Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Sleeper in the Vale

By Arthur Rimbaud. Translated from the French by Olivia Faix. Use only with permission. The original, "Le dormeur du val," was written in October 1870.

The Sleeper in the Vale

It's a pocket of greenery where a stream sings,
Madly catching on the grass its rags
Of silver; where the sun, from the proud mountain,
Shines: it's a small vale that is bubbling with rays of light.

A young soldier, mouth open, head bare,
And the nape of his neck bathing in cool blue cress,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under the skies,
Pale in his green bed where the light rains.

His feet in the gladioli, he sleeps. Smiling like
A sick child smiles, he is dozing:
Nature, cradle him warmly: he is cold.

The scents do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his chest,
Peaceful. There are two red holes in his right side.

Can We Do This All Year?

I wrote this on 7/30/13, and had forgotten all about it. This little snippet captures my feelings about summer so very well, and I think it's a great example of my voice. Finding this in my drafts feels like unearthing a small treasure that I forgot I had buried. :)

Playing with the fireflies that swim all around me. They leap and dive and shimmer as I swing through the air that is at once relaxed and heavy with the expectation of something beautiful about to happen. Because beauty is all around us. Overhead the stars sing melodies to the sky while a plane sails by and leaves a string of cloud like a kitetail that glows raspberry and orange in the post-sunset atmosphere.

I never feel as alive as I do in the summer, and I just have one question:

Can we do this all year long? I would be happy as a clam in harbor if I could just come out here every night, and play with the fireflies and sing with the stars.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Right Here

Someone had the nifty idea to try to write 30 poems in the month of June, one for each day. Here's my first one.

With my toes in the sand and my eyes on the stars,
I stared up into the vacancy.
Your love echoed down to the ground all around me,
Your voice in the wind that I could not see.

I stood there wanting it all to become clear:
My heart open, my hands outstretched.
But instead I found that there's life to be found
Right here in the beautiful mess.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Aveugle, je croyais
que je pourrais tremper la main dans l'eau
sans devenir mouillée.

Je n'ai pas vu que,
tout doucement, tout lentement,
je pataugeais dans les eaux de plus en plus profondes.

Et subitement je me trouve
en plein océan :
sans boussole, sans corde
à me guider vers le rivage.

Comment ai-je finis ici ?
Comment puis-je quitter ?

Et puis je te vois.
Tu n'est pas au rivage avec la main tendue.
Non :
Tu a quitté la grève et
tu marches vers moi.
Tu viens pour me sauver et
quand tu es tout près de moi,
tu m'offres la main et


je choisir de la prendre.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Les choses dont j’apprendrai à ma fille future de noter la beauté

- le chant des oiseaux – surtout à l’aube
- les nuages qui nous protègent de la chaleur ardente du soleil à un midi d’été
- les arcs-en-ciel
- les couleurs des nuages pendant le coucher du soleil
- le timbre du piano
- le parfum des pages des livres, et des vieux livres
- le rire des enfants
- les yeux pleins de merveille
- les sons de la langue française
- la tranquillité de la nuit
- le son de la pluie sur le toit
- le goût sucré des baies
- le petrichor
- la solidité des arbres
- les couleurs d’automne
- la force des orages
- le son des chœurs des grillons
- les étoiles qui ce suspendent dans une nuit sans nuages
- la senteur du chèvrefeuille
- les lucioles
- la délicatesse des fleurs
- la compassion de Dieu

Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Story

This post is for Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday link-up, where she posts a one-word prompt, and then eager writers ready to throw caution to the wind write for five minutes without overediting or overthinking. It's simple and awesome. This is actually the first time I'm doing it, as I just heard about it about a half-hour ago. For more info, go here. Today's prompt is STORY.

I want my story to be meaningful. I read a book by Donald Miller where he talks about how he realized that the story he was living wasn’t meaningful, so he changed it. He started living more important stories. I want to do that, but I don’t know where to start.

Right now I’m a CSR by day and a who-knows-what by night. As in, I really don’t know. A dreamer, I guess? I want to do something that helps people and that gives me a sense of fulfillment.

I want to write about things that matter. I mean, I have this blog with my creative writing, but I read a lot of blogs where people are digging deep down and really getting their hands dirty, working through messy and beautiful things like grace and forgiveness and reconciliation, like building each other up, and acknowledging and tearing down the hurtful walls we’ve built. A lot of this conversation takes place in the context of the Church, but I’m not necessarily only talking about writing about things that pertain to Church and Christianity.

It takes guts to write about those things, the things that matter. I see people like Suzannah Paul and Registered Runaway opening up their hearts and also opening themselves up to criticism with the powerful pieces they write. It is only recently that I thought about how if I really did start to write about things that matter, I would open myself up to such criticism, too.

But I want to do it. I want to live a better story. God has given me a gift with language and writing, and I want to use it to glorify him. I want to write for him. I want to write to lift up the marginalized. I want to write to point out beauty wherever I see it. I think doing this is part of the story he is writing for me.

Am I ready to take him up on it and pick up his pen?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Night High

The blinking lights of planes in the night
harmonize with the stars. 

As crickets sigh,
the light streams of fireflies weave a tellurian paradise
and I understand at once
how foolish is wanderlust--
for what can Paris or Tokyo offer that can compare 
to this North American lullaby?

The sweet, fruity scent of summer-blooming trees
fills the atmosphere and invades my nostrils,
contributing to the high
of this summer night
and I can't imagine why
would want to be
anywhere but here.