Part Two – A Confessional: I Write Imperfect Poetry and Prose

Fave Chicken Pic (This is part two of a two-part post. Part One may be read here. You may consider reading it first. Thank you for being here for my imperfect poetry and prose. Grateful to have you here.) And so I write. Today is Monday and I want to write as honestly as I strived to on Sunday. This is not about false humility or humbled low-bowing for the sake of, well, humble low-bowing in and of itself. Let’s admit it: Writers humbling themselves can be a spectator sport on the interwebs. And often it is difficult to discern  the writer’s spirit. The authenticity. (Now that’s an over-used word.)

I know in my deep places that my craft, my art, my writing, well, they need time to ripen and mature. I need to read more poetry, write more poetry and listen to the wisdom of beautifully gifted writers. I need to pay better attention. Read more excellent fiction. Sit in the wake of the backdraft of the giants.

And yet, I am still Elizabeth. There is no changing that. I am still the woman who burns with passion for seeing the world in a beautiful, grace-laced way. I am the writer who hears God wooing me into a world of words, with His own. I am a long-processor and so I need to write. Everything that I see, hear and experience needs to run back through the sieve of the pen. But it doesn’t. One cannot sustain quite that level of writing. Or I can’t. But I understand an event a bit better after I write. Most writers do. This is not unique to my writing life.

It is important for me to continue to remind myself and others that I was not always bound to the pen or bent on paying close attention. I have missed a million small moments. Beauty has gone unnoticed. Miracles of creation, tucked into the intricate places have been seen by the attentive ones. But not by me.

I am awake now. I am paying attention. Going digging. Searching for mystery, miracle and wonder. Sharing it with others. And savoring a thousand intricately nuanced moments. Looking for the hidden. And writing toward a more perfectly crafted poem. Bending in to learn to show you in more eloquently written prose.

And so I write.

Expectantly. Honestly. Awake.

I am writing my poetry. My prose.

For us.

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Curating A Simple Life

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Curating A Simple Life

While the cheese toast begins to bubble under the broiler

And the tip tops of the Himalayan Mountains parade through the Instagram Feed
The child plans the trip to Spain
(as your suitcase morphs into a receptacle for dust bunnies and household tumbleweeds)
The pro’s and con’s of matters of state and faith
Land in a rubbled heap

The teams have been picked
And you sit on the bench
Warm, where the bystanders go

I remember asking him
Rhetorically
Yet, not really so

The trips in the black of night
Dark the color of two thirty a.m.
I find my way lit by the light of his song

He is out of tune with the world
As am I

Why, I asked does he sing at night
A morning song
(I know the whip-or-will well)
Utterly confused is the night-owl
Mockingbird

But he sees the light

And decides to sing

When your heart beats at the rate of simple
Mysteries present themselves
Questions bolden-up
Deciding to invite you into the mystery
Determine to unfurl complex curiosities
At your aging size 9 feet

Mercifully
You see glory all around
Places you used to go bump in the night
Stumbling around in the metaphorical dark

Day after day

And pray
No one turns out the light

By which the lone bird sings
Leaving the slice of avocado off your toast

Decisions made
As curator of your one simple life

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Joining Laura

Standing At The Sink

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If you find me staring through the pane
Fuzzy, focusing on things
That aren’t right here
Far away I seem to you
Wandering out
back in again
Lost in thought inside my head
Making art and hearing holy whispers to press ahead
Bubbles resting in the kitchen sink
It is not the labor that you think
Upon first glance,
upon a second glance
You’ll see
Breathing rapid at the chance

To go chase Robins in my dreams
Daily washing worry down the metal
Drain
Choosing to find beauty in the ash
He bowed
Wrestled something from the soil
Hope, I think, was birthed on my front lawn

He landed there in front of me
As I stood steeped in worry at my sink
The birds transformed me into
Something holy new

Now I am rusty breasted in my dreams
Wings will take me far from here
I can join the Robins and
Go places in my mind
Disappear, fly somewhere other
Than leaning on the dirty sink

Every anxious thought
So filled with fear
Is floating in a sea
Made of foamy bubbles laced with dirt
I am a vessel
Propped up, leaning on the counter
Trying not to
Sink

Even the drain does not want
To take from me
This toxic waste

And if you see me resting in the rocking chair

Here but not, a countenance
Filled with worry and concern

I am not resting, idle though it seems
I have run away, escaping to my
Dreams
Asked them to carry me
Someplace other than right now, right here

The words give solace
Comfort
And remove me from
A place of tears

Now I have joined the Robins
Dancing on a sea of brown
They’ve brought
A story laced with hope

My soul
Is grateful for a flock of orange breasted birds
Content when digging
In the wormy dirt.
And I am back now
Washing dishes in the sink.

Gazing At The Ordinary Marvelous

Today is Day Poetic 

Have you noticed a little quiet pause. Is it bending or breaking the 31 Days “code of writing to triple up” one post to cover three days in the series. Ah, I have been living and traveling and noticing. And thinking of this place and space while it was quiet. Were you out noticing while it was quiet? Have you even noticed that I was gone?

Today is Day 21 ( and 20 and 19)

wpid-IMG_20130814_185820.jpgGazing at The Ordinary Marvelous

I have wondered through a maze of noticing
Sat on every word unfurled from  preacher’s lips
Not mine, on prayer, unending
Every note, black, ballet dancer up and down
That old red hymnal, still smells like memories of Methodist
Smells a certain way
Doxology dances off the yellow pages, runs rifts
Of remembering ordinary marvelous
Weaves a red thread through the years and days

And I have wandered through a maze of bittersweet
Returning with my fragile heart and mind
I long to change a memory
Bur, for all my trying I can’t rewrite it
Into something better, brighter, sweeter
Babys at the alter, dipped in sacred fonts
Will stir the waters that run deep
Inside a mother’s  broken heart

I have wondered through the winding
Roads that lead me home to Woodland Heights
Where I am met with fond recalling
Early morning, late at night
Bookended by the generations
Stories that go on and on, echoing down the mountain
There are no secrets anymore
Rolling tires crunch  crush the brittle leaves
A slow and gentle breaking
On this road to my returning
I have come back home again, met by autumn’s gold dust shining
She opens wide the door for me.

Everything is ordinary
Marvelous as it should be
Concentric circles of recalling
Spokes that find their way back to the center
Tines which gently poke inside, time and time again
Urge me to recall while listening to the echo of
The winsome valley train

Everything is marvelous
The circles spin like hands clockwise round the rounded clock
Face the moments, ordinary
Savor all the pieces of the past
Colliding with the present
All this noticing
Never seems to stop
For if it did and if it were
If the door to my eyes and memory
Were to close and come to final rest
Death would meet me at the end of marvelous
Where all the ordinary  settles into peacefulness

While time presents herself
At daybreak, new and wondrous once again
I  go forth to gather
All the ordinary marvelous
Where we sing  loud and joyful
A searcher’s song, a hymn of praise
Let Noticing her loud and lively anthem raise.

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(To read all posts in this 31 day series, The Art of Noticing, click here to land on Day One and a listing of all posts) I am joinging The Nester at The Nester dot com for October. Click here to check out some of the other writers/bloggers who are accepting this writing challenge. There are some wonderful writers participating in several cool categories.

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Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com . It is where I go on Mondays for a writer’s Playdate.