Mother and Child

fetus doodle icon, vector color illustration
by tkbrown
She looked upon the child in her arms
and was amazed--
in awe of what her body had created--
and she knew, without a doubt,
she had been blessed.

From the moment of conception
your child grew from a one-celled ovum--
to the babe in your arms--
directed by dna and rna
strands of life
combining mother and father
to create a new person
through genetic procreation.

Two weeks after conception
your child's
sex, hair color, eye color, . . . 
height, and skin tone
have already been determined.

As the babe grew, your body nurtured,
sustained, protected
the growing embryo,
and by week three
there was a primitive
but beating heart.

By week four, eyes and ears,
a spinal cord, muscles,
arms and legs,
even nerves were present
as the amniotic sac
and the placenta
provided nourishment.

Six weeks into your baby's life,
eyes, arms,
hands with all ten fingers,
legs, and feet
were much better formed.
Your child was able to move
and respond to touch.

At nine weeks,
The embryo became a fetus--
able to grasp, suck his/her thumb,
and by the tenth week
fingerprints were visible.
In addition to sensing touch
your baby could feel pain.

At twelve weeks,
your child slept
and awakened.

Gender was apparent
by week thirteen,
and at the fourteenth week
your baby was growing rapidly;
hair was visible,
you could begin to feel
energetic movement,
and you began to show
as your "baby bump"
began to become visible.

By the eighteenth week,
your baby's ears were fully functioning
and your voice could be heard.
Your babe weighed about a half pound
(as much as a small can of tomato sauce)
and was eight to ten inches long.
You began to wear maternity clothes,
and the blessing of
having a child
became much more real to you.

Week twenty-two marked
an important developmental milestone.
Your baby's head now formed
about one-third of total length,
and if born at this point,
may have survived outside the womb--
with intensive medical care.

At the twenty-sixth week,
taste buds were fully formed,
eyes and lungs were fully functioning,
and your baby could cry.
Your "baby bump"
had grown considerably.

At thirty weeks, senses of
vision, hearing, taste, and touch
were being used.
Eyes were able to open and close;
your child could look around
and recognized your voice.

Between the thirty-sixth week
and the fortieth week,
your body began to prepare
for your babe's entry
into the outside world.
Your child shifted downward
and into position"
now ready for the big day.

Full-term,
 your child
will weigh, on average, six to nine pounds
and is ready for life outside
the protection of your womb.

When born, at the fortieth week,
your baby's heart
is pumping 300 gallons of blood a day.

As you speak to this baby in your arms,
a tiny smile forms,
the eyes flutter open
in recognition of your voice.
and you know you are blessed.
~~~~~~~~~~

Pregnancy is God's test of our ability to truly love another person unconditionally and His way of saying, "You have what it takes to love this child and teach him/her the way to live."

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: courtesy of depositphotos.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:
Cherry, Kendra (1 June 2020). Stages of Prenatal Development. “very well mind.” verywellmind.com. (8 May 2022). https://www.verywellmind.com/stages-of-prenatal-development-2795073#:~:text=The%20process%20of%20prenatal%20development,known%20as%20the%20fetal%20period.

Eds. Foundations of Life. (2022). Fetal development. “Events.” foundationsoflife.org. (8 May 2022). https://foundationsoflife.org/unplanned-pregnancy-free-pregnancy-services/fetal-development/.

~~~~~~~~~~

Trees Are Leafing

~~ a calendar quindecim ~~

by tkbrown
The trees are leafing, spring is in the air,
but its mood is sour and has not been fair
in weather put forth for all to enjoy
active involvement of an outside toy.
Instead, weekly thunderstorms are brewing,
along tornadic funnel path strewing
debris consisting of homes and huge trees
ripped up by the roots, carried by the breeze
on a not so fun ride to where 'twill abide--
forty or fifty feet laid on its side.
The storms set down. They travel on the ground
for miles while local warning sirens sound.
Otherwise, the days present as a mix--
some sunny and mild, providing a fix
for wintertime blahs we may need to nix.

Limbs are bursting with new life at each bud,
flowers peek through in their beds filled with mud.
Yellow-green clouds billow upper reaches,
against superior backdrop fetches
passersby attention, birds on the fly
seek rest from journeys soaring through blue sky.
The sun shines brightly, gardens are planted,
lakes and rivers call to souls needing soothed,
and hiking trails beckon fitness imbued
to engage in the life so long now queued--
waiting for the day living would return
with loads of energy begging to burn.
Actions the virus held in abeyance
now returning 'midst movement and cadence
high in the mountains and low in the fens.

Springtime seems to be calling out this year
to the souls and spirits of all who hear
her luscious promise so precious and clear.
Pain in our hearts for the victims of war.
Such an odyssey--fallacies afar--
blaming the innocent for their own fear.
How to learn from the daily wear and tear,
decrease the valence? With good intent we share
and attend the pain and suffering they bear.
It nay alleviates hate in the air
nor shields from the agony wrought anywhere
when the world looks on, tells them of our care.
No matter what we say as war instills pain,
hearts will ne'er reclaim the old peace again.
Remembrance o'er-shadows all occasion.

~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Yoksel Zok @Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

2022 – March

. . . and the March-Winds Came

~~ a calendar quindecim ~~

by tkbrown
March came in like a proverbial lamb;
and she quickly began picking up steam.
The first few days were sunny, mild, and calm;
then snow brought by Winter's battering ram
escorted an annual Easter Squall
as cool weather squatted a few more days.
Another warm-up brought daffodils tall,
thunderstorms, tornadic torrential flays,
rooftops off homes, powerlines ripped from poles,
trees uprooted, homes and vehicles flipped,
damage for miles in corporate locales
where lives have been marred, heartstrings are now ripped.
From the anchoring strengths of hearth and home
where rebuilding takes time, tilling the loam
must be completed to stimulate phloem. 

Lives must be rebuilt in this worldly realm
while another, still being ripped apart,
cannot ponder whence the 'morrow's dire helm
will position them. Those who leave home port,
praying for a reprieve, can have no thought
or hopes quite bold as news from home is told
and the days flow forth. Homeland hopes for bought
or borrowed time as loved ones lives unfold,
then refold when words not sharing their pain
rip hearts asunder -- tell home's not the same.
Faces turn ashen as their colors drain,
emotions rage for lost hopes they can't claim.
Now, as the month begins its final wrap,
it is preparing to give us a slap
when leaving us with a severe storm snap.

~~~~~~~~~~

March 2022 — In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

So, this says The Old Folks Saying Rings True.
It certainly does this year for me and for you!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by jeffjacobs @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Take Away This

~~ a rondine ~~

by tkbrown
Take away this; then replace it with that,
give little thought for the things to be lost--
the value they held or replacement cost.
The morning will bring a new coat and hat;
'Twill wrap-up warmer than the one thrown out,
bolster the image and smooth the way flat.
Take away this.

New thoughts, new ways will remove tit for tat,
excluding habits known to increase frost,
forbidding views of traditional host,
supplanting the old with new voice in chat.
Take away this.

~~~~~~~~~~

Take Away This . . .

~~ Poetic Form Commentary ~~

by tkbrown

While the rondine form in poetry has traditionally been utilized as a romantic vent, my use of the format has — from the beginning — taken a different course. When my mind conjures a rondine, it tends to address irony by focusing on a specific word whose original intent focused one direction but often presents a view taking a divergent path.

With this rendition of the rondine, I have taken my variance up a notch to address political concerns and somber reality. Since the coronavirus sidelined our world’s best laid plans a few years back, our whole outlook on life has seemed to change — and I am not sure it has been for the betterment of our society as a whole. Therefore, I have tried to be the voice of many who are unsure whether or not to speak out.

My past tendencies of a poetic nature have presented themselves in batches of a particular form. Thus, I am inclined to believe this will be the case in this venue. I have written political satire before–though I am not sure this is satirical. As you read, contemplate what the poem says to you, and please scroll down to “Like” if you appreciate what I have written. Then post a comment letting me know what you think. Does the rondine enhance the message presented–pro or con, I would like to hear your thoughts.

Thank You for reading. I appreciate you!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Steve Johnson @Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Prayer

by tkbrown
Thank You, Jesus
for bringing me through this night to another day.
Show me the things you would have me do and say.
Give me opportunity to help another along the way.
Be my sunshine when skies look dreary and grey.
Touch your healing hand to ailments producing fray.
Whisper love to family and friends when troubles weigh
upon their lives, seeming to unbearably lash and flay.
Allow me to touch someone as I bow my head and pray.
In Jesus name,
Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I begin each morning, I thank God and Jesus for the restful night and a brand new day. As the Apostle Paul instructed the New Testament Christians in Thessalonica:

“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

I try to continually engage a prayerful attitude about all that I do, think, and, say. I am far from perfect, and I need His help every step of the way. There is no sweeter way to progress through life than in prayerful supplication of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul traveled much, taught God and Christ daily, wrote epistles to a number of New Testament churches, and edified Christians in every possible way. He enjoined the followers at Philippi to:

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Philippians 4:6 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

Here, he offered encouragement to not worry regarding the needs of this life, but rather to let God know what we need every hour of every day.

God will provide if we but heed His command as Jesus–in His Sermon on the Mount–instructed:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV).

If our thoughts are centered upon God and His kingdom, if we focus on these things — we will not have time to look at the world and those in it. We will be given more than our feeble minds could ever conjure.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 KJV “Pray without ceasing.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Philippians 4:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). PHILIPPIANS 4:6 KJV “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 6:33. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). MATTHEW 6:33 KJV “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture above: reene black @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Prayer

by tkbrown
Thank You, Jesus
for bringing me through this night to another day.
Show me the things you would have me do and say.
Give me opportunity to help another along the way.
Be my sunshine when skies look dreary and grey.
Touch your healing hand to ailments producing fray.
Whisper love to family and friends when troubles weigh
upon their lives, seeming to unbearably lash and flay.
Allow me to touch someone as I bow my head and pray.
In Jesus name,
Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I begin each morning, I thank God and Jesus for the restful night and a brand new day. As the Apostle Paul instructed the New Testament Christians in Thessalonica:

“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

I try to continually engage a prayerful attitude about all that I do, think, and, say. I am far from perfect, and I need His help every step of the way. There is no sweeter way to progress through life than in prayerful supplication of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul traveled much, taught God and Christ daily, wrote epistles to a number of New Testament churches, and edified Christians in every possible way. He enjoined the followers at Philippi to:

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Philippians 4:6 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).”

Here, he offered encouragement to not worry regarding the needs of this life, but rather to let God know what we need every hour of every day.

God will provide if we but heed His command as Jesus–in His Sermon on the Mount–instructed:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV).

If our thoughts are centered upon God and His kingdom, if we focus on these things — we will not have time to look at the world and those in it. We will be given more than our feeble minds could ever conjure.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 KJV “Pray without ceasing.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Philippians 4:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). PHILIPPIANS 4:6 KJV “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 6:33. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (13 November 2021). MATTHEW 6:33 KJV “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture above: reene black @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Fall . . .

. . . is on the way

by tkbrown
Just when it looks like summer
has settled in to stay,
sunshine follows days of wet
with a teeny bit less heat
during mid-day sun
and some temperature drops
as nighttime turns to  dawn.

Cooler temps have been knocking
for a few days now,
patiently awaiting just the right time
to make a grand entrance
and take Mother Nature's bow.

Highs in the seventies
and lows in the sixties--
then suddenly lows drop
into the upper forties.

Knock, Knock, Knock:
Fall pleading to be let in
to meet the schedule
as planned--
beginning an end to life's cycle
currently at hand
as the never-ending circle
inches forward in the sand.

As time and warmth fall back,
colors explode along scenic drives
to ease the pain when mostly black
with touches of grays, browns,
and splotches of green
signal hibernation--
from which Mother Nature
slowly awakens the Southern Hemisphere
where leaves and buds begin to appear
in varying shades of yellow green
and the most beautiful flowers
a body has seen
poke their heads out to welcome the sun
as we flip earth's annual cycle
of fertility and recline.

The fall equinox
with it's Harvest Moon
is knocking quite loudly
on summer's tune
as Mother Nature's produce
is reaped and stored while Earth's
lower half is tilling and sowing
for the abundance provided
by summer's noon.

With a knock, knock, knock,
cooler temperatures arrived--
just a wee bit cooler,
from those storm clouds derived.

When the sunshine returns
with an inviting hue,
heads swivel about to view
the blinding sheen.

Then suddenly, a warning
of a cold night to be--
quite unexpected
during Harvest's Jubilee.
As it slowly returns to normal
over nightfall--two or three--
we will see the colors blossom--
yellow, orange, sienna, and red
will be ushered in for free.

God will be busy painting hillsides
as He beckons days of gold
followed by the nighttime
filled with shivers from the cold.

It is time to pick the pumpkins,
acorn squash, and butternut--
put them in the freezer
for the goodness they impart.
Apples, pears, and walnuts
are being harvested as well
to create delicious treasures
for a healthy winter shell.

Cooler days just seem to call
for something cooking on the stove:
time for Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry,
a pot of aromatic Red Beans,
Sage and Walnut Pumpkin Butter
spread upon a wholegrain bread
or saucing tortellini
for a filling winter spread.

It's time to create
a healthy formula
where spices explicate the flavor--
taking sugar down to size--
in recipes far better
for the heart, and health, and eyes.

These pursuits decrease the half-life
of the wither doldrums when
idleness is created
by the binds of winter strife.
The harvest--then in storage--
promotes artistic flair
just to see the results,
small the aromatic air,
and exhilarate the taste buds
from the harvest reaped in fall.
≥∑ tkbrown 25 September 2021

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above:

~~~~~~~~~~

September 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

Transition to Fall . . .

As the hot summer days are winding down,
schools returning for the yearly session
are faced with the delta variant surge--
most virulent COVID yet to emerge:
wearing masks, for some virtual learning,
keeping social distance while returning
to classrooms for in person instruction.
Those who succumb go into quarantine
logging in from home to the classroom scene
where some locales have rebelled--banned the mask--
saying it subjugates the students' task.
Some instructors opt to protect themselves--
wearing the masks, getting virus vaccines--
while the opposed spread vile, poisonous germs.

The world looks forward to a fall cool-down,
experts predict twin pandemic to drown
all hopes of relief from the COVID heat
as second strain moves in and takes a seat.
Inter-country travel sets new limits
on those allowed entry--and on exits.
The twenty-year war in Afghanistan
ended, victory flagged the Taliban:
U.S. citizens, fearfully stranded,
call for their transport to be commanded.
The U.S Embassy stands empty now,
and Taliban says diplomats can't go.
Between the war and coronavirus,
the toll has been large on American lives
with experts reporting new mutations.

The fall equinox takes its place on stage
with promise of change whatever your age.
Cooler temps touting a view in the hills
where potent colors laud sensory thrills.
Beautiful photos to brighten the mood
when placed upon walls where atmosphere broods.
Such a gift God provides a dying world
to ease the deep umbrage at times unfurled.
Yellows, reds, various shades of orange
provide quite a lift in visual range
and stir a desire to actively merge
in ritual dance 'midst surrounding dirge.
Fall festivals, hayrides, pumpkin patch tours
celebrate life which is patently yours
and abate sadness with merriment cures.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: Pumpkin Patch in Autumn @depositphotos.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

High School

Dedicated To: those who are now in High School and to those who have been.

Diploma: by Mica Hart @pixabay.com.
by tkbrown
Tis the month when school bells begin to ring
even though the virus is surging again.

Teachers, students, classrooms,
binders--three ring,
notetaking, not writing, something akin
to mega seminars--and yet it's more--
with old friends, new friends,
and many new plans,
not enough time,
no energy left at end of day.
Crawling into bed--
out like a light--
the backs of my eyelids
such a beautiful sight.

All too soon morning light peeks in
reminding of needs to be met.

A brand-new day, an old routine
with advanced equations,
how to calculate sine.

What happens later
midst well-laid plans
was not intended--
it was not planned--
protect my heart from this 'start.'
I do not understand
how it managed to rend
the innermost core
and alter who I am.

New emotions running deep,
welling up, unable to keep
them in.

Sensations flowing new and free
at the chance, passing sight of thee--
concentration and focus have all but flown
out the open window where seeds have been sown.
The future is out there, unsure as to where
this path of emotions is leading--
the person I was
taking steps toward
the one I will become.

That first High School band
marching on the field
to enrich experience at halftime
for those watching, marching,
and me.
Do others feel the same?
Is the aura surreal?
Does it show on my face--
this awesome new feel?
One day at a time--
sometimes just an hour--
seems such a waste of rhythm
when my mind is speeding ahead
toward the end of these four."

Can I wish my life away
and be sure I will remain
the person I was
when I stepped onto this train?

Maybe I should
step back for a bit
to catch my breath
before I take . . . a run for it.
High School.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: Gundula Vogel @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Born to Run Wild . . .

Male and female lion sitting on a rock.
by tkbrown
I was born to be wild . . . 
not penned up in a zoo,
not meant to be cooped up
to fuel the pleasure of you.
I was born to roam free
with my babes and friends,
exploring the world
until my life bends or ends.
I was born to attack
when the need doth arise--
protecting my own
under wide open skies.
My name is Zambia,
I was meant to be free--
not in a concrete jungle
for your sickening glee.

I am the "King" of my kind
with the need to stalk prey,
need to challenge the mind--
teach the Pride to sashay.
I protect the Pride's young,
sacrifice self when I must,
overlooking our freedom
midst the just and the unjust.
We need plenty of cover
and much space for the chase;
keeping preying skills shining
helps the "King" to save face.
We need dedicated parkland
away from people and towns
to preserve our heritage
and prevent dying down.

People are impeding
all the places we have lived,
making them uninhabitable--
many Prides are deprived.
Our prey must be large
and live where we live,
so hunting skills can excel
as our cubs learn and thrive.
Preservation is the need,
hunting is the skill,
teaching craft to our cubs
is our protection still.
When humans move in,
settling within our homeland,
they take away our freedom--
bidding extinction take its stand.

I cannot be a "King"
midst my homeland and Pride
if we are dying out
'cause there is no place to hide.
There is very little thought
given to our lifestyle
and what it takes to survive
for e'en a little while.
When we have no place to go
to live the life we must,
the old life we must retain--
or we will all return to dust.
This is my heartfelt plea
to all of you who care,
"Please return our homeland
undisturbed by human fare!"

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by mojoeks @depositphotos.com

~~~~~~~~~~

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