The Adventure of Writing a Book, Part 34

Poetry Makes Life and Writing Sing

I’ve been writing poems since I was six years old.  Growing up, as an only child on a rural Maryland farm, I read Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare and many others.  The worlds comforted me and helped interpret the world around me.

Poetry used to be more prevalent.  Good Housekeeping and many women’s and general interest magazines featured poems in each issue.  I often read the poems before the articles on child-rearing, cooking and decorating.

I have nearly 400 poems in my files.  I didn’t write them to be famous or to make tons of money.  I wrote my “word pictures” to record, explain and enjoy the world around me.

Children are a large part of my life (I have four daughters) and I wrote many poems about childbirth, toddlers, teens and the adventures of being a parent.  Over the years, I sent out a few and occasionally, I got an acceptance.

Recently I have been sending more of my poetry out into the world.  One publisher was impressed with my words and send me several suggestions for of literary magazines who would fit well with what I wrote.

I sent out my poems and within couple of days, had an acceptance from WestWard Quarterly.  Their summer issue just came out and my poem, “To Jessica” right there on page 15.  Jessica is my grandniece and I wrote it when she was born and I first saw her beautiful face.  She’s a young lady now, a college graduate, living on her own, but I preserved that feeling I had when she was brand new.

To Jessica

Baby, sweet baby,
nestling here sleeping,
I yearn to keep you
here in my arms.
Protect you, enfold you,
safe from all harm.

I will teach you to fly
with soft wings of love,
teach you to wonder
at stars far above,
whisk you to places
under the moon
where pale mists of eiderdown
dapple and swoon.

Where flowers grow trumpets
and fat kittens play,
scamp’ring near bushels
of soft golden hay.
Streaking along
past white clouds and whistles,
crystal clear raindrops
and pink fluffy thistles.

Near clean rushing streams
great trees gather moss,
as bluebells grow tall
and fair pixies toss
jingling white balls
of fine shiny silver.

Their bubbles of laughter
in soft summer air
will crowd ‘round you, sweet baby
protect you from care.

To my writer and non-writer friends.  Try writing some poems, they will relieve stress and bring you joy.  Don’t worry about form or spelling or punctuation.  No one else needs to see them, but they will heal your heart as you make up your own “word pictures”.

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