Posts Tagged ‘Poems by Margaret Longenecker Been’

blue and old pottery 2

Friends sometimes question me with concern when I haven’t posted for awhile on this site.  I’m always deeply touched when this happens.  One friend asked our daughter if I was okay, because she had not seen any fresh Northern Reflections for some time.

I’ve been aware that each of my five blogs has different readers, and many do not realize that the other blogs even exist.  You can check the Blog Roll for my other URLs and topics.  But in recent months, my art blog:  http://www.northernview.wordpress.com/ — i. e. “The Messy Palette . . . Growing through Art” has been most frequently updated.

I intend to continue this blog whenever and however.  But, after decades of words and writing for publication, NOW MY HEART IS IN THE ART.  If you wonder why I have not been posting new Northern Reflections, you might just check out the Northern View (Messy Palette) site and see how my world is viewed at present.

I have been reflecting on the language of the arts.  Through the “Likes” on my art site, I found a lady in Italy whose paintings thrill me to the core.  Truly a kindred soul!  Her bio is in Italian which is (metaphorically speaking) Greek to me.  I’m comfortable with reading French, but there my foreign language skills rest.  Yet this woman’s paintings speak volumes, and words are not necessary when I view her art.  Thus the centuries of art and music cross every culture and can potentially dissolve barriers between those who love creative expression.

Have you ever had the experience of feeling terribly embarrassed when trying to communicate with someone whose language you do not know—given the fact that the “someone” is out to sea with your language as well?  This has happened to me on numerous occasions.  There is a lot of apologetic head wagging and pasted-on smiles as we try to convey friendship and find some common ground.  You want to communicate to the other person that you like him or her and want to be a friend.  But the smiles and head wags can be borderline inane—like Bobble Heads in the back window of a car.

Try art.  Try music.  Although our worldview, moral and ethical values, and political leanings must articulate clearly in words, no verbal language is needed to build bridges to simple, every-day friendship—when a passion for the arts is the major motivator.  My love for Verdi has long given me insight and appreciation for the pulse beat and intensity of Italy.  Viewing Oriental art yields even more regard for Chinese culture than a plate of Egg Rolls (although food works too).  Beethoven and Bach are a part of my American family heritage, bringing me closer to my German speaking ancestors:  German, German Swiss, and Alsatian.  Like nothing else on earth, Celtic harp ballads stir my racial memory and resonate in my Celtic genes.

So through art and music, we can indeed be multi-lingual.  If so inclined, or if I don’t post again for sometime on this site, just visit my Messy Palette.      🙂

Margaret L. Been, September

NOTE:  I just updated the ekphrasis page.  With the onset of Autumn, I sense the poet is coming out of hibernation, rather than going in.  Check out my “Tatters of Time”. 

Read Full Post »

March Sun

It wouldn’t be very nice to say “Good Riddance” to the month that brings Groudhog Day and Valentine’s Day, and lots of cozy indoor days for reading, knitting, and painting—but at age 79 we tend to say exactly what we think.  And that’s what I think.  I’ve enjoyed February, but I’m not sobbing over her demise!  And I’m glad it’s not Leap Year or we’d have an extra day of February.

A few nights ago, when the full moon rose in the east over our front yard park it occurred to me that the next full moon would coincide approximately with the vernal equinox.  I don’t have to express what this means to us Northerners, and none of my prose renderings could even begin to do the job.  But perhaps a little poem might work.

March Sun . . .

. . . knows a tricky way of turning corners

slipping into curtained rooms through cracks,

crawling under eaves and glinting dust

on wintered dreams.

© Margaret Longenecker Been

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  Hello MARCH!

Read Full Post »


A single maple golden stood

Long after frost had laid

A deadly hand upon the woods

Disrobed by icy rain.

Her loneliness was bright and bold

In skeletons of trees

That recently flashed red and gold

And chattered in the breeze.

Her joy was not in being a tree

Of abundant tone,

But in the fact of being free

And standing all alone. 

Had the other trees around

Been leafed, she’d doubtlessly

Have cast her garments to the ground

For all the woods to see!

©Margaret Longenecker Been

Note:  “The Maple” was published in North American Mentor magazine, and in a collection of poems—WILDERNESS AND GARDENS, An American Lady’s Prospect, by Margaret Longenecker Been—published by Westburg & Associates, Fennimore, Wisconsin,

Read Full Post »

These are the darkling days

when maples shed their burdens,

torn and sodden, to the earth . . .

and tawny columned corn

breaks beneath the reaper’s blade. 

Demise of daylight

drives us inward to our dens,

burrows we’ve designed,

hollows carved in ancient oak,

cabins hewn from fallen pine. 

These are the darkling days.

A fading west wind yields

to sabre rattling from the north,

yet while the keenings sound . . .

a new life pulsates underground. 

© 2009 Margaret Longenecker Been

Read Full Post »

My friend, Ellen Grace Olinger, has inspired me greatly and I sense a deluge of haiku (and related forms) rushing from my soul!  Ellen is a master at the Japanese poetic forms.  She has the rare gift of saying volumes in a few succinct words. 

It’s exciting to be seized by a fresh creative passion!  You can check out some fruit on my currently updated Ekphrasis page on this blogsite. 

And please visit Ellen’s two sites—listed in my blogroll as “Beautiful Poems and Thoughts by Ellen Olinger” and “Poetry Inspired by the Psalms and Nature”.  You’ll be glad you did!  🙂

Thank you Ellen!


Read Full Post »

There is a hunger meat cannot abate,

nor human company assuage.

Food grows tasteless, conversation fails

to feed this cave.

Only hands, committed hands

can feed the hunger

of our broken pact with earth . . .

hands that spin and weave

and love the feel of rough wood,

crumbling sod,

hands that mirror ways

of He Who formed us out of clay.

© Margaret Longenecker Been

Read Full Post »

The Colour of Terrible Crystal

(referring to the firmament above Ezekiel’s chariot vision, recalled by the visual of a sunset)

Topaz, beryl, peridot

steeped in royal purple

dipped in blood . . . .

We are not Ezekiel by the Chebar,

yet exiled for a time

on this fallen planet we call “home”

we dream through half-remembered mist

while four-faced chariots surge Heavenward—

each face four within a face and tandem wings,

incandescent chariots with eye-encrusted rims

and omnipresent wheels.

Land riveted,

we could lose our half-remembered dream

but for the brilliance of terrible crystal

radiating westward twilight-wise,

rushing, surging, beckoning . . .

Topaz, beryl, peridot

steeped in royal purple,

dipped in blood.

© Margaret Longenecker Been

Note:  After Easter, I hope to begin adding to the Paintings and Poems page on this site — adding my paintings and additional poems by (not only me but) poets whose work I love. 

My painting passion has taken a sharp right turn toward the abstract in recent months, and I’ve many new renderings that I want to share with you.  Enjoy the ride on Paintings and Poems.   🙂

Read Full Post »

How to Long for Heaven?

How to long for Heaven

When Earth is moist with Spring

And in the swamp

The peepers’ anthems ring?

What Rapture

Without that rapture of returning geese,

And season on season

Without surcease?

My Lord is here,

Visible in Sun and rain,

Audible in growing wind

Across the plain.

Margaret Longenecker Been, ©1973

POET’S NOTE:  I do long for Heaven, every time I read a newspaper or watch the news on TV—or hear of human suffering around the world.  Many times a week I pray, “Thy Kingdom come” and “Come, Lord Jesus”.

Yet God is His creative mercy and grace gives us glimpses of Heaven on a daily basis.  All we need to do is look at the sky, and we are lifted to another, richer dimension.  And when winter suddenly turns to spring, the message of Resurrection is overwhelmingly clear!  Our Lord is here!  His visible return is simply  a matter of time.  MLB

Read Full Post »


Resurrection hymns

resound on melting lake . . .

The Canadas are back


Heaven is ringing

with songs of northbound geese

breaking up the winter


Heartless euphoria . . .

soon we’ll dash out blithering

Oh, Oh, Spring!


Margaret Longenecker Been, ©2006

Published in BRUSH STROKES, Word Paintings by Margaret Longenecker Been, Elk River Books, Phillips, Wisconsin





Read Full Post »


 “I sometimes wonder, after all,
Amid this tangled web of fate,
If what is great may not be small,
And what is small may not be great.
So wondering I go my way,
Yet in my heart contentment sings . . .
O may I ever see, I pray,
God’s grace and love in Little Things.”

From “The Joy of Little Things”, by Robert Service


“I come in the little things, saith the Lord, 

Amidst the delicate and bladed wheat

That springs triumphant in the furrowed sod . . .

I come in the little things, saith the Lord:

Yea! on the glancing wings 

Of eager birds, the softly pattering feet

Of furred and gentle beasts, I come to meet . . . .”

From “I Come in the Little Things, Saith the Lord”, by Evelyn Underhill


I will never be able to say enough, write enough, or thank God adequately for the Little Things.  I cannot begin to list them, because I haven’t enough years on earth, or hours in a day.  There isn’t enough paper on this planet to contain my list or record my appreciation for the Little Things.  But here are just a few:

The February sun streams in my window, flooding my keyboard.  Our corgi, Dylan, sleeps and snores on the floor beside me.  My husband watches a favorite sport and periodically makes a suggestion or voices a strong complaint, to the players on the screen. 

Snow falls.  Snow melts.  Today I heard the cardinal’s first “Cheer Cheer Cheer” of the season; his territorial assertiveness has resumed for another year.  We had breakfast at a local café which is alway packed at mealtimes—resounding with the happy clatter of dishes and ongoing congenial conversation. 

Our friendly 93 year old neighbor, Mike, drives off in his sporty new car, with his radio blaring Country Western tunes.  Mike is chomping at the bit for the next golf season to begin.  Another neighbor walks past our windows with a dog, and Dylan rumbles his “deep in the throat” message—broadcasting that he does not like other dogs.

Our granddaughter-in-law, Kelly, phones from San Diego and excitedly tells us about the sunshine—and the view of the ocean from their patio.  She tells us they are all happy—and that their sweet two year old, Cole, has a little friend to play with. 

I loiter in the produce department of our supermarket and marvel at the gorgeous shades of purple/blue in the eggplants.  I resolve to GOOGLE “Eggplant Recipes”, in order to justify buying one the next time I shop.  But I’ll probably sketch and paint the eggplant before cooking it.

Our Christmas cactus never bloomed at Christmas, but now it is sprouting pink buds—having saved its glory for the Lenten season.  As I water the plants, they say “Thank you” by exuding the heady fragrance of damp earth.

Now we have a lingering twilight.  I boil water and steep our tea until just short of battery acid strength.  Joe and I drink our tea while gazing out the living room window at the ambience of our patio garden in winter—and dreaming of the green explosion to come.

Tomorrow, in church, I’ll sit in our four generation family row—praising God that I can be the old great-grandma, enjoying beautiful younger people of all ages!  Some will visit in the afternoon, for Scrabble, reminiscing, playing in the doll house, or simply savoring the moment.

People to love.  Beauty to behold.  Endless delights to experience with the five senses.  Creative pastimes to enjoy.  We lack nothing.  We are complete.  We are abundantly blessed by The Little Things!


It comes from viewing, with a certain mind,

a window full of plants in Winter

and finding rabbit tracks in snow,

from going to sleep while blizzard shrieks

and waking to a house that’s drifted shut.

It comes again in Spring when Earth is waiting

and the air has not quite turned to May,

in Summer at a pine-edged lake

where Time halts and the moment is enough. 

It comes in Autumn–with a sadness–

as fields are tanned and cider flows

and children’s noses chill at dusk,

and Earth spreads makeup on Her face

to hide Her age.

© Margaret Longenecker Been


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »