Green cactus; Red rock

Green cactus; Red rock
photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gratitude -- a chiasm

– a chiasm
by Linda Hoffman Kimball

For this miraculous blue whirl, fragile and amazing, dazzling and complex;
For this shining sea-to-sea, alabaster-citied experiment that can, that can;
For this place of roots and parkways, mixing-it-up by the lake;
For red brick and mortar, nestled, neighborly;
For blankets, apples, oatmeal, piano keys
I offer thanks
From the snug of my pillow;
In the jewels of the windows’ glass;
Through every familiar route and new discovery;
Along cornfields, desert, prairie, red rock, mountains, seashore;
On this great, good gift of orbit and earth, deep, sparkling and strong.

Chiasm is a poetic form that shows up in Biblical and other ancient texts
(including Beowulf.) It has nothing to do with rhyme, but with structure and a paralleling pattern of concepts. There are several examples of this in the Book of Mormon. We looked at some today in Relief Society and it prompted me for this evening's poem, all caught up in the season of the coming week. I set up a structure of Global, country, city, home, room THANKS room, home, city, country, global then let the juices flow for things that I felt thankful for and the spaces in my life where I feel this gratitude. This was fun and not belabored like last night's wrestling with the format.

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