Sunday, February 17, 2019

It Takes a Village

Photography by David Nam Lip Lee
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Linking with The Sunday Muse for Muse #43
and Poets United for Poetry Pantry # 440
Come join us!

Mothers are the gardeners of the human race. ~Anna A. Rogers

If we lose our mother young
we search our whole life for her
in the faces of strangers
in the arms of those we hold dear
all the roads we take
lead to questions
we never ask
the silence of the unknowing 
becomes the song we always sing
yet somewhere in the place
of holding on and letting go
we find 
that she is all around us
in the void there is an outpouring
that fills up some of the empty places
women have a way of nurturing
the lost child
like the lioness in the pride
will care for another's young
the motherless child
will grow up
and one day
look back
and realize
they found many mothers
God provides one way or another
and that is the answer
to the questions
of a lost child.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Courtesy Google Images

Linking with Poets United for the Midweek Motif ~ Love
 Brought to us by Sumana

Without love, the rich and poor live in the same house.
 ~Author Unknown

I never cared much for diamonds
they cut skin and pocketbooks
it has always been about 
love and what my heart felt
I never wanted to be a gold digger
sounds too messy anyway
give me a heart of gold and soft kisses 
and I will follow you 
to your one room shack
and work two jobs
to make it all work
yes love has led me
along a rocky path
and I have stumbled down it
with an awkward grace
there were times I questioned my decisions
but now I have no regrets
every fall has refined my heart 
like the polishing and cutting
of raw diamonds
if there had not been my first husband
I would not have 4 people
I cherish in my life
and if there had not been 
my second 
I would not have my Becky
for each gravel road has
led to a beautiful palace of family
rough rivers leading 
to a breathtaking sea
and the amazing part it this 


through it all
the love gets stronger
with time
it's comfort grows like 
trees shade in evening
and after all
I never cared much for diamonds
they cut skin and pocketbooks
it has always been about the love.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What Injures and What Saves

"War Horse and Peace Horse"  by Sue Halstenberg

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse # 42

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ~Lao Tzu

Love is a beautiful horse that only a few truly ride
It takes courage to try to tame it and hold it by your side
You cannot be blind nor selfish, you must look it in the eyes
And be willing to give it the food it needs for the journey’s ride

Love is a beautiful horse that some see but do not embrace
They do not appreciate the colors and wonder upon its face
And those that fear the loss are not willing to take the chance
For love is a risk in falling and getting hurt for any heart of man

Love is a beautiful horse that when ridden there is no turning back
One never wants to let go once the feel of freedom is within their grasp
But many a heart has been broken and many a sad song has been played
For love in all it’s true beauty is a wild ride that can both injure as well as save. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Sensation of Falling

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Linking with Imaginary Gardens for "Just  One Word"
brought to us by Marian

Fear is the father of courage and the mother of safety. ~Henry H. Tweedy

In my dreams
flight is a feeling I like
souring high in the air
fast and strong
with wings wide and beautiful
no fear of falling
but in life
the feeling of flying
in a jet plane
keeps me on the ground
it is a sensation I do not like
yes the feeling of not being in control
is a something that I hate with a purple passion
it even carries over into driving
when you are on wheels
there is an element of control
that can be lost in the process
hydroplaning and possible head injuries
can be part of the equation
hence I hold both hands on the wheel
and back seat drive as a passenger
which I am fairly certain is a
bad sensation for the people
I am riding with
fear has been my feathered companion
long before I recognized the relationship
I try to let go, but breakups can be hard
I do not want to be captive to its hold
although I am thinking
  it is truly me
that won’t let go
for the fear of flight
lingers when you cannot forget
the sensation of falling.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Remembering

"I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name was grief."
~ Isaac Rowe

My mother was many things in this life.  One of those things was an artist, another was pianist, and yet another was animal lover.  For many years I forgot about all of these.  All I held onto was the loss and the hurt in dealing with her death.  I could not let go of the question, why did she not care enough to live, if not for herself, at least for us?  You see, my Mom passed of the same thing Karen Carpenter did.  She had congestive heart failure due to malnutrition. 

It was 1972, my first day of 4th grade, and my last day to see her.  I do not remember tears; I only remember leaving school early to see her in the hospital, and her passing right before our eyes.  The last 2 years before that time, are very vague and I remember only bits and pieces, but I know that I lost her in many ways long before that day.  I am certain of that because of my reaction to her passing away. There were no tears.  If I could find a way to describe how I felt it would probably be like being an empty vase, that once held beautiful flowers many years before, and with time the feeling of emptiness had simply become both familiar and greater.

Through the years, there was a quiet anger that lulled beneath the surface.  I usually did not acknowledge it.  It was as much a part of me as my feet that kept me running from the pain, and my hands that do not always let go of what they should.  It loyally stayed by my side, as I ignored it like an unwanted child.  

Then in my early adulthood, I became a mother myself; going through childbirth, and all the many experiences of having a little person in one’s care.  It was during that time, in the joy and the adjustment that my quiet friend grief came forward to show its true face.  For the first time I found myself crying.  Something I had done very very little of in the past.  Anger had been my main emotion, and that was only when I let myself think on what had taken place all those years ago.  Every milestone my little one had; learning to say words, walking, his 1st birthday, and even daily things, made me feel a deep sadness inside.  It was then that I truly realized all that I had lost. 
Many years have passed since that time of my life, and I am no longer that angry young woman, or lost little girl.  I have long since made peace with my mother and my memories of her and the time that led up to her passing.  I have let go of that bitterness that filled my heart with sadness, yet now I am so much more than what I was.  My life is full with what is and not empty with what is not.  I am a writer, a dreamer, a mother and grandmother, an animal lover, and so much more.  In many ways, I am a reflection of my mother. 

Many things in our lives define us; molding us into the people we become, yet our hopes fears, and dreams can fade, grow, or change with time.  What we have and what we lose in this life can either widen or lesson our view of what is behind and ahead of us.  I spent many years confined by the loss I did not want to face.  Angry at a person that could no longer defend their actions.  Grief is a heavy coat that can smother and weigh us down, and everyone handles it differently.  It is a part of life that we all have to face, and as painful as it is, I have come to realize that it makes one value life all the more.

These days I frequently find myself thinking about my mother . . . what it would have been like if she had still been around and what she would have thought about my life. Would she have been proud of me?  Over the last couple of decades I have been trying to learn to draw mainly because she was an artist and I admire that so much.  You see, now I remember all those precious things --  all the attributes she had that were so amazing. The more I remember these things, the more I realize what matters most in this life--cherishing the ones we love and embracing all of who they are; the good, the difficult, and the beautiful.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.
 ~Henry Van Dyke

Monday, February 4, 2019

Life Feeds us Truth

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Linking with ~The Sunday Muse~ for Muse # 41
Also linking with Imaginary Gardens for the Tuesday Platform
Come join us!

"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance."
~ Morgan Freeman

Sometimes when you wait patiently
opportunity picks you up and your purpose is finally in place
the fruits of your past labors come to pass
and other times
you must hike a ten-mile stretch to a hidden tree
 and pluck it up yourself.
life is like that
apples or oranges
but sometimes pears
be patient
be courageous
be still yet quick and strong
we all are bruised from a fall
wanting approval and purpose
no matter our condition
not wanting to be left and forgotten
like a hidden fruit at the back of the fridge
yet sometimes being courageous means
being still in the storm
or staying in the shadows
and letting someone else
sit in the spot light
yes we grasp this slowly as we move forward
learning to reach
when to let go
and how to be still
life feeds us truth
to nurture our journey
but we must be willing to accept it
and truly take it all in
partake my friend
it may be sour now

but at times it will also be wonderful and sweet. 

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Unspoken Words of a Fool

"In the Middle of Freedom"  by Isabel Mansfield

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Linking with The Sunday Muse for Muse # 40
Come join us!

The sharpest sorrows are those which remain locked within our own breasts.
 ~James Lendall Basford

Words do not die
 they wait in silence
as do the unspoken words of a fool
  they survive held captive
 like an abducted child
waiting in bated breath
 for a chance to escape
 yet never losing hope in the years that pass 
there are so many things I wish I had said to you
 I thought I would have the chance
 but time can be a nimble thief
  the chance has long since passed
songs on the radio send thoughts reeling
 like paper cranes in the air
 that will never make it very far
sentiments of hope and love
 lost down darkened halls
 so many feelings wishing
 for a way to be expressed
  perhaps that is why
I became a poet
to give expression
to all my captive thoughts
a million different ways
of saying.... I wish you were still here.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Mighty Ocean and a Magnificent God

~This is a response to a beautiful poetry prompt book given to me by my dear daughter Amber.~
Each page of the prompt book is a different word subject. This one is:
The Ocean

Let God's promises shine on your problems. ~Corrie Ten Boom

“It is bigger than we are” he said to me,
 speaking of the affliction of addiction
 evading our youngest son.
My heart had long since broken in countless pieces,
like grains of sand along the shore.
You see, the love we have
for our children
is a force that grows with time
and their struggles and heartbreak
are a sorrow we also hold just as tight.
Fears and hopes can be mighty things,
like an ocean across the horizon
becoming all we can see
but like a gentle soul once told me,
“God is bigger and He is with us.”
It is an awe-inspiring truth,
that God the maker of the universe
chooses to dwell within us
yet is gentle enough to ask.
Many miracles and sorrows
have happened since that day.
My son is now whole in Christ,
and so are the pieces of my heart.
Whenever I think of what God can do
 I think of the beautiful and mighty ocean,
and when I stand before the sea
It is our beautiful and mighty God
that I truly see.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

Black and White

If only
 life could be that way
 black and white
 no in between
but there is always an in between
grey areas
full of obscurity
questions to be asked
answers that don't always come
a chaos in the order
a madness that sings too loud
near the silence of peace.

©Carrie Van Horn 2019