Challenge, Accepted. Brilliance, Ignited

A much-deserved follow-up to The Lion’s Lair & A Challenge.

Tom being Tom certainly rose to the challenge, eliciting the following reaction. I decided to include it here because it also applies to the previous poems I got to read, written by two brave souls who were inspired by the prompt. (Their masterpieces are included below Tom’s).

These poems do everything I think poetry should- tapping into the spaces where emotions lay dormant, conjuring them up, gently at first, until the next line, then the next, until I feel all of it acutely, getting a sense of what galvanized the words, yet wanting to know more about the spaces in between…

How is the youngest different? How did you transition from a youth that seemed complacent to living your life fully, authentically, staying curious, aware, concerned? How is it that you can delve into the ‘why’s’ of the wrongs and actively contemplate how we can right them? How did you find enduring love…what do you do to keep it so?

Who did you lose? Where does the pain come from? What keeps you restless, or have your roots finally taken hold?

Where do I even begin?  Where do the maple roof and stonework reside? Is it your eyes that stay guileless? Did you find the gold you were missing to fill in the empty space?

No one needs to answer these questions, of course. The answers are there…lingering in the spaces between.

Next up, our celebrated poet, Brandenwulf, author of blogBrandewijn Words, More magic to come, of that I have no doubt.

(Addendum: Brandenwulf wasted no time, and of course, created a work of art that sent us all reeling…get ready:  I am 

Crafted by our brave soul, Tom being Tom:

Where I’m From

I am from Krypton
And from Asgard.
From the Bugle and the Planet.
From a Manhattan in my head,
Covered in Webs.

I am from The Seven,
From Cecil and from Peggy.
The spoiled one.
The youngest.
Like all the others,
Only different.

I am from wasted youth.
From passing grades,
And boredom in math,
And history and gym.
From doodling, not studying.
From building worlds,
And playing games,
And ignoring rules,
That make us “great.”

I am from barley and from hops.
From summer heat,
And charcoal and gas.
From burgers and steaks,
And spicy wieners on the grill.

I am from umbrellas,
In the rain,
To turn the meat on time.

I am from golden dogs,
And Mrs C.
And love beyond compare.

I am from the search inside.

I am from earth.
I am from you,
And you are from me,
And we are from here,
This place called home.

That we destroy.

I am from tomorrow.
Where there are no wars,
Or hunger,
Or hate.
Where the needs of the many,
Outweigh the greed of the few.
Where children do not die
Where they learn,
And borders are open,
And treatment is free,
And no one needs nations,
And no one needs gods,
To tell us we’re alright.

Because we’re alright.

I am from Hope.

And it is with Hope I shall remain.

Written by Brad, Writing to Freedom

Where I’m From

birthed in Madison Wi
raised in Mclean VA
independence sought in Portland OR and Boulder CO
landing in Fayetteville AR
my tender roots started to grow
in the shade of a giant willow tree
nature's love nested in my heart
dormant until pain demanded action
I sprung forth like a shot
traveling the country near and far
finally a winter's rest in Portland OR
with self-exploration taking hold
then off to new adventures in Boulder CO
where the men did call and brothers we became
but death came knocking and changed the game
wanderlust took hold and fear went traveling
a weary traveler landed in Arkansas
with roots tenuous at best
too little water and soil
constantly pulled by restless feet
finally defeat layed down the law
at 50 the game became survival
slowly self-love took root
nurtured in compassion and care

Where I’m From – 2

I'm from willows and creeks,
backyard retreats
riding bikes, badminton and croquet
childhood glee amid adult defeats
lost friends, isolation, and pain
solace in books, school, and work
with excellence the measure
I'm from generations of pain
locked in booze and depression
tendrils of love in booze and sex
travel, parks, hiking, and a VW Camper
I'm from men's groups, soul searching quests
advanced in hiking, biking
photography, dancing, and play
then death came calling
roots pulled up again
I'm from fear and losses
responsiblity and survival
with no clear path forward
a hint of light grew in the dark
compassion and care leading the way

Written by Elizabeth, author of Serial Outlet,

Where I am From

When you buried my shovel

I was left idle, unmasked and thinking

There is no glitter in my well

No gold ‘mong damp and mossy dark’

Most ropes would recoil

But these linen plaits graze water

Unfrayed and still and tranquil

As the maple roof and stonework above

Anglo, Roman-Catholic stays

Build ribcages smoother than granite

And flakes of mica without replace

Ingots for those who would clamber within

Some eyes stay bright and guileless through

Trials largely of one’s own making

Rope winding, coiling back to

Where I am from


For more brilliant reading, here is an additional poet who also reignited my love of poetry…reading it, anyway. ;o)

Susan, author of blog: Flowering Ink .


20 thoughts on “Challenge, Accepted. Brilliance, Ignited

  1. I feel so lifted up this morning by the opportunity to read some truly beautiful poetry. Reading poems like these makes me excited about being a writer, about saturating my senses with the art of words. Brooke, you beautiful soul, everything you write is poetry. It is part of what made me fall so deeply in love with your writing. I feel undeserving of and overwhelmed by your praise of my poetry, but incredibly grateful that you included me in a group of such immensely talented people. My heart is overflowing today.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your depth never ceases to amaze me, Brooke. You connect on a level reserved for only rare and acutely aware souls. Your support and inquisitive observations speak volumes about the type of person you are, and in turn, lift those around you because your words are so powerfully pure and genuine and full of heart. You just care so very much. You set the tone for this challenge, and it has been a privilege to read all of the raw beauty captured within each of these poems. Honestly, I am blown away by each one. Thank you, for leading the charge and challenging everyone to step outside of themselves to do something extraordinary.

    Liked by 3 people

    • First of all, in reference to our previous conversations, your words, my dear, have not gone anywhere. In fact, that will most likely go on my ‘notes of quotes’, which as you know, is reserved only for words that stir my soul. I will do my very best to take all that in. I can, however, agree wholeheartedly with one thing. I do care so very much, and to be honest, this feels more like a curse at times. But then there are days like this when I wish everyone could feel this much…care this much.
      To play a part in inspiring brilliant writers to explore and experiment and celebrate their own talent as well as the talent of some of the writers they respect and admire most…it’s beyond exhilarating and filled in the spaces that felt especially hollow this week. It’s been amazing to get a glimpse into the experiences that shaped these people I have come to know and love in a way that provides a common thread connecting us all.
      So thank you for encouraging me to do it…and you’re welcome for not making you go first. :o)

      Liked by 2 people

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