Writing Wings For You

Marie Lukasik Wallace ~ # I LIVE Poetry – I'm passionate about life and writing and all things creative and poetic!


We Wrote Another Poem! Paint Me As I Am

In Poetry Therapy, we use poetry as a way to heal.  It’s a back door way to heal.  Actually, in my opinion, all writing is healing.  I took some sample poetry from an amazing compilation of teen poems by Writer’s Corps called “Paint Me Like I Am,” and asked my dad how he would want the world to know him. At first, this was too right brained for him. Usually he operates more left brained. So, I read him some more samples and then I used adjectives he had used previously to describe himself and asked him to delineate more on that.

Below is what Ernest, my dad, wrote, with little assistance from me. (He has arthritis and Alzheimer’s, so I’m his hand and placeholder.) What is amazing to me is that my dad was invested and even got excited to do it. He has started to call me now and has more days he talks about his life than not. He has written something our family can treasure, and I’m so proud!

PAINT ME AS I AM by Ernest

Paint me working and doing my best
For I liked to make things better
Taking things that work that didn’t work before
Engines, motors, broken chairs and making them new again.

Paint me determined.
I made up my mind not to have any booze at all…
Or anything that would come near it…
I didn’t want any part of what I did before…

Paint me as keeping my thoughts and good emotions toward others
Requesting forgiveness for my stupidty…

Paint me as always looking for making a difference in life.
As time goes by, I make sure each day of my life that whatever I do and say is better…
Never wanting to give or get trouble…

Paint me independent wanting the peaceful life,
less noise and misery from people or cars and traffic and busses and sirens…
It gripes me a lot…I had enough of all that…
I have to get away from the racket.

Paint me as one whose mind holds onto better days
(don’t really care about money)
Whose richness is in the simple life,
The more simple the better
Let me just work on my cars and trucks and lawn mowers.

Paint me as determined to keep life in balance
And I’m skiing away from life itself
(the house, the dogs and the cats, and even plants.
Leave me with my critters.

Paint me without hateful words
Or holding onto hatefulness
For it puts me out of balance…

Paint me happy and content with my life.

***It might need some editing, but it’s great for a first draft. :0)


Poetry Through a Young Poet’s Eyes



By a first grader (no editing) 

Come on rain

It’s getting hot here

in the sun

Rain rain

Come on

I want to play

with you in the clouds

You make puddles

For me to play in

You make it quiet

You make it calm



I love how we hadn’t even talked about personification, and he was already inviting rain, like a friend to come out and play.  By the way, this poem is on the second day of poetry and done by a boy.   He did such a brilliant job, the other boys followed suit.  However, one must note we enjoy several poems a week all year long.



By Rylee Ford


Rain tickles your feet.

You’re splashing in puddles.

Kids beg their mommas

 To get their swimming suits on

 And go play.

It tickles your forehead.

Kids splash and play in the rain.

It goes down your back.

It tickles your back.

You giggle, you laugh, you splash.


Again, it showcases such freedom to interact with words.  This was also done on the second day of poetry and has a musicality to it. 

I wanted to showcase how easy it is for a six year old to write poetry.  How do we lose this sense of noticing and awe and wonder?  Of all the genres I teach, this is the genre that’s usually the easiest for the kids because they LIVE poetry.  Almost everything a first grader says is poetry.  I try to capture snippets of what they say because it is not only precious but sometimes quite genius! 

This exercise was done after doing some artwork that we wanted parents to see and I thought it would be cool to have some poetry with it.  As a teacher, I’ve learned to watch my world a little slower…a little easier…and try to see it through first grade eyes.


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When Writing isn’t Easy – Found Poems and Collaborative Poems

Because I do Poetry Therapy and because I teach writing to a variety of age groups, I know how real and scary this WRITING BEAST can be.  I know the reluctance of some of my writers to fill the page or the reluctance to even approach the page, even if they might enjoy writing.  So, I pull out my tips and tricks bag..

One thing I do before each genre in my classroom is model, model, model.  Do you know that students go through most of their school career without seeing an adult write?  And yet, they are suppose to perform so many different forms of writing.  If they’re a good researcher, then they get lucky.

In Poetry Therapy, we use poetry as an avenue to learn and discover things about ourselves and our world as we write.  We also get to try out various different poetic styles.  For me, this is just delightful!

Challenge:  In Poetry Therapy, I use a poem by e.e. cummings, “Love is a Place,” (I call it Yes is a World.)  If you could say yes to anything, big or small, what would it be?  Start small like your favorite things.  I say “Yes to icecream or reading a book wrapped in a blanket.”  or you can go deeper like, I say, “Yes to loving my family fiercely.”  or

Challenge:  Cut out one of the strongest lines from about 7-10 of your favorite poems.   Play with them and arrange them until you find how they flow together for you.  Enjoy the journey!

Alternate challenge:  You could also do this with your favorite blogs/bloggers.  (If you publish, ask their permission.)


Tomorrow, I will do a post through young poets’ eyes. You will be amazed how our adult eyes have been veiled by so many things that are pure and beautiful.


I got brave today and read my dad, Ernest, two chapters of his biography.  You say, “How is that brave?”

And I would say, “Have you ever tried to measure up to your parents?” Not to mention measuring up OUT LOUD to the world?   It’s scary!  It’s not so much about the writing as to making sure I’m telling HIS story, encompassing details and events, with limited knowledge (because he just started telling me about his life), and weaving in interpreted feelings that he rarely talks about….so it’s not easy.   Ernest is a “vaulted” man, who is becoming a little less vaulted, but I think sometimes emotion is still a trigger that scares him…

I took a deep breath and read it through out loud with voice and how I heard that voice in my had through my telephone conversations with him. 

My own mind tortured me as I was reading. What do you think you’re doing? With your limited writing skills, what qualifies you to write a book, let alone your dad’s life’s book? What if you don’t capture what he’s truly feeling? What if you get the facts wrong or say something that’s not true.”

And then, I thought back to my call to my beautiful writing friend who knows how fragile this journey is for me…She assured me that what I was doing was healing for both my dad and me. And as I talked to her I realized that the writing wasn’t as important as this beautiful journey of discovery that I was on with my dad. Slow down Marie, and enjoy the journey.

I finished reading the last of the chapter and held my breath. I desperately wanted him to like it…no, love it.

There was a pause and then he said, “Well, I don’t know how you did it, but you captured exactly what I was feeling.” I let my breath out and sighed a sigh of pure relief. And then, I felt a smile slip across my face. He assured me that he would assist me with parts that may not be accurate as far as information. He was grateful for the work I did. He didn’t say he was proud, but I knew he was happy. And that, my friends, was enough for me.

Ernest and I…Me and my daddy..are speaking a new language. We are learning new things about each other, finding common ground. Oh daddy, I do love you so, dark skeletons and all. Thank YOU for being brave. Because you were brave, then I could be brave.


I LOVE Life…I LIVE life…I WRITE life

So, my husband says, “You are a right brained person.  Why do you try to confine yourself in a left brain world?  You have varied interests.  Blog about them all!”  “But,” I implore, “my readers will be confused.”  And then gently he reminds me, ” The blog is for you, “

So…I love Writing as Healing..and I love poetry as well as any other kind of writing…and I love family and savory food and art and photography and little things that fancy me,  I LOVE life…I LIVE life…I WRITE life….and so it is.

In honor  of loving writing challenges, I shall take this one from NaPoWriMO,


A Loving Human World,
 There are marks everywhere

I’m formed by some love streaks on paper

He lives on this paper,

a GRAND image

Standing on fields of green and flowers

light and beauty abounds all around

even in shadowy corners

I see myself in strange footage

Seeing everything in its truest form

I can sense he’ll approach with his encouraging arms

And embrace all that I am

even the ugly parts

aligned with pieces of love charms.

This love envelopes me, 

protects me

opens me more.

My world is a bunch of stray love marks

Drawn onto this paper

revealing me in all my accepted humanness. 



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Creating a New Blogging World – Finding the Gold in YOU

Ahhh…I remember the old days of blogging when I did Creativespiritfaery.  My life was busy with family and teaching and I needed a creative outlet.  I tried on art.  I was okay at art.  I was better at blogging.  I created a whole world of new friends, a place to escape and learn and grow.  What was the coolest about that blogging experience was the fact that I had friends from all around the world, all ages, all ethnicities, all religions, and they were never barriers.  It was never brought up.  What was brought up were our common “human experiences,”  our love of life, our dis.appointments, our hopes and dreams.  I reveled in this world.  The characters were real and supportive and encouraging and got me through some dark spots.  I learned to be a better person and a better mom, and I learned to be enough.

I miss this world.  I know that I will have it again as I slowly begin to rebuild my new writing community.  For my friends, we have more in common than we don’t have in common, and I love learning all about you.      I’m on a quest for gold, and the gold is in you…each and every one of you.  I can’t wait to discover it!  Won’t you send me a treasure map to find you?

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When you get STUCK!!! – a Writer’s Tools

Ever had those days when you get stuck?  I don’t mean a little stuck.  I mean SHUT DOWN everything kind of stuck.  Well it happened to me.  No matter what I tried, a paragraph, an article,  rewriting already written pieces!  Nothing would help.  I decided to take out one of my Poetry tools, and just play.  My work, teaching, sometimes keeps me in left brain so much, I forget to jump to the right brain and just play,                               And who doesn’t love to play?

Since I’ve been writing my dad’s story, I decided to at least try a tool that might assist me toward this goal.  So, I made Alzheimer’s a character.  Weird, right?  It was glorious!   I used a poetry technique called Personification.   What would Alzheimer’s house look like?  What kind of car would it drive?  What would it’s clothes and shoes be like?   That’s only the start and pretty easy to fill out a list type of thing.  Lists become handy when you’re stuck, but this made me a more targeted list.

But where things get really juicy is going deeper.   How do I get to the heart and soul of Alzheimer’s and showcase the role it plays in people’s lives, both bad and good?   I begin to write down Alzheimer’s “friends” and “enemies.”    Once I know who Alzheimer’s friends are, I am naming out loud what parts hurt and what role they play in my life-word thief,  relationship thief, sadness, depression, scatterbrained and scarcity, locked vault.  Then, as I name Alzheimer’s enemies, I get to name what parts I am missing in my life, so I can name my loss and again renew the process of healing-  happiness, peace of mind, abundance, HOPE.


Just like anything in life, there are two sides to every story, even Alzheimer’s.  Though it’s a terribly rotten disease that robs loved ones of many precious events, it still offers gifts.  So what is Alzheimer’s redeeming quality?  CHERISH –  It reminds me that every day is precious and to hold on and linger with every moment I have with my dad.  I MAKE MY CONVERSATIONS WITH MY DAD COUNT!  I record each conversation, even the little ones.  I want to remember my dad saying I love you.  I want to remember the silly sayings and funny voices he uses to greet me each day.  I want to remember that this vaulted man took a chance on ME.  He is trusting me with his precious life books.  He is trusting me to hold on to those stories that in sometimes day to day life are elusive to him.  He, like all of us, wants to be understood before it’s too late.  If I didn’t cherish the time I had with my dad, I might have lost out on learning who he really is.  Without this time, I might not have really honored and treasured that precious laugh and sense of humor.   I am blessed in this moment.