This poem was written in response to a prompt in How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination related to imagery. The recommendation was to make a list of images conveying grief, anger and love ( I added delight since that is what I happened to be feeling a the time), and then exploring what they have in common.
with a deep ache
a longing for something lost;
I hold an emptiness
as thick as a 500-year old tree.
with a child’s joy
a spontaneous spirit;
an unbound energy
as light as the free-flowing air we breathe.
filled with fear
a disconnect with my Self;
an instant reaction
as sharp as the blade of the kitchen knife.
my heart wide open
a need to touch something true;
feeling for solid ground
as real as the earth below my two feet.
In life’s vast field,
grief and delight, anger and love
play like cousins
in the grass of spring.
Given the fact that there is more that I don’t (than do) know, why is it so challenging to embrace these 3 little words?
Maybe because, from the time we are wee little things and on through school and work, we are rewarded knowing stuff, for getting things right, having answers? Maybe because when we know, we feel safe and in control?
I’m finding, though, there’s a power in accepting that I don’t know. In a way, it is freeing. With a little curiosity, not knowing can be an adventure, and even fun.
How do you feel about not knowing?
* My husband and I surprised these 3 sheep when we showed up on the road next to their field, which was situated on the coast in Doolin, Ireland. (It was sunset and I also caught this sweet swallow resting on a fence along the road.)
Your words a song
Your power the beat of a drum
Your grace notes filling the air
A resounding instrument
Your song leads me
Who I want to be
My favorite word coming out of the transformational Radical Leadership retreats I attended back in 2005 is possibility. As I’ve reviewed my writings over these past dozen years, curiosity, openness, wonder and hope fill my experience.
In 2009, I began to play with the possibility (smile) of writing a book of poetry. I had a rough collection of some 25-30 poems that I titled “She Just Left Neverland: In Search of Possibility”. My journal has a description of what was happening for me at the time:
It’s coming together
These flashes, these little ideas
Hinting at something
Glimpses of what I can create
when I slow down
And am open in my looking
Through the haze
I see the possibilities shining
And leading me to action
I wrote Music about a colleague, Otema, who gave me the courage to play with my words and explore writing poetry. She was an inspiration and invitation that opened the possibility of poetry for me, and put me in action. Her early advice was so brilliant:
Look for themes in what you are writing
Identify your purpose in sharing
Read lots of poetry
Leave spaces for the reader to fill in
* I took this photo in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland in 2016.