Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Poet Laureate of Prince George’s County


Hello Poetry Family and Friends,
I pray you are all safe and well.  I continue to strive to create poems that uplift and encourage during this time of social distancing and quarantine, this time of COVID-19.  This time, the month of April, is also National Poetry Month.  While my goal is to share messages that uplift, I’ve had to settle for sharing my feelings, which are less than uplifting, about our current reality.  Despite their melancholy tone, the poems ultimately point to faith as my anchor.  This the best I am currently able to offer.  Suffice it to say, through writing these and other poems, I am finding a sense of release.  I can’t really call it peace, but there is the satisfaction of believing that I am creating something that I pray has value.  My latest effort, titled “Kitchen Window” is provided below. 
Also, I’m not certain that I previously shared with you the latest version of my earlier poem, “Somehow.”  I’ve included it below as well.  This poem is also now posted on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sistah.alford and will soon be included among those poems I’ve decided to post on my web site, https://sistahjoy.com/.   As always, feedback is welcome.
Kitchen Window
© 4/19/2020, J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews
Standing here
the world looks bright.
Squirrels still scamper
and robins hop
amid my freshly cut lawn.
A lone but lovely lilac bush
and soon-to-bloom forsythia
soothe my spirit.

All seems right with the world
through this window,
for countless have been the tranquil hours
we have shared.  She has been my respite,
affording me moments of peace and
serenity amid life’s tumultuous storms,
shielding me, albeit momentarily,
from some of life’s harshest realities.
Her gently framed view of the world
provides, even now, a pastoral view
that is sacred to my soul.

I come to this sacred space
knowing it has been given to me
for times such as this
when reality overwhelms
and would deny that beauty still exists—
Hers is a space where even washing a dish
can return calm and control to my life
banishing such blight as disease and pandemics,
signals that the ravages of devastation and loss
linger so very close by

© 4/17/2020, J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford

Despite the foreboding reality of now
I want to, somehow, find and share
light that will illuminate,
not just my journey
but that of so many
who, like me, are lost
in the darkness of the day.
I plead, beg God to use me
to bring a word of hope
to overshadow despair
with faith and belief
which for far too many
have become faded memories.

His Word echoes like thunder,
flashes like lightning inside my soul
as tears flood my face.
I choke sobbing, praying, trying
through blinding, stinging tears
to somehow find my way past the pain.
His Word was simple. “Hold on
to all I have taught you
for you are not alone.”

Through throbbing pain
my head reels and my heart breaks
as I read the soaring body count
while trying to hold on.
I know my tears are not the answer
but they won’t stop. 
I know His Word is and will always be
all that is needed, ever.
So I hold on and pray
even through blinding stinging tears,
despite disease, death and despair,       
believing there will be a tomorrow
that allows the victory of life, somehow.     

J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford,
Prince George’s County Poet Laureate
This entry was posted in Education, Local News, Prince George's County News. Bookmark the permalink.

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