On my iPad, a daily picture pops up to surprise me. This lighthouse on the Washington coast shows a view below the climb to the light in the lighthouse. It’s a view that shows the apartments next door and hopes on the hills, a view that shows the earth has room for all of us. There is no need for war. So that idea became the start of a short poem because today is a busy day of cleaning up after a work crew.
For more information on the lighthouse:
Mukilteo Lighthouse Park
608 Front St, Mukilteo, WA 98275
As I looked at the photo, which, as I said, just popped up on my home screen on my iPad, I was struck by the perspective of height— to see all around instead of just in front of me as we walk along the path. I could see myself in the world in a spot of my own among all the other spots for other people. The world, I could see, fits us all.
As I started writing with “rise above the small” I thought of that first view of walking on a path, seeing only one’s path, yet we fit within the larger world. Hence, “small” ovens to the world. But the word “world” did not fit. It’s a funny word, one syllable, but I pronounce it with two syllables. Whir-old, instead “wurld.” So I changed my idea from world to earth.
Next, the first line starts with an accent, a verb, “Rise.” So I couldn’t say in the second line “the world” or now “the earth.” I needed to start with an accented syllable to keep. The rhythm and flow. I followed the syllabic form of the first line:
- rise – accent
- above – two syllables, accent second
- the — one light syllable, not a firm accent
- small — accent
- Earth – accent
- Supports – two syllables, accent second
- us — one light syllable, not a firm accent
- all — accent
And that’s how the writing would sound and flow and rhyme.
Do you see it? Give it a try: a photo, a phrase. Then parse the phrase into accents/syllables/rhyme to create the second line.
Rise above the smallSheri Edwards
Earth supports us all.