Adding to Love

If you bring four writing friends together to write a love poem, what happens?  Well, first, a bit of confusion and maybe a little trepidation.  But pick a poetic form, establish some guidelines, step out boldly trusting that the other three are going to ‘catch your line’, and you’re off on a writing adventure.  We began with 1 John 3:16 – By this we know love… and kept going.  We offer it as a doorway into the season of Lent…

Our Part Added

By this we know love, given, and given back
Blindly seeing, extravagant and wild
Purposely mute, our lives now the language
The glass held high, ‘O taste and see!’

See birds return and pair, winter’s fist pried
Open, crocus colors pierce through old snow
Monochrome gives way to hope-hued fractals –
By this we know love, given, given back.

Back to back, schoolgirls form a giggling pose
Then pace, one-two-three.  Turn and hurl scraps
Of winter’s last snow into the gleaming sun,
Blindly seeing, extravagant and wild.

Wild-eyed lovers sing ballads with passion
Like songbirds at dawn’s bright start, but the day
Grows long, greater sacrifice means mouth morphs
Purposely mute, our lives now the language.

Language moves in the world with wide-armed
Invites, whispers through the walls between us,
Opens doors for others to find a mirror
The glass held high, “O look and see!”

See how the Lord of Love dips the bread, offers
What’s broken into hands reaching for wholeness
True Vine labor, prunes, sustains, pours out peace
Descending Love climbs down to show the way
To add our parts to love.

© 2017 – Laurel Archer, Shelley McDonald-Lin, Kevin Ewaskow, Denice Bezoplenko

If you are curious about the process used by us to write this poem, then read on.  Simply, the first stanza was by all of us, each contributing one line, passed consecutively along (Laurel, Shelley, Kevin, Denice).  Then, each of us wrote one whole stanza using our own line from stanza one, as the last line of our stanza (following in the same order).  Finally, the last stanza was written in the same manner as the first, each writing one line, passing it consecutively along.  We adapted it somewhat, but basically this form is called Rondeau Redoublé.

There are always lessons to be learned whenever you group people together to do something creative, but it always seems, in my experience, to be exceptionally rewarding.  Part of this simply has to do with taking the time to listen to the way another person hears, or expresses, or cares, or sees and wonder at the extra perspective you are being gifted with. Is it always comfortable? Nope.  Is it often more than you thought or expected? Absolutely.  Thank you writing friends for always showing me something more than I myself could see.

Picture Credit — Featured and last, Laurel Archer, The Rest,

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