Mothers. It seems like we can never tire of saying enough about them. For those of you who are still blessed to have your mother around, then treasure those precious opportunities to spend time with her. For those of us whose mother has passed on from this life, we will always have fond memories of times we spent with them. For those of you who have fathers, guardians, aunts, grandmothers or stepmothers who are surrogates acting in a maternal capacity, then it behooves you to cherish that.
For all mothers, past and present, I honor you with this poem “I Applaud You” and wish all of you a very Happy Mother’s Day!
I Applaud You
I applaud you for the strength you unselfishly earned
your nurturing gift you so willingly impart
your character, immeasurable and priceless
your gentle spirit, so humble and genuine.
I applaud your determination to fight for the common good
your comfort during times of sadness, pain and grief
your encouragement during those moments when someone wants
to give up
your heart, more precious than the facets in a perfect diamond.
I applaud your tears of joy, glistening down your cheeks during
your carefree attitude to enjoy life and live it abundantly
your wisdom from life’s lessons of hard knocks and
your test of endurance to stand up, amid all reasoning to stay
Regardless of what you’ve suffered
been diagnosed with
or the pain from heartbreaks you’ve endured,
I applaud you for your survival skills
despite the cards that you were dealt.
Your inner beauty radiates your graciousness
turning obstacles into stepping stones
ugliness into beauty
discouragement into courage
skepticism into faith
despair into hope
with complete reverence of God
I applaud you.
– Kym Gordon Moore (from the book “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry,” 2013)
Each month I have the privilege of helping to coordinate and moderate poetry open mic, at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center with Susan Didier, Community Development Specialist. On Saturday, May 9, we hosted our Pies, Pastries and Poetry open mic event. Participants were asked to share their personal poems about their favorite dessert made by someone that was maternally connected to them, or a special poem about “mothers,” with our audience.
The evening also set the stage for presenting the winner of our first A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. Our contest was based on a picture donated by local artist Eugene Smith, entitled The Nightingale. Our winner, an overly excited Casey Zvanut read her winning poem, The Night Queen. She eloquently shared a little bit about herself with us. “I’ve been in love with language since I was a child. I am a product of Memphis, Tennessee, the Arkansas Delta and central Mississippi, so you could say that the poetry of the “Blues” is in my veins. I’ve lived in North Carolina for almost 16 years with my amazing husband and two crazy, wonderful sons, and my love affair with words led me into education for the last 16 years.”
Christian George, the second place winner shared his poem, The Nightingale’s Song and Norman Bartee, third place winner shared his poem, The Nightingale Ekphrastic. Brian Bacik also recited his rendition of his poetic interpretation of The Nightingale picture, with the audience. Among other participants who read their poems commemorating the theme of the open mic event were Dwight Roth and Marilyn Murphy. Audience members who also shared some of their personal poems were Jan Anderson and Stephanie Jones. It was truly another fun and wonderful night of art, poetry and engaging conversations.
Erin Penland, multi-media artist made a few remarks to the audience about her rewarding experience since she began participating in the monthly open mic events, along with a synopsis about her artwork and photography. Erin also shared her artistic collage interpretation of poetic elements that she was working on, during the night’s festivities.
Mothers in the audience were given a marble-petal tea rose and complimentary gift for attending this event, which fell on the day before Mother’s Day. If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and would like to attend or participate in our future poetry open mic events, we welcome you to join us at this FREE event, on the second Saturday of each month. Contact Susan Didier, at 704-821-2541, for more information. You can also reach Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our theme for next month is “Up, Up and Away!” Even if you’re unable to attend our open mic readings, why not have fun and try writing a poem using our poetry prompts. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!
My pastor once shared a revelation with me, that when we lose our mothers on this side of life, our maternal umbilical cord is severed. On this Mother’s Day for those of you who are blessed to have your mothers or women who raised you still living, then be sure to show them how much you care. Time does not wait for us to make certain decisions or work on “our” time or our choosing. It continues to march onward whether we do or not.
Today, celebrate the women in your life, who helped to make you who you are right now. If your mother/grandmother/aunt/guardian has transitioned from this life as we know it, feel free to pay tribute her. If it wasn’t for a woman giving birth to each one of us, none of us would be here!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!
The first Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 10, 1908 by a church service honoring the late Mrs. Reese Jarvis, mother of Anna Jarvis, who succeeded in introducing Mother’s Day as we celebrate it today. Prior to Jarvis, Julie Ward Howe, known as the famous author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, failed to get Mother’s Day recognized around 1873. Fortunately, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in the USA and there are different times of the year when women around the world are recognized on a special day in some form or fashion.
I had the distinct honor and pleasure of appearing in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom,” along with 100 other authors, that was published in 2010. This is such an ideal compilation of heartwarming and inspiring stories that focuses on memories about mothers, that is such a sweet gift to give especially during this time of the year.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers everywhere. Even when certain situations are not maternally ideal in our world, our birth came to fruition because someone had to carry us in their bellies. For anyone who served in a loving and maternal capacity, be it an aunt, grandmother, Godmother, teacher or friend, thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!