Introducing Poet Annie Bell

Through the Eyes of a Poet series #5

Poet Annie Bell

Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Annie Bell

Objective: To encourage people to broaden their reading interests through poetry, support the poetry community, and introduce you to poets and their personal stories.

For updates on this series: Join this Author Newsletter.

Writing poetry started as a way to work through my feelings. Writing poetry became my way to express myself. Writing poetry gave a voice to parts of me that I had kept silent for a long time. Writing poetry gave a voice to my soul, my heart and my body.

Annie Bell

It took a lifetime of swallowed feelings, a few unhealthy and impactful relationships, and a therapy process called Somatic Therapy for Annie Bell to find herself as a poet. Perhaps you can relate to the thin veil between emotion and the surface of poetry? Annie found this thermocline and plunged through it with her heart in her hands.

It wasn’t easy. But in the words of this new poet: “I became a poet when I let myself feel again. As soon as I stopped discounting my feelings, becoming a poet was inevitable.”

The story behind one of her poems that is especially personal and meaningful demonstrates how Annie’s journey through emotional healing has led her to the therapeutic world of poetry. Listen to her words on this very special poem:

My poem Follow Your Feelings is very special to me. The very first line of this poem that I ever wrote was, ‘Follow your feelings to the place inside where you trust yourself and the truth resides.’ But, as you will find when you read the poem, this is not the first line of the poem. Each stanza of this poem was actually written weeks apart from one another. Each stanza is a realization that I had independent of one another.

Follow your feelings to the place inside
Where you trust yourself and the truth resides.

from Follow Your Feelings, by Annie Bell

The first line I wrote was a realization that if I pay attention to my feelings—I can more clearly see the truth of a situation. My brain tends to rationalize things, but my feelings are straight forward. For example, looking back at that engagement that I called off: when he proposed I remember all the feelings in my body screaming, ‘No!’ I got a pit in my stomach, I got short of breath, my throat tightened up, I started sweating, my legs wanted to run.

On the other hand, my mind rationalized, ‘While I never had a desire to marry him, and we sure do have our problems, if he cares enough about me to propose to me, I believe we can resolve our problems and live a happy life.’ After analyzing many more past situations and comparing how my body felt and what my brain rationalized to the actual outcome of the situation, I learned to trust my feelings and to follow them to the truth to which they are always trying to lead me.

Although each stanza of this poem was an independent realization, I was tickled to discover that I could piece them together like a puzzle to create one very wise poem. 😊

To this day, this poem serves as a mantra of sorts for myself. I frequently find myself repeating each of these stanzas to myself at different times when I need to be reminded of the particular lesson/wisdom in each one.

Annie Bell

Annie is a fairly new poet, having written poetry for the last two years. She publishes her work primarily on Medium.com. I welcome you to enjoy this brief interview with Annie as she shares with us her thoughts on her poetry, the poetic process, and the genre of poetry, in general. You will find links to follow her work at the bottom of this blog post.


What is your greatest hope with regards to your poetry?

Before I was able to express myself through poetry, I really relied on relating to other people’s words/feelings in books and music lyrics. I wanted to start sharing my poetry so that those who can relate to it, can be helped by it. Back when I was exclusively sharing poetry on my Instagram account, my Instagram bio used to read, “Dark and light, the contrast of life. I write what I feel. I want to be real. If you feel it too, my words may connect with you.” That about sums it up!

Does your poetry have a message or a theme that you want to portray to the world?

So far my poetry has consistently hit one of the following themes/messages: freedom, empowerment, overcoming, healing, growth, self-discovery, self-love, having a voice, being yourself, creativity, FEELING, and finally a bit of spiritual awakening.

How do your poems come to you? And how do you take them from the initial inspiration to the final poem? Tell me about your writing process.

My poems usually come to me in just one phrase that kind of describes the essence of the poem. I could be driving, walking, talking with someone, listening to a podcast, or working, and a thought or feeling will just pop into my head or come out of my mouth that makes me say to myself, “There is a poem there!” I have a note app on my phone where I quickly jot down the sentence or two of my idea and then later on, when I have the time and focus to work on the poem, it comes to life.

For example, the poem I Am Here developed because I wanted to move, but I felt totally stuck and I was making myself miserable with my thoughts about trying to figure out how to move and where to move. I finally just told myself, I AM HERE—and an instant later, I knew I would write a poem about it.

Another example is my poem, The Remarkable. I was on a walk talking with a friend on the phone. We were talking about how when one feels sad or depressed it is so hard to feel inspired to take action in life. I think I said something to her like, “Sometimes everything inside is just so damp and dark and heavy that you can’t start a fire even if there is a spark.” And then I said out loud to her, “There is a poem there!” I made a note in my phone. We finished our long conversation and days later I made the time to write the poem.

However, I will admit that some of my poems come to life by trying to resolve some long standing issues. Sometimes I will sit down with an idea in my mind or a feeling in my soul that I am going to set out to do some self-discovery. For example, when I wrote A Cage of My Own Making, I sat down in front of my computer knowing that I had something to express, but not knowing what it was. I literally wrote (in a rather snarky way), “Ok, so what does that wise voice inside have to say today?” Then, the poem spilled out. Thanks to this poem, I frequently remind myself, if I am feeling trapped…I am probably stuck in a cage of my own making, and I am also the key to my own freedom.

One last question, what would you say to readers who do not normally read poetry to encourage them to read the genre?

To encourage readers to check out the genre of poetry, I am going to go out on a limb for them–I am going to risk my credibility for them.

I confess, I frequently read poetry and think to myself, “What? I don’t get it.” I confess, I frequently read poetry and think to myself, “Well, I felt nothing while reading that.” I confess, I frequently read poetry and think, “That was weird.”  

BUT, I also frequently read poetry and feel as though my heart is pounding out of my chest.

I frequently read poetry and laugh out loud at its cleverness. I frequently read poetry and find myself releasing tears of joy, tears of anger, and tears of sadness. I frequently read poetry and feel the author’s soul speaking with mine. I frequently read poetry and am in awe of the imagery and beautifully crafted rhyme and rhythm. I frequently read poetry that says things that cannot be said any other way.

The thing I have discovered about poetry, is that if you can relate to it, it speaks to you. I know for a fact that all those poems I read but was not impressed by, will be read by hundreds of people who are utterly in love with it. We are all different people, with different experiences, and poems will speak to each of us differently.

So, read poetry—it may validate your feelings, it may teach you something, it may warm your heart, it may bring a smile to your face, or it may change your life.


Thank you so much Annie, for sharing a bit of your personal journey with us and sharing with us about your poetry. I am happy you have been able to work through the clutter of emotional disarray and find your way to the poetry that lives there. There are so many who can be inspired by your work.


If you would like to follow Annie’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms:

Annie Bell on Medium–@wholeheartedempire
Annie Bell on Instagram–@wholeheartedempire

May your love grow like sunflowers
Vast and eager
Basking in the warm light of your joy

May your love grow like pine
Evergreen and unrefined
Flourishing amidst the bleak cold

May your love grow like daisies
wild and bold…


from
How Love Grows
by Annie Bell

Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.

Poetically yours,
Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger
Become a fan
Purchase ::organic:: (my first poetry collection!!)

Introducing Poet Sylvia Clare

Through the Eyes of a Poet series #4

Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Sylvia Clare

Objective: To encourage people to broaden their reading interests through poetry, support the poetry community, and introduce you to poets and their personal stories.

For updates on this series: Join this Author Newsletter.


Canvas vast to match the impossible scale
a universe of sky, land and sea.
Great scoops and swathes of marbled grey,
monochrome simplicity.

White and bright the moon shines through
between clouds, in tempest thrown,
nature’s wildest dance performed
in skies and seas, flecked with foam.

from Seascapes, by Sylvia Clare

When Sylvia first began expressing that she wanted to be a writer, she was laughed at. No one took her seriously because her mind worked differently due to ADHD. Sylvia, I get it. Really I do. (Squirrel brains unite!)

But here she is, 3 books later (The Musicians Muse, Black and white, and Love and Chocolate); a lovely poet with a big message.

Sylvia is from the UK, has lived in south London, and now resides on a small island off the south coast, called the Isle of Wight. She’s been writing since she was a young student but kept most of it to herself until about 25 years ago when she became more serious about pursuing her writing professionally.

I can understand keeping a thing such as poetry to yourself, when the world gives you negative feedback or doesn’t believe in your abilities. Writing poetry is very personal. I admire Sylvia for tapping into that creative energy and refusing to let it go. Because of her tenacity, we now have her beautiful (and sometimes fierce) body of work to enjoy.


Sylvia’s Interview

I invited Sylvia to join me in a brief interview about her writing style, her poetry, and her vision. Please enjoy this brief interview and be sure to check out Sylvia’s contact information at the bottom to follow her work. Let’s show her the support that her work deserves and let her know that she is definitely a poet of worth!


Tell me a bit about the vision behind your poems.
I write what I observe, how I feel and my experiences – especially spiritually and about nature.  I am also an angry poet about our modern times and I rant sometimes against people with negative attitudes to the climate crisis or social injustices.

Tell me about how you came to be a poet.
I used to work with and socialise with someone who wanted to be a poet. He was pretentious but also introduced me to Benjamin Zephania. I was also teaching with Jean Binta Breeze at the time at Brixton college. 

I was drawn to it in deeper ways; it called me, I think, rather than I went after poetry itself. I had talked about being a writer at school and been so laughed at by teachers and friends alike, that I never thought it could be possible. But I felt intuitively that this was something I should work towards, however long it took to develop my voice and my style. I have always found my intuitive drives will override any negative comments from others. I think because of my ADHD no one ever took me seriously.

I do see and feel deeply–and I think that is the heart of poetry. If you don’t feel it how can it ever be authentic? The words come through me or to me but are never from me. I feel them as a gift, always. though I have learned how to edit and redraft a little more than in early days.

I have learned a few more rules too. I like writing to rules–the limitations make it easier– but I still can’t force anything if it isn’t flowing of its own accord. Fortunately, it usually is once a theme or thought arrives it flows from that point. I also find prompts useful.

Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.
One of my favourites is about my husband and how much he changed my life – gave me a life. Although it is impossible to have a real favourite ( I also love my chocolate poems series) I guess this is the one. 

Lost and Found (published in P.S. I Love You, a Medium publication)

We discovered each other 

in lost and found.

You were a treasure chest

washed up on the beach

when my toe stubbed against you.


Tentatively opening your lid,

I discovered many secrets –

many compartments concealed

from unappreciative eyes and minds

jewels dulled by non-use,

wrapped in oilcloth, fusty with age


I was broken on that beach

discards from other people’s debris.

You carefully collected all my fragments

painstakingly re-assembled them

into a collage of unexpected beauty


Many years later I find still

there are secret compartments

located in the depths of your being.

We carefully light candles 

for each other, to find 

hands to hold in the dark.


What is your greatest hope with regards to your poetry?
That my words reach people and mean something to them as so many other writers have done to me. That I help to make poetry something that anyone can enjoy and not keep it exclusive and excluding. I can use any number of clever words but I prefer not to unless there is nothing else to use. What I hope more than anything is that they may influence a few heart and minds.

Does your poetry have a message or a theme that you want to portray to the world?
Yes definitely. The main overall themes are about:

  • spiritual experiences and insights
  • the environment, nature
  • politics of social justice
  • observations on human experience and relationships

I desperately want to influence people to become more loving and compassionate to each other, to see more deeply and be less judgemental. I want to help people to understand the beauty in the world; if they look at it properly and stop the destruction. Apart from my family, this is all I want to do in life- my raison d’etre, for sure.

How do your poems come to you? And how do you take them from the initial inspiration to the final poem? Tell me about your writing process.
I meditate a lot and have done so for several decades; teaching it as well as living it. So much comes to me from that or after that .

I am less a conscious creator rather than a ‘flow’ creator; a channeler, a conduit for ideas to come through. I typically write, leave for 24 to 48 hours, and then revisit. If I cannot  think of any better words or structures then I submit, mostly on Medium, but I am starting to leave some to submit elsewhere.

One last question, what would you say to readers who do not normally read poetry to encourage them to read the genre?
Poems can often sum up an experience or thought that cannot be expressed as well in any other prose form. It can open the world to you in inspiring ways.

One of my favourite ways of beginning the day is to read some poems out loud to my husband, with a cup of tea in bed before we get up and start chores. It places a completely different light on much of the whole day from there. Sometimes it is the poetry in songs that reaches us first.

I never forget the film Dangerous Minds when the young people are introduced to poetry through Dylan’s lyrics. Find a poetic form that is accessible to you, that speaks to you, and then work out from there.


Thank you Sylvia for sharing a bit of your journey with us and sharing with us about your poetry. I am glad you pushed back against the world and took up your pen to do what it is the poetry calls you to do. I, too, consider myself a catalyst for poems and I understand completely this part of your process. I think that makes the poetry even more special.

If you would like to follow Sylvia’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms:

Sylvia’s Website
Sylvia on Medium
(Also find her work in medium publications: PSILY, Literally Literary, Other Doors, Creative Café, Resistance Poetry)
For News and Updates
Sylvia on Amazon
Sylvia on Goodreads


Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.

Poetically yours,
Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger
Become a fan
Purchase ::organic:: (my first poetry collection!!)

Introducing Poet Lora K. Lucente

Through the Eyes of a Poet series #3

Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Lora K Lucente

Objective: To encourage people to broaden their reading interests through poetry, support the poetry community, and introduce you to poets and their personal stories.

For updates on this series: Join this Author Newsletter.

Lora K. Lucente, poet

Lora K. Lucente fell in love with poetry through a musical path. Her love for music took her to college, introduced her to writing, and birthed in her a love for poetry. Truly gifted lyricists are poets. I understand Lora’s path very well as the music of the Counting Crows is instrumental in developing my love for poetry.

Lora shared with me about her musical path to poetry:

How long have you been writing?:

I started writing poetry in middle school, which was over 20 years ago. For me, it began as music. I’ve always been drawn to music that has deep and engaging lyrics. Some of the biggest inspirations for me at that time were Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Queen, Tori Amos, and the Beatles. Additionally, I grew up during the age of 90’s alternative music which has a ton of incredible lyricists. It wasn’t long that I began paying more attention in English class while being encouraged by my middle school English teacher to read and write poetry.

What is your educational background regarding writing?:

While I do not have a degree in writing, I’ve spent a great portion of my time in college writing educational/research and corporate/training papers. I’ve also written dozens of training guides throughout my career experiences. More recently, I have taken a copywriting course and began a copywriting business. However, when I began my college education, I was a music major (voice) which heavily relied upon the context of lyrics – though not writing the words, I spent a lot of time analyzing song lyrics.

My poetry is published on Medium (aside from my own website) in Scribe, House of Haiku, Soul & Sea, Imperfect Words, Get Inside, and Unlearning and Learning publications.

Describe the vision / style / content / etc of your poetry?:

My poetry tends to revolve around themes of healing, nature, mysticism and emotions. I had a tough childhood, with middle school being a really hard time for me – poetry was always there to help me and hold me, whether I was reading or writing it. Even the terrible poems I had written still had a part in my development, expression, understanding my being, and overcoming obstacles.

My current vision with my website, Ambient Writing, is to use my poetry as a way to connect with others, promoting healing, confidence, and self-care. There are a lot of hurting people in the world, and I’d like to think my purpose in writing poetry is to help others. I hope I do so they know they’re not alone.


Lora’s mission as a poet speaks to my heart. I am thankful to Lora for agreeing to interview with me and share with us a little bit about her work, her writing process, and her thoughts on the poetry genre. So without further adieu…

Poet Interview

Tell me about your writing process with regards to writing poetry, specifically.

My process usually starts out with an emotional or visual idea and inspiration – movement stirring inside and I have to write it down. I try to stick to a writing schedule, but sometimes the muse isn’t awake when I need her to be. Generally, once the idea stirs, I pick up my good old-fashioned journal and pen, and I just write! I’ve found the musculoskeletal kinetic process of writing in a journal helps to encourage natural creative flow.

Typically, I just free-write and get it all out on the paper – even the ugliness. I don’t usually get stuck on a word or line, sometimes it happens, but for the most part I just freely write it all down. After which, I will read over it and do a first edit for any grammar. Then I close the journal and walk away – I like to let the poem simmer! I will re-visit that same day or the next day, so that when I re-read the poem, it’s more fresh, like I’m reading it as a reader not the author.

At this point, I will convert the handwritten pages and type the poem in a Google doc. This is great for editing as well as being able to save it to the drive. Then I read it over again. After reading through, I will go over line by line, stanza by stanza, and make any adjustments. Some questions I will ask myself are: “Does this convey a message/point, or is it all over the place?”; “Does this flow, or is it too wordy?”; “Are there any redundancies?”; “Does this pull emotion or is it flat?” With these questions, I find I can better revise and shape the poem.

Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.

My husband and I have had struggles with fertility, including miscarriage. It’s something I’m still working through, personally. I had written a poem “The Cloak of Nurture” late one night, after having some anxiety and a heavy crying session. A lot was going on at the time, and I was feeling very alone with not being a mother – not being understood in my losses.

After reading some posts on Facebook – family and friends with their adorable, smart, clever, talented children – I started wondering what my baby would have been like. They would have just turned 3 at that time, so I started thinking about all the fun, crazy, cute, and amazing things 3 years do and say. Then I cried some more! Then, I started writing. My husband was snoring away, not knowing anything that was going on – it’s ok though, because I need alone-time and privacy when writing poetry.

While this poem means a lot to me personally, my hope is that it at least touches one other person who has gone through or is going through infertility/miscarriage/child loss and maybe bring them comfort that they’re not actually alone.

Living With Miscarriage and Infertility

I thought of you that day,
The moment the red pierced the vale of life.
I once had dreams for you,
You once held a hope within me.

I’ve wondered where you’ve gone,
How can I know you but not see your eyes?
How was I so close yet so far away,
From holding your purpose in my arms?

Finish reading this poem:

Living With Miscarriage and Infertility

What would you say to people who may not consider poetry to be “their thing?” 

There are a couple of points I would make – the major one being that many people may not realize that poets still exist in the 21st Century! In my experience, most people who do not care for poetry often have been turned off by it during school – while they were forced to read the classics, the language may have not connected with them. Maybe they think all poetry is just a bunch of “dead poets” who use words like “thou”, “shall” and “comest”, and they just don’t like the style? 

Another major point I would bring is how poetry is in music – much of music has poetic lyrics, from opera to folk to rock to rap. I would challenge them to view their listening habits and see what poems are within their favorite songs.

Lastly, I would explain how there are so many different styles to writing poetry – maybe they read something on social media or even Medium, and just didn’t like it. Not liking one poem or a particular style of a writer does not mean that all poetry is lost. I would encourage them to keep reading and they will find a style and/or poet(s) who intrigues and inspires them. Poetry is an art, just like music and painting – there are so many genres and styles, poets, and creative opportunities with poetry!

One last question, do you define your poetry or does your poetry define you? Why?

I believe, for the most part, my poetry defines me. When I set out to write a poem, I’m overwhelmingly driven by my emotion and the desire to express those emotions and thoughts into visual words. I’m not a great painter/drawer, but with poetry, I can cover a canvas with words and dream up a scene. Most of the time, I go back to the poem after it has been finished to analyze what is meant, the story that came out. Surely, I start with an idea, but I’m never tactical and technical with my approach. This may be something I need to grow in, though, but I my poetry comes out in waves of emotion, not so much like an outline or plan. This is why I feel my poetry defines me.


Thank you for reading this edition of Through the Poet’s Eyes with Lora K. Lucente. I hope you will follow this poet on her journey of poetry; the music of her life. Additionally, here is one of Lora’s poems that I found incredibly beautiful:

Sparkles and Lace

Eyes waking, frosty dreams dancing alive,

Silence speaking loudest, breathing in blue sighs.

Wishes from youth, white lace, sparkling and fair,

Covering old hopes, heart pulling despair.

I hear a voice; singing, haunting–it’s mine,

Steps taken softly, gently, undefined.

Continue reading this poem at: Sparkles and Lace


Thank you Lora for sharing a bit of your poetic journey with us. I appreciate your ability to put your life to the music of poetry. Your personal message, inquisitive descriptions, and heartfelt depth are a gift to readers who experience your work. Keep writing!

If you would like to follow Lora’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms:

Lora’s website, Ambient Writing
Follow Lora on Medium
Follow Lora on Instagram
Subscribe to Lora’s email list


Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.

Poetically yours,

Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger

Become a fan
Purchase ::organic:: (my first poetry collection!!)

Introducing Poet Sam H. Arnold

Through the Eyes of a Poet series #2

Changing people’s lives through teaching, mentorship, caring, and yes through POETRY!

Sam H. Arnold, poet, writer, Author of The Detective Two

Sam H. Arnold has made a lifetime of caring for others through her love of teaching and mentoring. Sam grew up in a small seaside village in the South of England called Dymchurch. She pursued her education in teaching and now resides 20 minutes up the road from where she was born, in the town of Ashford, Kent.

Sam works with students of all ages and with a variety challenges that make it difficult to access mainstream schooling. Sam’s work did not initially lead her in the direction of writing, but I’d argue that the path of empathy that her life has taken is a great catalyst for her writing.

Although Sam’s writing work just started growing in a more professional direction the last few years, I asked her if she could remember when she first began thinking of writing:

I recently found a short story I wrote for my grandad when I was five years old, so I guess I have always written.  –Sam H Arnold

I think my response to that is that oftentimes writers, especially poets, may not pay all that much attention to the inner voice that leads us to write. But when we do–it is truly magical.

I invited Sam to join me in an interview about her work, about what inspires her, and about poetry. Please enjoy this brief interview with poet and teacher Sam H. Arnold:


Tell me about the kinds of poetry that you enjoy writing.

I started writing poetry only a year ago.  I started with freestyle poetry, I found it was an excellent way to express my feelings.  Since then I have started experimenting with different forms of poetry. My favourite at the moment is Haiku.

Tell me about your writing process with regards to writing poetry, specifically.

My poetry is far more personal than much of my other work.  For example, I have written about my partners depression and my grandma’s dementia.  I have an idea or a line that comes to me. From there I build a poem around it. It can sometimes take me several weeks to come up with a complete poem.  Only when it is complete do I look at form and try to alter parts to make it flow better.

Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.

For many years I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that my grandma has dementia.  None of the woman I know and love is left. She was also my hero and inspiration as she was a pioneer before her time.  Incidentally, the article I wrote about her was one that received the editors choice. During her birthday when I was going through a particularly hard time, a single line came to me.  It was the first line of one of my favourite poems.  You can find it here: The Dementia of a Soul

The Dementia of a Soul, by Sam H. Arnold

Her soul I know left years ago
the shell remains even though
I cry tears of anger and of woe,
Fly free my wise old owl and go.

A woman so brave and smart
Who helped to stop the UK from falling apart,
Hitler tried to occupy our shore,
Gran stood firm and manned the store.

Amazing woman first of her kind
Area manager when women stayed behind
My hero, I wanted to make her proud,
Her praise a goal of magic sound.

A daughter raised who I call mum
An ear she leant when I was glum
The books we shared through many years,
A love so strong it held no fears.

God I hope you hear my call,
I know my Gran has given all,
I know I mourned her years ago,
Now take her up to her new home.

If you had a piece of advice for other poets, what would that be?

Write what you feel and like, not what structure and form tells you to.

What would you say to people who may not consider poetry to be “their thing?”

For many years I didn’t understand poetry or think it was for me.  I could be heard many times saying ‘I just don’t understand how to write poetry.’ Then my partner said to me that poetry was about writing what you want in whatever form you want.  I gave it a try and have loved it ever since.  

So my advice would be try it only then will you know how much you love it. 

One last question, do you define your poetry or does your poetry define you? Why?

My poetry defines me, I never know where a poem will take me and what form it takes.  Writing poetry is when I feel most free.


I encourage you to support Sam by following her work. At the end of the article there are some links to her Author’s page, websites, and Newsletter.

Additionally, here is one poem of Sam’s that I’d like to share is called You Don’t See Me. It is a further testimony of Sam’s ability to see people, touch hearts, and bring the reader into the story through poetry. It has such a meaningful message and can serve as a reminder to us all of the people in our lives we do not see.

You Don’t See Me, by Sam H. Arnold (excerpt)

You sit there looking at your phone
You ignore me when I come over to you
You don’t see me when I smile and play
You don’t love me as much as you love your phone 

I try to get your attention by climbing
I cry in the hope that you will see me
I throw things to get you to notice me
I know you don’t love me as much as your phone 

See the full poem and the deep message of this piece at You Don’t See Me.


Thank you Sam for sharing a bit of your poetic journey with us. I appreciate your ability to put empathy to words and to share it through poetry. People enjoy seeing the humanity in others and can relate to the stories that you share through your work.

If you would like to follow Sam’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms:

Sam’s Author Website
Sam on Medium
Sam’s Newsletter
Sam’s Email List


Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.

Poetically yours,

Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger

Become a fan
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Introducing Poet Nikki H. Rose in a Personal Interview on Her Poetry

Through the Eyes of a Poet series, #1

Nikki H Rose has come a long way from writing about a Marshmallow Queen in kindergarten, the first of her writings she remembers making her proud. 

Today she’s a well-educated English teacher with a knack for writing emotional and personal poetry. 

Setting the scenery for a poet

Nikki was born in the great state of New York, but grew up in a rural area of Vermont, surrounded by trees and various mountains where she went skiing and ice skating regularly. 

I am already picturing the quaint scene–snow, red cheeks, smiling faces. 

Nikki lived on the side of a mountain, attending high school only ten minutes away and on the side of another mountain. Fall was her favorite season because of the beautiful foliage there in Vermont. It sounds like a beautiful place and one I can certainly understand setting the stage for an emotive, articulate poet to take flight.

Writing started early

Nikki has been writing for as long as she has been able to put pencil to paper. She specialized in creative writing in her undergraduate studies and continued with education and English courses in graduate school. Nikki keeps her skills fresh with ongoing education courses. 

Many people use writing to escape their minds. I use it to meet mine.–Nikki H. Rose

Nikki shares her poetry on both her personal blog and on her Medium platform where her work has been featured in publications such as  P.S. I Love You and From The Poet’s Heart. Her work has also been chosen by Medium curators for distribution, which is a testimony to the quality of her work.

I asked Nikki to describe the vision and focus of her work:

I tend to focus my poetry on specific emotions more than stories, granted they are often linked together. My goal and vision for my writing is to make it relatable. I want everyone who reads it to get something out of it – to see themselves in it – to feel something – even if it’s not what I had initially intended.

Nikki H. Rose

Nikki has agreed to a brief interview regarding her body of work, her writing process, and her thoughts on poetry and this is what she had to say: 


Tell me about your writing process with regards to writing poetry, specifically.

I seem to have a unique process for writing poetry, based on what other poets tell me. When I get an idea for a concept – usually linked to an emotion – I can crank out a poem it its final form within ten minutes. For me, the longest part of the process is simply coming up with the concept itself.

Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why. 

I’ll be honest, I’ve written a lot of poetry in my life, and until I reread them, many of the pieces from years ago that used to speak to me in volumes, are pieces that I don’t think about regularly. 

Recently, I’m proud of my piece called “I Miss You” because, for me, the meaning is centered on the loss of my grandmother. I lost her a few years ago and the pain has never subsided. I continue to ache from her loss – but the piece is more than this. It’s a chance for readers to connect with their own loss, and to recognize that while it’s okay to grieve, they don’t have to grieve alone. If I’m writing about it, it becomes clear to many who read, that they are not alone in the process.

I Miss You

I miss you
the you that I remember
the you that you once were

I miss your smile
that lit up the room
that was contagious

I miss your laugh
as it reverberated around me
humming deep within

Read the full poem on P.S. I Love You

If you had a piece of advice for other poets, what would that be?

My biggest piece of advice is to write what you feel. Don’t focus on rhyme scheme or even the enjambment to begin with. Worry about that, if you want to, during your revisions. Focus on the meaning – the emotion – and your own personal connection to the piece. Why are you writing it? Let that reason drive you.

What would you say to people who may not consider poetry to be “their thing?”

I would tell them that I agree with them. Poetry is largely not my thing, because most of the published poetry in the world comes from a story-based background. Not from one that is easily relatable and emotional. Many also require deep decoding and analysis in order to properly understand. 

Some poetry can be simple, and yet hold so much meaning. But my main appreciation for poetry comes from the fact that you can get out of it exactly what you want. If you want simple, you get simple. If you want in-depth, you search for the in-depth and you’ll get it.

One last question, do you define your poetry or does your poetry define you? Why?

Neither. I don’t believe one thing can define me, but my poems come to life on their own and define themselves as they go. I can start one poem with an idea in mind, but it’ll often end in a completely different direction with completely different emotions and stories behind them.


Thank you Nikki for sharing a bit of your personal story with us. I truly appreciate your ability to turn emotion into poetry. Many people can appreciate this and find a deep connection to your work and perhaps, feel a bit less alone in their own human experiences. 

One poem that I found particularly beautiful is Living in the Present. I think the message of the poem is so poignant,  empathetic, revealing, and yes, relatable.

(excerpt)

I look up
lost in a sea
of desires
for something else

I feel the longing
that I see on their
faces

Read the full poem at From the Poet’s Heart

I wish Nikki the best on her journey through words. Let her poetry move you and inspire you to live your best life, connect to your own personal experiences, and take away something poetic.

If you would like to follow Nikki’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms: 

Nikki’s Blog
Follow Nikki on Medium
Nikki on Goodreads
Nikki on Facebook
Nikki on Twitter


Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.

Poetically yours,

Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger

Become a fan
Purchase ::organic::

The Proof is in the Reviews

About a month ago I launched “organic,” my first poetry collection.

The reviews are coming in, and they are stellar. I invite you to read them and consider ordering a copy of this book for yourself.

My book ratings today!!!

#1651 in Two-Hour Literature & Fiction Short Reads
#3671 in Poetry (Books)
#590 in Poetry (Kindle Store)
#16251 in Poetry (Books) (paperback)

For a poetry book, this is astounding.

Read the reviews here and order your copy!

organic–in paperback!

organic–Kindle version!

Goodreads

Amazon

For more information on upcoming books, and for all the latest on Christina’s writing you may join her Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter!

https://christinaward.substack.com/p/coming-soon

Poetically Yours,

Christina Ward
Fiddleheads & Floss

Podcast Interview on Poetry–and Me!

I think you’ll really enjoy this conversation on poetry and inspiration

Author’s photo

I am sure you have all heard the buzz. I have a new poetry book out called ::organic::

The reception has been humbling. Here are a few reviews that I have received so far:

In addition to a wonderful reception for the book, I’ve been interviewed twice; once for an article which is not out yet, and once for a terrific podcast called Words from the River.

Laurie Nave did a fantastic job with the interview and I invite you to give it a listen:

Words from the River Podcast

The conversation includes poetry, the writing process, poets and poetry trends, the human experience, and our connection to the natural ecosystem. I hope that you will treat yourself today with a cup of tea and a listen to this deeply inspiring conversation.

Poetically yours,

Christina Ward
author of ::organic::

Celebrate with Me My Debut Book: Organic!!

It is a truly beautiful collection of poetry.

I am so proud of this long-awaited debut book.

To order:

organic–in paperback!

organic–Kindle version!

Order your copy now! I am pleased to have some wonderful recommendations written by other published authors and poets:

Praise for organic:

Christina Ward’s poetry is heavy with the music of nature. Soft, slow, beautiful, and strong, her verses take on the shape of the natural world around us, a world that many of us don’t take the time to see. Do yourself a favor and fall into her words. Let yourself be carried away.

 – Zach Payne, poet, author of  The Wrath and the Waves

. . .

Christina Ward’s organic heralds a new and vibrant poetic voice, one as distinctive as a bell, ringing truth in every poem of this remarkable collection. Divided into four sections, each addresses a different theme: “seeds,” of families; “soils,” of our vulnerable earth; “vines,” of the ties that bind—both nurturing and stifling; and “skies,” about the poetic imperative. In her final poem, “For the Eyes of God and Birds,” the poet tells us, “If tomorrow my words/get swallowed up in darkness/I will still, write a poem.” Believe her. This poet, honest and brave, will continue to ring her vibrant truth. 

–Jean P. Moore, award-winning novelist and poet. Her chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, was nominated for the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award.

. . .

Christina Ward’s poetry can take mundane observations and transform them into larger life metaphors. She has a keen observation and knowledge of nature, expressed beautifully in much of her poetry. Interlaced with flights into historical fantasy on occasion, all of Christina’s poems are teachers in unique ways.  I highly recommend organic  for anyone with an interest in poetry, nature and the unfolding drama of life.

–Randy Shingler, poet, essayist and author of the poetry collection, Tranquil Freedom.

Thank you to all of those who have already ordered their copies!

Christina~

Misunderstood (i have been a flower in a tree)

a free verse poem

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay


i have been a flower in a tree.
i have been so high up, no one could see
the immeasurable me, the impetuous me

the always, always superfluous me

this is what happens
when a tree has its leaves 
on upside down, when the roots don’t grow
underground

and the rain goes up instead of down

the birds fall dizzied from their skies.
gumballs float and swirl and helix themselves
right up and into me

can’t you see? i did not ask
to be me — to spend my life
among the bees

i have been a core and colorful whore,
a generous whorl of magenta
lace and edge — 
i reach downward towards sky

On a Sunday Visit


Christina Ward 💗 is a poet and nature writer. If you enjoyed this spoken word poem you may also enjoy some of her other works (with audio) such as: For the Eyes of God and Birds (with audio) and On a Sunday Visit (with audio.)

Delay of Autumn

a free verse poem of the season

Image by Gerald Friedrich from Pixabay

Delay of Autumn

The Autumn wreath
with plastic apples
aged pine cones
resides in closeted bin

Temperatures dip
days shorten
signaling yellows,
deep reds, bursts of orange
the ushering in of
pumpkin — everything
not this year

the corn has been cut
husk-less stalks, sparse, dried
scatter the field in muted gold

this year the heat hangs long
the soils ache with thirst
the hickory tree drops her limbs
large, green ones
too brittle, they splinter
and fall away —
like bones breaking
that sound

poison ivy yellows, withers, dries
the greens fading to brown,
no vibrancy of Autumn,
summer lingers, decays

I’ll hang the wreath
another day.
When Autumn comes
will it be as a swift breath —

with Winter on her heels
raging in white?


Christina Ward 🌼 is a poet and nature writer from North Carolina, where this year it is in the upper 80s and low 90s at the end of September. We haven’t had rain for weeks.

Stay in touch! ~*~ Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry ~*~ Follow me on Twitter!

This poem was originally published by Weeds & Wildflowers publication of Medium.

Weeds & Wildflowers
https://medium.com/weeds-wildflowers/delay-of-autumn-33fcf363fd44
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