Three Poems for You Matter to Me Day

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire
goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter
with another human being. We should all be thankful
for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer

On October 7, 2009, Linda Jew started ‘You Matter to Me Day’ after her best friend’s brother and nephew were killed in an accident. Words to say while we still can, because we don’t know what the future will bring.

Our families, husbands, wives, a best friend, friends from childhood, or from school, friends from work, or friends who share our interests, our politics, or our hobbies  – all the people who form the circle of each of our lives. We probably say ‘I love you’ to the closest ones, but what about the rest?

Connections between people happen in so many different ways. Today Linda Jew reminds us to think about who matters, and tell them.

To read “Sonnet 30,” “Since Hannah Moved Away,” and “Red Brocade” click:

Sonnet 30

by William Shakespeare

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight;
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in English, and the world’s greatest dramatist


Since Hanna Moved Away

By Judith Viorst

The tires on my bike are flat.
The sky is grouchy gray.
At least it sure feels like that
Since Hanna moved away.

Chocolate ice cream tastes like prunes.
December’s come to stay.
They’ve taken back the Mays and Junes
Since Hanna moved away.

Flowers smell like halibut.
Velvet feels like hay.
Every handsome dog’s a mutt
Since Hanna moved away.

Nothing’s fun to laugh about.
Nothing’s fun to play.
They call me, but I won’t come out
Since Hanna moved away.

“Since Hanna Moved Away” from If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries © 1984 by Judith Viorst – Atheneum Books for Young Readers

 Judith Viorst (1931 – ) is the author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which has sold some four million copies; the Lulu books, and Necessary Losses. Her most recent books of poetry include What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? and Nearing Ninety.


Red Brocade

by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

Let’s go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take the red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water
to your horse.

No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That’s the armor everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.

I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.

“Red Brocade” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems, © 1994 by Naomi Shihab Nye – A Far Corner Book, The Eighth Mountain Press

Naomi Shihab Nye (1952 — ), born in St.Louis, Missouri. Daughter of a father who came to America as a Palestinian refugee, and a born-in-America mother. “I grew up in St. Louis in a tiny house full of large music – Mahalia Jackson and Marian Anderson singing majestically on the stereo, my German-American mother fingering ‘The Lost Chord’ on the piano as golden light sank through trees, my Palestinian father trilling in Arabic in the shower each dawn.” During her teens, Shihab Nye lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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