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Letter Box -- Newsletter #27

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Monterey, CA

I have recently been confronting racism, both through my own writing and in my relationships with others. I find that the slimy prevalence of racism often leaves me with feelings of betrayal and frustration. I wrote this poem when I realized that, in the midst of this struggle, there exists grace.

UNTITLED

I
Told the sky
Of my tired
Of my tired

I
Told the sky
Of my tired, tired eyes.

The sky
Gave to me
In its grace
In its glory
The sky
In its glory
Gave to me
A billowed cloud.

I
Told the sea
Of my sad
Of my sad

I
Told the sea
Of my sad, sad heart.
The sea
Gave to me
In its grace
In its wisdom
The sea in its wisdom
Gave to me
A frothing wave.

I
Told the bird
Of my lonely
Of my lonely
I told the bird
Of my lonely, lonely soul.

The bird
Gave to me
In its grace
In its laughter
The bird
In its laughter
Gave to me
A friendly song.

Jeff Jacobson

Monterey, CA

I am so impressed (and moved!) by this latest (Summer) issue of the Creative Edge Newsletter, I want to write and tell you so. Your article on creativity (i.e., David Whyte's poem) is inspiring and beautifully written. Creativity is such a fascinating, complex subject; I never tire of thinking about it, reading deep reflections about it. I love the poetry you chose to publish in this issue and feel honored to be among them. I had no idea the membership is so far and wide... and so wonderfully talented.

I have already renewed my membership but, it being my birthday tomorrow, I wish to celebrate by renewing it once more. What could feel better than to support creativity?!

Duffie Bart

Carmel, CA

This summer the Gentrain Society of Monterey Peninsula College offered a short course on "The Poetry of Aging," a subject much addressed by major poets. So much is very negative, I decided to put my own philosophy into words.

SO YOUNG

We stood upon that ancient bridge
And watched the moonbeams
Dancing on the rushing stream

We looked upon the smiling night
And felt the greening of the trees
The sweet smell of spring careening in the breeze

Oh night, mysterious loving night
Adrift with promise and delight

The war had ended and we were so young
What path sublime would we be dancing on?

We sat and dreamed and heaped omnipotence
Upon our expectations
Together we would forge and stoop and overcome
To stand triumphant by our purpose in the sun

How many Springs have gone and come?
Did we dance, did we sing
With the moonbeams on the rushing stream?

Our hair is getting thin

We have toiled, have stooped, have struggled
And have overcome
But would we wish to do it o'er again?

We learned to stick by what we value most
To live each day as if it were our first
And also our last

Dream of the love we had
And of the love we have
And watch the moonbeams dance
In our eyes and in our silvery hair

Johanna Shippen

Carmel Valley, CA

AFTER l'M GONE

For goodness sake
don't let anyone finish my poems...
I left them that way on purpose,
unexplained metaphors
dropping like rain
into rivers, moving
the mind downstream.

Don't stand at my bedside
wondering if there might be
some unpublished gem
haunting the pages
of my journal, lying
crumpled in the waste basket,
buried beneath
a stack of old magazines.

They are not yours
to tie up in ribbons,
decorate in pasty white endings
and print in sentimental splendor.

The harsh edges are there
for a reason, thoughts
uncompleted because
there was still so much living
to do before
I could say it my way.

Laura Bayless

Black Mountain, NC

I belong to a small poetry reading group here and enjoy having C.E. gems to contribute. And of course--all of David Whyte's poems are gratefully added to my collection and I enjoy your commentary. I love North Carolina, but would like to be able to drop in on your special happenings in Monterey.

Dorothy Inglis

Corralitos, CA

Thank you for publishing my poem "Sky High" in the last Newsletter. From time to time I would like to continue to share my thoughts with you.

UNTITLED

I feel the need to write,
Bring forth those muddled
Whirlpools of my mind,
Expose them to the light,
And let the thoughts
Embedded there
Emerge and show the joy
I often feel,
Too shy to share
With one I love,
Hold back the urge
To reach out and enfold
In close embrace
And whisper
Endearments of my love,
As we explore
The golden age
Of life together.

CRABFEST

I was a lonely crab
On the bottom of the sea,
Then I met this lady crab
Oh, what a doll was she.

I asked if she would join me
At a place I found,
We could have a bite to eat
And then just fool around.

We nibbled on this great dead fish
A true gourmet delight,
Fought off all the little crabs
Who would stay and eat all night.

Suddenly a net came up
And whooshed us to the top,
Picked up and measured cross our back
They tossed us in the pot.

I never knew I had a name
Till the whole world went ka-flooie,
My obit on the menu read
I was, THE GREAT CRAB, Louie.

Stan Crump

Santa Fe, NM

IN BALLYVAUGHN TOGETHER!

I am leaving my stones
on the wall above the sea--
each day it is softer
----------it is taller

One day
when it is tall enough
and it reaches the clouds
in the night
I will reach up
to take the stars in my hand.
I shall be pulled up,
and become the light
that shines
in all the nights of my life.

Then
and only then
I shall have removed each stone
in my wall
by the sea
to erupt
with the lark
to let the bees
sting the final poem
from my fingers.

James McGrath

Carmel Valley, CA

For Pattie Walden. (While sharing a Creative Arts Retreat Weekend.)

HAD I NOT TURNED

Had I not turned
to look at light,
that playful artist,
I would not have seen
nature's sculpted mountains
veiled in shades of grey and gold
against mists of yellowed reds
turned briefly orange-pink
and I would not have known
the healing touch of beauty
accenting an ordinary day.

Illia Thompson

Mudzi, Zimbabwe, Africa

It's Saturday morning and I was just thinking back to all the Saturdays in the Creative Edge and Dream Group. I feel thankful the memories are clear. I was also thinking back to the "ritual" weekend. At the time I thought I was going to Nepal, and after the ritual I remember saying--"It felt like Africa." It's interesting how things work out...

UNTITLED

The sun rises...
all by itself.
bright oranges peeking over
the mountain tops.

It's quiet and still.

My walls brighten and glow
with the freshness of a Saturday.

A cup of tea brewing
and the whole day to myself!
The light penetrates my body,
a peace and joy enters
each of my cells.

I'll start preparing for tomorrow,
a trip to Harare!

Connections made stronger.
bringing myself
and not a lot of baggage.

Enjoying this light and the
reflections it creates on my mind.

Ideas in the pot, stewing.

The aroma rises...
all by itself.

Greta Hilde

North Olmsted, OH

Dedicated to the Monday Night Group.

UNTITLED

I have no voice
I speak in solemn
Whispers, desperate sighs
I have been victimized.

My cry is unheard
Soundless screams
Inaudible moans, please
Please listen.

In the darkness
Deep within
A wounded place
Shrouded in secrecy

The words begin to
Form images
Flash vividly
Into consciousness

Pictures into words
Silence into sound
Splashes of color
As truth explodes
Into reality.

Still I have no voice
Alone I feel
Powerless, fragile,
Frightened, small
I have no voice at all.

But many voices
Can be heard
United voices
Loud and clear

Together we can
Demand that they listen
Together we can make
Them hear.

Dianne Borowski

San Antonio, TX

CLAIM YOUR REWARD

Today you are healthy, tomorrow not
Your life's like a novel without a plot.
You yearn to be normal--it's not to be
Til the dates with therapy set you free.
You might be troubled and sick at heart
The attitude of love and giving, you do impart
As you tell the world the pain is worthwhile
And you brighten others' lives with your sweet smile.
You give each of us the real reason for living
With your kindness, goodness, and love of giving.
You become a beacon, larger than any in life
Your love and charm enhance, removing strife.
A toss of your head now bare, a smile and a wave,
Your example shows us how in adversity to be brave.

BAREFOOT FREE

Let me once more lean against the gnarled old green tree,
Looking for treasures lost by the quiet sea.
Here, my thoughts can wander and my eyes slowly close
Lulled by peaceful content, while the wind gently blows.

Deep aches, distress and pains fall from my troubled breast
Leaving me exempt of cares with a newfound rest.
I have sought this wide world over, but have not chanced
Upon waters so emerald green, where whitecaps danced.

Again, I am a young girl racing barefoot free
Down a winding, crooked path to my beloved sea.
With the wind making streamers in my flowing hair
Bringing back memories none other can compare.

Lord, let me once more visit this long-treasured scene
To where the gnarled old, green tree toward the sea doth lean.
For there is no place on this old earth that's dearer
That is etched in my mem'ry to bring me nearer.

Shirley Smalley Price

Pendleton, IN

Two years ago I was approximately 100 pounds heavier, and in a softball game I'd have needed a golf cart to make a home run. Now? I train at a seven minute mile, and my single best mile this year is just under 6 minutes. Not bad for an older guy.

I still find the time to play a little guitar and draw, but mostly I've become a sculptor; a sculptor of living flesh--my own! My weight is approxamately 160 lb, and while I don't yet look like Michelangelo's "David," my self-esteem is a lot higher since I undertook myself as a project. I suppose I will never by totally satisfied with where I am, but I can certainly be more content knowing I've earned the best body I can with the genetics I possess. That's a good feeling.

I've learned to meditate, I've taught myself some Yoga as well. With seven long years behind me I've come to know what¹s important, what's not, and how to cope with the trash that falls in between. I live each day to it's fullest and don't even think about tomorrow. The wave will keep coming as long as there is a shoreline.

Jeffrey (Levi) Ford #901029, 1A-2F
DOC/ISP PO Box 601
Pendleton, IN 46064

Pacific Grove, CA

Always happy to receive the Creative Edge News--always a rewarding experience. Enclosed are two short poems. Thank you for your continued inspiration.

UNTITLED

peace serenity
tranquillity of time, place
untroubled heart

A LOOK

Eyes that look into mine
may see deeper than I desire.
Difficult to hide what lies within
if the look is perceptive and the
looker sincere. But why should I
conceal what I long to reveal.

If I gaze outward and see myself
reflected in the other's eye,
I will try to exchange glances
without fear. To perceive the real
within another may lead to
better understanding of myself.

Julie Houy

Monterey, CA

UNEXPECTED GIFT

Beneath this fragrant canopy,
cautious shadows filter sunlight
amongst nearby ferns and bracken

Ebon hooves softly startle fallen leaves

Tulip ears calm watchful eyes,
enraptured by the call of tumbling water.

--Had I not turned, I'd have never known
the doe lay down to rest
beyond the fountain
just... next... to... me...

Patty Waldin

Daytona Beach, FL

I was recently contemplating my son's upcoming birthday and was confused as to how to release my pent-up emotions about that crux. I haven't heard from him in too many years. I send cards, etc. to a last known address but have never received a reply. It's tough but I keep on hoping, keep on praying. The feelings and loss I carry have been so heavy on my heart that I've never been able to talk, write or share them until recently. The pain... the grief is certainly heavy baggage indeed. I am finally coming around though. Shedding a few tears I managed to compose a poem.

Rusty was an extremely loyal dog we had. He was practically a legend in the quaint little town we lived. I never leashed him or locked him up. All the merchants and vendors in town knew him by name and knew his pleasant disposition. Tourists touring Old St. Augustine would cheerfully snap photos of him while he swam for goldfish in many of the local fountains. He occasionally disappeared for days on end. One day after quite a spell he returned with a beautiful white Spitz, joyfully gesticulating as if to say... "Look what I have now!" Well, she seemed to come from nowhere and no one claimed her. She had the fuzziest, cutest little pups ever under our front porch. The local walking mailman delivered a few in his pouch to welcome recipients eventually. It was a genuine love story as was mine. It is amazing how relieved and whole I felt after roughing the enclosed poem together. It was hard on my heart to write but my heart is grateful to my spirit for doing so.

CONTRITE INTROSPECTION

Rusty went carousing again...
Why we'd fret of no return I'll never really know,
He echoes in my mind so firm and sets my heart aglow.

He loved you; Kate and Micah, without a single doubt,
Returning to that whistle... one needn't cause to shout.
The four of you amongst my heart shall never ever leave,
Adopted Sophie either... to our home and hearts she'd cleave.

From every fiber of my being,
With every breath I'll ever take,
Memories weld into my soul,
The loves I'll not forsake.

The bittersweet waft of Jasmine,
In poignant contrast to the sea,
Leaves a tear or two upon my cheek...
Midst dreams intent... faces that I seek.
O... my weary lonesome heart
Like flotsam from the sea,
Washed upon the shores of fate
That walks the plank--despite my plea.

For my child's sweet laughter,
For that woman's well meant touch,
I'd sacrifice my all to you...
My Lord... pray be my crutch.

I've wronged... I've sinned and now I toil,
I pray ye for forgiveness, while I till this rocky soil.

Let no man put asunder... What Thou decreed as "one,"
And of faith, of hope and charity,
I see a precious wife... a needing son.

I call them thusly "Love,"
Yet sanctions deem you first,
You're the living water of my soul...
That knows my heartaches thirst.

Bruce Jonas

Monterey, CA

I WANT TO TELL YOU, NIKI

I want to tell you, Niki, how much we are alike--
How the apple does not fall far from the tree;
How genes, chromosomes and heredity influence the personality structure of a person
and
How much we are alike--

Although, we are two generations apart in time,
we really are connected as one--
From the first time I held you in my arms in the hospital,
I knew the psychic chemistry was there.
As I see you grow, I see the same personality patterns evolving in you
as are in your mother and me.

I want to tell you, Niki, how much we are alike;
Loving, Passionate, Compassionate, Verbal, Bright, Sensuous, Sensitive
yet:
Stubborn, Rebellious, Devious, Independent
and
Unable to take Constructive Criticism--

Oh, yes, my dear granddaughter;
For the apple does not fall far from the tree that you are connected to me.
For the sheer grace of God go I, so do you go...
and
We are one.

So, if you need me anytime to listen to whatever is on your mind,
I'm always there for you;
For as I listen to you, I can hear myself.
your experiences will be different, but the way you respond to them will he the
same.

I will always he there for you--
Sometimes just to listen--
Sometimes to give you loving, honest, truthful responses--
At times, my responses will support you
and other times they may not be what you want to hear
but--
they'll always be given to you with unconditional Love
so you may grow enriched from your life experiences
Forever Loving You, Grammi

Rowaine Kram

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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