Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Praise

Is it offensive, do you think,
when I gush about my family?
When I smile a secret smile,
remembering my mother,
my father?
I know I am lucky, that so few
men and women
my age
were raised faithfully
from the opening of newborn eyes,
the stretching of red, warm, limbs,
into the realization of firm adulthood.

There are few of us who recognize
the weakness
of our parents,
the humanity of the men and women
who conceived us
birthed us
loved us,
few who know that
and respect,
mean blessing that humanity,
blessing those humans,
once warm and new themselves,
for doing their very best,
for heaving shining swords
at the sharp edge of life
that runs toward us,
their children,
for fighting while bleeding because
they would not see
one they love

They are never perfect.
No.  So often they are wrong,
so wrong.
Yet, so often they are right
beyond right.
We have not lived
the long and painful years
they have.
How can we argue?
How can we not love the very ground
their youthful feet once walked?
How can we not honor the effort
they made,
to build us and shape us,
bright monuments
to the goodness
that can be found,
that is,
warm and breathing
in the raw imperfection
of the human race?

-  Emma Pearl

This poem is a little different, less old fashioned in tone, one might say, than my normal writing, my attempt to be poetic in a modernist manner.  That, and a bit of a rant, the words that flow when a blessed person like myself, being away from home, misses her family very much.  Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Gifts He Gives

Posting over at Clickety Clack today.  Thanks to dear Everly for hosting me. Enjoy!

- Emma Pearl - 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Am A Writer

I am a writer.
Though my weariness slides over me,
pushes me to rest,
wraps me warm in sleep,
keeps me
from making music with words,

I am a writer.
Though my days are wound tight together,
task after task stacked
like dominoes,
things that must be done
jammed hard against my head

I am a writer.
Though I fear I shall never learn to focus,
never learn to sacrifice
for this passion for words,
this hard, aching, desire,
to grab ahold and never let go.

But I am a writer.
Though words rarely leave my fingertips,
my heart still holds ,
warm, and breathing,
the breath of words,
beating beside my heart.

I shall never give up,
never give in,
never stop trying,
because, regardless of anything,
my heart knows.

I am a writer.

- Emma Pearl - 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My brother James carves wood, literally.  
He works the rough grain with knife and chisel and turns a blank slab into something unbelievable.

We had dear friends for dinner some evenings ago, shared chili and cornbread, then upside-down plum cake and poetry.  Afterwards, the twilight waiting behind the dusk, we walked to the wood shop to see James's latest project.

He is building a table, a sort of of altar table, for a Methodist worship conference. He designed it himself, a table with two sturdy, yet graceful, legs supporting an expanse of hand scraped surface.  The table comes apart, to be assembled and reassembled, and is fastened together with detailed mortar and tendon, a table with no metal, only warm, brown wood.  It is as if an ancient carpenter had taken a thick tree from the earth and shaped it with medieval tools and skillful hands.  The table is clean, and pure, a masterpiece of careful craftsmanship.

(Below is the completed projected.  Pretty stunning, right?)

The sun hung low, pressed against the horizon, when we left the building scented with wood.  The evening, still but for the clicking of crickets, met us with peace.

There is such a goodness in this changing of seasons, this refreshing of old memories, and this chance at new beginnings, this circle that wraps up our lives.  The circle brings us back, to where we were, shows us how we've changed, how old things are no more, and awes us with God's faithfulness.

Here I am, in another summer, watching my little siblings carouse about the yard in the glee of childhood, feeling the weight of new responsibilities, the crowded, unavoidable business of this time of year, yet stilled by the weight of quiet.  Summer, with its stifling heat, its long days of labor in a sweltering kitchen, heat cooled by sudden and furious rains, has a stillness to it, a stillness that pulls me from the kitchen, in the quiet of evening, to the sunset in the night air, echoes of childish laughter on the gray night breeze.

And I find, in that stillness, a place to pause and press my heart up against my soul, to listen to the beat I know so well, remember my own childhood, my old dreams and old passions.  They are still there, under my adult skin, wound tightly, balled up in my throat.  Write.   They say.  Write about everything. Write about life, its goodness, and its grief.

Adulthood does come.  We do move on.  But in our moving on, our childhood clings to our quickening feet, clamoring to be remembered, to be carried with us.  The seasons, with the warmth of memory, remind us of what we've left behind, carry us full circle, and offer us a moment, like an hour on the round path of a clock face, to start again, to remember, and to reflect.

May I offer you a blessing?  That this summer, as the heat pushes up against you, and your lives are filled and full, that your heart will come full circle, and our Father's grace, and faithfulness, will awe you and inspire you, and grant you peace.

- Emma Pearl - 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How I'm Doing This

There are several elements to my writing,
all of which I love.

First, there is my novel,
my magnum opus,

Then there is poetry,
the lyrical magic of words,
my old and new passion.

After these
comes blogging,
sharing life.
with you,
my dear friends,
old and new.

there are more academic
forms of writing
articles, essays, and
more professional pieces.

How to pursue
all of these?

Here is my plan.

Here, daily,
I shall share a poem.

And, weekly,
a picture of my life,
my home,
my heart,
also here.

Also weekly,
I will share a piece
of that week's work

one may overlap into the other.
thoughts shared on
may appear here
or poems written for here,
pop onto

And yes, some of this will be in a form other than free verse, such as just plain prose.
You shall see.  I promise.

- Emma Pearl - 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Decided To Wear A Skirt Today

I wore my olive colored blouse today.
I wore it with my mustard colored skirt.
I clothed my feet in sandals - brown and
black - wrapped my wrists in brassy, shining
bangles.  I shook out my hair, wrapped it up,
a nest of brown and gold behind my ears.
Smooth hoops of burnished brass adorned my ears.
A smile I could not do without today
adorned my face, supported and held up
my burgeoning heart.  Today I will skirt
my pain, step around it, bear a shining
countenance, and strong and starry eyes, and 
a mouth turned up at the corners, joy and
warm laughter from my throat, and at my ears.
I have decided to forget today.
My mouth is warm with words, the sun shining,
and soft round my waist falls my yellow skirt.
I shall spin and swirl, and sew my heart up,
step out my door and carry my feet up
the street, a girl young and beautiful and
fresh, my hands lifting and tossing my skirt
around me, shunning the wind in my ears
having decided to breathe free today,
to dress myself in hope, bright and shining.
Outside my door, the street is hot, shiny
with heat waves, quivering up and down, up
and down, heavy with quiet, near midday,
the hour of sandwiches and soup and 
tea served in glasses that mirror bright eyes,
eyes bent on hiding, attempting to skirt
the truth shaken by sun from the black skirts
of the night, sending blushes round our ears.
We only want to lock our memory up,
forget, for a day, the “things” of life and
greet the world awake, ready for this day.
So I shall wear my bright skirt, and lift up
my face, shining with this, in my heart and 
in my ears. “Nothing shall ruin today.”

- Emma Pearl - 
A Sestina written Spring 2012 at Stephen F. Austin State University

Sunday, May 27, 2012

He Really Is Faithful

It happens.
It really does.
That pain, that old, old struggle,
the weakness and worry
that jars,
and jolts,
and refuses to stay away,
does go away.

It does,
when adulthood has crept
into your soul,
when your pressing forward
and pushing on
has changed you.

You discover,
talking over things,
that old fears,
maybe not present ones
but old ones
are gone,

And you know,
that all fears, all pain
will slide away,
as you keep pushing,
keep forcing,
keep praying
you know, then,
that peace will come

at long last.

Because He really is faithful.

- Emma Pearl -

Poem #2 in my - A Poem A Day -

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Plum Tart

It was not hard.
I piled purple plums
clinging, wet, to each other,
glimmering with a ripe glimmer
and shiny with sugar.
I poured and pressed them,
into pastry rolled
thick and buttery.
I pulled the limpid dough
and over the rich red fruit,
then put it in the oven.
The hour fled by,
warmed by the gradual growing
of the deep scent,
the quivering aroma
of summer,
of childhood,
of goodness wrapped in piecrust,
a medieval sort of luxury,
a messy, gooey,

- Emma Pearl - 

The beginning of my summer endeavor - A Poem A Day

Friday, May 25, 2012

A New Beginning

To all my readers, 
new and old.
This is for you,
and for me

I am beginning again,
writing again,
because writing matters.
Words matter.
Stories and songs 
cling to the red
beating warmth of my heart.
Adulthood climbed up in my lap,
weighting me down,
crowding out my childhood.
I let go
for a while
of the things I loved,
but they still cling.
They pull at my bones,
tugging at the chords that tie my heart
to my soul.

For a little while
I had forgotten those dear old friends,
treasured books and companions
evenings spent in stillness.
But no more.
I am rising from heavy years,
remembering the goodness,
the sun and the earth,
the fearlessness
of childhood.
I shall write again,
every day,
and I shall share it
here with you.

-Emma Pearl-