short poems

A second post for the Discover Challenge Obstacles: these are some favorite poems that are gifts from challenging years.  The Discover Challenges are a weekly event at The Daily Post that began this year.


all winter
flowers rested
in the earth
beauty begins
in the heart


turning the vase
of flowers
there are
more roses

(published in Bell’s Letters Poet)


the years
that were so hard
and yet
they gave me
my stories


Three examples of my haiku are reprinted on a page here on Haiku Prayers – Poetry And Other Art:

Haiku Society Of America Members’ Anthologies.


Ellen Grace Olinger

daily prompt – Solitude

Solitude goes well with my previous post for the Discover Challenge Obstacles.

one red tulip
blooms in the hosta border
time alone with God

I often pray the Psalms, and am renewed.  Now that I have been blogging for a time, I also am blessed by looking back in my archives.  When my poet-self is at rest, perhaps I have some of the objectivity of an editor, and can decide on some poems that may belong in a small chapbook.

Luci Shaw is one of the authors I read in solitude.  Her next book, Sea Glass, New and Selected Poems, will be published in May 2016.  There is more information in the Writings category at her site.

Many ways to be creative . . .

Discover Challenge – Obstacles


The Discover Challenge this week is Obstacles.

Over decades, my creative process has varied a lot.  I can surely say that limitations and structure have made my work stronger.  I always feel like I am just beginning to learn.  Some projects were easier and have worked out well, some are not yet finished, and some were very hard – yet worked out well with more time and revisions.  Support from good editors.

I am not writing a lot now, and am grateful for photography.  I also enjoy arranging flowers. Reading is a big part of my life.  Over the years, I’ve read many books about creativity.  I am ever-interested and appreciate authors who share about their process.  Rest is also important for all of us, and my life had to change after a chronic illness.  The schedule I kept “once upon a time” is not an option.

So often it seems artists have had to overcome obstacles, in some way, and somehow their art is enriched.  Mercy and grace.  I hope to write more about this in the future.

Everyone has a story.


writing an essay
all I deleted
to say what I mean


feeling new poems
fallow fields
waking up

(Time Of Singing, 2000)



Ellen Grace Olinger

garden journal


The Discover Challenge this week is Risk.  I also feel that my blogs are a good place to grow.  I began with photography in a consistent way last year.  Taking photos in our yard gives me a good structure.  How the garden looks is the content.

I like that I can share my photos along with those of you who are professionals.  My goal is to keep growing, as I grow older, by God’s grace.  I watch the light through the seasons, and the beauty of each season.  Poetry helps me see the photos.


Ellen Grace Olinger