Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#103 Backstory of the Poem "The sight of a million angels" by Jenneth Graser

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****This is #103 in a never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.  All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. 

*****All photos are given copyright permission granted by Jenneth Graser for this CRC Blog Post only unless otherwise noted.

#103 Backstory of the Poem
“The sight of a million angels”
by Jenneth Graser
Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form? This poem is written from out of a dream I had. It was so tangible to me. The child that resides within each one of us sometimes speaks in dreams.  I see her from time to time, with a message for me.  I could see from the side of the desert, it was like being within a surreal painting. The desert was hanging in space and I could see it like a vertical cliff of existence being played out before me. I could see myself running on the edge of this desert with the rain cloud, running in the night. 

       The freedom was powerful, the power was reality. I felt this was a prophetic symbol of a place I was being invited into, stepping into personal freedom, invited out of the desert of impossibility and breaking, thirst and latent potential. The little girl inside of me was discovering her feet, her speed, her spiritual sight, her ability, her wings. This is an invitation to all of us, to find the miracles in the desert of impossibility, so that we can receive who we are as a gift. We can receive the coming of rain in a place that has been far too dry for too long. And finally, we can discover we have the freedom to move forward into a new season, a new place, and use the wings we have been given, to fly out of the desert into whatever comes.

Where were you when you started to actually write the poem? And please describe the place in great detail. I was at our home in Southfield in our office/spare room at our computer desk. This is most often the place of my writing and inspiration. 

What month and year did you start writing this poem? I do not remember the exact date, but it was around the birth of our first child 2008/2009. (Top Left:  Jenneth with her firstborn Abigail)

How many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?) I wrote it in one sitting.  My most favourite way to assess and adjust a poem, is straight after I write it. Then I tweak it until it feels just right. (Middle Left:  Jenneth, Abigail, and Paul) 

What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem? I want each person who reads this poem to get in touch with their own inner child and personal power. To hear the messages that are latent and buried within. To release buried grief and to receive the important longings of the child, for freedom, power, individuation, personal expression. That we are born to be who we are, no comparison. Even if we have found ourselves in the most blistering of desert seasons, we can experience the invitations to deepen our thirst, seek God from within our truest self and find the wings he has placed within us all along. 
It is time for us to live our freedom. To be completely immersed in grace. To receive a refreshing deluge. To come out of hiding. To be re-born. To stop relying on our limited ways of seeing and realise there is support rushing in towards us, giving us a new perspective on life, and a way of seeing that isn’t about what we can view with our human eyes.  It is time to receive ourselves with grace and unconditional love. To stop holding back and to take risks as we move into this brand new year, 2019.

Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? The most emotional part for me is about running blind with the rain in my face, experiencing the supernatural sight of angels. This is about no more holding back with a question mark over my personal worth and value. It is about shedding the grief of brokenness and the past. It is about coming into a spiritual determination that nothing, not even my own self, can stop what God has planned for me. It is about destiny and not relying on my own strength to make things work. And it is about finding my wings, so that there is no way I can remain earth bound in spirit any longer. (Above Right:  Guardian Angel by Bernhard Plockhorst.)

Has this poem been published before? And if so where? This poem was published in my devotional Catching the Light, available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon.

Anything you would like to add? Thank you once again for the honour of being asked to partake in your series!  I have chosen the following poem which comes from Catching the Light, my devotional self-published in 2013 as a Kindle e-book.  I have a current compilation of poetry which I am wanting to get published, but am still discerning the way forward for that!

~ The sight of a million angels ~

Look, how I run
Like a wild ox running in the rain.
A thunder of hooves in my little girl heart
Pounds out a rhythm on the desert floor.
I run like the speed of light
Something completely of heaven.
I can almost feel the wings on me grow.

I run with determination,
Nothing can stop me.
And above me the rain shadow
It follows me, the rain, the downpour
In the night hours, the rain slicks my hair
Into my face,
Blindly I run, with the sight of
A million angels.

The burning sand
Is only a memory now,
I run into the dawn
As countless colours of rain
Diamond-shatter the night,
The rain shadow folds into day.

Look, how my wings rise with the sun.

     Jenneth Graser has her poetry published with Tiferet Journal and she is part of a community of writers for the Godspace blog. Her poetry has appeared in Women’s Spiritual Poetry Blog, My Utmost Christian Writers and 30 Poems in 30 Days: Writing Prompts from Philip Marley and Tiferet Journal. In 2018, Jenneth hosted the Poetry as Therapy Online Retreat available as a 21 day personal retreat at her website Secret Place Devotion.
She is the author of Catching the Light self-published as a Kindle ebook in 2013. She has an avid interest in books, poetry, creativity, the outdoors and contemplative prayer and music.  Jenneth loves to travel and enjoys experiencing different cultures of the world.  
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, but at a young age Jenneth also lived in British Columbia, Canada when her family immigrated there in the early 80's. After completing a degree in Library and Information Studies, she moved overseas to Toronto to complete a ministry school. She stayed on there as a volunteer and this was a life changing experience.  She was healed of epilepsy and felt the tangible presence of God manifest in unusual ways.  The teachings on hearing God for herself and healing life’s hurts opened up a whole new world. 

But she learned the hard way about her tendencies to attempt to save others after going through a difficult break-up and she realised the necessity to develop healthy boundaries. Jenneth walked into a painful season of health issues, recovering from not only the trauma of an abusive relationship, but also the shock of her brother’s death (above right as children), but with the help of her parent’s (Below: with Jenneth at Houp Bay)  support and through working for a pastoral counselor, she began to trust the process of healing. At the same time, she developed an interest in prayer and the wisdom of many different teachers from a variety of backgrounds.

Jenneth lives in the seaside valley of Hout Bay (Left) in the Western Cape of South Africa with her husband, Karl and three daughters. (Below) She is now a writer and homeschool Mom. Karl and Jenneth have a deep desire to see people work together in unity to overcome obstacles and make the changes in their communities fueled by love and to see walls between people come down.

Through her writing, Jenneth has a desire to share hope, the ability to dream again, believe in miracles, learn to love yourself unconditionally as a healing path towards loving others, embrace your own personal power, live into the fullness of your destiny, forgive well and learn to live in the present moment with a grateful spirit, as these are all areas of ongoing growth and transformation in her own life.  She is a firm believer in the fact that we never arrive, but are always changing, learning and growing - even into eternity.

001  December 29, 2017
Margo Berdeshevksy’s “12-24”

002  January 08, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “82 Miles From the Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café”

003 January 12, 2018
Barbara Crooker’s “Orange”

004 January 22, 2018
Sonia Saikaley’s “Modern Matsushima”

005 January 29, 2018
Ellen Foos’s “Side Yard”

006 February 03, 2018
Susan Sundwall’s “The Ringmaster”

007 February 09, 2018
Leslea Newman’s “That Night”

008 February 17, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher “June Fairchild Isn’t Dead”

009 February 24, 2018
Charles Clifford Brooks III “The Gift of the Year With Granny”

010 March 03, 2018
Scott Thomas Outlar’s “The Natural Reflection of Your Palms”

011 March 10, 2018
Anya Francesca Jenkins’s “After Diane Beatty’s Photograph “History Abandoned”

012  March 17, 2018
Angela Narciso Torres’s “What I Learned This Week”

013 March 24, 2018
Jan Steckel’s “Holiday On ICE”

014 March 31, 2018
Ibrahim Honjo’s “Colors”

015 April 14, 2018
Marilyn Kallett’s “Ode to Disappointment”

016  April 27, 2018
Beth Copeland’s “Reliquary”

017  May 12, 2018
Marlon L Fick’s “The Swallows of Barcelona”

018  May 25, 2018

019  June 09, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “Stiletto Killer. . . A Surmise”

020 June 16, 2018
Charles Rammelkamp’s “At Last I Can Start Suffering”

021  July 05, 2018
Marla Shaw O’Neill’s “Wind Chimes”

022 July 13, 2018
Julia Gordon-Bramer’s “Studying Ariel”

023 July 20, 2018
Bill Yarrow’s “Jesus Zombie”

024  July 27, 2018
Telaina Eriksen’s “Brag 2016”

025  August 01, 2018
Seth Berg’s “It is only Yourself that Bends – so Wake up!”

026  August 07, 2018
David Herrle’s “Devil In the Details”

027  August 13, 2018
Gloria Mindock’s “Carmen Polo, Lady Necklaces, 2017”

028  August 21, 2018
Connie Post’s “Two Deaths”

029  August 30, 2018
Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Faces in a Crowd”

030 September 16, 2018
Larry Jaffe’s “The Risking Point”

031  September 24, 2018
Mark Lee Webb’s “After We Drove”

032  October 04, 2018
Melissa Studdard’s “Astral”

033 October 13, 2018
Robert Craven’s “I Have A Bass Guitar Called Vanessa”

034  October 17, 2018
David Sullivan’s “Paper Mache Peaches of Heaven”

035 October 23, 2018
Timothy Gager’s “Sobriety”

036  October 30, 2018
Gary Glauber’s “The Second Breakfast”

037  November 04, 2018
Heather Forbes-McKeon’s “Melania’s Deaf Tone Jacket”

038 November 11, 2018
Andrena Zawinski’s “Women of the Fields”

039  November 00, 2018
Gordon Hilger’s “Poe”

040 November 16, 2018
Rita Quillen’s “My Children Question Me About Poetry” and “Deathbed Dreams”

041 November 20, 2018
Jonathan Kevin Rice’s “Dog Sitting”

042 November 22, 2018
Haroldo Barbosa Filho’s “Mountain”

043  November 27, 2018
Megan Merchant’s “Grief Flowers”

044 November 30, 2018
Jonathan P Taylor’s “This poem is too neat”

045  December 03, 2018
Ian Haight’s “Sungmyo for our Dead Father-in-Law”

046 December 06, 2018
Nancy Dafoe’s “Poem in the Throat”

047 December 11, 2018
Jeffrey Pearson’s “Memorial Day”

048  December 14, 2018
Frank Paino’s “Laika”

049  December 15, 2018
Jennifer Martelli’s “Anniversary”

O50  December 19, 2018
Joseph Ross’s For Gilberto Ramos, 15, Who Died in the Texas Desert, June 2014”

051 December 23, 2018
“The Persistence of Music”
by Anatoly Molotkov

052  December 27, 2018
“Under Surveillance”
by Michael Farry

053  December 28, 2018
“Grand Finale”
by Renuka Raghavan

054  December 29, 2018
by Gene Barry

055 January 2, 2019
by Larissa Shmailo

056  January 7, 2019
“The Seamstress:
by Len Kuntz

057  January 10, 2019
"Natural History"
by Camille T Dungy

058  January 11, 2019
by Brian Burmeister

059  January 12, 2019
by Clint Margrave

060 January 14, 2019
by Pat Durmon

061 January 19, 2019
“Neptune’s Choir”
by Linda Imbler

062  January 22, 2019
“Views From the Driveway”
by Amy Barone

063  January 25, 2019
“The heron leaves her haunts in the marsh”
by Gail Wronsky

064  January 30, 2019
by Terry Lucas

065 February 02, 2019
“Summer 1970, The University of Virginia Opens to Women in the Fall”
by Alarie Tennille

066 February 05, 2019
“At School They Learn Nouns”
by Patrick Bizzaro

067  February 06, 2019
“I Must Not Breathe”
by Angela Jackson-Brown

068 February 11, 2019
“Lunch on City Island, Early June”
by Christine Potter

069 February 12, 2019
by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum

070 February 14, 2019
“Daily Commute”
by Christopher P. Locke

071 February 18, 2019
“How Silent The Trees”
by Wyn Cooper

072 February 20, 2019
“A New Psalm of Montreal”
by Sheenagh Pugh

073 February 23, 2019
“Make Me A Butterfly”
by Amy Barbera

074 February 26, 2019
by Sandy Coomer

075 March 4, 2019
“Shape of a Violin”
by Kelly Powell

076 March 5, 2019
“Inward Oracle”
by J.P. Dancing Bear

077 March 7, 2019
“I Broke My Bust Of Jesus”
by Susan Sundwall

078 March 9, 2019
“My Mother at 19”
by John Guzlowski

079 March 10, 2019
by Chera Hammons Miller

080 March 12, 2019
“Of Water and Echo”
by Gillian Cummings

081   082   083    March 14, 2019
“Little Political Sense”   “Crossing Kansas with Jim
Morrison”  “The Land of Sky and Blue Waters”
by Dr. Lindsey Martin-Bowen

084 March 15, 2019
“A Tune To Remember”
by Anna Evans

085 March 19, 2019
“At the End of Time (Wish You Were Here)
by Jeannine Hall Gailey

086 March 20, 2019
“Garden of Gethsemane”
by Marletta Hemphill

087 March 21, 2019
“Letters From a War”
by Chelsea Dingman

088 March 26, 2019
by Bob Heman

089 March 27, 2019
“Clay for the Potter”
by Belinda Bourgeois

#090 March 30, 2019
“The Pose”
by John Hicks

#091 April 2, 2019
“Last Night at the Wursthaus”
by Doug Holder

#092 April 4, 2019
“Original Sin”
by Diane Lockward

#093 April 5, 2019
“A Father Calls to his child on liveleak”
by Stephen Byrne

#094 April 8, 2019
by Marc Zegans

#095 April 12, 2019
“Landscape and Still Life”
by Marjorie Maddox

#096 April 16, 2019
“Strawberries Have Been Growing Here for Hundreds of
by Mary Ellen Lough

#097 April 17, 2019
“The New Science of Slippery Surfaces”
by Donna Spruijt-Metz

#098 April 19, 2019
“Tennessee Epithalamium”
by Alyse Knorr

#099 April 20, 2019
“Mermaid, 1969”
by Tameca L. Coleman

#100 April 21, 2019
“How Do You Know?”
by Stephanie

#101 April 23, 2019
“Rare Book and Reader”
by Ned Balbo

#102 April 26, 2019
by Jefferson Carter

#103 May 01, 2019
“The sight of a million angels”
by Jenneth Graser

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