blitz.
C’mon now, perhaps we have all lost our wits.

We’ll pull out our plastic and frown at the bill.
We may hem and haw, as we fill up the till,
But come back next week to revisit the thrill
Of purchasing junk to send on to Goodwill.

Our new shoes, though stylish, sport skimpier soles.
The latest in blue jeans boast pre-shredded holes.
And yet, savvy marketers hold the controls.
How can we not notice for whom the bell tolls?

c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson


Image/s:
Shoppers by CoolCaesar
Creative Commons Licensing
Wikipedia Commons Photos:  
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Poetic Ponderings on the A to Z Blogging Challenge


Having completed a full month of alphabetically titled posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, bloggers are posting reflections today.

Here on Nickers and Ink, I picked 26 classic poems to match the A to Z dates for the 2012 blogging festival.

Last year, I wrote 26 original poems, as I participated in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). You can find links to last year’s A to Z poems at the end of each of this year’s blog posts throughout the month of April.

This year, during the April A to Z Challenge, I decided to honor great poets instead.

Did you catch all of these valuable verses from famous poets?
  1. A is for Annabel Lee
  2. B is for A Bird Came Down
  3. C is for Chamomile Tea
  4. D is for Do Not Go Gentle
  5. E is for Everybody Tells Me Everything
  6. F is for Fragment
  7. G is for Good Friday
  8. H is for How Doth the Little Crocodile
  9. I is for It Is a Beauteous Evening
  10. J is for Joy
  11. K is for The Kiss of Cure
  12. L is for Lilting Lullabye
  13. M is for My Native Land
  14. N is for Next, Please
  15. O is for One from One Leaves Two
  16. P is for A Poison Tree
  17. Q is for Quiet Girl
  18. R is for The Road Not Taken
  19. S is for Still I Rise
  20. T is for The Triple Fool
  21. U is for Us Too
  22. V is for The Village Blacksmith
  23. W is for Where Art Thou, Muse
  24. X is for eXiled
  25. Y is for Ye Flowery Banks
  26. Z is for Zaccheus
How many of these poems did you recognize? Which were your favorites? Did any of these verses bring back high school or college English class memories?

A to Z Blogging Challenge finishers: 
You are welcome to use this badge, 
created by Working in Words, 
if you wish. 
As a courtesy, 
if you do! 
Thank you.

Personally, I finished the 2012 April A to Z Blogging Challenge with six sites:


Here’s how it feels to reach the finish line!

Whee, A to Z!

I love to read.
I love to rhyme.
With words I need
In verse to chime.

A month of lines
Has filled my heart
With symbols, signs,
Like Archer’s dart.

Rekindled muse,
It reappears.
As themes transfuse,
Verse volunteers.

From A to Z,
And Z to A,
A month-long spree
Sets words a-play.

The race may end,
And writers rest.
But words unpenned
Will be expressed.

c2012 by Linda Ann Nickerson

Image/s:  
A to Z April Challenge Survivor badge
 by co-host Jeremy
at Retro-Zombie – used by permission
A to Z 2012 Checkered Flag 
created by Linda Ann Nickerson
for Working in Words
A to Z Blogging Challenge 2012 logo
Fair Use
 

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