I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once…

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

 

©2013 Joann Nelander

 

You Leave It but it NEVER Leaves You

Those who have never served the nation in a military capacity or shared the life of a military man or woman in some way may benefit by this retrospective glance:

By Dick Roberts

Once in a great while I venture back to a military post where I’m greeted at the gate by an imposing security guard who looks carefully at my retired ID cardands it back and says, “Have a good day, Colonel!” As I return to any military post it feels a bit strange to be called by the rank I once held and at the same time a bit odd to be in civilian clothes, walking among the today’s servicemen and servicewomen who are going about their business with the same zeal that I once did many years ago. It’s somewhat of an out of body experience for me, and I am so impressed by what I see and hear.

The military space provides a comfort zone of sorts for anyone who has ever worn the uniform. It’s a place where you still know the rules and know that they are enforced — a place where everybody is very busy, but not too busy to take care of business in a professional manner. There exists behind these gates an institutionalized understanding of respect, order, uniformity, accountability and dedication that became part of your marrow and never left you. Going back heightens your awareness of that fact as you witness it again , now a spectator, in spades right before your eyes. Was I ever part of this you might ask?

If pressed I might say that I miss the fact that you always knew where you stood in the military and with whom you were dealing . You could read somebody’s uniform from 20 feet away and pretty much know the score. One might say that military personnel wear their careers on their uniforms. As you approach each other you can read the person’s name tag, see his rank and, if he is in dress uniform, read patches and awards to get any idea where he ‘s served and what he’s done before you even get to know him. That has not changed.

I might also admit that I sometimes miss all those little things you take for granted when you’re in warrior ranks — the sight of troops running in the early morning mist, the sound of boot heels thumping in unison on streets, the cadence bark of a formation leader and the sing-song responses from the formation .

Trust me though, I would never romanticize military service too much by its “jodie calls” because it’s very serious business at all times, and especially in time of war to which I can attest. But just the same I miss the professional camaraderie of airborne infantryman and their swagger/ esprit de corps, the “can do” Ranger mindset. I also miss the smell of jet fuel hanging heavily on the night air and the sound of engines roaring down runways and soaring into the clouds and lots, lots more.

I even miss a tiny bit “ the hurry-up-and-wait” mentality that enlisted men griped about constantly, a masterful invention that bonded our soldiers more than they’ll ever know or admit.

I do miss people taking off their hats when they enter a building, speaking directly and clearly to others and never showing disrespect for rank, race, religion or gender.

I miss being a player in this vast team whose arms circle this Earth and always cares for the needs of all its players as its first priority.

Mostly though I miss the likes of you and the many fine young men who were entrusted to my care in peace and war, a privilege like none other in this life …

Frankly , I don’t know anyone who served who regrets it and does not feel a sense of pride when they pass through those gates and ever so briefly and re-enter the world they left behind many years ago – even if we are a bit out of place now.

Face it guys – we all miss it`to one degree or another …………Whether you had one tour or a career, it shaped your life.

I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

Move the Hands of God by Prayer

In the silence God invites without words.
My prayers are often noisy affairs
Filled with faces, memories, love
And feelings of sorrow. 

I am often overwhelmed
And moved to tears
By the poignancy of a fleeting thought.

My heart tells me
That what seems insignificant
Holds a treasure. 

God’s gifts often come in disguise
Like the beggar at the door
Who is Christ.
 
The Spirit says minister
Here in this place, at this time;
Reach back through the years
To move the hand of God
By prayer.

I am with God,
The Lord of All,
Including Time. 
I may have missed or misused
Moments to do good,
But God reigns in Eternity,
As present in the Past
As He is in my heartbeat. 

God’s hands are not tied
By the flow of Time. 
He is there
And here
And Eternal Now. 

My lowly prayer,
Clothed in The Name,
Breaks down the wall that stands
Between my need or regret, and blessing. 
Like the little donkey that carried the King of Kings,
My humble prayer
Sets in motion
The flow of grace to love,
To heal, to mend,
To restore and bless anew.

Joann Nelander

I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander