Rituals Shared, a New Poem by Joseph Anthony

Rituals Shared

By

Joseph Anthony

 

Sweeping the stoop of the shop with quick,
brisk motions,

Scattering maple tree seeds into helicoptering
swirls,

Pausing to look at the rising spring sun, he
removes his hat,

Wipes his brow, squints at the sky, hears the
distant,

Early morning train, then thanks God for
another day

Of doing what he loves. 

 

Slowly he resumes his dance with the broom,
breathing in

Images of his children and grandchildren,
breathing out

Whispered apologies for losing his patience
the day before,

Resolving to remember he was young once too.

 

He turns, pushes open the screen door that
rings the little 

Bells at the top of the frame, enters the shop,
turns the 

“Come in We’re Open/Sorry We’re Closed” sign to 

“Come
in We’re 
Open.” 

 

Brewing coffee aroma winds its way into his
widening 

Nostrils as he breathes deeply possibilities and 

Remembrances, he ties the white apron around his waist, 

Thanks God for another day of doing
what he loves, 

And then begins,

First pausing to look down at the
bread board,

He then sweeps his hand across the cool
surface

With the same tenderness he has used for half
a century.

 

He takes out the silver bowl of dough from the
gleaming, 

Silver refrigerator, lifts the white cloth that
covers the bowl,

Folds it neatly into a square and places it
nearby. 

 

He then tosses three handfuls of flour across 

The bread board, lifts the dough allowing it to exhale 

And
spread, 
and as he begins kneading he sings, 

Sings morning prayers, filling his lungs with the fragrance 

Of baking bread, 

And his
heart with d
evotion to Saint Elizabeth, 

And for a moment he is
transported t
o the Basilica 

Of Santa Maria in ancient Rome; 

He kneels before the infant, folds his hands
to pray,

And as he does loaves of bread spill from his
arms,

Turning into heaps of roses, and he weeps,

Weeps knowing he saw the infant nod,

And then he rises, rises and smiles, thanking
God 

For another day of doing what he loves, 

And as he rises the
little bells ring,

Ring at the opening of the door to the shop,
bringing him 

Back to the kneading, back to his hands, and he
beams,

Beams a greeting to the customer who has come
as he does

Every morning for coffee, for bread, and for
the humanity

Of rituals shared.

 

 


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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Be Amazed

Be Amazed

By

Joseph
Anthony


 

Be
Amazed.

I
am.

I
woke up this morning

To
birdsong, riotous birdsong.

As
I listened, letting the staccato melodies

Sink
in, I became increasingly amazed.

Now
I can safely say: I am fully amazed.

And
you can be too.

Think
about it: We are awakened

By
singing.

Now
before you think about it too hard,

Let
the truth of that statement be.


We
are awakened by singing.

 


OK,
you’ve held it there for a few seconds,

Now
go ahead and travel the winding road

Of
questions and temporary answers

As
to why birds sing—if you need to.

You
can do that and have lots of fun doing that.

You
could also simply relish the reality—

Whatever
Divine Randomness is out there

And
in there,

It
could have chosen to wake us up

With
construction rigging every day.

It
could have chosen to wake us up

To
thunderous, monotonous silence.

It
could have chosen not to wake us up at all.

But
it didn’t.  The Divine choose to wake

Us
up and to wake us up to singing.

Keep
that in mind–uppermost in mind

When
you begin to doubt hope, beauty,

And
the purpose of all things, when you begin

To
lose faith in love and your will to live

Dries
like a leaf.  Simply remember the truth

And
allow yourself to be amazed.


Say
it out loud:

I
am awakened by singing.

I
am awakened by singing.

I
am awakened by singing.


And
once you are good and awake

Join
the chorus, let your life sing,

And
everywhere you fly and flit, dart and soar,

Bank
and circle, glide and flutter,

May
your song inspire someone,

Anyone.
 Someone who never gives you credit.

Someone
who simply hears your life—

The
song of your life, the overarching beauty

And
music of who you are

And
how you choose to live.

Someone
who may still be asleep

Waiting
to be amazed.


Now
listen,

Be
amazed,

Then
go,

Sing.

 


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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog