Heather Truett, aka Madame Rubies, aka @mmerubies, has become one of our regular contributors to the TweetSpeak poetry jam on Twitter. I checked out her blog site, Madame Rubies, and I discovered that she has collected and published some of her poetry. So I ordered Pencil Drawn and Paper Grown, to earn more about her and her poetry. (I haven’t read her second volume, entitled Felicities.)
In Pencil Drawn, she includes poems old and young – old in that they were written earlier, when she was in her teens; young for the poems she’s written more recently. And while the “younger” poems are more practiced, more intentional and more mature, she’s right to include the “older” ones, because you understand the newer ones better. The poems are grouped under four headings – Faith, Hope, Love and Other. (That sounds like the title of a poem – Faith, Hope, Love and Other.)
And she includes a warning in her introduction: some of these poems are dark. They reflect considerable pain. Yet she was right to include them, because you can only understand and accept the light by first acknowledging the dark.
Here is pain described in everyday things. From “The Kitchen:”
I have to drain away the ache inside.
I need it to leak out of me –
Flowing through a ballpoint pen
Onto paper that is white and clean.
Now, it is dirtied with my pain.
Metal rusts from all the tears I’ll cry
In just this life.
No one causes all my pain.
They just seem to add a little here or there.
Throw in a dash of agony
And let it set…
Let it stew.
Just a pinch of hurtful words,
Just a tablespoon of torture…
And here is pain, the pain of Someone Else, described through a communion service. From “Red Liquid:”
Staring at the liquid,
Red liquid in a tiny cup,
Blood running down his side.
Searching the crowd for some reassurance
That this was right,
He was The One
And still is The One.
He saved our lives –
Eternal lives are given now…
But there is more than pain in these poems. There is love. Here’s “Hand Over Hand:”
Rough flesh –
Soft skin –
I could touch you forever,
Hands moving over hands,
Devouring the solid shape,
Examining each deep drawn line
With tender fingertips,
And knowing God designed you,
Piece by piece,
Knit you together
And painted you beautiful.
Warm hands touching
Fulfilling simple moments
And stretching them to something wonderful –
Making them ours.
There are many good things in this collection of Heather’s. True things. Real things. I found myself moved on every page, and finding each poem saying something important.
- Poets and Poems: Benjamin Myers at “The Family Book of Martyrs” - January 31, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Laura Mullen and “After I Was Dead” - January 24, 2023
- “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” – An Old Poem, a New Artwork - January 17, 2023