Conversing with the Muse: an exploration within community

I occasionally fall under the illusion that my creative process occurs alone, or when my life is simple. In actuality, my imagination is sparked when I am in both connection and community. I am not an isolated being, but merely a seed in a continuum.

Our writer’s group, North of 54 embarked on a beautiful collaboration with artist Leslie Barnwell for our 5th anthology. This was especially meaningful to me as Leslie is an important mentor for my poetic path. Many years ago, I took my first creative writing course instructed by Leslie at the local college. Through her guidance and her brilliance, as she offered myriad ways to explore and respond to writing, my passion for poetry was fully realized. We shared in several creative ventures since that time, and so how lovely to once again be in this relationship together.

Our anthology, ‘Seed Dreams- poems of blossoming’ contains 22 photos from Leslie’s flower collection. One of the photos included was a perfect marriage for a piece I had written many months previously.  ‘Conversations in February’ was a response to a poem from another dear friend and creative muse, Lesley Strutt, whose work, “If Time were a Tulip” ignited my own images.

I am grateful and humbled to feel this connection to a larger community. There is synergy when we create together; our interdependence is crucial.

(oh, and spider shows up in another poem in the anthology)

Conversations in February
“Time might be a tulip”
~Lesley Strutt

Nestled under thick duvet    feather pillows;
a kind of rapture.
Soft morning glow sifts
through the curtained window-
no need to rise.

Only this~ layers enveloped within
a thin envelope, the fragile membrane
holding fragrant dreams

and if I learn to listen

hear the language of tulips murmur
with scarlet throats, soon enough
they will whisper
the exact moment
to unfurl                      spill light
from inside chambers,             fling
silken scarves as a whirling dervish,

translucent offerings
upon the floorboards.





About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
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6 Responses to Conversing with the Muse: an exploration within community

  1. Cheri Reidy says:

    Joan Joan Emma Joan,
    How you condense your sentient and sensual perspectives into these sweet soul nourishings !
    Thank you for the work both solitary and in community that you tend so carefully.💚🙏🏽

  2. Cheri Reidy says:

    Hi sweet friend,What a beautiful post; well done!Of course I am hesitant to bring up a typo but one jumped out at my eyes…I would sure be more than happy to read them bed you post. Perhaps it’s easy to go in and edit still…Xo talk later,Hawkeye Cheri

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  3. lizmax2014 says:

    Ah Joanie, beautiful, we all need each other as we walk this creative life…I didn’t notice the typo that old/young Hawkeye spotted, however i must point out one of hers..bed..what? Love having both of you in my life as i watch how you co ever widening circle. love Liz, the island crone.

  4. Joan Conway says:

    Liz, I love this exchange, I feel very appreciative that you get me and that you get what I do. Cheri tells me that she will pass on your books and so am waiting for this exchange as well. Big hug

  5. So good to see this collection come forward – and to see Leslie’s work shared as well. Write on!

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