Tag Archives: Poem

Breaking the Rules

It’s not about mercy
if your destination is Alcatraz

It’s not about rehabilitation
if you’ve ended up here on the Rock

Don’t plan to escape
if you try the dig, dash, and dive
you won’t be eating shark dinner
in San Fran by nightfall

You’ll be shark dinner

Best to avoid breaking the rules

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For the Poetics Prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today, Mish wants us to write a poem inspired by a sign. I chose the sign we saw while waiting in line to go on a tour of Alcatraz in San Francisco a couple of years ago. I’m glad I never had to spend hard time in a cell like the one below. Not that I’ve always followed the rules, but I never broke the ones that would land you here.

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A Storm of Doubt

Doubt blows through
a dust-devil of uncertainty
clouding my judgment

It’s hard to recognize
the truth in the storm
To believe the evidence
right in front of my face

One does not become
a contest finalist
if one cannot write

Still self-doubt rages on

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I missed the last Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub. But the given word—storm—has been swirling in my mind ever since. So, for Open Link Night, I’m putting off working on my memoir, which is a finalist in the Oregon Christian Writers contest, and writing a stormy Quadrille instead.

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I’m a Double Finalist

I’m so excited! I entered a poem in the Published Poetry category and my memoir in the Unpublished Memoir category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest this year. The deadline to enter was March 31 and I’ve been on pins and needles ever since I hit the submit button and emailed my manuscripts.

The finalists—three in each category—were announced last Wednesday. I made the finals for both of my submissions! I’m happy the poem made the finals, but I’m super stoked about the memoir.

Writing this memoir is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It still needs some editing and polish, and probably will until the day it’s finally published, but it feels good to have professional editors and writers say my prose, the descriptive language I’ve put so much heart and soul into, is good. And not just good, but good enough to be in the top three.

My focus on the memoir is the main reason I haven’t posted as much here on my blog over the past year and a half. Although if you’ve kept up with my blog you probably already surmised as much based on the poems I’ve written about the struggle of writing one’s own story knowing (or hoping?) that people will actually read it.

The Oregon Christian Writers Conference and the Awards Ceremony are in August, which means I might not be posting much in the next two or three months either, because I’ll be busy polishing that manuscript. I won’t be completely absent, but I’d appreciate it if you’d cut me some slack if a miss a whole week here and there.

Anyway, I just want to thank all those who have encouraged me along my writing journey. I especially want to thank Sarah Thebarge, whose memoir writing coaching class at the OCW Conference last year was fabulous. If you haven’t read her memoir, The Invisible Girls, you really should. But I also want to thank members of my church, my Bible Study Fellowship sisters-in-Christ, my sister Suz and my cousin Noryce who told me to keep writing, and my husband who left me alone to write on many occasions. And, of course, my dear Jesus who made it all possible by His love and grace.

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Sounds of the Sound

Sitting on the bank of the Sound
I listen for the wonderful sounds
of nature all around

White-crowned Sparrows pour out song
Harbor porpoises splash along
Bald eagles soar high and strong
Sea otters cavort shores where they belong

My awe of God abounds

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It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and Victoria wants us to sound-off with our 44-word Quadrilles that include some form of the word sound. I used two.

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Traeger Season

Traeger season. My favorite time of year. An entire meal cooked out on the deck either directly on the grill or in aluminum packets makes for quick easy clean-up. The scent of mesquite pellets wafts about the deck. I peel russet potatoes and cube them, spray Pam on a huge piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, spread out the cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and seal ‘er up. To make sure they’re crispy on the bottom, they go on the grill first. My favorite part is sitting in the sun snapping the fresh green beans. I add a little lemon juice, salt, and summer savory to this packet and put it on the grill after the potatoes have cooked about twenty minutes. Then last, but certainly not least, the rib eyes, bright red and perfectly marbled with delicious fat. Mmmm. I sprinkle both sides with Traeger Prime Rib Rub, the perfect steak seasoning (in my opinion). Then on the grill they go. I set the timer on the stove so I don’t get sidetracked and over cook them. Time has a way of getting away from me when I’m basking in the sun in my deck chair waiting for dinner.

Savory summer
Season of delightful foods
Sweet tranquility

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For Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub today, Bjorn is hungry and looking for recipes. He wanted us to write about time in the kitchen, but my thoughts immediately went to cooking outside on my Traeger pellet stove. I’ve had a Traeger for years and could never go back to grilling over charcoal or gas. There is just something about that mesquite or hickory smoke that makes the food taste so delicious!

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Filed under Family, Life, Poetry, Recipe

Echoes of Peace

My fear rises
The verse echoes in my mind
Do not be anxious, pray, be thankful

Peace reigns in my heart

I see her fear
The verse echoes from my mouth
Do not be anxious, let’s pray, be thankful

Peace reigns in her heart

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Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub where De is calling for our 44-word tomes that include some form of the word echo. Seemed appropriate to write something that had a bit of an echo to it.

So I went to read some other Quadrilles, and after 3 that seemed very, very long, it dawned on me that I’d written a 30-word poem instead of a 44-word poem. I guess 30 days of doing something does create a habit! I’ve fixed it now.

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Valley of Trouble

There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
Hosea 2:15 (NIV).

When from sin you need set free
When God’s hope you cannot see
When from Satan you must flee
Enter the Valley of Achor

When all you desire are sun’s rays
When you don’t know how to live today
When there’s nothing left but to pray
Enter the Valley of Achor

When the horses of anguish lope
When you need faith just to cope
When you’re seeking the Lord’s hope
Enter the Valley of Achor

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Valley of Tears

As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. Psalm 84:6 (NIV).

My Savior will dry all my tears
The Lord God knows all my fears
As I trudge onward many years
I pass through the Valley of Baka

Great pain and agony oppress
I feel heavy weights of duress
Praying for dear Jesus to bless
I pass through the Valley of Baka

I see that this valley is long
I need You to make my faith strong
That Lord I might sing a praise song
As I pass through the Valley of Baka

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5/18/17: I decided to share this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today. Head over and see what other poetry is being offered up.

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May Day

Spring has sprung
the flowers have bloomed
winter cold
is all but doomed

May has arrived
with its promising days
of beauty and fun
from the sun’s warm rays

This first day of May
brings me a smile
with its sweet pledge
winter’s gone for awhile

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The End Begins

April has come to an end
And the rain it did send
Promises many flowers will bloom
And adorable hummingbirds to zoom
From blossom to colorful blossom
Spring is awesome

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