Showing posts from April, 2014

Music of Sacred Lakes by Laura Cowan

Every so often, I am asked to review a book.  When Laura Cowan, author of Music of Sacred Lakes, wrote about her book, I didn't hesitate to say yes.  

Music of Sacred Lakes intrigued me on several levels.  First, it is the tale of a young man who has lost his way after a major tragedy.  Second, he finds himself through the guidance of Native American wisdom.  Third, it takes place in a part of the US that I knew well.

As I read this epic, I was touched by how carefully Laura incorporated Native wisdom.  At times, her writing is poetic, especially when describing the mysticism of the Lake.  In addition, her characters are all entirely believable.  I felt I knew them - could recognize them if we ever met.  To me, this is great writing!

There are lessons to be learned in this book; it is not simply a tale to entertain.  Laura weaves wisdom throughout the story that holds true today as it did centuries ago. This is a great book for anyone who is struggling as well as for anyone who wants…

Painting Words of Hope

As I have said many times before, poetry is painting pictures with words.  Like any art, the more ones practices the better one gets.  Often, my students will tell me that it is too difficult to write poetry; however, I remind them that everything in life can be difficult, until we learn to make it our own.

So, this past month, I had some of my ESOL students write haiku...the results were so beautiful that I created a newsletter with the pictures they used as prompts along side the haiku they wrote.  Needless to say, they were impressed with the fact that they could write something good enough to go into print.  So, begins their personal journeys into creative writing!

This is the poem I wrote for my students - my heroes - who struggle against so many odds to learn English.

Safe Haven

They come beaten and battered by the storm 
of dictatorial lies and systematic cruelty, 
looking for the promised asylum offered by 
the great colossus mother, who stands 
firmly astride the path of freedom. 


The Power of One

Photo Credit: by Sergiu Bacioiu via Wikimedia Commons
Often, I have thought and written about the power of words as well as the power of one person to make a change things.  The image of the ripple effect is used to show how Grace can touch one, then, radiate out to touch the multitudes.  

This week, I want to share a story and a poem.  The story was sent to me by my daughter, who is now nurturing daughters of her own. Together with her sisters, we have had many discussions on the recent trend to dress little girls (as young as infants!) in clothes that are totally, to us, inappropriate.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a prude, but seeing an infant in a black sequined diva dress, to me, sends the wrong message, as do the tight short shorts and skimpy tops for seven and eight year old girls. So, the following article was proof that even the little girls know that they are being exploited! (Click here to go to the article.)

Next up is a poem that also talks about the powe…

Vincent and I

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons
Those that know me well, know that I have loved Vincent Van Gogh since childhood.  As a little girl, I believed that Starry Night was painted for me.  No one could dissuade me of this fact.

So as an adult poet/writer, it is not surprising that often my work become entwined with his.  Here are a few examples for your reading pleasure.

Alive with Color 

Like Vincent, I too am “alive with color.” 
With the artist’s eyes, 
I see the purple dark, 
Brightened by spiraling gold light. 
No monochrome existence - 
No shade of gray subsistence. 
I am a tropical village, alive 
With turquoise and salmon, 
Buttercup and lilac - 
Tones of singing color - 
Unafraid of my rainbow palate life, 
I paint the world! 

Linda M. Rhinehart Neas © 2014 

Vincent’s Sky

In a life, long before now, 
you painted swirling lines of fire, 
scattered across a landscape 
of purple and blue. 
Your palate alive with opposites - 
Your brush creating words 
only the heart could re…

Spring Fever and the Poem a Day Challenge

A wee bit of green pushing through  Spring!
Well, dear readers, I have to admit that I have had an acute case of spring fever over the past month.  Just have not been able to get out of my own way, but, the good news is...I am over it!

The medicine I used to snap me back into writing mode is the Poem a Day Challenge - Thank you Robert Lee Brewer!  I am so excited to be crafting poems each day that I feel once again the creative juices flowing.

So...Happy, happy Spring!  Here are a few new poems to start off April with...enjoy! 


the beginning was difficult 
water on cement 
nothing getting through 
panic – I begin again 

the middle seemed sufficient 
a spark to kindling 
something was happening 
caution – I continue onward 

the end made my day 
a garden in full-bloom 
thoughts begin connecting 
joy – I end class 

4-1-2014 © LMRN 

To Travel 

Bird song, my whistle - 
The garden, my carriage - 
Spring sun - all the energy I need 
to travel into the land of the bards 

Like a fairy, I fly high into Imagin…