Manna by Joseph Stroud

 
Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is
that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever
blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am
grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,
palms up, I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy 
I am.
Manna

Perhaps because we are in the heart of winter, this poem appeals to me. In those opening lines I can both see and feel - snow sifting down, / a world becoming white as the sun and sky disappear in the soundless space, everywhere. 

As the poet contemplates all / I wanted in life, and what has brought him to this moment, whatever / blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am captivated by the idea that each unique flake of snow holds a blessing - such an abundance! And he is grateful for all this, wants to bear witness as he holds out his arms palms up as one might do to catch falling snowflakes.

But, he tells us, I know it is impossible to hold / for long what we love of the world, that longing we have to hold onto all that we love, knowing we cannot keep it forever. And yet, look / at me; he wants us to know how happy he is as the snow drifts down even if he is foolish, shameful, arrogant to say it.

I can feel my own gratitude as I contemplate the blessings of being in this life, as numerous as all those flakes of snow that may at this very moment be falling in your world (or not). Regardless, can you say: look how happy / I am without feeling arrogant or shameful or foolish, simply thankful?

12 thoughts on “Manna by Joseph Stroud

  1. I love this poem, Jan. I love snow. I love the happiness I feel as the flakes fall around me silently piling up, covering everything. I love the silence of snow. I love knowing every flake is different. Imagine! I love waking up in the morning to find this white abundance has fallen overnight, that my world is hushed, traffic brought to a halt, and the flash of rainbows sparkle off the fresh powder as the sun rises. And then the tiny tracings of bird prints seeking the buried seed. I love throwing new seed out over the blanket of white. Manna, indeed. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Jan, this is just so perfect for my experiences. Reading it however brings so much more texture than I could have described. I love – no longer possible to find the heart of the day. Thank you so much. Have a lovely day. m

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jan: thank you for sending this blessing of a poem into my morning. I love how you remind us of that paradox of knowing it is all fleeting and yet, and yet, how happy new snow makes us! Love, Mary Lou

    Like

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