Writing Poetry

What I might call my best poems and writing is from Muse. I remember as an English Literature major being guided by my creative writing teachers to travel inward and seek the Muse. I always thought about this process in a theoretical way and never thought of it as genuine contact. However, where does creative work originate? There are some poems which I know I wrote pen to paper, but where did those images come from? Are they from Muse alone? Does Muse engage with my mind? Is Muse my mind? Is Muse really divine intervention? Does Muse deliver crucial messages?

My poetry is based on human experience translated from and into spiritual experience. I’m not sure what comes first. Maybe I’m trying to understand the deeper meanings and put the poems into the framework of universal human truth and universal spiritual truth. To do so, I listen. An intriguing thesis is proposed from somewhere inward, and I grab the pen or stylus and start to explore this proposition. If I do not do that instantly, I lose the moment of this truth and only hope it will return someday. Therefore, many poems are resting in my bones and flesh as a kind of wailing pain. I have found by returning to my writing in this recent thrust of creative energy that I have had less physical pain. Maybe the pain resulted from my deafness to Spirit’s, or Source’s, calling.

With more life experience and a treasure of images, I am able to listen again. This treasure trove of imagery and messages opened up to me after Mom’s death and led me to writing Voices from the Veil. I’ve been trying to trace the connections.

A while back maybe 3 or 4 years ago I was helping my mother a great deal because her memory was declining. She was living in an independent living facility in town. To get to her place, I always passed by a funeral home and cemetery. In a tiny plot of land near the road were the graves of children and babies. Come visit. Come visit. I felt I was being invited to stop there often. Finally one day I turned into the cemetery and visited those tiny grave sites. I was compelled to do so and to return to leave gifts to offer those little spirits. I know Archangel Gabriel was at my side in this endeavor. I could write a volume just on Gabriel’s influence in my life. I placed flowers and toys on the graves, most of which were already decorated with dolls, backpacks, infant angels, and other assortments to entertain the children. Some toys had been tossed about by storms, so it was important to anchor them down. I could not have children, so these visits were meaningful to me.

Mom eventually had to move to assisted living and within a year, her body failed her. Alzheimer’s shut down her heart and kidneys. Grieving her, my Muse reawakened. I wrote a few poems about this loss. In this poetry, I relived her last days and tried to make sense of certain signs and symbols that appeared before and after her death. Writing these poems led to others. After my retirement, I had time to review my poetry and was surprised at the number. I began this blog to continue to nurture my creative ventures.

One day, a year after her death, I asked my parents to visit me. Dad came in a dream and Mom, in a poem. While I was working on that poem while building my blog site, I recalled my visits to the babies and children in that small plot of souls. My mind also wandered to another beautiful cemetery near my home. I wondered if I could visit there and hear messages like those from Mom in that poem I wrote, Hello, It’s Mom. Without my even visiting the cemeteries in person, suddenly, more poems arose either out of me or to me. One from a young male teen and one from an older man, a laborer. Hence, I created a series of poems I call Voices from the Veil.

Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

poetry and image (my garden)





7 thoughts on “Writing Poetry

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  1. Very powerful post. I think about this a lot too. I think that writing is a skill that’s very similar to painting or sculpting. You need practice with your material in order to improve. But the materials in other arts are easier to see. What do writers work with? Ideas or inspiration maybe. But where does that come from? The Muse, like you said, and experience. I wonder if some people have more of that “material” than others, and how we can find more of it within ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kris! these are questions I often ask. Thoughts run through the mind all the time. Some may be nonsense, but others seem more thoughtful and worthy of creative attention. When I’m still and focusing or listening, I hear a line and start writing if I can because I feel inspired. Once I feel the message is “finished”, I revise by considering the message (theme), word choice, flow, unity, etc. That’s where the craft sets in. And you’re right, the more practice the better the craft. However, there’s much debate about “mind” and the source of “thoughts”. Also, I think “listening” is an act of “mindfulness”. Being in the “now” helps me hear those kinds of thoughts that lead to creativity. The craft enables me to sculpt the thoughts into a poem. I’m not sure any of my poems are ever finished. I keep revising. It’s nice to have more time for this now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am able to hear all my audio recordings of my poetry in sequence in the recoding app. I am amazed listening to the imagery and sounds and wonder how I came up with the poems. I know I worked hard and revised, but still, writing a poem is humbling. Thsnk you for reading and commenting!


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