Poetry Friday is Here!

I’m participating in an on-line group working through Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way. As one of our first assignments, we read through the book’s Appendix. There was an Artist’s Prayer included there, beginning “O Great Creator.” I’m not fully comfortable with faith and prayer, and this felt a bit uncomfortable to me. Julia Cameron is quite clear that one shouldn’t allow the “semantics” to become an issue; The concepts of God, or flow, or spiritual electricity work equally well. I was able to roll with that, but still, the Artist’s Prayer felt like a bit of a stretch.

Then about two weeks ago, one of the group members shared her Artist’s Prayer, adding before she read it, “all my prayer is praise.” Those words and her lovely prayer lingered in my mind. The next week, another group member shared her beautiful Artist’s Prayer in a group chat. I carried this with me as well. 

This past Saturday I drove down toward the ocean, timing my arrival to shortly before sunrise. En route and while there, I watched the sky shift and change. As the world gradually lightened around me, I felt the inner quickening that always lifts me on such morning wanderings.

This time though, I found myself awkwardly, tentatively turning over phrases like “O Great Creator.”  I felt a yearning to compose my own Artist’s Prayer. My own prayer of thanks. When I got home, I jotted a few lines in my notebook. Maybe I’ll work on that later, I thought.

Then, on Sunday, I finally captured a picture of the Carolina wren that’s been visiting our house this winter. I shared it on Facebook and Linda Baie replied, sharing a Mary Oliver poem I’d never read before—“The Wren from Carolina”  

The second and third stanzas  popped out at me, 

“Now he lifts his chestnut colored throat
and delivers such a cantering praise–
for what?

For the early morning, the taste of the spider, 
for his small cup of life
that he drinks from every day, knowing it will refill.”

That’s it! I thought. “and delivers such a cantering praise” What a glorious line!! That’s what I want to express–my gratitude for my own “small cup of life” that refills to overflowing–so often on my morning expeditions, but at other moments as well. 

So I started writing my own Artist’s Prayer. It’s still a work in progress, but the journey toward writing it has been so interesting.

Artist’s Prayer

O Great Creator
Thanks be for opening my eyes
to the wonders of this world
To the bountiful gifts
that surround me
Thanks be for the dawn
that quickens my soul
that pulls it like a boat
into river’s flow
Grant me the courage
to be open
to the current
that tugs me
from the bank’s safety
into the fullness of the river
Let me, trusting,
lean into that power
on the tide of each day
May I travel in kinship
with the trees,
the creatures of sea and land
May I glory in the journey
as much as the destination
Thanks be
for this cup of gladness
for the growing certainty
that as I hold it aloft in my hands
each day it will be filled.
May I capture these moments,
share this joy
May my creations
reflect my gratitude
and my dawning understanding:
the closest I come
to holy
is at the break
of day.

©Molly Hogan (draft)

Please share your Poetry Friday offerings at the link below. I’m so looking forward to enjoying them over a long, leisurely weekend!

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67 thoughts on “Poetry Friday is Here!

  1. janicescully says:

    Absolutely lovey poem, Molly. It is so prayerful and full of gratitude. The dawn light in the photos is magnificent. What a magical time to be outside on the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    Molly, I just want to weep with the beauty of this post. Thank you. It’s been a long day, long week and the gratitude in your whole post is so soothing. Your photograph so striking and the connection to Oliver and then your own artistst prayer. I feel the blessing of it all. And, I needed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Linda, it’s funny that you chose the word “soothing” as that’s the word I’d initially written to describe the process of writing an Artist’s Prayer. I’m glad my post offered comfort. Hang in there!

      Like

  3. Thanks for these gorgeous-breath taking images Molly–they sure were worth that early morning drive. And… they–and your small Carolina wren brought you to your moving poem–love your water images took, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tabatha says:

    What a cool assignment, and what poignant places it took you! “All my prayer is praise” — I can see why this stayed in your mind. I feel like one of the poems I share today (“Years Later, I Remember What He Taught Us”) pairs well with your poem. Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. laurashovan222 says:

    These photographs are stunning. Thanks for sharing the way that you let go and let the poem come in, Molly. You are the fourth or fifth person to I’ve heard mention The Artist’s Way recently! I’m going to have to get a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When we wrestle with an issue that confronts us, we often emerge with something more profound and enlightening. Your resultant poem is clearly a celebration of natural wonders and your deliberations have gifted you and your readers words of joyous reflection as exemplified in the lines -‘Let me, trusting,lean into that power on the tide of each day.’ The accompanying images fully compliment your poem. Thanks for this gift Molly. Thank you also for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for hosting! Those photos are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] Poetry Friday is a blogging community from across the world and across the kidlitosphere. Today’s link-up host is Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone. […]

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  9. Thanks for hosting, Molly! That last line:

    “the closest I come
    to holy
    is at the break
    of day”

    is just perfect…I look forward to seeing what you do to this and how you polish it up. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lindabaie says:

    I continue to believe that you need to publish a book of your photos accompanied by your poems, Molly, this one is the starter! I’m happy to have contributed a tiny bit to your “cup of gratitude” and am happy for you that you are “open
    to the current
    that tugs me
    from the bank’s safety”. Thanks for this lovely poem and for hosting this special weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. […] of writing poetry, Molly Hogan is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone, with a work-in-progress poem she calls the “Artist’s Prayer.” I do hope […]

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  12. Gorgeous photos and such a lovely poem. I worked through The Artist’s Way awhile ago, but had forgotten about the Artist’s Prayer. There are many ways of praying and expressing gratitude, and certainly nature is the world’s most beautiful cathedral. Glad your early morning trip inspired you. Thanks for hosting this week (my link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday). Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Lunar New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, your early morning photography is simply beautiful. I can see why you wake so early to photograph nature’s beauty. Your Artist’s Prayer is uplifting. Thank you so much for hosting and brining the beauty of Maine to the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eufrey Domingo says:

    Wonderful. A great distillation of your morning experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is such a heart-filling post. I needed this. Thank you for being such a bright ray of sunshine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sally Murphy says:

    Molly your draft is beautiful – I especially connected with ‘May I capture these moments,
    share this joy”
    But your whole post is, in itself, beautiful – sharing your struggle and process. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. bmagee10 says:

    Thank you for sharing your glorious journey to this amazing poem, Molly. Reading how and what inspires poets is what “quickens my soul”. Thanks for that and for hosting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Wow, Molly! Your amazing photos combined with your powerful poem are joy. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt process. These words especially speak to me: “May I travel in kinship/with the trees, the creatures of sea and land/May I glory in the journey/as much as the destination/Thanks be/for this cup of gladness.” I agree that you should publish your poems into a book. Your poem is a beautiful prayer. Thank you for this gift that has uplifted me.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sara Domingo says:

    Molly, this is so lovely. I particularly love the imagery of the current and bank of the river. This feels so much like you.
    I’ve been meaning to tell you I’ve been reading more poetry lately. Just discovered Seamus Heaney and was reading some after I saw your poem last night because it felt akin. https://hellopoetry.com/poem/70096/lovers-on-aran/

    Liked by 1 person

  20. […] beautiful and talented Molly Hogan is hosting the Roundup at Nix the Comfort Zone. Take her some cheesecake, then check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the […]

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  21. haitiruth says:

    This is beautiful, Molly! I especially love the comparison between your soul and a boat. And your photos are always an inspiration all on their own.

    Thanks for hosting this week!

    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  22. margaretsmn says:

    Molly, I think having a spiritual connection to nature is a religion. Your poem, praise, prayer is beautiful. I am printing out everyone’s prayers and putting them in my notebook. I haven’t written my own yet. Thanks for hosting and thanks for being you, showing us how to see and appreciate beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Molly, this artist’s prayer is beautiful. There are so many lines that speak to me, but this one especially–Thanks be to the dawn/that quickens my soul. Your photographs take my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. How serendipitous that you should be wrestling with prayer, praise and nature today! My post is about Gerard Manley Hopkins and my complicated relationship with him. You have worked it through beautifully, fillingly. May I suggest trying “O Great Creation”? 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I am in tears, dear Molly. Happy tears came first at your exquisite dawning sky images & then with your EssayWords/Carolina Wren foto of Linda B.’s sharing Mary O. & your own d r a f t PoemWords which feel already a match for those artful fotos. So many appreciations!

    And big applause for hosting this week 🙂
    Jan
    Bookseedstudio

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday this week and for sharing your own process so openly. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sara Domingo says:

    Molly, I love this so much. The imagery of the current and the river is perfect. This sings of you.
    I’ve been meaning to tell you I’ve been reading more poetry lately. In particular, I’ve discovered Seamus Heaney. I finished Death of a Naturalist last night after I read this post, and they felt of a larger piece with your poem here.
    https://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/poems/heaney/personal_helicon.php

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Molly, your poem is beautiful! I especially like the lines:

    “Let me, trusting,
    lean into that power
    on the tide of each day”

    I especially like, however, your bravery in describing your journey to reach this point with your artist’s poem. Communing with nature, for many of us, has many the same effects as visiting a house of worship. I hope you don’t mind me saying so. And, as such, your visions of nature and how they have inspired you to have faith in your artist’s journey make for a very beautiful and moving poem.

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us today! I hope you continue to work on it (although, it is beautiful and relatable, as is).

    And, thank you for hosting, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Karen Edmisten says:

    Molly, your artist’s prayer is brimming with gratitude and beauty, as is this entire post. The photos are gorgeous and I love the Carolina wren. 🙂 Thanks for putting some beauty into my Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Karen! The Carolina wren is a new visitor to our house and I’m enchanted by it. It took quite a few failed attempts before I managed to capture a decent photo!

      Like

  30. […] Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Molly Hogan, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone. […]

    Like

  31. […] well as to Molly of Nix the Comfort Zone for hosting the […]

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  32. Fran Haley says:

    Breathtaking, Molly. I am filled with such peace, reading your words. So many strike me – holy, kinship, courage, safety, breaking of day, quickening of the soul – all reminders that writing is a spiritual activity, one of creation. Your courage is rewarded so beautifully, with this rendering. I love every line.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Tim Gels says:

    Molly, thank you so much for your prose and for your poetry. Your willingness to share your initial discomfort resonates with me. I sometimes find myself absolutely blown away by the work of the great Creator. It surrounds me with a familiarity that oftentimes leaves me blind to it, and when I stop to consider it, I realize the inadequacy of any response I might have.

    Your poem is wonderful; I’m going to copy it into my notebook to ponder next time I’m outside. Thank you, again, for that gift. Thank you for hosting, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      This!—“It surrounds me with a familiarity that oftentimes leaves me blind to it, and when I stop to consider it, I realize the inadequacy of any response I might have.” Yes!

      Like

  34. mgminer says:

    I love this praise prayer more than I can say! It lifted my heart. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Love these lines “May I travel in kinship
    with the trees,
    the creatures of sea and land”
    The word and the concept “God” always carried a lot of baggage for me. In time, whenever I see the word “God” I now translate it into “Love” or “Good.” It really works quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Susan says:

    Molly, thank you. This is beautiful and mesmerizing, and I am so grateful that is has now becomes a part of me.

    Liked by 1 person

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