Poetry Outside (a special spotlight)

Poetry Outside
by Linda Stecker


i.
Let there be poetry.

Outside
the fruit tree leaves are browning,
struggling to live in the heat where I’ve neglected them.

Inside
I stay cool but I am struggling too; dehydrated, unconnected.

ii.
The birds only come to get their seeds.
When the food is gone, so are they.
I stop looking out the window at the brown, dry yard.
I don’t wait for them and they don’t wait for me.

iii.
The storm left dirt on my porch.
The pots are knocked over.
I look outside every day and think I should change something.
I should get out there.
The tomatoes are dead and the peppers are looking sad.
I want to rest more than I want to change the outside world.
So I do
at least for today.

iv.
Maybe
at some point
these words can be beautiful.
They can make it
from my mind to the page intact.

For now they are partly here.
The other parts are lost in the air somewhere,
untranslatable.
I try to extract them and they are gone.
Or worse they have become dirt.
Not that there’s anything wrong with dirt.
It’s just not what I had in mind.

With great respect I introduce, poet, Linda Stecker. Linda was a recent participant of The Story You Need to Tell online writing workshops I assist with. Author Sandra Marinella and I conduct workshops through a variety of venues (Mayo Clinic, Changing Hands Bookstore, nonprofits, etc.). We guide people through narrative therapy – writing with an emphasis on healing. As I have written in the past, it is an honor to share space with writers from around the world and to hold their stories with trust and admiration. Workshops vary in duration, but the final celebratory day includes writers sharing a piece they have been working on. Most of our participants write narratives that are deeply moving and personal. Occasionally a poet shows up.

Linda is that rare poet who graced us with her contemplative nature. She fits writing around her busy life as a financial analyst, mom of three, and wife. Thank you for joining me in celebrating her poem, “Poetry Outside,” and wishing her the very best in her writing journey that is just beginning. ✍🏻✨ Enjoy her paired song selection. 🎢

Thank you for visiting, reading, and supporting a talented poet! Be well. πŸ’— Michele

If you are interested in learning more about our writing workshops, supported by Marinella’s book, The Story You Need to Tell, – β€œthe product of her pioneering work with veterans and cancer patients, her years of teaching writing, and her research into its profound healing properties” – please email me through my contact page.

Photo 1: by i am adventure

Β© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

69 thoughts on “Poetry Outside (a special spotlight)

  1. Oh what a beautiful feature and poem, Michele My Belle. Thank you so much for introducing us to Linda Stecker. There are so many amazing talents around us and it’s great to hear about someone we don’t know who is doing some great things. Let’s continue to share those stories. I appreciate you sharing Linda’s story with us my dancing queen! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ₯°πŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is my pleasure and privilege to share Linda’s moving work. Thank you, Kymbelina, for sharing your ever encouraging and motivating words. πŸ™πŸ» Amazing talents – absolutely, yes! Artists, whether emerging or established, are a gift to humanity. Creativity and art heals souls and enriches lives. πŸ’– Our writing workshops can be emotional as writers dive deep into the center of life’s pain and challenges, but there is something magical on that last day, when writers share their work, their heart. I am grateful for your support. πŸ€—πŸ’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my dancing queen, it is always a pleasure to learn some new, fun, inspirational, exciting and motivating about people and their stories! I love what you said, “Artists, whether emerging or established, are a gift to humanity. Creativity and art heals souls and enriches lives.” Girlfriend, I couldn’t agree with you more. You nailed it. πŸ”¨ Thank you so much for your insight and your encouragement too. Hugs and smooches! πŸ₯°πŸ’‹πŸ€©πŸ’–πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Long time no read, Suma! I hope life is treating you well. 🌻 Thank you for showing up today to read and encourage Linda. I greatly appreciate it. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ I am doing fine, thank you and best to you. πŸ’–

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  2. I enjoyed this poem Michelle, in particular the following lines :
    “I want to rest more than I want to change the outside world.
    So I do
    at least for today.”

    A quite apt and thought provoking description of our desire to change the world but that sometimes rest is more important! πŸ‘πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well-chosen lines from Linda’s poem, Ken. We must take care of ourselves before we can conquer the world, or even face it, sometimes. Your visit and comment are kindly appreciated. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜Š

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  3. Churning, i sense something’s changing in the poet, like the world of today ofcourse but her coarse now feels lot more straight and pragmatic. Even in nature she observes what one is seeking rather love, emotion or even praise. It almost doesn’t matter. Many wishes to Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your churnings and your kind wishes for Linda, Narayan. πŸ™I can’t speak for the poet, but I can say it is often a desire or need for change, or truth telling, that draws people to experiences like our writing workshops. There is also the appeal of being supported, or witnessed as we like to say, by a community of compassionate people. 🌻

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  4. Hi Michele, Linda’s poem is so beautiful and I can relate to the brown, dry yard, and dirt, more than I’d like to admit. But that’s the way things are right now in our area. Anyway, thank you for the introduction, and the video reminded me of listening to Doris Day sing that lovely song. πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh. Love the poem. Love the details in stanza III. Evocative and grounding. The classes sound wonderful. I’m in a creative workshop (online) this weekend. Always good to be in real time with other creatives. Beautiful post sharing this artist, and more about your your own life and process! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am most grateful for your poetic feedback. Thank you, Lia! I know Linda is also appreciative of everyone’s time and consideration. Our classes are a journey – learning, discovery, truth-telling, connections, and other wonderful things. Not always easy things, but great growth can come from the experience. Enjoy your workshop! That sounds wonderful too. βœπŸΌπŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million for reading this one, Jaya. It’s a special one! I was deeply moved by Linda’s reading during our last workshop day and delighted that she was open to sharing it. Writers and poets coming together. πŸ’ž

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