Lightbulb Moments, a blackout poem

Commentary for this poem below.

More than ever, I am of the opinion that reading is one of those bare necessities in life. If someone can read, he can learn. Granted, learning can be done by example; but reading catapults a person to greater heights and imaginations. Reading opens doors, expands imagination, develops dreams, and highlights action. God spoke to us in a written language intending for us to learn to read. It is useful. It is necessary. It is little but everything. Learn to read, then read to learn. Reading will then become one of your best friends.

Freedom Fighters, a blackout poem

Commentary about the poem below

I remember very vividly where I was on 9/11. I remember the unbelief at the scenes unfolding in my news feed, the gut-wrenching feeling that war was close at hand, and the effort to fully encapsulate the sacrifice first responders and later our military would make to save lives and preserve freedom.  This poem is meant to honor those men and women who wake up every day with the opportunity and joy to serve their country and her people. I am amazed at them. I honor them today. We owe them our courage to do the same from the homeland:  make choices that honor life and preserve freedom.

Young One Gone, a blackout poem

Commentary for this blackout poem is below.

When a mom gives birth, she invites pain in multiple ways for a multitude of reasons. We welcome our children to this world only to let them go to start new families and pursue their futures. We spend so much energy being present that when it comes time to feel their absence, the change can be crushing. The solution is to grab God’s hand, sit at His feet, discover His joys for our lives, see Him clearly, and be near to Him. Be still. Look and know. And the heart will follow.

The Isolated, a blackout poem

Commentary of the poem below

I am naturally drawn to the walls of isolation. In my mind I think I prefer it. In my mind I think I enjoy it. In my mind I justify pursuing it. Unfortunately, isolation is everything this blackout poem says it is. Fractured. Dark. Destructive. Furthermore, prolonged isolation blocks growth and wholeness. God created us to be in community. Satan uses isolation to fracture humanity, and he packages it up nicely so we don’t recognize it until the fractures have begun splitting us into an island. Social media, individualism, self help — these are activities of island dwellers, those who live on lava with invisible walls. The solution? Find well-timbered mountaintops. These people aren’t perfect; they are very much broken, but they live in community growing together with a wide open view of the horizon. Mountaintops with broken people or islands with invisible walls? It’s a choice.

Remember, a blackout poem

Remember commentary below…

I am a forgetful person, and I need reminders. If only I could remember that being busy  does not make me a VIP or  MVP. I forget that little things become big things and attitude matters. I forget that my pride is my own worst enemy, and Jesus tells me if I want to lead I start and end that leading by serving. Busy doesn’t get me to the top. Accomplishing big things won’t get me to the top. Humbly but merrily and deliberately doing the little things one step at a time will be and is rewarding. Remember! Don’t forget.

The Art of Teaching, a blackout poem

The Art of Teaching commentary below…

Teaching is an art not for the faint of heart.

The classroom is a battleground for the minds of our next generation.

The good teacher fights the conflict. A great teacher motivates the student to fight the conflict.

If you are called to teach, you are a warrior fighting for the next generation.

The hardest part of the battle is choosing to love a child’s future enough to pick up the sword today.

Baby Mine, a blackout poem

Every delivery room has an orchestra of noises: groans, cries, screams, yells, songs, whispers, and cheers.

The cry of a heart, no matter the occasion, is universal. Recognized. Known. Understood. It runs deep and lands raw.

              Joy or sorrow.  Love or hate.

              Mercy or bitterness.  Fight or fright.

The mother in the backdrop story lost her child, and her heart cried. The mother in the blackout poem gained a child, and her heart cried. It’s the music of living.

The concerts of life flow from the rhythm of our hearts. It is a beautiful and gut-wrenching sound that brings depth and meaning to our life. Live and love hard. Moments make music.

Circles and Boxes, a blackout poem

Commentary about Circles and Boxes below…

The circles of life come with inescapable pain and hurt. Safety comes when we box ourselves in with truth. Remember truth. Move to truth. Rest in truth. Gaze upon truth. Relax in the truth. Be controlled by truth. Yes, it’s a box, but it’s a safe box. Safety isn’t absent of pain and hurt. Safety is being present in His presence  no matter the pain.

To My Sons, a blackout poem

Floating Vapor Commentary Below

At first this blackout bothered me because this poem switches from second person to third person. The overactive grammarian in me screams, but the  wanna-be philosopher in me smiles. It represents an important natural phenomenon in life: what we do today (second person action…YOU) becomes the reputation we have in our tomorrows (third person results…HE, HIS). What people say about you in third person tomorrow is largely due to what you do in second person today. My sons know that no matter what they do or don’t do, I will never stop loving them. What I want them to know also is that what they do or don’t do today matters in their tomorrows. You don’t have to do something to be someone, but those third person conversations are only favorable when you choose to be a worthy second person doer. Sons, I pray you desire to frame that third person reputation around God’s glory so the portraits you capture today in second person reflect those desires. “He….starts with YOU.”

Floating Vapors

I added a new page to the site: https://vapormarks.com/gallery-of-blackout-poetry/.

It’s a bit more creative than my posts. As you kids know, I love old books. They can be found in almost every room of my home and every wall of my office. Old books inspire me in some strange way. (You should be proud of me though — I did some purging a year ago and got rid of a few shelves worth.) But, in the purging, I set aside a 1902 set of books that include compilations of old stories and biographies. I decided to randomly take pages from these books and try my hand at some blackout poetry.

Poetry is like floating vapors. You never really know where the words are going to land on the paper; but as they land, they form meaning and become a life of their own. I simply took someone else’s “marks” and made them do a bit of “floating” on the page to form new marks.

The result has been a fun activity. Being creative is healthy and challenging. As I do more, I’ll publish them on this page. Each post includes the poem against the original wording, the words in new poetic format, and some commentary about the poem at the bottom. Although not all of the poetry relate or are meant just for you kids, much of their message is put together with you in mind. I’ll post them in “My Marks” with a bit of commentary, and I will also place them in the gallery.

I love how you all exhibit creativity. Keep it up in your various ways. It makes me smile to see it.

MOM