Opportunity Overload and Outcome

Handwritten writing exercise-document detailThere were so many enticing word-related opportunities lately, I overloaded myself and had to pull back. Here is the result of one that I enjoyed through a local group called The Village Writers School. The writing exercise briefly pulled me out of poetry into short-story writing. It was a 15-minute challenge based on a choice of prompts. The prompt I chose was “First Impressions.” Here is how it went:

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Life: Sniffing it Out

Dog sniffing green grassSome blogging things I tried lately didn’t suit me or my current life, so I shifted them aside. Oh the other hand, I re-immersed in poetry writing and publishing. Today, taking National Puppy Day as my poem prompt, I created this to share:

PUPPY LOVE poem-Jo LightfootPuppy love applies outside the canine realm, so shift this poem message wherever it suits.

~ ♥ Jo

Photo Credits:
Dog by Alice10 at Morguefile
Puppy Poem by Jo Lightfoot

 

My Life’s Work & Manifesto

write on - graffiti words painted on stone wallThis blog post will be self-explanatory once I explain that it was prompted by my participation in a 7-day blogging challenge given by Jeff Goins. The challenge starts today and this is the first exercise:

MANIFESTO

 

“The work will teach you how to do it.”

 

In my work as a writer, calligrapher,

instructional designer, and poet,

I encountered thousands of meaningful

and wonderfully expressed quotations.

 

The one above—an Estonian proverb—

resonated above all the rest.

I’ve adopted it as my personal motto.

 

Its words also mean:

“Life will teach you how to live it.”

 

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Picking Up the Trail

Books and keyboard indicating publishing

“If you come to a fork in the road,” advised Yogi Berra, “take it.” . . .
Well I didn’t. I stopped right in my tracks (and so did this blog). Why?

I got busy. I got distracted. I got confused and overwhelmed. I got caught up in self-publishing, so as to share poems that come to, through, or from me. I began laying plans. More specifically, I began laying plans about laying plans: doing research, joining groups, making excursions, and so forth. I’m sure you can relate. If not, let me make plans to make plans to understudy you!

I was so sure there was a fork in the road I couldn’t continue the blog as I had been doing, with personal stories, photos, and sharing. I questioned whether I should post so many poems, especially in batches, when they might someday appear in a book.

Cover of Artist and Muse bookEven my daily poem journaling suffered: fewer poems, less attentively conceived, birthed, and nurtured. But. . .

The books were captivating! The design of them. The choosing of the themes and relevant poems. The harmonizing of the covers. The creation of the supplementary texts. The ultimate holding in my hands of the tangible, shareable results! I’m “ordinately” proud of them (this is the author speaking, after all). I do want to help people find them. I do want to acquaint them with my muse and with the writing process as I’ve experienced it—and now, too, with the publishing process as I’m experiencing it.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey. Yours is a similar one: life and creativity. Let’s continue to share with and inspire each other. Instead of forks in individual roads, let’s align and interconnect our collective roads. I’ll look for you along the way.  ~Jo

Poems—June 2015

Mountains and mist at Machu PicchuJUN Poems

Here are some selected poems from June. They are still drafts, not final versions, so please ask permission before sharing (except by linking to this website.) Thank you. I’ve put the poems in reverse order because, really, they tell a story. That story is my dream trip to Machu Picchu Peru—what it entailed and what it meant. There are several general-topic poems thrown in as well. [Reverse order is true chronological order, compared to previous months’ entries; so actually, this month, it’s the reverse of reverse. Is that confusing or what?]

 

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Morning light at Machu Picchu

Blue haze atmosphere at Machu Picchu

MACHU PICCHU

My mountain.
My fountain of dreams.

Of all earth’s places,
my epitome.

My secret wish,
long since divulged,
that still holds
secret claims on me.

My open-air cathedral.

My anyplace and everyplace
where every soul soars free.

My Ganga Ma, my Shangri La,
my sacred Bodhi Tree.

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Forever Friends

Brightly dressed Cusco womanThe Best Vacation

The best vacation may well be the vacation from media, controversy, and polarization.

For me, that kind of vacation was the great gift of Peru and was shown in these kinds of ways: being embraced by just about everyone; mutual celebrations of varied backgrounds; and finding ways to make daily life work harmoniously.

* * *

 

FOREVER FRIENDS

Are you from Afghanistan?
Are you from Peru?
Do you wear your hair in braids?
Are you tattooed blue?

Are you a street vendor
or a head of state?
Do you get up early?
Do you stay up late?

If our paths have crossed in life
(nice if face to face),
we are kindred beings;
our spirits have embraced.

I have no time for judgment.
I have no time for hate.
And, as for love and friendship,
I have no time to wait.

[Note the baby goat cradled in her arm…]

This poem was written on my return from Peru and posted to Facebook. I am including it here in this blog so as to reach friends who would otherwise be missed.

“Bendiciones, Amigos!”  ~Jo

Photo Credit:
Cusco woman with goat, by Jo LIghtfoot

Peru Pilgrimage

How can I leave town without mentioning Machu Picchu? It’s such a major milepost in my life… a destiny and destination I’ve held in my heart for almost 50 years.

View of Machu Picchu

I leave in an hour and, for once in my life, I’m not scrambling with last-minute details like packing bags, scouting information, or reviewing plans. It’s all been done. My route goes from Northwest Arkansas to Dallas to Lima to Cusco. I leave about 8:00 tonight and arrive about 8:00 tomorrow. Cusco and Lowell are in the same time zone, so that’s twelve hours enroute.

This adventure is part of a larger one: a combined eye care clinic mission co-sponsored by the Cusco, Peru and Rogers, Arkansas Lions Clubs and produced by Legend Treks. For me, it’s a spiritual adventure, like all of life. This one just seems more intense.

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MACHU PICCHU

My mountain.
My fountain of dreams.    

Of all earth’s places,
my epitome.  

My secret wish,
long since divulged,
that still holds
secret claims on me.

My open-air cathedral.

My anyplace and everyplace
where every soul soars free.

My Ganga Ma, my Shangri La,
my sacred Bodi Tree.

* * *

Love to you and blessings on your own life adventures. ♥ ~Jo

* * *

Photo Credit: kconnors at Morguefile