National Day of Poetry

Poets, today is #NationalPoetryDay. If you use that hashtag to post a short poem using a Public setting, it will appear on a Facebook page, and you can also post on Twitter, where your poems will be grouped with others using that hashtag or #NationalPoetryDay2017.

This seems to me to be an opportunity for promoting poetry in general and our own books of poems in particular, so I’ve been gathering haiku and minipoems from my poetry books and including hotlinks to the appropriate title.

In these examples of my posts on Twitter, notice the use of caps for the poetry titles. This helps to separate the titles from the poems:

#National PoetryDay
VISION
In the early morning light,
everything looks black and white.
Time draws forth true colors.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from my new poetry book Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
MOVING ON
My faith
God’s power
No more mountain
by Mary Harwell Sayler from new book Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN LIKES LEAVEN
Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20
One package of yeast
to three handfuls flour – Wait!
Water – Watch it – Rise.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book Outside Eden
https://www.amazon.com/Outside-Eden-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/0615994865/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE WIND SNAPS ITS FINGERS.
Our oak tree drops on command.
Palm fronds lay prostrate. Rain
washes – band after band
of purifying power
from the Lord’s cleansing hand.
Faith and spider webs still stand.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book PRAISE!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1945099038/

#NationalPoetryDay
REHEARSALS
We practice aging – the bruise
that takes too long to heal,
the once-cracked ankle radiating
pain to indicate rain coming,
a memory lost among many,
many.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from Faces in a Crowd
https://www.amazon.com/Faces-Crowd-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1539952878/

#NationalPoetryDay
THE PARABLE of ME
Jesus knows
I don’t swim well,
so He held my hand,
and we walked
across the water.
by Mary Harwell Sayler from Lost in Faith
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Faith-Mary-Harwell-Sayler/dp/1977605842/

#NationalPoetryDay
PRAISE CHRIST OUR LOVER
Who woos us with lilies,
serenades us with sparrows,
feeds us good grain
and fine wine,
poured
from His own
Vintage collection –
our very selves blended –
made One by His love.
by Mary Sayler from poetry book PRAISE!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1945099038/

#NationalPoetryDay2017
WEATHERING SANDBURG
The fog comes in cat
fur: pale gray Persian
with traffic sounds
rolled into the round
core of a purring rug,
each end opening to
skies of Siamese blue.
by Mary Sayler from Living in the Nature Poem
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Nature-Poem-Harwell-Sayler/dp/098358527X/

#NationalPoetryDay
CASE STUDY
Low lid clouds open
their sky blue iris, watching
me – small dot, pupil.
by Mary Sayler from Living in the Nature Poem
https://www.amazon.com/Living-Nature-Poem-Harwell-Sayler/dp/098358527X/

~~~

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Resources for Christians

If you’re a communicator for Christ, as I am, you can find Writing Resources with Christian poets, writers, and pastors in mind on my website.

In addition, I hope you’ll follow these blogs, which I maintain as often as family, church, and book-writing commitments allow:

Bible Prayers
Bible Reviewer
Mary Sayler (in lieu of this site)
Poetry Editor & Poetry
Praise Poems (many of which have been compiled in the book PRAISE! and the forthcoming chapbook, WE: the people under God.)
What the Bible Says About Love

May God bless you and your good work in Christ.

Mary Harwell Sayler, (c) 2017

 

Poetic Power of Dyslexia

Most poets and writers draw on experience, personality, or the power of observation to find something fresh to say in their fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. If you do that in your writing too, great! Keep up the good work. However, the traits you think of as a disadvantage or even a handicap might be the ones that help you to develop your own voice or distinctive style. Take, for instance, dyslexia.

Like many poets and career freelance writers, I began writing as a young child but, in my case, backwards. One way or the other did not matter to me, but this stressed out my teacher so much, she made me stay after class on my very first day of school. For years I thought Mrs. Smith called Mother to come in, too, to see how sloppily I wrote as my left hand smudged the soft pencil across the lined paper in my notebook, but no. I had perfectly copied everything the teacher wrote on the blackboard (which actually was black then), and I had formed each letter of the alphabet correctly. I had just written everything on the blackboard backwards.

For fun, I still like to spell ippississiM in my head, and I must warn you not to even try to beat me at word games like Boggle or Wheel Of Fortune unless, of course, you’re also a bit dyslexic. Most of the time, though, inverting letters and scrambling words or thoughts has gotten me into trouble, especially when I’m tired. If someone happens to spew double-negatives then, I can almost guarantee my brain will not follow.

In writing poetry and poetic manuscripts, however, dyslexia can come in handy. Word scrambles often lead to word play, and scrambled thinking can connect this to that in a previously untried but true way. Such “mistakes” might add a note of humor to fiction or nonfiction too and, in some cases, bring about a fresh idea, insight, or observation.

For example, as a Christian writer I often write nonfiction articles and devotionals. In one short article I wrote for other Christian poets and writers, I talked about the importance of double-checking facts and speaking with a loving voice whenever we write in the name of Jesus. Since Christians pray in Jesus’ name, my point was to encourage that thought also as we write. However, instead of typing “in the name of Jesus,” I wrote, “in the amen of Jesus.” Same letters, you notice, just scrambled. When I finally noticed this myself, I thought, wow! That better said what I wanted to say anyway. i.e., Anything we write (or pray) in Jesus’ name needs Jesus’ amen or affirmation.

I certainly do not pray for my dyslexia to increase or for you to catch it! But I do pray that you use your talents and “flaws” well. I pray you begin to see your “mistakes” or “handicaps” or “shortcomings” or “disadvantages” as a means of making your writing distinctive, inimitable, and one of a kind. Do I hear an name?

©2010, ©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If you need a fresh perspective on your poems, children’s picture books, or book proposals and one-on-one feedback for a minimal fee, visit the Contact & Critique page of Mary’s website.