Elegant Epiphany


Painting by Roderick MacIver
Painting by Roderick MacIver


And left for dead,

Soul staggers

To its knees

To finally creep

Into the light

Of life again.

Belonging now

To no one else

Answers for itself.

Ranson: cancelled.

Self-claimed remains


To walk at last.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

'wee Graphic by Nellieanna
'wee Graphic by Nellieanna

The ashes


Touch the ground

Till resurrection starts


With life and truth

This sense of trust


______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Fearless Declaration by Nellieanna
Fearless Declaration by Nellieanna

Just a note of explanation - These poems and sentiments were written some 40 years ago when I was emerging fairly intact from nearly having been destroyed.

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chinafood profile image

chinafood 6 years ago from china

Thank you for your encouragement! Although my English is not good, however, to share Chinese food, I am very happy!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, I noticed that, chinafood. Thank you for sharing your expertise on Chinese food. You have stimulated my appetite! Thank you for dropping by my hub, too, although you may have chosen a difficult place to start, with poetry. Very brave!

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

When I see a newborn baby I cry

When I see children delirious with joy I cry

When I see young naive lovers I cry

When I see a bride walking down the isle I cry

When I see musicians on stage

playing symphonies of life I cry

When I read Nellieanna’s poems I cry.....

Nellieanna, you just know how to make me cry with joy.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Only you Nellieanna could turn an horrific memory into a poetic jewel.

I,m glad you were not destroyed, as I'm sure do all your friends here.

dianeaugust profile image

dianeaugust 6 years ago from Tennessee

These poems are so lovely. I like how you are able to impart such deep messages by using few words. I admire poets who can pare away all that is not necessary--because it makes what is necessary stronger. Thank you for your words. Enjoy your week. DA

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Martie, dear lady, that is too beautiful. My hope is that it is a release for you. Thank you.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Christopheranton thank you. There were actual volumes of poems born of it, though most were not as raw as these. But writing the poetry literally saved me, in fact. It's hard to explain, but that is what happened. I'm glad id did, too!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dianaaugust, that is a lovely commendation - most elegantly stated. And in a way, that's just how it felt, being personally pared down to only the essentials of oneself. "traveling light through life" as another one of my poems described it. Thank you for reminding me of that. Sometimes now I think I have accumulated too much excess. LOL. In prose, I go on and on, but when it comes to writing poetry, it seems I can only write what need to in scanty words, as you say, "necessary". The more words I use, seems the less I actually say. Your description is very accurate!

Another way of looking at is might be like Michaelangelo chipping away all the excess granite to "find" David hiding in there - :-) I see that you, too, know this method of getting at the meaning inside.

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Juelstephen 6 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Much there is to Nellieanna. As always, a most inspirational and beautiful hub. 38 years. Your poetry has transcended time and kept those feelings, of the time, potent and fresh to grant insight and empathy. Thank you for being courageous enough to share such a personal experience. It will be invaluable to many readers.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Juelstephen!!! How good to see you back! Thank you for the very kind and lovely words! There has been a lot of sharing of wrenching personal experience of late on here. Mine needed saying and sharing. I think it may help others.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dianeaugust - apologies for the typo misspelling! Duh. . .

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saddlerider1 6 years ago

I am so happy to read these brilliant, divine, caring, loving works of artistic voice. You couldn't have said it more eloquently. I felt the pain, joy, relief, freedom and so much more in the verses.

This is uplifting for everyone especially woman of our world. I just published Like A bird on the Wire...as a tribute to all abused and shattered woman. Peace and hugs to you always my lady.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

THANK YOU, Ken - I look forward to reading and appreciating our new hub!! It is very timely, as I think all of us who care for our friends here on HP who have experienced the shattering effects of abuse - - and each in individual ways- - will share in. My heart is so full of empathy too. I want no one to suffer from past experiences, mistakes and choices, but it seems that these memories arise from time to time to be renewed, as part of the lifelong healing process, with as many various receptions as there are people to hear of them. You and I have discussed the dangers and relative value of exposing such private anguish to public scrutiny and reaction enough to illustrate our concern for anyone who is impelled to do it. All one can do is extend one's heart of empathy and one's mind aware of its own limitations concerning others' lives and one's patience to bear with the persons rather than bear any manner of false witness against their painful exercise in purging themselves of those miseries.

It's difficult to not get too involved with one's own personal story and overshadow theirs, I think. And that, unfortunately, happens at times. But that's among the risks of exposing one's soul.

Thank you, Ken, for the kind reception you've always given my feeble attempts to present my past anguish, and especially now for those loving words about these two poems which encapsulate the feelings of being nearly stripped of life and then of returning to it, nearly intact - and perhaps, wiser.

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Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

That sounds tramautizing but thank you for sharing a poem about it.

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ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California




A diamond is but coal that has been through hell...

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


Elegant picture of you!

You summarize our life process:

We came in with nothing and we leave with nothing; less is more. We get to decide what "less" is...

Great poem...

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Elegant indeed, Nellieanna! Elegant and fresh and poignant, just as poetry should be.


Love and peace


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Doug, - yes - and too complicated to try to describe, - but traumatizing in a very real way even while being an overriding &/or underlying element in an 18 year period of my life. Obviously every moment of that duration was not felt as trauma. But at the climactic time producing these poems, it was, intensely so. But they ushered in recovery which was possible and which grew and deepened since. Thank you for the perceptive comment.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Chris - truer words were never uttered. Yes, it is just that. The common stuff gets fired and forged into the rare, as possibly much that we find valuable in this old universe is!

Thank you!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - Dallas - thank you - lovely compliment! I think it is so - each life has to be refined and the worthwhile must be ferreted out of the dross. If we are honest with ourselves, there are so few "things" we really "need". - - So, yes, - less is more! Thank you!!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Tony - exemplar of elegance and all that is valuable! - Thank you! Your approval is good reward, indeed!

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lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Your words impart such memorable loveliness, Nellieanna! Thank you for a bright and special day.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, dear lorlie! I appreciate that, deeply.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Beautiful Nell! Your words echo. Thank you Dear!

chinafood profile image

chinafood 6 years ago from china

Thank you very much response to my blog! But my English is really bad, as a boy from rural China, to know you the honor of my life!

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chinafood 6 years ago from china

I have a question, How can I follow you? Point of this page anywhere?

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LaurieDawn 6 years ago

It is wonderful that you can express such tragedy into beauty. a blank canvas into a beautiful piece of art. Your prose is written with such depth of hope and despair all rolled into one. I am glad that you have survived and rose out of the ashes.



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Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I know absolutely nothing about paintings or modern art, ancient art, or any art other than music or literature-but I do know that I truly like looking at that picture of that bird.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Micky - dear friend - thank so much!! hugs! It is always my pleasure both to see you here and to visit your hubs!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Chinafood - under my profile picture you will see a box of options. One is "follow Nelieanna". Just click that and you will become my follower! Thank you for wanting to!

No need for you to be concerned about your language learning which is in progress. Here on Hubpages you will get ample chance to practise and it will surely rapidly improve.

And I can assure you that I would be TOTALLY at a loss in your language!! I admire your progress so far!! And I enjoy your recipe hubs so much!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

LaurieDawn - Thank you so much! I do paint - especially watercolors, - but that one is not my own. It is an artist's by the name of Roderick MacIver. His nature paintings are breathtaking and are usually birds, often waterfowl. I'm such an amateur by comparison. But I felt clever in selecting his beautiful painting for this hub. I have a whole hub about his work, in fact.

I have perceived that you have endured some serious tribulations and write poetry about that. Many of my most prolific writing years were during my own tribulations. There are very few of them which reflect the actual despair however. These two were written soon after relief. The poetry I wrote during the ordeal was a means of keeping alive my true spirit and I could refer to them for renewing my courage and reassuring myself that I still did exist. I also see that you are a widow, as I am. What I continued to write followed my progress up and out of the despair.

My darling departed after almost 30 years of happy togetherness was a reward for enduring my first marriage, I think. His family motto is/was "Renovate Animos" -meaning "renew courage." It is essential in living more than existing, probably. I hope yours has been renewed and is continuing to be, dear lady.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Wesman Todd Shaw - I fully understand. Glad you respond to that painting. Rod MacIver is a fabulous artist - mostly birds. He has a commercial website called "Heron Dance" which periodically presents his new paintings and some really good writing as well. I wrote and posted a hub about him and his work which you might find interesting: http://hubpages.com/literature/Meet-Roderick-W-Mac

I did some paintings when my late husband and I used to camp out at Lake 'O the Pines - on further east from where you are, off I-20, near Longview. It was one of our favorite spots.

Thank you for dropping by!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for the joy to read your equisite peom. I am so very sorry to read your last few lines. I also know what it means.

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SilverGenes 6 years ago

Nellieanna, your words are wise, strong and hopeful, as always. Becoming a diamond is an arduous business and the cost is very high. It is difficult enough when it occurs naturally over time but when it is man-made, it is beyond comprehension. One learns many lessons over time and perhaps the greatest of all is to 'see' - and that's a tricky business, too :)

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

hello, hello - thank you for the sweet comment and concern - but PLEASE, do not feel badly.

Just realize that these verses express the triumph following an ordeal. Even while it was in progress and though I was virtually denied a right to BE, my outpoured (private) poetry was a friend and confidante which is enviable. Who would not like to have a friend who is constant, loyal, wise, bright, inspiring, musical, unconditional, honest, quiet, and gives one what a friend of mine requested I give her: "A straight mirror." -

I think of it as such because so much that we see reflected back to ourselves is highly distorted and crooked, in the same way as a carnival "fun house" mirror. It's fun there, but is oppressive in real life, and it CAN convince a person that he/she is as distorted as those distorted images others may reflect back. Even events in life can present a distortion of oneself which can etch on one's self-image. It's sad but it happens often.

So it was that I had access to a way to view a straight mirror which I allowed the freedom to express all of my truth - good and bad, and from it, I was reassured that I was OK and that others were not qualified to be my mirrors. I could see that my purposes were straight, not distortions and that I and they had real value. I did not have to be perfect to have real value. But I was as "perfect" as the next person, at least. So the externals were really simply the cost of a bad choice but with higher principles which did not bend to the pressure.

What I would change was making a poor choice to start with. I did the next best thing, - which in my case was to see it through because of the nature of the error. I have no regrets for doing that, though I should not have put myself and my children in such a horrid position. I don't have to justify my motives. I know they were justified and even though imperfect, the best choice remaining to me for all concerned. I did and still do take that responsibility for making it. I was not bound and sold into the marriage. I underplayed clues I could have heeded and went on with it.

I believe one must take personal responsibility for all that happens (short of being bound and sold, which may even be a result of previous choices) in order to have the ongoing power to take responsibility for making or accepting changes which resolve the problems from the initial bad choices. If one has not accepted that responsibility - the only escape from the victim role and mindset is to take it when one realizes the futility of shifting the blame.

All life is made up of choices so the importance of TAKING RESPONSIBILITY and taking charge of one's own is the foundation of a good life. Blaming others inevitably keeps one their powerless victim, if only in the back of one's mind and in one's fragmented heart. They can be restored, thankfully - even in the wake of mistakes, one can finally let go of that victim's mindset and take on one's own driver's seat.

I was not and am not a victim, so no reason for sorrow! I share the pain of poor choice results in order to validate that I have the experience from which to speak.

Love you!

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

My most valued Alexandra - yes - of course it is a mammoth challenge and can easily overwhelm. No one should be prideful about overcoming the pressures, the heat & the deep disturbances of going through it.

You hit the nail on the head that being able to "see" - to "keep one's eye on the ball" , to use another metaphor - is the essense and foundation of success in it. When the going gets roughest, the resistance and self-determined clear vision comprise the viable vehicle and the track through and out of it. No one can minimize that challenge - nor the fragility of holding on to that vision and self-trust required to go along with it, with arrows of doubt and anguish peppering one's hide - and heart.

But one needs to either continue or to begin to emphasize, nurture and GROW a deeply internalized FULLY RESPONSIBLE self-confidence - with the self-reliance - to make it through all that with the least possible damage to self & others (even the oppressor) in the journey.

Of course, when children are to be affected they are like part of self, and only a specific and very sensitive attention to what can happes for them with any choice one makes, really matters. No one has a crystal ball in this, but the participant has the best perspective and perceptivity to make the choices to protect and help them.

What others may think one "should do" for oneself or for others cannot be as accurate as one's own, and since one must be the "doer" as well as the decider in the process, it must fit and be natural enough to oneself to furnish the motivation to carry it through.

I used to like this advice:

"Don't allow others to should on you!" Good advice!!

Love you, SG. You always give me more and deeper insight. Thank you!

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SilverGenes 6 years ago

Nellieanna, I feel like framing that statement "Don't allow others to should on you!" and I also like the flip side - "Never should on another." We are all in this messy, delightful, painful, joyous life together and what happens is often very different from what is perceived to have happened. Thank you, dear friend, for yet another loving lesson :)

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Alexandra - big smiles! You've got it - it has to work both ways!! I'd have to go a step further and claim that what happens to another is NEVER the same as perceived to have happened. Too many internal variables and external events are out of the line of sight. At times it's difficult even for the "first person" in the scenario to see it all clearly.

But keeping in mind your wonderful description of "this messy, delightful, painful, joyous life" - which we all actually DO share and cohabit can help to "pad the corners" as my beloved mother called it. She would say that no matter how much a mother may want to, she cannot pad the corners for her children. But I know she understood that kindness pads many a sharp corner and she always extended that.

Thank YOU for your valuable input and wisdom, dear lady!

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Elegant, indeed, Nellianna - as all your poems and their presentation are! And you will always 'arise...to walk at last' :)

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Shalini - what lovely words! Thank you. I know I'll always arise and walk tall now, though not always as elegantly as I might prefer! LOL. I do think that once one does arise, it would be difficult to be put back down, since along with it must come realization that it's from within, not from without.

It gives new meaning to the word "integrity". When one becomes better integrated within, it's a reality which isn't dependent on agreement or even acceptance from others, though it is better able to handle either acceptance or rejection because it doesn't rely on them quite so much.

Thank you! I have deep respect for you and your good opinion is a treasure to be cherished, for sure!

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Pleasure Venues 6 years ago from South West US

I'm not a "poetry fan", however, I absolutely loved this poem, it's context and the explanations that follow with your readers was absolutely delightful! That was really awesome! I've been to poetry readings and came out of most all of them with a vacant anesthetized feeling of having "blanked out" for what ever time I had to sit there and listen to some guy carrying on. This seemed like you were right there and it makes the context of the poem more powerful? wonderful post.

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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

I'm blown away/! What great heartfelt praise, PE! I confess I am not always a poetry fan myself. Too much which represents itself as poetry really does seem to anesthetize one's responses in one way or another. Initially I mistyped the word poetry as "poutry" and some examples fit it. Even famous poets sometimes produce lines which surely matter exclusively to themselves. I can't write anything, especially poetry without being very much in it in a basically human sense. A few if my poems touch on universal concepts, but mostly they are from the heart and soul in brief and clear language. Thank you for the read and especially for the wonderful thumbs up!

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