Jul 29, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Poem

"December Invocations" by Ellie Bates

A Sunday Afternoon Poem


lady of Guadalupe 
a woman clothed with the sun 
moon under her feet 
twelve stars crown her head

protector, virgin 
guard Latino homelands 
lead us to justice and peace 
today everyday everywhere

Lucia, martyr, pure 
your day celebrates light 
like the candles you carried 
in dark underground tunnels

to find your way 
to feed prisoners 
to give hope 
to survive adversity

Kali, adorned with plumes 
help us to be 
the always hopeful 
gardeners of the spirit

who know that without darkness 
nothing comes to birth 
as without light 
nothing flowers

Eleanor, from Helen 
helios, sun, bright one 
at Troy, empress, 
mother of Constantine

later a saint 
today a namesake 
can I be so radiant 
bringing light to lift spirits

without a crown of twelve 
stars balsam candle wreath 
feathered loincloth and scimitar 
armored shield and sword

I invoke lady, saint, goddess, empress

for courage 
to walk with you 
in the just path 
of peace


Ellie Bates, is the former chair of the island writing committee, and K-4 Reading Coordinator of the Edgartown School. She has taught writing for over 30 years. Her essays and poetry have been published in Refocus, the Vineyard educational journal; The Boston Writing Project NewslettersVineyard Poets, an Anthology, and Martha's Vineyard Writing. She has edited, The Collected Works of the Howes House Writers, and continues to write with them and the Cleaveland House Poets. She is proud of her association with the MV Poetry Society; the MV Museum; Featherstone Center for the Arts; The Martha's Vineyard Center for Living, and the Friends of the Edgartown Public Library.  


About this column: This Sunday Afternoon Poem is provided by the Martha's Vineyard Poetry Society (MVPS). With almost 200 members, MVPS is the island's largest poetry society. MVPS is responsible for nominating and selecting our island's Martha's Vineyard Poet Laureate.

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