Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Challenge for Haiti

I've been very impressed with the work being done by Partners for Health in Haiti (see Tracy Kidder's wonderful piece on that here) and so I have decided, inspired by my blogger buddy Maureen at Writing without Paper, to donate $1 to Partners in Health for Haiti for each comment posted on today's poem.

My donation goal is $100. That means I will donate $1.00 for every comment posted on this poem, up to a maximum of 100 comments. Well, maybe I'll stretch that a little... let's see what happens! .

I participate in two poem prompt opportunities, Carry on Tuesday and the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. Today’s Carnival prompt is the word PEACE, and today’s prompt from Carry On is a quote from the 18th century artist Sir Joshua Reynolds: “A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts” So I played with both those ideas, and here’s the result.

NOTE: According to The Utne Reader, The Museum of World Religions, which opened in Taiwan in 2001, is "a sort of spiritual supermarket, where people can shop for a religion they want to follow."

The Museum of World Religions

Come in with me:
explore these thoughts,
that hang like pictures on a wall
from tightly twisted wires,
displayed on someone else’s nails
for some brief time,
like polish on my daughter's toes.

They whirl, barefooted dervishes,
in disenchanted circles
through room after holy room,
seeking purchase on a slippery slope,
proclaiming black and white
or sometimes gray
while shoppers wander down the aisles,
thirsting for revelation.

Perhaps you will find peace,
reflected in a lens
or in a cup:
drink up, buy into it,
and claim it as your own.
Take that thought home to hang;
to roost, take root,
and slowly gather dust.
And when you finally take it down,
go shop again, and find a larger one
to cover that pale square
the other left behind.

Stand With Haiti

* * *


Susan said...

Thank you for the vivid images; how wonderful to combine dervishes and painted toenails and twisted wires. I'll add my image which your wonderful poem elicited: going down the grocery aisle, looking at all the cereal boxes and wondering "which one will make me happy?" Do we really need all this choice (she asks rhetorically.)

ps - Thanks for extending the deadline to Tuesday. Since we're 3 hours of time zone apart I wait until my morning to read your 'yesterday' post.

Maureen said...

You know how much of an admirer I am of your poetry.

I like that you've combined your words for both the Blog Carnival and Carry on Tuesday (which I forgot to check).

Your poem is delightful ("...someone else's nails/...like polish on my daughter's toes") and all the play around the words ("thirsting for revelation") makes it such fun to read.

Patricia said...

I especially like the idea that religion can be both outward-directed and inward-directed: i.e. a way to see the world (a lens or a photograph) and a way to take in a bit of the world (the cup--of wine, or milk, or water).

blake said...

very nice

Joyce Wycoff said...

Diane ... beautiful poem ... maybe some day we can claim peace as our own.

How fun that, in our compassion for Haiti, we're also reaching out just a little further and touching each other.


guy in mi said...

I got massive writer's block today, and I'd comment if I was able. Does that qualify as a comment?

karen gerstenberger said...

What a good idea - and a generous one. God bless your creative, intelligent, humorous and loving heart.

Katherine W. said...

I like this poem a lot, actually. It reminds me of when we went to see your opening and I was so struck by that ridiculously priced painting =P

Ali Walker said...

Cool Mom! Hope you get 100 people!
Love love

Fred Jessett said...

Hi Diane,
A very thoughtful poem. Some disparage what they call buffet religion "pick something here, something there" but I don't. If done thoughtfully, a disciplined approach to appreciation of other religions can add insights and helpful practices to ones own religion. All the pictures on a wall need not be of the same place, time, theme, color, composition, etc. nor taken by the same artist nor with the same camera, to make a beautiful wall.
Fred Jessett

Anonymous said...

What a great pic that fits so nicely with these words!

Thank you for making me think... and for joining the carnival.

I'm so excited to have so many participants in the help for Haiti challenge!

Kevin said...

I am glad to be participating with you and others in helping raise money for Haiti!

Russell Holloway said...

Great poem ... I had to read it out loud to force myself to concentrate on what was being said. There is a lot that could be discussed.

I have a friend, Mike Ellis, who always wears a t-shirt to church that says "Religion Kills." The art work is a grenade covered in blood

Lynn Bauman said...

Your eye of seeing is not just outward, Diane... it is clearly a visionary eye that perceives the world both through the lens and through the heart. Much appreciated, the view, the works of wonder, you and your own heart. LB

Cathy Boyd said...

DW: I think you are a bona fide, creative inspiration. Thanks for following your bliss through lens and keyboard!

Larry McCay said...

Nicely done, Diane. I really like the idea of finding a larger thought to cover the pale square left behind by an older one. Similarly - you take the prompt to the next level.


Glynn said...

"...the pale square the other left behind." Like that.

jasonS said...

wonderful imagery. Thanks & I'm happy to help support relief for Haiti as well.

Linda Evans Bylsma said...

I am sighing and smiling after reading all of your posted poems.
Thanks for including me in on the Haiti challenge and now I can add your site to my "favorites" list.

Patricia said...

You offer such lovely gifts to the world: Values to live by ~ a rule of life ~ poetry and photography as spiritual practice and now the gift of a new approach to help alleviate the suffering in Haiti. You are an inspiration and your poems and photographs are indeed helping to heal the world. Merci Diane!

CJT said...

vivid images is an understatement. Beautifully said and great phrasing. Also like what you are doing to help those unfortunates in haiti.

An Eye for Color

M.L. Gallagher said...

Diane -- this poem is beautiful Thank you.

and thank you for coming and commenting on my blog too and helping me raise funds for haiti as well.




Your images of "daughters toenails" and a cup to "gather dust" - oh, I could name more. You really drew me in on this piece today, not just because of the contribution but because you write so beautifully!

Chris Walker said...


Teresa said...

Hi Diane--You're right, I do want to.....!
As usual, fantastic work. I love the image of a museum of world religions. You capture the transitory nature of belief (a good thing) and illustrate both the peace that can come from adopting a belief as well as the expansion that can emerge when open to beliefs shifting over time. Beautiful!

Kathy said...

You're a wonderful poet and photographer. I'm glad to be your friend.
See you soon I hope.

Andy Sewina said...

Yeah cool post. I like your use of the word 'dervishes'!