Monday, April 01, 2013

Poetry Month - Day 1

I don't read extra poetry with my students during National Poetry Month.  That's because I already read a poem with them every day.  But I've decided that this year I am going to post extra poetry on my blog.  In addition to the Poetry Friday offerings, I'm planning to post a poem each non-Friday of April, too.  So it'll be Poetry Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and just a whole month of poetic fun.  I may even post some of my own poems.

Today's poem is a song.  I have been listening a lot recently to Josh Garrels, who in addition to being a fantastic musician is also extremely generous. He's been giving away his music like crazy on Noise Trade, and donating all the tips to World Relief's work in Congo.

One of the albums is called Jacaranda, and that caught my attention immediately. I love all flowering trees, but jacarandas are my favorite. They were always in bloom on the Bible college campus in Kenya where my family lived when I was home from boarding school for Christmas. There was a purple carpet on the ground made of the little bell-like flowers that had fallen from the trees.

It took me a while in Haiti before I found any jacaranda trees. They are, I found out, called flamboyant bleu in French, and they do exist here, but mostly further up the mountain from where I live, and for some reason I have never seen them as lush and plentiful as they are in Kenya.  Every once in a while, I do a Google Image search for some jacaranda photos.

This song, then, has quickly become my favorite of Josh Garrels' music.  At first I wondered what his own jacaranda connection was, until I found out that his wife, Michelle, wrote the words to this one, and I found out here that she is a missionary kid from Peru.  Bingo.  There's the reference to the jacaranda tree in Indiana that so captivated me.

I recommend all of Josh Garrels' music, but for today, here's the song "Jacaranda Tree."

Jacaranda Tree
Michelle Garrels

Sitting on porches
Since Friday while the sky
Tilts like a watery glass
We wait for downpours
A drenching joy
A carnival sky
But what I don’t say
What I can’t say
Is that with this joy
Comes a mourning
Something left behind
Blue lined, teary
I move on

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

Live life fully
Peeking through fingers
Slung in our hammocks
Skimming the water
Trapezed above time
We glide like slingshot angels
Belly up and
Floating we see
The promise in the sky
Up to Orion’s ribs
We climb this tree
And listen
For our pulse

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

I flung loosely
Into that world
I stayed heavily
I’ll be a Jacaranda Tree
In Indiana
I say
Greenhoused and sung to
I pray light will
Leak from our pockets
We’ll be drenched, overcome
At night the fireflies
Streamers at our sides
Silent flaming arcs of hope

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

 Source for lyrics

I've listened to this over and over, hearing its beautiful words about the sadness of something left behind, and yet the joy of being "greenhoused and sung to" in the new spot where you're planted.  Thanks to Josh and Michelle Garrels for this poem and this song.


Irene Latham said...

A carnival sky! I love that. And the jacarenda is gorgeous. You mentioned 2 books above that I adore THE POISONWOOD BIBLE and TEACHER MAN. Have you read Kingsolver's latest? I listened and had to buy a copy so that I can eventually go back to and write out some treasured phrases.

Linda at teacherdance said...

Hi Ruth, finally had time to read this, & listen to the song-it's beautiful! The jacaranda trees are gorgeous too. Do they also have a scent? I, like Irene, love Teacher Man & The Poisonwood Bible. I haven't kept up with Kingsolver, but wish I had time to read some of her latest ones. Thanks for all on this first of poetry month!

Robyn Hood Black said...

I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I so needed to stumble in here, Ruth! That gorgeous song made me cry.
"I pray light will
Leak from our pockets" -- what a line.

Thanks for sharing.