Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christ Tastes Like Turkey



image borrowed from backtoclassics,com


Christ Tastes Like Turkey

“Give thanks to television, for this is the first time
that the young are seeing history made before before
it is censored by their elders.”--Margaret Mead.

Mid-term elections are over, 
               & Republicans scramble about freely
               gobble-gobbling crap about entitlement,
impeachment, birth certificates, & saber rattling, as
                                religious leaders, the media &
               Madison Avenue put their stamp & spin
right on the tail feathers of blessed Thanksgiving.

               We, the people,
                             are taught, or
                                    have learned that being thankful
                for even the slightest of blessings
is a healthy exercise for our troubled souls; & yet
it is a sad fact that
                too many families, pulled apart
by world events, personal soap operas, or technology
& merchandizing, immorality, dishonesty & ignorance, fail
                to grasp the significance, the brilliance of simply
                     gathering together & giving thanks, 
                     breaking bread at someone’s designated home,
serving steaming pies of humility, foregoing
                                        slices of sarcasm, baskets of bile &
                                        dishes of discord.

Days of fasting then feasting, celebrating thankfulness
were brought to our shores
by our New England forbearers, & every school child
                    knows that around 1621 the Plymouth colonists
                                       sat down with the Wampanoag Indians
                                                       & shared an autumn feast
of venison, swan, squirrel, wild boar, & perhaps
                    a wild turkey or two--there were no functional ovens
                    in  Plymouth, so several fire pits cooked the humble fare.
  There was no sugar left, so the pastries were absent.

If we were to nominate, or consecrate a Saint of Thanksgiving,
surely it would have to be the kind warrior, Squanto,
                    who knew English after being kidnapped 
                                    & sold into slavery in England, who was
                    the one who taught the colonists how
                                       to cultivate corn, & how to extract sap
 from the plentiful maple trees.

When we look to history, as certainly
we should in order to discover & honor our heritage,
                     we find that the Egyptians, Greeks, & Romans always
                     set aside days of thankfulness, in order to pay tribute
                                         to the gods after a harvest, & before them
the Jews had the Harvest Festival of Sukket  

George Washington,
John Adams, &
James Madison                  during their presidencies, also designated
                                           days of thankfulness, but it was old
Abe Lincoln in 1863 who proclaimed that
                                           in order to heal the wounds of a nation
there would be a national Thanksgiving Day held
the last Thursday in November.

Today
my lovely wife & I are alone,               as our children are all attending
                                              gatherings & meals at their in-laws.
We will stay in our pajamas until noon, read,
                                               watch the silly goings-on on television
as we hug quietly, tenderly within the silence, the peace
of understood abandonment; for it is a different scenario
                                     when the five grandchildren congregate
                                at our home, turning it into a boisterous 
                        school play yard, laced with lilting laughter,
                 indignant yelps, angry reprisals, 
& childish demands; all of which will be enjoyed as our family
gathers in our house for Christmas.

As we prepare our simple meal for two,
just a turkey breast, & the potatoes of piety, 
& the green beans & bacon of generosity,
we will still find time to be thankful
                  for each other,
                  for our burgeoning family,
                  for our dear friends,
                  for our faithful pets; keenly aware
as we clearly see the bad weather, discontent, dissent,
crime & hunger that surrounds us, we feel
that our gratitude will be just a tiny atoll of Love
on all the dark seas of salt & pain, for we understand
                  that true thankfulness,
                   like a genuine smile
             is as infectious, 
         as contagious
as ebola.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted on this Thanksgiving Day over at dVerse Poets

Would you like to hear the author read this poem of thankfulness to you?

17 comments:

Claudia said...

ha - true thankfulness is infectious...i love this... i love a thankful heart - even in difficult times - it changes the whole atmosphere... have fun with your grandkids... sounds like there will be quite the party going on in your house... enjoy.. smiles... and happy thanksgiving glenn

Brian Miller said...

well i am glad that you get to spend it together...hey any day you dont have to leave your pajamas is a good day right? oy on the initial commentary in this...kinda scary in fact the reality of that....i like the ironic contrasts, particularly toward the end...it is contageous...though hopefully a bit less deadly....

love the title too...hehe

Björn Rudberg said...

One of the poets tonight was half Apache and said he preferred to celebrate a day of mourning.. Still the small things are excellent to be thankful for. A pajama sounds like a great wear for a feast like that.

Mary said...

Glenn, truly what a wonderful Thanksgiving commentary. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.....from the historical to the personal. How nice that you are preparing a meal for two as you take time to be thankful for all of your blessings. There is so much to be thankful for indeed....and this day gives us reason to reflect. And yes...gratitude CAN be infectious! Happy Thanksgiving, Glenn!

Gabriella said...

Glenn, thank you for the kind words on my blog. I am thankful for your great writes as well as for all the things I learn when I read them. I also appreciate your support and great insights when you comment on my poems or those of others.
It seems that Thanksgiving is a unifying holiday. Something that is very much needed when politicians cannot unite for the good of their country but strive on divisions and hatred.
I hope you enjoyed your quiet time.

Kate Mia said...

A global encompassing tale and truth of Thanksgiving worth taling again..

in all its parts and pieces of peace.. and love of what we do share and cooperate as loving human beings..

instead of separatists...

And i hope your wife and you continue to have a lovely Thanksgiving day..

and the same to all the rest of your lovely family as well..:)

17 leaves said...

As contagious as Ebola. That was hilarious. :)

And this sounds like a pretty blissful day:

"We will stay in our pajamas until noon, read,
watch the silly goings-on on television
as we hug quietly, tenderly within the silence, the peace"

quest4peas said...

Never thought of putting thankfulness and Ebola in the same sentence before... But yes, thankfulness should be contagious!

Ginny Brannan said...

I love the facts shared on the celebration of this holiday, for I have been celebrating for over 5 decades and did not realize that Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had their own celebrations, nor did I know that Abraham Lincoln was the one to set aside and mark the 4th Thursday in November as our day of thanks. (living in MA, am well aware of our pilgrim heritage though). I found this fascinating to read, and well-summed up in your final stanza. We certainly could all use a little more infectious smiles in our lives. Well stated, indeed!

Marina Sofia said...

Nice set of contrasts in this poem - captures well the irony of the celebration - but also hinting at the Harvest Festivals of Thankfulness in other cultures. And what a homely, comforting way to celebrate instead of that overbloated neurotic large gathering with tempers flying.

kaykuala said...

that true thankfulness,
like a genuine smile
is as infectious,
as contagious
as ebola.

Love the ending. It creates a fitting finale!Admire your extent and expanse of casting the net wide in your postings all the time. A measure of a well read mind giving back to readers to savor. The ending is also very contemporary. Thanks for sharing Glenn!

Hank

Kathy Reed said...

I love "steaming pies of humility" and freedom from slavery;" "green beans and bacon of piety"...thanks for a little bit of history mixed with blessings for "today"...hope you two had a warm and cozy Thanksgiving in your jammies..and the Rave dance sounds like a hoot!

Other Mary said...

This is wonderful Glen. From the opening quote to your closing ebola simile, and all the national and personal history and current events in between.

Victoria said...

I like the way you and your wife celebrated and am going to strongly suggest the same to my husband for next year. We are both exhausted. He spent 6 days cooking. I spent 6 days cleaning up after him. And there's still much to do waiting to be tended to. Getting too old for all that. Ha!

Truedessa said...

Thankfulness is infectious if we open our hearts. Sounds like a relaxing day wearing PJ's. I am thankful for the 3 sisters corn, beans and squash for their harvest sustained life for generations to come.

lynndiane said...

Strange title, but I loved the history lesson in this and the wonderful truth that thankfulness is infectious!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I love these lines in particular, because they remind me of doing the same:

We will stay in our pajamas until noon, read,
watch the silly goings-on on television
as we hug quietly, tenderly within the silence, the peace
of understood abandonment;