Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grateful? - Let Me Count the Ways

Mount Arrowsmith
as seen from the Quay photo

Driving to the mall, I thrill at the way
the clouds shroud the mountaintops, 
layer upon layer, as if someone
has draped them artfully
in angel hair,
the occasional cedar 
pointing pokey spriggy fingers skyward
through the gaps.

I smile at smashed pumpkins alongside the road,
memories of Hallowe'en such a short time ago,
and now I'm Christmas shopping.

Raven flies low across my windshield.
Lead me, Raven.
Keep me Looking Up.

Christmas music and goodwill
in all the shops - it isn't Count-Down yet,
we are all still full of cheer.
A pensioner - ahem, another pensioner and I
(I keep forgetting)
exchange smiles in the line-up.
"Just shopping for the kids," she beams
as she stacks chocolate and small Yuletide treats
upon the counter and counts her bills and coins.
"Thank heavens for the Dollar Store!"

In one of the Only Two Possible stores
in which to find a real gift
in this gray little town,
I find The Perfect Thing for my daughter,
and all of my stern admonitions
(repeated yearly) about how this year 
Christmas will be Very Small 
go right out the window,
and I escape to my car 
clutching the package, smiling.

I mail off a Welcome to the Family box
for our newest puppy,
a huggable furry teddy bear 
just born to be loved,
rescued from a garbage dump 
in northern Saskatchewan
in minus 40 degree weather,
now destined to be loved and spoiled
for the rest of his life, 
and wish I could be there
to share the joy
when it is opened.
Christmas is not Christmas
without small kids
and puppies.

I narrowly avoid being T-boned as I pull out
from the Purolator lot, vision obscured 
by the Purolator truck, muttering
"I can't see! can't see!" then "Oops!"
Close one. But not this time.

Heading home, by now the blue blue hills
are more exposed,
wearing their clouds like a fluffy shawl,
draped low on their shoulders.
Beauty. Always. Everywhere.

Four dogs and two horses to greet me,
barks and whuffs,
as I pull in, Christmas lights 
winking from the windows.

And it may not be my dream,
it may not be the beach,
but it's what I've got,
right now
and, for today, it is
Enough. photo-Arrowsmith

posted for Laurie's prompt at Poetry Jam : to write a poem about things one is grateful for without using the words thankful or grateful.

and for Kim's prompt at Verse First : to take a walk, and Walk in Gratitude. I took a drive in between the walking :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends south of the border. And Happy Being Alive to my friends everywhere else!


  1. Ah yes, Sherry, I think it is a good idea to think about what we have today and appreciate what it is we DO have.......and look at it in the light of it indeed being enough!!

  2. smiles...lead me raven...and def smiles at sending the gift to the pup....keep looking up...and all around, finding these sweet things to give thanks for...smiles.

  3. It may not be your dream, but it sure sounds like a nice greeting to come home to! What a lucky puppy to get packages in the mail!

  4. Oh Sherry ... I believe you have heaven on earth right where you are ... (though my welcome mat is always out for you) ... a huge sigh and a smile on my face after reading your lovely words.

  5. I like the look of your town at the foot of the mountains Sounds like a good set up!

  6. Sounds great to me and a world away from the south coast of England. Your love of life and all it gives you shines through. Have a great day.

  7. Beautiful..... i like angel hair.....

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  9. yes the Raven will keep you looking upward as the eagle keeps me flying/soaring

    may heaven's contentment surrounds you whereever you go

    yes, the innocence of puppies and young children keep hope afloat

    Happy Holidays hugs to you mi amiga ;-)

  10. What a priviledge tobshare this. Thank you

  11. So beautiful, Sherry. Thanks for sharing your day with us. Birds really do help us keep our chins up, eh? Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. We are celebrating Thanksgiving now, Christmas will come careful out there, no way to go in Christmas smash-up. I love to see the it time for your new pup?

  13. Sounds pretty great! Have a wonderful day and weekend. k.

  14. I don't remember Port Alberni being such a cute little old place. Of course, I've only ever been there once, in the 80s, with my ex, to see his brother who lived outside of town, so I probably didn't see this exact view. Gorgeous! I miss mountains.
    Loved this write, Sherry, and got all teary-eyed about the rescued puppy from Saskatchewan. I hate that they ever need rescuing but am so glad when they're saved, and, well, you know.
    I never do Christmas shopping before Dec. 1, which is my birthday, unless I remember early enough to send something to my friend Judith who now lives in England.
    Fabulous that you found something perfect for your daughter. I love it when that Christmas "rule" about "no big gifts" gets broken.
    Luv, K

  15. I love the angel hair..i love that you look up (how often do we do that..not enough)..i love the journey through time and place..and with you..

  16. Peace to you, Sherry ~

  17. Awwww!! there is a surrealism in whatever you write a Sherry and it transports me to a different world! How much we complain isnt it? without comprehending hwat we have with our five senses. Peace be with you

  18. WE are blessed Sherry. A heartfelt write for sure

  19. Sherry, your account reminds me a bit of Brian Miller - that "slice of life," and the ability to find poetry in it. I loved the presents for the puppy especially, as well as your homecoming. Yes, be grateful for the little things... and better days are coming! Peace, Amy

  20. I felt like I was right there with you when I read this, Sherry. I agree that kids and puppies really make the holidays special!

  21. I love this description of your day Sherrie and I love how you see things. Blessings at this happy time of year.

  22. Very nice and at the end of the day what we have is what we need .....yes so true

  23. How lovely, how very, very lovely. I think that I am thankful for you. For you and a few very special persons whom I have met this year in the poetry world. ((())) Hugs my friend. Liz

  24. Sherry reading this was a gift! I could feel the happiness to find things and see the beauty of the tender sentiments-I treasure those gifts the most!
    Thank you for sharing your day, your view~ Beautiful

  25. Chant your chants, and bless each bit of lie you pass, and, dear Sherry, keep looking up. Gratitude for the reminder.

  26. i love this snapshot, Sherry. i see you! xoxo & with gratitude, Marian

  27. "Thank heavens for the Dollar Store!" Amen. The poems moves very nicely to the graceful Ah in the last stanza.


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