Inspiration Sunday

Poetry is:


  • Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes. ― Joseph Roux
  •   Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ― Leonard Cohen
  • Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. – Rita Dove
  • Poetry is an act of peace. – Pablo Neruda
  • Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. – T.S. Eliot
  • To be a poet is a condition, not a profession. – Robert Frost
  • Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. – Leonardo da Vinci
  • A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden
  • The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness. ― Christopher Morley

Child Abuse Awareness

Who Protects the Child?
©Lyn Crain
Denial, not my daughter or son
They wouldn’t hit anyone
Maybe they yell at lot
Or sometimes give a swat.

But that is not abuse
Where do people get these views?

Based on the unique number of victims, an estimated 78 percent (78.3) suffered neglect, an estimated 18 percent (17.6) were physically abused, an estimated 9 percent (9.2) were sexually abused, an estimated 8 percent (8.1) were psychologically maltreated, and an estimated 2 percent (2.4) were medically neglected. In addition, an estimated 10 percent of the victims (10.3) experienced “other” types of maltreatment such as “abandonment,” “threats of harm to the child,” and “congenital drug addiction.”


Teen Dating Violence Awareness

You Pray by Lyn Crain

You pray
the pain to stop
it won’t for many hours.
Suffering silently, you pray.
He watches you coldly
You boldly stare,

“Dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!”

I was a teen bride and alone with my abuser. We lived in a very isolated rural area and I had no phone or car. Many of my poems in In My Shoes, My Poetic Journey from Abuse to Victory discuss that difficult time. There wasn’t social awareness of the problems that we have today. But unfortunately, the problem still exists. You can help our youth by raising awareness.

“Wear Orange Day is a national day of awareness where we encourage everyone to wear orange in honor of Teen DV Month. In 2017, it will be held on Feb. 14. You can wear orange shirts, nail polish, ribbons, jewelry, shoes or anything else you can think of! Tell people why you are wearing orange and post pictures and updates on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #Orange4Love and #RespectWeek2017.”

Author Connections 1

Connection with Authors I Enjoy

Standing in front of my desk, I looked at the different books. Clearly, I am an eclectic reader but my passion lies with poetry. Poetry for me is excising our inner demons and every poet has a signature style. I love entering a poet’s domain. I study initially what they rhymed or didn’t. How did they use alliteration?

I lingered with Seamus Heaney this morning. His rhymes are not smooth at all but they work well (dungarees and rosaries, whops and footsteps, joys and tallboys). There are the typical ones like (dose and rose) too. I enjoy reading all kinds of rhymes because some are smooth as glass and others are clunky as heels on a hardwood floor. What matters most is the minute detail that a poet uses to create his/her work. Heaney to me is down to earth with his plainly spoken words that give the reader an extraordinary view of everyday existence. There are no illusions with Heaney. He challenges demons with delightful anecdotes.

Poetry contributor William Logan comments, “The younger Heaney wrote like a man possessed by demons, even when those demons were very literary demons; the older Heaney seems to wonder, bemusedly, what sort of demon he has become himself.” [i] I feel like I’m battling demons in my writing all the time, I think we all do.

This is one of my favorites of Heaney’s poems.[ii]

Death of a Naturalist


All year the flax-dam festered in the heart

Of the townland; green and heavy headed

Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.

Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.

Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles

Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.

There were dragonflies, spotted butterflies,

But best of all was the warm thick slobber

Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water

In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring

I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied

Specks to range on window sills at home,

On shelves at school, and wait and watch until

The fattening dots burst, into nimble

Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how

The daddy frog was called a bullfrog

And how he croaked and how the mammy frog

Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was

Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too

For they were yellow in the sun and brown

In rain.

    Then one hot day when fields were rank

With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs

Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges

To a coarse croaking that I had not heard

Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.

Right down the dam gross bellied frogs were cocked

On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:

The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat

Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.

I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings

Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew

That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.



Seamus Heaney, “Death of a Naturalist” from Opened Ground: Selected poems 1966-1996. Copyright © 1999

[ii] Seamus Heaney, “Death of a Naturalist” from Opened Ground: Selected poems 1966-1996. Copyright © 1999

Celebrate a Poet

Poetry books typically sell a couple thousand copies at best.  So why would a writer choose poetry if it only reaches a limited market, instead of jumping onto the bandwagon of authors writing books in every genre imaginable? Why write at all?

The answer to me is my intimate moments, the fearful and joyful ones that touch me with the barest of words while remaining true to the origins of language. I’ve sought poetry when my children were born, when a friend married, for a eulogy when a family member or a friend died. I wrote poetry to help me stay sane during my darkest moments. I’ve read numerous poems looking for the perfect one for my wedding vows for my second marriage. It’s something most of us have done at some point in our lives. Poetry thrives in those privileged moments. It gives meaning to those jumbled emotions running rampant in our minds. “There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it” Gustave Flaubert

Poetry can’t be generalized or even reduced it to a mere trend because it satisfies an essential need.  Emily Dickinson says, “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Robert Frost says, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. Poetry is what gets lost in translation.”

Poetry is emotion. If you consider some of the works written by Thoreau, Emerson, Wordsworth, Hass, Whitman, Bukowski, Rash, Frost, Dickinson, Plath, Sexton, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Dylan poetry is a powerful expression in times of celebration and crisis that give people a way to live in their lives by filling in the words we need, in just the right moment. You could ask a poet to explain his poem but you would lose the joy of the discovery and lose sight of the meaning. Charles Bukowski sums it well “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”

“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

― Robert Frost

As you enter this new year, read a poem or write one to heal the wounds inflicted by reason as Novalis suggests. “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”


Now that I am older, I realize only I can write the page before life ends and I will have lost my chance to engage. Happy New Year to you and yours. Celebrate a poet in 2017!




Cemetery in Her Mind

She has a vision of a cemetery in her mind
with his name boldly etched on the stone,
cause of death happily undefined.

Her survival, her life will sadly depend
on her keeping out of his way.
Heaven forbid, she might offend.

She has a vision of a cemetery in her mind
with his name boldly etched on the stone.
She focuses on his departure from humankind.

She’s tried to concede more than once
only to be brutalized by his rage.
She can’t continue with the pretense.

She has a vision of a cemetery in her mind
with his name boldly etched on the stone,
cause of death happily undefined.

She feels bad, wanting his death is unkind,
love and hate are very powerful emotions.
She has a vision of a cemetery in her mind,
cause of death happily undefined.