Sunday Evening Reflection with Mary Jo Malo


Tonight, as I look out into my city that is embracing the night, I feel a sense of solidarity that comes from the lights that shine in the darkness.  In a time of uncertainty, we continue to meet challenges together, as a community.

 In the darkness, there is light.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote that  “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

I have taken Johann up on his thoughts for my Sunday Evening Reflection. I feel the call of poetry and found the words have come from my dear blogger friend, Mary Jo Malo, from her blog, “This Shining Wound, Original Poetry by Mary Jo Malo.”

Mary Jo has graciously allowed me to recite her poem, “Sleight.” As I read her words, I feel that I am there in the woods with her, walking by the edge of the lake.  It is a marvelous song of winter and spring negotiating the terms of transition.  Her last lines conjure up profound memories of seasons that have come before.

I invite you to read along with me as we walk with Mary Jo Malo


Sleight by Mary Jo Malo, Poet from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo (pronounced Maylo)

Spring can be so
winter encumbered
I learn to walk again
layered in a long-sleeved tee
and hoodie sweatshirt
and bulky jacket
and thermals
and jeans
But the sun is hot
and will no doubt
spot and freckle
my hands and face
The old woman
I never saw myself

Far into the woods
tracing my familiar path
around the little lake
worried frogs launch
from their spawning shore
stir up muck and lurk undercover
Minnows dart beneath
woolly floating leaves
survivors of last Autumn
then frenzy back
into clear warm water
when I pass
They pull up short
out in the deep cold
murky center of the pond
where bigger fish await
to feed off their mistaken

A giant carp slowly
trolls the shallow water
surrounding the island
roiling up mud and
purling water along its shiny back
Game fish lie in wait
and jump
to snap up bugs
I rarely see them hit
but hear the splash and
watch concentric circles
left behind
calmly disappear

I nearly submerge a memory
one you often asked me to remember
that pale yellow sundress
with little blue roses
and twenty tiny buttons down the front
You plucked a wild violet
from behind my ear
as if you could
keep me fooled

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

20 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Reflection with Mary Jo Malo

    1. Sunshine in Vancouver – it is a glorious day to be alive! What I really enjoy about our blogging community is that we have learned how to communicate and stay connected virtually. It is vital that we continue out conversations, our writing, our listening and responding during this complex time. Hugs coming to you with great speed!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Dear Clanmother,
    now we try to write some reasonable words 😉 oh dear …
    We like your photos of the tranquil mood of spring and send you lots of hugs and xxxx to you and al your family
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
    There is a beautiful spring/Easter poem by Goethe. In the first English translation by E.A. Bowring from 1853 it was called “Outside of the Gate”. But later translations called it “Easter Walk”. This is from “Faust I”. We had to learn by heart at school.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I found it!!! Thank you so much for the introduction to this poem. It is profound, beautiful, elegant. And it is the translation by E.A. Bowring, just as you said.

      These days, reasonable words are so very much appreciated. We live in complex times, but what gives me comfort is that we are connected, although miles apart. And yet, there is a closeness that comes from writing, listening to music and sharing a few reasonable words. Thank you so much for your visit and comments. Love and hugs heading over the pond to the Fab Four of Cley!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First I want to thank you for your generosity. Your beautiful opening sentence reminds of me of how I named the collection of poems presented on my blog. Several years after a permanent and debilitating automobile accident in 1993, I came across these words of Simone de Beauvoir:

    At midnight we are alone on top of a hill. We sit on the ground and smoke in silence. Los Angeles is beneath us, a huge, silent fairy-land. The lights glitter as far as the eye can see. Between the red, green, and white clusters, big glowworms slither noiselessly. Now I am not taken in by the mirage: I know that these are merely streetlamps along the avenues, neon signs, and headlights. But mirage or no mirage, the lights keep glittering; they, too, are a truth. And perhaps they are even more moving when they express nothing but the naked presence of men. Men live here, and so the earth revolves in the quiet of the night with this shining wound in its side. – (America Day by Day )

    Seeing the positive and good in all things is your great gift, Rebecca. Our ‘wounds’ really do shine if we look at them through this lens. Thank you for helping us remember. Hugs!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a wonderful gift you have given to us – your poetry. I am always amazed by serendipity – lights, night, humanity – we continue by honouring our “wounds”. Thank you for your generosity in allowing me to recite your poetry. I treasure our compassionate community for it is in community that we thrive, we learn, we share and we heal. Together we do amazing things!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for you kind comments, Julie I have come late to poetry so I am learning how powerful it is, even at this late stage of my life. Better late than never!!! I did a search on recitations and had difficulty finding anything beyond an AI voice. I have been reading poetry out loud to an empty room for several years, which has given me an enhanced understanding of the words and meanings I found that our blogging community has brilliant poets. Mary Jo and Jean-Jacques have graciously given their permission to recite. I am honoured. Thank you again for you presence and friendship. Hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hearing your cheerful voice made my day 🙂 Your positivity in these times is much welcome. How are you living this situation overseas? Hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a marvelous comment to receive, Virginia. Thank you!!! Vancouver has declared a state of emergency and all the coffee shops, restaurants, schools have been closed for the time being. We are all practicing social distancing. What is wonderful about our blogging community is that we have created a place to connect, share and celebrate. Take good care of yourself. Many hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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