The Reinvention of Cliches

The Reinvention of Cliches

Blow with me new life into the old stale words
Jump start the broken-down rust heap on the side
Of the road
Propped up on bricks
That is language we left for dead

Re-energize the turn of phrase that is stale
As an old loaf of white bread
That lost its twisty tie-y top
Corners blueing
Left for dead

And just because it’s cliche
Is it false
I would stand on the corner of Broad and Main
Placard in hand
Proclaiming the degrees to which
I loathe cliche

Pitiful they were in my sight
Perhaps It is time to
Some of my favorites
Need a second chance.

Starting today
With thinking outside the box
And low hanging fruit
And the tip of the iceberg

Some of these are as old as the hills
I know
And I am frightened to death to even
Suggest to you that
Every cloud has a silver lining
Or that time heals all wounds

Only time will tell if there is
Merit to this

Maybe on second thought
Lemons from lemonade should stay
Dead and buried.

Maybe all bets are off
On this idea

On second thought
Maybe I
Always look on the bright side
And am blinded by the light

When really what I had in mind
Was saving the phrase

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
And keep it simple stupid
And simple is best
And necessity really is the mother of invention

And then again
Maybe banging one’s head
Against a brick wall
Is better left for dead.

Along with other
Blasts from the past

I was wrong
To try to build a better mousetrap
Hoping the world would  beat a path to my door
I cry uncle
And crawl sheepishly

Back to the drawing board.

Why I Am Dreaming Small and Under The Oaks

(Thank you.  Yes, you. Dear readers here, you  who are uncertain of poetry. I too,  am uncertain of poetry. But you are still here reading. Or maybe you have left, because of poetry. So  I’ve  decided I  am going to make a little space for more prose. To offer both, together, for a season. Each time I post I will publish prose and poetry. Thank you for journeying with me as I pen this life, look for beauty, reflect my faith, and place words, some shaky, some brave, into this community. Let’s see how a vision of prose and poetry will look, here. And now that the comments are open again,  I would love to hear your thoughts on two writing forms, together. Here, in this little corner of the inter-webs. Wising you grace, elizabeth)

thank you peach


morning light on flowers hydrangae

Under The Oaks

I spot threes
Write sounds in threes
See the world in
Focus a lens on multiples

So fitting, that  on a street named Venning
The street with three n’s
There are three souls, new
To me
Three new friends have I
I spy beauty

Grace and elegance

Grand dames
I could have come and gone
Perish the thought
I’d never known the life behind the smiles
Life lines on their faces

New one on the street with the winding sounds
Learning of life
I make my way
Up and down the tree lined street

Life learned
From a trio of grace
From the Ladies of Venning

Quiet now, they are living large
Speaking softly, they live and breath
A writer, a gardner, a traveller
Lover of film and land
Living their stories

Wonder and awe
It is well to

To the three
Ladies of  well-lived
Lives,  it appears
From where I sit and stare

And  wait to earn a place
Of friendship
Among the three
Who barely know me
And  yet, have shown


So I study the lines
My eyes trace their living
Laugh lines, crows feet
Fragile lines around the eyes
And mouth

Of these three
Ladies, each

Under the oaks
With me.


Spencer and the dolphin

Why I Am Dreaming Small

And so it seems everyone is dreaming big. Anyone  that dreams at all has big dreams.  Thrown up and out into the sea of living. Brave and big. Bold and large. The bigger the better. Super-sized.  These dreams of man.

Words crisscross my screen every day  about these dreams, the ones that I see  looming large. But I think I am dreaming small.  Not because of fear. But I , like everyone have my share of fear.  Not because of lack of faith, for mine is at least the size of a mustard seed.

Because I hear a  clear crisp call to small. One that  whispers in my ear of dreams scaled down, sized in miniature. But lovely nonetheless.

Small dreams now from a grand and glorious God who is the one that’s large.

How beautiful and whimsical, are my little hopeful dreams.  The ones I  have dancing in my mind, by day and keeping me awake at night.  They lack nothing in the winnowing. The paring back and whittling down.

It is not really that I have  a shrunken faith. Or fear to take my dreams and expand them on a larger scale. Truly, not.

It is, rather, that I am seeing beauty in the small things, after all. It comes with age. A grand release. And in my younger days I dreamed so big. And came to value all that is small. I walked to here, a place of growing contentment, in the smallest acts of kindness, moments, and conversations with a friend.

And somewhere in this life, I am  coming to a place. That not all measurements are more wonderful,  the larger they become. So we are looking for a home. Another house to call our own the remainder of our days.  Is this the eighth. I can’t count. But  graciously and gratefully , one that will be new for us. Or maybe held the joy of others for sometime. Another  through the years.

New is not necessary,nor is big.

And I am dreaming of one small and cozy. I dream  on Pinterest and in my mind and with The Patient One. And look for beauty, comfort and a house with just  a little this and a little that. For my children and my children’s children.

I’m finding contentment after all, in you guessed it, things so small.

Last night we found a house we love. It fits my dreams just so.

I am dreaming small. We laughed at the little number  the realtor printed on the sheet; the one that revealed the total space, for living, here. But I know we would have just enough. All we need. Even though we dream of adding a bit to what is there. Because we have a history of piling up and  piling on and living in a cozy space. Just wearing out and down the soul of every house we’ve owned. Even though we have lived large. Between the walls of lots of space and things.

Small now calls my name.

I heard a story of a man, a writer in his graying years. And he had published seven poems. Ever in his life of writing. Only.  Until he wrote a little book. And off it went, big and large. A big success from all accounts.

One never knows where dreams might go. I love friends with dreams so big. And God may grow mine bigger.

But for now they are just so dreams. A little small.

So I will write my little poems. Here for awhile. And maybe one day there. And dream a little dream of one days. That maybe I will find a publisher who says lets go and run, or fly or soar. Or maybe even a home between the covers, nestled in a spine. My little poems will settle down and live up  on a shelf, in a book leather bound.  One that has a name that’s gold embossed, that is my very own.   Or maybe my poems will gather. And compile themselves.  Into  a collection. Walk themselves off to a printer and return to me in published form.

I love my little dreams.  They fit me just right, right now.

And that is why my God sized dreams may look a little small. One never knows where dreams will go when they are grown by God.

Maybe tomorrow they will grow an inch or two. After I grow contented with what I have and where I am.

My portion perfected by his loving hand.

Oh to dream, by day, by night. And watch Him change us in our dreaming. Bless us always with so much more.

Than we ever dreamed, was possible or could be true.


Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee and Emily for Imperfect Prose

(I am gathering some of my writing to submit to a magazine as examples of my work along with some ideas for editorial content. If you have a prose piece you  have particularly enjoyed  let me know in the comments. Let’s see where this dream goes. You will be some of the first to know.)

The Masters, The Knuckle Ball and Writing It Down and Out

The last few days have been filled with marvelous metaphors. But then I love most metaphors. They help me see, really see what is unfolding and stirring around me in the days of breathing in and out. And after the metaphor has come and gone, I am left to  linger longer. I wrestle with thought. For I am a processor and  a bone-picker of words. I savor the salt, eat the marrow and the gristle. Hoping to find a  nutrient fiber for my soul. Pulling it off the bone piece by piece. Picking it clean.

I jumped on my bike yesterday. Took a fast ride and then a slow one on my turquoise and yellow cruiser. The child in me was peddling down the streets of this fishing village. My hair blew crazy as I rode through the puddles and dodged one or two cars. The town is small, the traffic barely exists. When you ride a bike on a cool spring day your mind gathers speed like a train leaving a small town. The all clear is given and suddenly you pick up some steam.

I caught a thought like I caught that purple wisteria fragrance, sweet and strong. Writers write the past to help with healing. And they write the now to process living. Before I picked up the pen, I was a volcano left for inactive. No one saw it coming. Least of all me. Until the words came, erupted even. And they were hot, flowing, and alive.

After I parked the bike I felt the wind and the blood. My heart beat faster. There was enough fresh air in my body to infuse a soul with green spring life. It was Sunday and that’s a good day for recounting a week and picking it apart. Checking back on the highs and lows like the game we played at dinner with our kids. We aren’t that original. The idea came from a movie about a marriage in crisis. We have been there too. We like the game and it works well to help five souls process a life.

Last week a woman I admire served me up some words that I digested for days. They tasted like the  bittersweet variety. And though I don’t know caster oil personally on my tongue, I know it’s good for you. It is good for you but tastes like the devil. And her words were a balm, a healing tonic. I needed to hear the gentle tough served up with a sugar cube chaser. The spoon hit the teeth and the tangy metal tasted pungent, but the truth was in the tonic.

She said, “I want to push you as a writer.” I blinked back hot and felt the investment of a talented writer cool me down. And I sat on this phrase for days.

He has a story that will break your heart in two if you have one. I sat frozen like a slab of red meat from the freezer hanging on his ebb and flow of words. Riding wave on wave of his life story being told, as it waxed and waned, crested and fell. Amazed by his life story. But the knuckle ball part left the biggest mark on my tender places. Bruising me with its strength.

After his struggles in baseball, he needed a game changer. So he upped his game and mastered the knuckle ball. And he has it perfected. No one can touch it or barely catch it. He stuck with his passion, stayed with it and pressed on and forward into the living of his dreams and love of the game. So I am looking for my knuckle ball, inspired by R.A. Dickey .

I want to hold the pen in my hand and release details, descriptions and a style of writing that screams it’s me, it’s me, its no one else. That throw, that grip, that certain way of sending the ball over the plate, its how I want to send my words out into the world.

And if Dickey’s story wasn’t enough to set the pen in my hand on fire, the story of The Masters this year and the sweet victory of an Australian propelled me out of my funk and into the fire.

The story is out there and I don’t need to tell a story that’s not my own, but winning in sports after dry spells and hard work are a perfect storm of inspiration. And so I hold these stories of victory, passion and accomplishment in my soft insides and let them knead the dough of my writing life. Press it, shape it, pound it and roll it out.

And I thank my friend who gave me a few words that could be life changing. She said some more that I am having a hard time chewing on. Sometimes good is hard to swallow. I am humbled by them mightly and I can’t stop chewing on the potential in them.

I want to go hop back on my turquoise bike and ride off into the wet April day and dream of where to go and how to get there. I want to go back to the healing and processing parts of writing. The place where I vowed to see it all, to not miss a speck of dust or dirt in the day. To see so clearly the dots and dashes of the days that I could count the webbing in a spider’s home and taste the tinny metal in a bronze statue.

To pick up details and fine points like scattered laundry across a house full of messy living. It is all to be picked up most of it used. The raw, the real, the rich details of the everyday. The simple, the comlex. The every last piece. Nothing left for dead. It all beats red with living.

And I need to count the folds, count the hairs and count the cost of dulled senses. Of the bland and milk-toast words on a page. I have to pump the crimson blood back into the veins on the page, the lines that thread through my words and give them life.

Thank you my friend. I feel the push. I am off to pedal slow on my turqouise bike with yellow flowers, rusty rims, and a Hershey chocolate brown-leather seat. I have a metal wire basket on the front. Some days it is the seat for my Papillon. And we are two butterflies flitting down the back roads. I am going to pick up life and put it there too. In a notebook.

Thanks for the push. I feel the hands of encouragement on my back. There is muscle on that hand and it is wrapped in tender flesh of love of work, hard,  Authentic. Rich. I feel the pulsing love of words, carried through the veins. There is fire in the belly. There is fire in the words. The knuckle ball is coming over the plate. Duck.



joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com for her Playdates At The Wellspring, Heather for Just Write and Jennifer for SDG

Into The Beautiful

The broken shards, the razor sharp edges , cut like jagged glass. And we bleed. We bleed red, we bleed tears, we bleed fear and trembling.

The spinning earth throws us into a tailspin, head long into her tail winds. Upright vertical, we  now are nearly horizontal. Stretched by the force of  gale force winds of living.

We walk limp and slant. We walk bent and drag our weary cane, invalids on the life march.

Without Your beauty. Rust and all.


Frame for me the beautiful every time and everywhere. Share your canvas, ripe and waiting.
And let me paint with You.

Lend  your kaleidoscope eyes to me. To see a sky while still barely breathing. Battered from the power of beautiful. Shaken by creation’s power. Every single time. You repeat and re-repeat your holy masterpieces. And form them into new again.

Point me toward the beautiful so I can see as you.

mcclellanville sunset jeremy

Hold me in the beautiful, while frayed edges of my soul seem faint and frail and close to death. Mark the God art everywhere and peel the scales from my blind eyes. Take the old and make it new, once again.  you create and re-create at speeds  which dizzy human flesh,  spinning life  in your  formed beautiful.

I lay awestruck in the path of creation’s beautiful. Its blazing trail of color, texture, shape and form.


Heal me with Your beautiful. Cradle me in the woven glory of your hands. Shelter me in storms of lovely where brilliant moons and radiant light drip down on life lived here. Walk me toward the beautiful. And lay me down in sheets of white linen crisp and cool. Where I  can slumber in the beautiful with knowing of your holy steady hand.

Rock me roll me into a holy beautiful, where I can dance with You. And wake to waltz in fields of beautiful, growing outside the portal of my world.

Teach me, show me beautiful, when broken cries come look at me. And help me see Your beautiful in the midst of raging deadly seas.

Just wrap me up in rags of sacred lovely. That bind my bleeding wounds. And let me feel your healing hands surround me as I lay there soaking in the salty waters, beautiful on sandy shores of grace.

Wash me in the white hot beautiful, clean, awake and ready to receive all beauty made by you. Remove the blinders on my eyes which block the morning dew and green spring new. That shadow, hide the up and coming shoots of Earth’s new offerings.

Blue Moon HMM

And point me toward your beautiful, in broken, shattered, hurting places.

Teach me how to  find the beautiful. Paint it, write it, sing it out. Loud enough to echo toward the deaf ,yet soft enough to whisper with a sweet I love you.

Just spin me, twirl me, brace me in the broken beautiful so I can weave a masterpiece of beauty. And point always back to you.

With your gentle hands of grace.

Lead me steady straight

And cross me over mercifully,

Into beautiful.


I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. – The Message, Psalm 27


Joining Emily and the group of writers there that have become friends at Imperfect Prose on Thursdays. Come by and read, visit, quietly or drop your own words into the link up there.  Emily’s is the place for grace.


log over creek w moss