A Soul Set Free

a poem

Seven Butterflies Illustration
https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-art-artist-artistic-133170/

Lift up your face.
You, there in the shadows,
Head hanging in disgrace.

There is no reason
to sit full of fear, to shackle
yourself to yesterday’s woes.

There is no reason
to feel rooted to guilt
and shame no one knows.

No reason to hold yourself
back from all things wonderful
all things beautiful and freeing…

No reason for you to be in disgrace.
You, there in the shadows,
Lift up your face.



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Ladybug Journeys

a poem of a quiet afternoon

https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-ladybug-on-leaf-during-daytime-121472/

A ladybug journeys
 up Hawkweed stem
 searching for another

Dark-spotted red bug
 with which to fly high
 the ladybug labors on…

A squirrel scampers
 through leaf litter and soil
 searching for another

Nut she had buried 
 some time ago Spring
 the squirrel labors on…

Chickadee and titmouse
 nuthatch and goldfinch
 searching for another

Black sunflower seed
 or millet or worm
 the birds labor on…

I absorb the sun 
 I notice their sounds
 each searching for another

While creatures toil and fret
 and summer besets
 I, thankful, rest on…


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The Waters Run Clean Through Me

a poem about the North Carolina Mountains

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bench-cascade-creek-environment-355321/

Deep in the North Carolina wood
 nestled between steep mountainous 
 rises, a gorge, through which run
 waters, crisp and cool and clean.

A bench waits there for my soul.

The waters run clear, cross rock
 and moss, with dribbling sounds
 and meandering thoughts of the
 distant seas. The canopy hangs over.
 
 Shady oasis of quietude waits
 for me to climb into its folds.
 A genteel hug whispered through green
 to wrap me up in wonder once again.

A hike for a day, I must go.

I’ll climb on the rock, spread 
 my wings to gather the sun
 rub my toes in sphagnum
 hear the cool-water melody flow…

Oh, Carolina, you are good to my soul.

Let the breeze sway and creak in the pines!
 May the babbling waters find their gentle way
 and the mockingbirds ramble song to song,
 let your nature carry its secrets on.


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Nectar Dreams

a poem about the tiny creatures we often miss


Honey Bee (Unsplash.com)

Nectar Dreams

Walking sticks, June bugs,
Bumble bee, Wooly Bears
all came out to play
and when the streetlights 
at last were lit
the fireflies lit the way.
The June bugs, in droves,
in whispering swarms
slapped against our chests
emerald green-backed and shining,
the airborne jewels in summer vests.

Where have all the June bugs gone?
 
Wooly Bears sauntered by one-by-one
we didn’t touch them as they rolled
laborious slow and steady, with hiding
faces, these solitary mysteries unfold.

Oh Wooly Bear, please come 
out to play once more.

Walking sticks, box turtle, sage-shaded mantis
and the creepy-singing “whooo whooo whooo
that rose from the woods behind us
telling secrets that sailed out over the garden
plump with cucumber, tomato, corn stalks, melon.

Daddy Long legs often skittered by
climbing on spindly silent legs,
with tiny black dot bulbous eyes 
they crept on silent dregs.
Now, sadly gathered elsewhere
on distant dream, searching 
for more of their kind.

Perhaps the June-bugs hide there too
in this grassy hidden plane
where creatures gather 
to speak of when their numbers
had not yet begun to wane.
They worry over summers 
that no longer look the same,
of the children no longer twirling
in grass with magical dreams.
 
Bumble bee, I beg you, do not go away.
I plant my flowers one-by-one
enticing you to stay.
Our earth is not the same for you
but your plump colors light our way
I miss you singing nectar-dreams., oh please
Forgive us, we have lost our way.

Wooly Bear Caterpillar (https://cottagelife.com/outdoors/wild-profile-meet-the-woolly-bear-caterpillar/)



Walking Stick bug ( https://www.spirit-animals.com/stick-bug-symbolism/)

June Bug ( https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/jun/28/outdoors-summer-heat-magnolias-and-june-bugs/)

Thank you for reading Nectar Dreams, a poem inspired by my love for the tiny creatures and the joy they brought to my childhood. I hope you will read more of my poetry!

A Yellow House in Iredell County

A poem — to immortalize a love worth telling and a house that carries their memories in its heart

Mamaw and Pop pictured there in the center. Their love, the family, and the home they built together are the inspiration behind this poem.

Nestled… in the dappled Spring sunlight 
peeking through oaks, maples, and Tulip poplar 
is a country house with pale-yellow siding.
Across a corner of the weathered 
wooden-slatted front porch, a vine lazily 
stretches to find a spot in the sun.
 
Inside, the navy-blue carpet runner slinks 
up the beautiful wooden stairs that 
Pop built with bony-knuckled, work-deep hands. 
He’d have worked quietly, smiling as he thought
of the lovely young lady with the yellow flower
behind her ear, that caught him by the heart 
some fifty years past. At the wane of her 
she rang the bell, a silver tinkling call.
He shuffled to her bedside, leaned close.
“Pop, will you hold my hand?”
 
The front parlor is very much the same; 
an old-fashioned sitting room 
with milk-cream white, antique furniture, perched 
on mahogany clawed feet, elegance immutable, 
unmoved. A portrait of my young mother 
hangs there on the wall in ornate frame,
her eyes the foremothers to mine.

Arising there, a China cabinet, its gifts enclosed in a hug.
Atop a pedestal table, hand-sanded and love-stained, 
Mom’s Christmas cactus trails and cascades in forest greens
awaiting pink-winged petals, alighting in season,
a crescendo of bloom framed in autumn-light 
meandering through remembrance like a dream.
Mamaw’s spirit lingers there, her high-bubbled laugh 
carrying on like a song, her quiet dignity still holding 
together the air that holds up this house. 
In the kitchen she makes her list, there at oval
table; the names of all the children she loves.
Do you see her sitting there?
 
There are so many children here now.
 Pop would have snagged them one by one 
with a devilish grin, with navy-socked feet 
smelling of sweat and dust, and of the garden
where his watermelons juiced and plumped
on the vine. Wriggling, giggling children
were no match for the snare of Pop’s feet.
His tender chuckle rolls quietly by on the wind. 
 
Presently, titmouse and chickadee
swoop down from the trees to gather black
sunflower seeds, meal worm, and millet;
their warbling chatter and brief staccato chirps
a cacophony of tales wrapping a yellow 
house in Iredell County with enduring 
melodic memory. At night, a yellow house 
sleeps with a smile.


Thank you for reading A Yellow House in Iredell County.

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Cottonwood Wings

a poem for my son to read at the funeral


You might want to read this first



In the Spring, God brings forth life
Cottonwood drifts by on the wind.
We water our gardens with tears
for we have lost a dear friend.

Her kindness grew like tulips
Proud and colorful and tall
Her compassion, a vine reaching  
our lives and touching us all.

Our beloved Beverly was so
Warm-hearted, sweet, and caring
Loved her family with all her soul
Though cancer, in the end, unsparing.

A kind and quiet woman who
grew like the flowers
and paled into silence
in her last waning hours.

Her Spring was cut short,
Her candle burned low,
in God’s precious time
she knew she must go.

Though it’s hard for us
in this bountiful spring
we let go and know
God’s given her wings.


I was asked to write a poem for my son to read at his Step-mother’s funeral next week.

He is to speak at the funeral, at which time he will read the above poem, no doubt through shaky nerves (to my knowledge this will be his first “public speaking” engagement), and through a heavy wall of emotion. He is with-holding so much emotion about this whole thing.

As a mother, my heart is breaking for him. He has no memories of his life prior to her entering it. It is a terrible loss. How in the world do you honor that in a poem? Yet, this is the task I was given.

To make it simple enough for the country-folk family members to be able to appreciate, make it rhyme so it sounds to them like a poem, make it personal enough that it touches their hearts, Christian enough and reassuring enough so that they are comforted in their time of sorrow.

What an arduous task, but I wanted to do something. And this is what I do–so I hope you have enjoyed reading Cottonwood Wings. I am honored to have written it for my son. (I think it will mean a lot to him.)

(In Memoriam, Beverly Mullis; wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, friend)

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On Dappling Pond

a poem about the beautiful Mandarin duck and the not-so-beautiful Muscovy duck

Mandarin duck, Pexels.com

On Dappling Pond

White, crisp half-moon,
  the blue crested melt
  to ruddy hind swoop.
Tawny wings tucked under,
  belted by royal blue.
Sleek chest, brazen
  blue as ocean-deep.
Neck ringed in
  maple majesty lace.
     Enlightened, resplendent,
         spectacular.

All nature’s paintbrushes!
Were they hog hair
or badger?
Were they
rinsed clean in muddy
waters encircled by sawgrass;
sandy-fawn stippled?

The Mandarin navigates,
whisper-smooth and waggle,
the Carolina grasswort; rising
variegated greens
wind-bent and skyward.

Mucsovy regards the
radiant fowl,
disturbed at such
     reckless abuse of color…
for one dappling duck?
Pinkish beak dipped under,
up with a snail? Asnail!
Vexed, perturbed,
Muscovy waddles, plops
with a splash and a glide,
     nature’s sculptor’s pride,
     its gnarly head held high.


I hope you enjoyed On Dappling Pond (I am quite fond of this one) and will stick around to read some more of my poetry. I have made it easy to find ones you may like and you can find links to poems on the poetry tab, or use the navigation menu and search features on the homepage. Thank you again…what did you think of On Dappling Pond?

Muscovy ducks are widely varied in blacks and whites–but the red bumpy face is usual. This is a snippet from a picture on All About Birds website.

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Medium is a Great Way to get Your Poetry Noticed

Here’s how!

Book Opened on Top of White Table Beside Closed Red Book and Round Blue Foliage Ceramic Cup on Top of Saucer
Photo courtesy; Suzy Hazelwood, Pexels.com

Hiya Fiddleheads!

Green Fern
photo courtesy; Fabien Burgue, Pexels.com

(That’s what I call my writer friends these days–out there nurturing your dreams and rising in the sun!)

If you are interested in promoting your poetry, your articles, your photography, then this is the post for you.

Where have I been lately? I have been on Medium, making a little money for my poetry and getting some exposure for my writing.


Medium allows me to post my poetry into “publications” which are like online magazines, which have one or many editors that approve your posts. Several of my poems have been published this way in the month I have been on Medium, and since I am in the Partner Program, I make a little money while I am at it. THANK GOODNESS.


Check these out! You may be impressed with the clean interface and impressive presentation of my poems as published on these Medium Publications:

***note that P.S. I Love You has over 120K followers!


Publications worth checking out!!

P.S. I Love You

Written Tales

Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry

The Junction

The Weekly Knob  (this poem is for a writing contest: The Weekly Knob and Writing Cooperative Writing Contest )

 Literally Literary

Intimately Intricate

So what to do first? Here’s what to do if you want to get involved with this and get your work moving, out there, seen…

  • Join Medium — I know, it costs. 5.00 a month. If you are worried about it then spend about 5 days on Medium just reading through things. (You will be limited on how much you can read if you are not a member.) Then you will most likely want to join.
  • Of course create a profile. This is a given.
  • Look for publications on the Medium homepage that have articles in your “lane” of writing–you are welcome to use the ones I listed above. they are great!
  • Join publications (follow them) and if you want to write for them be accepted as a writer for their publication. Look around the publication for “submission guidelines” and you will likely see the process you need to follow to become a writer with that publication. (I now write for 16 different publications!)
  • Next, study the format of other stories that are highly successful on Medium. Pay attention to length, spacing, use of white space, and by all means NO ERRORS in your work helps your article or poem to be approved.
  • Follow the instructions to “submit as a draft.”
  • How to Submit a Draft to a Publication on Medium
  • And–FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS on the publication for submission. Otherwise they will reject your story.

If you have any interest in promoting your writing, by no means do you have to leave your beloved WordPress blog, which gives you a lot of control over the appearance and design of your blog, but I would suggest, strongly, that you take a look at Medium as a lucrative income stream and avenue for self-promotion. I joined the site (for $5.00 a month) which gives unlimited readership and it has been well-spent. I spent much of my online reading time perusing articles, clapping for other readers, highlighting crafty sentences and phrasing that just speaks to me in some beautiful way, or shocks my soul into motion. I try to comment on as much poetry as possible and support other poets as well.

Come on over…the Medium water’s fun!

I’ll be back on soon when I am feeling better to post about my experiences with another acute-pain flare up this week. this one landed me at Duke University for an overnight stay and a bunch of tests and electrodes and…well, it was miserable. But the scary part is passed and I am on the mend. Doing a LOT of resting and a little writing today. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!


May your footprints in the moss leave whispers of good memories.–Christina


Fiddleheads & Floss–WHERE Did THAT Crazy Name Come From???

https://thebiglakemi.com/2018/03/15/15-nature-quotes-to-inspire-you/

A brief poem to get the fiddlehead in you rising…

Evolution


I am rising, unfolding
A fiddlehead taking my place
In the lower vascular canopy.
Can you feel my presence?
Alive.
I am alive.
I cradle my thoughts,
Tiny spores lined up
In patterns beneath me,
Vowels waiting
To be released.
I share them
With the sun.
Can you hear my rising?


The name Fiddleheads & Floss has a meaning that is twofold, as the name suggests. Both are symbolic.

The first, deals with self.


As a poet, of course I had to choose something symbolic; but it had to appeal to the self, meaning — YOU.

Have you ever heard of a fiddlehead? In nature, this is a fern, curling in on itself at night, and then unfurling and rising with the sun in the morning. The vision is truly symbolic if you think of it. Think of folding in on yourself, turning inward, hugging–if you will–that which you have to give the world, all that you were blessed with, nurturing it, growing it, creating, designing—rising—unfurling–releasing

The fiddlehead is symbol for the creative process, the healing process, the process of becoming the person you are meant to be, living in your truth, honoring yourself…fill in the blank for yourself…The fiddlehead is a symbol for being YOUR TRUEST SELF and GIVING your truest self to the world.

https://john.turri.org/credits


There are things deep inside of you that have been there since you were a child, that you have carried in your heart. Perhaps it was not nurtured. Perhaps it was discouraged. Perhaps a dream you thought was unworthy of following because the “world” tells you it was silly or unimportant or of little value.

It has value. YOU have value.

I am here to tell you that these seeds all have value. They are planted within us with a purpose and intention that only come to fruition when WE grow them .

Your seeds, your gifts, your inner contribution to the world is not meant to be kept folded under, kept subdued, despondent, oppressed, dismissed! These tiny seeds wish to germinate, take root, grow, flourish, and bloom into beautiful things in your life.

Your gifts, YOU BEAUTIFUL FIDDLEHEAD YOU, are meant to be shared with the world. So RISE, unfurl, stand in the sun, and share your creative spirit with those around you and BE YOUR TRUEST SELF!

So let’s get to that second part; FLOSS. What’s THAT about? Community. That’s the US part.

What connects us? It’s simple…

Very simple. And very delicate. Like floss.

We’ve already talked about a nature theme/symbol (one of my favorite things is nature) and now a cross stitching theme (also a favorite) is the embroidery floss, which is quite delicate sewing floss that comes in all kinds of beautiful colors and textures.

Think of all the different people of the world. All the communities and cultures of this wide and varied and fantastic planet we live on…the connectivity we all share is…well…delicate.

Our connectivity as humans is sometimes fragile and difficult for us to keep at the center of our focus …but it is always there.

Think of laughter. Love. Music. Poetry. Ambition. Survival. Water. Children. Hope. Death. Beauty. Nature. Words. Smiles.

The floss part of the name came from wanting to honor my love for a life long interest in cross stitiching but also ended up being very symbolic in a community kind of way.

Combine the two images, throw in some alliteration with f + f to satisfy my poetic mind (I also carried this over to Twitter and Medium with @Fnfwriter of Twitter, @Fnfwriter on Medium and Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry Publication on Medium) and there you have the birth of Fiddleheads & Floss; a name which I intend to have trademarked as soon as I am financially able. (I have already had someone threaten to use it—for the record. NO. I have been using this name since 2008.

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D



Thoughts at 2:04 A.M. on Easter Morning (It’s called Grace.)

https://www.pexels.com/photo/autumn-back-light-clouds-dawn-416738/

I wanted to write something truly beautiful to wish you a happy Easter, and to honor the rising of my Savior, but nothing, nothing I could ever write could touch the magnificence of Easter morning. I feel humble.

Small. Inadequate. Undeserving.

GRATEFUL. LOVED.

Easter Morning

Oh Jesus, my knees are quite clean
this while I think on you in Gethsemane
praying hard on what you knew you must do
I know how oft I’ve forgotten to pray to you

I can’t bear to think of the violence of the cross
the thorns in your flesh, the blood that was lost
In the Philippines today, nails in bloody penance
Whipping their backs with bamboo, disturbing images

How can people rip the flesh of other human beings
and hail the God that created the whales in the sea?
Great grays that swoon and scoop plankton and sing?
Creator of eagles that laugh, carry wind on their wing?

How can a God love humans who behead, bring war?
Humans stoop to such evil, then lower still more?
Yet, Christ kneeled in Gethsemane, for all humanity
Knees in the dirt, heart to the sky, and pleaded for me?

To Creator of the worm of the earth, the soil and sky
for all races and tongues, for all things that fly
for all genders and generations, for mother earth
for every living thing to have in Him a New Birth.

God doesn’t ask that we bloody our backs or pierce our limbs
only that we remember to pray and accept and honor Him.
The cross still stands on a hill, blood-free.
Jesus was there, but he rose for me.

This Easter, I hope you know it too. From Christina here at Fiddleheads & Floss, Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate this Christian holiday. If you are not a Christian, please disregard respectfully and have a wonderful day. I appreciate all of you!