Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

The Wednesday Corner With DiAnne Ebejer: Poetry As Truth

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Poetry as Truth By DiAnne Ebejer

As a young girl I first fell in love with books, then poetry. I told my Dad I wanted to learn how to write poetry…he handed me “Shakespeare, Arranged for Modern Reading”. Hilarious, is what I thought too as were my first attempts at poetry using this as a guide. As you can tell, if you have read any of my poems, I threw down any notion of scholarly advise about writing poetry. For me poetry was, is and will always be about seeking to write the truth through feelings. Feelings and truth. This, then is also the kind of poetry I have always favored.  Poetry that hits a nerve, strikes a chord, and connects. I have so many favorite poets and find new ones all the time. I don’t look at the name on the poetry so much as what the poetry says to me how it resonates, makes me feel. Some poetry, while I’m reading it, can actually make me stop breathing. Yes, it can take my breath away.

And I’m glad poetry is no longer reserved for the highly educated and leisured classes like it was years ago. Now verse is being written by more and more everyday poets as can be witnessed on Facebook in the many poetry groups that abound. Poetry is a way to break all constraints in life and put your courage on the page. Poetry is not mere fancy, but an attempt to tell the truth and share strife, happiness or pain in a full and authentic manner. In many ways philosophy and poetry are a lot alike. Though their creations are very different, both aim at the truth.

Here are, I believe, two fine examples of the kind of poetry I’m speaking of. I had saved these two poems in my “stuff I like” folder and picked them out for this post. I met both these gentlemen on Facebook and they were generous enough to give me permission to share their poems here. I give you Steven Curtis Lance followed by Nick Clark. (Thank you again Steven and Nick!)

“The Only Way is Up So Here I Go”

fifty-six lines at fifty-six cents overdrawn

Let me be alone to take my mistake
In stride or hide or something like heal now
Let the disappointment ache out somehow
Enough reality I need a break
If the psychotic kind out of my mind
Though even so let me take time to take
What little I have left and do my best
To be happy and to make my mistake
The past at last to learn from left behind

I would be happy if only I could
But knowing I should at least I would try
To find happiness then before I die
Now before all this is over for me
At least when this side of reality
Learning from this as from all my mistakes
Always the hard way as harder each day
Turning and earning whatever it takes
I wonder what it all means anyway

When all it takes is all I have to give
Everyone tells me I have to forgive
To forget and yet remember to live
As I should but would tell them if I could
That now I am something like tired and would
Like to try and figure out how to be
If I am supposed to how to be me
Let me take a break then with my mistake
Behind me to find such me as can be

Having taken time to be mistaken
It might take awhile now to smile again
Returning learning to smile again then
Better than ever with wrinkles to show
Someone who suffered but let it all go
Who will always wonder though never know
To know has no importance anymore
Winning the peace through having lost the war
The peace that comes from having understood

This is it for me now the only chance
To be for this being becoming Lance
Belatedly fated to join the dance
And this is it to be the best I can
This as this fifty-seven year-old man
Having had trouble and wanting no more
Having done what I should then what I would
Now wondering what all the fuss was for
Doing what I should then the best I could

Fussing behind I keep an open mind
Finding the meaning of life to be kind
Of hard to understand for those who fuss
But kind of easy for the rest of us
Having what it takes when it takes it all
Humankind is best when humans are kind
Learning from mistakes we rise when we fall
So it is then as I open my eyes
To my surprise now to see how I rise

Having understood not needing to know
The only way is up so here I go

+Steven Curtis Lance



Sometimes her memory hits me like a fire blanket being hurled over my thoughts.
We still giggle in the Surrey fields…
Or even igloos… in this case…
For that is where she had her first and only spliff…
And her laughter still echoes silently in my memory.
So bright, so beautiful,
So full of fun and enthusiasm… Always chortling like a little sausage.
There were only a handful of our age group in that cul de sac,
And I bonded with her and her sister well…
Always loving, kind and warm hearted to see me…
She honestly never hated for anyone…
Always filled with the joys of spring,
Skipping around like the good folk do.
Oh… but her sense of humour…
Did I mention that? How she always understood my jokes,
And laughed like a sister by proxy,
With eyes of adore draping kind heavens before my view?
Silliness for days, as we played in the holidays,
And called our gang ‘R.A.D.’, and explored the local mansion without permission,
On grand adventures into daring do.
Then she followed a dream,
She was nice like that.
She wanted to help the starving children of Africa,
And help the animals.
So she didn’t talk about it. She bally  did it.
But that desperate sun,
Nearer the equator, where the earth is in closer proximity,
To the searing star flames…
Was too much for her fair skin…
And she contracted skin cancer, in the end…
Having devoted herself to a noble dream…
She’s now been gone a while…
But I still look after her every day…
In my memories.
Where I can see her… Right now… Clear as day…
Laughing with such happiness.
She hasn’t gone away.
She’s in heaven in my mind.

Nick Clark

However different we may be from other people all over the world, in constructing our own world of thought, insight and artistic creation, we are very much alike. Over the past couple of years I have found this to be especially true as I have had the opportunity to participate in the world-wide poetry anthologies here at Plum Tree Books and read the poetry of folks all around the world. Even though we live in a strange and hostile universe these days, in truth, we all love, we all hurt, we all laugh, we all cry, and we pretty much all express it in the same way.

© DiAnne Ebejer

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

8 comments on “The Wednesday Corner With DiAnne Ebejer: Poetry As Truth

  1. Nick Clark is one of my favourite poets too and I like Steven Curtis Lance – DiAnne this is a bold move and I like it.


    • DiAnne Ebejer
      May 1, 2013

      A sincere thanks for your comments. Yes, both Nick and Steven write very humanistic and touching poetry and I again thank them for being a large part of this post.


  2. the secret keeper
    May 1, 2013

    I loved what you had to say DiAnne about poetry being available to everyone who feels the urge or need or want to write poetry. It does not shut out those who are not trained or don’t have 3 degrees. Poetry is felt in the soul. I love the poems you chose. The first, I could feel the rhythm moving the words. I like Steven Curtis Lance. He is a fine poet. He appeals to my inner self. The second poem made me realize that it is okay to express whatever you need to in your poetry. It is all alright to feel the loss and the sadness, the crazy and the madness. Being creative and writing for some is essential in order to stay alive and to be alive. DiAnne, I love what you did with your Wednesday Corner. It was touched with magic. TY, Jennifer


    • DiAnne Ebejer
      May 1, 2013

      Thank you Jennifer, sometimes writing is the only way to spill our feelings out when saying them or explaining them to anybody just doesn’t seem possible. And in doing so it becomes it’s own sort of therapy. If we touch someone in the process then it becomes rewarding as well. I always appreciate your heartfelt comments.


  3. Uncle Tree
    May 1, 2013

    You have good taste in poetry and people, DiAnne.
    The fun, the laughs, the sadness in behalf
    of humanity – here is where we put it all in,
    thus allowing others to “take-out”, and hopefully,
    take away something good, something memorable.


  4. DiAnne Ebejer
    May 1, 2013

    Many thanks for your comments Uncle Tree. There are many many poems in my “stuff I like” folder that have made me laugh, cry or took my breath away. People who put themselves on the page thus giving us all something memorable to take away.


  5. DiAnne Ebejer
    May 1, 2013

    Niamh, thanks so much for asking me to participate in Plum Tree’s Poetry Wednesday Corner. It’s been a pleasure.


    May 2, 2013

    Great selections and I could see why you loved them Dianne Ebejer. Feelings and truth – that struck a chord with me too right away. It has been a treat to read your words!


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