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RHODODENDRON MILE by Lisa Smith

My poem relates to the periods of time after loss…

Those periods when we can’t see the wood for the trees, aim and miss, or cling to what is not meant to be. There is an art to healthy endings and I was experiencing the first adult lesson of ‘letting go with grace’ and having to move forward: which I must confess, can still be a little tricky at times, even now.

On occasions it can be easier to dwell and continue ‘suffering over our own suffering’ whatever the reason, much longer than is good for our souls.

The poem was written late one evening in May 1988; I was 20 and had not long split with my first serious boyfriend of 2 years.  I was completely devastated by the break up. At that point in life, I didn’t really know how to cope with the loss, and the next year or 3 became an extended period of mourning.

On the night in question, I had gone out into the countryside on a hazy summer evening to meet mutual friends camping out for the weekend. The field party was in a beautiful location with bonfires, beer, music and rhododendron flowers; though at the time, all I saw, felt, or acknowledged was the presence of the ex, and the chasm that had developed between the man, who till fairly recently, had been my closest friend.  

I remember feeling out of place, like I didn’t belong; and whether I liked it or not, the realisation that I would have to build a different life. The poem below created itself later that night, and reflects the sadness, futility and despair of my young broken heart.

With the benefit of hindsight the relationship itself was an early gift, and the important lesson I’ve learnt is… ‘Letting go is an art within itself’ and takes a good bit of practice…
Painting by Anatoly Konenko

Rhododendron Mile
by Lisa Smith

(An ode to separation and displacement)

A drop in the pool of life’s lost years
A reflection in the mirror of a child’s smile
But that’s what was and you are here
And it only seems such a little while…

Like Moths attracted to fire’s glow
Dicing with danger in a mystic way
Dancing sparks fire up the night
But all is lost in the break of day…

The sun shines brightly on a fresh morn
The birds they harmoniously sing
Flowers pushing, through the earth budding
But it’s the end of Autumn not Spring
On the outside looking in….


May 1988
Raspberry-rhododendron-painting by Theresa Evans

Lisa Smith: At the tender age of 46 Lisa is continuing to discover what makes her tick…mostly a more open, mindful life, and a lot of yoga. She currently lives in Dorset UK and works in the drug and alcohol field. An ambition she has is to tell lovely people to 1) Breathe 2) Forgive yourself and others and 3) Be kind to yourself and others. Lisa secretly believes all the intricacies of various therapies are really about the Big 3 listed above - and may even write a very, short book about it one day!She has a son of 25 and an amazing cat ‘Princess Azra’ aka ‘Azerina Hellcat’ depending on mood of said cat. She hopes to continue to learn and practice yoga, teach yoga and mindfulness, and travel to some far off places.   


~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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