Spirit Grooves

Poetry, week 4: Trust

By on April 27, 2013


This was my week to feel like I couldn’t capture my muse or get into a flow at all. Eventually, I did like some of the ideas or parts of things. It’s hard to publish like this, but the great thing is that if I didn’t then I may just shuffle them to the bottom of a pile and never ever consider them again. Now that they’re here, there’s a chance I really will work on them more.

I really don’t know how to properly “critique” poetry, but if anyone wants to tell me more specifically what works and doesn’t work for them, please feel free. Turns out I like writing poetry and would like to get better at it. (Thanks Lauren!)

Partners: Write a love (or anti-love) poem to your co-parent, or the one you’re missing.

All my hard work
building walls


in an instant

when we met again
25 years later

already inside
my walls

he was loved by a girl
of 13


Birthdays: Big celebration or family party, how do you remember this important anniversary?

the idea of a half birthday
when introduced
to an adult

is a joy

childhood magic

when begun
as an event
with a 4 year old
it becomes a right

this is how
4 year olds
ruin stuff
for 40 year olds.

Faith: How does the spiritual intersect your parenting?

Oh. My. God.

Don’t say God
around her

we haven’t decided
what we’ll say

which stories
we’ll tell

raised catholic

we’d seen too much
knew ugly truths
about organized religion

we had to let it go

went spiritual

love is the all that is

small person arrives
needs her workbook
the framework
to get her through

now I recall
my friend

God was always
too dad-like
a bit judgy
and punishing

Jesus was my pal
just a kid like me
with a scary dad
who loved him

not in easy ways.

Discipline: What does discipline mean to you and your family? How is gentle parenting going for you in the trenches?

old school
no way to understand
gentle + discipline

we went with gentle
forgot the discipline

now we struggle
with boundaries
and with
teaching her
she’s not in charge
while not squashing her spirit
her HUGE spirit

and we save
for therapy

Why: What big questions from your children have you been terrified and privileged to answer?

ready since day one
for the Big Questions
excited to face them
to guide her

Who is God?
What is Death?
Is Santa true?

not really

Until the day
she came home from school
and asked us,
“Did Darth Vadar
kill Obi Wan Kenobi?”

Who told you that?
Who would do such a thing?
You’re only 5!
The humanity…

We didn’t know how
to protect her
from that one.

Image: How have you come to terms — or not — with your body’s shape and functions now that you’re a parent?

I had to give up
hating my body

4 weeks with child
I stood naked
in front of a mirror

to feed my child
disregard for self

unable to hate
the body
that held her

needing to look
with new eyes
at my shape
my flesh

allowing myself
to see beauty
in every curve

even the lumpy ones.


Defense: How have you had to defend your parenting to others?

battles with my own parents
fighting for my right
to be me
make my own choices
different from theirs

long over

one parent gone
one past judging

this new mommy
too old to worry
what anyone thinks.

Posted in: poetry, Writing


  1. Melissa
    April 27, 2013

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    If this is you without your muse, I’d love to read poetry you’re in love with! I have so enjoyed your poems from this workshop. I find them so honest, relatable, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

    • treepeters
      April 27, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      that is so kind of you Melissa. Thank you. It’s really a whole other level of awesome to share these things and get feedback… to be heard.
      I really hope you decide to play next time.

  2. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    May 1, 2013

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    I second Melissa. I’m now racking my brain for some sort of critique and just want to gush instead. I really do think *writing* it, even when it feels crappy to you coming out, is the most important first step. Because otherwise, how else will you have something to come back to? And when you do come back, you’ll have a few options: (a) You’ll see it was better than you thought and you’ll enjoy it as is. (b) You’ll know just what to do to improve it. (c) You’ll realize it’s total trash, but that’s ok, because you have other things you’ve written that are better. But I’m guessing you’ll have a lot of As and Bs. :)

    Partners: Now I need to know the story! What a tantalizing glimpse.

    Birthdays: Ha ha ha ha!

    Faith: I still love Jesus, too.
    “Jesus was my pal
    just a kid like me
    with a scary dad
    who loved him

    not in easy ways.” Oh, my. Yes.

    Discipline: “and we save
    for therapy” Mwahaha!

    Seriously, you’re part of the great genre of humor poetry. Such wry turns. Dorothy Parker and Richard Armour and Ogden Nash — you’re in good company.

    Why: That, too! My gosh, I’m rolling in the aisles here.

    Image: Beautiful.

    Defense: Ah. Yes, I need to let that worry go as well. Thank you for the perspective.

    Here’s a stab, just based on my own sense of when my poetry is failing me: If I write too literally, I start feeling clunky. So then I try to back up and view the subject through a more poetic lens: What image could I draw on? What sense could I inject (taste, smell, sight, touch, hearing)? Is there a metaphor, some way of obscuring the bare facts and yet highlighting the core truth? I’m not saying that’s what YOU need to do, but that’s what helps me refine what I’ve written.

    Thank you, thank you for sharing!

    • treepeters
      May 1, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      thank you, well, for all of it. You always make me feel so good.
      I also really appreciate your ideas at the end here.
      I forget to sink into my senses and write from there. One thing I’ve found in doing this daily exercise (which sometimes is 7 poems on Friday!)… is that I am starting with the concrete much more. Just getting the ideas down.
      Maybe I’ll change these and refine them or maybe leave these and still work on something else on the topic with that more “poetic” lens.. Metaphor… allude to things instead of spell them out….
      But I sure have had fun with these.
      Part of the extreme fun has been actually liking some of what I write.
      And I find that I like it even more after you’ve commented!
      big hugs for the writerly sisterhood!

  3. Karen at MomAgain@40
    May 2, 2013

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    So beautiful, and the beauty in it is in being so totally honest! I can relate to all your feelings you have expressed here! Well done!

  4. Julia
    May 4, 2013

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    I was a naughty participant last week and never got around to commenting so I’m back to catch up. This week is all about the humor poetry! Love it! And love that Lauren gave such fabulous advice as well. Glad I stopped by! And I agree that you are teasing us in the first…it certainly is begging for a story to be told. Love it!

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