Invitation to Poetry: Illuminated from Within

Poetry Party #16! I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc. Leave them in the comments or email me and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!)

I spent this past weekend leading a parish women’s retreat at a beautiful place with a wonderful group.  On Saturday we had *perfect* spring weather, brilliant warm sunshine, and daffodils blooming in abundance.  In honor of the luminous women I got to know this weekend (and some of them got to know their own inner poets) and the arrival of springtime, I offer this image and the suggested theme of “illuminated from within.”  Feel free to take your poem in any direction you choose!

Feel free to post this image and invitation on your blog with a link back here and encourage others to come join the party!


In the children’s garden,
A secret garden,
Da-foo-lils bloom.

-Sarah Whitworth


Backlit yellow bloom
the awakening garden cheers.
Her glory not achieved
from her own need to please
but by the One who created her
to turn invisible rays
into stunning beauty.

Like her, I effortlessly reflect
the glory of my Creator
when the Spirit is invited
to illuminate from within.



Each season has its own light,
distinctive and right for its time.
The year’s wheel spins to reveal
Spring’s colours, lit from within.

Distinctive and right for its time,
intensity shocks the senses.
Spring’s colours, lit from within,
impossible yellow and green.

Intensity shocks the senses,
the year’s wheel spins to reveal
impossible yellow and green.
Each season has its own light.

-Tess at Anchors and Masts


Daffodil, daffodil,
silly girl in lace and frills
waiting for Spring’s party
Is there no thought in your head?
It cannot be as empty as you seem…

Narcissus they name you,
Tell stories of his great vanity
and hours–days–months–life
wasted staring at his own beauty
and resurrected as a flower

Daffodil, daffodil
little dancing girl clothed with Spring’s bright hues
You speak to us not only of fleeting beauty
but of rebirth and new life and of a promise:
For every Winter, there is Spring

-Anne Sims at Stories and Faith


Daffo down dillie
that is how the poem opened.
It seems ages yet that line
is now etched in my mind
In the car, on campus,
It is a promise of spring
a color of ressurection.
a childs ditty with a parents
memory. My son almost thirty
still knows the whole poem.

-Tom Delmore at Crow’s Perch


in time of daffodils

in time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so (forgetting seem)

in time of roses (who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if, remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek (forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me, remember me

-ee cummings (submitted by Kathy Flugel Colle)


Here in the land of singers and trumpets,
heralding spring from a black loamy stage,
proud flowers brightly sway as a cool breeze
passes, illuminated from within.

Their long night of darkness fin’lly over,
pushing tender green leaves toward Mother sun,
hiding a deep saffron grace from the world
‘til we’ve humbly earned that gift from heaven.

Bursting open upon a bright random
morning, reminding us all of a joy
we posess, nodding to the immortal
Godseed, illuminated from within.

-Rich at Pilgrim Path


The light calls on me to open up.
To breathe in new life.
Step out into the world!
Take a chance!
Grab a hold of freedom and run!
Still the shadows embrace me.
They keep me safe.
So warm.
So familiar.
The choice is mine.
Obvious to most.
But not to me.

-Nichol Newcomb


Today I wandered into the heart of Yellow and rested in her warmth.  And while I slept covered in a blanket of buttercups she whispered her secrets in my ear.
She likes to think she can hide, but she can not.  Her disposition is always on her face.  She is the girl who sings limericks while she bakes pies and sets them on a windowsill.  She is the lofty dreamer and seer of things greater than reality.  She dances barefoot and catches fireflies because their flashes of brilliance she can not resist.  She is the definition of surprise, taking delight in popping up in unexpected places.  She plays often.  She laughs out loud.  She takes refuge in quiet fields among the green grass where only keen and searching eyes can find her.  She is as tranquil as a daffodil and as wild as a dandelion.  And late at night when darkness lets her think, her thoughts turn to her Creator and she offers prayers of gratitude for the love she has known since the begining of time.
She is joy.  She is peace.  She is Yellow.

Anne Marie


illuminated from within

glowing subtly from inside to out
grief-laden cloud soaking my days, sorrowing my nights
almost imperceptibly transforms into
another resurrection dawn’s
dew of morn reflecting
fresh hopes of
this new day

-Leah Sophia at This Far By Faith


Words capture only
the shadow, the faint
outlined edge and leave
an empty hungry space
only our eyes can fill
drinking down the wordless
testimony of light,
color refracted through
pigmented prisms and hands
that traced truth in images
back lit by story, as
the words grow thin
opaque velum fading,
transparent as quartz
through which the light
falls, for an unrestrained

-Tandaina at Snow on Roses



like a frozen tree shaking off the last vestiges of ice
(almost forgetting the possibility and promise of spring
that bursts with glorious colors and new growth
thinking life was limited to the barren landscape of winter
unable to dream about beauty and birth)

she awakens from her slumber

-Shaula at Coloring


Do we know also….

Does the daffodil know that its face warms our own
By simply appearing

That its light from within illuminates present and future reapers
Shining as memory of child’s first harvest – of aged’s frail pick

Do we know, by having simply appeared, that our own gift of light might still warm
The now-grown child and the heaven-free sage

-Sunrise Sister at Mind Sieve


Spring in Alaska

You’re not a complete stranger to us
Though it does seem
that you place us
At the bottom of your
world wide tour.

We’ve seen you before
though it seems like
a long time now
and know that eventually
you will come again.

You are easy enough
to come by
Lighting up the grocery store
Bursting from the florist’s shop.

But your startling green
And your fervent yellow
Rising up from dark earth
Musty with the smell of Spring
Is difficult to imagine
In these days
When the light is long
But the snow is still deep.

-Rebecca Johnson (who lives in Alaska)


You watch over me
You tend to me
You nourish me
You photograph me
You’re proud of me
But what about
When I begin to wilt
When my leaves brown
When my petals fall
When my beauty falters
Will you still be there?

-Steve Newcomb


Daffodil’s Debut

the snow is almost gone
and, though I’ve had no time to practice,
today is my day to shine.

“Stand up straight.”
“Be brave, little daffodil,
you’ll do us proud.”

here I am,
watching the grass grow,
waiting nervously for my cue


I heard it! I’m on! Ta Da!
I am here to fill your hearts with joy!

-Wren at Winding Mind


Illuminated From Within

I am rooted, grounded, just awakened
The layers covering me still cold, still inhospitable.
I look up. I feel the Call…

I am Called to grow…
to push through dead leaves and melted snow…
I am Called to reach…
to weather winds and chill and whimsical change.

I am undaunted.
A late snow only slows my bloom.
A restless winter chills my growth.
A slug gnaws at my leaves.

I know my purpose.
I am heeding my Call.
I reach for the Son.
I am. Blooming.

Cut me down if you wish.
Transplant me.
Divide me from my closely growing friends…
I will re-root.
I will re-grow.

I know my purpose.
I am heeding my Call.
I reach for the Son.
I will bloom in season.

-Deb Vaughn at Another Unfinished Symphony


In longing for your pen oh Lord, we await
For your precious light to enter,
Scrolling across the heart page
In its wake your Words, bordered with your Images
Like the sacred manuscripts of old, an ancient newness
Longing, oh Lord, for your pen

-Wendy at The Healing Table


Yellow white and green

 Trio in a vase for her

New mother surprise

Martha Louise Harkness


Trumpet of spring.
Herald from heaven.
New life, new life,
It shouts
New life is coming.

Like the cock
At the pearly dawn.
A new day, new life
Is proclaimed.
The light is coming.

Light of life.
Season of joy.
Not just flowers,
But lambs and love.
All are coming.

Small, sturdy daffodil
Reminds the world
That hope is rewarded.
Miracles abound.
Nature carries God’s wisdom.

Just look close
and the secrets
will be revealed.

-Pam McCauley


Illuminated from Within

I was given no choice in the matter
you who say I create my own reality.
I was fine, thank you very much,
in the deep dark
where my life was comfortable, secure.
Sure there were cold days, wet days,
and days when uninvited guests passed by;
the grub, the colony of ants, an occasional ground hog.
Even so, life was predictable, or so I thought.
One day, out of nowhere, everything turned upside down.
An urge so unbelievable, so irrational,  so illogical,
took hold of every cell in my being.
Next thing I knew I was moving,
slowly at first, until I was moving faster and faster.
Imagine the fear when out of the deep dark
a great light appeared.
I don’t understand how or when or why
this light merged;
enveloping, incarnating, illuminating
every fiber of my being until
all I could do was laugh, shine, play,
and ride the urge to
open fully and expose the beauty within.

-Tammy at Sacramentality


One yellow flower
bends forward.
Its hot petals say

All around it
shadows open
like arms, full of grace,
toward me too.

-Theresa Walker


-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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