Thursday, July 26, 2007

Walking in the Dark

I am so grateful to those of you who have commented on my poems, either on my blog, by e-mail or by phone. So your reward is - more of my poems!

Today's poem is another "summer" poem, and one of my favorites from the year 2000. I like to write in seasons, but this poem is about growing older and the journey, as much as it is about summer.

Walking in the Dark

I notice that July slips by
more quickly that her
sister months,
as if the warmth of summer
cannot hold its breath
for long.

The long lit eves I looked to
with such longing all the
begin to dim as darkness
reassumes his righteous

The verdant fields once youthful
with blooms of ev'ry hue and
take on an aging pallor,
reflecting my own graying

Ah, days of light!
So short and sweet
with promise and deceit,
make way for long, dark nights
that strip dreams
to the bone
and thrust us on the way
in earnest.
Copyright E.M. Ramos 7/24/2000

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer Concerts

Summer concerts, especially on a warm July evening, are among my most treasured memories. Last night, my husband and I attended a Waterlily concert at the Botanical Gardens. At first I was disappointed because the threatening weather forced it indoors. "I come to this place to be outside!" And I love the Gardens so much, it's wonderful when I can hang out there as late as possible. However, the concert, albeit inside, turned out to be a treat, featuring Renaissance era viols and recorders. It felt like I was at the Renaissance Fair.

Some years back, the New York Philharmonic held concerts on the Garden lawn. We would take a blanket and supper, sit on the grass, and listen to music of the masters, sometimes accompanied by overhead jets. We even got to see Shakespeare plays and operas. Being lucky enough to live in New York, I've also enjoyed the summer evening concerts at Central Park.

It seems that this tradition - summer evenings + music + the great outdoors - cuts across most cultures and is a unifying opportunity. There's also a magical feeling attached to the experience for me. I think it comes from the times, many years ago, when my mom took me to the summer Seuffert band concerts in Forest Park, Queens. The band leader was my piano teacher and inherited his position from his father. It was my introduction to John Philip Sousa and classical pieces, along with popular music of the time. The magic was that I truly believed that fairies lived in Forest Park. Maybe they do!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

August First

Many of my poems are inspired by nature. The one I am sharing today came to me during one of my daily walks in Central Park, New York City. And it's another of my "summer" poems from the year 2000.

August First

The worms are drowning
in the earth
and creep up on the path to die
where I
step softly, striving not
to crush them underfoot.

The heron swerves and
dives across
the tranquil skin of Turtle Pond,
dipping in and out
of fertile waters
while I
pause to hear
an unfamiliar cry
buried deep within
the leafy overgrowth.

Who is this new bird
that teases my heart
on a mysty August
Copyright Eleanor M. Ramos 08/01/2000

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Longwood Gardens

I love exploring nature, wherever I find myself. Last weekend my husband, Angel and I visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA with my sister and brother-in-law, Kathy and Rich. We met our cousin Janice there. Longwood features scrumptious, colorful gardens, most with fountains. There are wooded paths, meadows, waterfalls and a medieval Bell Tower. (Rapunzel! Rapunzel!) The conservatories are breathtaking. For anyone who appreciates art and nature, it is worth the trip -

My favorite garden is the Italian Water Garden; it has a European feel, dozens of dancing fountains and water cascading down a staircase. I especially love the earthen jars that seemingly breathe water out and over their outer skins, almost like their innermost being was melting outwards. Maybe it's a good analogy of letting God's love for us work out of us towards others. Anyway, it felt great sharing Longwood, especially with first time visitors, Angel and Rich. I like being alone in nature but there is something to be said for being in a beautiful place with others - loved ones, friends, even strangers. You always get a new perspective through another pair of eyes.

And so it was a peaceful, happy trip, despite the encroaching heat wave. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Longwood's fine dining restaurant. My grandson Chase and I agree that eating out is always part of the experience! To close out the luckiest day of the century (07/07/07), we saw the fountain show, complete with colored lights and classical music.

It gives me hope when the extremely rich, in this case Pierre Dupont, use their wealth to conserve a place of natural beauty, create a setting for artistic expression and then share it with the rest of us considerably less affluent folk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Gift of Nature

Nature is inspiring, renewing and healing for me. I love being out of doors, in beautiful places. Every weekend finds me walking in the New York Botanical Gardens or the Bronx Zoo. And now that I'm retired, I get there during the week too. When I was working full time in the city, I would get off the express bus at the Met on 84th Street and 5th Avenue and walk through Central Park to my job on East 55th Street.

These sacred places of nature have inspired most of my poems. During difficult times (transition again!) I have found consolation just walking and being in nature. I once shared with my friend Sister P. that I could not understand how some people are so unmoved by sunsets, mountain views, flowers, etc. And she told me that my appreciation of the beauty of nature was a special gift. What a lovely way of looking at it. How grateful I am for this gift.

Friday, July 6, 2007

An August Blessing

I have noticed that many of my recent poems deal with "transition". The one I will share today was written in the summer (how appropriate) of 2006, shortly after I retired that June. It deals with my struggle to begin a new phase of my life.

An August Blessing

Peeking through the holes I see
Pieces of the sky
Holy trees
Peaceful clouds
Bless me on the way.

Sitting still upon a bench
Surrounded by a kiss
Quiet rest
Gentle breeze
Calm me on the way.

Melting down the grief of June
As anger bids farewell
August heat
August hope
Heal me on the way.

Clinging to my treasured trove
Unwilling to let go
Cluttered home
Heavy heart
Teach me on the way.

Walking with nowhere to go
Watching every step
Precious time
Prayerful feet
Guide me on the way.
copyright E. M. Ramos 10/15/2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Since retiring from my job of 25 years last year, I have been in “transition”, a time of change, darkness and new possibilities. Last week I made a retreat "Embracing Life’s Transitions: God’s Call to Transformation". I remembered other times of transition and how they had shaped me into what I am today. In particular there was the time that the department I headed was dissolved and absorbed into another, without an identity or mission. It was hard. I saw it as a personal failure and felt angry, confused and humiliated. Yet in this painful place I was to be befriended by Sister P., who helped me re-structure our work into Ministry to Seniors, a more effective program that trained hundreds of parish volunteers who reached out to hundreds more homebound persons over the next 15 years. Even more, Sister P. convinced me that one need not be a religious to be called to the spiritual life. And so began an awesome inner journey: retreats, journalling, bio-spiritual focusing – a totally new perspective on how I viewed God and my faith. Such growth!

Transitions are like being in a cocoon, a time of darkness and turmoil, a time for waiting. I am not a patient person so it is very difficult to sit still and wait. But recalling past experiences gives me hope that some day soon I will emerge again into some exciting new form, just like a butterfly. This blog could be the start. 7/5/07

Monday, July 2, 2007

Inner Elder

I am off and running! And that feels great! I want to thank my daughter, Tina for encouraging me to start my own Blog. Beginnings are full of hope, especially when you're older. I see this Blog as an opportunity to share my thoughts, my feelings, my poetry, my experience and my dreams. To keep my computer literate friends up to the minute on my adventures and to meet new people in the exciting world of cyberspace.

Inner Elder is also the title of my self-published books of poetry. My poems best express who I am and I look forward to sharing them.