The year 2020….amirite? What a crazy time to be alive in this mixed up, muddled up, shook up world. I find myself at a place of un-creativity, if there is such a word. I haven’t painted in weeks. I have written only minimally. I’ve fallen into the trap of believing my own press, which is that I’m past my prime as a writer and creator.
But I’m telling that press to hush.
The other day, I came across a folder titled “Poetry” in a box of mementos. It is full of poetry I’ve written over the span of about 30 years. I (literally) blew the dust off and started reading.
And soon, tears were rolling. And I was laughing (not necessarily in that order,) and I remembered why I love words so much. Words can destroy, but they can also heal, and do so mightily. What if I publish a poem every day for a week, I thought.
I’ve got everything from teenage angst to proper breakdowns; praises and wonder, to pain and sorrow. The craft is very versatile.
Poetry is a niche market within a niche market, if one gets paid to creative it and is a any good at it. I am not the paid poet, but I am a big fan of the poem. Because you see, writing poetry for poetry’s sake is pure. When I share it, I know full well that most people won’t read my work, and if they do…
WHAT IF THEY HATE IT?
What if I’ve made myself vulnerable to no earthly reward, and I suck at it?
What if nobody reads it at all? It’s not exactly a popular genre.
I decided I can live with one or all of these repercussions. Because words can destroy (and oh what a year, what with most of the words being negative in nature and destructive in intent.)
So what if one reader walks away with one morsel of soul-gleaning or relate-ability? That makes it worth the sharing.
(This one-woman poetry jam is a representation of my gooey emotional insides; please be gentle.)
I hope I don’t make a fool of myself, but isn’t that what writing from the soul requires? I cannot make a fool of myself if I keep all the words bottled up inside where it’s safe from ridicule or worse, indifference. But where is the adventure in that? Art is a sharing from a private world. Poetry can be the vehicle that transports others in to enjoy and/or suffer alongside the writer.
So check back in the coming days for a Beggar’s Bakery Poetry Jam. Thirty years is a long time to keep musings in a folder.
God bless us, everyone. And I hope you enjoy the offerings.
Things have been so heavy lately, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for our elderly cat who – for 18 years – has run through the house batsh*t insane in the middle of the night, most every night. It’s a little Dr. Suessical, but a light reprieve from the usually heavy blog fare. Hope you enjoy!
That Old Man Socks! That Old Man Socks! He’s up all night, that Old Man Socks! Socks, do you like good sleep and peace? “I do not like them” Socks decrees. “Unless it comes as mid-day nap, Sleeping at all is utter crap.” Socks, would you sleep instead of mew When the moon is nice and new? Would you please sleep all night through? Is this something you can do? I know you don’t like night time peace. But humans need a few hours, at least. Would you sleep at night on a sheet? Would you sleep at night for a treat? You do not like to let us sleep So please count mice (or please count sheep!) When we don our sleeping frocks, It’s not your cue to go wild, Socks. Would you pipe down in the night? Would you, could you, please….alright? Sleep in a box. Sleep with a fox. Sleep in a house. Sleep with a mouse. At nighttime, sleep either here or there. For the love of God, sleep SOMEWHERE.
Hello, dear readers. I pray everyone is safe in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires.
Oy vey, this world. What is the DEAL with it?
As I fight my own battle with depression, I’m learning that fighting it is exhausting, like trying to climb out of a deep well where the walls are slick and there are no footholds. I’m learning to be still, let Jesus shimmy down the well to where I am, hold and comfort me, and then lift me to safety. I know He will because He always does. As surely as death or taxes.
I have recently become addicted to watching poetry slams on YouTube. I love the wordcrafting and tempo, the emotion and power that go into the slamming. I would love to write poetry for a gathering of slam fans, but I don’t really have the guts to do it in front of actual people, so I’ll just do so from my little corner of the world here at The Beggar’s Bakery, where I don’t have to stutter or worry about what to do with my face or hands in front of people.
Here is my slam of the day. It’s my first in this style of writing. Chalk it up to a mid-life crisis. It almost has to be read aloud, and gives little credence to punctuation and grammar and all that jazz.
It may be pure awful. Something I look back on publishing and cringe. Trying new things is hard. But hey – that’s always a risk when starting anything new. Right?
I interrupt this blog series about the 12 Steps to post this message that God gave me during church last Sunday. He kind of won’t get off my back writing it, like maybe someone else out there needs to hear the message. So, here we go.
Step Eight seems like a good place to take a rest anyway.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness
We lose the meaning of it all, in the quest to get it right. This Christmas thing is hard to fathom, under our own might.
We know that Jesus was born in a manger, We know that animals lowed nearby, We know the wise men brought him presents, We’ve all heard of the star that guided them nigh.
But stop the Christmas rush for a moment, Silence the bells and jingling sleighs, Look beyond trees and feasts and caroling, And elaborate displays.
Remember for a moment what we most often forget, Let it rest in your heart (where it’s a perfect fit!) Christmas is about a God crazy for you …
Listen …. Can you hear him pursue?
A God who became human for a time, just to be closer to you?
The Creator of the universe craving relationship, Wanting to be where you are? That small, still voice following you Like the bright Bethlehem star?
So far across the universe, yet as close as drawing breath, What could make God’s people see This love that conquers death?
God sent his son – a part of Himself – A promise he’d made long before. And so to Mary, a son was born, On a humble stable floor.
God himself poured over bones, and under fragile skin, To draw you close and know your pain, and forever conquer sin.
God made manifest in a baby boy, Who would grow to save the world. And bring them the gospel of truth and joy, His prophesy unfurled.
Hark the herald angels sing! Peace on earth, good will toward men! Do not fear, Your God is near, Even to the end.
Emmanuel – God With Us – Yeshua, God most high! The hope for everlasting life Heard in an infant’s cry.
That’s the meaning of Christmas.
Rejoice in your heart of hearts, Where God has made his home … Your heart – the manger for the savior, Filled with peace – Shalom.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel. An Event for Everyone
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
I wrote this poem for my youngest daughter when she was going through a rough time, and I’m posting it with her permission. (She has grown up to be all the good things that her mama predicted, by the way….she was all along – she just had to figure it out).