As a retired English teacher, I love using metaphors in my writing because they come up naturally. I also love the power of metaphor and words; therefore, metaphor ramps up my poetry with imagery and connectedness!
What in the world is a metaphor?
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.”https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphor
So, in two poems I compare serenity with some natural settings I love and wearing an emotional mask as a defense mechanism. Metaphors help readers connect emotionally, sensually and intellectual with the comparison.
See what you think. . .
What Does Serenity Look Like? June 21, 2020 In the midst Of the coronavirus pandemic Storm, I wondered, “What does serenity look like?” A hazy mountain scene Calm and quiet Seated on a rock Connected to the grandeur Of Mother Nature A lazy beach setting Reclining in the rhythmic waves Carefree Undulating with The timeless rhythm Of our world Our secluded mountain home Nestled in piñon pine trees Sweet meditative music Serenading me In the background Meaningful work Done by Lin and me Gardening Writing Life lived together Serenity’s many faces Some fanciful memories Of better times One a realistic experience In the here-and-now! Peace reigns in my heart When I stay present Seek God Seek truth Seek myself! A sweet flavor on my tongue An aroma of heaven Come down to earth A beckoning sound Of my God’s gentle calling A touch of my God Through nature Peace Silence Sound Serenity lights on my shoulder Wraps me in a cocoon Of tranquility and goodwill Dances my heart To a new rhythm, A melody of love! Then it’s gone! Quickly! Quietly Without warning The world roars And scares it away! The coronavirus surges And wipes out any remembrance! Cases Hospitalizations Deaths Then in the quiet The dark Again, serenity gently returns Ready to protect Me once again. I anticipate its return once again!
A couple days ago, I started reading Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making by John Fox. I realized my connection to wearing a mask—I did it for years but a different type. The raging mask war fueled this poem.
I’ve Worn a Mask for Years! July 3, 2020 Wearing a mask Isn’t a new concept To me For years, I wore a mask of Deception Pretense Illusion Invisible Illusive All-encompassing A veneer of acceptance Compliance Fitting in! You didn’t know No one knew me— Only me! I smiled, when asked and replied, I responded, “I’m fine," while I covered bruises on both arms From my first husband’s attention The night before! Yes, I smiled a mask For you to see. In my heart, I winced, As that invisible mask Suffocated me, But I continued to smile To wear it. I lived in quiet desperation Behind that mask. Before recovery, I donned it unconsciously Early in the morning A regular part of My attire Each night, In the loneliness of My room, I ripped it off, Tossed in a corner with all the Other defenses I had learned Over the years. I hated it! It smothered me My truth My voice It hindered me Like fetters causing me To stumble and fall. At times, The wise seer Looked beyond the smile, The mask caught a glance of the true Larada and called me forth! That’s exactly what happened in recovery! Today, after years of recovery and healing, My God melted the piles of masks into a fine powder that blew away with the slightest breeze! But now, because of the coronavirus, I must wear a mask proudly! No refusal No explanation Yes, I’m familiar with Wearing a hidden mask For years Today it’s visible For all to see It’s not a coping skill any longer An invisible shield An emotional blockade Now it’s vital lifesaving controversial appropriate It’s a message To anyone who sees me That I care About you About me About we! Today I proudly Wear a mask How about you?
Metaphors, serenity, masks—tie them all together with imagery and you have poetry. And in poetry, I have found myself. I hope you to do, too!
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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