The Daily Post photo challenge this week is Admiration.  Karl took this photo of my still life arrangement with a card created by Charles A. Waugaman, editor for Time Of Singing when I began with the journal some time ago.

CharlesCard 003

My photos of the peonies are for my parents.  They had pink, red, and white peonies in their yard.


This photo is from my garden journal last year.


This is a new photo of the peonies and daylilies growing again this year.


I admire the resilience of perennials.  New growth through old leaves is an image of endless inspiration.  Previous owners planted the primroses.

Prayers of gratitude,
Ellen Grace Olinger

Psalm 23

The Daily Post prompt yesterday was Finite Creatures.  When did I realize we are mortal?  I think on some level I always knew.  My mother’s mother died a year before I was born, to the day.  Mom always remembered her mother on my birthday.  She baked a cake too.  Her father also died before I was born.

My parents spoke of everyone, and my memories include these conversations.  My father’s father died when I was in elementary school.  His mother died in 1973.  I also remember Bible stories.  My mother lived to be in her 80s, and she truly did not expect a long life.  She had lost many people, including my dad when she was in her 60s.  She loved literature and often quoted from novels and poetry.  I miss our conversations.  We shall meet again.

praying the Psalms . . .
other times and places
cross my mind
and I am blessed
by God’s love
and care
once again

Psalm 23 (KJV)
A Psalm of David

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

WordPress prompt – how we wish others to remember us

The prompt today is Don’t You Forget About Me.

I have thought about this question, though I would not claim a “legacy.”  Karl knows that if I am called Home first, I want my blogs to stay online.  Blogs are a wonderful way of organizing our work.  If there is some growth over these past years, perhaps that will encourage someone else.  I also have a bookcase from my father, where I keep the print books and journals that have published my poetry.

My parents, Harold and Enola Borgh, gave me their legacy of unconditional love and faith.

* * *

My cousin Paul F. Brandt died at a younger age than I am now.  His land is the Paul Brandt School Forest.

I wrote this poem for Paul and the family.  It was published in Time Of Singing (Fall 2008).

For Paul F. Brandt

Another death
a sudden death
this autumn of
winter in October.

Condolences pour in
your service strengthens
and your body is laid to rest
in beloved Wisconsin land.

Now the grief begins
and how else could it be?

Surely a few people
will remain with us
in our loving sorrow
like the golden leaves
left on the tree
outside my window
that will turn green again . . .

Ellen Grace Olinger

* * *

CharlesCard 003

The card is a watercolor painting and gift
from Charles A. Waugaman (1932 – 2010).
He lived in Vermont, USA.
All Rights Reserved.

Still Life Arrangement by Ellen.

Photo by Karl.

Easter Dinner


The background is red
Her hair has become silver
And her dress is rust.
Her smile these days is pure gold
And her eyes sparkle anew.

* * *

This poem was published first in Time Of Singing, years ago.  It was written for my mother, after my father’s passing.  I included this poem in my first chapbook, And So My Soul, which was illustrated by Charles A. Waugaman (2001, Elin Grace Publishing).

Yesterday, I was happy to see that And So My Soul is included in the Haiku Bibliography, edited by Charles Trumbull, at The Haiku Foundation.  My book includes a few haiku.

Quiet Christmas Poetry (2014, Elin Grace Publishing) is my second chapbook.

It is good sometimes to reflect upon the mystery of time and how projects vary in their individual journeys.

My parents, Harold and Enola Borgh, were both teachers, and they volunteered as teachers after they retired.  They would be happy to know of my volunteer work in education at The Haiku Foundation.


Ellen Grace Olinger

For Dad, On Veterans Day

My father wrote me many letters.  He could make everyday life come alive.  After he died in 1983, my love for him transferred to my mother, and then her care. I felt him near.

They were both teachers and then volunteered as teachers when retired.

After Mom died in 2004, I found I needed to grieve for him again too.  Once he said to me, Everything will be all right in the end.   When I think of Harold and Enola, I think of unconditional love, service, and deep faith.

I am about 30 years older than he was when he served in World War II.  It is not possible to find the words to say what is in my heart.  But always good to try.

Blessings to you and your loved ones.  Your memories and hopes and dreams.