Senior woman eating an ice-cream

An Ode to Joy

I recently attended Riverstone arts gathering in Upper Plenty, where I got in touch with my inner poet. I haven’t written poetry in a long time, and after feeling slightly stumped on a Sunday morning, I felt called to write about joy. What came back to me was the verse: “Rejoice in the Lord Always, and again I say, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Joy is –

the sound of a fart in a quietened room, when a serious man is on stage about to say serious things.

the slurp of a rainbow flavoured ice cream melting down your chin in thirty degree heat as you avidly try to eat it before it melts through the chomped off chocolate bottom of the cone.

the special sunsets and sunrises that belong to you and no one else; it is dappled lights on oak trees and purple cocktail sunsets over Thai beaches. It is Michelangelo skies, clouds so brilliant they must have been painted.

Joy is –

the satisfaction of returning from a long hike, bruised, dirty and blistered and walking into McDonalds in your pajamas, not caring what you look like and ordering a thirty cent cone.

seeing a cockatoo confront a murder of crows, the yellow spike and white feathers swooping into a swarm of black.

the inadvertent smile you cannot hold back when people say naughty words and like Homer Simpson you cannot but grin.

Joy is the simplicity of stupidity, where we check our intellects at the door and simply laugh at small things – the dog scratching its balls in front of an important guest – the juxtaposition of the banal and the ridiculous.

Joy is seeing a loved one become the one that you have always loved.

the bittersweet ending of a book which made you cry, because you learnt something and there is joy in painful learning.

Joy is the shout of a thousand Christmas carols sung by out-of-key choirs with enthusiasm.

Joy is –

in pain

in celebration

in the cragged teeth of your grandfather the week before he dies

in the unqualified actions of a child who knows no better and should never know better

it is in the sounding of the bells before church

and the breath before a man speaks

it is in the anticipation of things

the wake up at three A.M. because you’re getting presents on your birthday

Joy is –


beautiful &


and it is always.