Lord, Please Lead Me: A Prayer Poem

Lord, please lead me on this journey,
guiding me every step of the way;
so that I may not wander,
and I may not run astray.

God, I will follow You wherever
in this life I’m supposed to go,
but please take me by the hand
and show me what I need to know.

I pray I will find comfort (at last)
in Your loving arms.
Please show me I am right to trust You;
Show me You are the God of warmth.

God, I feel so lost and lonely,
like no human soul sees what I truly need.
In Jesus’ name, I ask you,
will you help me when I take Your lead?


This poem was written for this week’s Six Sentence Stories link-up. I have no idea whether any other Six’ers are believers, so I was initially going to post this at the top with a note that my poem is Christian in nature, but then I decided the title should speak for itself.

The Wednesday HodgePodge (November 23, 2022)

Hi everyone! I’m still struggling and neglecting my blog as a result. I fear this blog may be coming to an end someday within the not too distant future. Still, I hope not. Today, I’m participating in the Wednesday HodgePodge once again. Here goes.

1. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so where did you go and how did you like it? If not, do you have any desire to take a cruise someday?
No and I don’t think so. I’ve heard and read about just a little too many cruise ships sinking.

2. Tell us about your Thanksgiving plans…are you hosting? cooking? eating out? turkey or some other main? is it stuffing or dressing in your house? homemade cranberries or cranberries in a can? are pies on the dessert menu? what kind? what are your ‘must have’ sides? Tell us one thing you’re especially grateful for this year.
I’m not in the United States, so no Thanksgiving plans for me. I will be going to Lobith (where my husband lives) over the weekend though. We have been making plans for cooking a chicken and rice curry.

As for something I’m especially grateful for, I’d have to say the support of my mother-in-law. She sticks by me through the rough situation with my care despite being busy with her volunteer job herself.

3. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money ‘in a tin cup’ that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?
I don’t usually give money to people who ask. That includes people on the street. I used to give money to people on the street but stopped doing so after one of them got me to give him a larger than I would normally do amount of money because he had a pitiful but unbelievable according to my husband story. I don’t support any charities either, except for the member organizations I belong to, the Eye Association (for people with eye conditions) and CP Netherlands (for those affected by cerebral palsy).

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas? Is your tree up? Shopping done? Wrapped?
Not at all. I have a few Christmas decorations left over from last year (gave my tree away because it consumed huge amounts of batteries), but I haven’t put them up yet. We don’t do Christmas presents in my husband’s family and I won’t see mine at all. In fact, I can hardly believe it’s just one more month until Christmas.

5. Create your own acrostic using the word THANKS.
Thankful for a
Home to call my own
A husband who supports me
Necessities provided
Kind staff (sometimes) in the care home
Striving to make the best of this life

Of course, that “home to call my own” is in Lobith, by the way.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I had quite a mixed day today. The morning shift was horrible, but the evening shift’s staff at least tried to make up for it, be it consciously or not.

Between War and Peace

The stories we hear
Of war and peace
May cause us concern
Or relief
And yet
Reality
Is most often
Something inbetween


When orienting at the prospective new care home last Wednesday, a resident started talking unquietly about the war in Ukraine. She was quickly calmed by a staff, in as simple words as possible, suited to her intellectual capabilities.

That night, I heard an airplane or a helicopter fly by very low over my current home. I thought, perhaps influenced by the woman in the other home, that it was a jet fighter. “Are we going to war now?”, I asked the night staff when she responded to my call button. She put my mind at peace, saying someone had probably booked a night-time helicopter flight over Raalte. I took her story at face value and went to sleep.

The next morning, I found out that both of our stories are probably equally unlikely and reality was something inbetween: the helicopter had been called in a medical emergency to resuscitate a baby. Thankfully, the baby survived.


This post was written for Friday Writings, for which the optional theme this week is war and peace.

Book Review: The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart

A few weeks ago, I was looking for something new to read and decided to look on Bookshare whether authors I’d previously enjoyed, had had books released that I hadn’t yet read. It turned out Erin Stewart had. The Words We Keep was already released a few months ago, but I hadn’t yet known about it. Its blurb immediately appealed to me, as I am myself a mental health consumer and I love poetry. Here’s my review.

Summary

It’s been three months since The Night on the Bathroom Floor–when Lily found her older sister Alice hurting herself. Ever since then, Lily has been desperately trying to keep things together, for herself and for her family. But now Alice is coming home from her treatment program and it is becoming harder for Lily to ignore all of the feelings she’s been trying to outrun.

Enter Micah, a new student at school with a past of his own. He was in treatment with Alice and seems determined to get Lily to process not only Alice’s experience, but her own. Because Lily has secrets, too. Compulsions she can’t seem to let go of and thoughts she can’t drown out.

When Lily and Micah embark on an art project for school involving finding poetry in unexpected places, she realizes that it’s the words she’s been swallowing that desperately want to break through.

My Review

This story is told entirely from Lily’s point of view in first person perspective. I like that, as it shows Lily’s innermost thoughts and experiences through her own eyes. Interspersed are Lily’s made-up words (which took me a while to figure out weren’t actually real English words) and her poems. These aren’t particularly excellent, but they definitely give me a glimpse into her world too. Besides, my poetry as a teen (or even now) is probably worse.

Even though this book deals with heavy subject material, I really wanted it to be a feel-good read too. In this sense, some of the twists I didn’t see coming, disappointed me a little, but they were also important to the overall story.

I really liked Erin Stewart’s writing style of alternating between storytelling and such vignettes as poetry or Lily’s made-up words.

Overall, I gave this book five stars on Goodreads, but I would’ve given it 4.5 stars if Goodreads did half stars. The reason is the disappointment I felt at some of the plot twists. This book really gave me a bit of a book hangover.

Book Details

Title: The Words We Keep
Author: Erin Stewart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2022

Poem: What Color Is the Sun?

I wonder
What color is the sun?

Is it red like fire,
Shooting flames across the sky?

Is it orange like the fruit,
Splashing its rays all around?

Is it yellow like a sunflower,
Fully blooming in midsummer?

Then again, how do I know
What these colors even mean?
Fire isn’t red or so I’ve heard
A sunflower’s heart and seeds are brown

As I look up to the sunset
My eyes wide open
I see nothing
Light nor darkness

And I wonder
What color is the sun?


This poem was written for this week’s Friday Writings, for which the optional prompt is “sunset”. I’m also joining dVerse’s OLN.

Poem: The Book Called “Me”

Endless streaks of time (or so it seems)
lie ahead of me,
as I turn page after page
in this book called “Me”

Until one day (possibly still far from now)
I will have reached
the page I pray concludes
with a happily ever-after

In six days, I will turn 36. I am hopeful that I am still not halfway through my life yet, but then again I recently learned that the life expectancy for someone born in 1960 was 52. I just Googled the life expectancy for my birth year, 1986, which was 74.8 years. If this is true, I am just under eighteen months shy of midlife. I am not the healthiest either, so to be fully honest, I probably can’t expect to live that long.

I didn’t want this poem to be fully about doom and gloom either, because, as a Christian, I do believe in eternal life for those who are saved. This is why I ended this poem on a positive note.

I am writing this poem for this week’s Twiglet, which is “turning page”, as well as the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Challenge, which is to start a poem with the word “endless”.

Poem: Are You Now Here?

Are You now here?
Or nowhere?
That’s the question

The answer, the ultimate determiner
Of life’s purpose
Your value in this world

So
Are you now here?


This poem was written for this week’s W3 Prompt. The idea is to write a poem inspired by the previous week’s winning poem, with a few added rules. This week’s rules were that your poem must contain 16 lines or less and the first and last line must be the same. In addition to being inspired by last week’s winning poem, I was inspired by a phrase from Lisa Genova’s book Inside the O’Briens, in which Katie, who is a yoga teacher, has this mantra that you are either now here or nowhere.

Poem: Take Shelter

It’s safe here,
guarded.
You can cuddle up.

It’s cozy here,
comfortable.
You can be secure.

Nightie-night.
Close your eyes.
You can rest now.

I hope you sleep well,
taking shelter
in the abyss.


This poem was inspired by one of the prompts in Reena’s Xploration Challenge #226. This week, Reena gives us a series of book title suggestions as inspirations for our post. I decided to use the first one as inspiration for this poem. I am also joining dVerse’s OLN, as well as Friday Writings #22. I didn’t quite understand the optional prompt for this week and the part about reusing words to craft a piece that’s of higher quality than the original, feels a bit, well, paradoxical to me. After all, I’m pretty sure I screwed up the original intent of that book title generator quite badly with this poem, but oh well.

Poem: The Monster

Sometimes
It screams
Loudly
Telling me
To give up once and for all

Other times
It whispers
Softly
Luring me
To take that final step

Sometimes
It seems silent
Just for a little while
But it always returns
The monster
Wanting me to die


This poem was written for Friday Writings #14, for which the optional prompt this week is to write about monsters. I am also joining dVerse’s Open Link. I’ve shared poetry about my depression and recurring suicidal ideation in both linkies before. I often refer to this state as “the monster”, so this theme came to mind when I read the Friday Writings prompt.

Poem: Locked Up Inside

In my bubble
I sit
Staring out
At the world
Outside

From around me
I hear
People talking
To me
But I can’t respond

Through the invisible wall
I try
To reach out
To someone
But I can’t

A tight grip
Of panic
envelops me
Because I know
I’m locked up inside


I have had the concept of being “locked up inside” in my head for a few days now. I first came across the phrase in an E-mail support group for parents of children with selective mutism, a disorder in which a child is unable to speak in certain situations due to intense social anxiety. I have never had this diagnosis, but as a teen and young adult, did experience periods of mutism due to anxiety and dissociative freeze responses. I use the term “locked up inside” for a feeling of intense anxiety which causes a freeze response that leads to an inability to speak and sometimes move. The feeling of being “locked up inside” is particularly frequent and intense lately.

I am linking this poem to dVerse’s Open Link Night.