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Friday’s Feature on Sunday (Again)

So, the Featured Blog I wanted to encourage is The Punchy Lands spearheaded by Professor VJ Duke. The Professor is quite a character, and The Punchy Lands sounds like a pretty interesting place, though I’m not so sure I want to visit if Kirk is around. That’s because I MIGHT be inclined to hit him in the head with a skillet. He needs a good smack I think. The Professor is a rather mysterious person, though we just recently found out he lives on a green star. At first, I thought he might be related to Gaudior from A Swiftly Tilting Planet but now I’m leaning more towards a personage more like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. The Professor has a little orange tree and an armory, and I love his battleaxe. It’s pretty awesome. Though I wonder if he knows how to wield it properly. I also wonder how his little orange tree can grow on his cold little star, although, since a rose grew on the one The Little Prince lived on, I suppose it’s one of those mysteries of the universe. The Professor has a wonderful sense of humor, though I think he’ll probably pretend to be a little crusty and grumpy. I like him. So, go give The Punchy Lands a visit and discover the interesting characters, and aurtoons, that live there. Meet the Professor and make sure you talk in some sort of Professor-ish speak-he likes that.

I had some trouble picking the Featured Poem this time around. I wanted to highlight E.E. Cummings, one of my top 10 favorite poets. I love Cummings’ work. But, then I also wanted to talk about W.H. Auden and Frost, and…and… well, I’ve been reading so much poetry recently that I think I almost melted my brain trying to decide which poet to feature. But then, inpiration struck. I re-read The Invitation by Oriah, and fell in love with it all over again. I love this one so much. It says everything I have ever wanted say, what I have ever felt, what I have ever wanted in a soul mate, a friend, and myself. These are such simple words, yet they are so quietly powerful. I feel them reverberate through me every time I read them. As a writer of poems for so long, how can I not feel their beauty? There are three stanzas that strike into my heart each and every time I read this poem.

“It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.”

“It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.”

“It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. 
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. 
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”

Like my friend, CJ, I am a huge fan of The Love Book App. It is my go to app for everything: when I need encouragement, support, hope, or just to hear something really beautiful. Some of the poems on it are read by British actors and actresses. This one is read by Emma Watson, and I can’t imagine anyone else reading this poem. Her beautiful voice strikes each line with honesty and sincerity. Seriously, it is worth the few dollars to download. So many of my favorite poems are on here, as well as some I’d never read before, like this one. Go check out The Love Book App and then go visit Oriah’s site, too, and download the wonderful book it’s in. She’s a beautiful soul.

Here is The Invitation by Oriah:

oriah-mountain-dreamer-fire

THE INVITATION
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if
you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know
if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of
your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you
can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I
want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and
shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief
and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else
falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Jesi Kay, poet and aspiring novelist, was born in the Texas panhandle where wide skies, lazy summer days, and rolling thunderstorms sparked her imagination and left lasting memories in her blood. An early reader, poetry and mythology were her passions. So much so that when she was ten years old her step-father gave her his college mythology textbooks to read, which were full of classic poetry and more than enough tales to fill her romantic and inquisitive nature. Jesi loves reading, art, going to the theater, the romanticism of the Victorian era (but not the missing conveniences of indoor plumbing and central air conditioning), running when the heat and humidity cooperate, and cold weather so she can wear her favorite boots and knitwear. Also, she still has those college mythology textbooks, a little worse for wear over time but still intact and telling their stories to her. Jesi is a contributor at The Well Tempered Bards blog and at www.octpowrimo.com.

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