She Loves Him (poem)

For, oh how she loves him
More than words can describe
She loves him wildly and fully
She loves him gentle as a sigh
His voice is her music
His laughter, her breath of air
His warm embrace, a haven
Making her want to lose herself there
He pulled at her heart the moment they met
She was captivated, she was swept away
The sight of him, the thought of him
Brightened her like a new Spring day
She would do anything to make him smile
Even if it meant not saying a word
The way he makes her knees go weak
She knows is not reciprocated for the girl
But he holds her heart in his hands
He has brought new light to her world so dim
So fast, so strong, so completely
Oh, how wildly she loves him

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.18.14

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It’s purple and has 3 rings

I recently joked to a friend that I need an endless piece of notebook paper.  I seems like I always find myself with an unfortunate lack of paper when a new idea pops into my head.  I am too often left scrambling to find any piece of paper to record the idea on.  Legal pads, Post-its, the back of a receipt . . . I have a 3-ring binder that is full of big sheets of paper and little scraps.  I love that binder.

My 3-ring binder is purple and worn, but it is the roadmap through my imagination.  I’ve had this binder forever.  As a result it contains years and years worth of writing.  The very first poem that I ever wrote is in that binder.  I was fourteen years old when I wrote that poem.

Hundreds more pieces of paper have followed since I was fourteen.  Some of those pieces of paper are ripped and torn.  Some of those papers are folded or wrinkled.  Some are purple or yellow.  Some are printed from a computer.  Most of them are covered in scribbles as my pen searched from the right words.  Each of those pieces of paper is a piece of me, though.  They are a snapshot of the moment in my life that inspired me to put pen to paper.  And all of those pieces of paper are held together in my well-worn, purple, 3-ring binder.

I know it sounds crazy to rave over a cheap binder, but as a writer that binder represents my heart.  If you were to hold that binder in your hands you would be holding me.  You might look at it and see the same generic binder used my high school and college students, the same binder filled with paperwork in an office.  It is nothing special on the outside.  What is special about that binder is what it holds on the inside.

I bought my binder when I was attending broadcasting school to hold all of my class notes and artist info for use when I was on the air.  I picked that binder because it was big and it was purple.  That was it.  Clouds didn’t part.  Angels didn’t sing.  I needed an office supply for school and was lucky enough to find one in my favorite color.

At that time the pieces of paper that were my writings were housed in an ugly turquoise binder, and they were straining the 1-inch rings.  To open the rings that of that turquoise binder was to tempt a disastrous explosion of paper.  You could almost hear the papers sigh when they eventually got moved into the much roomier digs of the purple, 3-inch binder.

People may look at my binder, especially in this technological age, and ask why I don’t just do my writing on my laptop and save my work there.  Sure, it would make editing easier.  It would get rid of the problem of not being able to find a piece of paper when I need it.  Using my laptop would also be easier (and more aesthetically pleasing) to transport than my purple, 3-ring binder.  But I can refute each of those arguments.

I enjoy the feel of the paper beneath my hand.  I love the feeling of having my fingers wrapped around a pen.  I enjoy watching the letters form into words as they flow from my imagination.  I love looking at a completed piece and seeing the scribbled out lines from where I changed my mind on wording.  I love the sloppy handwriting of a frantically written piece where my pen raced to get the words out as fast as my head was spewing them like a literary volcanic eruption.  I love the neat, round penmanship of a piece that took time and thought to write.  I look at the original copy of a completed piece and know that it’s not perfect, but I also know that it has character and personality.  It is rough around the edges.  It is raw and beautiful.  It is everything that I am in my most vulnerable state.

Part of that goes along with the paper that the piece is written on.  I’m sure you know that inspiration can and does come from anywhere and from anything.  The words write themselves sometimes and it’s just a matter of getting them written down before they are forgotten.  That’s when the fun begins . . . the search for anything to record the words so that you can purge yourself of the idea before you go crazy or before it is lost in oblivion.  It is part of the adventure of being a writer.  That and finding a pen that actually works.  It always seems like whenever I have a truly GREAT idea I can NOT find a single pen that works.

As far as transportation of my purple, 3-ring binder . . . Does the Mona Lisa travel?  How about the St. Louis Arch or the LeaningTower of Pisa?  Do you pack up the pyramids and take them with you wherever you go?  No.  People go to those works to revel in their beauty.  I am not trying to equate my writing to those or any other priceless work of or feat of engineering.  But that binder is my personal work of art.  To me it is priceless.  It is my trophy of a life well lived.  I don’t need to carry it around like a billboard.  Instead I write more and continue to add to it.  Some people keep scrapbooks or a memory box.  I keep a 3-ring binder.

As a fellow writer how do you do most of your writing?  Do you fire up the laptop whenever inspiration strikes, or do you keep it old-school like me and put pen to paper?

How do you organize and store your collective writings?

One day (soon) I will outgrow the purple binder.  Will I buy a bigger one and replace it?  No.  I will buy a new one and start the next volume of my writing career.  Until then the collective works of love, hate, sadness, joy, silliness, anger, and every other emotion that has inspired me to write since I was fourteen-years-old shall continue to grow in the worn, dusty, cracked-plastic-covered, 3-inch, purple 3-ring binder.  It is the body that holds my heart and soul.

What does yours look like?

Until next time . . . 

The Heart’s Secret (poem)

I can say it out loud
But only so I can hear
I am in love with you
And you finding out is what I fear
I’m the girl you laugh with
But I’m the girl you don’t really see
I am the girl swept away by you
The girl with her heart on her sleeve
Your smile woke up my protected heart
Your warm eyes took my breath away
I was yours from the moment we met
But those are words I can never say
They are the truth that will forever hide
The untold story of my heart
The unsung lyrics of love’s sweet song
The play in which we have no part
You see me without seeing me
You are deaf to what is behind my words
You are blind to what my eyes can’t hide
To you I’m just another girl
My heart is yours, sweet music man
It was yours from day one
But you don’t know and never will
It’s a secret I will keep till I’m gone

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.16.14

The winds of change

How many times have you been in a situation and knew that something had to change?  Maybe it was a romantic relationship or your job.  Maybe it was setting a new goal for yourself or a complete life overhaul.  I am going through a period like that right now.

The last several weeks I have felt an overwhelming pull in my heart that something needs to change in my life.  The problem is that I don’t know where the change is needed or what needs to change.

Is it my job?  I have been feeling very burned out lately.  I love my job and the people that I work with, but I feel like I am just going through the motions.  I no longer have the same excitement or enthusiasm that I had the first time I opened a microphone years and years ago.

Is it my personal life that needs to change?  I have friends, a few of them I consider to be very close.  But sometimes a girl needs more than just a friend.  My heart is lonely.  I’ve always prided myself on m independence and my comfort with who I am.  But even the independent girl who is comfortable with herself needs someone else.  I feel incomplete.

Maybe it’s a need to change or improve myself.  The thought has popped into my head a few times recently about going back to school.  After high school I spent a few semesters attending a community college, but I wasn’t going for me.  I was going because that was what was expected of me at the time.  I was taking classes toward a major that I not only had no interest in, but flat out hated.  I had my own dream, but I let other people talk me out of it.  I eventually dropped out an started working fulltime at a dead end job.

A few years later I finally started chasing my dream and enrolled in broadcasting school.  My grandmother paid my tuition.  She was happy to see me going after something I had wanted for so long.  She passed away two years I moved to Kentucky from St. Louis.

Maybe that’s why I feel guilty for even considering a career change.  My grandmother put such faith in me and was so proud when I got my first job in radio.  She pushed and encouraged.  She was my cheerleader while I was attending broadcasting school.  All the while she was in what would be a losing battle against lung cancer.  If I let go of the career I wanted for so long and achieved because of her I feel like I will be letting her down.

But the dream I wanted when I was fourteen years old and found when I was twenty-four may not be the dream I want anymore at thirty-seven years old.  Is it alright to admit that?

What do I do now?  Where do I go from here?  I have no other skills.  I’ve never wanted or even considered another career.

The need for change is pulling at me.  It’s swirling around me the way wild spring winds spin a weathervane.  But in what direction are those winds trying to point me?  And will I find that new direction before burnout drives me crazy?  I am searching not for something that is lost, but instead for someone who is lost.  I have lost sight of who I am and I don’t know how to begin to find me again.

I’ve heard people say that “change is in the air,” but I have never felt it as strongly as I do right now.  The winds of change are blowing, but in what direction are they leading me?

Until next time . . .

Daughters (poem)

Daughters are our heart
The very air we breathe
The smile that clears our clouds
The warm hug that we need
Daddies with their little girls
There is no sweeter thing
Your own giggling angel
Her laughter is her wings
Hold her tight
Help her grow
But remember always
Never let her go
Her eyes that shine will look to you
For help along the way
Hold her hand, kiss her cheek
And cherish your daughter everyday
One day she’ll need grown up
A life of her own out in the world
But she will always be your daughter
Always daddy’s little girl

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.11.14

Glitter Girl (poem)

Lies disguised as friendship
Shadows hidden in light
Smiles masking the anger
Laughter so falsely bright
Climb into the head of the glitter-girl
Take a look around
See her deception-based reality
Built on quicksand ground
Wonder at the marvels
Created by her genius of lies
And watch the smoke-and-mirror rainbows
Make more of her hopes die
Revel at her waterfall of dreams
As they all slip away
And our precious glitter-girl
Slowly falls from grace
See how she falls
How she’s devoured by night
The sun will set on our glitter-girl
And forever dim her false light
Goodbye false laughter
Forced smiles and empty dreams
Farewell jaded glitter-girl
With you nothing is as it seems

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.04.13

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

I have known you for days, weeks, months, years . . . forever, it seems.  I can say that I don’t remember a time before I knew you, but I do.  Instead what I do say is that I remember a time that I was waiting for you.  I didn’t know It was you I was waiting for, but the moment you walked into my life I knew I had found a kindred spirit.

We know each other so well.  Sometimes I feel like we know each other better than we know ourselves.  The good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.  There is so much still left to discover about each other though, and the promise of those discoveries makes me as excited as a child on Christmas morning.

I don’t know the exact moment that I looked at you and saw not just a friend but someone that I loved.  You opened my heart and found your way in.  It was a slow and wonderful process, like watching the sun rise and warm up a new Spring day.  I do love you.  You are more than a friend.  You are family.

You are someone that I’d fight for and protect.  You I would stand up for and stand up to.  You are the one I can talk to without saying a word.  Together we have learned that a gentle touch can’t always heal a broken heart, but the comfort from a friend that it can bring can mean the world when fighting back tears.  A joke that only we understand leaves us laughing until tears roll from our eyes and we are holding our aching stomachs.  That laughter is the beautiful soundtrack to our days, weeks, years spent together.

I didn’t know when we met just how much you would change me and my life.  Because of you my life is so much better.  Because of you my life is complete.  You fill my heart with happiness and love just by being everything that you are.  When you are joyful I am, too.  When you are down I feel your pain in my heart.  When you are hopeful I reach for the stars with you.  When you break I hold your pieces together in my heart.

We haven’t always had it easy, Friend.  We have fought and cried.  We’ve shared angry silence that left me fearful of our future.  Our bond, though sometimes stretched thin, has never broken though, because our two hearts make one complete soul.  I am your glitter and giggles.  You are my foundation.  I am your sky-high wings.  You are my roots.  I am your sunflowers and you are the sun they reach for.  We are two.  We are one.  We are friends.

Many people have come into our lives since the day you and I met, but through them all it is our friendship that remains constant.  Through everything our friendship has remained strong, and continues to get stronger everyday.  You have my heart, Friend.  You have my life.  You are the vessel from which our friendship grows.  You are the muse that inspires my love for you.  You are everything that I am and everything I hope to be.  I hold you in my heart, and you give me wings to fly.  Before we met we were two lost puzzle pieces searching for our match piece.  Others came along who almost fit.  Then Fate brought us together and our puzzle was complete.

I don’t know what lies ahead of us, Friend.  You can bet that I look forward to each day life gives us though.  No matter what comes at us I will reach for your hand and step forward with you.  Side-by-side we will be warmed by the sun of our friendship.  We will face down whatever storms come our way.  We will laugh and cry.  We will fight and hug.  We will comfort and uplift.  We will know that nothing is too strong to break the connection we share.

I love you, Friend.  You are me.  I am you.  My life has not been the same since the day I met you.  My life has been made better.  I have been made better for having you in my life.

I have known you for what feels like all my life, but in the grand scheme of life has been a mere blink of an eye.  You are one of the greatest gifts to be given to me, and I will be forever thankful that Fate brought is together.

You are my heart.  You are my family.  You are my friend, and I love you.

Always,
Your friend

Shadows In The Clouds

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Occasionally I will make the nearly two-hour trip to Cape Girardeau, Missouri for my favorite pizza in the whole world:  Imo’s St. Louis style pizza.  Tonight I made the pizza trip and on the way back home I drove through the tiny town of Wickliffe, Kentucky.  There is not much in Wickliffe except a few gas station, a few stoplights, and a playground.  But Wickliffe does have one more thing.  A cross.  

The cross in Wickliffe stands at the edge of a riverbank and can be seen for miles, day or night.  At night it is bathed by light from four powerful spotlights.  It seems to not just be lit up, but to actually glow.  It is a truly beautiful and awe-inspiring sight to behold.

The air tonight as I stood looking at the cross was heavy with a fine rain and the sky was completely cloud-covered.  I stood looking at the cross in awe of its beauty.  I looked to the right of the cross and noticed a form in the sky.  The spotlights had cast a shadow of the cross in the sky.  I looked to the left of the cross and there was a second shadow in the clouds.  It was beautiful.  I turned around and what I saw left me in awe, left me speechless, left me so moved that I was almost brought to tears.  There were 2 more shadows in the clouds of the cross. 

In total:  4 crosses in the sky and they seemed to glow as much as the cross that was casting the shadow.  All I could do was stand there in the wind and cold rain and stare in wonder at the simple and elegant beauty before me.  It was the first time in my life that I honestly felt the power of what the cross represents.  I didn’t feel the rain.  I didn’t feel the chill of the wind.  I feel safe.  I felt like I wasn’t alone.

I stopped in Wickliffe to see one beautiful and glowing cross and was given the amazing gift of five.  In that moment I felt so small, so at peace, and so in awe.  Seeing those crosses in the sky is a memory I will hold dear all my life.