Category: Ordinary Thanks

Elizabeth Howard’s online Gratitude log

Waking Up To a Thunderstorm


There’s reasons to get up. The
Have-tos, especially, drag me
Out of bed, and the little voice
Chirping from the other room. There’s
Reasons to untie myself from the
Sheet: my own needs and the
Dog’s. And sometimes it’s good
Enough reason to escape
Bleached linoleum dream floors
That I was pacing, searching
For a missing friend.

But this morning the call
Came from the barometer
Falling and rain pattering
On the hard plastic a/c case.
Crawling from sleep,
I pulled on my storm chaser
Habit and tossed back the
Blanket. I checked the
Time, counted the stairs,
Touched the screens to
Tell which direction
She came. Then I
Drew up a chair
By one open
Window
And waited.

Heart Work

I hear you. Tapping on the glass. You
Want to be let in. You’ve been patiently
Waiting on the stoop for so long, and you’ve
Done your job, enjoying the passersby and
Soaking up the sun. You’ve done all the
Cataloging of songbirds and counting the
Shades of sky as it shifts from dawn to
Dusk. You’ve had your fun, your rest,
Your respite from the toil of
Life. You’ve had your walkabout and
Now are tapping on the storm door
And asking to be let back in to
Work. My heart, I am saying
I hear you.

I Touched Your Head


My sweet princess told Matt, the
Shoe salesman as he bent
Over her little foot, “I touched
Your head!” the last word lifting
Up like a startled sparrow leaving
A branch.

She might hear, someday, about
How the real once-upon-a-times
Would have raced with fear and terror,
If two such color blind
Strangers found themselves
Tossed together and had nothing
Else to do but
Be curious
And reach out,
In the normal way
People must do
Regardless.

How Dyana Valentine Said YES, Twice!

This week I am the Guest Poet on the beautiful poetry site: Bentlily. Please do go over and have a look.

But, before you do, I’d like to tell you a quick story about how Vancouver poet and entrepreneur Samantha Reynolds found out about me and Demand Poetry.

I received an email from her about a month or so ago. In the e-mail she said: 

Dear Elizabeth… The indomitable Dyana Valentine suggested I connect with you (she called you her favourite poet).”

Have you ever met someone who is totally and completely brave? Who says  “YES” to things on impulse and lands dead-on right?

That’s who Dyana Valentine is. 

She was the FIRST stranger to buy a Demand Poem from me via my website and Paypal. She didn’t know me. And certainly didn’t have a certificate of guarantee that the poem she would receive from me would satisfy her soul.

But Dyana didn’t hestitate. She invested in me. She laughed with me, and egged me on. She said “Let’s go girl!!” and she must have enjoyed the result, as she has told others about me.

I admit, I have always been a little bit cynical about the concept of “Life Coaching.” But I am not at all cynical about mentors, leaders, and people who inspire us to move forward. These women and men succeed because they are not adverse to risk. They are brave.  They move their minds, bodies and spirits apace.

Investing time and money with a mover pays back, and forward.

So, this is just my way of saying thanks to Dyana Valentine, for her YES, which is a muse of bright impulse and leadership.

And to Tara Gentile too, whose conversation with Dyana connected us in the first place. Thanks for her mindful and fearless dive into the creative world.

Life moves with them.

Pink Eye


After handing me a cup of
Cinammon tea, Colin gently repeats
How he ordered the nematodes for
The garden. And I “oh-yeah” him
And say: hey, yeah, I think I did
Hear you say that once before heh-heh
and

This tea I am drinking is from
The second of two identical tins
He gave me at Christmas because
Last year, he said, I moaned
A little bit when the last bag
Was tossed away. And I smell

Chicken noodle soup huffing out from
Under its lid. He made that
Too. And it is a blue Sunday, and the
Cookies wait under lids for the Bake
Sale and the kids putter, and the
Lawn is mowed and I have
Pink eye and something viral and
I have never
Felt this loved before.

Sister-Mother-Me

Karen Phillips - The One that I Love

I have a mother. She’s over there
In Iowa, playing Tetris.
I have three sisters, they are
Always available to me, on the phone
To laugh and retell stories. One of them
Did enough work, herself, to
Find her way all the way back from
“Who are you?” via “Who am I?”
To “Who cares? I love you anyway!” and
Because of that, we are sister-friends.

I have good girl friends, all over
The world.
Finally.
Some I found in
Grad school, some on the floor of
A restaurant, on a porch swing,
In a pub.
There are those I am still
Excavating from the wreckage of
My college cyclone. Three
Revisit me all the way from the
Faraway land of Catholic school,
And seem to love me best.

One friend is Karen. She came with the
Wedding, free of charge. Insisted my hips
Will shimmy that way,
Come the day I let it all go.
She doesn’t ask me to change myself, or
Order me around; just to say,

hello,
Come in. Here’s the love. Here’s my arms–
I’ll hold you and you may lean in here,
No judgment. You are doing
Fine. Rest. Put your head down,
Sister, daughter, mother, friend.
I have got you. We are the
Same, no less, no better
And when you want to take up
The mantle again, you will be able to
Do it because all of us are here to hold you up
Say yes, you can. Know it because
You are me.

You are us.