Holiness ~ a poem about Grace


Eternal womb of growth
Prepare me for eternal birth.
Fortify me with God’s word.
Let my humble prayer be heard.

Here I am!

A broken soul that Jesus bought,
Heal my wounds; bend my mind to righteous thought.
I lift my arms to You, let praise begin!
I lift my lips, let song begin!

Can you hear me?

Let love embrace me.
Let grace replace me.
Lift me out of this darkness I have been in,
Let only your glory reside within.

I need you.

Prepare me Father, nurture my soul
That I may soon be whole,
That I may find endless rest,
And dwell forever in your holiness.


 Christina Ward

Thank you for reading Holiness. For more of my poetry follow this blog. I look forward to your comments, likes, and feedback on this, and my other poems. God bless!

No Return, A Heartbreaking Poem about the Soldiers of the USS Indianapolis

No Return

rafts drift with blood
and oil they spread on
their gaping faces.
Dorsal fins flashing, stirring
like soup spoons.

Death waits below,
saucer-eyed, evolved.
Dog tags slink down the
esophagus of the sea,
silver coins shimmer
then vanish.
Faces toward Son,
they that remain uneaten
claw themselves,
beg to be found.

I am here,
settled into couch
you, laid out beside me,
your head in my lap.
You look up at me and flash a silver smile.
Your irises, soft shifting blues,
a hungry mercury sea
drawing me in…
I slip from raft,
soldier to mermaid,
surface to thermocline.

Christina Ward, 2009

USS Indianapolis(pic. from: http://www.ussindianapolis.org)

Author Note: The USS Indianapolis sunk in the last campaign of WW II, on July 30, 1945, just two weeks before the end of the war, when it was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 Many men lost their lives in the two days they spent adrift. Only 316 men of the 1199 were rescued on August 2, 1945 when they were spotted by a patrol aircraft. This poem was inspired by the plight and suffering of these soldiers and I hope it serves as an honoring of their suffering. To the men and women who serve our country, thank you could never be enough, but it is a start.

Thank you.

Cornucopian Dream ~ a poem for my fellow Earth lovers




**Trigger warning, rape reference but only metaphorically speaking



Cornucopian Dream

It topples, crumbles
into soils that regret
to bear their yield.

We burn it, borrow it,
bend it and stake it,
box it,
ship it,
buy it,
ut we cannot make it.

We cannot build minds
that know the end,
minds that know no want,
minds that know enough
must surely be

Abscission is approaching
and on her heels
is Winter.

She must be angry that we
have raped her Mother.




I earned my Bachelor of Science in environmental science, I have been told a “junk” degree, but it sure wasn’t, and isn’t, to me. I treasure my environmental education, and the liberal arts college I earned it from. It is difficult to hear people discredit science when it comes to Climate Change, something that YES is a naturally occurring event, but not at the RATE at which it is happening. Imagine you are driving a car toward a concrete barrier, and you are destined to hit that barrier. You are going 1 mph. Are you afraid? Probably not. Now imagine the same scenario, only you are going 100 mph. Completely different feeling, right? Well, the simplest way to explain Climate Change is to say that humans have sped up the natural process so much so that it is no longer safe, not for the earth, and not for all of its inhabitants.

My writing, if you are following it, is permeated with references to nature. I cannot help this. It, simply put, is part of who I am and often the core thought that births the poem. The preceding poem is addressing the burden I feel concerning our precious planet. It was written in 2008, but still touches  me. I hope that you can connect to the core purpose of it and that it touches you as well.

Christina Ward

A blog suggestion for my fellow earth lovers: https://ncnaturalist.wordpress.com/

Gone ~ A poem



Civilization swings
one extreme to the other.
You try in vain to understand it all.

A silenced moon hangs low, red,
and you are on the other side
walking a tightrope of a dream.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that you are gone?

You know I care about you,
you said.

That night I dreamt of sunflowers,
Schweinitz’s, the kind
you don’t see much anymore.

Fingertips pulling at my hair from behind
remind me that
Somewhere beyond my quiet porch,
bent around corners I no longer see,
the rain is whispering your name.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that I am sitting here?

I smile,
because sunflowers are beautiful,
even if I can’t see them.


Christina Ward


Author’s Note: Schweinitz’s Sunflower is endemic to my region of the world. This precious flower species (pictured above) is a member of the Asteraecae family and has been on the federal endangered species list since 1991. (Gale 2000)



Schweinitz’s sunflower is endemic to the piedmont of the Carolinas, where it is currently known from 10 populations in North Carolina and six in South Carolina. The North Carolina populations are located in Union, Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenberg, and Rowan Counties. The species has been extirpated from Stokes and Montgomery Counties in North Carolina. All the extant and historic sites for the species in South Carolina are in York County. Thirty-eight percent of the historically extant populations have been destroyed. Most of the remaining populations are small, with four of them containing less than 40 individuals each.” (Siler, R.)



The Gale Group Inc. (2000). Schweinitz’s Sunflower. Beacham’s Guide to the Endangered Species of North America. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/science-magazines/schweinitzs-sunflower

Siler, Robert. Schweinitz’s Sunflower – Helianthus schweinitzii . Retrieved from http://www.scwf.org/schweinitzs-sunflower



A Tale of Two Poems, Circa 1990-1991. You read that date correctly.

Digging DEEP. When I was a child I knew 2 things: I loved nature and all the awesome things in it. And, I wanted to WRITE SOMETHING.

Today: I love nature and all the awesome things in it. And, I want to WRITE SOMETHING.

I think sometimes as children we think about what we want to DO and to BE very honestly, before the world starts teaching us all of the rules. Once I ruled out being Wonder Woman (I mean I really did try spinning around in the yard and all it ever got me was dizzy,) I decided I’d be Harriet the Spy and when my handy little notebook remained quite empty of “awesome thought and observations” I moved on to life goals of being a hair band groupie. With that being said and all other hopes and dreams aside…here’s a little something I wrote my Junior year of high school, about 472 years ago, before I had anything substantial to write about (don’t you dare tell that to the me back then!) and before I knew the voice that would come to be known as my “voice,” or my “writer’s voice” or whatever pet name you give to it. (But stay away from calling it the “voices in my head” because, well, that’s personal.


 Written before my children were born. I knew I loved you, even then. This is for my boys.



You are a Morning Glory
bringing a little beauty
into each new day
that life may bring.

You are my purple skies
when the setting sun
touches the horizon
when day is done.

You are my starlight
in the heavens above
you are my silent night
you are my love.

Christina Ward



I haven’t attempted to rhyme since. Rhyming is too sing-songy for me but I would attempt to if the subject matter seemed to call for it. It is very interesting to me to see this early poem and think about how much my writing style has changed. I have a couple of poems from those early years of writing, one of which seems to be the earliest version of my writer’s voice that I could find. I am about 95% certain that I wrote this my senior year of high school. I will correct this if I find proof otherwise. Note the difference in styles from the previous poem to the following one, which is much more consistent with my current writing style (although, don’t get me wrong, You isn’t too terribly bad, if you like that sort of thing. Consider the second poem…



Suspended Sunset

Sly, red-orange arrows
shoot out across
almost empty sky.

Sun peeks over horizon
lingering there
delaying its departure, why?

Do you not have some place
of equal beauty to touch
with warmth, renewal?

 A lonely Ring-billed gull
shrieks in protest
and snatches one last delicacy.

Waves roll white-tipped
scooping sand, pulling back into itself,
whispering secrets into cream-colored conchs.

Perhaps a goodnight to the lingering orb
as she pulls herself down and beyond
stringing her colors behind her.

Red-orange bleeds into plum
plum fades to gray
your fingertips withdrawn once more

to leave us to the night
to stars that beckon dreamers
and moon that lulls the sea.

Christina Ward



Thank you for reading…what did you think of the two poems? Would you like to compare/contrast? What early poems have you dusted off and fearlessly shared? Comments and thoughts welcome. Happy writing!


Dear Mr. Valentine

A hastily written but mightily felt wish of the heart…


Dear Mr. Valentine,


You sleep next to me like a happy rock.
As night rolls over into tomorrow,
I sit staring at our future.
Two creaky rocking chairs are there
Gnawing at the porch as we rest our aching backs
And laugh until breathing hurts our ribs.
Waterfalls and grassy balds and eagles
We’ve shared will occupy our minds
As we, together, will forget to say
The things we forgot that we meant to say
And laugh, still more.
This tea is so good, you’ll say.
I made it for you, I’ll say.
We are great old people aren’t we, Babe?
We’ll agree.
Just like we’ve always said we would be.
Dear Mr. Valentine,
as you lay there sleeping
As the night turns over to February 14,
I just want you to know I don’t need any flowers.
I remember all the ones we have seen.
I don’t need a ring or shiny things.
I remember the suns and the moons we’ve seen.
I don’t need you to say a bunch of romantical things.
I see them in the way that you still look at me.
Just promise me that
We will make great old people someday.


Christina Ward



Because sometimes you just decide it’s Valentine’s Day, and there are things to say. To the “happy rock” sleeping next to me, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!



     We can all identify in some way to addiction. Regardless of what that addiction may be, no matter the greatness of it, we all share in the same struggle to let them go, to release that thing which holds our hands behind our backs and our truths hostage. This poem is about the sad dance we do to entertain our addictions, to pretend they don’t own us, and to prepare for the day we will be ready to bury them. Most people can relate.

     I pray whatever has you, that you will one day find the strength to live free of it. I don’t remember exactly what inspired me to write this poem and to my recollection I have never shared it with anyone. I feel compelled to do so now, in the hopes that it will touch the heart of someone in need. Thank you for reading and I welcome your thoughts and comments. Here is “Dust.”


Addictions collect,
blend in the wash.
We hang their silent arsenal
to dry in the sun.

We pull them down,
flap the dust free,
floating between smoke bunnies
that land and swim in our drinks.

(Dust drinked down
is just as dry.)

We cannot nail the casket shut
just yet.


Christina Ward, Feb. 2008

Bluebirds in Late Winter

See the source image    

Hi all. I hope you are having a poetic day. I recently discovered an unfinished poem in my  drafts of an email I hadn’t used in years. What is interesting, to me, is that it was begun before I learned that my mother loves bluebirds. She shared with me that seeing bluebirds is a very emotional and spiritual experience to her; like God is showing her that everything is going to be ok. I love this. Perhaps you, too, have a symbolic experience like this with something that you see in nature? Something that stills your heart, centers you, and touches your spirit in a way that defies explanation? I hope that in nature you have these experiences and cherish them. Another interesting thing about this poem is that the other bird mentioned is my favorite bird, Cedar Waxwings. At the time I began writing this, that collaboration was not intentional, but now it is very special to me. As writers, it is sometimes difficult to adequately express how we feel about our loved ones. How could one ever show the depth of those emotions in their poetry? Well, we try. And with that, this poem is for my mother, a truly beautiful spirit in this world.

I hope that you will enjoy Bluebirds in Late Winter as much as I enjoyed re-discovering it, and polishing it up to completion. Please, do, share your thoughts with me on this meaningful poem.

Bluebirds in Late Winter

Surprising blue spirits descend
transforming snow-covered fences.
They search the snow for pieces of Spring
to pull from sleepy ground.
They carve spaces in the sky
for her to enter.

Flashes of red tuck under as
Waxwings alight, all stern and masked
They pluck berries
Shift and bounce and disperse,
Leaving the bluebirds
To sing of Spring.

Poetry by Christina Ward

February 2019

“Clarity,” Winner of the Arrowhead Awards Best Prose Work, 2004



The swinging wooden doors of The Red Marlin slapped shut behind me as I shuffled in to take my seat at the bar. Trish was there with precision handing me my drink and placing a wrinkled white napkin on the table in front of me. Her freckled shoulders wore the imprint of recent sunbathing and her lips were creased with satisfied aging. They lifted and shared a weathered smile. I glanced around the place and sucked in a gulp of my drink. A few of the regulars were there, fishermen mostly, sharing stories of their recent catches. I had become accustomed to their voices swimming around me every evening as I sat and drank until they became so entwined with the sounds of the rolling waves that I felt they were one voice. Jack was there as usual sitting barefoot on the stool by the bar. His mocha skin blended with the knotted wood of the walls as if he were a part of the scenery. I watched his fingers plucking out sweet notes from his guitar, as he sang softly of the sad way we all forget to notice when things pass us by. I pulled out my notebook and began to sketch out the faces while they floated about me in air that hung with salt and fish.

I heard the doors swing behind me and turned to see a new face floating in. He shuffled over to the seat beside me and ordered a scotch and water. He had on a sharper face than most around here. His khakis were pressed and trimmed with a crisp black belt. I could almost hear them crinkle as he crossed one leg casually over the other. Voices lifted in not-so-conspicuous irritation at his intrusion. I had to smile at Jack choosing to sing the one about people and their money and their misguided lives. I had already begun sketching out the outline of his jaw when he moved it to speak in my direction.

“Is the food good here?” he asked me. I recommended the fried oysters and he promptly told Trish to bring him some. I tried to go back to my sketching but the man apparently wasn’t going to cooperate. I much preferred for my subjects to go about their business and let me study their faces and wonder where their thoughts were going. But he seemed intent on sharing them with me himself. He rolled out his life story to me like he was carefully peeling the winding skin from a fleshy Granny Smith. The insides were both sweet and sour, stirring their way into the thick air around me. He told of his acquired fortune and his wife Marjorie. His face softened when he spoke of her. He ordered another scotch and water and shifted on his stool to sit closer to me.

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk into the ocean, all nice and slow, and let it cover over you until it drank you all the way in?” He asked me as he leaned in very close to my face. The alcohol buzzed in my mind as I groped at his question.

“I think that that would be nice. Like walking into clarity.”

“Exactly.” He said and reached out to brush a stray piece of hair from my cheek. I smiled at him and reminded myself of his wife. I mentioned her again and he pulled away from me slightly, loosening his tie. He ordered another drink and told me of the cancer, and the hospitals, and of her passing away.

Jack had stopped playing and the air was growing still except for the ocean song drifting in through the open windows. The night air crept in and lured us to go for a walk along the beach.

“What is your name?” I asked him as I drug my toes through the sand. He didn’t answer. We walked slowly, occasionally grabbing onto each other to steady ourselves. My head swam with whispers from the ocean and its treasures within. The sand was cool and damp and squished beneath my feet as we made our way to the water’s edge. We walked along the white tipped edge like a sobriety exercise and giggled at our stagger. He stopped suddenly and stared out over the vast gray of the water.

He began to take off his shirt. I was laughing until I saw the blankness of his face reflected by the swollen moon. I watched him take off his belt and pants and stand there wearing only his skin. The sea lapped and tugged at our feet. I said something I don’t remember to him that I was sure he didn’t hear, and watched him walk slowly out into the water. He turned briefly and waved a thin smile at me. He held out his hand. I lifted my dress above my head and let the moonlight wrap itself around my skin. The hairs on my arms lifted from the chill. The water licked my skin as I made my way through sucking currents. I took his hand.




Thank you for reading “Clarity,” a piece of prose I wrote in college. I entered this piece in the Arrowhead submissions in 2004 and it was accepted and subsequently printed in the Arrowhead that year. I was awarded the Best Prose Award for this piece and was invited to read it, along with a poem also printed that year, at the awards banquet. My two sons were there. It was a proud moment for me, and one I reflect on when the weight of “being a writer” becomes burdensome. If you are a writer, you understand this all too well. I hope you have enjoyed “Clarity” and will share your thoughts with me.


**Note: Published under the name of CJ Jarrell



Yesterdays, A Whimsical View of Childhood Memories



Why don’t you climb inside
my braids and sing
me a song?

out over the grasses
our feet stretched so high
the chain-link grinds
as we rise

Why don’t you open up your
freckles and let
me inside?

I need
to know where
the June bugs hide in the winter
when swings don’t swing
and the night



poetry by Christina Ward

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