Even when I’m just spending my spring vacation on the northwest side of Chicago, and nowhere exotic like Trout Island, MI, the break from regular work helps me be aware that the “Kingdom of God is near.”

The kingdom at hand

I’ve been celebrating National Poetry Month this April by posting poems each day on Facebook. My list is at the end of this post. I also just finished teaching a poetry unit to my sophomores. In addition, this morning I checked in with the Steinmetz Star poetry contest. (Yea! My favorites were the student judges’ top picks, too.)

So, yeah, I decided to write a poem today.

The Kingdom is at Hand

In the midst of my
email answering
Facebook liking
laundry doing
food prepping
floor sweeping
counter wiping
items placing
dog walking
children waking
husband serving
leg shaving
problem solving
I decided I wanted to write a poem.

I had read some words:
“The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
And, yes,
in this daylight — delight
maybe because chores on vacation
just feel like fun.

Now, I noticed,
I know –
I am in the kingdom
with God’s creatures
tending his creation.

And it is good.•

April 2017 Sharon Schmidt #NationalPoetryMonth selections

From “Paterson” by William Carlos Williams
  1. William Carlos Williams, excerpt from Patterson
  2. Gwendolyn Brooks, God is a Gorilla
  3. T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
  4. William Bulter Yeats, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  5. Emily Dickinson, Wild Nights
  6. e. e. cummings, yes is a pleasant country
  7. Gwendolyn Brooks, Speech to the Young Speech to the Progress-Toward
  8. Job (when the Lord speaks), Chapter 38–40
  9. Mary Oliver, When death comes
  10. Stephen Dobyns, How to Like it
  11. Maya Angelou, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
  12. Lucille Clifton, Let There Be New Flowering
  13. Emily Dickinson, It Was Given to Me by the Gods
  14. William Butler Yeats, The Lake Isle at Innisfree
  15. Langston Hughes, Dream Variations
  16. Psalm 16
  17. Bob Dylan, Highlands
  18. Stephen Crane, In the Desert
  19. Rita Dove, Flash Cards
  20. Rudyard Kipling, Seal Lullaby
  21. David Unger, The Girl in the Treehouse
  22. Frank O’Hara, A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island
  23. Elizabeth Bishop, One Art
  24. Richard Armour, Money
  25. Eve Merriam, Metaphor
  26. Robert Louis Stevenson, Happy Thought
  27. May Swenson, Analysis of Baseball
  28. Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Keep A Poem In Your Pocket
  29. Claude McKay, If We Must Die
  30. Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay