To My Friend, With Love

All is still; all quiet;
The world seems to be at peace.
My soul is singing its rhythmic melody
And I'm led like in a trance to write its tunes.
The lyrics are for you.
The essence of friendship.

I have what so many people in this world
Yearn so desperately for: a friend.
A friend who's closer to me than skin
And worth more than life itself.

You have shared in my pain, as has no other
And touched my wounded spirit
With tender expressions of compassion.
Your heart bled when you felt my grief;
Your empathy and sensitivity
Transmitted affection no words ever could.

Your unfailing loyalty has been inexhaustible,
Regardless of what it may have cost you
Personally.
You have made great sacrifices
On my behalf
Unconditionally.

You accepted me as I was and am;
Appreciating my strengths,
Challenging my weaknesses,
Guarding my vulnerabilities,
Accepting my imperfections,
Valuing my humanity.

You have buttressed the arrows
People often shot in my direction;
Willingly absorbing suffering
Meant for me.
Adversaries tried to put a wedge between us
To no avail;
Our friendship too secure,
Our commitment too strong

Our friendship has been tested
In so many diverse ways,
But we have a love and strength of will
That refuses to let go.
Though sometimes charred, we healed,
And discovered a closer union in the process.

I'm possessive of our friendship
Because I know how rare it is
And how difficult to find
And keep.

You have earned the greatest title
That can be bestowed
Upon any human being.
The title of: Friend.

In friendship honor of Marjorie K. Thomas

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.

In The News:

Generation next: the rise – and rise – of the new poets  The GuardianWith soaring sales and a younger, broader audience, poetry is on a high. What is behind the boom? Plus the *fresh* voices to read now.
D’Angelo Russell Is Poetry on the Court. Take It From a Poet.  The New York TimesThe Nets' All-Star point guard has a fan in Mikko Harvey, an award winner. They see the parallels in their crafts, sharing the tension between daring and safe.
Mast's poetry is like 'Rainbow'  Daily ExcelsiorThe book entitled “Mast De Rang” is an Anthology of Dogri poetry. It contains : Shabad (Prayer Songs), Ghazals, Tappay, Loori, Geet, Sehghan and some other ...
When we talk about poetry, we should also talk about freedom: Palestinian poet  Business StandardEminent Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish Friday said that when we talk about poetry we should also talk about freedom of having a political voice and saying ...
The seductive appeal of Arabic poetry  The Arab WeeklyWhile Nabati poetry may resemble classical poetry in its form and artistic structure, it is distinct in its use of Bedouin vernacular.
'Prince of Poets' rekindles grand tradition of classical poetry  The Arab WeeklyPrince of Poets” has added tremendous value to the Arabic literary canon and provided contestants and viewers with valuable literary criticism.
TRAHC hosts poetry class starting on Feb. 23  Texarkana GazetteThe Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council hosts Papers & Poetry workshops starting Feb. 23 and running monthly through May.
Palm Beach Poetry Festival Invites Local Poets & Poetry Lovers to Upcoming Events  The Boca Raton TribuneBoca Raton, FL – The Palm Beach Poetry Festival's Director Susan R. Williamson and Dr. Blaise Allen, Director of Community Outreach, today invited local poets ...
A Poetry Prescription For Your Valentine's Day Predicaments  WBURLooking for a poetry recommendation to help get you through Valentine's Day? Sarah Kay, one of the people behind the Paris Review column Poetry Rx, is here ...
EPIC Poetry Group: Poet's Corner — The Poet's Canvas, Shadow, Snowbound  My Edmonds NewsMy Edmonds News is pleased to present the latest installment of Poet's Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group. The Poet's Canvas.
Kingston poetry, arts festival cancelled due to alleged incident of vandalism  Global NewsA Kingston student's poem was selected for the Skeleton Park Arts Festival, but after an alleged incident of vandalism days before, the organizers were forced to ...
‘The power of poetry comes when we engage other people’ says new Olympia poet laureate  The OlympianThe mission of the Olympia Poet Laureate is to connect people to poetry, and that's something Sady Sparks started doing well before she was chosen for the city ...
Literature and poetry help to shorten all distances, says international conference in Hanoi  Nhan Dan OnlineNDO - Literature and poetry help to shorten all distances, agreed the participants at the opening ceremony of the fourth international conference on Vietnamese ...
Jimmy Cvetic Dies: Local Icon Was A Poet, Retired Detective And Boxing Coach  90.5 WESAJimmy Cvetic, a singular Pittsburgh character, has died. Cvetic, a gregarious and gravelly-voiced Pittsburgh native, was a Vietnam veteran, Allegheny County ...
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County  The Daily HeraldJean Godden: 6 p.m. Feb. 19, Mill Creek University Book Store, 15311 Main St., Mill Creek. The Seattle journalist and politician will discuss her new book, ...
New Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga puts her actions into words  OnMilwaukee.comAs the new poet laureate of Wisconsin, Margaret Rozga inherits a platform that allows her to advocate for social justice - something she's done in Milwaukee and ...
"I Reject Walls": A 2019 Poetry Preview  NPRThis year, says critic Craig Morgan Teicher, America's poets are stepping up and expressing their faith in the capacity of words to overcome barriers, find ...
KUAF Arts Beat: Community Building through Poetry In Open Mouth's 2nd Annual Retreat  kuaf.comThe Open Mouth Readings , a non-profit dedicated to cultivating and enriching Northwest Arkansas' literary community, is accepting applications to the 2nd.
Reading to celebrate Robert Bly's 60 years of poetry  MPR NewsHundreds of people are expected in Minneapolis Monday evening to attend a celebration of the poetry of Robert Bly. Now 92, Bly is credited with reshaping ...
This 32-year-old poet (and firefighter) mails poems to strangers without a return address  The Washington PostEvery day, somewhere in Prince William County, two residents receive an unusual piece of mail: a greeting card containing the same handwritten poem. "A gift ...
Mary Oliver did something rare: She made poetry accessible. That’s not a bad thing.  The Washington Post“Wild Geese” was trending on Twitter on Thursday, and poetry lovers — not naturalists or ornithologists — were responsible. Mary Oliver, arguably America's ...
Satyajit Sarna’s debut poetry collection, The Profane, is a meditation on death, dissent and our time on...  FirstpostThe Profane is Delhi-based Satyajit Sarna's first collection of poetry and has “poems of heartbreak and disillusion, of loneliness and mortality, but also of passion ...
Jammu's 'poet laureate' Pandit Vidya Rattan 'Aasi' bids adieu  Daily ExcelsiorLalit Gupta With the demise of Pandit Vidya Rattan 'Aasi' on 11 Feb, 2019, the cultural landscape of Jammu in particular and Jammu and Kashmir's.
Poetry sales soar as political millennials search for clarity  The GuardianRecord £12m sales last year were driven by younger readers, with experts saying hunger for nuance amid conflict and disaster were fuelling the boom.
Free gala reading kicks off historic black poetry conference  Princeton University"Black Poetry: A Conference" — a historic gathering of 42 poets — will open with a free gala reading Feb. 14 at McCarter Theatre Center's Matthews Theatre.
Enter this poetry competition to win big  Kempton ExpressCalling upon all writers to enter the Poetry International 2019 poem and short story competition.
Poet Who Wrote About Milwaukee's Fair Housing Struggle Named Poet Laureate  Wisconsin Public Radio NewsPeggy Rozga has been named a Wisconsin Poet Laureate, serving as an ambassador for poetry and creativity through her 2020 term.
Mario Willis: Poetry as a tool to build empathy from the roots of old school Hip Hop  Milwaukee IndependentMario Willis speaks with a conviction and boldness that is hard to turn away from. He is a poet, writer and slam poetry performer with a stage presence that ...
Charleston's 'Soul of Poetry' event to combine meditation and spiritual poems  Charleston Post CourierCharleston-based poet and writing instructor Matthew Foley is combining his love of meditation and words into a brand new event that will take place on Friday.
Calling all poets: A Celebration of Poetry Month  Concord MonitorNewburyCalling all poetsThe Literary Arts Guild of the Center for the Arts, Lake Sunapee Region invites all local poets to submit poems for their upcoming “A ...
The rock stars of poetry explain why the art is in demand  BBC NewsJay Bernard's teenage poetry was terrible, something the award-winning poet is happy to admit. The 31-year-old south Londoner began writing at school, ...
Writing poetry as a step toward common ground  The Christian CenturyJacinta White, a poet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, started the Word Project as a way to help youth tell their stories through poetry. She conducts workshops ...
Annual Poetry Contest Inspires Youth to Spread Love and Equality  KAALAn annual poetry contest aimed at inspiring local students to spread love and equality organized a presentation of the winners on Saturday.
Singing in dark times  The Indian ExpressIn times of amnesia and misappropriation, Asian poetry is a house of memory.
How Mary Oliver's Poetry Helped Us Understand The World  wgbh.orgPoet Richard Blanco looks back on the life and work of Mary Oliver, who died at the age of 83 earlier this month.
The Poetry Of Disengagement: Seek Out Your Team's Intrinsic Motivators  ForbesThe level of disengagement is too high not to ask the question, “How are we, as managers, at cause?”
Jamal Parker, poetry champion and published author at 22  The Philadelphia TribuneAt 22 years old, Florida-native Jamal Parker has published his own book of poetry, become an international slam poetry champion and a resident artist at the ...
Skeen reflects on establishing poetry center  MSUTodayAnita Skeen, founding director of the Center for Poetry at MSU and a professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, is considered one of ...
Bob Dylan's Lyrics, Poetry, and Prose Showcased at Chicago's American Writers Museum  Mental FlossDylan's personal copy of "The Catcher in the Rye" is one of the rare items on display. In it, he wrote notes and drew doodles.
Ann Lauterbach Expands the Possibilities of Poetry  HyperallergicIn an age dominated by literalism and an insistence on facts, what can the imagination summon into words? John Yau6 days ago · Facebook Tweet Email ...
Experiencing Northern Michigan: Community Reading Celebrating Poet Mary Oliver at Traverse City's Horizon Books  9&10 NewsAfter Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver passed away last month, at the age of 83, the poetry lovers of Northern Michigan organized a community reading for ...
Remembering Al Mahmud's literary contribution  The Daily StarAl Mahmud was one of the most iconic poets in Bengali literature. In his early youth, he entered Dhaka city with a broken suitcase. The same man, through his ...
Poetry slams are helping to revitalise the Basque language  The EconomistBEFORE AN AUDIENCE of 500 people on the outskirts of Pamplona, Maialen Lujanbio, the reigning champion of bertsolaritza, the Basque oral tradition of ...
N.C. Poet Laureate, N.C. A&T students share poetry with Biscuitville customers in Greensboro  Greensboro News & RecordA Biscuitville in Greensboro served poetry with breakfast on Monday when N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green and N.C. A&T students shared their art with ...
BU student to compete in W.Va. Poetry Out Loud state finals  My BuckhannonCHARLESTON, W.Va. – Fifty-one students from across West Virginia will recite poems by Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Sara Teasdale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ...
Rupise: the poetry of love and the struggle  NewsDayBY DEMETRIA MANYONGA. In a moment of separation. Wild wishes blouse out of your imagination. And clung on to the rest of my life ...
Poetry pharmacy set to open in Shropshire  The GuardianThe Emergency Poet, Deborah Alma, plans to dispense literary first aid from a shop in Bishop's Castle.
Youth Poetry Slam just the first step in expression  soprissun.comJo Altmaier spends most of her time at Colorado Mountain College these days, but the Basalt High School senior really found her voice at last year's Poetry ...
Six Missoula students advance to state poetry competition  The MissoulianStudents from Missoula-area schools recited the works of poets including Stephen Crane, Maya Angelou and Brenda Cárdenas during a regional poetry ...
Young people look for meaning. But poetry doesn’t always offer clarity  The GuardianBridget Minamore has written this original poem in response to news of the popularity of poetry among young people.
Your haiku can become public art on Congress Street  Arizona Daily StarPlanters spring to life, Adorned by the desert's poets. Congress Street will bloom.
'Burnt City' battles U.S.-Iran relations with biracial humor and bilingual poetry  The AdvocateWriter and director Josh Hamzehee will perform "Burnt City," his one-man play, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-23 in LSU's HopKins Black Box Theatre, Room 137, Coates ...
Nick Cave names his most loved poets  Far Out MagazineNick Cave has revealed some of his most loved poets while in conversation with his fans and included the likes of William Blake, E.E. Cummings and more.
Theater review: Teenagers explore life, death in poetic 'I and...  Duluth News TribuneA play focused on two teenagers surprisingly partnered for a poetry class homework assignment may seem like a challenge to collegiate theater audiences used ...
How Mirza Ghalib’s ghazals traveled to America and became a part of the country’s poetic tradition  Scroll.inThe Urdu poet died on this day, February 15, 150 years ago. A rich translation tradition has ensured his legacy lives on, even far away from home.
Review | 'I don't get off/on pain anymore': Poets turn life's challenges into verse  The Washington PostFor nearly 30 years, Dorianne Laux has written about love and violence, survival and grief, in poems that are clear, compelling and insightful. In “Only as the Day ...
Working with students of Treaty 4 First Nations inspires Jolissa Simon's poetry  Regina Leader-PostJolissa Simon's poetry “has a lot to do with my line of work.” She provides psychology services to students in seven First Nations schools.
In 'Kill Class,' A Poet Aims To Map The Distance Between Perspectives  NPRAt her best, Nomi Stone is able to make an anthropological excavation into something beautiful and haunting, laced with double meanings. But at times she ...
Love, poetry and pan-Arabism: The broken dream of Balqis and Nizar  Middle East EyeEvery year, Arab scholars commemorate the 1981 assassination of Balqis al-Rawi, wife of poet Nizar Qabbani. He stopped writing about love - and the Arab ...
Hebrew Poetry of Muslim Spain is Topic of 2019 Carleton Forkosh Family Judaic Studies Lecture  Carleton College NewsPoet and Hebrew translator Peter Cole will present Carleton's 2019 Forkosh Family Lecture in Judaic Studies on Monday, Feb. 18, from 8-9 p.m. in Leighton Hall ...
Poetic Waxing (and Waning)  Tribune-ReviewOur Book Club recently read various works by Edgar Allen Poe, including his poem 'The Raven.' This led to a discussion of poetry in general and complaints ...
Three Artists, Three Curators, Three Poets: Grace Hudson Museum hosting Valentine-themed poetry event  Ukiah Daily Journal“Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown” is the current exhibition at the Grace Hudson Museum.
Fourth Jibanananda Das Poetry Festival starts in Barisal  Dhaka TribuneUttoron Sangskritik Sangathan, a cultural-literary organization of BM College, is the organizer of the festival. The festival will feature discussion on the life and ...
High school students recite poetry at Arts Council event  Benitolink: San Benito County NewsFive local students recited poetry during a contest at Anzar High School on Feb. 8, with the hopes of making it to the Poetry Out Loud state championship.
What poet Mary Oliver can teach us about dealing with criticism  QuartzNature poets aren't normally associated with controversy. But the New York Times' Friday morning briefing on the death of poet Mary Oliver couldn't resist a bit of ...
Land of westlin’ winds: the best Scottish poetry for Burns Night  The GuardianJames Naughtie's picks include bashed pillows, sharp stars and sexy spacemen. What are your favourites?
American Life in Poetry: ‘Aquarium, February’ by Liz Ahl  The Spokesman-ReviewLiz Ahl was once a very talented graduate student in our creative writing program at the University of Nebraska, but she's long since moved on to teach at ...
Students connect with the incarcerated in poetry course  MSUTodayGuillermo Delgado, academic specialist in community and socially engaged arts in RCAH, leads a course at MSU where he and RCAH students venture to local ...
Remembering an inspiration: longtime Cape Cod poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver  SouthCoastToday.comInstructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”— Mary Oliver She's been on my mind these last few weeks.A longtime Cape Cod poet ...
Retrospective collection by Robert Bly puts poetry at the center of life  Minneapolis Star TribuneThere might be little left to say about Robert Bly, the poet, critic, translator and nonagenarian whose astonishing “Collected Poems” is now available. Ever since ...
Deltona High students publish book of poetry  The West Volusia BeaconFrom migrant workers to major-league sports stars, a new book of poetry written by an intensive reading class at Deltona High School pays tribute to all aspects ...
One of the finest Bengali poets, Al Mahmud dies at 82  bdnews24.comHe breathed his last at the Ibn Sina Hospital at 11:05pm on Friday, Abid Azam, an aide to the poet, told bdnews24.com. The poet had been suffering from ...
20 works of Canadian poetry to check out in spring 2019  CBC.caCheck out these titles from Canadian poets coming out in the first half of the year.
The king of poets  Telangana TodayIf the Indo-Islamic architecture scaled heights of greatness, literary activity also peaked during the Qutb Shahi reign. And Mulla Asadullah Wajhi, without question ...
James K Baxter: venerated poet's letters about marital rape rock New Zealand  The GuardianCollection of writings just released includes references to rape of then-wife Jackie Sturm, herself an acclaimed poet and author.
Poet Blythe Baird introduces new work in this week’s literary events  St. Paul Pioneer PressSANDY ALLEN: Reads from “A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise,” which illuminates the experience of living with schizophrenia. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7; SubText ...
Micromobility: the Prose and Poetry of the Scooter-Faithful  WIREDThe shared, electric scooter and bike-based industry has earned its own conference—even as the hype starts to cool.
Carroll County student takes first place in regional poetry competition  Carroll County TimesThe Poetry Out Loud competition held annually encourages students to memorize and perform great poems. Gerstell Academy student Kate Maerten took home ...
H.E.R. Speaks On Drake Collaboration Prospect, J. Cole & Poetry  HotNewHipHopHer heart cherishes lyrical prowess. The musical talents of H.E.R. are undeniable. The mystical songstress was honored with a Grammy Award nomination for ...
300 Million Poets: Amateur Poetry and Our Imminent Reconnection to the Land  ResilienceThe “poetry of everyday life” -- amateur poetry written every day by common people; personal reflections written and shared with family and neighbors,
Book fair / Book fair flooded with lousy poetry books  newagebd.netThe number of new titles on poetry at Ekushey book fair is increasing every year but most of these publications severely lack in quality, both in terms of *content* ...
Affairs of the heart: Our affection for love poetry shows no sign of fading  Irish ExaminerOur love affair with love poetry's as old as time and showing no signs of fading, writes Rita de Brún. Time was when the Bible was considered the oldest book ...
Poetry By Cher: 'Beto Beats...Blubber Bellied, Bullying, Blowhard' Trump  BreitbartCher shared a strange poem with her social media followers, fantasizing about Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke defeating President Trump in the 2020 election.
Valentine’s Day: Impress them with these love poems  The Irish TimesMichael Longley, Elaine Feeney and eight other Irish poets choose their favourite romantic verse.
Professor Named Chancellor of Academy of American Poets  UT Knoxville NewsJoy Harjo, the John C. Hodges Chair of Excellence in English, has been appointed to the Board of Chancellors for the Academy of American Poets.
"Ode to the Zip Code" poetry contest begins Friday  13abc Action NewsLocal residents are invited to write a short poems inspired by their zip code.
Terry Bell: SONA déjà vu - was it 'Thabo Mbeki without the poetry'?  Fin24For most unionists who have followed these annual addresses over the years, the SONA must have been a case of déjà vu, says Terry Bell.
'How writing poetry worked wonders for my wellbeing'  TES NewsYou've tried yoga, colouring and baking, but how about writing poetry for wellbeing? One teacher explains how it helps him.
Farhan Akhtar shares cosy pic with girlfriend Shibani Dandekar, pens poetry for her  Hindustan TimesFarhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar first sparked rumours of a relationship in 2018. The couple doesn't shy away from making public statements with their ...
Mosque shooting victim finds solace in writing poetry as he struggles to heal  CBC.caSaïd Akjour has filled notebooks with his poems, in Arabic and French, in the two years since he was shot in the shoulder in the Quebec mosque attack on Jan.
Teachers promise to print book of their poetry motivates Deltona High students  Daytona Beach News-JournalRipping the wrapping paper from the packages in front of them, students in Hazel Sparrow's intensive reading class at Deltona High began to grin once they ...
Tom Brady turned to poetry in his latest motivational Instagram post  Boston.comPatriots quarterback Tom Brady shared a poem from Douglas Malloch called "Good Timber." Read more on Boston.com.
Sometimes, poetry is the best therapy I can find  The Globe and MailThe best poetry acts as a compass for life's priorities, Frank Buchar writes. It offers insights to eclipse doubt – on business, on timing and on living life to its fullest.
Huckleberries: CdA’s propagator of poetry pens poems that are pure Montana  The Spokesman-ReviewRoger Dunsmore has spent the six years in his adopted hometown of Coeur d'Alene promoting the work of other poets. Dunsmore?
Salina poet Patricia Traxler wins 2019 Kansas Book Award  Salina JournalSalina poet Patricia Traxler has been named the winner of the 2019 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry for her collection "Naming the Fires."This year's ...
Baylor English Professor and Poet Receives One of New Zealand's Leading National Literary Awards  Baylor UniversityGrimshaw Sargeson Fellowship will allow Chloe Honum, Ph.D., to research and write during four-month residence at Sargeson Centre in Auckland.
Poetry contest encourages residents to share Cape Breton watershed moments  Cape Breton PostValentine's Day may have come and gone but it's not too late to tap into your inner poet and pen a few lines of verse in honour of that special something we often ...
Professor Charles Bernstein awarded Yale's 2019 Bollingen Prize for Poetry  Penn: Office of University CommunicationsCharles Bernstein is the 51st poet to be honored with the biennial prize, one of the most prestigious given to American writers. Bernstein's latest collection ...
Crawford: Remembering a poet who wrote in the 'vernacular of humanity'  Greenville NewsKatherine Scott Crawford writes about recently deceased poet Mary Oliver.
Corner Brook sisters found inspiration for new film in their father’s poetry  The Western StarWhen Randall Maggs wrote “Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems” more than 10 years ago he didn't realize the impact it had on his daughters. Randy Maggs' book ...

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