The Artist

The Artists Plain

Pictures splash furiously onto each page,
Images shaped with both light and shade,
Memories and thoughts, things she wished she had said,

Emotions and fears that had never been shared.

Some pages were dark, some filled with desire,
Yet others glowed with heaven’s own fire;
Some scenes that exposed the true hearts of men,

Were blotched by tears she had shed over them.

Some pictures were smudged, some faded with time,
Others vivid with colour, rhythm and rhyme.
Some portraits brought pleasure, some caused her pain

That she had hoped she might never feel again.

And the truth looked directly back into her eyes,
Its gaze unashamed, its candour undisguised,
For what she had thought had been fiction’s domain

Was staring at her and speaking her name.

The shock of enlightenment jolted her soul –
Each page revealed truths that had never been told;
Every fiction created as part of her art

Had been drawn from the depths of her world-weary heart.

©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam

The Artist is one of my favourite poems from ‘Leaf’.

I was inspired to write it by my friend Nicky, who is an incredibly gifted

Leaf 2nd Ed Title Only copyartist. On looking at one of her paintings, I commented that I wished I could do what she did.
She said, “You do. You just do it with words.”

 

Leaf is available in your favourite digital bookstore or in paperback.

Still Here.

Before you read this poem, there is something I would like you to know.

This poem is absolutely, 100% true. It is personal, it is painfully honest, and it tells of my own experience, not anyone else’s.  And you may find it quite confronting.

Despite its darkness, it is written to be positive, not negative. 

It was not written to win sympathy or make anyone feel guilt: it was written so that people might understand what’s in my head, and what I’ve been feeling, and why I’ve made the choices I have.

To answer your concerns: I have chosen to stay here and to defy all impulses that tempt me otherwise. I don’t always feel okay, I’m not always okay, but I will be okay. 

For anyone in a similar position: hold on. Stay here. You matter more than you know. 

Promo X Still Here Plain.jpeg

STILL HERE.

For a moment-
One fleeting, isolated point in time-
Or maybe two,
I thought about it.

I had the means.
God knows, I had motive.
But I couldn’t do it to you.

I know you would have understood.
But I know, too, how you would have mourned.
The grief.
The anger.
The questions.
I would have destroyed much more than myself.

So I resisted,
Summoning strength I didn’t have,
Holding on desperately
To everything that matters-
To everything I know that I love-
Even when I couldn’t feel it anymore.

I am thankful to still be here,
Despite my fragile state of mind,
For I know too well what it is like
To be one of the left behind.

©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam

This poem and fifty others are published in a collection: titled ‘The Passing Of The Night’

A Poem In Honour Of My Birthday

Today I’m forty-nine years old,
And I’ve achieved a lot,
I’ve been a teacher for decades –
A career as a nerdy swot.
I’ve loved and lost and laughed and cried,
And had some fun along the way,
And I’ve learned that faith and loyalty
Beat popularity, any day.
I’ve sung and acted on the stage,
As a director, I’ve shown my worth;
I love to entertain my friends
With both sarcasm and mirth.
I’ve had my poetry published,
It’s nice to be in print!
It’s just a shame that famous writers
Are generally fairly skint.
I’m proud to be Australian,
And I’ve adopted Canada, too:
If I could live in both places
That’s absolutely what I’d do.
So today I’m going to smile again
I’m prepared to take my place
As the birthday queen of June Sixteen,
Exuding style and charm and grace.
So unleash all the birthday love,
And send it all my way,
I’m more than ready to indulge
In my celebration day.
PS: Come to my book launch tonight,
It should be really great,
You can buy a copy for twenty bucks
And I’ll sign it as your mate.

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