Friday, September 20, 2013

Open-Ended Poetry

An interesting thing has happened to me just a couple of times while writing. I will be working on a particular piece, then get to a point of seeming writers' block. I don't know how to continue or how to tie it off, so I leave it for a while and eventually come back to it. Now that, non-existent readers, is not uncommon at all. I could publish volumes of half-written poems and impactful lines! The interesting thing that has happened just twice is coming back to one of those half-written poems and realizing that I had already finished it without even realizing. Here I present those two:

[The Poem I Cannot Write]
Hand on pen, pen on paper
But words come like rain in a drought.
I am thirsty.

This verse, so simple yet elusive,
Burns in my heart each day.
I see it in the sunset,
Feel it in the warm embrace of a child,
Hear it in the whispering wind.
But to write it...

With a sigh, I lay down my pen
Leaving but two words behind:
Beauty. Gratitude.

[Breaking Free]
A long, dark vertical tunnel
High above which shines the sun
Whose rays pour through the opening
And run down the cold and grimy sides
Like the mocking drip... drip... drip.
Of an empty faucet on the hottest, driest day.

A long, dark vertical tunnel
At the bottom of which I find myself.
I dropped my heart down here a couple months ago
But, funny, though I fell in reaching for it,
We never did cross paths on the way down.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happiness and Healing

There is nothing in this life that brings me more joy than feeling my life in harmony with God's eternal plan. Nothing that brings more happiness than a sense of closeness to my savior, Jesus Christ. I believe in Him, and I believe that it is through Him that we find comfort and relief from all the trials in our lives. Whenever I let my life get spiritually off-track, it is Jesus Christ who takes my hand and guides me back. This poem is about that journey. About repentance, about healing, and about joy. Be happy and let it bless your life.

[As Earth Right After Rain*]
A crystal sphere made pure, a soul made clean.
Yesterday's thick mud, painful thick.
No filth ever was.
The soul is cleansed by holy flame
By tears that fall from Heav'n like rain
That fall from heart like Heaven's balm
Enfolding sinner and sinned-against
In penetrating love.

Once upon a broken moment
There knelt a girl on broken, lonely knees
Reaching up and crying, 
"Father, won't you help me please?
I've not the strength to walk this path
Nor know I where to go.
Though 'twas I who brought me here,
Thou alone canst lead me home."

That pivotal moment now long past
A ray of light stands looking back 
Upon a path walked hand in Hand Divine
Though boundless grace is God's to give,
Seeing grace takes time.

Today the recognition dawns
And Wisdom's holy light
Reveals a once dark crimson stain
Now shining snowy white.**
Today a crystal sphere made pure,
A soul now cleansed from pain.
Today she sees and, humbled, stands
As Earth right after rain.

Love and Blessings,

When I Am Baptized by Nita Dale Milner. Children's Songbook, p. 103. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

** Isaiah 1:18 The Holy Bible (King James Version) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear non-existent readers and imaginary friends...

I have decided to turn this into a poetry blog. I haven't been writing too terribly much recently, but I have a decent supply of things I have written in the past, so that should give me something to write about for a while. Feel free to comment. It motivates me :)

Today I wanted to share a few from an emotionally interesting period of my life. These are generally free verse and rather concise, but what I love most about them is their sincerity. Each one miraculously captured the precise feelings of my heart in the moment it was written. Their respective births were cathartic and spontaneous. The words rose up late at night while sleep evaded me, or often in the university library interrupting my studies. They flowed out unceremoniously into empty sheets of Microsoft word while whatever paper lay momentarily abandoned.

Please, imaginary friends, read them gently. This era is long distant now, but the accuracy of the verse sealed my heart in a time capsule. Sharing this here brings to mind the words of a favorite song by Anna Nalick: "I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd, 'cause these words are my diary screamin' out loud, and I know that you'll use them however you want to". Read them gently, dear friends. And by all means, pause between each one. Thank you.

Maybe we were the shadows, you and I.
Blissfully dancing paintings on a wall of stone.
Never knowing more nor seeing things to come,
We thought we were real.
I thought you were the sunlight, the grass, the stars.
You saw in my eyes what you thought was life itself.
We reached out for answers and
Drew back questions yet deeper than the first:

If you, my friend, are not real, shall I ever know reality?

[As River]
As river flows my love for thee
Deep as heaven borne from soul
Ever reaching, longing, reaching
Sea's sweet embrace like home.
Swelling, ebbing, changing ever changing.
Surface still, but current raging.

[May 26, 2012]
When you look away,
I look at you
With time-traveller's eyes.
Seeing a future, remembering a past
To which you are blind.
Heartbeat past heartbeat
I ask myself (for I cannot ask you)
Will you ever see?
Will those deep, warm eyes ever open to me?

All My Love,

“Whoever thinks that skill alone will make a good poet; … will never attain perfection, but be surpassed by the inspired madmen.”  (Plato, Phaedrus 245A)

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's been a while.

Since I last updated, I have passed through 4 different states, 6 cities, and slept in at least 8 different beds not counting my sleeping bag on camping trips. Somewhere along the way I traded in my flipflops, shorts, and moped for sensible shoes and a lot of time at the BYU-Idaho library.

School is going well and is far less stressful than anticipated. I've found a good rhythm for schoolwork. I'm learning a lot and growing academically and spiritually. And in many other ways, as well. I've written more poetry (and written it more deliberately) since I've been in Rexburg than at any other point in my life. I've been running consistently and am up to about 4 miles a day. I've gone backpacking a couple times since I've been up here; I am improving my photographic ability. All this further testifies to me that when we follow the Lord's path, we are blessed for it.

I've learned a lot about the divine attribute of patience since I've been in Rexburg. I've actually had several opportunities to acquire and refine this virtue (it has not come naturally to me by any means), which makes me think that I will really need it at some future point in my life. I'm grateful Heavenly Father is helping me learn it now. Sometimes I don't want patience, just want to understand. I want to know why things happen the way they do or why a person acts in a certain way, why things change. But what I'm learning is that patience weighs more than understanding and can carry the soul much farther. As Elder Maxwell once said, "Patience is a willingness to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance." While clarity will get me through only one specific situation, patience can be continually applied to bring me joy through any trial.

I'm not ripping up any more daisies to see how the roots are doing.

Speaking of roots, another blessing that has come from my time in Idaho is the chance I've had to get in touch with my own. I spent memorial day with my cousins in Pocatello and went on a cemetery road trip with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Joyce to pay our respects to many people who's lives paved the way for our own. I loved fortifying that relationship with my living relatives and listening to stories of others I never met. Here I am with Aunt Audrey at the Teton Dam that day :)

I've never worn that coat in June before.

Love and Blessings,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life on the Island

I thought anyone reading this might enjoy a snap-shot of my Hawaiian life :) I know there are a lot of sunsets/sunrises, but I just love them so much!! I can't help myself :D

To start off, here is my adorable little baby niece, Juniper. This was taken awhile ago before Rachel left to go back to Utah. Now we have a kitten instead, but kittens do not quite fill the void of baby nieces and sisters-in-law. We miss them dearly.

Here is the sunrise on my second morning on the island. I'd gone out for an early morning moped ride with out friend Aaron. Here we are:

That was such a beautiful morning.

Here are a couple others from early morning moped rides:

Then once upon a time Aaron, Jeremiah, and I took the mopeds all the way around the Island:

This was one of my favorite adventures :)

Although, it has a lot of competition because we are always having adventures. I think to quell the loneliness of not having Rachel around, Jeremiah and I go out for beach walks and photography-ing and things like that. It really is wonderful to spend this time with him. Here we are:

Haha as you can tell, we are extremely photogenic. 

Here are some photos from our recent adventures:
This is the time when we found an alien head - I mean puffer fish - stranded on the beach. We threw him back in the ocean :)

 And these are from just last sunday:
 Skipping stones (I am not very good at it...)

This is a crazy stone formation we ran into on the beach. 

And this last one is just a photo I took that night. It's a little dark, but I like it. That little shadow man is my brother :)

And just to finish off... Ron Paul 2012!! 

I feel that he would make an incredible president. The extra-terrestrial world is in agreement.

[But seriously. I've had something of a political re-awakening since I've been here. I had felt so jaded and didn't believe that any politician could pull me out of it, but this man is so genuine and honest! An honest politician. Now that's a rarity! For more information please visit his official campaign site]

Well, I hope this post was enlightening. I am loving my time here and am grateful for it. I forgot to mention I got a job at Coldstone Creamery which is a lot of fun. Customers generally tip when I tell them I am a registered nurse :)

I wish you all the best and hope life is treating you splendidly!

Love and Blessings,

p.s. Comments are always appreciated :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's you and me, Blog.

This is silly. I've been putting off updating because I wanted to upload a few photos, but I suppose it would make a lot more sense just to update now and upload photos whenever I figure it out. Hmm, that reminds me of the mission. I guess I have a long-standing history of photo-sharing trouble.

Life on the island is treating me very well indeed. I especially love being outside here. I've been waking up naturally around 6 or 6:30 each day which means I can sit out on the patio and watch the sunrise every morning :) I love that. I did that this morning, then went on a hike up to a waterfall with our friend Aaron. I spend most of everyday at the University of Hawaii Institute studying/writing papers/taking online quizzes or actually in Institute class. One of the senior sister missionaries was offering private piano lessons through the institute. I signed up for that so fast! I've only had two lessons so far, but I can already see some progress. I just love fulfilling long-time dreams! I highly recommend it.

I haven't found a paying job yet (which could be a problem), but tomorrow I have my first day of clinical for my nursing leadership class. I'm working with a lady named Aiea who is from Hawai'i and works as a wound specialist for American Medical Technologies (the company my mom works for). She is a masters prepared nurse and also has her MBA plus a lot of leadership experience. Oh, and did I mention how excited she is to bring me on? This is going to be great!

I've been forming a habit this week of going out to the beach after I finish my school-work each afternoon, breathing deeply, and watching the sunset. Today's sunset was exceptional. It started early with the sun trapped in a cloud bank and pouring rays out across the water. Then it slowly freed itself, making a brilliant appearance as a glowing orb above the horizon before sinking behind another set of clouds and turning them all to gold with a Midas touch. That began a symphony of color and motion played out across the whole sky as pink mixed with blue and gray took on a silver hue. Surely the work of the Master Artist.

Not too long ago, a friend of mine shared an artistic observation with me that I also witnessed in today's beautiful sunset. It is poem-worthy, but alas no poem has come... yet. It's the way the clouds at once so dark and ominous light up like fire with the sun behind them. In a phrase, All things turn glorious in the light of the Son.

Perhaps I shall expound upon that another day. It's late now, and I want to get up early.

Love and Blessings,

Sunday, January 8, 2012


To master the art of selflessness is to master the art of joy.

Love and Blessings,