Debby Phillips – Our Guest Blog for September

2005werfencastle_ChapelWalking by Inner Vision

a Personal Journal

of Faith and Writing


Debby Phillips



The warmth of summer beating down, the birds singing their evening song. We walk the hill, our voices bright and young, hopeful.

We sit on a bench, our bodies resting and muscles relaxing. The fountain plays its gentle song and I relax, feeling the weariness ease away. The bell rings, and from everywhere footsteps move toward the church. We hurry to join those who have come to pray. The cool interior of the church surrounds me, the smell of previous incense coating the air. I sit. The silence begins to envelop me.

Footsteps, rustling robes, the monks in their black and white processing in as they have done for so many years. A path seems to be worn into the floor from those footsteps, old monks who have prayed there for years, down to the youngest monk who came the day before. Maybe he too will someday walk that path in the floor, an old monk, hunched with time and work. The knock sounds, and the prayer begins, soft, suffused with purity and holiness. A joy flows through me- I am here for this night, and this night can last as long as I wish it to.

The joy is only half joy, because I would like to be there in the here and now, but that is not possible. So I let the memory flow around me. The prayer flows in and through me. I sing the words softly in my head and heart. The prayer ends, and in silence, the monks leave. I softly go to my room, and sit before the open window. The fountain lulls me, the remembered prayer surrounds me. I know at this moment that I am fully and forever loved.


Note from Debby  Phillips:

I live with my husband, Seeing Eye dog Nova, retired Seeing Eye dog, Lamar  and our rescued cat,  Flounder. My story, featured here on “Walking by Inner Vision” is a blend of details from an actual experience combined with memories, longing, and imagination.

I have a master’s degree in Theological Studies from

Mount Angel Seminary, a Benedictine monetary.

I was an Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey.

My life has taken me away from there, but the Abbey and its monks hold a special place in my heart.

I guess I get a little homesick sometimes.


You can visit this link to see a Photo Gallery of Mount Angelo:

Photo Gallery Tour of Mount Angelo Abbey

Story by Debby Phillips. Copyright 2015. All right reserved world-wide.

Photograph by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved World-wide.


With deep appreciation to Debby Phillips for generously sharing this beautiful story, memoir with our readers.  I first read Debby’s story  on the NFB Writers Division and loved her articulate and gentle  description of a place so special in her life.  I felt like I was there with Debbie, participating in this lovely memory.

Thank you, Debby, for allowing me to publish your story!

The Benefits of a Writer’s Group


Walking by Inner Vision –A Personal  Journal of Faith

“Benefits of a Writing Group”

Writing Assignment #28

How t Find or Create a writer’s group


Photo by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 1998.

Left to right: June Moholon Kerstetter, Lynda  McKinney Lambert,

Danae: Ida Barton, Jean Cooper


Note: This story is inspired by The Poetry Ladies Group – 4 friends who met to discuss and write poetry from 1985 to about 2003, in Ellwood City, PA


 If you are a writer, you are well aware writing is a solitary activity.Writing is not a group activity, nor is it a spectator sport, normally. Like most creative endeavors, you work alone in your office or dedicated writing space most of the time. It’s no secret, he “writing Life” can often be a lonely life.

At some point you might be willing to work alone in a secluded place to get your “work” done. I know there are some writers  who do work in public places, such as in a library or café.  I admit it’s not how I work. I crave quiet and solitude and I must have this in order to listen to my inner being.  Thinking requires lots of “alone” time.  Thinking is a job.  The only company I have in my writing space is my cats and my dogs. They each have a little bed in this room and they love being with me – and very quietly nap while I write.


I found  several ways we can interact with other writers through participating in a writer’s group. We can get involved with a writing group, or even form a small group of friends who can encourage and challenge each other to push on. It’s a great way to brainstorm ideas together.


During my  undergraduate years, I became a part of a small local group of women who love poetry. The group began in 1985 when June Molohon Kerstetter invited three of her friends to come to her home one afternoon to talk about poetry. She invited Danae: Ida Barton, Jean Cooper, and me.

We developed a deep friendship continued on through my own years as I earned my first degree in an  undergraduate program;  through my years of graduate studies for two degrees in two different states; the 2 years I worked at a college  in California;  and the years when I was the executive director of the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts;  and finally, throughout my teaching career  at Geneva College.

I participated in a small group of four local writers.  We met monthly to share our thoughts, new works in progress, and just to fellowship together and talk about literature.  We met for lunch at each other’s homes. After a delightful lunch together, prepared by the hostess, we  then had a meeting where we shared our work. We called ourselves “the Ladies Poetry Group.” We met monthly for about eighteen  years.  We celebrated our birthdays together, and we celebrated Christmas together ever year at Jean’s home. She loved to be the Christmas hostess!


Our little writing group:

_June worked as a journalist in her early career.  Later in her life she went back to college to earn a BFA degree with a major in photography. June was articulate, jolly, artistically talented in writing as well as fine arts. June shared her latest writings with us and showed off her recent art adventures. She was working on her memoirs for a couple of years, and recorded them in a notebook.  She read them to us when we met each month. She wanted to leave some of her life experiences, relatives, and memories behind for her family.


Photo97_JuneKerstetter_June Molohon Kerstetter (1926- 1999)Photo: December 1997.





Danae: Ida Barton served as “Poet Laureate” of Beaver County (Pennsylvania). It was a position that brought her so much pleasure as she visited different organizations in the county to speak and give poetry readings. Ida was a flamboyant woman who loved to dress in bright colorful outfits and wore scarves with all of them.

Ida Barton, Christmas 1997.
Danae: Ida Barton, Christmas 1997

Danae: Ida  Barton

(1920 – 2001)






_Jean  Cooper wrote human interest stories and memoirs  for two county newspapers.  Jean loved nature  and wrote  about what she experienced on her long morning walks on the rural roads where she lived. Jean was also very active in her church and spent over a year doing a special book on the history of her church which spanned two-hundred years.  the historical book she wrote was available to church members during the 200 year celebration event.   Jean was a quilter, spinner, weaver, and craftswoman who had many friends in her community.


Since our writing group met together regularly over so many years, our little literary group eventually ended after June and Ida passed away, and Jean was unable to write any longer due to Alzheimer’s disease.

After June passed away in 1999, the three remaining members of our little group published a chapbook. We called it, “Now,  we are three” and we dedicated it to the memory of June.  The chapbook includes June’s poetry and her photographs.


My teaching career kept me occupied after our group no longer was a part of my life. As a professor of fine arts and humanities, I worked on lectures for courses, papers for academic conferences, my  own  literary projects. My international travel/study course in Europe each summer gave me material which I developed into a book. “Concerti, Psalms for the Pilgrimage.” The book includes  poetry, historical notes, and reflections I created over a ten-year period while traveling, published by  Kota Press in 2002.  While I wrote the book, my Poetry Ladies Group read all of my writings and their input into the production of the book is invaluable.


Eight years ago I suddenly lost most of my eyesight. I retired from teaching at that time and now I continue writing projects for literary publications. My writing centers around poetry and essays. I still love esoteric literature and continue to write from my own world view.


Currently I am at work on two books that are in development. I do this with the aid of technologies for the blind and special programs. Because of modern technology and rehabilitation training, I am more productive than ever with my writing life.


After sight loss, I became a member of a writing group on-line. This group is well organized and we have an e-mail private line where members can post our work for critique, or just to share information pertinent to writing. In addition, the group meets via phone two times a month. One meeting a month is typically dedicated to critiques of our own work, with each other. The second meeting of the month is when we have special guest speakers who are active in the writing world. Our guest speakers are authors, publishers, professional writers, and even our own members who share notable projects of interest with the group. Our members range from the most basic beginners to writers who have multiple books published and writers who are college professors of literature or writing.


The group is a non-profit 501C3 organization and conducts business as well as the publication of two anthologies. There is something for anyone in the group and members can be as involved as they choose. It’s a great experience. The one thing we do not have, however, is lunch together and personal face-to-face contact in an on-line group.


These are just a few examples of what we can do as writer’s to stay in touch with other writers. You may have a few other ideas of things that work for you as well. There are on-line groups, websites for writers, and Face Book pages for writers as well as writing groups. Find one where you fit in, and you will enjoy it so much!

Happy Writing!  I hope you will take the challenge and reap the benefits of a writing Group.


Essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

All photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2015.  All rights reserved.


The Tanka Poem – Part 2


Walking by Inner Vision – A Personal Journal

The Tanka Poem, Part 2

Writing Assignment #27

Zen Meditation Garden, designed by Bob and Lynda Lambert, Wurtemburg, PA

Five months ago I wanted to work on a special project in honor of National Poetry Month.

I chose  to learn about the Tanka Poem and began to write some tanka in response to what I was learning. This was a surprising  journey into the Tanka Poem and it has led me into some interesting revelations.  In order to learn even more, I joined the Tanka Society of America.

Yes, I have made some additional discoveries since I wrote Part 1 on this blog – April 10, 2015.  It was Writing Assignment #12. For clarity, go back and read Part I.

Click here to read Tanka Poetry Part 1:

Tanka Poetry Part 1 – Lesson 12


I began to receive the literary journal, “Ribbons,” published by  The  Tanka Society of America.  The magazine is another way of learning more about the Tanka form. The more I learn, the deeper I walk into this exquisite poetry form. One revelation after another has come to me as I studied.

Eventually, I realized that Tanka is so much like Japanese dance forms that I enjoy. In particular, I can relate it to the Butoh dance – human emotions, stories, minimalist space that feels like walking in a dream, finely orchestrated movement from the beginning of the poem to the end of it.  And, then, the final line is so important in the poem, as the final movements and imagery  is in the dance performances.  This new idea came to me today as I worked on this essay.

I wondered, “How has it taken me 5 months to recognize the parallels between Japanese dance and Japanese poetry?


Photo of Japanese Butoh Dance performance..


A TANKA POEM is like  a Japanese DANCE

expressive, human emotion, movement, a dreamscape


My first encounter with “Ribbons” opened my eyes to the fact that the Tanka need not have a syllable count of 5-7-5-7-7 at all! In fact, almost none of the poems published have this restriction. All have 5 lines, but those 5 lines vary greatly from the initial form I first learned was “Tanka Form.”  Did my head spin? Oh, yes, indeed!

Blog15_WBIV_Tanka2_JapMapleLeaf “Dancing Japanese Maple” by Rona Black

Photo used with permission of photographer, Rona Black. Copyright 2015.

Click here to   See MORE photos by Rona Black



What is TANKA?  

The TANKA poem originated in Japan over 1200 years ago

Traditionally,  Tanka themes are:

Nature     Seasons

Romance     Sadness

Love     Strong Human Emotions

A Tanka Poem usually  reflects a single MOMENT

Tanka poems do not have titles or numbers

 Use personification, metaphor, and other allusions

The lyrical intensity gives a sense of a personal, intimate world.

Capitalization and punctuation is not necessary. In fact, it can be a distraction to take the reader out of the moment in the poem.  I saw this in the poems I read.

Tanka is a lyrical poem and it’s important for it to have a feeling of human emotions, awareness of being in a dream, or the author discussing personal  relationships or desires.

Fragmentation  is highly desirable.

Once you understand the structure of the Tanka Poem, you do not need to count the syllables and words – it is not necessary to have the 5-7-5-7-7 format and in fact, this poem is  much smoother if you do not restrain yourself and force your words into a particular  syllable count. 


Zen Meditation Garden, -created by Bob and Lynda Lambert

The overall  observation, is that your Tanka will be a 5-line poem.  

As you begin to consult literary magazines that focus on Tanka, or Haiku poetry forms, you soon see the poems published do  not the traditional  generic description. Here is where we see the master class.


I consulted with an editor of a Haiku Journal with my questions. He responded to me immediately with some answers.

He said,

“There are some western poets who do write in the traditional syllabic style, but they are few and far between, and not usually well represented in many of the more established journals
or showcased in the numerous anthologies that are produced each year.

Traditional Japanese poets still write in the syllabic style and use official kigo from a officially recognized sajiki, but there are plenty of Japanese poets who are not traditional
and write haiku which are reminiscent of what is being produced by poets in the west. I suggest you check out someone like Kaneko Tohta or Ban’ya Natsuishi to get an idea of just how adventurous some Japanese poets are.”


 Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #27

Using the additional information I have given you,  create your own Tanka poem!

I would love to read your poem – send it to me or post it in the comments below. If you  scroll to the bottom of the page, sign up for my newest posts that will arrive quietly in your email as soon as I post them.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Special THANKS to Rona Black for allowing me to use her photo,

“Dancing Japanese Maple” on this post.


The Music of Venice – Writing Assignment #26

The Music of Venice

All photos by Lynda McKinney lambert. Copyright 2015.


Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #27


I always remember the special nuances of a place I have visited when I listen to the music that is created by the local musicians and composers.  I always shop for CDs of that particular music and bring it home so I can enjoy it.  When I listen my memories come alive and I remember specific little activities or places of that place.

One of my favorite places to visit is Venice, Italy. Every summer I visited Venice during the Redintore Festival in July. As soon as I arrived at my hotel, I purchased tickets to a Vivaldi concert.  Of course, I bought the CDs of those concert performances and listen to them often throughout the year.

Photo: Lunch at the Guggenheim Museum and Restaurant with my students.


Here is a link if you would like to take a little cyber visit to Venice today.  You can listen while you read my blog!

Vivaldi, the Four Seasons


Another activity I did in Venice was to walk through the city, then select a place where I could sit down and write in my journal.  Some times, I opened up my sketch book and did drawing of the people, buildings, boats, and I wrote notes in the sketchbook, too.

Later, when you are back home, you will love looking through your sketchbooks and reading your notes once again.   

I use my notes and sketches to bring back the details of a special day. I turn them into a poem.

Here is a poem I wrote from such an experience, very early one morning as I sat beside the Grand Canal enjoying the beauty of the new day.


Venezia, 7 a.m.

I hear deep bell sounds

From the Renaissance tower

morning announcements

Arrive in waves

embrace me low

surround me deep.

A duet begins

To shape this early light

mingled with lapping



waves in the lagoon.

Polished black boats are tied

to terra cotta stone piers

covered by slippery gray mists.

An undulating shrill voice


out of view

soars over

aqua cleansing waters.

Four Chinese women pause

form a circle

their heads lean back

mouths open wide as they laugh

at fat pigeons taking staccato strides.

The thin man in green cotton pants nods

as he sweeps away the debris

from the all-night celebration

his long flexible broom

scrapes away trash and fireworks

scattering them into the heavens.

The scratching of his broom

mingles with the chorus

of bells, birds, water,

women’s chatter

and the movement of my hand

as I write in this journal.

It is the morning after

Redintore Festival

once again

the Redeemer’s fireworks

have saved us from the plague.

It has now been 400 years

the sparks have kept us safe.

Bon Giorno!

Bon Giorno!

Published in “Concerti…Psalms for the Pilgrimage,” Kota Press, 2002.

Copyright 2002, 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Writing Assignment #26

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Create a short writing piece or a poem from your memories of a place you have visited.  You can use my example in this essay as a guide to developing your own memory writing.

All About Stones – From A to Z

Walking by Inner Vision – Your Personal Journal

Writing Assignment #25 _ The Abecedarian Poem




and so much Fun!

This poem will take you on writing  journey through the alphabet, from A to Z.

You can begin by writing each letter of the alphabet down the left side of your page – vertically. It will look like this:






F – and just keep on going till you get all 26 letters on your page.


Once you have your letters – they will become the first letter of a word in each line. Your poem can be 26 lines long, or you can write your poem in pairs of lines as I did in my example below.


Follow my example and create your own ABECEDARIAN  POEM. **    

  ** Crystal Healer  

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Amber red dripped from ancient trees

Solidified and fossilized.

Boji Stones brought healing to painful memories,

grounded high spiritual vibrations.

Crystal quartz cleared the room of negative energy,

brought healing to those who lost hope.

Dragon’s Blood was also christened as costly Cinnabar

she helped change your image.

Emerald stood surrounded by palest green rays of light,

protected from evil enchantments, foretold the future.

Fluorite made me smile when I touched her soft curves,

a  celestial rainbow of clear, blue, green brown, and yellow.

Garnet gemstones surrounded us with beauty from the earth,

mined and carved, tumbled smooth.

Hematite, a heavy magnetic stone, harmonized and balanced the spirit,

supported timid women and boosted self-esteem.

Iolite, so very small and translucent; a delicate stone,

changed her colors with the angle of light.

Jadeite, translucent, soft, and green;

hidden away, smooth and silky in my pocket.

Kunzite’s delicate shades in lilac, pink, or yellow translucent,

transparent, mood-lifting effects.

Labrodarite, my favorite gem,

reminded me of the deep water’s reflections on a summer day.

Malachite held layers of copper between her spiteful greens,

powerful stone of the new millennium.

Nebula stones are small with unique metaphysical properties,

gaze into it and you’ll be moved to new places in the universe.

Obsidian sang of a black winter night

with snowflakes falling on the shiny opaque glass-like surface

Precious opal stones,

cleansed in the light at full moon a fiery glow in the morning light.

Quartz clusters gathered deep secrets,

in their helical spiral crystalline forms.

Rainbows flourished inside the dense earth

a harvest of vibrant mysteries.

Serpentine, a talisman of water-worn black-green stones,

were  said to assure the wearer of longevity.

Tiger’s Eye beads in yellow-brown, pink, blue, red,

were used as protection against ill will.

Unikite is a circus of tumbled stones placed gently in a bowl,

brought calm to your home.

Varsite sang the songs of encouragement,

hope and courage to those who gave up.

Wulfenite brings knowledge from ancient temples of Egypt or Greece,

brought spiritual vibrations down to earth.

X represents the signature of the Creator’s hands

as He fashioned and planted each precious gem.

Yellow Calcite, the silent stone, brought healing,

from darkness inside the fertile earth,

Zeolite can be colorless, white, blue and  peach,

a group of all kinds of crystals, living together in a matrix of  a harmonic rainbow.


Note: This poem is the abecedarian  form. You can go back and look at the first letter of each pair of lines, and you will see the alphabet from A to Z.

The Gloss Poem and Jacqueline Williams

Walking by Inner Vision…presents:

I am so happy to present a poet who lives in Arizona today!



Our FIRST GUEST BLOG is by Arizona writer,  Jacqueline  Williams

Jacqueline says,

” I enter the NFSPS annual contest every year  and the past two years, my favorite form, the Gloss (sponsored by Mississippi) no longer appeared  as a category.

I keep writing them for I love this form for very personal reasons.

I was enticed by some quatrains written by special people in my life. Once conquering this form, I found myself on the constant lookout for those written by famous poets. Therefore, it became an educational tool.

When I lost my sight, I needed a tight structure to help me learn to use a screen reader and organize my thoughts. It required me to learn meter and syllable counts, natural rhyming enhanced by enjambment to make a poem like this jell.

It is a way of honoring a favorite poet while taking the challenge of expanding on their original thought. So here, I honor, first, my mother, Donnafred Hoff, deceased, a well-known Arizona poet, and secondly Ogden Nash, whose humor I have always been a captive of.


Jacqueline introduces to my readers, The GLOSS FORM…

This exciting poetic form is an  expansion of a well-known poet’s quatrain in iambic tetrameter or iambic pentameter.


This quatrain, the text, must be given as an epigraph under the title of one’s poem, along with the title of the poem it is from and the name of the poet who wrote it.

Following are four sextet stanzas, 24 lines, each stanza beginning with a line from the text, with four original lines added in a rhyme scheme of one’s choosing, and closing with the same line from the text.



Who is Keeping Track of Time

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

The moon begins her nightly climb.

The world is busy at charades

and who is keeping track of time.


The Birds Fly West  donnafred

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

Through clouds, a lone star slowly wades,

and what will Heaven do this night—

Shed tears on lovers, holding tight?

The night owls screech as light degrades.

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

The moon begins her nightly climb.

At midnight, somewhere, bells will chime.

In peaceful places, night brings sleep.

Volcanos, earthquakes—all will weep.

No matter what, we know through time—

the moon begins her nightly climb.

The world is busy at charades.

Some lie, some steal, some join parades.

Some hold their children, live in fright.

Wars come and go and some must fight.

While reptiles creep in forest glades,

the world is busy at charades

and who is keeping track of time?

For me and mine, it is a crime

to turn our backs on heating world.

We march together, flags unfurled.

Is it too late to save our clime,

and who is keeping track of time?


by Jacqueline Williams, second place winner, NFB, 2014









All photos of Arizona landscapes by Lynda McKinney Lambert


Appetites Gone Wild

Some primal termite knocked on wood,

And tasted it and found it good,

And that is why your cousin May

Fell through the parlor floor today.

                 The Termite by Ogden Nash

Some primal termite knocked on wood.

I do not think he understood—

that diet was not meant for him

though it would fill the interim.

In  our resistant neighborhood

some primal termite knocked on wood,

and tasted it and found it good.

With treated wood, no way he should

indulge his starving appetite.

For ten long months, bite after bite,

he did, he thrived—misunderstood—

and tasted it and found it good.

And that is why your cousin May

was eating chocolate, curds and whey,

while Uncle George, and neighbors—all—

danced to a jig and down the hall.

But she kept eating, would not weigh,

and that is why your cousin May

fell through the parlor floor today.

She hurt her back and had her say,

but termites chomped in some new place.

May could not find them—not a trace.

She moved her chair to wood parquet—

fell through the parlor floor today.


 Copyright. Jacqueline Williams. All Rights Reserved.            

First Place (Humor), League of Minnesota, 2013


More about Jacqueline Williams:

Jacqueline Williams is a retired educator and active writer, mostly poetry, from Mesa, AZ. With her husband and three young boys, she spent five years in Uganda, East Africa. She travelled through Greece, England, Italy, Spain, the Balearic Islands, France, Austria, and Germany. Before returning to the U.S., she climbed the “Mountains of the Moon, finally looking down on the Congo from above the Speke Glacier.

Jacqueline  completed her Masters in Special Education at Arizona State University;  taught at San Carlos Reservation Special Education for two years. Jacqueline  was head teacher, Chairman of Special Education and teacher of learning disabled and gifted students at Keller Elementary School in Mesa, and finally took early retirement when she became dance coordinator for the African-American dance teacher, Arthur Hall. He spent many years teaching at the elementary schools in Mesa.


Poetry is her primary passion.

Jacqueline  has three books in development:

“Lizard in the Bean Sauce,” a memoir of the five years she lived  in Africa. Her writing including the coup installing Idi Amin.

“In Search of Adam Scott” is  about her 20-year-old son who disappeared in the Superstition  Mountains.

“Run, Quail, Run!” is a mixed genre of poetry and a narrative of her journey into an exciting and doomed relationship ending in violence.   


870 words



Song Lyrics _ Writing Assignment #24

Here’s an idea to get you started on writing a new poem.
For Writing Assignment #24, we will select a song,  look at the lyrics, and use our selected lyrics to inspire a new poem.

Choose one or two lines from that song as inspiration for your poem today.

Step 1: choose your song. Pick a  song  you love, or one you don’t like at all. What you choose will give you direction to where you want to go with your poem.

Example: I chose “Waltz Across Texas”  by Ernest Tubb. I’ll give you my personal “back story” to this song if you’d like to know why I like it so much.
I like this old country song because I used to dance to it with my husband. We love traditional country music and dancing together is something we still do after 54 years of marriage.  This song also brings back memories of dancing with my husband in Texas, at Gilly’s, in 1980.  We flew into Houston over the July 4th weekend to attend the big party at Gilly’s. The air was so hot it took your breath away as we got off the plane.  We rented a car and drove across Texas for a week. I took photos along the way, and later when we were back in PA, I used my photos to create paintings of the Texas landscapes.


Step 2: Select one or two lines from the song as a place to begin your poem.

Example: I chose to use the first two lines of “Waltz Across Texas” and I wanted to use it to write a poem about riding my motorcycle. In the poem, I am riding the motorcycle and it is a cold day. I am riding with a group of other women riders.
The first two lines of the song are:

“When we dance together, my world’s in disguise.”

“It’s a bizarre fairyland tale…” Ernest Tubb

Step 3: Choose the format you will use for the poem.

Example: I chose the Pantoum format because the repeating lines can give the poem some speed and energy by use of repeating lines.  The repeating lines move the poem right along – on down the highway, in this case.

Note: For directions to writing the Pantoum form click onto my article at this link:


“When We Dance Together”

When we dance together, my world’s in disguise

Concealed behind black leather jackets

Dense fringes snap in the wind

We spiral downward – a bizarre fairyland tale.

Concealed behind black leather jackets

I hunker down against the brisk mountain air

We spiral downward – a bizarre fairyland tale

Wild rock-n-roll women in masquerade.

I hunker down against the brisk mountain air

The throbbing steel tank between my legs

Wild rock-n-roll women in masquerade

Neon surges through our veins.

The throbbing steel tank between my legs

With the rumble of Cobra Drags

Neon surges through our veins.

Lean into the slant wind that blows us around.

With the rumble of Cobra Drags

We ride side by side, with stars in our eyes

Lean into the slant wind that blows us around.

I raise the fist of my icy cold left hand

We ride side by side, with stars in our eyes,

On the rough pavement of the dance floor

I raise the fist of my icy cold left hand

Reach out to catch the storm.

On the rough pavement of the dance floor

Laughing with the painful gusts of rain

Reach out to catch the storm

Dancing together in disguise.


Note: This poem is a Pantoum form.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

This poem has been Published:*

Wordgathering Literary Magazine, Sept.  Issue, 2013.

Special THANKS to Wordgathering Literary Magazine for publishing my poem.

Copyright, 2013 and 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

The Disappearing Poem – Writing Assignment #23

~ Walking by Inner Vision Journal –

The Disappearing Poem

Writing Assignment #23

June 20, 2015

Photo: Hotel Balcony by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to write a  poem. I think you will enjoy it, too. In this poem, we make words DISAPPEAR to create  NEW meanings. Voila’ just like MAGIC – It’s so much FUN! will begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

Let us begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper article, E-mail advertisement, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

If you select a document that is an original and you don’t want to destroy it, then make a copy of it and use your copy to create the poem. (Put the special document safely away so it does not get mixed up with the copy.)

I chose to use an em-al advertisement I received this week, from Travelocity.

Follow my guidelines to create your own poem.

1._Take your document and begin to erase or remove words – in whatever way you decide to do it. I like to scribble over the word until it is obliterated. You can take words away and you can add any words you like.  I copied and pasted my E0mail advertisement. Then, I went through it and used the strikeout function to mark the words I wanted to delete from the poem I would be writing.

2._ Type up the document using only the remaining words you did not strike out.  You can rearrange the formatting. You can delete punctuation, capitalization, etc. I chose to remove the words and punctuation from the original, but I kept the capitalization which gives the poem a different kind of feeling and voice as it is read aloud. It gives a sense of movement and a bit of instability because unusual patterns of punctuation are unexpected.

3._Arrange your new “poem” on the page in any way that makes sense to you.


Poem Title:   “Terms and Conditions”

My source:  Travelocity:  E-mail to me on June 17, 2014.

Here is the quote  I will use as “raw material” to do a “Disappearing Poem.” You can see how I used the strike-through function on unwanted words.  Quote from advertisement follows:


  • Special offers are only available at participating hotels. Percentage discount calculations are based on the full rate, as determined and supplied by the hotel. Sample prices are for the stated travel period and are subject to availability based upon Travelocity’s hotel rates. Prices are per night based on double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Deals may change or be discontinued without notice. Minimum stay may be required. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply. Hotel-specific conditions may apply and are notified prior to booking.


Ok, now you can see what I did with the advertisement from Travelocity.

I went through it, line by line, and crossed out words.

The deletion of words  brings new meaning to the advertisement.  After I deleted the words, I began re-writing the poem. As I wrote the poem, I again, deleted some words to push the meaning even further away from the meaning in the advertisement.

Below is the completed Disappearing Poem:

Terms and Conditions

by Lynda McKinney Lambert


calculations determined

by hotel travel

subject  to hotel rates.

prices are based on taxes

deals may change without notice

change without notice

minimum restriction blackouts

conditions may  change without notice

change without notice

prior to booking


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Lynda is currently working on her second book of poetry – Eclipse: Hands Folded in Prayer.  She is the author of *Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage* – published by Kota Press. Available through the publisher, or on  If you want an autographed copy, contact the author directly – there is a very limited supply of this book.

Lynda’s newest  book “Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams” will be forthcoming later this year.  It is a collection of essays/memoirs on art, writing, and faith.

Lynda’s art is exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide; included in public and private collections. and museum permanent collections. The US Department of State chose Lynda’s artwork for the  “Art in Embassies” program. She has received over 100 awards for her art work and her work has appeared in over  300 exhibitions in national and international venues.

The Photograph Poem_Writing Assignment #22

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #22

The Photograph as Subject for your writing

1._ Select a photograph that seems to have special meaning for you.

2._ Sit quietly and look at the photo selected.

3._What colors do you see?

What do the colors make you think of as you look at the photo?

4._Write a few adjectives (describing words) about the colors.

5._Write some verbs (doing words) that reflect what the colors are doing in the photo? How does this make you feel?

6._Write about objects in the photo as you stare into it.

Do you see something you had not noticed previously? What is it?

7._Take the list you made while contemplating the photo;  arrange them into a poem.  You can add or remove more words as you write the poem.


The photograph I meditated on for this poem:  

My Photo title: Handmade Gifts

If a PHOTOGRAPH is worth a THOUSAND WORDS, I have no need to say much more. I will say,  “Thank You, Dear God for warm colors and Gifts of Love.


“Dear God, my heart bursts With much gratitude for HANDMADE friends”

I write with a heart full of gratitude today

You have given me so many friends who know the value of “HANDmade” love

There are no gifts to compare with the gifts made by their own hands

the best ones

Thank you, dear Kathy Szakleheidi for the homemade bread and rolls

cards and notes and messages of love

Delightful mornings with my coffee in mugs given to me by Heidi McClure

for the gift of the handmade mugs

from the potter’s hands

And, oh the delicious treats from Raylene Italiano’s kitchen

the homemade jelly and loaves of bread on winter days

cookies and love

 Ilsa Barry and Salome Mengle kept me supplied

with gifts the K-cups – so tasty

Special thanks, in memory, of my precious friend

June Molohon Kerstetter

handmade pottery plates

and more

and more memories than any friend could ever hold in her hands


Book of Remembrance – Writing Assignment #21 (Part B)

Note: I published this blog article about a year ago, in 2014.  I am publishing it again today with a few modifications for our:

Writing by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #21 – Part B

How to write a journal assignment about a historical event.


June 10, 1942
Lidice, Czechoslovakia


A bright and lovely June day in western Pennsylvania is everything we could imagine such a day would be. The birds are singing as they normally do on a June morning. The sun was up in the sky well Before 7 am:

     My dogs have had their morning walk. Bob and I have had a good breakfast together; we had toast and eggs and orange juice. Bob has gone into town to do some errands. I am at home in my office. I have some forms that need my attention today and I plan to get them all finished up and sent out today. In the kitchen, country music is playing on the radio. It’s a normal June 10th day in every way.

Eventually, the date of June 10th crossed my mind again. This time though, it was like a soft whisper from the distant past. Then, I began to remember something else. I remembered Lidice. I had visited Lidice once a year, on my summer travels in Europe. This village was so important, I believed, that I took my students there to stroll about the rolling landscape, walk through the fields of summer wild flowers that were blooming everywhere.

When I wrote my book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, I included a short historical note about Lidice. And, after that, I included the poem I wrote, “Book of Remembrance in Lidice.”

Below, I have put those two pieces from my book into this Blog post today, for you to read.

The journals that I kept each summer  as I traveled  became the source of information I needed to write about Lidice. I often turned to my journals for material to write new poems and essays.



from my book,

“Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” 

pages 9 – 11

Historical Note:

The earliest records concerning the village of Lidice is found in the 13th century. The village was dominated by St. Martin’s church. 

Lidice, a  typical Czech village,  had the first school with central heating in Bohemia in the 1700’s.

St Martin’s church was destroyed during the Hussite wars and again in the Thirty Years’ war.
It was rebuilt and decorated by Czech artists.

On June 9, 1942 the village of Lidice had 102 houses and 493 residents. The oldest woman was 88 years. The youngest infant was 2 weeks. There were 14 farms and a mill in the village.

On June 10, the shooting began:

192 men shot dead
7 women shot dead
52 women martyred in the concentration camp
88 children assassinated

Lidice was leveled to the ground.


Book of Remembrance in Lidice

In the museum
a Book of Remembrance
records the facts –
names, dates, village

A Plexiglas box
holds debris –
sand and dirt
human remains

A basket of flowers on
an embroidered hanky
with lace around the edges
hands clasped in friendship
on a corner of the lace scallop.

with tea colored letters
faded red stamps
written in pencil

A wall for the men
A wall for women
with photos and
pf the dead

Eighty-two bronze children stand
In the field just off the path
It’s a secluded place
beneath a solitary pine tree
where chicory frolics with the grass.

I imagine it was such a lovely summer meadow
Clover, Sweet Peas, Dandelion,
Crown Vetch, Queen Anne’s Lace
a large snail in a smooth spiral shell
beneath the silent pine tree

Zum Gedenhen an die millionen kinder, Die Dem 11. Weltkrieg zum opfer gefallen sind.

In Memoriam – Jahre 1942
The Children of Lidice


…all past events are more remote from our senses than the stars of the remotest galaxies, whose own light at least still reaches the
telescopes. But the moment just past is extinguished forever, save for the things made during it.
George Kubler