Category: Grief

Through the Light

through the Light
of Christmas
I found my way
home

from a hospital
and nursing home
through city and
small town
Main Streets

their streetlamps
with holiday lights

as my mother
was on her way
Home

the time we shared

and still share

I wrote this poem on December 3, 2013, and added a note:

A peaceful grey day here, with steady rain.  The evergreens are so beautiful.  We are also still seeing geese flying in formation.  Spring, Summer, Fall – all so glorious.  Yet I think I love this time most of all.  Yesterday I went to Target and the brown fields had a covering of frost.  I guess whatever time it may be is the best time.   The wonder of seasons, wherever we are.

Photo by Karl – 2014

Ellen Grace Olinger

Grateful

 “Little nails and a steady hammer can rebuild a life – eucharisteo precedes the miracle.”

Selections from One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp – Page 31.
2012, Zondervan; author copyright. 

I remembered the quote today and had not looked at this book for awhile. The “Interior photography” is also by Ann Voskamp.

In April 2013 I wrote, The goal is to always find something to praise – however tiny.  It’s interesting as I type this, I recall such vivid images of beauty outside the windows during difficult days.  I didn’t think of myself as having that visual sense before.  Now it is appearing in my poetry, as a natural part of life. 

These are photos from my 2016 archives.

Lake Michigan – November 2016

Begonia planter – November 2016

Poinsettia – December 2016

Snow on the blue tarp for Karl’s trailer – December 2016

Thank you for all your inspiration and encouragement!

Ellen Grace Olinger

Quiet Christmas Poetry

snowflakes
floating in the air
separate
together
artists
across places
and time

sudden cold —
Christmas cactus
already blooming

Time Of Singing
December, 1997

These two poems are from Quiet Christmas Poetry, which is both a site and a large print chapbook. The cover art photo of the Lake Michigan beach is by Karl.

Under “Book Offers” in the Fall 2015 issue of Time Of Singing, Lora Homan Zill, Editor, included a picture of the Christmas book and wrote: “Light and easy to hold, with large print, it is ideal for anyone battling or recovering from serious illness, or who needs a special word of encouragement over the holiday season.” 

If you wish to order a copy of Quiet Christmas Poetry, please visit the books page at Time Of Singing.  All proceeds benefit TOS. 

Our chapbook was printed by GT Graphics in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

the light of many new times

This week, I wrote:

November morning
I learn the light
of a new time

And I am thinking about this on many levels. I have learned to see the art, beauty, light, faith, and hope of many new times. Sometimes I may not realize during a difficult time just how much I am being blessed. When I was in the hospital in June 2018, by God’s grace, I was not afraid and I said thank you to all who were helping me. Some things about my health are much better, and some are a work-in-progress. I accept this.

After the hospital, I thought, where did I learn how to do this? And I thought of my mother, and times with her when she needed the care and I was there as her daughter. Now sometimes too some of the medical professionals who help me are a generation younger, and I honor and respect the latest science and technology, along with daily practical advice. I can receive direction. And again, I think, where did I learn how to do this?

And again, my mother, most of all. And many other artists and writers, here and in print, over many years. Grateful for all, and all the generations.

Lots of life chapters, by God’s grace, and new light to learn always. Daily dedication and small steps. So much gratitude.

In many ways, I have always been an old soul, and so am comfortable amidst life’s challenges. I work to be independent – with so much support from Karl – and if I need more care some day, some year, I will look for the light there as well.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23: 1–2 (KJV)

Thank you,
Ellen

Image credit: wpclipart

Old Poem

November Wisconsin countryside
Bare trees elegant against the sky
Colors in the landscape muted now
October’s glory is gone
And love grows eternally

SMILE
(Fall/Winter 2008 – 09)

SMILE, a large print poetry journal, was edited and published by Joyce M. Johnson for many years.

Poem by Ellen Grace Olinger

once unknown to me

once unknown to me
now memories
of comfort and rest
and new today
quiet songs

George Winston, Helen Jane Long, and many other wonderful artists – when someone’s work stays new, what a gift. And the miracle of learning something new.

The rose is from AntiqueClipart.

fragrance of leaves

I received the Fall 2019 Time Of Singing, A Journal Of Christian Poetry (TOS).

“fragrance of leaves” was published in this issue.

fragrance of leaves
in the gardens
what good friends
we became
as we grew older

As noted in the journal by Editor Lora Homan Zill, my poem was previously published in They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku. Edited by Robert Epstein. Middle Island Press, 2017.

Ellen Grace Olinger