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

wpid-img_20150328_180400.jpg

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.

Advertisements

Perfectly Imperfect

 Today is Day 20.

wpid-31small.png

Thank you for joining me. You gift me with your presence. And I am grateful. 
To catch up on all the posts in this series, click the link at the top of this home page marked #write31days2014.
To receive posts in your inbox when they are, well posted, click “Subscribe” and follow the super easy instructions.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


I am determined to throw my gaze past the smudges marring the windshield, as we fly at the breakneck speed of sixty miles per hour ish down the highway. On the way to a sixtieth birthday party for a precious redheaded friend. I cannot take my eyes off the sky. I am under the spell of beauty.

Thankfully I am not driving. He can’t take his eyes off the road. I snap, click, snap, click. And darn it. The sky and the phone pic look nothing alike. He sees the dirt overtaking the glass shield, spread like a bad case of poison ivy. I see a sorbet sky on a Sunday. Signature, signed by The Sky Writer, Creator, Artist, God.  I like the view from here. I will not win any awards with my framed beauty, but the sky won me over and I am captured by color and brushstroke. Swirl and twirl. Color combinations and the use of light.

The sky is the Louvre. And I am a patron on the arts.

wpid-img_20141019_185338.jpg

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We study the floor in the kitchen. Together. My friend and I. Lovers of beauty and the restoration of old. We critique the work that was done and the decisions that were made in the loving renewal and renovation of this 114 year old home.

“I don’t like things too shiny.”

Neither do I, my friend. Neither do I. I crave, patina and rust. Chips, dings and worn and torn. Signs of love and life and age. Shiny. Ok, a little goes a long way. Rough hewn and battle weary. Comfort and soothe.

Perfectly imperfect and I are falling in love all over again.

I look past the messy residue of a well-loved windshield. He keeps his eyes on the road. But I could have sworn he saw the unveiling of the beauty before us, stretched out, paint still wet, on Highway 17. That night we went to celebrate.

The celebration happens on the way. Everything happens along the way.

An imperfect sky does not exist. Embrace imperfect and find the beauty in the broken. With me, won’t you.

wpid-img_20141019_185512.jpg

wpid-img_14659227963018.jpeg

cropped-wpid-img_20140929_170447.jpg

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Joining Laura for Playdates (Oh and you should totally check out her new book on Amazon: Playdates with God, by Laura Boggess)

wpid-20140922_190542.jpg

The Rookery & Scenes from A Perfectly Imperfect Life

220px-Great_Egret_strikes_for_a_Fish_-_crop The Rookery

At dusk, we remark
That they jockey for a limb
The best perch
Before dark
We invade the quiet
Curious

How do you sleep sitting up
Choose your limb
Preen your feathers
And say good night to the bird
To your left
And the one to your right

We have ruffled their feathers
Who is watching whom
The birds
They  wonder
Who takes off in a boat at night
To bird
Watch

The limb picking
Hunched  birds, silhouette of old men
Mateless, alone
Solitary silhouettes washed in shades of graying
White

We are

Pickers
Of the perfect nest
Needing rest

And solitude
Flocked together

Hunkering down

River, motor cut, we float
Gathered
This night
Stills all that ills

And we float on
Riding the wake
Of a solitary tug

Leaving the rookery

With peels of laughter

Not a bird is bothered
We all flock together

This night lit by precious
Crescent’s light
Slivery, silvery moon

To the solitary bachelors, we say
Goodnight
Two men
And a boat with their wives for
Lives

The night is young
If we are not.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

fg an and ewm

Friendship is the binocular view we trade for the solitary magnifying glass; a panoramic perspective through the looking glass of love – Shelly Miller

group pic 2

When life gets lonely, call out the sisterhood. Or gather the troops. Or celebrate friendship. Sequestered away like a monk in a monastery, rapunzelled away in the tower of life, solitude can sting. And one can burrow down in the writing of life and miss the very of living of it. Nose nestled into the pages of the recording device. How nice to take big gulps from the real and the swim into the seas of living.

And months and days, and weeks and fortnights of lots of time alone, writing make one parched for real  life. We  need a splash of technicolored friendship. So I sent an invitation to celebrate friendship. And waves of words saying I want to come washed up on my little island of me, myself and I. There are debaters who like to debate any issue that comes along. And I have heard voices take sides on whether or not it is lonely to living a writing life. I believe and and yes and no and sometimes.

That discussion is for another time and place. For this is simply a looking back with joy on a gathering of friends. FIfty four years can collect friends  like life-lines, along the way. Or did they collect me. Some new, some old.  Strangers and  children. Around the banquet table living life on a rainy day. We gathered. And I am reminded of the shifts that come when we view our lives through a different lens. I, the one fascinated by perspective. Not knowing why perspective fascinates my soul.

We are hungry at the table again. The way He intended. By His very design. He purposed us for fellowship. And calling to mind and memory His gifts, the ones He gave with good pleasure.

This day, I saw joy in sets of eyes and lengths of living, lengths of hair, faces shine back at me. Sun soaked souls, happily wrinkled, we. Laughter echoed through the Bistro. And we feasted on each other and the manna of life and love.

A simple day celebrating friendship, they answered the call to come gather. My life seems like an episode of “Antiques Road Show” on a day like this. Not knowing the value in friendships that stay hidden, dormant for too long. How the value is revealed when brought out and into the open.

I asked when I invited, please bring a line or a word about friendship. And I will gather your words in one poem. Weave together the words you offer into one offering of poetry. That is in the works. As we continue living in the wake of a tidal wave of pressed memories. Pressed deep within my soul.

Thank you friends for loving me in life and on this rainy day. I cherish the minutes marked  this day and the years we have between us. Of living and breathing, mothering and parenting, writing and laughing.

So much more than I can ever say. You make life rich and wonderful.

There was nothing perfect about it. No engraved invitations or place cards and party favors. Perfectly staged and planned events are so fleeting. But it was wholly and wonderfully perfect from my lens. Chairs were shuffled, friends cancelled, three at the last minute. We were wet from the flooded parking lot. But we dripped with joy for an hour or two in the middle of July.

It caused me to pause,  reminded me, necessarily to stop and gather, stop and break bread, stop and celebrate life and all its imperfect perfectness. We shuffled places and shared meals and sent one back to the kitchen. With gracious apologies returned with kindness and it is all so okay. We are all flawed. We are all perfectly imperfect ourselves.

But love prevailed and introductions were made. And we gathered this side of glory. And learned from one another and prayed for the absent ones.

But mostly we laughed. And we loved.

And I was reminded not to wait to celebrate this simply ordinary extraordinary imperfectly perfect life.

friends at bistro on birthday

Thank you Shelly, of Redemptions Beauty, for the words you wrote and gifted me on this day which are the inspiration for this post.


Joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com

(Photo Credit – Wikipedia – Egret)

Bullseye, The Peach, and A Blue Thread : A Trilogy

Bullseye

bullseye bike

You did not miss the mark
The feather-tipped arrow of your release
It did not fail to land
In the right spot, spot on
Perfect imperfection
A bullseyed penetration
Drilling through the target
Seen by eyes of love.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

The Peach

peach 2013

Sitting on the counter
Inviting me
To open up
Summer
rsvp my intent
And begin the ritual
Tradition washes over me with sticky memory
And sweet my taste buds eagerly await
Weigh the choice of
All alone or mixed with cream
Perhaps thrown on a bed of greens
The remembering is the beauty halved
Of the ripe flesh and soft warm skin
I peel back to find the gift and enter in the dance
Peach and I
Our summer can begin
We cannot hurry
Nor can we wait
In blinks and nods and a few short days
September will arrive
And memories of sweet ripe fruit
Will dance alone
Like visions of summers past rolling around in my mind, a dream
Of days in the past
So I must eat a peach
And savor all that is ripe and good
And ready for the picking
These are the days
These are the hours
Of grateful living
Peach and I, I and Peach
Our summer has begun.

+++++++++++++++++++

A Blue Thread

modern trouseau charleston

Followed me
Or I followed it
Unknowing
On the way
To Blue Bicycle Books
Everything was shades of blue
Cars behind at red lights
Who knew they made dump trucks
Blue
In front he lead me down Highway 17
And then I crossed the bridge
Under a canopy of blue
With white monstrous clouds waiting to release
Raindrops
And hit the sidewalk like a blue streak
The storefronts presented me with blue
And I wondered if this occurs everday
This theme of beauty
Threads through a day
Some days it is red and others gold
And greens of summer, water’s aqua too
If I would look in front behind and closer
At this one  life
That like the two  young men on the news
Not yet at the age I am
Could end like that
And have it all just stop
Out of the blue.