The Essay Closet

 A Fellow Blogger (and a friend) wrote this lovely poem.

This poem was in response to my post “Rise Above”. They wrote this poem after seeing a video of a little boy and his dog. Visit their blog at:

Love is so wonder full
If I choose to see,
That what I am really after
Comes from deep inside of me.

We say to each other
That we truly do care
But is only by seeing it
That we know it is there

You open my eyes to
the love from a dog
And I see so deeply
That love is right here
And it’s been here all along

Easter basket   “Celina”

                                              By Richard O’Neill 10/1/1938-3/21/2009

Celina lost her little life to cancer. Her uncle, deeply affected, wrote this poem. Since then, he has also gone home to the Lord.

Born with a cancer in her tiny womb

Angelic innocent…pain from birth


Poisons…not killing the cancer

Only killing her

Butchered…removing a little piece at a time

Never fully conscious

Suffered through all of her less than four years

Fallen and hurting from a simple swing I had just made for her

Hitting her tiny bald head on the green, grassy ground

That too soon would be her home

An ironic parallel of her entire existence

The gift of Life…the gift of Pain.

But one Easter

We four adults…exalted

As she hunted and found the hidden, pretty, colored eggs

(She, in her special, frilly, pretty Easter dress,

no ribbons in her hair, for there was no hair)

Hunted and found in the green grass over and over

For we would take them from her basket

Filled with green grass, plastic…as the false hopes

Of doctors promising cures

Her, not knowing because of the drugs

We would hide them over and over.

And…I think…I hope

No…I really believe

She was having fun

In the hunt

In the finding of the pretty eggs

In the green grass, her future roof

On that sunny day

In her pretty dress.

The Holiday of Resurrection

Of re-birth

Symbols of new life

Salvation…freedom from pain.

I cried (a rarity) while she was buried

It rained…it had to…for her

The grass was not green enough to contain her soul.


A Christmas Poem

Little lights that sghine so bright, wrap your arms around me tonight.

Let me feel the warmth you bring, and hear the season that you sing.

The magic of your song tickling my soul, a warming melody that comes to melt the winter’s cold.

The tree upon which you rest, the ornaments of gold and green; fill my child like wonder with an overwhelming sense of glee.

I look at you in awe, eyes cast upon your beauty as you twinkle and shine.

I appreciate the spirit in which you come. And- after the holidays are said and done; the joy remains from within the festivity it flew-I carry it with me all year long-feeling refreshed, alive and new.

Thank you little lights for bringing a sparkle to all I hold dear; this very special time of year.


“To the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”     William Blake 

Earth Day I went over to a field by our home and caught nature at its best–just being.






Resilience – By Maura

From the blog:   up close and personal

I have a 16×20” version of this photo hanging above my computer monitor. It is one of my favourite photos from my lifetime of taking photographs.

On any warm summer day, this spider web is suspended on these blades of grass in a vertical orientation to best catch flying insects. When I spotted this web, it was just after dawn on a morning when this ecosystem was sopping with dew.

The filaments of this web are coated with tiny specs of dew – magnified, they look like strands of pearls. Each blade of grass is covered with larger globules of dew that look like crystal balls.

On this morning, it had only been five months since my husband’s death, so the metaphor of tears came to me immediately. The web was heavy with ‘tears’ and all the supports were also laden with ‘tears’.

Look at how they all bend and sag, yet nothing is broken by this weight.

I hear that word so often. It is said to be “the key” to recovering from difficult passages in life. I struggle to understand what resilience is exactly, or how one might acquire more of it.

In the case of the spider web, if the web and the grass are left to just dry naturally, everything returns to form and function fairly quickly. When it is laden with moisture, it is a time to be still.

Please visit Maura’s blog at:

“Is Our Lives A Cosmic Joke?” copyright 2012 John J. Rigo, upcoming poetry book, “Passion Amidst Apathy”

April 9, 2012 by John J. Rigo, Texas’ Poet

Courtesy of

I awoke this morning with the same old pains.
One leg had veins popped up
the other was swollen.
I twisted in pain
in my walk to the kitchen
attempting to adust my back
from the constant pain.
The thought came to my mind
was this all a cosmic joke of sorts.
To have lived Seventy years
and find my body dying
before my awareness
each day?
Having now found
a degree of Wisdom
in my life
will it now be taken
from me?
Will all the days before me
now be filled with pain and suffering
suffering in seeing my bride become
ill again?
I pray to my Lord and Savior
render me time
to share the blessings
in knowing Him.
Render me time
without suffering to cloud my mind
so that I may share
my blessings
with others.

     Self-publishing Interview With Joanna  Penn

Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing some thoughts from Joanna Penn. Joanna is an author, blogger and consultant based in London, England (although, to add to her international savvy, you should know she also spent the last 11 years living in Australia and New Zealand).

In addition to running one of the most notable writing blogs and twitter feeds for writers, Joanna self published her first book  How to Enjoy Your Job in 2008 and then went onto write “From Idea to Book” (the inspiration for the title of this post) and “From Book to Market”, non-fiction books for authors as well as two action-adventure thriller novels, Pentecost and Prophecy. You can read more about her writing journey here.

Self-publishing Interview With Joanna Penn

Sarah: The media often latches onto the rare self-publishing projects that seem to generate “overnight success”. But obviously these are often the exception, not the rule. In your experience, what is the normal person’s experience with self-publishing? 

Joanna: I’m not sure there is a ‘normal’ in this business as it changes everyday at the moment!

The big ‘overnight’ successes and the people making a lot of money tend to have a lot of books, a lot of product on the shelves. That means their success is compounded with every new book. I personally…To see complete interview, please visit:

 Last Week’s Story:

Pam’s Story

“What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those of other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written. Everyday would make a whole book of 80,000 words — 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.”
Mark Twain 

Todays’ story is a small piece about my neighbor, her story, if she were here to tell it. Thanks to her loved one’s for sharing.

How many stories exist in the heart that is not written? How many small achievements in life are never shared? When our life is over-there among friends and family-are the stories told. Did people know that my two children were everything in the world to me? Every piece of me that I have went into trying to raise my children the best that I could. A day did not go by that did not bring me the greatest pleasure of hearing my children’s laughter.  The nights that I could count on my hand where my children were not the last thing on my mind before my eyes closed. Their joys, their projects, their dreams; it was my responsibility to see that they happened. How proud I am of my children as I look at them now, all grown. I’m glad I knew them.

I loved horses. The sheer freedom captured on a ride through the woods or down a peaceful trail; making room for all that is. Racing my horse, a sole act between the two of us, invites a thrill and a love my heart cannot get enough of.  Caring for such a majestic animal leaves me humble and in awe.

I believe my life stood for being the best that I could be in any situation. Being a wife, motherhood, riding horses-all a tribute to my passion for living. I really tried.

How many really knew me? How many knew what was priceless to me? Who knew the hidden depths of my heart?

I would cry; the past always so fresh in my mind leaving my yesterdays in front of today. I became afraid of tomorrow. Where did it all go? I wish things could have been different. I wish my family could have known just how much I love them.  My thoughts and ways are different than most, not easily accepted. I’ll move on now; I don’t know where. I’ll take my memories with me; they are the sum of my life and those I loved.

“Encourage one another. Many times a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept people on their feet.” 

Charles Swindoll 

Please comment below, or follow my blog. 

In the moment:

A Special MomentWe are fortunate to carry those people, moments and lessons that thread throughout our life, within our hearts. At the time, it seems that we never fully appreciate what is happening until it is no longer there.

Fortunately Kathryn Clarke, or Katy, has shared her special memories and moments of being with her mom in the story below, “Appreciate the Present Moment.” She shares this with us in hopes that we can   learn a lesson now. Thank you Katy.

Appreciate the Present Moment, by Kathryn Clarke 

Yesterday, I heard an interview on NPR with Joan Didion. She read an excerpt of her recent book, Blue Nights,which chronicles her grief following the death of her only daughter.  In this excerpt she discussed how her boxes and drawers of mementos which fill her New York apartment serve not to bring her back to the moments in time they represent, but to remind her how she didn’t fully appreciate them when they ocurred.

I think this is a dense part of the human condition.  An obtuse flavor of reality.  We can’t appreciate what we love the most until we lose it.

Maybe this is why I like the pictures of my mom and me from my infancy so much. In photos from later years, it’s harder to overlook the forced teenaged smile, or the vacant eyes of someone who would rather be doing something else.

One of the gifts of cancer is there is often warning before the end.  But even though I anticipated my mother’s death for a year before it happened, I couldn’t fully get it.  There was part of my heart that simply didn’t understand, or wouldn’t accept, that she could be not-here.  I spent the better part of the hour after she died lying next to her in bewilderment.  Yes, she had been in hospice for a month. Yes, I’m a nurse. But it seemed… impossible.

No, I didn’t appreciate her fully when she was alive.  And how could I? We don’t appreciate air until we drown.

And now she is gone. With my whole heart, I appreciate her, and other parts of my life too that I would otherwise have taken for granted.

Please visit Katy’s Blog at:

More Writing Resources: The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn, created her blog as a resource. Now, as one of the top 10 blogs for writers, Joanna’s site is an oasis in the world of “wanting to be published.”

What is “The Creative Penn” and how can it help you?

This site is aimed at people who are interested in writing, publishing of all different kinds and internet marketing/promotion for their books (in print/ebook or audio format). Joanna’s aim is to make The Creative Penn” the online place to come to for information if this is your area of interest.

Joanna offers Author 2.0, a free manual for writing, publishing and marketing your book. Please register for your free copy at:

Write Two Paragraphs and Call Me in the Morning…

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.     (Graham Greene- English author, playwright, and literary critic)

If I could not write I would go crazy-literally! Writing has been my therapy and saving grace throughout my life. It has been my greatest vehicle of introspection into all that I am.

I started writing at eleven years old when my mother bought me my first diary. The little key locking away the things in my heart that made me happy, angry or sad. My first boyfriend, my first trauma, my earliest prespectives on life, all there. Little did I know it would lead me to my greatest transformation, me.

Over the years, continuing to write has been wonderful, but writing my own story, Chasing the Perfect Moment, has been my greatest healing. It has allowed me to safely explore and contemplate aspects of myself I never knew, while working on self-esteem issues from the past, fears and deep hurts, all through a love of writing. It has allowed me to increase a talent within myself, that I did not realize I had.  It has diminished pain and freed the truth in my life to soar. Like the unfolding of wings on a catepillar, writing can elicit a new presence within.

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you – Zora Neale Hurston-American folklorist, anthropologist and author during the time of the Harlem Renassaince

In what ways have you blossomed or transformed? Share your story!

6 Responses to The Essay Closet

  1. Pingback: 10 things I learned from Mom… and Chasing the Perfect Moment « born by a river

  2. Some very interesting stuff!

  3. A great idea this section!

  4. A whole section of your blog I never noticed before – so happy I found it…and just also took not that you’re on twitter too…will follow you there too :)

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