“A Family Poem for the World”: A Participatory Poem-Writing Project

“A Family Poem for the World”: A Participatory Poem-Writing Project

April 21, 2020
0 Comment

“A Family Poem for the World”

A Participatory Project Created By YOU!

Edited By John Schlimm, in partnership with Familius

 

YAY!

. . . and our hearts, breath, and prayer became one . . .

 

Be the “YES” person!

To have the power to know you’re special

while humble enough not to use power.

Be the “special” in someone’s life.

 

AWAKEN!

Perhaps God has pushed the reset button

to remind us of what’s important.

Not money, power, or material things, but each other.

 

Of our many blessings even in dark times,

I’m thankful for technology to help keep us together

while we need to be apart.

 

SMILE,

it makes the world a brighter place!

We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be.

Silver lining of life becoming simple, unfrazzled.

 

MEOW!

Love all.

Serve all.

. . . to be a redeeming presence in the world.

 

COMFORT!

Love, unity, community.

Sometimes the person you don’t want to talk to

is the very person you need to talk to.

 

She embraced the suffering world with open arms.

Enduring pain and hardships together

will bind us with love for the rest of our lives.

 

We work to liberate love.

 

Que sera, sera.

What will be, will be.

You got this!

 

BREATHE:

slow;

focus;

exist;

be present.

 

Feeling my way in the darkness

Pinpricks of light

Squinting, I glimpsed God.

 

VULNERABILITY!

. . . be in tune

with thoughts, emotions, wants, needs.

 

Be a better you

and there will be no end to what we can do.

 

Be good, do good.

 

GRATITUDE!

I look up at the stars.

I give thanks to God for putting them there,

and for keeping my family, my community,

my self safe another day.

 

I draw in deep breaths of air

and am thankful that I can.

 

CREATION!

The world created in the still and silence

will again be vibrant and full of color.

 

At the sunlit eaves of my rib-cage

clouds morph

in their urgent, timeless instruction

to be here now, and now, and now again.

 

Life finds a way

in the in-between times.

 

CONNECTION!

One day, we will all be stardust.

 

Do unto others

as you would have them

do unto you.

Luke 6:31.

 

We are equals.

 

Good humans connected

in a new, different way,

seeking solutions and working together

to keep our loved ones and neighbors

safe.

 

The titles that matter most

are not related to our jobs:

Mom

Dad

Sister

Brother

Daughter

Son

Aunt

Uncle

Grandmother

Grandfather

Friend.

 

LIGHT!

“A single sunbeam is enough

to drive away many shadows.”

Saint Francis of Assisi.

 

TIME

The earth groaned.

A Voice resounded.

We sifted

together

from crevice to crevice.

 

Hope is alive in every new morning.

 

COMPASSION!

Always available, not always present.

When we are divided, it doesn’t exist at all.

But in times of trouble, shield your eyes,

look to the horizon.

For compassion is riding in.

Compassion drives out division.

Humanity wins.

 

NATURE!

I sat and opened my senses

to the cleansing gifts

that nature is always willing to bestow.

 

Winds wending through tree branches, beguiling.

Cardinal’s distinctive songs.

Sunlight warmly stroking my skin.

 

Tension evaporated, replaced by gratitude.

 

A grateful, natural prayer

to what always awaits me.

 

KINDERGARTEN!

Five and six year olds:

 

“I’m sad . . .”

“I’m happy . . .”

“I’m mad . . .”

“I’m hungry.”

 

What is one word you would say to the world?

“Healthy.”

“No.”

“Love.”

“Happy.”

 

What brings you joy?

“Talking to teachers everyday!”

“Toys!”

“Mario and Luigi!”

“Therapy!”

 

F-R-I-E-N-D-S!

Amazing

Loving

Loyal

Incredible

Encouraging

 

I’ll be there for you!

 

NOW!

Go inward, cocoon, discover.

Break free of old

and fly

to your wondrous NOW!

 

DARKNESS

The darkness always promises

the brightest light.

 

When life gets scary and hard,

choose to be a ray of light.

 

PAUSE . . .

 

PRIORITIZE . . .

 

EMPATHY:

a blessing, a curse, feeling every hope and fear

vulnerable, but grateful

worried, but faithful

a spinning wheel of emotion

we are human

we are love

we are strong

together.

 

FAMILY!

Family is . . . connection, time, and balance.

Family is . . . laughter, tears, and joy.

Family is . . . humility, grace, and courage.

Family is . . . giving, receiving, and sharing.

Family is . . . truth, transparency, and respect.

Family is . . . the power of unconditional love.

 

STORMS!

I can’t stop the rain

nor the storm clouds

but

I

can

adjust

my focus.

 

Together is better.

 

I can stop the tears

and see beauty in the storms

as

I

breathe

hope

to the world.

 

RESTLESS SOUL

Mercy, Compassion, and Presence

from above

calm our restless soul

and fill our heart

with Love and Hope.

 

JOYS!

We can still greet the simplest of joys,

lying on a patch of green,

watching the clouds cavort . . .

 

Join hands whoever you may be.

We are all of this world you see.

 

AMEN!

 

FORGIVENESS?

A learned art

of letting go,

of loving . . .

 

of listening,

of looking back in step

with moving forward, of healing,

humility.

 

About “A Family Poem for the World”:

Amidst the early months of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020, Familius and John Schlimm launched the participatory poem-writing project A FAMILY POEM FOR THE WORLD.

John’s understanding of the power that creating (and creating TOGETHER) can have in bringing people together and lifting them up parallels Familius’s mission to help families be happy.

Familius founder and CEO Christopher Robbins says, “My first introduction to poetry was through my grandfather, who used poetry to communicate important life lessons to me. Poetry has the ability to distill into the most succinct and beautiful language lessons, thoughts, and emotions that connect us to what is most important.”

People from across the country and world submitted words, phrases, and single sentences to Familius on social media using #FamilyPoemfortheWorld, which John compiled and edited into A FAMILY POEM FOR THE WORLD.

John Schlimm and Familius are also happy to offer a discussion guide for families, educators, and remote learners to accompany A FAMILY POEM FOR THE WORLD, available upon request (kfarrell@familius.com).

John Schlimm

John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, advocate, artist, and the award-winning author of 19 books on dogs, memoir, entertaining/cooking, history, how-to, and essays.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Books

The Gen-Z Time Capsule

THE KINDNESS ROCKS &
SMILES COMMUNITY PROJECT

Art