Poetry Friday: Soul shine

I’m a relative newcomer to Poetry Friday. First let me thank Irene Latham for hosting today’s Roundup and Carol Varsalona for extending the invitation on social media to come and honor author Nikki Grimes.

Carol created a lovely rose-adorned Buncee card which reads: “Nikki Grimes—Do more of what makes your soul shine, because you inspire others to write.”

Those words, soul shine, beckoned me to ask … what makes one’s soul shine?

Nikki’s soul certainly shines through her poetry as well as through her faith and her literary contribution to children. I’ve read that her favorite color is purple and it got me thinking that our souls shine with all that we love, all that is most precious to us. I still consider myself mostly a storyteller with poetic leanings, but I thought I’d try capturing this idea of “soul shine” by exploring what our favorite colors might represent in a form that Nikki uses, tanka:

Your soul shines purple
with creative energy

imparting faith, calm,
stability and passion
for people, stories, and words.

My soul shines rose-gold,
a fusion of alloyed strength:
Copper for healing
in gold of faith, hope, and love
for people, stories, and words.

I often think about writing as a means of healing. Today I contemplate writing poetry as a striving to grasp what is just beyond our reach—whether the parameters and inner workings of nature, the universe, or own souls. Sometimes it comes as an anguished cry, other times quiet awe or wonder, a celebratory outpouring of joy, always an embrace of the nearly-inexpressible, real and ethereal, images of life and the living of it. What does the soul crave most? Beauty? Truth? Understanding? Freedom? Peace? It may change as we change.

Whatever the answer … poetry beckons the soul to shine.

Peace is the lofty landing place
Of our souls’ storm-torn flight.
Exhausted, expended
Rising still to shin
Your soul and mine.

Thank you, all Poetry Friday Friends, for being the wellspring of inspiration that you are.

Lead photo: Shine. Rodnei Reis. CC-BY

12 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Soul shine

  1. Fran, first of all thank you for connecting my card to your beautiful mind’s soul-searching for words. You found the color words to describe your noticings and wonderings in a beautiful lyrical way. These words in your last poem really touched me:
    Peace is the lofty landing place
    Of our souls’ storm-torn flight.
    Exhausted, expended
    The pandemic has taken its toll on many. It has been a storm-torn flight of our souls that has indeed left us exhausted, expended but yet hopeful. Your word transcending has the elements of hope and faith tied into it. What a lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad those lines spoke to you, Carol, and once again I thank you for inspiring my own post. We’ve been through many storms of late, still ongoing … in my mind I see our souls as birds, flying in ominous grayness over a turbulent sea in a pelting rain … what are we striving to reach? That gave me the idea of peace as a landing place. We will get there. Strength for the journey … that’s why we write.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed the soul-shine colors idea… teal! Clarity of thought, open communication, expanse of sky and sea representing infinity, truth – a great color! I wore a lot of teal when I was young; even teal eyeliner. It was my favorite color then. Still love it. Calming.


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