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Letter Box -- Newsletter #25

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Monterey, CA

On the second full moon in July this poem came.

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON!

Pearl in water glass
or moon in paint water?

Carolyn Berry

North Olmsted, OH

I am working the night shift tonight and had a chance to read Newsletter #24. I was quite touched by Skip Kadish's letter, especially the line:

"...for that matter when will the turning point come when one needs less and less food sustenance and compensate with more and more spiritual sustenance."

You see I struggle daily with an eating disorder and am having a particularly hard time tonight. Consuming too much food is a problem for me. Skip's words really hit home, so much so that I wonder if his words will become a turning point for me toward more sane food consumption and more spiritual sustenance? How I hope and pray this is so.

I would love to visit California again. I dream of returning, of walking barefoot in the sand near the ocean. And, of course, then I could attend a Creative Edge workshop!!

In so many ways a trip to California is impossible but dreams have been known to come true and I will dare to dream. Perhaps, "The time has come the walrus said..."

WINTER'S NIGHT

A winter's night
Air so cold and crisp
It bites.

Frozen landscape
Crunches, crackles, dazzles
Shades of white.

A cloudless sky
Stars so bright
They glisten.

Murmurs of
A winter's night...
Listen.

SPRING'S WORLD

Spring, the scent
Of blossoms
Lingers,
Caressing the moment.

Damp, dew-filled
Mornings
Easing into sunny
Afternoons.

Gentle breezes
Coaxing buds
Crocus' smiling
Reaching for the sun.

Spring's world
Alive with new life
Created in silence
In winterÕs womb.

Dianne Borowski

Aptos, CA

I enjoy receiving your Newsletter and the poetry from people's souls. In my critique groups I find other's quick to find errors, before absorbing the nuances of my inner life. Hence this offering.

Beneath this adult Facade
My Inner Child
Cries out
For your approval

Adoree J. Corder

Newbury Park, CA

I would like to share this with you... The design evolved out of many things -- I had been fooling around with wish-bones and their shape and whalla; there she was the universal connection... love... the common denominator.

[Stadler image]

Katherine Stadler

Salt Lake City, UT

[Middleton Rose image]

... We are all patterned
........after nature
.............forever spiraling
...................toward wholeness
.......................shadowing
.............................beauty ...

SALIDA

i am riding behind
to cross the border
the juncture
the edge

approaching vastness
emptiness
looking out

and knowing
unable to live
like the last half
of my life
cold feet

touching
feeling the Earth

taking turns that lead
to what
may not be
part of me again
ever

childlike
climbing over rocks
to see the other side
dangling over
flat red stone
gravel falling
down
the aperture opens

i am older
a new chance
a new hill
toward some kind
of
fortress

motion
mountains
and energy
inside
finally leading
me
home.

Ingrid Maria Middleton

Carmel Valley, CA

THE MERIDIAN BETWEEN
DESOLATION & BLISS

How easy to raft on fluid
thought, inhabit an empire
conceived in theme and space
of nothingness.
How hard to live
in the bloody noise,
the scabrous rut
of ordinary dimension.

I rake pastures of memory,
seed reason and imagination
with hue and scent,
borrow a password
to prophesy tomorrow.
Rambling between
surface and spirit
I linger somewhere
in the cosmos
of reflected ecstasy.

I journey on slipstreams
of quicksilver language,
drifting from forest
to fortress
in unmeasured time,
composing ballad and daydream
of topaz light
and ebony stillness.

WHO IS IT

Who is it who asks
that I remain behind
when others have gone off
early
to eternal afterlife obscurity
and I am left
with bittersweet recollection.

Who is it who asks
my purpose, begs
for rebuttal to the torment
of living.

Who petitions me find
radiance in the ordinary,
depth in shallow reality...

Outside my window
in the planter box,
one sprig of cilantro
shimmies,
stirring the air
around its stem
while the rest of the plant
remains still...

Who decrees air
give privilege to just one leaf
on Saturday morning...

(Inspired by Jane Kenyon's "Who")

Laura Bayless

Rockford, IL

DEATH OF THE DEATH WISH

Make a whistle from my thigh bone
when I die,
let the eagles hear the laughter
from my bones.

Let this be a surprise to everyone,
how death is a song,
and sorrow makes way for soaring,
well into the evening sun.

Robin Heerens Lysne

Pendleton, IN

(July) The world turns, seasons change, life goes on. I've been transported to a new prison, lower in security. I had to relinquish my musical equipment. Due to strange concerns they are not allowed here. At first this was unsettling. But, now I am finding myself almost driven to draw. I guess once you find the autonomous pleasure of being creative, and expressing yourself in a tangible means, there is no stifling the urge... is there?... Sure, I will miss my guitar, but my creativity has lots of outlets. That was my favorite, but now maybe I'll just venture into a new area I haven't been into before. Who knows? Can't control what's outside of our grasp.

(October) The greatest tragedy of prisons is their senseless debasing, debilitating operational structure. Programs offered are nothing but placating ones, generally conducted by persons' without skills... A very good book on this problem is Criminal Justice, A Community Approach by Dr. Charles P. McDowell. Rather amazing is his perceptions as they are right on the mark.

Do not be too saddened by my situation. I am fortunate enough to possess skills (meditation, eloquence, tenacity) which allow me to cope. Doing the time does not scare me -- it's nothing but a word. What's terrifying is the prospect of release. If my musical skills are in top form I can easily eke out a living. But six years without adequate practice? I'll be lucky to make pocket change on street corners...

Bottom line -- I'm an extremely well-read 35 year old guy with no formal education beyond the High School level. At age 41 on my release, I will have no credible work references and a record of 14 years of incarceration. I am not eligible for any assistance from Social Security nor Unemployment, though I work everyday. I'm completely uninterested in Welfare. I refuse to do crime, I will not beg. My prospects seem pretty damm dim to me...

I don't fit in here either. I get piles of letters from all kinds of people like you, doctors, lawyers, musicians, corporate executives, house wives, college students... I stay alive by reaching outside the walls (fences now). Finding meaningful conversation is difficult at best...

Spiritually we only "evolve" by consciously striving to do the right things and continually correcting behaviors which are less than our potential (again by careful introspection). For now, I cannot worry about tomorrow too much, yet I still think the system is overdue for change.

Jeffrey (Levi ) Ford
#901024, 20-B-3C DOC/ISP
PO Box 601, DOC/ISP, Pendleton, IN 46064

Ashlaand, OR

LEAVING HOME

A thousand times
have I flown this byway
littered with long lost thoughts.
A thousand summers
of sprinklers and Joel
are dandelion seeds on air
bobbing and brewing beside my path.
The prospect of experience
draws me from my umbrella
in to the storm.
Droplets of times to come
splash along my brow
and gush along the gutters of my psyche.
A thousand days of autumn leaves and horse-play
spiral and gyre
into life's hurricane
and I am set free
in to the warm inviting rains.
I'm leaving home.
When a year seemed to last forever
and we washed down our days
with lemonade and ice cubes,
adulthood peered at me
from light years away.
But now it is here and I am ready.

Sarah Lambie

Michigan City, IN

(July) Exciting things are happening all over this country. There are institutes for the development of the human person. But then there's the Creative Edge... You're not trying to put forth a product that will turn our hair green on the first rinse, or fit any bolt only to realize it doesn't work on the metric scale, or even an object you wear over your heart that will help you win the lottery.

For some reason as human beings we are apt to look outside of ourselves for our answers. I think what you are trying to say to us... is "let's go back to us." That we have so much potential as human beings, to see, and to feel, and to touch, and to smell, in a way that we've never dreamed of. You are trying to show us what we already have within ourselves (internally) but we've forgotten how to do it, (tap the creative nature). These are things we want to be doing, if we care about ourselves and love ourselves.

I learned something really unique when Levi (Ford) was around me here. We think to be a grown-up we must be independent and not need anyone, and that's why we're all dying of loneliness. But the greatest experiences in my life, (I'm learning) are when lives intersect and two human beings are able to really communicate as Levi and myself did...

I am blessed with a loving family committed to caring, sharing and understanding for which I'm grateful. I believe sincerely that if there is at least one person in this world whom we can touch, totally unabashedly and unashamedly, we will never die of loneliness. It doesn't matter who it is, woman to man, woman to woman, man to man, just someone you can go to and lay it on the line with who will listen. Someone you don't have to hide from. someone to whom you can say "these are my feelings" and they say "good, It's all right." "This is me" and That's OK...

In closing, I believe your message is clear. My personal creativity, which is change and growth, is available and all I have to do is take the responsibility and grasp it.

(August) I just can't seem to find the words to express how WONDERFUL it was for me to hear you say that I have it right re: my last letter to you. I just don't know why people in here want to stop growing just because they are incarcerated, like you said "fear" is indeed "THE BIG KILLER" and for a lot of people it stops the growth process that is essential to maintain a constant forward upgrading of ourselves. I do think that our survival as human beings demands our attention "of ourselves individually"... and when our creative side that is in all of us has been confronted it would not be a surprise to me that a familiar phrase you hear a lot in doing what you do would be, "Wow, I didn't know I had it in me." The product of that is that the individual relationship with themselves is nurtured and begins to grow. Once that happens, the ball will roll and it is the most wonderful journey ever imagined. It takes a process that will get us close to ourselves (such as the Creative Edge) so that the fusing will take place. I sure do hope that people see what is before them and what is in their grasp (with work).

Robert Burgess
#954722 A-413
DOC/ISP, PO Box 41,
Michigan City, IN 46361-0041

Monterey, CA

MERLIN, THE POET MAGICIAN

He stands before us
This passionate, aged man with long flowing white hair
reading excepts of poetry that I can not hear
so absorbed am I in gazing at his physical presence.

A book of poems in his left hand
shaking vibrantly as he reads
His index finger of his right hand extended vertically
and
shaking to stress the importance of his message to his audience.

His long, flowing, white hair shines in the light,
moving about as his body vibrates in passionate reading.

As I gaze at him, l am transfixed
I closed my eyes and open them again
and see
Merlin, the Poet Magician
standing before me!

Rowaine Kram

Daytona Beach, FL

Thanks so much for the newsletter and for including my poem in it! Enclosed is another poem. It's a little strange but I was undergoing a strange period of events here when I wrote it.

HALLOWED ALLEGORY 6/25/96

And the majestic trees bowed to an irate wind force.
No longer would they protectively pelt Mother's shell,
No longer would the crickets harmonize their cadence love song.
Natural selection and migration fought denial to no avail.
The crocodiles shed no more tears, for they were... "No more."
The crabs molted not, for a new breed of species was born.
Mutation left nothing to flourish in a macrocosmic miasma,
And the once great planet shifted and shuddered and sighed and cried.
Turning back towards natural symbiosis was no longer a hopeful concept.
The epitome of greed and disconcern became a futile fate,
And the cosmos itself lamented in shame.

To reap what one sows was a grim shadow of cause and effect.
Our self-direction and spirituality left nil to be desired.
Survival was an esoteric virtue invoked upon scavengers.
Action and reaction became decadence presiding ethereal gloom.
Our heart's intentions turned prey to our mind's wanton lust,
And the world bowed in prayer before the book of life.
Then sin became a void on our latent abode,
And the end threatened birth to a beginning of a magnitude unknown.

But alas, a whisper turned force of an ultimate host,
Through sheer will, bred with faith came the holiest of ghost,
A destiny revived... lifted by the hand of hope!
In lieu of these thoughts I now conquer despair,
Thought becomes form and I can feel that woman's touch,
My child's sweet laughter and the family things I miss so much.
The world no longer rides my shoulders
For a might harness gifts my soul.
Wrapped in sweet surrender, so very tender to the touch,
T'was the moment God appeared to me and He loves me...
O so much!!!!!!

I owe the Creative Edge much gratitude for instilling a greater sense of inspiration and self esteem for me. After a lull of creativity over many weeks gone by, I'm now drawing and doodling little fantasy images for my nieces and nephews and it helps me recover from my woes.

I have this little vision of going to hospitals, etc., some day , to draw and create little healing renderings for sickly or terminally ill children. I get the idea while drawing for some children at the visiting park here. They were absolutely enthralled by the act and we all shared the love of and the power of creativity in progress.

[Jonas I image]

[Jonas II image]

Bruce Jonas
Tonka Work Camp

Fort Wayne, IN

When we were at Hawkshead with David Whyte, I was the "elder" of the group. As we were walking to the last "circle of stones" you asked me some questions about my husband and his death. It made me aware of some "unhealed" spots. so when we got there, as I sat and lay on the ground I opened my heart and asked the Creator to do the needed healing -- I needed more help -- I didn't know how. We were there a long time meditating. When we left as I walked back to the van, my body felt so light. I felt my legs could carry me anywhere and I strode back as fast as anyone else! It felt wonderful. I couldn't have done it without your questions to make me aware of unresolved pain.

Jean Havens

Red Feather Lakes, CO

Being dangerous, i.e., creative, is of necessity and by definition destructive. There is nothing creative that is not destructive to someone. In the spiritual and psychological realms, this is especially so. No new perspective comes without the loss of a previous one and in that loss is the destruction of some portion of one's views of the world and place in that world. It won't ever happen any other way.

I enjoy getting your newsletter and am always looking for the dangerous edge that poetry contains. No two people ever hear the same phrase or melody in the same manner and that is to me one of poetry's most valuable presents, i.e., it offers each of us the opportunity to realize our separateness. And that is a very dangerous and, potentially, highly creative place.

Ken Fleming
Castle Mountain Views
traveler@verinet.com

Pacific Grove, CA

Your newsletter means a great deal to me -- a wonderful antidote to all the "getting and spending" of our world. A great reminder of things beyond the material aspects of our existence.

Eleanor Rogge

Thank you for your creative offerings!
I invite readers to share their own creative works with a few words about the context of their work for either the new Letter Box On-line or regular hard copy version. I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

Submit your name, city and state with your works to Donald@creative-edge.org for publication. I also encourage you to approve adding your E-mail address. Submit images in 72dpi GIF or TIFF format.

The Editor


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