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I’ve always loved poetry, read poetry and written poetry, on and off and over many years. It is the great life-blood of transcendence: celebrating the small moments; recording how you or others uniquely see and link ideas; connecting with the highest joy and worst of grief; and making sense of the deepest pain and anger so it doesn’t stay with you, in that form, forever. It’s the working through to light, mostly, though this often involves working through some elements of darkness. It’s the reworking of feelings and perceptions in order to understand them, hold them in time for a moment and then move on.

As Sage Cohen writes in ‘Writing the Life Poetic‘:

Poetry gives us an opportunity to experience our lives twice. First, as it happens, in real time. And second, in heart time. The poem gives us a kind of cosmic canvas to savour a moment, make sense of it, put a little frame around it, and digest it more completely. It also gives us a way to travel profoundly into experiences that are not our own and, if we are lucky, alight on a  moment of truth about the human condition now and then. (p1)

So here’s to bringing my poetry, and the poetry of others, into the light here as part of a journey and record of transcending.





She starts up high, facing north

towards slow mist,

watching the sea wash

into the rain’s drift below.


She is called to the beach

as if to a baptism, bride-like,

white as the air, stepping

down the rough rock stairs.


She narrates her life,

writes as she walks,

as if the sand and shells are

the bones of her story.


And the pieces connect her:

an imperfect white oval shell,

a fig leaf from a canopy,

the sketched black lines

of a creature’s moving home.


Cool and tight limbed,

she ends in another place,

as if washed by waves,

her contours, clear and shell-lined

as the Borromean grottoes

of Isolabella,

her white shining lights

coming home.


Previously published on the net at Sage Cohen’s ‘Writing the Life Poetic’ – Poetry for the People student poems.

In what ways has poetry helped you move into the light?