Prose and poetry that delve deeper

Eyes closed
mind focussed on a fragrance
sparked by the image
of lilacs

Wildwood Lilacs


Sandy’s words
a “fragrance of simplicity”
explode a kaleidoscope
of memories

Lush blooms
spilling from a milk glass jug
set on grandma’s table
glowing purple

Dappled light
filtering through heart-shaped leaves
onto a lavender-strewn lawn at
season’s end

French white
solemn in crystal beside a coffin
pristine and gentle beauty
without cheer


(Lilac Memories – Carol J. Garvin)


We’ve reached the end of another month, this one concluding the study of Dave Harrity’s book, Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand. Its meditations and writing exercises were meant to be daily devotional explorations, but I didn’t follow the rules. Reading snippets sandwiched into still moments, I didn’t take the journey as planned. Still, this month and its continuing focus on poemia — that’s Greek for poetry, meaning where anything is made — has reinforced my desire to plumb emotional and spiritual depths even as I write my secular prose.

We can’t expect readers to experience the lives of our characters if we don’t experience real emotions while we’re writing their stories. Scenes that flop effortlessly onto the page are sometimes not as inspired as we might like to believe, but are the result of superficial writing. I’ve been guilty of this, occasionally letting the words spill out without feeling any attachment to them.

Sandra Heska King refers to this month of digging deeper as “learning to see a little more clearly, to listen a little more deeply.”  She speaks of faith and matters of the soul, and “a holy awakening,” but truthfully, doesn’t it take a combination of heart, mind and soul to find and follow any writing path that God has mapped out for us?

The book study may be over, but now it’s time to continue the searching, to dig below the surface, to grasp that which is meaningful, and make sure it’s significant and honest before planting it on the page. Are you with me?


Now that May is over I’ve decided to take a week off from blogging. There might be the occasional random post next week, or there might not be, but I’ll be back on the regular schedule by Monday, June 9th to begin my seventh year of sharing mental meanderings with you here. (Can it be that long ago that I ventured out onto the blogging stage? Wow!)

~  ~  ~


Watching and Waiting: a poem

You may be getting tired of my bear photos, but I’m hoping you’ll bear with me a little longer. (I honestly didn’t intend that to be a pun!) I’ve been taking part (after a fashion) in a book study being done by a group of us on Facebook, organized by Sandra Heska King. The book is MAKING MANIFEST: on Faith, Creativity and the Kingdom at Hand, by Dave Harrity. ‘Taking part’ is presumptuous… an over-statement. I’m barely auditing the participation of others, reading portions as I have time, skipping bits, or re-reading others that particularly appeal to me.

There is an exercise for each day, a prompt provided, meant to stimulate a response to the day’s chapter. Day #21 was about “Making New: Bear [or bare] yourself before the page, wait, be patient. Ask for something impossible. Come to the desk [or the yard] for renewal,” and we were asked to write a ten-line poem that features an animal.

It made me think of our recent visiting bear, waiting for her invisible cub to finish its nap, hidden away behind the greenery. Thus my ‘bearwatch’ poem was born.

I don’t write much poetry, but I believe the required spontaneous creativity has a spin-off effect on my other writing. How about you? Do you ever write poems? Do you prefer the tidy, measured, rhyming kind, or the more emotional free verse? If you’d like to try your hand at this exercise I’d love it if you’d add a poem in the comments section below. (I won’t critique yours if you don’t critique mine.) 🙂







Patience stretches time

into moments undone


hidden in green

waiting while a babe restores.

We would do well to emulate

watch and wait

and be recreated

a child of God

in His endless time.


(Carol J. Garvin for the ‘Making Manifest’
book study group’s Day #21 exercise)