Posted by: krpooler | August 14, 2010

Getting in Touch with the Poet Within


I never thought of myself as a poet, but after I heard poet and author Mary Mackey in the NAMW Teleseminar talk about the role that poetry can play in writing, I began to see how  poetry may be a good place to start the creative process of using my words to convey my feelings and experiences. Mary talked about writing with “creative flow”, not stopping to edit or critique the words along the way.  “Capture precious memories when creative thought puts itself into words”. Her website is rich with her beautiful work, including novels about the Civil War,The Widow’s War and The Notorious Mrs. Winston which flowed from poems she had written. It is worth a visit. 

I thought about one of the pieces I had written in a free-write session with  author and visionary thought leader,Jan Phillips during the International Women’s Writer’s Guild Workshop I just attended in Providence,RI. I would like to share it here as a tribute to my WWII “Greatest Generation” hero father,Robert Pease, on the momentous occasion of his 88th birthday which he will celebrate on this Tuesday, August 17th: 

                                                                         My Father’s Hands 

A  four-year old little girl stands on a hill next to a man in the black and white photo. Her small, soft hands reach up to hold the large, safe hand of her father , her hero. 

Now the little girl has grown. She is sixty-four and her aging, wrinkled hand wraps,fingers intertwined, the same hand of her eighty-seven year old father whose hands are frail and spindly with skin as thin as parchment paper. She puts her other hand over their intertwined hands as they slowly walk in unison down the  stairs of the lake house to sit on a beach swing and watch the boats go by or watch a mother duck lead her eight baby ducklings across the water. 

These hands that guided and soothed and provided are now still and worn. These  soft child hands that reached up and were held are now wrinkled and reaching  out to guide and nurture. 

These hands that have begged for healing, have joined a family in prayer, have held crying babies, have rubbed a dying friend’s shoulder, have soothed a patient’s pain; these hands that have received a father’s love, these are my hands. 

Watkins Glen,NY circa 1951

 I guess there are really no hard and fast rules about how to write poetry as long as your words tap into emotionally rich memories that scream to be put on the page. 

Have you found the poet within?


  1. Kathy, you are SO blessed to still have your father around — I miss mine every day, though time does heal the aching. That, and knowing we’ll be reunited in the Great Beyond!

    What wonderful memories — I’m glad you’re capturing them now while they’re still fresh in your mind and heart. I have a dear friend who’s a poet and freelance writer, and she’s helping me tap in to my inner poet. Good advice!

  2. Oh Debbie, I know how blessed and fortunate I am. Every day is such a gift. I miss my Dad too even though he is still on this earth. The special memories are always with us and I believe it is so healing to get in touch with them .So glad you are tapping into your inner poet. Thanks, as always, for your comments.

  3. Kathy–see, you are a poet (and didn’t know it.) Sorry–just had to do that one! Yes, Mary’s NAMW teleseminar was indeed inspiring to lots of people–and I’m so glad that it spirited you along to write the lovely and loving poetic piece in your blog today. It’s full of feeling and imagery, and for all of us who ever had a father, makes us think and feel–it’s universal in message and connection. You are lucky to still be able to entwine hands.
    Thank you!
    –Linda Joy

  4. Thanks for your kind comments ( and funny rhyme that takes me back to my childhood!),Linda Joy. I hope Mary knows how truly inspirational she is. Thank you so much for having her. I am very aware and grateful for how lucky I am to interwine hands with my Dad. I felt it the moment our hands touched and it is still with me.



  5. Ugh, you have me in tears! Dad looks great! We were all there Tuesday night and had ice cream cake. He loved it. He never ever complains…What a great man he is!

    • I know,Paula, he’s the best and we are so blessed! I cried when I wrote it too! I’m sure he loved all those sweets.

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