First Blog of 2009 – 5 years of Blogging

Visions_Lynda_MeditationsOver 5 years ago  I wanted to do something to celebrate an enormous achievement in my life.  That desire  led me to launch my new blog~

Walking by Inner Vision




The first post appeared December 29, 2009.


Blogging was an adventure into a new world at that time. I didn’t know where to begin or how to do it. I decided I could learn  how to share special moments  and encourage others who may come to my blog.  That remains my focus today.  This blog is about positive changes and celebrations.

I write about  life-lessons I learn and I am  passionate about. art , humanities and  faith. That’s because  my  professional background is in Fine Arts and Humanities.

My essays focus on personal experiences woven together

with themes  from

Art, Literature, and Faith

I have published 87 articles to date – on this blog! 

Question:  Why did I start writing a blog”

Me:  I lost most of my sight in October 2007. The sudden sight loss, due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, left me walking through a thick fog, with very little detail or color.  At the time, I was a professor of fine arts and humanities at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA.  As an educator I spoke at academic conferences, taught courses in the arts, English,  and humanities,  and published articles on my expertise.

As a visual artist, I created and exhibited all over the world.

With the loss of sight, comes a whole new world and the first couple of years are difficult.  At the time I wrote the first blog  article, I had been through two years of rehabilitation for personal adjustment to blindness, and after that another year of relearning how to once again use a computer and adaptive technologies for the blind.


Question: Why is this blog titled, Walking by Inner Vision?

Me:  It is because I had to learn to walk by my own inner vision, depend on my intuition and inner feelings since my sight was no longer the primary source of how I understood and maneuvered in my world.  I wanted to give the blog a title that would indicate my writing was about more than superficial things that are viewed quickly, with a glance. My writing would dig deep inside to explore internal elements of who we are and how we understand our world.

Question:  How does it feel, TODAY, to look back on my first blog article?

Me:  I am proud that I took the step in this direction which was unknown to me previously. It put me back “out there” as a professional academic scholar and artist. When I committed to write again and put it out to the public in this forum, I was forced to leave any newly-found small  bit of comfort  and move into unknown territory in front of the whole world.


Question:  What did you write about in your fist blog articles:

Me:  My first blog posts  discussed issues of sight loss and blindness as I experienced  them daily

Since that time, I learned  how to walk using the inner vision that we all have. It has been an interesting journey! I still have a passion for all the wonderful aspects of life that I always had.  My expertise in the Humanities remains my core interest in all I encounter. These are the topics I write about on Walking by Inner Vision.


Question:  What will be see this year?

Me:  Beginning this year, 2015, I will create  a series of short reflections, followed by some prompts  that can be used for writing some journal entries in their own journals.  I’ll give my readers an assignment at the end of each short post.


If you are not currently keeping a Journal, I offer you the opportunity to begin one today. I know you will be so glad you started writing your own  “Walking by Inner Vision Journal” and you will look back on your journal at this time next year and give yourself a pat on the back!  You will say, “I knew knew my life would change so much! I can see the many challenges I faced, and the times when God led me through tough times, and all the delightful, blessed  times during this year.”


Journal Assignment #1:

Have you started your “Walking by Inner Vision Journal” for this year?

Write an entry about the kind of book you selected for your journal entries.

How often are you writing?

Set a reasonable goal for your writing. If you start out by writing just 1/2 page to one full page that will be a great beginning. I want you to be able to do this without any stress. This is just for YOU!

Think about this particular day, and write about a  small moment  and how you felt as you wrote in your journal.

Once you have written a short paragraph, look it over and write one more short paragraph or just a sentence or two about what you thought of this project today.  Were you surprised?


Embrace Change and Write…Journal Entry #2


Embrace Change and WRITE… Journal Entry #2


OK, here I am  TODAY, with the FIRST POST on my  ORIGINAL blog, ” Walking by Inner Vision”  which I created in in the fall of  2009.

I  plan  to make this a  FRUITFUL year here at  this blog!  I INTEND  to MEET  new readers, make  NEW FRIENDS who will be CHANGING and EMBRACING CHANGE with me this year.

Because  I am a retired Fine Arts and Humanities  Professor,  I want to give you something to think about this year.  How about this:  let’s begin a JOURNAL project  together!    When you get to the end of this post, you will find I have included a short  Journal assignment  so you can join in the fun and grow with me.   You will need to find a book to write in and may I suggest a nice fresh and new book. We’ll be starting on our new journey into journal writing.  I am calling it the Walking by Inner Vision Journal. Let’s go!  Since there are 52 weeks in the year, let’s aim to have 50 writing  assignments – so be sure your new journal book has a minimum of 50 pages.

I will love hearing  MORE from you and by you,  as you, too, are changing and growing. If you send me an email, I will respond to it shortly. I do read every email that is sent to me.

This year my blog posts on _WALKING BY INNER VISION_ will be created from previous essays I wrote from 2009 through 2014.   I’ll pick out the most popular ones that I wrote.  They will be short, and will include a writing assignment to hel you get started on your own Journal.

Why would I do this?

My response is, “Very simple! I have changed.  As we learn new things, we all change and grow. At least that is what we hope for, growth and a clearer vision of our life purpose, and what we have to give to others.

This essay is an updated and revised version of the one I published here on January 8, 2010. You can use it to begin your own  personal “Walking by Inner Vision Journal.”


Photo: Lynda McKinney Lambert holds her 2-week old grandchild, Isabella Antoinette. Bella is now 5 years old. We have both changed a lot since this photo was taken by Bella’s mother in September 2010.  We both look different now, 5 years later.


“I wanted a perfect ending… Now, I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. “ ~ Gilda Radner



My essay today is for people who embrace “Delicious Ambiguity.

Is that you? I hope so!
It is an exciting thought- that our life has no clear beginning, often times it has no discernable middle part, and the ending is not yet written. There is no expiration date written on us anywhere.
The certainty we have is that we will change.

Change is the one constant in our life.
Therefore, let’s Embrace Change.

If you have not read my blog in the past, you may be unaware that I have profound sight loss, due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. To be clear, my range of vision is only 2/200 in one eye and 3/200 in the other eye. (A person who is “legally blind” can see 20/200 with correction). I am far below the legally blind designation of blindness. That means, I see almost nothing except some shapes if the lighting is right; I have to have stark contrasts to see just about anything.

But don’t worry, sight loss brought about positive changes, too.

Here are just a few of the positives in my life today:

_new friends I had not known previously
_new information for living a top shelf life
_ new path and a revised  journey for my professional life
_new, expanded ability to see others who need my help
_new insight into evaluating the life that God has planned for me

What can we do THIS YEAR?

Live a FRUITFUL Life!

FRUITFUL LIFE, did you just say that?  Oh yes, and …and let’s do this together.

You know, we so often have a hard time when it comes to lifting our thoughts higher, think  more intentionally, don’t we! But, we have every reason to set this as a goal for this year, 2015. We have God’s word and He propels us towards excellence in all we do.  It has to do with our inner peace of mind, and how we feel about our life. It’s about what we give to others, not what we take.  That is a FRUITFUL life.

This is now when I sit back for a God Moment; take a deep breath, and then exhale.  Take a little time to really relax right now.

For today, I will think  about writing my two blogs.    That is a good goal for me, to start with, today.

What can you do to take a step towards thinking richer and deeper, more fruitful,  today?

How about this for a personal prayer today?  I just read it and I am  INSPIRED.

“God, Your Word says that You are bigger than I could ever imagine, and I thank You for Your bigger plans for me. Give me the strength to trust You and expect You to do great things in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

The scripture passage and prayer are from today’s newsletter from Joel and Victoria Osteen.   I get inspiration every day from the newsletters they send me.

With each new post, I will offer you a small journal assignment to get you started towards our goal of thinking big. Here’s the first  one for 2015.

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Journal Assignment #2:

Think about what inspires you. What makes you come alive?
What is the source of your inspirations and thought life?
How does  your source change you?
Write about this in your journal for today.

This is our first lesson in developing a Thoughtful and Fruitful life.


Photos Below:

Our great grand daughters, Isabella and her sister Ava Sue  show me their paintings, summer of 2013. Both girls have exhibited their art in the Ellwood City (PA) Arts Festival Juried exhibition since they were 1 1/2 years old.





Bella, November 2014, shortly before her 5th birthday. ???????????????????????????????

Wrapping Up 2014

Hey there!  This is my final post on WALKING BY INNER VISION for 2014.

Lynda McKinney Lambert – Christmas Day 2014

I am more than HAPPY with the final report on this blog –  I received it today from Word Press.

Crunchy numbers

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog, , WALKING BY INNER VISION,  was viewed about 3,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

The busiest day of the year was August 10th with 274 views.

The most popular post that day was Lazy Summer Days of August.

Here is what I have to say about all that:

THANK YOU from the depths of my spirit.

In January 2014, Bob and I entered into new territory that has changed our lives forever. Bob became very sick and it was not until April 17, 2014 that he  was FINALLY diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  On the day he received word of this diagnosis, he had to report immediately to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.  Chemo treatment was begun immediately after his admission. He was hospitalized for a month initially.

Over the rest of the year, he would undergo four more hospitalizations and more chemo treatments. On October 2, after another week of intensive chemo treatments (his fourth) he was given a STEM CELL TRANSPLANT.  This is nothing short of miraculous because most patients will wait a long time and will never get the donor and will pass away before it can happen.  AML is aggressive,  fast moving and deadly.  The other thing is that Bob was 73 years old when this all started.  Most patients over age 60 will not be offered treatment, we were told by doctors on several occasions. Bob is  blessed beyond imagination to have been considered for this aggressive treatment plan and transplant.

He is recovering and improving day by day. And, here we are at the end of 2014, still standing together and still looking ahead to the new calendar year that will begin at midnight.

                                            Bob, Photo taken December 29, 2014

As part of the plan to keep people informed about AML and to let people know how to pray for Bob, I started a Facebook Community page – I post updates and photos of Bob and information on AML and transplant donor information. Please stop by and let Bob know you saw his page and wish him well.  Click on:  Bob Lambert – December 29, 2014

I promise to keep on writing essays for you here at Walking by Inner Vision.

My focus will be on writing and making art, through my own EYES, as always. And, you probably know by now I am a visually impaired artist , author and educator.  Until we meet again at this place, I send you PRAYERS for a lovely and joyful 2015.  May you have the strength to meet any challenge, and wisdom to know what to do, day by day.  Lynda McKinney Lambert

I Believe in Angels!

In western Pennsylvania, the frigid December afternoons are passing  quickly  and it will soon be Christmas once again.  “Ring silver sells, ring silver bells…” plays in the kitchen from a CD player.   The music picks up speed and layers of instruments keep repeating the theme, the piano pounding out the familiar Christmas Carol and the mandolin plucked  in an unrelenting   Latin rhythm mingling  with a classy  jazz trumpet and a metal stringed violin. “Ring silver bells, ring  silver bells…”  Blog_IBelieve_PHOTOSilverBells

Many Christmas celebrations over my life time linger in little snippets and fragments, layered  and overlapped  like  Christmas melodies playing one by one, over and under each other, with a nostalgic reverie.

Oh, Christmas Tree…my childhood comes so quickly to my mind as the carols continue to play.   I was about ten years old,  a little girl who like to wear blue jeans and flannel shirts. A little girl who liked to play tag and make hide-outs in the woods around our neighborhood, splash in rain puddles, run barefoot and share secrets and laughter with my friends.

Like my three younger siblings,  our  anticipation  of Santa Claus  had reached a zenith. Christmas was finally here, at last.   I worried that I had not been “good enough” for Santa but everything must have been ok because I did have a stocking full of little treasures  that morning.    What joy!  One by one the little gifts by were unwrapped by my brothers, Dave and Tommy, and my sister, Patti.  And, I noticed I had one more gift in my stocking than the other three had. It seemed strange, to have an extra gift. I left it till last as we giggled and squirmed amid the wrappings we were discarding as we tore into the gifts.  OH, Christmas morning has is the most wonderful, fun time of a little child’s life! And, it is memorable. Blog_2014_IBelieve_ChristmasStockingPHOTO

At last,  I reached back into the stocking and removed the wrapped gift that was left – the extra one.  Slowly, I peeled back the layers of paper – it was wrapped in several layers of tissue and colorful paper.  And, then, my smile disappeared, because my wonderful gift was a heavy, shiny lump of black coal.  Just me. The Coal.  I never knew who and I never knew why. But I knew then it had come from Santa because I had been  very bad that year. Oh, I believed!


One thing for certain is that none of my children ever received a lump of coal from Santa Clause!  They all had hand crafted Christmas stockings that I had made for each of them. And, each little gift in the stockings was given with lots of love.



“I Believe in Angels”


Folks often say Christmas is for children,

skating on ice, building  castles of snow.

Oh, I believe Christmas is a holy birthday!

a time to sit by a warm fire, sing holiday songs.

I believe in shepherds!  and angels!

and Three Kings who delivered priceless gifts.


It’s a joy to be with friends, to give  gifts.

Adults once again become like children,

who look out  the window to see the first snow.

The Ancients anticipated this birthday

celebration that  began with heavenly songs

when the birth of Messiah was announced by angels.


The holy birth was shared with shepherds and angels,

long before mass marketing, tinsel, and glitzy gifts,

The promised Child would heal earth’s children.

Perhaps the plains were deep with snow

on the night of His miraculous birth.

Yes, I believe in angel songs!


In the darkest winter night, listen for the songs

sung by a choir of angels.

The greatest heavenly gift

came  to walk with earth’s children.

As i light the Advent wreath I look out at falling snow-

and remember the reason behind this ancient birthday.


On bleak December days, consider His birthday.

Listen in the quiet night for angel songs.

The birth of Messiah, announced by the angels,

is the reason for exchanging gifts.

I believe Christ’s birthday is truly for children

like me and you who walk in a world of wintry snow.


Every child knows the delight of playing in snow

the joy of receiving gifts in celebration of a birthday-

I believe in birthday songs!

I’m a  child once again as I listen for angels

songs and remember the wise men who brought gifts.

the Annointed Gift from God – I believe in children!


*** by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.






Getting to Know Me

Hi there! I am Lynda and I love to write and make art. Thanks for visiting and please send me a note. I read every email I receive and I would love to her from YOU.

How did I get the blog name,, Walking by Inner Vision?

That is a great question!  I started this blog after I lost most of my eyesight at the end of 2007.  I was in re-hab for a long time and it took almost two years before I could use a computer again, non-visually. I wanted to celebrate and share my experiences and thoughts on writing and art, but from my new perspective – as a non-visual writer and artist.  therefore, the term Walking by Inner Vision is accurate – I use my inner intuitive knowledge and wisdom, combined with my academic skills and expertise. I am a retired Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities.

If you WANT to
KNOW MORE ABOUT ME…well, read on!


How tall are you?

I am 5 ft. 3  inches. I stand CONFIDENTLY in my own skin. I think our height is a perception that we create by how we carry ourselves and how we speak and look at other people.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

     I want to know that someone will tell me the truth and when I find that I was misled into believing something that was not accurate, it is disappointing to me. If it is not the full truth, then it is a lie. There is no such thing as a “white” lie. To speak anything other than the truth is deceitful and this is one of the things that put a red flag up in my mind immediately.  It is downright insulting to me.  I never want anyone to tell me what they think I want to hear, but I expect them to be fully forthcoming with me.

What’s your favorite food?

I could eat eggplant every day. Eggplant  Parmesian; Egglplant on pizza; Eggplant mixed with hummus;  Eggplant broiled, and anything else that could be made from Eggplant. One of my FAVORITE WORDS is AUBERGINE, which is French for Eggplant.

I am a vegetarian and I love to eat the colorful and delicious fruits and vegetables in season. My grocery shopping goes quickly as I shop the outside edge of the grocery store.

Do you have a pet?


I cannot image my life without animals. I have 2 dogs and 4 cats – all rescued. By nature, I am nurturer. I love to take care of my pets, my family, and my home.

Photo: Effie Pearl in her NEST.

What books do you like to read?

I read almost no fiction. My preference is first of all, contemporary poetry. I enjoy memoirs and biographies about notable people in art, literature, music, and philosophy. I am a passionate lover of Greek Mythology and I enjoy doing research on literary works and doing conference presentations and writing academic papers on topics I am researching.

What kinds of movies do you like to watch?  

     I seldom watch a movie. I have never been much interested in movies.

     Movies that recreate a story based on actual life experiences.
I have no interest in sex or violence in films. My interest is in films with deep philosophical content, but really I prefer to read the book rather than watch a reenactment of a book. I do, however, love live theater and dance performances. My preference is for contemporary forms of theater and dance.

What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in high school?

Anything that involved making art, singing in the choir, and reading – this is when I first met the BEAT POETS and William Shakespeare.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

OH, I LOVE this question, and thanks for asking me about this topic.

On this question, I will plot out a DREAM or FANTASY  plan. It is obvious this is something I have thought about a lot over the years.

     I’d like to experience a year that would be divided up in this way:
January, February and March – Puerto Rico
April and May – Venice, Italy
June, July and August, Salzburg, Austria
September, October and November – Western Pennsylvania
December – Salzburg, Austria (It has always been my dream to be in Austria for the Christmas season.)



Photo: San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2013

What would you like to leave

behind as a legacy?

This is something I think about a lot, too.  I really do want to leave a legacy and I think it begins right now, not later on. It begins as I made decisions as to where I support charities and other people with the resources I already have. I have some FAVORITE CHARITIES and I DO give to them at least annually.  I support our LOCAL animal shelter, and our LOCAL arts organizations because they are at the top of my list.  I do everything LOCALLY because I WANT others in my HOMETOWN to have resources.  By local, I mean my county, surrounding counties, and the STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA organizations.

By now, you must already see that I am a DREAMER and high achiever. So, I would want to pass along a legacy that reflects how I feel about higher education, art,  literature, and Christian faith.

Below are three DREAM legacies:

1. I would like to provide scholarships for young students to go to Europe.

2. I would provide  scholarships for non-traditional women to pay for their university expenses – for Fine Arts majors only.

3. I would  provide scholarships for  university students from a low-income  family.  The student must be pursing a degree in English Literature or a Bachelor of Fine Arts.    The scholarships would be given to them  at the beginning of their final year of study  in a university program, if they have attained a GPA of 3.5 or above.

Now you know more about me and if you have a BLOG, I would love to pass this challenge on to you.

If you want to join my challenge, please write your answers to the questions and post it on your blog. Then, put a link to your blog in the “comments” section here and I will find your response.
Please skip, modify, or add questions of your own design.



Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of
“Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage.”
It is a collection of poems, drawings, and commentaries written over a ten-year period while traveling in Europe with her students during the summer months, as well as work written from her home in the Village of Wurtemburg, in Western Pennsylvania.
To buy Lynda’s book, you can visit:


Visit my website to see my art and read my blog:

Visit my blog: SCANdalous at:


Visions_Lynda_MeditationsIn the spring of 2014 – I exhibited my recent art work in a show called, “Vision and Revision” at two locations in Western Pennsylvania. First the show appeared at Merrick Art Gallery in New Brighton PA. and after a month-long run, it traveled to New Castle, PA. It was viewed by visitors to Jameson Hospital for nearly three months.

     I  Was the creator and organizer of this remarkable exhibition.   I wrote a few short essays and poems  that appeared beside my art works. I wanted the viewers to have some inside information on how the work was created and how I conceived of the pieces.  The show’s focus was to give the public some educational information on how  a blind artist can still do intricate and colorful art.

I have no central vision, do not see any details, and my world is in shades of grays and I walk in a mist – I see nothing clearly except for the VISIONS I hold within my spirit.



The following poem, “Adornmant,” was framed and on display beside one of my mixed-media fiber and bead works. “Adornment” was published this week in the “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine.”




Adornment – September Daydreams

 “Adornment:  decorations worn to attract attention.”

by Lynda McKinney Lambert


On languid September days

I would like to wear

colorful  gaudy jewelry

every single one

at the same time.

Adornments are worn to enhance autumn days.


I’d put the gems on in layers,

an ancient  warrior preparing for battle.

Blue Topaz rings, one on each finger.

My arms, encircled with ornaments.

Protected by brilliant stones-

faceted cherry quartz, deep green turquoise chunks,

nuggets of Baltic amber in different colors,

jet black polished stones,  and waxy yellow opals.


I’ll wear a periwinkle blue dancing skirt.

a flowing  chiffon  jacket .

I am a flamboyuant coat-of-armor

that covers voluptuous, full breasts

like a bishop’s  gold encrusted shawl.

My holy, rare, mother-of-pearl talisman

adorns my royal, goddess  chest.


I slip my perfumed feet into soft sky blue sandals,

promenade around the spacious room,

in ever widening circles,

among the evening shadows,

under luminescent  spheres

turning high above us.




Note: First published in “Magnets and Ladders” Literary Magazine, Fall/Winter Issue, 2014. Visit:















Shelter From the Wind


Bob and I were on our way to Silicone Valley where I would begin  a new job after completing my MFA degree at West Virginia University.  As Bob drove our Nissan 300 ZX car, I had my yellow pad out; I jotted down notes on that pad  the entire trip.

We traveled across the country 

from Ellwood City (in western Pennsylvania)  to Cupertino, California.

In the weeks that followed, I returned to my pages of notes from the trip. I turned them into poems. My notes from driving across NEVADA became the inspiration for  the images in this poem: “Shelter From the Wind.”

This poem was published this week in “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine.” It had preciously been published in another literary magazine:

YAWP Magazine for Literature and Arts,
Summer, 2001, #3 – Pittsburgh, PA






Shelter from the Wind
by Lynda McKinney Lambert; 1991

“Welcome to Nevada” flashing lights and casinos
grope together at the base of violet shrouded mountains
Walk in fields of fragrant sage and purple tumbleweed
Stacked in fluffy clumps against fences, by the wind.
Look across this fertile plain of the valley.
Watch the long train moving east to an Oasis.

Trees and grass, water aplenty in the Oasis.
A single gas pump, a shiny slot machine in this lonely casino.
Behind violet shadows on taupe-blue mountains.
Reach down to touch the prickly tumbleweed
that blooms before the winter winds
sweep through the Nevada Oasis valley.





Winter winds blow frigid in this valley

bringing weighted clouds of ice to the Oasis.

Winter storms howl and moan around the casinos,

sweeping down across the barren mountains,

removing purple from the tumbleweed

and lifting it’s hollow bones to the icy wind.




The casinos are a shelter from the wind.
Tourists stay, trying to win in this frigid Nevada valley
drawn here like thirsty men to an Oasis
seeking water and wealth from the casinos
when the wind blows sharp in the mountains.
The only thing moving is the tumbleweed.



Truckers never see the tumbleweed.
They mark time like notches on a gun through driving Nevada winds
ignoring the signs posted in the valley,
desiring to reach warm arms in the Oasis
or painted lips and blinking lights in the casinos-
trying to delay the next trip over the mountains.

Seasons change slowly in the Nevada mountains,
leaving behind memories like frail tumbleweed.
Dreams pass as fragments in a winter-wind,
and tumbleweed blowing in the valley
as surely as a man travels, looking for an Oasis
and a sure bet in the Silver State casinos.



YAWP Magazine for Literature and Arts,
Summer, 2001, #3 – Pittsburgh, PA

Magnets and Ladders, Literary Magazine,
Fall/Winter 2014


Lynda Lambert is the author of:  “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,” published by Kota’ Press.  You can contact the author for an autographed  copy of this book, or visit  to purchase the book.

YOU can write a Pantoum

Would you like to learn a new way to CREATE  a poem?

Why not think of your FAVORITE WORD and let’s see where we can go from there.

Let’s write a PANTOUM.

What is a Pantoum?

The Pantoum is a verse form that originated in France in the nineteenth century. It was influenced by the Malayan Pantum verse form.


The first two lines of each quatrain present an image or an illusion.

The second two lines of each quatrain convey the theme and meaning and may not necessarily have an obvious connection with the first two lines.


HOW to GET STARTED on your Pantoum Poem?


I like this form because it repeats everything twice. This gives the poem a feeling of the passage of time; it slows down the pace and gives the sense that there is some “breathing space” when it is read. . Breath is an important consideration in your poems.  Try to write in a way that gives the reader a pause.  The Pantoum will do this due to its continuous repetition.  

This form is cyclical rather than linear.  It’s the perfect form for themes such as Nature, the recurring seasons, history, mythology, and reflection on memories.

 The first thing to do will be to choose a theme that will work with the repetition of the form.

 Group the lines into quatrains (4-line stanzas)

The final line of the LAST  QUATRAIN  in the  Pantoum will be the SAME  as the FIRST LINE  in the first quatrain.  

The poem may have any number of quatrains.

this gives you ample opportunities to write your story.

Lines can be any length.

The Pantoum can rhyme or not. I prefer for my poems to NOT rhyme because I don’t want to limit  the possibilities or force restrictions on the imagery. 

If you choose to rhyme the Pantoum, then it will be “abab” in each quatrain.




How to Write the Form?

Let’s begin now!


Write a four line quatrain following the advice I have given above.


For the 2nd quatrain:

Lines 2 and 4 of the first quatrain will become lines 1 and 3 in the second quatrain. Then, write lines 1 and 3 of this quatrain.


 You will repeat this form and create as many quatrains as you need for your poem.


How to END your Pantoum?



Line 1:  Repeat line 2 of the quatrain above your FINAL quatrain.


Line 2:  Repeat line 3 of the FIRST quatrain.

Line 3: Repeat Line 4 of the quatrain above the final quatrain.

Line 4:  Repeat Line 1 of the first quatrain. (Your Pantoum begins and ends

          with the same line.



Make sure when you write that first opening line of your poem that it is powerful enough to be the ending thought in your poem.


Here is my EXAMPLE of a Pantoum. I wrote it this week. I chose my favorite word, “Hirsch” as the image I wanted to write about in this poem.

“Hirsch” is the German word for “deer.” It is my FAVORITE word. 


“der Hirsch”



Aubergine fields reflect the Red Blood Moon.

Throughout, a bracing October night.

Transformed, Yellow Crownbeard’s lemon-flowers

Turned to thorny, dark, violet-brown seed pods.



Throughout a bracing October night

“I sense slight movements near the Willow tree.”

Turned to thorny, dark, violet-brown seed pods.

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”



“I sense slight movements near the Willow tree.”

Listen to swift waters surging downstream

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

der Hirsch strides silently on damp fall leaves.



Listen to swift waters surging downstream

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

der Hirsch strides silently on damp leaves

“I long to follow you – Come away my beloved!”



“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

Transformed, Yellow Crownbeard’s lemon-flowers

“I long to follow you – Come away my beloved!”

Aubergine fields reflect the Red Blood Moon.



_____ by Lynda McKinney Lambert_____

Written October 2014

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Try to Capture September


Try to Capture September

Here I am, once again. Yes, it is I, right here, standing  smack dab in the center of the Month of September.

What am I doing this month?
I am checking in to say, “Hello!  I hope you are enjoying the many  shades  of September in the place where you are today.”

I’ve been spending all my days thinking of September. I think of how I can write about her. The  rapid changes that are occurring all around me this month make me dizzy: I’m giddy with bursts of nervous energy.  This zest of high energy  was unexpected – hidden in the mists of the crisp early morning. I floated, it seemed, at the crest of September with my feet stretched downwards to dig into the sands of its shoreline. I have been unsuccessful!



Since the beginning of this fast-moving month I  tried to pay attention to the small nuances and lively  details I experienced. I moved carefully, even cautiously  through the month of Ever-changing September. Yes! I am still standing at the mid-point of the month and I feel like I am lost at sea.

I take a deep breath, hold it in for a couple of seconds as I remembered  my fingers and looked at the computer screen. I exhale. Outside, someone is pounding nails with a hammer. Near my feet, the sleeping dog breathes softly; he shifts in his black furry bed. In his sleep he snorts, and my leather chair squeaks as my aching  fingers  pound out some letters on the stiff keyboard. I move my body forward again, bring my mind back to September. The sun streams through the dusty window. My back seeks the stability of my solid chair and I lean into it, put my hands to my face, close my eyes, and think about my breath. In and out. Inhale, exhale, pause, and inhale again. My chest rises, expands, as I hear the sharp piercing call of the eagle flying above the wall of lofty trees outside this window. I ask myself, “Did I remember to bring the cat inside so he is safe?”

I tried to find the right words for a poem to September.  How illusive they are!


YellowCrownBeard_Compressed At the beginning of the month I remembered the gentle surprises I saw. Everything changed so rapidly. I took short walks in the woods and I looked over all of the changes I could find. My two dogs stopped, sniffed the breeze. They tried to catch the news of the day, bring it home and share it with me. We  lingered  for awhile on the narrow path. Sillently,  I watched them stop and stare into the thickets  then  upwards  into the tangeled  trees. They paid close attention to all the wild flowers along our path .  I  touched  those blooms so gently and tried to concentrate on the details – I wanted to  memorize each  slender petal of a  Yellow Crownbeard flower.  I gathered a bouquet of dainty White Snakeroot flowers in my hand for a moment. I carefully touched the leaves that surround it.

“How does it look  in the shade?

How does it move in the gentle breeze?” I asked.


Try to remember it all!
I reached once again, touched  the trunks of trees as we traveled together in the afternoon sun. I remembered the feeling of textures and the girth of an aged Maple tree in my arms. I tried to encircle it. I needed to get a good feel for the overlapping textures of the Locust tree, put it in my memory bank where Iitcan be retrieved  when winter days become anxious and lonely.

My bare feet are warmed as the heater turns on again. My manicured toes wiggle in the crimson red leather sandals. I will have to put  my summer shoes away  soon because the days are growing colder, darker, and the clouds drifting through this  azure blue afternoon sky are gray and ominous.

Eventually, I realized what I searched for in the lonely month, September. Every new day in this quest twisted,  turned in on me as I searched for the form that would be perfect for my September poem. I felt  like a whirling dervish as I kept mentally marking the days and nights. I was swirling in  ever smaller circles, round and round in a spiral.  My feet were on sifting and shifting sand all the time. My thoughts raced far faster than I could ever write down. My entire body was quivering inside because of all the raw material of sensations that this month was giving me.
At this apogee, I realized September  is a charade. She is undependable, captivating and quixotic. She cannot be captured in the Pantoum I had intended to slip her into. I thought of catching her by a sliver of one of her brightest yellow petals, flattening her between the pages like a  Vilanelle.  But  the volume  turned out to be a book of sand and I simply could not get a grasp on her!

This morning I tried to put some words to my paper. I had to step over obstacles of images and feelings. I thought, “I have to just go after a little piece of September. I need to catch her unawares, grab what I can. It might be just a fragment or an adjective. Do it quickly, and run fast, bring that piece to my paper and slap it down with glue. I’ll have to use E-600 for this job!”

What will be expansive enough to hold uncooperative September?
“Yes! I have got it now,” I reasoned. ” t is an ODE that will celebrate precocious September!”

The  10-line stanzas of my “Ode for September”
will be as  surprising  as she, the Whirling Dervish!

Lazy Summer Days of August

Lazy Summer Days

of August

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

2007Boating_MemDay. 2007Boating.

  August days bring back so many memories to me. I love August days in western Pennsylvania because the temperature begins to drop down in the evenings.  Typically, by the second week of August the nights become cooler.  Instead of the steamy days and smoldering nights of July, we get a welcome feeling of  relief when the night temperature drops down into the 50s. We can actually have the windows open to let the breeze sweep through the house and cleanse it from the humidity and stuffiness of July. It is refreshing to lie in bed at night, listen to the myriad of insect sounds tuning up and playing their individual night songs. The sounds come in layers from every direction. You can catch the beat of a night bird, tree frogs, wild geese flying over in the dark, and insects too numerous to even imagine. We live by the creek and we can hear people laughing from down below the ridge, as they go fishing or just relax and enjoy the flowing water. Some people arrive in the late evening and descend down the steep bank where they find a nice big rock to sit on. They will be at the water’s edge  all night long. In the early morning light, they will come back up the hill,  load their fishing gear into their cars and leave for home. I always think they must feel so relaxed after spending the night along the creek banks doing something they love to do. I understand the reason why this is a theme in so many country songs:  fishing along the river at night, drinking a cold beer, and making love to your sweetheart.

My father was an avid fisherman. On August evenings at twilight,  I used to help him find earth worms.  He wore his miner’s helmet with the light on the front of the helmet.  The eerie yellow-light  sizzled and sputtered as we poured mustard water down the holes, into  the earth worm’s tunnels.  It was only a few seconds until a slimey mustard covered worm came to the surface seeking fresh air and we would grab that worm and put it into Dad’s metal pail with the holes all around the sides of it.   Dad and I turned  over rocks and found creepy things there that were used for Dad’s fishing expedition, too. I remember Dad called them helgrimites.

    ~ I was thinking today about how much I love August  ~


Chicory mingles with the Queen Ann Lace. When you see them blooming together you will know that summer is waning. They bloom randomly and spontaneously along the roads and fields of Western Pennsylvania every August.
Chicory mingles with the Queen Ann Lace. When you see them blooming together you will know that summer is waning. They bloom randomly and spontaneously along the roads and fields of Western Pennsylvania every August.

It is always the same memories that flood back over me every August as I walk through the woods, across the meadow, along the  ridge, and down the path to cross the creek.

~ Queen Ann Lace and  Chicory ~

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I love it most of all when it is mingled with the periwinkle blue flowers of Chicory. They are usually found growing together along all the roads in  Western Pennsylvania in early August.  I took my camera outside so I could capture the beauty of these wild flowers and remember them after they have gone for the winter.  Queen Ann Lace is my favorite flower. I think it is because of the delicate flowers that are clustered on the thin light green  stems and the way they seem to float in space and ride the soft wafts of the breeze as they sway back and forth. They seem to be dancing on the air.  The chicory flowers are r studier, almost like a daisy, with petals branching outward from a round, dark, center.  Each little petal comes to a squared off point, looking like a saw tooth edge at the tip, and the color of the Chicory flowers seem to pop out from among the white Queen Ann Lace flowers.


I looked back through some early poems I wrote and selected this one because it fits the season. I wrote it in Austria during the summer of 1998.

That particular summer day, I walked along the sidewalk that meanders along the banks of  the  Salzach River in Salzburg, I saw an older couple sitting quietly on the well worn wooden bench. They faced the river. They were so engaged in being together, in their own private conversation that they paid no attention to anyone else.

     I sat in the grass behind them, and I took out my sketchbook.

     I did a pencil sketch of the two friends there on the bench, and later I penned this poem from the memories of the day and the image I had sketched. My travel journals have always been a source of creative inspiration to me. I can go back to them long after I have returned home, even years later, and begin to write about a particular day, place, or moment of my life.

Make it a HABIT to take your journal or sketchbook with you as you travel in the summer time. You will find so many little moments you may want to record and then you can go back to your book later on and begin to create a poem or write an essay about this day.



Two Friends on a Bench

Two friends on a bench

Comfort each other

Relaxed conversation

A scratch of the head A nod,

touch of the arm

A gesture of the hand, a look

The afternoon passes

two pidgins fly under the bench

Old friends never notice

the people walking by

they only see each other

From a hidden tree branch

a bird begins to sing

a love song to them.



Blog: Copyright 2014.

Poem: Copyright, 1998_ Lynda McKinney . Lambert. All Rights Reserved.

 Written in Salzburg, Austria, July 1998