We all need advice if we are honest with ourselves. Criticism is another beast.

I doubt my poetry. Like children needing maturity in order to survive the school teacher’s eye, they languish.

 As Tennyson said, doubt is not always bleak. It can prove to shape us in countless ways we otherwise may never have considered.

Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.
–Tennyson (1809-1892)

Sylvia Plath was very self-critical. In her letters, she edited and revised her poems, with a stern approach. She doubted. Her stated purpose in writing was to “evoke certain attitudes, feelings and thoughts for the reader” and in doing she recognized her trouble with “too much subconscious clinging to cliches and downtrodden combinations. Not enough originality. Too much blind worship of modern poets and not enough analysis and practice.”

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. –Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

What seems to be a paradox, is actually a double-edged sword. For those who can be creative while criticizing yourself, you have a leg up on you. She confessed to never being doubtful but her own words contradict so.


Words of others are stepping stones to a world that often does not greet us kindly. Searching for meaning is futile when we only consult books for answers. Our steps begin to count when we experience a whole host of situations. The circle becomes complete when we permit our thoughts to reside at an open door for another to walk through. What love we missed growing we gain by living. I love sharing this journey with you. J Follow the Son

Morning steam

I have more questions than I have answers today.

My husband has been asking to read my poems and I finally succumbed. Over a fine-brewed cup of morning coffee, he read three. The result? Three entirely different poems sitting on my desk.

I am confused. When do you know when to hit the publish button?

What if I just leave a poem alone and let it work the mystery intended? What if no one is getting what I said?  Is it me or them?

Should I reread my work? I do wonder where a choice word, a punctuation problem or a line break wrongly placed could be fixed. I am not sure which of my six poems I like.

Is one better? Time for a glass of wine.







Emily sings me a love letter. She brings a deep understanding when humanness, in all cruelty and ugliness, shines through in a life well lived writing poetry. Look for the door where a wall exists.

You are a fictional character
in my head.
You standing at the foot
of my bed.

I try to touch you.
You are gone.
Whispering softy,
I don’t respond.

Dig deeper still.
What do you see?
I think we could be friends.
Do you recognize me?


Talking out loud is scary.
My voice trembles when I listen.
Choice words echo in my heart.
My soul quakes when it is seen.

Emily is a fictional character after all.
I talk to her for days. Wait.
Is she speaking?
Did she answer me?


I do not consider myself a poet like Emily.  No person’s words mimic another, our voices our own. I only enjoy her poems.

Trembling questions.
Am I in arms reach?
Is He mad, indifferent,
happy? I bow in grief.

I AM who I AM.
Unseen, but known.
How much more are you?
Pain’s arms strangle.
I prune the vine of death.

Sacred silence scatters seeds of peace.
A green bough, the promise of life.
Hear the whisper above,
the trembling below?
My heart beats for God.



What am I trying to say?
I don’t think I know any more
than you do. Do I? no.

Scrambled words,
dormant in the brain.
Scurrying through disheartened veins.

relating to wonder.
What had you intended after all?©


you could see
the person
under the clouds
gingerly around my neck
like pearls
you would understand
the person

I sit inside
With the things in my head
I am

not going
to tell
anyone what
feel, so the horror
is locked up
tight in my chest
while my limbs shake
read the symptoms
textbook style,
and they set forth
a verdict
no one believes.

Did they tell
you about me
and the warnings given
not to speak
for fear they
would be heard?

I am never alone
while the world outside
hears my lips move
and watches my eyes


What an amazing Sunday Morning!

My mind wanders easily. All the negative voices from my past still haunt today. I fight against the words that are false, yet I still am a victim of my own self-doubt. My mom always told me I was a mess! I couldn’t agree more. I am a mess. And that is exactly who Jesus came to save…the messy people of this world. The ones who do not have it all together and want wholeness, love, peace and hope.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

Reflecting back on a friend’s invite to join her at Chapel, I wonder if I received more than she? She seemed rattled and preoccupied. We missed each other in the parking lot. I sat in the back row, watching for Miss Bonnie’s perky step. Her face said it all. She left her phone at home, so missed my text, to say I was going in, without her. It was 7:58 am and the service started at 8:00 and I do not like to be late.

Why are some words better left for the trash? They certainly do not feed our needs of assurance, encouragement and fortitude. I am here for Bonnie, for the long road ahead, that we both must travel, to fully understand. I hope she keeps my text message. I didn’t abandon her. We are sisters in Christ and time spent with her is healing and refreshing. I hope she understands.

What was the message Jesus came to give us? That He is here, on everyone’s journey, and we should keep the words He spoke, and the words written before He came to earth, as vessels to push us further into wholeness, love, peace and hope. There are no broken promises…only sweet reminders that we are children of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Do not drift away…

Holy peace,