Photography Lesson

The following is a found poem from Jennifer Dukes Lee’s piece at (in)courage today: Light, for Your Darkest Days. (Scroll down if you want to know what a found poem is, or how to write one.)

To learn the magic of light, she said, I needed to wake before sunrise. I needed to watch how light overtakes dark.

– Jennifer Dukes Lee

Photography Lesson

To learn the magic of light, wake
before sunrise. Stumble barefoot
on gravel. Chase light before dawn

in the silky mist of valleys
where landscape yawns.
Then wait. Press

one hopeful eye against
the viewfinder and capture
the last word:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
has not overcome it.
(John 1:5)

Have you ever written a found poem? The Academy of American Poets defines it:

Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

If you’ve never written a poem, try a found poem. It’s a gentle, fun, and easy way to dip your toes into poetry for the first time!

Related:
See more of my found poems here.

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Found Poems from The Homesick Heart

Have you ever written a found poem? The Academy of American Poets defines it:

Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

If you’ve never written a poem, try a found poem. It’s a gentle, fun, and easy way to dip your toes into poetry for the first time. Happy National Poetry Month!

(The following found poems are from The Homesick Heart, by Jean Fleming.)

***

Our unknown home calls, a faint echo
of a conversation originating

in eternity
sending impassioned messages full

of clues, yearnings.
Sometimes it happens at sunset

or it may come
unexpectedly, as you hear

a combination of musical notes
or read a phrase containing

a wondrous kernel of truth.
However it comes, the call

is a silvery shaft of sunlight
bestowed on you through a door

slightly ajar.

doorajar

***

I watch the moon’s
carefully measured decline.
Sharp, clear, cold lines
form against a matte-gray sky.
I wait for when the lower edge
of the moon’s circumference will touch
the mountain ridge
and balance
perfectly
in climax. And then
my lunar performer slides
away, down the slippery back
of the mountain—
a sphere,
then a blister,
then a mere
flicker
of light through the trees,
then a pale radiance
in an empty sky.

***

Pull back a curtain.
Show me something that was
there all along. Don’t try to prove
anything. Keep my eyes
open. Put myself in the way
of truth and be
gripped—Aha!

***

Cherish
the hungers
so graciously implanted
in
your
heart.

Cooperate
with them
that they might
do
their holy
work
in
you.

stonebench

***

This “almost memory” is
fleeting, evasive.
Like the name we know

but can’t recall,
it wafts past with all
the sweetness and promise,

the taste and aroma of
an answer
to our longings.

Our hearts leap for it,
grasp for it,
but we cannot
hold on.

***

Our longings buck and heave,
whinny and snort,
as they harrow our hearts.

Their muscles bunch and strain
as they keep us moving
toward Home.