prism: seeing life through the lens of poetry

How do you define poetry? It could be summed up simply as a mix of words with metre, rhythm and rhyme, but that’s not always the case. I think of it as layered thoughts, slant storytelling, with a musicality that’s either deliberate or unsought. One of the joys of poetry is the rich variety that exists.

My latest poem describes the way poetry behaves by imagining it acting like a lens, a prism through which we see life and understand thoughts. It might look distorted sometimes, indistinct even, because each poem connects in a different way with every reader.

Yet the shaft of poetry’s luminous rays can offer insight, hope, joy and grace to others. My hope and prayer is that I can connect heart to heart with the words I share, and I hope you’ll get something out of this poem.

Creation of prisms 

Poetry is the creation of prisms
reflecting the light inside,
refracting each single word
that flies arrow-like, rainbow-bright,
to hit its intended target,
splintering apart
as each paper plane dives deep down,
weaving through the path
of an open, receptive heart.

Poetry can miss the mark,
become unintelligible 
to others, those who fail
to discern each line’s 
vitality, the secret messages
it speaks into being,
a dart of thought to the soul,
a tiny glint of light
delivered in morse code.

Poetry is a vital, living thing,
an entity that speaks 
a universe of thoughts
in differing tongues 
to different people tasked
with translating it,
or simply sitting with a piece,
comprehending its worth
in the presence of mystery.
© joylenton

I’ve defined poetry in various ways over the years. It’s an elusive art to pin down easily, speaking as it does to mind and heart. One description can be found on my ‘Why poetry joy?’ page. I’m intrigued by the varying perspectives and would love you to share your definitions/descriptions too. Perhaps, like mine, they alter depending on what season of life you are in and what speaks to you most. 🙂 ❤

awareness: noticing the marvellous in the mundane

“Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


 I might sense
 the slight tightening 
 of a stitch,

 an awareness
 of being hemmed in,
 then easily miss

 the way you weave
 your miracles
 in the mundane.

 Unless my eyes
 are open, noticing,
 ready for

 a surprise, prepared
 to watch and see
 what lies behind

 the ordinary,
 then I could glimpse
 the deftly woven

 warp and weft
 of your holy threads,
 your embroidering. 

 Although it is more
 than a visual
 response, more than

 a second glance
 required to 
 observe a sacred

 hand at work,
 a gentle touch
 igniting the humble
 soil of earth.

 Because you ask
 me to look 
 inwardly as well

 as outwardly,
 to catch the softest
 tread of your

 footsteps inside 
 my expectant heart
 as you walk,

 fill it with your love,
 your presence,
 and your thoughts. 
 © joylenton

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God… As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of A Young Girl


Loving Creator God,

We give you thanks and praise for creation’s stunning beauty and the soul soothing, calming effects it has on our minds and hearts. May we sense the safety of being hemmed in by your grace and love as we face tough situations and challenging circumstances. Help us to notice the way you skilfully weave the marvellous into the mundane for us to enjoy each day.. Heighten our awareness of being part of the miracle as we learn to appreciate these gifts to the full.

beauty: how it draws our hearts toward God

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” — Martin Luther


In the distance 
there is an indigo,
dark-shadowed, snow-crested

mountainous ridge rising
on the horizon,
tinged with soft sunset-pink.

It glows with invitation
to pause, to admire,
as the sky ripples with joy,

with beauty and celebration,
a daring dusk declaration,
as the dark mountains

dissolve and morph back
into the clouds
from which they are formed.

While we travel forward,
leaving a blaze of sun
golden-streaking the sky 

far behind us, 
like a final farewell,
a golden hurrah, perhaps.

And I crane my neck,
unwilling to lose
the sight or miss

the significance
of creation once again
stirring mountainous

hope in my heart,
because as this day sighs
its dying breath,

I know that dawn 
will come, light will return
to bathe the earth 

in grace, and leave us
always wanting more
of beauty, wonder, awe.

Even as I mourn
my lack of evidence,
with no photographs to show

what I saw, it has burned itself
upon my retina, with a
defined, sharpened focus 

in my mind, to become
fully developed in my soul,
as I reflect and scribe it all.
© joylenton

“Beauty reminds you of an Eden you have never known, but you somehow know your heart was created for it. Beauty says, There is a glory calling to you. And if there is a glory, there is a source of glory. What great goodness could have possibly created this? Beauty draws you to God.” — Restoration Year: A 365 Day Devotional by John Eldredge

beauty - how it draws our hearts toward God - clouds - sunset - glory (C) joylenton