This is WordPlay — so why not revel in the power and potential of one good word after another? Today, explore “east” through the words of a featured WordPlayer and a custom-tailored writing prompt.
Meet Lyn Hopper
Lyn Hopper retired recently from a career in the public library field. She lives in the mountains near Dahlonega, Georgia, with her husband of 37 years and a spirited cat. Her poems have been published in Summerfield Journal, Georgia Journal, Habersham Review, Poetry of the Golden Generation, The Reach of Song, The Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, and other works. She is an active member of the Georgia Poetry Society and two writing groups. You can read more of Lyn’s poems here: http://zenpoems.wordpress.com.
And/or visit her blog. In Lyn’s words, “Over many years, I have collected, and continue to collect, quotations that speak to me. I began this blog in August of 2007 to share them and also to have a writing (and feeling and thinking and spiritual) practice”: http://quotesqueen.wordpress.com
The dogwood shines in the early light,
practiced from a night of bright moon.
The yellow-breasted chat is back,
repeating its repertoire.
To the east a pale orange glow
lies across the hills like a promise.
While some make last-minute trips for eggs,
you will think of “the old man,” twenty-six,
flying over Poland that Easter, 1944,
the day that twisted his future into a new shape,
that made him the father you knew:
wounded, sober, uncomplaining.
He is falling, unconscious, thousands of feet
to a Danish beach,
ribs and ankle broken, and waking
to the mercy of strangers,
the offer of boxed chocolates
to make up for his missing arm.
Somehow he rises through all that dark
to find the stone rolled away,
an ordinary life awaiting.
Patient and peaceful, he abides
until his soul is freed, a calling shrike,
circling in the blue sky.
(This poem was first published in Poetry of the Golden Generation, Vol. IV, Kennesaw State University, 2008)
WordPlay Now! Writing Prompt
The word is… “east”
Way out west, in Bryce Canyon, Utah, where I took this photo at sunrise in April of 2014, I was looking east. There’s something so hopeful, so promising about this simple word that rests inside the word Easter, don’t you think? Lyn Hopper’s poem “Easter” is a beautiful testament to her father-in-law’s new beginning when he was a young soldier, to the kindness of strangers, to a rising from darkness into the light of “and ordinary life awaiting.” Even the most ordinary life contains new beginnings — some that we choose to set in motion and some that arise of their own accord. Write about a new beginning — yours, a character’s, or anyone else’s — in any genre you choose. ______________________________________________________________________________
What Lyn says about WordPlay
All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. ~ Dorothea Brande “Everything you do is perfect,” insisted Maureen Ryan Griffin, my writing teacher at John C. Campbell Folk School last September. And isn’t that true for all of us? We are perfect just as we are, and we must strive to be better. Holding these two thoughts simultaneously has always been difficult for me. But I’m getting there! And the writing workshop moved me closer. What a warm circle writers create when they work together under the right conditions. And Maureen created just the right atmosphere. During the week, we learned to “Sprint,” to “Gather,” to “Sprawl,” to write dialogue, to ask questions, to list, to “Leapfrog” off another’s work, and much more. If you haven’t seen Maureen’s excellent book Spinning Words into Gold, check it out. It’s full of great writing advice and exercises. Thanks to Maureen and the other participants for making the folk school class so special for me. I am going now to plan my writing practice schedule for the weeks ahead. I’m sure it will be perfect. Adapted from a blog post September 24, 2013 from the blog “Only Moment: Mindfulness in Everyday Life” (http://quotesqueen.wordpress.com).