The sharp note
Is like a sweet
Is the only
The sharp note
Is like a sweet
Is the only
So I spoon
All the other
You well and
In the beautifully
Like a long
Shard of glass
And that bird
Hovering up high
Reminded me of the one
And ate your
From that kit
I bought you.
I should have
Paid more attention
Are a nasty thing
How’s the cat
And that gerbil
That I’m always
Afraid the cat
Like you always used
To do and might still?
Funny, the dedication
And imbibing ourselves.
Asked the other
About your father
And I said, “Still Dead,”
But no smile on his face.
What a waste because
He looks a little
Dicaprio in Gatsby
And a smile
Would do him good.
Me, too, I guess.
But not to get down
Have to keep the spirits
Have to keep on keeping on.
Sometimes, I talk to God
And dare him to listen.
I have to get on
And I know
You’re busy with the
Glass shard pool
And Jack and the kids
And all the minutes
Until your glass has
And all you see
Is your damp
Let’s start out Friday with an #introduction shall we?
My name is Ericka Clay, and I’m a traditionally published author (contemporary fiction) and long time poet (since like 6th grade, y’all). I oversee a department where I work (no getting specific since this is the interwebs) and love working with people (something I couldn’t say a year ago). What changed? Well, after years of anxiety, depression and night terrors I asked Christ to take the fracking wheel and now I sleep like a baby.
Thank you Jesus!! I was the last person on earth who thought she would ever be a Christian but after this experience, I fully understand that Christianity isn’t combing your hair and pretending your perfect on Sundays. It’s continually being a sinner but knowing God has granted you grace and forgiveness and all you want to do is pour that love out onto others.
So that’s what I’m doing, one word at a time.
Shout out to my amazingly creative daughter and my BFF husband and his super strong faith that builds up my own.
And shout out to you peeps. I know some of us are having a rough week, but have heart, my dears. WE are the change the world needs and YOU have the power to show your kind heart off to the world. ❤️🌎 And I can’t wait to see it shine.
Oh and one last shout out to our veterans on #veteransday! It takes incredible courage and strength to lay down your life for another. We appreciate you!!! #tgif #potd #poetsofinstagram #poetsofig #fridayintroductions #fridayintroduction #poet #thankyou #god #christian #lovegod #loveothers #christianpoet #christianpoetry #christianpoems via Instagram http://ift.tt/2eZ8gN0
Okay, first thing’s first: as a Christian, I don’t believe anything is secular. I feel God and have vibed out on evil in the past and wholly and fully understand both can be felt when you least expect it – even when it comes to literature.
So “secular” fiction is a bit of a misnomer for me. But alas, it’s still a thing, and to keep confusion at bay, I’ll be calling it as such throughout this post.
Secondly, I really don’t think anyone SHOULD do anything, so if you read this post and think, “No thanks,” then it’s all good in the hood, and I’ll still share my Cheetos with you.
Now, let’s get down to brass tax.
Before I became a Christian, writing was easy peasy. I just fired up my inner demons, threw the words they inspired on the page and called it art.
After becoming a Christian, I started to take issue with this process, namely the inner demons part because I suddenly (and luckily) found that I no longer had any. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still human, but the the little thoughts that used to badger me and tear me down were gone, and frankly, I had made those bad boys my friends.
So what’s a Christian gal to do? Keep on keeping on.
Listen, I know I can still write. And I know there’s a fire burning in my belly. But now it’s a matter of using that fire to bring others into the light instead of letting it devour my soul in smoke.
Really, when you think about it, it’s not a bad trade off.
It’s also why I choose to write secular fiction over Christian fiction.
There is a whole audience out there struggling, my friends. There’s a whole segment of our human population that needs someone to send them down a little miracle and make the shitty existence of every day living worth SOMETHING. As a Christian and an author, I intend to do just that.
The way I figure it, you can’t heal a broken heart with rainbows and unicorns. You can’t go up to someone who’s hurting, actually decomposing from the inside out and say, “Isn’t the world such a beautifully golden and God-filled place,” and then start twirling on a hillside a la Maria from the Sound of Music.
People generally don’t like that.
And I mean you may feel like twirling until your wooden clogs go flying off your feet, but remember when you didn’t feel that way? Remember when the only thing you thought about was the exact temperature you needed to set the oven before sticking your head in?
Look, I’m not trying to be graphic here. I’m trying to be real. There’s nothing wrong with truth even when the truth is a dark and ugly thing. Because truth gives birth to light.
And fortunately, we all have the ultimate guide when it comes to writing this way. It’s called the Bible.
The Bible doesn’t sugar coat the reality of this world. The Bible is up front and in your face when it comes to sin and how it can slowly and methodically deteriorate everything in its path. And I appreciate the Bible for its honesty.
If it wasn’t so darn honest, I wouldn’t believe a lick of it.
So this is why I’m a Christian and write secular fiction. I want to be honest, transparent, and let the world know – the hurting, crying, miserable segment of it that feels like the sun is a burnt out star – that hope flickers through my words, through my waterfall of pages.
It is a light I’ve been given from God, and I love you to the point of setting your heart on fire.
*Inspiration for this post: The Dilemma of Being a Christian Who Writes Fiction
All my life, I knew I was going to be SOMETHING.
Something great. Something wonderful. Something rich and something famous and something so intellectually on point, I would lightly stab the world between the eyes.
“Here I am, World. Eat your heart out.”
You know what I’ve been doing lately? I’ve been praying for people. I’ve been praying for our family.
I’ve completely removed my tumored heart from this ruthless world, and I’ve never felt better.
How does a woman of this world focus less on BEING something and devote herself to DOING something?
Prayer, you guys. It all comes down to prayer.
In the past, I’ve been what you would call a “casual” pray-er. If an anxiety attack comes on, God’s the first dude I call. If my plane is doing the turbulence dance, I’m all over the prayer stuff. If anyone I love has a suspicious looking mole on their cheek and even if it only turns out to be a sprinkle from their cupcake, I’ll pray so hard, I’ll forget to eat my own cupcake. (But then I eventually will eat it because it’s a cupcake. Duh.)
But for the longest time, prayer wasn’t necessarily something I sought to do on a regular basis, nor was it a thing that I believed actually worked. Really, it was just a way to focus my mind on something so worry wouldn’t gnaw a hole in my stomach.
So I never really thought of prayer as something powerful, something that could really change your life because God isn’t some genie in the sky who blinks and grants your every wish. And I’m right, He’s not.
But He’s love. He’s the connection between your heart and mine. And when we pray with intention for another human being instead of our own selfish needs and wants, we’re helping to connect those we’re praying for to God and wrap them in his warm embrace.
I know this because it happened to me.
I went from caring only about MYself, MY accomplishments, MY tush sitting on a chair next to Oprah so I could drone on and on about some bestseller I just penned and the way MY hair would look on camera to caring about others, their lives, their beautiful souls.
How did this change happen??
A few family members prayed for me and kept praying for me even when I insisted The Secret was the true religion, and if I focused hard enough, I’d be able to have more than my fair share of Oprah in my life…and a BMW…and maybe a few more cupcakes. But my family never stopped praying because they understood that His love is what I needed in my life. Not the glittery yet transient things that kept catching my eye.
It’s funny how I gave more credence to people and things and entire ways of thinking than I gave to God.
But when you live in this ill-stricken world, the one that cares more for Oprah, BMWs, and cupcakes than truth, it’s hard not to become a suffering patient right along with it.
So how about a little activity? I heard about an organization called CURE International that would greatly appreciate our prayers. They help A LOT of people and they fully understand that they’re an active representation of God’s love in this world.
Just click here to pray for these people. There’s even a prayer guide that you can download that will help your heart find the right words.
God never abandoned me, you guys. I abandoned him. But he’s in my life now because I’ve finally allowed him to be.
And he’s there for you, too. Just let him hear your heart. Let him hear your prayers.
Why is this the hard one to write?
Why is this one freezing up my fingers and slicking my skin with ice cold sweat?
But guys, I have a confession: I’m a Christian.
This is kind of exploding every single brain cell in my skull right now because sometimes when I even say it out loud, I think, No you’re not. You’re a cat glitterer, you crazy woman. You’re a car keyer and avoider of all office situations. You’re the person who lies on the floor in Target and puts nacho cheese in her bra.
You’re Ericka, gosh darn it.
But see, that’s the thing.
I’m still Ericka. I’m still Ericka “What Did Her Mother Put in Her Bottle?” Clay. I still love cats and glitter to the point that I’m not allowed in the state of Vermont anymore. (Spluh, like I need their stupid cheddar…sniff.)
But even more than that, I’ve taken to re-sculpturing my life so that it can support a more loving and open heart. I’m taking steps that have left me less lonely, less dark and more willing to smile and ask you your name than write you off as something you may not even be. Because fear is easy. Fear and misunderstanding is the name of the game in this world.
But I’m learning it doesn’t have to be. And man, does that feel good.
So really, this whole Christianity thing isn’t taking me away from Ericka. If anything, it’s made more Ericka-like, so much so my face won’t stop sticking this way. It’s okay. I have amazing teeth.
And no worries, you guys. I love you for you. There will be no requests to follow me down this journey because everyone has the exact road they need right beneath their feet.
All I ask is that you accept me for me. That’s it. (And to smuggle me some cheese from Vermont.)
Because “me” I fully am now, and I can’t wait to unleash all that I’m on this amazing world.
Cats, I’ll give you a five minute head start.