This Tuesday we shared a lovely poetry tea. My friend arrived with her two daughters and we not only shared delicious scones, berries, cream, and fruit salad, but a feast of poetry as well.

My friend’s daughter, just days from 11, read a poem she wrote recently, inspired by the butterflies she watched hatch in the habitat set up in their dining room. My friend brought a lovely poem she had written in college, a tribute to grandmothers. Each of the rest of us shared poems as well, Christina Rosetti being a favorite among all the girls.

A poem in honor of friendship complemented the mood of the day.

A Friend
What is a friend? I'll tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your soul can go naked with him.
He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you 
     really are.
When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think as long as it is genuinely you.
He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause 
     others to misjudge you.
With him you breathe freely--you can avow your little vanities and
    envies and absurdities and in opening them up to him they are
    dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.
He understands.--You can weep with him, laugh with him, 
     pray with him--through and underneath it all he sees, knows 
     and loves you.
A Friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.

This week marked a personal poetry milestone as well. My last original poem was composed 20 years ago, during a angst filled season in college. I vividly remember reading it to a friend, who was shocked that 1) I wrote poetry, and 2) that such strong emotions resided in such a quiet and reserved person. That has been long lost, probably tucked a way in a box filled with old prom dresses that did not make the cut in the long ago cross country move in which my young family brought only what could fit in the back of two pickups.

Scrolling through the blog feed I followed a link to this lovely post,  Solitude and Sadness.  At the end of of a peaceful and contemplative page of poetry was tucked an invitation to write our own poems on the same theme. Something long buried in my soul stirred and the result:

Peaceful thoughts
A place of rest
Garden in bloom
The forest gloaming
Yoga practice
Morning tea
A date with the latest mystery

Judging thoughts
Apprehension and tension
Looming unworthiness
Criticism of self and others
The longing to be heard
But unwilling to listen
Unable to sympathize and understand

How has beauty or poetry touched your life this week?