cosmic chaos

cultivating calm & creativity in my corner of the world

Archive for the category “Poetry”

The Advocate

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  I am honored that one of my poems was used today to celebrate the work of the on-call volunteers at Beyond Abuse who respond to sexual assault victims.

The Advocate

I don’t know your name
you told me, I’m sure
but I can’t recall most
of what was said that night

I wouldn’t recognize you
if I passed you on the street
your face is a blur
a distorted memory

Except for your eyes
kind, brown eyes looking at me
in my despair
seeing me and not flinching

I hear your voice
gentle and caring
a contrast to the mechanical hum
of fluorescent lights and medical devices

I feel the warmth of your hand
grasping mine, never letting go
despite how hard I squeeze

You stayed when I needed you to stay
left when I needed to be alone
checked on me to let me know
someone was still there for me

For me
not because you had to be
not to take a report
not to perform a test
but because I might need

Kind eyes to comfort
a gentle voice to console
a warm hand to hold
an advocate in a cold exam room

So now, years later
those are the things I remember
and embrace
not the evil someone did to me
but the compassion you gave to me –
a stranger in need

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Art and Worship

For the last three months, my church has partnered with another local church to have a Second Sunday worship service at the community Arts Center.  The brief service, approximately 45 minutes, is held in the gallery and features an artist and poet to enhance the service.  Each Second Sunday service has its own theme.  This month I was asked to contribute a poem on the theme of law.

I love the Arts Center.  I drop by when I get off work early or when I have extra time at lunch to stroll through the current exhibits.  I have attended many writing events at the Arts Center.  I enjoy being surrounded by the artwork.  There is a sense of inspiration and peace from being surrounded by the work of other artists.  The Arts Center is a natural fit for creativity, but I have discovered it is just as conducive to worship.

Some studies have been conducted about the positive effect of religion on the overall wellbeing of people.  Combining two areas of my personal comfort – art and worship – made the experience a joyous one.

Try combining two things that you love to spur your creativity and bring you peace.

Here is my poem:

Reflecting on Justice

This law —

passed down through your fathers

and your fathers’ fathers —

do you know it

or just recite what you’ve been told

hoping you’re doing good enough

to avoid judgment

unlike some convicted souls

whose only crime was being human?

 

Lady Justice —

strict upholder of the law

blindfolded so not to see who appears

before her scales —

does she still hear the moans

of mortals and confer

with her sister Mercy

before announcing sentence?

 

Do you wonder

how it shall flow

from you

to your daughters and sons

on to their prodigy

throughout the land

this law?

Food for the Soul

In the mist of everyday life—the challenges of work, family and just getting by—it is easy to get stuck in a cycle that saps the creativity out of you.  That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who inspire you.  I’ve been so fortunate to foster friendships with area writers, artists and inspirational people.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon another creativity gem, the SC Book Festival  in Columbia, SC.  The SC Book Festival is a program of The Humanities Council SC.  Each year the SC Book Festival brings local, regional and national authors together for a weekend of panel discussions, presentations and book signings.  On Friday, Writing Workshops are offered for a fee.  The programs on Saturday and Sunday are free.

The SC Book Festival is a wonderful chance to meet authors who have made it – who have actually been published—and hear their stories.  It is also an opportunity to realize that these are real people who had real struggles who persevered to make their goal.   Their stories are food for the creative soul.

Renewal

There are moments when I realize that I’m in a rut.  Right now, I’m in a severe rut.  My creativity is at zero.  Maybe even at a negative.  Which means it’s time for a change.

Usually going on a get-away—a day or a weekend trip—is enough.    As luck would have it, I was scheduled to attend a conference for work on April 18th and 19th.  I got to leave town for a few days and visit Charleston, SC.  I had hoped that it would be enough to recharge my creative battery.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.

What I haven’t done so well is to take care of me.  I’ve known for months now that I’ve been disconnected from one of the things that keeps me grounded, literally.

When I was a child, I loved to walk through the woods.  My favorite thing was to go to the creek below my house and find a spot to sit.  I would watch the water flow, seeing how that gentle but steady stream could move even large debris out of its way.   I noticed the trees, flowers, and moss.  I listened to the creek, the birds, and the animals all around me.  As I sat, my worries lessened and I found peace.  A few years ago, I wrote this poem about my experiences:

The One Within

There are times I have to escape

Leave all the harsh lights and sharp noises behind

And return to my mother

Losing myself in the lush surroundings

That resist all signs of man’s progress

 

It’s there that I find myself

Beside the stream that flows

Moving on and on regardless of what people say it should do

Knowing a different world exists that has been there for eons

And simply wishes to be left alone, to just be

 

Then I find it

Like a mystic gathering moss it comes

That little piece of me that shuns the hustle and bustle of everyday life

And connects with my ancestors who knew the land so well

 

Wind in the treetops

Trinkling swirls of water

The call of birds

Scampering animals yet unseen

The buzz of insects

And the lullaby of frogs

Feed her; strengthen her; allow her to grow

To fill me

So I can face the next challenge that life brings.

I haven’t taken the time to stay connected to nature.  And as a result, I have been in rut. So my current goal is to spend some time each day enjoying nature.  Only then will the healing flow.  And with that healing, the creativity will return.

Here’s a link to Musings of an Opinionated Woman, a blog by Amaryllis Turman — an author and friend who inspires me.

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