Beautiful Words

puff singleA Royal Wedding Song
Beautiful words fill my mind,
as I compose this song for Love,
Like the pen of a good writer
my tongue is ready with a poem.
                   — adapted from Psalm 45:1, trans. Good News
♥ ♥ ♥
The summer ends, and it is time
To face another way….
— Wendell Berry, excerpted from “The Summer Ends,” A Timbered Choir

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with these words from wise ones. Then join in the conversation with your own poetic response.

You can enter into conversation with this text by adding your haiku response below.

About Margaret D. McGee


  1. I’m grateful to Carolyn Temte for suggesting the verse from Psalm 45, which I adapted by replacing “the king” in the second line with “Love.” Given that our theology says that God is Love, I think it’s interesting to substitute kingship-oriented terms in the Bible with “Love,” and then see how that sounds.

    I’d been thinking of pairing that verse with something from Song of Solomon, but then Wendell Berry’s poignant lines called to me, in this turn from summer to fall.

    seedy meadow
    our summer to-do list
    goes up in smoke

  2. Marybeth Bland says:

    8 at night
    sliver of moon
    fall approaching

    • Thanks, Marybeth. Though the moon is with us year-round, there’s something about the moon in autumn that carries a special resonance.

      • Marybeth Bland says:

        Also during summer the noon sets here between about ten after the summer equinox . Then slowly sets earlier and earlier. Maryberh

  3. Marybeth Bland says:

    I wrote this this Saturday

    six sparrows
    on my deck
    a scrub jay shrieks

  4. partying with the angels
    I greet the new moon

  5. The gold rings were gifts of love and commitment when the couple married. After many years, his wedding band became thin and broke into two pieces. They took it to a jeweler to be repaired. The jeweler told them that the cost of the repair would be more than the bands were worth. He suggested that they purchase new rings. He showed them several rings but the husband didn’t want any of them. Very softly the husband explained that he wanted the only wedding ring he had ever had just as he wanted the only wife he had ever had. The jeweler restored the ring at a special price and the husband wore it ever after.

    bits of clay
    on the potter’s wheel
    the poet’s words

  6. Marybeth Bland says:

    My grandmother died many years ago. A year after her funeral my mother received a package from the funeral parlor. Inside were items of my grandmothers they forgot to give back. One item was her platinum gold wedding ring. My mother had thought it had been buried with her. She wrapped it up and sent it across the country to me. I kept it in the box until four years ago when I decided I would have it enlarged and wear it myself. And so I did. It looked so beautiful on my finger and helped me remember my grandmother. After family research I discovered this ring was also my great grandmothers. She got it when arriving in America. When her son was engaged to my grandmother she gave it to him as their wedding ring. Now I was wearing the ring of two women. And then I lost it for three years ago. I took it off before my shower. The house was searched but it could not be found . Then the other day when life was in a tailspin a discovery was made.

    My dog wags his tail
    dust circles
    a sparkle from the floor

    a gift
    prayers answered

    • Marybeth Bland says:

      The last gift should not be there. And yes we did vacuum the last three years. We will never know

      • Marybeth, I deleted the last gift.

        Wow, I am just thrilled with the two wedding ring haibun, first Carolyn, then Marybeth. Each story carries love at many levels.

        Thanks to you both for such gifts to the Courtyard.

  7. While my husband was in a large hospital, I stayed in a nearby hotel. One evening as I was walking back to my room, I encountered a young couple. Most of the woman’s honey blond hair had been shaved off and a scar ran through the hairless area. She often stopped to rest. Her husband had his arms full of their belongings. I offered to help carry things so the man could help his lady. He declined my offer but asked if I would walk with her to their room. Their room was on the same floor and the same end of the hall as mine. As we walked, she and I chatted. This was her third operation for a brain tumor. Suddenly she asked if I would pray with her. What could I say? She then took my hands and prayed for both of us and asked if I would keep her in my prayers and thoughts. I nodded okay. The next morning as I was leaving my room I saw a CD case on the floor in front of the inside locked door. I heard nothing during the night. The space between the carpet and the bottom of the door was very small so it would require some doing to slide the case through it. There was a crumpled note on hotel paper that read “your neighbors across the way. May God continue to bless!” I tapped on their door so that I might thank them. No answer! I looked in the cafeteria, walked the halls and finally I inquired at the hotel desk. The concierge told me that room had not been used. I never saw the couple again but I still have the note and the gospel music CD.

    beyond the stars
    born again

    • Carolyn, what a beautiful haibun. I especially like the short, simple sentences, “What could I say?”, and the tie-in between the last few words of the prose and the last line of the haiku.

      • I tell me that one can see things that others don’t and this couple in the hallway is that thing for me. The whole experience still baffles me, Margaret.
        I have now put the verbs in agreement in this haibun.

  8. Marybeth Bland says:

    I was diagnosed with MS at the age of 31. Needless to say it shattered my husband and my life,.At that time no one would have noticed anything was wrong. I still rode my bike and could walk a good distance before my legs gave out.

    One night we went out to eat as we often did in those days, We chose an Italian restaurant on Capital Hill in Seattle. The spaghetti was excellent . We spoke about life and enjoyed the moment, .When it was time to depart we waited and waited for the check. Finally my husband called over the waitress. She said our bill has been paid for by a large man sitting by himself in the back table. He wanted no recognition . We were told to say nothing to him. This was a gesture he did from time to time , . My husband decided then to give the money we would have paid the restaurant to the food bank . On the way out we looked back at the man eating a plate of spaghetti , . We started to say thanks but he raised his hand and waved us off.

    a gift
    passed on
    forever cherished

    • Marybeth, this is such a touching story … and I especially like “passed on” in the haiku. And of course I love the link between your haibun and Carolyn’s. Linked haibun! What a gift.

  9. dandelion fluff
    beneath winter snow
    spring seeds