Not a Villain

This is a reflection on anger, written in villanelle form, inspired by a challenge from DVerse as well as by the difficulties that I have had in my life with expressing all types of emotions. Often I try to ignore or squash anger, thinking it is bad and frightening, but that only makes it stronger and scarier. Anger is like a fire: It can be scary when misused, but it can also be helpful.

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in:

I’d feared its heat, its size, its strength, this fire —

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.


Emotional health under construction:

The spectrum of emotions is entire;

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in.


The Scriptures say “Be angry; do not sin,”

To hide anger away makes God a liar,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.


Engaging in a fight I’ll never win:

Anger is angry, and it does not tire

Until I open up to let it in.


It teaches and it gives motivation,

It will not burn up as a funeral pyre,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.


Anger is a part of being human.

It wishes to be seen and be brought higher.

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in,

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.


This is my response to DVerse’s “And the Sign Said” poetics prompt. We were challenged to use a sign as inspiration for a poem. These are photos of both sides of the Open / Closed sign at my work.

Flipping the sign in the window

From Closed to Open,

For the work day has begun:

I eagerly await the opportunities

To teach, and not only correct

But connect with every

Student who comes in.

I hope they know

That not only this facility

But my heart, in truth,

Is open too.

Quadrille: Pepper

Today’s quadrille prompt was to write a poem of exactly 44 words, one of which is the word “pepper.” It was a bit of a challenge to think of a topic for this one, but I ended up writing about how my family used to make jalapeño poppers using the jalapeños from my brother’s garden.

We’d take the jalapeño peppers

From the garden and make jalapeño poppers:

Carefully cut and seed them,

Stuff them with cream cheese and

More cheese and coat them with

Corn flakes, bake them and eat

Piping hot, with our family —

The spice of life.

“Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

— John 1:5

Words might be hurtful,

And rejection, might be mine,

But my God redeems it,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.

Will my friends abandon me,

In this Gethsemane?

But God gets me through it,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.

Amidst mean words,

I seek my Shepherd:

My lamp is lit,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.


Haibun: Sport

This week’s haibun prompt was to write about sports. I am not a big fan of sports, so this was rather difficult to get inspiration for, but I like what came out of being open to this. Though I am not into team sports, I did karate for about 12 years when I was younger, and nowadays I really like activities such as yoga and hiking.

My brothers and I started doing karate when we were young, 8 and 12 years old. I often enjoyed class but didn’t think I was following my passions, since, from the beginning, I wanted to take dance. However, my brothers liked karate, so — two against one — I was outvoted. In my teenage years, karate became a place of self-criticism for me, yet I couldn’t bear to leave. At the ages of 19 and 20, with an eating disorder developing, over-exercising became a snare to me. Finally, I had no choice but to give up karate and start fighting the scariest and strongest enemy I’d ever encountered: Monsters in my own mind. And I’m still fighting but am training and gaining strength every day.


Summer turns to fall,

Black belt becomes a novice,

New, personal strength.


This poetry form, the lai, is a French, 9-line poem with the rhyme scheme aabaabaab and syllable counts of 552552552. This is written for DVerse’s “lai it on” prompt.

It was inspired by some difficulty last night and harshness from other people who don’t like a certain path that I have chosen. I’m just trying to be true to my beliefs and to live in the whole truth.

Today’s a new day:

Fervently I pray

For peace.

Hoping to not stray,

Waiting for the gray

To cease.

Others may say nay,

Breathe, that judgment may