My Writing Exercises

the practice of poetry

Writing Exercises – Janet Caldwell 2016

1st Exercise
My earliest experiences with the written word were the words from the Christian Bible. They were taught to me as a child, by my choice and later enforced by others. The words contradicted not only each other but what I knew to be my truth. When I asked questions, I was always poo-pooed. How dare I question any of it, after all wasn’t it inspired by God?

It certainly made me worry about a God who was so hateful and destructive. It was utterly frightening to me and though it terrified me for years to question too much, I kept reading into adulthood and still do.  Eventually, I began to wonder if the Old Testament God and the New Testament were different Gods.  In time, I lost my fears. The songs of Solomon are quite beautiful. And being exposed to these texts, I love many of the scriptures, as they are very enlightening from the new and Old Testament. This caused me to research other beliefs and the similarities were astounding.

Much of what Jesus said had been said before, and what he did and experienced came centuries earlier by others, such as Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Krishna and more.

As for the Bible, I take much of it as metaphorical and a read between the lines story. I do believe that Jesus was real, a son of God and a beloved example. However, I believe that his sermons were metaphorical many times, lessons to be learned and practiced.  Simply by sharing a higher truth.

Also, I questioned Moses. He was raised in Egypt, the epitome of magic and his miracles were similar to those of his Egyptian brothers. Last but not least, as a child I prayed and asked God to tell Abraham that I was angry at him, as he was the Father of 3 great religions and all think they have it right. I am not a member of any organized religion but do not discount the comfort they may bring to others.

As I said this is a writing exercise that came from the book The Practice of Poetry, pg 3, First Words – where I was to write a bit about my earliest memories of the written or spoken word without the pressure to impress anyone.

Love and Peace to All,
© Janet Caldwell June 15, 2016

The Practice of Poetry, Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach, Edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell is available on Amazon

I Remember Kosovo


I Remember Kosovo

The sun is warm on my face
the smell of grapes are just outside my door
a vineyard of goodness
just like the people, strong and adoring.

The day trips, poetry readings
dancing to rock and roll.
The land still calls to me
and I want to be there.

My brothers and sisters
await my arrival, it is my home.
You’re always in my prayers
I remember you, I remember Kosovo.

There is a spiritual love
among the family, a guiding force
that I’ve never known at all.
Take me back O’ Universe
just once more.

My Eden, my heaven on earth
I’ll never be the same.
I remember you, Beloved Kosovo.

Poem: (c) Janet P. Caldwell
Photo (c) William S. Peters, Sr.

The Wise Old Man

Wise Old Man

The Wise Old Man

My feet picked up the dirt of the ages and sages
exploring carefully in sandals through a bombed out house.
It was only a skeleton, broken bones and needed crutches.
Anything to hold it up with a loving touch would suffice.

For miles I saw these ruins and for miles, I cried.
Where were the people who once inhabited them?
Were they still alive?
I could not understand the hate that had invaded them.

A small toothless man appeared and took my hand,
his skin was weathered like leather.
He was full of bullet holes and shrapnel
pierced his side. He simply smiled and glowed
as he began to tell me of the war that took his earthly life.

He told me of the ones that wanted control
of his life and land. The evil-doers are always
busy and close at hand. He held his ground
and to this day, walks the land telling stories
from that awful day.

He also told me to love my enemies
and I was shocked. This wise old man knew their fate
too, for there was no room for hate, only the promise
of better days, when you let go, even in death
he takes this stand.

The Cultivated Ones


The Cultivated Ones

The pampered roses are are all bred
much like step-ford wives to look alike.
From seedling to flowering
with abundant care, they do survive.

The gardener making sure they lay in measured mulch
are properly watered, holding the moisture
to prevent unwanted weeds from drinking and growing.
Halting the choking of a prized dressing of a cultivated lawn.

Unaware they are slaves to man’s idea of beauty
and never serving themselves.

Now, look at the daisy, some say she’s ugly,
just a wild, uncultured weed.
I say she’s a beauty, bending with the wind
growing sturdy through arid ground, so wild and free.

She’s the clever one, she’s cast off conformity.

Janet P. Caldwell December 16, 2015

Grateful and Pleased


Grateful and Pleased

I have lived a good life
been loved by many
have 2 great children
and 4 grandchildren.

I have you, a song in my heart
and more than plenty.
There is nothing that I need and for that
I am eternally grateful, so pleased.

(c) Janet P. Caldwell

Pic: Free Google Images