Motivate—Life’s Curse

Life goes, clicking along, time slipping, easy until
falling
scrambling,
clattering,
broken

LOST
lost, Lord, I’m lost

fears,
tears,
searches,
questions

Solutions, ideas, suggestions, all well-meaning
clutter,
frustrate,
choke

Makes me scream silent
cling,
slip,
cling,
slip,

again

again

again

 

This was written in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt:  Motivate. It’s rather ironic that I struggled deeply with this week’s prompt. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing.

I pretty much destroyed all the rules this week.

This is the result of my fourth go at this prompt. I still hate it…and, in addition, I’m still in the quagmire of plot problems and writer’s block for a novel starring Sam and his wife Charlotte (you met them in short stories here and here).

I know all the suggestions, all the tricks, but every time I throw myself at this, it shatters at my feet.

But I sit behind the computer and cling to what I know and have a go again…

I’m learning that questioning yourself, your faith, your work, isn’t always a bad thing.

As scary as doubt is, it is often the doorway to new, unseen discoveries. Tweet This

How about you? Where are you struggling to motivate yourself?

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Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective

Excuse (ik-koos) Defined

Something my girl uses to explain away—
Abandoned dirty dishes dripping in goo,
Forgotten homework completed but not turned in,
Shoes cast off in haste where everyone walks.

Excuse (ik-kooz) Defined

Grace given to cover— Continue reading “Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective”

The Water Droplet: A Poem

I hang suspended
.          Stretching away from my design
.          Wrapped tight within myself—my natural tendency
.          Clear shimmering, promising help
.          But void.

Until
.          My neighbor slips down
.          Bumping my tight skin, breaking the meniscus,
.          Binding with me, pulling, stretching

And we dance to the ground.
Splash, jumping with the others
Filter through the dirt
Nourishing, becoming.

 

_________________________

This poem is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Neighbor. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). And yes, I know it isn’t Friday anymore. I was up enjoying Lake Michigan and my family and purposefully left my laptop at home. But I did take pics. If you’d like to see some, head over to my Instagram account.

Like the little water droplet in the poem, I so often fight joining with other folks. But when I do allow myself, I find a whole new purpose.

So this fall I’m back to leading a neighborhood study and hanging with my writer’s group. But I’m also presenting at two writer’s conferences and volunteering downtown at a fabulous outreach that uses art to reach the homeless population. I’m nervous and excited as I dance into this new season. Hoping to be nourishment to my fellow neighbors.

How about you? What are you tackling this season?

 

The post pic is mine.

Black: A Poem About Hiding

It’s National poetry month, and I’ve resisted posting any of my poetry mostly because I’m don’t consider myself a poet. But as I reread this poem, it opened my eyes to a path I was tempted to walk again…this week. Even as I head into surgery in a few days.

Some explanation is in order, but I’ll be brief. This poem is a part a series based in colors. I pushed off saved the colors black & white until I’d done a host of others. Knowing myself, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, when the two starkest colors produced dark poems (Seriously. Who writes a dark poem about the color white?!). But I am surprised at how easily I fall into the habit illustrated here:

Black: A Poem about Hiding

Warm. Safe. Contained.
.      In the dark corner
.             I can’t see them,
.                   hear them,
.                          think about them,
.                               or deal, cope, hope.
.                                    I am mine
.                                                               Alone.
.                                    Narrow band of light
.                               from them
.                          peaks through,
.                    reaching.
.              Golden in promise,
.        deadly in delivery.

But I’m hidden
behind folds and corners.
Breathing darkness
the warmth of my own breath.
Hidden
Alone.

 

This poem’s sentiment is something I adopted as a kid and fight against as an adult—hiding from people. But I’m beginning to learn:

People aren’t always safe, but I miss something when I hide my true self. Tweet This

As I’m headed into surgery later this week, the desire to go into hiding is strong. I want to pretend it’s all okay, that I’ve got it all together. I’ve even cracked jokes and then went home and cried.

I promised myself I would be honest here. So I’ll say that putting myself out there has  been a successful experiment in some regards. The light from the other room fulfilling its golden promise. I found folks stepping up to help that I did not expect.

But boy, did it ever confirm what I’ve suspected in other places. And it hurts…and makes me want to find the nearest closet.

Here’s the thing I’m learning. Folks don’t know what they don’t know. We’re all hanging around in life—heads down; doing what we need to do. Those folks I expected to be there, they’ve got stuff. Just like I’ve got stuff. And you’ve got stuff.

And sometimes the stuff just gets all up in the way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty (if not more so) than anyone else. I’m truly not blaming them.

But it’s still there:

The desire to hide is all mixed up in hurt and hope.

So what’s a girl to do?

At the moment, my stuff (surgery prep and eventually post-surgery pain meds) prevents me from driving; lifting more than 10 pound; and doing, writing, or saying anything coherent. But part of coming out of the darkness is opening the door to the light of another’s presence.

So here’s my door open wide. Hoping the light will move from me to you. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Waves of Light

Pink waves roll over the dark sky,
Building, crashing into brilliant light—
Smashing into the night sky,
Shattering the darkness.

Some days I welcome the coming of morning. It’s a fresh new day ready for good things. But other days—perhaps when I’ve been in the darkness, the depths of hurt or confusion just a moment too long—the light blinds and hurts. Continue reading “Waves of Light”

A Few Weeks ‘Til Christmas—A Gift for the Weary

Weary‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas. Not a creature was stirring, except for the mother. There were clothes to be folded, parties to plan, stores to be shopped for 52 people, plus the school bus driver and kind widow next door.

Though the world was all nestled knee-deep in the snow, nightmarish to-do lists danced ’round in my head.

My pillow, cold and lonely, was waiting for my long winter’s nap, but there was, quite simply, no rest to be found.

Deprived of sleep, my brain went all wonky, my temper was shrinking, while my waistline expanded, and I’m dead certain it was torture.

Cookies to bake, but my brain’s on log sawing. Was that one cup or two? One and a half will do.

I’m waiting for St. Nick to pop from the chimney all jolly and droll. But I’m afraid he’s not coming and I’m all on my own.

I may have to rethink the ban on his shelf elf’s patrol…if only it means he’ll help fill the stockings.

I can’t keep my eyes open.

My head falls to the counter with a jerk. And I turn with a lurch, while laying fingers aside my noggin, I fall into my bed, eyes closed in an instant.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

May you find a smidgen of peace…
and perhaps a nice nap.

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When You’re Standing at a Crossroad

crossroadI’m standing at a crossroad. A place where I’m trying to make choices. Responsible choices. I’ve too much going on and I want to simplify. But then I’m confronted with brokenness, and I ache to help—to do something tangible. Sound familiar?

I suspect some of you are with me in the struggle. Often I find that I only see one step ahead, but strangely others can see more clearly than I. Perhaps, just maybe, together we can work out the next step.

As I struggle through decisions—what’s best as a mom, a writer, a wife. I’m called to be purposeful; to demand a higher level for myself; to be a clarion call of beauty, goodness, and truth—I started processing through the written word. I am, after all, a writer! What came out was the poem below.

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe*

Continue reading “When You’re Standing at a Crossroad”

Smooth as Buttercream

There’s Something About Texture

Texture

My boy’s tiny fingers twisted
Through silky dark threads
Knotted, bumpy woven into
Comforting texture.

Enormous flower heads
Delicate as Queen Anne’s lace,
Bobbing approval above narrow cattails
Or dancing radiant under evergreen boughs.

Round, smooth-as-silk berries
Coated intense red,
Tucked safe into thousands of tiny leaves,
And stretched over the rippling water.

Paint trailing under a brush
Light space and dark, starts and stops,
Hiccupping thick layers to mimic reality,

Leaves breathing like velvety buttercream atop
The cricket chirp lays down the ratcheting, rhythm
And a bird’s sharp call jive
Cutting through it all.

Summer Blue–A Poem

Summer Blue

Summer break is still new enough that we haven’t done too much complaining of boredom . . . yet. It’s open and we can sleep in and just breathe for a second. Paint, throw water balloons, read, . . . and go to the beach. Can’t forget the beach, where the sky breathes into the water, which slides into sand.

This unique place is one of our favorite destinations. If you’ve never made it to our neck of the woods, we have, arguably the best beaches in the world. Seriously Western Michigan’s white sandy, fresh water “ocean” coastline has often found it’s way into top mentions right alongside Hawaii, Florida, and the rest. So in honor of Lake Michigan, I give you:

Summer Blue

Continue reading “Summer Blue–A Poem”

Ode to Coffee

coffee
I lift my green mug high and salute all the parents armed against their brood with coffee, the secret weapon of our tribe. May your day be blessed…

Dearest Coffee you have such a lovely effect
When I once was falling asleep,
Your luscious caffeine wakes me up,
Or it may be the many trips to the bathroom you cause me to make.
But it doesn’t matter.
I am awake.

Your lovely smell entices me.
How is it that you do not taste
anything like you smell?
The acidic brew eats at my stomach.
But it doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Ode to Coffee”