Speak It Into Existence

Poetry is a type of literature, or artistic writing, that attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions. The poet does this by carefully choosing and arranging language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.”

I am a poet.
I am a poet
a meaning maker
a lover of language

I am in awe
of the profound power
of the tiniest words strung together

Courageous struggle
healed brokenness
abundant love
shared vulnerability
relentless positivity
frequent unknowing
unending discovery
fearful moments
creative possibility
forever blessed
always grateful
~M. James, July 6, 2020

I am amazed at the pleasure I experience by crafting these simple poems. It is the meaning making that most enthralls and feeds me.

I’m struck by the realization that all my writing is about making meaning. It makes no difference if it is a poem, a note, an observation about a child in my classroom, or an entry in my journal. I work — so I’ve discovered — with the heart and soul of a poet, always looking for the beautiful and powerful meaning in every moment.

Poets, I’ve learned, sometimes notice and acknowledge meaning, and at other times we assign it — creating symbols in our own personal mythology. Part of my mythology involves fireflies. I love them. They always remind me of pleasant nights from my childhood, in my backyard, surrounded it seemed, by the dancing lights of the fireflies.

I was reminded of this the other day. My brother and I were on a late day hike, and as dusk fell, we walked past a field flush with fireflies. I was immediately transported back to those peaceful, awe and joy filled evenings of my youth. We stopped for a moment, and I put out my hand to once again trap one of those beautiful creatures. Amazingly, I got one on my first try.

When I returned home, I decided to speak the meaning of that moment, and the simple firefly, into existence and remembrance.

Fireflies and Messages

Flashes twinkle
on and off
in the darkness, 

As I stand
the darkness
appears less dark

Is that shadow 
the flight
of a firefly?

Perhaps …

In anticipatory hope
my hand glides 
through the lightened darkness

In a moment of intuition
I gently close my hand
hoping to seize that flash of light 

Slowly I open my fingers 
and gaze within 
a firefly walks across my palm

We look at each other 
with recognition
he has let himself be caught

Flashes twinkle, 
on and off
in the palm of my hand

Light lit
message delivered
he lifts his wings and is gone
~M. James July 5, 2020