discover your created self

Turn of Phrases

photo taken by me in Florida circa 2016

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

(Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Four winters ago, we were in Florida, staying on our boat in a marina right across the street from the ocean. One of the first nights there, I walked over to say hello to the ocean, and to my surprise the moon was rising above the waves. I came back to the boat to get my camera to capture the moon. I was too impatient to learn all the f-stops and aperture settings and ISO settings to get a photo that night.

We were in Florida long enough to witness another rising of the moon. This time, I captured the moon with my camera. There’s something illusive and mysterious about the moon, yet its familiarity also comforts me.

Fast forward, summer of 2020. I am still trying to capture illusive and mysterious things. With a camera, on a blank page, with images or words, I desire to bring to life what’s churning inside me. I want to paint a picture, develop an image, create a turn of phrase that speaks deeply of now and when and how and how come and what if.

I scan feeds, and someone else captures a phrase, I didn’t know that I wanted or needed. I try it out on my tongue, with my pen in my notebook. And a captured moment arises, and I think I will build upon that phrase and add some other phrases that I’ve read or heard or mused upon. And a poem of sort bleeds from the pen onto the page.

The poem is untitled. (Borrowed phrases in italics, with credits at the end.)

my own personal America,
desires deferred today

this time, I choose
drive-in fireworks:
10×15 viewing pods

arrive in time to
be jammed in traffic,
cars with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
six people, no more, with
DEMANDS to be responsible . . .
and monitored closely

backed into our $20 dollar
piece of real estate–
happy little tree next to
our space; an island retreat.

one couple in our pod,
spreads their quilt on the grass–
a burnt orange, rusty moon rises
above the set.

eerily quite for our lot,
a tarmac full of individuals

waiting for a display of
bursting color and pattern upon the
night sky

a cool breeze, as they
sit remarking: such
a pleasant evening

an often humidity laden event,
remembering pasts–now
songs play on the radio,
lyrics echoing memories faint
and not so poignant . . .

country road take me home?
proud to be . . . free?

I stand for the anthem with
questions under my hand that
clasps my heart–
my own personal America

Credits in order of appearance: Colin Healy, Bradley Rohlf, (Fly North Theatricals), FAQs from Drive-In St. Louis, Bob Ross, John Denver, Lee Greenwood, Colin Healy

3 responses to “Turn of Phrases”

  1. Oh Kel, I loved this phrase, “I stand for the anthem with
    questions under my hand…”

    Thank you for this ‘turn of phrases.’ And you’re right, we are always trying to capture the illusive s o m e t h i n g with our words. So grateful to be on the hunt with you, friend.

    1. Yes, happy hunting for the illusion words 🙃

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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