Happy National Poetry Month! Be Inspired.

Unicorn Book of Magic Greeting Card by Trudi Simmonds

Happy National Poetry Month! Throughout April, I hope you notice the light being shone upon poetry where you live, in classrooms, and in the media. I am excited to see the beautiful, inspiring, whimsical & funny poems that this month brings. I will be posting each week with a different kind of poem; my intention is to share both children’s and adult poetry with varying themes and forms. There are so many different ways that poetry can look & feel – and all are worth exploring! Today, I will start with the poetry that first fascinated me & still keeps my heart today – inspirational, magical children’s poetry. As a mother, I can now experience it anew with my children.


My daughter loves art of all kinds. We have bins bulging full of colored pencils, markers, crayons and paints – sketching pads, note pads, papers of all colors, shapes and sizes. Her drawings are often of rainbows, family members, friends, school, playgrounds, animals – real things that she has seen, touched and experienced. People she loves. But lately, her drawings feature magical creatures. Here is her drawing, and my poem for today.

Unicorn

There she stands
beauty, white as snow
cascading mane upon her neck
her satiny purple eyes aglow. 

There she stands
high upon a mountaintop
next to a rainbow
shining in its colourful light.

There she stands
glorious creature of the clouds
holding her head high
proud to be alive and free!

There she stands
a symbol for those who believe
letting those who do
see the magic she beholds.

There she stands
making wishes comes true
and people into believers
for she is 
a Unicorn. 

Copyright Stacie Eirich April 3, 2017

Originally posted March 28, 2016

Seeing her drawing and reading the poem I wrote, I am reminded how children remind us of the magic all around us, if only we allow ourselves to see and believe. Reading, writing, poetry, music – the arts – offer so many ways to enrich our souls and cultivate creativity. I hope that my daughter will always have a love of creating, of dreaming, and mostly that she’ll never stop believing in magic – and in herself.


To celebrate National Poetry Month in April 2016, I published a collection titled Canvas of Imagination: Poems. It includes Unicorn plus 15 other poems I wrote in my childhood. Available on Amazon for $0.99 – I hope it inspires kids & teens to read, write, and seek out more poetry.


On Thursday, April 6th, I’ll be sharing a post celebrating children’s poetry over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Toads is a lovely online community of poets who share their passion for poetry, and this month there will be posts featuring original poems & writing prompts every day. Do go and visit to be inspired!

Thanks for stopping by Space to Dream. Have a wonderful day. 🙂 -Stacie

p.s. Below is a beautiful video, a spoken word poem that expresses the wonder of a child and encourages adults to recapture that wonder. Never stop wondering, imagining, & dreaming! This is the heart of children’s poetry.

Visual Poems: A Breath for Eye, Mind & Soul

Writing is a visual creation, producing images in our minds even if we only see letters on a page. Today, thanks to the amazing technology we have at our fingertips, we can create literal images within our words – or words within images. I’ve spent the last week experimenting with the juxtaposition of poetry & pictures, letting the words take shape and fashioning them into visual art. Then I posted them on Instagram, arguably the most popular social platform for visual poetry today. Here are some of my creations:


IMG_1576

Warmth creeps into my skin,

soft as golden silk on cheekbones,

milk-foam clouds hiding daylight

beneath waves of sleep-stars.

IMG_1574

She was just as fiery as the crimson moon,

eyes burning constellations from bright stars,

voice painting passion across the sky.

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I am vexed by Night, by her chirping of crickets,

by her croaking of frogs, by her chorus of raindrops,

A cacophony of sound stopping my sleep,

delaying my dreams of the moon and her music,

A silent symphony of slumber.

Stacie Eirich Copyright September 6, 2016

https://www.instagram.com/spacetodreampoetry/

What visual poems try to do is to catch the eye — then the mind — and finally, in often a few short lines — the soul. The beauty and brevity in an Insta-poem seems to have the effect of stopping breath, if only for a moment. And that is exactly what this type of poetry, I think, aims to do. To give us a moment of stillness in the noise of everyday life. To remind us to look, to think, to examine, to question, to wonder. Or simply to breathe.

Of course, the question I’m left with is: Is visual poetry necessary? I began this post by stating that poetry is, by nature, a visual creation. The words in a poem are based on sensual experiences, causing us to envision pictures as we read them.

So, then, to my question — I must answer No. It isn’t necessary, and some may even argue it hinders creativity and imagination. However, I’m not likely to stop looking at the beautiful art I see Insta-poets creating, nor will I stop trying to make it myself. For a challenge, for a different form of expression — but mostly, for those moments. To look, to question, to wonder, to breathe — to live.


 

Little Tiny, Big Magnificient

On the snowy March evening when I was born, weighing 4 pounds – my Dad held me in the palm of his hand, calling me peanut. I was always the smallest kid in class, the tiniest dancer in the recital.  I remember how enormous the stage felt around me, how my voice echoed against its vast space, the warped wooden floor seeming to go on forever into the blackness of the house. Everything felt big, wide – and I was just a speck in the midst of an enormous world.

I was loud with laughter, jumping and tapping and singing. Was this because of my perceived insignificance? As a woman, years later – do I still feel this way? As if I’m stroking through the water but still haven’t reached the other side of the pool?

Water. Rippling, rushing, deep and wide and stretching out so far beyond me – beyond my tiny legs and arms. I will never reach its end. And the stars – strewn across a sky that is even wider, creating amazing patterns in a universe that is too brilliant, too bright. And I underneath, gazing up with awe-filled eyes.

How large I’ve felt when my voice fills an auditorium, soaring above and beyond the space I’m in to reach out through that great sky. So it is with my words, too. They bend, weaving and shaping themselves onto the paper and then become larger when others read them, like the melodies of songs moving through the air can be caught and remembered, shared. I no longer feel little, tiny but wide, vast and endless like the sky above and water below – the Universe around me.

image

I blink and see that tiny dancer, that little girl standing on an enormous stage. How big her dreams are, how open her heart and eyes. Wide as the sun, bright as the stars, she is full to bursting with excitement. A firecracker lighting the dark. Is that me?

Yes, yes. I am that dreamer, that daughter, that star-gazer, that swimmer. I am that singer, that writer, that mother – that Woman. I am that Little Tiny.

But I am also that Huge Gigantic. Massive Enormous. Immense Vast. My dreams, my words, my songs – My Voice. Significant and Wide. Reaching out into an endless Universe, a flicker of Big Magnificient in the clouds.

Written in response to the mid-week challenge @Toads – hopefully my poet friends won’t mind that my musings came in the form of prose poetry today.

Thanks for reading, I wish you a day full of dreams! 🙂