Poetry in Prose

It's been a while since I've posted a blog. Usually this is a warning sign for me - an indication that my heart is not well. But, this most recent pause in blogging has not been a pause in writing. I have been regularly working on a young adult sci-fi novel and writing in other venues. One of those other venues has been Instagram. Most people use Instagram just for photos and that is mostly how I use it as well, but lately I have been playing around with something that some are calling Instapoetry. I have regularly been trying my hand at writing poetic prose to go with a photo. It has been an incredibly stretching and enlivening exercise for me. I thought it was about time to share this writing with all of you over here at the blog (for those of you who aren't on Instagram or don't follow me there).

Here is a piece of my heart and soul.


February 17, 2014:


The room was loud and the sound echoed, Bouncing from one wall to my ears, from the wall and back to my ears endlessly Like a barrage trying to beat down a stone wall And yet I wasn't like stone I was soft and it bruised my nerves as it bruised my ears. People crowded in before and behind me, they seemed to press into me with their sound, their smell, their energy. My heart started to pound. I closed my eyes in an effort to block out one sense. My nostrils burned with the scent of frying oil and sweat. I opened my eyes I tried to focus. Find one thing, focus on just one thing. A young boy to the side of me waiting for his food. He rubbed the sole of his shoe against his calf. My soul felt rubbed raw Irritated Unfocused Unraveling i fled To the quiet of an outdoor table in the sun Like a cat hiding on a warm window sill I hid I breathed again.


April 11, 2014:


Vegetable trimmings become vegetable broth before my eyes. Before my nose. Under my touch, clasped around a wooden spoon. I stir. And imagine. Imagine centuries of women making nourishment. Feeding their senses. Feeding their families. Imagine open fires. Caldrons brimming over with the essence of the earth. Bubbling. Simmering. Smoldering. Hot.


April 19,2014:


In the Holy Saturdays, in the long waits, in the dark and the unknown, even in these we find light, joy, and much to be thankful for. Under the shadow of death we've been given a gift, in the quiet morning snuggles, in the shared meals, in the laughter and kisses and hands held tight. Love abounds. The love of father and mother, brother and sister, friend and neighbor. The love of God. The love that even death could not hold back. Even in the long Saturdays, between death and life, Love abounds.


April 22, 2014:


In my little garden, Beside my one pot Bursting with tomatoes, And drooping with basil, I sit. A prayer swells on the warm breeze A prayer without words A prayer that belongs solely to the earth, Carried from place to place on the breath of the wind, Unhindered by distance or obstacle, Cheered on by every branch of every tree Every petal of every flower My skin understands it Even though my ears can not A shiver runs up my spine And a single word resonates throughout my being "Peace" And I watch the sun kiss the earth goodnight.


April 24, 2014:


Inhale The smell of citrus fills my nostrils, driving cob webs from my brain, taking me back to past summers spent with lemon juice in my hair and orange Creamsicle on my tongue Inhale Clean and renewed I peel the skin away And shed my own skins of regret I squeeze the juice Careful not to lose a drop And my own heart squeezes out it's hidden secrets Inhale Suddenly I'm running through citrus groves Placing one foot before the other on ground my feet have never touched Will never touch The past lives of these fruits rush at me through every inhale And my own past gets swept clean Exhale



Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany Stedman