My Uncle’s Allotment

image by Kurt Bouda on Pixabay
My Uncle’s Allotment

Small surface plot but

almost two thousand miles deep.

Impressive garden!

When I was small we didn’t own land but we were ‘allotted’ a small garden to grow vegetables and flowers if we didn’t have a backyard. I have many fond memories of times planting and harvesting with my great-aunts and uncles. They grew most of their own vegetables. My job was to shell the peas. I giggled every time one popped!

‘Til next time–I hope you can recall some pleasant childhood memories.

Lynne

The Client and The Coach

A free verse poem
image by StockSnap on Pixabay

“Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.”

verywellmind.com

I used to be a life coach and found enormous satisfaction in helping people realize their potential. Although I still coach occasionally, I no longer have an office practice. Now I enjoy writing—especially poetry.

The Client and The Coach

She sits across from me in the straight-backed chair

fidgeting with a string on her jacket

her long orange-streaked hair falling over her face

as she answers my questions.

Young mother of two with questions of her own

she’s here to find answers but I have none.

What she doesn’t understand yet, is that

all the answers are already within her.

I tell her I can help her find them.

Her head slowly rises from the slump,

brow lines deepen.

She asks how she can possibly have the answers already.

I close my notebook and smile.

’Til next time, I hope you’re feeling good about your future and on the path to fulfilling your dreams.

Lynne

Morning in the Garden

Free verse poem

I live in a rural area in Ontario where the autumn weather is much like that of my childhood years in England, damp and often dismal. I have a long driveway leading to the main road where I can see for about half a mile in either direction and sound carries on still mornings.

The Morning Mist by Ray Majoran in Compassion Gallery — used by permission

(100% of profits from Compassion Gallery goes to charities around the world. I’m not an affiliate, just an admirer of beautiful photography)

Morning in the Garden

Air hangs grey and heavy in the early mist

like a cloud of damp smoke

Cold droplets soak my skin and chill my bones

It’s a dismal morning in the garden

Only tap-tap-tapping on the old weathered oak

penetrates the thick air

a vague memory of a poem from long ago

pulling my thoughts down to the soaked earth

Like intertwined ribbons through the trees

bands of gold and orange begin to float effortlessly

chasing the grey over the hill out of sight

heaviness dissipates and warmth melts the cold inside

School children call to each other down the road

Blue Jay and Robin search for a tasty snack

while chipmunks and squirrels echo the chatter of the children

It’s a good morning in the garden after all.


‘Til next time–I hope your walks in nature are always pleasant.

Blessings,

Lynne

HAIKU POETRY–The Style & Simplicity

Writing Haiku

My last post was about black-out poetry, a technique I learned from Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like An Artist.” Today I’m going to try another technique which I learned from taking a Masterclass with Billy Collins. His suggestion was to take an ordinary everyday item and find inspiration in it. Being a Brit kid from the last century and a big Corrie fan, I chose a teabag.

teabag image by Lynne Collier

Haiku

I’ve been feeling the need for focus lately and what better form of poetry for narrowing down the words to as few as possible than to write a Haiku poem?

Poets over the decades have waffled on the exact rules of writing Haiku. The traditional Japanese Haiku is a three-line poem with a 5/7/5 syllable count, often focusing on images from nature, emphasizing simplicity and clarity of expression.

A modern Haiku poem is not required to, and generally does not, rhyme–although it can at the poet’s discretion. In other words, it’s all up to the writer how they want to approach it.

The set rule of 5/7/5 syllables still needs to be adhered to and spelling needs to be accurate, but all other punctuation and grammar are poetic license (pun intended).

So here’s my Haiku poem from my teabag–

WAXING

Liquid dries and leaves–

A breakfast roll, crescent moon?

–Pacman’s gaping mouth

On days when I can’t focus enough to write, I like to jot down a short poem to help bring me back to concentrate on my work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I see a particularly interesting dust bunny that could be my next masterpiece.

Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

WRITING POETRY: Black-Out Style

Black-Out Style

As I focus more on writing poetry, I’m devouring poems by great writers past and present. I’m currently reading:

Eye of the Beholder by Luci Shaw

Conspiracy of Light by D. S. Martin

Bronte Sisters Poetry by Amazon

This week I also added The Steal Like an Artist Journal by Austin Kleon to my list. He’s a brilliant Creative who astonishes me by his way of encouraging artists of all mediums to delve into artistic bins of untapped ideas and brilliance.

Each page is an exercise to stretch the grey matter to its limits of reality and see things through a different lens. One such exercise is the ‘Black-Out’ approach to writing poetry. An exercise I’ve found most intriguing. I wanted to share my ‘stolen’ discovery with you.

Here’s what he asks of the reader on this particular page:

“Black out one word at a time until you are left with a poem.”

He gives a writing sample to practice on in case you don’t have anything handy but I write mostly Scripture-inspired poetry so I chose to black-out a passage from the book of Revelation.

Revelation 3:15-18, New International Version (NIV)

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Here are the words that spoke to me–

Deeds   cold   hot

either.

Lukewarm

neither.

Spit out!

Rich   wealth   need.

Realize

wretched   pitiful

poor  

blind   naked.

Gold   refined   in

Fire.

Cover   shameful  

nakedness.

Salve   eyes

See

Even without any revising I think this is a solid start to a good poem.

Have you tried this method? 

Let me know in the comments.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

~ Lynne

(A quick word–I’m a Canadian Amazon affiliate so I receive a small fee from Amazon for outbound clicks and purchases which helps me to pay for my website. Thank you 😊)

Poem For Ephesians

Have you ever received a fantastic review for a book or had someone buy a bunch of them for a study group? Feels amazing, doesn’t it? If not yet then plod on, author. It took me quite some time to get a review on Amazon or have a piece chosen for an anthology, but it did come eventually. Fellow authors have said the same. Plodding pays off.

I attended an online conference by The Word Guild this past summer and one of the courses was a 4-week Poetry Intensive by D.S. Martin who’s a Poet-In-Residence at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. Students had a weekly assignment to write a poem on a specific topic and have the group critique it. One of those assignments was to write a contemporary poem about a segment of our choice from the Book Of Ephesians. And I’m very honoured to announce my poem was published today in Poems For Ephesians!

You can read my poem here in the e-pub.

I’m very thankful to The Word Guild for making such a rewarding conference available as we all socially distance and to D.S Martin for sharing his knowledge and creativity with the group. And especially for choosing one of my poems for publication. I am totally chuffed!

I’m also grateful to fellow Christian poets in the group who gave such encouraging critiques on my attempts. I’m fairly new to poetry-writing and had many errors to correct as we edited and revised. It was an amazing experience.

How are you doing with your writing? Have you reached a goal, set a new one, or are you busy planning and plotting for your upcoming NaNo novel? I’d love you to share your WIPs in the comments.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image–and plod on, author 🙂

Lynne

Previous poetry:

CONTENTMENT

SONG OF THE BENEVOLENTS

SPENT

Contentment

An instructor from one of my online poetry classes gave us a list of words and asked us to choose one to write a poem in any form we chose. I chose to write in simple rhyme about the word “contentment”. I find I’m more at peace and full of contentment in my garden.

How do you find contentment?

CONTENTMENT

Children grown

Life’s my own.

Friends are few

That will do.

Birds they sing.

No phones ring.

Flowers dance,

Bunnies prance.

Slow now – good.

As I should.

It’s not hard

In my yard.

‘Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Blessing,

Lynne

Song Of The Benevolents – from “WARAG”

A misty mountain
My Throne and Footstool by Ray Majoran in Compassion Gallery

THE SONG OF THE BENEVOLENTS

Good people come, hear of the King.

Rejoice with us, break bread and sing.

Dance the merrier free from fear.

For peaceful ones find solace here.

Our town is hidden in the veil,

The King’s legacy to prevail.

His great love is bequest on all

Who seek his grace in Hallowed Hall.

But woe to those who would do ill

For the King is just to do his will.

Hark evil ones with vile intents

The words of The Benevolents.

This song is sung by the people of the Town Of Refuge when they gather together for celebrations and prepare for confrontation with encroaching armies.

The beautiful photo is by Ray Majoran. You can view his collection in Compassion Gallery which donates all profits to charity.

The cover of the ebook, Warag, showing a misty mountain and forest.

Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who created you in His image. Be safe, be well, be blessed.

Lynne

Spent

I enjoy writing the occasional poem, although I continue to take classes to hone the art. Here’s one of my poems from a few weeks ago when we were in the middle of the pandemic and I was exhausted from trying to do too much. I’d been taking in too much information from social media and the news and fallen into the trap of “shoulds.” I’d become SPENT.

How are you fairing these days? Are you too overrun with information and drained from lack of fresh air and socialization? I hope you’re connecting with those who fill you up and not so much with those who leave your spirit spent.

woman in black cloak with fishing pole standing in beach
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

SPENT

Spent.

All of it spent.

Nothing left to give.

Words lay dead as brown leaves covered by icy cold white.

Barren.

Empty soul

Why do you torment me?

I desire

But there’s no life,

No expression,

Only an empty vessel.

A tornado of stories

Half-written,

Half-lost

To me.

I’m not this.

Let me be.


Be safe, be well, be blessed, and remember — you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Til next time

Lynne

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