The Pinnacle of Life (poem by me)

I’ve viewed the world from atop tall towers,
Kissed passionately in the pouring rain,
Received oversized vases of flowers,
And shared a bottle of midnight champagne.

I have peered down through clouds on mountain peaks,
and dived from boats in crystal clear oceans,
landed places a great sojourner seeks,
and drank my fill of intense emotions.

I have been ferried to primitive isles,
sipped of pure nature without phones or cars,
witnessed wild horses running free for miles,
Pitched a tent and wished on thousands of stars.

Still nothing compares or is quite the same,
to the moment the Lord God called my name.

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” —Ecclesiastes 1:14

*Draw near is now accepting personal essays about childhood. Read the details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/.

Call for Submissions

Draw Near is currently accepting submissions for a new free ebook. This publication will consist of personal essays. All essay submissions should be under 1,000 words. The theme is childhood. The essay should capture a single day or event that happened during your childhood. The situation or event could be good or bad, but please close your essay with a positive message on how it helped you in life. Some possible themes for your essay could be living in the country/city, growing up with two parents or only one parent, being raised in a Christian/non-Christian household, living in a rich/poor family, being popular/unpopular in school, etc. Simply give the reader an idea of what it was like to be you as a child and a sliver of wisdom from your experience. Need help? Do not hesitate to request free assistance from Draw Near’s editor.

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting.

  1. Email your personal essay to songofsolomon8@outlook.com. Submit in the body of the email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf). Avoid using special fonts and formats (such as centering, italics, etc). Include the title and “by” line in the email. (A pen name is okay.)
  2. You may include a short biography (optional). If your work is selected, Draw Near will share your bio in a blog. The bio must be in third person and consist of no more than three sentences. One link to your personal website or social media is acceptable.
  3. Draw Near will accept work that you have published on the internet (on your website or a public forum). However, we are not interested in manuscripts that have already been accepted for publication by other publishers. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify us immediately if your writing is accepted elsewhere.
  4. Submit only one personal essay. Submissions with indecent words or subjects will be rejected without consideration.
  5. The deadline is when full. Please submit as soon as possible.
  6. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for your submission. Please submit only if you wish to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ. All submissions will be considered and acknowledged. However, Draw Near will only accept quality writing that adheres to these guidelines for publication.
  7. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS!!! By submitting a creative work:
  • you certify you are the author of the creative work.
  • you agree to give the publisher rights to publish your creative work in a single publication.
  • you authorize the publisher to make this publication available in print and electronic formats.
  • you agree to allow the publisher to post this publication on this website and other websites designed for hosting print and electronic formats.
  • you retain the copyright to your work.
  • you will be credited for your creative work (either as your real or pen name).

Still interested? Send your personal essay to songofsolomon8@outlook.com today!

On Writing Poetry (by me)

I have not written many poems lately because I am currently reviewing poetry submissions for a new project called Blessed Creation: A Christian Poetry Collection. This publication will provide writers the opportunity to spotlight an aspect of God’s creation with their poetry. If interested, please visit the Call for Submissions page. In today’s blog, I want to share my process for writing poetry.

I usually start my poetry writing process with a memory. If I am not inspired by a memory, it could be a dream, a beloved animal or flower, an art piece, a sermon, or someone I saw on the street… Really the possibilities for inspiration are endless! From this inspiring idea, I develop and jot down one or two lines for the poem.

Next, I try to decide if what form the poem should take. (See http://www.shadowpoetry.com to learn more about poetry forms.) If my primary purpose is to communicate a concrete message, I will often choose free verse. Mangling a message to fit into a rhyming or syllable form simply will not do. However, I love expressing flexible ideas through rhyming poetry forms like a sonnet or rhyme royal. Rhyming poems can be fun, beautiful, and complex. I personally prefer to use near rhymes instead of obvious rhymes to make it sound more sophisticated. (Visit http://www.rhymezone.com to access near rhyme suggestions for your own poetry.) Syllable poetry forms like haiku and sijo are useful to capture the short attention span of new readers. (Visit http://www.wordcalc.com if you don’t like counting syllables by hand.) When no poetry form seems suitable, I simply invent my own poetry form! Creative people create. We can’t help it. Once the form is selected, I can add more lines to the poem until it is complete.

Once the poem is finished, I reflect on the message of the poem. For me, there is always a balance to be struck. I review and ask myself questions like:

  • Does the poem honor God?
  • Is it original?
  • Was I transparent and “for real” about my true emotions?
  • Would it be considered offensive or judgmental?
  • Does it reveal God’s heart for His people?
  • Is it too syrupy sweet?
  • Does it glorify sinful practices in any way?
  • Does it speak truth according to the Word of God?

If I don’t like my answers, it is time to rewrite the poem to ensure the integrity of my work as a Christian writer. In obedience to what God has called me to do, one thing is certain—I keep writing. My readers here on this site really encourage me to fulfill my calling as a writer. I could not continue day in and day out with your supportive likes and comments (which I can read although they do not publicly post). (If you seek an encouraging poetry community, you can find one at http://www.poetrysoup.com.)

That’s it! I hope the review of my writing process helps you in some way. If you landed here because of your interest in writing but do not consider yourself a Christian, please visit Draw Near’s About God page. Additionally, I am happy to read and reply to emails if you simply have questions or concerns about the Christian faith. (See the Contact page.) Maybe there is a more significant reason you landed on this page. Thanks for reading and God bless!

Call for Submissions

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good….”—Genesis 1:31

Draw Near is currently accepting Christian poetry submissions for a new free ebook. The theme is CREATION so poems about anything created by God will be shown preference. The theme could include a variety of subjects such as a man or woman, an introspective view into yourself, a character profile of someone else, a relationship, an animal, a plant, a continent, a country, a landscape, etc. Write about something you love and how it relates to God. All forms (except shape poetry) will be accepted. Draw Near desires to showcase a variety of rhyming, syllable, non-rhyming free verse, and newly invented poetry.

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting.
1. Email your poem to k.bondofstl@yahoo.com. Poems can be submitted in the email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf). Avoid using special fonts and formats (such as centering, italics, etc). Include your poem’s title and “by” line in the email. (A pen name is okay.)
2. You may include a short biography (optional). If your poem is selected, Draw Near will share your bio in a blog. The bio should not exceed three sentences. One link to your personal website or social media is acceptable.
3. New or old poems will be accepted. Draw Near will gladly accept poems that you have published on the internet (on your website or a public forum). However, I am not interested in poems already accepted by other editors/publishers. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify Draw Near immediately if your poem is accepted elsewhere.
4. Submit a maximum of three poems. Only one poem submission will be accepted. Poems with indecent words or subjects will be rejected without consideration.
5. The deadline is November 20, 2016.
6. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for your submission. Please submit only if you wish to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ. All submissions will be read and acknowledged. However, Draw Near will only accept quality writing that adheres to these guidelines for publication.
7. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS!!! By submitting a creative work:
• you certify you are the author of the creative work.
• you agree to give the publisher rights to publish your creative work in a single publication.
• you authorize the publisher to make this publication available in print and electronic formats.
• you agree to allow the publisher to post this publication on this website and other websites designed for hosting print and electronic formats.
• you retain the copyright to your work.
• you will be credited for your creative work (either as your real or pen name).

Still interested? Send in your poem to k.bondofstl@yahoo.com today!