Mists from the Deeps

     In the night, in the darkness, in the loneliest watch
           heart freezes
           soul cries out
           being shudders

     No answers on offer

     And yet . . . from despair, if I answer yes
           to loss
           to fear
           to death
     Yield assent without limit
     Assent, because all other answers lie barren

     Like earliest dawn, which seeps into the night sky so subtly
           my heart lightens
           a sense of possibility mists from the deeps
           some answer, unspoken, arrives

     Fragile and delicate, surrender to it, do not reach
           this succor may be accepted
           never taken
           new life in the bud

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Cold Rage
Blessed Radiance
Futile Seeking
Risen

 

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Daylight Shines

           The sky is so blue and friendly
           almost as though it is her smile
           or maybe her laugh
           or both

           I have no sense of its infinite possibility
           ceding to the blackness of outer space
           going on and on past the moon
           past Mars

           No, this sky is immediate, personal
           happy like a baby blanket
           comforting like Mother
           and mine

           I am shielded, illuminated, protected
           under its canopy of brightness
           so long as daylight shines
           safe

This poem and the accompanying photo appear in my new upcoming release, Journey into Grief.

For more excerpts from the book, see:
Missing Her
No Beauty
Exiled
Despair

 

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New Release Coming!

As I said in last week’s post, this book is different from my usual offerings.

I write fantasy, and all of my titles to date have been fiction in that genre. But my new book is memoir, mixed media in the sense that it combines narrative with poetry and photographs. I’m really pleased with how the project has come together, and I suspect I will be creating more such projects.

I haven’t abandoned fantasy, however. Those of you who are fans of my fantasy need not worry. Fantasy is in my very bones, and I intend to write it for as long as I can string words together.

I don’t have a release date yet for the new book, but here is the opening for it.

My Invitation to You

Come with me.

Come take a journey with me.

It is not an easy journey. In fact, it begins in the darkest of all places, the shadow of the valley of death.

So, why should you come, when the beginning is so dark?

Because the journey does not end there.

You have probably already been to the dark place. Someone you love died. Or some piece of yourself that is essential died in you. Someone betrayed you. Someone abandoned you. Or maybe you abandoned you.

There are as many ways to descend into darkness, or be claimed by it, as there are mortals walking this green earth.

But why should you come with me?

And why should you come now?

Because there was something about this book—its cover, its title, its description, or perhaps something unquantifiable—that attracted you, that spoke to you. Some still, small voice within you called or whispered or summoned you.

Come. Come!

Is this a self-help book with questions and exercises and points made?

No. It isn’t.

It’s a sharing of my own journey into grief, the heartbreaking moment of loss, the dark descent, the ocean breakers of feeling, the uneven rise from the depths, the glimpses of light, the instances of relief, and the slow, sure gathering of strength and new life.

So why would you want to experience this?

Because you’ve already been through it yourself. Or because you’re in the middle of such a journey of your own. Or because you fear the journey into grief that lies in your future.

When we take such journeys, we humans, the one thing that enables us to bear up under the weight and the challenge of it is knowing that we are not alone.

We may be alone at the time of our traveling along the dark path.

We may be alone in the specific details of our sojourn.

But we are not alone in our experience of loss and grief.

So come with me.

Come with me, that I may not be alone.

Come with me, that you may not be alone.

Let us move through the darkness together, and emerge again into new life, new life that has grown from the seeds that could sprout only in the deeps.

Our journey will be hard, but amazing. And our emergence will be more amazing still.

Come!

I invite you.

For more excerpts from Journey into Grief, see:
Grief
Mourning
One Crossing
Upwelling

 

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Project Without a Label

I’ve been working on a special project for the last year and a half, and I’m getting close to completing it and publishing it. This is exciting! Naturally I want to tell you about it.

There’s just one little problem. How do I describe this project?

Is it a memoir? I think it is. Sort of. It fits the definition.

memoir—a historical account written from personal observation and intimate knowledge

Yep. My project is a memoir. In it I recount my personal experiences from October 2017 through January 2019. That’s memoir.

Except that all the memoirs I’ve read consist of narrative prose. Mine has narrative prose in it, but it also includes a boatload of poetry. So is it a chapbook?

chapbook—a small book or pamphlet, often containing poetry or narrative vignettes

That’s the modern chapbook.

Chapbooks from the fifteenth century (called broadsides) through the nineteenth century contained a wider selection of articles: almanacs, folk tales, popular songs, nursery rhymes, unreliable history, woodcut illustrations, and religious and political tracts.

Because my project also contains photographs, it might fit the definition of the historical chapbook better than that of the modern one.

(The three photos in this blog post are among the 49 included in the book.)

But old-time chapbooks were 8, 12, 16, or 24 pages at most. Even the modern chapbook is only 40 pages. My project will be close to 100 pages.

Gah!

So it’s sort of a memoir, but not really. It’s sort of a chapbook, but not really. Is it an elegy?

elegy—a mournful or melancholy poem, especially a lament for the dead

I’m chronicling my experiences in the wake of my mother’s death. There is much of mourning and lament present. But although my journey starts with intense grief, it does not stay there. I returned to life and living over those months, unevenly, in fits and starts, with setbacks, and I share all of that, along with my eventual emergence into the light of day.

Honestly, I don’t think there is any good way to label this project. And maybe it does not matter.

It is a true book of the heart. I felt called to create it. I feel really good about completing it. And I intend to publish it. But I’m not sure anyone but me will have any interest in it.

If you are curious, you can see samples of Journey’s early pages in my blog posts from late 2017 and early 2018:
Bereaved
Lament
Too Late
Beacons Unreachable
Beauty in the Close
Gusty and Fresh

 

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