20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


When Silence Ends

When, as a child, did you play happily
by the stream, and come singing home,
passionately sharing your adventures,
only for the beloveds to tell you, “Quiet!”

And when, in your classes, did you
confidently speak your truth, answer
their questions, paint your construction
paper masterpiece,  and the trusteds told you,
“It’s not good enough.”

And when did you feel the whisper of spirit
in your soul, gently guiding you on your way,
and you shared, and they laughed?

And when did you stop listening, painting, writing, speaking, trusting? 

And when will you decide that the darkness has
lasted too long, that the  passion of a new day
can no longer wait, lest  you tear free from your
own skin where you’ve been confined all these years?

That stumbling across stones and briars,
feet cut and bleeding, is preferable to the safe
and righteous path, where no pain, in fact
nothing at all, makes cuts into your soul?

When will you decide that fear of words
without real meaning will no longer be the
prison walls that demand freedom of the captor?

And when will you stoke the flames, when will you once
again tend to the spark, blow the breath of life into
the still-smoldering ashes, collect the branches and
twigs that have fallen in your path, burn them on
your altar, and fuel the dawning of reclaimed light?

© SpiritLed 2014

1 Comment


Don’t watch. Wait, no, I know you have to count
the minutes so you know how long it lasts,
this seizure with its dynamite that blasts
my brain to temporary shreds. With gaunt

eyes, lost in fog now, I depend on you.
You may not know just what to do, but still,
I beg: Don’t let it drive my avenue.
Please, help to quiet down its voice so shrill.


The Elusive Poem

A poem lives above the clouds, beneath the sea,
and sends its tender voice on shimmered wings to me.
I do not hear because my world runs crazy-fast,
and its deliciousness has gone away, has passed.

I need to tune my ear to my dear muse’s voice,
stop all my busyness, and rather make the choice
to pay attention. She won’t carry anything
that doesn’t shine like gold or absolutely sing.

When I am still I hear her whisper in the dark.
Shh, poet, listen for the gifts I hold for you.
Come with me on my journey. I await. Embark
upon my ship and we’ll explore far lands anew.

First Bon Voyage, a stolen glance, my quiet stance.
So long I’ve waited. Now I partner in this dance.  


It all began Sat. morning when I was getting ready to go to my writing group. We were participating in the “Tales Around the Tree” event that was being held at an elegant old library, once a bank. I’ve written about that elsewhere. I’d awakened with a thin voice, blazing sore throat, and deep cough. I decided to soldier through my responsibilities.


My voice is back, the sore throat is gone, but the cough has gone way down deep and become much worse. It feels like someone is standing on my chest so I called my pulmonologist but couldn’t get an appointment until Thurs. at 9:15. Then I decided I would also call my doctor and fortunately I got an appointment for this afternoon at 2:30. In the meantime I’m chugging Robitussin.

I really want to write, but I may not be too productive today. I’ll catch up. Have a good day, everyone.

1 Comment

The Phone Call

The phone would have rung about 11:00 this morning.

“Happy Thanksgiving, honey.”

My mom. And she did it on Christmas, and Easter, and our birthdays, and our anniversary, always that call to begin the day.

It’s been 17 years since I’ve heard that phone call. It was her habit. Call the kids and wish them a happy ____________(whatever). Her voice, tuned to the emotional strings of the day, rang into the depths of me. I could depend on it. Like clockwork, as they say. No call this morning, no voice…

…except in my heart, where I will always hear it.


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