Saturday, April 22, 2017


April #AtoZChallenge and #PoetryMonth
Three goals I had in mind while writing my collection of linked poetry:
1. To celebrate my appreciation of life
2. To experience the process of writing linked poetry, a form of Japanese renshi
3. To give thanks for and better appreciate a life well-lived.
The flowers are a colorful bonus for the #AtoZChallenge
***   ***   ***
 S is for Smiling Back and Sunflowers

Smiling Back

From shadows,
smiling back at me,
clear memories
of frothy rapids
while tubing down
an apple-scented river. 

Company softball games,
cheering on my teammates
win or lose, celebrating
El Torito style. 

All too soon, highways
move me state to state,
major life changes
blinding me to loss. 

Above the clouds
endless open skies
ease me from the past; with
lazy eagerness, promises appear
of another new beginning.
***   ***   *** 
Do you need to understand everything the poet is saying to appreciate a poem? Or is sailing off in whatever direction a specific phrase sends you, like a word-association excursion, more to your liking?


  1. That field of sunflowers is quite a sight!
    I don't mind sailing off at a tangent via word-association...but I also love detailed poetry analysis!
    Writer In Transit

  2. Thank you for your thought-provoking comments, Michelle. I did write up an analysis of this poem back in October 2015. It reflects my thought process:

    In today’s poem, Smiling Back, one of my alter egos of past decades recalls “after hours” fun times with co-workers, eventually overshadowed by shifting lifestyle. Anyone over the age of awareness knows life does not move forward at a predictable pace but shifts and changes, often with the wind. This is colorfully expressed in Steinbeck’s “best laid plans” which suggests that things do not always work out as planned, no matter the extent of preparation.

    Those flexible enough to bend with the wind will most comfortably weather the storm. Over the years, I’ve weathered many storms. I believe learning to give thanks and forgiveness has allowed me to become a content person, comfortable with my inner being.

    1. Ah, love the 'Of Mice And Men' allusion.

  3. Hi Gail - I know I need to do a poetry appreciation course at some stage - to at least start to be able to understand some poems and give me that basis to grow from: one day - but I need to come back and read your comment ... will do anon - cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary, what's I have found interesting is that after writing some of my poetry in rapid strokes, I return to discover much subconscious thought not even fully imagined before.