It’s the third Thursday of the month, and that means it’s time for . . .

Each week, I receive a newsletter in my inbox from the poet James Crews. He usually shares a new(ish) poem he’s written, plus some reflections on how the poem came to be, and a thinking/journaling prompt for his readers. Last week, his reflection really resonated with me. He said this . . . “we can grieve our losses, and the larger losses of the human family, even as we welcome the abundance of light on a sunny day, shining through bare trees. I have always felt that we turn to poetry during difficult times like these precisely because poems are such small but spacious containers that hold so much with just a few powerful sensory details.”

I couldn’t agree more! These days, I often struggle as I hold grief for the world at large AND enjoy my own little slices of joy . . . at the same time. I think this poem from James Crews’ newsletter last week says it beautifully — and helps me understand that there is room for both feelings.

by James Crews

You can grieve the leaves stripped
from the maple, all that empty
space between bare branches,
or you can bless the abundance
of light shining through, buffing
the pine boards of the floor until
they turn the color of clover honey.
You can mourn the coneflowers
now shriveled and brown, say
the whole world’s gone to ruin,
or you can stand at the window
watching the lively yellow blossom
of a goldfinch feasting on each
crown of seeds, sending more than
a few back home, down into
the open ground, which knows
how to receive them.

This poem was included in the November 10, 2023 issue of The Weekly Pause, written and published by James Crews. Information about the poet can be found on his website here. (If you’d like to receive The Weekly Pause yourself, you can sign up from the link; just scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out the subscription form.)


You can find A Gathering of Poetry every month . . . on the third Thursday.
Share some.
Read some.
Gather up some poetry!

(Bonny is hosting a special link-up for A Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to check it out!)