A Confessional: Why I Write Imperfect Poetry ( & Prose) – Part One


Sunday feels like a good day to write a confessional blog post. And when you tell another writer you are going to write said piece, you have some built in accountability. AKA, there is no turning back. I told Esther on Voxer that I was working on this in my head. That I was trying to get it out on paper or on a screen. Anywhere but inside of me.

I am sitting in a wicker chair. One that holds me like cupped hands. The mountains present themselves before me, like a movie screen painted and prepared for an audience. Artificially beautiful. But realer than real. And I am down the road from the church I attended this morning, as a guest. I can still smell the holy and hear the hallowed hymns. The stone and wood and worship linger in the air. My soul feels a lingering in the confessional we spoke. I prayed for the church today. It feels like a particularly important time to come clean.

I am not a great poet. I am not a great writer. I don’t know where I am in the bell curve of learning and honing my craft. But honestly, I am just a mediocre writer at best. But I have the fire in my belly and a passion under the folds of my wrinkling skin to write. Hiding out is an option. Always.

Giving up is always an option. I have an old computer which I could heave over the side of the mountain and life would go on. (Poetry is all about specificity. I would tell you just how old this Mac is but I truly do not recall….it is THAT old.) See the ellipsis back there. That is a taboo in the guidebooks of some writers.

Let’s face it. You can go other places for richer writing. Poetry, certainly, which shows more and tells less. Words that reach deeper with less adverbs. Lines which travel deeper into the beautiful. Verses which sing sweeter and lift you higher into the holy.

But my craft and my art are simply dressed in their everyday ordinary. I am honing and grooming them. Hoping for leaps of growth. Trusting that I will not remain in my writing where I reside this day.

But honestly. I am flawed as a writer. Imperfect. But I am flawed as a parent. Imperfect in my mothering. And certainly I fall short as a daughter to a mother suffering from dementia. My house could be cleaner. My food burned less often. My time spent more wisely. My morning devotions  could be longer.

But grace attends me when I write and when I breathe and live. And tells me to continue. No, encourages me to press on. Perfecting my imperfections.

My mother has dementia. Often her speech borders on faint mumbling. But I listen. I would not stop. She has something to say. And she is alive and living and wants to enter in. To tell what she sees. How this life feels and  how it smells. She wants and needs to process her living.

And so do I.
And so I write imperfect poetry. And prose

Please join me tomorrow for Part Two.

S.O.S. – A Not Very Poetic Call For Help

Some sentences are just so…plain. And ordinary. And without poetry. This one is one of those.

Ya’ll, I need a little bit of reader input. Boring. Right? But there is a poem following the request. If you have one minute or a few minutes, I would be honored if you would give me a sentence of two. You can leave it in the comment box. Or you can email me at wynnegraceappears@gmail.com.

My heart is pounding and my insides are restless about this “book thing”. I may never write one. Or I actually may sit down and write one. And if i do or when I do, I really would love the push from readers or the “don’t do it” from readers.

(Spoiler alert. There are a lot of books out there. Do we really need another one?)

But I would be silly or crazy or mad not to ask you all for your feedback. Before the book dies on the vine or on the shelf. Or fall flat. Or never gets written. Or all of the above.

Poetry or prose? Poetry from me mixed with space for you to journal and draw and scribble and ponder? Essays?

So speak your mind. And thank you. No really, THANK YOU.



The Lady at The Check Out Line and Other Wise Souls in Sheep’s Clothing

The shepherds of the world, the meek and the mild
Disguised in plainclothes
Scanning the jars of Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce, while sleepy smiling
Asking all the right questions
Thanking you for bagging
(Paper or plastic, used to be the world’s oldest, space filler of quietude)
Hidden behind the clerky smile
And the name tag
And the all business
And the internal musings “is it five o’clock yet”
Is the fountain of wisdom
Waiting to erupt
They welcome our confidences in their non-threatening ways
The check-out line becomes the shrink’s couch
And we confide
“At least you found it”
She says to me
I know you know the words, I lay down before the altar of just formed trust
PHD in human frailty

They will inherit the Earth.


rock and roll

Roll me like a chicken leg
in a buttermilk battered bowl
of dusty dry white flour
waiting for the grease.
Just pepper it with honesty, sprinkle it with truth.

For I am weary of the lies
Weak and faint from less than real
Tired and worn-out from the half-truths
The Velveteens wear beautiful
The beautiful is real.

Throw me in the hot-grease
that southern Crisco oil
the fire of smokey goodness, that smells and tastes like true.
Just pepper me with honesty, and sprinkle me with Truth.

Getting On The Bus


The phrase stepping off the curb. These cliches are wearing me out. This one I have heard hundreds of times. I have grown weary of the phrase. And yet, there is a thread there that I am pulling at, yanking at for understanding.

It requires an act of the will and movement of some kind. Sometimes I’d rather not. Because I risk getting run over or fatigued or stuck in the middle of the lane unable to cross over or I might change my mind and there is no turning back or the curb may cry the siren’s song for me to please come back to her.

The curb is rounded and safe and protective. Yes, the curb calls out comfort like a womb.

There are strange things to find comfort in as humans. Sometimes it’s routine, the familiar and quiet. Sometimes it’s being surrounded by a false sense of safety and controlled variables.

And then came the buses. For me they were and are some sort of metaphor on wheels. They are rolling worlds on wheels where I am not in control. The bus is moving whether I like it or not.


I got on a bus last year and rode with a group and my daughter a thousand miles or so. You can read about it here and here. It was part of the Art Bus Project. When I got off the bus I cried. The experience branded me, marked me and changed me.

When has the act of stepping off ever left us unchanged. When has walking into uncertainty left us untouched by experience. When has deciding to trust not at least held the potential for an increase in faith.

My accountability partner is going to Haiti in a few days. I thought I was going too. My heart was prepared last fall. But I am not on this team, not on this trip, no flying into the Caribbean blue for mission work.

I am going to Disney World. There is a part of me that says is this a good time to get all four of my wisdom teeth extracted because that would be less challenging.

My achilles heel, my vulnerable place, is a sleep-deprived me. I am vulnerable when I am exhausted, worn out, tired, and foggy headed. So I try to live in a place where I am armored up. I strap on the heavy metal of clear-thinking and rest.

And I seem to think that I can tackle the world guns ablazing when I have had the sleep I need. But what if in my weakness He is made strong. What if when I am most vulnerable He has room to move and shake me from my slumber.

What if when I am wounded broken sleepy lamb He is Shepherd with a strong crook to steer me and guide me.

So I signed up for Dare To Do Disney In A Day with my growing up kids’ youth group. We will board a bus at 10:30 at night, drive all night, arrive at The Magic Kingdom (why do they have to call it that) when it opens, and leave when it closes and drive back all night and arrive at home on Sunday morning. Ok. It makes me tired just to say it and write it.

I am not going on a mission trip to a third world country. So I cannot ask you to pray for me. I would much rather you pray for my friends from church who are going to Haiti. But wait. I can. I will be chaperoning a group of middle school girls. Yes, yes, please pray that God uses this time and blesses it for good.

I have a friend who is deathly afraid of clowns. I wonder if buses are my clowns. I wonder if I will run from all future conversations which involve getting on a bus.

Or will I run, flying off the curb and into the arms of the big bus, waiting to take me off to a place of discovery, adventure and pure joy.

I am trusting the driver. And releasing the white-knuckled grip. At least for a day at The Magic Kingdom. (Why do they have to call it that?)


Please pray for safe travels up and down that road on a bus. Eighteen hours of driving.

And that there would be Joy. And laughter. And that they teach me, these children and that I hear it and get it. And that I would have something for them too. That we would use every minute to learn and love and live fully.

We have to laugh a little about the differences in our travels, H and I, my confidant and accountability partner. My prayer partner and keeper of all my secrets. She will be going up a rocky road to La Gonave, Haiti and I will be on a Charter Bus to sunny Orlando to spend a marathon day at Disney.


Funny thing about God is He will be in both places. Touching children, touching lives. And changing a 53 year old women who likes to stay home. And building memories for a mother and a daughter. I won’t be assigned to my daughter’s age group for the day. And wisely she said, “Mom, you will love being with those middle school girls.”

I seem to learn most of my most important lessons in life from children. I am going into the classroom on Friday night at 10:30, a big rolling classroom of kids. And yes I am packing ear plugs for use maybe on hour eight of the drive.

And maybe in some small way, I am being refined and changed for my “one day” trip to Haiti.  Or maybe like Abraham, the Lord just asks me to be willing to serve there. Maybe He needs me to ride a bus down I-95 instead. And be with my daughter and her youth group friends.

And hang out at the other Kingdom.