Poetry Jewels

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Poetry Jewels

A Collection of Po ems Written by

Julie Elizabeth V arwig Â

Table of Contents

1. Diamonds in the Rough ~ Poems from Life My Morning The Absent Mind Naked Eyes The Way I Breathe A Life I Don't Live The Front Yard Lies Rain and Fire The Secret Smirk An Assignment Carvings Verses

2. Crystals of the Earth ~ Poems Inspired by Nature As the River Unknown Soar The Movement of Nature A Turning, Turning Earth A Long Lost Stream An Autumn Death

3. Rubies of Red ~ Love Poems Sweet, Dear Love What Could it Have Been? My Rose! Missing... Sudoku Set Apart I Love You, Eliza Someday We’ll Go a’ Walkin’

4. The Everlasting Band of Gold ~ Poems about God and Faith Questions Wisdom My Little Heart Only Ten Minutes Long The One Who Loves Me So The Wild Red Rose Behind the Fog and Mist The Place Where I Write

Poetry Jewels

A Collection of Poems Written by Julie Elizabeth Varwig

Diamonds in the Rough Poems from Life

My Morning A rising sun kisses the corner of my window. My phone goes off. Transfer to my welcoming chair As a bird sings outside the glass. No espresso for me. Glasses on, Face refreshed, A fluffy blanket ‘round my knees, Slightly toss and turn, And eyes finally awaken. The pen jumps to my hands, Rolls on the paper. Like a morning bird, I soar. My perch is my chair, And there, with streams of ink, I sing. August, 2013

The Absent Mind Autumn trees smirk at me As I drive by absent-mindedly. And without my control they fill every hole in my head with songs. Don’t ask me why. Though they seem shy, the fiery red dresses contradict my thoughts. Oh how my heart feels tossed By what the trees are singing to me, As I drive by absent-mindedly. They dare smirk at me so When I don’t know The inside joke. Such silly oaks! The songs don’t stop, It’s suddenly hot, And the sun begins to smirk too; My eyes now the victims of singing item number two. Oh, what’s an imaginary girl to do?! November 18th, 2013

Naked Eyes

Why do I even put my glasses on? The world, although fuzzy, is ironically all the clearer when they’re off. While I’m not looking at its details through mini binoculars, The world is meshed together as it should be. No color or shape can stand on its own. In fact, there’s no individual thing. There’s only one large panoramic painting of greens, browns, blues; and sometimes black spots and lines of grey. And what must be glass simply resembles shimmering silver. Every reflection melts into others, and so I can’t see reality; And yet, Reality is so clear. You see, I see reality when my glasses are off. That is my natural reality. My eyes enjoy being naked, Looking upon the world as they feel they should, With no glasses to break through or contacts to irritate. I can hear them when they’re happy: “Julie! You see those leaves? Aren’t they just more beautiful blurry, When you dream up their details instead of being overwhelmed With every photosynthesizing vein? And that tree over there is suddenly a whole instead of a trunk with leaves and branches!” My hazel eyes are relaxed, no longer bothered or forced to read signs. They can rest. And I am free to imagine. No distracting lens, sliding down my nose; Or pains behind my ears.

Naked eyes mean freedom. Glasses are the bars to the jail of life’s details. Life is clear When my glasses aren’t here on my nose. For now the ancient spectacles go on, And I’ve lost reality by the focus of every unimportant detail that surrounds me. My reality: Lost My cares: so vivid. To see clear in the world’s view There is a cost. I crave the blurs. And my eyes crave the rest. My eyes uncovered Truly see best. Why do I ever put my glasses on? October, 2013

The Way I Breathe I can’t stop writing poems. It’s like the way I breathe. I take in deep breaths of life Then write them faithfully. That’s the way I exhale, With my paper and my pen. And never do I breathe in The same air twice again.

A Life I Don’t Live Scars I can’t handle. I’m sorry I can’t help. Bruises I can’t heal. Forgive my weak self. Words I can’t change. No words can I give. Hurts I don’t know; It’s a life I don’t live.

The Front Yard Lies The front yard lies. Perfect. Serene. Not a pink petal out of place. Not a leaf left lonely. The home behind it Must be perfect. But no. As surely as the oak tree is structured, The home is in ruins. As surely as the roses have bloomed, The children beneath the roof have failed bud. And as surely as the fence is sturdy and strong, The husband and wife crumble day by day. But what if a front yard has no roses? And there is no border fence of dignity? What if there is no blossoming bush or well fed tree? Would that mean that the greenery reflects the home, A home tainted with scratched siding and old paint? No. For within that house is a family of love. They have no need for perfect pink roses; What blooms are the growing hearts of their children. And what stands sturdy and strong is the resolve of the husband and wife Never to let their love whither As the unfed oak tree in the front yard. September, 2013

Rain and Fire A flat, smooth surface, with no limit to contain. Every drop of ink is different, and so pours like rain, Like sleet, Like snow, Like hail; Different forms. Every drop comes from a storm. No wonder it is hard to write. Each word is conquered with a fight. Even though storms are fierce and dire, Beautiful ink drips from the fire. Like coal, Like wood, Like flesh; Different burns. Yet every spark is what I learn. No wonder it is hard to write. It’s a battle fought with all my might. August 28, 2013

The Secret Smirk Dedicated to Taylor Kroese

Your smile is like the smirk of an autumn tree; There’s the red blush, A fire of orange. Yet behind those colors, Lies a secret. For the tree, His secret is why he won’t let go of his leaves, though it’s now November. But for you, the colors shine so bright, Your teeth so white, That I can’t see the secret. Bits and pieces may be evident to me, Like the biology of the tree, But your heart that hides behind the red blush Is what I’m curious to see. Maybe that’s what makes you such a mystery? What more is eating at your root? Though the colors flash, I know some of your leaves are dying. It’s hard to let go of them, isn’t it? You won’t regret it at all When your leaves turn brown on the ground; So let them fall. After the season of spring and summer Something must die. It might as well be the leaves and trees. But you ask, “why?” And I can’t answer, No matter how hard I try.

The red leaf grows brighter As your smile grows tighter, But I know you’re a fighter. Still as the leaf, What is it you’re defending? Burning like the fire, What is the secret in your autumn tree? The root that lies so deep? I may never know, And that’s ok. But I can’t help but wonder, Will you let go? My thoughts on this may be As deceiving as the deadly beauty of autumn, But I had to show you The images I see, Lest I forgot them As the tree all too soon forgets his leaves. November, 2013

An Assignment I’m trying to write, It’s not working out well. The block keeps me stumbling, Tumbling, bumbling through a writer’s hell. It’s awful. An assignment. How can I write when I am told? Writing is something to be grasped, Not to be assigned. Writing is not the act in itself. Writing is the moment. Writing is my escape. My escape from the Assignment. A short story? It will end up long. A flash fiction? It will become true. And then there’s the way it’s “formatted”-What a word to use. My writing will not be contained by the borders And orders And tortures Of a single format. My writing, my words, and my heart, They cannot be torn apart By how they “should” be shown.

No, they will show themselves as they come. And you cannot summon them by An Assignment. They come from a look, a glance, a memory; From the smile on a girls face, To a frown on someone elderly. My writing is the moment When a bird takes flight, And a path is blocked, When the teapot screams, And the door knocks. When life scares, And the heart tears. When loves leaps, And joy comes in heaps! It is not an act, It is not a play, It is not something you can say. My writing is the moment. Don’t you dare minimize it by An Assignment. September, 2013

Carvings The past is carved into the oak, The standing tree of life. And what has been engraved there, I cannot erase of strife. But time smooths all surfaces, And finishes the wood. And so, I view the carvings now In a way I never could. February, 2013

Verses Late at night, when the fan is on, The summer air breathes through my windows, That’s when all my dreams come to life, And the verses are beautifully written. Late at night, when the lonely dog barks, The crickets and cicadas let sing, That’s when all my heart is revealed, And the verses are beautifully written. Late at night, when the lamp’s all my light, The shadows dance on the walls, That’s when all that is in me is freed, And the verses are beautifully written. Late at night, when the silence is music, The lyrics fly in on the breeze, That’s when all my song appears on paper, And the verses are beautifully written. May, 2013

Crystals of the Earth Poems Inspired by Nature

As the River My mind is a frozen river; My heart: The current that flows beneath the still, sleek ice. Ideas fall through the cracks of my mind To drown in the undertow Of my willful heart. For though my mind is as still as the ice, My heart flows on As the river. Fall, 2012

Unknown I feel like a blade of grass Lost within the lawn, Sitting useless, undiscovered, Dawn after dawn. I feel like a dried up oak, Weakening with time, Thirsty from so much draught, Clearly out of prime. I feel like a wilted flower, Wrinkled at the edge, Stuck out on the window pain, Leaning on the ledge. I feel like a cloudy sky, Heavy, full of rain, Waiting to set free My waters full of pain. I feel like a blade of grass, Surrounded, yet alone. And to everything around me, Unwanted. Unknown. July, 2013

Soar I wonder what it’s like for a bird To fly so high in the air... To soar with grace from every place And have not a single care. A little nest is your humble home Far atop a tree. And to see the world from your little eyes, Oh, how I wish I could be: A simple bird with pretty wings That would take me from here to there; I would soar all my days and give great praise To the God who made me with care.

The Movement of Nature The cloudy white sky, The chattering birds, The still, cold ground, The absence of words... The sounds of nature, The paintings of trees, The songs of crickets, The art of leaves... The scurrying squirrel, The dying flower, The droplets of rain Amongst the shower... The swaying grass, The soft, chilly breeze, The changing of colors Before the freeze... The movement of nature Stills my heart. From its song and beauty How can I part?

A Turning, Turning Earth What could I compare him to in this wild, confusing universe? It’s like he’s the Sun, And I am the earth, never able to catch up, Even as I turn and turn and turn… Barely moving, he stays steady. All he has to do is shine down on me, and I feel the rush, The warmth, The tenderness, The fire, The strength of his love for me. He, an illuminating star, reveals all the secrets in my dark crevices, Then brings them forth to his healing light. Above all the planets, There is comfort in him. Let me turn, let me turn toward him. Above every other star, He shines the brightest! For no other star has reached out its rays far enough to love me: A lonely earth. To him, I am but a form filled with valleys of sorrow, Oceans of pain, Hills of hate, And mountains of trials. And yet, that Sun -- that Star -Found joy in the deepest rocks of my heart. And for reasons unknown to my soil, He never stops shining his love on me. Let me turn, let me turn my form toward the Sun. Fall, 2013

A Long Lost Stream A misty set, a dimness fills. A mossy floor, My heart has chills. Weeping willows, shrouded trees, A long lost stream Comforts me. And then a hand grasps for mine. Ten fingers gently Intertwine. Is it real as the rains that falls? Can it be Like the waterfalls? Through the mist I see, so clear, What ought to give My heart much fear. Lightning flash, thunder quakes. As suddenly, my heart It breaks. He who loved, and then did not, Has come back to me, A girl forgot. The stream overflows, as does my heart. On pours the rain Into the dark. Eyes like diamonds pierce my soul, Making me warm, As air is cold.

With rainy wind and mossy floor, This forest is Love's open door. Now I can be as real and free As the water flowing in the stream. My love's returned as mist to sky, And now I find Him at my side. Love is true as the rain that falls, And fills my heart Like the waterfalls. Can this be real? My long lost dream? I find it real As the long lost stream. August, 2013

An Autumn Death Don’t you think it funny, How the trees begin to die With awe-inspiring beauty So gentle to the eye? Does it not confuse you, That while they dare to die, They burst with vibrant color So wondrous to the eye? Is death then so beautiful? Can such beauty count for I? When at last my time for death has come, Will it be gentle to the eye? Oh, I pray to God above, When it’s come my time to die, That He burst with vibrant color So wondrous to the eye. For as the colored leaves of life Fall gently when they die, I pray that God may make my life A beauty to the eye. Fall, 2012

Rubies of Red Love Poems

Sweet, Dear Love... I walk upon the fallen leaves, And feel the autumn’s chilly breeze. And as I tread, above, I hear, A serenade, a song so clear... “Tweet-ta-weet,” is sweetly sung By a little bird, who seems quite young. “Tweetle-dee,” comes a soft reply, For out of the corner of my eye... There sits a she-bird on a limb. She cocks her head and looks at him. Then I watch as he, shyly, but sweetly, Flies over to her and bows so neatly. Sweet, dear love, will you ever be mine? Yes, you will. You will in time. I pass the leaves beneath my feet Dreaming of romance, oh so sweet. It will come, just like the fall, When love finally hears its call. For seasons come when their time is right. And so I must wait to see that sight; That sight of love, the sweetest love, That can only come from God above. Sweet, dear love, will you ever be mine? Yes, you will. You will in time.

What Could it Have Been? Could it have been the helium balloons That made me not think straight? Or was it all the shimmering silver Throughout the night, so late? Perhaps it was the tea I tipped That tasted bland and bare That caused my eyes to seek his face, And follow him here and there? That longing for attention grew As swiftly as the lights were dimmed. And as soon as any song was done I searched the crowd for him. What girls that danced around him, I observed and scrutinized. For when he’d dance around me I saw wandering in his eyes. What made me want him, oh so much, That I watched him all night long? For then, it felt so special to me, But now it just seems wrong. I could go and blame all on him, His good looks and his charms. But no, I can’t. He’s good and kind And wouldn’t bring me harm. What could it have been, that made me feel? That coaxed my heart to break? For when the dance came to it’s end, I faced my huge mistake.

All I wanted was attention, And yes, I did get some. But that fresh, and selfish longing Was because I missed someone. It was not the helium balloons That made me not think straight. And it was not the shimmering silver Throughout the night, so late. It was not the tea I tipped That tasted bland and bare, But the want of missed attention That caused my eyes to stare. All that work for nothing. At least I know what it had been. So now I’ll let my questions rest, And know it wasn’t him. May, 2013

My Rose My Rose. It was so perfect, How could it bear any thorns? Perfect, pink and beautiful; Its blooming never ceased. A tighter grip I claimed upon my rose. A prick did I unexpectedly receive. Small, but blood fell. An accident, Or a warning? No longer did I touch its stem, But I fingered the soft, velvet petals, Until, they began to harden. My Rose, so perfect, Was dying. Once again, I grasped the stem, Now limp with little life left. A prick did I unexpectedly receive. Blood fell. Angered, my hand clung tighter to the stem; The thorns warned with more blood and pain. “Let go,� they said. But my rose! My perfect, pink, beautiful rose! My hand, in pain, would not let go. And on the blood ran. As the stem turned from green to red, My rose became like paper. No perfect, no pink, no beautiful. No rose. Oh, My Rose!

Then, my hand gave up. Unfolding my fingers about the stem, I viewed my calloused wounds. All that is left of my rose Are the mark of thorns upon my hand. November, 2012

Missing... Like a pool deprived of water, Like a bird that sings alone, I’ll miss you with all my heart Until you come back home. May, 2012

Sudoku Can’t be here, and can’t be here, But it could be either one of these. I can see my mother pointing to the empty squares with her pen. A greying blonde head sits over the dyed brown, Both surveying the Sudoku graph. Here, here. There, or maybe there. Are words I keep hearing. Not one thinking, but two. Two minds work on the Sudoku. That’s what love is. Doing Sudoku. The fact that they’re still together long enough to begin the game, That’s love just the same. And now, as they puzzle it together, It’s as if they wouldn’t mind doing it for forever. But they’re pros at that. I can’t even grasp how many puzzles they’ve already faced, Completed, or failed. Bills, cars, work, children, sickness, surgeries, dogs, grocery shopping; There’s so many Sudokus in life. My parents have gone through almost all, in my opinion. And I’m happy so see them beginning to play the real game again, and again. It’s gonna be here, she says. A 4 and a 7? he puzzles. October, 2013

Set Apart That which holds my soul, That which contains my mind and heart, Is made for a single man For whom I am set apart. I know not when I shall meet him, Or who he even may be, But I pray that he is striving To be set apart for me. November, 2011

I Love You, Eliza ~ In loving memory and imagination of Eliza Joy Varwig The sister I never met. Revised June 17th, 2012 Originally written when I was 11 or 12.

~ I love you, Eliza. You will always be mine. I wish I could see you, But I will in time. I think of you, Eliza, Each moment of the day, And wonder what you’re doing In heaven, far away. I want you, Eliza, Please come back to me! There’s no one in the universe That I would rather see. I miss you, Eliza, More than you could know. Nothing’s right without you. Life just doesn’t seem to flow. I cry for you, Eliza, At night when I’m alone. The tears that stain my pillow To you are only shown.

I sing to you, Eliza, Songs of joy and pain. I can’t help but miss you! Why couldn’t you stay? I pray for you, Eliza, That you’re comfortable above. For I know that you are cradled In Jesus’ arms of love. I thank God for you, Eliza. You’re a beautiful and precious gem. But before I could hold you, You went to live with Him.

Someday We’ll Go a’ Walkin’ Someday we’ll go a’ walkin’, Just you and I, Beneath the sugar maple trees, And the cloudy, rolling sky. Or perhaps we’ll walk the sidewalk, Down a busy street, Holding hands and smiling wide To everyone we meet. Or maybe we’ll walk down my road, Talking of our love; Oblivious to the pouring rain Descending from above. There’s a chance we might go walkin’ Around the city zoo, So wrapped up in each other’s eyes We care less what the animals do. And what if we went walkin’ By our favorite flowery spot, And you dropped down on one knee And made my heart just stop? Well, then we’d go a’ walkin’ Down an isle of roses white; Forever to walk side by side, With you holding me tight. Oh, someday we’ll go a’ walkin’, I know this to be true. And the best part about the walkin’, Is walkin’ just with you.

The Everlasting Band of Gold Poems about God and Faith

Questions Why, oh why, am I so selfish, Never thinking of You? Why, oh why, do I never ask What You want me to do? Why, oh why, do I sometimes walk Ignorant of Your love? Why, oh why, am I so earthly bound That I never look above?

Wisdom Wisdom, Lord, is what I seek, Please grant its gift to me; That I may live a life to give All blessings back to thee.

My Little Heart Lord, You know my little heart, Its windy, wandering ways. I place it in Your loving hands And humbly give You praise. For now my heart weighs heavy, Lord, As a chain around my neck; From all that I have been and done My heart is now a wreck. Yes, I know, that in Your hands My heart shall be kept safe. You are my Rock of refuge, My shelter and resting place. Do with my heart, O Lord, my God, What You deem is best. And I shall walk beside You, Lord, Forever changed and blessed. For into Your unfailing love Is where I place my heart, Knowing that Your grace and love, From me, shall never part. I thank you that you know my heart, Its windy, wandering ways. My little heart, I give to you, With songs of joy and praise. May, 2012

Only Ten Minutes Long I sat by myself Amongst the crowd. My body was shaking, My heart pounded loud. I prayed to you, God, To make me strong For a simple speech, Only ten minutes long. Tim called me up And I started to walk. Before I knew it, I began to talk. Words came from my lips, Words I never knew. Little did I realize They were coming from You. I poured out my heart, I gave it my all. Even though I was nervous, You did not let me fall. You held me up, You gave me the passion; Making me speak With confidence and action. Your Spirit was upon me, I had nothing to fear. I was just there to tell them That you are always here.

Then I ended with a prayer To bless them all, Hoping they would go And answer your call. I had finally finished What you wanted me to do. But I will never forget That it all was you. I walked off that stage And sat in the crowd, No longer shaking, But my heart pounded loud. And I thanked you, God, For making me strong, For a simple speech, Only ten minutes long. May, 2009

The One Who Loves Me So I’m tired and I’m lonely; Why do I fail to go Unto the one who rests me, The One who loves me so? I’m angry and confused; Why do I never find Time to see the Prince of Peace Who soothes my searching mind? I’m hurting and I’m sorrowed; Why am I so afraid To let my God fill the hole I’ve oh so recklessly made? Why don’t I just surrender, Bow down upon my knees, Crying out to God on High, “My Lord, help me, please?” I know I’m naught without Him. Oh, that I’d learn to go... Unto the One who knows me, The One who loves me so. November, 2012

The Wild Red Rose Dedicated to Melody Rose Velius

Think, my dear friend Melody, Of your heart as but a rose, Held by the Lord’s sweet, gentle hand As it gracefully blooms and grows. For your heart is at the youthful stage Of a restless, wild red bud, Battling the winsome will to wait And the urge of petals to budge. But God will peel the petals back At the time His fingers will. So keep your heart, the wild red rose, Every velvet petal, so still. For when a wild red rose is blooming, God takes special care To ensure that not a velvet leaf Receives the smallest tear. Trust your sweet red bud to Him; The thorns, He’ll use for good. And every velvet, precious petal, Will unfold just as it should. Oh think, my dear friend Melody, Of your heart as the Wild Red Rose, Held by the Lord’s sweet, gentle hand, As it gracefully blooms and grows.

Behind the Fog and Mist Life is all uncertainty, A mystery of what’s to come, A flowing river of beauty and pain Where blessings and trials spring from. But through the mist of life, O Lord, I see Your face, so fair. Sometimes behind the fog it hides, But still, I know it’s there. And oh, the joy that floods my soul, When the clouds depart the sky, And all I see is your love for me. Oh, the tears of joy I cry! For my times of hurt and sadness, How worth the reward of love! For no suffering, struggle, or pain of mine Goes unnoticed from above. According to Your blessed will, You fill my life with grace, Flooding my heart with unfailing love; Every lonely, empty place. When my eyes cannot see past The grey and darkened cloud, I think of You, and no longer fear The confusing, painful shroud. No mist, no pain, no uncertain thought, Can keep Your love from me! O God, no matter what I want, Your face is what I see!

The Place Where I Write Prologue: Dear poets, and storytellers, who’ve become so dear, This rambling of thought I wanted you to hear. All these words are mine, Not divine. Yet to be used are they, By my God through time. I have no doubt That He will bring about Every inspired rhyme To reinvent some time, In the future. The Place Where I Write How strange, I thought I didn’t want my poetry to change, Only improve. Yet that’s strangely not what I can choose. A class equals learning, (Yes, I’m so discerning), But I had not thought My poetry would be caught Into doing what it never has done before. And of this I’m now sure: That wherever I write, My thoughts take on that sight, And I lost what I cherished, In a class, it almost perished,

Slowly and quietly, I gave it up politely. Like those around me I became, Innocently. And what first made me write Was pushed off to the side. And He Sat there so quietly, Waiting to ask me politely, “Do you miss me, Julie?” Almost three months here, Among poets, now dear, And I had sadly forgotten, My imagination besotten, About Him who wrote Every verse and note, Of my life. The thought pierced like a knife, More hurtful than strife. And I begged to God, My head low, I sobbed, Don’t let me write What is not worthy in your sight. I keep longing to please, People at my knees, And I know that’s not what I need. You see, A verse written without you, Can be a beautiful view, Yet what good can it really do? A class does equal learning, And this is what I’m discerning: That You, God, are the poet,

Let me always know it, And that I am the pen You use over and over again. And though just a girl, Writing for you, I can change the world. One poem at a time, Every God-inspired rhyme. This class may not see What you really means to me, But I can’t truly write Unless you’re my sight; That place where I write. Because wherever I write, I take on that sight, And I know, with you, I can pursue the plight To show the world Your light Through my words, My wrongs, My stories, My songs. As long as I write from where you are, I know my writings can go so far, Not to bring myself fame, But to lift up Your name. I can go back to my class, Without any shame. And I realize now, my poetry can change. And that’s ok, As long as You’re the place where I write. October, 2013