Thursday, October 7, 2021

Journey to Here

Hello Poets,

Thank you, Irene Latham, for hosting Poetry Friday. If you haven't spent time at her website, Live Your Poem, go ahead and pop over there. It's a treasure trove of writing and books and art and you'll feel much richer after spending some time with Irene's work.

October's host of Spiritual Journey Thursday, Ramona of Pleasures from the Page, asked us to consider the word, here

I wondered, how do my thoughts, prayer, physical, and spiritual self relate to my location in this place, and time? It's a spectacular question to mull over.

In some ways, the mixed media art journey has taken me here as well. I didn't realize it until Ramona's prompt...I love the intersection of her prompt, collaging, and poem-ing.  Can you detect it?

I am here

Catching my breath

at the corner of Empty Nest 

and Too Soon to Retire.

Streets behind me --
littered with soccer cleats
and scout badges, paint brushes, 

concert programs, 

and so many tuition bills.

I’ve been proud--

fearful. Terrified, really.
Maybe you know?
My gown and feathered hat
are ridiculously out of

I’m scheduled to arrive
at the mouth of Elijah’s cave
as hurricane, fire, and
earthquake pass.
But my guidebook states,
it’s worth your wait for the sacred selah.

I'm unfamiliar
with this sort of navigation
and seeking the fastest route
and, fellow
You know?

Linda Mitchell, October '21

Mixed media collage by Linda M. Oct. 2021

The reference to Elijah's cave comes from 1Kings 19:3. And, it's one of those wonderful writing surprises. It popped into my poem unbeknownst to my typing fingers. I had to look it up. I love it when that happens! This shows me that my spirit and the Holy Spirit are working together even in my unfamiliar here

Several bloggers write for the monthly Spiritual Thursday prompt. Find more at Pleasures from the Page. And, if you'd like to join us, let me or Ramona know. We'd be happy to share.

Guess what? Oxen play a part in chapter 19 of 1 Kings. However, things didn't work out so well for them in that story. Hamish and I decided to share a triolet paired with Ukrainian folk art by Maria Primachenko. It's much happier.

See the triolet on Hamish's padlet: 


  1. SO good, Linda. I love the poem.

  2. Well, the little picture icon in the Inlinkz was like a magnet to me - I would have clicked over just to relish that art, much less the poetry! Both are quite beautiful, direct but mysterious too, relevant. Thanks so much for sharing. (And glad you and Hamish took a safer bypass!)

  3. Oh what a beautiful poem Linda. I love these lines

    "Catching my breath
    at the corner of Empty Nest and
    Too Soon to Retire."

    The time races past and suddenly we look up and find ourselves on the threshold of a major transition. I think you've captured those feelings perfectly.

  4. Dear Linda, that mixed media is simply divine. And the corner of Empty Nest and Too Soon to Retire. What a rich intersection! Beautiful, relatable poem. Thank you. xo

  5. Wonderful poem and a beautiful collage! There are layers and layers to explore with your traveler and you. But this one took my breath away: "'s worth your wait for the sacred selah." Thanks for joining our gathering!

  6. Your collage fits the 'wander' of the poem so beautifully, Linda. How to navigate life's changes is the big question, isn't it? I love the intricacy of your poem, and that beginning, 'the corner of Empty Nest and Too Soon to Retire' - wow! I'm past that & know it was bumpy! Best wishes to you!

  7. I guess you've been thinking maybe of your journey forward during this empty nest time of life. To me, this poem ties that journey together somehow with the other more mystical solitary one. I'm pondering your poem, Linda, and you're collage.

  8. I am in love with your poem and collage! As others have said, "at the corner of Empty Nest and Too Soon to Retire" is brilliant and so relatable. I also like the layers of meaning in your poem . . .

  9. Linda, your movement in this poem is a beautiful connection with your collage. I especially like your deep thinking:
    "Catching my breath
    at the corner of Empty Nest and
    Too Soon to Retire."
    You are in the here and now, carefully detailing your feelings through the eyes of a new character. Love your introspective stance. I still want to learn the collaging technique from you. This week has been one filled with medical and household issues so I tried to pace myself but it did not work. Ramona just let me know that SJT is one task that I missed but I will find some time to ponder the word HERE after listening to the podcast.

  10. Linda, this is wonderful--that first stanza especially resonates with me :>)

  11. Yes, those first lines. Brilliant.
    The whole thing reminds me of this bit shared by Austin Kleon in his newsletter. I'd read the first bit, but the elaboration was new to me:

  12. Oh, merciful Lord, what a beautiful poem that I needed today. "I’m scheduled to arrive
    at the mouth of Elijah’s cave" and the message from the guidebook for waiting for the sacred selah--Amazing! Thank you, Linda.

    I had to look up the story of the oxen in I Kings 3; I do like Hamish's blue coat with red starbursts. Where do you find all your inspiration? Amazing!

  13. Love this poem - I'm right there with you, Linda. My 'emotional baggage' is perpetually packed these days... :)

  14. My dear friend--your collage work is so skillful, nuanced, layered in just the way one wishes for. Did you art first or write first, I wonder? What a sneaky poem, just matter of fact until "My gown and feathered hat
    are ridiculously out of season." I am here for this!

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  16. Collage called to me when I was younger and I so enjoyed its creative draw to my heart. I should learn more about how you are doing what you do and where you get your pictures for collaging. I will hunt about. I think your poem is a powerful one and I also have found myself pulled to my spiritual center. The padlet with the Ox poems is also intriguing. I truly enjoyed this and am going to note it in my notebook so I can return. Thank you. Janet Clare F.

  17. Your poem and collage work so well together. "The corner of empty nest and too soon to retire" really resonates with me.

  18. First: a marvelous poetic rendering about being "here" in this stage of life. I love how Elijah and his cave and oxen and Hamish all crept in of their own - of the Spirit's own - accord. I am thinking two things...maybe more but these have solidified: 1) Elijah-in-the-cave/ the guidebook speak to the inevitable doubt and suffering before the sacred selah (doubt not being the absence of faith in weaker moments; indeed, faith comes out stronger on the other side) and 2) It's serious business, picking a guiding word for the year - for the word WILL show up (right, Hamish??)! This collage of words and art - just magnificent, Linda.

  19. This line: Catching my breath
    at the corner of Empty Nest
    and Too Soon to Retire.
    I have been there. I love your mixed media work.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!