Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Beauty in Scars


"scars" Digital art by Beth Conklin

Visit her etsy store & click HERE

The poem below is a response to my favorite prompt that is now back for all poets to enjoy:

Shay's Word Garden Word List!

I am quite late participating but please join in & there will be a new list tomorrow!

(Use at least 3 of the 20 words)

The Beauty in Scars,

"I show my scars so that others know they can heal" - Rhachelle Nicol

There is an art in healing,

letting the willow bend

to no longer break.

My soul does not crave the vase of lilies,

but longs to run in a field of wildflowers.

Yes, I want the sweetness of triumph,

but first I must taste the sober truth

that only a poet or pastor can tell

I can no longer be still like zeroes,

letting weeds grow and surround my aching knees!

Give me engines that propel me forward;

the strength to rise like a fox stepping on hill upon hill.

For there is an art in healing,

letting out all the stitches to embrace every scar.

Monday, July 3, 2023

The Details


Down in their hearts wise men know this truth: the only way to help yourself is to help others. ~Elbert Hubbard 

When we are planning anything in life, we are thinking of the destination and goals that we want to achieve, but it is truly the little things in place that get us there. A girl has to pack her socks if she wants to be ready to wear her shoes for the mountain climb. All the big plans we hope for are full of smaller details that cannot be forgotten. 

All those pesky little things, life is full of them! To do lists, errands, dry-cleaning, doctor appointments and the list goes on! So many of the seemingly mundane tasks occupy our day and fill our baggage, but in our life, there are many other details that have more significance in the big scheme of things.  

When I first applied for a job in the Harris County Library system, I tried to think of what skills I had that made me an asset to be considered for hire. I had a cleaning business for over 20 years, and I knew that one of the main attributes a house cleaner must have is an attention to detail. Seeing the cobwebs and stains on the countertop requires a closer look from possibly another angle. I knew that I wanted to point that out in my interview or on my application, but when I actually started working at the library helping customers, I realized there was another element to the concept, attention to detail. 

It isn’t just about seeing when a book is out of place on a shelf or knowing how to properly send a document to print for a customer, it is actually much more personal than that. When it comes to customer service, sometimes the needs that come up are much less technical, and much more intimate in nature.  I am talking about emotional needs that sometimes arise that we need to be aware of in the usual situations of helping customers.  

People come into the library for many reasons, and sometimes it is simply to get the next great book on their list, but other times it could be stressful in nature, like getting information for medical help for a terminally ill loved one.  That being said, we may never know the details of what they are facing, but we can be attentive and mindful when someone seems to be frustrated or having a bad day. I have had several instances where it was obvious that someone needed some extra help and support to get what they were doing accomplished, and sometimes that included being a listening and caring ear in the process.  

The details are more than orderly shelves, the correct copies, and requesting that hard-to-find book.  Sometimes the truest details are in the very people we are trying to help. Taking the time to notice the sadness behind a smile or reading the body language of dismay from a difficult day and responding accordingly can make all the difference for that person in need of a few copies at their local library.  

 Yes, life is full of small details that are part of the bigger goal each one of us is trying to attain. May we all try our best to remember the details that matter most.  


© Carrie Van Horn 2023

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Unspoken Words to the Dying,


There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
None knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
~May Sarton, "Of Grief," A Durable Fire, 1972



When my father was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer, my stepmom could not bear for him to be told.  I am not entirely sure how he was in the dark of it all, but we continued with the façade that there was hope, and hence words that needed to be spoken that would have been obvious of what was happening were never said.

 One day on morphine and nearer to passing, my dad was hallucinating as only a very logical engineer could have done.  He would very matter of factly ask me, “do you hear that music?”  or “Do you see that car moving in the painting?”  When I answered with a bewildered no, he remained silent and unfazed.  I cannot help but think that music is something that crosses the border of here and heaven.  He was hearing the echoes of where he was headed.  Some sounds preach truth no matter what secrets may be kept. That is my thoughts on it and like the hope for miracles, that is what I choose to hold on to. 


I kept words folded and starched in an innermost closet like formal attire for a place I would never be able to go.

 You see, one cannot dance at the reception hall if the building has been burned to the ground.

Yet, still I dance alone with a grace that loneliness carries.

Swaying with words that know how to move in my company but never step out of that room.

It sounds absurd to someone else, but I know where they stand and why.

And I listen because I need to.

For I must remember, and I shall!

I smoke them like a joint.

Holding my breath hard as I wait for something more.

But there was a time that I was the voice that carried high, like a song reaching for broader skies.

Now my heart is a nightbird; still and quiet in the daylight.

You say I look brave and sure like a train to the city, but don’t be fooled my dear!

I am thoughts unspoken and dubious.

The regret of a thousand backward falls.

I am an old frayed ribbon from the gift of memory of long long ago.

Just one hard pull and I could break.

Linking with Shay's Word Garden (Janis Ian is the featured poet and singer/songwriter)

& the Sunday Muse for Muse #244

Come join us!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Scarf Upon a Fence Post


Photography by Elspeth Diederix

But we loved with a love that was more than love... ~Edgar Allan Poe

If a heart could swirl like a scarf upon a fence post, mine would choose to do that with you.

 A dance of what is and could be.

 The wonder of discovery.

 The kind that new lovers hold, and dreamers think on and want to know.

The yearning that lonely hearts don’t speak of

 is as vast as ocean waves,

yet as quiet as a soft sigh can roll off parted lips.

The feeling I speak of feels like the most sacred of prayers.

Hands stretched out in adoration.

A reaching out and inward the way lovers’ hands will do.

For if a heart could swirl like a scarf upon a fence post,

 mine would choose to do all of that with you.

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #243

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Love Is Always Willing to Carry You Home,


There is no timetable for grieving —
      Grief is a snail
      It's a shooting star
      A walk around the lake
      It's eternity
      Or frost 'til bloom —
Memories coursing through the heart
It lasts as many heartbeats as it takes;
      sometimes all of them.
~Terri Guillemets


My feet are heavy with the weight of places my heart could not leave.

For it is a slow journey when loss comes along.

Memories stay with us like a canary in a cage.

Chirping and swinging on the same old perch.

Like the hardest of goodbyes, they never truly leave.

They remain right at the hip like a child whispering in our ear,

I am hungry.

Waiting rooms can still be sat in, and last words heard just as clear.

I want to hold each one tenderly.

Remember every smile.

Hear every mundane sentence than I once took for granted.

So, I let them stay up late and carry each and every one no matter how far.

You see, love is always willing to carry you all the way home.

So, I shall do just that.

Until we meet again.

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #223

Monday, August 8, 2022

Deaf Girl in a Powerful Song


Khatia Buniatishvili at Piano

I found another world in my deep pockets.

I reached in my hand for my keys, and I pulled out a distant dream.

I was no longer the person I remembered.

I was a deaf girl in a powerful song.

I could feel and see the sounds like colors.

When I tossed my arms into the air the pinks and blues wisped up with me like scarves in the wind.

The more I kept in motion the more it was like a dance.

Time seemed to be frozen and moving soft and slow,

 for that moment was all there was to know.

I twirled and raised my hands

I no longer needed the words.

The rumbles of the beat were all I needed to hold,

but all who sleep soundly eventually do wake up.

Sometimes dreams are for sleeping and others are for living.

Now I blindly search for words to write to a song I have never heard.



I really struggled writing this week. Not sure why I am having such a dreadful dry spell, but the last few months have been brutal that way.  On a positive note, I am delighted we had such a wonderful response this week to the theme. Thank you everyone!

Have a great week writers!

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #222

Come join us!

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Full Moon In A Hungry Sky


Image Source ~here~

"She wasn't doing a thing that I could see,
 except standing there leaning on the balcony rail,
 holding the universe together."
  ~ J. D. Saliner

We cradle the precious things

and place them carefully upon our lap

the miracle of newness is like a sacred prayer

it is hands raised high and heads bowed low

yet always in that moment eyes opened wider

we marvel and bask in the wonder of it all

it is a full moon in a hungry sky

hope’s whisper of a million questions

before the answers will ever reach our lips

a blooming garden at our feet

a child’s hand clutching ours

yet still we walk too fast

as time brushes by.


 Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #213

Come join us!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Some Shelters

 There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. ~Willa Sibert Cather


My first nightmares were always storms;

lightening, wind, and darkened skies.

The storms that blew from your eyes

and reigned on everyone!

Some shelters are just too weak

to hold up to all that blows.

A girl can end up broken

unless she gets the courage to get up and go.

Now I dream of soft places much like a mother’s arms.

Knowing that some shelters cannot protect you from the storm.

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #212

Come join us!

Saturday, April 2, 2022

The Smell of Bacon Never Lies



"The Whitehouse Diner" Photo by Aaron Segreaves

I always dream in color but this time there was the smell of bacon in the air.  They say you dream about what matters to you most.  I shared this with my therapist, and he said this explains a lot!  We mostly discussed my forlorn love life, my ex, and why apple pie is not my friend. You see, one of the last times I saw my ex was at the diner downtown.  He said he was hungry for more than dating with no strings attached.  I was certain he was full of it! I ordered coffee no cream no sugar, he laughed and said “that figures!”

Sure enough, 20 stale dates and 2 months later, I caught him with the waitress from the Tangerine Tango.  I know a bad egg when I see one and some rump roasts are always going to be tough!

Excuse me while I go make a BLT on rye.

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #205

Come join us!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

There is Warmth in the Congregation,


I tell you what I see — the landscape of the spirit requires a lung, but no tongue. 

~Emily Dickinson


Sisters I speak to you of loss

the cuts that tear down and leave us broken

they hit just as sure as a lumberjack

and we are never quite the same

but despair and love are a two-winged bird

even in the struggle to move on

there is a promise that lingers

and it has the power to lift us

remember that in your winter journeys

for birds soar the sky together

and there is comfort and warmth in the congregation


Daughters I speak to you of hope

even in the heavy burden of doubt

it has the power to change the landscape

if we give it light like an open curtain in morning

for life is both a forest and a mountain of cut logs

the path is hard and lovely

but even in the struggle to endure

there is a warming fire in our truest home


Mothers I speak to you of life

beyond the cries and breath of being

and before the prayers that yearned for something more

there are seeds planted long before the blossom’s greenery

soul’s song carried long before the throat a voice

for every mother carries and birth’s eternity.


For Susie 💖


Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse #197.  The image here is different than the one at the prompt for my poem became a tribute to brilliant lighted souls and love but the words hold resemblance to the Muse image.  


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Watching for Spring's Starlings


Linking with Shay's Word Garden Word List #9 (Joan Colby)

Come join the fun!

Every mile is two in winter. ~ George Herbert


The clocks of December move slow like a man with bad knees

Edging forward with scorn upon deaf ears

I try to ignore the feral breeze

And the rise of snow and it’s bitter sermon upon my face

If I had been newly kissed

The pressing feel would be gone like a gypsy in the night

Cold can be like fire’s touch when it is from the skull of a deep frost

Stealing the feeling from our extremities

And leaving the deepest of aches in our bones

One that no anesthetic can remove.