Thursday, April 25, 2013


I had to chuckle at a comment from a friend who expressed appreciation for one of my contemporary poems: "What a blessing it must be to be able to just sit down and let those words flow onto paper!"

NOT! I must correct that.

That would not only be a blessing but a miracle! That's not the way my creative juices flow. Writing one poem may begin with a kernel idea, a thought. But after putting something down on paper there follows sometimes 6 plus hours of concentrated work--the editing seems endless. I examine each word and phrase and polish and rewrite until it has little resemblance to the original draft. And I am never satisfied. Each time I look at it, I revise again, try to choose better words.

My rhyming is usually internal within the phrases, not consistently at the end of a line. I write sense lines in free verse, not metered, and use alliteration and like-sounding words to develop my thoughts. I rely heavily on the 5 senses and emotion.  Note examples below:  "sallow/sun/snuggles" and "comfy coverlet" "blazing/brilliance/bouncing"  -- that sort of thing. (I taught free verse poetry workshops at writers conferences so I try to do more than dash off a few lines and call it a poem.

This is just to let you know that a poem is like a musical composition  or an artist's painting, not off the top of one's head. Actually, I paint with words too. 

Two Spring Dawn Poems
by Leona Choy

On muted winter mornings
the sallow sun snuggles lazily
beneath the comfy coverlet of night
reluctant to leave his bed of stars
and down-filled comforter of clouds.

I love to sleep late
deep under my cozy patchwork counterpane
unaware of hazy late morning light
oblivious to my alarm clock
snoozing silently with me
in its “long doze” mode.

But now in spring
the sun flings off his blanket
and rises swiftly
from his restless sleep
with blazing brilliance bouncing up
the rosy steps of day
scaling the Blue Ridge mountains
in a matter of minutes
framed in my eastern window.

How do I know?
Because the sun teases me
by turning on dawn's light
long before six
and sounding a reveille
of chirping birds
compelling me to wake and witness
his daily solar spectacle
and not be late to appreciate
another splendid Virginia dawn.


(My meditation on Psalm 19, The perfect Revelation
of the Lord 'to the Chief Musician.' A Psalm of David

Dawn lingers impatiently on the horizon
eager to cast off her robes of night.
The sun yawns one last time
and turns his face to heaven
magnetically drawn to the skies
in adoration of his Creator
then rises in jubilant splendor
to glorify God:
The heavens declare the glory of God.”

Earth stirs with myriad life:
flowers open fragile petals
wet with grateful dew-tears
for the light of another day
to display God magnificence
and His miracle touch to quicken
all the slumbering earth for its tasks:
The firmament shows His handiwork.”

Each new day utters psalms
speaking forth its gratitude for being
sustained and ordered by God.
Night after night shows Divine patterns.
Nowhere is their witness
hidden from human eyes.
Day unto day utters speech
and night unto night shows forth knowledge.”

Man, who looks upon these wonders
joins joyfully in unison
with earth and heaven above
to proclaim God's majesty and power
and overwhelming love—
and so do I!

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