A Feast of Words for Thanks Giving

My husband pronounces today's holiday with an emphasis on the thanks, as in THANKS-giving. He does the same with UM-brella. Is this a Pittsburgh dialect? (as in redd-up? or yinz?) or just a Davidism? Either way, I am thankful for his natural emphasis on gratitude.

Let the feast continue! We've got a buffet, with word offerings from Candice Crossley, Ruth Harrison, Fred Strauss, and Paulann Petersen.

Reader Candice Crossley opens today's feast with wise words:

If the only prayer you ever say in your

entire life is "Thank you," it will be enough.

— Meister Eckhart


The following poem, by Ruth Harrison of Waldport, Oregon, is a pantoum first published in Harp Strings Poetry Journal.

Breaking Bread:  a grace for mealtimes

Thank first the wheat, that lately stood alive
and amber, silvering in each change of wind.
Next: yeast, whose lively villages must thrive
to lift the dough to life of any kind.

Amber turned silver in the change of wind
--we feed on earth caught up through root and grain
expanding to lift life of any kind--
we feed on earth, and on her partner rain.

We feed on earth caught up through root and grain ...
Thank next:  roots white and hot, transformed, and bless
dark soil that feeds us and its partner rain:
these lives join ours to rise in consciousness.

Thank now  roots white and hot, transformed, and bless,
these leaves in green expression of the soil,
whose lives join ours to rise in consciousness
and feed our energy for daily toil.

These leaves give green expression to the soil.
Hardest and last, we thank you, gentle beast.
You daily feed our energy for toil;
your life subsumed in ours, in ours released.

Hardest and last, we thank you, gentle beast.
who never harmed us, yet whose life we take:
your life subsumed in ours, in ours expressed:
In joining our adventure, may you wake.

You never harmed us, all whose lives we take.
Thanks, yeast:  your lively villages once thrived.
Conscious of shared adventure may you wake.
Thanks first to wheat, who lately stood alive.

— Ruth Harrison


Fred Strauss, a writer living in Tidewater, Oregon, shares a poem noting the pleasures (and pitfalls) of art, nature and good intention.

Basil Around the Easel

I set up an easel to paint all my sunsets,
escape my dumb sets, ignore many
subsets. But, out from our sky flew too
much goo. So there sits my easel
colored in plants, garden ants, scarecrow
pants. Never been used, badly abused
no hues have accrued. Accused of being
an ornament, a bangle, a jangle. Sadly,
it urges the ground around grow up make
this a harbor. Gladly to die for me and my
ardor. A frame takes the blame.

— Fred Strauss


We'll wrap up today's meal with a poem from Paulann Petersen, Oregon's Poet Laureate:

A Thanksgiving Grace

From us—here amid the blessing
of such good company—our gratitude.

For the bounty that draws us
around this laden table, our praise.

As we give our thanks, we celebrate
abundance: these fruits of the earth,

this bloom of family and friends
gathered here from nearby, from afar.

- Paulann Petersen


Our Feast of Words celebrates the power of gratitude through words. I am thankful, and grateful too, for friends, family, readers and writers who share these words with me, with you.

The Feast is not over! We've still got dessert. Keep those poems, paragraphs, prayers and praises coming. We'll be feasting all week. Send your word-works to dcm@drewmyron.