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Sunday, July 31, 2011

LOST AND FOUND – Prompt #14

Throughout our lives things that exist in our realm of influence by which we have been effected, fall into either end of that spectrum. Write a poem on something you've lost. If you've found something, write that poem. It could be something you thought you'd never see again, only to be surprised by its rediscovery. Either way, go to the lost and found to reclaim your poetic wile.

Marie Elena’s effort:

Nothing Lost

As I embrace One who was slain,

and forfeit self, what will I gain?

Eternal life in Christ is mine

not of my self, but His design.

His agony, my boundless gain

corrupted self cannot attain.

In death to self I gain no loss,

my life secured on Calvary’s cross.


Inspired by Luke 9:24-25. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

And by missionary Jim Elliot, who wisely stated, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Walt’s Re-Discovery:


1.) Phase One – Losing Myself

Rev up the Delorean, I’m going back. We all have that defining moment, pointed and prescient that had set our course. The forces of nature were strong and one wrong turn could have sent me reeling. I have a feeling it did.

My temerity was the social end of me, for as far as I can see, High School defined that moment in time, where I had let the ball drop.Not regret per se, but sadness now for those would have, should have, and could have moments so fleeting. Those errors of omission were well hidden in my condition from which I’ve been extricated. Celebrated now for my abilities to see things, and write things and expose things about me that without, would not be me. Debilitating was this fear to connect, rejection not something I handled well, or handled at all. So my fall from grace saved me from the disgrace of “embarrassing” myself by letting loose and living my life.

The perpetual lost boy languished in Neverland.

2.) Phase Two – Righting the Ship

Looky, looky, there goes Hooky!

The ribald Captain has been dispatched with a swift kick in his steering mechanism. A discovery, a long time in the making has taken a stand as well as command of my journey; a life’s worth of yearning for solid footing and a direction much easier to navigate than blindly following burned out novas in the cosmos of my mind. For in the stars, paths that crossed each other unnoticed have found a circuitous path to intersect once again.

Older now, more aware of selves and of this moment and what lead each to move to embrace it. In the kindling of a reborn kinship, acquaintances long removed and left unseen, find a connection that closes unsure circles, and opens the world to new adventures. Both stand, with eyes open like the wide-eyes kids we were when we began. A familiarity which neither knew, comes through to ground us as the friends we never realized we were.

The gathering of spirits once left to roam those hallowed halls has stepped back to touch base and begin anew, assuring us of the fact that yes, you can go home again.


I'm looking for something and it has me willing to lose a copy of the CD version of WOOD in the process. This prize will go to the first poet to post what it is for which I am looking. Good Luck!


  1. Walt, Part 1, oh yeah.

    This is one I'm trying to revise. It still isn't gelling.

    lost and found

    Saw a photo:
    Tom Baker’s Dr Who
    and I remembered 
    then, not your murder,
    but our beginning.  
    Uniform in orange beanies, we, 
    the freshman class, left our first of many 
    mandatory football rallies, in a bobbing block.  
    You threaded 
    toward the center,
    uncertain hands gesturing at nothing, 
    chattering and incandescent. A butterfly, 
    a blazing parrot, brilliant in a ten foot scarf
    that you had knit--my first encounter with chartreuse.

    I have a weakness 
    for the lost and found. Scarves 
    still on diner coat racks in July 
    tempt me, 
    like big loose roses 
    overhanging a sidewalk. Yet, 
    for years at work I kept a set of keys
    to anaesthesia drugs enough 
    to send a city block to sleep,
    and only used my key to steal
    two misplaced pocket knives,
    and one worn gold Cross pen
    the janitor swept up in the surgeons' locker room.

  2. Barbara, I luuuuv your style. =) The second half of your poem blows me away, lady.

    All: We all recognize and appreciate Walt's talent. However, hearing his words in his own voice richly enhances the experience. Can't wait to see who finds a copy of Wood in their mailbox.

  3. Walt has an uncanny ability to tug at heart strings through his thought provoking and warm
    verse.The concept of 'home' is always a dilemma for a gypsy.'Home' for some is a person; for others a place.'Home' for me?...I'm not certain:)


    hinging on last light,
    not so strong at all,
    lost again
    to the choo-choo
    of runaway opportunities,
    to the rolling iron rails
    straining harsh nights,
    I trash pleasant thoughts,
    those joys of finding myself,

    succumb instead to that train,
    that irrevocable loss again
    of missed dreams,
    a pounding heart that bears
    the weight of all things torn,
    this indelible longing beneath
    high stars hanging
    in the night air


  5. When to Find Yourself

    The group spoke about time
    and who thought a conversation about time,
    about how time heals most wounds even if it uses scars
    as scotch tape
    and how time tears down all structures
    except maybe Fenway Park,
    who would have thought that would turn into this?
    Toni got uncomfortable some time around
    the Palahniuk survival rate timeline,
    Louis broke down and cried
    and said that when she read the news article
    about Hideki Irabu killing himself
    she couldn't keep her own thoughts from drifting
    towards crippling depression, the times she has wasted
    and the time she has left because he was 42,
    younger than she is.
    At one point all you could hear was the AC kick it up a notch,
    but no one wanted to be the one to look at the clock.
    I spoke about punishment,
    about how thousands of years ago they must have gotten together
    and decided that time was the only thing everyone has,
    and so it is the only thing they could take away from everyone.
    But what they were actually doing is teaching gratitude,
    the ability to appreciate the things usually ignored,
    the smell of rain, the sound Winter makes when it turns to Spring,
    what pure joy looks like on a child's face,
    what the world feels like under your bare feet.

  6. Lost and Found

    The child was lost at an early age,
    friendless and alone,
    inhabited by demons,
    he played in his own world,
    he found solace in fantasy.

    The youth was lost to the demons,
    they ate away the insides,
    they gnawed at his soul,
    still friendless and alone,
    the fantasies were his sanctuary.

    The Man was found in middle age,
    the demons were slain,
    the friends were numerous,
    and the fantasies were lost,
    slipping into memory,
    as life was found.


  7. Piece of Mind

    A piece of mind is lost.
    A peace of mind is found.
    Think of precious moments cherished,
    while true happiness abounds.

    A peace of mind is found.
    A piece of mind is lost.
    Do not think of moments wasted,
    as they were with greater cost.

    When a heart is opened up
    and can see the other shore
    over gently flowing waters
    peace will last forever more.

    There’s a newfound hope inside
    lifting spirits up on high,
    making music for the souls
    as they drift into the sky.

    By Michael Grove

  8. I stand outside the fortress

    a weed I sprout in fear

    voices jangle, I try to hide

    my head, it rattles ear to ear.

    Have I lost my mind to think
    the splinters would dissolve
    how you pierced my heart again
    a skewed image I can’t absolve?

    And I was on my knees
    and I was crying out to you
    seeking redemption, forgiveness
    within this tainted view.

    A cloak I felt enwrap me
    pick me up, carry me in
    a vision I won’t long forget
    the day you freed me from all sin.

  9. Everyone's done gone and been brilliant. I can only tackle this major loss this way. For my mother:

    Memorial Day

    It began close to the heart,
    Sliced and diced to bring false hope
    Of renewed balance to life.
    Labeled "fear" for those outside,
    Called "future" by the one inside.

    Twelve years to memorize a life,
    To capture smiles, laughter, sorrow.
    Endless days of life's endurance
    Gatherred 'round stark white bed linens
    Ends in spasms at Heaven's gate.

    Family glue left with her,
    Member's orbits lonelier now.

  10. Mine is in a format that allows for bold, etc. on my blog (it's combined with the Sunday Whirl wordle) at:

    But here's the unformatted version. The two prompts combined to help me give voice to something that's been on my heart for weeks. Thank you both, and peace, Amy

    Lost in the Weeds

    She is lost in the weeds.
    She’s good wheat, but what sprouts near her
    possess voices that pierce and keen.

    No matter how strong her fortress,
    an unfamiliar, frightening force
    rattles the bars of her gate.

    She needs an image to cling to,
    wholly holy, distinctly divine.

    A steadfast vision beyond this
    jangling jungle of fear becomes clear.

    She shakes off the weeds, uproots them,
    and splinters the yolk of despair.

    © 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  11. To all: There is an undeniable depth to these poems in two veins: Love and Soul. That spirit quest to find truth, authenticity, hope.

    Iain, Laurie Kolp, and Michael Grove, I hate to play favorites, but yours touched me deeply. Also, Sal's "runaway choo-choo" sounds frightening familiar to me!!


  12. I couldn't agree more, Amy.

    Rallentanda: Bless your heart.

  13. Lost and Found

    she had lost nothing
    she had found nothing either
    she would keep searching

    she will find home soon
    omens say it is the time
    the wait will be short

  14. I wrote a lost-and-found haiku here, accompanied by a photo.

  15. Horsey Sam Came Home

    I got him when I was three.
    I rode him hard and fast
    till little sis came on the scene.
    Sturdy and robust, Horsey Sam
    could carry two a time.
    Then he was passed on to a nephew
    then another. He returned
    to trot off with my daughter
    then my son, then back east
    to a couple of nieces.

    My sister visited her grandchildren
    living not far from me.
    She brought Horsey Sam.
    Alas, he’s ready for pasture
    so they won’t be able to ride him.
    No stand or springs. Reins broken.
    Colors mostly worn off.
    But he’s strong and solid.
    For his fiftieth birthday
    I’ll clear off my dresser top for him
    to rest perhaps another fifty years.

  16. Thanks, Amy.

    I've really enjoyed reading all the pieces here.

  17. So many marvelous offerings, as Amy said. Depth and chenges in perspective for many types of loss.

    This new one from me is defintely a world away from the previous one.


    Where has it gone,
    This thing called inspiration?
    Has it become as mist in the night,
    Fit only for disguising paths of words
    Worth writing down for another's reading pleasure?
    Shall I wail as one left abandoned?
    Shall I abandon as it has done?
    Or, shall I kneel, plea for its return?
    For now, I wait.

  18. Thanks Amy

    All great poems this week - love 'em!


  19. LOST then FOUND

    I lost myself when I met you.
    You changed my heart
    and my mind.

    With much to learn, you taught me, too.
    Changing my perceptions
    for the better.

    Certain that I did not discriminate,
    your mere existence showed me
    I had.

    I learned to look beyond the face
    and recognize the miracle
    in everyone.

    I lost myself when I met you,
    and found something new;



    I didn’t know I was lost
    until the day I realized
    I had been found

    I didn’t see you coming
    one day I looked up
    and you were there

    I didn’t know I could feel
    such fullness of joy
    ‘til after I met you

    I didn’t know true love
    until the day
    you uttered those words

    I didn’t see it coming
    one day I looked up
    and you weren’t there

    I didn’t know pain ‘til now;
    I am

    P. Wanken

  21. If I Only Had…

    There’s something quite important
    I really need to do.
    It's not exactly clear to me
    yet it’s not outta the blue.

    This morning I remembered
    until soon I then forgot.
    What was so important
    that had me lost in thought?

    Later it nearly came to me
    though not quite, a sort of hunch.
    Was it the menu I was planning
    for guests today at lunch?

    And now as my day closes,
    bathwater goes down the drain.
    Perhaps tomorrow I’ll remember,
    if I only had a brain.

    P. Wanken

  22. Catalyst

    Loosed lies
    Heart’s eyes
    Once blind
    Now see.

    Truth breaks
    Core quakes.
    Lost you.
    Found me.

  23. Thank You Amy! This is a great prompt and I am enjoying everything posted here. Peace to you all.

    Innocence is Lost

    Slapped hard in the face.
    Bloodied up your knees.
    Washed your hands in mud.
    Coughed and hacked and wheezed.

    Lit sticks of incense.
    Ran fast in the park.
    Blew it on a whim.
    Stayed out after dark.

    Candlelight vigils.
    Lessons learned too late.
    Celebrated all.
    Stranger twists of fate.

    World that you once knew,
    comes with higher cost.
    Silent wake up call.
    Innocence is lost.

    By Michael Grove

  24. Deeper Faith

    Every time we turn about
    the sun shines on our face.
    A shadow’s cast behind our backs
    on all the scattered Grace.

    Loaves and fishes for us all
    thru seed and nonbarbed hook.
    The greatest stories ever told
    are found in the good book.

    Amazing truths of life contained
    within the dead sea scrolls
    bring forth the blessed glows within
    each of the faithful souls.

    They say it as they mean it.
    It goes then comes around.
    A newfound glory rises,
    as deeper faith is found.

    By Michael Grove

  25. Cousins: Brothers in Blood

    Dyson Douglas and Iain Douglas,
    brothers of different mothers; sisters
    bearing together. Whether you can tell
    or not, we’ve got a lot of commonality.
    But the reality lies in our disticnt differences.
    He is tall, I, verbose. His vacant stare, distant.
    Mine closer to the vest, a chest full of white hair
    matching the window treatments. He, a store-bought
    couiffe (more handsome without). I bear the family nose,
    he, our predisposition for the distilled beverage.
    Ambition brings me closer to my dreams,
    but it seems Iain dreams throughout. Not a lout
    by any stretch of imaginings. Generous and caring,
    I’m wearing the shirt off of his back. But, I have a knack
    of romanticizing our connection. It’s for his protection.
    Iain is ravaged; dementia his executioner. He remains
    on this plane lost in someone else’s brain. His smile
    takes the circuitous route to expression, brief as it is.
    I am pained in the witness I must become, but feel
    all the love for my brother, my comrade, my friend.
    In the end, isn’t that what cousins are?


    Just lunch
    With the man I once

    Entrusted with my heart
    My First love
    My First everything

    A diamond on my finger
    A reminder that I'm promised
    To another but I must know

    His smile lingers
    Stardust can still
    Dance in his eyes

    We say hello
    I just need to know
    If first love lasts forever

    We talk
    He talks
    I listen

    Memories of when I
    Entrusted my heart
    My innocence to his

    Wanderlust. This man
    Who emptied my heart
    When he casually left me

    Heartbroken for another.
    And then left her for another.
    And again. And again, he tells

    me until I see at last
    that my first love
    Was not his first anything

    Lunch was finished
    Empty glasses. Empty dishes
    And my heart emptied of him

    Love lost
    My future found
    Just lunch.

  27. Left and Right

    It started with left and right.
    When it's left, it's never right
    and when it's right it's never right.
    So there she sits cross-legged
    at the side of a sparkling creek,
    stumped like an ageing log
    with an ornamental toad on top,
    wiping tears off her right cheek,
    or maybe it's her left,
    not that it matters a toot now.
    And she's misplaced her favourite hankie
    that's useless anyway because snot
    blows right through the lace into her hand,
    and she wonders how she could be so lost
    when she's holding a map in front of her face.

    She just doesn't know which way
    to hold it; this way up or that way up.
    That way up means going left, she thinks,
    but confirms it by holding
    an imaginary pen in her right hand
    to see if a pen feels right
    in those fingers. Problem is
    a pen's never felt right in that hand
    because she should be left-handed
    but Mrs. White in 1st grade
    used to smack her left hand
    with a ruler until it was
    bruised and cut whenever she reached
    her left hand for a pen.

    But scissors still fit into her
    left hand - so there Mrs. White.

    She sniffs and wipes a silver streak
    of snot across her sleeve,
    and stares at the map again.
    She can't understand how she's
    walked so far and for so long.
    She's tired, she's cold and
    she's just zigzagged for 36-hours
    back and forth along the Continental Divide,
    trying to follow the flow
    of this cheery looking ice-cold creek
    to where she left her car.
    She doesn't know that her car
    will be found before she is.

  28. Her hands unfold
    Pages from her book of life
    Words whole lines
    Sporting spots faded
    Every rough patch suspended
    On gentleness between

    Refuge once for babies
    Harbor to friends lost in seas
    Overflowing from
    Inner storms
    Lovers basked in touches
    Fed food grasped by
    Once-strong fingers

    Her hands unfold a
    Map of everything
    She is or was
    Before a syllable is
    And the pen scribbles
    Its last entry
    In her book of life

  29. i love every one of the entries here!

    i hope my attempt at humor isn't taken as disrespect to the prompt.

    thanks, dani


  30. Barbara: "Lost and Found" provided me with so many flashes of color and textures. The second half of your poem really did it for me but I am also charmed by the line "that you had knit--my first encounter with chartreuse.
    Salvatore: I really relate so much to this.

    Such good poems from everyone, again! I started commenting on everyone individually but my computer glitched and ate them... sadness. Thank you all for the inspiration you provide.

  31. Such impressive work here. Y'all make it terribly hard to choose only one "Beautiful Bloom." TERRIBLY hard!

  32. Some of you were on a roll with this prompt, submitting more than one excellent poem. Wow!

    De Jackson, when are you going to publish a book of your work??? My bookshelf is screaming at me!

  33. Oh ... forgot to add my name to the comment directly above,

    Marie Elena

    P.S. I'm quite certain Walt could very well have written the same thought though. ;)