What is life like?

Questions on life have preoccupied scholars, theologians and laymen alike for millennia.

There are many and varied responses to this question.

It is rarely the proverbial  ‘bowl of cherries’ of popular myth.

Or if it is, then some get all the sweet succulent ones and others experience sourness and nothing but a mouth full of pips.

My painter/artist/writer friend, Pamela Hodges, is researching this topic for a forthcoming book.

You are invited to participate in the content of her illustrated new work by sharing your thoughts here.

I saw the invitation a couple of months ago and was so bowled over by the idea that I couldn’t contain myself.

Soon I scribbled a few thoughts, then the creative juices ran free.

As I wrote poetry flowed and you can read the result below.

My hope (and Pamela’s) is that you will catch the (writing) bug and send her your ideas.

They don’t have to be perfect, poetic or profound.

All entries will be carefully considered – one line is sufficient, I got rather carried away!  – and the best ones collated into the book with full acknowledgement given.

Plus, if you are a winner you will also receive a free e-copy of the book.

How good is that?

Do check our her lovely blog. She is currently going through a great series on learning to be confident with expressing your creativity.

I hope my post below will initiate the imaginative processes.

‘Life is like…’

A blank page, open book waiting to be written,

mystery of story unfolding with so much to fit in

Awe and wonder of a newborn’s cry,

comfort blanket cuddles and a lover’s sigh

Birdsong at dawn as earth stirs fresh and light,

a continual war zone, battleground, a fight

Heavy storm clouds threatening a sudden downpour

turning of the tide, waves on the shore

A weary trudge up a winding stair, wandering

aimlessly in a maze and getting nowhere

Harmonious melody, music in the air,

watching a movie unroll with popcorn to share

Mud pies and madness, joy beyond measure,

heavy mantle of sadness, merry-go-round of pleasure

Dark and light and every shade between, unfurling of a flower in the

petals of a dream, a silence and a shouting, a whisper and a scream

Kaleidoscope colours converging, finding rainbows through the rain,

pinprick stars of hope emerging through inky velvet stain

Intoxicating, heady champagne and wine, a drumbeat

marching steady, dominoes flat in a line

Mellow sunset rays warming heart and soul,

long hazy summer days doing nothing much at all

Footsteps treading in virgin snow, hesitant

and wary about where to go

Treasure mined in darkness, rich jewels glinting bright,

clouded shade and starkness of a never-ending night

Delicate gossamer thread spun into intricate webs,

songs and sonnets in our head, memory that flows and ebbs

A dandelion clock blowing years away, puffing through

gloom and fog, lost as waif and stray

Water to the thirsty, an unstoppable flow,

a dance filling heart, mind, body and soul

An adventure, journey of discovery, beginnings and birth,

all that lies between despair and dying here on earth

The best gift we’ve ever had, infinitely precious and rare,

which takes time to unwrap and invite others to share

A great vision, an open vista, a laugh, a tear, a song,

a brief spell, just a mist here before all that lies beyond


This is probably one of the longest poems I’ve ever written, and if you’ve made it all the way through then I thank you for your great patience, my friend.

And as I am taking a little needful break, there is much for you to ponder on here for a while!

Future poetic outpourings will be shorter. Promise 🙂 We’ve made it to day 18 of #poetryforthesoul and I look forward to catching up with you again soon.

8 thoughts on “What is life like?

  1. I love this one, Joy! And though I hate to steal one of your words from the poem, I have to: it IS a kaleidoscope, this poem with all of life wrapped up in its flow! I’ve read it twice, (so far,) just to process and absorb even more of it. And though they aren’t necessarily the most joyful and uplifted parts of the poem, yet the mystery and beauty in these lines attracted me for the sheer poetry of them: “ Mud pies and madness, joy beyond measure, heavy mantle of sadness, merry-go-round of pleasure. Dark and light and every shade between, unfurling of a flower in the petals of a dream, a silence and a shouting, a whisper and a scream.” And again, “ A dandelion clock blowing years away, puffing through gloom and fog, lost as waif and stray.” These two passages have captured my imagination. Great work!

    • Thanks very much, Neil! You are a wonderful encourager. I do seem to have captured a ‘kaleidoscope’ of imagery here and the lines you highlight are some of the favourites for me too. Though I’m usually hard pressed to select favoured pieces from my own work, I am often partial to particular lines! It would be interesting to know what others like best. Blessings. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Kathleen! You’d be surprised what will flow as you begin to ponder these things. Do have a go! As I started this exercise the words seemed to have a mind of their own. My poetry often feels like it ‘writes itself’ and it’s the ones I labour long over which turn out all the poorer for my exertions. I see it as God’s way of inspiring me, especially when energy and concentration are low.

  2. I love it when a poem causes me to respond with new thought, and this was the new thought: “Some writers write for recognition, and some writers do it because they have to express what’s within. We write, we paint, we sculpt, we create — because we have to do it. It is as much a part of living for us, as eating or sleeping.” And Joy dear, you express the quilt of life so beautifully that it speaks to the hearts of us all. I think you write, because you have to, it is like an extension of who you are, delighting and filling other hearts with a ‘kaleidoscope’ of catharsis and joy. You express life so well. I hope this makes sense. I am very fuzzy right now with a huge sinus headache and pressure. Even the eyes are blurry. xo Debby

    • Oh I love your new thought, Debby! So much of it resonates with me. I may have started late on this wriitng journey compared to some, but it has become very precious to me. I have desire, need and compulsion to write out my heart. And to (hopefully) help and encourage others along the way. Your sweet words not only make perfect sense, they minister to my soul. I feel you have touched on the essence of what makes me write and expressed it beautifully. Thank you!
      I am really sorry to hear how you are struggling so much physically right now. The symptoms you describe fit how I felt last week and I know how miserable it can be. Yet despite your pain and fuzzy feelings, you have written a lovely message here that I will treasure. Blessings and prayer to you, my friend. xx 🙂

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