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Esther Spurrill Jones. Powered by Blogger.
15 December 2017

I stand, I fall, I stand again,
Knowing I will fall again;
And yet, though failure is ahead,
I’ll stop trying when I’m dead.

It’s how we learn: we try and fail,
And try again, ‘til we prevail.
We want to quit—we strive instead;
I’ll stop trying when I’m dead.

Life is hard, and yet we know
Difficulties help us grow.
Mistakes are nothing we should dread.
I’ll stop trying when I’m dead.

27 November 2017
Five years ago today, my mother died. Every year, I write a poem for her to keep her memory alive.



Remember You

Who will remember me when I am gone?
Who will keep the flame alive?
As I remember you today,
My mother, my friend.

23 November 2017

Deep beneath the surface
Something starts to stir:
Moving with a purpose
Deep beneath the surface.
Soon will be catharsis
For I cannot deter;
Deep beneath the surface
Something starts to stir.
15 November 2017



There’s two feet of snow on the ground
And a four foot icicle hanging from the eaves
But it’s not winter yet

We have to warm up the car every morning
And shovel the walk every week
But it’s not winter yet

I’m wearing a parka and gloves
And earmuffs and thick winter boots
But it’s not winter yet

Windchill of negative thirty
Cutting right through my coat
But it’s not winter yet

Some people like to ignore the real world
And point at the calendar, saying
It’s not winter yet

12 November 2017
Keeping Long IslandKeeping Long Island by Courtney Peppernell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book was wonderful. I usually don't like the conceit of a book written in diary entries, but wow. This one was so well done. Kayden is a broken young woman whose therapist suggested she keep a diary to help her learn how to share her feelings. She writes each entry as if she were talking to someone she calls "Keeper" as in Secret Keeper. And it felt like she was talking to me.

I haven't highlighted so many passages in a Kindle book before in my life. There are awkwards turns of phrase, but that feels authentic to Kayden's voice.

I was afraid that the immediacy of the story would be lost as we are reading about it "after the fact" so to speak, but that didn't happen. And Kayden's friends and family felt real to me.

There is little action here. This is a book about feelings, about sadness and depression and love and happiness. It's about family and friendship. It's slow paced and thoughtful. It's amazing.



View all my reviews
10 November 2017


Never forget the ones who fell,
Those who for us walked through hell,
Stood their ground before the foe,
Faced down evil, and said, “No.”
They fought for us, and gave their all.

Across the ages, hear the call,
O’er the oceans, hear it swell,
See the eastern sky aglow;
Never forget.

Until we hear the final knell,
May we all stand firm and tall,
And give evil no room to grow.
Never forget.

08 November 2017
Once upon a time I thought I knew
What was all my God required of me,
And who He had created me to be.
I was sure I knew just what was true.
Under the sun there is nothing new,
And I’d been taught that I could clearly see
That to obey the church is to be free;
But something in my heart had gone askew.

All He asks of us is that we love,
But many fellow Christians only hate.
He sent us an example from above:
He died His love for all to demonstrate.
God so loved the world He gave His Son
Not just for Christians, but for everyone.

07 November 2017


A film of grease upon my tongue
Chased by hints of forgery,
Just like botox makes you young.
A film of grease upon my tongue
Clings like Donald Trump among
Rants and lies and perjury.
A film of grease upon my tongue
Chased by hints of forgery.

31 October 2017
Today is the last day of OctPoWriMo 2017. This was my sixth (!) year doing this, and I am still learning so much every time.


Lurking in the Dark

What is lurking in the dark?
Hiding from all living eyes?
Skulking in the misty murk?
What is lurking in the dark
In the woods behind the kirk?
To seek it out would be unwise.
What is lurking in the dark—
Hiding from all living eyes?

30 October 2017
Today's prompt is forbidden, and one of the suggested forms is the kyrielle.

What We Can't Have

Enticing me with “Do not touch”;
I yearn to get my hands on it.
When given leave, I don’t care much.
Why do we want what we can’t have?

He does his best to earn the love
From those who should give it freely.
He kneels and cries out to above,
“Why do we want what we can’t have?”

A house, a car, a vacation
Somewhere warm and interesting;
Money, please be my salvation.
Why do we want what we can’t have?

29 October 2017
Today's prompt is breathtaking, and the suggested form is the villanelle.

You Take My Breath Away

When I bow my head to pray
Your love and grace engulf me,
And You take my breath away.

I know it sounds a bit cliché:
Your peace rolls o’er me like the sea
When I bow my head to pray.

You don’t expect me to betray
Who I am. You make me free
When You take my breath away.

Your joy is not just for someday;
I’m not on earth to just sightsee,
So I bow my head to pray.

I am called to find a way
To show Your love to all around me,
And how You take my breath away.

You love me; I am okay.
If only everyone could see;
When they bow their heads to pray
You would take their breath away.


28 October 2017
Today's prompt is belonging, and the suggested form is the clarity pyramid.

HOME
refuge
family

sometimes where you’re born
is not where you belong
your community is home

“where you find yourself you belong”

27 October 2017


A Wild Rose

Petals of satin
Shades of white through magenta
I remember Mom

The fragrance of spring
Delicate blooms and sharp thorns
I remember Mom

Ev’ry year I’d bring
Her a wild rose from our yard
I remember Mom

26 October 2017
Today's prompt is a once and unruly mind, and the suggested form is the cascade.

Full of Stories

My head is full of stories,
Always running off on quests;
Creating tales full of adventure
Is how I deal with stress.

Magic, elves, and fairies;
Majesty and glory:
I cannot be be bored when
My head is full of stories.

Even as I fall asleep,
Bedtime stories bring me rest;
My mind is off to dreamland,
Always running off on quests.

Fantasy and sci fi
Bring me the most pleasure,
But all I really need is to be
Creating tales full of adventure.

For as long as I remember
They help me decompress;
Creating plots and people
Is how I deal with stress.


25 October 2017

This poem is dedicated to my husband, Mark.

Sweet and Calming

Your smile is sweetness to my heart;
Your touch is calming to my soul.
Especially when we’ve been apart,
Your smile is sweetness to my heart.
Like a poignant work of art
Satisfies and makes me whole,
Your smile is sweetness to my heart;
Your touch is calming to my soul.

24 October 2017

I see you there
Across the room
Your eyes so bright
You put the sun and stars to shame
You enchant me

23 October 2017
Today's prompt is What is the Message?




Call Them Sin?

What message do we send
When we call them sin?
How can we defend
What message we do send?
Whatever we intend,
No matter how we spin,
What message do we send
When we call them sin?


22 October 2017
Today's prompt is Purposeful Passion, and we were challenged to find a form we haven't tried before. I went with the quatern, and wrote about something that I am very passionate about.

You Must Love

If you love God, you must love all.
As followers, we imitate.
It doesn’t matter who they are.
They’ll know we’re His because we love.

Whatever colour is their skin,
If you love God, you must love all;
No matter what they might believe,
Agape love is our true call.

If they are gay or trans, so what?
We are not called to judge, but love.
If you love God, you must love all,
To share what we receive above.

Who does not love does not know God;
Our God, He loves and He is love,
And everyone who loves knows God.
If you love God, you must love all.

21 October 2017
Today's prompt is Nothing Remains the Same, and the suggested form is the abecedarian. I tried writing one, but 26 lines is a very long poem, and I learned years ago that sometimes a poem needs to stop before it gets too unwieldy, so I stopped.

Paper Wings

All is changing—that is living:
Balance learned through love and forgiving.
Comfort found in static things
Doesn’t last—like paper wings.
Everything must change to grow:
Flow like rivers, fall like snow.

20 October 2017
Today's prompt, Desires and Remembering, asked us to write about the last time we really, truly wanted something.

Memories So Sweet

I remember years ago it was such a treat
My favourite dessert
Sweet and fluffy cake with creamy frosting
So many years have passed
I saw it in the store
Memories came flooding back
But it was not the same
My tastebuds have changed
Such a disappointment

19 October 2017
Today's prompt is Fox or Foxy and the suggested poetry type is the florette.





I Don't Want Your Soul

Because I’m a redhead, some say
I’m crafty and cunning and fey,
Just like a fox, tricky and sly.
But really, I’m quiet and I don’t like to stray
From comfortable things I know.
I like to live life kind of slow:
I don’t power walk—no, I stroll.
I am calm, I don’t want your soul; I’ll just lie low.

18 October 2017
Today's prompt is Everyone Went on Eating, as in what if you made a huge announcement and no one cared? I really liked the pantoum when I wrote a couple earlier this month, so I did another one.

Easier to Pretend

If I were to tell my family and friends
Who am I really, deep down inside,
I wonder would they simply pretend
I had said nothing? Would they brush me aside?

Who am I really, deep down inside?
Few truly know me; to all the rest
I have said nothing. Would they brush me aside?
Pass off as a jest my truth so expressed?

Few truly know me; to all the rest
If I were to trust you, would you then condemn?
Pass off as a jest my truth so expressed?
Look at my heart and soul with contempt?

If I were to trust you, would you then condemn?
I am afraid my loved ones might
Look at my heart and soul with contempt
See who I am as transgression, as spite.

I’m also afraid my loved ones might
Find it easier to simply pretend,
Though they see who I am as transgression, as spite.
If I were to tell my family and friends.

17 October 2017
Today's prompt is fantasy "And the Dragon Chose..." I wrote an alouette today as I've never tried this form before and it sounded fun.


Wondrous Things

Elves and pixies tease;
Magic’s on the breeze;
Wizards, witches, warlocks chant,
Weaving wondrous things
As, upon soft wings,
Fairies swoop and sing and dance.

Come into the trees;
Fall upon your knees;
All around, mages enchant,
Wrapping unseen strings
On their new plaything;
Now you stand and join the dance.


16 October 2017
Today's prompt is Losing Your Fears and Tears and we were asked to think about what fears we face and fight and lose. I have always hated speaking in front of people.

Sacred Silence

Speaking up and speaking out
Gives me shakes and gives me chills
Even when I have no doubt.
Speaking up and speaking out
Feels like I’ve broken all about
Sacred silence no longer still.
Speaking up and speaking out
Gives me shakes and gives me chills.

15 October 2017
Someone teaches hate and fear
And everything within me churns.
It seems so often that I hear
Someone teaches hate and fear.
Especially a one who steers
Others in the way to learn,
Someone teaches hate and fear
And everything within me churns.
14 October 2017
Today's prompt is Movement and Words, and the line "some words have the ability to make us plant ourselves and refuse to move" inspired me today.

Resistance

Persist in your resistance
Despite evil’s insistence
That you can’t go the distance;
You oppose by your existence;
You advance.

We will not disappear;
Our faith will persevere;
Despite the atmosphere;
‘Til all is clear.

13 October 2017

Today's prompt is Art in the Wayward Mind, but I believe that everyone is creative.

Meant to be Creative

We were made to be artistic
We are meant to be creative
It is only realistic
That we will all be innovative

We are meant to be creative
Not only with what we call “art”
And we will all be innovative
Take a chance what’s in your heart

Not only with what we call “art”
Sports and science, even math
Take a chance what’s in your heart
Take a step upon your path

Sports and science, even math
Painting, music, singing, dance
Take a step upon your path
If you love it, take a chance

Painting, music, singing, dance
Anything your heart desires
If you love it, take a chance
Find a way to light your fire

Anything your heart desires
It is only realistic
Find a way to light your fire
We were made to be artistic

12 October 2017
Today's prompt is Imagination Stands in the Road, and we were asked to remember our imaginary friends—if we had them. I had four. Pomby was my first, and I created her alone, while the other three were created along with my sister.

We were also challenged to write a sestina today, which is a very difficult form.

Imaginary Friends

Pomby, Piecey, Chunky, and Pottatoa were their names.
Pomby was first and dearest, a tiny shadow.
The others were joint creations with my little sister,
The first characters created by us tiny writers
Before we knew how to make stories;
We would run outside, playing games together.

When we started creating stories together,
We soon forgot all but their names.
We needed new characters for our new stories.
Our imaginary friends faded into shadow
As we grew into our destiny as writers:
Me and my little sister.

So many years have passed, and my sister
And I no longer write together.
We have grown into distinct writers,
Making our own names,
Neither living in the other’s shadow;
Yet we still read and critique each other’s stories.

So many years and so very many stories,
And my greatest friend has always been my sister.
My memories are mostly lost to shadow
Of all the tales we used to make together.
We knew someday our names
Would be among known writers.

And now we’re fanfic writers,
And readers love our stories.
They may not know our real names,
But they know our words, especially my sister’s.
We still love to work together;
Upon our work, each other’s shadow.

My memories of childhood are but shadows;
I would forget it all were I not a writer.
I remember creating things together,
Though I can’t recall the stories
Me and my sister
Created so long ago. But the names

Are yet shadows of the stories
We tiny writers me and my sister
Imagined together with their names.


11 October 2017
Today, I wrote a pantoum. I can't remember if I've ever written one before.

The World's Heartbeat

I tilt my head and breathe the air;
I smile as breezes kiss my face
And play like fingers in my hair;
This summer wind, a warm embrace.

I smile as breezes kiss my face;
The earth so cool beneath my feet;
This summer wind, a warm embrace:
I nearly feel the world’s heartbeat.

The earth so cool beneath my feet,
And flowers dancing ‘round my knees;
I nearly feel the world’s heartbeat
And, for a time, I am at ease.

The flowers dancing ‘round my knees,
They play like fingers in my hair,
And, for a time, I am at ease;
I tilt my head and breathe the air.


10 October 2017
Today's prompt is Power and Control.

I'm a Contradiction

I like to have control of what I do
And yet I love a list of tasks to do.
It sounds like I’m a contradiction, true:
I like to have control of what I do,
But I don’t want to lead or oversee.
Knowing what’s expected leaves me free;
I like to have control of what I do
And yet I love a list of tasks to do.

09 October 2017
Today's prompt asked us to think about someone tapping the ash from a cigarette, and suggested we try the palindrome form. I've never written a palindrome before, so here's my attempt:

Dust to Ashes

Ashes falling into dust
Ashes to dust
Softly killing
~Smoke~
Killing softly
Dust to ashes
Dust into falling ashes

08 October 2017
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday in Canada, so I wrote a poem about what I am thankful for.

My Life is Good

I’m thankful for the life I hold.
I am blessed. My life is good.
I may complain, but when all’s told
I’m thankful for the life I hold
With food and shelter ‘gainst the cold,
More clothes than I could ever need.
I’m thankful for the life I hold.
I am blessed. My life is good.

07 October 2017
Today's prompt is And Then I Went Too Far. But I honestly cannot think of a time when I did anything that could be called "too far." I'm a very cautious person, and I don't usually come close to the line, let alone step over it.

Caution

I am not spontaneous;
I ponder, mull, and think again.
The unknown feels precarious,
And I am not spontaneous.
Crossing lines is craziness;
It’s easier to just abstain.
I am not spontaneous;
I ponder, mull, and think again.

06 October 2017
Today's prompt is While I was pacing the floor, but I don't pace. I fidget when I'm anxious. However, one of the phrases stood out to me: "shadows walk with me." There is something comforting about one's shadow, but there is also something eerie about it. I am currently reading a scary book, and since I'm in that mindset that's where my poetry went today.


Next to Me

My shadow paces next to me
In the corner of my eye.
Though I’m standing still I see
My shadow paces next to me.
I can’t escape; I’ll ne’er be free
From birth until the day I die
My shadow paces next to me
In the corner of my eye.

05 October 2017
Today's prompt is Finally I Understand, and this is a theme I revisit often. I wrote another triolet today.

Both Good and Bad

My life has not gone how I’d planned
And yet it’s good, so I am glad.
Now I finally understand
My life has not gone how I’d planned
For it’s not traced, but drawn freehand:
A masterpiece, both good and bad.
My life has not gone how I’d planned
And yet it’s good, so I am glad.


04 October 2017
Today's prompt is Between the Clouds and the Water, and I was also inspired by one of my favourite poems: Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay.


Give Way to Gold

There is a turbulence of gold
Rioting along the fold
Where sea meets sky in dazzling power
Like a brilliant, fleeting flower:
Morn and eve, in colours brief;
And green gives way to gold in leaf:
Exquisite death upon display;
So glorious it cannot stay.

03 October 2017
I took today's prompt, The Taste of Metal, quite literally. I also decided to try my hand at the suggested form, the cherita.



Acrid, sharp upon my tongue

Harsh and grating through my jaw
And up my spine

Metal tastes and feels like
It is killing me
If I bite it

02 October 2017
Today's prompt is We Write Because We Must. I do write because I must, but I couldn't find inspiration for today in this prompt. Instead, I write a triolet (my current favourite form) about how easy it is to just not try, whether in relationships or anything else.

I Drift Away

I drift away from everything,
Allowing all to pass me by.
I hide from life because it stings;
I drift away from everything.
But with no pain there is no zing.
Do or do not? Yet I must try.
I drift away from everything,
Allowing all to pass me by.

01 October 2017

It is day one of OctPoWriMo 2017, and the prompt is How Did I Get Here?

I Was Blind

I used to know the truth;
I knew that I was right;
But it was all a lie.
My heart contains the proof:
From darkness into light;
No longer I’ll deny.

From things that I was taught
I have broken free;
In fire I’m refined.
Now that I know naught,
I can truly see
That I was blind.

26 September 2017
I met a girl so beautiful
My voice caught in my chest,
Tangled in my breath.
I was all a mess;
I did not impress.

I met a man so beautiful
Words could not express.
Again, I lost my breath.
I was all a mess;
I did not impress.

21 September 2017
Photo by Paduret Dan Cristian on publicdomainpictures.net


I dance among the crackling flames,
Reaching for the sky above.
Like the fire, you can’t tame
My dance among the crackling flames.
Your breath is tangled with my chains;
I strangle you to show my love.
I dance among the crackling flames,
Reaching for the sky above.

19 September 2017

Softly falling quiet snow
Dancing, swirling all around
Piling up upon the ground
Lightly falling gentle rain
Washing snow and ice away
Puddles where the children play
Sweetly falling flower petals
Filling all the air with scent
Heat and spice makes us content
Gently falling golden leaves
Bringing in my favourite time
Inspiring my heart to rhyme

02 September 2017
“Have you lost weight?”
It seems like such an innocent question, a compliment really. It’s a way to let someone know you’ve noticed a change in them, and it’s a positive change, right?
But I didn’t think I was fat before. Was I fat before? I’ve always been pretty happy with my body, with it’s size and shape. I walk regularly, and I don’t usually get out of breath even on long treks (as long as there’s no mountain climbing involved). I’m not thin, but I didn’t think I was fat.
Just over a month ago, I had severe stomach pain that landed me in the emergency room, where I discovered my gallbladder needed to be removed. They didn’t want to do the surgery right away though; they wanted to wait for my gallbladder to “calm down.” Apparently, gallbladders can have tantrums.
I learned to make sushi, which is a plus
In the three or four weeks that I waited for surgery, I was on a low fat diet since eating too much fat causes gallbladder attacks. I learned to love boneless skinless chicken breast and salmon steaks and rice. I scoured grocery store shelves for spices and read the nutrition labels on everything I bought. Choosing a meal from a restaurant menu was actually quite easy, while uninspiring: most places had only one or two options that worked for me.
I’ve never believed in diets, but with the threat of a repeat of that misery hanging over my head, I had little choice.
After less than two weeks on the diet, none of my pants fit without a belt. I don’t own a scale, but I was clearly losing inches. That’s when I started to hear the comments about how much weight I was losing. Well-meaning people often added remarks on how I should think about keeping up with this diet after my surgery. Because a low fat diet is what most people think of as healthy.
Did you know that nuts and some fruits (like avocado) are very high fat? But they’re also very good for you. Did you also know that soft drinks and candy contain zero fat? My low fat diet wasn’t necessarily good for me, and losing weight doesn’t always mean you’re healthy.
I did try to eat a lot of vegetables because I love vegetables, but I also ate sugary sorbets (it was August and super hot—don’t judge me). I may have lost weight, but I don’t know if I was healthier than when I was eating cheese and bacon (in moderation).

Since saying goodbye forever to my gallbladder, I’ve gone back to eating normally and I feel great. It’s been three weeks since my surgery, and I’m walking again and my energy levels are higher than they’ve been in years. But every time someone asks me if I’m keeping up with my low fat diet, I wince. No, I’m not. And I’m happy and healthy. I don’t need to be on a diet.
28 July 2017
Yesterday, someone replied to a comment I had left on an online article. They made huge, erroneous assumptions about me; insulted me; and swore at me. After my initial horrified, angry reaction where I kinda wanted to yell back, I realized that it just wasn't worth it. So I wrote this instead.

Thank You

Thank you for reminding me
How vile people can be.
How some, no matter what, will choose
To merely shout abuse.

Understanding, compromise,
And kindness they despise.
Also, logic, facts, and proof;
They think they know all truth.

Thank you. I remember now
And I will not allow
Myself to waste my energy.
Blocked. Bye bye.


26 July 2017
Love is the beginning and the end:
All the Law and Prophets hang on that.
Without love, it’s all a vast pretend:
Clanging cymbals, nothing, falling flat.

Love is the foundation and the peak:
Never failing, always hoping, sure.
All you need, and everything you seek;
In the arms of love you are secure.

Love was, and is, and is to come again.
Faith and hope abide, but love has won;
Kind and patient, over all love reigns,
Bows its head and whispers, “It is done.”

Love is father, mother, lover, friend;
Love is love and it will never end.


19 July 2017


John Pavlovitz said something in a recent blog post that really resonated with me. He said that many Christians are finding themselves “homeless” within the church, that “they’ve arrived at a spot where they realize, often with tremendous grief and a fair bit of denial—that they no longer belong where they once did. They no longer fit in American Christianity.” I’m Canadian, so my experience isn’t exactly the same, but lately I have been feeling adrift. I no longer feel at home with fellow Christians.

I am reminded of Rich Mullins’ song “You Did Not have a Home” where he reminds us that Jesus “did not have a home… [and] did not toe the party line… but the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless Man.” Jesus didn’t have a home church. Jesus wandered in the wilderness, preached in the mountains, rode the waves on the open sea, and asked us to follow Him.

There is a tradition in the church that we must attend services. This is mostly based on Hebrews 10: 24-25, which says
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (NKJV)
It’s that “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” that gets read as a command to go to church every Sunday. But that’s not what it says. All it says is that we should spend time with other Christians.

Now, I love many things about church. I’ve attended all my life, and there are things in services that I just can’t find anywhere else. I love worshipping together with other Christians. I love the sense of community that is found in the best congregations. But I don’t feel that lately in any church I’ve tried. Instead I feel ignored, misunderstood, or shunned.

Maybe it’s time to “shake off the dust from [my] feet” (Matt. 10:14) and find something new. I just wish I knew how to begin.

29 January 2017
“Never again!” we cry aloud.
We stand before the foe unbowed.
We will not stand idly by
While our brothers and sisters die.
We’ll stand up strong—we’ll not be cowed.

This one thing we all have vowed:
We don’t care if we’re allowed.
We will turn a blind eye
Never again.

Millions strong, we are a crowd,
And in our union, we are proud
To stand with those who testify
Evil you cannot pacify.
Remember those who fell—enshroud.
Never again.