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Two Original Poems with Commentary

Updated on April 4, 2018
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, and taking a creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my growing interest.

Fallow Field

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Fainted Hearted Fruit

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Original Poems with Commentary

This original, creative offering is unique: it focuses on a 5-line lament along with a poem that responds to the original. A further unique feature is that the commentary itself is also not ordinary prose but a stylized poetic piece of prose.

The following is the original version of the poem titled "Abandoned Garden" from Singing in the Silence: Poems of Faith:

You plowed me planted Your seed,
but did not remain to tend my growing—

You send sun to feed & rain to suckle me.
You send fingers to prod me & pluck my weeds
but without You i grow faint-hearted fruit.

The following is an elongated, poetic response, titled "Whispers from an Abandoned Garden," to the original 5-line lament:

Then the fruit will go its way
Where the moon trails the echo
Of valleys you used to linger in
Where the old ways were never
Near you as the new ways caught
In the wind the isolation of bitterness
And the trees wafting the bunched leaves
To remind you that breezes are not easy.
You underlined my sorrow
And the midst of every day
Hurled night thoughts
Under the window sill
On the rooftop
Where you kept your
Words that waited for the brain
To grow more knowing branches
Like the maple in its waving
Through the storm
You kept me close
But I never knew until
The garden had blanched its soil
And the mud was again calling
Calling for life, to grow again
To grow, to grow, and grow again.

Poetic commentary responding to "Abandoned Garden" and "Whispers from an Abandoned Garden,":

In my spiritual garden grow many flowers of dream and stem. While I wait for the blossoming of enlightenment, I tend the tiny creation buds. There are no features that dim the moment of strong alluring coffers, where wisdom and speech coalesce. The speaker of the poems remains silent until spoken to; then, in the opening morning light each petal emerges to spray its fragrance on the coming day.

Often the morning will be obstinate, like a flooded valley, piercing monumental obstacles, and then the peace of noon, with sun searing the rims of the mountain, the little moments will march on lightly, ever stepping to the beat of the ancient drum of stillness.

And then quarrel will fill the interlude and the buzz of meaning will show itself in the atmosphere of waiting—

On the threshold of song, there is often a bit of hasty doubt that seeps into the space between longing and desire. There are roses there and they will not be denied.

Children will burst forth in dance, ringing bells, peeling laughter, spouting their innocence to the wind. And after they change their syllables, they will understand only the gold of measured doubt; they will not leave without assurance of divine love.

No one can wait until the fire of duty has burned into streaks of harmony.

And then with all the grass and all the violets that burnished the landscape, I will disappear into the balance of night. There will be nothing the stop the tops of trees from scraping the sky. Until the only ladder offers a leg up, the last minted coin will prevail.

We will not let the strands of earthly desire spend our days with impunity. We will stand on the threshold of each season and like a stentorian century, we will understand the day’s advance to be everything we always dreamed of.

(The original version of "Abandoned Garden" appears in Singing in the Silence: Poems of Faith.)

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Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes

The Windmill Chapel

In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.

Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.

The Literary Life

After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.

As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.

Literary Studies

Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.

However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.

After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.

Publishing History

Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.

Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.

Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.

Spirituality

Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."

Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.

Online Literary Presence

In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries.

Grimes also maintains an additional online presence on Facebook and Twitter.

© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes

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