Out My Window
Darkness drops its spell
as light spreads its arms along the horizon
streaming hope over the hill
Morning sunshine hugs the earth,
illuminates the spring green of budding leaves
on the fall-planted Hawthorne now
winning survival over winter
Daffodils accept light’s gift,
their yellow shining brightly,
radiating warmth and welcome,
wobbling gently in the soft warm air
drifting daintily over the lawn of clover
A door squeaks open
as small voices chatter
a basketball thump thumps
on the sidewalk out to the street
past the posted “Children at Play”
honoring children over traffic
An elder couple crosses the street
avoiding contact, physically distant
pausing at gardens, waving to windows
of neighborhood friends safely inside
waiting their turn for walking the block
waving at friends, smiling to strangers while
wearing masks over their faces
A wave from a neighbor across the street
tending his garden of vegetable and floral delights,
canine friends sniffing his each move
“Thank you” I call “for your lights and signs”
painted and posted to honor community workers
in health and grocery, supporting us all
helping survival over the world
Each night this neighborhood, this block,
As light dims its hopeful reach
each neighbor as each can
honors with lights and candles our gratitude to those workers
our friends and family and strangers
serving others over the “shelter in place”
Evening darkens; streets so busy in nights of the past
now silent but for the “whoo, who-who, whoo, whoo” call
of the Great Horned Owl near the top of a Ponderosa Pine
a wandering house cat climbs concrete steps, sniffing a candle-lit lantern
lending light over darkness
Billion year old carbon, stardust, are we
gazing at twinkling stars shining above and beyond,
each of us alone, yet we hold onto our neighbors in new ways
holding humanity over our fears
Out my window, a candle, a hope
overcoming darkness, my own glowing orb
streaming hope over hell
Are you feeling a bit confused, scared? I know I am.
But I look ahead. We look forward to a hopeful future, while acknowledging and acting on the dangers, protecting ourselves and others through our actions of physical distancing and wearing masks.
For now, the world is different, not what we had planned, and yet we are finding ways to move forward to help each other, despite the disruption.
I hope this poem, written about what is outside my window, reflects the times, the trials, and the testament to our shared humanity in helping and recognizing each other.
This poem is written for another #clmooc collaboration, a poetry radio hour, in celebration of our struggles with world-wide sadness and our efforts to embrace the goodness and love within us all, to help us all.
April is National Poetry Month, so the project fits in with other collaborations around the world.
How about joining the writing of poetry, by writing your own “Outside My Window” poem. Spend some time gazing out your window — perhaps your front room window, or perhaps a window not often viewed.
Write down what you see — and what it reminds you of. What is not seen? Like my owl and his call in my poem.
What is outside– people, colors, things, plants, animals, actions, sounds, joy, fears, humor.
What surprises you?
What intrigues you?
What has changed from the past?
What brings you hope?
Choose one or two to start a draft, describing in words the sights and sounds and feelings that those bring to you.
If you’d like some ideas on how to write poetry, see this from Scholastic Writing lesson by poet Jack Prelutsky.
Linda Ashman wrote a book, Outside My Window, with views from all over the world, and Maureen Schlosser wrote her poem based on that book.
Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater provides a writers notebook lesson around “Outside My Window:”
One thing about this time, is we have time to learn about the little things that we now notice, such as the Great Horned Owls. I searched to listen to their call, so I could write the poem with the sound of that amazing creature. All About Birds and Audubon provided expertise and answers for me.
And if you’re seeing signs of spring out your window, try some projects at Journey North to connect digitally with others’ spring adventures.
About this post:
Be safe out there. April is time for NaPoWriMo — National Poetry Writing Month, try a bit of poetry and art to encourage others to be safe with each other. Something short. Something inclusive. Something of spring and hope. #NaPoWriMo/#GloPoWriMo
The Academy of Poets encourages us to write #shelterinpoems. Get some ideas there and share your own.
Tons of information can be found at Poets.org: National Poetry Month and here: Virtual Programs.
National Council of Teachers of English also offers suggestions here.
For other Out My Window poems I’ve written in better times, click here.
Wow — what a powerful poem, both small (the window) and large (the world).
Thanks Kevin! Great idea for the radio poetry show– A great thing to try and then continue in some way– maybe monthly. Take care! ~ Sheri