The Chorus Sings Praise by Karen Maeby for dversepoets, originally written/posted 11/29/2011.

The Chorus Sings Praise (poem/poet chat)
by Karen Maeby © 11/29/2011

fade away
into oblivion
i’m gone

let the chorus sing
she’s gone

burn her –
crumble her up in dust
wipe her away

celebrate the day away
unjust, frightful

her face shows
on the wall in the dark
she’s a ghost

she will haunt you
her words will taunt you
you can’t live without her any more

let the chorus sing
she’s gone

she’s gone.

she’s gone.

sing hallelujah – she’s gone.


I wanted to cover some of the questions inside of since I don’t think I’ve said much about poetry as a whole.

Who has the right to define poetry, beyond preference? How do you define poetry? Many have tried, perhaps in an effort to put poetry in a box, but feral animal that it is, it won’t stay caged long. Must it have meter? rhyme? metaphor? rhythm? any number of word tricks and tools? Must we lay it against a ruler and make it one more thing where we make excuses for size? Or is it heart that matters?

As we all discovered growing up, not any two people’s opinions are the same. Sure, there’s a right to define poetry to an extent but the definition of poetry should be kept secret. How so? Any poet writing poetry IS the definition of poetry. There’s no right or wrong answer, there’s no definite feelings. Poetry is like art – there are no boundaries.

Poetry by me will always be non-fictional packed with true emotional feelings. (So yes, I just pumped out that poem above – about me – when I had a sad moment a few minutes ago…)

Poetry flows with the flow of emotions (or whatever you are writing about). I write in free-verse a lot. I feel like it’s forced if every single one of your poems rhyme. Some are done on intention, but your feelings don’t rhyme. Certain poetry writing feelings usually make someone stabby, instead of wanting to write a sing-song with a jolly happy face on.

Almost everything that I do write often include a metaphor. I’m THE queen of metaphors and symbolism. I always like showing a comparison, two sides of the story. I like being complicated. I like people trying their best to figure me out but never doing so. I like mysterious. I like all of the “what the fuck is she saying? she’s crazy!” type of responses. THOSE are the marks of genius, or at least – in my opinion – it is.

Poetry, in the name of the universe, is undefined – but defined by each individual who writes it.

A poet’s job is to paint the picture – but with words. 

Thought Process poem by Karen Maeby for dversepoets, originally written/posted 4/21/2012

Today on dversepoets it’s all about paying debt. This is a great theme for me right at this moment, due to a decision I made a few hours earlier than dverse hour. Below the poem is where I’ve been and what possessed me to write…

Thought Process
by Karen Maeby © 4/21/12

I met my soul at the cash register:

I was unloading every single thought and every single
thing going on with me at the moment.
Pulling each one out and placing it on the belt.

Everyone was looking at me funny
as they watched each shape and size thought
be placed in front of them.

One, twenty, twenty one, fifty, fifty one –
we get to 1,000
and my soul stops the belt. No more incoming thoughts
—— can pass.

“You’ve run out of time,” my soul says.
I stand there, stunned. “But I still have more left to give..”
“Nope. You’re holding up the process.”

My soul stands there, not allowing me
to move on, to add any more thoughts, nothing.

“What’s my total?” I say, worried.
“You currently owe about a million dollars and one lifetime to yourself.”

I am nearly blown away by that amount.
And, I nearly pass out.

Was I alive, still?

Minutes later, a part of me hands me a journal
and an organizer. My Soul tells me that I need
to prioritize my life with work, what I really want
and what I really need to do. Stop with the
meaningless projects, and the things that will not
make a difference. You’re going to be paying
debt to me (your soul) if you don’t.
Finish something,
breathe, don’t take on too much, prioritize what
you take on.

Beads of sweat float down my body,
after the severe chills:
here comes the fever. Medication.

I need the medication
for I am really truly sick this time.

Now, I know what it means
to owe debt to my soul.

Let this spring cleaning happen.

Dim the Stars into the Night, originally posted 4/30/2010.

12.14.2019: So, apparently, I’m going to be taking all of you (and myself) down the journey of a younger me because I am trying to do research on myself to help me and where I’m going and piecing together what I’m supposed to be doing in this lifetime after-conversion. I know that didn’t come out right, but that is the mess that’s inside my brain. Otherwise, the conclusion out of all of this research into a younger me will inspire the older me to create some kind of a book. Whether it’s poetry, non-fiction / narrative, sorta-kinda fiction or maybe a play or script. Either way, I’m kind of having fun looking back at all of the things I had forgotten I wrote. I hope you guys are too. Everything has been sitting on my computer since I downloaded it and I haven’t looked at it in years. Also… I was living in NC at the time of the below post.


If a star has a lot of life to live but has dimmed out for the time being, can that mean once it get its needed break, it will know how to glimmer once again? 

Tonight, as I was borderline another crazy breakdown, I had to get to the lake as fast as possible. Fighting within myself, left brain vs right brain – one giving the other a “black eye” – so to speak. That quote above? Was something I thought of while there admiring the water, thinking.

I wrote what I think I needed, I wrote what I needed, I wrote what I needed to do. It was just chatter on paper, that was it, but it was fulfilling enough to make me realize something.

“I need to do what I say. Finish what I start. Retrieve what I’m after and what I really want. I want to die within the soul of music, let it flow like water over my body. I want to write, do good by writing, change some lives. Change my stars, fix them with bandage. I need to know what I want. I need to stop wasting time. The now is here, I need to get my focus on.” – Paragraph of what I wrote there.

I am that star that needed a break {being dimmed down out of the spotlight} but now, after I’ve ‘grown’ completely out of that being dim stage…I’m after what will make me glimmer once again. I AM on the path of that, it just takes a while, yes, I realize and I know. It takes a lot of hard work, I just need to lay out the plan on my steps and take one step at a time to get there. The big ending, final finish, will be well worth the work and wait.

The answer is finding the flame that lights the star
and finding the one glisten of the sun that reflects off the water
and finding out what makes the water flow
and the wind blow…
and the line in the sky

The answer is within me.
Ignite me. Light my fire. Make me shine – the brightest – that’s what I desire.  

Two weekends ago I went home to my parents. I went back for answers. I went back to tie up loose ends. I went back to “find what I was looking for.” I did all of this – alone. I did find what I was looking for, I fixed what needed to be fixed and I even found the very perfect ending to my Push Pin Memories story. I haven’t written about the trip back home, I haven’t even posted pictures or the rest of the videos. I spoke about my vacation on Twitter, if you kept up with that. Since being back, SOME things are clearer, I feel tons of peace within myself for the fixed relationships… and good things really keep happening. I have no reason to be unhappy. 

But still, even after all of this, there just came that breaking point where I needed to go clear my mind… and going and sitting on a picnic table right near the lake did it for me. It’s like I could breathe again. My thoughts weren’t so harsh, my pen flowed on paper, the clouds in my mind went away… I was sitting on a picnic table that was on the dock where the water was all around me on every side except behind me. I felt my soul being flowed from my body to the water… I felt my soul be in the water… felt my soul be the ripples flowing through the water… and it felt so good.  

I needed that today. 

Frozen – in time –
the world moves all around me… as I sit still…
admiring the life being lived around me,
I say, “Peace? Be with me, be real.”  

(Added this poem here because it’s appropriate.)

Stepping Outside of My Comfortable Skin
by Karen Maeby © 9/27/10

I took the six-layer sweater off my back today.
No sleeves, I say; just let me be free.
Free to feel the wind on my bare back.
Oh – not enough, not enough!
One, two, three… there’s so many layers…
I keep peeling them off.

Pretend; I look in the mirror, nose squished.
I always hate what I see.
Put the camera away, zoom down
I pull the bottoms of my pants up
reveal the rock’n rain boots. Today is ROCK!
I smile. I feel angst today.
I splash through the standing rain on the soaked ground
when I’m walking to my vehicle.

I get in and drive.
It’s raining; pouring and pouring and it just won’t stop.
Hasn’t stopped in over two days now.
The windshield wipers wipe away the rain.
Tears? Nawh. Just seems like a day to wipe away fears.
I am, after all, without six layers of my skin.

I want to step outside
and take a little dance in the rain.
WHO THE FUCK AM I? – I want to scream.
I need to step outside the extra skin,
peel back… let my soul out, give in.
It’s tough stepping outside of my comfortable skin.