Category: Time Of Singing A Journal Of Christian Poetry

Bloganuary prompt for January 11, 2022

What does it mean to live boldly?

The conversations with our blogs span generations and are from many places. With this question, I think about how I would have different answers at different times and places in my life. And some of the questions bring back my perspective and voice as a teacher, as opposed to most of my posts. I love a more simple and quiet life now, which is also good for my health. I hope to still be writing posts a long time from now!

My father’s passing (1983) was when I was a new student in a doctoral program in Special Education at Northern Illinois University – so long ago now. My professors gave me more time to complete work, as my mother lived in Wisconsin. It took courage to complete my degree (Ed.D), and more time (graduated in 1987). I began writing more poetry during those years. I wrote a poem, and then was able to concentrate on my studies. My parents were both teachers.

Also some times, a change in direction was needed. These are individual decisions. Life changes. Health first. I have read memoirs, poetry, novels, biographies, listened to music, read books about creativity, letters published after an artist died, etc. The finished product may be excellent, but “everyone has a story.” There is a lot of encouragement to be found in art, history, and literature. Takes time and dedication. Always more to learn!

The ongoing Joni Mitchell Archives are generous – so much hard work sustained over time. I remember working on lesson plans and listening to her music and poetry. She also shows how if you can no longer create in one way, there is other work you can do. Joni is also a painter. It will take some time to listen and learn from her archives and remastered albums – her life work in progress.

In conclusion, I would like to reprint two early poems. In another post, I hope to write about the Psalms and share some verses. One of my sites is POEMS FROM PSALMS AND NATURE (July 2010 – to the present). For some prompts now, I may simply share a short poem or verse.

There are so many artists and authors I would like to mention, and these are thank you notes. This is long enough for today. Thank you and blessings. Take good care, one day at a time. Blogs are flexible, and a good way to be and stay creative.

IT IS IMPORTANT

To have a vision
to sustain the effort
to see it all the way
through

Even when it seems
to leave you

It Is Important was published first in Time Of Singing.

Petals On Wood

The daylilies in the vase
Are ending

       Petals drop on wood

I leave them
They express something poignant

       That words never could.

Petals On Wood was published first in ARTS ALIVE: A LITERARY REVIEW (1988, The Tinley Park – Park District; Illinois).

Ellen Grace Olinger

light begins

light begins
to bless this day
sunrise

I wrote that I am learning more about art forms this year. Years ago, I learned about Marji Stevens and her artwork from Lora Homan Zill. Lora is editor of Time Of Singing (TOS), which is published by Wind & Water Press (Conneaut Lake, PA). TOS was one of the first poetry print journals to publish my haiku, beginning when Charles A. Waugaman was editor. The journal was founded in 1958 by Dr. Benjamin P. Browne.

This year I bought a small “original acrylic pour painting” by Marji Stevens from her Etsy shop: Mim’s Pickety Place- my happy, creative spot! The acrylic pour paintings are a new form for me.

And a haiku that was published by TOS in 1995:

birds perch
in sheltering branches
a grain of mustard seed

Matthew 13: 31 – 32

Haiku in this post are by Ellen Grace Olinger.

small study

small study
sun reaches the painting
adds another layer

(based on a painting by Wendy Brightbill)

My poem was published in the new Time Of Singing, Fall 2021.

Lora Homan Zill is Editor of TOS, a print journal.

Daily Life These Days

Early morning, and I sit in silence for a time. An old haiku:

cup of coffee
by the water
this day to God

Lake Michigan water levels are at record highs.

Then I cook a healthy breakfast, and stay current with the news. Check my WordPress reader, and always so much art and hope here. I continue to follow the daily instructions from my Care Team. Grateful.

Sanctuary Series, 1985 is an interesting post from Art Discarded 2 “Art that has been tossed by the wayside and rediscovered.” I remember being at an art museum with my family when young. The colors.

I saw a robin in the yard this morning, and perennials grow again.

An email today from Charlotte at Madeleine L’Engle about a short story collection by Madeleine, The Moment of Tenderness, released today. The introduction is by Charlotte Jones Voiklis, who is Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter and executor of her estate. Madeleine’s books are good for this time, and always.

Another old haiku:

old photos
on my desk —
bleeding hearts in bloom

Published first in Time Of Singing (1994). Also reprinted with the poems selected for my Poet Profile at The Haiku Foundation. Billie Wilson was editor then and helped me with my page.

Patience, peace, home
Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

Meditation: Seasons

I was listening to music that recalled many years, and I remembered a verse from the Psalms.

They go from strength to strength . . .
From Psalm 84: 7 (KJV)

One of my early poems is “And So My Soul:”

Endurance is eloquent
And marigolds are
Admirable because
They bloom
So long

I wrote the poem in 1981, and it was published by Time Of Singing in 1991. You can read the poem in my post from August 10, 2019.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For this post, I looked for a photo from each season at the WordPress.com Free Photo Library.

Encouragement: Poems and Photos

Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in need is a beautiful poetry anthology with Time Of Singing. The cover and illustrations are by Charles A. Waugaman. We published the book in 2007, and it has lasted. The themes are timeless and many poets are featured. Lora Homan Zill and I served as Editors. Please visit the books page at Time Of Singing, if you wish to know more about this book.

W  onderful time of
I  nspiration and
N  ew books
T  o
E  njoy
R  eading

WINTER ACROSTIC
January 21, 2011

tree branches
bowed to the ground
seemingly half-broken
covered with new leaves
my notebook of prayers

April 30, 2012.
Photo: wpclipart

more colors of blue
in Lake Michigan today
than I can name
the wonder of always learning
dreaming new dreams

Poem: March 13, 2012
Photo is from my post on June 13, 2018.

country cemetery
trumpet vines
growing taller
than the gravestones

Time Of Singing, 2012
Photo: wpclipart

Photo by Karl July 29, 2018

Ellen Grace Olinger

warmth on a cold day

warmth on a cold day
sweaters and blankets
from thrift stores

warmth on a cold day
books and poetry journals
on shelves and a new book
on the kitchen table
from yesterday’s mail

One of the nice aspects of blogging is that I’ve learned of books by poets that are not always sold in stores – and we only have a few bookstores in our area. I also have ordered books recommended by notes and reviews in poetry print journals. Time Of Singing and WestWard Quarterly are two examples. Both journals have published poems from my blogs, and I am grateful. All works together.

I no longer review books, yet am grateful every day for the books on my shelves and by my chair. It is nice to have interests – blogs and books – that I know can stay with me through the years. When I have not been able to read, my heart has been full.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Orange Flower Border is by Margaret Armstrong
and courtesy of Reusable Art.