Poetry | May 3, 2023

Abecedarian Aphorisms

Handpainted tiles with letters from the alphabet
Photo by Surendran MP on unsplash.com

All God’s critters have a place in the choir—even those who sing off key.

Being a good listener means to hold one’s own problems in check for a while.

Creativity and imagination are reflections of what is divine in us.

Do unto others what they hope you will do for them—as long as it is a loving act.

Even if we cannot change all for the better, taking small steps in that direction is important.

Forgetting names is embarrassing, but forgetting injuries is a blessing.

Great ideas will come to naught unless we spread them.

Humbleness is good as long as it doesn’t keep us from speaking truth to power.

I will try to learn from others in each encounter.

Jokes can cause both pain and healthy laughter; so we must choose wisely.

Kindred souls are soothing spirits in times of loneliness.

Love makes us hold others in God’s light.

Mindfulness allows us to enjoy the only moment we are truly alive.

No creature has ever been as cruel as humans.

Often our darkest hours give way to light like winter yields to spring.

Poetry challenges us to  look at our surroundings and each other in new ways.

Questions are the ground for learning, opening windows to the world.

Remember hands that touched you with love.

So much remains to be done—but we don’t have to do it alone.

The best way to rectify a mistake is to recognize it, apologize, and try again.

Understanding requires patience, diligence, and a willingness to learn.

Violence destroys souls. We must uproot it first in ourselves, then in the wider world.

Why, for me, is the most important question.  It leaves room for multiple answers.

X is useful to mark a questionnaire, play Tic-Tac-Toe, and define a generation.

You never know how much time is left to live.  Make the best of it.

Zoom in toward wholeness and connection; zoom out of apathy.

Ingrid Rogers, Emerita Professor of Manchester University and former pastor of the Akron, Indiana, congregation, is a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren. Her books include Recollections of East Germany, Glimpses of China, and Exploring Theopoetics.