Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 30 - Crescent Moon Rising

Today is the last day of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, and the prompt is appropriately to write a calling it a day poem. There are lots of ways to look at endings. I'm one of those people who always look for the new beginning waiting behind the ending - well, at least eventually. I thought about endings and clocks and calendars. I thought about the sun and the moon. I thought about life's beginnings and endings - there are many and they often seem never ending as we transition through life. I've come to accept transition in my life as not such a bad thing. It is after all, life itself...

As I approached this poem I thought not only about this being the end of the Writer's Digest, but also the end of my challenge to share my experience with the Writer's Digest PAD Challenge on my blog every day. I actually thought it would be harder than it has been... But, we shall now call the day on this project. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Here is my poem for the calling it a day prompt as we call it a day...

Crescent Moon Rising

I stared at the rising crescent moon
Holding our love in its heart
Asked myself
Is this really the end?
Am I to be forgotten again?
We followed our day
Through many incarnations
From shy exchanges
To bold caresses
From beautiful declarations
To angry accusations
From hesitant kisses
To heartfelt embraces
And always, always, back again
We stood beside one another
When the sun burned our dreams
When the rain washed away our foundation
When the snow blocked our windows
When the wind blew away our doors
Leaving us bare and broken
We picked each other up
Celebrated that we survived
Discovered opportunities to thrive
We celebrated resurrection of dreams
We rejoiced at a new foundation
We opened the windows to fresh air
We said “To hell with doors, who needs them anyway”
We stood beside each other through
The dawn, the day, the evening
And now we face
The crescent moon rising
Is it time to call it day?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 29 - Love for My Love

It's Two for Tuesday over on the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, so we've got two prompts to inspire our poetic musings for Day 29... The two prompts are to write a realism poem and a magical poem...

An interesting thing happened this morning as I began to think about these two prompts. I got the song I'll Fight For You by Foreigner stuck in my head, which reminded me of the last time I heard that song. It angered me. I used to love this song, but, man, did it strike a nerve the other day... I wanted to shout at it "Don't fight for me, love for me." I've come to believe that if you have to fight for someone to be in your life, you're better off without them. I want people in my life who are willing to love for me - love when things get tough, love when there's news to celebrate, love when we feel like we're drifting apart, love when life is mundane.... If we have to fight to love or if we force someone to fight to love us, we set up an adversarial relationship from the outset. I don't want that in my life...

I've decided to only share one poem because it encompasses both themes, realism and magical...

Love for My Love

I would battle demons for you
I would slay dragons for you
I would destroy the evil queen for you
I would conquer countries for you
I would take you away to an enchanted forest
I would crown you my queen

I would give you the grandest castle
I would defend your honor
I would fight for your love
These words make me cringe
They belong in the fairy tales where they originated
You want to be my knight on a white horse
Riding in to save the day
But I want someone who will
Battle demons beside me
Tame dragons with me
Forgive the evil queen
Spread peace to every country
Travel through the forest beside me
Lay down all crowns and join the crowd hand-in-hand with me
Live simply amidst compassion and acceptance
Understand my honor doesn’t need defending, ever
Love for my love

Monday, April 28, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 28 - Rose Petal Stones

The prompt for WD 2014 April PAD Challenge Day 28 is to write a settled poem. I like to read the prompt early in the morning and then go about my business while I let the prompt settle into my thoughts, find a place to resonate, and then bring forth something I can write. Today, I felt slightly unsettled by this prompt because nothing started churning for awhile. Then it hit me. I wrote a poem, but I wasn't happy with it. I pushed it to the background on my screen and worked on some other projects. Then a power failure occurred, and the poem was lost. I had to start over. The initial thoughts I had about roses and stones was still there, so I went with it. So, in reality, I wrote two poems for this prompt though one of this has disappeared forever...

Here's my settled poem...

Rose Petal Stones

You scattered your love on my heart
Like rose petals on flowing water
Where it settled into the sediment
Like stones skipped across a creek
Your love found residence in the creek bed
Of my overflowing heart
Rose petals turned to stone
Stony garnet rose petals
Sparkling amongst the sediment
Left behind after previous droughts
Where love turned to dust
When I settled for less
Today I cried tears that washed away the debris
Revealing the delicate rose petal love stones
Flowing out of the tributaries of my heart
Floating like rose petals
With the staying power of stones
I’ll settle for nothing less than

Rose petal stones

Sunday, April 27, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 27 - Monsters Meet

For Day 27 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, the prompt is to write a monster poem... I immediately knew I wanted to write about inner monsters, and started thinking about how our inner monsters can destroy what we want in life. I began to think about the havoc any "supernatural" being an wreak given proper motivation but also how sometimes there's a thin line between facing the truth and creating drama... Anyway, here's the result...

Hope you enjoy!

Monsters Meet

Love me
Like my vampire teeth never drained blood from your veins
Like my wendigo jaw never ripped out your heart
Like my werewolf howl never pierced your spirit
Like the ghost of my past never possessed your soul
Like my zombie stupor never infected your mind
Like my demon fire never burned all your dreams for us to ashes
Like my medusa revenge never turned you to stone
Like my mermaid song never seduced your passion
Like my witch divination never revealed your deception
Like my goddess ire never stormed through all your pretenses

Like my inner monster never met your inner monster…

Saturday, April 26, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 26 - Water Safe

Stratton Pond EKU
Richmond, Kentucky
We've reached Day 26 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge! Today's prompt was to write a water poem... Confession time: water appears in my poetry often in it's various forms - water, ice, the sea, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls, storms, rain, snow...I love the symbolism water offers and the inspiration of water itself.

So, here's my latest water poem...

Water Safe

Silent water
Still water
Secret water
Safe water
You drank my secrets
Like you were dying of thirst
Absorbing them through your surface
With a gluttony unmatched
While I fed you ever more
Until you contained more of me than I
I stared into your silence
I searched your stillness
I sought your secrecy
I needed your safety
Perhaps the secrets you drank evaporated
To be rained down on some foreign land
To feed souls in need of the nourishment
Cultivated in the secrets you so quietly gulped
For a secret can’t be locked away forever in
Silent, still, secret, safe water

Friday, April 25, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 25 - Last Straw First

It's hard to believe we're already on Day 25 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge. When I read this morning's prompt, write a last straw poem, my first thought was "You took the last straw first" which on its face confused me, but the thought stuck with me all day. Finally I decided to just go with it.

Here's the resulting poem...

Last Straw First

You took the last straw first
My heart ached because
Your greed made you jump
To the end
Before we even began
I lamented your decision as you
Chewed the straw trying to release
All the moments that should have come before
You tried to convince me
One straw was same as the next
But the reality is we both know
When you take the last straw first
You cheat yourself out of the joy
Of all the straws leading to the climax
Held within the final straw
So maybe next time you’ll
Leave the last straw until last…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 24 - Tell It to the Heart

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge poetry prompt, Tell It to the..., intrigued me. Again, there were so many ways I could go with this one, but, to be honest, an idea jelled pretty soon after I read the prompt this morning. It's funny how some days the prompt just takes me for a nice gentle stroll, other days it smacks me down, and some days I pull on its leash while it refuses to take a single step forward until I finally give the leash some slack. This was a gentle stroll day through a meadow kind of day... :-)

Here's my Tell It to the... poem...

Tell It to the Heart

My brain hears your words
But my heart can’t make sense of them
They resonate on a wavelength my heart can’t find
Riding a storm of promise
Through the sunshine of doubt
On a broken branch of logic
Leaving me like a hayfield waving in the wind
I long for your words to be cut and dried
To feed this aching heart the sustenance it desires
Next time you wish to appeal your crime
Tell it to the heart
The brain no longer cares

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 23 - Different Seas

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt was location... And we all know just how important location is...

Here's my location poem.

Different Seas

We tried to convince ourselves
Staring at different seas didn’t matter
The love in our hearts would overcome
The mountains and valleys between us
We spoke words of togetherness
Yet turned away when faced with inconvenience
Promises of reaching out tomorrow
Turned into silence
As you stood in your place and I in mine
Staring at different seas
Dreaming of letting the current connect us
While we refused to make a move
Each tied to a boulder we pulled in opposite directions
Until we both dropped the rope and whispered
“Someday, we’ll find ourselves in the same place at the same time
Until then you’ll remain in my heart…”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 22 - Optimistic Distance and Tried On

Today was a Two for Tuesday on the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge. The prompts were to write an optimistic poem and a pessimistic poem. I thought about tackling my feeling that optimism and pessimism are rarely as cut and dry as seeing a glass as either half-full or half-empty, but in the end I decided to go another direction. I've also decided to share both poems this time rather than just one.

Here is my optimistic poem...

Optimistic Distance

In my fantasies
The distance between us
Enhances the possibility of our love
Seduces me into seeing you through
A mesmerizing lens
Where your future and mine intertwine
 When we meet where we once stood
Under the falling Autumn leaves
As we now stand under distant blooming trees
My dreams coerce optimism into
A heart where doubt resides

Since we walked in different directions

Here is my pessimistic poem...

Tried On

I tried on pessimism once
It never quite fit
The short hemline exposed vulnerability
The tight waistline squeezed out hope
The baggy shirt dropped faith
The uneven heels left behind love
The neckline strangled possibility
The jewels manacled happiness
So I stripped down to nothing
Stood bare before myself
Took a deep breath
And tried on optimism
Ah, a perfect fit

Monday, April 21, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 21 - Chaotic Simplicity

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt was to write a back to basics poem. I rather liked the idea. I've been on a quest to simplify my life for a while now. I've discovered I need much less than I once thought I did not only to survive but to be happy. The boundaries between simple and complex have a tendency to blur...

Here's my back to basics poem...

Chaotic Simplicity

I wanted more
Always more
More wasn’t enough
Filled the empty spaces
Overflowed the filled places
Stuffed more in to the excess
Until chaos ensued
Numbing the voids within
With stuff I forgot I had
Looking for more and more
Buying every opportunity offered
Trying to find something that mattered
Fooled myself into thinking I needed more
Every time I gave away unneeded item after item
Packed up a house full of material things
Purged the unnecessary yet again
Convinced myself I lived simply
Only buying exactly what I needed and nothing more
Throwing away outdated food from the pantry
Giving away boxes of indulgences never opened
Recycling paper galore
Felt like losing an outer dirty skin
Seeking to find an inner peace
I’d surrounded myself with chaos
As I pealed back the layers
I saw a pain no material item could comfort
I felt a disconnect no material item could connect
I understood numbness leads to atrophy
As I began to move
The excess fell away
I saw myself in the chaos
I released my need for material security
Discovered I complicated the simple and
Simplified the complicated
Surrounding myself with material goods
A blanket turned from comforting to suffocating
I sought a simpler lifestyle in the midst of chaos
Perhaps someday I’ll stand firmly in the midst of simplicity

Sunday, April 20, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 20 - Became Family

I had a plethora of reactions when I read today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt to write a family poem. I've probably written enough family poems to fill a book.

My mind first went to one of favorite poems, Maya Angelou's Human Family where she tells us "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." - the perfect family poem, in my opinion. Then my mind went to Sister Sledge singing "We are family/I got all my sisters and me."  in their song We Are Family, and, finally, Lisa Marie Presley singing "They are my chosen family." in her song Important. As I thought about why these were my first thoughts, I began to hone in on what I wanted to say about family today.

Family means many different things to people. I've expanded my definition of family over my lifetime, and I'm glad I have because sometimes family chooses us rather than us being born into it...

Here's my family poem...

Became Family

I took your hands in mine
I looked into your eyes
I smiled into your lips
I spoke into your words
You squeezed my hands, unflinching
You looked into my eyes, unblinking
You smiled into my lips, unwavering
You spoke into my words, un-interrupting
We spiraled around life’s axis
We gravitated toward the center of the Earth
We levitated above the clouds
We radiated happiness brighter than sunshine
Cells and nerve endings found electrifying connection
Surprising us both as we stared at an endless future
Our bond unbreakable
Transcending tradition

We became family

Saturday, April 19, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 19 - Orange

Bet you thought I wasn't going to make it today... Well, I haven't missed a day yet, and I'm not ready to miss one. We might be down to the last few minutes of Day 19, but I'm here with a poem...

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt was to write a color poem. I read the prompt this morning, and, as is typical, had several ideas. My mind became focused on orange for some reason...

So here is my color poem hot off the press, sts...


Magnificent swirls of
Red and yellow make love
Orgasm into shades of orange
Light and dark across the canvas
Showing us how when we combine
We create a whole new essence
Taking us on a journey
From the deepest wells to the shallowest pools
Teasing us from ancient wells of rainbows
Stretching across our lives
Enhancing the beauty entwined in the spectrum
Light bouncing off light to invigorate each
Coupling of color
My eyes follow yellow and red swirls
To the center of orange

Friday, April 18, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 18 - Heartfelt Drought

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt was to write a weather poem. Weather often plays a role in my poems. I've written about sunshine, rain, tornadoes, clouds, storms, etc. I considered writing about hurricanes or typhoons, but my mind kept returning to droughts.

The process of writing poetry is often one of surrender. One must surrender to where the inspiration takes one rather than going where one wants to go...

Here is my weather poem...

Heartfelt Drought

 The drought took our future
Turned our fertile hearts to deserts
Our love wilted in the fields
Our hope dried on the vines
Our trust withered on the trees
Our desire blew away on the wind
Our kisses couldn’t cure the parched hearts
Our embraces couldn’t revive our love
Our deception couldn’t save our hope
Our promises couldn’t save our trust
One day truth rained on our cracked hearts
We stared into each other’s eyes
Was there anything left to salvage?
Would the tears end our drought?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 17 - Pop, Pop, Pop

Today's prompt, write a pop culture poem, for the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, left me feeling a bit like someone popped my balloon at a party... I've never been a big fan of labels, and I feel that labeling things as part of "pop culture" is one more way to divide and even to insult either those who fall into the trap or those who avoid getting jumping into the mix. To me, we need more cohesion in our lives. Just like what you like. I'm sure someone will agree with you just as someone will disagree with you... That's what I do anyway...

Here's my pop culture poem...

Pop, Pop, Pop

Cool today, Uncool tomorrow
I can’t be bothered to care
My life is too full to worry whether
I’m in touch with the latest cultural references
Pop culture is just one more label
Designed to separate us into groups
Leave me out or include me
I like what I like, cool or uncool
If something sticks around, it becomes culture
If not, I suppose it goes
Pop, pop, pop

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 16 - Quiet Words

Always in our hearts...
This morning when I read that WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt was to write an elegy, I wasn't sure who I wanted to write about. However, as the day progressed, one person kept returning to my thoughts.

Travis Wallingford was a classmate who died just before prom during our Junior year of high school. His birthday would have been April 12th, if memory serves, and the anniversary of his death is April 29th. With the prompt falling between the two, it just felt appropriate to write an elegy for him. For those of you who don't know, an elegy is, simply put, a poem for the dead. In this poem, I mourn a lost opportunity as well as a life ended too soon.

Another poem I wrote about Travis, Stolen, appears in my collection of poetry, Memory in Silhouette: Poems.

So this one is for Travis but also for his family, our schoolmates, and our hometown...

Quiet Words

We were tumultuous
You and I
Never quite getting along
We argued
We insulted
We ignored
You thought I talked too much
I thought you were a show-off
I never admitted I admired you
Maybe I didn’t know it, at least not then
You played basketball with elegance
You made friends with ease
You laughed and joked with abandon
You wore confidence like a multi-colored cloak
You teased me mercilessly
I was sure you hated me
Yet you reached out
Like none other had
When you saw behind the façade
Upon hearing words not meant for your ears
I still remember those quiet words you spoke
The look in your eyes
The expression on your face
A mix of anger, compassion, and concern
I wanted to make you understand
It wasn’t as bad as it sounded
I feared you’d tell someone
I wondered if we could be friends
But then you were no more
Your charming smile
Your teasing nature
Your lanky height
Your freckles and red hair
Never knowing the maturity
I glimpsed in those few words you whispered
A teenage boy
Life cut short
Never knowing just how much
Your quiet words changed my life

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 5 - Love as the Enemy

It's both the halfway mark and Two for Tuesday in the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge. Half the month is gone! Wow! How quickly! And that means on fifteen more prompts after today... Let's see how that goes.

Today's prompts were to write a love poem and an anti-love poem. My love poems usually have some hint at both love and anti-love if you think about love as the absence or loss of love. I'm not sure what that says about me... They are opposites that co-exist in life. How can one appreciate love without having known the absence of love? Besides love is never perfect.

I've written so many love poems, I often wonder if I have anything left to say about love... Yet, there always seems to be another one as I live a life built around love. If you'd like to read more of my love poems, I have a whole collection, Love in Silhouette: Poems, available.

In both of the poems I wrote today, I explored the importance of love to life and living, but I decided to share my anti-love poem with you.

Here is my anti-love poem...

 Love as the Enemy

I saw love as the enemy
Love felt like nothing but a distraction
I wanted nothing to do with love
No matter how genuine the presentation
No matter how heartfelt the romantic gesture
I turned my back on love
I saw suitors as an attempt to curtail my ambition
I thought love and career couldn’t live in harmony
I despised love with intense passion
I rejected love without even a first thought
I dismissed love as unnecessary
I refused love when it was offered
I left love in tears
It had no place in my life
Love offered me nothing I sought
Little did I know my aversion to love
Reflected back an aversion to life
For to live one must find love within one’s core

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 14 - PAD Challenge - If I Were Everything I'm Not

Cocoa Beach, Florida
If I were... - a beginning with endless possibilities, is the prompt for Day 14 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge. The idea is to use these words, fill in the blank for the title, and then write a poem. My mind landed on one possibility and then another... If I were perfect... If I were your favorite fantasy (I might go back to that one)... If I were the sun... If I were your heart's desire... and so on. I came back to If I were perfect several times, but it just didn't feel quite right. As I went about my morning chores, I started thinking about what I'm not, what I'd like to be, who I'm not, who I'd like to be. Finally, I landed on the following "If I were everything I'm not...." I had no idea where I could go with it, but it haunted me, so eventually I wrote it down and immediately the second line showed up on the screen almost without thought. Then I was stuck. I had some abstract thoughts about trees and the sea and the journey to become one's best self... After a couple of hours, the rest of the words came to me... 

Here's my If I were... poem

If I Were Everything I'm Not

If I were everything I’m not
Would I still be me
As I strive to step into me
I sometimes imagine
Being like a tree
Growing ever upward and outward
Strong and beautiful
Or I imagine
Being like the sea
Filled with ever flowing water
Drifting up on distance shores
Taking with me whatever I discover in my reach
Then I look in the mirror
I see everything I am
I see everything I’m not
I realize I am both
Everything I am
Everything I’m not
As I struggle on this journey
To find my place as the best me
I am neither a tree nor the sea
I am simply me
Standing today in the wind and sun
Emanating the calm of my core
Combating the chaos of my heart
Embracing the nature of my mind
Finding my connection to Gaia
In this every changing journey
Of finding what I am and what I am not
Realizing how you define me
So often reflects what you don’t see
Rather than the truth of who I am
So, I stamp the label you apply to me
“Return to sender”
You can keep your judgments
I am everything I am and everything I’m not
I don’t dream of being anyone but me
All I want is to unleash the best of me
To roam the world standing still like a tree
To find my footing flowing like the sea
To be all my contradictions
To know love and be love
To open my heart and mind to possibility
To make fantasy reality
To create reality from fantasy
I want to be it all
Because I know in my core
I am…
Everything I am
I am…
Everything I am not
I am…

Sunday, April 13, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 13 - Passionate Animal

Oh, yeah...
As soon as I read today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt, write an animal poem, I thought of passion... I suppose I could have written about my cats or my wish for a dog to share my life or horses or any number of things, but they just didn't fit my mood...

So here's today's poem...

Passionate Animal

You reached into my passion
Released the animal inside
Took me to heights beyond fantasy
Showed me pleasure beyond heaven
As your touch traversed the jungle
Where my deepest desires hid
Among trees and vines
Until you found that place I couldn’t deny
And in that moment
Your kiss
Released the purring kitten
Alongside the roaring lioness
Are you ready for her hunger?

This is a passion that could eat you alive…

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 12 - PAD Challenge - Daddy's City Girl

The farm where I grew up
As soon I read the prompt, write a city poem, for today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, I heard my Daddy's voice calling me his "city girl" when I was growing up. He often affectionately teased me with this nickname because, well, I wasn't much of a farm girl... I didn't care for what living on a farm required - in particular, I hated getting dirty. So I allowed this one to simmer today until I finally decided how I wanted to say it. Given the prompt I suppose I should have chosen a picture of a city for the photo, but it just didn't feel right for me. Instead, I chose a pic from the farm where I grew up.

This one is for my Daddy...

Daddy's City Girl

Strolling through the woods
Crossing the creek
Standing on a fallen log
I dreamed of skyscrapers
I longed for bustling streets
I imagined night life at the ready
Daddy called me his city girl
Setting tobacco
Canning food from the garden
Carrying wood for the fire
I dreamed of office work
Eating at a different restaurant every night
Heat at my fingertips
Daddy called me his city girl
I woke each morning
Figured out a plan
Stretched my limits
Worked to find a way out
I saw the city as my salvation
Daddy called me his city girl
As I sit as a desk typing each day
I miss the sun on my face from farm work
As I walk city streets
I search for trees and waterfalls
As I plant my garden each year
I recall how garden vegetables top store bought
As I cook my meals
I see how a restaurant never holds the love of home-cooked
As I turn on my gas fireplace
I still don’t miss carrying wood for the fire…
Still, Daddy’s city girl has found

A bit of country in her heart

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 11- PAD Challenge - Real Men Read Women

I have to admit I struggled a bit with today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt to write a statement poem. Most of my thoughts kept revolving around statements about pain, but each idea went nowhere. I finally realized my sprained wrist was driving my thoughts and decided to take a break. When I came back, my thoughts turned to the statement "Real men read women." A group of writers created a campaign built around this statement to raise awareness of women authors as well as to raise money for youth literacy. If you're interested in supporting women writers and supporting youth literacy, please visit Real Men Read Women.

Here's my statement poem...

Real Men Read Women

The first time a man said to me
“I don’t read books by women.”
I stared at him, speechless
He said it so casually
He had no comprehension of why his
Words were offensive
He sounded offended that
I thought he would read
A book written by a woman
I smiled, politely, quietly
Unwilling to create a scene
Inside I seethed
Sexist, male chauvinist, jerk
Those were the nicer of the words I thought
But I said nothing
I wish I’d had the following words handy
“Real men read women”
To put him in his place
Many thanks to the person
Who not only said them first
But shared them with the world
Making it clear that some of us
Find men reading manly
Find men reading women sexy
Find men who value women strong
My words are as valuable as any man’s
 “Real men read women”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 10 - PAD Challenge - Dream Future

We've reached Day 10 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge. That means we're one third of the way through the challenge and through April! Wow! It feels like we've barely started. Today's prompt is to write a future poem.

As I thought about what the future means to me, I remembered various time in my life when the future meant different things. The future is always fantasy until it is reality, which is what makes the future so intriguing.

Here's my future poem...

Dream Future

Remember when
The future was all we had
We looked to tomorrow
For all our answers
Forgetting to live for today
We saw a perfect life
Unlike any we knew
Beyond the imagination
We embraced the unrealistic
As something to achieve
Never stopping to see
Today was perfect enough
In our push for tomorrow
We failed to see the moment
When our paths diverged
At the tiny crossroads
Between your future and mine
Maybe somewhere down the line
When we’ve learned to appreciate
The moment we stand in
Mountains to climb
Boulders to avoid
Rivers to cross
Shaded trails
Sunny meadows
Knowing each moment
Must be lived for what it is
If we’re to find the next moment
So we can find our future
In the moments we share

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9 - PAD Challenge - Exploding Shelter

Today we reach Day 9 of the Writer's Digest 2014 April PAD Challenge... I saw the prompt this morning and smiled. It felt promising. Write a shelter poem. I had images of writing something about an animal shelter or about my appreciation for my home or about all the various places I've found shelter over the years. I tried writing a few of those, but the words refused to cooperate. I ended up with a far different concept for my shelter poem once I stopped trying to fight the image in my head and the emotion in my heart.

Here's my shelter poem...

Exploding Shelter

Life rained on our heads
You tried to shield me
The devastation of truth
Wreaks as much havoc as a bomb
When deception blows apart the casing
Spilling forth all that’s hidden inside
The layers of deception meant to protect
Become shrapnel flying through the air
The force of the explosion wounding
The outer fortress around vulnerability
Leaving broken hearts and souls in the wreckage
When the shelter of deception
Is blown to bits by the truth

Exploding to escape

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 8 - My Body Still Remembers

Today's WD 2014 April PAD Challenge prompt felt far to apropos. In fact, just reading the prompt made me gasp for breath. April 8th is far from my favorite day of the year. I've talked about this before, so I'll not dwell on it now. The prompt for Day 8 is actually a Two for Tuesday prompt. The first prompt is to write a violence poem. The second prompt is to write a peaceful poem.

In a way, I was almost relieved by the violence prompt. My mind was already pulling together lines to address violence in a poem. The peaceful poem was more of a struggle for me to write. I wrote both, but the peaceful poem feels a bit hollow at the moment. Because of that, I've decided to share only the violence poem...

I dedicate this poem to all the survivors of violence out there...

My Body Still Remembers

My body still remembers
How you violated it
On a cool, Spring night
When I still believed in loyalty
My nerve endings ache with memory
My heart cries bloody tears of denial
My soul screams as scars open once again
My mind dies with every remembrance
The violence inflicted on my core
By your betrayal as you took
What never belonged to you
The force of your touch
Etched into my cells
Forever taking up residence
The passage of time
Tricks me into believing
My body can forget
That moment when you violated
My entire being
Leaving me shattered and alone
Unable to find myself
In the pieces of who I’d been
The woman in the mirror
Suddenly a stranger
Standing in the wake of
The girl you ripped to shreds
Yet, tomorrow I will arise
I will move forward
I will survive
I will thrive
In spite of the way
My body still remembers

Monday, April 7, 2014

PAD Challenge - Day 7 - The Changing Faces of Me

Through the Years...
We've reached Day 7 of the WD 2014 April PAD Challenge, and today's prompt was to write a self portrait poem. At first I thought, okay, no problem, I've done this before... Then I thought, oh, no, I've done this before... What if I don't have anything new to say? And that launched me on a thought process of how one's portrait of self changes over time... And, that intrigued me...

Still, I struggled. I started thinking of the numerous self portrait poems I've written, and I also began to think about how most of the poetry we write in some ways is a self portrait. I even wrote a poem titled, Self Portrait in Words, a few years back. It appears in my poetry collection, Reflections in Silhouette: Poems. Another self portrait style poem I wrote is titled The Sum of My Parts. It appears in my collection, Strength in Silhouette: Poems. Both of these poems strive to show the intricacies that make up who we are.

So here's my latest self-portrait poem...

Changing Faces of Me

The changing faces of me
Through the years
Scars of innocence and guilt
Eyes teary with loss and gain
My smile crooked by regret and fulfillment
Every touch still dances across my skin
The good and the bad
Evoking memories buried deep inside
Where the me beyond the façade lies
What you see today isn’t who I was
Or who I will be
And yet, I am all that I ever was
All that I ever will be
All that I am right now
The beautiful and the ugly
Wrapped up in a wonderful swirl
Creating a fertile ground
Where I continue to morph
Into the woman I am
So when you see my picture
Look for the light in my eyes
The invitation in my smile
The gentle curve of my arms in an embrace
The wisdom I seek to gain through life’s experience
See my continued growth
Into the best me