Monday, December 2, 2013

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Carolyn Devonshire and Sandra Stefanowich--United States and Canada

Celebrating in Solitude

scents from your chimney waft my way
curtains aside, a dozen cars are dusted by snow
boys in your yard cry out while pitching snowballs
sensing both comfort and sadness
holidays go on, even when stillness fills your home
surrounded by memories of Christmases long past
wondering what it would feel like to have family again
don a shawl, footsteps crunch in fresh snow
seeing a visitor from across the street, I wave
while on my way to join a neighbor’s celebration
preparing to smile at countless nameless faces
aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews
the “lady next door” self-consciously mingles
aching for solitude; dreading it as well
the visitor comes to mind, is she feeling the same
where alone, holiday survivors learn
to appreciate the peace....

I see a lady making her way next door
she smiles and waves from across the street
I give her a smile and wave back
grateful for a moment to stall before going in
we all showed as we said we'd do
a gathering of "family" to pay our due
appearances to appease
somewhere else I'd rather be
on this day is when I feel the most alone
this feeling of distance when I'm in this home
stilted, polite, unease when there's nothing left to say
it was long ago, when we all went our separate ways
it's gets too hard to remember
reliving the yesterdays of December
dreading being here, when solitude is what I want
I wonder about that lady, is she feeling just like me
where alone, I find refuge in the peace


  1. Thank you, Jack Horne, for the following comment--

    Carolyn/Sandra - love this thought-provoking piece, you two : )

  2. Thank you, Robert Dufresne, for the following comment--

    Awesome; definitely pulled me in the middle of it. I join the "Lady next door" and the visitor in a mind melding soliloquy of sorts through a melange of scene descript, emotions, and personal thoughts which carries me off into nostalgic and otherwise scenes of my own. Favorite line: "the lady next door" self conscientiously mingles, aching for solitude; dreading it as well.

    Well executed! Love it, Carolyn and Sandra.

    Bob D

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry I wanted to edit a word and ended up deleting my comment. :( I will start over.
      Sandra and Carolyn, I truly enjoyed reading this poem that carried me back to days gone by and awakened in me a memory of a very special day in my life that followed possible like feelings of the lady next door. Some times deep in the valley, one wonders if ever there will be a mountain top experience. I had such an one I will never forget, where alone and in the solitude of early morning I found refuge in the peace and arms of God's love. Thank you for a well written poem.
      Love, Charlene

  4. How beautifully this collaborative piece melds together, smoothly drawing the reader in and down through the poem. A delight to have stopped by! Thank you for sharing ladies and congratulations on your new book with Jack Horne...; it looks to be an interesting read from those I have so far dipped into... Well done!

  5. Love the whole first stanza! I feel I'm right there.

  6. Carolyn and Sandra, this is simply beautiful, well crafted and genuinely written. Very nice collaboration from the both of you. Thanks or sharing.

    -MJ, Owner / Editor
    Creative Inspirations Poetry Publication

  7. I don't have memories of Christmas or family because we simply didn't have any. But, I do relate once I had my own family and visited in the city - Your poetry Carolyn and Sandra has heartfelt feelings that many may relate to...

    Rhoda Galgiani

  8. Carolyn and Sandra you take me back to my childhook in Texas following the Great Depression when most everyone seemed to be poor. We had a custom in our community each Christmas season each neighbor would try to be the first one to say "Christmas Gift" in the spirit of it is better to give than to receive. It always resulted in laughter and good feelings and sometimes good natured arguments over who was first. Try that in your neighborhood and see if it doesn't bring back some of that wholesome spirit and closeness of family and friends. Thanks for posting this touching poem.
    Robert (Christmas Gift to You)

  9. Dear Carolyn and Sandra,

    I knew people would be touched by this poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. Thanks also, Carolyn, for all the encouraging comments you left for other writers today. It's people like you that make this journal a community.


  10. Thank you, David Austin, for the following comment--

    Hey! Old me, I love this recollection stuff, this solitude.

    Love, Dave Austin

  11. To all who commented:

    Thank you to all who took the time to read the co-write Carolyn and I did together. We both appreciate your comments very much and glad you enjoyed the poem.

    Sandra Stefanowich

  12. Dear Sandra,

    You and Carolyn wrote this amazing poem, one you should be proud of. Thank you for all the comments you left for other writers. Your support and encouragement are greatly appreciated. What a blessing you are!


  13. Wow Sandra and Carolyn you have done what so few have accomplished; make the reader read your poem over again and again as I did. This poetry collaboration is so deep that you hope that you have tasted every nuance of it. You long to wrap your arms around this poor soul and walk through the door with her. The saying, 'Misery loves company'; literally screams in this poem. Very well written! Love Jane

    1. Dear Jane and others who commented,

      This poem holds a special meaning for both Sandra and me. Each of us has spent Christmas alone or with others we hardly know. Thank all of you for appreciating the meaning of this write. Have a blessed Christmas! Love to all, Carolyn Devonshire

  14. Very touching... beautiful heartfelt poem... Terry