January 28, 2021

A Thanksgiving Sonnet


A Thanksgiving Sonnet

When in these dark’ning days the world goes bare
And gray the sky above and brown beneath
When I awake to frosty silver morns
Break out my woolen coat and cross the heath
All life seems to have fled and left behind
A scene bereft of color’s warm embrace
Through breath’s cold haze and woodsmoke’s tang I step
And twist and squint and guard my naked face
Though colorless and chill may be this morn
Though darkness deepens, short’ning days anon
Though limbs strain starkly, vainly to the clouds
Though death reigns and all to this place must come
I bow my head in thanks defiantly
And dream about the spring inside each tree


  1. This site is among the blessings I count. I try to visit everyday to read and learn. I’m thankful for CM’s posts and the varied comments. You all challenge my thinking and expand my understanding of our great God and the majesty of the Gospel. May you enjoy and celebrate God’s abundant blessings this day.

  2. A beautiful poem, Mike. One more facet of your writing talent reveals itself! Thank you.

  3. Iambic pentameter rules!

    Thank you, Chaplain Mike, for bright’ning my day with the hopeful message of this lovely poem.

  4. Thanks, CM, for this beautiful poem, and for all the work you do to make iMonk an enriching daily presence in my life, and the lives of everyone in the iMonk online community. God bless you, and God bless all, this Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year.

  5. Just the two of us
    my wife and myself

    No children
    no brothers and sisters
    no parents or cousins

    No gathering of
    family and friends
    from distant places

    Just the two of us
    and our sweet cat
    with most of the trimmings
    and the quiet day ahead

    Thank you, O Giver of life,
    for these
    Thank you, Lord,
    for these gifts beyond measure

  6. Beautiful sonnet, Chaplain MIKE . . . thank you for sharing this gem

    A good thanksgiving day to all here . . . God Bless!

  7. Lovely!

  8. words from the ‘Nishmat’, A Hebrew hymn from ancient times:
    “Nishmat (‘The breath of’), is the opening phrase of an ancient hymn, after which the hymn itself is called. The hymn begins with ‘The breath of every living thing . . . ‘ and concludes with a thanksgiving for God’s mercies expressed in typical oriental hyperbole:

    ‘The breath of every living being shall bless Thy Name, O Lord our God, and the spirit of all flesh shall ever extol and exalt Thy fame, O our King,’ . . . . .

    . . . . ‘Were our mouths full of song as the sea,
    and our tongues of exultation as the multitude of its waves,
    and our lips of praise as the wide extended skies;

    were our eyes shining with light like the sun and the moon,

    and our hands were spread forth like the eagles of the air,
    and our feet were swift as the wild deer;

    we should still be unable to thank Thee and to bless Thy Name, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, for one-thousandth or one ten-thousandth part of the bounties which Thou hast bestowed upon our fathers and upon us.’

  9. Cleaning the Brussels sprouts
    Cutting away the hard ends
    and the dark spots
    Getting them ready
    for the feast

    A time for meditation
    An occupation of Angels

  10. Nicely done, CM.

    Your challenge next year: write a Thanksgiving villanelle!

  11. Beautiful sonnet, Mike!

  12. Thank you, Mike. Wonderful words!

Speak Your Mind