Being Grateful for What I Can Be Grateful For

by on September 14, 2020 · 7 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

I remember when
my grandfather
would talk to me
during those times
when the world’s
troubles and woes,
the likes of
extreme poverty
the fear of A-bombs
and Jim Crow
were keeping everybody
on their toes,
he’d say,
“No matter
how life was going,
you need to know
we’d best
be grateful
for anything|
we can be grateful for” so

I’m grateful,
especially as I age,
for the simplest
of life’s delights,
like this
really nice play
I saw on TNT
the other night,
a no-look pass
leading to
a nice shot off the glass,
a thing of beauty
to see.
Had me yelling “Whoo”
to my big screen TV.
So grateful to, still,
in my autumn years,
feel such
joyful energy;
to still
not want to
put down a novel
that’s full of
clever twists and turns
and mysteries
that take your mind
and that-away
to an array
of places you’ve very likely
never been;
to still
get lost

in the grip
of a breathtaking
movie or a play
or enjoy a hike
in the woods
on a not too hot
sunny day
or a trip
to some distant place
that carries
your worries away
as you try to get a sense
of another culture
in some way,
creating memories of a lifetime
each day of your stay.
I feel grateful

every time I find
humor in a joke,
every time
I sit with a friend
for a toke,
every time
someone says to me
“I like what you wrote,”
every time
I hear Andra Day
play artistically with a note
with all her
sweet nuances
and lush hues,
every time
I close my eyes listening
and grooving to
Miles Davis’s
“Bitches Brew”
or Pavarotti
singing with another
tenor or two,
every time
Maceo Parker
gets me up on my feet
to a funky beat
“shaking everything I’ve got”
even when I don’t want to.

And, right now,
with the world
suffering in fear for its life,
I’m grateful,
very grateful,
for all the young people
out on our streets
keeping hope alive
while I’m still alive.

When it comes to gratefulness,
I think my grandfather was right.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Jack Hammer September 14, 2020 at 3:15 pm

I like what you wrote.


Frank Gormlie September 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm

Dr. Jack – mi amigo – I’ve lost your personal email. Could you sent to


Joni Halpern September 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

Ernie, thanks for reminding us of what is really important.


Vi Mooberry September 19, 2020 at 10:29 am

What beautiful words, Ernie! I always admire your poetry, but I have not read it as of late. You captured my thoughts exactly in every detail. I am very grateful to make contact again. See you in The Lighthouse!


Candice Carter September 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm

I am grateful for your insights and skills with helping youth recognize their roles in the pursuit of peace, as well as your artistic talent.


jmw September 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm

I think your grandfather was right and I like what you write.


Linda Webb September 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm

I can add one more thing to my grateful list – that you have been a part of my life for over 40 years. We miss you in the ‘hood.


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