Friday, February 5, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The things that matter most are always free,

Like pleasures that we take in those we love,

Or mists that fall upon the hills of green,

Or simple, gentle soundings of a dove,

The whisper of a baby’s milky breath

As we our faces in that warmth do sink,

The company of friends once lost, returned

To fill our lives with possibilities.

The treasures that we gain from gems and gold

Are fleeting like the falling of a star

That streaks across the night proclaiming bold;

These riches are not steadfast as we are

When you in trust with me stand hand to hand

And find our grace in love of earth and man.

I am very pleased to report that Enchanted Oak's efforts to raise funds for Haiti through her "Simple Things" challenge resulted in 108 people around the globe participating! Chris's challenge spurred me to write this sonnet, and I thank her for the opportunity to be part of this worthwhile cause.


  1. Beautiful! Perfectly done form, wonderful message, excellent use of language... I heartily approve. And you know how picky I can be about sonnets. ;)

  2. "The things that matter most are always free."
    What a fine line. Its truth stopped me right in my tracks. And yes, you are the first!
    A quick aside about my Simple Things Challenge: It doesn't have to be a poem, even though I adore poetry. If you're feeling poetry- challenged, write a list.

  3. Karen- Alovely medley of sweet things. That grace is always nice, even nicer in your writing. ~rick

  4. Thank you Karen, the poetry is lovely. Absolutely stunning.

  5. What a beautiful serendipity, Karen! I didn't realize you posted an homage to Keats. Great minds, huh? :)

    Your sonnet is a perfect loveliness. I took deep pleasure in reading it. "Or mists that fall upon the hills of green" is so evocative, as were all your descriptive treasures. And I believe fervently in the final lines--we need those connections, those warm reassurances of a quietly shared humanity and earth.

    You have taken all of our hands with grace and assurance in this one.

  6. what a wonderful list so eloquently put...loved it. thanks for joining in!

  7. You have a very cool list.
    "The whisper of a baby’s milky breath"
    WOW, thank you for bringing back the memory.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Lovely - and really good to know that some people still write sonnets!

  9. This is so lovely, Karen.
    Love and sheer joy woven between each word, each line...

    Beautiful project!
    and Keats (also my love) and Bright Star - cannot wait to see!

  10. I hear you speaking with your heart. The sound is lovely and serene. What an admirable project - kudos to Chris and wife. Fantastic poem, Karen.

  11. Lovely sonnet, Karen. I particularly liked thie line: "to fill our lives with possibilities", not only for what it has to say, but for its unpredictable end that does not rhyme.

  12. It's my intention to see "Bright Star" very soon. The movie, "Pandemonium" about Coleridge and Wordsworth had a profound effect on me at the time of viewing. I'm sure the movie about Keats will do the same.

    P.S. Just saw "Creation" with Paul Bettany and his lady wife, Jennifer Connelly. I recommend it!

  13. joseph - Thank you! Glad it passed!

    Carmen - Thank you!

    Chris - Thank you for inspiring this with your most generous challenge. That you had more than 100 participants speaks of the power of the blogs and the generosity of the human spirit.

    Rick - Thank you.

    TWM - Thanks!

    Sarah - I've wondered often what Keats might have left us if he had lived longer. His poetry was among the best of his or any era and has blessed us through time.

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing my love of this superb poet, John Keats.

    Brian - Thank you. I am so happy that Chris had a great response to her challenge.

    Shakira - Thank you!

    Dave - Thanks! Isn't it a beautiful and much neglected form?

    John - Thanks!

    Calli - Thank you. The movie reminded me that poetry for real poets is a passion and a life, not a pastime. He was genius!

    K - Thank you!

    Kat - Thank you. I hadn't heard of Pandemonium, but now I have to see it, too. Netflix, here I come!

  14. I have Bright Star here but because of the power outage haven't watched it yet. Tonight! The image that you used to work with is stunning, and the sonnet is a perfect accompaniment. I love a good sonnet, and this just flows like a river. A beautiful homage to friendship and love.

  15. "The company of friends once lost, returned
    To fill our lives with possibilities."

    I know that one for sure. ;)
    I love sonnets. That Catvibe lady writes 'em pretty darn good. 'xcuse me, for I'm in a cowboyish mood today, lady.

    Erm, okay snapping out. I hopped in here from Sarah's place. Now I'm really interested in this Keats guy. :P

  16. So very beautiful...and true! Wonderful sonnet. I especially love the baby's breath. Isn't it awesome? The richest people I know live in shacks! I have learned so much from them about what is valuable in life.

  17. I wish simple pleasures stayed simple.

  18. Strong all the way. That was a veritable pleasure, and wrapped up so well.
    “And find our grace in love of earth and man.”

  19. Cat - Enjoy your movie! I loved it most of all because it brought back to me the great talent that was Keats. He died so young, as he said, "Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain." I can't even fathom what he might have created had he lived. Twenty-five! If he produced works like "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode to a Nightingale," "Endymion" and so many others at younger than 25, what might he have done? I am in awe, and this is what the movie reminded me. It is of course, first a tragic love story, but it is his early death and his never having known that he was great that is the tragedy to me. Sorry. I could go on and on - obviously! Let him speak for himself:

    WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
    Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
    Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
    When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
    And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
    That I shall never look upon thee more,
    Never have relish in the faery power
    Of unreflecting love! - then on the shore
    Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
    Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

    Aniket - Watch "Bright Star," then go read some real sonnets! (see above) :-)

    Julie - Riches and wealth - not the same things at all. Thank you, my friend!

    Jason - I think maybe it's a matter of perspective.

    jack sender - Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

  20. Hi Karen,

    O, the last 2 lines won over my heart... very serene and heartfelt... excellent!!!:D

    Good day!!!:)

    Keep safe!!!:)


  21. Oh, Karen, this reads so beautifully! The message is unmistakable and brought over in such simple but deep thoughts.

    I can't wait to see Bright Star now. Germany's always a bit late getting new movies released. My love for John Keats has also been rekindled through this lovely post - thank you! :)

  22. i so often lose the simple things in the not-so-simple day to day - but you're right - this is a great reminder and a touchstone of truth. "find our grace in love of earth and man" - simpler than it often seems, or at least, simpler than i often make it. thank you for this one.

  23. This i the first time for me to visit your blog and I can tell it will not be the last :)

  24. Ani - I do go on!

    Margaret - Thank you! I'm glad to bring him back to your mind!

    Chandrika - Welcome, and thank you!

    joaquin - It is simpler than life allows us to remember sometimes. Unfortunately. It's very easy to get caught up in life and forget to live!

    Maha - Welcome, and thank you. I hope you do return.

  25. Karen, this is so beautiful... in form and content... Thank you!