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WHAT USED TO BE by Edith Lazenby


The practice of writing eases and opens, giving me a way to let go and look inside…

…To see how I am feeling what I’m feeling, and maybe help me to just let it be.

I think this piece, called “What Used To Be” speaks for itself. Such is my day: thinking of what used to be, noticing the old tapes that don’t play but sit there like friends I used to enjoy, in an odd way.

My writing process is a meditation on being. The Muse guides my heart and my hands move. The connection I long for meets me halfway, and what I missed knowing lands like a blossom at my feet. And then I feel a little better and know there are many who have been here with me, in their own way.
'Take My Hand' digital art by Skatergirl

What Used To Be

Used to be I’d crawl into a hole.
Used to be, I’d wish
To die while I cried.

Used to be I’d hear
 Voices echo worthlessness
Through a worm’s belly,
Words would tease
Me into not caring.

Because what really matters
When the insides are tied
Into knots with wires
Scraping my heart
And jabbing my stomach?

My eyes hurt from trying
To find what is not here.

Used to be, I’d roll over
With sunrise and pull the covers
Up to my ears so I could not
Hear birds chirping, kids playing.

Used to be I’d lie in bed till evening
And wish night would leave as soon
As it came. Used to be meaning
Came with a story of what is not.

Now I sit with hands wrapped
Around prayer to help me unfold
What I cannot control, ease the angst
Of what I cannot know, soothe the fear
Of realizing all that matters is right here:

This breath, clouds in the sky,
Kitty by my side, kitchen full of dishes,
Home that wants love as much as I want
To give it. What used to be haunts my window.

Because when I look out I see in: the gnarled
Branches of my heart are trying to grow roots
So the life I want to live can flow.

Used to be I’d lie down and pray never to get up.

Today I sit and try to unlearn what time stole
And make that history a gift so I’ll remember
Now is not how it used to be; now I am free!

To create a life where I can pray and dream.

Now I shift meaning into this frame to hold
What I cannot find, touch what I do not feel,
Give what I do not have, save who I cannot lose.
'Life Recorded' by artistic photographer Katarina Silva


Edith Lazenby: “I love to write. I began writing poetry in elementary school. Sometimes I write poetry daily, other times not. I adore Mary Oliver, her way of embracing the light while acknowledging the darkness. I teach yoga full time and find the practice has grounded me deeper in my body and heart and helped me move closer to what I call spirit. I also now edit for Elephant Journal and write for them as well. I live with my husband, who is my best friend, and 4 kitties. Life holds challenges yet with time I feel better able to live in the moment, moment by moment. All great teachers teach presence. I find each day is a lesson in being. The process of writing holds me and I find the craft teaches me something new each time. You may visit my blog here.


~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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