Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday Poetry Train #2

Soul Mirror
by Joy Renee

You’re looking in at me, I’m looking out at you,
Watching you watching me watch you.
Reflections of what we want to see,
Drawn on glass with morning dew.
Castles in air you built for me,
Of summer heat and winter wind,
Wisps of mist and shreds of fog,
Mirroring your inmost soul to me.
With words of love and hope and inspiration,
You speak to me of aspirations
Greater far than mortal creatures
Dare to attempt or care to imagine.
But looking to you for intimacy,
I find you looking out to sea,
Whispering those words of self-creation:
“Let me be. Just let me be.”
But you demand of self the cosmos,
Closing your ears to words of “Almost,”
And with the thought of ”Let it be.”
All you wish you get to see.

© 1986-2007 by Joy Renee Davis

This poem is the one that I mark as my first mature work. Before that they were more of the nature of nursery rhymes, hymns and greeting card wannabes. Not good ones either as they were full of forced rhymes and cliches. Juvenilia by any other name.

The first draft of Soul Mirror was written in 1986 for a college poetry class taught by Lawson Inada who is currently serving Oregon as Poet Laureate. I took a creative writing class and a contemporary literature class with Inada while I was attending then Southern Oregon State College now known as Southern Oregon University. If you have any time at all, please follow the links above to get a sense of who Inada is as a writer, an American and a human being.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that what I learned about writing, thinking, being, and me under Inada changed the course of my life. I cannot imagine what going through the psychological and spiritual upheaval of 1992-1996 would have been like had I not learned how to let the reading and writing of story help me think and write my way into a new story. One that neither left the old story behind nor allowed it to chain my soul but rather carry it like a precious gift.


Leave your link in comments and I'll post it here:

1. Jamie 2. julia 3. Jamie 4. Carol 5. Rashenbo 6. R.G. ALEXANDER 7. Rhian / Crowwoman 8. Thomma Lyn 9. Ann 10. Amy Ruttan 11. Susan Helene Gottfried 12. RED GARNIER

12 tell me a story:

Jamie 6/04/2007 1:33 AM  

I've always liked this poem, since the moment you first showed it to me. I'm glad that you had a good professor that enhanced your creativity in your writing. That is truly a blessing.

Julia Phillips Smith 6/04/2007 5:16 AM  

"Let me be. Just let me be.”
But you demand of self the cosmos"

I like those two lines. Full of the unsettled energy of one who will never know satisfaction.

Durward Discussion 6/04/2007 6:00 AM  

I see you have more than one Jamie reading your lovely work. The path to learning serenity is there and you walk it beautifully.

Carol 6/04/2007 6:37 AM  

Beautifully written. Full of pictures. Carol

Rashenbo 6/04/2007 6:41 AM  

Very nice. You've got some excellent word usage here and I think you did a great job painting a picture with words. I enjoyed reading, thank you for sharing.

Rhian 6/04/2007 9:14 AM  

joy - this is fabulous. i especially like this line: Whispering those words of self-creation...

Anonymous,  6/04/2007 10:18 AM  

What a lovely poem! Thank you so much for sharing it. And I so appreciate your kind comment on my blog. :)

Ann 6/04/2007 12:36 PM  

Beautiful poem. Very thoughtful (I was going to say reflective *g*). Thank you for sharing with us.

Amy Ruttan 6/04/2007 3:42 PM  

I've never heard of that poem until now. that was great, thanks for sharing that. awesome.

Susan Helene Gottfried 6/04/2007 6:16 PM  

I like this, Joy Renee. But I have to be honest: I like the story about studying with Inada even more. Amazing how a good professor can change our lives, huh?

I'll never forget the two who touched me like that -- although perhaps in not such a profound, overreaching way.

Red Garnier 6/04/2007 8:33 PM  

Let me just wipe my tears here.

Deep breath.

Okay now.


Beautiful poem, thanks for sharing, I've never read it.

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