Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A happiness poem written by 14 women

These moments of happiness were written at the start of the Tuesday Morning Writing Circle, November 1, 2016, in just a few minutes.

Our inspiration came from the poet Tachibana Akemi (1812-1868) whose long happiness poem appears in the book From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry, edited and translated by Hiroaki Sato and Burton Watson

Gabrielle Vehar

happiness is when
i'm lying all curled up
huddled in bed against the cold
and i realize that i'm toasty warm
because my two cats are lying with me

happiness is when
i go to a play
and i'm dreading seeing it
but then all of a sudden
it turns out to be soul-saving

happiness is when
i wake up on that special day
and realize that i actually did get enough sleep
to be all ready
to write with my friends

happiness is when
i get out of a cold swimming pool
on a cold day
and give myself permission
to take a long hot shower

Grace Celeste

happiness is when
i resist leaving home
but i do
and then i am delighted
that i did

happiness is when
i hear my children and grandchildren
sharing memories
and laughing
at family holiday gatherings

happiness is when
i listen
to the silence
of the first

happiness is when
i sit
in front of
my crackling

Kim Falstick

happiness is when
i give one cat a tummy rub
the other cat a chin-chuckle
then commune with my rabbits
and cook dinner for maureen

Linda Keeler

happiness is when
i wake up
and realize
my cold
is gone

happiness is when
our two bags
of halloween candy
all night

happiness is when
the day is cool
and the wind is at my back
as i ride my bicycle
around keuka lake

happiness is when
the storm windows are down
the garden pots
are stored away
and i am ready for winter

happiness is when
i put my thoughts
on paper
and the reaction that i get
is what i wished for

Lottie Sweeney

happiness is when
i have more time
than i realize
to read a favorite book

happiness is when
i feel clean —
clean laundry
clean bedding
and showered

happiness is when
i am trying to get to sleep and
my cat leaps up
to sleep beside me

Margaret Dennis

happiness is when
i discover a pound of coffee
way in the back of the cupboard
when i thought
i was out

happiness is when
i go into the library
and find
three new mystery novels

happiness is when
i look out my window
and see that the rain
has left a carpet of
glistening gold leaves on the ground

happiness is when
i open my computer and find
pictures of the new twins
looking like darling little
wrinkled elves in pointy caps

happiness is when
i walk to writing group
worrying that i have
no new ideas
and then i discover that i do

Marty Blue Waters

happiness is when
after 25 years of sitting empty on a shelf
or waiting in a closet of the house
a beautiful bamboo box suddenly finds a job
in the trunk of my car, bringing chaos into order

Nancy Osborn

happiness is when
i come up the steps
into harvard square
and see
that the bookstore is still there

happiness is when
i sit at the table
with my two sisters
laughing with
our newly-discovered cousin

happiness is when
my sister's cat
does not hiss at me
and i do not
step in his water bowl

happiness is when
i arrive at the end of my journey
and discover it is raining
and i have wisely brought my umbrella

happiness is when
i visit my mother
who savors her coffee
and smiles across the table at me
even though she doesn't know who i am

Nina Miller

happiness is when
i hear the voices
of my children
on the

happiness is when
i go to the cemetery
and talk to george
even though i don't believe for a second
that he can hear me

happiness is when
i find the handicapped parking meter
and discover that
i  have enough quarters to pay for it

happiness is when
i cook
a soup
and it lasts
all week

happiness is when
my granddaughter runs up the gangplank
from the boat in provincetown
her arms open
for a hug

Paula Culver

happiness is when
my 13-year-old daughter
who is now becoming a young woman
calls me into her room
and wants to snuggle

happiness is when
a friend posts a recipe on facebook
for caramel shortbread bars . . .
i check all the cupboards
and find everything to make them

happiness is when
the tea meets my lips
soothing lemon and ginger
sure to cure all
that ails me

happiness is when
my foot searches for yours
the first cold night —
a beacon of warmth
and comfort

Sara Robbins

happiness is when
i hold my grandson
and breathe in his sweetness
and he melts into me
and holds me right back

happiness is when
the wood stove is full
and more wood stacked
right near the stove
on a cold raw night

happiness is when
a friend gives me a new coat
and it fits
and it's warm
and i look just fine, not shabby as usual

happiness is when
i have a pot luck
and all my neighbors come
bringing treats
and laughter and sharing

happiness is when
i sit in a circle
breathing deeply
surrounded by friends
anticipating hearing their words

Sue Norvell

happiness is when
my demanding
lets me sleep
another hour

happiness is when
i find
the only remaining
fall crocus

happiness is when
the missing gardening glove
in last winter's
coat pocket

happiness is when
the red-bellied woodpecker
lands on the seed feeder
and shows his really
red belly

happiness is when
i am sitting
in a circle
alone but together

Sue Perlgut

happiness is when
i wake up
to the sound of
my granddaughter's
knock on my bedroom door

happiness is when
my former students
come to ithaca
to visit me
bringing love

happiness is when
i have a shelf
of murder mysteries
just waiting
to be read

happiness is when
i'm tired and achy
and my husband
makes the very best
chicken soup

Zee Zahava

happiness is when
i wake up with music in my head
it could be a sanskrit chant
or maybe aretha or martha and the vandellas
and it stays with me all day

happiness is when
my mother sends me an email
that contains only symbols
hearts, stars, fruit, silly animals, red exclamation marks
and i know she's been having fun with her smartie phone

happiness is when
i ride in the car with the love of my life
and we come to an open stretch of road
just as thousands of leaves
come dancing by  — right to left and back again

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