youth revis(it)ed

To mark the start of our fourth annual girls’ Writing Camp for (a) Change! tomorrow, I looked back over writings created and shared with previous girls’ circles.  I dedicate the following to transitions from childhood through adolescence and on to adulthood. Each at our own pace; each in our own way.

I am indeed honored to hold these young women’s words in trust; and trust that they in turn will move outward into the world with the clarity of purpose they bring to our groups with unparalleled grace, confidence and wisdom.

The following fast-write was written within a spring class of young teen women in response to our opening poem:

I remember that trembling
timorous tremor
of uncertain confusion,

the dire dysfunction
of too old for my age
yet knowing no better.

I recall the aimless
striving to get it right, be good,
enough, the ambiguous

awkward amblings
into unknown
traps tripping, trying

slipping, sliding, shrilling
to none who heard the silence
of scared, scarred,

losing and lost, left
and aloof.
I recall all that

through a shimmer of time,
an unbroken trail of trial,
distrust, so many distracted deeds

without derring-do, just trying
to manage, make it through.
Today all this comes back around

as I circle with young women,
their wide-eyed dreams
shimmering them onward

unbroken unbridled, unbeholden
to the shrieking sorrows of before
unbirthed yet blooming free.


stepping out

Collage and writing done during girls camp 2011 – swb

I’m having fun posting fast-writes from my various writing circles – core semester groups, weekly prison groups, young women’s groups – and hope these quickly-penned poems will touch you in some way. Do let me know what you think!

In the early morning glow of just-dawn
deep canyons emerge dark
into new day, cavernous black depths
filled with nothing but fear
of the unknown to come;

into that void I step, bare of foot
without vision, but with trust
that deep inside the fallow land
new possibility will sprout,
a frond of hope greening the landscape anew

as my spirit animals witness
this step into the new:
the black wolf silent
in winter’s snow-filled crevasses;
the lioness ever-vigilant, watching
intent and intentional as I move toward
the deep; sea turtle oblivious
that she floats in dark air

swims toward  me reassuring
and steady as is her wont.

Risk taking makes me feel alive.
I love this feeling of stepping off cliff
into warm colors of emergent dawn, trusting
new depths to unfold themselves
within and beneath.

I need not know what I am doing,
only that I move from confidence, love,
with passion for what I do, stepping
into dark its own rewards.

–  swb