strength unseen


We are literally making our world at each and every moment through our actions, expressions and communication. – Anodea Judith

The words that have been used to rob you of individuality are the very means by which you can restore dignity and create identity. – Deena Metzger

This week we continued our exploration of fairy tales examined from a new perspective. The opening lines of ‘Gretel’ by Linda Pastan read: ‘I am leaving a trail of poems/behind me as I go…’  and goes on from there to weave in a number of timely themes: immortality, environmental degradation, the power of language to hold paradox. Between the epigraphs and the poem, prompts leapt from the page. Many writers chose to reflect on love lost or gained, while one wrote about her legacy to her children in the form of a eulogy. Another wrote seeing jail time as a positive opportunity to turn around the negativity in her life.

Despite the overall atmosphere of depression and discouragement that has hung over the inmates in recent weeks, this group was exceptionally upbeat, comprising a large number of participants  and a high percentage of new-to-the-group writers. As a result, the writing was spirited and varied, and according to end-of-class comments, left everyone feeling lighter as a result. Some rose to the challenge of condensing their writing into a six-line poem or a 17-syllable haiku. Read on to get a feel for the variety:

“even my forest is disappearing …” from ‘Gretel’

But I have planted more trees now. It’s flourishing with strong trunks that reach way up far into the sky. I like the way, when I look up into the sky – especially on a sunny – I see through masses upon layers the rays of sun sparkling, dancing through and through way up on the blue. The newly blossoming buds are a pretty green and it is life and newness and beautiful, just plain Beautiful!

I love this time of year in Vermont, everything has life again. Like the newness of a young infant. It is indeed a miracle and I am blessed. II shall no longer take my birth ever again for granted! You are beautiful, I am beautiful inside and out. Believe you can, anything is possible! Continue reading