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Written Candle Wishes (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on a true story I heard about a woman known for lighting a lot of candles with wishes for the sake of others. As the tale goes, she was a well-known, charitable person in a certain neighborhood who would fill her yard with candles each Christmas. On the Christmas after she passed away, her neighbors lit their own candles in front of her empty home by which to remember her and to keep the tradition of well-wishing alive.]

I heard of a woman who every Christmas

                          lit candles to give her wishes

                         to those around the world

                        in need of extra comfort

For people she knew and would never know

             such as for her family members to find true happiness

                       or for lost children to reach their homes safely

                       or for the terminally ill to improve in health

That kindly soul could fill her whole backyard

                       with all the wishes she wanted to give

                       they got sent out through candleflames

                       which flickered in the winter darkness

But this year she cannot light those many candles

                        so I choose to light them in my own way

                       through the only method I able to offer

                       in the form of a very simple poem

It is a candle formed by words across a page

                       with a bright flame ignited by anyone

                        able to read the hopes that are here

                        for everyone throughout the world

As the charitable woman would always do

                       I give my best wishes to those in need

                       for the sick in mind or body to get well

                       and that compassion will hold them close

I also wish the candlelight set out in this very spot

                       will encourage other people to make candles

                       lit by words that relate their best wishes

                       during the holiday season and into the future

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“Natural Magic” and “Mindfulness” by PrecariouslyPeculiar

[Note: The two poems that follow are both by PrecariouslyPeculiar (but you can also call her Ku ^_^), a masterful and compassionate writer whose works are awesome on many levels. I would encourage you to check out her whole gallery on DeviantArt. Enjoy!]

Natural Magic

A winterstruck carnival

Sits on a winding hill,

Draped all in moonlight,

Underneath purple skies.

But then,

There is also

Raven,

Flitting about—

Portents

On its feathers

It often

Drops.

Tidings

Gradient in scale,

From snow,

To fire,

On

To black of pitch.

But when times are well,

Raven circles the moon,

And its quill-like feathers

Become blue of the seas

And lilac of empathy.

Thus, in my solace,

I am of the moon,

For the carnival

Is of my mind—

But otherwise, I

Must continue to grow.

To the founders

Of the carnival in me,

Who call it home,

I thank you, too:

Owl, doe and wolf.

Wisest owl

Threads order

Through chaos,

Needles inside

Of function;

Sweet, gentle doe

Ensures the safety

Of every play

And attraction;

Excitable wolf

Makes an adventure

Of carnival’s design

In land and in marks,

As reflection.

The carnival

Is the forest

For the trees,

Seen in icy light

Of animals

Of my spirit,

Who fly and trot

The very dance

Of life,

Long shadows

Tossed up on trees

Their partners.

But whenever I

Fail to see,

There descends

In lazy, spiraling arcs

A quill-like feather

Before the moon

In purple skies.

Mindfulness

You are the grey,

Indeterminate lands

Beyond my eyelids,

Suffused with pink

Of sakura trees in bloom.

You are the choice

To come in clutch

With a cwtch

And knowing the above

Is slightly cringe,

But that that’s okay.

You are verdant fields,

Coalescing

Into vivacious warmth

Of a fireplace

By a nook,

Then vibrant shimmer

Of a sea

Past window and cliff—

A feeling

Of calm.

You are the act

Of strolling

Through gardens

Of wit,

Observing colours

And the plaques

That hold

Their meaning,

Picking out vegetables

That will grace

Sheet pans,

Providing a meadow

Tucked away

Just so,

In which to move

With intention,

Breathe,

Flow

And pose

My mantra.

You are an example

Of a few

Of my favourite words:

You are wonderful;

You are solace.

You are…

[Author’s Bio:

Hello! I go by PrecariouslyPeculiar on social media, but I know that’s a bit of a mouthful, so feel free to call me Ku! I wrote prose growing up, but I started my poetry journey just a couple of years ago with haikus. I write purely free-verse poetry now as well as short fictional prose. My goal with all of my works is to tell stories—narratives about the magic and shadows of humanity. When I’m not writing, I enjoy working out and learning new things. Eventually, I hope to publish my work as well!

Link to PrecariouslyPeculiar’s Instagram – www.instagram.com/precariously…

Link to PrecariouslyPeculiar’s DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/precariouslypeculiar]

The Sweet Passage of Ancient Carols (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on a bit of a history lesson about the creation of Christmas carols.]

As the years unfurl like a roll of twine

     some things endure with the toll of time

Among them those ancient songs

    first heard around bonfires as people danced along

  after the harvest season was done

    as they waited in the Winter darkness for the Spring dawn

Carols as we know them today

     sometimes accompanied performances or plays

  or they got sung on the doorsteps of families who might delight

     to have a choir deliver sweet music on frosty night

              on occasion in exchange for the payment of a meal

                 which for many was a miraculous deal

When Christmas carols developed countless people rejoiced

     to celebrate this holiday in the language of their choice

       much different than the solemn Latin hymns some knew

          from church as they stood amid the pews

Several of those same holiday carols are still with us today

    filled with a freedom that is here to stay

      passed from one generation to the next

        as a wonderful form of oral text         

Parade on the Water (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Have you ever seen a whole line of boats all lit up and moving in a parade to entertain crowds of people? It’s quite a spectacle. The below poem was inspired by just such an event, which I attended with a dear friend of mine and her family about two years ago. Hope you enjoy it!]

I used to believe parades

  always flowed along pathways

  composed of solid ground

       from dirt to hard stone

       with floats that bobbed

       over their audiences

             as giant balloons

             or massive floats

                    on wheels

But two evenings ago

  I got introduced to a Parade of Lights—

    where boats that came in various shapes

       and sizes coasted along a circular route

         within a harbor fringed by the spectators

Each vessel came lit up with their own display

            from

          strings

             of

          bright

           lights

   TO GIANT INFLATABLE SANTAS AND SNOW PEOPLE

                which shone into the darkness

                   and gleamed upon the water

                      attended        every once in a while

                         by the proclamations of curious seals

                            who splashed about the procession

Holiday tunes echoed through the air

     from old carols to Grinchy delights

         while the shadowy sailors

            cried out their best wishes

                for a wondrous Christmas season

I sat upon rocks

    surrounded by my friend and her family

       and friends of that family

         with whom I made friends as well

             on that enchanted night

                 where the way I saw parades changed

                    and I felt a New Year approach

                       with nothing other than excitement

Journal Entry #35-Back to Good Health

Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a great week so far. I’m happy to report that my family and I seem to have finally gotten over our strangely prolonged colds. Having gone through that, it feels even better to be out and about–especially now that Christmas is just around the bend.

Have anyone already started to decorate their homes for the occasions? ^_^

Journal Entry #34–Just Wanted to Stop by to Say Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! I just wanted to drop in and wish all of you a warm and safe celebration today, surrounded by family and friends. The past couple of days have been a bit hectic for my family while grappling with nasty colds and coughing fits, but I’m happy to report that we’re on the mend–and soon I’ll be back to catch up with everyone’s awesomeness here.

Take care!!!

Journal Entry #33-Weekend Sickness

This weekend has been a turbulent ride so far, given that several members of my family have colds–complete with sore throats, stuffy noses, and (for me) a low-grade fever. We’ve sought to get as much rest as possible, and once I’m feeling well again, I’ll be back to catch up with everyone here!

I hope all of you are feeling well!

A Majestic Bird… (A Haiku)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on an actual event. We always get the powerful Santa Ana Winds near where I live, and they have been known to carry out any number of objects. One year, they carried off a parrot-shaped kite we had accidentally left unattended outside. Goodness, that made for an interesting and unexpected sight soaring right past the kitchen window!]

Carried by the wind

a mighty bird-shaped kite soars

without a handler

Writing a Future (A Haiku)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Recently, I learned that a short story I had written, entitled “Furry Angels,” had gotten accepted for an anthology from Chicken Soup for the Soul. It is for an edition of their anthology series that will be known as Lessons Learned from my Cat, due to get released in February 2023. The story I wrote was about how I met my kitty Salem, and I’m so excited more people will be able to read about that experience. But it is also fulfilling because it feels like I’m really moving forward as a writer, and that I can truly realize my dream of making writing a fulltime career.]

Every line written

helps to craft a bright future

for a writer’s dreams

Side-by-Side (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Another experiment. Hope you enjoy it. ^_^]

Two wooden swings tied with ropes

     hang from the branches of an oak tree that

     stands upon a grassy knoll

     beneath skies brushed

     by an orange hue from the sunset

     just above the horizon of the ocean

     far in the distance

    past a seaside town and grand lighthouse

You swing on one seat

              while I rock on the other

       and in this way

                   we are here

          side            by           side

                     together

An old breeze helps to push us

      back            and           forth

          while she tickles the leaves above

                  into a windchime harmony

                         accompanied by a quartet of doves

I want…          to give you this gift of a simple idea

        to make you smile for even a moment

                  which you can pass along

                              in a special way

For when you read this scene quietly

          just to yourself

              …the two of us will swing

                              once again

                         reader and narrator

       but when you read it aloud

              to someone else—

                     a friend

                             or a family member

                 then the two of you

                       can share these swings

                             with you as the narrator

                                   and her or him as the listener

A passage of roles changed

        like turns taken on swings

            opportunities to sail upwards

                                      to scent the salty sea air

                                      to have an experience with others

                                      to be safe

                                       to be free…

          …from one narrator

                               to the next