This video talks about my understanding of the work as a whole. In the next couple weeks I will be sharing selections from the book coming out soon from Friesen Press.
“Creative Words is a meaningful poetry collection whose layered creativity shows how emotions, ideas, and artwork interact with each other….The book’s openhearted and sincere language is appealing…no syllable is wasted.” Foreword Clarion Reviews ★★★★
Creative Words is my first book and it will be releasing in August 2021. I will be sharing some content over the next couple weeks to introduce this book to the readers of my blog. It is being published by Friesen Press and it is in their coming soon section of their website. It will be available wherever you buy books including Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and independent bookstores. It may not be on the shelf of your local bookstore but they will be able to order it.
Part of this process was having a Foreward Clarion Review done on the work. Foreward Clarion Reviews are independent reviews for indie published works to give booksellers and librarians an independent review of the work. You can read the complete review reference above here.
Tragic events expose the fragility of the worlds we inhabit.
Undoing the meaning of the words that we speak and hear.
The gravity of the grief is so powerful that nothing escapes it.
There are no beautiful words that can undo betrayal.
Letters litter the lawn as they lose their creative power.
Words are worthless when the unspeakable occurs.
Tragedy transforms treasured truths into discarded trash.
Narratives go nowhere. Sacred stories are suddenly suspended.
Poetry enters a precarious pause. Its rhymes and rhythms undone.
Someday the words will regain their meaning for the wounded one.
When the gravity of grief is not so great. But not yet.
First the fragile pieces must be gathered, their world recreated.
Only time can transform the truths tragedy trashed.
Patient presence with survivor of the unspeakable
May once again allow words their worth in the world.
Narratives may find their new way. Sacredness seen in stories.
Poetry and prose relate reality in rhyme and rhythm.
Beauty beyond the brokenness of betrayal as new words emerge.
My scars sense the raw pain that you feel.
Although my wounds stitched themselves together,
They left faint traces that narrate the pain of the past
For those who draw close enough and look closely.
The scars remember the deep ache that discolored the skin.
Yet, deeper than physical wounds are the ones on the heart
The penetrating cuts of shattered hopes that pierce the soul.
The dreams of the past and the promise of the present
All turn to ash in the white-hot furnace of the abuse.
Sometimes the strong walls of home can’t keep the wolves outside the door
To survive in the midst of wolves you become a monster that they fear.
Yet, your own teeth began to terrify those whose embrace you desire.
You stare in disbelief at the scared, scarred animal you’ve become.
Your wounds learned to wound, tooth for tooth, claw for claw
But the wolves are quick and cunning and often just out of reach
And those who share your sanctuary may find themselves bleeding.
The pain can heal, if you can find a sanctuary from the wolves.
God knows, that isn’t easy, for they do love their hunt.
The wounds of body, spirit, soul and mind can slowly heal,
But you will bear the marks of this within you for your life.
Some nights the deep ache will reawaken in your nightmares.
You may still see the animalistic fear in the mirror long after the danger is gone.
Yet, in scars there can be the gift of seeing the pain that others ignore
Of feeling what others cannot feel, and of helping bind the wounds.
Helping one more human return to the world of humanity.
To rebuild the safety and security of the home that protects their beloved ones.
And perhaps, in a small way, helping heal the wound of the world
One scarred sister or one broken brother at a time.
I rejoiced to see you emerge from the fecund and spongy soil
Where your seed was carefully wrapped in the warm earth
The vessel where you begin your short life is small and light
To bring you to a safe space and protect you from the killing frost
So, you can have enough time to fully develop and bear fruit
Before the brutal summer sun saps your strength and dries your roots
Yet your life will not transpire in these carefully controlled conditions
To reach your full size you must grow beyond the confines of this pot
Eventually, you will be transplanted into a place prepared in the garden
Where the sun shines, the rain falls, the wind blows, and the soil is deep
To sink your roots deep in during the hot days and the chilling nights
As I add water or perhaps cover you in the event of a late spring freeze
But as you grow, you need my protection less as your roots drive deep
It is in the garden with worms and weeds where the flowers and fruit mature
As I think on your short life from seed to sprout to fruit
Started in winter, growing in spring and gone in the summer
I ponder the balance between sheltering and smothering
The necessity of providing a safety from the life destroying frost
Is as essential as letting things grow in the uncomfortable world
Knowing what supports the seedlings struggle to reach fruition
And what prevents their growth beyond the vessels they start in
Some desire a dance with their demons
awakening the monsters that lie within
Embracing their deepest darkness
Drinking away the inhibitions
Silencing their consciences
Entering the darkest night
Without the searching of the soul
I’d rather sing a lullaby for my demons
To listen to monsters’ fears by candlelight
Hearing their stories and regrets
Learning what they were afraid to see
Tending the scars of the soul
Walking through the darkest valley
Into the morning beyond the mourning
Sometimes I imagine you running through some unending shopping mall
Realizing that somewhere along the trip you lost hold of me in the crowd
Perhaps you stopped to gaze at some curiosity in a shop window for a moment
And I was gone, moved on by the crush of the crowd’s unending, unfeeling flow
Tears streaming down your cheeks for the companion no longer there
As both our futures were severed by forces beyond our control
Like a parent who came to a new country seeking hope for their family
Only to find that family ripped asunder at the border, children caged
Fighting bureaucrats and their cold, unfeeling mountains of paperwork
Fanning the embers of hope for some eventual reunification
Only to find out that you are gone, given to a new family to foster
Just a dream who has hopefully found a new father to be cherished by
Some part of me won’t accept that dreams die when reality shatters them
When life moves on, when circumstances change, when new dreams are born
Something makes me hope that they find a new heart that beats with theirs
Someone who cherishes them the way that I did as they grew and changed
That they have a future beyond the fracture, and that they find joy and love
That you may be the dream that another person raises up for the world to see
Growing a Story
Some kernel of truth was planted in the fecund imagination
And as the new shoot broke from the warm moist ground
Spreading its initial leaves to breath in the air in a new world
As an alien sun showers the cotyledons of the seed with radiation
And the roots begin to drive into the soil feeding on the detritus
So many things can happen to this new seedling over its maturation
The environment it emerges into may be too toxic for it to endure
Animals and insects may eagerly devour its first green leaves
Or weeds may grow up around it choking its access to the sun
Drought may deny it the nourishment it needs or flood may overwhelm
Subterranean pests or diseases may devour the roots it sinks
But sometimes, against all the odds, the roots delve deep
The plant spreads its tender branches towards the heavens
And the story slowly grows, struggling to reach maturity
Putting forth leaves, flower and fruit and delighting the eye
Yet no story grows unchanged by the world it enters
The knots and gnarls that give it character as it grows
Some branches have to be pruned carefully by its author
As it takes its place among the orchard that invites the hungry
To walk among the collected trees and to taste the fruit
Which provides the seeds for the next generation of stories
They put me in this ground because I grow up fast
Spreading out my arms full of foliage in the hot sun
On summer days, I appear strong and full and healthy
My shallow roots shoot through the brown clay
Like a spider web gathering all the water from the ground
My heavy green crown provides a deep shade for the earth
Roots and crown absorb all the sun and water of heaven
Suffocating any life that may want to grow in my shadow
Yet, trees like me are notorious for shattering in the storm
Every branch goes back to a single point on my trunk
My long, heavy laden, branches too firm to bend in the wind
And my crown breaks in the spring and fall rainstorms
The wind snapping my arms and dropping them on the ground
Blocking paths and roads, waiting to be cut up and taken away
I grow up fast and I look like a king only to dethroned by the elements
My query about things that we expect to grow up too fast
Who learn how to rely on a single point of strength in the sun
Who may at times appear full, healthy, strong and immovable
Perhaps sheltering others in their canopy absorbing the heat
Or absorbing all the light and water suffocating those nearby
Why we’re surprised when they break leaving destruction around
When their lives are short and they are more brittle than they seem
When their roots are shallow and the storms of life are too great?
And we clear away the fallen limbs and foliage, the broken crown
Making space for another Bradford pear tree to grow up in the space
As their ancestor’s memory is ashes and smoke in the firepit of history
The soil was turned, the weeds and rocks removed
Seeds placed at the proper depth and thoroughly watered
So many have cast their seeds into the waiting earth
Seeing the germination, the growth and the eventual fruition
The earth giving birth to another healthy harvest
Sometimes after germination pests come and root in the garden
Floods and winds damage the plants or drought dries the roots
Struggling against the elements to shield the tender shoots
Yet, what can be done when plants miscarry before they can emerge?
The seeds rotting in the dirt, disintegrating in nature’s womb
Perhaps they are dust, and like the sower who sows, to dust they return
Some unknown problem with seed or soil, parasite or pest
Birds may have come to consume the seed on the ground
Rodent may have rooted in the fecund earth for the precious seed
Sun may have baked the seeds and made the ground infertile
With the termination of the germination the ground lies barren
The hopes reserved for this season are buried in the earth
Never to rise again. For the season’s seeds have been sown
The storehouse sits empty and the store shelves are bare
Until a new season emerges when new seeds can be sown
When the soil is turned again, and the seed placed lovingly inside