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Critique or No Critique?

The last of April, the last of my concentration on poems in my blog posts for the year. I admit I’ve pushed myself to put focus on poems this month. A poetry retreat, state meeting, and local meeting, poet groups on-line will do that. Why? I want to make my poetry better. Poetry is an emotional container. Sometimes a poem needs space, sometimes a little opposition so that it’s more than syrupy sweet, sometimes it’s like a discovery with a flashlight. It’s noticeable, even to me, that I am hot after critique. That is the joy of my bothering to drive a ways to go to groups. I do not offer my best poems for critique. I offer the ones that need help. It’s like a yard or house or life. They need

Good Friday

It was the day of suffering—the day of mocking, flogging, betrayal. Day became night. Jesus. It’s the day He was crucified, the day He freely gave up His life for all mankind. His story moves me today like it did when I was a girl. Today, I know Jesus was born for the crucifixion, to testify the truth. The Son of God did not run away from suffering. He came to die for the sake of the world that sins might be redeemed. No other way. His body was buried, but Jesus was victorious. Satan was defeated. Because of the cross, we can live redeemed. Here is an excerpt of an Anglo-Saxon poem about Good Friday. It was written by an 8th century, unknown poet, and this is a translation by Richard Hamer (

In Need of Help

My Saturday involved leaving Conway, Arkansas, and driving I-40 to Little Rock. It was raining. And there was talk on the radio of thunderstorms coming our way. I drove at 65 mph so I wouldn’t get run over, but big trucks were passing me and throwing waves of water in my face. One wreck in the median—flashing lights, fire truck, police cars. A light on my dash was no longer just blinking. It was RED and constantly on. I arrived at the Cox Building for a meeting with Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas and said my thank you to God that I had arrived safely. Good meeting. Traipsed through the rain to the River Market for lunch with other poets. I asked three or four of them about getting my tires ch

April is Poetry Month

Let the fun begin! Poetry, poetry, poetry and interacting with others who love words. Always, I tear up when I hear a poem that touches my heart. No shame in my tears. It’s a way to praise the poet. The woman reading touches my heart with her honest words. I’m holding all my logic and practicality for when I drive home in three days. Meanwhile, when I feel a poem, I’m letting myself crumble a bit, letting the emotion come. These are poets, people who understand and get triggered by words. It takes some human planning to come to the conference, but it’s God’s touch that makes me tear up over a poem. At night, I’m usually back in the motel room around 9:30. The second night I’m there, I check

Trees, Coming Alive

Keep your eyes open if you are anywhere near northern Arkansas. Buds are sprouting, breaking free from a dark winter. Trees and buds must be brave. Breaking open—sounds painful, sacrificial, beautiful. And beauty is always fragile. I guess things have to break apart, in order for better things to come. Things are waking up and coming alive. Here, willows are putting out a little restless green. Gingko, dogwood, cottonwood, sweet gum, tulip tree, sugar maple. We are surrounded by them. And I am drawn to them. They woo me. I love trees, but it’s a miracle we have any trees in the yard. My husband once said, “They make it hard to mow.” In time, he gave in to trees and me. It may have cost me an

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