A student recently shared with me a poem she had written in the class I assist. I was impressed and told her so. She asked if she could present her poem to the class, make copies, and then hand them out to the other students. I told her to ask the Lead and, if everything was a go, to make sure I got a copy too.
Her face lit up and a couple of days later I had a copy of her beautiful poem titled, I Love You.
I haven’t permission to share her poem on the blog yet, but trust me…it’s a heart-warming piece of loveliness.
Presenting her poem has since inspired other students to write poetry.
In fact, her poem and excitement to share her words with others stirred up in me memories of discovering poetry and beginning to write my own.
The earliest memory I have of writing a poem is from junior high. I might have written earlier ones, plays on, “roses are red, violets are blue,” but it was Mrs. Babble who introduced me to the how of composing a poem—rhyming schemes like ABAB and AABB.
Its beside me what I wrote for my first assignment in Mrs. Babble’s class; however, I recall that inwardly I felt this sense of having discovered something that I needed. The feeling was something akin to a person lost out in the woods finally finding a directional clue.
Relief and a confident pace—when the way back home doesn’t look so faraway.
I had already started keeping a journal, but after learning more about poetry my writing had begun to change into something more prose like. I had started to see poetry in everything.
It was oddly liberating too—expressing my thoughts and feelings and experiences in a poem.
I also tasted of that liberation from influences like Shel Silverstein, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.
My childhood was colored with Silverstein while the early years of my adolescence were tangled up in the reflections and musings and pining and inward wrestling of the beautiful tragic words of Shakespeare and Dickinson.
I was, for one reason or another and in one way or another, lovelorn in my adolescence. I was like a rifted heart and like an anchor-less ship, drifting and tossed about in the waves.
The fissure widened and the storm raged.
Going into my 20’s I drank down the words of the Beat Generation—the likes of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. I drank their words down with cheap beer and wine and whiskey and lots of salty tears.
The weight of all my rebelliousness and hurt and bitterness had beat against my heart, tearing away at my hope and innocence one sordid circumstance at a time. I would write poems to mark time, to tell time—a time when I felt something, for better or worse.
Then, and finally.
Something had changed. I had come back home to the Lord.
It wasn’t until a couple of years after coming home to the Lord that the love of the Father—which I saw exampled through the life of Jesus—had exploded like dynamite in my heart, revealing the veins of gold and silver He had set coursing through me there.
But, more precious than gold or silver.
His love for me had revealed the faith of Jesus and all the seed that had fallen on good soil as it began to root and sprout up in the garden of my heart.
In those intimate early days of a relationship with Abba Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit deepening, I’d read the Psalms of David and sob and weep and cry out to God every thankfulness that filled my heart and sweetened my tongue.
The wider the eyes of my understanding had opened in my heart, the more I had experienced His presence everywhere.
Most especially, I had experienced His presence deep within me.
When I had set my pen to writing again I had noticed yet another change—the tone of my prose and poetry reflected His glory in creation and in the moments led by His Spirit.
I had become so aware of Him that it was nearly impossible to go without mentioning Him for one reason or another, or regarding Him directly.
In reading the Psalms of David, I had found myself relating often to the way that David expressed his struggles and thankfulness and praise to God.
David’s transparency about his troubled soul and his reliance and faith in God’s might and trustworthiness spoke to me deeply. And. His words uplifted me often.
In this season, after yet more changes, I’ve started writing poetry again.
The words are forming late at night and in the early mornings. They are reminding me that I’ve feelings—that I feel.
While it’s nothing profound to realize that as a human being I am feeling, what I recently realized is this: somewhere between being liberated from my emotions governing me, I started to say, “I don’t have time to feel.”
It’s a conversation that’s just getting started between me and the Lord and it’s through the writing of poetry that I am quieted enough to hear His still small voice and remember that He is God.
I am stretching and growing upward and outward just like that wonderful seed in the garden of my heart.
God is leading me.
God is my Shepherd.
God loves me.
God is everywhere, deep within me, and in everything—telling time.