A Very Meta Quadrille

In a time crunch
such as happens many days

I’m a little Quadrille
and I’m here to say

There’s always time for me
I’m only forty-four words

You can read me
quick as a hummingbird

You can write me
though I may sound absurd

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I’m swamped at work today, but didn’t want to miss another Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub. Head on over and check out some of the other forty-four word poems that include the word crunch.

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My Rock

Like Sisyphus
I push this rock
up the hill

It rolls back down
I try again

When will I see
It’s not me

He has succeeded
at the impossible task
on my behalf

Sisyphus is a myth
My Rock is real
on His hill

Pasayten Wilderness

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I missed last week’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, where the word of the day was rock. So I decided to write a Quadrille for Open Link Night today.

I’m also excited about today’s announcement of the upcoming dVerse Anthology that will include two of my poems. I am honored to have been asked to have these poems included among so many others.

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To Cross the Finish Line

Finish it! Polish the 58,000 words I’ve written into a complete, coherent, and compelling story. Not be distracted by blog posts or new poetry books that threaten procrastination of the goal. Not be paralyzed by doubt. Capitalize on the feedback I receive from critique partners, but take it with a grain of salt. Squeeze in time to provide them with feedback, too, with an eye to what I can learn from that process. That’s my writing plan for the foreseeable future. To finish my story.

It’s partly my story, but it could just as well be your story, or your sister’s story, or your grandmother’s story, or your daughter’s story. Ultimately, it’s a story of God’s redemptive grace. In 2018, my hope is that my story—My Name Is Beloved—will touch the lives of broken women with His grace.

Winter darkness reigns
But not forever, Spring waits
With hope, healing light

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Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Toni tends bar for the last time. She’ll still be a patron, but won’t be serving up the prompts. She’s picked a great Haibun prompt as her last hurrah! She wants us to write about our writing plans.

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Doubt Lies

I had a great idea for a blog post, and then another, and another. Did I write them down? No. Instead I listened to the voice in my head that said they weren’t worth writing.

That voice is talking to me right now, this very minute, as I type.

Apparently I’m not alone. Even writers who have multiple books published experience doubt about their writing ability. I suppose I should find that encouraging, but somehow the idea that this often-paralyzing doubt will never be vanquished doesn’t comfort me.

At this summer’s Oregon Christian Writers Conference, several people suggested the importance of having a critique group or partner. So I now am in a critique group (none of whom write memoir) and have two individual critique partners (both of whom are writing memoirs). One of my critique partners commented in a text, “I am REALLY enjoying your writing.” In my critique group, a chapter dealing with my suicidal ideations made one member so emotional she couldn’t keep reading it out loud for the group.

Yet, I doubt anyone wants to read what I write. The voice in my head tells me I’m wasting my time telling my story for an audience of none.

It’s a lie, of course, because I have an audience of at least One. When I write to glorify God—to tell the story of how He redeemed me from a life of hopelessness and despair—even if He is the only one who knows, my time writing is not wasted.

And the real truth is that my writing has already helped others. I think of a poem I once posted called Learning to Forgive. A reader I don’t know commented, “thank you for writing this if i didn’t read this when i did i never would have been able to forgive my father for what he has done.”

Right there I made an impact. I helped another human being forgive and trust God.

Are you a writer who struggles with doubt about whether it’s worth the effort? When you write not for fame and fortune, but to glorify God and be a blessing to others, your  time or effort are never wasted.

Maybe not every word will be outstanding. In fact, much of what we write is not. But if only one paragraph, one sentence, one poem makes a difference to someone, then it’s worth it.

So keep writing. Keep sharing. I’ve not walked in your shoes, but if you share with me what it’s like, then perhaps I’ll understand life from a different perspective. If I share my journey, perhaps you’ll gain compassion for someone like me in your own life.

Which is why, in the end, the article I linked to at the beginning of this post did encourage me after all, because it helped me realize I’m not alone in this big world of writers. I’m not the only one who doubts. And I won’t be the only one who forges ahead nonetheless.

 

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Bought for a Price

The devil tried
to kick me out of
Heaven’s forgiving grip

He was thwarted
in his scheme
to tender my pink slip

Jesus, my Redeemer
displayed to my foe
the deed to my soul

Marked paid-in-full
on Calvary’s tree
as written in His scroll

wp-1510018652303.jpg

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I missed the last Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, but I decided I didn’t want to miss it two times in a row. Besides I couldn’t miss #44! So I stole a moment to write this little poem using the work kick as offered by De.

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Unashamedly “Me, Too”

In essence, I’ve been saying “me, too” for many years as I share my story in poetry and prose. But it took a celebrity Tweet to make it go viral.

One of my Facebook friends posted: “#metoo. (God I hate that I have to post that…).” As I’ve seen the Tweets and Facebook posts of friends and family with the #MeToo hashtag, I keep thinking about a paragraph in Chapter One of my unpublished memoir.

I haven’t shared much of the actual memoir on this blog because publishers don’t like to publish material that’s already out there in one form or another. Yet, this paragraph has haunted me today, nagging at me to be shared.

To this day I don’t fully understand why I didn’t tell a soul what Luke* had done. In the 1970s good girls didn’t get themselves into situations where such things could happen. Maybe I thought I had wanted it, like he said. Perhaps I didn’t think anyone would believe me. Even now when I tell the story parts of it seem preposterous and unbelievable.

Why is it that we hate to say that we’ve been sexually assaulted? Why do our stories sometimes seem preposterous and unbelievable even when we’ve lived through them? Why are we afraid to tell?

Typing that last question makes angry to think saying “me, too” requires fearlessness. We have to be willing to face the fear that others won’t believe. But who cares if others believe what we know to be true?

Why is this crime—because sexual assault is a crime committed by the rapist, not the raped—treated differently than robbery or attempted murder or mugging? Victims of those crimes are never afraid to tell what has happened to them. They don’t worry that people will say they are lying, because they know the truth of what happened to them.

Perhaps expecting the perpetrator of a sexual assault to feel ashamed is asking too much. They may not be concerned with the depravity or illegality of their behavior any more than a robber or murderer is.

But let’s stop expecting the victim of a sexual assault to feel ashamed. Let’s stop feeling ashamed of ourselves for having been a victim. Let’s stop believing that to say “me, too” requires bravery, and believe, instead, that it only requires honesty.

And let’s always remember that God knows the truth and He calls each of us Beloved.

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*Luke is not his real name. I’ve changed certain names in my memoir to protect the forgiven (though certainly not innocent).

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Seed of Hope

Hope nestled into crevices of my soul
a minuscule seed waiting to sprout
roots grew deep into the darkness
born of bitterness

Until at last
fragrant flowers of faith
burst forth from the surface
broke open my stony heart
to produce hope and love

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I love De’s choice of the word hope for Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, that I just had to write another.

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