Archive | Poetry RSS feed for this section

New Poetry Book Available

1 Dec

In 2009 I self-published a collection of poems I wrote while traveling through China and Central America the previous year. My hope was to raise money in order to move to Asia. Plans changed, as they do, but I was happy just for the accomplishment of getting my words out into the world. Years went by and I toyed with the idea of doing another book. Procrastination got the best of me, as always. After all, it is so much easier just to press “publish” on wordpress. Finally, after many life changes, moves, marriage, a baby and another on the way, I published “What the Water Does for My Words.”

It’s interesting to see how my style and voice have developed over the years. Also, how I really still have no idea what I am doing. I am not a poetry expert. Sometimes when I read other poems I think, “my stuff sounds nothing like this.” I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s just me. I’ve found over the years, it’s the one medium I can be completely free. Despite what experts may say, there are no rules. I like that I can feel the freedom to play with words and not worry about being relevant or cheesy. Either it speaks to you or it doesn’t.

I think poetry is one of the most overrated and underrated forms of writing. I say this because it has a bad reputation in modern society of being sappy or cheesy. Like greeting cards or Christian rap. But throughout history it was the language or lovers and warriors alike, an artistic form that surpassed logic and science and went straight for the heart.

I think that’s why I can find my home there.

I have a hard time categorizing poems, I guess that’s the whole organizational thing that doesn’t really come naturally for me. But I attempted in this book to group them into three overlying themes that came out as I read through them:

Earth.

Wind.

Water. 

Many of these poems are about finding peace and contentment in nature. Others explore my frustrations with modern society and myself. Others are more about my struggles with Christianity and my journey from religion into grace.

If you’ve followed my writing at all over the years, I think you will like it. 🙂

Thanks for reading, friends.

book

 

Click here to order the paperback on Amazon.

Advertisements

Doors

1 Nov

they say just walk right through when it’s open

but sometimes the noise is too loud to find your footing

I still dream of that perfect place where the windows are always open

and the outside and inside are one so there are no dark corners

walls are safe and secure and they keep us yearning

even when we want to tear them down

we just keep building them

It’s not a matter of good or evil, it’s what you do within them

they say that the each of us in a house
and what the rooms look like inside represent a soul
but some of us are tents
wandering from country to country
refugees of our own making
never finding home

they say just keep waiting for a door to open
but some of us are builders, bolting locks
others are fighters, kicking them down
in order to let the sunlight in

 

 

doors

 

The Poetry Marathon

13 Aug

Today I participated in The Poetry Marathon. Basically, you sign up and commit to writing a poem every hour for 12 hours (the half marathon) or 24 hours for the full marathon. I decided to do the half marathon because I need my beauty sleep.

I signed up last minute in hopes to kick myself out of the writer’s block I’ve been stuck in. I usually don’t take these things online too seriously, and I proved myself right when I woke up late this morning after staying up late with friends and said “screw it.” It was past the start time and I was feeling too tired and uninspired.

But I really had no plans for the day, so I had breakfast and sat down to write a line or 2. I am glad I did. I am not in love with any of the poems, but it was a great creative exercise. I may even suck it up and do the full 24 hours next year.

So here you go: 12 poems in 12 hours.

FullSizeRender (13)

8 am

The sky is bleeding today
It’s a comfort to say the least
Less I run out of words to say

The idea that I can change the world
Feels old and retired
Feeble and expired

Coddled up next to dreams
Barely holding on by life support
Beside kin argues whether to pull the plug
And I am forced to choose

Do I stay or do I know?
Do I leave it all behind in my mind?
Refuse and waste
Allowing practicality to govern

 

9 am

Before I go down to the river
Lend me your hand
So I can understand how
The way your veins run with blood
And how the water runs over rocks
Are the same

 

10 AM

Lovely.

That’s what you said
As you whispered thoughts that have never come up for air
Drowning in your sentences
New and alive
Words melting icicles
Dripping wet in the sun

Good morning.

That’s what I said
And the newness of the day wrapped around us
A blanket covering our nakedness

 

11 am

Billowing questions of worth
Transcend time and matter
As we walk against the wind
Barely holding ourselves up
How can we get anywhere
When questions like this prevail?
How can we make a dent in the ground
To plant anything worth harvesting?
How can we plan for the future
When we don’t know our own names?
How can we bare children
When all is left barren?
When the storm shouts
Deafening us to any other voices
“You don’t deserve this.”

 

12 pm

Little dove
Don’t worry about your destination
Your wings are strong enough
Despite what you’ve been told
You carry the weight of the universe
In your feathers
Yet the upward motion comes
As easy as the rising sun

Little dove
All will be well
Despite what the news projects
You carry the potential for peace
In your beating heart

Don’t let the world bring you down
You belong in the clouds

 

1 PM

Lately I feel it all
Rushing into me
A house fire blazing
From room to room
Leaving only charred foundations
Caked with soot
And I am left standing
Shivering in the ashes
Grateful for the in and out
Of my lungs
Grieving over what’s lost
With the tiniest certainty
One day I’ll rebuild

 

2 PM

I live for the imagery of travel
The journey and the road
That finds us closer to the sun
Away from the cold, dark forest

I live for the endless roads
Stretched out across vast lands
Of my imagination
Winding mountain passages
Going straight to the heart

Come with me as we drive
Windows down
Air freely moving
Into the soul of these words

 

3 PM

Walk with me
And tell me amazing things
Of how you conquered the world
Inside your own head
Slaying those dark thoughts
With glimpses of light
Beams of grace
Illuminating ghettos
Show me your scars
While telling war stories
Of how you barely lived
To see today
Just so you could walk with me

 

4 PM

I feel a relief sweeping through me
Like knowing summer’s almost over
And soon I’ll be able to be outside
Breathing in air that doesn’t suffocate
Like soon I’ll have a place to rest my head
Away from the chaos I create

 

5 PM

I used to imagine the afterlife
A sparkling city with a dark sky
Literal golden mansions
Where flawless people picked fruit from backyard orchards
And bathed in clear waters
Walking on diamond covered river

Now when I do think of heaven
My mind is blank– there’s no scenery
I only picture the immense feelings
Of loving purely– and being loved
Multiplied by infinity

 

6 PM

I close my eyes and drift to a place
Where I am always happy and at peace
Where I am organized and productive
Where my life is shining and clean
Where my book is a best seller
And I travel the world with my babies
Where every word I say matters
Then I stop
Rewind a bit
Backtrack from an imaginary future
To the past
Where I was a scared little girl
With nothing but dreams
Afraid to speak
And that I’d never be enough
And I know
We’ve come a long way, baby
This is only Part 1
The rest of my story will have plenty of twists

7 PM

I am tired but I am here
I just want to be more than here
I want to be present
Fully alive
Available
Myself
I want to be captured by beauty
And be ok in my own skin
To stop overthinking
And really live
Maybe one day I’ll write about more
But for right now
Every line in my poem
Leads me back to this:
Happiness comes when I am fully awake

 

My Wilderness

21 Jun

we say wilderness like it’s a dirty word

as if purity is something to fear

untouched by society and progress

wild, yes, but necessary

complicated, yes, but simple

a dangerous beauty to embrace

and yet we are terrified by:

cold, heat, hunger, weakness, work

the very things that make us

fantastically alive

yet we want it easy

even when it’s poison

we don’t want to admit

our comfort is killing us

but it’s so convenient

we say, eyes glazed over

unsure of where anything originated

even ourselves

I’ll tell you:

we came out of a garden

ripe like a vegetable

covered in earth

and every emotion

ready for sustenance

drinking, eating, toiling, laughing

mourning our losses

getting up with the sun

to start all over again

but for many of us

this is only stories

images, visions, words

a longing and a loathing

fantasies of self-reliance

returning to our roots

only to find they’ve been pulled out

a herb garden on a windowsill

surrounded by plastic and steel

miles from where we came from

unsure of what it means to live anywhere

we say wilderness like it’s a pretty word

hip and nostalgic

forgetting animal instinct

the harsh reality of nature

the bloody struggle of survival

but leave me here awhile

and I’ll stay alive

by grace and my own hands

I’ll make something grow

a wild flower

inside my own wilderness

2DAFOLO5B7

Translating the Wind

11 Jun

somewhere between where I was and where I am going,

I reside

abandoning all other options

careless to the chaos of choice

the noise ceases and I am still

Oh restless heart, make peace with yourself

a decade ago I wandered from city to small town

overwhelmed by the meaning

in every place, person, and moment

every noun was a sign

nothing my senses experienced was an accident

I wrote like it was the only way I could see where I was going

and even though it tortured me

I knew I could exist in the moment

I knew Purpose

like sun and rain and soil

and it didn’t matter

that I only had if half-right

that I was cowering to fear

rowing against the waves

to an island I could never land on

Oh restless heart, stop for a moment and rest

at last the illusion broke

I screamed in a hotel room in China

I hated what my beliefs had made me

while loving grace for the lies it exposed

I fell apart and came together

I stood on a bridge far above snow covered streets

and knew impossible was nothing

a remaking of self

a transition from winter to spring

I guess I am not done yet

uprooting, planting, blooming

the layers that ultimately become my being

and I’ll keep going

wondering, wandering and questioning

even if I stay still

the Wind speaks and I can finally translate:

Oh restless heart, this is your home

FullSizeRender (8)

What the Water Does For My Words

19 May

I don’t know why I get to this place

away from the joy I used to know

almost afraid to count my blessings

nearly afraid to hope

it’s been a long road

towards home

wet and muddy

close to flooding

I usually feel something different in the rain

It’s always been my soul cleanse of choice

(and my cliche poem topic, too)

I’d stop and see

what the water does for my words

how it rinses the dust in my heart

and carries away old, dead thinking

now it’s just some kind of shivering, wet gibberish

trying to build a bridge

in the gap of thoughts

as water rushes in

I wish it were profound and real

but right now, it’s just me

empty and full again

washed and cold and waiting for the sun

stuck in-between the truth I know will set me free

and wishing for anywhere, anything else

all the potential in the world wrapped up in a feeling

fickle as spring weather in Texas

then I close my eyes and  I am a child

tracing raindrops with my finger as they race

down the outside of the car window

 I am going fast and it doesn’t matter where

I am alive

once again finding wonder

in puddle jumping

and the sensation

of the rain on my skin

RS47U87JM0

Triggers

12 May

here’s what triggers me:

a soft feeling beneath a cynical view

that today matters

that there is worth in unexpected moments

that greener grass is here, now

I want to take a breath and mean it

like when time stopped and every inhale and exhale

meant bringing a child into the world

a labor of pure love

I want to work like that until my heart is filled again

to fix my eyes on letters

and forget all the numbers

filling my head

peace is not a catchphrase

contentment is not a buzzword

I want them to be the structure which holds

this body together

which binds my skin and keeps all my insides, in

that which infinitely embraces my soul

and keeps me well

that whispers inside my spirit

You don’t have to live like this 

on dark days

I am not sure where to go from here

only that every step matters

like every cell and atom

like rest and color

like music and warmth

like today

this is what triggers me:

a cascade of bright memories

a dull black and white fear

an anticipation of hope

swirling in the sky as one

H6GBR9GWPH.jpg

Sparrows and Eagles

10 Apr

bird

I’ve got to get off the ground somehow
If the wind would only create enough lift
For this tattered thinking
Facing destruction
I need a resurrection

I am tired of these rocks in my shoes
Broken views
Hardened by a misuse
Of my mind
Always looking for things I can’t find

But you
You said wait and you’ll renew
My strength
My ability to see
You’ll heighten my view

I am tortured and plagued by this feeling of dread
I’ll never be there
I’ll never be her

But you
You feed all the small birds
And count every missing feather
You know when the snow makes them shiver
How far they roam
Every stick that makes up the nest
They call home
How much more

When I can’t take one more step
When I feel shriveled and used up
When I don’t know what I believe anymore
I am knocked to the floor
Breath gone
Fear seems like it won
My heart feels like rocks
And my chest caves in
And as stones crumble
Light seeps through an open door
How much more

My daughter laughs
And it’s like a crack in heaven’s door
Like love burst forth
A breaking dam
Overflowing, powering cities with joy
How much more

A hand stretched out
Offers bread, a smile, a cup of wine, a song
Conversation that makes you feel you belong
Warmth, connection, pure affection
How much more

Love is here
Complete light
Total hope
Unending flights

I wait
I soar

Finding Myself In The Story

6 Dec

Sometimes I’d like to get lost in a crowd

Let the energy swell around me

Until I don’t feel separate

But a small part of a whole entity

I am tired of myself

Everything feels so personal

So internal

So stressful

So petty

I used to see the world differently

And I want to go back to that place

Back to the realization that nothing matters

But my unique contribution

But love

Like every step has meaning

Like no word is lost

Like I know everything matters

Like I can really change things

Change the world

Yes, change myself first

Yes, raise a family too

But what about that BIG thing?

What about my HARD thing that I must do?

What about pouring myself out

and out,

and out again

Once, a long time ago,

A teenage girl sat in her room alone and promised God and herself

Everything would be different

That no day would be wasted

That purpose would seep out of every pore

That she would be single-minded to the point of recklessness

Now she’s tired and feeling 30

And she buries her head in her hands

And thinks of all that’s lost

Then realizes nothing is

Because I don’t have to move mountains

All at once

Only a stone at a time

My promises don’t matter as much

As what’s been promised to me

I can change things

Brick by brick

Bird by bird

Word by word

I can change myself

(I have to believe what I am doing matters. I have to give this everything. I have to become someone else. I have to be me. I have to get lost in the story. I have to find myself there.)

So here I go…

Photo 315

The Slow Days are the Hardest

13 Sep

Sometimes it’s the slow days that are the hardest
When we go go go we aren’t forced to face ourselves
All the raging inside becomes mute in the busy

When we’re moving forward
We can look out the window at the landscape
Even if it’s stark
The motion of the road
Stirs our imaginations
A circus act appears
And anything can happen

There’s infinite possibility in the chaos

Photo Credit: Chris Campbell via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Chris Campbell via Compfight cc

But when we’re standing still
The future seems so small
Our insides so enormous
Like the stretch of our emotions is pulling us apart
And we don’t know how to move anymore

So we cast the blame
Dreaming of glory days of motion
Even if they were full of terror
We only remember going somewhere

Sometimes the still days are the meanest
When everything collides inside
And we can no longer hide from ourselves

%d bloggers like this: