Poems of the Week by Sanaa, Donna and Colleen

I have some meaningful poems for your enjoyment today, my friends, penned by Sanaa Rizvi, who blogs at A Dash of Sunny,  Donna Donabella, of Living From Happiness, and Colleen Redman, of  Loose Leaf Notes. Let’s not wait another minute. Enjoy!


In my darkest days you are the first
glow of dawn that lights the sky,
your pain is as though splitting of
seashell that hems in understanding.
I am muse, I am song, yet I am woe
which others reckon their own,
as unadulterated heart I am sound
of the sea crashing upon rocks.
I wish to write words to delve deep
into the poetic mind and retrieve
irrevocable nothings that touch,
hear and taste a world which keeps
me from being myself.
I, am forever bound, to ameliorate
agony of knowing desire better.
Sanaa: Sigh… I
remember this poem as if it was written yesterday. It was for Susie Clevenger’s
prompt where she had featured Frida Kahlo.

The poem ‘Ode to
a Passionate Muse’ is a glimpse of my sub-conscious. It’s everything I have
ever felt about poetry since the day I began writing.

I believe poetry
is like a one-sided conversation where one has to express, keeping in mind that
nothing should be left out and that there should be no room for confusion.
To me, the muse
is as though a calling, a strong inner impulse toward a course of action. It’s
like listening to the heartbeat and attempting to translate rhythm into words
and image.
Keeping in
harmony with the quote by Kahlo, I sought to describe myself in the process of
fulfilling the desires of muse, hence the closing lines.
When I sit down
to write, I focus more on emotion rather than imagery because I believe if a
reader is able to relate to the poem, only then do the words truly sing. It’s
when I have managed to pour a bit of soul into my poem is when I know it’s
Sherry: That is a very good description: pouring a bit of your soul into your poems. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful poem.
Donna’s recent poem follows the theme of the poet’s love affair with words. Let’s take a peek.

The Drought

Clouds drift along in the blue-grey sky,
Words and phrases obscuring the sun.
Drifting in and out of my consciousness,
Not wanting to be captured on paper.
I am like the earth and sky
Seeking balance between rain and drought.
My heart knows when
It will be time to come home again.
Distracted at present-
A monarch floats into my line of sight,
While a hummingbird peeks through the window
To see only its reflection against the vast darkness.
For now I am content
To let the words drift among the clouds.
Soon enough they will meld into a storm, and
Rain down freely again, singing on the page.

Donna: This poem actually was started a few years ago, and like the poem says, it drifted in and out of my consciousness until it fully formed recently. The finished poem came as I was thinking about how storm clouds form, with needed rain to nourish the earth. My words form too, waiting to rain down on me at just the right moment. Sometimes I have to wait with those words for quite a while as if I was in a drought. And when the time is right the words will speak again like rain falling from the clouds.

Ideas for poems or beginnings of poems can come to me as lines, phrases or just a subject that inspires me. These words come from deep within or in response to something I am seeing in the moment. That is my favorite way to write poetry.

But poetry can be a bit elusive. I have learned not to obsess about it when the poem just won’t come to fruition. Instead I keep a journal of phrases, lines, ideas, and revisit them until they decide to form fully into a poem. It’s interesting to see how the poem may change or evolve with time. Somtimes not at all as I thought it would turn out. But I let the poem go where it wants….letting go of my expectations for it.

Sherry: I so love “I am like the earth and sky.” Such beauty! We do wait for the words to come and, thankfully, eventually they do.

Colleen’s poem explores grief, that country we visit from time to time, and which informs our work.

Sorrow is a beautiful country
where you meet your destiny
or the love of your life
But you won’t know its hidden fullness
if you don’t speak its underlying language
or trust in the lay of its land
Because its depth is as far as its width
and its jewel is disguised by darkness
You have to dig deep to mine its value
be willing to bear and wear its shine

Sherry: I love the truth in “you have to…be willing to bear and wear its shine”.

Colleen: When two of my brothers died a month apart in 2001,
I let myself experience grief to the fullest.  As painful and
life-changing as that was, it ultimately made me a better person.  Grief
carved me out in deeper places, and I recognized it as an integral part of
love.  I began taking field notes from the trenches of grief’s frontline
and that turned into a book.   The Jim and Dan Stories  was
used in a Radford University grief and loss class for counselors for several

More recently, I came across a book titled The Wild
Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller.  My poem The Scenic Route sprang from
that title and the thought that “sorrow” is such a beautiful word.
There’s heartfelt work involved in sorrow, but there is also a beauty and
privilege to tending to it.  I remembered how some of my favorite songs as
a teenager were the ones that touched into my sorrowful longing and made me
choke up.
In the Jim and Dan Stories, I wrote: “In this
physical world, we have to mine for treasure. Gold and silver and precious gems
are not usually found lying around on the surface of the earth. It’s the same
with us, we have to excavate our own treasure, down through the door of our childhood,
through the pain of what hurts, into the grief of our losses. Life nudges us to
go deeper because to live on the surface is superficial. There’s so much more.”
That still holds.

Sherry: How devastating, to lose two brothers one month apart. I so appreciate your wisdom in being able and willing to travel through grief so bravely. “There’s no way out, but through,” as they say. Thank you for sharing this, Colleen.

To finish off, I would love to include your poem equating writing poetry to gardening. It seems the perfect way to close.

Time to weed the poem
to plant a row of words
to turn the phrases
that bloom the colors
to follow the root
to the source of truth
for the sustenance
of the soul

Sherry: I love the idea of planting words for the sustenance of the soul.

Thank you, Sanaa, Donna and Colleen, for sharing these wonderful poems, and for your participation at Poets United. We appreciate you!

Do come back, friends, and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

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