Posted by: Irene Fridsma | July 16, 2012


I was asked to read some of my poetry for a radio program called Electric Poetry. The program was recorded last week and will air in a couple of weeks on WYCE 88.1. This is a new venture for me. When I get the date that it will be on the air I will let you know. I had opportunity to read about 7 poems. Stay tuned for more info. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a poetry reading.

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Posted by: Irene Fridsma | June 24, 2012

Write-by-the-lake writer’s conference, Madison


This past week was spent in Madison at a writer’s conference. I wrote, read, and listened to poetry for a full week. Our class was so talented and wrote about topics that pricked my conscience, soothed my soul, stretched my imagination, and challenged my thinking. I came away invigorated and encouraged. It was a great week. Thank you Marilyn Taylor for your guidance and encouragement.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | April 3, 2012

Holocaust Remembered


Yesterday we took three of our grandsons to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The little ones were bored by the black and white photos. They wondered about the man shouting speeches in some other language. “Why is he shouting?” They didn’t understand the word “propaganda.” I wan’t sure if any of the significance of this horrible chapter in history would have any impact on them.

We walked through the exhibit “Daniel” and read about his life before and after. That was more interesting to them.They couldn’t imagine being sent away, or separated from their parents, never to see them again.

At the end of the display is a wall with lists of names of people that were rescuers. These were brave individuals who risked their lives to save Jews.

On the long wall with lists of names, they found the names of their great-grandparents. “is this really big Oma, and big Opa?” they asked. They ran their fingers over the names and wanted to know what they had done to help the Jews.

I could not hold back the tears as they began to see how this touched them. Their last name was engraved on the wall. They were connected.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 30, 2012

Trees


We often share our celebrations, deaths, special events, lonely times in the company of trees. We plan weddings under the shade of a tree. We plant a tree to commemorate a death or give a tree to a friend as a symbol of friendship. We take for granted their presence and they are integral to our lives. My Dad planted a Norway spruce in our front yard the year I was born and took my picture with it every birthday. Do you have a special tree in your life?

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 28, 2012

Winning and Losing


the art of losing isn’t hard to master (Elizabeth Bishop)
we learn it with practice and repetition
lessons begin
with a loss of baby teeth and mittens

but we want to win
we learn winning is good
losing is bad

winners are the best,
losers, well, they are losers

winners are elite
losers are at the bottom of the food chain

winners are strong fighters
winners stand above the rest

winners are rewarded
losers have to buy the beer

victors humiliate by rape and violence
winners have privileges

losers have punishments
more training, sit-ups

winners gloat over opponents

winners get the girl
losers are left alone

a dichotomy
good and bad
we are divided

what if there were another way
that pairs weak and strong
without judgement

we lack vocabulary to describe it

collaboration comes closest
it gets confused with compromise
and giving in
and succumbing
and a lesser solution

our vocabulary
doesn’t encourage
one to be better

it makes the loser
believe what is said
it defeats the person again and again.

yelling “try harder”
doesn’t help either

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 26, 2012

Livid (a rant)


Livid

Livid. Even the sound of the word is intense. Yesterday the airwaves crackled with rhetoric concerning the shooting of a young boy carrying skittles, tea, and wearing a hoodie. The outcry is warranted. Shoot first––ask questions later.

What bothers me is which events and issues turn us livid. What bothers me is the ease with which we let issues slide from livid to apathetic.

A bad call on the basketball court.
A stubbed toe getting out of bed.
A kid who interferes with our schedule, or level of desired quiet.
A driver that cuts us off in traffic, intentionally or deliberately

The above is a list of situations that light a short fuse and can instantly turn us livid. Face turns red, or purple, heart races, and muscles tighten. We are ready to fight and do bodily harm to another. But really, are any of those events important? Or are they just a matter of selfishly wanting our own way?

Reports of human trafficking, neglect of children, the elderly, those with disabilities, the weak, treatment of the poor, shooting other humans for sport, or because they wear hoodies and for many people, the news barely engenders a response. Someplace else, someone else. Our ego, family, and neighborhood remains intact and that’s all that matters.

We figured our income taxes yesterday. Sticker shock! The amount was way more than we wanted to pay and we searched for more deductions, but didn’t find enough to bring down the total. We wrote the check and took our lumps.

Bottom line, we are thankful. We have a comfortable life style, enough to eat, a home, and we have resources to pay our taxes. It is easy to be blind to those in need when our lives are full.

I turn on the evening news and hear angry candidates calling each other names, blaming each other for situations out of their control, making assumptions about each others motives and intents. Bullies. If this were the playground and children spoke this way to each other, they would be considered bullies, disciplined, possibly suspended or expelled. Yet, with the candidates people follow their example and repeat the same disrespectful rhetoric. What is wrong with this picture?

One of my favorite quotes is “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” We ought to be livid about exploitation of children. We need to be livid over violence against women and little girls and boys. We need to be livid over abuse of the elderly and the poor. We need to be livid against bullying.

Consider if the situation is grave enough to deserve our furious anger. Consider if it is just our feelings, or our own ego being stepped on. Get livid and let it spur us to constructive action.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 24, 2012

Dilemma


As poets we have a dilemma. If we publish our poems on our blog we cannot enter them in many poetry contests. I’ve held back for the past couple of months because I’m not sure which ones I should publish on the blog if that means they would be disqualified in future contest submissions. A change in format and content might be necessary. I thank all who venture here to read. I’ll be posting other material soon. Regards to all. Be kind to each other.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 25, 2011

Silent Trees


In the summer of 1954-approx., there were mysterious deaths of many of the song birds especially the robins in Michigan. We picked up the birds and brought them to MSU for study to see what was killing them. It turned out to be DDT poisoning. This poem was inspired by the events of that summer.

Silent Trees

The summer of the rented horse
when a young child’s life was simple
we searched for dead birds everywhere
and rode around the neighborhood

When a young child’s life was simple
we cried for all the birds that died
and rode around the neighborhood
and scared the beauty shop ladies

We cried for all the birds that died
and the horse stuck its head inside
and scared the beauty shop ladies
who screamed and closed the open door

And the horse stuck its head inside
while empty trees swung in the breeze
that screamed and closed the open door
we hitched the mare to concrete blocks

While empty trees swung in the breeze
the wild wind spooked the rented horse
we hitched the mare to concrete blocks
but she broke loose and ran away

The wild wind spooked the rented horse
past the sad pile of poisoned birds
she broke the rope and ran away
back to the barn to find her stall

Past the sad pile of poisoned birds
while shop ladies watched her run by
back to the barn a mile away
with two young cowgirls in pursuit

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 22, 2011

Aurora Christmas


Aurora Christmas

we sit until the lights turn off
and skies grow cold as winter nights
then flash and glow with neon hues
and pulses, through the evening sky

and skies grow cold as winter nights
aurora borealis sings
and pulses through the evening sky
alaska technicolor night

aurora borealis sings
as wild wolves howl and watch the sight
alaska technicolor night
shimmering waves of green and red

as wild wolves howl and watch the sight
snow squeaks and scrunches underfoot
shimmering waves of green and red
colors shine on hair and faces

snow squeaks and scrunches underfoot
as hearts grow still this Christmas eve
colors shine on hair and faces
we see the sky as shepherds did

as hearts grow still this Christmas eve
recalling how one holy night
shepherds heard the heavenly choir
and one star shone to guide the way

recalling how one holy night
the angels sang a birthday song
and one star shone to guide the way
and creatures gathered round God’s Lamb

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | October 27, 2011

Sun Swept


Sun Swept

Swatches of color sweep
across the rolling hills
and bask in the heat

of Indian summer,
before snow blusters
and earth slumbers

under its blanket of white.
I delight in autumn’s bold hues
before they’re lost to winter’s blight.

Rejoice, oh heart,
Embrace life’s warm palette
before crimsons and golds depart.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | October 1, 2011

Maranatha Writing Conference


October Perfect

breeze cools
and refreshes

sun deposits
blush on cheeks

grass proclaims “Green”
before closing the season

leftover summer flowers
shout their last hurrah

migratory birds circle
in preparatory formations

October perfect

We had an opportunity to fill our hearts, share our ideas, and learn many new inspiring ways to improve out writing. I have neglected my blog for a while because sometimes life gets in the way. The tyranny of the urgent takes over and many things get set aside. I hope to be back on track in the next few months.

My writing has shifted to a novel that I am working on. Its title is White Orchid and is an amateur sleuth mystery.

I will have a poem included in a new brochure for our church. I’m excited they want to publish it. It is called the Birth of a Night Terror. More about that later.

The weather has been wonderful and I just got back from a soccer game with the grand-daughter. (they won!) The rest of the evening is mine to relax, watch the Tigers, and GVSU football from the comfort of my easy chair.

The reflection on the lake doubles the beauty I see out my window. I love October.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | June 9, 2011

Grounded


never fly when your wings are clipped
the crazy flight of a broken bird
banging into objects mere inches from the ground

never fly when your brain is clouded
the crazy flight of a blinded bird
bumping into furniture and walls

never fly when your legs are broken
the crazy flight of a crippled bird
limping and dragging and failing
to become airborne

never fly when your stomach is churning
the crazy flight of a nauseous bird
bolting and cramped with unsettled innards

never fly when you are sub par

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | May 18, 2011

The Rest of the Story


I read this poem and posted it on my facebook. Couldn’t post it here without a change in the type of service that I have from wordpress.

The Rest of the Story

the rest of the story
remains untold
unplanned

it waits in the anteroom
of untapped memory
chimera shaken into light
by unsuspected triggers

the rest of the story
hasn’t formed on the page
its words not yet called into being

words not laced
by a connecting strand
but are waiting
to be summoned out of silence
joined by a red thread
that binds them all together

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | May 15, 2011

Above Everything Else


Above Everything (after David Ignatow)

I wished for death often
But now that I am at its door
I have changed my mind about the world.
It should go on; it is beautiful,
Even as a dream, filled with

color and paint dripping down my fingers
as the brush sliding across the canvas
brings my inner vision to life

it is filled with edges and softness and textures
that are worked to form vessels
from moist red clay drawn from the earth

it is the smell of hot apples
milled, separated from their seeds
turned into fresh sauce
that oozes into the bowl
to combine with sugar and cinnamon

it is the sound of small voices and whimpers
of babies
waiting for their baptism
interrupting the solemn event
to say this is all about me

it is the quiet spirit God grants
in troubling circumstances
that reassures me
I’m part of something eternal

— a beauty,
if I have ever seen one.
In the next world, should I remember
this one, I will praise it
above everything.

Irene Fridsma (2011)

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | April 25, 2011

Thursday’s Child (for Pearce)


Thursday’s Child

Beautiful Child
Planned
Anticipated
Here you are

Born on Thursday
They name you
Pearce

Your bright eyes draw me in
You capture my heart
You are exquisite

You are quiet
Too soon

Your breath is tentative
Not ready
You joined us too soon
Unfinished

Your will is evident
And we are optimistic
So much beauty

You have far to go
Little Thursday’s Child

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | April 13, 2011

The Imported Cook (revised to better fit the Sestina form)


she reached across the wide shelf
to retrieve pans to cook
the stew which was today’s challenge
since she was losing her train
of thought down a daydream stream
when she should have been browning beef

but her patient husband wasn’t one to beef
even though her cooking skills were not top shelf
she had emigrated from the town across the stream
and was still learning to cook
at day’s end she felt like she’d been dragged behind the train
recipes were always a challenge

his forbearance helped her weather the challenge
of interpreting the unusual ingredient list with “ribs of beef”
which she had them shipped to her by train
the rest she found on the local grocer’s shelf
it took her hours to prepare and cook
these special-ordered ribs from down stream

quality meat ordered from the city down stream
helped her conquer the recipe challenge
as she waited for the beef to cook
she wondered if her children would like casserole o’ beef
then began to clean the kitchen returning pots to the shelf
enjoying the aromas and listening for the train

she had arrived here on the train
the captain knew this stop on the stream
her prized Julia Child’s cooking bible remained on the shelf
knowing that French cuisine would be an ongoing challenge
she studied a recipe involving brisket of beef
soon she was confident in her role as cook

with ingredients to cook
and new food adventures waiting, the train
stopped often with its cargo of beef
she had entered the western mainstream
by embracing the unfamiliar cultural food challenge
she soon filled her pantry, loading each shelf

the persistent cook, improved her pantry shelf
with exotic spices and beef, while mastering the challenge
of ordering specialty meats by train from down stream

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 31, 2011

The Imported Cook


(after Elizabeth Bishop) A sestina- 6 lines, 6 stanzas, 6 ending words, a summary 3 line stanza. My first try at it. Just for fun!

The Imported Cook

she reached across the wide shelf
to retrieve pans to cook
the stew which was today’s challenge
since she was losing her train
of thought down a daydream stream
when she should have been browning beef

she had emigrated from the town across the stream
bought a ticket that took her this far by train
she wasn’t the best cook
certainly not top shelf
recipes were always a challenge
but her patient husband wasn’t one to beef

his forbearance helped her weather the challenge
of interpreting the unusual ingredient list that ended with “ribs of beef”
it was a special order from a store downstream
the rest she found on the local grocer’s shelf
it took her hours to prepare and cook
and at day’s end she felt like she’d been dragged behind the train

she waited for the beef to cook
having conquered the recipe challenge
she began to clean the kitchen returning pots to the shelf
enjoying the aromas and thinking how to train
her children to accept an unfamiliar beef
casserole with meat ordered from the city downstream

she was happy in her role as cook
knowing that French cuisine would be an ongoing challenge
Julia Child’s book remained on the shelf
open to a recipe involving brisket of beef
the boat captain would get to know this stop on the stream
as well as the travelers by train

she soon filled each shelf
with ingredients to cook
other combinations embracing the challenge
of new food adventures wanting to train
herself to enter the western mainstream
with its fondness for beef

the top shelf, the frazzled cook
exotic spices and beef, the train
and her challenge to secure specialty meats from down stream

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 23, 2011

All the Ways


All the Ways

I fell in love with you
before you were born
before I felt you move in my womb
before a pregnancy test confirmed
your beginning

I fell in love in love with you
before you had a name
before you had a face
before you took your first breath

I fell in love with you
before I saw your tiny hands
before your little feet kicked
before your heart began to beat

I fell in love with you
when you were only a prayer
when you were only a promise
when you were still a twinkle
in your father’s eyes

I thought my heart would burst
as I loved you before you were born
at the gift of your presence
the beautiful baby in my arms

I thought my heart would burst
when I sent you off to school
when you graduated
when you got your first job

I thought my heart would break
when you were lonely
when life tested you to make you strong
when I couldn’t take away your tears

my heart delights to know you
as an adult
as a parent
as a friend

in all the ways
that matter in life
you have made me rich

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Grace


Dear Friends, It seems appropriate that I read Sara’s book on Tuesday. I hope many of you will take the time to visit her site and also read the story of God’s grace in their lives. I marvel at all the ways God brought people together. Irene

http://www.encouragehope.com/

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 5, 2011

Women Can Wait


Women Can Wait

women know how to wait
as the spark of life
grows in darkness until
that time when the brush
of tiny arms and legs
tickle inside her womb

women know how to wait
for the school bus
that swoops up her children
one ear tuned
to shifting gears and humming engines
signaling their return to her

women know how to wait
for reports from the doctor
concerning the health
of her husband or parent when
they are embark
on a fight for their life

women know how to wait their turn
even if it never comes
they wait with hope for a better day

women know how to wait
in lines
for rest rooms
for grocery check out
for kids to learn their lessons
for piano lessons, and sporting practices

women know how to wait
for water to boil
for meat to reach the perfect stage of doneness
for bread to rise

women know how to wait
knitting on hand to fill moments
a good book tucked in their purse
pen and paper to write down a phrase or
compose a poem or make a grocery list

will this new generation of girls
learn this skill as they speed
in their cars, texting as they drive
honking their horns
at anyone in their way

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 4, 2011

Orchard in Summer


Posted by: Irene Fridsma | January 11, 2011

More Casseroles


More Casseroles

we need more casseroles she thought
as she looked at the list of sick and mourning
in the church bulletin where

families thanked the faith community
for prayers, gifts, cards, kind words, and casseroles
given to feed their bodies and hearts

she knew some who wouldn’t warrant a gift
“you made your bed now lay in it”

unspoken pain
grief too bitter to expose
shame carried for another
sadness pressed heavy against her heart

a child far from the fold
runaway children and their families
families struggling with substance abuse
the broken

the lonely
unemployable
the unemployed
those facing foreclosure

depression
mental illness
families of alcoholics
caregivers

grief for uncompleted pregnancy
those who fear being outed
spousal abuse victims

families of the incarcerated

fewer judgments
more casseroles

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | January 3, 2011

Always Looking


Always Looking

she is always looking for something
in her life
in her choices
for items that sneak away
to hide in plain sight

a trait that has held her hand
through her reinventions
each successive decade

child
student
wife
mother
teacher
artist
poet

she knows how to maneuver
through change
find the best parts to retain
while moving in a new direction
still on the lookout for something

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | January 2, 2011

Blind Spot


Blind Spot

eyes are built
with a dot of blindness

an inherent
spot of darkness

we spent New Year’s Eve
with just the two of us
comfortable in quietness
time for reflection

cozy near the fire

settled

isolation translated to solitude

I embrace a solitary journey

it un-complicates my life
on several levels

I take my place
in the blind spot

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | December 28, 2010

Reflections


Posted by: Irene Fridsma | December 12, 2010

Snowing


feathery crystals
drift earthward

inside the snowy globe
sky brightens
sun rays penetrate
lighting each flake
with glistens and sparkles

quiet encompasses the dome
surrounding my house

we listen for delicate sounds

air being displaced by snow
sticking to trees and shrubs
covering the grime
of earth’s pollution
giving the impression of clean

Christmas Miracle
came to earth
one quiet night turned glorious
with angels
stars, and shepherds

He entered earth’s dome
covered us with His blessing
covered earth with His goodness
washed away our grime
leaving us truly clean

“Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow.”

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | December 12, 2010

Trees of Christmas


The year of the outdoor tree
The year of the live tree

The year of the naked tree

The year of the very short tree
The year of the too tall tree

The year of the Christmas fichus
The year the tree fell over

The year of the instant tree

The year of the silver aluminum tree
The year of the Charlie Brown tree

The year of the Rockefeller tree
The year of the “Perfect Squint” tree

The year of the handmade decorations
The year of the haute`couture tree

The year of the “pine” tree
The year of the “pain” tree

The year of the absent Christmas tree

The year of the Chrismons

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 30, 2010

Mug Shots


Mug Shots

coffee mugs keep watch over the goings on
in her studio as they line up
to have their portraits painted

empty cups of great beauty
too fragile for mundane uses
fit into the still life arrangement
she organizes on the satin coverlet
along with her vintage atomizers
and single yellow rose

a steamy cup of coffee
rests near the tabouret
that holds her painting supplies
her favorite mug filled with freshly brewed arabica
exudes sweet aroma from the tropics

she purchased it on a special camping vacation
with one of her daughters
it warms her hands and heart
and helps her think clearly

some utilitarian vessels
double as brush holders
she notes their chipped exteriors
marred by use and stains
etched on the interiors

the hand-modeled clay bodies
fired for strength
have colorful glazes
forever sealing
the sculptor’s fingerprints
embossing them
into sides and edges

from time to time she cradles them with care
remembering their origins
and how she came to love
having them around her

she has a thing for coffee mugs
she won’t deny it

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 23, 2010

Give Thanks


My Joys

to hear my husband turn the pages of the newspaper
to smell the oatmeal he prepares for me each morning

to hear music made by a child as she plays in her piano recital
to see the graduate cross the stage and receive his diploma
to see a soccer goal made by a grandchild

to observe the robin build her nest
sit faithfully for hours and days
tending, warming her eggs
devoted to the task

to watch the perennials
wake from their long slumber
break boldly through the soil
announce their strength
to grow another season

to see babies born healthy
cherished by their parents
comforted they are lonely or hungry

pilgrimage to places of beauty
Grand Canyon
Lake Tahoe
Maroon Bells
Peace River
Smoky Mountains
coastal highways
Banff to Jaspers
Denali when the cloud curtains open

to ride fast on my bike
feel the wind against my skin
ride twenty miles on the bike paths
to hike Lost Dog Trail

to know all my children and grandchildren
rest safely in their beds
to be at peace with my loved ones

to feel connected to another human being
to be appreciated for my uniqueness and peculiarities
to not feel lonely
in a crowd or when alone

to sleep undisturbed
wake in time for the sunrise

to know God hears all my prayers
answers each one
perfectly

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 18, 2010

Strong Women


(This was written as a response to an old photo of four generations of women)

four generations of women
pose in the black and white photo
the unpredictable
flash of magnesium
force faces to look frozen
as each person remains still

grandma, the family treasure
is surrounded
by the oldest daughter
from each generation

it was a difficult life
grandma shared with Jake
who insisted
she fixed his meals on time
took care of all his needs

her clenched hands
rest in her lap
hands gnarled by woman’s work
she sits unsmiling, grim
her shoulders squared

her daughter and grand-daughters
lean on her
to garner her strength

her daughter’s deep-set eyes
unsmiling expression
reveal resignation
to life’s hardships

these four are stuck together
by blood
drawing on each other
for resources

strong women
substantial as the metal chair
its claw feet
its stiff unyielding iron arms
supporting the ancient grandmother

I have been in a similar photo
changing positions
in the generational role call
now
it’s my turn to sit in the metal chair

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 13, 2010

Preservation Haul


we did it

met for the annual
apple preservation event

gathered around the work island
selected tools
sharp knives
large cooking pots
Ball and Mason jars
blue enamel canners

we worked surrounded
by bags and baskets loaded
with Jonathans and Cortlands
ripe and full of goodness

wide mouth glass funnel
measuring pitchers
oversize tongs for lifting jars
from their hot water bath

towels to dry them
pads to protect the counter
magnet on a stick
to retrieve sterilized lids and rings

this year’s team
mother and father
and three daughters

we cranked the gadget to remove skins
cooked
processed
lifted
admired
counted
listened for the “click”

100 jars of sauce
18 Dutch apple pies

bring on the cold
we’re ready

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 10, 2010

The Colors of the Sky


The Colors of the Sky

past the color season
past the time of bright leaves
past the time of summer flowers

sky owned the spectrum
passing out rainbows
during the day

yellow and peachy pinks
were strewn across the morning
oranges and reds
streaked the evening skies

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 10, 2010

Sunrise and Night photo


Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 2, 2010

The Feast


Time hurries along and October is a delightful memory. We spent the month touring the National Parks in Idaho, Colorado and South Dakota. We slept more than half of the nights in our car where we watched a dome of stars above us, moonlight so bright you could read, the sounds of mysterious footfalls around our campsite, and bugling elk in the distance.

One of my favorite days was spent in 17 degree weather watching bear, wolves, an eagle, coyote, ravens, and magpies take their turns devouring a bison carcass. We stood with cameras ready to capture the feeding frenzy. I have some good photos and some blurry ones but I met some great folks who had equipment and expertise to record this event. Discovery channel videographers were there and photographers with telephoto lenses that showed the teeth of wolves more than 300 feet away in the shade.

I know there is a life lesson in what we observed. There is a pecking order about who eats first. There are certain animals that will eat together and others that insist on eating alone. There was growling and sparring and fighting for control of the food. There was power in working as a team. I’ll get back to these thoughts in the future.

Enjoy the photos and hope that you will return to the site as it goes through transitions.

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | September 10, 2010

Humble Messes


Humble Messes

the day is heading toward a hot one
mist is glued to the lake
pollution filled on this
ozone alert day.

the wetlands infraction
sentencing is scheduled for today
did we make an impact?
I won’t know until later

company coming this morning
my studio looks like a
bird was here scrambling
for nesting materials

oh, to find what I need
make order of my chaos
sometimes it is easy
sometimes it is impossible

I find a way through the scramble
sort, file, store pieces of the mess

once out of sight
I might never
find it again

lost letters have flown away
with that nesting bird
I’m sure she is the culprit

Lord help my troubled spirit
Bless my humble messes
Clear my jumbled mind
Refresh my aching body
Enliven my weary soul

today
trust and work
tomorrow
trust and rest

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | September 3, 2010

Red Flags


(at our poetry workshop we were asked to think about what we would do differently if we could go back and change something in our past. This was my 5 minute poem about do-overs.)

Red Flags

there were red flags that warned of danger
but I held my tongue so as not to interfere

there were red flags warning me
with such vividness
but I chose to believe
words and assurances
instead of reading the signs

I see red flags today
and choose to speak out
for the unpopular
for those without a voice
for those with fearful stories

evil prevails when good men do nothing
some one has cautioned

my voice clear and brave
with words of wisdom gleaned
along a journey
on a road less traveled

I see red flags and
will speak their truth

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | June 28, 2010

Ask Me


sometimes when the Ohio River
runs cold ask me how

it turns the drops
of river to vapor ask me why

Mist Rising

the snaking river hides
as it sheds
it’s foggy skin ask me why

photographers and artists are transfixed
by the light burning holes in the mist ask me why

the lacy moisture catches rainbow fragments and
makes them dance under the rising sun
like ballerinas on the stage ask me why

full sun takes away
the mystery ask me why

I get up before dawn and
wait for this miracle

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | April 3, 2010

paintings


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Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 22, 2010


she just couldn't deal with the spring snow

Posted by: Irene Fridsma | December 29, 2009

The Plans


The Plans: Jeremiah 29:11

I know
we read from Jeremiah
confident
we are on God’s radar
He knows

the plans I have
this is not an accident
happening randomly
out of chaos
He still has plans

for you
His plans are personal
not generic like some of the
medicines in my cupboard
these are plans
for you

to give you
not to take
not to destroy
this is hard, Lord, when
all seems contrary
to your promise
to give

a future
how can that be
when the future seems
so short
not the threescore and ten
as promised to the saints
a future

and a hope
there it is
hope
the missing piece
our hope is in Him
our future rests with Him

I know this
this I know

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